Friday, September 30, 2011

They Grow So Fast

Beth posted a video on facebook yesterday. Jason figured out how to roll from his back to his tummy. It took him a bit to do it, but he did. Then today she posted another video. This time Jason rolled over right away, so she rolled him back onto his back and he promptly rolled back to his tummy. He's got this one figured out!

How in the world did he get so big so fast? Who told him he could grow up? Yeah, I said that with my kids too.  I told them to stay little, and look what happened with them - they didn't listen! And they grew up.  Though I suppose if Beth hadn't grown up, we wouldn't have Jason...

It really is amazing how fast these little people grow and how much they learn and change in a few short months.  Jason has grown out of so many clothes.  Thankfully he had a lot of clothes in practically all sizes, but it's always sad to have to put away a particularly cute outfit because it's too small.  Sometimes it seems like they only get to wear an outfit once or twice, and then they're out of it.  I guess that means most baby clothes and children's clothes don't get worn out, they just get passed on to the next baby. 

And that's how Jason got all his cute little clothes - the little boy Beth watches wore them first.  They've just had to buy him some Fall/Winter clothes because most of the clothes they were given in the size he's going to need are summer clothes - so they needed some outfits with long sleeves and long pants.  We gotta keep the little guy warm!  Plus, every little guy deserves some new clothes, and there's always that particularly cute outfit that he just has to have.  There are so many cute little baby clothes.  I find myself looking online and whenever I'm in a store just because.  The little man may not really need any clothes, and he may grow out of them way too fast, but I may just find that outfit I can't resist.  It certainly doesn't hurt to look...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy for only $4.38

Amazon has the Kindle version of The Hunger Games Trilogy for $4.38 right now.

Cory and I really enjoyed these books, and I'm really thinking about actually buying them - as opposed to all those free Kindle books I've been collecting.  It's a really good deal for all three books and a great time to grab them if you haven't read them yet.  Or just a good way to get them and re-read them if you already love them.  Cory has the last book Mockingjay in hard cover, but we don't own the first two yet.

I'm not sure how long this price is going to last, so I guess I better make up my mind quick.  How about you?  Have you read The Hunger Games Trilogy?  Can you resist this deal?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

I'm trying not to let Tuesday get away from me again - but Tuesday is doing a really good job of it anyway.

We had a good weekend.  Saturday was the annual Barn Party our friends host at their house/barn.  We get to see lots of people we don't get to see very often.  We have church in the barn - unfortunately we can't cybercast for or Skype with our friends who can't be there because there's not enough bandwidth, but thankfully we'll see you soon, Mary!!  After church there's always lots of food - chili, hot dogs, cornbread, chips, etc.  And, of course, the desserts.  So many desserts!  Then there's the bonfire and the hayrides and talking to people....  We had lots of fun.

Cory had to leave for a while in the evening/night to go to rehearsal.  He's understudy for 2 plays, with rehearsals for both going on, and he has to learn 3 parts for one play and 10 parts for the other - that's 13 people in his head, besides his own self.  I think he's the only person in the universe who could do it, but it's certainly going to be quite a semester!

It's been cool and rainy the last several days.  Yes, this post has degenerated to the point of talking about the weather.  Good, huh?  That's what I get for waiting until the end of the day/night to post.  And what did I actually do today? Recycled papers, cut out coupons, worked on updating the nametags we're getting printed for the Feast, baked bread, washed towels, etc., etc., etc.  Always so much to do, and I put off the posting until the end.

Tune in next week...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Facebook for Better Memory

Facebook has been alive with complaints all day long.  It's really nothing new - facebook changes something, everybody complains for a while, and they all get used to the way things are.  Then, when everyone is comfortable, facebook changes things again.  Why, you ask?  Maybe they're trying to help all of us improve our memories.

I pulled an article out of USA Weekend from a couple weeks ago called 7 Easy Ways You Can Improve Your Memory NOW, thinking there could be some good tips in there.  If you've ever walked into a room and then forgotten what you were there for, then you know why...  Anyway, tip number 2 just may apply to facebook and why they are always changing things over there...
2) Switch things up.  If you're having trouble learning and retaining new information on your computer screen, whether it's the details of your new insurance plan or a new software system at work, try changing the font to a style that's harder to read.  Counter-intuitive, yes.  But a recent study by psychologists at Princeton and Indiana University reveals that adults who studied complicated information that was printed in unfamiliar fonts scored better on tests than those who read the text in a popular typeface.  The authors believe that the harder font forces your brain to concentrate more intently on the information.
OK, it's not exactly the same thing, but I think you see what I'm saying.  By regularly 'switching things up' facebook keeps us on our toes and helps us concentrate better.

For the other 6 tips on how you can improve your memory, check out the article at USA Weekend.  I wonder if I can apply any others to facebook?

It'll Take Some Time to Get Used To

I just uploaded another picture of my new haircut.  I'm not yet sure how/what I'm supposed to do with it - and every time I pass a mirror I do a double-take.  It looks so different!  I wet it down today and messed with it a bit.  Curls aren't quite as defined as they were when I left Cost Cutters yesterday, so I'm not sure what she did back there.  I don't really want to work too hard - just gel, scrunch, let dry - so that's pretty much what I did.

I've got less hair, but it also feels like I've got more, because before even though it was really long, it was always pulled back.  I couldn't stand to have it down because it was always in my face - and I couldn't do anything.  But I've been wanting something a little softer around my face, so...

I just have to get used to it. 

I wonder if it will be easier to adjust to new hair or to all the new changes on facebook?  Kinda like changing anything, from cell phone plans like this incredible s bell to eyeglasses - the changes seem huge when they happen, but eventually we all adapt, and we can't remember what all the fuss was about or even what things were like before.

Youngest Doctor Ever

I was just checking out the site at and noticed the picture of the little guy in scrubs.  OK, first I was looking at scrub hats and thinking that some of these might be handy for bad hair days - not that I'm planning on bad hair days with my new haircut!  They do have some cute ones, and I was wondering if you actually have to be a doctor or nurse to wear them.  I think medical uniforms have come a long way from just white lab coats and ugly scrubs.  Doctors and nurses probably appreciated them no matter how ugly because they don't have to mess up their 'real' clothes - but nobody else would ever consider wearing them.

Blue Sky scrubs have fashionable stitching on both back pockets of the scrub bottoms and matching stitching on the pocket of the scrub top. The pants are somewhere between a flare-leg and a boot-cut, and their scrub tops are tapered at the waist to flatter every figure.  Since I don't buy scrub sets, I'm not sure how the prices compare to other brands or styles, but they do offer free shipping on orders over $155 as well as free returns and exchanges.  And you can subscribe to their newsletter to get email discounts.

Then there's that little guy - youngest doctor ever.  Or just a little guy in scrubs.  They have children's scrubs too.  They say they're perfect for the child who wants to dress up just like mommy or daddy - for those kids whose parents are doctors or nurses.  Or just great for dressing up and pretending to be a doctor.  Comfortable and durable just like the adult scrubs.  And isn't he cute?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

These weeks, they go so fast!  How is it Tuesday again already?  I'm sitting here watching the Dancing with the Stars elimination show and realizing it's almost 9:00!  Tuesday is almost over...

The weekend was mostly spent hanging out with a little guy.  In case you missed it - Jason spent the night Saturday night.  You should go read that post, because there are some cute pics there!

And, since I wrote that whole post about the weekend, I can't really think of much else to say.  I went and got my hair cut today.  The ladies at Cost Cutters were awesome.  I took a picture in, and the girl cutting my hair gave me her opinion and suggestions about what would work and what I'd be happiest with - and it turned out really well.  I haven't played with it yet, but she put some product in it and styled it a bit, and it just feels so good - so much lighter, and bouncier!  I'm also wondering where all these curls came from.  We'll see what it looks like when I do it.  She said it should be really easy to take care of, which is perfect for me.   I took a few pictures with my phone, but they didn't turn out too well.  Blurry!  But at least you can get an idea.  Way shorter than it was.

After the haircut, which I didn't get to until 3:30 because I was waiting to get in on the Dr. Oz Nuttzo giveaway - which went totally Nuttzo and crashed their server so that I didn't get one anyway - I came home and mowed the yard.  It looks pretty now.  Cut hair, cut grass - it's all good.

So that basketball player I never heard of with the new weird name got kicked off Dancing with the Stars.  I agree.  He was the worst.  Also, what's with the weird name?  If you have a normal name like scott kay or john smith or whatever his name was, why would you change it to a non-name like Metta World Peace?  *shakes head and rolls eyes*   My early favorites are J.R. Martinez and Chynna Phillips, and they both did well with the judges too.  I look forward to seeing how they do.  Jeffrey's pet peeve is that, no matter how they do, it seems that they put Cheryl Burke and her partner 'in jeopardy' on every elimination show.  Like we're supposed to believe they're really going home!  Also, nice to see Derek Hough back.

OK, Tuesday is officially over.  Or almost.  Tune in next week.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Guess Who Spent the Night?


Sunday was Beth’s 21st birthday, so she and Tim wanted to go out Saturday night and didn’t want to worry about what time they might get home – something about staying out until the bars closed so she could legally drink – so Jason got to spend the night at our house.  He’s just a little guy so he goes to bed early – about 7:30 – so his parents put him to bed before they left.  He had a bottle, and then his mommy read him (and his daddy) a book.

and then they tucked him into his Pack ‘n Play in his mommy’s old room.  We still have the Pack ‘n Play from when Jason’s mommy was a baby, but they brought the super fancy new one they have.  HIs mommy thought he would sleep better in it because he’s familiar with it.  She must have been right, because she said he usually wakes up around 2am for a bottle and a change – so we were expecting that – but we didn’t hear anything out of the little guy until about 4:40.  And then he was starving.  After a bottle and a diaper change, he went right back to sleep for another few hours and then he got to come to bed and snuggle with us for a while.

Once we finally got up Jason had a bottle and some pears and cereal for breakfast.  Yes, he eats baby food now – he’s a big boy!  When he’s hungry, though, he wants nothing to do with that food until after he’s had his bottle.  His parents came over a bit later.  I think they missed him just a bit!  But then they left him again to go shopping – for winter clothes.  Jason has tons of clothes, most of them from the little boy Beth babysits, but that little boy was born at a different time of year, and they’re just realizing that they have no fall and winter clothes that are going to fit.  So, Penney’s had some outfits on sale, and they both signed up to get JC Penney deals sent to their phones and  each got a $10 coupon off a $30 purchase.

Jason was sleeping when they left, and he slept for quite a while.  Then he wanted to eat again, and we played and snuggled and just hung out.

Yep, it was tough, but someone had to do it!

His parents found him some cute outfits, and they stopped at Goodwill, too and found a high chair to leave at our house, a nice hamper for Jason’s dirty clothes, and this adorable little costume.

Oh, the things we do to these little people!  But isn’t he cute?

It was fun having Jason spend the night and most of the day.  I’m sure he’ll be doing it again!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


It's hard to believe, but my baby girl is 21.  Has it really been that many years since we had a brand-new baby girl and our lives changed forever?  Now she's all grown up with a little one of her own.

Happy Birthday, sweet daughter!  Knowing you, loving you, watching you grow up has definitely been an adventure.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Save Money with Straight Talk

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

It's seems that practically everybody has a cell phone these days.  They're so important that there's even a government program to give people who can't afford them cell phones and free minutes.  Have you seen those?  It has me wondering when cell phones became a necessity and not just a luxury or something nice to have.  Then again, I wouldn't really want to give mine up!  Also, if cell phone plans didn't cost so much, more people could afford them.

That's where Straight Talk comes in.  They offer very affordable plans.  The “All You Need Plan” includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data, or you can get Unlimited Monthly service for only $45.  That one includes calls, texts, picture messaging, and web - with no limits.  So you can Call a friend, send texts, check your email, and whatever else you want without worrying about any surprise charges.  It'll be $45 - period.

With Straight Talk there are no contracts, no activation, reactivation, or termination fees, and no credit checks.  So, if circumstances change - no problem.  Skip a month, pay for fewer minutes, whatever works for you.  You can also get a phone for around $10 or get a fancy Android on Straight Talk with voice navigation, camera, video recorder, music player, instant messaging, and Bluetooth®.  They pretty much have me Hook, line and sinker thinking about all the money we could save by switching to Straight Talk.  You know how much I love saving money!  And with a kid in college, every little bit helps.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Looking For New Bathroom Mirrors

Do you have a design style?  Traditional, contemporary, Victorian?  I'd name some others, but I'm not sure I know any - not what they're called or even what that means.  Personally, I don't think I actually have a style. I just like something when I like it, but I don't really know why.  Somehow it seems to work out - or at least no one is telling me any different.  Take our new comforter for instance.  It really isn't what I thought I was looking for, but it goes really well with things we already had - the pictures on the wall, the sheets, the cat.

The main problem with that is that I don't really like shopping, and I don't get out to look for new stuff very often.  Then again, that could be a good thing because I don't often stumble across something I need, and that saves money.  Or I could just go shopping online...

Have you noticed that whenever you get something new for the house, you notice other things that need replaced - things that were perfectly fine before?  We noticed that last fall when we got new windows and new paint throughout the house and had to get new blinds and curtains for the windows because we just couldn't put the old ones back.  And now that we've got the new comforter, I'm thinking that I ought to start looking for a new shower curtain for the bathroom and start looking at all these bathroom mirrors in the US that are available from Bathroom Mirrors Direct.  See?  Shopping online.

Our current bathroom mirror is just a big mirror directly on the wall above the sink - no frame, no style, just the mirror the contractor put in when the house was built.  I don't think I'm looking for the 'cozy, almost rustic ambiance' this wood bathroom mirror would add - so I guess I can rule out 'rustic' as my style and continue browsing until I see the one that jumps out at me.  I think I'm looking for something a bit more sophisticated.  When we put the comforter on the bed, I mentioned that it looked 'grown-up' - finally after 25 years of marriage, we have a grown-up, adult comforter.  Jeffrey said that means no more stuffed animals on the bed, though I'm not sure about that...

Anyway, if/when I find the perfect bathroom mirror, shipping is free at Bathroom Mirrors Direct so that's one less thing to worry about.  Now if I can just figure out what style I want.  Thankfully, they have many different designs, styles, finishes, shapes, and sizes, and they also allow you to browse by price range.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's Tuesday, it's Tuesday - Looky there, it's Tuesday.  Yeah, just ignore me...

My toes are cold.  I'm wondering if I should go find some socks - or close the window.  We had some warm weather this weekend, but it has really cooled down, and they're even saying we could have a touch of frost tomorrow night.  Frost?  I'm not ready!  I guess that means I'm picking most of the tomatoes and peppers from the garden tomorrow, and then I'm going to have to figure out what I'm supposed to do with all those hot peppers.  Somebody remind me to take some pictures of the cute little Tabasco peppers on their plants before I pick them.  They are adorable - and hot.

We went for a motorcycle ride Sunday.  We didn't really go far - first to Walgreens where we bought toothpaste and tissues and collected a couple Register Rewards, which I still do not really like.  I liked the rebates better, but the lady at Walgreens said that people used to rip them off all the time by buying stuff, getting their rebates, then returning all the stuff.  That is just plain rude and wrong, and I'm pretty sure those people knew that.  If they'd just change the Register Rewards to load onto a Walgreens card - like I used to get for my rebates - instead of being coupons that expire in two weeks, I think I'd be happier with the program.   But enough of that - if you take the motorcycle to go shopping, you can only buy what you can fit in the saddlebags.

After Walgreens we went to Beth & Tim's where we got to hang out with them and Jason.  Can you believe that little guy is 4 months old now?  Tim grilled burgers and chicken and fixed hot chicken legs (like hot wings, only legs)  Speaking of hot - they stopped at our house while we were at Walgreens and picked some tomatoes and hot peppers - and Tim ate one of those cute little innocent looking Tabasco peppers.  Oh yeah - definitely hot.  I ate one a couple weeks ago, so I know.  One little pepper smaller than your pinky, and it required 3 glasses of milk and a slice of bread, and... 
Dinner was nice.  Beth put together a nice salad to go with the burgers, and Tim's dad, step-mom, brother and brother's girlfriend were there too.  So it was just really nice.

Cory was sort of home this weekend.  He had me pick him up Friday evening and had dinner with us and spent some time with us Friday night.  Then Saturday he ran off and spent the day with some friends.  When he finally came home that evening, he wanted somebody to take him back to campus because he had stuff he needed to get done on Sunday and then rehearsal for the play he's understudy for.  He's got 3 parts to learn for that one.  So, we saw him a bit, which is good because it doesn't sound like he'll be coming home on the weekend for a while.  He's got rehearsals every Sunday, and then last night he had auditions for two other plays.  He's hoping to be cast in one of those, and then they'll probably start rehearsals for that one too.  Which means he's going to have to learn the lines for 4 parts all at the same time, which sounds totally impossible to me, but it's definitely something Cory can do - and he'll enjoy doing it.

I finally updated Firefox to Firefox 6.  For some reason my Google Toolbar isn't compatible, which is why I kept putting it off, skipping right through Firefox 5.  I miss my Google Toolbar.  Also, I'm still trying to get used to the new Blogger interface.  I don't like the way Zemanta hugs itself up against the side of the browser so that I can't scroll through the images or related articles anymore.  Has anybody else noticed that?  That's part of the reason I finally updated Firefox, thinking maybe that would help, but it didn't.

OK, tune in next week - same day of the week, whenever I sit my butt down and get to it.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Where to Go for Free Downloads

If you've got teenagers, I bet they know exactly where to download free music, games, videos and more.  I know my kids do, but I've never really looked into it.  Until now.

I've been checking out this site called  You type in the name of something you're looking for and get a whole list of options to choose from. is like a huge file search engine to help you find all the free files available on the Internet.  If you're looking to download free music, movies or games, it looks like a really good place to start.  They pull together files from all the different file sharing sites on the internet -,,, and a whole list of others - some I've heard of and some I haven't.  The beauty of it is that you don't have to know about or visit all those different sites and search for what you're looking for.  You can just search in this one place.   You can also refine your searches by choosing to only search within some of those file sharing sites, choosing to search Everything or limiting the type and size of the files you want.

They've got a new option called which is supposed to make searching for those free downloads even easier.  It's designed to be more intuitive and visual so that it's easier to use.  Instead of just a file name like you get at, you also get a description of what the file is and even an image of what you're getting.  They have about 2 million categorized files together with user-written description articles.  Since the General Files site indexes more than 235 million files, they have a ways to go to get them all into the free downloads directory at, but I think it's going to be a lot easier to find the files you're looking for using the catalog site.  At least for me.  You can also see which files are popular and what other people are looking at and downloading, which is kind of fun and also can be really helpful in deciding which file is the right one.  Users are encouraged to rate the files, report any problems and just generally help improve the experience for everyone.  If you're like me, you worry a bit about downloading anything, so I like to know what other people think first.

To download from either of these sites, you should download and install their free download software called General Downloader.  It supports downloading from direct links and from many of the file-hosting websites.  You can search directly from the application and download from many of these sites without being bogged down in the endless captchas, popups, and other obstacles they apparently like to put in your way.  Use it to download files from or  Use it as a hotfile no captcha downloader.  It's free for everyone and integrates into all the popular browsers. 

How many free files will I download?  I don't know, but I like knowing where to look if I want to.

Clothes Dried with a Crayon?

A facebook friend posted a plea for help.  Somehow a brown crayon ended up in the dryer with an entire load of jeans, and she needed to know how to remove that melted crayon.  One of her friends posted this answer, and I'm grabbing it - just in case.  Yes, my kids are all grown up and don't often use crayons, but you never know.  It's amazing the things that end up going through the laundry - even though I always check the pockets, things just seem to sneak through.

So, if you've had a crayon go through the wash with your jeans, try the following:
  • Turn the stain upside down on top of white paper towels. 
  • Spray the back of the stain with WD-40 and allow it to sit for five or so minutes
  • Next, use your liquid dish washing detergent. Apply onto the crayon stain back and work into the stain.
  • Launder in hot water, as hot as the fabric will allow. 
  • You can also add color safe bleach to the washing if this is allowed according to the manufacturer’s directions. 
  • Rinse well and air dry.
If you've tried this, let me know if it works, or if you have another suggestion, please share.  Thankfully, it's usually a tissue that goes through my laundry with the clothes, which is annoying, but not then end of the world - and just requires a little picking off of the clothes.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Scouting Memories

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boy Scouts of America for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

learning to tie knotsI've just been going through a bunch of pictures from Cory's Cub Scout days.  I went looking for them and through them because I was going to write this post, and I can't believe how many memories they bring back!

Cory was in Cub Scouts throughout elementary school.  The meetings were usually held in the cafeteria of the school, and they included not just the scouts, but their entire families.  Yes, we all went to almost every meeting, so while the boys were learning new things or participating in activities, parents and sisters and brothers were all there too.  I thought that was really great - instead of taking boys away from their families, Scouting actually encouraged spending time together with their families.

Pinewood Derby FloatThere was no official leader for our particular troop, so each set of parents took turns leading a meeting.  That way the full responsibility didn't fall on any one person, and we were all there to back each other up.  I think the parents enjoyed it as much as the boys did.  The Pinewood Derby prizes had to be expanded to include the dads because they all wanted to design cars, too.

Yes, Scouting is about tying knots, camping, and learning how to use a pocket knife correctly, but it's also about science, bike safety, baking cookies, marching in parades, visiting radio stations, decorating cakes, making friends and developing relationships, and so much more.  Scouting provides a values-based program that can help round out a boy’s education and improve his confidence and academic performance.  BSA is adapting to today’s competitive world by introducing a new curriculum with emphasis on STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math to help Scouts develop critical skills they will need in the future.

baking cookiesFor over a century, Boy Scouts of America has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun.  Looking through these pictures, I have been reminded of all the fun we had.  And how young those boys were!  They've all grown up now and turned into some very nice young men.  I like to think Scouting had a part in that.  Along with their awesome families, of course.
If you've got a young son, I strongly encourage you to check out Be A Scout  to find scouting in your area.  Start building your own Scouting memories.  You'll be glad you did!

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Where Do They Go?

I switched to the new Blogger interface because I figured - Why not?  I'm not so sure I'm thrilled, though.  Some things are hard to find and not exactly intuitive, but the thing that is bugging me the most is that it doesn't seem to save my drafts anymore.  I have started several posts that would have been automatically saved in the past - so I didn't worry too much when I didn't finish the posts and moved on to something else.  I figured they'd be there when I got back.

Wrong!  Not there.  So I figure I can adapt.  I'll just use the Save button to be sure it saves.  Guess what?  I started a new post last night, used the Save button - and today it's not there.  Where are these posts going?  And, as I type this the page is constantly telling me that it's saving - but I just don't trust it.

I may take Blogger up on the offer to 'Switch back to the old interface' and give them some time to work the bugs out of this new one.  Anyone else trying the new interface?  Are you having the same problems?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The New Comforter

Here's our bed all made up with the new comforter. What do you think?

I'm really liking it - and not just because it was $40 instead of $90.  The weird thing is I was looking for something that had green or maroon in it, and this one doesn't have either.  It's more rust and gold with a bit of gray, and it's perfect in our room.  It goes really well with the pictures we have on the walls - autumn scenes with ducks.  It goes with the sheets we have on the bed. 

And also, it goes really well with our cat Weasley:

Of course, that's the most important part, right?

Is It Too Soon?

On the news the other day they mentioned that Christmas trees had shown up in at least one of the stores at one of the local malls.  They were asking, "Is it too soon?" and had a poll going on their website.  I didn't go vote, but I definitely think it's too soon.  We haven't even made it to fall yet, and Christmas is in winter, right? Winter.

Maybe it's because I don't 'do' Christmas, but I don't understand why it seems to last so long - longer and longer every year - when it's just one day on the calendar.  One day.  Pretty soon I can see the stores just leaving those Christmas decoration up all year long, because why bother to take them down just to put them up again in about a month?  Maybe there are people who do Christmas who would love to see that happen?  I wonder how that poll turned out?

I can't find the results, but the story seems to say that most people think it really is too early, but there must be some people who are already thinking about shopping for Christmas, or the store wouldn't be putting the trees out.  I guess that makes sense - the whole Christmas thing sounds like so much work, so why not spread it out and try to make it easier?  I guess the same could go for all the holidays - let people shop for Easter baskets for kids in November and Halloween costumes in May.  While I don't want to see all that holiday mess, why not just make it all available all the time, so people can get whatever they need whenever the whim hits them?

Wait, that wouldn't work - then there wouldn't be all the great after-holiday clearance.  Never mind.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's Tuesday again.  These weeks just seem to fly by.  I'm wondering if that's because 'time flies when you're having fun' or because time seems to move faster the older you get.  Well, whatever reason...

I realized last Tuesday that my post was actually all about Tuesday, and really nothing random at all - except random Tuesdayness.  Until I bolded that Tuesday up there, I hadn't even connected my Tuesdays with Cory's Tuesdays - or at least Tuesdays Cory used to have.  He was part of a channel on YouTube and had to post a video every Tuesday.  Each of the members had their own day, and they were really quite fun to watch.  At least I thought so.  Unfortunately, life got busy, and they stopped posting.  I was amazed they did it as long as they did.

Jeffrey and I went shopping Sunday because there was a comforter set in the JC Penney ad that I thought I might like.  Jeffrey decided to go to a different mall than the one we 'usually' go to.  I say 'usually' because, when it comes to going to malls, there is no usually for us.  But, anyway, going to a different mall turned out in our favor, I think - because we found a comforter set we liked better, on clearance for less than half the price.  And, yes, they may have had the same comforter at another Penney's, but you never know.  I also got a couple tops and a swimsuit (well, a top and a bottom - though they don't actually match each other), because we had to spend at least another $10 so we could use the coupon on the front of the ad and save $10 - so pretty much a free $10.  After a bit more shopping and dinner at Red Robin, we came home and, of course, put our new comforter on the bed.  Gorgeous!  I love it.  I really should take a picture, huh?  I'll also have to get a picture of Weasley lying on the back-side.  It wasn't until the next day when I was sorting the laundry - and Weasley was 'helping' by hanging out with me - that I realized he goes with it perfectly!  Yep, that's how we choose our bedding - must match cat.

Holiday?  What holiday?  I heard yesterday was some kind of holiday, but it was pretty much a normal day around here.  Jeffrey and Cory both had to work, and I did laundry.  Then, when Cory got off work, he put the rest of his stuff together, loaded up the van, and we took him to campus.  A couple trips up those 4 flights of stairs, and he's all moved in.  Well, he has quite a bit of putting away and organizing to do, and he still needs a 50-foot internet cable to get his desktop computer hooked up to the internet, but the tv's hooked up to cable, and all the stuff is in the room.  It's hard to believe how much stuff they think they need.  I suppose they'd live with less if they lived further from campus and had to make do with one trip to get it all there, but they don't have to worry about that.  Also, cable television in the dorm room, cable television.  Back when I was in college, I know there was a television or two on campus, in a lounge somewhere, but watching television wasn't something we did, at least not regularly.  Students nowadays bring their own televisions to college and have cable tv, with HBO added this year, in their dorm rooms.  Add to that the video game systems and internet access, and I find myself wondering when they actually have time to study.  I guess studying is over-rated.

Raspberries (Rubus Idaeus).Image via WikipediaI spent the day with bees and spiders.  Hard to believe, I know.  Some really wonderful friends of ours offered to let me come pick raspberries, so that's what I did today.  The bees buzzed around me, and the spiders sat in their webs, and I was very thankful for a day that was cool enough to comfortably wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.  As it is, I still have some marks on my forearms from all the prickles - but I also have yummy raspberries.  By the time I got home, I was so tired that I took a shower, threw towels in the washer, and crashed.  Yes, I know I need to take care of all those raspberries, but I put them in the fridge and asked them nicely to wait until morning.

And everything else is going to have to wait, too.  I think I'm done.  Tune in next week for another edition.
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Monday, September 05, 2011

No More Excuses

When Cory gets home from work tonight we'll load all the rest of his stuff - mainly food/snacks and stuff he forgot on Friday - and head over to campus.  And drop him off, after helping him carry all that stuff up 4 flights of stairs, of course, and seeing how he and Ryan have the room set up.  And then, we come home without him because classes start tomorrow.

I'm going to miss him, but I'm also thinking I can actually get to some cleaning that I've been putting off.  I need to seriously clean this house - get rid of clutter that's piled up over the summer, dust, vacuum, clean the hall bathroom, etc.  One job I've really been putting off is cleaning the living room carpet, so hopefully I can get to that soon.  If you live in Austin, you might want to check out to see what kind of a deal you can get for your own cleaning needs, but I'll just do it myself.  It's just that I have to move everything out of the room, vacuum really well, and have time to get everything cleaned and enough time for it to dry before someone needs to walk through - and that's why I keep putting it off.  With Cory not getting up 'til late most days and then leaving for work with just a few hours before Jeffrey would be coming home, it just didn't work.  Or at least I didn't think it would work, so I didn't try.

But with Cory back to college, I'll have the whole day available from the time Jeffrey goes to work - so I really have no excuse.  Same goes for all the rest of those things I want to get done, huh?

If only I could turn my little orange cat into a Carpet Cleaning Garfield and put him to work.  Can you just picture that?  Oh, I'm sure he'll 'help' in his own way - by getting in my way, but he definitely won't be doing it himself.  That'll be me.  Trying not to trip over him.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Moving Day (Evening)

Well, summer's over.  Cory and his roommate are moving into their dorm room this evening.  He spent the day packing up and loading the van, and he just left for campus.  The good part?  I don't have to help him!  Endless trips up and down 4 flights of stairs carrying clothes, bedding, books, video games, etc. - nope, don't have to do it.

He will be home tonight and home for the weekend because he has to work Sunday and Monday.  Then Monday night we'll take him - and some more stuff, I'm sure - back to campus.  So I won't completely get out of carrying something up those 4 flights of stairs.  And, of course, I'm looking forward to seeing how they are going to get all that stuff into that little dorm room.

Classes start Tuesday, and I'm not sure how much we'll see him with his school and rehearsal schedule.  And work.  Hopefully he can find something he can schedule around everything else this year, since he has to give up his job at Walmart.  There have to be some library jobs, food service jobs, Technical Recruiter Jobs, auditorium jobs, or something available.  If we miss him, at least we'll know he's keeping too busy to get into trouble!  Just kidding.  He's a good kid. 

I can't believe the summer is already over, and he's going to be a sophomore in college.  College!

Win a Free Stay at the Kalahari Resort

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kalahari® Resorts for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I live in Wisconsin.  Our summers are not excessively hot, and they're not really that long.  That's why I've always wondered who decided the Wisconsin Dells would be the 'Waterpark Capital of the World' when it would make more sense for it to be in a hot state - like Florida, for instance.  Then, someone came up with the brilliant idea of indoor waterparks.  Indoor!  Waterparks that can be used any time of year no matter the weather.  Perfect for Wisconsin.
One of the biggest indoor waterparks in the Dells is at the Kalahari Resort.  They have an outdoor waterpark too, open Memorial Day to Labor Day weather permitting, but we've only been to the indoor one.  We had a great time.  They've got huge twisting water slides, smaller slides, water guns,net crawls, basketball hoops, the Master Blaster water coaster, water falls, hot tubs, a lazy river, and FlowRider which is like an ocean wave you can surf or boogie board.  I watched some people on that one but never actually gave it a try.  It's very safe, but I was afraid of wiping out and making a fool of myself.  I really should get over that, huh?  Well, next time!  Besides the waterpark, the Kalahari also has mini golf, laser tag, go karts, arcade games and more - which we did not have time for.
There is just so much to do, and I'm sure we would have been able to do more if we'd been staying at the resort instead of just spending the day at the waterpark.  There are several different specials and package deals available on the website that include not only overnight accommodations but waterpark admission for each registered guest, food credit, spa services, etc.  It would be a really nice getaway!
You could win your own getaway to the Kalahari Resort by entering this contest.  All you have to do is:
  1. Leave a comment on the contest post about the feature or amenity you are the most excited to experience when visiting a Kalahari resort.
  2. Tweet out a message containing a link back to the contest rules and the hashtag #KalahariResorts
and you could win a FREE 1-night stay for a family of 4, access to the indoor/outdoor theme parks, bowling & golfing. Total ARV of all prizes over $250.00.  Contest ends 11:59 p.m. EST on September 30, 2011.  Good luck!

Stay up to date and be among the first to learn about new deals and contests at the Kalahari by connecting with them on Facebook ( or Twitter  (

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Good Reasons to Quit Smoking

Personally, I can't think of any good reasons to start smoking, but there are plenty of people who have started and either can't quit or don't want to.  I was reading an article the other day that listed some good reasons to quit smoking, and I thought I'd share.

The article started with a story shared by a doctor.  His grandmother had smoked her entire life, but in her late 60s, she and his grandfather moved into a new house with new drapes.  She quit smoking overnight because 'there was no way that she would get nicotine stains on her new drapes.'  What he was trying to say was that the only reason to quit smoking that truly matters - or works - is the one that matters to you.  Consequences such as death, or others that seem far off or abstract, often just aren't persuasive enough.

Perhaps one of these will be a good enough reason?
  1. Avoiding wheelchair retirement - Smoking will kill you, right?  But what if it doesn't kill you, just has you stuck in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank because you have emphysema.  Is that how you want to spend your retirement?
  2. Keeping your family healthy - Smokers can argue all they want about the effects of second-hand smoke, but the facts say that smoke contains 250 toxic chemicals.  It causes lung cancer and heart disease in non-smokers and breathing problems like asthma in children.  It can harm anyone who's breathing, and most of all those who are close to you.  Also, a 2009 Harvard School of Public Health study found that children who were 12 or younger when their parents were smoking were nearly four times more likely to start smoking than the children of nonsmokers.  Do you really want to be the reason your child starts smoking?
  3. Smelling sweeter - Let's face it, smokers stink!  Would having your child or grandchild say, "I don't want to hug you because you smell like an ashtray" be enough to make you quit?
  4. Saving money - This is a huge one, at least to me.  I've always said that even if I wanted to smoke, I wouldn't be able to do it because I'm too cheap.  The article says that the average price of a pack of cigarettes nationwide is $5.51, and that doesn't include local cigarette or sales taxes.  With those added, a pack of cigarettes can cost $11 in a state like New York.  $11!  Even at the base price of $5.51, a pack-a-day smoker spends more than $2000 a year.  Wouldn't that money be better spent on something else?  Rent, food, gas, a down payment on a car....
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Apps Moms Are Sure To Love

Not everyone has been so ready to jump on the smartphone bandwagon, but as they're becoming more popular and used in greater number, we're finding better uses for them all the time. There are few people in the world that need help more than a mom. It's one of the hardest jobs there is and the demands on a mother are many. There are many apps that have been developed with this in mind and, if you have a smartphone or you're thinking about getting an LG Android Phone, here are a few apps that moms are sure to love:

Making Your List

One of the most common duties for any mother is the grocery shopping. With OurGroceries, you don't have to worry about forgetting something at the store. With this app, you can create multiple lists for any times you need or will need in the future. You can also create lists for different stores with headings and subheadings. The app has a very cool feature that lets you enter in a new recipe and the software will automatically build a shopping list for you that lists all of the ingredients in the meal that you'll need. There's a lot of other cool features for parents and is a must have for anyone who's tired of forgetting the shopping list on the refrigerator door.


There are few apps on the market that are more useful that ShopSavvy. It's totally free for anyone and works on both the Android and iPhone market. What you do is take your phone out, start the app, and scan the barcode of whatever you're thinking about buying. You will then get a picture of the item and a list of local stores where the item is sold and for how much. The app scours the web for any traces of a better buy. It works on more than just food and you can scan almost anything. Anything from dresses to kids clothes, you can finally know if you're really getting the best deal around.


Organization is the last part of the basic needs of a parent. Jorte, like the other apps, helps you shop or save. This one is pretty much a personal organizer on the Android market that is really popular among mothers and the blogging community. It's a neat way for mom's to organize their personal life in an attractive and interactive way. It's a little more flowery so dads might not be so keen on trying it out but it's really easy to use and will put your life in order.

It's tough being a mom and, let's face it, they need all the help they can get. If you're a parent and you're looking to add a little more structure to you life, then look into some of these apps and browse through many others. If these don't work for you, there's probably another one that will.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Can You Lick Your Elbow?

How many of you remember this email that went around?  It was a list of random 'facts' with one of the first ones being that it is impossible to lick your elbow.  Then the list continues until finally coming to the end and declaring that 90% (or some other random number) of people who read this email will try to lick their elbows.

Did you get it?  Did you try to lick your elbow?  I admit it - I tried, because really - impossible?  Nope, not impossible.  But I hadn't really thought about it for a while, until yesterday when a friend posted on facebook that she'd seen a lady stand up on Regis and Kelly and lick her elbow.  She was amazed!

A discussion ensued wherein another friend told her that I can do it, and the first friend said she wanted a video to prove it.  So, I posted a video:

See - not impossible at all.  I do have my talents...

Unlimited Online Backup for Less Than $5 per Month

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carbonite for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you've ever had a computer crash and lost all your files, I'm sure you've learned your lesson and religiously back up all your files.  Right?

If you're anything like me, you think about backing up your files, but don't really do it regularly.  I just don't remember to do it.  I'm pretty obsessive about my photos, backing them up to my external hard drive and the hard drive downstairs and burning them to DVD when I finally have enough.  Then and only then do I delete them from the SD cards in the cameras.  When my computer crashed a few years ago, I would have lost quite a few photos if they hadn't still been on the camera cards.  The rest of my files though, some I have backed up and some I don't, and I'm not really sure which ones are which - and I just don't do it, instead of taking the time to figure it out.  I really need something that will make computer backup simple and easy.

Carbonite Online Backup

For $59 a year, I'm thinking of trying Carbonite.  It's simple, secure online backup that backs up files automatically and continually in the background whenever your computer is connected to the internet.  I wouldn't even have to think about it, but my files would be safe just in case!  And, all my files would be accessible from any internet-connected computer or Smart Phone or iPad with the freeCarbonite app.  Right now they're offering a free 15-day trial, no credit card required, which would be a great way to try it out.  You can also get 2 months free when you decide to purchase - just use offer code BLOGAD.  Unlimited online backup - less than $5 per month.  Peace of mind - priceless!

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