Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What Christmas is All About

and that's why I don't do Christmas and why it bugs me to see people trying to 'Keep Christ in Christmas' - because you can't keep Him in something He was never in to begin with.

That and all the shopping and selfishness and stress and going into debt....  so thankful I don't have to mess with all that and so perplexed as to why people who know better - or at least used to know better - would want to start doing it. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Hadn't Even Made the Coffee

Jeffrey left for work this morning, and I went for my walk.  (Yeah, he's still not back to walking with me in the mornings - we really must do something about that.)  I got back, stretched, and then did one of my exercise videos.  As we got to the cool-down, everything went dark.  The power went out - again.  In case you missed it, we were without power on Tuesday night for an hour and a half.  The power company called later and said it was a blown fuse.  Thankfully a power outage in the daytime isn't quite as bad as one at night.  I opened all the window curtains and let the light in so I didn't have to sit in the dark.  At night opening the curtains does absolutely no good.

Pretty much all I did all morning was read because there's really not much that can be done with no electricity.  I couldn't even make my morning coffee!  I tried making it with hot tap water in my French press, but no matter how hot the water might feel, it's not really hot enough for coffee.  I did unpack my clothes from the weekend, sort the laundry, go through all the mail, and make the bed.  Though I was sorely tempted to close those same window curtains I opened and climb right back into that bed!  But I didn't.  If I'd known how long the power was going to be out, I just might have.  We have some really nice curtains in the bedroom that block out most of the light when they're closed.  It would have been nice and dark and cozy - perfect for sleeping.  I've been thinking about moving the curtains from the living room to the bedroom, because the color is perfect with our new comforter, but I don't think they're quite as good at blocking out the light, which is important in a bedroom.  Also, I'm not sure the bedroom curtains will look good in the living room or if I'd have to find new ones for the living room.  So, I'm still thinking about it.

Anyway, because I called to report the power outage about 5 minutes after it happened, the power company had my number and kept calling to update me on their progress - which was really nice.  The  power went out shortly after 8am.  They called me at 9:40am and told me it was more serious than they originally thought and estimated the power would be back around 11am.  Then they called again around 10:40am and told me it would be noon before the power would be back.  I really would have had plenty of time for a nap!

The power finally came back about 11:30am, and I made some real coffee and got busy doing all the things I couldn't do without electricity.  Hopefully they got everything fixed right this time, and we won't have any more power outages for a long time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Are Your Computers Protected?

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

If you've ever had a computer crash because of a virus, you know how important anti-virus software is.  And if you haven't - consider yourself very, very lucky, and get some anti-virus software on your computer immediately!  Or sooner.  We've had to start over several times because a stupid computer virus wiped out everything.  Why do these people do this, anyway?

As annoying as it can be for an individual like me, imagine how devastating a computer virus could be for a small business.  We lost personal files and some pictures. Most businesses nowadays rely heavily on technology to keep track of everything, from employee hours to customer orders.  A computer virus could wipe all that out, resulting in unhappy employees, unhappy customers, and many frustrated hours trying to recover everything.  That's why it's a really good idea for small businesses to get Norton Small Business by Symantec to protect themselves from the latest online threats.  There are several different products to choose from to get the right protection for the right cost.

We've used several different Norton products on our personal computers and always been very happy with them.  I think the viruses got us when we were running something else - all anti-virus programs are not created equal.   There are a couple new Norton options - Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security 2012 that just launched this past September.  It's definitely worth checking out to see which products will best keep you safe on the Internet.

You can also get 30% off Norton Small Business Products now so it's a really good time to buy and get all the office computers protected.  Or all your home computers, I suppose.  The small business products are for 5-10 computers, and we have about that many computers in our house!  How about you?  How could Norton products help you?  Which product do you think would be best for your needs?  I like the Norton 360 because it does everything - anti-virus, automatic back-up and access to your backups from any computer,  keeps your computer running at top speed, and lets you do your banking and online business worry-free.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

What I Like About Fall

I like all the seasons.  My favorite one is always the one we're in.  I figure I can't change it, so I might as well enjoy it!  So right now my favorite season is Fall.  I like the cooler weather after the heat of summer, even though we usually don't get super hot summers in Wisconsin.  I love the colors on the trees as the leaves change.  I love the smell in the air - except when there's too much smoke in the air from burning leaves.  I love wearing jeans and boots and hoodies.  And I love that it's finally soup weather!  You just can't enjoy a good bowl of soup in the summertime.

Once winter gets here, it will still be great weather for soup and boots, but we'll have to start wearing heavy coats and hats and gloves when we go out.  A hoodie won't be quite enough.  I'll still wear them around the house, though.  I like the zipper ones best because I can take them on and off without pulling them over my head and messing up my hair.  We keep the house fairly cool in the winter, so I definitely need to wear a sweatshirt, but when I get busy baking or doing dishes, I need to be able to take them off quickly and easily.  That's why I love the zipper hoodies better than any other sweatshirts.  They're even good in the summertime, when the guys in my house turn the air conditioning on, even though I shouldn't need them in the summer!

That's right, I enjoy the cooler weather in the Fall because it's supposed to be cooler.  I don't like artificial coolness caused by air conditioning.  I love sweaters and hoodies and all the other cooler-weather clothing; I just don't like it in the summer time when it's supposed to be warm!  To each season its own time, and I love it when it gets here - but not before.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's nice to have a day set aside each year to remind us to be thankful, but I'm thinking that every day should be Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

We'll find out tonight who wins the Mirrorball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars - and then I won't have anything I need to watch on Tuesday nights!  (then what?)

I was thankful for the digital books on my tablet this evening.  About half an hour before DWTS was supposed to come on, the power went out, and we were thrown into darkness.  The tablet gave off a nice glow!  And, I could still read, even without power.  Way better than a book and a flashlight!

I found this on Pinterest today - how to get rid of that awful gap in the back of jeans - right after I had posted my solution - wear guy jeans.  I might have to try this.  Surely even I can sew this much, right?  I think it's definitely worth a try.

Dancing with the Stars is over, and J.R. won!  It turned out the way I thought it should - J.R., Rob, then Ricki.  I originally thought Ricki would come in 2nd, but Rob really put it together last night and has steadily improved.  His timing was right!  But J.R. was just plain awesome - a good dancer who just had that extra something special.

I think the whole Black Friday thing is absolutely ridiculous, and it's getting worse.  Many stores are opening at midnight Friday morning.  I remember working at Kohl's years ago, and we thought it was crazy that we were opening at 7 or 7:30am - and couldn't believe the people who lined up outside the doors waiting for us to open.  Well, they just interviewed some people who are already lined up for those Black Friday sales.  Already!  They are planning to camp out in the parking lot for the next couple days so they can be first in line for those sales.  Really?  Is there anything they can possibly need that much? I'm sure those televisions, game systems, or sexy school girl outfits will go on sale again - or even better, on clearance later after this whole retail orgy called Christmas is over.

I got an email today asking me to sign a petition to "Stop Wisconsin's discriminatory voter ID law" - which I am not going to sign.  I can't for the life of me figure out what the big deal is.  It actually surprises me that we haven't always had to provide an ID to vote.  Really, not a big deal but there are so many people - on both sides of every issue - who have to make a big deal out of everything.  It's enough to drive you crazy.

Another thing that drives me crazy - things like this:

I could agree.  Often it's something that I would agree with, would even like - except I just can't, not when they can't even bother to get the words right.  It's not even like they typed it into a blog post or an email - they took the time to create a graphic!  And, if that's not bad enough, other people actually like it and share it and pass it around the Internet.

OK, my Tuesday is over.  It's time for bed.  Tune in next week!!

You Don't Have to Pay a Lot for Glasses

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

One of my friends just ordered some new glasses and sunglasses from Zenni Optical.  She wanted me or Jeffrey or Cory - one of us - to order some too.  They were offering free shipping on orders over $50, and her two pairs of glasses didn't qualify.  That's right, she was ordering two pair of prescription eyeglasses, one of them sunglasses, and her total was less than $50.  Unfortunately, none of us could help her out because Cory already has two pair of glasses, I already have two pair - including the pair I paid too much for at a local eye doctor, and I don't want to talk about! - and Jeffrey couldn't decide which ones he wanted.  So she had to pay Zenni Optical's regular $4.95 shipping.  It was still a really good deal.

I had a pair picked out -

Maybe.  There are lots of cute frames available at Zenni Optical, so the hardest part is deciding which one (or two) to order.  If you think getting cheap eyeglasses means you have to give up on style, you'd be wrong!  The only thing you're giving up is the over-large price.  The last time I ordered glasses from Zenni Optical, I paid about $10 for a pair, and I loved them!  And, I got lots of compliments on them, too - to which I usually responded, "$10 at Zenni Optical!"  This pair I like here is $29.95 - that includes the frame and light 1.57 index single vision lenses.  Now that I need bifocals, they'll cost a bit more, but they're still a lot cheaper than I could get them anywhere else.

How does Zenni do it?  No middlemen, no retail overhead, and practically no advertising budget,(they leave it to satisfied customers to spread the word).  They do not pay for or sell expensive, or even inexpensive, brand names, but only their own manufactured brand ZENNI.  They're high quality glasses anyone would be happy to wear.

I believe in saving money any time, but with the current economy, it's extremely important. Glasses are something that, if you need them, you need them.  You can't just not buy them.  But why should you have to spend a fortune? You could use the money you save on something else you want or need, like groceries, a night out, or a new pair of shoes!  That's why any time somebody mentions needing new glasses, I refer them to Zenni Optical.  Why pay a lot for glasses if you don't have to?  By the way, the free shipping on orders over $50 is still going on, so if you need new glasses...

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Guy Jeans are the New Sweats

I like to wear sweats around the house.  They're comfy.  I can sit on the couch, sit on the floor, bend, move, clean, stretch, whatever I need to do.  However, I don't always feel like I look good enough to go out or for somebody to stop by.  Not that I should really worry about it - have you seen what people wear to Walmart?  And really, I don't go out much.

Recently though I've been wearing some of Cory's old jeans around the house.  They're just as comfy as sweats, but they look nicer because they're jeans.  Unlike girl jeans that look like they fit fine in the front -

But have way too much room in the back - (Seriously, are these jeans made for women with humps/lumps on their backs?  I can't figure out what would make these jeans fit properly)

The guy jeans have a waist that is loose enough to be comfortable, but it is evenly loose - meaning that it is loose all the way around and doesn't gap in the back.  And they don't feel like they're going to fall off because the waist just settles on my hips and stays there.  I guess if all those guys who can't seem to keep their pants up had some hips, we could avoid that pants on the ground thing!  I'm not quite sure why jeans that are made for guys with no curves seem to fit me better than jeans made for girls with curves, because that just seems wrong.  Doesn't it?  But that's how it is - except for Levi's which seem to fit me quite well with no weird gappage in the back.

I won't be getting any more old jeans from Cory because the ones he wears now are too big for me - even my hips couldn't hold them up - but I'm thinking I'll buy old guys jeans from Goodwill from now on, instead of getting sweats to wear around the house.

How about you?  Have you tried wearing guy jeans?  Or do jeans made for women fit you better than they seem to fit me?

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Art of Marriage

Saw this on facebook today.  I don't know if it really was written by Paul Newman or not, but I like what it says, and considering Paul Newman's marriage lasted, I think he and his wife knew a thing or two about marriage - unlike today's Hollywood couples.

Paul Newman's letter to his wife on their wedding day:
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the Art of Marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say ‘I love you’ at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon; it should continue through all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow. It is finding rooms for things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
What today's Hollywood couples call marriage doesn't really have much to do with what marriage really is.  It makes me wonder why they even bother, and why the rest of us are supposed to care. 

Baby Signs Complete DVD Series - 50% Off

Right now you can get 7 Baby Signs DVDs for only $49.99 plus $4.95 shipping!

This set usually sells for $99.99, so now is a really good time to grab it - that's 50% off!

Babies often become frustrated by the communication barrier between them and adults. It's frustrating for parents and care givers as well when there's confusion about what baby wants. The solution? The sign language for babies program from Baby Signs! With this program babies ages 6 months to 36 months are able to learn to communicate using simple signs and gestures. This set makes the perfect gift for first time parents, seasoned parents, and anyone who works with small children. The Baby Signs Complete DVD Series is included in this deal price which means you will get all 7 DVDs for half off! A deal like this doesn't come around too often, so get it before it's gone!
The Baby Signs Complete DVD Series is a complete set of 7 DVDs:
  1. My Mealtime Signs (Teaches the signs for Eat, Drink, More, Milk, Cereal, Bib and All Done.)
  2. My Bedtime Signs (Teaches the signs for Stars, Moon, Book, Light, Sleep and Love.)
  3. My Bath Time Signs (Teaches the signs for Bath, Bubbles, Water, Toothbrush, Frog and Duck.)
  4. My Pets Signs (Teaches the signs for Cat, Dog, Bird, Bunny, Fish and Turtle.)
  5. My Park Signs (Teaches the signs for Ball, Butterfly, Slide, Flower, Tree and Swing.)
  6. My Getting Dressed Signs (Teaches the signs for Hat, Coat, Shoes, Socks, Comb and Diaper.)
  7. Bonus DVD: Welcome to the Baby Signs Program Parent DVD with 100-sign Video Dictionary
  • Deal ends on Thursday, 11/24/11 at 11:59pm MST - you must order before then to get this price.
  • Orders open to US mailing addresses only
  • Orders will be postmarked for shipping within 72 hours (working business days) of the conclusion of the deal
Order the complete Baby Signs DVD Series now.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's so Hard

Do you know how hard it is to get anything done when this little guy comes to visit?

The only things I get done are playing and snuggling!  Look at that face.  Can you really blame me?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's Tuesday again -

First - I have some friends who lost their only daughter in June.  Now they're oldest son is in the hospital with bacterial meningitis.  The infection has spread to his heart, and he will need surgery to repair or replace a couple valves in his heart - which is very risky combined with the meningitis.  He could really use a miracle!  So, if you believe in prayer, please say some for this family.  

We went to the high school this weekend to see the musical - they did The King and I.  This was the first year Jeffrey didn't run sound in years.  He did it all the time Cory was in the high school plays, and he even did it last year after Cory wasn't in it any more.  This year he just didn't have time.  It's a shame really, because even though there was supposedly some kind of sound system and mics set up, it was still really hard to hear what they were saying.

It also just isn't the same to see a play without Cory in it.  The kids who were in it did an OK job, they knew their lines and such, but they're not actors.  It's a high school production in a school without a real drama department.  They do the best they can with what they have.  Actually, that's not true - they could do a lot better if they'd involve more parents and families instead of relying on the same few to do everything every time - which is partly why they didn't have a decent sound system or anybody to run it.  The boy who played the King has an uncle who could have run the sound - he's done it for several schools and would probably have been happy to do it for his nephew's play - but they didn't know he was needed.  Oh well...

I got my hair cut today.  It was just getting a bit unruly and needed trimmed back up. I'm really liking these layers and still trying to figure out where the curls came from.  Oh well, I guess it doesn't really matter.

I put the flannel sheets on the bed yesterday - just in time, it sounds like.  It's been fairly mild, so much that I wore a sweatshirt today and didn't even need a jacket.  But things are gonna change.  They're talking cold and wind chill starting tomorrow, and a high of 36° on Thursday.  I guess it is that time of year...

I heard somewhere the other day that if you're not hungry enough to eat an apple, then you're not really hungry.  It really didn't make sense to me.  Anybody?  Speaking of apples, I bought some really good ones today - crisp and tart.  Apples make really good snacks!

There's this whole 'Recall the Governor' thing happening in Wisconsin right now.  I really don't understand it.  It just seems like all people want to do is complain these days.  They don't like the governor?  When his term is up, they have the opportunity to vote someone else in.  But no, they can't wait, and it just seems ridiculous and a huge waste of time and money.  Seems like there are a lot of childish people in this state.

Tune in next week. There are probably things I will remember as soon as I hit 'Publish' but I can't think of them now.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Reebok Class Action Settlement

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

If you bought any of the following merchandise from December 5, 2008 through October 12, 2011, you may be eligible to receive payment from this Reebok settlement.
  • Eligible Shoes:
    Easy Tone, RunTone, JumpTone, SlimTone, EasyTone Flip, TrainTone, and SimplyTone 
  • Eligible Apparel:
    EasyTone Capri, EasyTone Shorts, EasyTone Sleeveless Shirt, EasyTone Pants, EasyTone Long Bra Top and EasyTone Short Sleeve Top
 A lawsuit alleged that Reebok violated certain state laws regarding the marketing and sale of toning shoes and apparel. Reebok was charged with making claims about EasyTone and RunTone shoes that the company couldn’t support.  Reebok has denied all wrongdoing. The Court didn't decide which side was right.  Instead, the parties have decided to settle, and Reebok has agreed to pay $25 million for refunds to people who bought Reebok toning shoes or apparel.

You can read the full Press Release or call 1-888-398-5389 toll free for more information about the EasyTone Settlement and to see if you are eligible for a refund. (click to enlarge)
New Message
I personally didn't buy any of these products, though I was curious about whether using the shoes would strengthen and tone leg and butt muscles like Reebok claimed.  I did have a pair of Reebok shorts I used to wear all the time when I went walking, until I completely wore them out and had to throw them away.  But that doesn't qualify me for any Reebok refunds.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Edwin Booth Company Presents... Needs You!

“The Edwin Booth Company Presents…” provides a unique opportunity for the students in University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Theatre/Dance Department like nothing that this department has done before during the academic season.

It is an original script and the students will be presenting the world premiere performance opening on November 29, 2011. The next step in this educational experience is to take our show on the road and share this accomplishment with the theatre community. This is where you can help!

All donations go to the UW-Whitewater Theatre/Dance Department to start a fund that will help students to extend their education to a national level. This fund will allow students to take their art and their talent on the road to share with the theatre community outside of Whitewater.

This is the play Cory is acting in, and they are trying to raise funds to hopefully take the play to the American College Theatre Festival in January or to support any students from UW-Whitewater at that festival. Please consider donating. Even the smallest donation will help to extend the educational and artistic horizons of UW-Whitewater students.  If you can't donate, please spread the word to all your theatre and arts-loving friends.  Thanks!

Thank You!

Thank you to all that have served our country so that we may have the freedoms we have today!!

What is a Veteran?
A "Veteran" - whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his (or her) life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to, and including my life."

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Give a Kid a Book with the Click of a Mouse

You know how much I love books and reading.  I read books to my kids from the time they were really little, and I didn't buy them toys very often, but I could never say no to a new book.  Unfortunately there are kids in this country who do not have books of their own - which makes me very sad.

This week we can all do something about that, and all it takes is a click or two of your mouse.  For every new fan or follower First Book gets on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, the people at Random House Children’s Books have generously agreed to donate one brand-new book to an underprivileged kid.   Books will go to thousands of schools and programs serving kids from low-income families across the country.

It couldn't be easier! So, please, check out the First Book blog to give a kid a book with the click of your mouse.
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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Savings Tip: Use Those Coupons

I think more people are using coupons these days.  There are shows where people save ridiculous amounts of money buying ridiculous amounts of things they may or may not ever need.  Everybody wants to get in on the action!

Either that, or they're completely intimidated by the 'Extreme Couponing' and figure why bother, it's too complicated.  I say - use those coupons!  No, you don't have to go to extremes and collect coupons from every possible source so you can buy more stuff than you'll ever need.  What you can do is go ahead and cut out those coupons you get in the Sunday paper.  Those are like money somebody put into your paper, money you get to spend.  Once you've got the coupons cut out, organize them.  Set some basic categories - meat, dairy, cereal, frozen foods, etc. - and organize your coupons by category.  This will make them easier to find when you want to use them.  I also like to organize them by expiration date within each category, making it easier to discard unused expired coupons.  Yes, I said unused.  Just because you cut out and organize your coupons does not mean you have to use them.  What it means is that you can use them - which you wouldn't be able to do if you just left them in the paper or put them out with the recycling.  Cut them all out, and then be sure to take them with you when you go to the store.  I put mine in a plastic 3x5 card box with dividers for the different categories.  Other people use binders, and there are coupon organizers that will fit in your purse, so there are several options.  You'll have to figure out what works best for you.

Now, actually using those coupons.  First, go through your local ads to see what's on sale and match up your coupons with the sale items.   Just because you have a coupon and can save an extra 50¢ or $1 does not mean you should pay full price - unless it's something you always buy anyway, and then be thankful for that extra money you're saving.  Most things go on sale regularly, and that's when you want to buy them.  Using coupons will save you even more.  But wait - before you buy something just because it's on sale, and you have a coupon, be sure to check the other brands or even the store brand, because sometimes those will cost you less - even without the coupon.  The key is to have the coupons with you and to use them if and when they actually save you money - on products you need and will use.  And sometimes with a sale and a coupon, you can try a product you might not otherwise have tried - which is why you cut them all out, whether you think you're going to use them or not.

So, if you're not already using coupons - start.  The manufacturers are giving you money to spend on their products.  Take it.  Use it.  But be smart about it.  Remember it's the final cost you're looking at, not how much you save.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

He Just Said a 4-Letter Word!

SnowingImage by bcmom via FlickrThe weatherman is using a 4-letter word - SNOW!

He's using another one, too - rain - but I'm not so worried about that one.  It's the idea of snow for the first time this year that has me protesting.  It can't be time yet, can it?

It's kind of like when Jeffrey used the F-word - FURNACE - as in, "I think it's time to turn on the furnace."

It can't possibly be time, can it?  Time for heat and flannel sheets, electric blankets, slipper socks, hot chocolate, sweaters, soup, boots, and all the things that mean winter.  I was just enjoying Fall!
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Tuesday Tidbits

It's Tuesday again - time to see if I can come up with some random stuff that's been going through my head.  Last week I actually started my post earlier and added little bits of this and that for several days.  This week, I was sitting here watching Dancing with the Stars to see who would get eliminated - and it suddenly hit me that it's Tuesday, and I should post something.  Oh, these weeks, this time - it goes so fast!

Speaking of how fast time is going - Jason will be 6 months old on Thursday.  6 months!  How did that happen?  How did he get so old and so big so fast?  He's going to be crawling before we know it, and then watch out!  He's got the Army crawl thing down already, so he can get someplace if he wants to.  And he's still just the sweetest most easy-going little precious boy.  Yep, we love him.  It would be hard not to.

Beth & Tim and Jason were in a car accident this weekend.  Thankfully nobody was hurt, but Tim's car and the other guy's car got messed up pretty good.  Thankfully, they have insurance to cover the damage to the other guy's car.

The WeRead app on facebook is finally working again!  I did find that I could access my book list on the WeRead website, but it's nice to have it all in one place with facebook.  Now I need to get busy listing and counting all the books I've read this year, since somehow this year is almost over.  Again, that thing with time going by so fast....

Come back next week for another edition.

Say It Out Loud

Remember last week when I admitted that I have trouble coming up with the right word - even when I was just thinking it? (Is This a Problem? - in case you missed it)  I just remembered another example.  On Tuesdays when I wash towels, I always make a point of noting which towels we are currently using before I throw them in the wash.  That way I can be sure to rotate the towels properly, so they all get used and hopefully wear equally.  At least once, I looked at the maroon towels and said 'turquoise' - which isn't at all the same thing!  I do have turquoise towels, but they're not ones we use regularly...

On the up-side, I read an article recently that gave strategies for improving your memory, and one of the strategies is to say things out loud.  That's right - talking to myself, which I also admitted, is not a bad thing.  It's supposed to help my memory, which is exactly why I note the color of the towels and say it out loud - so I will remember.   And it does usually help, even if I might say the wrong color.  Then again, sometimes it doesn't.

I am really going to have to start applying all those strategies from the article, though, or by the time I'm ready to shop for Medicare Supplemental Insurance, I won't be able to remember where to look or even why I need it!  I like to think it's fairly normal, just annoying, like my friend Lady Banana commented on my post last week.  Still, it doesn't hurt to be more intentional about improving my memory, right?

Now if I can just remember where I put that article...

Note to Self (should I forget): a Medigap policy is an insurance policy that fills gaps in coverage that basic Medicare does not cover.  It can cover things like deductibles, co-pays, and various other expenses that can really add up.  You'll want to check into this.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man

David TennantDavid Tennant (Image via RottenTomatoes.com)Cory came home for the weekend, not because he wanted to see us, but because he wanted to go shopping.  He's been wearing all his jeans for a while, and they're starting to wear out and wear thin in some very bad, potentially embarrassing places.  And I think he did want to see us just a bit, too.  He hadn't been home for a couple weeks. So we picked him up Saturday evening and got to hang out with him all evening at home while he got his laundry going - another good reason for coming home.  Beth & Tim and Jason came over for a while, too, so we had the whole family together for a bit.

Then today we went shopping for jeans.  Cory found some he liked at Target.   They weren't on sale, but he liked them well enough that he got them anyway.  Hopefully they'll go on sale in the next few weeks so we can get a price adjustment.  He also got two pair he liked at Penney's.  They were on sale and we used the $10 off coupon from the front of the ad - $10 off a $25 or more purchase.  One pair was eligible for the coupon by itself, and I found some really nice bracelets to add to the other pair so it was eligible, too.  So we rang up two transactions in order to use two coupons and save $20.

Besides jeans, Cory got a nice pair of dressy boots on clearance at Kohl's.  We also went to Goodwill where he got 3 pairs of Converse shoes, two of them leather, another pair of jeans, a nice shirt, and a new suit - brown with stripes he says looks just like the suit worn by David Tennant's Doctor Who and that he has been looking for for ages.  The pants need altered a bit, but since the whole thing only cost about $10, he just couldn't pass it up.  He's going to have a nice suit for a little bit of nothing - pants, jacket, vest.

The great thing about Goodwill is that you can get all these great things, Levi jeans, Converse shoes, marmot jackets, etc. for such good prices.  Cory was especially happy with those Converse shoes, because he always wears Converse, and he usually pays about $25 for them at the outlet store.  The $25 is still a good deal compared to regular retail, but Goodwill was even better.  He looked up one pair that he got online, and they retail for $75.  $75 for shoes?  Yeah, we're too cheap for that.  These cost about $5 after all the discounts - I had a 25% off coupon, and I also got 5% off because we spent over $25.  The other two pair cost about $7 each.  It was quite exciting to find all those Converse there - and every one of them in his size!  Seriously, they must have been sitting there waiting for him.

All in all, I think the boy came out pretty good.  He's going to be looking quite sharp!
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Friday, November 04, 2011

He's In!

Playbill advertising American actor Edwin Boot...Image via WikipediaCory has had a very busy first semester.  He was an understudy for one play - GlenGarry Glen Ross - where he had to learn parts for 3 different characters.  Then, when he was just getting started in rehearsals for that one, he auditioned for another play and ended up as an understudy for that one, too.  For the second play - The Edwin Booth Company Presents -he had to learn the parts for 10 different characters.  10!  And, for a while there, they were having rehearsals for both plays at the same time - well, not at exactly the same time, but rehearsals for both in the same day or the same week.  So, basically he had 13 people, besides himself, all in his brain at one time.

At first it was a little disappointing that he wasn't actually cast in either of the plays - at least for his parent, if not for Cory himself.  But, he's in college to learn, and this experience is bound to teach him a lot - maybe even more than he'd learn by just being an actor in the play.  Also, I don't think anyone else in the universe could learn all those parts and learn them well.  And I'm not saying that just because I'm his mom.  Obviously, his directors think he can do it, too.  He won't be looking for Short Order Cook Jobs.  He's going to be famous!  He's that good.

Thankfully, the first play was over by the middle of October so he could forget about the first 3 characters and concentrate on the other 10.  But now, he's down to 1, because one of the actors he was understudying broke his leg and won't be able to perform. (when people tell actors to 'break a leg' I don't think they're supposed to actually do it.)  So Cory is stepping in and will actually be in the performance.  He's pretty excited about that because he does love to be on stage, but this also means that nothing else can happen and nobody can get sick - because who's left to cover those other 9 characters?

I'm sure they'll figure it out, and it will all go well.  We're going on Opening Night to see the play.  We were planning to go anyway, even thinking we wouldn't get to see Cory perform - because it's the World Premier of a brand new play, written by the director.  So that's kind of exciting.  Now it's even more exciting since we'll get to see Cory on stage.  I might even have to go back and see it another time.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Savings Tip: Juice

grocery aisleImage by The Consumerist via FlickrDo you buy juice?  Here's a really easy way to save money - buy the frozen juice concentrate instead of the bottled juice.  Sure those bottles of juice look prettier, but they can cost 3 to 4 times as much as the frozen.  Yes, there are times when you'll need that extra convenience of a bottled juice, like when you're away from home, and your kitchen doesn't have a pitcher to mix the frozen juice in.  If you're going to be drinking a lot of juice, you might still be ahead to buy a cheap pitcher so you can use the frozen juice - even if you leave the pitcher there at the end of your stay.

I personally like the Old Orchard juice blends.  They have several flavors to choose from - both apple juice blends and orange juice blends - and I can usually get them for around $1/can.  When they go on sale, I stock up, so I'll always have juice on hand when we want some.  I keep track of what I have on my Freezer List so I know when I'm getting low and need to look for a sale.

Judging by all the choices available in the grocery store juice aisle, there are plenty of people buying those bottled juices.  If you're one of them, try buying frozen juice and see how much money you can save.  Of course, your savings will be relative to the amount of juice you drink, and you probably won't save enough to buy that diamond necklace you've had your eye on, but every little bit helps.  Just be sure that what you're buying is really juice (100% juice, not 10% juice and a lot of sugar) because even if it is cheaper, you're not really saving any money - because all you're really getting is fruit-flavored sugar water.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

It's Tuesday, the first of November.  November!  And I spent time outside today without socks or a sweatshirt.  It was so warm.  I was thinking about getting some ironing done, but since that's a job I always do in the basement, I decided to put it off and do something outside.  I did a bit of clean-up in the garden, taking down tomato cages and pulling some of the dead plants.  Then I attacked some of the plants out front.  I planted some perennials years ago and then basically ignored them, and they've pretty much taken over.  So I hacked at them, and I'm thinking it's time to dig the whole bed up and start over - or see what we get when we dig it all up.  Anyway, I cut everything back quite a bit.  Then I cut some mint and brought it inside to dry.  I'm thinking I can have my own mint tea this winter.

I changed the sheets yesterday.  I wondered if it might be time for flannel sheets, but we decided not yet.  I did, however, put the electric blanket back on the bed.  I hope we don't have to actually turn it on anytime soon, but for now it's an extra layer.  Like every year, I had to go looking for my old post so I could put the electric blanket on the bed properly.  So, when we do have to turn it on, I'll be in control of my side and Jeffrey will be in control of his.

I'm trying to figure out how the ShopAtHome toolbar got installed on my browser.  I never downloaded anything from their site or installed the toolbar.  I haven't even been there for ages - because I haven't done any online shopping.  And then today I notice this new toolbar.  Not that it's probably a bad thing for me to have it, because I've gotten plenty of cash back credited to my account since I signed up, but there have been other times I bought stuff only to remember later that I should have checked first - and been extremely frustrated when I realized I could have gotten quite a bit of cash back.  Maybe the toolbar will remind me...

Still, I really really hate that it got installed without my permission.  How do they do that?

We're watching Dancing with the Stars the results show.  Derek Hough is smokin'!  We missed the show last night because we went out - to see Derek's sister Julianne in Footloose - so I'm not sure how things are going to go tonight.  I did vote a couple times for J.R. and Karina when we got home last night, just because, though I usually like to vote based on who I think deserves the votes because of their dancing.  Based on what I'm seeing, I think it's time for Nancy Grace to go home.  Now I'm going to have to go read my DWTS prediction post and see who I expected to go home this week.  Also, I wish they'd sent Justin Beiber home at the beginning of the show.  In what world does this kid have any talent whatsoever?

I think that's enough for this Tuesday.  Tune in next week...
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Time to Get Back in Shape

Now that I'm back home, it's time to get back in shape - and hopefully get Jeffrey back to walking.  He hasn't been walking with me for a while because he was having knee pain.  He still is some, but he went to the doctor when it didn't go away, and the doctor said he's getting arthritis in that knee.  So he's been taking some kind of medication that will hopefully help him.  Did you know that the regular medicine for joint health has shellfish in it?  We didn't, so that's what I bought him at first - then we found some without, so he's been taking that.  It did make me wonder when I read the introduction to the What the Bible Says about Healthy Living Cookbook where Rex Russell, M.D. (who wrote the book What the Bible Says About Healthy Living) talks about his quest to eat only what God would have him eat.  He cut out pork and shellfish and, among other things, realized within a month that his arthritis was gone! Kinda makes me think that shellfish isn't good for joint health after all - not isopure at all!

Anyway, I don't think I really gained any weight while we were gone, even though we had plenty of good food to eat.  It's just that I didn't get as much exercise as normal - though I did walk as often as possible, but under half a mile to get up to the Lodge doesn't really add up to much exercise.  So, since I've been home, I've gotten back to walking every day and exercising with some of the videos I get from our on-demand stuff from DirecTV.  I'm really liking those because they make me work different muscles, so I feel like it's working.  Having sore muscles means they're getting toned, right?

And next week, I'm just going to get Jeffrey moving and back to walking.  Why next week?  Daylight Saving Time ends next weekend, so we'll have a little extra light in the mornings.  We figure it will be easier for him to get started if he doesn't have to start in the dark!  Oh, it's so hard to get up in the mornings when it's still dark outside!  Eventually we'll have to, but it's better to ease into it.  It's time to get my honey back into shape!  There was also a diet (way of eating) on Dr. Oz last week that I'm going to check out.  Dr. Oz had some people eat that way for a week (I think) and they were already losing weight and lowering their blood pressure and cholesterol.  Definitely worth checking out - along with that cookbook I mentioned earlier.