Monday, April 30, 2012

We're in Trouble Now

The boy is starting to walk!

So far he's just taking a few steps here and there, when we really try to get him to, but it won't be long until this little guy is walking and running all over the place. And we think he gets into stuff now...

Friday, April 27, 2012

All Natural Carpet Cleaning

We had company a month or so ago, and they commented on how good our carpet looked - for being 13 years old.  Part of the reason is that we take our shoes off at the door and do not wear them in the house.  I figure there's no sense in tracking dirt through the house if we don't need to, and it's healthier too because we're not tracking all the outside toxins into the house.  Also, we didn't have little kids with bottles and sippy cups running around the house, so we don't have a bunch of spots on the carpet from spills and such.  And what spills we had got cleaned up right away, unlike the carpet that was in Beth's room which she did not take care of and had to be removed - but that's another story.

I'm starting to see spots showing up on my living room carpet now - because we've got a little guy here, with bottles and sippy cups that leak or drip, and who occasionally spits up on the floor.  I try to clean up as best I can, but I'm not sure I can keep up with it.  I really, really need to get the carpet cleaned.  I keep saying I'm going to do it - need to put it on a list, I guess! - but so far I haven't gotten to it.  I'm beginning to wonder if I can just call someone like this Green Choice carpet cleaner I've been reading about.  They use all-natural and 100% organic cleaning products and methods, making them healthier and better for everybody.   See what they say:
Did you know that many traditional carpet cleaners in Manhattan use methods that emit harmful fumes and toxins into the atmosphere? These caustic chemical by-products are not only detrimental to the environment, but may pose a health risk to humans as well as animals, particularly in areas that are not well-ventilated. Our conscientious and eco-friendly approach to cleaning is safe for your entire household, including children and household pets.

With a little guy crawling around on the floor, I think avoiding those chemicals, toxins and fumes is really important, not to mention the way those things bother me.  Even if I end up cleaning the carpet myself, which I probably will, I want to find a natural cleaner to use in my carpet cleaning machine.  If you have any suggestions, let me know.

And if you live in the New York City area, be sure to check out Green Choice Carpet Cleaning.  Not only do they offer green cleaning alternatives, they strive to beat the competitor's prices- so choosing a healthier option does not mean paying a lot more!  There are some coupons and savings available on the website too, making it even more affordable.

They probably don't come to Wisconsin, do they?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Live with Your 'Adult' Children

OK, not really - I really do not know how this is supposed to work.  Beth and Tim moved in about a month ago, and we're all going to have to figure out how to make this work.  The good part?  We get to see Jason every day!  The bad part?  Beth is still Beth.  Oh yes, we love her - she's ours; I guess we're supposed to - but oh! is she hard to live with.

It hasn't been too bad so far, probably because I haven't said much - just let her do (or not do) what she wants to do.  Then today I went downstairs for a bit to look some stuff up and print some coupons.  When I came back up she was making scrambled eggs for breakfast, which is perfectly fine.  Except that she was using a too-small pan and had splashed egg out of the pan and onto the burner and underneath it.  I noticed and pointed it out, and that's when I got an earful about how she's been living on her own for the past two years and taking care of her own stuff, she's 21 years old and she's tired of being treated like she's 12! and of course she was going to clean it up how dare I assume she was just going to leave a mess....  Experience, I guess - the laundry that sits around and never gets quite finished and put away, the high chair that doesn't get wiped off, the crumbs under the high chair that never get swept up, the bed that doesn't get made - well, never mind about that; what's in her room is her problem, and I really don't care - the cat litter she never deals with unless specifically told it needs done, the half-full coffee cups that never seem to make it into the kitchen, the ... the list could go on and on.  How was I supposed to realize that this was the time that she would finally clean up after herself?

And so, she cleaned up - wiped up the burner.  Mostly.  Washed and put away the pan.  Of course she would have done that without me saying anything.  The cup that she scrambled the eggs in before pouring them into the skillet?  Still sitting on the counter, with the fork still in it - unrinsed.  Yeah.  I didn't need the pan washed.  I didn't need the cup washed, though it should have been rinsed so the egg didn't dry in the bottom and make it hard to wash.  I just didn't want the egg left on the burner to dry and harden and wait for me to clean up later.  Is that so wrong?  What part of her previous behavior was supposed to make me confident that she would indeed take care of it?

Later she left the room and left her computer open.  I just happened to glance at the screen - 'cause I'm nosy - and saw that she was looking at apartments online.  Maybe she'd rather move out than have me expect her to clean up after herself?  But then who's going to take care of things?  Oh  yeah, Tim!

Honestly, I really would like to believe and see that Beth is a fully responsible adult.  I don't want to have to point out the things that need to be done.  I want her to be responsible and take care of things - without being reminded or nagged.  But how long am I supposed to wait for her to step up and actually do it?
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Monday, April 23, 2012


I don’t think I take enough pictures of this adorable little boy.  He’s growing so fast.  It’s hard to believe that he’ll be a year old in less than 3 weeks.  Wow!  How is that possible?

Here are a few pictures I took this afternoon.  Can’t you just tell he is the sweetest little guy?

I love him!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Whitney Farms® 100% Natural Plant Foods

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Whitney Farms for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Growing up we always had a huge vegetable garden, and we spent a lot of time working in that garden - planting, weeding,  picking, and then processing the food we got from it.  When I finally grew up, got married, and moved out, I said I was never going to have a garden! But, that changed several years ago.  There just isn't anything like fresh vegetables from the garden!  I plant tomatoes and peppers and zucchini and chard and green beans and several other things every summer now.  My garden is nowhere as big as what we had growing up, but it's enough that I get to enjoy having those fresh veggies all summer and even freeze some to use throughout the winter.
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I've never put any chemicals or artificial plant foods on the soil, because it's important to me to grow my vegetables in organic soil. I don't always buy organic in the grocery store - even though I probably should - but if I'm going to grow it, then I want it to be organic.  I usually just add some compost in the spring before I plant.  This year I'm going to look for organic plant food  from Whitney Farms®.  They have a full line of 100% natural plant foods and soils with no additives, nothing artificial, just ingredients from the Earth, designed to give you big, beautiful flowers and veggies. 

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Whitney Farms® has 25+ years of leading gardening experience and has improved their products to have:
  • low to no dust (love that!)
  • no manure odor (that too!)
  • easy to apply (yep - I like my garden, but I want it to be easy)
  • beneficial microbes (sounds good)
  • specially designed protein-based blends to provide your plants with both macro and micronutrients they need to grow and thrive. (I have no idea if the compost I use has all that)
I know the compost I usually use helps, but I'd love to see if using the Whitney Farms® products makes a difference.  Bigger, better, more beautiful veggies - I'm all for that!   But not if that means using chemicals or artificial ingredients, which is why I'm glad natural products like this are available.
produce from my gardenI guess I haven't taken any  pictures of my garden for a while, because I couldn't find any on my computer - but I did find some of my produce from a couple years ago.  Don't those peppers and that zucchini look good?  I'm getting hungry for some of that fresh garden produce!
If you want to use all natural and organic products on your garden, be sure to check out Whitney Farms®.  They're even offering a $3 coupon right now.  Just click the link and follow the instructions to print yours.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Make a List!

I am always making lists - in my head.  I've got all these things going through my brain, things I need to do, things we need from the grocery store, etc.  But, because all my lists are just in my head, I forget a lot of things on those lists.  Because, of course, they're not really lists at all - they're just random things floating around my head.  So, I've been thinking for a long time that I really need to start making real lists - on paper.  But, of course, that was just another one of those random things floating around my head...

Then, this past weekend I was talking to one of my friends.  She makes lists!  It's the only way she can keep track of everything and get the things done that need doing.  I used to make lists.  I know I need to make lists.  Otherwise I'm going to keep running around in circles wondering why I never feel I'm getting anything done.  I've been thinking that for quite some time now.

So, this week I decided I would actually make a list - with a pen, on paper.  Did I do it right away on Monday morning as I tried to figure out what needed done this week?  Nope, I walked around thinking, "Make a list!" and adding things to the as-yet-unwritten list - in my head.  Until, finally I made myself sit down and start listing some of the things that were floating around in there.  And I made an actual list!  The first thing on my list?  Make a list!  After I got a few other things written down, I got to check that one off.  So at least it looked like I did something!

Except that at the end of the day, mostly I had a list with nothing checked off.  I made a list, and...

So I remembered something else my friend does - she writes things she already did on the list so she can check them off!  So I added 'wash dishes' and 'fix dinner' to my list so I could check them off.  Looking at it now, I realize I should have added 'do laundry' too.  There are probably plenty of things I accomplish every day that just don't seem important enough for a list, or that I don't feel need listed because I always do them - like laundry on Mondays and dinner and dishes every day.  I feel like my lists should be for things I want to accomplish outside the every day every week stuff I'm already doing, but sometimes I just don't have time for any extra stuff.  And that every day every week stuff?  It needs done again and again - getting it done doesn't really mean anything except that it's done - for now.  So yes, if I can put it on a list and check it off, at least I'll feel like I accomplished something, even if the next day (or sometimes the next hour) it doesn't look like I did anything at all!

Chat with a Real Video Psychic

I just found myself on a site that offers live chat with a real video psychic.  There's a guy - I guess he's the psychic - just waiting for someone to click and start a psychic chat with him.  They say you can start for FREE.  After that I don't know how much it costs, but they offer a money-back guarantee.  Does that mean if you don't like the answers you get that you don't have to pay?  Or if what the psychic says isn't true or doesn't come true, that you get your money back?

I'm not sure how it works, really, but they offer Intimate, Private 1-on-1 Readings and all advisers are screened and tested.  You can start with the free online psychic who is just waiting to chat or you can choose from hundreds of psychics listed on the site.  You can see their pictures, read bios, get customer testimonials, and even join the free public chat - which seems like a good way to get a feel for each person. 

However, I don't think this is something I'd ever do.  I guess I don't really have any questions I want answered - and I'm kind of leery about how these people supposedly know the answers.  They're either messing with some spirits I don't want anything to do with, or they're really good at reading people and saying the right thing - which would be harder to do via online chat than in-person, or so I'd think.  Either way, I think I'll pass.

How about you?  Have you ever or would you ever consult a psychic?  Are you more likely to do so knowing you can do so from the comfort of your own home with just your computer and your webcam?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Making my own jewelry organizer

Guest post written by Greta Holloway
I really like to make a lot of the things in my home. It's just way more fun to do that and then I want to hold onto the stuff for that much longer because I put some of my own time into it. I guess that also keeps me from being a lot less wasteful, which is good for the environment.

I really do love the look of finding something really unique to use for something else that you would never even think about using. I was thinking i needed to do something like that to display and organize my jewelry, because I can't remember what I have if I can't see them. As I was looking for some jewelry display ideas online I found some stuff on the site that might just come in handy. I could really use some debt counseling and some other help like that, so I was grateful to find it.

I saw the idea to make a DIY jewelry organizer out of a cheese grater, which I would have never even considered before. It's so funny some of the things that people come up with! But it was so crazy that it was a great idea and I'm trying it out for myself.

Elevated Security Levels

A friend shared this on facebook.  It made me laugh.
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is cancelled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

John Cleese,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought - Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lawn Care is a Snap with Scotts®

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Scotts® for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I never really thought about the yard much when I was growing up.  It was (mostly) green and needed mowed periodically.  I thought dandelions belonged there.  Then I grew up, got married, and we moved into our first house...
That's when my husband informed me that those pretty yellow flowers are really weeds, and they don't belong in his yard.  The goal is to have a healthy, green lawn without all those extra weeds.  He's been using Scotts® Weed & Feed® for years now - to kill the weeds and help the grass to build strong, deep roots.  Those roots are important because, while the grass is lush and green right now while there's plenty of moisture, it's challenged during the dry periods of summer.  Also, the stronger the grass is, the less opportunity the weeds have to grow.  And that's about all I understand about it - except that it's a constant battle, especially with those dandelions, because no matter how well he takes care of the yard, if the neighbors don't do the same, those dandelions are bound to spread back into our yard.
With the new Scotts® Snap® Spreader System there's really no excuse for not taking care of their yards.  It looks easy enough for anybody to use - even me.  Not that I plan to do it, since I have a husband who takes care of that stuff, but...  What's really cool about this system is that there's no cutting, opening, or pouring from heavy bags.  Just connect the Snap Pac to the Snap Spreader, and you're ready to go.  There are no settings to mess with either - the Spreader auto-sets the proper flow rate.  And when you're done, just remove the Snap Pac from the Spreader, and it auto-seals, making it easy to store.  How cool is that?
Watch how easy it is:

Is that guy's garage too clean, or what?  Anyway, I especially love that the Spreader System has that EdgeGuard feature that keeps product where you want it…. on the lawn! 
 Walking every morning, I can always tell when people have treated their lawns, because there's always a line of it out in the street, and I always try to avoid it.  This EdgeGuard should eliminate that problem.
For a super easy way to take care of your lawn, be sure to check out the new  Scotts® Snap® Spreader System - they'll even tell you which product your lawn needs and when.  For us, the first feeding should be about now.  Also, be sure to like Snap perks on Facebook to learn about promotions and contests from Scotts.  They've got some amazing prizes to give away.  This month the grand prize is a trip for two to the 2012 All Star Game and World Series, or you could win an outdoor patio set or a $25 Walmart gift card.  Get started now to have more chances to win.    Advertisement

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Husband, My Hero

Last LoadI had a meeting at the library yesterday, but before I left I threw a rug into the washer to rinse.  (The rest of my laundry was all washed and the last load in the dryer.)  When I came home 2-1/2 hours later, the washer was showing an error code.  I didn't really pay much attention to the code, just figured it was telling me the load was unbalanced, because I get that periodically when I'm just rinsing or washing one rug (blame Tillie).  So I tried adjusting the rug and starting it again, only to check a few minutes later to find the error code again.  This time I read it - different error code - the LE error code.

I looked it up in the manual, and this code said something about the motor, and the solution was to turn off the water and unplug the machine - and call customer service.  Yup, I'm thinking something is really really wrong with my washing machine.  So I told Jeffrey I needed him to look at it -  and he did and called customer service - and couldn't get it working.  At which point they told him to leave it unplugged for half an hour and then plug it in and try again. 

So he did.  And when he plugged it back in, it worked!

I threw a couple towels in with the rug after that so the load was more balanced, and it worked fine.  Then today I washed towels.  I was going to blame Beth for moving in and bringing tons of laundry, but apparently the motor just overheated and needed to rest.  I don't know why it didn't stop like normal when there's an unbalanced load, but it just tried too hard - and I wasn't home to notice.

Scary for a little bit, though.  I kept thinking, "What am I going to do without my washing machine?"  Thankfully I had my wonderful husband to get it going again.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Fight Hunger Together with Walmart

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Walmart Foundation for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
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More than 50 Million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from.  Shocking, isn't it?  In this land of plenty, people are going hungry.  People seem to think of and remember to donate to their local food banks when there's a big drive or around Christmas time, but people need food year 'round, and Springtime has traditionally brought a decrease in donations.
To help bridge this gap, Walmart has teamed up with Feeding America and four of the most recognizable food brands in America- ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg's - in a nationwide Fighting Hunger Together initiative from Monday, April 9 through April 30.   And you can help!
Between April 9 and April 30, Walmart will host a Facebook campaign.  They'll list 200 American communities with the highest unemployment rate, as determined by a Department of Labor Report (because one of the principal causes of hunger is unemployment).  Fans will be able to vote and rally support for their favorite communities.  Walmart will donate $2 million to the 21 communities receiving the most support -  $1 million to the winner and $50,000 each to the 20 runners-up.  I read through the list of communities, and I know people in several of those areas - Salem, OR and Lansing and East Lansing, MI to name a couple.  I'm not sure if you can vote just once or every day during the campaign, but I'll be sure to find out and vote for one of those communities - or both.  Be sure to check it out and Vote to fight spring hunger with Walmart too - and spread the word to get all your friends voting. Winning communities will be announced May 1st.
Besides voting on facebook, you can help out by going in to your local Walmart between April 9 and April 30.  Look for the in-store signage and purchase select products from ConAgra, General Mills, Kraft and Kellogg's.  By purchasing these products, you'll be helping to donate meals to Feeding America or Action for Healthy Kids, a nonprofit fighting childhood hunger.
Who's ready to fight hunger together with Walmart?
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Thursday, April 05, 2012

This Volkswagen is no Bug

When you think about Volkswagen, what's the first thing that comes to mind?  The VW Bug (Beetle), right?  Everybody loves a Bug, and playing Slug Bug when you're driving down the highway.  Well, maybe not if you're playing with someone who likes to slug hard.

But, there's more to Volkswagen - lot's more.  When we were at the Car Show last year, I was really impressed with the new 2012 Passat.  That is one nice looking car!  I guess I'm not the only one who likes it, because I was looking at a los angeles volkswagen dealer (online) and see that the Passat was named Motor Trend 2012 Car of the Year.  There are some nice photos and videos as well as listing of their inventory.  Granted, should I buy a Passat of my own, it probably won't be for a few years, and it will definitely be closer to home, but it's nice to look.  They have some nice looking cars available - check it out; I'm sure you'll agree.  I'm trying to decide if I like the Night Blue Metallic or the Opera Red Metallic.  What do you think?

If they don't have the ideal car listed in inventory, they have a handy tool that lets you pick the options you want to find just the right vehicle for your needs.  Even if you don't live in the Los Angeles area, you can do all your vehicle research from the comfort of your own home.  It's a great way to see what Volkswagen has to offer.  And for those in the L.A. area, Pacific Volkswagen is the largest Volkswagen dealership on the west coast, and they always deliver friendly services, affordable financing, and great selection of new and pre-owned Volkswagen vehicles.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Some Cuteness for You

It's not quite Thursday yet! Unlike last week when I didn't get around to posting until Thursday...

I've been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Went to the grocery store today, came home and cleaned some more - I actually got my kitchen and dining room floor mopped!  It needs it more often than it actually gets done, and I really should do it more often because we've got a little guy crawling around on the floor now, all the time.  I suppose he'll survive.

Here's a video I took a few weeks ago of him crawling around and messing with stuff.  And then, when he notices the camera...