Saturday, March 31, 2012

Potted Bulbs - They Look Great in the House

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
The warm weather we had the last couple weeks means that it's definitely starting to look a lot like Spring out there.  There are some gorgeous flowers up and blooming.  Not in my yard or my flower beds - but those people who planted bulbs have lots of gorgeous flowers to show for it.
I never thought about it before, but I could plant some bulbs inside - for home decor.  I've always thought flowers were a waste of money.  You know, the kind you get from the florist and send for special occasions.  I mean, they cost so much, and then they just die, and they're gone forever.  But potted bulbs sound like a great idea.  They're pretty, and they last longer than those old cut flowers!  Also, they're the perfect solution for people like me who didn't plant bulbs in the Fall!  They can be enjoyed now, and then when the flowers have expired, you plant them in your garden - so they'll be ready for next Spring.
They can be lots of fun.  You can buy them like this - they can be purchased at grocery stores, garden centers, and flower shops:

and then repot them into your favorite pot or something that matches your decor, like this:
How fun is that?  No, that doesn't match my decor, but I love them potted in that steel bowl.  I never would have thought of that.  For even more information, look up Dig Drop Done on Pinterest.  There are ideas for home decor, wedding decorations, Easter projects and bulb planting how-to information.
From everything I'm seeing about planting bulbs, I'm finding absolutely no excuse for not planting some.  It looks so easy.  I'm especially liking the idea of these potted bulbs and then planting them outside when the flowers are done.  Then I wouldn't have to remember come Fall.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Chip in the Windshield

 I still get paranoid when I'm driving down the road and hear something hit the windshield.  It reminds me of the time a big dump truck full of gravel pulled out ahead of me.  I slowed down so I wouldn't be too close, but it didn't matter.  Something flew out of the back of the truck, hit my windshield and chipped it.  Once that happens, of course, you have to get it fixed - before a little chip spreads out to cover the entire windshield.

We called a shop to get it fixed right away.  They worked with our insurance company and helped us get the windshield repaired properly and at the most affordable price.  I'm not sure how they do it, but once they fixed it, you couldn't tell there had ever been a problem.  Of course, it's been a few years, so I don't remember whether they just fixed the chip or if they had to replace the entire windshield.

We didn't really check our local company for experience or reputation, just called the ones our insurance company recommended.  I would hope the insurance company doesn't just work with the cheapest but also the best.

Anyway, a chipped or cracked windshield can happen to anybody.  If it happens to you, hopefully your insurance will be as easy to work with as ours was, and they'll find you a good company to fix it.

Bursting at the Seams

I can't believe it's already Thursday.  How does the week go by so fast?

We've been keeping busy around here, and we have a houseful.  Not only did Beth, Tim and Jason move in last weekend with their two cats, but Cory is home on Spring Break this week.  I guess it's a good test of how we're all going to fit into one house.  Beth and Tim put some of their stuff and furniture in storage, but they still seemed to bring a lot of stuff with them.  When Beth moved out, it was just mainly her and her clothes, which all fit in her room.  She did have some toys and stuffed animals and other stuff she boxed up and stored downstairs - and that was part of the stuff she went through and got rid of all the extras she really didn't need to keep before she moved in.  The back storage room in the basement was looking better for a bit, but now it's all cluttered up again.  I think more stuff either has to go or needs to go into storage with the rest of Beth & Tim's stuff.

Before Beth & Tim moved in, we moved Cory downstairs.  So when he's here, he kinda has his own apartment.  Well, at least he has his own room and bathroom, and he can use the basement to watch TV, play video games, or whatever.  It's more like a living room down there now, because Beth brought some of her furniture, so that's all down there, along with the TV they got right after Thanksgiving.  It's nice that we have that extra living space so hopefully we won't end up on top of each other while they all live here.  Cory's at school most of the time, except for the weekends he comes home, and he'll be gone most of the summer - so Beth & Tim can hang out downstairs if they need to get away from us, or we need them to just go away for a while.

The cats are gradually getting used to each other.  The first couple days our cats just spent the whole time hiding out, but they've been coming out more often, and there's not quite as much hissing and growling.  I think Weasley will enjoy having somebody to play with, since Tillie never wants to have anything to do with him.  Tillie, of course, would rather be the only cat in the house - but she's already used to having Weasley around, even though she doesn't like having him around.  Maybe Weasley will leave her alone now that he's got somebody else to chase around the house.  I give them a few more days...  For now they're getting closer and sniffing noses, all the while keeping an eye on each other.  Beth's cats have pretty much decided they live here, and one of them usually ends up on the bed with us at some point in the night.  I'd rather wake up with my cat next to me, but Weasley is usually there, too - not too close, but he's not complaining too much - so we'll see.

Oh, and along with extra people in the house, I've been trying to get the house cleaned for the Spring Holy Days.  I've got the freezers and refrigerators done.  Now I just need to get the rest of the kitchen done, and hopefully get the living room done and stove and refrigerator moved out and cleaned around and behind this weekend.  Oh, and the toaster.  Gotta get that all done soon so I can start baking unleavened bread and thinking about food for Passover and the first Holy Day.  So, yeah, I guess I better get busy!

No wonder it's already Thursday.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™

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

I am going to need to get me some of this.  Seriously, I watched the video, and said, "Whoa!" like five times!

Did you see how it expands up to 3 times when mixed with water?  That means a bag of this will be a whole lot easier to get home than those heavy, messy bags of traditional garden soil and amendments.  If I don't have one of my guys with me, I don't buy that stuff!  This I could bring home myself.
EnG Product Shot.png

I'm not totally positive that I'd use this in my vegetable garden, though I love the idea of better plants and vegetables. I definitely need to add some kind of compost or something to the soil this year to help things grow better.  The years I don't do it, I notice - things just don't grow as well.  Mixing this into the soil can make it up to 40% lighter, and create up to 90% more air space meaning the soil is more workable, with better water holding ability, moisture distribution, and drainage, all of which means a better environment for plants.  I need to find out what's in the Miracle‐Gro plant food that's in it before I use it for the vegetables, because I love the idea of everything it can do for the soil.
Expand ‘n Gro™ is a unique blend of Miracle‐Gro plant food and coconut coir fiber.  Coir is a lightweight, all‐natural material derived from coconut husk.  The sponge‐like cell structure of compressed coir pith re‐expands when water is added and retains up to 50% more moisture than basic potting soils and then releases water as plants need it.  I think it would be especially nice for potted plants - maybe some nice flowers for the deck? - because I always seem to forget to water them!  It would also be great for flower beds, because I wouldn't have to worry about watering if it doesn't rain for a while.  The coir contains a slowly decomposing organic polymer called lignin which means that it will continue to benefit the soil for many years.
Benefits of Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix:
  • Up to 3 times the Flowers and Vegetables! (versus native soil)
  • Significantly improves soil for multiple years
  • Concentrated planting mix expands up to 3 times when water is added
  • Feeds for up to 6 months
  • All natural fibers hold up to 50% more water than basic potting soil
It sounds like a great way to prep your gardens and pots for Spring and Summer planting.  Be sure to check out Miracle-Gro® Expand ‘n Gro™ Concentrated Planting Mix to learn more, and get a $3 coupon while you're there.  I'm looking forward to some beautiful potted plants on my deck this summer!  What will you grow?
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Purge, Purge, Purge

The fact that we're going to have three more people living here - and two cats - means that we need to get rid of all the extra stuff we have around here, otherwise there's not going to be any room for Beth and Tim and Jason and all their stuff.  It's amazing how much stuff collects when you live in the same place for 13 years! 

We have a fairly nice-sized storage room in the basement.  Jeffrey built shelves to hold everything, and we started organizing everything.  We figured if we boxed everything up, clearly labeled them, and stored them on the shelves, we could keep the stuff we wanted and always be able to find whatever we need.  The only problem is we never finished organizing, and the kids kept boxing stuff up and throwing it back there whenever they wanted to get stuff out of their rooms.  Pretty soon it was practically impossible to move around back there, let alone find anything.

So, everybody has been going through all their stuff and getting rid of all the extra stuff we don't need.  I'm mostly guilty of  holding onto magazines, waiting to have time to actually look through them before I toss them in the recycle.  I've tossed quite a few in the last couple months, but I have more.  Somebody remind me that no matter how many reviews I might see that offer impossible to pass up magazine discounts - I need to pass them up!  3 years of a really great magazine for 50¢?  Nope, gotta pass!  (OK, maybe they never offer quite that good a deal, but you get my point!)

The kids had stuffed animals, partially used notebooks from school, old toys, and all kinds of junk, so they both went through everything and neatly boxed up the stuff they want to keep, threw a bunch of stuff into the trash and recycle, and set aside even more stuff to donate to Goodwill.  It took several trips to get all the stuff hauled up to Goodwill, but it's out of here now.  It also took several weeks to get all the trash and recycling out.  Most of the time we put our trash out every other week because we just don't have that much trash, but for a while there we were filling the toter every week and putting out extra paper and cardboard for recycling, until we got it all out of here.

Now, if we can just keep from collecting more...

No More Carpet

Knowing that Beth, Tim and Jason will be moving in really gave Jeffrey an incentive to get some things done around here - things that have needed done for a while.  The first thing on the list was to rip out the carpet in Beth's old room and put laminate flooring in.  The carpet in there was just a mess.  Beth spilled stuff on the floor, got makeup stains on the carpet, and I don't know what else.  Something definitely needed done.

We found some flooring that matches our woodwork at Menards for 69¢/square foot and they were offering a rebate on the underlayment at the same time - so we got that for free.  We had it stored in Beth's old room for a while, and a couple months ago Jeffrey got busy ripping out the carpet and laying flooring.  He'd never done it before, and it took him several evenings, but he did a pretty good job!

It looks great and feels nice, too.  This would have been a lot more practical in Beth’s room all along!

Jeffrey, Cory and I went to visit friends in Michigan one weekend in February.  When we came home, we found that Tim and Beth had moved everything out of Cory’s room, ripped his carpet out, laid the laminate flooring in that room, and put everything back in.  Wow!  Of course, Tim is a professional and knew what he was doing…

So now both of the kids’ bedrooms have this nice flooring, and I’m thinking I want some in my room.  Actually, we plan to eventually rip out all the carpeting in the living room, hallway, and our room and put hardwood flooring down, but that will have to wait a bit.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coming Out into the Sunshine

It's fun to see how the warm weather brings everyone out.  This weekend people were out riding bikes, walking their dogs, grilling, riding motorcycles, just generally hanging out outside - and, of course, wearing shorts.  Around here it seems that, when the weather gets above freezing, people just have to wear shorts, even if they're still wearing the winter coats.  I don't really get it, but this weekend - and the rest of this week - it really is shorts weather.  I wore my shorts when I went walking yesterday, and this morning.  (See, this is something I want to remember - March 19th, wore shorts.  Also, took flannel sheets off the bed and put regular sheets on.)

Will this warm weather last?  I guess we'll see.  We have seen snow in April, and these warm temperatures are not normal for this time of year.  Usual high temperatures are in the 40's with lows in the 20's.  Is it time to get out the kohler power washer and wash the deck?  I'm not sure about that, but Jeffrey did get all the deck furniture out of the shed and put it back on the deck.  We had some company this weekend, and the kids spent quite a bit of time out on the deck - and Jeffrey and I have been enjoying our dinner out there the last couple evenings.  We even had grilled steaks and potatoes for dinner last night!  Tonight while we had dinner, we enjoyed watching the neighbor's kites dancing in the sky.  We're definitely enjoying the weather while it lasts - and I doubt you'll hear us complaining if it doesn't end up getting cold again.

If it does get cold?  And snow even?  That's OK, too.  This time of year any cold or snow won't last long.  It's definitely not worth packing up the suitcases or ladies duffle bags and heading for warmer climes!  Considering that while we've been enjoying the warmth and sunshine, it's been cold and snowy in places that are normally warmer than we are, there's just no guarantee that would help anyway.  The weather is just plain weird!  Hopefully 80° days in March won't mean unbearably hot summer days - or I really will be wishing I had a pool, and the rotate & lock above ground pool ladder ne121 by lumio to go with it!  Either that, or the guys will be wanting the air conditioner turned on, and I'll be freezing in July - and wishing for March weather!

No More Deodorant Marks on Your Shirts

I use this tip every day, so it deserves to be repeated.

If you’re like me (or anyone, for that matter) you hate getting those white marks on your shirts.  It seems that, no matter how careful you think you are, deodorant rubs off onto your shirt, causing those embarrassing white marks.  And then you have to figure out how to get them off – or change your shirt!

Here’s a super simple tip for avoiding those marks in the first place.  Roll the hem of your shirt up two or three times before putting it on:

When you pull it over your head, you might still get deodorant marks on the shirt, but they will be on the inside of the shirt.  Simply unroll the hem to hide them, and you will not have any embarrassing white marks on the outside of your shirt!

If you forget to roll the hem of your shirt and get white deodorant marks after all, try rubbing a clean section of the shirt on the marks.  They will go away!  I’d rather avoid them in the first place, but it’s good to know how to fix them, too.  I read somewhere that rubbing with a clean white sock takes care of them too, but I haven’t tried that.

Almost Pool Weather

Happy first day of Spring!  It's supposed to be 80° today - more like perfect Summer weather.  I remember days like this when the kids were still in school.  They'd come home at the end of the day asking if we could please go swimming.  Of course, for us that would mean packing everything up and heading to the beach on the lake a few miles up the road - because we don't have a pool.

There are times I know I would love to have a pool.  It really would be much simpler just to get everybody ready and head out back to get wet - instead of having to load everything in the van and head out, hoping we don't forget anything.  On other days I'm happy enough not to have a pool, because I'm pretty sure a pool boy doesn't come with it!  Jeffrey doesn't like to swim (yeah, I know - what's wrong with him?) so he wouldn't want to be responsible for taking care of a pool.  The kids would most likely have just wanted to enjoy it - so that would leave me taking care of it.

Sure, I could do it, though it would probably take a bit of learning because I don't know the first thing about taking care of a pool.  The only thing I've ever done with a pool is swim in one!  I'd probably be spending plenty of time on the Pool Supplies Superstore website just familiarizing myself with all the stuff I'd need, from the pool cover to the filter to the cleaning accessories.  They have all the top name brands in pool supplies at discounted prices, and I could order whatever I need and have it all shipped FREE to my house.  They even have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if you get the wrong stuff, you can always return it, or if you find a lower price within 30 days, they'll refund the difference!  At least that part would be simple... 

On days like these, I start thinking that it really would be nice to have a pool.  Where I won't really pack up and head to the beach by myself, I would definitely go out and slip into the pool if only I had one in the back yard.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Before I Forget

I've been awful about updating this blog!  Oh, I've had ideas and blog posts and ideas for blog posts going through my head.  I've even got pictures for some of them!  But - I just don't seem to actually sit down and post anything.  Would you call that writer's block?  Being too busy to post?  Or just plain laziness?

Yeah, I don't know - probably that last one - but I really need to get back to it.  Otherwise I'm not going to remember anything that happened.  Or I'll remember it happened, but not when or how or why or any of the details - there's a reason I need to write everything down, or post it, as the case may be.

So, like I said, I need to get to it - before I forget everything I want to remember.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I appreciate the guest post, Jewel Rodgers
Last weekend, I was flipping through the channels on dish televsion/ . I came across a movie that was starting, so I ended up watching it. The movie was called, “the Raven”. It was a dark film about a man that comes back from the dead. The filming style reminded me of the movie “Sin City” or Gotham City on “Bat Man”. The weather was terrible and everything was dark. Anyway, I liked the movie, but it was not my favorite. I thought that I had remembered something bad about the movie, but I couldn’t remember what. I got on the internet and looked up the movies. What I thought that I remembered was actually true. The protaganist, played by Jason Lee, was actually shot during the making of the film. A bullet, that was thought to be a dummy bullet, hit him in the chest. It turns out it was a live bullet and he ended up dying from his injuries. That is really sad. It makes the movie that much more dark than it was before.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Forward

Is it already that time?  Don't forget to set your clocks forward Sunday - or you may be late for work or class or something important come Monday.

On the plus side, this means Spring is here or at least on the way, right?

Friday, March 09, 2012

Try Glade® Expressions™ Risk Free

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

There are some new products available from Glade®, and now is a great time to try them.  First, there is a coupon for $1.50 off of any Glade® Expressions™ product.  Use it at Walmart to take advantage of their everyday low price, and you'll save even more.
Both products, the new Glade® Expressions™ fragrance mist and the new Glade® Expressions™ oil diffuser are designed to fit in with your home decor. They don't look like air fresheners.  The design is very simple and elegant - not something you'll have to hide away.  I also like that they feature a no-spill design, so that even if they get knocked over, you don't have to worry about a mess.  With cats in the house and a grandson who gets into anything he can possibly get to, that's important.
There are 4 fragrances to choose from - - Glade Expressions Air Fresheners
  • Pineapple & Mangosteen
  • Cotton & Italian Mandarin (only available in Fragrance Mist form)
  • Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice
  • Lavender & Juniper Berry
I'm thinking that Fuji Apple & Cardamom Spice scent sounds good - pear, apple, cinnamon, and cloves - nothing flowery.  The oil diffuser's scent is designed to last 30 days and requires no electricity.  The fragrance mist with its squeeze-to-spray activation lasts, well I guess that depends on how often you squeeze it!  When it's gone it's refillable with any Glade® Expressions™ scent, so you can try them all!

Glade® is so sure you are going to like these new products, that they're are offering a fragrance satisfaction guarantee.  If you're not satisfied, simply fill out this form and mail it with the original UPC and purchase receipt within 30 days, and they will refund your purchase price.
Now is a great time to try the new Glade® Expressions™ products risk free.  Which one do you want to try first?
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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

You've Got to Stand for Something

Or you'll fall for anything.

Just felt like hearing this song tonight.

Monday, March 05, 2012

A Free Audiobook Every Month

Each month christianaudio gives away one premium audiobook download for FREE.  It's available only during that month and only once, ever.  All you have to do is create a free account and go through the checkout process.  Because it's FREE, they don't even require any payment information, which is really nice.

This month's free download is A Tale of Three Kings, which is based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom.  I've just been reading about these three kings in my Bible reading program, so I'm interested in hearing this.  The reviews look quite good.  I've taken advantage of several of their other free books of the month, though I haven't actually taken the time to listen to any of them yet.  But that's OK, because they're all available in my account, and I can download and listen to them any time I want.  I love that FREE is FREE - and not some limited-time thing.

Besides the free audiobook of the month, christianaudio offers many other books for sale, as well as hundreds of other free audiobooks, lectures, sermons, interviews and podcasts.  I listened to a really good sermon series on the Psalms a couple weeks ago, and I know there are more I'd like to hear.

So, if you're looking for some good stuff to fill your MP3 player with, check out christianaudio.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Fives - Changes

Friday Fives Badge

Elizabeth over at Table for Five has started a new weekly meme that's pretty simple.  Just share a list - of anything!

 Here's a list of five changes coming to our house later this month:
  1. Beth
  2. Tim
  3. Jason
  4. Turbo
  5. Nitro
Beth, Tim, Jason, and their two cats are moving in with us.  It wasn't that long ago that Beth was constantly telling us that she was moving out the second she turned 18.  She didn't exactly do that - she waited a few months.  Moving out wasn't quite as easy as she thought it would be.

When she moved out it was just her and one cat.  Since then she's added a boyfriend (well, she had him before, but he didn't live here), a son, and two different cats.

It should be interesting...

Be sure to visit Table for Five and join Friday Fives with your own list!