Thursday, February 28, 2013

Organic Skin Care

I never really thought about it too much before - just used whatever skin care products I got for the best price.  Then I heard something that made complete sense.  Your skin is your largest organ (learned that in school), and whatever you put on your skin will be absorbed into your body.  I even heard someone say that, "If you wouldn't eat it, don't put it on your skin."  I'm not sure I'll go that far, but I am pretty much convinced that I should be using Organic skin care from now on.

Now the question is where do I buy it, and where can I get the best deal?  I've been browsing EnviroProductsWorld where they carry some of the most popular lines of organic products such as One Love Organics, Kiss My Face, Antipodes, Sequoia Beauty, Antho, BeeAlive, Acure Organics and more!  I don't really know much about any of the brands or which ones are better, but I think it's a good place to at least start looking, and a good place to find all the different options available in one place.  There are many different products to choose from instead of being limited to the few natural, organic, and paraben free products available at the local drug store.  If you have any favorite brands, please let me know.  I'm open to any and all suggestions!

EnviroProductsWorld also carries hair products, cosmetics, deodorants, green cleaning products and natural pet products. Shipping is free on orders over $49, or just a flat rate of $5.95 on anything under that.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Bible Premiers on History Channel This Sunday

This post and giveaway brought to you by History Channel.

I don't know about you, but I'm really looking forward to the new History Channel miniseries The Bible.  It starts this Sunday 3/3/13 at 8pm ET/7pm CT.  From Executive Producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, The Bible is an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation.

Check out this cool The Bible app from the History Channel.  New clips from the series will be unlocked every day as a countdown to the premiere.  Also be sure to take the Bible-scene Quiz where the Questions is...will you recognize your favorite characters when you see them for the first time in the series?

You can also use the app to spread the word and tell all of your friends about this series using the Tell 10 Challenge.

History Channel has also agreed to give an official The Bible companion book to one lucky reader. (Prize will be chosen randomly from the book titles below!)
  • A Story of God and All of Us (HARDCOVER)
  • A Story of God and All of Us (REFLECTIONS)
  • A Story of God and All of Us (YOUNG READERS)
To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know how you did on the Bible-scene quiz or sharing what Bible story you are most interested in seeing come to life through this series.  I'm reading about King David right now, so I'm really looking forward to seeing that.  And the rest of it, too.

For an additional entry, tweet about this giveaway - with a link to this post and the hashtag #BibleSeries.

Giveaway is open to US readers, and all entries must be received by 11:59pm  March 15, 2013.  Good luck!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Oh, the Memories

In going through all these boxes of stuff, I found an entire stack of unfolded and unused invitations to our wedding.  Why did we keep all those? I think there's one in the photo album with all the wedding photos, but do we really need any more?  I kept about 5.  Just because.

I also found lots of little wedding favors and mementos from all the various weddings we've attended over the years.  Mostly I found matches, napkins, and bubbles.  I think the best are the bubbles, because they're just a fun diversion every once in a while.  Of course, the matches are handy for lighting candles and such, but do I really need to hold on to them for years?  Apparently so, but I did end up tossing some of the bubbles - without even blowing any bubbles, what was I thinking?  I also tossed any duplicate napkins or anything else that I had multiples of.  Any candy cones like the ones pictured here were long gone, because somebody always eats the candy, which is probably good because I wouldn't have wanted to find old nasty candy in my boxes. 

It's always fun to have cute little things to take home from the wedding reception, and I always end up keeping them, just for the memories.  Yeah, even though they're almost always imprinted with the names of the bride and groom and the date of the wedding, they're not at all handy for remembering when to send those anniversary cards - at least not when they're boxed up and tucked away and almost never looked at.  They do, however, bring back some nice memories when I do pull them out.  But it really only takes one for that.

And I really don't need an entire stack of wedding invitations from my own wedding to remember that one, or to remember when to send/give that anniversary card to the love of my life!

The Money Code: Improve Your Entire Financial Life Right Now

This post brought to you by The Money Code.

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I don't know about you, but I'd like to know the secrets to financial control and security. Visit for more information about the book and author and to download a free chapter.  This New York Times best-selling book is available on Amazon .

That Was Close!

I saw this on facebook today and realized how much of a miracle it was that I was able to box up and get rid of all those books these last few weeks.

"Book collecting is an obsession, an occupation, a disease, an addiction,
a fascination, an absurdity, a fate.  It is not a hobby..."
- Jeanette Winterson
Do you see that?  An obsession, a disease, and an addiction.  It's no wonder we had so many books around here.  Cory and I both have this issue.  I think I may have just escaped.  You know, except for all the boxes of books we have to keep...

Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm Keeping These Feathers

I feel like I'm being pretty good at getting rid of stuff I don't really need anymore, but sometimes it's hard know whether I should get rid of something or keep it.  You know how you don't wear something for years, get rid of it, and then it comes back into style?  Or maybe it's just something that you haven't worn in ages and then, as soon as you get rid of it, a reason to wear it suddenly comes along.  If only you'd kept it...

Anybody remember wearing those feathered roach clips in your hair?  I came across mine in a box last week, and while
there's very little chance I'll ever wear them again, or do anything with them for that matter, I just can't decide to give them away or throw them out.

Maybe there'll be an 80's party or something one of these days, and I'll need them.  Or something.

Besides, hair feathers and feather earrings are a hot trend right now.  Yeah, I know - not exactly the same, but you know what that means?  I can't throw away my old feathers, and I need new ones too.  Or maybe I'll just hang these from a lampshade or something, just for fun.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Advantages of Getting Ready to Move

We took a whole trailer-load of stuff to Goodwill today and got rid of it.  Hopefully they can sell it, recycle it, donate it, or something else that will benefit them or somebody else.  We certainly didn't need all that stuff here.  The problem with having room for all the stuff is that we tend to keep all the stuff.

Until we start thinking about moving and realize how many trailer trips it would take to move it all and how much all that stuff weighs - and how much it would cost to have a moving company pack it all up and move it for us.  That's when we start thinking about getting rid of everything we don't really need, because why pay to move something that's just going to go and sit on another shelf?

We've also had our house completely inspected and know that everything is in good shape - not that we were worried about that, but it's still good to know.  I mean, we did have practically everything redone 2 years ago after the tornado, pretty much everything except closed cell spray foam ottawa. The only thing we had to get fixed was the water heater because it supposedly wasn't installed properly.  However, when we were going through things last night, Jeffrey found the packaging from the gas connector from the original installation, and it specifically says that it's for a water heater.  So I don't understand what was wrong about it.

Oh well, at least it was a fairly quick fix and wasn't something like insufficient insulation which would have required installation of spray foam insulation ottawa or something like that.  I know proper insulation helps decrease power bills, but still, that's more than we would have wanted to deal with.  And, thankfully, our house is nice and cozy - except sometimes our bathroom floor.  What I wish we'd done is put some heat in the floor when we had the tile done, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the inspection.

Knowing the house is in good shape is good, but I'd say the biggest advantage of getting ready to move is the purging, sorting and organizing.  Less stuff is better, right?  And if we're not using it, somebody should be able to.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

No Such Thing as Too Many Books?

Books (Photo credit: henry…)
I have been known to say that there is no such thing as too many books.  My son Cory has definitely said that, and I know he believes it.  I'm pretty sure I used to believe it, too.  Not so much now. 

Oh, I still love books, and I want to have lots of books in the house.  But there really is such a thing as too many books, and we had them.  Well, actually we still have them, but they're all getting donated really soon. 

First I started by pulling paperbacks from the shelves and boxing them up - books I think I want to read, someday, but they've been sitting on those shelves for ages, and I haven't read them yet.  I'm sure every single one of those books can be checked out of the local library if/when I am ready to read them.

Once I finished that first box, it was ever so much easier to weed out even more books.  I pulled even more books off the shelves, and then I started going through books that had already been boxed up and stored in the back room.  I found paperback books I read once and then boxed up and even more books that I've never even read, and probably never will.  Then I went through boxes of books that the kids used to read or that I used to read to them when they were really little.  I kept quite a few of those for Beth to go through because I'm hoping she'll enjoy reading some of those same books to her little guy.  I'll probably keep several of those if she doesn't want them because they really bring back memories and have to be keptI need to have some books at my house to read with Jason, too. 

Yes, between me and Cory we still kept a lot of books - probably even too many - but some books are special, and they just must be kept.  Even so, I've got about 8 boxes here to donate.  I wish I'd done it sooner because all those books were just sitting there on shelves or in boxes when someone could have been enjoying them.
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I Still Think Marriage is a Lifetime Commitment

I was just reading a post I wrote several months ago over on my other blog.  Mostly it was just a 'conversation' I copied from my facebook page.  I'd started by posting something about the sorry state of marriage in today's society and how people don't seem to need much of an excuse to call in the divorce lawyer montreal, or their own local divorce attorney.  It's like nobody really sees marriage as a lifetime commitment.  It's not 'until death do us part' or 'as long as you both shall live' anymore.  Marriage is one man and one woman for a lifetime - and not just until they don't feel like being married anymore or they 'drift apart' and then move on to the next one.

Anyway, my comment sparked a whole storm of comments with at least one person letting herself become very offended by my opinion and then even unfriending me at the end of the day because I didn't come around to her point of view.  Or something.  I've read the whole thing over again several times, and I really don't understand what she was trying to say, and she wasn't inclined to explain.  I suppose I really shouldn't care, and I really don't think of it much, but I just happened to see one of her comments pop up on a friend's status the other day, and that reminded me.  So I read through it again.  Oh well.

Yes, there are legitimate reasons for divorce and needing a family lawyer montreal, including abuse and adultery.  Thankfully those lawyers are available for those who need them.  I was just commenting on the fact that it's sad so many divorces happen for seemingly frivolous reasons.  And I stand by that opinion.  If someone gets all bent out of shape because he or she got divorced for one of those frivolous reasons and thinks I'm judging him or her, then so be it. I mean, maybe I could/should apologize, but I'm not sure what I would be apologizing for.  Having an opinion?  Not agreeing with the other point of view?  Not even understanding what that point of view is?

Feel free to chime in with your own opinions of marriage and/or divorce.

Monday, February 18, 2013

What a Mess

In all the sorting, organizing, tossing, and packing, things are starting to look like a real disaster around here.  That doesn't sound a bit organized, does it?  It's just that there are piles of stuff here and piles of stuff there with everything being sorted out - what goes, what gets tossed, what gets donated, etc.  Along with all that boxes are starting to stack up and newspapers and packing materials are scattered everywhere.  It's quite a change from all that time I kept the house as close to perfect as possible just in case we'd have a showing.

I'm sure I'll need to clean everything up again before we leave.  And now I'm trying to figure out when exactly I'll have time for that.  Sometime after everything is packed up and out of the house I'll just have to do it.  I'm not sure exactly how much cleaning I need to do, but I'll have to at least sweep and vacuum and probably wipe down the bathrooms.  It would be a lot easier to just find somewhere I could Click Here and get someone to come in and clean the floors for me, but maybe that's what the buyers will do.  I just need to leave it decent.  I think.  I'm not really sure how much I'm supposed to do.

I remember doing the last-minute cleaning at our old house before I was ready to load the kids, the cat, the dog, and all the last-minute stuff into the car and head to Wisconsin.  I wanted to leave everything perfect.  And then that night we got to Wisconsin and got to the apartment we were going to be living in for the next several months - and it was a dark, dirty mess.  I'm sure the apartment complex was supposed to have someone clean before a new tenant moved in, but they didn't.  It was very frustrating going from my nice clean house to that.  I'd like to leave the house so that whoever comes in here won't feel like they have to clean before they can touch anything.  OK, even if I don't do any cleaning at all, it won't be that bad.  But I'll probably do it anyway.

At least one of the guys from the moving companies that came to give us an estimate added my vacuum cleaner to the inventory and included it in the list of items to be moved.  Nope, that's not gonna work...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Someplace to Move TO

Not only have we sold our house here, but we've also found a house to move to.  We close on this house March 15, and then we're supposed to close on the new one March 22.  So, we'll only be living in Jeffrey's apartment for about a week - depends on when we can get our stuff delivered and start moving in, but hopefully early the next week.

We had found another house we liked, and the price looked really good.  The only problem was that it is a short sale (which, to me, sounds like you should be able to get into it really quickly, but it's not) so they wanted us to commit to buying the house, but then we'd have to wait 90 days to find out for sure if we were going to get it or if we'd have to pay more if we still wanted it.  Sure, Jeffrey has the apartment until the end of April, and we could probably have extended that a month if needed.  It would have been real cozy - just us and our two cats.

But we just didn't like the uncertainty of the deal, and there was another house right across the street, one that Jeffrey had looked at early on and that I had looked at and liked when I looked after the Feast.  Jeffrey had the realtor check, and the sellers were willing to lower their price quite a bit if we could close in 5 weeks.  So, we decided to go with it.  I think it's going to be a nice house for us.  It's not quite as big as the short sale across the street, but there are only the two of us and the cats, and there will be plenty of room.  We didn't really need the extra room.  It's hard to remember that we don't have kids living here and all their friends coming over and hanging out.

When I went looking at houses after the Feast, I saw one house that I absolutely loved.  If we had been in a position to buy then, I would have wanted that one.  Except that it was a perfect house for a family with kids - a house for teenagers to come over and hang out in.  There were plenty of bedrooms, a nice deck with a pool, and great space for watching movies and hanging out in the basement.  And yes, I really liked the kitchen.  But it really was more house than we need.  I hope some nice family bought it.

This one, though.  This will be really nice for us.  We'll have at least as much room there as we have here - so it's not like we're downsizing really - except for the yard, but that's true for pretty much every single house we've looked at.  The kitchen has a really big island with tons of cabinet space and a large pantry, which I really liked.  Yes, the kitchen is the most important room in the house.  We'll also get a fireplace, which we've never had, and a jetted tub and double-bowl vanity in our bathroom.  Jeffrey has wanted that double-bowl vanity for ages.  There's also a great guest bathroom with a double-bowl vanity - so feel free to visit!

The best part is that I'll get to live with my husband again!  And, while he won't be walking to work like he's been doing these past few months - no excuse not to since he was living right across the street from work - he will be only 5 minutes from work, so we'll be saving all kinds of money on gas. 
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Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Says Love to You?

Apparently today was all about love - at least judging by all the status updates, pictures and posts on facebook, and all the commercials that have been running on television advertising gifts and jewelry.  And don't forget all those people who lined up at the courthouse to get married today.  I don't really get it.  Not love - I get that.  And marriage.

Lobsters (Photo credit: Foomandoonian)
What I don't get is all the emphasis and stress on this one day - like this is the most important day of the year for any relationship.  There must be something wrong with the relationship if your significant other doesn't make some kind of grand romantic gesture on this particular day, like sending 2 dozen red roses or having live lobsters Shipping in for a special dinner. (Is that romantic?  I read a book recently where the husband had lobster delivered every year on their anniversary.  I wouldn't want to see or eat those things, but it was a tradition they had.  The marriage was a bit screwed up, but I don't think it was the lobsters' fault.  Also, how about that?  Having lobsters shipped to anywhere isn't just a fictional book thing; you can really do that.)

It's not just Valentine's Day that I don't get.  It's birthdays, anniversaries, and pretty much any other 'special' day.  I mean, sure it's fun to mark our anniversary every year and to give Jeffrey a hard time about getting old on his birthday, but lots of times I forget my own birthday unless someone else brings it up. (With facebook now it is pretty hard to forget.)  I really don't expect anything from my husband.  Maybe a card.  I know he loves me.  Every day.  Or most of them, anyway.

And if we did care about Valentine's Day, we'd have to celebrate a day or two later - because why pay full price for the the chocolate or special Valentine's gifts when everybody knows full well they'll be marked down the next day.  I know he loves me more when he doesn't buy me something at full price.

What says love to you

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Looks Like We Need a Plumber

Water Heater
Water Heater (Photo credit: rd76pag)
We had the home inspection done last week, and everything checked out OK.  Except that we have to find a plumber to evaluate and correctly install the water heater.  The home inspector thought Jeffrey probably installed the water heater himself because it wasn't done properly, something about the wrong materials used for the water and gas lines.  I don't really know, and the guy we paid to install the water heater apparently didn't know, or else he just figured that we wouldn't know the difference so it wouldn't matter.  Hopefully it won't be too expensive.  I kinda wonder if we can get away with sending the bill to the guy who originally installed the thing.  Yeah, probably not.

Thankfully we just had the entire exterior of the house re-done a couple years ago after the tornado, so we won't have to worry about roof repairs (réparation toiture montréal if you speak French), and the buyers shouldn't have to worry for a good long time.  Same with the siding, garage door, windows, etc.  And, really, we just replaced the water heater a few years before that, so it shouldn't have been an issue.  Once it's fixed, though, they shouldn't have to worry about that for a while either.

For anyone who does need roof repairs (in Montreal) be sure to check out these guys for montréal couvreur. They've got over 25 years experience, so I bet they know what they're doing, and they'll do it right in the first place - saving you money in the long run.

Moral of the story: Just because somebody says he's a professional and says he knows what he is doing, always do your own research.  According to the home inspector, a water heater must be installed by a licensed plumber - not just some guy who does construction or remodeling.  He may be a licensed contractor, but that does not make him a plumber
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

My Poor Honey

He took a loaded trailer full of stuff back to Champaign with him this afternoon/evening.  The weather wasn't the best today, but thankfully it was raining all day and not snowing.  And thankfully our sweet son Cory came home last night and helped packing up, cleaning out, and loading last night and today.  (He also got his laundry done and went back to campus with quite a bit of food)

Jeffrey set off a bit earlier than usual today, because it takes longer when pulling the trailer and because he had to unload everything from the trailer and into the storage locker by himself when he got there.  All I could do was watch him go and pray for him to get there safely.

He called a couple hours later to say it was tough going.  It had been OK when he left here, but he ran into quite a bit of wind, and the van wasn't happy pulling the loaded trailer in that wind.  The check engine light was coming on, and she was drinking gas like crazy.   They're calling for those strong winds to be here tomorrow, probably coming from that way - so maybe if we'd checked the weather we would have known he was going to have that to deal with, but we were busy.

I feel bad that he had to deal with that.  And I hope the van's OK.  She's had to work a lot harder in the last few months, pulling that trailer, than she's ever had to work before.  But, just a few more trips like that - for both the van and the husband.  Thankfully they made it safely and got unloaded.  I'm sure Jeffrey is looking forward to weekends that don't involve lots of driving.  That has to get old even when he's not hauling a trailer full of stuff.  And I'm looking forward to not having to say goodbye at the end of every weekend.  Just so much stuff to get sorted and tossed and packed before that...
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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

But It Won't Be the Same

I hope the library where we're moving is a good one.  I should probably research that...

Last week I boxed up a bunch of paperbacks that I'm planning to donate instead of move.  When I told my son Cory I was getting rid of those instead of taking them and that I could just get them at the library when I want to read them, he said that yes, I can get them at our library here, but what if I can't get them at the library there.  I'm not really worried about that, but I am definitely going to miss our little library.  Sure another library can give me books and programs, but it just won't be the same.  It's like if you always went to a certain day spa montreal and then moved to a different city.  You're used to the aesthetic and therapeutic services in the elegant and relaxing atmosphere, and you're sure no other spa can be as good.

Maybe it can, but there's something to be said for what you're used to, and if you're used to your montreal day spa the same way I'm used to my library, then it's going to take some adjustment.  Will the new spa be open 7 days a week?  Will they offer the same therapeutic massages, hydromassages, aesthetic care, and waxing?  Will my new library give me the same access to the books I want to read, access to great programs, and a feeling of community?

Or maybe I'm the only one who obsesses over these things.  Normal people would just go to the library or the spa in their new town, once they've moved, and see what they have to offer.

Time to Pack

For real.

When Jeffrey first started his new job and we put the house up for sale, we did a lot of sorting and donating, and Jeffrey took several trailer-loads of stuff down to Champaign and put it in storage.  Then we pretty much stopped - because there's only so much you can pack up without making the house look completely empty.  And we waited.

Well, now it's time to get back to packing - packing everything up, because we're really movingWe got an offer on our house, which we accepted.  We signed papers.  The buyer signed papers.  The home inspector came today, and we've got some moving company representatives coming tomorrow to give us estimates on what it will cost to move the furniture and the rest of the big stuff.

In the meantime, I need to start packing everything up so Jeffrey can start taking trailer-loads of stuff again.  Anything that I don't need in the next 5 weeks goes into boxes, and probably some of the stuff I do need, but I won't notice that until it's already boxed up, and I'll just have to figure out how to get along without it.

And, in case you missed the important part of this post - we have a buyer! Oh, and the fact that I'm going to be busy packing probably means I'm not going to have much time for blogging.  Or facebook.  Or reading those library books I want to read.  Why do they all come in at the same time?

I am looking forward to living with my husband again. 
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