Monday, May 31, 2010

microfiction Monday # 33...

The idea is to create a story in only 140 characters.
now if i've told you once, i've told you a thousand times!
villagers are not snacks. do use some floss!
you've got arms stuck in your teeth!

Fly on over to Susan at Stony River to see some more fires!

Friday, May 28, 2010

55 Words About the Good Old Summertime!

Flash Fiction 55 and Flash Back Friday!

For Flash Fiction, you write a story in exactly 55 words.
For Flashback Friday, reminisce about the old days.

During my 11th summer, I stayed with my sister, Peggie.
Peg had boy, 8 years my junior.
One day I told the boy to go ask for cake for both of us.
He did and was given cake.
I was scolded harshly for sending a messenger.
I received no cake that day.
Think I learned?

Flash Fiction 55 is hosted by G-Man and you can find more entries at Mr Knowitall.
Flashback Friday is hosted by Linda and you read more stories at Mocha with Linda.

I Want Traffic - Can SubmitEdge Deliver?

Lately, I've been looking into how to drive traffic to my blog. Compelling content, visiting other blogs and making relevant comments are great ways to get the job done. I want to get readers and keep them. My main goal is to make some friends and take part in interesting discussions. I want to make a certain impression on people. Most important, I would like to have a good reputation and get lots of comments.

I also created a website for my boss, Mike, at the greenhouses. Mike has been selling wholesale to other growers and retailers for years. He asked me to provide him with a simple website that showcases his new retail shop. The website doesn't get many hits and doesn't rank very high on search engines. I suggested we look into an SEO Firm to help us drive more traffic to the website.

There are so many things to consider when driving traffic to a blog or website. How do I get listed near the top of search engine results? What is my focus or niche? Who is my audience and am I writing something that not only interests them, but teaches something? Is my content good enough to keep people coming back to see what I have to say?

These questions puzzle me. When I found SubmitEdge, I found the answer. SubmitEdge will submit your site to the top 200 search engines. Submission doesn't guarantee a listing, but you can't get listed if the search engine can't find you. SubmitEdge will not list with the "Free for All" sites. The algorithms used by search engines count more than the number of links, they also check to see if the links are relevant. Listing with a "Free for All" site could be considered spamming, which in turn could get you banned from search engines. SubmitEdge pricing for SEO submission is competitive and discounted for a limited time.

I looked into Search Engine Optimization too. SEO optimization is one way to drive traffic to your site by using algorithms instead of paid placement or context advertising. SubmitEdge will review your site to collect information to aid in forming a list of relevant keywords that will promote traffic to your site. A SubmitEdge specialist will use the content already in your site and create unique content if necessary. Your specialist will consult with you every step of the way to ensure your site is not compromised. Your site needs to be search engine friendly. SubmitEdge will help you redevelop your site to make sure there is proper integration of the new content. The integrity of your site will remain intact. SubmitEdge will also provide link development and provide ranking reports for various search engines. Fees vary with each client. SubmitEdge will provide a quote on request.

SubmitEdge offers a money back guarantee for their Complete Search Engine Optimization Solution. Any form of guarantee will be clearly defined in the agreement between the client and SubmitEdge.With the money back guarantee, ethically sound SEO techniques, talented, professional staff and submission to the top search engines, SubmitEdge will bring you the traffic you desire.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ShopWiki Saves the Day - Again!

I know I mentioned this before, my sister Lura is getting married soon. This will be a second marriage for both Lura and her intended, Alby. I'm very excited about the wedding, but I'm a bit stressed about finding something to wear.

I almost never shop with a purpose. I don't ever plan before I shop. My thoughts about shopping are limited to "I need something to wear". I'm at that place now. Lucky for me the wedding isn't for a couple months, so I'm taking a different approach.

I'm going to buy a few things ahead of time, like a little black dress, and some skirts and tops for the evening. I am also going to try a new party ensemble. I'm going for bright colors and patterns, paired up with some fun jewelry. I'm also going to search for a small handbag and some trendy little heels to bring the whole outfit together.

I feel better about shopping already. I want to gather a few simple basics while I have time to relax and think about what to shop for. If I see something really special, I may consider building an outfit around it. You never know, having that fabulous top or striking skirt in my closet before I need it, just might be the icing on the cake!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Dozen - May 26, 2010

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party?
I would much rather attend a party. There are many reasons, the most important being my house is way too small and messy. Also, I would like the option of leaving. You can't leave the party if it's at your house.

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to.
Well, the most memorable one was actually at my house. Not the house I live in now, a house I lived in 25 years ago. Without going into detail, my memories of the Christmas Eve party include, but are not limited to: kegs of beer, absolutely no food, fights, people passed out on my lawn, a path of muddy beer from my bathroom to the kegs, locked doors, my psycho brother, a person who shall remain nameless who actually passed out and fell over while unwrapping presents on Christmas morning.

3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life?
Well, to be alive.

4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine?
This is a very difficult question for me. I like that sunshine lights and warms the earth and all the other science-y stuff. But I do not enjoy sunlight lighting or warming ME. I hate sun on me. Hate tans, hate sunburns, hate the feel of the heat of the sun. I am actually dreading the greenhouses today because the sun just doesn't quit over there.

5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift?
I am almost never invited to bridal/baby showers. Thank you, thank you ladies who get married and have babies for NOT inviting me. Going to showers is torture. I just cannot sit there. So, generally I send a gift along with someone who can actually stand going to showers and it is usually something I picked or made myself.

6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family?
I would love to have my house cleaned, but to do that, I would actually have to move all the stuff. Cleaners don't move stuff, so if I have to move everything, I may as well clean. That's the easy part. Cooking is no problem either. It's the clean up. So if i could have someone move all the stuff, I would rather have someone clean than cook.

7. What song describes your mood today?
"I Wish It Would Rain Down" by Phil Collins

8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.)
I still possess a great wooden salad bowl given to me by Nana. It came from the Welch Company in Scituate Harbor.

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is?
Mint Chocolate Chip.

10. When was the last time you felt "tested?"
Every day of my life I feel tested.

11. "Mint Milano cookies is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."

12. "Hunger (or the threat of)" is the best motivation.

Grab some coffee and head over to Lidna's place 2nd Cup of Coffee to check out more Random Dozen.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook...May 25, 2010

Outside my window...the temperature is dropping a little, pollen is covering everything.
I am thinking...I should get up and do the dishes.
I am thankful for...Manda doing the grocery shopping today.
From the kitchen...nothing yet, just lunch dishes.
I am wearing...knit cotton shorts and a t-shirt, glasses on my head.
I am creating...a slew of blog posts.
I am try to get to bed early.
I am reading..."Courage and Calling:Embracing Your God Given Potential" by Gordon T Smith.
I am hoping...things work out tomorrow.
I am hearing...Birdie calling to the birds outside.
Around the house...I'm the only one home.
One of my favorite things...internet.
A few plans for the rest of the week: try not to complain about the weather, get more perennials split and moved, clean up the messes I made.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Check out other entries at The Simple Woman's Daybook here.

Fascinated by the Items in“Pawn Stars”...

This is a guest post, sent in by my friend, Riley Marsh. Welcome Riley!

Lately, I've discovered Pawn Stars, a reality show that does not focus on the drama of strange relationships but on interesting items brought into a Las Vegas pawn shop. The show appeals to me because the people are not as interesting or unusual as the things that are brought into the shop. The shop itself has apparently been in Vegas for a long time, operated by one family. There are four men who are the main employees of the business.

The most senior is the Old Man and that's what they call him. He is the patriarch of the family and one of the grouchiest people on TV. However, the Old Man has a wealth of knowledge about many things. He does have a struggle recognizing his own age and the fact that he slowing down. Then, we have his son, Rick who seems to be the one holding the business together, because he is very knowledgeable about many things. He recognizes what he does not know as well. Rick freely acknowledges that he is in the business of making money and works to be sure that everyone, the other employees and the store patrons know that. The other two men on the show are Cody and Chumley, both of them still in training.

I've been recording all of the available shows on my satellite TV with the DVR that I got from tvbydirect.comso that I can sort of pick and choose which episodes to watch. The oldest items are usually the most fascinating, but once in a while there are some modern, yet unique items. Someone actually brought in a glass sword, a beautiful and totally useless item. The things people own are more interesting than the people and things they fight about.

Road Trip!

Colleen and her friends took a road trip to Florida. I asked if I could go along. Janine said flat out, NO. Colleen said I could go if I didn't stay at the same hotel, I didn't try to hang around with them and I didn't go to any of the places they plan to visit. I decided that since I have no money, I better stay home.

Colleen, Janine, Jake, Allison and Chris left here yesterday morning at about 10 am.They had a 22-or 24 hour ride ahead of them. They planned to travel from Mass to Florida in a Toyota Corolla (say "oooh, tiny car"). They ran out of gas on West Street, less than a half mile from the house. You live, you learn.

I got a message from Colleen around 6.45 this morning. She reported they had arrived, safe and sound. They were all tired and hungry. They were at their hotel, but could not check in til 3. PM. Check out the beach or the pool, says I. And don't forget the sunblock!

Monday, May 24, 2010 - Bringing Consumers and Local Businesses Together!

I've been searching in my area for places that sell fresh milk. I want to learn how to make cheese and I've been told raw milk is imperative. I used a couple different search engines with ok results, and then I tried with fantastic results! is so much more than online yellow pages, it's a composite of these great sites:,, and has partnered with these sites to allow one to search one site and reap the benefits of all of them.

I used to search for places that sell fresh milk and what I got was not only links to milk sellers but where the sellers were located, hours of operation, accurate driving directions to the places and information about the business. Reviews were available and I could post my own review as well.

Local yellow pages are great, but somewhat limited. I can't get driving directions and a map from them. Using the local search of, I was able to quickly find a bevy of milk sellers and pinpoint the one closest to me. This really cut my search time down to a couple of minutes. is fantastic resource when searching a specific area is important. I was able to find three places that sell raw milk within 20 minutes of my house AND two restaurants I can go to for lunch on my way home!

Field Trips for All...

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Lunchables. All opinions are 100% mine.

At town meeting the other night, increasing the budget for our schools was voted down. Many teaching positions were cut. As voters , we try to fund the most basic things first: emergency services and education. With the economy as bad as it is, we weren't able to give the schools the money they need. But there is hope.

Lunchables is sponsoring a contest: Field Trips For All. According to a 2009 report from the American Association of School Administrators, more than half of our nations schools will be eliminating field trips. It's a sad state of affairs when a kid can't get hands on experience to enhance their classroom experience. So, the Lunchables team created a new initiative called Project Potential. Anyone 6 years or older can nominate a deserving classroom by going to and submitting a nomination. 50 schools will be selected to go on a great educational adventure, like the one shown in the video.

Enter someone you think would benefit from this contest and spread the word. This is a chance to help kids who might not otherwise have the benefit of such experiences.

Visit my sponsor: Field Trips For All

microfiction Monday - #32...

He's no fun! He fell right over!

He fell victim to one to many Martini's.

He's fine.

I think I lost my place, what page are we on?

See more microfiction Monday over at
Susan's place!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook...05.22.10

Outside my window...double Columbine in deep purple and maroon. I bought them today.

I am back is killing me, I've been in this chair too long.

I am thankful for...having a really comfy bed to get into.

From the kitchen...Brownies! Colleen Made them. YUM!

I am creating...plans for a couple different new blog post ideas.

I am bed soon, so I can be early to work tomorrow.

I am reading..."I Am Hutterite" by Mary-Ann Kirkby.

I am wearing...pajamas, all my clothes are being washed.

I am hoping...I can wake up to my alarm.

I am hearing..."Honey, I Shrunk the Kids..." on tv.

Around the house...everyone is sleeping.

One of my favorite

A few plans for the rest of the week: get some of my perennials split and moved.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
Look here for more Simple Woman's Daybook entries!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flash Fiction 55... 05.21.10

This hotel is creepy. I hate working the front desk over night.

Don't be a girl. I'm here!
Going up to check the partiers on 3, back in 5.

We haven't had a complaint in more than an hour, stay!

That's what worries me, be right back...

An hour passed and she called the police.

Go see G-Man at Mr Knowitall for more Flash Fiction...

Three Word Thursday #52 - Part 2...

Cato the welder was born into a farming family. As a teen, his grandfather taught him to weld and Cato took this as his profession. Each morning Cato drove to job sites in his ancient pick-up truck. In the truck, he kept a portable welder and some torches. He was a travelling welder, going were the work was.

This morning, Cato noticed an old man stopped next to the road. He pulled off and walked over to the old man. The man had a horse drawn cart, full of scrap metal. The man seemed to be cussing to himself. Cato did not recognise the man's language. The team of two were skittish and unsettled.

"Delenda est Carthago!" the old man muttered. Cato tried to calm him with a soothing voice, but the man only repeated the words. The team snorted and stepped anxiously in their places, straining against their harness. Cato took a walk around the cart and the horses, to see if he could help. He noticed the load on the cart had shifted, a large piece of steel had come through the boards of the cart and wedged itself between the frame of the cart and the axle.

Cato told the old man about his grandfather, and as he talked he tried to free the steel pole. "You know, my Pap was a great guy. He read a lot . And not just seed catalogs." As Cato talked, the horses calmed a bit. "Pap knew lots of words I never heared before, and he had a word for this, imbroglio. I don't know where he learned it, but long story short, it means you're in a sticky situation." Cato walked forward to the horses and asked them to back up. He thought he might be able to get some pressure off the pole, or make a little room to move it. He had no luck.

"You know old man, my Pap farmed his whole life. Lived and died on the farm, and I learned more from that old man than from anyone else, then or since." Cato walked back to his truck and dug around on the front seat for a minute. Coming up with an apple and a bag of Skittles, he walked over to the horses and fed them.

Cato pulled his pick-up alongside the cart and motioned to the old man to unhitch the team and lead them a short distance away. The old man was visibly concerned.He wrung his hands and tears fell. Cato fired up his torch and set to work, freeing the obstruction. Once done, Cato redistributed the load of scrap and helped the old man hitch up the team.

"Old man," Cato began, "You keep it under the speed limit, you hear? No need for you to drive this team tantivy." The old man shuffled his feet, looking confused. "That's another one of Pap's fancy words, old man, long story short, it means...well, never you mind what it means. Just take it slow!"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Earn a Master of Arts in Teaching...

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of USC. All opinions are 100% mine.

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Random Dozen - May 19, 2010

1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?
American chop suey or macaroni and cheese (not kraft), or meat - potato- veg.

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?
Disney World.

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.
My Nana's brother was a Canadian hero.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ...."
...traveled from sea to shining sea.

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?
Pet food.

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."
I despise flip-flops.

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?
If I only have a dollar, I will not be buying anything.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ...."
..."Everybody Hates Chris".

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?
Go to work.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?
Go to work.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?
Coming home from work.

Check out more Random Dozen entries here.

A Great Piece Of Murano Glass Made All Of The Difference

This post was written by my friend Tabatha Martin.

I live out in the boonies, so shopping the old fashion way just does not work for me. The only thing that I have to do is fire up my hughes net satellite internet, and I am gone! I have been collecting Murano glass for years now, and I finally was able to get a piece that I have been looking at for a long time. The bonus that I received from my boss easily covered the cost of the vase, plus I was able to score on some great earrings, free shipping too!

Murano Glass has been around since the 9th century Rome. The Asian and Muslim influences in the glass, were very prevalent due to the fact that Venice was a huge trading port. The glass has a history and beauty that I love very much, and is highly collectable. The reds, yellows, purples and even some cream colors blend together so wonderfully, I cannot wait for my family to behold my prize.

Before, when I was doing my Murano glass shopping, I would have to spend weeks waiting for a catalogue, and then waiting for my merchandise to arrive. It is truly amazing what technology has done for me, and my shopping experiences.

Sensational Haiku Wednesday - Ego...

I am fabulous!
I know, you know, pass it on!
I'm not shy at all...

Storm on over to Jenn's place at You know...that blog? to see more Sensational Haiku!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ...

Dove's My Mini Moment Contest!

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream.
All opinions are 100% mine.

Sometimes, Manda buys Dove Ice Cream Minitures and we fight over them. There just never seems to be enough to go around. I suggested she get more than one box at a time. Dove Mini's are only 70 calories each, which makes them a great indulgence. I love that each one contains scrumptous ice cream covered in real Dove chocolate. The new Cafe Collection features Java Chip and Cappucino flavors, what could be better?

Well, a contest! Dove Ice Cream Minatures is holding the“My Mini Moment” contest. The three grand prizes are lavish: a mini-break to Napa Valley, a mini-home makeover or Spa services for a year! Ladies, share your favorite mini moment of escape, include a photo and a short description. Send your entry to Dove by June 7, 2010.

"Me-time" is important. I spend my me-time blogging, reading and very often, eating Dove Ice Cream. The folks at Dove surveyed 400 amazing multi-tasking ladies and discovered that 70% of them take time for themselves each day. The"My Mini Moment" contest is a great way to celebrate these much loved moments.

Why not take a few moments for yourself today. Enter this fantastic contest. At the very least, eat some Dove Mini's!

Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

Ruby Tuesday - May 18, 2010

The sky was overcast and it was humid. I like the different shades of the cranberry vine.

Stroll on over and see Mary at Work of the Poet to see more Ruby Tuesday...

Watching the Simpsons...

This post was written by my friend Ryan Trilson.

The Simpsons is going stronger than ever after being on the air for twenty years. One would figure that Bart, Lisa, Homer, Marge and Maggie would cease to have fun adventures. The writers in Hollywood have made this season better than ever before! I sat down and watched this weeks episode on Direct TV.
Sunday is usually a pretty dull night anyways. I checked the newspaper and saw that The Simpsons was coming on at 7:30 to start with. This was a repeat episode and I flipped it on for about thirty seconds before finding something else to watch for the rest of the time. At 8 I switched back to the new episode for the week. Homer is sentenced to community service for committing yet another petty crime in Springfield. Homer would rather be sentenced to jail than to community service.
Homer begins serving his community service under the supervision of Chief Wiggum. He allows Wiggum to have a bite of his lunch and a friendship is kindled. Instead of having to pick up trash or any type of regular community service job Homer gets to sit on the picnic table with Chief Wiggum. They even go and have a beer after Homers community service. The Simpsons does take a bit of a dramatic license with how they show some events. Nevertheless I suppose a police officer could befriend someone they were supervising. I cannot wait to see the antics that Homer gets into next week. Hopefully it will be something really funny!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blast from the Past...

I love the art work on this piece. I found this in a book called "My Infancy". It was with a bunch of stuff that came from Nana's house years ago. Maxwell is my Dad.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flash Fiction 55...

at the beach, with great care, she set him down.
she turned, spread the towel, and he was gone.
turning back, her heart sank to the deepest depth it could go.
searching waves and sand, alone she panicked.
yesterday’s storm, created a drop.
he sat below it, using a tin spoon.
she saw it flash.

Motor on over to G-Man's place at Mr Knowitall to see more Flash Fiction 55...

i originally posted this at on august 11, 2007

Thursday, May 13, 2010

SkyWatch Friday - 05.14.10

Skies from all over our planet!

The fog rolled in quickly, but gulls don't mind.

Check out some other great Sky shots!

Summer Vegetable Trips

This is a guest post by my friend Amelia Quenton!

My husband and I are big supporters of Farmer's markets and roadside stands. We love fresh produce so much that we started taking a summer trip to New Mexico to get roasted peppers and fresh veggies. Mexican food being our favorite, we like to stock our freezer for the winter months as well.

We usually stay with family and friends when we go and get up early to hit the stands. One morning when my husband and best friend were talking about setting his new adt alarm from, the smell of roasting peppers filled the kitchen. We decided that we needed tomatoes and some heirloom beans for some good southwestern food, so we set out on our journey.

We found a few stands here and there, picked up corn a meat pie for my husband and tomatoes. We found a market a few towns over that had beans, so we bought many pounds to take back home with us. At the end of the day we had a great meal, with homemade tortillas, fresh veggies and beautiful stuffed chilies.

This is one trip that we can't make and are sad to leave every time. We usually learn how to cook something new every time, try a new bean and are introduced to many spices. We load the car with our coolers full of chilies, paper bags full of beans and spices and a few to-go containers with food for the road. On the way home we stop in a few places to drop off chilies with friends or relatives and share a bite or two of authentic food.

I love our trips to get vegetables, enjoy beautiful raised bed gardens and the aromas that come from cooking fresh authentic meals. The vegetables never taste the same when they are store bought and we crave our summer trips to get garden fresh food. The cost of the trip is well worth the flavors, education and time with friends.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dedicated Server - Moving Traffic Efficiently

I have a dream.

My dream is simple. I would like to see the website I made for the shop, get so much traffic, that I need to get a dedicated server. Dreaming is easy. Driving traffic to the site is the difficult part. I liken it to the task of driving traffic to this blog, even though the two are done in different ways.

The shop site is very simple too. It has few pages and very little text. It does have a some really nice pictures, but I would like to add a lot more. In the past week I've taken about 500 pictures. I know I can't put them all on my site, free hosting is limited. But with a dedicated server, I could have all the bandwidth, disk space and RAM to myself.

Eventually, I would like to have an online store for the shop. That would require pictures and descriptions of hundreds of plants. Plus all the doo-dads and doo-hickeys it takes to prepare orders and caluclate product and shipping costs and sales tax.

My boss thinks I'm crazy. I may be. But we get plants shipped to us all the time. Quite often, they are ordered online. I think a little mail order business for the shop can't hurt.

Random Dozen...

1. Please share one memory of your high school graduation. Pics would be great!
I did not graduate. I left school in the middle of 11th grade, due to a dispute with the art department. At the time of my graduation, I was waiting for Shawn to join us. He came along the September after I would have graduated.

2. What is one "emergency use" item you keep in your vehicle at all times?
Money for coffee.

3. In your region, do you celebrate graduation open houses? Addendum: (If so,) how many open houses/bridal showers/weddings are on your upcoming events calendar?
I don't know what a graduation open house is. HAHAHA bridal showers! Right! Weddings? You're kidding right? I try never ever to go to that stuff.

4. Tell me one truth you believe about motherhood.
It is not for everyone.

5. What was the last thing you broke?
My bank account.

6. On average, how many pieces of junk mail do you receive daily?
Regular mail? Don't know, I never collect the mail. E-mail? Don't know, all goes to my spam folder. I only delete.

7. Do you like to shop by catalog?
I'm fairly certain the only ways I shop are by catalog or online.

8. Is lawn maintenance at your house a "his job," a "her job" or "his/her job" or "that's why we have teenagers" job?
We don't do lawn. We do PINE NEEDLES! Everyone please repeat after me:

9. Which room would you like to redecorate in your home?
I would actually like to tear the house down and replace it. Since that is not an option, I would not redecorate anything. I would replace the roof, windows, kitchen and bath...

10. Do you read a newspaper regularly, or do you read most of your news on line?
I read a newspaper if I come across one. I'm too cheap to pay a dollar or more a day for a paper, so I search for news online.

11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?
Not especially. Did I step in poo this morning for a reason? Yes, but the reason is because I failed to move it after Penny crapped the mountain of poo yesterday. How does this factor into the big picture? To my mind, not at all.

12. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
I'm worried about doing things, period. My natural state is to do nothing at all. Ever. I want to be quiet, I want to be still.

This Week’s Biggest Loser

This is a guest post my friend Walker Williams wrote last week…enjoy!

So, it is the best night of the week and this week happened to be Wednesday instead of Tuesday. I haven't been feeling too good lately so Monday and Tuesday nights went to bed right after the kids. In the old days would have missed my new favorite show NBC's Biggest Loser. However, I got some satellite tv deals that came with DVR so I got to watch on Wednesday instead...with kids in bed, glass of wine in hand, joy!

I have been a fan of this show for a long time but for some reason it has taken me a while to get into this season, maybe it's just me. Anyway, it's now week 14 I think and I'm finally hooked. I love how they still manage to change things up and make it interesting. This week the temptation challenge was blind so no one knew who was eating what. The person who ate the most calories in one day would have the only vote at elimination. Koli who is such a sweetheart ate over 4000 to save his cousin Sam from elimination. Turns out it was for nothing as Sam lost enough weight this week anyway. Still, Koli ate about 2500 calories more than the next biggest eater! I have to admit it was kinda fun watching him stuff himself with all that forbidden food, donuts, bacon and chili dogs. He also still lost a bunch this week.

There was a little drama when the oldest guy O'Neal had a fall and hit his knee. Some excitement with paramedics and his daughter Sunshine crying. He returned later in the day with a knee brace and still lost enough weight this week to stay on.

The relative newbie Victoria was the one to leave this week. She had only lost a pound and according to Koli was not working hard enough. Well, in last few minutes of the show we did get to see Victoria at home and she looked great! Seems Koli's criticism was just the push she needed. Can't wait for next Tuesday...or Wednesday.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tales on Tuesday... Speed Racer

Nessa, of The Chrysalis Stage, hosts a weekly writing theme called Tales on Tuesday. Tell a short, short (500 words or less) story based on the weeks theme.Each theme will be the title of a TV show to provide some inspiration. Your story does not have to have anything to do with the TV show.

"I'm tellin' ya Skin, it's dead on balls accurate."

Jane held the bag in her left hand and the scale in her right. Skinny Pete doubted the accuracy of the scale and Jane's honesty. She looked like crap, dark circles under her eyes, scabby lesions on her face hands and arms. Her breath stunk. Her hands shook, she was painfully thin and dirty. Jane was deep in it. Pete wanted nothing more than to make his purchase and jet.

"This is the best you're gonna find Skin, and the cheapest. You cain't back out now."

Pete had agreed to be the go-between for the kids in his dorm and Jane, a girl he knew from high school. The dorm kids were looking to crank up to cram for finals. Jane was looking to sell some product to keep herself jammed up. Pete was looking to make some quick cash to pay-off a gambling debt. After that he planned to head for the hills.

"Skin, hurry up my nose is startin' to bleed. I gotta get outta here."

Jane was a quiet girl in high school. She kept to herself and walked to and from school alone. Pete met her in art class. They were studying the Dutch Golden Age. They both admired the Vermeer and struck up a conversation. After that, they sat together at lunch and he walked her halfway home. Jane never let Pete accompany her to her house. She said her Dad would freak if she brought a boy home. Jane came to school with bruises a few times and Pete took her word for it.

"Jane, you don't look so good. You should see a doctor. Let me take you to the hospital."

Pete was a popular boy from a well-to-do family. His parents were members of the country club and Pete's mother owned a successful real estate agency. Pete's father owned a construction company and was on the board of directors of the local bank. Pete found his parents to be shallow and elitist. Jane knew she would not be welcome at Pete's house.

"You can't help me Pete, I'm too far gone. I just need to get back. I'll be all right. You better get goin'."

Jane and Skinny Pete finalized their transaction and made preparations to leave. She stuffed all her paraphernalia in a bag and checked her nose. She went to the window and parted the curtain slightly, scanning the lot. He tossed a wad of cash on the bed and took the small plastic bag she’d left there. They moved to the door and she peeked through the peephole. He reached for the door knob. She paused, looked up at him and asked a question.

"Sometimes, don't ya just wish things were different? I mean, just for a little while?"

Pete nodded, tears welling up in his eyes. He turned the knob and the door swung open. Jane stepped through and took a last look at Pete. Standing in the doorway, he watched as she turned and hurried away. Pete stepped outside and closed the door.

Ruby Tuesday - May 10, 2010

Mary over at Work of the Poet hosts Ruby Tuesday
Stop in and check it out!

I found this snapshot in a bunch of stuff
that came from Nana's house.
The writing on the back says "red-haired esquimo child".
Welcome to microfiction Monday - where a picture paints 140 characters (or maybe even less).

Maybe if I meditate, I can solve the Gardner Heist while these two jokers
tour the International Spy Museum!
He's mumbling again.
Kick him!

Stroll on over to Susan's place at Stony River for more microfiction Monday!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jersey Shore Real Estate - Bruce Germinsky Has It All!

I'm just so cramped here in my teen-tiny house. I share it with three other people and we outgrew it long ago. All of us dream about closet space, kitchen cabinets and more than one bathroom. I would consider relocating if I found the right property.

Bruce Germinsky offers high-end residential real estate in Mommouth County, New Jersey. Bruce has a great Colonial listed. With 6 bedroom and 4 bathrooms, the house would suit my family perfectly. Each one of us could spread out and enjoy some real space. Crowded would not be a word associated with this house! At $875,000 it will be a stretch, but worth every penny!

Mr. Germinsky also offers commercial space and Shawn said if we move to New Jersey, he might consider opening a music school and recording studio. Colleen is interested in oceanfront luxury condos. She wishes to stay near the seaside, so she's been looking at waterfront homes too. New Jersey real estate is hot right now, so choosing an experienced realtor is essential.

Bruce Germinsky can provide full listings for professional & class A medical office space, retail and shopping centers. With that kind of service, I'm sure he will be able to find me the home of my dreams.

Orchid Recovery Center - Help for Women...

My church hosts two meetings a week for folks in recovery from alcoholism.

Four years ago when my brother was suffering alcoholism, I asked the church to host the meetings, in the hopes that we could help someone here in our neighborhood. I know many people who suffer all kind of addictions, some get help, some don't. Often the ones who don't, simply don't know where to go for help.

Orchid Recovery Center is dedicated to helping women find ways to overcome addiction in any form. Healing for women and their families is the main objective, and The Orchid Recovery Center for Women uses new and progressive ways to accomplish this. Orchid Recovery Center helps women from all walks of life recover from drug and alcohol addiction by offering a safe place to heal through holistic care and expert treatment. The Orchid Recovery staff have been part of extensive studies that show women can recover and heal more effectively when paired with other women. An excellent community has been created that offers support to women, promotes healing and helps and encourages women to move forward and practice a healthy, clean and sober life.

The Orchid Center Charity Blog offers articles on how to get involved, videos showing different ways Orchid has provided treatment for women and a program that offers loans to small business entrepreneurs.

If you would like to help, The North Carolina department of Justice has a great site with tips on giving and important things to consider. To learn about charities, check the Charities and Non-Profits page of the IRS for more information.

Real Insurance - Car, Home and Life...

My car insurance is about to renew in June. Since money is tight, I've decided to shop around for a quote. I love my agent and Ive been doing business with her for 20 years. But in all those years, I have never looked elsewhere for lower rates. In the current economy, I need to put my dollars to work for me in the best and smartest ways available.

Recently, I heard about Real Insurance. Real Insurance does business in 5 countries and provides 6 million policyholders with an array of services across the globe. I would love to have my auto, homeowners and Life Insurance all with one provider. Real Insurance will provide me with homeowners, auto and Life Insurance quotes, so I can make an informed decision about pricing and know exactly what is covered.

I'm also considering looking into Funeral Insurance. I don't want my family to have to come up with thousands of dollars to bury or cremate me. I prefer cremation, but who knows what the future holds. An insurance policy would be a big help to my family. Let's face it, without funeral insurance, my kids might plant me in the back yard next to the dog!