Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust...

In October there was a storm that caused a bit o' mayhem.
Dust biter number 1...
Poor Peter has been homeless since then. He's been in a shelter, which does not suit him at all. So he's spent most of his time on the streets.

Last night another ill wind blew through here which resulted in this...

Dust biter number 2...

Eugene came along to assess the damage and swiftly proclaimed the rabbit cage toast.
Gene was not well pleased as he likes to sit atop the cages and torment the inhabitants.

                             
  Now poor Melvin has been rendered homeless as well.


She just doesn't know it yet. She still wants to live in her house even though it's been condemned.

The super bummer is now we need two new rabbit cages. The EPIC bummer is Melvin is a girl, and she was loose on the streets with Peter for a good while.

We don't need no stinkin' bunny babies...
Stay tuned. Thirty days and counting.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Boardwalk Empire, Season 3 - Begins Now...

In just a few minutes I may find out what happened after Margaret signed Nucky's land away to the church
.
I'll also find out what backlash, if any, occurs when Jillian discovers Jimmy is dead.



I'm dying to know what will happen to Richard Harrow now that the only person he has real feelings for, Angela, has met her maker as well. 


Then there's old Nelson Van Alden, with his bastard child, his wife who took a hike and Lucy Danziger, the showgirl/gangster moll/hostage.


I love Boardwalk Empire. I love the characters and their stories.



Tune in folks, we're in for a bumpy ride...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Do You Love The Rolling Stones?

Then you are about to blown away by this eBook!

This is the largest eBook ever published on The Rolling Stones running over 2,000 pages. It has already featured on CNN and in Rolling Stone and Vogue Magazine. It contains high quality press content - with original articles and interviews from back in the '60s, some of them digitalized for the first time. The eBook is enriched with more than 130 carefully selected images. Best-selling author and journalist Hanspeter K├╝nzler wrote fascinating and funny to read introductions for each of the 50 chapters. Obviously this eBook is more than just a band biography. It's a compendium about The Rolling Stones, western history, music history and press history of the last 50 years. And this way a must-have for fans and for every interested and open-minded reader. Part one, including the first 25 years from 1962 to 1986, is available from now. You can purchase and download the eBook in the following formats: .mobi, .epub and .pdf. You can view it with your eReader (ipad, kindle,...) as well as your PC or notebook.

Click the link in the right side-bar to find out how you can get this book!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Household Pests - Away!

I'd like to say a few words about household pests.
I.Haz.Them.
This came from http://www.vetlive.com/2011/02/04/flea-allergy-dermatitis/ 
I just looked at a list of common pests and we have only a few on that list.There are two kinds that are more determined to keep this house as their permanent residence than all the others: fleas and spiders. For the most part we can keep the place free of every other pest, but fleas and spiders insist on living here. The spiders don't bother me too much, we have high ceilings and they prefer to stay up there. The fleas on the other hand want to live down low. They want to live down low where my dog and cats live. I find the worst part about that is this; the dog and cats live right next to me!

Flea medicine, dogs baths, shaving a cat, and vacuuming non-stop has helped but not rid us of the unwanted house guest. So tomorrow Manda and I are taking the flea battle to the next level. We are going to nuke the house with flea bombs.



Say bye-bye mother-f...Oh you know what I mean.

Freshwater Pearls - The World's Most Beautiful Pearls...

My birthday is in June. My research indicates that June has three birthstones, Alexandrite, Moonstone and Pearl.  I have always considered the pearl to be my birthstone and of the three it is my favorite. Years ago, mother gave me a wonderful ring. It has a gorgeous pearl with two garnets on either side. It's very old. I think it was given to mother on her 16th birthday, which would have been June 20, 1946. At least 76 years have passed since the creation of that marvelous heirloom and I hope it stays with our family for many years to come.

Manda's birthday is also in June and she favors the pearl over the other gems for her birthstone too. On her last birthday she was given a freshwater pearl necklace. It's really stunning with a pink pearl surrounded by two black pearls and two white pearls. The necklace looks wonderful with her complexion and really brings out the color of her eyes.


 Next week, Colleen is attending an engagement party for one of her colleagues. She has the cutest pink and black dress and Manda has offered her the birthday pearls for the evening. Colleen is pretty to begin with, but I think she will be the best looking girl at the party with her dress and pearls.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Brief History of Weddings...

I was watching a movie the other night about what happened when a young man and woman, with very different families, decided to marry. The grooms mother wanted the couple to uphold a tradition that had been carried out at weddings for three generations. The bride wanted no part of it, at first.

That movie got me thinking about wedding traditions, such as why does a bride wear white or what's the deal with a dowry. I also wondered how the diamond became the standard for engagement rings. Searching around, I found this nice bit of information that I think is amusing and enlightening. Take a look...

A Brief History of Weddings | Moissanite.com

I had no idea that a bride first wore white as far back as the 15th century. I thought this was a rather recent tradition, maybe coming into fashion around the turn of the 20th century. I get a kick out of the fact that people in rural China could still be sending dowries with a bride!

The last wedding in my family was a couple years ago. It was a second wedding for both the bride and groom. They kept with tradition as far as the ceremony, the ring and the bride did wear white. But it was an elegant off white, with gorgeous lace applique. There was a grand cake as well, but there the time honored traditions ended. The bride and groom were more interested in their guests being comfortable and enjoying themselves and the celebration they planned was all that they hoped and more.

Presented By Moissanite.com visit moissanite.com


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Norman, Oklahoma - My Next Destination...

Marisa! Get ready! We're headed your way!

Well, not right away. But I've been checking out Norman,Oklahoma hotels and they look nice! Me and Manda and Colleen very much want to start taking trips to new places, not the same old ones. No, I'm not bored with the same old places, I just want to see something new! And since you are in Norman, what better place to start?

I love the pictures of  your new home and the surrounding area. I've never seen or experienced landscapes of that sort. I'm really interested in seeing it for myself.  There is also the fact that dairy cows are old hat and I want to see some new livestock! Since you've been there for a little while, I hope you can show us around and take us to some of those spots you've photographed.

I need to take some snapshots of different sunsets and sunrises. I need to branch out and see a new lansdcape. But most importanly, I want to meet the people of Norman, Oklahoma. The ones you described  as genuinely polite and eager to help. When one travels to a resort, everyone is polite and eager to please. But I want to meet some people who don't get paid to please. I want to meet folks who are nice just because.

So Marisa! Charge up your camera batteries! Be on the lookout for people we will want to meet and places you think we need to see! We'll be there with bells on... but not cow bells.

I'm going to freak out! Maybe...

I'm at the library.
Cable is off at home.
I have posts to write, stuff to read and Gardens of Time to obsess over.
This is no time to be without frigging cable.

If you hear screams of anguish from my house, do not approach the house.
I will be tearing my hair out.
And probably cleaning something.
What else is there to do when there's no internet?

Do not depair, friends.
I'll be fine.
This has happened before.
 I was okay then, kinda.

Finally, a vacation! Central Jersey has it all...


Colleen and I decided yesterday we are taking a whirlwind trip to Central New Jersey. Both of us are looking for different things on our trip but we both agree we'd like to relax a little, stay in a nice hotel and see some sights and try out Six Flags. We chose central New Jersey because its an easy drive from where we live and there is loads of stuff to do and see there.

I began to search online to see what we could do in New Jersey. I had a tough time weeding through countless websites trying to find what I was looking for. I wanted one website that could break down the myriad of arts and cultural events, historic sites, recreation and dining and lodging possibilities. I found it all at www.gocentraljersey.com.

This site made it easy for me to find a place to stay close to the theme park, find the kinds of restuarants we like and search out some historic places we can visit, all with out breaking the bank. We picked out some Revolutionary War sites we'd like to see an easy ride from the hotel we chose just outside of Jackson. Colleen chose a very nice looking beach we can drive to in under a half hour.

I'm looking forward to this trip. Neither of us has ever been to New jersey and we were surpised to find the many very interesting things Central New Jersey has to offer. This trip, we are only staying a few days. We decided we would take a ride down, scope out the area and what it offers and make plans to travel back with the rest of the family.

I can't wait! We leave Saturday at 5 in the morning. Wish us luck!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Audition Coach - The Way to a Better Audition...

My friend Charissa is an aspiring singer and actor living in Toronto. She wants to become a part of that city's thriving musical theater community. After a few disappointments with auditions, Charissa has decided to employ a Toronto singing coach.

Charissa was a dynamic part of her drama department during high school and has studied voice since she was 7. She has a wonderful personality and a beautiful voice. For the last few summers she has worked in community theater and studied to improve her talent. Last June she decided to audition for a couple musical theater companies. We talked just before her first round of auditions. She was enthusiastic about the opportunity to audition and confident one of them would result in a job offer or a place in a show.

Charissa returned from her adventure sad and humbled. None of her auditions panned out and she wasn't called back at all. She told all this to me trying to be brave and not cry. But cry she did and once the tears dried, she resolved to work harder and get noticed.

We discussed coaching. She told me other people she auditioned with used coaches for acting, singing and dance auditions. I asked Charissa if it might be her appearance during the audition and not her level of experience, talent or ability that was her downfall. Was she visibly nervous? Did she sing a song she feels connected to? What kind of clothes did she wear? I asked Charissa if she felt she needed improvement in these areas. Charissa was impressed by the other auditions she watched and felt an audition coach might be just what she needs.

Since we last talked, Charissa has done a bit of research and found singing coaches in Toronto. She's feels she's found the right way to improve her audition process and has more confidence than ever before. I like that she hasn't given up and has taken on this new challenge with more enthusiasm than ever!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Great Deal - Famous Footwear Coupon!

This post brought to you by Famous Footwear. All opinions are 100% mine.

FF-BiggestVictory-GIF_300x250(1).jpg

I met a new family in the neighborhood. A Mum, a Dad and seven children. Seven school age children! I was concerned Mum and Dad would go broke trying to get together school supplies and clothes and shoes for all the kids to go back to school in a month. That would be a challenge for any family. Seven kids, in a shoe store, trying on shoes. The thought kinda freaks me out. 

Then I remembered the great deal Famous Footwear is offering for back to school! 

You can follow this link and print this coupon: BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon and redeem it now through 8/18/2012. 15% off PLUS BOGO (Buy One, Get One Half Off). For any family, this would really help save a few bucks, right? 

I like the Famous Footwear stores becausde they are easy to shop, not overwhelming at all. They have hundreds of brand names and great styles that kids love. Also, if I can't find what I want in the store, Famous Footwear will get it for me through home delivery or from www.famous.com and have them shipped to the store for pick up, at no extra charge.  

Like other stores, Famous Footwear has a rewards program. This FREE program stands out because for every dollar you spend at Famous Footwear, you accumulate points to earn certificates for up to $100 a year! $100 a year would really help toward shoes for any family! If you are already a rewards member, the 15% off coupon becomes 20%. When you sign up as a new rewards program member, the 15% coupon also becomes 20% and Famous Footwear also rewards you with a discount and other inside specials and perks. What could be better than that?

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

a long time ago,


 in a galaxy far, far away...





once

when i was very small, mother’s parents visited. with them came my aunt and my cousin. all together there were eleven of us. being small and shy, i stuck close to dad.

papa decreed there should be a snapshot of all of us, excepting him. he was to take the snapshot. the preparations were made, with all the people shuffled about a few times. mostly, the grownups were settled on the sofa. the children were placed on the floor, at their feet.

dad sat in his rocky, swivel chair. i fussed until the camera and people and papa were ready. with papa barking orders and all the people trying to settle, dad scooped me up and kept me on his lap in the chair. he spoke quietly in my ear. sit back he said. i don’t want my picture i said. i don’t want it either he said. then why i said. sit back he said my chair is magic.

i sat back and he leaned his rocky swivel chair back as far as it would go. i was reclined along dad quite comfortably. while we waited for papa to finish his preparations, dad kept me busy by holding me close and making his magic chair rock, swivel and spin. i felt a little apprehensive. these were different kinds of movements for me.

the snapshot was made, and i was released to my feet. i followed mother and my sister into the kitchen to get underfoot while dishes were cleaned and put away. more than once i was told to go play. more than once, i did not.

a long, long, long time later, i came across that snapshot. the eyes of my cousin were red. the twins smiled brightly, showing some missing teeth. mother, aunt and grandmother sat like clones, all with hands folded and feet crossed the same way. my sister was beautiful and my brother looked as if he couldn’t wait to get away. dad and i were reclined comfortably in the magic chair. i did not smile.

i had forgotten about that day until the snapshot reminded me. i was reminded that dad always kept me close and safe and comfortable. and even though i was an afterthought in that house to most… dad kept me up front, in the snapshot, in his mind and in his heart. while things changed and people and places changed, my dad was always the same. he was aware of me and my feelings and my heart. he always talked to me, even if he couldn’t answer all the questions. one thing i always knew, through all the turmoil, was that my dad loved me. every day.

p.s. 
i wrote and posted this on a blog i started in 2007. i never posted much there. but i was reminded of it today and went to look. when i saw this, i also remembered that well after 2007, marisa sent me the picture in question. 

i wrote this little piece without the picture at hand, from my memory of the picture...

it looks to me like it was taken just as the shit was hitting the fan. peggie, tell me if you think you can pinpoint a year. carol, if you read this, please show the picture to jonathon.  i would also like to know from peggie, jonathon and peter, if possible, what your memories are of this day...

p.s.s.
i want to add, that i always knew my sister, peggie, loved me too. as stressed or overworked as she was, when it came down to brass tacks, she really did do her best to make life easier for me. 

Truth is Thursday...

Truth is...
It's Thursday!

Truth is...
I don't have to work today!

Truth is...
I've done almost nothing so far today!

Truth is...
I don't care!

Truth is...
I'm hungry.
I'll have to do something.
Food doesn't make itself...

Truth is...
Delivery is only a phone call away...

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm baaaack...

Howdy!

I know you guys haven't heard from me in awhile. I've been busy, very busy, hatching an evil plan.

 When I haven't been working my a$$ off, I've been making waffles. Yep, waffles. I was cleaning out kitchen cabinets last May and I came across a brand spanking new waffle iron. It was slightly dusty, but I took care of that in short order.

My family hasn't eaten a meal in months that didn't include waffles. Chocolate chip waffles, fruit topped waffles, waffles with savory fillings and straight up waffles with maple syrup.Waffles with steak, waffles with cheese, waffles with soup and stew.

 Lately, there has been a revolt. The people here said if I don't quit it with the waffles they won't come home for dinner anymore.

Success! My evil plan worked...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Truth is Thursday...

Truth is...
I still have my mile long list from last week. Almost none of it got done. But that's the beauty of housework, it's always there waiting for you.

Truth is...
I finished early at the postie today. I could have stayed but the supervisor said, "One of you go home and the other go up top and do box mail." Picturing the mile long list from last week, I volunteered to go home. Here I sit, not house-working, but blogging. Pffft!

Truth is...
Nelle
It's Nelle's first birthday today. Manda is making her a party, but I'm not sure when the party is taking place. Just now, I don't think Nelle is too concerned with the details, she's outside killing bugs and eating them.

Truth is..
I think it's silly to make a party for a cat, but what the hell. I'll still go and I'll even cook if it is to be a cookout.

Truth is..
I'm kinda excited about Nelle's party...

Tip toe with cat-like stealth over to Surviving Boys and say hello to Juli.,..

Freelance Copywriting - Enjoy the Writer's Life...

Freelance copy writers are in demand. If you can write a letter or email, you may be interested in becoming a niche copy writer. A niche copy writer has knowledge in a specialized field, such as home maintenance or renovation, travel or baby products. One does not need a degree in a certain field, just expertise in that field or market. However, learning how to market yourself and get jobs as a niche copy writer is important.

Once you decide to forge ahead in the copy writing business, an accelerated program in copy writing will help you find the right clients, teach you how to market yourself, improve your skills and help you learn from other very successful copywriters. You may be new to copy writing or have some experience with writing. Either way, taking a course will help you find the proper niche and get you started in the writer's life.

A writer could make his own hours, give up a lengthy commute, spend more time with his family and live a less stressful life. Copy writing could be done in one's spare time, or become a full time career. It's up to the individual. Look into it, it may be just the thing you've been looking for...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Truth is...
I don't feel like doing much at all. But I have a list a mile long.

make the bed
do the dishes
wash dry fold and put away clothing towels and blankets
sweep floors

I don't even feel like finishing this list...

Truth is...
I don't even feel like being truthful.
Because then I would have to admit that I'm lazy.

Truth is... it's raining today.
And while I never mind the rain, or the overcast skies or the cool temps,
I just despise having wet shoes and feet.
And since I have only the one pair of shoes, I'll have damp feet tomorrow too.

Truth is...
Today I feel like complaining.

Wander over to Surviving Boys and visit Juli.




Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today's A-Z Challenge is brought to you by the letter K...

When I was a kid, I raided the fridge the moment I arrived home from school. My mother wasn't home to stop me, so I ate whatever I pleased. I considered it payment for her not being there to cook for me.

Most of the time, I took the supper-like snack into the living room and snapped on the tv. In those days, one had to actually wait for the tubes in the tv to warm up before the screen would display anything. After that, one had to fiddle with the antenna to properly tune in the channel to see anything more than static or snow.

Klondike Kat

My first choice for afternoon viewing was cartoons. Klondike Kat in particular. I loved that Klondike Kat was such a dope and got into hilarious jams trying to catch his nemesis, Savior-Faire, a crafty, cheese thieving mouse. Savoir-Faire went around with a big thug-like dog, who may not have been too bright. 
I don't remember a whole lot about the episodes. What I remember most is the wonderful feeling of being home alone, with the fridge and the tv to myself. Those were the days...
Savoir-Faire

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The A-Z Challenge - Seven Letters...



I haven't abandoned the A-Z Challenge, I 've just  missed a few days.
Let's say seven to be exact. But I have excuses. The first being I worked my derriere off since last Wednesday. I labored at both my current jobs and I got a new job! I'm pretty excited about my new job because I really need money. But I'm experiencing a bit of fear concerning this new job. Will I catch on quickly enough? Will I be good enough and make the 90 day probation period? I can't sweat it because I have too much to do.

My second excuse for my absence from the A-Z Challenge is time. Almost every minute of my time this last week has been taken up by jobs or orientation for the new job or hours of housework. And the really sad part is, my house is still a wreck and I have piles of laundry and a broken dryer. Whatever. I'll just work around that I guess.

My last excuse is insanity. I want to keep all three of these jobs, but I can't. And I would be nuts to even try.

Lastly, I have a question. What the heck is a jitney? Beats me.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Buying? Selling? You Need A Conveyancing Solicitor...

In my dreams, I have more money than any respectable person needs. I have so much money, I can buy anything I want, any where I want. So I dream up beautiful seaside cottages and small farms in England or Wales. I imagine a long holiday in a cozy stone cottage set on a cliff overlooking a picturesque harbor. But maybe retirement at a small self sustaining farm would be nice. Either way, I would need the services of conveyancing solicitors to facilitate the purchase of my dreams. Since dream money is easy to come by, this should all come together nicely.

I invite everyone to accompany me on my dream travels. It's easy, fun and really simple. Just decide where you would like to go and set off! No muss, no fuss! One needs only a vivid imagination since armchair travelers haven't the need for luggage. Virtual passports and visas are very easy to obtain. They come in a variety of colors too! I'm confident we will have the time of our lives! Scrumptious dinners, a never ending shopping spree, first class air travel can all be had with just the smallest effort. So come on, dream up something big and let's go!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Got Online


Post contributed by Hilton Miranda

I went to smallbusiness.xo at the suggestion of one of my part time employees and man, it’s made things a lot easier around here. Business is slow because of the economy so I thought now would be a good time to get organized behind the scenes so that when things did pick back up I’d be ready, you know? So I told my intern to get online and organize all the pictures and even my part-time staff has been pitching in with everything from organizing the back office to arranging all the stuff in the closets. It’s hard enough owning an event planningcompany without having to store all this stuff but I just found that it made more sense economically in the long run to buy it than to try and rent it all out, you know? My clients come to me because they know I can give them a really good deal and it’s because I’ve spread myself out far and wide – sometimes I think it’s a bit too thin, actually!

The A-Z Challenge continues with the letter C!

When I was a kid, I looked at tv a lot.
I remember sitcoms and the Vietnam War and variety shows.
A fun part of the variety shows was this bigger than life personality known as Charo!

Long story short, Charo is a gas! She has big blond hair, teeny tiny sparkly costumes and English is not her native language. Charo sings and dances and is downright hilarious. She put "cuchi cuchi"  into the American lexicon. Charo is beautiful and I love her. I think everyone else does too. What I like most about Charo is her beautiful guitar playing.



The Carol Burnett Show was also a great part of my tv time. 
Carol herself was great, 
but I really tuned in for Tim Conway and Harvey Korman.
Those two were the funniest people on tv at the time. 
I'm so glad we had that time together...

Monday, April 2, 2012

The A-Z Challenge - The Letter B!


The A-Z Challenge continues with the letter B!

Each year at the greenhouses we grow Brugmansia. They are absolutely stunning flowering plants native to South America. Every year I say I'm going to bring a couple home and I haven't yet. This year I want three to make a really nice background for a new garden I'm planning. 

Nice, huh? 

I don't have any pictures of my own, but I found this picture here.
We grow ours as annuals because of the short growing season here and they get about 3-4 ft high.
In their native places they can grow much bigger.
I have no idea what colors we'll grow, but I'm pretty excited about my new garden. Any color I can get will be super!


Sunday, April 1, 2012

serentaflowers.com - Your Source for Stunning Gifts...

My favorite aunt lives in Birmingham, England. Her name is Estelle. I don't get to see her much so it's very important to me to remember her on her birthday. Auntie Estelle loves flowers and has a stunning garden. I've always wanted to send her plants , but I'm know they won't make it from Carver,USA to Birmingham, England alive. Problem solved: order Serenata flowers on line!

Sending any gift through the mail to an overseas destination requires a ton of pre-planning. Since I've never been brave enough to send a little plant, I start with deciding what I will send. Then I make or buy the gift. Here comes the tricky part: I must package the gift with plenty of padding so it arrives at her door in the same condition as when it left me and I have to get the package in the mail in enough time to get to her before her special day. In the past, I haven't been too good at this part.

Guzmania
My fabulous cousin Sally hooked me up with this perfect solution. I can choose the plants I want and have them delivered right to her door! I can choose when I want them to be delivered and they can get them over to her as soon as the next day. This is perfect for me, Mrs Procrastination.

Looking through the site I discovered I can send a wide variety of plants. I saw fruit trees, flowering shrubs, orchids and house plants. There are so many to choose from, I had to get Sally's advice. We settled on a beautiful pink orchid and a really colorful Guzmania. Sally was so excited that she could barely keep it to herself. I made her promise not to spill the beans.

Sally isn't much of a gardener, but last year she bought a house. After helping me pick out plants for Auntie Estelle, Sally got really excited about her own garden. I emailed her this great site for plant care, There she will find a ton of information to get her started.

A is for April! The A-Z Challenge...


A is for April!
A is for the A-Z Blog Challenge!
All the information you need to participate can be found here.
Let me sum up.
Beginning the first of April, post everyday except Sundays.
Yes April 1st is a Sunday, but that is the only Sunday you post.
Every letter of the alphabet represents a day in April. 
So the letter A represents April 1st.
The letter Z April 31st.
Go grab some snazzy badges and banners from A-Z Blog Challenge 
and lets have some fun!

April showers might bring May flowers, 
but for me all April showers really ever brings me is mud.
Mud in the yard, on the dog and on my shoes. I don't mind the mud until it enters the house. Then I become so disgusted I just want to put gravel down on every inch of the property. That's not really feasible, but once the mud is gone, the ground becomes really hard and dry and dusty. And then the dusty comes into the house. After that, snow. There's just never and end to the mud, dust and snow aggravation! 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Book Reveiw - I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

I am a member of the Thomas Nelson “Book Sneeze” blogger program and would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me with a copy of this book to review.



I want to know about who I am and where my people came from. I want to know why they left the love and comfort of a family and community and traveled away to the unknown. This desire is what gave me a deep connection to "I Am Hutterite" by Mary-Ann Kirkby. This emotional memoir tells the story of a young girl, born into a Hutterite colony and later leaving that colony with her immediate family to a new life totally different than the one she had known.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It's filled with information not just about a family but a way of life most of us will never hear about or come in contact with. That's what made this book interesting and important to me.  It's important for us to be exposed to other religions and cultures in these difficult and confusing times. So much is going on in the world that makes us suspicious of people who don't believe or live the same way we do. Everyone needs to hear of people who are different so we can understand their point of view and see there are things we share despite our differences. 

Mary-Ann Kirkby shares the differences and the things we have in common in a way that made me what to learn more about Hutterites, Mennonites and Amish folks. We all share so much but it is the differences that make "I Am Hutterite" a compelling read.


Disclosure of Material Connection
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Miracle-Gro Expand 'n Gro - The Way to Go for Spectacular Results!

This post brought to you by Scotts®. All opinions are 100% mine.
EnG Product Shot.png

Gardeners, you're in for a treat! Miracle-Gro has a new product designed to make growing flowers and vegetables easier and more productive. I'm here to introduce to you Expand ‘n Gro™. Concentrated Planting Mix. The super benefits of Expand 'n Gro are moisture control and bulk density. This means we can water and feed less and still produce bright, beautiful blossoms and a great vegetable yield. Coir fibers in the planting mix help retain water by releasing it as the plant needs it and prevents too little or too much water to the roots of the plants. Plants don't like wet feet, and they like to breathe, so air circulation is critical to your plants health. Mixing Expand 'n Gro into your garden soil  will reduce soil density and create a whole lot more air space for your plant to breathe.  Expand 'n Gro will significantly enhance your soil by creating supreme water holding properties, better distribution of water, great drainage and a much better rooting environment.
Let's get down and dirty here. This is a simple way to prepare your soil for your spring and summer gardens. Plants want light, air, water and food. Good soil is the only way to ensure a plant gets the nutrients and air flow they need. Without good drainage, a plant can drown. Traditional soil amendments are good, but that doesn't solve the air flow, drainage or feed requirements. Expand 'n Gro has it all!  Check out this video to see it in action.

Your native soil may be sandy, hard clay or simply worn out from planting year after year. Improving and maintaining good quality soil is hard and may only last one year. It can be costly to repeat the process of amending your soil each year. Expand 'n Gro has then natural ingredient of coir, a lightweight fiber derived from coconut husks. It's spongy and expands when you add water. Coir also decomposes slowly, being beneficial for years to come.
Used in the ground or in your containers, Expand 'n Gro is the way to healthy, lush, beautiful flowers and gorgeous, tasty vegetables this season!  Miracle-Gro is going to send me a sample of Expand 'n Gro to give away! Throw me a comment and let me know what you plan to plant and maybe you could be the lucky winner of the sample!
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Skywatch 5, #38...


Skies from all over our planet...


25 more days and I'll see this sign in person!

Trek on over to Skywatch Friday to see more excellent skies over truly stupendous locations!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Translation Services - A Must for International Businesses...

My friend RJ works for a big international firm with offices in Boston and London. They do business in many countries and although they have multi-lingual associates, I've often wondered what happens when important legal documents need to be sent to a non-English speaking country. One small mistake in translation could be disastrous. I asked RJ how his firm handles situations where they need to have associates in say France or Dubai, read through documents in their native language.

Rj explained to me that his firm uses a translation service in London that provides interpreting and translation to corporations worldwide. The translation service also has offices in Paris, Shanghai, Luxembourg and New York. Translations can be done for every world language, as well as many rare languages. The service can also certify, notarise or legalise a document so it can be used for legal purposes.

Think about it: people go to university to study languages all the time. We wonder what would a person do with such an education? Well, a translation service is the answer. I know a girl from Russia, Katya, who speaks five languages. She is has actually studied and become fluent in all five languages. That's so amazing to me. Right now Katya is pursuing a degree in business. After talking to RJ, I asked her if she has ever considered working for a translation service. She has has worked for a translation service in the past. She wants another degree so she can be even more attractive to a bigger international company.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Seaon 2 Finale - The Walking Dead..

Has Rick lost his grip?

I don't read the comics and I have no idea how long its been since the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm guessing  about 5 or 6 months has passed. If I go by Laurie's pregnancy, maybe only 4 months. At any rate,would a prison or a theme park still be able to generate it's own power that long after the infrastructure failed? So what was that shining complex off in the distance? Does it have anything to do with the helicopter flying over Atlanta? We've seen schools and hospitals over run with walkers. A theme park may generate power independently. But, and this is a big but, would a them park be able to be fortified as Rick suggested? I think not. So that leaves a prison. Again, with the question of how much time has passed, would a prison complex be able to generate that much power and would it really be lit up like a Christmas Tree?

I noticed that the group as a whole began to question Rick's leadership. I think it may have been a mistake for him to declare that what they have is no longer a democracy. I don't see any of the others stepping up to the plate and taking the reins. Seeing that Herschel was willing to stay behind and take his chances on the highway, letting Rick and Carl go away on their own, leads me to believe he has no hope for his own future. Glenn has not shown much in the way of leadership qualities and neither has T-Dog. Who does that leave? Darryl. The things I noticed about Darryl is that he has stayed consistent in his views right along. He says he doesn't want anyone to rely on him, but he doesn't leave the group, allowing them to rely on him. Although distant, Darryl repeatedly steps up to the plate to do the nasty jobs no one else volunteers for. He is also the only one who has kept a cool head and a keen eye right through the whole mess. I suspect the group will try to lean on Darryl more, looking to him for guidance. I also suspect he will stand up for and with Rick in the next steps they all take. Darryl seems like a good sous chef. Not the head of the kitchen, but right there behind the Exec, backing him and everyone else up. I like Darryl. He seems to have a good heart and strong convictions. I also noticed he is the first one to jump in wherever he is needed and get done whatever needs doing. The group needs Darryl and he needs them as much as he denies it.

I don't believe Rick has lost his grip. I think he has only lost his emotional sensibilities. He is beginning to act like a real leader, who makes decisions the collective doesn't agree with and is willing to make sacrifices for the good of the group as a whole. Yes, he is getting mean, but I don't think this is a sign of weakness. He's made some decisions, like not telling everyone what he learned at the CDC, that don't seem to jibe with the democracy idea. But Rick is growing a thick skin. He's growing some cajones, and he means to get through the mess and bring his people along with him. He has taken ownership of these people, more responsible for them than ever before.

One last thing. What or who was that hooded creature in the forest that saved Andrea. He/it looked like something from Game of Thrones! Any way, that hooded creature had two walkers with their arms cut off on chains like dogs . That would certainly make them less dangerous, but what would be the benefit of keeping walkers like that?  No face or eyes were shown on the hooded creature, leading me to believe this was not a supernatural creature, but human. My guess is Merle. Remember Merle? Chaining up armless walkers like dogs seems like something he would be able to pull off. But I could be wrong.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Trade Show Exhibits - Beauty and Function Go Hand in Hand...

Colleen and I spent this afternoon getting things together for two trade show exhibits. There's a lot to pack and she has a list a of things she needs to have available during the show. Aside from Colleen's personal items,we had to pack the literature, business cards and promotional items as well. We also had to get together the exhibits themselves. The exhibits have a small footprint and will be easy to transport.

The exhibit at the show is pretty impressive. There is a fabulous table top display with beautiful graphics that catch the eye and draw attention into the booth. I was impressed by the size of the display and it's portability. We set everything up in the garage just to make sure we had everything we needed. It packs and unpacks nicely and is easy for one person to set up alone.

We both loved the table covers imprinted with the company logo. They really jazz up the whole exhibit much nicer than just a plain table cloth. There were two different kinds. I liked the contoured covers and Colleen preferred the printed throws. Either one will do nicely, and Colleen can store the travel containers under the table during the show.

Neither of us realized there were a couple of super nice directors chairs included with the exhibit. The show is open for 12 hours, so a comfortable chair will be a welcome addition. These chairs also fold very nicely into a bag for travel.

After setting up the entire exhibits and then packing it up again, I wish I was able to go along and see the whole thing in action.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

HBO's 'LUCK' Cancelled...

Sad news for me today, HBO has cancelled LUCK after three horses met theirs deaths working on the show. I read some comments to a news article and naturally there are a lot of opposing views. I can't really get behind any of the attitudes expressed in that particular set of comments, but with the limited information I have at this moment, I can get behind the cancellation.

I did like LUCK. Very much so, actually. But I admit it wasn't for everyone. It had a slow start in ratings, and didn't gain many more viewers as the series progressed. There could have been many reasons for the lack of interest.

Horse racing is a very specialised sport. It does not appeal to the masses and the general public probably isn't aware of the real drama behind the scenes at a race track. LUCK did a good job showing us the different aspects of track life. So much goes into getting a horse to run on a track that we don't see. Many different professional people and a boatload of money go into making it all happen. Luck gave us a nice snapshot into the day to day life at one track in Southern California. The owner, the trainer, the groom, the veterinarian, the riders, the spectators and the bettors are but a few of the human factors that make horse racing. While the average person sees a horse, a rider and a racetrack, the bulk of the work of horse racing is done elsewhere. That's what HBO tried to show us. That and a nice little story to pull it all together. However, all of this may have been just too much for the average television viewer looking to be titillated and not expecting to have to think too much.

While watching LUCK, I had many, many questions. Those questions were what interested me in the show in the first place. Even still, I didn't look only to the show to answer my questions. I searched out the answers elsewhere. When I watched the next episode, the answers I found brought me to a new understanding of what everyone who worked on LUCK tried to show me. I admire those people for their work and I thank them for helping me learn things that aren't in my day to day view.

Producing  as show like LUCK is most definitely a costly endeavor. Low ratings would put the damper on any show with such a high production value. And that is the bottom line, isn't it? Anything costly, without a good return on investment is doomed, whether it be horse racing or a television show. When you add problems with production, big or small, those problems reduce the return on investment even further. Add some bad press and some activists and you end up with the axe. It's plain and simple.

I'll miss LUCK, but I would rather see it end before I'm ready, than go on for longer than it should.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sensational Haiku Wednesday!

Join the fun!


Take a leisurely stroll over to see Jenn at "You know...that Blog?" and try on some really spectacular Haiku.


Warmth, brightness, fresh air,
I feel the change come slowly.
Leaves unfurl, buds peek.

I know today's prompt is EXCITEMENT. 
But I'm just so excited about Spring, I wanted to use last weeks prompt!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Check Out Daily Freebies!

My neighbor Sylvia is a die hard lottery player. She buys scratch tickets and plays the big games. Sylvia also enters a bunch of sweepstakes. It amazes me not only that she plays so many games, but that she wins. I questioned her about this today. I asked if she had a particular strategy and she said she did, but would never reveal it. I can understand that. If I had a winning strategy I would never tell either. One thing Sylvia did share however is the place she finds all the different sweepstakes she enters.

 Sylvia revealed this exciting tidbit: iWinnersAdvantage.com helps you find online and offline sweepstakes, contests, competitions, daily freebies and winning lottery numbers. I took a look and found exactly what Sylvia described. I'm pretty psyched about being able to go to one place to find all of the big game, jackpot information and daily numbers in one spot. And you can get this information for any state! iWinners Advantage also lists historical winning numbers too. I suspect Sylvia's strategy has something to do with the previous winning numbers. But like I said, she would not let me in on her secret. Sylvia said you can also find free giveaways at iWinners, things like hand lotion, cologne, pretty calenders, magazines and coupon booklets.

I did ask Sylvia one question. Just how much cash does she spend each day or week on all her lottery games and scratch offs. What she told me was excellent advice. Sylvia said that she never played until her 40th birthday when someone gave her a draw for the daily number. That number was her birth day and year. It hit for a few bucks. Since then, Sylvia has never used anything but her winnings to continue to play. Each time she wins, she saves 25%, she puts aside 10% to keep playing if she loses and she plays with the rest. In the 20 some odd years since her 40th birthday, Sylvia has won and saved enough to take a nice vacation every couple of years. She swears by iWinners Advantage. I think I might give it a try.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Did Shane turn into a ZOMBIE?

Ok. I watched the whole episode of The Walikng Dead Last night in rapt attention. I just have one question.

Did Shane turn into a zombie?


If so, How? I don't remember him ever being scratched or bitten. I did see him get a little more crazy looking before he snapped Randal's neck. However, I don't know if this was just his psychotic behaviour manifesting as he was about to commit his latest dastardly deed.

If Shane did become a zombie, it happened very quickly, did it not? When Rick was crying over him after killing him in the field, there were some flashes of zombie like faces. Ricks' face? Shane's face? What the heck was that all about?

If you have an explanation, please leave a comment here on this blog. I am so confused! I'm also very sad at the loss of Dale. He was my favorite. But Darryl is quickly replacing him.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

THE HEATHERS

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker

We visited cleartvbundle.com and upgraded our internet speed. Now, I have been able to watch Netflix and stream it through my Blu-Ray player in the bedroom. I had no idea that I was going to enjoy it as much as I do. It is so much fun. They have tons of movies! Some of them I hadn’t ever even heard of but really enjoy. I love eighties movies- no matter how cheesey they are. One movie that I watched the other day that I never even heard of was the “Heathers”. It had Winonna Rider ( pre-jail days) and one actor that I am picturing and know his name, but can’t remember ( tip of the tongue thing!). Anyway, I was actually really surprised at how much I liked the movie. It was like “Mean Girls”, but Winonna started to murder other people with her boy toy. She didn’t want to, she was dragged into it, but then they become like Bonnie and Clyde. Then, she realizes how awful this guy is and he turns on her. I liked how Netflix suggested that I watch other movies like it!

Dastardly Deeds...

Dennis was a tall man with a very dark look about him. He had dark eyes that were almost black, and a thick black beard that covered most of his face. He hid most of his hair underneath a dirty looking tweed flat cap.  Dennis was a skillful assassin.


His cover was lowly pizza joint worker. In the joint he scrubbed pots, cleaned floors and maintained the equipment. From time to time he helped weigh out the dough and run it through the sheeter. He also stocked the beverage coolers and took in the deliveries. 


Dennis was a quiet man and kept to himself. He was polite to his employers and the other workers, he was patient and never raised his voice. The girls in the shop didn't like to be left alone with him, the guys kept their distance. No one ever said an unkind word to or about him. He liked it that way.


Dennis didn't use telephones. When it was necessary to contact him concerning wet work, the potential client would leave an ad in the lonely hearts column of the newspaper. The same ad was always used: 
Slurpee Heaven
 Me: 70+ geriatric quadriplegic with toe fetish. 
You: hairy carny midget with hobbit feet. 
WOLD 8250
Upon seeing this, Dennis would respond to the ad with a meeting place and time. Most often it was the dumspter behind the pizza joint in broad daylight. The meetings were short, with the client giving the details and Dennis naming his price. If both parties were in agreement, Dennis laid down the terms, pay me one week after the job is done or I do the same to you. Simple, quick, to the point.

One Thursday, Dennis had a meeting set for 11:45am. He shuffled out to the dumpster, lit up a Tiparillo and waited. From around the corner came a kid, a little nine or ten year old kid. Dennis listened to the kid's proposition. He had $47 and wanted Dennis to waste his math teacher and the lunch lady. Dennis said he didn't do two for one deals. The kid said just the math teacher would be fine, they'd talk about the lunch lady when he got his birthday money. Curious for the first time in his assassin career, Dennis asked why.

The kid, shame faced, explained the teacher had been giving him poor grades because he couldn't do long division and he had a hard time with the word problems. Dennis agreed the kid had a problem. Intrigued, Dennis asked about the lunch lady. The reason was simple. The kid felt she was a shitty cook. 

Dennis made the kid an offer. He told the kid to go to the math teacher, explain his difficulty with long division and word problems and ask for help. After one week, the kid was to come back to Dennis and tell him what happened. After agreeing to these terms, the kid had one more question. What was he supposed to do about the lunch lady?

Dennis said the answer was easy, bring your lunch.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Zenni Optical - Buy 2 - Get One Free!

If you are at all like me, you need your glasses to do anything. Very often I leave my glasses at work, on the counter at the post office, at the market or just about anywhere they can't do me any good. I must have a good pair of  affordable eyeglasses because I lose mine all the time. I talked to Manda and she turned me on to this:

Zenni Optical

Buy two and get one free! I'm in! I feel so much better when I have an extra pair of glasses around. It's no secret that I need them too!

Zenni Optical  is the go-to-guy when it comes to eye wear. From the Zenni website, I can choose the type of glasses I want very easily, enjoy fabulous pricing and browse through a wide variety of styles. Even if you need prescription lenses, Zenni Optical has what you're looking for. Single vision or bi-focal, man, woman or child, full rim, half rim or rimless, Zenni has it all right there on their website. I love shopping for glasses this way because its so easy and there is no pressure. There are no pushy sales people, but you can chat live with a Zenni Optical associate with any question you may have.

One last thing, I was a little suspicious of the $6.95 prescription eyeglasses claim. So the first thing I did was find a bunch of glasses priced at $6.95, that I liked, then entered my prescription information. I was psyched that I could have the glasses I wanted for the low price and I didn't have to settle for something I wasn't terribly crazy about. That is the beauty of Zenni Optical. The frame type, styles and colors you want, at the price you want!

A-Z Blog Challenge...



I heard about this seemingly easy blog challenge over at Julianna's place, Surviving Boys.Here is the scoop: you post everyday the entire month of  March, skipping only Sundays. The first day, your post is inspired by the letter A and so on, until you get to the end of the month with Z.


Well as you can see, I've missed A, B and C. I think I will jam those three letters together and say they represent the ABACUS. And with said abacus, I will begin to count the days until I set off on an adventure to Florida with my family. It will be a very short adventure, at the end of April, and we are going to jam more Disney and central Florida into three days than we ever have before. No small children will accompany us and no boys will either. It will be one Grandma, two sisters and two granddaughters (who also happen to be sisters).

I think the parks may be busy and I don't give a rat's a$$. I'm just happy to be able to go.