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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Home Work

When I was younger I would have probably laughed at the idea of home work being a good thing. Working from home is great. I've been working from home for about 8 years now and there is nothing quite like it. Come to work with no traffic, no gas use, no getting up a couple hours before I have to leave to get ready. Run errands when I need to. Operating a home business can be a real joy if you have the motivation. That's perhaps the hardest thing because there are so many distractions when you work from home. My kids are grown now but when I started they were in their mid-teens and always needing to be driven everywhere. The home business was a two-edged sword there because it allowed me the great flexibility to do what needed to be done, but also the tendency to not rush back to get to work. I had to learn how to really be my own slave driver. Now it is much easier since I only have me and my hubby to worry about on a regular basis. It is more relaxed too. Working from home takes a lot of pressure off and really reduces work related stress. Everyone should try it. Nothing beats working in your pajamas.

Fishy Subject

A deep freeze and several long term power outtages depleted my fish tanks over the last few weeks. It was very depressing to lose several fish I've had for years, and a few of which were born here in my tanks. I finally went to the store yesterday and bought some more. Three of the tanks I convereted to cold water (goldfish) tanks, I only have one remaining fresh warm water tank. I can't seem to give up on tropicals completely. I bought two blue gouriamis. The existing three red sepia tetras that were still in there (the only fish remaining along with the plecos from the freeze, hardy little buggers) seem to be doing fine with them. The tetras, while very small in comparison are very aggressive little fish so they should be fine. The gouriamis are pretty laid back.

My one original cold water tank did fine in the freeze so I'm hoping that the other two that used to be tropical will do better if it happens again. I have them nicely stocked with some beautiful goldfish including two very tiny (for now, lol) black moors. I haven't had black moors since I first started with fish years ago and i made the mistake of putting them in the tank too soon before it was fully cycled (typical beginner anxiousness) and it didn't make it. So I'm really glad to have a couple of them now.

Hopefully we've seen the last of the long power outs for the winter but I kind of doubt it. This has never happened before but now in the last week we've had one 4 day out, 1 2 day out, and several hour or two outs. Last night it was out for 6 hours.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Shasta Pools are a Work of Art

I'd love to have a built in professional pool in our backyard. Shasta Pools creates amazing pools for people in the Arizona area. That is the sort of thing that can make a home feel like a palace. Even a regular house can seem like a movie star house with a creation like those made by Shasta Pools. What I'd really like someday is to really have a movie star house. One like the house I saw in Beverly Hills not too long ago. It even had a pool that spilled over the edge -- as it sat on the side of a mountain. Now that's classy. Of course I am not sure I'd want to actually swim in a pool that spilled out over the side of a mountain like that.

No matter where you live though, finding a company with master craftsmen like Shasta Pools can really make your yard a work of art. If building a pool like that seems like a scary project because it's so involved just think it will only take a short time and then you can live in real luxury. I want one with a jacuzi built in too.

Africa Through the Eyes of Wangethi-Mwangi

Another amazing place I'd love to vacation and see some day is Africa. Kenya is like the cradle of civilization and would be amazing to see. I think Africa is the only place on earth where you can go from safari on an open wilderness plain with lions, and wildebeests to a beautiful city Nairobi in a heartbeat. Wangethi-Mwangi works with the Nation Media Group to make sure that not only is Kenya beautiful and diverse, but honest and its people are well informed.

This picture is a prime example of exactly what I meant above. Right outside of Nairobi, a big modern city, is a beautiful giraffe just wandering in the wilderness with the backdrop of buildings. In a place so amazing it is vital that government is kept in line and people have the ability to judge for themselves how things are being run. That is why what Wangethi-Mwangi does a job so important to the overall health and welfare of the country.

Nation Media Group is the largest privately owned news source in Kenya. It is easy for anyone living in the U.S. to understand how news and media can be controlled by political groups, religious groups, or other factors and how that influences what is the truth as we know it. Wangethi-Mwangi and his associates believe that must not happen in Kenya and their work is a splendid example of non-partisan reporting to keep Kenya a thriving and amazing place.

Time for A Consolidated Resorts Vacation

It's winter. While the weather is kind of bad all over the U.S. it is typically worse in the Midwest and we are living up to that. Winter ice advisories, snow, cold, and it's only mid-December. I am going to be ready for a vacation by January for sure. Consolidated Resorts have amazing vacation packages that make going on vacation easy.

Consolidated Resorts not only have great deals cost wise they're hotels are beautiful and relaxing. Their resort in Kauai is simply breath taking. I have always wanted to go to Hawaii and they make it possible. With winter starting here in Illinois already this seems like the perfect year to hit the sandy Hawaiian beaches.

For the really adventurous you can even find jobs at Consolidated Resorts. Living the great life all over the nation. If I were free and single that would be an amazing way to live.

Tim Arel is an Example of Great Property Management

I've lived in condos a few times. I actually like them better than a house because there isn't as much outside work to do. It is really important to have a good representative like Tim Arel working with you. The right management can make or break a condo experience.

My dad had a beautiful condo a few years back but the condominium association was just badly handled and made the whole experience a nightmare. He needed great management from someone like Tim Arel to make things run smoothly. It can be difficult to find a great manager. Everyone in the association needs to agree on the fact that they need someone to take control and make the appropriate decisions regarding the common areas.

Living in a condo is a lot different than living in a home where all decisions on your property are yours. When you live in a condominium your manager like Tim Arel will work to make sure all of the common areas you share with your fellow condo owners is properly cared for as well as that all rules regarding the maintenance of each unit are being properly followed.
The weather has been horrible around here. I console myself with the entire country has been dealing with horrible weather. It has made things difficult here in so many ways including work. It seems like everytime I need to get something done for work the internet goes out. Just another reason to hate winter.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finding the Simple Things

I've always wanted to go on vacation to Las Vegas. I think it would be a great vacation spot. My husband has been there several times so finding a great hotel in las vegas wouldn't be that hard. There are a lot of packages available. I think I would need something like that in order to see the things I'd want to see. It would be too easy to get caught up in one or two things and miss so much in a town like that. It is not the biggest place in the world but there is so much packed into it that it is huge. From what I've seen in pictures, and on TV you could easily get caught up in just the glitter and lights and be blinded to some really cool things that are really simple right in front of you.


A friend of mine and I were talking today and she was watching 'Pretty Woman' on TV at the time. That is one of my all time favorite movies. I love the last line when Richard Gere rescues Julia Roberts and says then what happens when the prince rescues the maiden from the tower and she says 'she rescues him right back'. Isn't that the way love should be? I think it is. I know me and my hubby have had many periods of time over the years where one comes to the other's rescue, but in reality we both need each other for our individual strengths and love... we rescue each other.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weight Loss That Works

One of the popular weight loss aids is alli. It is available with out a prescription and that makes it easy to get and it is easy to use. While you are still responsible for a good diet and exercise this is one diet aid that really seems to hit the point and do the job. There are many consumer reports that give credence to the claims made by the company that the product does work. It is a little on the pricey side like most good diet aids that actually work, but you can do your research online and find the best prices so that it is more affordable.

Meet The Browns

I love Tyler Perry movies and I finally got around to watching 'Meet The Browns' yesterday. It certainly didn't disappoint. It was much in the same vein as most of Tyler's movies but that is what makes them so endearing. It is a part of his 'Madea' series even though 'she' (Madea is the old grandmother played by Tyler Perry in gloriously hilarious drag) only makes a small cameo appearance in a wild police chase down a Georgia highway. I like the way Tyler highlights the charms of Georgia while always touching on intense social issues with just enough comedy to make it light and enjoyable to get the 'message' that God and love will save the day.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Ultimate Gift

With Christmas approaching fast and having to buy more gifts for people who are incredibly hard to buy for I still prefer gift cards. A lot of noise is being made in the news about stores closing and not wanting to accept gift cards anymore but that's just not as much of an issue as they are making it out to be. Gift cards are like cash for them and there is no reason not to accept them.

Gift cards make everything easier. You do not have to fret about getting the wrong thing, the wrong size, etc, and your loved ones will not have to spend hours in a return line exchanging gifts. It helps protect against fraud with online purchases and people getting gift cards can use them to buy items they want online without worrying about using their own credit cards.

Even if you feel qualified to make purchases for certain people on your list there are always going to be people you do not know what to get. Gift cards give you the ability give them the ultimate gift--what they truly want instead of something that will be shoved to the back of the closet because they don't want to offend you by returning an undesirable item.

You can obtain cards at gift card malls and through companies like Blackhawk Network for great holiday gifts.

Satellite vs wireless

I don't know which type of Internet service I like best. I've now had experience with both satellite and wireless high speed (no not cable yet) and both have their ups and downs---primarily downs. It's a real pain getting steady service although really I actually think the wireless is better and the plan I had that is wireless was unlimited which was better than the Satellite although they have a large limit on the plan I am on. Overall I think the wireless is a little better and more stable. It is less affected by weather.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stainless Steel or Porcelain?

sinks are one of those elements of a house, both kitchen and bathroom that you don't really think about until they're not working, or need to be replaced. At least they are for me. For the most part they're simply utilitarian. It isn't all that much about looks although I've seen some very artful sinks. They are both simple and a pain to install but once in they usually last for a long, long time. I prefer stainless steel sinks over porcelain. I just think they look nicer and are easier to clean, at least in the kitchen. I don't mind porcelain in the bathrooms. I have a bathroom sink and a kitchen sink that need to be replaced. Having hard water is rough on them even though we have a softener. I think that's another reason I like the stainless better though. It handles the hard water better and is easier to remove the hard water stains from. If I could go with stainless steel in the bathroom and have it look right I would.


Are we in for it or what? The temperatures started plumetting in mid-October and today, the end of November there was almost an inch of snow on the ground. I think this winter is going to be a heavy one. We had a pretty nasty winter last year with an early cold and snow, then the middle (Dec/Jan) wasn't very snowy but it was very cold, and after that in Feb and March we got hit with a lot of snow. What ever happened to global warming?

If you can't do it yourself

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Zoo

One of the big things I miss about living up in the suburbs is being close to the zoo. I miss going to Brookfield Zoo. It is such an amazing place. I went a lot when the kids were little and always had a great time. I even worked there as a temp for a little while one summer although it was in a back office it was a great chance to see what tedious tasks go on daily to make such a big and complex place work. It's what's on the outside that is really amazing though:

Zero Interest -- Big Difference

If you have ever gotten those letters in the mail asking you to apply for a zero balance credit card with the ability to transfer your existing credit to them like I have, and if you have been of legal age more than a year I'm sure you have, you probably wonder what that's all about. Why bother transfering from one credit card just to put it on another one? Saving money in interest is why. Using the balance transfer calculators on this page you can see how much money you will save every year by transfering to a low or no interest credit card. Up until now I've pretty much tossed all those offers away figuring the last thing I need right now is another credit card, but after seeing the numbers I think I will accept the next one.

Pros and Cons of Small Town Living

Life in a little town, and I do mean little, Donovan only has 400 people in it and most of that population is spread out across miles and miles of farmland, the actual 'town' is maybe 200 people tops, has it 's advantages and it's disadvantages. The advantages are that being so rural gives you a lot of leeway to do things how you want to on your own property. When i used to live in the suburbs of Chicago you needed a permit to take a '****'. Out here you can do whatever you want when you want. I remember up in Chicago when I wanted to put up a fence I had to have a permit, and even then it had to be so many feet from the property line, face the right direction (pretty side out) only be a certain height, a certain type... out here, anything goes and as long as it is on my property it doesn't matter how close to the property line it is. The downside is that even though it covers a lot of land with so few people in a 'town' if you sneeze they all say God Bless you.

What's In a Name?

I don't know about everyone else but when I'm cleaning out the medicine cabinet sometimes I don't know what to throw out and what not to. I forget what some things are after not using them for awhile. Mostly that goes for prescription drugs which I do toss out right off the bat. If I can't remember what they are then I don't need them anymore. Some things just make you giggle a little like a weight loss drug called Anoretix. The thing is it really works. It just kind of has a funny name. Having several people in the house who have medical problems means there are always tons of prescription bottles around and it is usually me that ends up keeping track of it all. Technically only one of the tossed out bottles was mine from earlier this year. I don't even have a really big family but between a MIL who was living here with cancer, and a hubby who had blood-pressure and pre-diabetes it was interesting. Nice to have a clean medicine cabint. The only thing left are the usual hygene items and the Anoretix. It may have a strange name for a weight loss drug but when it works, who cares what it's called?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Winter Fun?

I'm rejoicing a bit here. After all the complaining over cold weather the other day it is actually warm enough to send water through the hoses today. It's rainy and gloomy but I can handle that. Illinois is a lot of fun at most times of the year. If I liked snow it would be fun all year round. In fact, when I was younger I used to LOVE cross country skiing. I never liked downhill. I never saw the sense in throwing myself down an icy mountain. Cross country, however, while it could have it's 'moments' was generally safer and more fun. I was moaning about not being able to get out and 'walk' in the winter but hadn't even thought about skiing. Now maybe that's an idea. I should get a new pair of skis and re-learn that. It was harder up in the city but out here in the country with all of the open fields that are empty for the winter there is plenty of room to ski and have fun... hum... maybe.

Tim Arel Property Managment

When learning how to get ahead in life and being independant I like to look at how others manage to make their way in difficult waters. Tim Arel has taken the reigns of his own career as a property management specialist and learned the ins and outs of a complicated industry to work his way to the top.

As a property manager he has developed the means to keep ahead of the game even in the current housing atmosphere. Even before the difficulties that surround the housing industry now navigating the waters of condominium and homeowner's associations was extremely complex and required sensitive handling. Tim Arel has a gentle but firm manner that keeps everyone involved on an even keel and makes his property management system one of the most lucrative and appreciated methods in the industry.

Tim Arel is an inspiration to anyone who wants to get ahead in life. Hard work in school, and diligence in his career have made him an outstanding member of his community.

Andy Barkate Knows How to Retire

It's a complicated subject that most of us begin to think about after a certain age. For me it was at 40. I wondered how I was going to manage retirement. Andy Barkate is a talented public speaker who helps people understand what they need to know about investments, retirement, and their financial futures.

In these trying times it is even more important to think about the future. It helps to have someone guiding you who has their fingers on the pulse of the economic forefront and all the changes taking place there. Andy Barkate is the owner and president of California Retirement Plans LLC who has also written books on the subject of financial security and retirement along with his workshops that help others understand their personal finances.

Andy Barkate can help you understand your pension fund and how it can change in the unsteady economy. What you should know to help you avoid the pitfalls that prevent many seniors from enjoying their retirement, and many other important aspects that affect your financial future.

The feelings of many is that there is no such thing as security in these troubled times but it doesn't have to be that way. Careful planning and understanding will help keep your future steady and secure.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Impressive Show

This is an impressive show of strength. A tractor demonstration at a fairgrounds is also a good way to remember the pleasant times of warm weather.

Cabin Fever

Another thing I dread about winter is the fact that you are pretty much trapped indoors. If it was hard to lose weight during the summer it is practically impossible in the winter. Besides a reduced activity level there is also a 'winter blues' feeling that makes your whole system depressed. Using diet pills can be helpful but it is also necessary to find inventive ways to exercise and keep moral high. For me that's harder than ever in the winter. I get cabin fever easily.

Winter Farming

A funny take on winter farming--okay, it's good to laugh about things you hate.

Technically though, I wouldn't mind being inside a tractor, it's the hauling frozen water I hate.

Best Way to Lose Weight

I often obsess over what is the best diet pill. Lately I need help more than ever but have not had much luck with over-the-counter locally found diet aides. Having read the listings on the sybervision site and the consumer responses as well I think I might try online ordering to get some of the diet aides I can't find locally. What I really need is stress reduction not just weight reduction, but I don't think there's a pill for that.

Winter Farming

There are certain indisputable facts about farming in Illinois and one of them is that cold weather will come. It's here--already. Generally I do not care for blog posts that are basically weather reports. It's cold, it's rainy, it's a beautiful day... but this is more of a complaint post. Okay, I don't usually care for those either. Complaining about the weather won't do anything about it. I still hate winter. People who think cold weather is envigorating, or snow is beautiful get on my nerves. In some ways they're right but at the same time I bet they do not have to deal with frozen water tanks, hoses, hip deep snow to get to the feed bunkers. Winter is here and I'm not ready for it--again. I never am. I know it's coming and I do work to prepare for it but emotionally I am never ready for it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sit Down

I guess since I'm thinking about theater carpeting I should also redecorate with home theater seating. It makes sense but what is really surprising is how luxurious this furniture is. It isn't your run of the mill theater seat. They are more like the 'home of the stars' private theater seating, but a lot more affordable than you might think at first. It is very comparable to any type of furnishings and much more comfortable if you spend a lot of time watching movies and television, or even listening to stereos. I love deep cushioned furnishings and some of the offerings for home theater seating is better than any couch available. I think I'm going to be putting a real touch of 'rock star' in my house with all this soon.

Home Decorating

You have to love the Internet. I am checking out home decorating ideas and YouTube has to be the best place to learn about anything now. You can get tips, hints, and visual demonstrations on just about everything. I just found this:

Entertaining Carpet

I need new carpeting in my living room. We tore the carpet up last year and although there is decent tile that was under it that just doesn't feel comfortable. I'd like to get some home theater carpeting because it would be easy to clean, comfortable, and make it feel more like an entertainment room which is what it is. We never use our family room anymore. In fact it's probably going to be a bird room soon, so the living room is where all the tv, stereo, and other entertainment medias are. There are so many really lovely samples to choose from and amazing patterns and colors. Since our living room is so large it can handle the bright patterns well.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Are We Really Ready for This Already?

I can't honestly say I am. It's beautiful. That's usually the first thing everyone says about snow. I can't argue with that exactly, it is beautiful. It is also a pain in the butt that needs to be shoveled, and COLD. That is my biggest problem with winter--it's COLD. I'm not ready. Then again, if it were still nine months away I STILL wouldn't be ready.

Getting Ready for the Cold

Okay the birds are heading for the hills, the leaves are fleeing the trees, and the days are getting so short they're over before you know it. It is fall and cold weather is moving in fast and furious. I have usually used a heating pad on my bed during the cold months because even though our central heat works fine I just don't like even a little chill but I just found out about and I think I've found a new love. My mother-in-law always used electric blankets which is fine but I think the mattress pad would be so much better.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Pelicans in Illinois?

For some reason pelicans are not a bird I'd think would be found in Illinois. Maybe because of the lake they are here in this video, but I always think of these big guys as ocean birds. I guess these found there way inland.

Getting it Back

I'm kind of in a quandry about what to do about my diet. I started out great with a full year of doing so well and then since this spring I've had all kinds of problems with it. I've tried weight loss pills
but I think I need something different since it still isn't getting back on track. It seems to for a few days and then stops. I can't even figure out how to get that mental state of mind back that I had last year. I remember what it felt like and how I thought but can't seem to get it back. It is really aggravating because I don't want to get caught up in that gain it all back syndrome I've been caught up in before. I'm happy that I lost the weight I did. I'd like to lose more but I absolutely do not want to gain back what I did lose.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fishy Video

I'm not a big fisherman but I love how this looks watching the 'jumping carp'.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Illinois Tornado

Tornados in Illinois are scary things but I've never actually seen one even living here all my life. I've seen the aftermath though. Now with youtube I get to see real live tornadoes and really experience the terror and beauty.

Singing The Blues

I didn't know there even was such a thing as 'Illinois Blues' but apparently there is. I know Chicago has the famous 'House of Blues', but I really thought New Orleans and other southern states and even New York were more famous for their specific blues music.

Buy Low Sell High

I've always been interested in the stock market and have checked out online trading places but was always afraid to try them. With the current situations maybe that was best, but now, I think might actually be a GREAT time to try it. When I was looking at it before the prices were so high that the risk was greater. Now you can get in at a much more affordable price for companies that are still unlikely to fail. It's like how often I've wished I had been old enough when McDonalds first went public to buy a few shares. I'd be retired and rich now. Getting in when stocks are low and waiting it out for a few years can be amazing. Things are bound to get better, they always do.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Jospeh Odindo Helps to Provide Freedom of the Press

Joseph Odindo rose from the ranks of reporter and television critic to become the Group Managing Editor of the National Media Group that owns the Daily Nation, Kenya's largest independent newspaper.

It is important to Mr. Odindo and his fellow editors to keep this important resource free from all commercial, political and religious constraints that could cloud the outlook and views of the information provided.

One of the most important resources the public can have at its disposal is an independent media association like the National Media Group so that they can trust the news is not propagandized by certain parties or organizations. Truth and honesty lead to well-informed decisions on a public level and that is the best thing the National Media Group could offer the people of Kenya.

A Real Pool From Shasta Pools

I have always wanted a spa since the kids are grown. I've never really thought of having a truly beautiful professional looking in ground pool/spa though. The kind you see in celebrity mansion backyards.

Shasta Pools builds unbelievable pools that are more like works of art. They belong to the prestigious master pool builders and keep up with the best in design and manufacturing of quality pools from experts all over the country. Shasta Pools and Spas has put in over 75,000 pools in the Arizona area and each and every one is a thing of beauty.

That is the kind of pool/spa I would love to have built out here. Shasta Pools and Spas is a family owned business too so they know what is important to a family and work hard to ensure your have your needs met in building your pool.

These are real pools. Pools that last a lifetime.

Illinois One

I've always been very attracted to airplanes. This video is cool. Not only is the plane named 'Illinois One' but it shows it being transported in pieces and put together again on location. How cool is that?

Thursday, October 02, 2008

This time the last time?

I spent all last year doing really well loosing weight. I lost 100 pounds in 9 months. I was going gang busters. The last 7 months have put a screeching halt to it all though. Lots of stress, and many injuries sidelined my efforts. At first just halted it, but then the last few months I started to gain weight back. I'm now trying desperately to get back on track and using a weight loss product and researching others to try and get things under control again before I gain it all back. I've started losing again, slowly but that's okay. As long as it's losing and not going up any more. I need to loose 15 more pounds to get back to where I was 7 months ago and then hopefully keep on going some more. Lots of people regain weight they lost, and more, and I really don't want to do it--again. I've been there. I'd really like this time to be for good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vacarious Play

Something else they didn't have when I was a kid, or my kids were kids. When I was growing up the only kids of backyard play equipment we had were those metal pipe ugly things. When my kids were little that was our option too although they were bigger and better. As they got older, a little too old for backyard play equipment more options were available and I loved the looks of the wooden swing sets and play equipment. I found myself wishing I had young kids again just so I could have an excuse to buy some... well almost anyway. However, the great thing about grandkids (yep, now have those) is that I can buy these great toys and watch them play with it, even play on it with them in some cases, and not have to have the kids myself to do it!

Skin Problems

acne treatment is so much different now than when I was a teen. In fact it is so greatly improved now from when my own kids were teens that it is amazing. My son has adult acne although it is not as severe as his teenage acne was. He keeps it under control using a variety of products that are available over the counter that I think are even more powerful than the expensive prescription stuff we used to get when he was a teenager. It works better too. It seemed like he would never get rid of his problem and it caused him a great deal of stress as a young man. I'm glad he finally got it under control. I don't know how it hit him really. My daughter never got acne. Barely got a pimple. Pretty weird I know, it probably should have been the other way around. I know my husband had acne problems as a teen, but not as bad as my son. I had the normal kinds of acne, a pop up here and there, but not the extreme case my son had. He was the lucky straw I guess. He dealt with it, and deals with it still. It's nice to know they've made it so much easier for him though.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Giving The Holidays a Treat

With all of the holidays coming up after Halloween and the expanding family with grandkids and having to once again buy toys for the kids I think the adults in the family are going to be getting gift baskets. They make for really nice gifts that can be taylored to whatever they like best while making shopping much easier and faster.

I like receiving gift baskets too. One of my favorite gifts from a former employer was a coffee gift basket complete with 2 mugs and other additional coffee sides like chocolate and biscuits. They make great gifts for fellow workers and business associates.

Halloween Cometh

Can you believe it's almost October? Wow the year just zoomed by. It's time to start thinking about Halloween costumes already. When my kids got passed the teen years I thought I was done with those types of preparations but since my daughter can't sew, guess what? Yep, that's what grandmas are for. That's cool though. I love it.

I've made costumes ranging from 'Uncle Fester' for my son when he was in junior high (including shaving his head--yeah he really wanted to get 'in' the character) to the typical angels, demons, and cats. It's a little nicer now to just go out and buy most of the costumes. I can still be 'grandma' and get them their costumes that way and save myself the time sewing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Perfect Shopping

I love the convenience of the Internet. I work online. I shop online. I buy everything from music to auto insurance online and if there were the option around here I'd buy groceries online. It is the best way to shop in my opinion and with things going the way they are with fuel prices I think even those people who have been holding out will come to see it as the best way to go.

Besides saving time and gas money it is also a smarter way to shop. With the auto insurance for instance you can shop around easier, get more information, and all without the pressure of a sales person just by going to websites.

The perfect shopping method. I can't imagine a better way to get the things I need.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Car That Fits

When you are looking for a new car the first place most people look now is online. Sands Brothers Chrysler in Pennsylvania has a great website that will guide you through the car buying experience and give you a great sense of what you have available to you and the prices you can expect to pay.

There are great articles availble on the site to help you understand the buying process and you can search for cars by make/model/price/location and it is easy as a simple click. You can find out about auto loans, apply for a loan, even see what your current credit score is. There are forums and a blog to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision and talk to other car buyers about their experiences and desires.

Buying a car whether it is new or used is a big investment both in money and in personality. Our cars become a part of our lives and we not only expect them to match out individuality but be reliable and ready to serve us. Getting the best information before you buy is the best way to insure you will get the car of your dreams at the price that is fair and reasonable.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Emotional Pictures

I have a new carrying case now for when I travel. It will hold my 17" laptop computer, all its accessories, my Canon camera, and all the files and other things I need for working away from home. I use the camera a lot to get pictures of places to keep in my memory for locations in stories, or for examples in non-fiction. I like to just take pictures in general of the places like we all do too and I have seven scrapbooks bursting at the seems that regale travels and events over the past 10 years. You wouldn't think a simple stationary picture could evoke such emotional responses when you sit down to analyze it, but some things go way beyond any analytical thinking. They just move you. The memory is a powerful thing and pictures evoke those memories and jog the parts of your brain that hold precious feelings from events of the past. There have been times when my daughter would look through the books at pictures from her youth and be moved to tears or laughter at the memories they bring. For me as a writer words are a powerful source of emotion, but even I have to admit that pictures trump words a hundred fold. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that saying is as true today as it was when it they were first uttered. I have volumes of 'words' in my scrapbooks and they are stronger than any library of books.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Save Your Money

I hate applying for life insurance. Any kind of insurance for that matter because you usually have to have a health exam. I'm not real fond of doctors, and even though I've always come away with a clean bill of health when I go for a checkup, I still dread what they 'might' say. It doesn't help that they charge a small fortune for a simple visit that may last 10 minutes. I had to go to the doctor last year for something that was worrying me. It turned out to be nothing. I was in the office for about 10 minutes talking to the doctor and being examined. Although I was actually there for almost an hour and a half, but that was MY time, I can't bill the doctor for how long it takes them to get in there and talk to me for 10 minutes can I? Which is a rip by the way. Anyway, that 10 minutes ended up costing $150.00 yes, $150.00. I had some tests done too but that was at the local hospital not the doctor's office, and that was an additional several hundred dollars... gesh. So you see, if I need more insurance of any kind including health insurance I want no exam life insurance policies. They are getting my money already, and I have no need to spend a ton of money for the priviledge of paying them more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Right Equipment

The artist in me has always wanted to know how to get the equipment to do my own auto designs. I think I could do a great job, and it sure would save a lot of money. You can get the airbrush supplies and even stencils to guide your hand as you customize your ride. I can think of a lot of ways to make use of airbrush equipment too. Custom painting on the side of our barn, I can envison it now, and I've always wanted to create some interesting artwork on the ugly long security fence that stretches for 300 feet along the west side of our property. Does the artist in you ever think about all the things you could do if you had the right equipment?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Wow Factor

This is probably the second most useful product since the creation of the PC itself. My husband and I use these all the time. They are flash drives. Tiny little pocket-sized plug ins that you can connect to any computer via a USB port and download information to share between computers. In fact, micro sd are about as small as a finger most times and come in anywhere from a few mbs to many gbs. We have a wide variety of them most in the 2 and 6 GB catagory. You can store an awful lot of information on 6 GB. It makes it easier when you are moving around between computers which we do a lot. Actually he does it even more than I do between his office at work, his laptop and his desktop at home. I only have my laptop and desktop at home and usually only going between rooms. It still makes it easier to transfer files from one to the other. One of the main reasons I get so excited over such things is maybe because I was born in the era before computers of any kind and seeing the development from monster room-sized things to something as small as the palm of your hand that can contain so much information still boggles my mind. For those born in the 80's and later it's probably not such a big deal. They're used to it. I'm not sure I even that though, I like the 'wow' factor.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Money for the Future

Caring for an invalid parent really strains the budget. I've always heard that having an elderly parent, especially an ill one, living with you is like having an infant in your home, and that point has become crystal clear lately. They require 24 hour a day attention and it gets to be wearing. What I didn't fully realize before all this began is how expensive it is to have an elderly patient living in your home. From little things like they don't want to eat the food you would normally (and cheaply) prepare and require special meals (being a short order cook is a necessity) to buying expensive pull-on diapers (yep, the infant comparison continues) to supplimental dietary needs like nutritional boosting drinks that can cost as much as your entire normal food budget. I've been looking for a lot of extra ways to suppliment my income lately even beyond what I do. I wish I understood futures trading because I've heard that there is great money in that. I need money for my 'future' -- as in tomorrow.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Making Room for Big

I've always thought of wall mounts when considering a new flat screen. Lately, however I've seen quite a few LCD mount that are not only wall mounted. I prefer something that will give a good solid base to the TV while not being plastered on a wall since I like to move things around a lot. They are making a lot of stands and mounts for these TVs now that are stylish and look great sitting on top of a TV stand, or mounted to walls if you desire them to be. I think I'm in the market for a big screen now, since I've seen the newer stands.

Finding The Work

Whoever said it is not possible to make money online hasn't been in my shoes these last four weeks. There is freelancing work out there, and you do not have to be a rocket scientist, or specialize in technical fields to get it. All you have to be able to do is string words together in fairly correct sentences. You may be writing articles on diet pill reviews
or the need for equestrian insurance... or any of a million other topics, but the pay is good, it is consistant--it is out there.

Blogging is great money too, for the same reasons, but there is a lot more money for web content writing than there is for blogging right now. I enjoy doing both for the variety, and greatest income potential. As biblical scholars like to say: Seek and ye shall find--that is just as true on the Internet. Look for it. That was always the hard part for me, but once I put my mind to it, it was there right in front of me.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Beg, Borrow, or Steal?

I have been working like crazy these last four weeks. Taking the advice from a great blog on here and getting out and looking for clients really paid off. The money is out there, it just takes the gumption to find it. However, with all the work, and I am talking about fifteen hour days, and stress of fast and demanding deadlines, as well as one company taking two and a half weeks to pay an invoice and having to threaten and constantly nag for them to pay, it's a wonder I don't have an ulcer, or at least an acne breakout.

It's not really the work stress, deadline stress, or any of that gets to me, it's the money chasing. Thankfully in all of the years that I have been doing this I've never had this happen until now. This is the first, only, and trust me -- last--company that has ever done that. Well, okay, I can't gaurantee it won't happen again. You never know until you work for a company if they are up and up. But you can trust that if they do that once, it's the last time I work for them.

I work hard, but I sure expect to be paid on time, without having to beg, scream, and demand payment.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Know It All or Know Nothing

It's kind of funny how life turns in full circles. In my mid-40's I never would have dreamed that my house would once again be filled with baby things like high chairs, strollers, and bibs. When my kids outgrew the need for those things I packed them away, held garage sales, or just threw out what was worn and overused. Here I am again surrounded by all the trappings of 'babyhood' though, now that I am a grandma. It's wonderful in an invigorating, almost renewing way to have small children around. They certainly keep you on your toes. I remember back when my children were little and my own grandmother (their great-grandmother) then in her mid-80's would say that being around my children kept her young. I used to smile and nod, sort of understanding, but now, I really do understand. Having young children about keeps you feeling young. Maybe it is the way they look up to you. You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and can do anything. It makes you feel like Superman (or woman as the case may be)... at least until they hit 13. Then you're back to being the old person who doesn't know anything. Kind of a bummer really. LOL

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Medical Help

My mother-in-law who has been staying with us while she goes through chemotherapy was talking to her visiting nurse the other day about her desire to go back to her own house when she can. The nurse suggested she get a medical id bracelets for that time so that emergency help can tell at a glance what issues she has. I listened from the sidelines and wondered just where to find those and then I saw the webpage for them here. It's great. I will feel a lot better too with her having the information readily available when she goes to her senior club and other outtings, even to the store. Plus with her tendancy to not be able to get up from the floor if she falls, it will be a big help there too.

Just Amazing

I was crusing around the blogosphere yesterday and came across a bunch of blogs dedicated to freelance writing, which is what I do. It is amazing how many websites and blogs you can find on any given subject online. It usually isn't until you are involved in some opprotunity, or hobby that you find them, and then you are suprised to find out how many others are involved in the same things you are. I remember way back when my son began raising and showing rabbits as a part of his 4-h project (this was about 10 years ago) and started showing around the state and connecting states, and we found literally hundreds of people all going to the same shows... for RABBITS... wow. You can find things like that for everything from snakes and sugar gliders to horses and stamp collectors. If someone is interested in it, you can bet there are thousands of others interested in it too, and they have clubs, shows, and websites dedicated to whatever your favorite pastime or career is. Just amazing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Really Exciting Times

There is so much going on in my life right now. I've never been busier. I forgot how much work it is really possible to get online when you spend just a few minutes every day looking for it.

There can be really stressful moments when you work from home, for yourself, but they are well worth it to be able to 'commute' to your office just a few feet away down the hall everyday!

Nudge, or Shove?

I was supposed to weigh myself this morning. I've been getting a little lax in doing that on a regular schedule. I've been blaming it on a very hectic schedule lately but I'm only hurting myself. Last week that 'time' of the month created a problem for me but that disappeared when 'it' did. If I don't start losing again pretty soon here I am going to have to consider doing some research on diet pills. They have changed so much in the 20 or so years since I used diet pills as a weight loss aide that I feel a bit lost in the market when I look at them.

Sometimes you need a little nudge in the direction you want to be going. I need a big ole shove I think.

Computer, Hello computer

Technology is pretty cool! Not perfect,and some days it seems to really want to balk, like today for instance. I am using Voice Recognition from the new Vista operating system to create this post. It makes you feel like you have really arrived in the future. I keep seeing Scottie in 'Star Trek-The Voyage Home' saying 'Computer, hello computer.'

The downside is there are times when it works great, and times, like today, when it doesn't want to recognize anything.

The COOL thing is that it will totally navigate your entire computer, opening and closing files on your command, opening pictures, etc... and it even works online to navigate the web via your browser with easy commands. In that I have not yet found a glitch, it seems to always work smoothly.

All in all, it's a pretty cool thing. For the most part in my word processing programs it works pretty well, and saves a HUGE amount of wear and tear on my hands.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

You Know You're Old When

This comes under the title heading above:

You know you're old when... you have to take your glasses off to read.

I'm in that stage. Actually I've been in that stage for about two years. I'm about ready for a new pair of eyeglasses. I could use a pair of contacts too, but I'd probably never remember to put them in. I used to have them, and really liked it.

One of the biggest pains in wearing glasses is going outside when it is raining. It makes you wish eyeglasses came with windshield wipers.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Identity Crisis Again

Some REALLY interesting facts from a recent study surrounding the difference between men and women online:

Rapleaf conducted a study of 13.2 million people and how they are using social media. While the trends among the sexes indicate they are both massively using social media, women are far outpacing men.
For those under 30, women and men are just as likely to be members of social networks. Sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Flixster are extraordinarily popular.
For those above 30, men – especially married men – aren’t even joining social networks.. With the notable exception of LinkedIn usage
Women are are joining social networks in droves. In fact, women between the ages 35-50 are the fastest growing segment on social networks, especially on MySpace and Facebook.
It may be gleaned from the study results that men’s time online comes from spending hours playing video games such as World of Warcraft and many first-person action games. Men also dominate LinkedIn - the most transactional social network (with the exception of AdultFriendFinder). LinkedIn is all about getting information and introductions now.
Women, on the other, hand are much more relationship driven and less transactional than men. They spend more time on social networks building relationships, communicating with friends, making new friends, and more. Married women put up pictures of their immediate family on social networks and use their social network profile as a family home page to share with friends and relatives.

Considering the statistics about social networking--thoes emails I get saying I need to increase my penis size must be right--I am a guy.

On the other hand, I hate computer games--especially war games. So where does that leave me? Neither man nor woman? Ugh. I'm having a meltdown.

Crash and Burn

It never ceases to amaze me when I go shopping with my son and he is searching through the games for his x-box how may games are out there for PS3, and other types of game players. Everything from golf to first strike war games. You can be hitting a little round ball on a golf course one minute, stealing a car the next, and then blow up Japan, or some other unsuspecting nation. I have to laugh at the variety, but I admit some of them are a lot of fun to play. Bobby had a airplane pilot one that I tried once. Poor plane...

I guess I'm not that good at those types of games. :)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dust off Your Butt and Get Your Self Respect Back

That's a line from a song that I've always admired. It's pertinent to everyone's life at some point or another. Setbacks happen to everybody. Problems occur in everybodies lives. It's easy to lose track of that when they happen to you. It is natural to wallow a bit in pity when you have something bad happen. The trick is not to let it get you so discouraged you stop trying. Not to let it seem like it's only you that bad things happen to. Go ahead and wallow a while. Grab a tub of ice cream (notice I said tub, not pint, do it up good), get in a hot bath, eat ice cream, soak, scream, cry, and do all you need to do to get it out of your system... then pick up your butt and dust it off. Get back in the game. Life's too short to let disappointments stop you from doing what you need to do.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Coolest Gadget Ever

We have a brand new truck and it is the first I've ever owned that came complete with a gps tracking system. Is that not the coolest thing ever invented? Now on trips I don't have to mess with maps, or be the 'navigator' (translate that as 'the one responsible if we get lost), or worry about crashing into a cornfield when I'm alone and trying to read directions. Okay, laugh, cornfields are about the most you can crash into around here, and I try with all my might to avoid city driving. The GPS tells me exactly where I need to go. I used to always have to look up directions online before I left the house, and half the time forgot so I was stuck with reading messy maps... not anymore. Yippee, and I love it.

Watching In Style

Late last year we tore up all the carpet throughout the house because our aged dog had made quiet a mess of it before she passed away. She couldn't help it, but I was glad to get rid of the stains. I miss Justice very much, but she is gone, and now it's time to get new carpeting in the house. I think that home theater carpet would be excellent in the family room/turned entertainment center now that the kids are grown and gone (well my loving son is still here, but he is grown). I've been working hard to create a real 'theater' experience for relaxation. We have a big screen tv, and all the requisite viewing equipment along with our satallite feed. All I need is some really great couches or easy chairs, and the new carpet and it will be all ready for relaxing and watching movies in style.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The World Just Shrunk

This is so wild. I've been online for roughly 10 years, and very very VERY much ONline. I'm here a lot. LOL For the first time, EVER that I know of, I came across a blog today on Blog Explosion written by someone from WATSKEA! Yes, only a few quick minutes from me. My neighbor practically! 'It's a small world after all' was playing in my head. Suddenly the vast expanse of the world-wide-web shrunk into a little, cozy, warm place. How cool is that?

PS-Check out Blog Explosion, it's free, and it is a FANTASTIC way to get exposure for your blog for just a little bit of cruising work yourself, and that's free too, and you get to see some awesome blogs you might never come across otherwise--you might even run into a neighbor! :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Is Your Child 'Gonna Be'?

Do you have a beautiful child? Okay, do you even have an ugly child with a lot of talent? I mean, seriously, could Willem DiVo have been all that cute as a child? He is a fantastic actor though. It doesn't really take beauty, it does take great desire, and the earlier they start developing their talents, and abilities, the more likely they'll be to succeed. If your kid truly is one of the 'beautiful people', or if they're just a big 'ham' for the camera, they may be potiential superstars in the making. Brook Shields and Jane Seymour were both baby models.

Whatever your child's particular talent, check out Gonnabe, a production company headquartered in Emeryville,California. Gonnabe was created to be a springboard for young talent into the world of entertainment. With youth oriented television shows appearing in over 61 million homes every Saturday morning, they are a showcase for your child's acting, singing, dancing or modeling.

You don't even have to live in California. They have online classes to help your child grow in his or her desired field of entertainment. You'll also find up-to-date job and 'call' listings, and an area where your child can have the chance to be seen by casting directors, and agents all across the country.

Check out the Gonnabe Studio where you can even get a screen test started.

Get your little budding actor/singer/dancer/model started right. My daughter started modeling when she was six. She loved it, and it really created some great memories for the two of us as we traveled to the shoots. I know she's going to want to see the Gonnabe page for her own daughter... She's a real cutie (okay, I may be biased.)

Greener Grass On The Other Side

The grass is so long around my house at the moment that a visiting nurse for my mother-in-law asked me if it was 'prairie grass' -- therefore, I guess, some sort of special variety to be cherished, not cut. (I'm still trying to figure out if she really thought this, or was just being polite).

Actually she had some validity to her question. I'm not sure what it is though. See when we first moved out here some 13 or 14 years ago, the dates are getting fuzzy, there was a sign on the lawn that said something to the effect of being a 'natural prairie grass preserve'.

Here's the reason I'm not really sure if that was serious, or a joke. Maybe the previous owner (they had died prior to our purchase, so couldn't ask) was just too lazy to cut the grass, and thought the sign was funny.

Or maybe their lawn mower was busted. Who knows?

Or is there really such a thing as a priarie grass preserve? Some special species of grass could be growing right under my feet and I don't even realize it! Oh the horrors of the idea that I might have been cutting it down all these years, and not seeing it for the beauty it really held.

It is kind of cool looking, but I'm sure my neighbors just think I'm lazy.

My lawnmower is broke.

I need a sign.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Squatting Monkeys

Over the weekend I watched (and taped and watched again later) the new HBO comedy show Dana Carvey's 'Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies'. I never laughed so hard. I think it's partly because Dana is about my age, and has been married about as long as my husband and I, so the subject matter covered hit really, REALLY close to home.

My favorite: It's great getting older! I can get hurt doing NOTHING!

Oh brother can I relate.

If you haven't seen this, catch it on a re-run. It's absolutely worth it, and just as funny as can be. His observations on Andy Rooney, and Scientology had everybody in the house rolling on the floor, not too mention his political jokes. It is an hour-long riot.

I'm so glad I taped it. Sometimes when the more 'seasoned' comedians have new shows, and are built up promoting them as HBO has promoted this, the actual shows are a bit disappointing--not this one!

Cure All?

Wouldn't you just love it if all of your most common complaints could be cured with one pill? Lipovox is a new 'wonder pill' that claims to control weight loss, wrinkles, and even cure acne, but can it really do all that? Check out the lipovox reviews to see what others have said about the effects of Lipovox. It's nice that both pros and cons are listed in the review, and I agree that it makes me a little uneasy when a company doesn't list a phone number to reach someone about their product being a con. Green Tea extract seems to be a prime ingredient in regards to weight loss, and I've heard that it's an effective tool in diet control. It seems like Green Tea extract really is a 'magic herb' that has benefits in a lot of areas of our bodies, so perhaps Lipovox really is close to that magic pill women have been searching for all these years.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Content is King, but Traffic is Trump

I may have made a lousy metephor for a title. I'm not really all that good at playing cards, but the thing is, you can have the very best content to be found on the web on your blogs--if no one sees it, what does it matter?

There are a lot of ways to 'drive traffic' to blogs. Some good, some not, some even downright unethical, but one new one that has come to my attention that is not only completely above board, and very effective, it's also FREE is BLOG RUSH.

What makes Blog Rush so special? It's a lot like a few others in the widget application they use, BUT what makes them really special is how very well you can 'target' not only where your insertions are seen, but also what is seen on YOUR widget inside your own blog.

That brings taylor made traffic right to your doorstep.

That makes them the King of Traffic control.

Wiki World

I make no secrets about how much I love to shop online. Now there's a new way to do it that's even better for us online shopping addicts than before. Instead of going to each individual store front where you only get the offerings for each product that they have vailable, or to places that only show you offerings from clients who pay for their service, now there's ShopWiki.

Whether you're looking for movies, books, or x-boxs, or computers, clothes, or wedding gowns, you can find it and lots more on ShopWiki.

The pages are fast loading, and really easy to scan. The layout is easy on the eyes, and the selection can't be beat. Yet another Wiki wonder for us to enjoy the benefits of. It's a Wiki Wiki World.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Heavy Thought

Ever wonder why no one ever breaks their thigh? That may sound like a strange thing to think about but it was one of the trivia facts this morning as I cruised through myy home page. 'The human thigh bone is stronger than concrete'.

So apparently other than getting it crushed, or mangled in some extreme way, it's pretty hard to break a thigh. Lower leg, yeah (you think the design there would be a little better), but not a thigh. For some reason I found that pretty interesting.

If only our designer had thought far enough ahead to make all of our bones that strong, we'd be pretty hard to break.

Then again, We'd probably be pretty heavy too.

Tough Dad To Buy For

I'm trying to decide on a good gift for hubby for father's day. He does so much all the time, I'm thinking 'time' would be a good thing to get him, plus with him working in the medical field, having a good watch is a definate advantage. He goes through them fast. They're always getting banged up on something. If it isn't a stretcher or some item at work, it's something around here on the farm. Sector watches are beautiful, and come in a great variety of styles. I like those the best of the ones I've looked at just recently. He's a hard guy to buy for because he really doesn't 'need' anything. I think with this I've hit on something he can really use, and he'll really like.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What Can You Trust?

A headline today talks about how the Florida tomatoe industry is in complete collapse. Thanks to the new salmonella scare, everyone is avoiding tomatoes. I personally think it has less to do with tomatoes, or any other food, as it does with our obsession over cooking things to death, and raw food. We have killed all the beneficial bacteria in our systems that are supposed to fight such things as salmonella. We have left ourselves wide open to bugs of all sorts. We take penicillin (a wonder drug yes, when used correctly) for every little sniffle, and destroy our bodies own ability to combat the little things, much less the big enemies that those drugs should be used for. On top of that we build up resistance to those very drugs so when we do need them, they're useless.

Give tomatoes a break, and eat a bloody steak once in awhile... stop babying your system until it can't fight off even the smallest of invaders and we'll end up much healthier.

Funny Fact

I have 'Igoogle' as my home page. I love how you can create so many interesting things on it with widgets. Most of the search engines have that capability, but I like Google's. On it I have a 'facts' widget that gives me little tidbit trivia. yes, I'm a trivia buff. One of the one-liners on there is that a woman can consume up to 6 pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.

I'm sorry, that's funny.

I know it wasn't directed at me, who rarely wears lipstick--I may consume about an ounce in my lifetime, but either way, it's just gross. I'm sure no one thinks about digesting lipstick when they apply it. I doubt anyone even thinks about the possibility. Think about it though--it's obvious. Scary isn't it?

There's Always Next Year

I've missed out on traveling to several conventions this year so far because I had to stay home with my mother-in-law. That's okay, I love being able to do it for her, but I do miss going to the conventions. I even miss doing the pre-convention stuff like checking out the hotels in various parts of the country. Checking out laughlin hotels, and what there is to do in the surrounding areas during the 'off convention' times makes the anticipation for the actual trip even more exciting. I love going to conventions for a number of reasons and only a small part of it is the business side. I'm a social person and living in the boonies doesn't give you much social opprotunity.

Most of the people I see at the conventions that are there like me to promote, or learn their craft, are people I talk to all the time online, so seeing them in person for the first time, or again, is a thrill. Meeting all the people that come to the conventions as spectators is an even bigger thrill, and most of all, learning all the new things makes it all worthwhile.

There's always next year.

Joke Of The Day That Is Sadly Appropriate

This Joke From Funny Jokes is really funny. I read it this morning on my Igoogle page and had to share, I'll tell why after:

Old Man - Aging Jokes
“I’ve sure gotten old,” said Maury the Snitch. “I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees.

I fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts.

I have bouts with dementia, such poor circulation that I can hardly feel my hands and feet anymore.

Sheesh, I can’t even remember if I’m 26, or 62, or 86!
Plus, I’ve lost all my friends….

But thank God, I still have my driver’s license!”

See, funny. Now here's why it is sadly appropriate. My mother-in-law is living with us, and fighting cancer. She's going through chemotherapy. That's not funny, it's very debilitating at her age. At 77 even before the cancer treatments she was taking fistfulls of pills twice a day, and had all the other ailments listed above, but she still had her driver's license. Now, she's really upset because her license is up for renewal (although she hasn't been able to drive in weeks, even at the beginning of the treatments she was driving for awhile-scary right?) anyway, she's way too weak, and dimentia is 100 times worse, but she's upset she won't be able to get her license. OH man. I realise it must be hard to lose your independance, but common sense and reason have to sneak in there somewhere. I'm sorry to say I'm grateful she isn't going to be able to get her license again. She's not alone. She's not trapped. She has family who love her and will take her where she needs to go. Yes, that is a hard thing to swallow for an independant person who is used to being able to go where they want when they want, but it isn't like she won't have transportation.

Monday, June 09, 2008

The High Price Of Living

I was cruising around the Internet this morning and saw this on a fellow blogger's space. It really helps put the gas crunch we are all feeling into perspective:

Lipton ice tea: 16 oz. at $1.29 = $9.52 per gallon.
Evian water: 9 oz. at $1.49 = $21.19 per gallon.
Peptol bismol: 4 oz. at $3.85 = $123.20 per gallon.
Printer ink = $5,200 per gallon.

We pay a lot of money for a lot of things, but we don't even realize it sometimes. The only real difference between the price of gas, and those above, is that the above items we can usually choose to go without if we don't have the cash, or think it's too expensive, and it won't vastly impact out daily lives. Unfortunately, just choosing to do without gas can really cause a snarl in our day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Online Sales Source

I am constantly on the lookout for online ways to make money. Many of the jobs available on the Internet are sales jobs. It's a great way to make money if you're good at selling things. I have a friend who can sell anything to anybody. It's just her nature. She's not a bad person. She's not a lying person. She's in fact, very genuine, caring, and compassionate... I just stand in awe of her though. She can convince someone they need whatever it is she has to sell them, and MEAN it. That's the ticket. She truly believes in the things she sells. I thnk if you find a product you feel strongly about that you're halfway home. Not all the way though. I've tried. I've had products I thought were the best things since sliced bread... I'm just not a great sales person. I wish I were. With the time I spend online, I could be rich.

You Never Know When You'll Need Insurance

I'm glad before we got our truck we'd done a car insurance comparison to make sure we had the best insurance we could get. I know our old company wouldn't have allowed for a rental car, it wasn't in our policy. You just don't think you'll need something like that when you just bought a new car. Our brand new truck got side-swiped in the parking lot of a store just a few weeks ago. With my husband's schedule he just got it taken in to the body shop, but the insurance company assured him they would pay, even though the 'swiper' didn't have insurance (!) and they would take the other driver to court. They also pointed out that he had car rental in his policy so he was able to get a rental car for the three days it will take to fix the (crying) brand new truck. Even with good insurance on your side, it hurts like crazy to have something you just bought like that damaged when it wasn't your fault. It sure is nice to have a good company when you have to go through it though.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Back In The Saddle

After a very long hiatus, and a lot of soul searching, I've gotten back to my true love and finally gotten two of my last novels in print... or in the case of Big Money, BACK in print. It had been published only to have the publisher close up shop a few weeks after it went live. So now it's happily back in print and I'm happy to be back in the swing of things once more.

Click on their names to visit the websites for BIG MONEY, and HELL'S OWN and read a sample chapter, or click on the covers below to get your very own copies either in print, or ebook


Saturday, May 31, 2008

Trying to Lose Weight?

Hey folks, something of interest maybe to those of you who are 40+ and trying to lose weight or get healthy. I'm journalling about my journey of weight loss on the blog Fitness and Weightloss over 40 so stop by and join in the conversations, or just say hi.

I also started a new google page to lead people to the blog above. If you've never tried to create a web page, or are afraid of the complicated programs usually needed, or just don't have time to mess with them, try them out. It's FREE it's easy, no comlicated downloads or hard to learn programs, just type and click pretty much like posting to a blog. Check out my page here, and then try one of your own. It's in BETA so they're looking for folks to use the system and give feedback. Let your voices be heard.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Necessity of Life

Living in the country means having well water as a water source. It's pretty much a given that you need to have water purifiers under those circumstances. For anyone that has never lived in the country or tasted 'raw' well water, it's like drinking liquid metal. Sure they test the water anytime you purchase a home with well water to be sure it's 'safe' but just because it's safe doesn't mean it tastes good--or looks good. If you've ever seen the movie 'Back to the Future III' where Marty's great-great grandmother hands him a glass of 'water' and it's brown you know what it LOOKS like. Just imagine what it tastes like. Even city water can be improved with a good purifier, but in the country it's a necessity of life.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How Cool Is The Internet

I love the Internet. I don't suppose that's an unusual feeling anymore. I think 99% of the world's population probably feels like that. I don't know too many people who don't do everything from listening to music to getting term life insurance quotes online anymore. I know of a couple. My husband's older sister hates the Internet. She doesn't completely shy away from it. She found her last two (brief) husbands online, and perhaps thats the reason she isn't fond of the Internet even though she uses computers at work all the time. My husband's younger sister (still 50 so not really 'young') never did get used to computers or the Internet even though her children (in their late 20's and early 30's) all use and love computers. For the most part though people everywhere use it for everything and anything. It's amazing how the world just opens up to you online. I can sit in the middle of a cornfield in rural Illinois and talk to a friend in Georgia while I type this on my blog for all the world to see, and listen to music--all without leaving my home. How cool is that?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Who Needs Auto Parts?

You'd think with a brand new truck I wouldn't be out looking for auto parts, but you'd be wrong. Last week I got clobbered... yes my brand new truck. Well the insurance company will pay for the repairs--it still is a rip, I didn't cause the accident, my truck was parked and I was inside the store, but the driver of the other car didn't have insurance... yikes. At she got one heck of a ticket. Anyway, since I'm looking around for body shops I also started looking around for accessories for my nice new truck. I'm going to need something to make me feel happy again about paying on a brand new truck even once the dent is fixed. I know it was there.

Fun and Practical

Most of my wardrobe consists of blue jeans and t-shirts. That's my personality, and since I do lots of work outside, it's a good thing that I prefer to dress like that than in satin and silk. Both satin and silk are nice, but don't go well with barn chores. I suppose for my writing business I could dress in silk while I sit in my office in the back bedroom, but it seems kind of silly--and I prefer t-shirts. I like them with funny sayings, or pictures on them the best. My next favorite are animal pictures and/or sayings. Every once in awhile I even buy a blank one and make my own sayings or pictures but iron on transfers aren't as nice as the silk screened ones. All-in-all t-shirts are a lot more fun than dress shirts anyway.

In Your Own Backyard

Where do people's minds go when they do henious things? I just read today about a Texas couple who had their baby's body stored in their FREEZER. Police do not know yet if the baby died from being put in the freezer or was dead and then put in there, but either way, what were they thinking? Another couple, in the news just today, tried to SELL their baby on EBAY. Tell me how people can somehow turn off their moral compass long enough to do something like either of those things. It just makes no sense, and is scary to know you live in a world where things like that can happen. Everyone says it can't happen to me, but you never know what's going on right in your neighborhood, or even in your own home some time.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Laptops On The Go

Laptop computers are probably more common than the cumbersome old desktops now. After all, in a mobile society what makes more sense than a mobile computer. With WiFi hotspots all over, wireless connection ease built into laptops, it makes perfect sense, and actually is a lot cheaper -- you can even do away with a monthly internet bill if you make use of the free wifi areas, although it's not secure the way a paid service is. For me, at home however, I prefer the old workhorse of a desktop. It used to be because desktop computers were far more powerful than any available laptop, but that's no longer the case at all with most laptop speeds and storage capacities equal to any desktop. For me the whole reason for prefering a desktop computer is the keyboard. With my wrists, the odd situation of the way a laptop keyboard is set in is uncomfortable after awhile. My husband uses a laptop exclusively and loves it. For me though, the only time a laptop comes in handy is while I'm traveling. It doesn't make much sense to buy and maintain a laptop for just those times, even though it happens often enough, but you can make use of a laptop rental in those situations, and not have to worry about maintaining the computer, or keeping it in working order if something goes wrong with it. That's the best option for me, until they ever invent a laptop with a comfortable built in keyboard.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Hollywood

I don't know if it's my imagination, or if there really is more and more reporting of celebrities going into drug rehab, and or being put in prison on drug charges than ever before. Just this past month I've counted four incidents alone, and that number pales in the numbers of the past twelve months or so. Is it because the authorities are finally cracking down on celebrities and treating them like everybody else? Or is it because it's become more of a media ploy for attention? Sometimes the sensationalism of it all makes it seem more like 'there's no such thing as bad publicity' and if they can't get their names in the papers one way, they'll do it another, even if it means a felony charge. I know that seems a bit far-fetched and rediculous, but hey, it is Hollywood we're talking about.

Friday, May 09, 2008

You Never Know When You'll Need a Boat

Something you don't think you'll really need when you live in-land is an inflatable boat. This winter though, people in nearby Watseka and other surrounding areas in Iroquois county and Kankakee county learned the great importance and value of owning inflatable boats as many of them, as well as canoes, and anything else that would float on water were brought into service during two floods that occured in the little rural towns, even the big city of Kankakee in January and February. The areas were declared disaster zones by the governor and federal aide was requested, but I'll never forget the pictures of the land turned lakes, or driving into Watseka only to be stopped on highway 24 at the edge of a lake of water that engulfed the entire West side of the town. There are still reminders of the horror as you drive through side streets and see homes up on girders as their lower levels and basements are repaired from the water damage. I remember in the weeks that followed the floods driving through and seeing piles of garbage higher than cars lining the streets. I even have a picture of cars submurged in the water during the floods, and can only imagine the tremendous financial impact to those families not only having to repair homes, replace furniture and clothing, but cars as well. Luckily I live far enough away from that area not to have been directly impacted. It's a sight I hope to not see ever again, but it might be a good idea to buy a boat just in case.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Makings of Memories

My son's room is litered with his highschool, and little league baseball trophies, basketball, track, and many others as well. Our family room has various trophies everywhere, from dog shows, rabbit shows, 4-h, and other livestock shows. My husband once commented we should put all the old trophies away. Some of them are 10 or more years old. It isn't the age of them that's important. For my son his baseball trophies are like memorabilia that make him feel warm, and happy remembering his accomplishments. Many of the livestock and 4-h trophies upstairs have the same effect as he was the most active in 4-h. For me those same trophies bring back wonderful memories of our family working through the year together, and showing together. Other animal show trophies have the same accomplishment for me that my son's athletic trophies have for him. Hours of work, paid off in the form of winning animals. You can't put an age limit on the feelings and memories that those items possess. My husbands theory was that since we have so many current ones, we don't need the old ones, but mine is that the old ones are treasured memories, the new ones are fun new memories, and the space I just cleared for this year's shows, is for memories in the making.

Not So Wild After All

While I've always considered myself somewhat conservative, I find that the people I surround myself with, including those in my family are somewhat 'fringe' conservatives. For instance most of the men in my family, including my husband, son, son-in-law, and father have been known to wear men's jewelry. My husband has a pierced ear, and occassionally wears a necklace, and has several rings. My father for as long as I can remember has worn a gold chain on his neck. Various boyfriends of my past have worn different forms of jewelry from necklace, to bracelet, earings, and well some other piercings not mentionable. My daughter's boyfriends and husband have all had various piercings, and some have worn necklace jewelry and rings. So, while I may consider myself conservative all I like, I must have a wild streak in me... or maybe it's not so wild after all.

Friday, March 28, 2008


When I was young, preteen and early teen years, a very very close friend who I thought of like a mother developed a condition that as a child I'd never heard of. Psoriasis. Back then there wasn't much in the way of psoriasis treatment available. I think back then that most people hadn't heard of this problem, although I assumed it was just me. I think even now that many people aren't aware of this condition unless they suffer with it, or know someone who does. Thankfully there are much better ways of dealing with it thanks to the advances in medicine, and better awareness and support for those diagnosed with the disease. I wish these things had been available to Peggy back about 35 years ago, but knowing how she suffered the embarrassment, and lack of treatment, I'm very glad that those out there who need it can get the help they deserve.

Making Traveling a Breeze

Almost all new cars now come with one of the most interesting gadgets I could ever imagine anyone coming up with--gps tracking. I got to ride in a friend's pickup recently that had this device and I love, love, love it. So what do you do if you have an older car that doesn't have one? Buy it and install it. I have to find one because my sense of direction tends to be really bad. I'm fine if I'm headed someplace and don't stop anywhere, but if I turn off a highway, or what have you, into a gas stop, or a restaurant, I easily get turned around. Plus dealing with big, paper maps is a chore especially if you're on your own. Hubby is on the lookout for a new truck, I sure hope his comes with a GPS system when he gets it. If not, that has to be put in too, because it would make traveling to shows, and other farms a breeze.

Save Money While Getting In Shape

Some people may consider having exercise equipment in their homes a luxury, even if they're on a diet, or serious about getting/keeping fit. I don't think that's the case, at least for me it's not a luxury. Instead, it's the best, and even cheapest way to go. My reasons for feeling that having my own equipment is the right choice are:

1)I don't have to travel to the gym. This is a big thing for me since the closest real gym is almost 45 minutes away, and that's at country backroad speeds. So having my own equipment saves me money in gas, and it saves me over an hour and a half of driving time.

2)I can workout whenever I want. Because the gym would be so far away, I would have to really schedule when I wanted to work out. For me, with being self-employed, and also working on our home farm, my schedule is awfully tight. Chances are extremely good that even if I did join the gym, I'd have a really hard time making the time to get there. With the equipment here at home, when I feel like working out, I do it. If I have to stop to get something else done, I can, and I can go back to it when I'm finished. That may not save me money, but it makes working out possible. I guess, it actually does save me money too. If I spent hundreds of dollars on a gym membership I never/or rarely use, that's like throwing the money away.

Those are just two of my reasons. To me they're the biggest and most important ones. I love my home workout equipment. I wouldn't trade any of it for

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Which Would You Chose For A Logo?

I need a little help making a decision. I've needed a new logo design for our farm for quite some time and I found a terrific place online where you can make your logo and even create business cards from them. I followed their easy 5 step creation process that you can try out for free and made a cool new logo. You get to pick your graphic from a large selection of graphics and even styles of graphic, then pick the print style for you lettering, and finally the coloring. It's easy and fun.
Here's what the easy creation template looks like with my final logo at the end of the process

Here's where the problem comes in. There were a lot of business card styles to choose from. A lot more than I thought there would be. I narrowed it down to three of my favorites but I can't decide which one I like best. Any thoughts? Which would you pick?

I'm leaning heavily toward the second choice, but the third one is really nice, and the first one has such a flair and really puts out our red/white farm colors boldly.

Branding the image of our farm name, the product we produce--in our case Boer Goats--and our identifying colors by creating an imaginative logo, and matching business cards that we can hand out at shows, conventions, and production sales will help us to get our name out there and become more prominent in the industry. We've been involved with goats for many years but just started out with Boers last year, so it's very important to start getting out name out there and visible.

I really liked LogoYes for it's ease, and very stylish end product. The end result is very professional looking and that's just as important as branding your name on people's minds. If they associate you with poorly made products with a raggedy image and jagged edges because you cut your business cards on the kitchen table with a pair of scissors, that's how they will perceive your product whether it's good, or not.

Okay, so which one? Card 1, 2, or 3?

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Different Kind of Strength

I was really hoping to get the new set of yoga dvd workouts that I saw. Yoga is the ultimate strength workout that goes even further... it is great for strengthening muscles, but also relaxing and stretching them. Stretching muscles is so important and often either overlooked when using other forms of strength exersize or equipment, or done too quickly, and not enough to really get the benefits of it. With Yoga you do it all, and you do it all at the same time. Afterwards you feel almost glowing because not only to you get the strength workout, and the stretching, but it is extremely relaxing. You don't even realize you're getting a heavy duty exercise routine most of the time. I have an old Yoga video that I use, but I really need to upgrade a bit. My old worn-out tape has given me more than my monies worth time and time again.

Muscle gravy

With my new-found 'healthy' lifestyle came a lot of changes. Everything from the types of food I eat, and how I cook that food, to a room full of strength equipment to train on daily. For me, having it here at home makes sense. Cost wise, it may be a little more expensive than a health club membership, but where I'm at I'd have to drive over 45 minutes each way to get to the nearest health club. Add in the cost of gas and buying my own made a lot of sense. Couple that with, after the first few weeks, having to drive all that way would begin to wear on me. Having to fit a lengthy trip an workout into my schedule would begin to get difficult. So daily visits would turn into three times a week, would turn into twice, to once, to monthly... and so on. Having it right here, I can use it whenever I want. Break up my workouts to several times a day if I wish. I don't have to drive, spend money on gas, and I can use any piece of equipment I want without having to stand in line... bonus.

Even if you can't afford an entire room full of equipment like I splurged on, have the basics and you're much more apt to get the workout in, and do it regularly. Hey, if you can afford to spoil yourself with a fancy gym membership too, go for it, but personally I place at home equipment a higher priority. The rest is gravy.

Room To Spread

All my life I usually thought of rich and famous people traveling first class and getting big penthouse type hotel rooms, or staying in Condo Hotels. More and more that's becoming more the 'norm' not just for the wealthy. It makes sense really. I mean who wants to be cramped into a little box, especially if traveling as a family? With a condo you can spread out and make yourself feel as comfortable, maybe even more so, than if you were at home while enjoying the new surroundings. Coming home from a day long 'adventure' is a lot more fun when you are coming home to a nicely furnished condo rather than a teeny little box with a bed. Since I'm really picky about what I eat lately it helps too that I could have my own food in the kitchen, and cook myself. Vacations now beat the old-fashioned types we took when our kids were small. Once I even made a 'crib' out of a hotel room dresser drawer for my six-month old daughter. Okay, it made for nice converstations over the years, but having room is much nicer.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Single Handledly

Sometimes it seems as if I'm feeding the entire Swiss Army here even though it's just me, my husband, and my son. My son keeps telling me he's a growing boy, but he's a grown man now, so he can't have much growing to do. He's thin as a reed though. I'm not sure how he does it when he eats constantly, and all the wrong things. I think someday it will catch up to him--but not today. Then of course there are all the animals to feed every day. So it seems like if I'm not fixing human food, I'm fixing up critter food. Everything from goats to horses, to geese and chickens, as well as a few barn cats, and my indoor cats too. Single handedly I'm keeping the animal 'chow' industry in business. At least it seems like that some days.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

New Skin

I'm definately at the age where noticing new wrinkles on my face has become a pasttime. It seems like every day there's a new crease, or a deepening one. It's interesting that you can find wrinkle cream reviews to decide which of them actually work, or work better than another one. In present society, short of getting your skin pulled back to your earlobes it's the best alternative. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just someday go into a booth and press a button, and viola, new skin?