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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hiking in the Garden of the Gods

My husband and I are planning a spring trip to a place I've wanted to go for years. It sounds like someplace really hard to get to, or far away, or expensive right? It's not. It's right in our own backyard so to speak. It's in Illinois anyway. It's down south on the very tip of the state, a forest preserve in the mountains called "Garden of the Gods." I can't wait. I've seen pictures, but never been there. The one thing holding us back all the time is the vast amounts of hiking in order to really experience the area. I am determined to be in good enough shape to do it by spring. I guess I'm going to have to go to jansport and get my gear so I'm all set to go when the time comes. I want to go in the middle part of the spring, when all the danger of snow or frost is over, but it hasn't gotten to the really hot days of summer yet. Part of me thinks fall would be an even better time to go. All the trees would be changing colors, and it would be beautiful, but I don't want to wait that long.

Feeding People Food to Birds

Parrots are fun and interesting pets. Like most pet owners you may want to give them a treat, and offer them some of the foods off your plate as you eat. Believe it or not, that can be a very good idea. Parrots were once thought to be very short lived. That was because people fed captive birds the wrong types of foods, and it shortened their life-span considerably.
What we once thought was an average life-span of about 10 years, we now know in many cases can be as much as 100 years for larger parrots. However, if your bird is getting a diet consisting almost, or entirely of seeds from a bag in a supermarket aisle—chances are his lifespan is going to be closer to the 10 year mark than 100.
Seeds can be a small part of a bird’s diet, but they were not meant to eat a diet completely made up of them. In the wild, birds eat a large amount of fruit, nuts, vegetables and even grasses. Bugs (protein) also make up a part of the wild parrot’s diet, and while it’s not likely you’ll be serving up any ants, spiders or worms on a plate, other protein sources are a great addition to your bird’s daily meal plan.
Some of the foods your birds will love to share with you include:
• Apples
• Bananas
• Oranges
• Grapes
• Peas
• Green beans
• Cucumbers
• Tomatoes
• Eggs (okay, that sounds macabre, but they like them)
• Oatmeal (really)
• Squash
• Low fat meats
• Potatoes
• Unsalted nuts of any kind
• Unsalted and unbuttered popcorn
The list can go on for quite awhile, but you get the idea. Healthy food choices for you are usually good choices for them.
Foods That You Should Not Feed Your Parrots
Avoid foods that are high in fat. High fat contents are one of the reasons a diet that consists mostly of store bought seeds are not a good choice for your birds. Most birds don’t get “fat” the way people do. That’s because the fat builds up around their organs and kills them before they can get obese. Bird bodies are much smaller than human bodies, and everything that impacts us badly, does the same to them faster.
Other foods to avoid are those high in salt. Not only the obvious foods that have salt on top of them such as potato chips and salted nuts, but don’t feed your bird frozen or canned fruits or vegetables since salt is used to preserve them.
Never feed your bird chocolate. Avocados, even though it is a fruit, are dangerous to them as well. Apples are great for your birds, but core them and discard the seeds. Apple seeds are high in tannin and are toxic. Do not feed your birds milk and alcohol is a definite no-no.
Surprisingly, onions are on the list of things you should never give your parrots. They are highly toxic to birds. This does not include peppers, which many parrots enjoy, but anything in the onion family including garlic is off-limits. The birds cannot process onion the way human’s do through the liver. The most common foods not to feed your parrots include:
• Onions
• Avocados
• Chocolate
• Salt
• Mushrooms
• Apple seeds
The bottom line is this: if it’s not healthy for you, even if you eat or drink those things, do not feed them to your bird. That will eliminate most of the seriously dangerous items from the list automatically and you just have to remember avocados and onions.
Raw or Cooked
Raw is always better when possible. However, it’s okay to give your bird some of the foods you have with dinner, so long as they are safe foods. Just be sure you cool it off so they don’t burn their tongues.
Why Won’t My Bird Accept People Foods?
If you got your bird from a store, or adopted an older bird that was used to a diet of seeds alone, it may take them a while to accept new foods. Even once they take one; it may take them just as long to accept the next. They aren’t used to variety, different textures and flavors. Once they get the idea, however, they should learn to really enjoy trying new things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Romantic Bathroom Fixtures

I would love to add a second bath onto the house. It seems like every house I've ever owned only had one bathroom except for the place in Palos--there we had a half bath downstairs, but that's the only time. We are always fighting over bathroom time. I thought that as we got older and the kids moved out, it would be less of an issue. Well, it is to some extent, but there are still plenty of times I wish we had a second bathroom. If I can ever remodel the house and add a second bath, I want a real romantic room with an old-fashioned clawfoot bath tub. I love the looks of those classic tubs, and you don't even have to settle for an ancient, old tub to get it. There are still plenty of places that sell them brand new for a new bathroom.

Exercising Smart

If you are trying to lose weight, you know that eating less, and eating the right things makes a huge difference. You also know that burning calories through exercise not only helps you reduce your calories, it pushes your metabolism into a higher gear to burn faster. Knowing how many calories you are burning is very important, and there is a calculator at the top of the page here that can really help you find out how efficient your workouts are.

Keeping it Moving

It's amazing how many things you can fix on your car by yourself and save a lot of money. My son is good at that kind of thing. Me, I wouldn't know an oil pump from a coolant pump. People like me, if they don't have a son or husband who can do the work, end up paying a ton of money in labor costs at local shops. Buying parts online can save even more over the cost of local small parts stores. Because you can find such a greater diversity of parts at lower prices, it makes it even more possible to keep all things mobile, moving.


Swam 90 minutes today. A combination of backstroke and breast stroke, with a few laps of the crawl thrown in for good measure. Even though it's a few dollars more a month, I'm glad that LA Fitness took over our local Bally's. Now I can go to the LA Fitness closer to my house than the Bally's club is that has a pool. It's a little bit nicer, more well-kept, although the pool is only 3 lanes instead of 4 like the Ballys.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Are You REALLY Hungry?

How often do you diet, cut your calories to a reasonable level, but still feel like you’re starving? The reality is, as long as you stay above 1200 calories, and only cut your calories by a proper amount for your BMR, there’s no reason to be starving during a diet. What really happens is you’re probably not drinking enough water.
Your body is made up of almost 60% water. It needs water for almost every single function, and every organ, muscle, fiber and liquid in it needs water to work right. In today’s world, we drink everything BUT water. That may be the biggest reason for our massive worldwide weight problem—nobody drinks plain old water anymore.

When your body doesn’t get enough water, it cries out for it. It stores it, and you hold water because it’s afraid it won’t get what it needs, and you not only hold water, but gain more weight because you eat to resolve the cravings you think are for food. When you’re feeling hungry, you are probably just thirsty and starving for water.

You should be drinking AT LEAST 8 cups of water a day. More is better, and it is REALLY hard to drink too much water. You would have to be downing several gallons of water every day to be over-saturating your tissues and causing more harm than good. It’s unrealistic to think anyone could do that without doing it purposely. For most people, drinking 8 to 10 cups of water takes some concentration. Even if you normally drink soft drinks, coffee or other liquids like a fish, and seem to constantly be thirsty (really craving water) you’ll find if you begin to drink 8 to 10 cups of water every day, you stop being so thirsty, and have to remind yourself to take a drink.

Water Purist

Many people would call me a water purist. Nothing else compares to plain, pure water. Often people will make the mistake of thinking that all liquids have water in them---that’s true, and that means they count as water intake---not true. Anytime there is ANYTHING added to the water, whether it has calories or not, it doesn’t count. The reason is that when there is something to be filtered out before it goes into the system, the liver and kidneys have to work on it. That defeats the purpose, and actually slows down your metabolism.

Even flavored waters, black coffee and tea and definitely zero calorie soft drinks are going to make your body work hard to get rid of the additives and have far less nourishing pure water value. While flavored water would be far better than diet soda, what your body needs, and craves is plain, pure water.

Don’t Like the Taste

That’s the excuse I hear all the time about why people “can’t” drink water. That’s because you’re so used to drinking flavors. Plain water tastes bland, off, or unappetizing. If you ‘force’ yourself to drink it for a few days you’ll discover how wonderful it really is.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

To RV or Not to RV

One of the things I didn't really take into consideration when we bought the boat was the extra insurance. Of course, reality hit pretty fast, and we got it insured right away, but whenever you buy something like a car you automatically know to call for insurance. I'm just glad nothing happened on the long trip from Iowa when we pulled that big thing home with us without insurance. I've thought about getting an RV to have it stationed by the river in the summers. It would be a lot more fun to live in that on the weekends, and maybe even during the week than it is to try and live in the small cabin of our 25 foot boat. But that will mean getting rv insurance on top of the boat insurance. Even though we'd really only be driving it twice a year, to the river and home again in the fall, accidents still happen. The insurance protects it from damage when it's not in use as well, and also for liability if anyone got hurt on, near or around it. Like anything, you may never need it, but when you do, you sure are glad you have it.

Empty Nest

Well, my son went down south to Arkansas today to begin a month long job. It's going to be weird not having him here for the month. It's sort of strange, we have this at odds relationship, but we love each other. I guess it's because he's in his 20's and should be living on his own, but with the way things are right now, that's just not possible. At least he does go to work when it's available. Regular 9 to 5 type jobs (any shift) just aren't that easy to find right now, so he's lucky he has this that he can go do, working for a construction/farm crew every couple of months, sometimes all summer long, and a little in the winter like now.

Handheld or Dash GPS

When we bought our boat it was supposed to have a handheld garmin gps unit that came with it. The previous owner said it was in the cabin, and we forgot to look before we left. Of course, it wasn't really there, so we ended up buying a dash (helm) model, but now I think I'd like to have had the hand held one. It's so much more versatile, and you can move around with it. Even take it off the boat, use it in the car, or just as we explore some of the islands that we play around on during the summer. I think that's going to be my Christmas present to myself.

Playing it By Ear for Dieting

Ugh, I've just been watching some YouTube videos on the massive skin hanging problem after large weight loss. I'm not sure it's worth it. Although as long as they have clothes on it looks completely normal, and most of them have a manageable amount, but one had almost as much hanging down and bulging out as I do before the weight loss. It kind of makes me think, maybe I don't want to get all the way to my goal weight. 1/2 way would still be a lot thinner, but the skin wouldn't hang and flab around as much. I guess I'll have to play it by ear as I go.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Makes me Want to Play Again

I'm about ready to go out and buy a new guitar. I took lessons and played for years growing up, and the one thing I always hated was tuning. I wasn't very good at it, and it would take me quite a while to get it perfect. Now you can use the Internet to tune your guitar. That's pretty awesome. With the online guitar tuner you can choose to tune your guitar by ear, or plug in and use the digitized service to tune it perfectly. Amazing! Now the only thing holding me back from playing like I used to is getting my fingers toughened up again.

I Got a New Phone!

Yep, that's right, I finally jumped into the 21st century and got a smart phone. I've wanted one for a long time, but kept being "practical" and telling myself I had a perfectly good phone. Well, I did, but hey, that thing couldn't do the things a smart phone does. And when they say "there's an app for that" they aren't kidding. I got an Android, and the Android market is just as competitive with iPhone when it comes to apps. There are millions of them--literally, and many of them completely free. I also chose a non-contract phone from Straight Talk. I've been using their phone service for about a year with my other phone, and really like it. Here's a picture of my new phone with the cute skin I bought for it.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Settled Down

The Author of this post is Freddy Savage

Getting digital cable at home was a good decision mostly because I think it kept my husband from leaving me. He and I bought this place knowing it would need a lot of work but after a while I think we were both surprised by the time and energy that had to be put into the renovations. It seemed like all our free time including nights and weekends went into making this place a home and though it looks great now it’s hard to say it was worth it because it caused so many fights between us. I really wish I’d known better at the time than to volunteer us for such an intense craft project but you know I always bite off more than I can chew. It’s sort of my MO at the end of the day and my husband knew that, it’s just not usually a project we’re both so involved in but we got through it and I will admit that the house looks great. There’s nothing like the finished product!


I am dealing with carpal tunnel right now from overworking. I mistakenly double booked myself. I'm only one person. Sometimes I need to remind myself of that. The money is nice though, but I think a little less money and a lot less pain would be nicer. Once I get the real estate taxes and some of the repairs needed here out of the way, I think I will take a long vacation.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Getting Ready to Go Out Again

I watched a show the other day on TV, and the host was giving a demonstration on how to get bigger better eyelashes. She was using an eyelash enhancer, and it looked wonderful. I really haven't used makeup much since starting to work from home, but sometimes when we go out it's nice to look all pretty again.

Now that we live up in the suburbs again, I want to do a lot more going out too. There are so many things I haven't seen in years--Decades even. I was surprised when my husband mentioned going to the zoo out of thin air. I would love that. Now I know I don't have to get made up to go to the zoo, but then again; it would be nice not to scare the animals.


It's Halloween!

I waited all year for this. Living back up in the city again. I thought for sure there would be so many more trick or treaters. I bought six big bags of candy. We had a few kids, and the town webpage says trick or treating ends at 6 pm... well, I unloaded about half the candy, but boy am I going to have a tummy ache tomorrow. I had to put what I didn't eat of what was left away so I wouldn't be tempted anymore.

Coming Home

My daughter is thinking about moving to an area outside of her town. She wants to move to northern Indiana, by the lake, closer to us. That would be nice, but it also means she would have to find another job. It's far too long of a commute to travel everyday back and forth to where she works now in a nursing home. I suggested she broaden her job search when she gets up here to include hospitals, and even Dental Jobs. I know she actually likes working in the nursing homes. She says the hospitals are nice too, but you get to know the patients much more in the nursing homes. She hasn't ever worked in a dental office, but with her medical training it shouldn't be any problem. It will be a big change for her, no matter where she goes, but it will also be nice to have her so close again.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cats and Dogs Living Together--Complete Chaos

Who would have thought that a cat that had never lived with a dog, or even seen one, and a dog who only saw playful little kittens outside, but never lived indoors with a crabby older cat would learn to love each other? I think the dog is really good for the cat. She is very old, and the young dog keeps her active and playful. They actually play together, and the cat starts it many of the times.

Ranger Woes Getting Happier

I have an old ranger in the garage that needs some minor repairs before it is road worthy again. My son offered to fix it for me if I could find the right polaris ranger parts to do the job. That is such a great help. The actual parts aren't really that expensive, but if I had to take it to the shop to get it fixed, it would probably be in the garage for the next decade or so. It is really a benefit for both of us, he really loves to mess around with cars, and fix them up. The thing is, it's a really nice looking old ranger. I like the style a lot. I may even put my Monte Carlo in the garage and drive the Ranger once it's fixed up.

Misery Needs Company

I'm so glad my back has gotten back in shape. I thought it would never be better after this last episode. I know the old adage is that once you have back problems, you always have back problems, but I can go for months, even years without having it go out. Usually it's not something big that does it either, but rather doing something silly like this time--moving a chair. Jeesh.

Well, at least I had my little bat-head to keep me company and console me while I was down. I think she's happy I'm up again though.

Excited Over iPhone

I've always wanted an iPhone, and now I am about to get one, but the one thing that has always worried me is the big open touch pad. I have enough trouble with my slider phone that has some of its buttons on the surface. I put it in my purse, or in my pocket and end up finding out it is on, surfing the internet or trying to make a call without me. The otterbox iphone 4 case may be the answer. It has a hard case that covers the touch pad so it not only stays clean, but won't jump into action if I sit down, or it jostles around in my purse. The fact that it will protect the screen is a great thing too. My screen on my current phone is showing the wear. It's still fine, but you can tell it isn't covered up when stored.

The technology today just amazes me, and iPhones are almost everything you can imagine in a tiny little palm held instrument. Forget just not leaving home without a phone which was something I would have never imagined growing up, but now you can't leave home without a computer, internet connection, messaging service and camera. At least it's all in one, and so small you don't even notice you're carrying an entire office in your pocket.

In the Closet

Cleaning closets today. So much fun... not. But it is great to have a fresh, clean closet with neatly folded or hung things. I don't know how they get to be such a mess, even though I try to keep things neat in the meantime, but they do. I think, if I didn't occasionally clean out the closets I'd end up being a hoarder, because I'm always throwing out stuff I've stuffed away.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Under the Sea

I sure missed boating this summer. With hubby's illness, we just didn't get out. We're hoping to go back out on the water next year. In the meantime I've been enjoying a lot of my friend's pictures and videos. Some of them get the coolest pictures with their waterproof cameras that can take pictures under water. That's so amazing, and it's like looking into an alien world that you'd never know existed just sitting on the shores, or in a boat. I would really love to get one of those to take out on the boat next year and have been trying to find waterproof cameras at the source so I can save a little bit of money and still get a camera that can get those awesome shots. I think the Illinois River would be really interesting to see from below the water line.

Lake Michigan would be even cooler, and now that I live closer to it, we might actually splash the boat into those cool blue waters. Most of the pictures I've seen from friends who take underwater shots are from those that live on the oceans, and that is amazing, but there's a lot of life under the surface of Illinois waters too.

Winter's Comin'

It is so cold here today. What is with this weather? First we have a summer that is so hot the surface of the sun was jealous, now we have early winter cold in the middle of September when it should still be really warm. It is suppose to bounce back up to a pleasant end of summer/early fall temperature in a few days, but burrrrrrrrrr for now. I am in a rush because the furnace here needs to be replaced, and I somehow need to make an extra $2400 on top of regular bills before it gets so cold I have to haul out the space heaters again. Last winter I used them, but the electric bills were pretty high, and it was still pretty chilly in the house. It was liveable though, and I suppose if I gotta make do another winter, I will have to make do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Couponing in the Not to Extreme Way

Do you use coupons? There's quite a craze thanks to the TV show on couponing, but that is a really extreme way to do it, and takes a lot of work. Most people aren't going to go to those lengths, and that isn't really the way coupons were meant to be used. However, not using coupons is just as foolish as being extreme.

Coupons represent cash values... they're like money. Why wouldn't you take advantage of saving money on the items you'd use anyway? My favorite place to shop is Kmart. It's right down the street from me, and has great sales and deals all of the time. Along with those deals, I collect kmart coupons both online and from my local papers, and only use the ones that are for products I really need or would buy anyway. Doing that saves me several dollars every time I go to the store. In these trying times, why wouldn't I want to save as much as possible?

I don't go to extremes, or stockpile for the future. I just use the coupons to buy products I need at the time. I don't have the space for stockpiling, and I think that when it's done in an extreme manner it's actually selfish. However, using a coupon or two to buy a couple items isn't foolish or selfish, it's smart.

Shower Wall Repair

Tile repair around tubs and shower stalls can be intimidating, but it is the most important thing you can do for your home. Catching problems early will help reduce the costs of extensive repairs. You can do the job yourself, which will also save you a great deal of money in labor. It is a good idea to replace or repair loose or broken tiles as soon as possible to avoid water damage to the backing behind them, but if you find soggy drywall behind your tiles don’t panic. You can still solve the problem and prevent further damage.

Remove all loose or damaged tile. You can pull off very loose tiles, but use a chisel to get to the one still semi-stuck to the wall. Once you have all of the loose or damaged tiles removed, use the chisel to gently pry off at least one more row of tiles all the way around the soggy area. For really stubborn tiles, reach behind the drywall and score it with a utility knife to punch out the tile. Pull out the wet drywall with your hands, and use a handsaw to make a solid, fresh edge on the portion of the exposed wall that is still in good condition.

Scrape off grout, caulking and mastic. Never use a sander as that can release harmful asbestos that might be present. For hard mastic, place the tiles in a large pot and boil for several minutes. Remove with a pair of tongs, and then scrape off the mastic with a putty knife.

Cut the cement backerboard to match the size of the new opening in the wall. Use roofing nails to secure it to the wall studs.

Use your trowel to spread mastic evenly across the backerboard, and place tiles on top of the mastic. Allow the tiles to dry in place for at least three days.

Add latex additive to powdered grout and use your trowel to press it into the joints of the tiles. Remove all excess grout with a damp sponge. Wait about three hours and buff with a soft towel or cloth.

Seal the top of the tiles to the ceiling, or bottom to the tub if the repaired area is in that location, with silicone caulk.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Mattson's Steak House in Burbank, IL

Don't GOOOOOOO! It's been around forever. Well, as long as I can remember, and that's a long time, but I've never really been tempted to go there. It's never been that impressive from the outside. Just and average family restaurant type thing. Well, today I was searching for some place new and interesting to eat around here, and came on their website. Wow, it looked delicious. High priced, but hey, it's a steak joint, and I really don't mind paying a high price for good food.


I'm not usually too hard on restaurants, but I have to say I was completely under-whelmed for the most part, and in some cases completely disgusted. First of all, it's cafeteria style, okay, well the salad bar and hot side's bar is all you can eat, and they bring your steak and potato choice out to your table. The food bars were not at all impressive, just average, but what's worse, the food in general wasn't very good. I will admit that my steak was buttery soft, and good, but my hubby's was tough and sinewy (New York Strip should be one of the best cuts). The corn bread was very good, but that's the only two things I liked. I had steak fries and while they were nice and thick, the edges were rock hard, the vegetable medley from the hot bar was tasteless, and the carrots were rock hard.

I've never not went back to a buffet line at least once, and I've never turned a blind eye to a free desert even if it is only soft-serve ice cream, but I did this time, and left a good portion of my first serving on the plate.

Do yourself a favor... skip Mattson's Steak House at 81st and Cicero in Burbank, IL

Thursday, September 01, 2011

A Dollar Isn't Just a Dollar

I bet you didn't know there was more than one kind of silver dollar? I sure didn't until we found a lot of old silver dollars when cleaning out my mother-in-law's house. The fact is, just any old silver dollar isn't necessarily going to be worth much, if any more than it's face value, although it still has that. There are specific types of silver dollars, and even within those types, specific years or "mints" that are worth more than others. It is a very complex and interesting thing once you start to learn about it. It really makes you appreciate the intricacies of coin collecting, and what makes something worth more than it normally would, and what really makes them worth a lot more than others.

The Right Foot

As bad as my back has been, I haven't really done much work in the past week. That, along with moving, and getting the yard here in shape over the past two months (hum, can we say--back pain problem) means I haven't been really focusing on my work as much as I normally would. It's a new month now, the 1st of September, and I am really going to re-focus myself this month and get back on track. With the exception of this last week, it really hasn't been 'bad', but it just hasn't been up to par, I have to prioritize a little better, and spread out the work here, once I can do it again, a little more so I get my job done too.

Making the Most of Garbage

I've used composters before, but now since I've moved to a new, smaller property, I'm back in the market for something more compact than I've used in the past. The best thing about composters is that they are an eco-friendly way of making use of your biodegradable waste products without filling up landfills and also giving you the opportunity to make your own grounds better. Since I am very determined to make the most of this small property with both flowers as well as a few vegetables and herbs a composter will come in very handy here.

Dealing with Back Pain

I am limping around like an 80 year old woman this past week. I threw my back out again. It's something that happens regularly enough to be a fact of life for me, although it's been a few years since it happened last. In fact, this morning, talking with my husband he was worried that it would be something needing surgery, and I reminded him of a time over 20 years ago when it was so bad I couldn't even stand up, and he had to get me down the stairs in order to go to the hospital (no easy feat because of the way the stairs were situated). It's not something new. It just takes time to resolve itself, and at least I can get up even if I look like a bent up old woman when doing it. It can take up to 6 weeks for this type of back problem to get better, and it's a long time, but there's not much you can do about it when it happens except go with it, and deal with it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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Acne Solutions

The typical solutions for acne problems are to run to the store and grab an arsenal of drugs and creams, and attack with everything at once in hopes of getting rid of an acne problem by bombardment. Not only does that not work to get rid of a skin acne problem, it can even make blemishes worse by aggravating the skin. The first thing you have to do is choose a good acne product, and use it wisely, and the second thing is to follow these 16 tips to create the proper environment inside and out for acne problem skin.


Acne is much more than simply a surface problem and you’re not going to get rid of an acne problem overnight. There are a lot of things working together, inside and out to cause your skin blemishes. The following changes in your life will help you to reduce the inflammation, and see results faster than with medication alone.

• Some jobs have environmental or clothing restrictions that promote the occurrence of a skin acne problem.
• In order to get rid of an acne problem you need to pay close attention to your daily hygiene habits, but maybe not for the reasons you think.
• Acne problem skin can be made worse by certain clothing.
• Ending an acne problem skin is not an overnight ritual.

Get Rid of Restrictive Clothing to Get Rid of Acne

Tight clothing and accessories that bind, or make you sweat make it hard to achieve acne free skin. Hats and scarves can make you sweat and create more oil along the hairline, and neck. Acne does not just appear on the face, however. For women, tight bras and shirts may aggravate acne on the shoulders and under the breast. Men who wear heavy flannel and tight belts can get breakouts on the back, shoulders and at the waistline.

• When you have to wear heavy clothes make sure your skin can breathe and your clothing doesn’t contribute to excessive sweating helps create acne free zones on the body.
• In extremely hot weather it can be even more difficult to eliminate sweating and oil buildup. Take frequent showers with soap that includes a good moisturizer that won’t cause the opposite problem and dry out your skin too much.
• Wash your face with a medicated soap twice a day, but avoid scrubbing which can actually make it harder to achieve acne free skin by increasing the inflammation.

Work and Environmental Hazards that Aggravate Acne Problems

Restrictive clothing in the workplace such as goggles, heavy shirts and helmets can make you sweat and increase oil production around the eyes, hairline and chest and shoulders. You aren’t going to be able to fight that by getting rid of the problem without losing your job. You will have to find ways to defeat the problem.

• Make sure heavy shirts or cover-ups are not too tight so your skin can breathe.
• Another way to keep job related gear from creating a skin acne problem is to keep items like goggles and gloves clean to eliminate bacteria buildup on the surfaces that come in contact with skin. Clean goggles often, or replace whenever possible. Never wear goggles that someone else has worn previously.
• Remove your helmet as often as possible to allow airflow and clean the hairline with an antiseptic to kill bacteria.
Dirt, dust and other contaminants in the air also create a problem for acne sufferers in factories and other manufacturing businesses.
• Wash for face thoroughly after work, and if possible during lunch breaks to help get rid of the debris that attaches to the skin and clogs pours, creating acne problems.

Anti-acne Hygiene Tips for Men

• If you use electric razors, dry your whiskers before shaving to make it stand up so it is easier to shave and doesn’t aggravate acne problems.
• Make sure regular razors are sharp and avoid pressing excessively hard on the skin.
• Don’t use multi-blade razors that can aggravate the skin.
• Cleanse the skin before shaving to get rid of oil so the hair is easier to remove)
• Use shaving gel to protect the skin
• Always shave with the grain.

Anti-acne Hygiene Tips for Women

• Keep makeup light, and avoid skin covering powders, blush or foundations that increase acne problems.

Don’t Stress Out

Stress increases the hormone, cortisol, levels and increases oil production. Stress can create an acne problem in other ways as well. It can keep you from getting enough sleep, and also cause liver function problems. These both contribute to more severe acne problems as well as other severe health issues. Some ways to alleviate stress include:

• Exercise regularly and eat healthy.
• Meditate or use other relaxation techniques to get rid of the day’s stress that contribute to acne problems.

How Long Does it Take to Become Acne Free?

It can take months for complete acne free skin in some more difficult cases, and once you have rid yourself of blemishes, it will require a constant vigil of care to keep them gone.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pin Me

I remember in college, pinning was such a big thing. Even in later years, pins are a great way to express feelings, associations or interests. When we were showing our horses, we used to have pins with a certain horse's picture on it, and their name, or sometimes we'd have some made with our farm name. My husband wears a lapel pin on his uniform with his name. Those are much classier than the fun pins we used to use, but smart choices for businesses, especially those that deal with people. When I worked at gas stations in past years, we used to have to wear them, but they were the cheap kind you just used a label maker to print out a name on and stick it to a plastic backing. The one my husband wears is a permanent solid metal kind that is much nicer and more elegant.

Beware of TCF Information When Signing Up

I opened a bank account with TCF bank up here at my new location. It is a branch kiosk at the Jewel where I shop a lot so I thought it would be convenient enough. I am a little disappointed by the misinformation and hustle I got when I signed up. I hope it picks up a bit and the service is better than that overall. I do like their online banking platform, so I am not going to make any rash decisions, although part of me is saying I should just close it out and open one at the bank across from my house instead, and think of the bad start as an omen. Hopefully I am just being a worrier. I won't have to really deal with the branch manager or deal with the issues that caused the problems I had at the start from now on, so as long as other operations are okay, it should be okay.

One thing however, that will change my mind if I find a better situation is that I found out TCF charges for debit card use. I'm not use to that. My old bank didn't charge for debit or credit on the card. I don't know if that's unusual, or something I'll find up here. Half of me is still considering keeping my old bank account open. I haven't closed it yet,and since I do almost everything electronically anyway, I don't have to actually go to the bank. I'd just have to change the address on the account so my monthly statements and stuff come here. I'll certainly let you know if it isn't though. If you are thinking about a bank, be really careful about what they tell you when you walk in, and verify information, and read the booklets describing the services FIRST instead of taking the word of a branch manager.

Good Boots Are Good Everywhere

If it rains much more this year, people around the river where we used to live are going to need hip boots. I always kept a good pair of boots for when the weather was really tough and things got soggy. I though I wouldn't need them up here in the "burbs" where I live now, but rain like today really soaks up the ground, and gets things soggy. Plus the areas around the curbs, and the alley really get like a little stream of water going on. Too bad I left my boots at the old house. I'm going to have to make a quick trip down there this weekend and pick them up.

It's Raining and I Feel Like a Kid Again

"It's raining, it's pouring, the old man is snoring."

Do you remember that little ditty from childhood? I do, and everytime it rains like this, I think that in my head. I dont' sing it anymore like I did when I was little, because everyone, including my family would know I was as crazy as they think I am, but I think it. I wish I didn't have so much work to do today. I'd love to go back to bed. This is PERFECT sleeping weather. It's cool, it's gray and relaxing and the sound of the rain is soothing. Storms are okay too, but this is much nicer. Unfortunately, no rest for the wicked. I have to get back to work.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I've been using the express checkout lanes at the supermarket now. We didn't have those down south. It's so cool. There's no checkers, no baggers, you do it all yourself. You run the item across the barcode scanners and put it in the bag, select the payment method, and put the card in, or insert the cash, and you're done. It's actually so much faster. There aren't a lot of stores that have that, even up here, but I look for them now whenever I shop. I'm glad the grocery store I go to the most has them. They actually have 8 self-checkouts, and although they have about 10 regular checkout lanes, usually they only have 2 or 3 open, so there's a lot more opportunity to self-check without having to wait in lines.

Long Distance Blues

I'm getting really tired of long distance selling... we sold the horse trailer a couple weeks ago, and had to drive back and forth to the old house to do it several times. All in all, I guess the few times we had to go out there for the "looksees" wasn't too bad. Now, though, we are selling the boat, and the tractor, and I'm facing more driving back and forth, and not looking forward to it. When it comes to actually selling the house, we'll use a real estate agency so they can deal with the viewings.

New, Old Oven

I've been cooking up a storm at the new house. It's nice to have a working oven, although for the first time in my life, I'm having to battle to bake things without burning them. This is the hottest, fastest oven I've ever owned. I've often heard that every oven is different, but I've never had one THIS different. It's not like we're at a different altitude, or even drastically further north or south. It's just a hot oven. I finally got things under control except for the fact that it would burn stuff on the bottom. After wrapping the oven shelf in tin foil, that seems to have solved the problem. If I ever get the other house sold though, I'm going to look into restaurant equipment or used professional ovens to get a good deal on a high-quality, but not quite so old oven. The one now in the house has to be over 40 years old, maybe more. The house is 50 years old, so the oven may even be 50 years old. It's huge, and I thought it would be so great because it's a double oven, but the bottom oven doesn't work at all, and I can't find the pilot in it. So a new oven would be great anyway.

Back to Bally's

Wow, I'm so tired. I finally got back to the health club today. It's been several weeks. Now, I've made the excuse that I've been working hard at the new house, cleaning, doing yard work, and it's not a lie, but it hasn't been the same as a real workout. Thankfully, it's been enough to keep me from gaining weight, but I haven't lost a pound either. Back to work now though. The best part is, although the club we belonged to moved, and I don't like their new facility, so my son and I went to one of the other affiliate clubs and I love it. I love it even more than the original one. I like the layout much better, and the pool has four lanes instead of just three. Going back on Saturday.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding the right Insurance

I need a new insurance company for the house we're in. The old insurance lapsed, and when we first got it, it was in no condition to re-insure. It was a fire hazard, and stuffed to the rafters with junk (hoarder style). We finally got it cleaned out enough, although there's still a little bit to go, but now we have to find someone to come out and give us a quote. I need to find a place like that deals with home insurance. Wholesale Insurance does life and offers an easy way to find the insurance you need. I'll have to cruise around and see what I can come up with.

Seller's Blues

I have to laugh at some of the responses we've gotten from a Craigslist ad to sell our horse trailer. I can't even count how many people want to trade another trailer (we want to SELL not buy, and we don't have horses anymore), or even other items. One guy wanted to trade a vintage Mustang. Now, that might be tempting in some ways, but I can just imagine the condition of that vintage car if they were willing to trade for an 8,000 horse trailer. Then we discounted the price a bit, to get it moving, and received a lot of interested emails and calls. One guy had me totally convinced he wanted it, so we met down there, and then after going over it, he said, it's in great condition but we're going to hold out for an all aluminum trailer. Okay, well,he has a dinky little 1500 truck, and that might be difficult to pull with if the trailer were fully loaded with 3 full-size horses and all the tack. But dude, the ad said ALUMINUM SKIN ON A STEEL FRAME. Duh. I guess he couldn't read.

Buying Online

There are several places you can buy liporexall, but it can be hard to find it in a brick and mortar store, and you'll probably pay very high prices for it when you do. When you add the time it takes to travel to the store, the gas you use to drive there, and just the hassle, it's much better to look online and get it. It's easier to locate, you can find much better prices, and there's no hassle involved. Life is hard enough without playing Easter egg hunt for products you want from the store. I prefer to buy online whenever possible.

Great USA

Watching Burn Notice. I still love the show. Although, Michael changed his hair style, and I'm not fond of that. USA Network is probably my favorite station for weekly shows. They have so many great shows it's hard to keep up with them all. Suits is a new one now that follows Burn Notice this season, but that is one I can do without. My husband is watching it, but I never got into it. I love Covert Affairs, Necessary Roughness, Royal Pains and White Collar though.

Getting Things Done in the Heat

Whenever I am looking for a new diet aid, I use the internet to find diet pills that work. For right now, I'm doing pretty well, but living in a sweat box helps. All things considered, I'd much rather be using diet pills and have air conditioning. I'm also going to the health club a few times a week. I'd like to go more often, but the heat makes it almost unbearable, even though the club and my car actually are air conditioned. It's just hard to get motivated when it's so hot in the house. We manage to get what has to be done, finished, but other things are harder to make yourself do.

Hotter than the Sun

A thousand degree heat is a real killer when the air isn't working. Wow it's like an oven in this house. I had to go through this a few years ago in our old house, but I don't remember the summer being quite this hot. It's actually not even the air conditioning here, it's the furnace. It's about 50 years old, and gave up last winter. We made use of space heaters and made do, but fans aren't cutting it with the heat this summer. I hope we can get it fixed before winter, but if not, at least by next summer. I don't think I could deal with another hot as the sun house. I can deal with all the heat outside, and even go out and work in it if I know there's a nice cool house to recover in.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The History of High-Tech

My husband and I have this discussion often: how much technology has changed in the last 30 years. Oh, it's changed tremendously over 100 years, but I think really, the biggest, most dramatic changes have happened in the last 30 and less. The most relevant changes being cost and size. Before 30 years ago, bigger was better, and improvements meant getting bigger, not smaller, but that seemed to reverse a lot in the 80s. Cell phones started out being big clunky things you carried with a shoulder strap and a charger, camcorders had to be carried on your shoulder when used, and were as big looking as most commercial movie cameras today. The above also cost about 20 times as much as they do now. Our first camcorder was huge, used bulky VHS tapes, and cost several thousand dollars. It was the earliest version, highest-tech of its time: real state of the art stuff, that would now make you laugh as you looked at the viewing screen on your hand-held camera with computer link and SD card storage that cost a couple hundred dollars.

Cleaning, Cleaning and More Cleaning

We have a possible buyer for our house in the country. It's amazing how much junk you can collect over 16 years in one place. We didn't even really realize it, because the house is so big that you can store a lot of things without having it look cluttered. In a lot of ways, I'm glad the house we're in now is so much smaller. It won't be possible to just gather up "stuff" and forget about it.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Exercise Relief

Wow, no sooner than I mentioned working out, maybe a bit too hard, I found a product to help alleviate tennis elbow, and pain in the elbow from other repetitive motion. The aircast pneumatic armband fits around the arm just above the elbow, and is adjustable to any size. It uses air cells to allow pressure where needed, while being flexible so it doesn't bruise, or limit motion. It's amazing. I hope they have something for sore knees. They have elbow ice packs too. Both of those products are great for tennis players and golfers who most often develop "tennis elbow."

Working Out

I've been going to the gym a lot lately. Trying to get back in shape. Just another benefit of living up in the city, we joined the local Ballys. It's great, but I had to take yesterday and today off. I was so sore yesterday I could barely move, and although it's a lot better today, I just wanted to really make sure I had a chance to recover completely. I'm going to go tomorrow, and just do the machines. I was doing the machines and then swimming. I think from now on I'm going to alternate machines/swimming on different days.

Bike Racks, Buses and SUVs

One of the wild things we've seen now that we're up here in the city is buses with bike racks on the front. That way if a biker wants to take a break, he can take a bus and put his bike on the front. Pretty cool. Of course, it's all unusual to us, buses, taxis and all that. It's been a long time since I have lived up here and seen those things. I have seen lots of suv bike rack holders on the back of SUVs, cars, trucks etc. They're easy to spot on highways and make a lot of sense for anyone traveling. I just never gave much thought to possibly needing to take a bus if you're out riding a bike.


Nicole visited here for the last few days. It was good seeing her, but a little difficult because we really weren't ready for company. We are still in the process of moving in, cleaning, and don't even have any extra places to sleep, she had to sleep in a recliner. We didn't go out much either, because with only one income, since Bob is still off work due to illness, there just isn't the money for that either. I wish we could have done more, but it would have been better if she'd given us a month or two to get all settled and ready for sleepover company.

Fighting Acne

You know, there are a lot of acne medications out on the market, but did you know that there are vitamins for acne? I didn't know you could take vitamins to treat acne, but it makes sense. If what you eat affects your skin, vitamins can nourish the skin and fight acne. The best vitamins for acne are available online, where you can get a larger selection and better prices than in a local store. I find that's true of most products you buy now. Services are a little different, because you are usually limited to who can come out locally, or who you can go to, although finding them online is easier too.

Big Picture

Just got HD TV yesterday. I'm still not sure it's quite worth the hype, but you can tell the difference. What's nice is with the free directv upgrade, the new HDTV box is a DVR too, so now I have 2 DVRs (3 if you count my son's) so instead of only being able to record 2 shows at once, I can record 4 (2 in the living room and 2 in the bedroom, and of course, an extra 2 in Bobby's room, but they don't count for me). Yes, I watch a lot of TV. It's always on, even when I'm working. I choose old shows I love, for instance, right now "Cheers" so I don't have to pay a lot of attention to them, but I listen and laugh while I work.

Job Clothes

When you work, you may have to wear a uniform. My husband has to wear a uniform for his job with the ambulance company. Nurses have to wear scrubs, the official nurse uniform. Me, as a writer, I don't really have a uniform that is set, but in a way, all writers have a basic uniform. T-shirts, comfy pants, sweats, shorts, maybe even pjs, but always something that's comfortable. It's nice working at home. There are benefits to working in hospitals and other official buildings, but I wouldn't trade my job for anything, and I don't have to spend any gas money to get there either.

City on Facebook

Okay, it's official. I'm hooked on "Cityville" on Facebook. I've played a lot of other games on there, and always got tired of them because it was nothing but point and click, but the cityville game has a lot more too it, and a lot of animation. It's a blast. I've been playing it for 3 days now and really built up a nice city. I'm almost ready to expand on it. I don't know how long it will last, but for now, it's a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Supplements that Work

Lots of men, including my husband, take testosterone supplements. They can be very helpful, especially as men age. Even some women find mild testosterone supplements a good way to fight menopause, and other hormonal disorders. The trick is finding testosterone supplements that work. Not all supplements are created equally. The nice thing about the internet is not only can you find a much wider variety than you might in store, but you can also do the research without a lot of running around, and get a wider number of opinions. So do your homework and buy wisely.

Changing Tunes

Watching this show "The Voice" brings up an old question for me. All of the singers are doing cover songs of other artists, usually very popular songs. Personally, my opinion is if you're going to do that, stick with the way it is in its original "popular" version. Some of them try to put their own spin on it. In some degree that's okay, but if they do it too much, it's a turn off. That's just me though. I know some people don't feel that way.

Video Games

My son and my nephew are really addicted to gaming. I know they're not alone. It is a really big thing, both online and with boxes. I've even gotten really involved in several of the PC Games available. They can be a really great way to take a break from working. I think I like the PC type games better than box games because you can play your favorite games wherever your computers are, and sometimes even from apps on a smart phone, or other computers as long as you have your password etc.

The Voice still Strong

I'm watching "The Voice" again tonight. I'm still enjoying the show for the most part. The only section of it I didn't care for was the second competition where they had 'showdowns' sort of, where two people sang against each other--at the same time. That was kind of annoying. The beginning was terrific, and these last round competitions where the people sang individually is really good too. Touch choices for the judges because so many of them are so good.


My husband doesn't have an addiction, per say, but he has the most negative attitude I've ever known. It sort of runs in the family, but I have to live with this one. I'm exactly the opposite, but it's really draining. Things like that can really impact an entire household. The people who have those problems think it's just their problem, but it's not. It has a big impact on the entire family. It is hard for families of drug and alcohol addicts. Getting help is difficult because it is usually hard to convince the addict themselves they need help, or it would be successful to even try. When it comes to hard drugs like cocaine, meth or it can be a true nightmare for everyone involved. It branches out in an insidious way and touches everyone the addict ever comes in contact with. Family, friends, people living in the area, everyone has some sort of impact. It is important that families don't give up, and that they continue constantly to not only get support for the addict, and convince them that they need help, but also to get help for themselves, to survive the mental, physical and emotional turmoil that surrounds them.


Joined Bally's a week ago and am making good use of it. It's nice living where there are so many conveniences again. I joined the Bally's instead of one of the many others in closer proximity because they're the only ones that had a pool (as well as sauna, steam room and whirlpool). Now I hear they are moving toward the end of the year and may not have the pool. At least the membership I got is one that I can go to any of the Bally's, and there are a few others, just a little further away that have pools. I'll have to see if I like them, or maybe look into Olympia in Palos. If they are like they were back when I lived there before, they have a beautiful pool.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Father/Son Bonding

Bob and Bobby went out for a night out together. It's kind of cool that they get along fairly well, and that at 25 and 55, they can enjoy each other's company. They go across the street to the neighborhood tavern, where there are several big screen TVs that they watch the games on, and there are a lot of regulars they know well, and everybody has a great time. I go sometimes, but it's not really my thing. I'm not much of a drinker, I don't care much for sports and I really don't like to intrude on their time.

Ready When Needed

In the past, we've always kept our gun locked away in a drawer, in a special locking case, with the bullets out of the chamber, and locked away separately. Most of the time I laugh at that: I mean, if a robber came in, it would take so long to unlock everything, and put the pieces together, that it would be totally useless. I think a gunvault would be a better idea. Something that would fit into the living room decor, and still be easy to get into when necessary, but where the gun could be kept in one piece together with the bullets so it was accessible, and ready when needed.

Work and TV

Watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" now. It's a marathon on TVLAND. I never get tired of certain shows. Even when I've seen them so often, I know every word by heart. Raymond is one of those shows. I also love "The Nanny," "Golden Girls," "I Love Lucy," and "MASH." I watch a lot of TV during the day, taking breaks to run errands, clean house, and of course work, but even when I'm doing things around the house, or working, I have it on, and it is my background noise. I used to use music, but I actually find that much more distracting. If I have a show on, especially one I've seen hundreds of times so I don't have to really pay attention to it, I can work happily away, and even get a laugh at favorite spots of the shows now and then.

Getting Settled

Well, I have two rooms left to clean out, and am 1/3 of the way through my soon-to-be office. I have to find a place around here to get my good laptop fixed. I'm working on my backup laptop. I screwed up my good one myself by being over anxious, and trying to set it up before the Comcast tech came out to install the new internet, and ended up messing things up. All the other computers work fine, and nothing had to be done to them at all. I could just kick myself because now I don't know if my computer will ever work right again. After I get that fixed, I have to find a good office supplies store around here. Most of the time I buy online, and that works great. But every now and then I need something NOW, and can't wait for delivery. I prefer to shop for almost everything, including supplies online though, because I can get a better selection of items, and much better prices, even with delivery. Sometimes even free delivery.

Ruler On Ice Ruled the Belmont

Wow, what an upset today in the Belmont Stakes! Ruler on Ice, a 40 something to 1 shot one in a last minute push. Shackleford lead all the way until the last 1/4 then faded like a brick. Animal Kingdom, my other favorite, the KD winner, had a horrible start, and almost toppled head over heals out of the gate when he got caught in the crush and clipped another horse's heels. His jockey almost went over his head, it would have been a horrible crash. Thankfully, both jockey and horse managed to regain their footing, and continue, but couldn't overcome the problematic beginnings. Ruler on Ice is a beautiful animal, but it seems like such a lucky shot that he won. I don't begrudge him his win, but three different winners of all three stakes races. It was quite a grab bag year for the triple crown.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Reality Hits When Health Issues Strike

Having recently had a serious health scare in the family, it brings into sharp focus the importance of . Thankfully, it wasn't necessary at this time, but if things had gone the other way, it was good to know we have a good policy to count on. No one likes to think about what might happen, but the time to get policies in order is during those times when things are good. It's too late once health issues strike, and you're left with bills, final expenses and the difficulty of living in the future without help.

Favorite Commercials

One of my favorite commercials: Rub my belly

Why Some Women Benefit from Testosterone Cream

There are several reasons why hormones go out of whack. For some women it's menopause, but it can even happen as early as 20 in some. While testosterone is normally considered a male hormone, women need some levels of testosterone to produce a normal sex drive. If the levels of testosterone are not sufficiently present, the safest method of reviving it is to use testosterone cream for women. It's easy to apply, and the dose is far lower than what men would use. It is applied externally and helps stimulate sexual desire. Some doctors are wary of prescribing such creams. In some cases it is simply a matter of over-precaution, in others it is a matter of older men not thinking it necessary for women to have strong sexual urges. However, today we know that women need to have a healthy sex life as much as men, and this type of cream is a very beneficial aid when the body isn't as cooperative as it should be.

Papillon Sheep Dog?

I LOVE this! I don't know how I missed this "Breed All About It" episode on the Papillon, but I found it on YouTube. Unfortunately they won't allow embedding, but here's the link:

Check out the itty bitty Papillon herding sheep like the best border collie. LOL It's adorable. I love my little Pappy, and this episode really shows how wonderful these little dogs really are. The biggest little dog you'll ever meet.

Moving On

Due to some medical problems, it looks like my husband may have to look for a new line of work. Unless he is allowed to remain in his current management position without the side work on the ambulances themselves, he will have to look for management jobs elsewhere. He has a lot of experience, but it can be difficult when you're past a certain age to get in with a company. Not only that, but by the time you're in your 40s and 50s, you have established yourself. He's done his time, worked his way up, and now if he has to start over, at a lower pay, there isn't the time to work up to a better position again. It's a rough situation, and a worrisome time. It doesn't help that jobs are hard to find now, but the Internet does make it better with job sites, and networking connections.

Belmont is Still a Jewel

Well, the Belmont Stakes is in just a few days. I'm excited even though, as one website put it, it is the "red-headed stepchild" now. The final jewel in an impossible Triple Crown since the winner of the Kentucky Derby, Animal Kingdom, lost the Preakness by a half-length to Shakleford. To some it makes the final race less exciting, but to me, it's still one of the most prestigious races in the country, and one I look forward to all year long. I really only watch those three races. I'm not obsessed with horse racing, nor do I own, or have any involvement with race horses, so it isn't a constant passion. I just love those three races. I enjoy the pre-race show, and the spectacle of the event. To me, the Belmont Stakes is as much a jewel, Triple Crown possibility or not, as it ever was. I still kind of hope Animal Kingdom can come back and win it, too. If not, at least Shakleford. Either of those two would make it look like, if not for the other, there would have been a TC this year.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Worrying About What's Important Now

I have to type fast, because in the next 15 minutes, the Rapture should hit this time zone... just kidding. Instead, I'd rather think about what to do about dieting. I mean, I really don't think I'll be gone anytime soon, so I'd be putting my time to better use to examine the benefits of fenphedrine, than I would worrying about who gets left behind in a rapture. I've been doing a lot of physical work lately, and also a whole lot of walking, and eating better (although I've cheated a little). If I haven't lost at least a couple pounds this week when I check on Monday, I'm headed to the nearest drugstore.

It's Up to Jesus

I'm laughing a little at a comment from a trainer here at the Preakness saying it's all up to Jesus now. Well, okay, I get it, but at the same time, is that something that Jesus is really worried about? Do you think he's up there rooting for Animal Kingdom, or Sway Away, or any other in the field? Maybe a good natured wager with his old man, God. You always see that in sports, or even, in fact, war. God was on our side, thanking God for a field goal, etc... does that mean God hates the loser? Somehow I think God, and Jesus are above all that. Especially with all this rapture stuff they have to worry about right now? If I disappear in the next few minutes, then I guess those Rapture guys were right.

Picture Perfect

I recently found a stash of camera film that was never developed in a box in my basement. I'm wondering now if you can even get those developed anymore. They're color print film, so they're not that old, I'm dating myself here, but now I get all my prints from a machine, or from online orders. Everything is digital, and while there are many advantages to digital print, especially when it comes to editing, there's something to be said for old-fashioned film. They're slightly warmer. No matter if you have digital, or film, it's still nice to have physical copies. I love looking at old photo albums. Just posting online doesn't quite have the same feel.

Its an Animal Kingdom

If Animal Kingdom wins this Preakness, he'll be in position to go on and capture the triple crown, something that hasn't been done in decades. There are a lot of good horses, and a few trainers I'd like to see upset that, but on the other hand, it's always so elusive, and you hope for that TC win.

Scoring Big on Coins

My mother-in-law left a lot of coins behind, and in going through them, of course we hoped for that big cash find, but no. However, in all the investigation, I learned a lot about coin values, and the many different kinds of coins there are. I find special creations such as silver rounds particularly interesting. That's not something you're just going to find on the street or get back when you get change. We had a lot of silver dollars. Old ones too, but unfortunately, it seems there are particular years that are really worth something. We did have a few that were worth a few dollars more than face value, but the highest valued silver dollar was a few at $5.00. Still not bad, but not the big score you would like to find in a pile of old coins.

Maryland's Preakness

Watching the Preakness now. I love the pre-race show almost as much as the race itself. The stories are so interesting, and make the actual race mean more. I don't do horses anymore, but I still love to watch them. They are so majestic.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Zoom, Zoom, Zumba

I mentioned how many of my friends are into Zumba as a weight loss workout that is not only effective, but a lot of fun. You don't have to join a class to get the benefits of Zumba though, which is good, because where I am, I live a long way away from any classes. It's possible to buy zumba at the source and do the workout right at home. The movements are excellent for losing weight, but not complicated to learn, and I can really see why people are so addicted to it. There's something about dance that gets to you, and makes you happy, and exercise is good for you, and makes you feel good, so the combination is a natural.

Getting Your Groove On

This is a new fitness craze, and I have some friends who are really into it. It does look like a lot of fun, and a combination of African dance and aerobics.

Mom's Day

Mother's Day is just around the corner. Sometimes it can be a really hard day to find the right gift for. I tell my kids (now grown) that it's more important that they remember, call and let me know they care... but they always try to find something I'll like, and I can't say it isn't nice. Speaking as a mom, it IS the most important thing, that our children just remember, and tell us that we are important to them, and have made a difference in their lives, especially when they're older. However, it is really nice when they try so hard to find a good gift. There are places you can find special gifts, just for mom, like a personalized necklaces for mom. Something like that, that has personalized names, or an engraved remark really make a gift something unique and special. It shows how much you care, and put thought into the gift, and didn't just run out and grab the first thing you saw at the corner convenience store. No matter what you do, just make sure you tell your mom you love her, and that the things she's done in the past, and every day now for you, are truly appreciated.

My Shadow

My little dog, a papillon I call Batty, is just the love of my life. She is my constant companion. She's never more than a foot or two from my side. She's sleeping on the couch next to me now, because she can't really sit on the chair with me. Although just earlier she was sleeping on the back of the chair behind my head. I guess she got tired of being my pillow though, and moved. Well, I took a picture and I'll post it if it ever comes over.

Losing Weight

I've been looking around and reading articles on some of the various diet aides, and really like the lipofuze reviews I've seen. The diet industry has changed a lot in the decades since I used diet aides in my early 20s, and I have issues related to age that I didn't have back then too. These are things that have changed even in the last two years. I lost a lot of weight two years ago, and then had to put things on hold for awhile, managed to hang on to what I lost, but now that I want to get rid of the final pounds, I just can't. Things that worked right back then, and all my life prior to that, just do not work anymore. Of course, some injuries over the years make it harder to do a lot of the workouts I used to. The one I posted earlier is something I'm going to try, and see if I can get that to work for me too, but at the moment, the best I can do is ride my stationary bike. It helps keep me in condition, but not lose weight.

Working Out the Pain

This is a heck of a workout. I need to get up and do something like this, maybe it will help prevent the sciatica attacks I get--going to have to wait until the pain goes away this time though.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Luxury on the Water

We have a boat, and that's 'RV' enough for us, but a lot of people at the marina where we go have both boats and RVs. They camp out on the bank of the river in their RV and just use the boats to go out on the water. It is a cool idea, but very expensive. Many of them have rv repair plans so that they can get their RVs fixed if they have to, some travel back and forth with the RVs every weekend, although some pay the higher fees to just keep their RV in the same spot all year long. I don't think we'll ever have anything like that to worry about, but it's nice visiting them when we're out there, and getting to relax in the motor homes. The boat is nice, but it does get cramped sometimes.

Frustrated and Insane

We have been working at getting refinancing on our house for a couple of weeks now, and each time it is 'done' there's something else they come up with. It's totally insane, and dragging for no good reason whatsoever. I'm about to pull all of my hair out. This last thing is so stupid it's not even funny. If it drags on past Monday, when it SHOULD have finally closed (actually SHOULD have closed today, but Monday would have been the alternative), I am going to do some comparative shopping. Since we already have the appraisal (and I thought THAT was going to be the hard part with the real estate market what it is, and that turned out great), it shouldn't be too hard to approach some of the other lenders that had been offering us deals. We were just dealing with the one since it seemed fair, and they were moving along well, but this is ridiculous, so if they don't hurry up, they'll just have to compete.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Harsh Politics

Last night was the premiere of Reelz Channel's "The Kennedy's." It is a one-week long mini-series. I started watching it for two reasons, I love, love, love Greg Kinnear, and I am always interested in history docudramas. The show is really good so far, although all I've seen is the two-hour premiere, but I had a sort of revelation at one point, where John (Jack) was running for a local office, and he slipped up in his speech, kind of a funny little thing where he said "Americans want less jobs... um, Americans want more jobs." all of a sudden I began to wonder where our country's political arena would be if the modern technology of today was available back then. When a politician said something stupid back then, far, far fewer people heard about it, and it took weeks or longer even then, and was often diluted by media management. Now, with social networks, blogs, streaming video, etc etc, no one can get away with any slip up. Would JFK have been branded a buffoon of the likes of Bush, or Palin? Is our current "living live" atmosphere too harsh for politics, or any other social area?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Creative Help with Creatine

There are many ways to improve your workouts, and some of them involve a product called creatine. Using creatine doesn't mean you don't have to do the work, but when you use it, it makes each workout more powerful. The trick is to find the best creatine. Like all other products, there are different versions of the workout aid, and it is a good idea to investigate each one, find out how strong they are, how fast and effective they are, and how much they cost. That can help you make the most informed decision about what's right for you. It is about time I started using the exercise equipment I have at home again, and getting a little extra boost to make them work harder, and be more effective.

AT&T Mobile

I got a new phone! I've only had it a few weeks, but I really like it. I never thought I'd leave AT&T (and it turns out, in a strange way I really haven't), but when my daughter got a Straight Talk phone, I was really impressed, at least with the side slide version. I have always liked side slide phones, and this one was really very capable. Here is a picture of the new phone

It is a pay as you go phone, but it has a monthly unlimited everything plan that is hard to beat. It is $45 for unlimited text, internet and minutes. It is about what I paid for AT&T on the family plan anyway. What is funny is that it turns out the actual 'service' is through AT&T even though the Straight Talk phone is a product of a Walmart and T-Mobile cooperation. Then again, AT&T has been talking about buying out T-Mobile. I didn't think that had actually happened yet though. Unless all that news coverage was just a cover for -- it already happened.

Getting the Fat Out

I'm having such a hard time with my weight now that I'm fully in menopause. I can't believe how differently my body works now than it did just a few years ago. I seriously need to lose weight, and am going to have to buy fat burners to boost my metabolism and burn more calories. I think they work better than fat 'blockers' that are supposed to stop your body from even absorbing fat from food sources. My general diet is pretty low-fat to begin with. What I need is to burn the food more effectively. I hope anyway.

Batty's a Year Old

It's so hard to believe, my little bitty puppy is a big girl now. She's not a puppy anymore. She's a full-grown dog. I have never been so in love with a dog, and I've had many great dogs. Here is a picture I took on my phone, she is my little velcro dog, never far from my side.

Picturing the Plunge

I have many friends online who are excellent photographers. I get so jealous because basically I'm a point and shoot kind of gal. I would LOVE to be able to take the beautiful images my friends do. I've been thinking about getting a "real" camera lately, and looking at fuji cameras. They are so amazing, and take great pictures. I'm just afraid of the complicated adjustments and dials. I suppose, like anything, once you get used to it, they aren't complicated at all. I'm going to have to take that plunge and find out.

Housing Values

I'm waiting on pins and needles a bit today too. We applied to refinance the house, to get some cash out, and consolidate our bills. It will really help a lot. We have already been pre-approved, and had to wait for the appraisal of the house, which REALLY had me nervous. Prior to the economy and housing market crash, I could have easily predicted the value, based on prior real estate knowledge, understanding of how appraisals work, and knowledge of the general market in the area. But after all that has gone on in the last couple of years, I had no idea what any of those areas were like anymore. It was a horrible feeling, being so in the dark. I don't like that. LOL However, all my worry was for nothing! We got the appraisal back day before yesterday, and it was actually 10 grand BETTER than I thought it would be. Now granted, pre-crash, the value would have been about 30 grand higher, but I took that into consideration when I did my own calculations, but was worried I was still way off. I'm glad I was off for less than it really was valued at, instead of more. Now the anxiety is over, all the paperwork is in, and the appraisal was great, so it's just a waiting game for the call about when we will close.

Steps or Individual Help

I know of several people who could really use help with drinking problems. It's hard to get someone help when they won't admit there is a problem, though. I think the best programs are non 12 step rehab programs. The 12-step things are good too I suppose, but they are too rigid. A non-12 step program is developed on an individual basis, according to specific needs of the person involved. I think that works better because it addresses specific problems, rather than a general method that is made for everyone.

March In, March Out, Barely Knew it.

It has been a crazy couple of weeks. Work is booming and I rarely have a free minute. When I do, my daughter has been needing a lot of extra help, and I haven't even had time to take a breath it seems. I guess that's a good thing, it sure makes time go fast. March flew by like it hadn't even been here. I wish it would warm up a bit again though. We had a nice few weeks, and then the temps went back down and it's really pretty cold around here for the end of March.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Flowers for that Special Day in Pittsburgh

There are so many occasions when flowers just say it all: anniversaries, Valentine's Day, bridal showers, weddings, baby showers or just when you want to tell that special someone you love them. Look online to find a company that handles flowers in the area. Online shops can be your Pittsburgh florist, delivering fresh, beautiful arrangements to your loved ones in the area, no matter where you live. It is especially helpful when you are in another part of the country, because you can pick out the flowers, and vases or other aspects of the arrangements from the selections available, so you know exactly what will arrive on the other end.

American Dream Fantasy

To say I started off the day today in a foul mood wouldn't be accurate. I was feeling fairly good thinking about what should have been a pleasant work day. However, in general lately I've been in a bit of a funk. You see, I've come to realize the whole American Dream of home ownership is a facade--a lie. You never really own your own home. We've been working hard to pay down our mortgage, and with it in reach, thought we could relax, but when we looked harder it seems that the yearly real estate taxes in total will still amount to about $500 a month. The government owns the property, not us, not ever. I know it should be obvious, but when you spend the better part of your life paying a mortgage, even though you know the tax and insurance escrow is there, it is just lumped in with 'mortgage' and it's sort of a matter of 'out of sight, out of mind'. Since the vast majority of people never pay off their homes, they never really feel the impact of that government levy. They are lulled into the belief that the American Dream exists when in reality, it is just a fantasy.

Sail Off With My Premium Money

I received a letter in the mail today from a competing insurance company saying I could save up to 40% on my boat insurance. How do they know that? I suppose they have a good idea of the industry standards, but it still seems like a bold statement to make. If I do check it out, and it's real, I have to make sure I can get a return of premiumon the insurance I just paid for. Otherwise, it will have to wait a year. Doing the homework on such things is important. Getting lower cost insurance, so long as the coverage is the same, is a good thing, but never jump blindly. There are great ways online to get quotes and compare your premiums, and see if you're getting the best insurance available.

Stressed and Tired

What a day! I'm exhausted. I spent the entire day taxing my daughter around. She has to get her head out of her rear when it comes to the loser she's seeing. He's no good for her, and I have to keep rescuing her. I have no trouble being her rescuer, that's what parents do, but to have to do it because of that jerk repeatedly is getting old.

Because I needed a laugh:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Watching Black Swan for the style

Thanks for the post from Barney Crosby

Even before I knew what the movie Black Swan was about, I saw the previews and commercials for it and thought that it would be a great movie just to watch just for the fashion and makeup looks. I love watching movies to just look at the makeup and costumes that they put characters in and see how that affects what the audience thinks about them.

I didn't want to chance getting to the movie late and not being able to get a ticket or miss any of the previews for it, so I went online and ordered my ticket that way. While I was doing that the night before I was going to see the movie I came across some WildBlue Internet deals and decided to sign up for one of them after I read a little more information about them.

I thought that the Black Swan makeup look that Natalie Portman wears during the performance in the movie is great and I just may sport it for Halloween this year.


Watching the HBO documentary "Regan". I think he was one of the most interesting politicians. I never cared for his cheesy acting, and was too young at the time to really know about his salesman work for GE and others, but I do remember his Presidency, and while he certainly made mistakes, he was a powerful leader. It seems funny, even now to think of someone who was an actor as a President, but he really had his own vision, and purpose, and he pushed for it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Right Stuff

I'm watching The Right Stuff on television. One thing they don't mention in the selection of the astronauts is that none of them could be taller than 5'11" in order to fit into the capsule. They also had to be very thin. Like many of the people who have to maintain a very light weight for their professions, dancers, jockeys and such, I wonder if they used weight loss pills in order to help them maintain the low weights necessary. It would have made sense, but I don't think there were any weight loss pills back in the late 50s and early 60s. It would have been easier for them today when there is such a great deal of advancement in weight loss technology, and the knowledge of how to do it safe.


I love the credit card points commercial with "Peggy," those are so funny. A lot of humor in the joke as well. I never really got into all those awards programs. Maybe I have tons of unused benefits waiting for me, but like the "Peggy" commercial that was just on, my 250,000 points is probably worth about $5.50, and after redemption charge ... 5 cents.

Baby Vitamins

It's been 26 years since I've had to take a daily prenatal multivitamin. They have improved a lot, and like all other forms of medical advances, more efficient. You'd think with all that medical advancement over the last two decades, they'd have improved on the size, but when my daughter had to take them, I had to laugh, they were the same huge horse pills. They're important horse pills though, and prenatal vitamins help make sure the baby gets everything they need to develop, and you don't deplete your own system giving it to them.

Time for a New Phone

I think it's about time for a new cell phone. When I first got my Samsung slide phone I just loved it, but what I really wanted was an IPhone. That has got to be my next phone. There's just so much more you can do with the "smart phones". I've considered an Android. they're a little cheaper, but I think the one reason I keep getting drawn to the IPhone is that everyone and their brother is developing apps for it, and while Android has a development program to, I think there's just a little more available in the IPhone app.

Getting Un-fatigued in a Diet

If you talk about diet with anyone, probably the one thing that pops up most in relation to dieting is fatigue. I think that's why diet energy pills are so popular. I know when I'm dieting, it's hard to convince myself to move around, and that's the one thing that helps diets the most: moving. Exercise expends a lot of calories, and helps build up the muscles, and makes the metabolism burn more efficiently, but when you're sluggish, and worn out, with no energy it is hard to make that happen. It's good to investigate the qualities of the energy diet pills though, to make sure they are safe, and then you will have to find the one that works best for you since we're all different in how we react to stimulants and diet aides.

The Housekeeping Gene

I need a housekeeper. LOL The thing is, I know a lot of people that use housekeeping services, and it would be a really helpful thing. I don't know if a housekeeper could keep up with me though. I am such a horrible housekeeper, and I hate that about me. How do people who don't use services keep their house spotless? I'd like to know where they get the time, the energy. You'd think that since I work at home, it would be even easier for me, but it just isn't. I'm terrible about it. It isn't something new, either. I could make excuses that I'm getting older, and I don't have the same energy I used to have, but that wouldn't account for the fact that I've always been like this. Am I missing some sort of 'housekeeping' gene?

Personal Diet Choices

Even after 40 years, I still couldn't tell you what the best diet pills are. Partly because the industry is always changing, always evolving, and even always improving. Partly because there are so many available. When I need help with my diet goals, I have to do what everyone has to do... research. Thank goodness for the internet, and the sites that make that research much easier. Of course, 20, 30 years ago, that much research wasn't as necessary because there wasn't that much to chose from. Now it's imperative, not just for health issue reasons, but because nothing works for everybody, and finding what will work best for you is a personal choice.

Agree to Disagree

Sometimes, when I write articles for one of the companies I work with, there is a general disagreement with the editor over content. Truthfully, I don't think it's the editor's job to second guess how I cover a subject. Yes, they should make sure the continuity is there, but that's not the same thing. Yes, they should make sure my grammar is on target. At those times, I find it is just best to respectfully agree to disagree, and take the work somewhere else. Thankfully, I can do that with that company, and they don't mind. If I were locked in to agreeing with the editor over every item they feel should be met differently, I would definitely walk away from the project, and go somewhere else to work. However, the fact that the editors are given such free reign (only some of them do it mind you), makes working there a bit of a drudge, and I've found myself preferring to work at other places much more often.

Getting Rid of Pounds

I'm a woman, and I'm in my 40s. That means I've spent the better part of 40 years either on a diet, or thinking about a diet. Most of the time, the focus is on how to lose weight quick. It's not a bad focus, as long as you keep "healthy" in the mix. I'll admit, I've done a few things in the past 40 years that weren't entirely healthy, including some of the diets I've tried, but now, since as you get older mortality is also on the forefront of my mind, I try to make sure I do things as "right" as possible. I still want it to be fast, and I always am looking for the best way to do it, get those aggravating last few pounds off before summer, keep them off in the winter, or just lose a little extra.

How to Make Sure Your Basement Stays Dry

A wet basement is a potential hazard to both your home's health, and your own. Water accumulation in any amount can create problems for your foundation, cause concrete to crack, crumble and weaken your house's structure at it's very base. However, even a little condensation in the basement can create an even bigger, more serious problem: mold. Finding the source of your basement dampness, and fixing the problem is an important home repair issue.
Gutters and Downspouts
Check for breaks, or leaks in gutters, and move all downspouts to discharge at least two feet away from the foundation of your home. Watershed from downspouts are a big contributor to water in the basement, and can cause a lot of damage to the cement/cement block wall structure as well.
Window Wells and Casings
Apply a sealant to the casings of all windows in basements. Keep all window wells cleared of debris, and make sure the drains at the centers of the window wells are clear to allow water to drain away from the foundation.
Dehumidify the Air
Run a dehumidifier to eliminate moisture buildup. Even when you do not have standing water in your basement, the cement walls and closed in confines of common foundations create a moisture rich environment that encourages condensation, especially in very warm weather.
Water Fixtures
Fix or replace any leaking fixtures inside the house immediately. Letting leaky faucets, or pipes go until "later" deteriorates the flooring, and ends up leaking into the basement, damaging the walls, and floors and even the floor joists. Don't ignore outdoor water spigots either. A small drip from an outdoor faucet can produce a lot of water damage in a short period of time, erode concrete, and leak into the basement.
Apply Cement Sealant
Fix all cracks in walls or floors of your foundation, and then apply a waterproofing sealant to prevent seepage through the walls. Use mortar or concrete repair mixtures to smooth over cracks. For very thin cracks, it is actually a good idea to chip away at the crack to open it up at least a 1/4-inch so that the mortar can get inside and hold better. Sealants paint on like regular paint.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Third Bedroom Theater

I have a large screen TV, and now can't imagine having a "little" 32" TV anymore. I'd really like to look into turning the third bedroom here into a theater, though. It used to be my office after my daughter moved out, but I moved my office into the den, and the old bedroom is pretty much useless at the moment. I think a big samsung projector, some recliner couches, and surround sound would make a great "getaway" room out of it. It wouldn't take much to make the room a great theater. It has two windows, but they're small enough to cover well, and block glares. It's far enough away from the living room that someone could be enjoying a movie in the theater, and not be bothered, or bother anyone in the living room watching TV.

Batty the Crazy Puppy

My little dog is only ten months old, but she's already brought a lifetime of love to us. She's amazing, and I am thrilled with the Papillon breed in general. She's funny to watch, fast to learn, and as loving as any dog I've ever owned. A true "velcro" breed, she is plaster to me, and the rest of the family whenever we're around. I've heard of a lot of Papillons suffer from separation anxiety, but she does well when left alone. Admittedly, she's not alone long most of the time. I think the longest has been 6 hours, and even then, she got walked once in the middle of it by my son who came over to make sure she was okay.

Picking the Best Car Insurance

Choosing new car insurance is a lot like selecting any other important part of your life, you start with gathering up a fair number of car insurance quotes. Then you can compare what each policy offers, and the deductibles and coverage amounts that you will get for the value. Remember that, while low cost is important, coverage is the most important issue when dealing with car insurance. Too much is a waste, too little can leave you vulnerable, even in a little fender-bender. Make sure you have enough coverage to protect your home, and family in case of an accident.

Choosing an Air Conditioner

Getting through the hot summer months is a lot easier with a good air conditioner. Air conditioners are important for more than just comfort, however. Hot, humid weather can cause mold, and other bacteria to build up inside causing potential health threats to you and your family. Selecting the correct air conditioner to make sure all rooms are covered is important, and depends a lot on the size and setup of your living quarters.

Pros and Cons of Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners have a lot of attractive qualities that make them a good choice for air conditioning homes of many sizes. They are small, easy to move and install, less expensive than a whole-house central air system, and easy to operate. The draw backs to a portable air conditioner are few, but important to consider. Most window air units can only control the temperature in a single room. A larger unit may be able to cool off up to two room, depending on the air flow. For a larger home that can mean the need for quite a few air conditioners. One of the biggest drawbacks to portable window air conditioners may be aesthetic. They are big blocks of machinery stuck in a window, protruding from your home, and blocking the view from inside.

Pros and Cons of Central Air

Central air conditioning is a very reasonable alternative for larger homes. It can control the temperature in every room from one central unit, and provides cost-effective cooling of large spaces. Central air units are expensive to buy, and replace when needed. They require an outdoor unit, and connection to a main blower, usually combined with the home's furnace. Installation can be difficult to impossible in older homes that weren't constructed with the placement of air ducts in mind. Central air conditioning units require large metal ducts to run from the unit to each room where a vent is located. Central air conditioners are much more aesthetically pleasing. The outdoor unit can be placed out of the way, and even hidden by decorative landscaping or fencing, and indoor vents are virtually unnoticeable compared to the large window units.

Size of Rooms and Size of Home

The size of your rooms, and the layout of your home will make a big impact on your decision between window air conditioners and central air units. A small home with few rooms that are laid out in an open floor plan can be handled by one or two portable units, and be cooled more effectively at a lower initial cost. A large home of any style will likely require too many portable units to make portable units feasible, and central air conditioning is a much better choice provided the home is capable of handling the ducts required to install the central air.

Added Value

The one plus that central air conditioners have over portable air conditioners is added value to the home. Central air conditioning already installed is a very attractive feature in homes where summer temperatures require cooling. Homes in colder climates where summers do not get excessively hot are less likely to increase in value due to a central air conditioner, and portable air conditioners can be moved along with your belongings to your new home, making them attractive if you do not plan on staying in your home.