A solar year–is about 365.2422 days long. Using a calendar with 365 days every year would result in a loss of almost six hours per year. After 100 years, this calendar would be more than 24 days ahead of the season. It is desirable to align the calendar with the seasons and to make any difference as insignificant as possible. By adding a leap year approximately every fourth year, the calendar will align with the seasons much more accurately. The last time a leap day was on a Friday was 1980. See here for more info.
Why am I telling you this? Because it's HIS birthday of course! As he only gets a 'real' birthday once every 4 years and has to celebrate on a day other than his birthday so much, we really ring in an official birthday with style!
Friday, February 29, 2008
Posted by Jill at 11:59 PM
Posted by Jill at 2:13 PM
Small tube of lotion
Tylen*l, "stomach" or other meds
Small kit or stash of bandages, wipes, etc.
I can't tell you how many times I've ended up needing a band-aid with none to be found, or an emergency stash of 'female supplies' was necessary. What do you need in your emergency kit? Check out the kit (right) for some other ideas. What needs to you have? As I'm sure you could tell, I used to get a lot of headaches, and would get papercuts all the time. I kept bandaids and meds with me all the time. If I didnt, sure enough I'd be in trouble.
Do these things happen to you? If you always have something awful come up on the way to a job interview, soccer game, or church meeting, you should keep those items on hand in your glovebox or purse. I have a mini emergency kit in my vehicle in a mini makeup bag in the glovebox. I keep some items in back or inside hidden pockets of my purse, so that certain items dont' fly out with your wallet and land on the department store counter or floor! If you don't have an emergency kit for yourself, make one today! Do I have to explain how this ties in to you 'Fighting the frump'? How about if you keep a stain stick in your work vehicle or desk drawer and you spill your morning muffin on your white shirt? What's more frumpy than stained work clothes? How about if you are going to church but your hands are scratchy and your nose is runny? Or your stomach makes 'that' noise and you're on your way to a job interview? Frumpy be gone! Feisty and fun ladies rejoice!
Posted by Jill at 10:26 AM
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Let's just say that my husband? He has ruined my purity, my innocence, my, sob v!rg!n!ty!
Okay, I'm over it. How did you do? I took this as a freshman in college and I am pretty sure I was 96% pure at age 18. What about 10 years later? 48%. Yup, my husband ruined me! Damn that man and his marital needs! (HA!)
Posted by Jill at 1:44 PM
You ever notice in movies, when a stranger comes to town, that the first question they are asked is " So, what brings you here?" Well, I thought I'd point out a few things that brought up my page in a google search.
braceface dress up --what? odd! no!?!
naughty fun -- I'm in position #9 if you google for that (guess I'm not as tame as I thought!)
animalism -- sure, baby I've got it!
farkin -- creative swear word, right?
the searches that actually prompted people to click include:
jill and lil -- no idea what this is about
why do people hate rachael ray -- yeah, why do they?
business plan of babyplays.com-- thief!
fight the frump-- shouldnt we all?
so people want to know what i like in cooking shows, are looking to steal a business plan and plan to update their wardrobe. neat.
Posted by Jill at 1:06 PM
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The RC awarded me this auspicious award a few weeks ago and I haven't had a chance (I was too lazy) to post it and pass it on to another blogger.
I'm not sure why I got passed this award, but I appreciate it! I'm certainly a creative enough person, I stitch and craft and scrap, and I try to be entertaining, maybe this is her way of saying I'm a smidgen cool?
Anyway, thanks RC and I'd like to pass this on to A Spot of T(ea), who always has something fun and creative going on over there. Way to go!
Posted by Jill at 7:37 PM
My husband and I save a small amount each paycheck into a special savings account for Christmas. It's through our credit union and they pay out in October - this year that gives us 10 months of savings we wouldn't normally have and will keep us from overspending in December. This means that if we want to get a jump on sales, we'll have cash in hand to do so on the black Friday sales. If we want to shop before that, we can, but at least we won't have to worry about when we get paid and scrimp and save or use a credit card to get those great deals!
We checked the sales at Staples last year and were outside of Staples in order to try and get a computer at 5 a.m. We were about 20 people away from getting the deal on the computer. If we'd been at a larger store, we may have had a chance. I have done some successful purchasing though, buying things for myself as well as gift items, and many times I have gone with my mom to find deals on toys for grandkids. Almost everyone I know shops these sales and everyone wonders what is on sale, how to find them in the stores, and tries for several weeks to get the flyers ahead of time. Almost everyone wishes they could skip the cold and find those deals online.
For the last 2 years we've checked out various Black Friday websites to see where the big sales will be the day after Thanksgiving. Have you ever given a black friday or cyber monday website a look? This one allows you to shop online, skipping those waits in the cold, and sends you an alert notifying you of your favorite store posting their flyer. Finally! I could have certainly used that at 5 a.m. last black Friday! We waited outside for an hour just to get turned away at the door! I encourage you to start saving now, and check out the sales flyers when they are posted in November!
Posted by Jill at 6:23 PM
We had a good time on Sunday, we made it to the bowling alley and played nearly 2 games ( I was the last on the list and didnt get a chance to roll my last ball) for 4 people for $20. So $10 a couple, I didnt think that was too bad overall.
About halfway through the first game I could tell my hand wasn't going to do so hot, it finally relaxed a bit, although I could feel it still yesterday hurting during my shoulder stabilizing exercises yesterday. As soon as I rolled my first practice ball, I broke my thumbnail, which I had known I needed to trim, but forgot when I was on my way out the door. There's something about the way I drop my hand where I have to turn it back over when I roll the ball. Makes it awfully sore.
Anyway, we had a good time, we were only there an hour, but we got to know my hubby's co-worker a little bit, and his fiance as well. We met at the holiday party, so I knew what they looked like and a little bit about them. The guy is a bit hard to 'get' at first, but he grows on you (yup, a bit like mold ;-) ), I think it's that he tries really hard and that can be a bit grating on the nerves at first, but we all settled into talking comfortably.
Anyway, my husband really seems to like him and as I know he's really needing a friend in town, I'm happy that he found a guy with a decent girl that seems easy going enough, not snobby, not 'too good' for anyone, etc. I really look forward to doing something with them again. We laughed a lot, they weren't competitive, everyone really 'awwed' and 'yeah'd' appropriately with each other according to how the pins fell, it was just a very easygoing, fun, good time, and I really hope that we continue to be good 'couple daters' so that we all get out a little more, and we both get some sort of 'fun' that's with someone besides each other. I love our 'us' time, but we haven't had 'play' time except maybe once or twice the whole time we have been married. Mostly we have been with family or just with each other doing fun stuff. Not that that's not fun, but I'm sure all my readers have experienced where you just want your girlfriends or guy friends to hang out with, or just an idea of something new to do.
Posted by Jill at 8:34 AM
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
What do you guys think about 'Push presents'? These would be gifts bestowed upon a brand new mom upon the ending of her 'pushing' during labor, and to accompany a new baby home. It may be a ring or other piece of jewelry. Some other ideas are here. Click the slide show link at the bottom of the article.
What do you think? Please feel free to leave a comment, or take the poll to the left registering your thoughts. I know a lot of my readers are moms, so I'd love to hear your take on this. If you're a grandmother, recent mother or have teens, please feel free to chime in. Hey, I'm no 'segregationist' either, even if you don't have kids, never plan to have kids, or aren't sure, CHIME IN! Would you like to get one? Do you wish you had gotten one? Do you think its ridiculous?
Posted by Jill at 4:28 PM
Monday, February 25, 2008
Mariposa wants to know: (1) Please share to us how the NAME of your BLOG was made? I can't wait to hear interesting funny stories!(2) Please share to us (in words or photo, though a combination of both will be a bonus!) your favorite/ most common dish!
1. We'll I've been called Mouse my whole life due to my obviously short stature (not for a presence of whiskers or fondness for cheese- although I do like cheese :-). ) Years ago my mother told a story of some book she read to my brother, that in it had a description of a mouse house, with the repetitive phrase in it 'the name was over the door' -- thus Lil Mouse and lil-mousehoue and 'the name was over the door'. Anyone know what the book was? I wish I did.
2. I probably make pizza most often. We have a healthy rotation of food, but pizza is our go-to dish when we have no other 'good' ideas. I like to make my own sauce, and our favorite ingredients are green olives and ham. We make the crust out of a powdered mix that you 'just add water' to for simplicity's sake. About 10 minutes in the oven, and you get this!
Posted by Jill at 7:36 AM
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sing along to radio
Thank passing motorists for stopping to see if you're okay
Watch the sun go down
Talk about a vacation somewhere warm
Take out gum that's 5 hours old
Play with a mini tape measure that's in the truck
Talk about baby names and all the bloggers or friends of mine expecting
Watch the moon rise
Think that if the truck was level we could play cards on the dash
Wish for a bathroom
Wish for food
Make up alternate lyrics to 'Fishing in the Dark' use 'sittin' , 'snow' in place of fishing and grass
Make stuffed animal (who always rides in the truck) dance to music
Play with loose change
Apply more chapstick
Try to get unstuck and get stuck more
Wonder what god has in store for us, why us, why now, why stuck for so long...
Thank God for our safety and people who actually care about us
Apologize to each other over and over again
Wish for a bathroom again
Alternately cuss and reconsider it's mean to cuss out the insurance lady we'll call Agent #1
Wish for food, realize that restaurants will all be closed when we get home, ponder if its worth feeling hungry anymore.. decide it's not..
Realize that as tired as we are, we havent yawned
Wait and wait and wait..
Posted by Jill at 7:13 AM
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I'll try to make a very long story as short as possible. 5:30 pm we are driving down a road in daylight. My husband spots an owl. Being birdwatching/lovers we decide to turn around and check it out, me never having seen one in daylight, especially not as close as we were (it was on a pole at the side of the road). My husband turns around and pulls over to the side of the road, eases forward, and slips into the snow. Deep snow. We can't get it out. We're only 5 feet off the road. We call the insurance company. Agent #1 assures us they'll dispatch a tow truck, we'll get an automated message and help will be on the way. An hour an half goes by, we try calling back. Half an hour later, the sun is down, it's around 7:30 and we try a different set of options to try and get someone sooner, as a half an hour wait time on the telephone in 10 degree weather when you've already been waiting that long is unbearable. We select "stranded and not yet received help" and get someone. Finally, Agent #2 tells us that Agent #1 not only had our phone number wrong, but SINCE SHE COULDNT REACH US, SHE WENT HOME FOR THE DAY. She knew we were stranded, she didnt pass off the information, and left us there without help. (Nevermind that they could have checked our policy to find our phone number, as it's the only one we have)...
15 minutes later we call again, Agent #3 says that #2 has been on the phone and they can't get anyone in network to answer. 8:00 pm they finally find someone that can pull us out. Worst case scenario 2 hours. We get their direct contact number and numbers to call them back and talk to them, as they've been the most helpful at this point. Get a manager on the phone and get him to promise that he'll make sure Agent #1 is reprimanded for leaving us stranded for 2.5 hours and that they'll cover whatever it takes to get us out, tow company is to be pre-paid with a credit card so we don't have to deal with it. Call the tow company, they have all their trucks out, as soon as one comes in, they'll send someone our way. 9:30 pm, we call the tow company again, someone will show in 20 minutes...10 pm, they can't find us, somehow they got the wrong location information and they're going to keep trying. About 10 minutes later, get a call back saying that 'the road is too bad, they won't jeopardize the safety of their driver'. My husband goes ape $hit, gets out of the truck, I can hear him screaming. Something about the f'ing clear road he's standing on. Call insurance company again and complain. We've now been out here over 5 hours, it's gotten very very cold and we have no idea how much gas we have left, as the truck is on such an awkward angle. We can't stay out here all night. They say no one is answering except the one company that won't come for us. They are contacting the police. More ape $hit, what are we supposed to do? We know we're about 45 minutes from home, no family in the area, we assume we'll be spending the night at the jail in the lobby and waiting for the tow truck to try again in the morning light.
10:30 police officer shows up. FROM THE VERY TOWN AND ON THE VERY ROAD WHICH THE BIG ARSE TOW TRUCK COULDNT MAKE IT. We're pissed. The officer wants to know if my husband has been drinking. I almost go ape $hit and climb over the seat toward the officer. My husband, very calmly, says, no, we've been here for 5 hours, the tow company out of (town name) won't come to get us. Get this.. the very nice police man, says, I met her, she didnt even leave the city limits, she turned around, she didnt even try. He gets us to get into his very nice warm car. He starts calling and tries someone out of a town over an hour away. They are even farther away than that on another call. So he calls another person he knows who is out of town but headed our way and cancels the over an hour away guys. Tells them to bring gas so if the stations are closed, we can still make it home! He takes me to the bar about a mile down the road so I can go to the bathroom (yes, I should have taken off my clothes in 10 degree weather and wet the snow bank, but that's a lesson learned). Tow man comes in a regular truck and pulls us out. Guy says, I'll send you a bill, takes my husband's business card with our phone number and address scribbled on it. Profuse thanks.
We follow very nice police officer to the main highway. Right through the little town and on the road that the BATT couldnt make it on. The one cars had been running up and down all night long, cars stopping to laugh at us, and make sure we're okay. Help we refused because we believed that the insurance company was going to get us pulled out. (We got help offered twice from someone who may have actually been able to do it, once when we'd only been stuck half an hour, but he didnt have the right equipment, and once when we'd just been told the tow company was on it's way the first time, oh how wrong that was).. it was about a 3 mile drive on a near perfect road, that the BATT couldn't make it on. Profuse thanks to police officer. At last, the highway.
We made it home just after midnight. I heated some hot pockets as we hadn't eaten since noon while my husband called to make sure that SOMEONE was going to not only make sure Agent #1 gets at least her little tush chewed out, but also that the bill was going to be taken care of. Oh and that tow company who couldnt make it out of the city limits to help people stranded for 5 hours in 10 degree weather NEVER gets their recommendation again. Lots of B.S. later, we find out that we're going to have to be reimbursed, or work it out with our local agent, that if the local agent didnt pay, that they would see what they could do if we called back during normal business hours. We'd been routed through 3 different states on our phone calls. Everyone else we'd talked to had already gone home for the night, as it was past midnight. Duh... we know that dip wad we've been stuck on the side of the road for almost 7 hours.
It's now 7 am, I think I slept about 4 hours. I'm tired, I'm hungry, I'm cranky, and I'm backdating this to Saturday for Blog 365. I think it's a pretty good reason, don't you? Oh and we never did see the damn owl.
Posted by Jill at 11:59 PM
Friday, February 22, 2008
Substitute: a nice tunic, a white shirt with a short sleeved cardigan over it, a twinset, any other type of dressier shirt.
Substitute: Boots with a lower heel or flats.
Substitute: A belt around a flattering part of your figure, or a delicate scarf around your neck.
Posted by Jill at 6:50 AM
Thursday, February 21, 2008
For some reason, I am loving this show. It's like a combination of Herman's Head, Ally McBeal and your most embarrassing moments caught on tape. In a good way, no really, I'm serious. This lawyer was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm after he starts seeing visions (such as George Michael singing 'Faith'), an acupuncturist declares him a modern day prophet, which Stone denies, but as he hates the visions, which often leave him standing on ledges or cowering under tables at his law firm, and these visions lead him to take on certain clients and help them to resolve issues, once the issues are resolved, the visions halt, at least until someone else is in need of his help.
Posted by Jill at 9:31 PM
First I have to give out a big yell WOOHOO! because my buddy Trish is expecting baby #1, so I'll have to set about thinking seriously about farm kid presents... maybe some of those neat-o t-shirts I've seen at the farm stores that say 'farm kid', hmm.. something.
Anyway, I ran across this with my buddy Stacy, I asked upon the advent of her second baby, if she would be having a baby shower, and she was emphatic that you don't have a second baby shower. Her first is close to 3, her second is turning 1 this month. Anyway, our church had a baby shower for a first time mom, and at the same time for a 4th time mom (she also has a stepson, for a total of 5 boys) with her last one around 2 years old. The first time mom had a registry with Babies R Us and the other one asked for specific size clothes (her baby was born a few months ago) and a bouncy-thing of some sort. This came in our church new$letter as an announcement.
I emailed and asked my mom about it, and she never replied. It was out of curiousity, not any morbid sense of right and wrong, if that makes any sense. I asked her on the phone today about it and she seemed distinctly uncomfortable answering the question, but she thought that a couple of ladies in the church decided to do baby showers for women in the church that had babies.. of course, that never occured to me, as first time mom is a main church participant. I'll leave it at that. I assumed it was because she was employed by the church and had been for some time as to why, and I didnt get why they combined showers.
Then my mom said that another lady in the church had given birth last year and they had a shower for her, which either I didnt know or didnt remember. We live 4 hours away, and what little info I get usually goes in one ear and if I feel like it impacts me, it sticks and if it doesnt, then it doesnt. (Thinking about it, it's kind of nice that church ladies would want to do that for new moms and babies in the church, as church is kind of like extended family, and unless you're a main church participant, you're not likely to invite those nice ladies to your baby showers 'normally.' ) She also mentioned that if the clothes that 4th time mom had gone through 4 babies (which they didnt obviously as this baby is just #4 now), anyway, that boys are hard on clothes and therefore they were probably worn out... are boys that much harder on clothes than girls when they are 3-6 months old? Are boys clothes made shoddier? Because I've seen garage sales where the clothes have been through more than one kid, and they are still wearable.. so I didnt really get where she was going with that...
Anyway, what do you think? Is a second, third or fourth shower ever appropriate? Does time or gender make a difference? (note, I think there's some confusion, my FRIEND Trish is pregnant, not me) sorry ya'll! Didnt mean to make you jump to conclusions!
Posted by Jill at 7:58 PM
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Oprah is even getting into the Fighting the Frump fantastical fervor! Today's show was about updating your casual look, much as my last Friday's fighting the frump post. Experts took tired moms and shopped at JC Penney, Kohl's, Old Navy and other typical medium range stores, and updated these busy wives and mothers from sweatpants and pjs to great jackets, dresses, funky non-mom jeans and great shoes. Often the total outfit was under $200, and if you're like me, that's a big plus. As most of these stores run sales fairly often, and by finding some basics at lower level stores you may be able to pull these looks together for $100! Including the bag and shoes!
Now wouldn't you rather look like this? than this? Pictures from the Oprah.com website!
Posted by Jill at 4:17 PM
Hi to all my friends and visitors from the British Isles. This one's for you. I ran across this article about housing trends in London. It reminds me distinctly of trends in US cities regarding population growth. A city starts out as a central hub, a downtown district if you will, and everyone lives here, at first. As the economy booms, those that have higher paying jobs, and wanting to capitalize on this fact, move further out of the city, creating another zone or area of living, time goes by, and those that were living in zone 2 move further out to zone 3, and those in zone 1 move to zone 2, leaving the center of the city open for new immigrants to the city and others that have 'come to seek their fortune.'
This also manifests in the creation of, in the US, mostly white upper and middle class suburbs, and mostly immigrant or non-white 'downtowners' that live in the center of the city. The suburbs consist of newer homes and the inner city of people who are at the mercy of building owners, who charge as much as they can for the access to work that the city provides. Meanwhile, suburbanites pay more to commute and get more tax breaks by owning via a Mortgage rather than renting, thereby affording their commute.
The odd thing about our cities, though, is that sometimes, a developer will come in, buy a downtown building that is mostly habited by lower income folks, will pay them to move out, and renovate the building, creating 10 luxury multi-floor apartments, charging massive amounts of rent or selling them outright to the 'super rich' and artificially creating modern, rich neighborhoods where natural progression would have ordinarily been a culture-rich tapestry of various ethnic groups, smells, sights and sounds.
Has this happened in London yet? How about Dublin? Have you seen either of these trends in the cities where you live?
Posted by Jill at 3:42 PM
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
It's the Today Show people, do they lie? Hmm... Anyway, this is the latest numbers --people are spending $750-$1000 a year on toys for their kids? Really?
Babyplays.com is this lady's website, it's like netflix for toys (her words), you can 'rent' toys that come about 4-6 in a box to your house, and when your kids outgrow them you ship them back. You make a wishlist and every month you get a new shipment based on what you're interested in. That way if your kid is bored with something, they have something new coming in all the time. This is a smart business model. There's plenty of people that don't want a new toy every week flooding their homes. Unfortunately, it still costs around $450 a year to 'rent' the toys.
She did tout it as way to keep your kids from whining for new toys every time you go to the store, because they put it on their 'wishlist' -- as i kid, I didnt ever whine, I put a toy on my own wishlist for a birthday or Christmas. Probably because I only figured I would get toys on my birthday and Christmas and not at any other time. I was told not to whine, that it wouldnt get me anywhere except in trouble, and what do you know, if I whined, I got in trouble, and I sure as heck didn't get any toys if I whined.
So are toys taking up your whole budget? Are you letting your kids' 5 minute impulses take over whether or not you get a manicure, a haircut, a night out this month? Do your kids have tons of toys but you haven't had a date night this year? Are their toys taking over your living room?
I'm more than happy for a SAHM to have a great business plan, but if you can't afford to rent toys from her, here's an idea, nope, here's a CHALLENGE for you: dont' give in to your kids pleas at the store. Make your own wishlist for when they have a major event (whatever you consider major) -- and stick to it! Then, do what she does, on a small scale level! Take half or a third of your kids toys, pick them up off the floor, from under the bed, whatever, and put them in a box in your closet, hidden away. In 2 weeks, get those toys back out and put the other toys away in your closet. Just like in her business plan, you'll be amazed how 'new' these toys seem to your kids after they haven't seen them for a while.
What do you think about that?
Posted by Jill at 8:11 AM
One brave person is saying they are green with envy, somehow I think it's not envious of me!
13 of you are in "my" category, saying you attempt to recycle (43%)
7 of you say you are earth muffins, which means you recycle to the max and
8 of you say that NO you don't recycle.. what at all? Nothing? How about switching your lightbulbs to energy saving ones? anything...?
Well, part of my site's theory, I guess is helping to advance issues I feel are important, hopefully all 30 of you that voted and anyone else that visited, is inspired to step up your recycling and step down your ecological footprint by using less energy and being more efficient!
Posted by Jill at 8:04 AM
Monday, February 18, 2008
I have any number of statistical and analytical sites operating, and I can see exactly where you are looking at my blog from. For instance, my friend KT looks at this from work, so I can see her town and the name of her workplace, server, network, etc exactly where she is (hi KT)...
So I know that there are some of you out there that aren't commenting that have met me face to face. Speak up, speak out, and quit lurking!
Posted by Jill at 7:18 PM
This is one of my favorite signs that Mr. Mouse and I saw on our honeymoon. We laughed and laughed. Our picture didn't turn out, all we got was the cow and 'chikin' so, here's one I stole from the web.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Ripples is a newsletter founded on the philosophy that our world is like a big pond. Everything we do, big or small, negative or positive, creates a ripple that goes out and touches whoever is all around the pond. It may seem kind of odd, but it's a philosophy I think most of us can understand. If you're interested in receiving a free weekly email (looks like below) with inspirational messages, click on the subscribe link at the bottom of the page. I've been receiving this for close to 10 years. I felt inspired to share this today, because I feel like the little things in life are so important. It may not put on a big fancy show to the rest of the world, but to you and the people close to you, the smallest things can make all the difference in the world.
It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely more important. -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Everyone is tryingto accomplish something big, not realizing that life is made up of little things. -Frank Clark.
Every LITTLE THING counts, so right after you read this I want you to choose one little action that would help a friend, stranger, co-worker, classmate, or yourself and do it: offer a few minutes of your time, hold the door, smile, forgive someone, be more kind or more patient than necessary, etc. Do it, and notice just how big a difference that little thing makes.
SUBSCRIBE FREE. http://TheRipplesProject.org/Newsletter.php
(all material by Paul W. Ripples guru)
Posted by Jill at 6:40 AM
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Did you see the new Jericho? Well let me tell you, it all seemed too perfect. Jake (played by Ulrich, left) is handed over the sheriff's badge, and his sometimes honey, Heather (schoolteacher) is asked to be the go-between for the towns of Jericho and New Bern, who at the end of last season, had manufactured mortars and had launched an attack, with the hopes of wiping out Jericho and taking its' supplies, food, water, etc...
The US flag, with the stripes running the wrong direction, and only enough stars bathed in blue to indicate states west of the Mississippi river, is raised in place of Old Glory.
It makes me shiver. Physically, shiver. It all seems too perfect. What do you think?
Posted by Jill at 7:36 PM
Friday, February 15, 2008
My hubby brought in take and bake pizza (heart shaped), and while I leaned over the counter looking at the baking instructions, I caught a glimpse of white out of the corner of my eye. This guy ended up on my shoulder. Isn't he cute? I got a bear for my first Valentine's day with my hubby as well. The card says "Good times, I Love You, Bad Times, I Love You, Anytime, I Love You" and the inscription says 'I will always love you' -- isn't that sweet? Oh and his stuffing is made of recycled material. So he's an eco-bear!
Posted by Jill at 1:38 PM
Posted by Jill at 8:06 AM
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Ode to the love of my life
You make my heart fill with glee
May you never see strife
You're the best you see
You know how much I like to dive in
Loving you is the best
Your sweetness dribbles down my chin
And onto my chest
Oh Pepsi you're so sweet
No sugar, no you're sugar free
Caffeine free is hard to beat
Safe enough for any baby
Oh pepsi you make my heart fly
I'll drink to you until I die
Please check out the rest of the participants over at Robin's Pensieve!
Posted by Jill at 8:23 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
For all you ladies out there, I recently saw something on Oprah that was a wake up call. This lady was in an abusive relationship, and her husband committed suicide. Three months before this, he cancelled his life insurance and quit paying on all their bills. She ended up with over $10,000 a month of bills, no income, as she hadn't had a job in 12 years, and 4 children under the age of 12. This included around $60,000 worth of credit card bills and $450,000 worth of mortgage and 'second line' of credit. Her husband refused to share the bills with her and that's how she ended up in that situation. Do you know how much credit card debt you have? Do you know how you would pay your bills in an emergency?
This lady had tried many times to 'get out' of the relationship, but couldn't because of her lack of an emergency savings fund.
Through the Oprah show, she received help from guru Suze Orman, and her book, which explains how to 'get out' if you should ever need to, is available until 7 pm PT on February 14th, 2008 free to download. It is available on Oprah.com.
Please consider downloading this and looking at it at some time in the near future. This is especially important for SAHM's, especially ones with large mortgages and credit card bills. This has nothing to do with your spouse, your love, or your relationship. It has to do with what would happen if, say suddenly you and your spouse were both out of work. Would you be able to pay your bills? Would you default on your mortgage?
I encourage you to give this matter some thought over the next 24 hours and download the book.
Posted by Jill at 4:58 PM
Okay, here's the set up, we were in line at the UPS package store, with this little old lady in front of us. She was asking about this and that, and finally, she said, what am I signing? The guy, his name was Fred, rattles off this list...
"well, what you're signing is something saying you won't ship anything dangerous, like explosives, human remains, alcohol, perfume, stuff like that"...
at that point, I started to giggle and had to turn around... AND THEN! She said, "HUMAN REMAINS! You mean you CAN'T send ASHES?!?"
she HAD to ask... "well do people have to go get them then?!?"....so Fred replied...
"well I've gotten in trouble for what some other people have tried to slip through here, if someone does it, we all get in trouble. But usually I send them (customers) down to the main distribution center"
lady: "you can send them through there, then" and Fred says "well I dont know, I send them down there, I'm not sure if they get through there or not"...
somewhere in this time my husband has also turned around, our faces both beet red, holding back the laughter. She left and then we conducted our business and left, before the door closed, we were both laughing again... some questions that arose...
-What kind of human remains would you like to send UPS?
-Can you send them through the Post office instead?
-What if you send an animal's remains.. does that count?
-What if it's for a science project, you know like a scientific skull?
-If you soak them in alcohol and disguise it with perfume, does that count?
for whatever reason, that really tickled my funny bone. She was kind of indignant, and Fred was kind of blithe so it was a perfect foil. I wanted the t-shirt "I'm SO going to blog about this later"...
Posted by Jill at 7:05 AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Robin at Pensieve holds a monthly poetry contest. Click on the button to find out more information about how to play. And click on this link to get the assignment! I'm going to play, all you have to do is write your assignment and post it on Valentine's Day. Mine is already written, and it was a lot of fun. A sonnet, an unusual sonnet (not unlike a dirty limerick)... is the assignment. Click the links above to find out more!
Posted by Jill at 8:12 AM
Monday, February 11, 2008
11. We try to only run a full dishwasher. We don't ever have enough cups and glasses, but we do fill the upper racks with bowls, spatulas and spoons.
12. We re-fill our plastic water bottles with filtered tap water (via a pur filter) several times before recycling them. My husband drinks a lot of water, so this is important.
13. I conserve on a lot of things, including soap. Liquid soap is easy to overuse (especially if you have kids), teach them to only use about a pea's worth and run water only when necessary, or run some 'rinse' water in the sink to help save the environment! I also use the smallest amount of detergent. My clothes always come out clean.
14. Plastic plates and utensils are no-nos in this house unless severely strained in brain and body. We have a dishwasher (hallaleujah) so it's just as easy to load a plate as to throw one away.
15. I use washable dishcloths instead disposable sponges. They go into the wash with the towels.
16. I use dishtowels to dry my hands 99.9% of the time. About half the times that I clean my bathroom sinks, I use the damp hand towel or wet it a bit, and wipe up the sink of toothpaste, stray hairs, etc. I still use cleaning supplies about the other half of the time. I am working on this.
17. We take unusable goods such as clothing that no longer fits, etc. to the Salvation Army or Goodwill, so that someone else can get some use out of it.
18. We donate our old eyeglasses to the Lions Clubs. There are often drop boxes for such purposes. They refurbish the frames or re-use the lenses if possible.
19. We use washable plastic containers for freezing, lunch-taking, leftover keeping, etc. as much as possible.
20. My husband takes a travel cup of coffee and uses that instead of styrofoam cups at work.
Posted by Jill at 6:41 PM
Ooh a Shiny Pen says: Music plays a vital role in most of our lives. It is everywhere. I want to hear the ONE song that is you. The song that whenever it is heard, you smile. I am not looking for the soundtrack of your life, just that one song. Your friends hear it and think of you. You can post the video, the lyrics, the wav file. However you want to post it is great. **Please scroll down and read my 'Project Support Beauty in Nature' post too!
Well this is definitely one of my favorite songs to sing along to. I even get to howl. It's just a feel good song that reminds you how great it is, get this... to be alive, without any artificial means of feeling that way. Life just as life, and not altered by anything. The simple things in life. That's me.
Got a three day beard I don't plan to shave
And it's a goofy thing but I just gotta say
Hey, I'm doing alright
Yeah I think I'll make me some homemade soup
Feelin' pretty good and that's the truth
It's neither drink nor drug induced
No, I'm just doin' alright
And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?
It's been fifteen years since I left home
Said good luck to every seed I'd sown
Give it my best and then I left it alone
Oh I hope they're doin' alright
Now I look in the mirror and what do I see?
A lone wolf there starin' back at me
Long in the tooth but harmless as can be
Lord, I guess he's doin' alright
And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?
Sometimes its lonely
Sometimes its only me and
The shadows that fill this room
Sometimes I'm fallin', desperately callin'
Howlin' at the moon (Auuuoo! Auuooo!)
Well I might go get me a new tattoo or
Take my old Harley for a three day cruise
Might even grow me a fu man chu
And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?
And it's a great day to be alive
I know the sun's still shinin' when I close my eyes
There's some hard times in the neighborhood
But why can't every day be just this good?
Posted by Jill at 8:42 AM
Lotus is hosting a Project Beauty in Nature today. Sooo... here's what I'm doing. I'm going to post ways that our tiny household is 'green.'
1. We reuse/recycle plastic grocery bags
-We use them to line small bathroom trash cans
-We use them to take cans and bottles in for recycling
-We recycle them inside Walmart after we carry the cans and bottles in them- if we have a big bunch at once, we take them and recycle them too.
2. We use compact florescent bulbs instead of incandescent. We has used a few of them before we moved, but moving to a much bigger place, and having to pay for our electricity, we decided to pay the expense to upgrade our bulbs, and in the same token, downgrade our use of electricity and waste less energy. We have light sensitive LED nightlights (come on only when needed) that won't ever burn out.
3. We recycle cans and bottles. Duh. By this I mean soda/water/etc.
4. We only use the lights, tvs, radios, etc. in the room that we are occupying. We know people that have on a tv in every room of the house and NO ONE is watching any of them, and I mean 24 hours a day. It's a terrible waste of energy. I HAVE gone around and turned them off before. The child of the house was flabbergasted. She couldnt understand why I wanted them off, besides all the NOISE pollution, it is terribly wasteful.
5. Our egg cartons currently go to our niece, who gets extra credit for them from her teacher, who apparently has chickens. Either that, or she has an unhealthy obsession with egg cartons.
6. We pay a lot of our bills online, as well as renewing magazine subscriptions, and we do most of our banking online as well, saving a lot of envelopes and stamps.
7. We keep our furnace turned down to 69/70 in the winter and up to 80ish in the summer, OR we keep it off completely during the day in the summer. Yes, we get cold, but that is what snuggling is for, yes we get hot, but that's what shorts and tank tops are for.
8. We unplug our phone chargers when we're not using them. Devices 'suck' energy even if they're not being used, so we avoid that if we can.
9. We only run laundry with the correct amount of water for the size of the load, the shortest time possible, and at the coolest temperature possible per load. This saves energy for heating the water, if you use mostly cold water, the water heater doesnt have to start up to run your washer.
10. We consolidate trips to the grocery store, post office, etc into one run if at all possible. I shop for a month's worth of groceries at a time. If a second trip is needed, for milk, etc. we try and use that as also a recycling trip, a trip to the parts store, etc.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
What is romantic ?
This week heralds Valentine's day. Some people see it as an over-blown Hallmark holiday, and some people see it as a time to express their deep, romantic love for their 'honey' -- I kind of see it as something in between. To me, it is like any other day, but it is also a day for celebrating with extra hugs and kisses, extra snuggles, extra, well, you know. It's a day that reminds us, apart from our anniversary, as a married couple, that we are still, you know, people. We are friends as well as lovers and partners. We're not just teammates working on a full house, we're a couple that bought each other stuffed animals for our first Valentine's day, that sappy twosome that stole kisses is still inside our individual selves, not just working on a budget.
What means romance to you? To me, just hanging out and having fun ranks a full 10, over a dinner out, which would be at about an 8... I? I did my workout this morning, got cleaned up, and came down to a plate of scrambled eggs and a hot biscuit! Having breakfast that I did not have to make is so good. Right now, I'm tossing miniature marshmallows for him to catch in his mouth. My aim is getting better. For the record, marshmallows fly better than popcorn. I think I already got my present. Home cooked breakfast and some 'silly time' this afternoon. You can't beat that. Now I'll just have to find something really good for him.
So what will you do for Valentine's day? Will you buy flowers for your guy? Send him a love letter? Will you send cupcakes to work with him, or stick a note to your baby's diaper, not reminding him to change the little one, but reminding your love of how you got the little one in the first place? So give me your thoughts: what will you do to show your true love that you truly care about him/her this Valentine's day? A day for Romance?
Posted by Jill at 2:50 PM
Saturday, February 9, 2008
32% of you say, sure, why not, potty and google at the same time
48% of you say, EWWWWWW!!! and
20% of you say NO! Thou shall not potty and google at one time!
Posted by Jill at 5:26 PM
Friday, February 8, 2008
Today's Fight the Frump Friday, hosted by Fussypants is about jewelry.
Do you wear too little or too much? Do you shine when you go out, or do you look like you're trying to help guide a plane down the runway?
If you tend to overdo, here's a simple step, look in the mirror, and take off one item, a bracelet, downplay the earrings from shiny to subtle, or remove an unnecessary ring.
If you tend to underdo, look at yourself in the mirror, are you wearing jewelry at all? If not, slip in a simple pair of hoop earrings, simple studs if you have a baby in the 'grabbing' stage. Wear your watch. It's practical. Don't forget your wedding ring. This is the time if it doesnt fit to slip your husband the suggestion to have it resized. It would be a good valentines day present. For most times, if you're staying home, earrings and your ring and watch are good enough. If you're wearing a lower neckline, sneak a necklace on too.
My favorite tip? Buy a nice simple chain. Sterling silver or gold, or get both, whatever your preference, as long as they dont turn you green, it doesnt matter how much it costs. Work within your budget. THEN!!! This is important, now, go to your favorite store or stores and look for simple pendants to interchange depending on the color of your clothing. Even a discount store such as WalMart or Target has nice looking smooth stones, often with holes in them or with hooks in them already. I have purchased them for under a dollar a piece from the craft section in some instances, but get GREAT compliments about them. Just ask for the beads section if you can't find them. They're there. For something a bit dressier, forget 'princess' (gag) and focus on classical and simple, like the filagree below. The more classical and simple something is, the more items you can wear it with.
Posted by Jill at 7:27 AM
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Okay, now today you get something out of my brain, I know, I know, it's a scary place to go, but it's been a while, so here goes...
Family Ties-- the cast of family ties had a reunion on the Today show this morning. I was absolutely crushed and enraged and saddened by Michael J. Fox's appearance on the show. Crushed, well because way back when the show was going on, he seemed like this cute (but definitely way too old for me) guy with some kind of weird ideas. I imagine that way back when I probably watched the show because I had a crush on him. Big shock there. Okay, enraged, because for the love of God (and I do love God), there are these awful people in our government that don't think to use what is technically medical waste (such as umbilical cords) for testing and possibly cure finding for diseases such as the one that afflicts him. Saddened, because, well, it is just sad, it's a progressive disease that will eventually take his life, he's got to be super medicated to live a halfway normal life, and well, it just doesnt seem fair.
Food peculiarities and #10 (together) - I like to smell a lot of foods -- that I won't eat. I'm probably the least adventurous food wise of anyone in this blog world. I started eating rice in college. Just wild rice at first, then I was okay with white. I still don't like brown. See, I didnt eat rice until college. I didnt eat yogurt until about a year ago. See? Peculiar. I ate polenta once in a restaurant and wasn't enthused, but I'd try it again. I tried something with blue cheese in it. I hated it, but I ate around it and smiled. See. Peculiar. I love harvesting all kinds of food, I like looking for wild mushrooms but I dont want to eat them. I like picking asparagus, but forget eating it. Peppers, very rarely am I going to eat something like that. Happy to pick them, watch them grow, but definitely not eating them. I hate raw veggies the most. Veggies should be cooked down beyond recognition. Forget tender crisp. Forget blanching. Must be soggy. Oh and I HATE lettuce. I can't eat salad. Unless you count crutons. Tonight, I had Chinese food for the SECOND time in my life. In honor of the Chinese new year. I thought, hey, my husband LOVES the stuff, he hasn't had it except on lunches out in all the time we've been married, and I was having food delivered to my door. Can't beat it. Let me make this clear, the Schwan's man came today. You just tell him what you want off of the truck, hand him the money and he gives you food. Awesome. You can prepare it when you want and you don't have to worry about delivery drivers getting through the snow on a day like today. In the oven, the food smelled good. Broccoli beef. When I got it up to my nose, my stomach turned over. When I ate it, it wasn't bad. I hate broccoli. Anyway, I let my husband eat most of the food, I took a couple of taster bites and then ate a piece or two of the beef, a few bites of broccoli, and about a half cup of rice. Then I made a pizza. So sue me! I tried! I did! I'm proud of me. I imagine my husband is completely astounded. I've been working on different foods, I'll try them if they show up on my plate. I won't spit them out, I will chew them and drink a lot of water if necessary, but I will try.
#10 Fear less. Try more. Do more.
Posted by Jill at 6:43 PM
Posted by Jill at 7:03 AM
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
When I get a chance, I like to test this recipe on my husband. I think I've made it for him about 3 times now. I made it for Fat Tuesday last night, as it has shrimp in it, something a little coastal like... I added a little red pepper flake this time, to make it a bit "cajun"...
Anyway, I'm one of those people that can look at 12 recipes, and then get out my own stuff and tinker with it and make something pretty good. I dont know how I got this gift, because my mom seems to do stuff either by recipe or pretty much the same way every time...
Pre-cooked deveined shrimp
salt and pepper
red pepper flake
tomatoes (6 small romas, or 1 can with juice)
onion (1/4 large onion)
garlic (2 cloves or t tsp minced)
mushrooms (small can or 4 oz fresh chopped)
favorite type of pasta, cooked and drained
Turn the water on for the pasta in a large pot, and cook, according to package directions. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large skillet. Meanwhile, thaw frozen shrimp according to package directions (I had to run water over mine for 5 minutes). Chop tomatoes (or empty can) and drop into pan. Repeat with mushrooms, onions and garlic. Add worcestershire sauce and other seasonings, to taste. Basically, I just sprinkle each spice over the top of the veggies until it looks right. Allow these to cook until the tomatoes and mushrooms are soft. At this point, I tended to the pasta and pulled the tails off of the shrimp. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes or until shrimp are curled and look shiny and pink. Serve over cooked pasta or rice.
I would say that you could also add pretty much anything like beans or other veggies and change up the spices to your liking. I would also suggest stewed tomotoes or tomatoes with green chiles.
Posted by Jill at 7:00 PM
This post will stay at the top through super Tuesday's voting, so please scroll down for Fun Monday and more current posts. Thank you! Borrowed from the Feb 2008 edition of O Magazine, orignally published by GAMING THE VOTE: WHY ELECTIONS AREN'T FAIR (AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT). by William Poundstone.
"Like consultants, negative campaigning is nothing new. In the 1828 presidential race, Andrew Jackson's opponents accused him of cannibalism.
The Whigs claimed that Democrat Martin Van Buren wore the finest ladies' corsets under his suit. He ate off golden utensils and spent a fortune on diamonds, rubies, French vases, and imported beauty creams, all charged to U.S. taxpayers. The 1844 race was enlivened by the interesting claim that Henry Clay had broken every one of the ten commandments. In 1876 the Republicans declared that Democrat Samueal Tilden has syphilis and was an unprincipled drunkard scheming to bring back slavery. Tilden's people then claimed that Hayes had gone insane and shot his mother.
In 1948 Lyndon Johnson, running for the Senate against Coke Stevenson, instructed a campaign worker: 'Go out there and tell 'em Coke was caught having sex with a farm animal.' The worker was aghast. 'But you know that's not true!' 'Of course it's not true. That's not the point. Tell it anyway, and make him deny it.' "
Makes our little back biting nominees seem kind of cordial doesnt it? ;-)
Posted by Jill at 7:00 AM
Monday, February 4, 2008
Tiggerlane is our hostess: She says: have you heard of The Bucket List? Well, that's what I want from you! Make a list of things you want to do before you die. It must be at least five items - and you can make it as long as you desire. Photos are optional. And let's hear about some of the wackiest, most bizarre to-do's on your Bucket List!
I'll have to start out saying that I've done a lot of the things that I wanted to do when I first started out. I wanted to go to college, I wanted to get married to the love of my life. Those things really count. At this point in time, I feel pretty complete, but I'm sure my bucket list will grow and change over the years.1. Pull a slot machine lever.
2. Fly on an airplane.
3. Vacation in the sun.
4. Re-visit Niagara Falls, with spouse (winter).
5. Maintain and improve fitness levels throughout lifetime.
6. Get back in touch with a HS foreign exchange student friend, Leo.
7. Give away hair for Locks of Love.
8. Own a house with my husband.
9. Complete Blog 365
10. Fear less. Try more. Do more.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Okay, we're cruising through the Superbowl, and I turned to my husband and said, wouldn't it be awesome if Manning just, you know, threw it down there and they got a touchdown..
Then we're both like no way, that wouldn't happen, not with 2 minutes left, but it would be cool.
Then, there it is, I feel it before it happens, and I scream like a little girl, like a former cheerleader is proud to do. WOOOHOOOO!!!!
I'm a little calmer now, but I dont normally have something like that happen to me, I say something and voila it happens...
holy farkin sh$# how cool is that? Regardless of how the game turns out, that was awesome! I'm glad Burress got the TD as well, as he'd been injured and not gotten a lot of 'play' so to speak.. cool.
Posted by Jill at 8:59 PM
What do you call it when one bird eats another bird? Cannibalism? Animalism? Hmm..
If you know, please pass on the valuable information to me...
Note: It's a cranberry bed until harvest time, then it's flooded and it's a cranberry bog...
Note: I know that people are psycho about naming their kids, but really.. If you already have girls named Ashlyn and Anastyn, do you really have to name the new one Alivayn? How do you even pronounce that anyway? (please dont comment with an answer-just try it)
Note: I want a cookie. Or cake, everybody loves cake.
Note: Giants don't have a chance of winning- hope the commercials are good.
Note: I still want a cookie.
Posted by Jill at 2:30 PM
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Is anyone else sick and tired and of there being nothing but reruns on our television? I mean I'm all for re-runs during holidays and such, but this is ridiculous, isn't it? We're into February and some of the shows still haven't come on.
Back before 2001, shows used to come on during August and stay on, except during holidays through the winter, and up until May at least. Now they come on in September or October, take a longer break during holidays, and end earlier than before. That's before the writer's strike...
I'm all for people getting their money's worth, but if the rest of us mere mortals went on strike, the only thing that would be influenced would be our jobs, they would be gone. We'd be at home, watching tv... wait, what was my point again, oh yeah, get over it already, give those folks some money and put our shows back through again, please?
Posted by Jill at 8:46 PM
Please support Lotus in her Support Beauty in Nature Campaign culminating with blogs and pictures of your projects on Feb 11th.
Posted by Jill at 11:01 AM