Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Stationery Card

Big Oh Boy Birth Announcement
Personalized cards for babies, Valentines, Easter and Mother's Day.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

HCG Weight Loss

Several years ago, when my daughter in law was pregnant with her first child, her midwife mentioned a diet program she was doing and lost a lot of weight. The program hcg weight loss diet is based on hormone balancing, stress reduction and positive lifestyle changes. Recently on facebook I have seen several other friends of mine on the same diet. I have seriously given this diet some thought. It is suppose to help regulate your metabolism and balance your body's hormones (that in itself would be worth it). Plus my husband would be thrilled not to have some moody crazy lady living with him. We'll let you all know how it works out.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Getting Over It

The article written by Alonso Kramer:

What is it about parenthood that makes you all of a sudden become the most paranoid person in the entire world? It’s something that comes the second you have kids, and I’m pretty sure that it never ends. All of a sudden when I had my daughter, Jade, I saw everything as a possible threat to her safety. Stairs- death trap unless gated. Car- major death trap unless child is strapped in to a car seat that would bounce safely if dropped from a five story building. All cupboards had to be locked up with those little plastic thingies that make it impossible to get to a pot or pan. House had to be secured so that the second they step out of the house I know that she’s out of a door (I found that solution at www.SecurityChoice.Com/). All cleaning supplies have the possibility of being ingested. All outlets have the potential of being touched. Yes- I’m fairly certain that this state of paranoia will not end until… well.. never. Great.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Inventory Control Software

Recently my daughter and I took on the unpleasant task of cleaning and rearranging the food storage room. Living on a small farm we tend to do a lot of canning. Keeping the foods organized and the oldest food toward the front of the shelf is important. I have seriously considered getting inventory control software. It would make the process so much easier!

Instead, we removed everything from the shelves, cleaned the shelves and returned the food in an organized manner. You can not imagine how unorganized it gets throughout the year. Since it is time for me to start canning again, I figured I would start with a clean storage room. I don't expect to have as many pears to deal with this year, but you never know and I'll need all the space I can get.

Friday, August 5, 2011

California Personal Injury Attorney

I read in the news today about a homeless man that was beaten to death by the police. As the daughter and wife of former police officers I tend to think that there must be more to the story then what is initially reported. Possibly the man resisted arrest or that he became violent and the officers had to subdue him. After watching videos of witnesses reporting to a bus driver about the beating I have to wonder if this is truly a case of police brutality? The father of the homeless man is probably going to hire a California personal injury attorney to sue the Fullerton, CA police department, with just cause.

What most people do not know is that police officers receive extensive training to teach them how to handle all types of situations. Adrenaline gets pumping when an officer is in a chase, physical confrontation or a possibly life threatening situation. Training these officers how to handle them selves in these situations is what they learn at the police academy.

The death of this homeless man I mentioned above is a situation that obviously got out of hand. The witnesses reported that at least 6 police officers where beating this man as he begged for his life and called out for his father, a former sheriffs deputy. One of these officers should have seen this situation was out of control and done his civic and moral duty by putting a stop to the allegedly aggressive behavior of the other officers. Yet, not one of them allegedly did.

Police officers put their lives at risk daily and deserve our respect for upholding the law. If they were are at risk of harm coming to themselves, they do what they need to do to subdue a possible perpetrator. The officer is to call for back up to help subdue the perpetrator. I can not possibly imagine that one homeless man put six officers lives at risk without an alleged weapon.

While these officers are on paid administrative leave the father of this homeless man is mourning the loss of his son and paying for the funeral of a loved one. While the father intends to sue, will that ever compensate for the loss of a child? If the investigation shows that these officers indeed used excessive brutal force that lead to the death of a man, will they be charged with murder? If six young men where to beat a homeless man to death because the suspected him of breaking into vehicles, the courts would find them guilty of murder. This situation has many victims; the homeless man and his family, the families of the officers and the community that lost their trust in their police officials. I pray these people can move forward with their lives and gain some wisdom from this situation.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Make Mine Freedom

Since the recent Debit Bill passed, I felt this little cartoon from 1948 was appropriate to share.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

John Jacob Astor - The First Multi Millionaire

My sister in law mentioned this person on Facebook, so I googled him and found some very interesting information. I agree with what my sis in law said, it gives you hope that things will improve in the future. He is the 4th richest man in American history. A son of Dairy salesman in Germany. He emigrated to London when he was 16 years old. After the American Revolutionary War, he came to America and built a fur trade empire. In the early 19th century he diversified into New York Real Estate.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that I think we should focus on being wealthy multi millionaires, please let me explain my thought process. Many people believe we are living in the end times. I am not saying we are or are not. I am only trying to point out that in our history in the United States and also world wide. People have lived through harsher financial times, more devastating natural disasters and more diabolical social conditions. Our Heavenly father has stepped in and cleaned house in those times of past and will step in again when civilization needs to be cleaned up. For those of you who are wise, you will look to the future for a time to improve upon yourself. Look at the glass half full, instead of half empty. Below is from another web site....it appears to be a journal from John Jacob Astor.




Day 11, September 11, 1837



All the newspapers are reporting about the recent crisis we are having in our economy. The property values are unheard of, so low that now is the perfect time to invest! They are calling this period the Crisis of 1837. It is such a horrid time that people are being forced to foreclose on their properties. I already own some properties west of 5th Avenue in the 30s, so I’ll start my empire with those properties, including my hotel. Ahh, my hotel, the prized possession of my collection. The Waldorf-Astoria, located on 49th and Park Avenue, is the best place you could stay! Everybody raves about it and how it gives New York a whole new sense of luxury. Now that’s a reputation you want for your hotel! We’ve had some pretty famous people stay there like Charles Dickens and Daniel Webster. Anyway, I have a good amount of money prepared to invest in the properties, and since the prices are extremely low, I will have a great return on my investments; I can’t wait!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Genetics or Fate

Have you ever wondered at what point in a persons life do they develop their personality? Is it who they are when they are born or do social stimulation (family) create their personality? Maybe it's a combination of both. While enjoying my granddaughter, I have noticed many personality traits of different family members. When my son (her father) was a toddler, he was a squealer. He would shriek when he would get frustrated, my granddaughter has this same temperance. She has an orneriness about her, which I do believe come from both sides of her parents.

Then there was today, she preceded to torment my daughters (her aunt) cat. When my daughter was a toddler we had a cat named Puff. My daughter loved this cat so much, she dragged the cat around with her everywhere. Mind you, the cat was usually not a willing participant in the dragging ritual. There was also play time with the cat, she would insist the cat fit into the doll house. This required the big cat being stuffed into the small doll house. I will say that the cat usually escaped this play time intact. Now this was many years ago (approximately 19 yrs) and now she is witnessing her niece behaving the same way towards her cat. So I wonder is it genetics, fate or YHWH's humor that my daughter gets to witness the behavior she once displayed in her niece.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Pure Joy

Like most grandparents, I believe our grandchild is amazing. Although I am looking at her through different eyes. Not the same eyes that saw my children, but through wiser eyes. Eyes that have learned through the years to appreciate the small things in life. Eyes that now know that pure joy is when you stop and smell the roses, hear your favorite song or see a friend you haven't seen in a long time. When you stop to enjoy every minute of your life, like an innocent child.

As a parent I missed so many of these minutes. I was too busy worrying about getting the laundry and dishes clean. Working 40 - 60 hours a week, coming home to fix an unhealthy dinner and ge the kids to bed so that I could have time to relax before heading to bed myself. Somewhere in all the chaos I raised three kids. When the kids were 5, 6 and 7 I became a stay at home mom and was able to enjoy them more, but I am not sure I truly took the time to enjoy their youth as I am sure I will with my grandchildren.

If I could only impart one parental advice to my kids when they become parents, it would be to enjoy it. It goes by too fast and you miss so much. So with that said, I want to share a little video of my grandchild enjoying her favorite "elmo" video. I hope you remember one thing that can bring you the joy Kadence has when she hears her favorite song.



Monday, July 11, 2011

My Kindred Spirit Sister

This past weekend my daughter and I took a 3 1/2 hour road trip to visit my best friend, sister in the faith, kindred spirit Cindy. It's been a year and a half since we have seen each other. While I am writing this it strikes me as sad how we can live so close, but see so little of one another. I can only blame it on that little saying "life happens".

Cindy is unable to drive to see us because of a degenerating eye disease that prevents her from driving in unfamiliar areas. My self, well as you all know we have been babysitting cattle and dogs for the last 1 1/2 years. It keeps us close to home because someone has to check on the herd daily. This weekend is proof that even with life's hectic schedules, you can make time for the little pleasures. It's a matter of "stopping to smell the roses". I'm guilty of rushing through life and not enjoying a few pleasures for myself, but after seeing the joy in my best friends face at our time together, I think I will be making more of an effort to visit.

The late night talks about our deepest thoughts, the laughter that leaves your cheeks hurting and being able to sit without talking, knowing what the other is thinking is priceless. Having my daughter there with us was an extra bonus. Cindy is like an aunt to her and a special friend to my daughter. The admiration they have for one another brings joy to my heart.

As I reflect on our friendship, I know our Heavenly Father had His hand in it. He created a friend for me that would love me despite my faults, that is able listen to my heart and not be afraid to tell me when I am wrong, who reminds me how much she loves me and shares my love for my family. I would pray that everyone could find their special kindred spirit to walk through life with. It's like the cherry on top of life's sundae.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Inspiration


After viewing my daughters new background on her blog, I decided to change mine since it has been the same for a long time. After viewing hundreds of background choices, I've decided I am pretty boring. I searched "farm" and found my new background. With all this exciting new change, I needed to write a blog and update everyone on our lives.

Summer is always a busy time for me. Lots of gardens to weed and veggies to pick. Yesterday while weeding, I came to the conclusion weeding is like laundry.. it never is truly done. Our broccoli is doing well, I have harvested enough to put some in the freezer for the winter. I started getting green, jalapeno and cayenne peppers off the plants in the pots on the deck. I have harvested lettuce several times this summer also. I didn't get as many mulberries as I would have liked, but they are juiced and waiting to be made into jelly when I get a nice cool day (don't want to heat up the kitchen with this really HOT weather).

My side kick, Lauren, has been a tremendous help to me this summer. I'm not so sure I would have been able to keep up with everything. We have been cleaning, weeding, organizing and getting things ready to put our house on the market. I think next week will be our big garage sale (if weather permits).

On top of everything else, we have been babysitting cattle. This time of year the cattle are prone to getting pink eye from the tall grass irritating their eyes. So far we haven't had to call the vet, but we are having to check them more than normal. Spending time with the cows isn't such a bad thing. We are starting to get to know them and see more of each of their personalities. I'm seriously thinking we need to become vegans.

I've enjoyed this little break too much and need to get back to work. I'll try to remember to post more often. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Charleston Homes

Occasionally I will have spare time on my hands. What I do with that time can vary. Last night, I wanted mindless activity, so I was Googling things on the internet. I'm sure most of you have done this yourself. One thing leads to another and after a few hours you are looking at a page on the internet, thinking to yourself, how did I end up here?

That is exactly what happened to me last night, when I ended up on Charleston Homes magazine's web site. Not that I wasn't enjoying it, in fact, I really liked looking at the articles. There is something about southern living that has always intrigued me. The beautiful old homes with the well manicured gardens and the romantic views. It was a nice little mind escape that I needed. I went to bed dreaming of all the fun things I could do with my own gardens.

When I awoke this morning I remembered that the lawn needed to be mowed, the strawberry bed had more weeds to be pulled, the flower beds need thinning and the lettuce bed has to be hoed. All I can say is, the dream was fun while it lasted.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kits Condo

Our family recently made a decision to put our home on the market to sell. While this is not a big deal, the preparing for a sale of a home is time consuming. The real estate market is not doing well right now certain homes are easier to sell than others. After doing some research I discovered if we had a kits condo, we would be in luck. Since we don't, I need to work on making our little farm appear more attractive. This past week my daughter and I have been working side by side on the flower beds, the herb beds, the asparagus bed, the strawberry bed and our large garden to keep them weeded. We've dusted, de-cluttered, scrubs and polished every inch of the house. On top of all this I've mowed 4.5 hours in one day and managed to check on the neighbors cattle daily. Today, my daughter and I are taking the day off. We're going to saddle up a couple of horses and go for a nice relaxing ride. All the weeds, lawn, dust and clutter can wait one more day. With the beautiful weather we are having, we can't let it go to waste. We will welcome the future buyers another day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rhinoplasty Surgery

I recent learned that my sibling was told she needed rhinoplasty surgery. She has suffered for years with breathing issues and they informed her that the only way to cure the situation was to proceed with surgery. She has put this surgery off for many reasons, one of which is the healing time required. As a working mother with two active children, she hasn't found the time to set aside for scheduling surgery and the down time for healing. I personally think that the thought of having her nose packed and the pain involved are the true reason she hasn't scheduled the surgery. I can't imagine going through it myself, so I am being supportive of any decision she makes.

Log Cabins

One of the favorite places our family likes to visit is the Rocky Mountains. Our family dream would be to own a rustic log cabin in the mountains and enjoy the splendor of nature. We've enjoy the Rockies in Colorado, but some day would love to travel to Canada's Rocky Mountains. My husband dreamed of starting a company building log cabins, living the life of a settler. Having natures playground at your backdoor is a dream come true. We could climb rock walls, fish, hike, canoe and go horse back riding all while taking in the beautiful scenic mountains. Everyone should have a dream, it makes life worth living.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking Care of Grandma

I spent last week at my mother in laws home. Her husband, my step father in law, passed away. She also cares for her stepmother, who is 94 years old and is unable to walk. I went to her house to stay so that I could help her care of her stepmother in this time of need. The two ladies who care for grandma work the night shift, so I was responsible for grandma during the day. I truly have an appreciation for these nurses. They go through the nursing uniforms while working with the elderly. The messes they have to clean up and deal with are truly out of my league.

One of the nurses had custom made scrubs, with pockets for all sorts of things.
She had Kleenexes, medical equipment, medicine and other various objects in her pockets. It was very impressive. She informed me that the nursing scrub uniforms were important, as they do not have time to run around and find things when working with an adult that needs constant care. It made sense to me and as I mentioned before I have a new respect for the work they do. My
grandma is in good hands with these ladies.

Basement Water Damage

A friend of mine recently had their basement flood and I truly felt their pain. We have yet to finish our basement, but in the 4 years that we have lived here I can not count on both hands how many times our basement has flooded. Thus the reason we haven’t finished the basement. The water damage basement austin is nothing to mess with, it is important to take care of it quickly.

When your basement floods the first thing you have to remove the water damage floor austin.
The shop wet/dry vacuum is our first line of defense. Removing all the excess water and sweeping the remains down the drain will take time. If you have carpet in the basement, you will then need to deep carpet cleaning austin the carpets. Removing any debris and dirt left over from the flooding. Preventing mold from developing is the final step. We treat the walls and floor with a combination of vinegar, tea tree oil and water. Equal parts of these three items in a spray bottle will help fight any mold from developing. Both vinegar and tea tree are an anti fungal and will destroy mold. Treat the area daily for several weeks and then watch to make sure no mold develops. I hope that your basement does not flood, but if it does take these important steps to
help clean up and prevent permanent damage.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Junk Bins

Recently my son decided to clean up the junk and material around his garage. After a few hours, he finished and I was amazed it still looked the same. I asked him, “did you clean anything up?” He made excuses, but what it came down to was there wasn’t a trashcan big enough to throw everything away. I handed him the phone book and told him to call our local trash company and order a junk bin.

The trash company will leave you the junk bins and you pay a monthly fee. Once you have filled the junk bin they return to pick it up. It’s very convenient for the busy homeowner that is trying to complete a clean up task. Hopefully, the junk bin will arrive soon and he can get to the clean up while he still has time on his hands.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Engagement Rings Winnipeg

A friend of mine wrote to let me know her daughter just got engaged. They live in Winnipeg, Canada. She wanted me to see the ring her daughter received, so she told me to Google engagement rings Winnipeg. When I did, I found several jewelers. After finally finding the exact jeweler, I was able to locate the ring and found it was beautiful. I remember receiving my engagement ring and I was so happy to show everyone. With the Internet, we have made this possible to show even our long distance friends and relatives. Sharing the joy and happiness from coast to coast and from one country to another. You have to admit, keeping in touch with friends and family’s life through the Internet is wonderful.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mayline

Yesterday my husband completed his contractor’s license test. This will give him more freedom to sell jobs without the middleman. As sub-contractors you rely on others to supply the jobs and take a cut of the pay when you build it. Becoming a contractor, he will be required to have business meeting and have a more professional work space. I found a site online that provides office furniture called Mayline. I was extremely impressed with their style of furniture. It gives a functional professional look and still comfortable. I even found a few new desks I wouldn't mind having, being that I am the official gopher girl. Although, I like to refer to myself as an administrative assistant, Okay, I'm a gopher girl no sugar coating it.

Home Bars

While looking at the home bars for outdoor entertainment, I discovered the perfect bar for our downstairs recreation room. For the winter months and the rainy days when we have guest over, the home bar in the recreation room would come in handy. No more running upstairs for a drink, with the home bar in the basement everything would be so convenient. Personally, I think my husband would agree this is a more practical home bar then the outside home bar that we could only use in the spring, summer and fall months. This is defiantly going on my wish list.

Home Bar

I've decided since I am going to approach my husband with the need for a new grill and new patio furniture, I should convince him of the whole outdoor home bar concept. Living in the country, we spend a lot of time outside. We enjoy our patios and the peace and quiet the country living has to offer. Occasionally we will even have a big fire in the fire pit in the back yard. The home bar would be a perfect addition to our outdoor living space. With guests coming in April and the weather being warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, this makes perfect sense. I hope he sees it the same way.

Sleigh Beds

Again with my daughter looking over my shoulder, she discovered her favorite sleigh bed. The nice thing about being young, she can change her mind a lot and develop her own styles. The bookcase headboard would be the practical side of her. With so many different sleigh beds to look at, she finally decided on an elegant style. The rich padded headboard and the beautiful wood grain on the frame of the bed, gives this sleigh bed a Middle Eastern look. My daughter loves the look of the Middle Eastern colors and styles. It wasn't surprising to me when she chose this bed.

Sleigh Bed

Have you ever wanted something your whole life and never thought you would be able to have it? That would be how I feel about sleigh beds. I love the look of a sleigh bed. While looking at bedroom furniture online, to fit my Victorian style decor, I found the perfect sleigh bed. What makes it so special? The intricate lines and curves, the metal frame and the classy look that comes from the Victorian era make this bed very special to me. Now all I have to do is convince my husband we need both the sleigh bed and the new grill.

Sofa Recliners

After finding out how my son and his wife terminally broke their recliner I decided to give them a little advice. From the woman who's husband bought a white couch when he had a toddler and a baby on the way. Experience comes with age or sometimes it comes from thinking outside the box. When explaining to my son that his family is growing and it wasn't fair to the recliner to support the whole family, at once, he might want to consider looking at sofa recliners. It would be a perfect place for the family to gather and would be able to support the whole family at one time. It's amazing how smart you become when you're old.

Recliners

My oldest son and his wife were talking the other day about how their favorite recliner had broken. My son has fixed it multiple times, but they feel the recliner is terminally broke. They will be getting a nice tax return, so my son has decided to look recliners to purchase. His main stipulation is it has to be leather and preferably very big. He explained that most times, he the wife and baby end up in the chair together snuggling. He didn't need to explain to me after that comment how the recliner became terminally broke.

Patio Furniture

Several years ago, I decided to be creative and sew new patio furniture cushions. I bought heavy-duty material that was yellow striped with roses on it. It was adorable. I was so impressed with myself; I patted myself on the back. Well, it's been two years and the beautiful yellow striped material is now faded and looks terrible. I'm trying to decide if I want to just buy new cushions, I'm not interested in making anymore, or buy a whole new furniture set. In the meantime, I am searching the internet and hoping to find something I can't live without. Better yet, something my husband can't live without.

Sectionals

While looking online at furniture with my son I came across sofa sectionals. It brought back a funny memory from my early years in out marriage. It was my husband and my second anniversary, his parents decided to buy us new living room furniture. His parents felt our furniture was probably the most uncomfortable furniture ever made. I would have to agree it was, we bought all our furniture for $600. When out shopping for a new sofa, my husband chose this beautiful white sofa sectional. It had pastel colors ribbon through it. I had to agree with them, it was a beautiful sofa. The only problem was we had a one-year-old son and another little boy on the way, white just didn't seem practical. My logical thoughts didn't make a dent in the decision to purchase the new sofa. I won't even tell you how long it took to get our first stain on the sofa, but I will tell you it wasn't a baby or a toddler, it was the dad.

Sofa Sets

My youngest son wants to move into an apartment soon. Both my husband and I do not think this is a good idea for many reasons, but that is neither her or there. So, my son is searching for furniture and looking to set up his new place. As a parent I am enjoying him "window" shop. As he browses the Internet looking at different sofa sets, I can't help but laugh at the reality of it all when he sees the prices for some of these sets. With the expenses of first and last months rent, turning on utilities, furniture, stocking the kitchen with appliances and food, he'll be lucky if he can afford to rent a card board box. Being the good parent that I am, I stay silent and let him figure this all out for himself. Eventually, he'll realize he either needs to save more money or life living with his brother isn't so bad.

Curios

While looking at curios for my daughter I remembered my first and only curio cabinet. I collected Precious Moments figurines when I was first married. I placed them here and there around the house. My husband and I were in our early twenties with a care free heart of a young person. My husband's hobby was RC airplanes. He would spend hundreds of dollars on one plane. Being young and in love, I would argue about the amount of money he would spend. I would simply take the babies and go revenge shopping. When the credit card bills began to pile up, we realized we had a problem. We decided we wouldn't be wasteful with our money. Instead of me buying senseless items, we bought me a curio cabinet to store all my Precious Moments. If I felt I needed to buy something, I would just add to my collection. Years later, I sold my collection for a pretty penny and sold the curio cabinet as well. With age came the wisdom, little knick knacks mean more dusting.

Jogger Stroller

While searching online for strollers I discovered jogger strollers. I don't remember them having these when my kids were babies. I think it is wonderful to have jogger strollers for moms to be able to take the kids out for some fresh air and be able to exercise as well. I'm not sure how they would handle on gravel rounds, but they would be handy for the city. When I shared this information with my daughter-in-law she thought maybe the jogger stroller would be a better idea then the double stroller. I guess the jogger stroller could be used while shopping at the mall as well. I do have to say, what next a stroller for the treadmill?

Strollers

With my son and daughter-in-law expecting another child they are going to be looking at double strollers. I thought while I am out buying presents for people for Passover, why not buy them something they could really use. I remember trying to push those big bulky double strollers when my kids were little. Things have really changed since then. They have a sharper turn radius and are more manageable. With so many to choose from it is very difficult. I think i will go with one hat is the same color theme that they currently have as a single stroller. It works well for a boy or a girl. I'm just glad my double stroller days are over and I can sit back and enjoy my grandchildren, one at a time.

Curio

I was trying to come up with a gift idea for my daughter for a Passover present. She recently began collecting Willow figurines. We currently have them on the bookshelf in the living room, but I was hoping that she would be able to display them in her room. I began looking for a curio cabinet for her. I didn't want a really big one that would take up space in her room and make her room look cluttered. I found one that mounts on the wall, a wall curio. It's perfect and I know she will love it. That will then give her brothers an idea to buy her more Willow figurines.

Weber Grills

I am persistent if nothing else when I see we need something and have to convince my husband that we really do need it. While searching the Internet for the perfect manly man grill I have come across several Weber Grills, that I thought might do the job. This grill has a smoker, rotisserie and workspaces on each side. We don't have to go back to the cave man days; we can impress our company with rotisserie chicken, smoke ribs and grilled salmon. We could be the envy of all the redneck hillbillies we call our neighbors. Okay, so our neighbors aren't rednecks, but they would still be impressed.

Kitchen Cart

I didn't even realize while looking at the picture of the kitchen cart from my last post that it would give me more cabinet space as well as counter space. I got so excited, I thought I should add this post to let everyone know how practical a kitchen cart would be for their home. My daughter wanted me to mention that it doesn't have to match perfectly to your current cabinets, in fact, you could get one with a little color to spice up the kitchen. It appears to me I will not be letting her decorate my home. A red kitchen cart will look terrible with my cherry cabinets.

Kitchen Carts

Tonight while fixing dinner with my daughter and daughter-in-law, I realized we didn't have enough counter space. Fixing Chinese dinner for everyone takes a lot of people in the kitchen preparing and cooking at the same time. When we are canning in the fall after harvesting the fruits and vegetables we run into the same problem. I found several kitchen carts that would match my kitchen perfectly. This would give us another workspace and it's mobile. So we can move it to where it would not be in the way when not in use. It's a perfect solution without straining the finances.

Weber Grill

Yesterday it was in the 60's here in the Midwest. Spring seems so close, but yet so far away. I couldn't resist grilling out hamburgers for dinner last night. I pulled the grill out and cleaned it off. I opened the lid and it fell off. I stood there with the lid to the gas grill in my hands. I was shocked and realized this poor little grill had seen better days. That was when I decided to go online last night after dinner and look for a new grill. I found the most amazing Weber Grill. It’s a gas grill in stainless steel and black finish. Now if I can only convince my husband I need a new grill and he really doesn’t have to fix the lid to my old grill.

Dining Table

In an earlier post I wrote about my husband and I discussing our preference in a dining table shape. While Susan Dillinger views and opinions were an accurate description of me, I can’t say they fit my husband at all. Susan Dillinger, is a traveling seminar presenter for a Colorado management training company. She says if you like circle furniture, “You are a people person, the shape with the most empathy, perception and consideration for he feelings of others. You listen and communicate well. You read people and can spot a phony right off. You like harmony and you have your greatest difficulties with conflict and making an unpopular decisions. You are easily swayed by other people’s feelings and opinions. You can be an effective manager in an egalitarian workplace, but have difficult in political environments with strong hierarchy.” First I need to mention my husband was a police officer for 8 years, before he chose to leave the force and become a self-employed contractor. I think the only thing that I would agree with in her thoughts is, he doesn’t do well with a political environment with strong hierarchy. Thus the reason he left the force and became self-employed.

Headboards

I am sitting here writing these blog post and my daughter wonders in and inquires about what I am writing. I begin to share with her my decorating plans and now she has joined me at the computer. We are looking at headboards for her room. Being an avid reader, she thought the bookcase headboard would be great. I have to admit it is very practical for someone who loves to read. She also has lots of knick knacks that she could display on the book shelves. The white will brighten her room and make it appear larger.

Headboard

I was looking for items to redecorate the bedrooms and came across this great headboard that would look great in the oriental guest bedroom. I love the simple, but artistic design. I can imagine this with a beautiful asian comforter in the black and red colors with gold throw pillows. We have some swords that can be placed on the wall and I have an antique oriental vase that my grandmother gave to me. I think this will be a great bedroom for my son’s friends to stay in while they are visiting. I hope it will have a more masculine feel to the room.

South Shore Platform Beds

While pondering some recent thoughts of remodeling and redecorating my home, I have decided to have themes for my bedrooms. The master bedroom will be Victorian along with the bathroom. My daughter will have to decide on the theme for her room. The upstairs guest room is going to be Oriental, with black and red comforters for the South Shore Platform Beds. Highlighting the colors with gold tones. Having several beds will allow more people to stay in this guest room. While having a main theme and color scheme throughout the rest of the house, the bedrooms will have their own personality.

Twin Over Full

We are expecting several families to visit in the month of April. One of the difficulties with so many people visiting at the same time is finding a place for them to sleep. I’ve decided to purchase a twin over full bunk bed for our fourth bedroom. One of the nice things about the twin over full bunk bed, you can fit a married couple on the bottom with a child on the top. With our other twin bed in the room we can accommodate an entire family on one bedroom. This will leave our other guest room available for the other couple that will be coming. Now all we need is another bathroom to accommodate all the guests.

Office Chair

While discussing my earlier post about my office chair, I received a phone call. My friend asked what I was doing. I explained I was writing on my blog and told her about my post I was writing. She began to explain her preferences in office chairs and why she bought an extra chair for her office. It hadn't occurred to me having another chair in my office would be beneficial.

I have many pet peeves and one of them is when someone else uses my desk and changes the position of my office chair. By having another chair available for other users I can alleviate the frustrations of my own pet peeves.

Dining tables

Recently I had a discussion with my husband about dining tables. When we were first married, he bought me a round dining table for Christmas. I can remember being so upset because he bought me a round table instead of a rectangle or square dining table. It’s funny how important it is for me to have rectangle or square shaped furniture. My husband prefers the round shape instead. I am wondering what does this say about our personalities.


Susan Dillinger, a traveling seminar presenter for a Colorado management training company, says if you like square furniture you are, “Organized and a hard worker, you like structure and rules and dislike situations in which you don’t know what’s expected of you. You prefer working alone to teamwork. Logical, you think sequentially – A, B, C and D. You collect loads of data and file it so information is easy to locate.” This does explain who I am. I’ll share with you in another post, what my husbands round furniture means.

Twin Over Twin

When my boys were growing up they shared a bedroom. They had a twin over twin bunk bed. They both have very found memories of their childhood and sharing a room with bunk beds. There is something special about having a bunk bed and sharing a room with a sibling. I myself shared a room with my sister when we were very small. She had the top bunk and I had the lower bunk. I can remember her hanging her head upside down over the side in the morning and talking to me.

We just found out my son and his wife is expecting a second child. The two children will be 17 months apart. The thought of buying them their first bunk beds for them to share a room and build memories brings joy to my heart.

Bedroom


While the thoughts of redecorating my master bathroom, I found that I want to do the same with my master bedroom. While looking for bathroom vanities I found some very beautiful bedroom vanities. When I was growing up in my early teen years I had a friend who had this antique bedroom vanity. It had a big oval mirror and the two sides of drawers for all her personal things. I can remember thinking; it was like stepping back in time. As I have grown older, I realize I still want that same type of vanity. I don’t think we ever grow tired of finding beautiful furniture.

Bathroom

There is talk that my husband may be going out of town for several weeks. This means I get to take on a remodeling task. The master bathroom will be the room I focus my attentions. I have wanted to redecorate with a Victorian theme. I eventually want a claw bathtub and an antique looking vanity. Finding this vanity at a reasonable price that is authentic looking will be the fun.

I enjoy a relaxing shower or bubble bath and having the perfect bathroom will give me great joy. While my husband plays in his garage with all his man toys, I’ll be reading a good book in a nice hot bubble bath in my newly decorated bathroom.

Office Chairs

Since I began blogging more and writing for the examiner.com I have spent a lot of time sitting in my office chair. Locating office chairs that are comfortable and affordable is very important. Not only is it essential for comfort but also for your health. Lower back pain can occur when sitting for long periods of time. So a chair with good lumbar support is a necessity.

I myself prefer an executive chair with plenty of cushion on the seat and lumbar support in the back. The tilting back, height lever and slightly sloping edge to the seat gives me the most comfort. What kind of office chair is most comfortable to you?


Monday, February 28, 2011

Ameriplan Medical and Dental Plan


With owning our own company, insurance is something we have gone without. The cost is too great to even consider. Thankfully, we have not had a situation where it has been absolutely necessary to have it. I did come across Ameriplan which offers medical, dental, vision, chiropractic and pharmaceutical services on a discount plan. When you become a member, they provide you with the names of the offices that will provide these services at a discount rate.

There is no age limit or requirements, anyone is eligible for this service. There is over 30,000 dentist, 12,000 vision providers, 50,000 pharmacies, 7,500 chiropractors in the United States working with Ameriplan. There are several different health plans to fit any individual or family needs. This is definitely an option for those of us who do not have insurance.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Downtown Vancouver Hotel


While staying at a downtown Vancouver hotel, the Loden., you will be close to the celebrations. Kick off the celebrations on April 6th, celebrating the day Vancouver was incorporated in 1886. Enjoy dinner at the hotel's distinctive restaurant and lounge, Voya after a long day of celebrations. If you are the athletic type, you'll enjoy the 24-hour fitness studio and spa.

The Loden is legendary for its classic yet modern environment and urban amenities. It is a perfect setting for an urban boutique hotel. You'll be just steps away from numerous attractions in an exciting city that is celebrating it's birthday.

Vancouver Hotel


Vancouver is celebrating its 125th birthday. There is no better place to stay then at a beautiful Vancouver hotel. The Loden Hotel is located in Coal Habour, downtown Vancouver's most sought after community. With breath taking views of the mountains and waterways.

After an exciting fun filled day of celebrating head back to your luxurious room. Take a bubble bath in the deep soaking bathtub before heading to bed in a custom designed bed with the finest linens. If you're not ready for bed, each room offers a large flat screened television and a fully stocked private bar. The Loden is designed to meet your leisure or business needs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

100 Dogs Killed


A 38 year old employee of Outdoor Adventure asked the SPCA on two separate occasions to help find homes for the company's dogs. Both times he was rebuffed. Now the SPCA is investigating the killing of 100 dogs over two days.

Officials at the animal protection service claim they did not realize the dogs would be brutally slaughtered. Senior animal protection officer Eileen Drever said, "[the employee] didn't advise me he was going to kill any dogs. I spoke to an animal behaviorist who is also a vet and she spoke with an expert in the [United] States who said [the sled dogs] weren't adoptable". When asked if she had told the man that the SPCA would not help locate homes for the dogs, she said "I believe so".

BC SPCA head of animal cruelty Marcie Moriarty said, the SPCA would have acted had it known the dogs were going to be slaughtered. While everyone is pointing their finger to blame each other in the deaths of these dogs, everyone agrees the loss of these 100 dogs was senseless.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Outdoor Adventures


Recently it came to light that a dog sledding company, Outdoor Adventures Whistler, slaughtered 100 dogs after a post Olympic financial decline. Bookings for dog sled tours decreased after the Olympics and when the company could not find homes for the animals, it culled the dogs. The dogs were killed over a two day period of time last April.

The man's name has not been released, but his attorney has been quoted as saying, "the worst experience (the man) has ever had". This is the same man who filed the claim with the Worksafe BC and killed the animals. After being told to make the business more cost effective, he attempted to find homes for all the dogs. When he could no longer find homes, he chose to shoot the remaining dogs. Outdoor Adventures spokesman Graham Aldcroft said, "They had a financial stake in the company, but operational control was with the worker that filed the claim with Worksafe BC".

Can Outdoor Adventures be held accountable for this man's decisions? Both the British Columbia
SPCA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating this tragedy. Outdoor Adventures has now taken control of the dog sledding company and now it is company policy if a dog needs to be euthanize, it will be treated at a veterinary clinic.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Ale Kansas City's New Flavor


When Christopher Elbow of Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates and Stephen Pauwals pf Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City put their heads together, they came up with a taste sensation for the beer lover. This amazing ale did not stay on the shelves. Boulevard Brewing Company released the Chocolate Ale for Valentines selling roughly over 19,200 bottles and 350 1/6 barrel kegs.

In a statement released on the Brewery's web site, "Chocolate Ale was going to be just a one-time, on-off release. But due to the overwhelming feedback we've received, and after much internal discussion and debate, we're pleased to announce that it will be back for next Valentine's Day". So for all of those people that did not get an opportunity to try the Chocolate Ale, be prepared to get on a waiting list for next Valentines shipment.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Doing the Happy Dance


WOW...what a week! I have completed the first week of writing for the examiner.com . All my articles, except one, was on the front page of the Kansas City examiner. I received over 300 view on my articles. I still need more views, feel free to hop on over and check them out. ALSO, the weather is warming up this week and we may even see the 60's! Can you tell I am looking forward to spring? Last but not least, I won a dozen roses. Our local grocery store had a drawing for a dozen roses. I signed up with the intention of giving the roses to our accountant who works tirelessly for us and others. SO, tomorrow I will pick up the roses and give them to Lynette. I hope they make her day. I hope all of you have a blessed week as I look forward to mine.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Blahs


I know that come July and August I will be whining about how hot and humid it is outside. Dreading going out to pull weeds and mow the lawn. I keep trying to remind myself of this as I am freezing with this bitterly cold winter weather we are having in the mid west. Last snow fall we received 14-16 inches of snow in a 24 hour period. Last night we received 3-4 inches of snow. We have plowed, shoveled and scooped more snow then I can remember in such a short period of time.

I know there are those young at heart who are probably enjoying the snow days when the school is closed. There are those who enjoy a day playing in the snow and building snow forts and snowmen. Although, I would hate to take away from their fun, there are those of us who find it inconvenient. Putting layers of clothes on just to walk to the car or feed the chickens. Speaking of chickens, they are not enjoying this cold snowy weather either. Even the cats and dogs at my house are protesting this winter.

A cheer of jubilation will arise from our home when this winter is over and spring is upon us. We will all joyfully head outdoors to revel in the sunshine. Until then, I'll be bundled up writing my articles on the computer.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Facebook is Back


After my heartfelt post about our family finally being off Facebook, I have to share that now I am back on Facebook. Against my better judgment, I opened my Facebook account for my new job. I am writing local articles for examiner.com. I am their Kansas City Home and Garden writer. In order to get my readership up, I had to open a facebook and twitter account. As my readership grows so does my income. I have struggled within myself over this decision. More then anything, I felt I need to be honest and let you all know. I do not want to appear hypocritical and hide the information. I do know one thing, I will not get sucked into posting pictures and sharing personal information. Feel free to share my examiner site with others to view and comment on my articles. Hopefully, I will be able to shut down FB in the future as I will not need it to help my readership.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Pictures During and After the Snow Storm


The view from our four season room on our back deck during the storm




South side deck during the storm




My daughters snow angel




Our south side deck after the storm



Snow blown from 40 mph winds during the storm










Blizzard hits the Midwest


Above is a picture of my husband on his lawn tractor plowing our driveway. I took this picture from our front porch, about 150 feet away from them.


On Tuesday, February 1, 2011 a winter storm crossed the Midwest and left damages to property, personal vehicles and power outages. While people in the northern states were probably more prepared for this kind of storm, the folks of the lower Midwest were a little more leery of it. By mid day on Tuesday at the height of the storm, Kansas City, Missouri mayor Mark Funkhouse declared a state of emergency. Down here south of Kansas City about an hour away, we received 16 inches of snow. It was quiet a storm, one with record breaking snow fall and wind chill. There are many things I am sure I will remember about this storm in the years to come.

People in the Midwest are great at coming together and helping one another out in a difficult time. Our small little town is one example. We have a gentleman that plows our streets in town, after this storm, many people who owned plows came to help him plow the streets and peoples driveways. Others grabbed their shovels and began shoveling sidewalks and helping people clear their drives. I know of a few people that attempted to drive before the roads were clear, putting themselves in a ditch or stranded. The other drivers with 4 wheel vehicles were towing and lending a hand to the common sense challenged 2 wheel drivers.

With all this snow you would think people would be ready for spring, not around here. They are talking about sledding and enjoying this large snow fall. It's not every year we receive this amount of snow, so they are taking advantage of the it. I myself do not like this cold wintry weather. I could do without wearing layers upon layers of clothes just to go to the grocery store. I particularly don't like trying to walk in snow that is up to my hips, ok so maybe I am only 5'1 and most averaged height people don't have this problem. Either way, I am not fond of winter and it's snow. It looks like it's not going to get better any time soon. Another round of snow is coming in on Sunday. While shoveling my decks and porches I will be dreaming of tropical weather.







Sunday, January 30, 2011

Say No to Large Houses!


I spent the day with my daughter in law, daughter and her friend cleaning my father in laws house. My father in law lives in the same home my husband grew up in. It's a large home with 6 bedrooms, 3 full baths, 2 half baths with three levels to clean. This is one big house for a single man to clean on top of having his own business in his home. So us girls set out to deep clean while the men went hunting. Lets say after 5 hours of deep cleaning, we never got to the basement level. Only two levels clean! I thought with the four of us we would knock this house out in two hours, NOT.

While there, my mom and sister and her kids showed up to visit. My mom kept saying, wouldn't it be nice to have this much room to live in. I thought she had lost her mind. Sure it's nice to have the extra room when you have company come to stay, but who wants to clean it? As I grow older, I realize big houses are over rated. I am happy with our smaller ranch style home on a basement. On a bad day it would never take me 5 hours to deep clean the whole house and the basement. Why heck, I would have time to spare to weed a few gardens and mow the lawn. With less to clean there is more time for fun in the sun.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spring Weather in January


WOW, today it was in the high 50's! I was so excited I had the sliding glass door open and aired out the house. My dog ran around the yard doing laps. I put chicken on the grill and lapped up the sunshine. We will have one more day of this warmer weather and on Sunday it will be cold again, reminding us it is still winter. Counting down the days until spring is officially here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Deal of the Day


I'm not sure if any of you have heard of deal of the day sites? I absolutely love them and check them daily. My favorite is woot.com. You never know what they are going to have listed, sometimes they are new products and sometimes they are refurbished. I have bought both and have been very happy with the purchase. I usually check these sites as well, 1saleaday.com, dodtracker.com . DODtracker (deal of the day tracker), is another favorite because it has all the deals on one location.

I buy items on these sites and put them away for gifts. Living in the country, it's not always easy to get to the city to buy gifts. So, if an occasion comes up and I need a gift, I go to my handy storage area and pick a gift that I would have purchased earlier. These sites can come in handy for us country girls. Although, they are a great place to find good deals for anyone.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Promoting Your Web Site


In the process of looking at creating a web site for my husbands business I have ran across some interesting information. As a blogger, one of the things I have learned is promoting your web site to attract more traffic is the most important tool. Having a great web site isn't enough if no one knows it's there. Using a site that has free link exchange creates more traffic for your web site.

When you build links to your site the opportunity for exposure greatly increases. It reminds me of exchanging business cards with someone. How many times have you placed your business card at another business location? When someone places your free link on their site, it's the same thing. With the the world wide web you have a larger exposure that will help you build your business.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Website Design


I ran across a new website design Ottawa recently. I was looking for something for my husbands' company web site. I am always checking different designs. They have templates or custom design to suit each persons needs. On this web site the customer friendly templates give you more options then basic template packages. With several different template packages you can have more personalized features that are easy to work with. I have tried several different sites for web design and have yet to find one that I am comfortable using. I will hopefully be able to use one of these templates that can make both my husband and I happy with creating a web design.

Rural Route Mail


Living in the country something most people don't think about mailboxes. You would be amazed at how people express themselves with their mailbox. I have also noticed that others encase their mailbox in stone. Not a bad idea out here in the country. Most peoples mailboxes are not close to their home, but up a long drive and some are out of the sight of the home. We even have vandalism out here in the "sticks". So it's a matter of taste and practicality on what type of mailbox you might choose.

I personally don't like the expensive decorative mailboxes. They are just not practical out here. I would probably invest in locking mailboxes, as the mailbox is so far from the house. I'm not sure if our mail lady would appreciate it, with the extra work of unlocking it. I have to admit though, last year I saw on craigslist a gentleman that made a concrete tree where your mailbox slips inside of it. It was painted and looked so real, like a real tree beside your drive. It was so unique, but too expensive. The day after I noticed it, the county tractor that mows the grass on the side of the highway hit our mailbox and munched it. I figured, it's a good thing I didn't invest too much money in the mailbox. Such is life in the country.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Another Valea's Thoughts

I have another blog and mostly the same stuff is on there. But wanted to share it with you all in case you felt the need to stop by and visit. The new site is valeasthoughts.blog.com

Fun Web Site


yearbookyourself - 1986



yearbookyourself - 1970



yearbookyourself - 1962



yearbookyourself - 1952



yearbookyourself - 1966




Tonight I stumbled onto a wonderful fun web site and I could not resist sharing this with my readers. The site is www.yearbookyourself.com, my daughter and I played around on it for over an hour. We laughed so hard, I am sure my husband figured with were up to no good on the internet. I am going to embarrass myself here by posting some of the pictures I saved from this site. I won't post any of my daughter, because she knows where I sleep. I do need to state at no time have I ever worn my hair in any of these styles.


Parents


As I write this post, I am listening to my husband help his father decide which laptop computer would be best for him to purchase. I can hear the frustration in my father in laws voice and the more frustrated he becomes the more patient my husband becomes. I know he is feeling frustrated himself, because I can not count on my hand how many times I have had to help my mom with her computer. My mother has no idea what the computer terms are, like icon. So when I am trying to help her fix her computer, I come up with some really unique words to describe what I am trying to get her to click on.

The difference with my mom and me is we usually end up laughing about her lack of computer knowledge and my creative ways to help her fix her computer. She laughs at me when I say to her, "I'm blind here mom, tell me what you are seeing on the screen". Then she will go into great detail telling what is on the screen. Making memories and laughing about it. I wonder why it is that some people can't laugh at the little things in life. I figure life is too short and I have way too many BIG things in life to be serious about. I will state that my daughter may view this differently when I am irritated over something that seems so little to her.

Looking at my mom and my father in law with their lack of computer knowledge, I can foresee my future with my own kids. Actually it's not so future on some things. My family has our television, dvd player and stereo so rigged that it is some times difficult to figure out if I am turning on switches to the space shuttle or trying to watch a movie. When all the little lights don't turn on right I yell for my daughter to come fix it. When my son hands me his cell phone to make a call I look at it and for the life of me can't figure out how to make it turn on. Apparently, you just have to touch the screen and with a flick of your finger you can be on the internet. Although, if you flick to much you can completely screw the phone up. I know this from experience. I suppose when my kids are on their own and I call them with a silly little question. They will either find humor in my lack of knowledge and make memories or they will patiently tolerate my phone call until we fix the problem. Either way, I am sure I will be grateful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Way to Prevent Foreclosure


As our economical times are not improving, many people are looking at the possibility of losing their home to foreclosure. There are several things the borrower can do to possibly prevent foreclosure of their home. One of the things they can do is to check out Loan Modifications. A loan modification is any change made to the original mortgage. It could be as simple as a change of interest rates or go from a floating to an adjustable or fixed mortgage. Loan modifications purpose is to lower the mortgage monthly cost for the borrower. The lenders are willing to help the borrower out in these situations because they will lose more money if they foreclose on the home. While they have to endure the cost of trying to resale the home and not recouping the cost of the original loan.

If you choose to go with a loan modification through a lawyer, a loan modification firm or the lender directly, it is imperative that you keep good records. Take notes of the names and phone numbers with extensions of everyone you speak with during this process. Outline your current financial situation and outline the outcome you would expect with the loan modification. This will show the lender your intent to meet your financial obligation. In your outline you will need to list all of your monthly expenses. Including fuel cost, groceries, monthly bills, debt payments and health and car insurance. Balance this against your monthly income. You will be proposing that with the lenders help, you will be able to meet the loan modifications expenses and your monthly financial obligations.

By getting a loan modification you are going to keep a good credit rating and continue to have a mortgage which is a tax benefit vs. renting. As our home is an important safe place for us all, losing our home is devastating and leaves us feeling unstable. Loan modifications give us a chance to remain in our home at a reasonable cost.