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Showing posts from January, 2013

It Found Its Way

Even though I talked him into getting a flu shot weeks ago, my husband Rob came down with some strain of the virus two days ago.  Oh boy.

I've been washing everything, loaded up on Gatorade, Emergen-C and chicken broth.

This comes at a really bad time - Rob's play opens tomorrow night.  And... he has a very special birthday coming up on Saturday.  What a drag!

How are you fairing during this flu season?

(Getting ready for the Super Bowl happening this Sunday?  Check out "Super Bowl Activities To Burn Off The Foods You Just Ate" ).  I may be laying off the Cheetos ;->

I Should Have Known

And that would be me.

(I'm "kind-of" a Vegetarian - Until that urge for a big, juicy hamburger comes along! :-> )

Getting Prepared

Our oldest daughter just finished her first round of high school finals.  The amount of time spent on prep and studying took me back to those days when studying was a make-or-break time.  Her school is sending information on what can be done to help her in areas in the future for GMAT and SAT studies.  Wow!  When you think about it, you can never start too soon.
Back in “my day” we didn't have the educational resources that are considered common now.  Just about everything you want to learn about can be found here on the internet but, you still need to know what to study for, right?  It’s one thing to read information, but you need to know how to study and what’s important to know for a test.  We've found a site that will give her so much more guidance than her dad and I ever could, Veritas
Once you sign up for this site, they provide access to experienced tutors over an Internet connection, including a complete set of Veritas Prep books. With their online learning …

Comcast Came Through

I had a very "interesting" experience when I visited a Comcast branch last week.  (See post: "Comcast Waiting Room Surprise").  I wasn't giving the situation much hope because, in years past, we've had appointments not kept and, to be honest, I'm just very skeptical of the whole service and I'm upset with the cost.  Honestly, the cost of having cable television is too high!  I just don't understand.  And with this last encounter I was so ready for our contract to be up and to say 'good-bye' to the whole thing.

An on-line media specialist contacted me through my blog and said that I would receive a call to talk further about my experience.  I received a call that night from a Rep. who had read my blog post.  They were really  nice and personable and we giggled a bit about what had happened.  I was told a technician would be out the next morning to help get our cable hooked up.

Sure enough, 9:45 am a tech. showed up and... pushed one butt…

Not Taking The Car Keys Just Yet

When our oldest daughter turned 15 a family member said, "So, are you taking her to get her driver's permit soon?"  Um, no.  It actually never occurred to me that she was at driving age!  We live in a city with a great public transit system so the need, or desire, to drive is really a personal choice, not a necessity.  However, she has been asking questions about driving rules for a while now so we need to get organized here.

She started asking some of her friends about driving and they were telling her stories of how they got tripped up on some of the questions on the written part of the learner's permit test.  I remember studying the drivers manual for weeks in preparation of the test.  (Most days I think my fellow drivers need to freshen up on the manual!)  Test taking isn't easy for everyone and I've found a site that can help our future drivers prepare, click here for

I was very surprised to learn that the drivers training classes tha…

Cookies Are Always A Good Idea

It's always good to have a Plan B

Other Security Guard Companies Don’t Compare To guardNOW

As tragedies continue to occur new security companies are growing every year. How do you know what company will best accommodate your family? Every regular security guard service helps at events and concerts, but who is going to help you feel safe when you’re having an event at your home or your wedding? At guardNOW they specialize in business, residential and all special events, places where most security guard companies won’t go.
Some unusual events guardNOW has covered:
-Firing a former employee
-Foreclosures / moving people out
-Sweet 16
What type of guards do guardNOW hire for the job? How will their security guards help me feel safe?
As a private security guard service we have trained and licensed professionals as well as former police offers to have the correct knowledge about securing all areas. We guarantee an enjoyable, safe, helpful staff with every security job we work at.
Why do I need a private security guard at small events at my home?

Comcast Waiting Room Surprise

For Christmas we added a new t.v. to the household.  The box/antenna thingy we had for our previous t.v. wasn't providing the proper connection to this new, fancy t.v. so I had to call Comcast for some help.   After being told that our black box/antenna wasn't properly registered, the Customer Service person clicked their keyboard and said I was all set and things should be working.  And guess what?  They weren't.

I resigned myself to the fact that we had three versions of PBS, all the local cable programs you could ever want (do you even want one?) and enough Spanish speaking channels that I'm sure I would be fluent in Espanol in a matter of weeks.  However, after a month of this, we knew we had to contact Comcast again to get this resolved.

Yesterday I took our black box/antenna into their new Comcast office.  It has a nice set-up, little rooms made to look like a home and a t.v. in every one of 'em!  After giving my name to the facilitator I was directed to th…

Florida Tix: Ways to Save on Your Holiday to Florida

A little over a year ago our family took a vacation to Disneyland and southern California and we had an absolute blast.  Now that we've discovered the joy of being some place fun, and warm, the planning has begun for our next vacation.  Since the sun and beach was such a hit our girls we'd love to check out Disney World in Florida - I'm all for it!  Florida is the ideal destination for family holidays. Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World it houses some of the most popular tourist attractions in the world. For sun worshippers and thrill seekers alike, Florida has something for everyone. Needless to say, Disneyland needs no introduction. However, if you’re keen to spend your summer in the Sunshine state you may need an intro to budgeting. If you’re worried a trip to Florida will cause a major dent in your pocket read on to find great ways to save cash on you trip using FloridaTix.
Tickets Tickets to the aforementioned theme parks can really add up. Tho…

Our Story And A Song "Romeo & Juliet"

Valentine's Day is on its way.  A song came on the radio that played a very important part in the relationship of Rob and I.  A guy + acoustic guitar = me smiling.  From the archives:

"Romeo & Juliet" by Dire Straits - I had never heard this song before 1992. I was on my way to a, well, I'll just call him a 'boyfriends' house to have one of those wonderful talks. The 'Where-is-this-going?' kind of thing. Yuck.

As he walks me from the front door into the kitchen I see a girl sitting at the table with a guy who has a guitar. The "guitar guy" looks at me and says "hi". (He's super-duper cute and has an acoustic guitar. Melt my heart.)  We had meet once before, while I was waiting for my bus and our mutual friend was waiting with me.  "Guitar Guy" shook my hand and I felt some kind of electric charge - I really did.

The four of us sit around the kitchen table not saying much. I'm totally confused because I thought…

Dear Fairy Godmother...


"... Only Love Can Do That"

I've edited myself.  This was a much longer post but then I realized that the point I was getting across was telling those whose writings I follow, either through their blogs, Facebook or Twitter, that I was telling them that I don't like it when they share their angry views so could they just focus on the positive.  What?  That's crazy.

While I do my best to tolerate those ideas that vary so differently from mine, and remind myself that it takes all kinds to make a world, it takes the strongest filter my mouth can find to not say - or write - what I believe to be true because I know it will push some away, and that's not my intention.  My intention is go in the direction of calm discussion and peace.  No confrontation, anger usually generates more anger.  Deep breath.  Peace.

I know we can't all believe the same things, I don't expect us to.  I do expect us to show respect however.  Show respect for those taking the time to read your words, and show respect t…

Why Is My Mind Going There?

While washing dishes this morning I had a flash back to an argument I had with a friend over 20 years ago... and got mad all over again!  Isn't that ridiculous?

I don't know where it came from, or why my mind would want to put me through those feelings once more, but it was enough to make me actually grip the edge of the sink and take a moment to pause.  20 years ago it was an overwhelming discovery of a friendship that wasn't as "friendly" as I thought.  And even though the situation was talked about and lots of emotions and personal truths were told, I guess I haven't completely forgiven and it's obvious I haven't forgotten.  (That's a problem of mine, I never forget who's hurt me.)

When I see this friend of mine, I'm happy to see them because they were such a huge part of my life growing up.  We have years and years of shared experiences that I wouldn't trade.  But then I remember that, while we were sharing these times together, th…

Making A Donation

So I went out with this guy last night

My husband Rob had donated blood earlier and he was told he needed to replenish his fluids.  Isn't it delightful that we happen to have a lovely, little pub in our neighborhood?  (And yes, he also had water and juice ;-> )

Rob has been donating blood to the American Red Cross for years, decades.  Our youngest, Lily, asked why he did it.  Did he get paid?  Do they give you anything?  He said, "I do it because it helps people."

When I posted his picture of Facebook, along with his visit to the American Red Cross, a dear friend from high school commented "Please tell that wonderful hubby of yours that he just saved 3 lives by giving blood!!"  Wow.  3 lives.  

Have you donated blood?  If you haven't, and knowing that it can help save lives, do you want to?  If you want to make a donation, visit .


American Idol Season 12. I'm In!

I didn't think I was going to watch, but I did.  And I liked it!

The 12th season of American Idol began last night and my girls and I actually enjoyed it.  I wasn't going to watch the auditions because 1.) I was beginning to feel very uncomfortable about the lengths they were going to ridicule people by exposing their truly horrible singing, although the singers think they sound great.   2.) I'm over the emotional back-story.  If someone has a good singing voice give them a golden ticket.  If they have a so-so voice and an emotional back story, that shouldn't equal a golden ticket.  That should garner them an Oprah interview or a Lifetime movie.  And 3.) I miss Simon and Paula.  Yep, I do.  But it's a new season, with new judges, so I thought I'd give it a go.

One thing I was impressed with is that Randy Jackson has finally stepped up with his opinion and gives a straight forward "no".  It's one thing to not want to hurt someones feelings but let&…

Who Knew My Cat Could Sound Like A Cow

I've had it.  Who knew I could get the same sleep-deprivation from my cat as I had when my babies were tiny.  Who knew?!

We've given our dear, old cat Maddy a lot of attention and care since her sister Phoebe passed ("A Sister Stands Vigil").  It wasn't an easy time for any of us and it's been so nice to have a cat that takes all of our attention in stride.  Phoebe wasn't as patient with being picked up and loved as Maddy, so she's getting even more affection now.

However, I'm getting a bit crazed with sleep-deprivation because Maddy is requesting attention at all hours of the day - and night!  She's singing her song of "Get me some fresh water in my dish, now!" starting anywhere from 3am to 4am.  She's creating a strange bellowing sound in the early morning hours to request more food.  (She eats wet food and prefers the "extra gravy" kind.)  I can't believe how demanding she's become!

We've bought her a big…

The Parental Nightmare I'll Never Forget

My husband Rob and I drove past a house the other day that brought back a memory of one the most terrifying experiences I have gone through as a parent.  Now, the ending is happy, and the intentions were fine and innocent, it's just that the series of events came from "The Parents Nightmare Handbook" (patent pending - although won't happen because who would want to read something like that?!?).

October, 2004.  The school day was almost over so I loaded my 4 year old Lily into her car seat so that we could pick-up her big sister Katie, who was in 2nd grade.   When I arrived at our usual spot on the sidewalk the bell rang and all the kids came out with variations of excitement that their school day was done.  I waited on the sidewalk for Katie, and waited... and waited.  After a couple of minutes I went inside her classroom to see what was keeping her.

When I looked in her classroom I saw her teacher but no students.  I asked her teacher if Katie could be in another cl…

Party Planning. I Need Ideas!

My husband Rob has a wonderful, special birthday coming up in the beginning of February and I am racking the creative side of my brain trying to come up with how to throw an incredible party.  Have you put together a big party?  Any ideas you care to share?

This birthday party needs to be big.  Big I tell ya'!

But, how do you do "big" when you don't have the accounts to fund something so elaborate?  We need to hold the party in a space, like a restaurant, but the few that I've looked into are showing me dollar signs that I  didn't expect.  So now I'm looking into renting a space, however that would mean catering and I think the numbers will turn out to be the same as if we'd held the party at a restaurant.

Oh, why can't we just go to Chuck E. Cheese (or, as Rob calls it 'Charles E. Fromage') and call it a day?!

Any accept is gratefully accepted :->

Who Knew My Body Was This Smart?

(I'm always trying to put a positive spin on things! :-> )

I Don't Accept Texts - Now She Knows

I am honestly proud of Katie.  After receiving her text of "Going somewhere after school with a friend" yesterday, (Post: "You Think Sending A Text Makes This OK?") I arrived at her school at pick-up time with some questions. And, I liked her answers.

Katie doesn't have her own phone (it's been misplaced) so I called the number she texted from and she answered.  I know who the phone belongs to, so no worries there.  Katie sounded happy and told me she and her friend were going to Starbucks.  I then surprised her with the news that I was actually parked and waiting for her and that she needed to come see me.  She wasn't thrilled.

Since this is the first time we've had this situation I didn't want to embarrass her in front of her friend.  I wanted to see if Katie would figure out this was not the way to go about things on her own, which she did.  We went over the text she sent, and I asked if it left any questions for me about what was going on.  …

You Think Sending A Text Makes This OK?

Let me get this straight, my daughter, the daughter who is a Freshman in high school, thinks that she can send me a text message at 9:00 am saying that she's going somewhere with a friend after school?  Oh, and that she's fine because she took her wallet so she'll take the bus home?

This is so-o-o-o far removed from what's normal, I have to laugh.

Our newly 15 year old daughter never, or hardly ever, wants to take the bus.  I drive both of my girls to/from school everyday.  Katie (the daughter in question) is shy and finds it difficult to be in situations that hold groups of people;  buses, waiting rooms, gatherings - even her own birthday party with family is too much and she needs to take little breaks in her room.  So this child that has been so anxious about taking the bus (public transportation) to school for years now thinks I'm going to accept a text saying "Going somewhere after school, I'll take the bus home"???

We live in a busy town so I u…

Time To Buy A House?

The economy is beginning to recover, and the housing market is showing some improvement.  If you have been hesitant to venture into the housing market, now might be a good time before interest rates and home prices rebound too much.

However, before you leap into the housing market, make sure you are adequately prepared financially.

1.  Do you have a 6 to 12 month emergency fund?  This may sound impossible, but the last thing you want is to take on the responsibilities of home ownership only to suffer a financial emergency and not have enough cushion.

2.  Can you make the monthly mortgage payment?  A good way to tell if you are ready for a monthly mortgage is to set aside how much it would be.  For instance, use Mortgage Calculator Canada (or United States, if you reside there), and calculate how much your mortgage payment would be.  (Remember, mortgage rates also affect how much your monthly payment will be, so use a site like to see a range of rates.)  L…

So About That Dentist Appointment...

Well, ok.  Yeah, um... about that dentist appointment for Lily yesterday.

After the many days of reminding (I don't call it nagging) my children to brush their teeth - morning and night - after my speeches of 'sugar will dig holes in your teeth' and 'you are so lucky to have running water to brush your teeth in' (I'm all for guilt!) after prefacing her examination with the dental hygienist with my speech of 'Now that you're 12 Lily, you are responsible for the condition of your teeth' this happened...

No Cavities!


My Lily loves sugar.  I mean LOVES it.  Although Halloween does have it's place with a day of sweets, nothing compares to December in our house.  Because not only is it Christmas time, we also celebrate Katie's birthday and Lily's birthday. Wow.  All month long there are cookies, candies and cakes.  Oh my!

Rob and I have done our best to limit the sugar over the years but it's all still there and it's oh-so-te…

Another Notch In My Bad Parenting Belt

It doesn't matter how fancy or colorful the tooth brushes are, or how flavorful or sparkly the toothpaste is, my kids have never been a fan of brushing their teeth and it's just another notch in my "Bad Parenting Belt".  It doesn't matter how much I remind them, how often I try to put the fear of "little crawling things drilling wholes in your teeth" or just plain 'Go do it' but once a day is pretty much all they do and that's that.

Today is a dentist visit so I get to have our dentist, who I like very much by the way, try to give me the mommy-guilt speech about making sure they brush twice a day.  But here's the thing, my girls are now 15 and 12 years old.  That guilt trip isn't going to work on me.  I've given up taking responsibility for a cleaning regime I've spent years trying to instill.

Since the beginning I bought all the fun gadgets to make the art of tooth brushing fun.  Spinning bristles, musical handles, glitte…

Don't Be So Serious

Yeah, I'm a good friend like that.  Especially if you trip. Don't know exactly why, but that gets me every time.

The First Step to Paying Off Debt Is to Be Honest About It


No one wants it yet many, many Canadians and Americans have it.

Most college students graduate from college saddled with thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt.  Added to that many of them also carry credit card debt. They use credit cards to make ends meet while in college, and well, let's be honest, just to have fun going out with friends and buying the latest clothes.

If you are saddled with debt, the first thing to do is to be honest about your debt. Face up to it and own it. It is your debt, and you are responsible for it. If you feel comfortable, tell a trusted family member or friend about your debt. (I know this is difficult to do, but be honest.  Often being honest and forthright can help you stop accruing more debt.)

The next step is to formulate a plan to get out of debt. If you are in too deep to figure a way out on your own, you may want to work with a debt relief company such as  They will tell you if there …

Christmas Decorations Bring Out The Hoarder In Me

When it comes to decorating our house for Christmas I have two sides to me that don't make this endeavor easy.  On one side, I can't stand clutter.  I always seem to be picking something up and asking my family, 'Is this yours?  Do you need this?  Or, can we donate/recycle/throw away?' (what ever verb fits)  It's not that our little house is so streamline that everything matches and is in its proper place. It's just that we do have a little house and a stack of papers, or magazines, suddenly grows to spilling onto the ground and it drives me crazy!  So, putting more things around the house doesn't initially appeal to me.

However, when it's the Christmas season the other side of me wants to bring out every red, green, and gold shiny thing I can find and Do.It.Up!  Right after Thanksgiving I have plans to have each nook of the house a certain theme.  I wish to have one corner be a Snowman theme, one a Santa theme, one area for the nativity and candles. …

Finding Friendship Next Door

There are certain times of the year when memories of our dear neighbor Eleanor overwhelm me and I miss her so much.

When Rob and I bought this house, our first home, we were blessed with the good fortune of having an incredible neighbor right beside us.  She became a grandmother figure in our lives and was such a treasure. I just don't know what I would have done without her on those days when being a mother of a very active child was overwhelming.

Eleanor gave me the impression that she had "seen it all" and reminded to take a breath, calm down, and focus on the smile and amazing energy of my little Katie.  When that lovely energy of my little girl was too much Eleanor's house would be a haven for Katie (and me) and there our little girl would be, "making" cookies in Eleanor's kitchen,  discovering a new toy that Eleanor had chosen for her at a yard sale, or just sitting on her couch, talking about all of the amazing things going on in Katie's youn…

Cough Drops, Kleenex and Cold-Eeze - Oh My!

Well, it seems that the nasty cold that's been hovering in our house for days is finally on its way out.

I've done my best to keep it away (who gives care to the Care Giver?) by taking Emergen-C, and Cold-Eeze and I can feel that it's just skimming over me.  I've considered my recent activities of picking up tissues and going back-and-forth from the store for supplies my new exercise regime. Lily, our 11, er... our 12 year old (just happened in December.  Still getting used to it) has been so strong through her sniffles that she made her way back to school on Jan. 2nd. 
Katie, our 14, er... 15 year old (she also just became a new number in December) has fallen hard to this cold.  Last night I think her body let me know that she had had too much medicine and her stomach hurt worse than the cold!  Oh, bad nurse!  I have a sensitivity to the zinc in Cold-Eeze and I think she does too.
Katie made it to school this morning and felt a bit anxious about missing a couple of d…

Our Dog Doesn't Stand A Chance - Video

He may seem big to some but to Maddy he's just a hairy animal that has something she wants, water.  Now that her sister is gone (see post "And So It Goes") Maddy is paying more attention to, and more patient with, this little brother of a dog she has.  Benny's trying to get used to this new ease she has around him.  It's an interesting thing to watch.  Lily and I caught this exchange. 

Not Easy Taking My Child To School

Trying to get back into the swing of things regarding school and work schedules isn't easy for us after a nice Winter Break.  I see a lot of mother's comment on how they can't wait for school to start again, but I'm not one of them.  One mom claimed to have been up, dressed and on her second cup of coffee just waiting for her kids to wake-up and get them off to school, she was so excited.  She and I are on different ends of that spectrum.

I know that the situation at Sandy Hook plays a part in my wanting to keep my kids home.  In fact, what happened there has created a kind of cloud in my thinking of just about everything.  Christmas was beautiful, but all the while I was wrapping my children's gifts I kept thinking of those that could not. My heart just hurts so much. 

I'm doing my best to push through.  But I'm beginning to wonder how much of this am I supposed to be feeling so intensely.  I wasn't there.  It didn't happen to me.  I don't per…

I'm A Super Hero! Kind Of

What would my Super Hero name be?

Is Investing On Your List of Resolutions?

If you've greeted the new year with goals of creating a financially prosperous year for yourself, and your family, then I'm sure you've looked into various ways to keep what you have safe and secure.  If you venture to build on your earnings then there's a chance you've looked into the stock market.  What a ride that can be!  I've found a website that can answer a lot of questions about the stock market and give you an insightful, and fun, way to learn how investing in the stock market could work for you. 

When you visit the site you learn how to work within the stock market, using all the actual steps of investing, but you don't use your money.  It's a stock market simulation game that takes you through the motions of investing in the stock market but you have the relief of knowing that you are learning the investing tools without the actual personal financial investment.  No risk.  You will learn if investing in the stock marke…

Happy New Year from Government Camp!

While I wasn't feeling up to the trip to the mountain, Rob and Katie forged on and had fun tubing at Government Camp in the shadow of incredible Mt. Hood.

So proud of Katie.  Next time, Lily and I will make it!

Rob made a friend :->

Happy New Year dear blog friends!