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Showing posts from August, 2012

"Drink The Wild Air"

Perfect for our last hurrah at the beach before school starts. Happy Labor Day!

Dreams Of Far Away Lands

While on a very long (much longer than I intended) walk on the beach this morning many thoughts floated around my mind.   While thinking about how much I was enjoying my time away from my normal day-to-day life, in fact having an actual "vacation", I thought about good it would feel to go on a vacation some place far away.   Some place that I've always dreamed of going.   How about China? I have never traveled any place really far away from my lovely land of the Pacific Northwest but, no that my children are getting older and enjoying learning about different cultures, I think a long distance vacation sounds wonderful.   Where to begin a trip to China?   With a ChinaTravel Agent , of course.   I have had fun searching on-line for "where to go" and "what to see" and have found good reviews on the website . With you are given reviews of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators so you can read how their clients felt about th

My New Obsession And I Don't Like It

I need to do something to release my anxiety. I find myself obsessing over the school year beginning and worrying how my newly minted Freshman and my ever-changing 6th grader are going to handle things. What will this school year bring? This is an example of my worry obsession; Here I am, at the glorious Oregon Coast for one last hurrah before start date September 5th, and I'm consumed with worry that I haven't given my girls enough "transition time" to adapt to school hours. I'm trying to relax but at the same time I'm thinking 'I need to wake them up. Sleeping in days are over. We need to get back to a routine.' But we're at the beach. It's one of the things you do here. Eat (ocean air makes me so hungry! And there are no calories on vacation, right?), browse in knick-knack stores, play in the sand (which is code for looking at magazines and drinking wine) and relax/sleep. Why am I treating my daughters like tiny children? When the



While most of us do not enjoy the process of figuring out our taxes it is just one of those things we need to do, like breathing and eating, it is a must.   For those that are looking for guidance when it comes to the area of tax preparation there are various resources available, personal services and on-line prep. I'm so lucky to have a husband that handles this task along with the help of TurboTax. I have watched the process year after year and see that their thorough guide to taxes and access to information helps to make this task much smoother and faster.   I don't see him jump for joy saying "Oh yay!   I get to do our taxes now!"   But he does get through this job pretty quickly and off we go to enjoy the rest of our day. Sometimes circumstances beyond your control may push you toward not getting your taxes done within the required time limits.   TurboTax has the ability to help with an IRS tax extension 2010 .   It is something that has to be done an

It Just Keeps Happening

I felt it yesterday afternoon. While sitting on a patio enjoying a German beer I was having trouble pronouncing, I felt a change in the air - Summer was beginning to fade. When you live in a place long enough you pick up on the changes of the seasons by the feel of the air and the light in the sky. You don't need a calendar to show you it's time to flip the page. If you give yourself the time to just sit, and feel, you will know. Change is the only constant. (Written by a mother whose daughters have been faced with changes too often this short Summer. I'm just reminding myself that 'change' is the norm.)


This has got to be one of the creepiest looking necklaces I have ever seen. I found it on one of my favorite discount shopping sites, marked down to $32 from $299.  Um... I can see why. You get what I did there?  "See"?  " See " why?  I can be so easily amused.   If this necklace happens to tickle your fancy let me know, I'll direct you to where you can purchase "The Evil Eye Necklace".


I am so frustrated with myself! I have so many thoughts and stories that I want to get out of my head and blog about but I'm... Even when I go to write a description of how I'm feeling I get stuck. I'M STUCK! My head is swirling with the happiness I felt with my family while on our vacation - driving here and there around the Pacific Northwest.  I have so many stories I want to share and yet I'M STUCK! My emotions are all over the place about the school year beginning.  We've worked so hard to get Katie into this high school but now that the start date draws near I'm so nervous, and sad.  I have really enjoyed my days with my girls and I honestly don't want to see them go back to school. I really don't.  I brought up the idea of "homeschooling" yesterday and they both went "Um, no!"  I keep hearing them complain about the school year beginning but they don't want to be taught at home, by me, either.  There's

Our Visit To Mt St Helens

Our glorious trip to Mt St Helens.  It's very difficult to capture the enormity of the mountain, comprehend its power and the eruptions destruction with a camera.  It was a trip worth taking.  I highly recommend it. Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

A Truly Awesome Sight

I don't know what took me so long. Mt St Helen's blew it's top in 1980 and yesterday was my first visit to the volcano. It's hard for me to comprehend being only 5 miles from this force of nature. A breath taking experience.

Heading Toward A Volcano!

I can't believe this.  In all my years of living in the Pacific Northwest I have never been to our landmark of a volcano, Mt. St. Helens.  I lived here when it blew!!!  I will never forget where I was, what I saw and what it was like to live here the days after the eruption when all the streets, cars, homes, trees - everything! - was covered in ash.  It was an apocalyptic sight, that's for sure.  I was 14 years old. So now I go to visit our volcano with my 14 year old and my 11 year old.  I'm excited.  (Pictures to follow! :-> )

Mary Engelbreit Helps Me Feel Happy

If this is difficult take baby steps.  Act happy for 5 minutes, then 10, then 15.  See what happens.

Health Insurance for Couples - How to Save Money

Like many things in life if you buy in bulk you often receive goods at a discounted price, health insurance is no exception. Couples insurance is a lot less stressful than two separate policies; you may not even be married. Couples insurance is for anyone who wishes to combine their cover with someone else. There is only one premium to pay; this is a great idea for those couples looking to combine their accounts in general. Maintaining and claiming just one account can also relieve stress if something does go wrong, but aside from the strain and bureaucracy of two separate accounts, combining accounts can also save you money. Here are some things to consider before joining your accounts together:  The Government Initiative for lifetime health cover rewards those who take out couples health cover before the age of 30. Under 30’s get the best premium rates as they are seen as the most healthy members of society. If you can lock down your premiums at this low rate you

Dealing With "Distaste Face"

While on vacation I was reminded of a commercial.  This commercial was about a family on vacation and the mom catching her teen daughter actually smiling when she thought her parents weren't looking.  (I wish I could remember the commercial - was it for Disney Vacations?  Or, some kind of cruise thingy?  I don't recall.)  The message of a somewhat grumpy teen only putting on her "distaste face" around her family has obviously stuck with me, and I'm glad. We are having the sweetest family time on the Oregon Coast and I have finally learned that it isn't my job to make my 14 year old happy. Or, better yet, for her to show her happiness when I'm looking. I've given her enough tools, enough opportunities to find some kind of joy in what we're doing, and if she chooses to share her "distaste face" when I say 'Let's go try to fly this kite!' Or, 'Your sand castle looks great!' then that is exactly that, her choice. No

Beach Time!

So happy to be heading to the beach for a few days.  I dream of lounging in the sand, reading magazines and sipping lovely beverages.  I hope to finally start writing all of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head. Perhaps the goals of writing are lofty.  I don't want to stress about it.  Just know that I'm still here, hopefully lounging on a beach towel.

Go Ahead, I Don't Mind

After living together for 5 years there are those days when Maddy The Cat will say "I guess you're all right - we can share."  Or, she might be saying "This is now mine.  Go get your own."    I prefer to think it's the first one, but I'm sure it's the latter.  Poor Benny.

Is It Time For Social Media Therapy?

After reading about the way some participants of the recent BlogHer conference in NYC behaved toward a fellow participant, and volunteer, I am sickened and terrified of actually going to this conference myself!  See post by Carmen, a.k.a. Mom to the Screaming Masses , - " We Are All Special Snowflakes ".  I have an idea of what we could do to those that feel so entitled while at the BlogHer conference that they scream and threaten fellow members of our blog world to get something that just isn't available to them, no matter how great they think their numbers are.  Why not have these bloggers called out , name them, so that we could address them, if we chose, and hear them explain their behavior. If they feel so comfortable saying these things to a fellow participants face, and sharing their feelings - which seem to include outrage of entitlement - then why shouldn't we share in a more "social" way. That is what we do here right, "social media

My 11 Year Old CFO

So my 11 year old daughters idea of a fun summer camp experience is to go to Business School. Have I not shown her the joy of swimming in a lake?  Of going on amazing walks through forests?  How fantastically ticklish it is to catch a gecko and observe it's amazing hands and cool lookin' head? For the second summer in a row, my pink lovin', future prize winning graphic artist, has chosen to go to a summer "camp" called JA Biztown.  (JA = Junior Achievement)  While at this camp she will learn how to balance a check book, understand the workings of being a CFO and CEO of local businesses and take part in her fellow employees responsibility of making sure the business she is assigned to makes a profit.  And, at the end of the week, if your business has not made a profit, figure out why and how to do better next time. I mentioned she was 11 years old, right? Honestly,  if Rob and I didn't think this was pretty darn cool we wouldn't let her go.  But,

My Cat Prepares To Audition For The Voice

Phoebe preparing to rehearse in the bathtub One of our cats has decided to become an Opera Singer. We are not happy with her decision. Her favorite rehearsal room seems to be the bathroom, which is a good choice because the acoustics are very good.  (At least that's what I've picked up from my years of watching VH1's "Behind The Music".) Phoebe likes to sit in the bathtub with the shower curtain drawn.  She prefers to belt out her loudest notes in the evening, or to be more precise, in the early morning hour of 4:00 am.  This rehearsal schedule of hers isn't working out with us. I have no idea of why she's chosen to become a diva.  She's 17 and perhaps she's thinking "It's now or never!"  Or, maybe she's heard me singing in the shower and thought "I can do better than that!"  Well, other cats may like it, but for us, this has got to stop.

She Made It Through

Whew. Katie made it through her 2 week program at her new high school.  (Story background here )  Things were going along well when she slumped into the car seat on Monday and said "Guess who's going to school here now too!!!"  From the tone of her voice and the tears in her eyes I figured it out.  I've mentioned that a bully from her grade school has signed up at this school as well.  That stressed her out but, she was finding that he wasn't acting as horribly as he had in the past.  Well, this boy has a friend you see, and this friend, although a brilliant mind, is also pretty awful to Katie.  Not what she wanted from her new school experience.  On Monday she was miserable at the thought of relieving the stress from her 8th grade year and again, I'm doubting whether this school is going to work out.  However, when she got into the car on Tuesday she shared that this boy had not only smiled at her but also came over to her and said, "Hey.  What'

Choose Wisely

I shall share this with my 14 year old daughter today.

Top Dating Recipes

If you’re currently dating someone and have met them a few times, there’s surely a time when you’re both comfortable enough to meet at your home. You know enough about each other to let them into your living room, knowing that you both want the same thing from your blossoming relationship. If you do invite your date to your house, how do you keep them entertained? Perhaps the best way of doing so is cooking a romantic meal for them, just to show them that you care. When cooking a romantic meal, there are some recipes which seem so much more romantic than others. With that in mind, here are some of the best dating recipes around: Oysters Seen as an aphrodisiac, oysters work very well alone or topped with a drizzle of oil, sauce or dressing. One of the best methods of cooking them is to roast them on a bed of salt at 375 degrees for five minutes or until they open. After discarding the shells, add a dash of dressing, soy sauce or olive oil and serve. You could add a sq

Funniest Fancy Dress Costumes

Fancy dress parties give you the chance to really let your hair down and have fun with your friends. If a party calls for a certain theme, there’s not much you can do but go along with it, which is a bit of a downer if the theme is boring, but if your invitation simply states, ’fancy dress’ , you have a lot of scope to be really inventive and funny! So the next time you find yourself in the same situation, take a look at the top five funniest costumes! Food! Dressing up as any item of food is a sure fire recipe for a laugh! Fast food costumes tend to be the most comical and if you can find one that is made for a couple, a hot dog and bun for example, or bacon and eggs, even better! Current Affairs Anything relevant to something current can seem really witty. Social media profiles have been seen recently at fancy dress parties. Dressing up as your own Facebook profile may be little cumbersome but really funny and you can make it totally original by adding funny commen