Count to 10

Patience is something that is forever eluding me. Don't ride in a car with me unless you have prepared yourself for my road rage.

What's most irritating to me at the moment is...

Ye Olde Desktop computer.

I've been mooching off of my mom's laptop for quite some time now because I was messing with the inner workings of Ye Olde Desktop and well, messed something up. I have since fixed it. Although I don't know how exactly I did that. I've become so used to the quick "click and be there" with the laptop that having to wait for my computer is like watching paint dry. Now, sadly, I must return the laptop. It is long overdue to go to it's natural home, but it will be missed my it's adoptive family.

I can't do two things at once on mine. For instance, I like to use Windows Live Messenger to instant message. Can't do that with Ye Olde Desktop. At least not when surfing the Web. You can do one or the other, but not both. Click on an icon to pull up say... My Pictures... wait... wait for it... ohhh there it is....

It's actually not that old. I think we got it in 2005 (?). I've even gone through and deleted all the programs that I don't need or use. Moved all music and pictures to disc so they weren't taking up space... and still it's slow. I guess I shouldn't complain it is actually working again. It could be much slower than it is, I supposed, but I just have no patience.

I'm already trying to drop hints to the hubby that I'd really, really like a new laptop for maybe my birthday or Christmas. Although I will settle for just some more memory, if it'll make Ye Olde Desktop faster...


Copyright © 2009 Christine Bewley All rights reserved.

Do You Have One Hour?

I was talking to Cam on Tuesday morning and she asked me if I was going to participate in Earth Hour on Saturday night. I had no idea what she was talking about. It sounded somewhat familiar to me, but I still couldn't place it really. She told me how it was about turning off electricity for just one hour. I was like sure we can do that! She said she was going to write a post about it so I said you know what, I will too.

The whole global warming/global climate change thing is highly debated by people everywhere, but I say what could it hurt to just go for one hour without using most electronic stuff in your home. I will just go ahead and venture a guess that things like the refrigerator need to stay running, but we can go without internet or computers, the TV, the lights, the phones. It's just for an hour. 8:30PM in your timezone on Saturday night.

I've already decided we'd do a Scrabble family tournament by candlelight. Maybe we'll do it every week.

Visit this site for more information.



Now that you've got plans for Saturday night, visit the Hooked on Houses blog party today to see what everyone is hooked on this week!

Copyright © 2009 Christine Bewley All rights reserved.

Buzz! Chirp!

As much trouble as I had making the bee costume, I was so excited when Kaia came home from school and said how much she loved it. The 2nd grade musical went very well. All the little kids dressed up like little bugs. I did feel bad for the little stink bug and the... the.... maggot. That poor girl will probably end up with some kind of complex... a phobia at the very least.









Copyright © 2009 Christine Bewley All rights reserved.

Gloom & Doom

I was feeling kind of Spring-y today. I decided to put a little color to the blog. It's cloudy, soggy, and rainy today and I don't know about you guys, but days like today just make me feel "blah". I'm trying to help myself out by making the blog look more "awake". Oh who am I kidding? You all know that I can't help myself when it comes to different layouts for the blog! After a couple of weeks, I get bored. I go searching. I usually end up at The Cutest Blog on the Block every time. I have to admit their name really says it all. They do have the cutest blog layouts that I've found anywhere.

And speaking of gloomy days... my son is having a really rough time this year in school. He's always been an A and B student. Usually mostly A's, but this year is completely different. I don't want to blame the teacher, but her way of teaching isn't conducive to his way of learning. He's been struggling all year. From the very first few weeks of school, he was begging me to have him moved to another classroom. I thought it was just because he wanted to be with his friends in a different class. At first. He's always enjoyed school. As much as a kid can like school anyway, but as the year has progressed... he actually hates school. It's gotten to the point where he begs to stay home on most days and doesn't even want to go on school trips anymore. Recently I received an email from his teacher telling me that she was "concerned with Neil's behavior". That he has been "disrespectful to students, other teachers, and me". She said that he "talks whenever he wants to" and "ignores me when correcting him". Then she goes on to say that it is "a state requirement that all students pass their multiplication facts in third grade before they can be promoted to the fourth grade". She says that they have been working on the multiplication since October and soon they will have to be reviewing for the CATS testing so they won't be studying the multiplication anymore. I received this email just a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't help but wonder to myself if they have been working on this since October, why is she just now letting me know that he had fallen so far behind that he is in jeopardy of failing? I kind of felt a little threatened.

Now I want you all to know that in no way, shape, or form is my kid perfect. In fact, he is far from it, but his behavior has progressively become worse since starting this school year. Now it is spilling over at home as well. He has started to lie about getting his homework done. Throwing fits like a 2 year old would when asked to simply take the dog outside and put him on his chain, pick up his dirty clothes, or straighten up his room. Asking him to feed or water the animals is like trying to make the sky green. It's just not possible most of the time.

I just don't know what to do with him anymore. We've taken away all the video games (Playstation 2, Game Cube, Wii, GameBoy, and his DS), taken away the TV watching. What is left for me to take away? Dinner? I tell him that I know he can do better. That I've seen him do better. That he isn't trying his best.

I should have listened to him at the beginning of the school year when he told me he was so unhappy. I was so worried I would look like "that parent" who requests special privilege for their child that I didn't stop and realize that it wasn't about me. Now I feel like I've let it go so far that he won't be able to come back from it.


P.S. Just so you know... I'd never take away my son's dinner. I just wanted to clarify on that one.

Copyright © 2009 Christine Bewley All rights reserved.

The Bees are Buzzing

If you read yesterday's post... AND YOU SHOULD HAVE!... then you will know that we had "Quick Taco Salad" for dinner last night. I have to say just one thing about that... I had no idea that ranch dressing on a taco salad would be so darn good! Of course, like most people, I usually just give it a little dollop of salsa or taco sauce or some other taco-esqe sauce. Ranch dressing + taco salad = good stuff right 'dere. And in the spirit of trying new things, I even put tomatoes on mine. Just so's you know, I hate tomatoes, but it was like they weren't even there.

It has begun. The running. The stress. The headaches. Little League baseball practices have started. My son's team practiced on Saturday and Sunday. They both have practice this afternoon at 3:30PM. Yes, that is directly after school. In fact, they don't get off the bus until 3:30PM so I had to write notes to each of their teachers to inform them that the kids would be picked up from school this afternoon. I have to write a note like that every time their mode of transport changes. Otherwise, the teacher will make them ride the bus. We had a little issue with that last year... aaaand I can't find the post to link you to it so I'll just say I had to chase down the bus to get my daughter off of it.

After practice is my daughters class musical at 5:30PM. So not only will she have to change into her costume in the car, she'll be all sweaty and dirty from baseball practice. She would have played softball if I'd know that she was old enough for a girls' softball team for anyone wondering why a little girl is playing baseball.

Speaking of her musical, she is playing a honeybee. I found out last week around Thursday or so that I had to make her a costume. No problem. *eye roll* I went to Hobby Lobby and retrieved a black t-shirt, yellow fabric, black pipe cleaners, and yellow pom poms. Then my mom told me that honeybee's were brown-ish. WHAT!?!?! Nope, my little honeybee is going to be the same color as all the other stinkin' bees out there. And that's my final answer. They are only in the 2nd grade so they'll never know the difference.... right??


And speaking of bees...





Copyright © 2009 Christine Bewley All rights reserved.

A Week's Worth

I discovered something wonderful this weekend. I can go to the grocery store and spend less that $100 for a week's worth of groceries for my family of 4. It's amazing, ain't it? You can do it to.

Start with this grocery list:
  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 2 boxes of stuffing mix
  • 1 can of condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 bottle of ranch dressing
  • 1 bunch of broccoli
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 large head of Romaine lettuce
  • 1 pkg. of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkg. of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 pkg. of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 pkg. of tortilla chips
  • 1 box of instant rice
  • 1 rising crust pizza

Monday:
QUICK TACO SALAD


Ingredients
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
- 1 pkt. taco seasoning mix
- 1/4 cup water
- 10 cups torn lettuce (about 1 head)
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 cups tortilla chips, coarsely crushed
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing

BROWN meat in large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat; drain. Return meat to skillet. Add onions; cook 5 min., stirring occasionally.

ADD taco seasoning mix and water; mix well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 3 min.

DIVIDE lettuce among four plates. Top evenly with meat mixture, tomatoes, cheese and tortilla chips. Drizzle with dressing.

Prep: 30 mins. Ready In: 30 mins. Serves: 4

Tuesday:
MOZZARELLA CHICKEN & RICE SKILLET


- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1lb.)
- 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 soup can milk or water
- 2 cups fresh or frozen and thawed broccoli florets
- 1 & 1/2 cups instant rice, uncooked
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

HEAT oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 min on each side or until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

ADD soup and milk to skillet; mix well. Bring to boil. Stir in broccoli and rive; top with chicken. Cover. Reduce heat to low.

COOK 5 min.; sprinkle with cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Prep: 5 min. Ready In: 30 min. Serves: 4

Wednesday:
BRUSCHETTA CHICKEN BAKE


- 1 can diced tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 & 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes in medium bowl. Add stuffing mix, water and garlic; stir just until stuffing mix is moistened. Set aside.

PLACE chicken in a 13 X 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with the basil and cheese. Top with stuffing mixture.

BAKE 30 min. or until chicken is cooked through.

Prep: 10 min. Ready In: 40 min. Serves: 6

Thursday:
JUMBO MEATBALLS


- 1 pkg. stuffing mix for chicken
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 egg
- 1/4 ranch dressing
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup ketchup

PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F. Combine stuffing mix, water, egg and dressing until moistened. Add meat and cheese; mix well. Shape into eight 2-inch meatballs.

PLACE on greased baking sheet; spread with ketchup.

BAKE 30 min. or until cooked through.

Prep: 10 min. Ready In: 40 min. Serves: 4

Friday:
PIZZA!!!!
**Pantry staples are not included in this shopping list. The following ingredients should also be on hand: oil, onions, milk, eggs, ketchup, garlic, dried basil leaves.

These recipes and the idea behind it can be found at KraftFoods.com. Click on the BudgetWi$e tab. Then click 1 Bag, 5 Dinners. This "bag" is Chicken & Beef Bag #3.

Obviously, these are only dinner recipes, but I was able to get all the things I needed for these meals plus groceries for breakfast and for my lunches for $99.47.

I DO shop for my groceries at Wal-Mart.
I DON'T buy all name brand items.
I DON'T clip coupons all day on Sunday. I have found that even with coupons, buying the store brand items saves more money. However, I did find a $0.75 coupon for that bag cereal at maltomeal.com and I signed up at BettyCrocker.com and got access to monthly coupons there as well that I can print at home and take to the store. The two coupons I used this week were not questioned and the cashier just scanned them and went on.

I would suggest that buying the store brand is not always a great idea. I usually buy brand name olive oil and things like that, but you can save A LOT of money buying store brand foods. I was very proud of myself for spending less than $100 because I usually spend, on average, around $150.

I hope this may help someone spend less at the grocery store. At least give someone a good recipe for dinner this week.

And remember to stop by the Kraft Foods website for more 1 Bag, 5 Dinner ideas!

The March of 2009 Better Homes & Gardens Whoops

As you may recall, I mentioned that Cam had sent me a Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I heart magazines! Especially ones that show me what I can do with my yard and home if I get up off my lazy behind and do something productive... unlike what I am doing now...

Anyway... I was browsing through the pages of home crafty-ness when I happened upon page 20. This is the March 2009 edition, by the way. It's a little page about how to get some Spring going on. The main section of the page is "Fun with Food". As I read it, I began to look like this...



They reference some Girl Scout Cookies. Problem is.... never heard of these cookies. Trust me when I tell you that I've been around a gazillion boxes of GS cookies in the last two months and these cookies do not exist. Am I missing something here? Do they in fact exist somewhere else? There are some lemon cookies (Lemon Chalet Cremes, a lemon sandwich cookie), but they look NOTHING like the ones referenced in this article. See for yourself.


"The springtime ritual of enjoying Girl Scout cookies is even sweeter when you dress them up with colorful icing. (Look for ready-made icing in tubes in the grocery store's cake decorating aisle.) Lemonades, $3.50 per box; visit girlscouts.org to find a troop near you."


This is almost like Martha Stewart making a mistake. However, they did get the price correct.

Anyone out there in Bloggerland hear of "Lemonades"???

Practical Magic

Yes, you already know this post is about you Cam.

You've all heard me talk about my friend, but I don't think I've clearly defined our friendship. We are:

Peas & Carrots


Peanut butter & Jelly


Bert & Ernie

Ok, so maybe not THAT far!!! But I love her as if she were my very own honest to goodness sister. Of which, I have none, nada, zip, zero, zilch... The "practical magic" comes in when I grab the phone before it rings because I know she's going to call (she does this too) or when she says the exact thing I was thinking, or we do things or eat things on the same day not knowing that the other one is doing that too.

She said something yesterday that I thought was so true and I felt the same way. She had been talking to a neighbor/friend about how hard it is to be away from your best friend. True story.

We were together as kids. We were together as teenagers. We were together through marriage. We were together through kids. We've been together for the highs. Always for the lows. (Except that time when I thought she needed "time", but really she just needed me to come and kick her off the couch... Still more sorry about that than you realize...) And now... we. are. not. together....
She moved 587 miles away from me... (see below)





We both had a moment of clarity before they left and thought what a great idea it would be to write in a journal and send that journal to each other once a month. It's like Christmas morning when THE journal arrives. Yesterday was my Christmas in March.

I snatched the box from the "Mail Lady"'s hand said a brief thanks and ran back into the house. I could smell the Georgia smells before I even ripped the box open.




I found the all important journal, a too die for swirly sucker (which immediately came to the attention of the children as soon as they got home from school....), the best smelling incense I think I have ever smelled (from "the island"), seashells from the Georgia shore, REAL GEORGIA COTTON!!!, pictures of her pickin' that cotton, and a Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I would have had a bunch of question marks above my head if she hadn't told me she was sending me some magazines.

I feel like she's outdone me. All I sent her was a stinkin' journal. I have to try harder. I can not let a 20-something (for 9 more months) beat me in the "awesome journal and whatever you can find to stick in the box with it" challenge.

So it's on... like Donkey Kong!


This reminds me of us.

Top O' The Morning!

So I thought I was more Irish than I apparently am. I have Irish on both sides of the family though. My dad told me not too long ago that my sis-in-law, Heidi, was doing a little research here and there and found out some things. Like some German-ness. My mom and I had discussed some of our heritage before, but then she too said that some relatives had changed their name upon getting to the United States. Just like many families did when immigrating. Those family members had also been of German decent. Apparently you can just call me Tom Hagen. There is also some Scottish and Welsh in there as well.

But I love being Irish. My favorite color is even GREEN! Since it's St. Patrick's Day I thought I'd share a time honored recipe for the holiday. Corned beef and cabbage. Except I'll make it an easy to do recipe for families...

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Place in crock pot in order:

3 carrots, cut in 3 inch pieces
3-4 lb. corned beef brisket (I buy this all the time @ Wal-Mart)
2-3 med. onions, quartered
1-2 c. water
1/2 sm. cabbage, cut in wedges

Add cabbage to liquid, pushing down to moisten, after 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high. Cover and cook 10-12 hours on low, 5-6 hours on high.

To prepare more cabbage, cook separately in skillet. Remove 1 cup of broth from crock pot during last hour of cooking. Pour over cabbage wedges in skillet. Cover and cook 20-30 minutes.

So go be Irish today! Let out your inner Leprechaun!

Store Opening Soon!

Hi everyone!

I'm planning to open up the shop on Etsy on April 1st! No, no April's Fools day joke!

I'm currently awaiting some info from the Kentucky Dept. of Revenue so I can get started. In the mean time, I'm making items to list.

Stay tuned for more!!

There is a Spring in My Step!

'Cause Friday is the first day of Spring!

Yesterday was relatively warm in comparison to the last couple of days so we took a little walk to the park right next door to our house. (Actually it's next to the field that next to our house, but....) I guess you can call it a park. It is so run down! I plan to find out who is responsible for the up keep and ask why this park looks NOTHING like the park in town. There are swings which are in pretty good shape since the last time we lived here. A couple of years ago, there were no swings at all. There is one slide and a set of monkey bars. The basketball court (ha!) has a tree from the recent ice storm laying on half of one side and the concrete pad is in desperate need of some repair. There is one picnic table. The park does have a baseball field, but the bases are all dry rotted and falling apart. The diamond is just a muddy patch with little sprigs of grass here and there. The lights DO work, but only a few of them came on. Just a little TLC and this park could be a great place to play with our kids. Right now it's just an OK place to play...

In the midst of that, I noticed that Spring is coming. And she is getting here more and more everyday...







Spring just has a way of making everything feel refreshed and new and good.

Hooked on Fridays

My husband and I were watching a show on the boob tube Wednesday night called, "Memories of Opryland".

I haven't been able to stop thinking about it so today I'm hooked on memories from trips to Opryland USA!

Opryland was the best themepark when I was growing up. Sitting there watching that show brought back some great and funny memories. Made me all nostalgic and sad too. I miss that place and I wish that I'd been able to take my kids! It closed to make room for Opry Mills. Yet another ginormous shopping extravaganza.

It was an honest to goodness "theme" park. Walking through the park, you could see everything from the state fair to New Orleans to the 50's. I loved it! I rode my very first rollercoaster there. After going twice and being too chicken to get on one! It was called "Chaos" and it was an indoor rollercoaster. I only rode it because I couldn't see it so I guess I thought I was safer on some level.

Here is just a sample of what we are now missing:

State Fair Area

Tennessee Waltz
I think every park has one of these! A classic ride.

THE Wabash Cannonball

This had to be the scariest ride they had. Once you rode it for the first time, it was hard to ride any other ride in the park! Check out those two loopty loops! Woo hoo!

What else should you have at a State Fair? Country Bumpkin (bumper cars!), a Petting Zoo, and the too scary for me to even think about ever doing.... Skycoaster... That's one of those arches that acts like a giant sling shot for people.

Grizzly River Area

Chaos

The waiting line inside Chaos had clocks everywhere. I don't think a single one of them had the correct time, but they continuously played this tick tocking sound that would just about drive you insane!

Grizzly River Rampage

Riding this meant you might get wet. Or you might leave completely soaked. Either way, it was a blast!

Riverside Area

Carousel

The carousel was so pretty at night with all the lights reflecting on the water.

The "American Music Theater" was located in this area.

Lakeside Area

Old Mill Scream

More fun that riding it... stand on the bridge.

Barnstormer

To get to this ride you had to walk through a really cool tunnel like thing in a fake rock like thing... I know that sounds confusing, but if you'd ever been there, you get it. The Barnstormer was essentially like the Tennessee Waltz, but went way higher and you were in a plane.

In this area, there was also a theater called, "Theater by the Lake" and a little island that had monkeys on it.

New Orleans Area

Screamin' Delta Demon

I always called this a rollercoaster, but I guess it was more like a bobsled. You'd get beaten, you'd get banged, but it was the most fun seeing how close to the top of the chute you could get. It was loud too so that mixed with it's name made it a kind of ooohhh aahhh kind of ride.

The "New Orleans Bandstand" was in this section as well as an entrance to the Skyride. The skyride was one of the forms of transport in the park. It was those little baskets that would go way up in the air on tiny little cables and take you from one side of the park to the other. I think I was only brave enough to ride that once.


Do Wah Diddy City

Rock N Roller Coaster

If you didn't know the Rock N Roller Coaster was there, you'd have missed it. It was tucked nicely away in a wooded area behind a "burger joint" in the 50's area. It had two (or maybe one continual spiral) curves that made this ride so fun! It's now at Six Flags Great Escape in NY as "Canyon Blaster".

This area also housed the other "end" of the Skyride, the "Chevy/Geo Theater" and the Little Deuce Coupe. The Little Deuce Coupe sounds mild enough doesn't it? It was one of those what I like to call "urpy" rides. You get in, sit down, you spin, the ride spins... often in opposite directions... makes you go.. "Urp".

Hill Country Area

Dulcimer Splash

Better known as the log ride. Just like the Old Mill Scream, but on a smaller, less scary scale. You can ride this at Idlewild Park in PA as "Paul Bunyan's Loggin' Tobaggan". (Which I think is an awesome name!)

Grinder's Switch Train Station

The train was the other form of transport for the park. Personally, I just liked to ride it to take a break. There were railroad crossings and bridges that you could walk under.

This area held yet another theater, "Martin Guitar Folk Music Theater".

American West

El Paso Train Station

See... told you there was a bridge!

Hangman


This was the scariest ride EVER. I wish I could say great and wonderful things about this ride. I can not. It scared the bejesus outta me! It was tall, it was fast, my feet were dangling, and when I got off the ride I literally could not walk a straight line. It is now beating people half to death at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in CA as "Kong".

Tin Lizzies


LOVE these! Thank goodness you can still putt putt around in them at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, KY.

The "Angle Inn" and the "Durango Theater" could also be found in this area.

Throughout the entire park there were "area appropriate" places to eat. In the State Fair area - hot dog stands, in Do Wah Diddy City - burgers, root beer floats, and so on. Every area had there own "theater" were they would do live shows 8 times (!!!) a day.

After watching that show and looking on the internet, I'm so bummed that it's gone now. So I went to YouTube and found some videos for you guys!

It's not the same as being there, but it'll do.

This video features the Screamin' Delta Demon, Barnstormer, Wabash Cannonball, Grizzly River Rampage and the Rock N Roller Coaster.


The Old Mill Scream



The Hangman



Dulcimer Splash, Flume Zoom, Log Ride



This one is just some raw footage probably shot for promotional reasons. I love how you can hear the trumpet playing in the New Orleans area.



Now that I've bored you all with some of my childhood memories head on over to the Hooked on Houses blog party to see what everyone else is hooked on!!!


** I have to say thank you to "Thrillhunter" who has a website about Opryland. Nearly all the photos are from that site and it was so nice to see all the comments in their guestbook of people who enjoyed the park. Please take a moment to visit the website.**

What is REALLY Going On Here?

I just finished up a conversation with Jeep Chick in which she informed me that her grass had already obtained a nice dusting of snow. What?! I had yet to see a single drop of any type of precipitation today. As soon as I got off the phone with her, right before the kids got off the bus, I saw the first flake. You might see this as nothing unusual since it is Winter. However, just two days ago it was nearly 80 degrees and I was wearing shorts and some flip flops. Kentucky weather is crazy. It's no wonder it's been ranked 49th in the happiness poll. That's why Kentuckians are unhappy - lack of sunshine and warmth!

And another thing...

Tomorrow will be a Hooked on Fridays post day (brought to you by Hooked on Houses)!

Come visit tomorrow to find out what I'm hooked on!

Get This Book NOW!

My friend, Cam over at Journey Wildly, has a father-in-law that is one awesome photographer! I've seen several of his photos and I only wish I could take photos as well as he does.

So, I'd like to encourage EVERYBODY to purchase his new book! I can't wait to get my copy! With the economic friendly price of only $9.95, you should get one for yourself, your family, and your friends! It would make a great gift!

Check it out right here!

Dave LaBelle

By Dave LaBelle

Telemarketing Hell

As you may or may not know, we just recently moved. The move meant we would have to have a new phone number. That coupled with a new address are enough to drive anyone batty trying to remember to have everything changed over. I'm still trying to remember magazines that I need to notify!

The first day we had our new number turned on --THE FIRST DAY-- they started calling. Luckily, we actually missed the first call. They were not deterred.

"Hello. As an active senior, would you like to apply for a reverse mortgage today? Press 1 to talk to a representative today."


"Hello. Are you aware you could be missing out on death benefits? Press 1 to apply for your death benefits today."


"Hello. I have no idea why my computer dialed your number as the thing(s) I am hocking have no relevance to you whatsoever, but you can press 1 now to speak with a representative who also has no clue why they are calling you."


The first call was a surprise. A surprise because I can't remember the last time I got a telemarketing phone call. It did remind me to put my new number on that all important DO NOT CALL list. Listen people, it's very important to do this too! Trust me.

We continue to get calls. At least one or twice a day. Trying to sell me things that bare nothing in common with my family.

I'm not over 60, I don't need a reverse mortgage, I'm not dead. Stop calling me. If I want those things, I'll call you.

Every time I get the little recording selling something ridiculous at best, I wait ... then press 1. I always say the same thing and I continually get the same response.

"Yes, hello. Our number is on the Do Not Call list. Could you please stop calling?"

The response.

"Are you sure???" Always sarcastic, like I have no clue whether it really is or not.

"Absolutely sure."

Click. They immediately hang up on me. No thank you for your time. No sorry for the intrusion. No nothing. Just a click.

Today, it wasn't an initial recording, but a real honest to goodness person. She, of course, pronounced my name wrong.

"Mrs. I'm Not Saying Your Name Right??"

"This is she."

"Hi, I'm Whatever Her Name Was. I am selling Whatever She Was Selling...."

I interrupt. "I'm sorry, but our number is on the Do Not Call listing."

"Are you sure?" (Yes, of course, you are going to say that....)

"Absolutely sure." I wait for the click.

"Well, when did you put it on there?"

?????????????????????????

I couldn't take it anymore.... I let loose on her.

"It doesn't matter when I put the damn number on there. It's on there and I'm tired of getting these harassing f***ing phone calls!!!"

Click. That was me. Hanging up on her. Without so much as a See Ya Later!

It felt good too!!!

Killer Goes Free (Sort Of)

You can read the story right here. I see major issues with this. I understand this man, Mr. Li, was and is probably still insane, but he killed a young man. On a bus. Full of people. Out of nowhere. Just stabbed him. Beheaded him. Cannibalized him. Obviously, he is insane. However, this does not change the fact that he did in fact -- KILL HIM. Spending time in a "mental facility" just doesn't seem as though justice is being done here. After he is treated for his illness and released back into the world... what happens then? Does Greyhound allow this man back on their buses? Does he just get to walk free?

All I can do is just sit here and shake my head. Although this happened in Canada, I am certain the same outcome would have happened here in the US as well.

Your thoughts?

Hooked On...

It's another Friday so that means another blog party over at Hooked on Houses! What do you mean, you don't know about the party?! Head on over to see what everyone is hooked on this week.

This week I'm hooked on cooking for less. Less is more, ya know! I'd heard on GMA about Clara over on YouTube and her Great Depression cooking shows. There is also a blog.

We are a family of four with only one income so saving money at the grocery store is hard to do. Heck, you don't need a family of four to realize that going to the grocery takes a big chunk of your income. I had forgotten to take anything out of the freezer Wednesday for dinner so I looked up Clara on the internet for something I may be able to use for dinner. Viola! I found it.... the "Poorman's Meal"! Potatoes, hot dogs, an onion, and some spaghetti sauce (I think). I had all but the onion so I improvised.

  1. I peeled the potatoes. *Pay no attention to the fine China I am using....*


  2. I cubed the potatoes. If I'd had an onion this is where I would have diced the onion. I added the taters to the pan.


  3. I added some oil. Began cooking potatoes and *onions*. (Since I didn't have an onion handy, I tossed the potatoes in a bowl with a little seasoning salt, some garlic powder 'cause everything is better with garlic!, and a little fresh dill.)


  4. While the potatoes and onions were cooking, I cut up four hot dogs. I think this would be equally as good, if not better with some polska kielbasa, but since we are ballin' on a budget here... hot dogs work just fine.


  5. I waited until the potatoes where about half way done then I added the hot dogs and a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce. I think that's what she used in the video, but I think you could use salsa or alfredo sauce if you wanted to. I used the Wal-Mart brand "Italian Garden Combination" flavor of sauce.


  6. Then I just let it cook. I stirred frequently because I didn't want the potatoes to stick and I wanted them to get done evenly. I noticed in her video that Clara added a little water to the mix towards the end to "soften" up the potatoes so I did so as well and it helped keep the whole thing moist. Once all was done, I spooned some into bowls and.....


It was a hit!

Here's Clara in her own words...



Don't forget to go visit the blog party!! Have a great weekend!

Singing in the Rain...

There is nothing more exciting than getting up at 6AM on a Saturday morning, finding the temperature to be round about 34 degrees, AND having it rain as well... just to go hock some Girl Scout cookies for 3 hours.

A "How-To"

How to Hide from the Dog in the New House

By Shilo




*That is the infamous sprayer that got stuck in the on position... It's a wonder too because look at how spiffy and shiny and obviously brand new that faucet is.....

Ranting Rambling

So it's finally here. The day where I berate the "Academy" for awarding Penelope Cruz an Oscar for "Vicky Christina Barcelona". I'm sure you will remember my displeasure at Rebecca Hall's seeming dismissal in all the ads for the stinkin' movie to begin with. I'm not trying to say that Ms. Cruz is not a great actress. I'm just saying that this movie role did not warrant an Academy Award for her or what seems to be an overlook of a wonderful actress in Ms. Hall. I was all prepared for this to be all about the Cruz/Oscar/Hall thing... until I watched "The Bachelor" last night.

I haven't been following the show. I don't, in fact, ever watch the show. But last night we were waiting for something else to come on (WWE for the kiddos) and I got sucked in. The little host guy kept saying how it was going to be the most emotional "After the Final Rose" show eva so I just HAD to know what was going down.

I watched the final episode. I found myself rooting for Melissa. Not that Molly wasn't a great person. I just liked Melissa. Imagine my excitement when he declares his absolute L.O.V.E. for Melissa, tells her he was falling for her from the very beginning, gets down on one knee and proposes in the best way he can.... then the "After the Final Rose" segment starts...

That douche bag comes out on stage and starts talking about all he can think about is Molly this, Molly that. How his and Melissa's relationship (all 6 weeks of it) wasn't the same as it was before and how he thought he'd just like to give it a go with Molly. WTF?! However, it seems he hasn't exactly informed Melissa of this fact just yet. Little host man is like... "So you are going to break up with Melissa tonight? Does she know this?" King of all Jerks says, "We've talked and she knows how I feel and where my feelings are and what I'm thinking." Um... really? 'Cause when he dropped the bomb on that poor girl, she did not look like she had any idea that he was still "in love" with Molly. I felt so badly for her! She asked him why he wouldn't fight to make it work with her and all he could do was shake his head like a dumb ass and shrug his shoulders. I was just hoping and praying that when he got his chance to beg Molly for "another go at it" that she would tell him to go to hell. That she would think about the way that she felt when he told her that he couldn't choose her. That she would realize that was exactly how Melissa was now feeling, except way worse because he ACTUALLY GAVE HER A RING AND SAID MARRY ME.

Alas, she did not. She said they could "see what happens".

I can only hope that after the cameras stopped rolling.... she kicked him in the balls.

Oh No She Dii-ent...

Just wanting the whole moving process to be over and done with I went to Wal-Mart for packing tape (and only packing tape 'cause I ran out) dressed in the following items...

These shoes...


These bottoms...

*Please note that these sweatpants are about 8 years old...and I totally forgot until I was walking through the aisles... I wasn't wearing any underwear.

This shirt...

I am not a Yankee fan... this was my "parent" shirt for my kids Little League team.

All of that lovely uncoordinated attire capped off with this zippered hoodie...

It is very, very pink.

I am still bowing my head in shame.

HELLO!

I'm here! Yay! I am surrounded by boxes and things and more boxes, but I'm here! I had to go for TWO WHOLE DAYS without access to the internet. I almost had to be admitted to a rehab for the withdrawals I was experiencing.

We rented ourselves a 24' Budget truck.


Before...

We packed in 2 couches, a love seat, 2 recliners, 3 sets of full size mattresses and box springs, an entertainment center, a curio cabinet, the washer, the dryer, and many, many other boxes and odds and ends....


After...

...and still we weren't able to pack it all. We've made 3 trips with a full size crew cab pick-up truck and still... we need at least 2 more trips. I had no idea we had so much stuff. And the sad part is most of it is just that... stuff.

This has been the most stressful move ever! Things have been going wrong left and right. First, we discovered that at some point the front door had been kicked in because the frame was broken and the door barely latched. I went to wash my hands and had no hot water. Upon further inspection, the water heater had been turned off so when we turned it on and it filled up, the pressure release valve started squirting water everywhere. Now the hot water heater is located under the stairs to our basement...right next to the breaker box! We got that fixed pronto because 1) we didn't want to electrocute ourselves and 2) we were all in desperate need of a hot shower. There are also 2 spigots that are leaking that we have to fix. There is a natural gas heater in the basement whose pilot light refused to be lit for about 4 days. The gas had not been turned on since April of '99 so we knew there would be some air in the lines, but good grief. We both got so tired of holding down the knob that we put a half full paint can on top of it. This heater didn't come with a handy ignite button. It's the old school kind of gas heater where you have to take your life in your own hands and light a match. When I was a kid, the gas company would come in and light your pilot lights for you, but apparently times have changed because the man wouldn't even step foot in our house. ...Let's see... oh, and the sprayer on the sink got stuck in the on position so for 2 days. We had to try to remember to not turn on the water without picking up the spray nozzle first.

Isn't moving fun?!?!