Archive | July, 2011

Random Phone Photo Friday!

29 Jul

Perhaps some of you have these. If so, don’t rub it in and tell me. I went back to get them on clearance and they were no where to be found. Tear.

This photo is from a shoot I did in the local Menards store. My daughter and I have found the Menards supercenter we have in our new town to be almost as spectacular as Target. Meaning, we can literally spend hours in there. This time we found these delightful little light up cardinals for Christmas decorations. They are just so cute and sweet, although at first glance, one was missing a wing which was quite disturbing. I performed the successful reattachment surgery while she covered her eyes.

I loved ’em but $27 for light up cardinals was too rich for my blood. Perhaps I will run into those little cardinals again at a church rummage sale or flea market. One can still dream…

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Wicked Web Wednesday!

27 Jul

Earth 911 is a website that I believe I found through Twitter. I’ve discovered I have a deep seated love for Twitter I was completely unaware of. So many – I mean soooo many great tidbits of wisdom have been found through Twitter for me. Probably most of what I am posting on Wicked Web Wednesday I discovered through a 140 character blurb.

Earth 911 is a site for the latest in green news and lifestyle – lots of recycling and reuse ideas, and just great green earthy stuff. I like great green earthy stuff. So this particular post caught my eye for the coolio rain downspout catcher thing. (I really need to work on my word usage.) Someday when I have my own place I will have this, or something very similar that I rig up with duct tape. (In a nice way, not a tacky way). I also heart those rain barrels, but again, as a renter I have no place to put it, or the authority to make any modifications to my little house. But SOMEDAY watch out…I’m going to have all these great green things. Perhaps even food planted on my roof. You never can tell with me.

 

So check out this link, and peruse the rest of Earth911.com. Although chances are very good that I will post something else from this site soon.

I love the nature.

I have a lot of love.

 

 

 

Wicked Web Wednesday!

27 Jul

Kudos to my mom for this week’s edition of Wicked Web Wednesday. She tipped me off to this awesome place in Barrington, IL (for you locals). Norton’s USA is an old time General Store selling everything from clothing, housewares, toys, tools, pet supplies, to food. And, get this…it is stuff that is ALL MADE IN THE USA! Made in the USA…you read that right. Who knew such a place existed?

 

From personal experience, I can tell you it is almost as difficult finding items made in the USA in a store as it is finding food without high fructose corn syrup. I’ve done both. And had children rolling their eyes at me asking “isn’t it time to go YET…?” It doesn’t make for a fun afternoon. So hearing that there was a shop in relatively close driving range is super exciting!

I have emailed with Deborah, the owner of Norton’s USA asking if we could feature her shop, and she sounds like an absolutely delightful person. If you are in the area, please visit them in person (I will go as soon as I can get my bucket o’rust and duct tape pointed in that direction), or visit them online too!

Norton’s USA has a website, and a blog as well.

Gotta say, one of my favorite items online has gotta be the Magic Cape. I seriously want one of these.

If we have comforted someone, we have done our part.

25 Jul

Yea! A Monday post! Those are few and far between!

I really feel like I’m beginning to beat a dead horse. When this grant competition is over, I promise to not ask for any more votes for quite some time. Unless there is more money involved. Because money is important in helping this mission succeed. Money is really by biggest stumbling block. And I wish it weren’t, but for the time being it is. Each blanket sold on Blanket Statements generates a bit of profit. That profit is turned right around and used to buy supplies for the business. So far, that has consisted of a few types of ribbons, card stock, adhesive, bags, tissue paper, a rubber stamp, and our advertising materials – business cards, postcards, flyers, press kits. Pretty much everything found on our Resource page.

I am thrilled with the supplies we are using thus far – all recycled, or organic in nature. I’ve done a lot of research and plain old physical searching for the materials we’ve used. I was also able to tap into a lot of supplies I had from Happy Jack. But the initial outlay for the rest of the materials came as what little surplus I had from my day job paycheck, and the profits from initial blanket sales. We’ve been blessed so far.

What I haven’t put any money into yet, is advertising. I wanted to exhaust as many free avenues as I could to gain followers. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Flickr, handing out business cards, sending out press releases, PR kits, hanging flyers in restaurants, word of mouth. All of that has worked wonderfully, but money is needed for things like Google Ads, Twitter Ads, magazine and newspaper ads.

Money is also needed to switch over from our initial inventory stock to the blankets I really want to offer. High quality made in the USA products. I’ve highlighted two companies already in the blog, and am hopeful that in the near future we will be able to open accounts with those companies and be able to supply a steady stream of higher quality blankets that will help stimulate the US economy. That was a big piece to the Blanket Statements mission. Helping people in need, and workers in the US are also people in need.

So in a nutshell, today’s post is a round about way to ask for your vote. There is less than a week left in the competition for us. Our initial part is over July 31st. Whether we advance to the next step or not, we’ve come a long way. It has been an amazing 7 months in business helping people. I am sure there are women out there who are the beneficiaries of your generosity. If we have comforted someone, we have done our part.

Share warmth – share comfort – share love.

Vote for us through July 31st, 2011. Get a blanket, give a blanket – help a woman in need.

Random Phone Photo Friday!

22 Jul

I know, upon first glance this looks like a photo of the sliding door in my office. But a little closer glance and you will see the evil that lurks behind the glass. My office is actually what I consider to be the best room in the place. I think it was a back porch or something. It has a big window in front, a door on one wall, and a sliding door behind me. I will have to take pics of it sometime.

But on this day….evil has descended upon my potted plants. I had seeds planted in those pots. I forget what kind now, but it doesn’t matter. They never sprouted. Besides the evil nastiness, I had chipmunks literally swimming in the pots. They would burrow right under the surface and swim in circles. Animals are just downright freaky sometimes.

Shakey Goodness and a Cakey Donut

21 Jul

Hello. Happy Thursday of what is probably the steamiest week I’ve ever had.

Sixteen years or so ago (it’s really too hot to do the math) I was 5-6 months pregnant with the girl. At the time we didn’t have air conditioning. I remember laying directly under the ceiling fan and thinking if I could make it through pregnancy with no AC, I could make it through anything. I was so young and naive then. lol

This week in Chicago we’ve had temps in the upper 90’s, heat index in the 100’s – which for those not in the know is basically like the wind chill calculation which takes into account the humidity. 90’s…100’s….at some point it just really doesn’t matter anymore. Hot is hot. My loved ones have decided to record the temperature in relation to my mood. The results are not good and I have decided that I suffer from bi-polar temperature disorder (BTD). (And trust me, when BTD and PMS coincide, it is not pretty.)

Keep in mind, cherished readers, that as a woman smack-dab in my middle 40’s, I’m no longer content to figure I’ll make it through this heat wave with no air conditioning. No air at home, no air in the car. The only solace I’m finding is the fact that my office (which is normally an ice box) is actually comfortable this week even in tank tops. And I say a little prayer every time I pass one of the public works guys chipping all those trees from Treemaggedon last week. Those men deserve some kind of prize. Hundred degrees and they are standing in the dust storm created by chipping up hundreds and hundreds of trees and branches.

I don’t have it that bad.

So I’d like to thank the universe, God, Mother Nature and whatever other powers that be that at least my windows still roll down and hundred degrees blowing past at 50 MPH is at least air movement.

Tonight, while the boy child has football camp (yes, you read that right, football camp at 97 degrees), the girl and I are sitting in the air conditioned library. She is sitting with a stack of books about 48 inches tall, and I am catching up on some web stuff for Blanket Statements and Happy Jack. But first, we decided to get some dinner which consisted of some shakey goodness and a cakey donut.

If that doesn’t make the week a whole lot better, I dunno what will.

 

 

 

Wicked Web Wednesday!

20 Jul

I seriously love the internet. I would marry it if I could. If we could keep our finances separate and have separate places to live. There are so many fun, and functional, and whimsical, and wonderful things to find on the web. I have started a pinterest account too, but I’ll talk about that more later.

Today’s super fabulous web find is Morehouse Farm Merino. Again, not entirely sure how I found this site, I’ve had it bookmarked for a while. Morehouse Farm is located in the Hudson River Valley of New York. It began in 1983 with the purchase of Champion Merino sheep flock at the National Merino Show in Harrisburg, PA. The website sells beautiful yarns, but what caught my eye are these adorable knitting patterns!

 

 

 

I totally love these little critters! Makes me wish I wasn’t knitting-challenged. Not even sure which one I like best, although the Panda scarf is just adorable. Please stop by the Morehouse Farm Merino website and check out their story and all of the products they offer.

Random Phone Photo Friday!

15 Jul

This blurry photo is brought to you by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This was taken a few months ago during a camping trip we took that simulated a vacation. We drove several hours west and ended up still in Illinois. But, not letting that deter us, we pitched a tent in a state park who’s name escapes me at the moment. We didn’t let the first night of rain get to us either. Although the continual downpour eventually did us in and we took refuge in a Barnes & Noble Bookseller.

The photo, however, is from the brief window of no rain when I told the kids “Let’s go exploring!” Only to be rewarded with blank stares like my head had exploded. After explaining to them that the reason state parks are there is because there is something rocking awesome going on in them was I able to convince them to join me. There are several more shots that look much more rocking awesome than this one, but this is one of the first. That is more green than you can shake a stick at. Literally.

Ya gotta love kids!

14 Jul

 

I’m sitting across the table from the girl and her boyfriend at lunch today in a local pizza place. We’re discussing all sorts of things…squirrels…music…drive-thru’s…science class dissection…and the topic of the Treemaggedon comes up. I mention that we will be going on a big grocery shopping trip on Friday since it is payday and we now have absolutely nothing in the fridge or freezer due to the power outage. So the teenagers say – you need an EPIC name for the shopping trip. Only kids would think we need an EPIC name for shopping. But, hey, whatever, I’m easy.

So the girl comes up with “I Survived Treemaggedon 2011 But My Fridge Didn’t” as the EPIC name for the shopping trip. So catchy, I told her to text it to my phone.

Ya gotta love kids…

Treemaggedon!

13 Jul

Not to let a little storm keep us down (ok, it was quite a big one…800,000+ people out of power) I’m stealing a bit of 3G/battery time to write up my Wicked Web Wednesday post. At the time of writing this (Tuesday evening) I’ve been without power for 36+ hours already. Looks like the fridge/freezer is going to get cleaned out. And phooey, payday isn’t til Friday, so no groceries until then.

Treemaggedon is the best description I’ve heard yet of our little storm. One of the girl’s friends posted on Facebook that we’ve survived the snowpocolypse and treemaggedon of 2011. I stepped out of my house on Monday morning to go to work only to be met with what I was pretty sure was a tornado just hitting. No sooner did I get my laptop safely placed in the car then all havoc was unleased and leaves, and sticks, and then whole branches came flying past my head. I looked at the girl standing on the porch about to come down and yelled at her to go back in the house. I ran back in too and was met with flickering power. After about 10 minutes we ventured back outside, but again, the winds started up and the lightning was amazing. We saw tables from the restaurant at the end of the street go flying down the street. Felt the car rocking, saw lightning hit all around us. It was really something else. Trees fell across the roadways, traffic signals were all out. It was the worst and most widespread damage I’ve seen in a long time. Luckily we didn’t sustain any damage at either house, although I am still without power, as is the day job. Some of the school buildings are back up, but not all, nor my office.

So while we wait out this week, let’s all enjoy this fabulous animation I found eons ago. Not sure how I found it either, so I can’t really give anyone credit at this point. I just love the expressions on the pigeon!

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