Archive | September, 2011

Random Phone Photo Friday!

30 Sep


The girl and the boy sitting around our rainy campground this spring. I think what I like most about these two random phone photos is the fact that there is a giant bottle of ketchup sitting there in both photos. The boy almost doesn’t go anywhere without ketchup. I was questioned when I bought such a large bottle for a camping trip, but truth be told, that ketchup will only last a day or two.

My kids, by the way, are pyros. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


Wicked Web Wednesday

28 Sep

Woot! I love recycled, repurposed, redone, re-whatever. Check out this totally unexpected upcycled beauty!



Any idea what they are? Huh? Huh? Any ideas?? You’ll never guess!!



How cool is that? The Greenheart Website has all sorts of cool stuff made out of bicycle chain! Give ’em a lookie.


Random Phone Photo Friday!

23 Sep


Another photo from a random trip to Menards. This is the King Pin Chair. Yup…$99 for this bad boy. Six drink holders and enough room for yourself and several friends. The girl thinks we need this chair. I think not. lol. Besides….$99 would buy us a lot more of those adorable little light up cardinals!

But nice try girlie. Can you see her giving me the “we really need this” look?

Wicked Web Wednesday

21 Sep

With the holiday season approaching I felt it was a wonderful time to feature this awesome eco-friendly company!



Ecosaurus is an online green paperie specializing in eco-friendly note cards, greeting cards and gift wrap, all which are made in the U.S.A.

All Ecosaurus paper products and packaging are 100% recycled and recyclable, which means you can make a notable impression without leaving a paper trail.

Ecosaruas note cards, greeting cards and gift wrap are 100% recycled and recyclable, with a post-consumer waste content of 50% to 100%. Their papers are processed chlorine-free, which means they generate smaller amounts of CO2 than conventional papers when decomposing. Their designs are printed with vegetable-based inks, which cause less pollution and break down more quickly than petroleum-based inks. The packaging is also recycled and recyclable, including the paper that swaddles their products.


Visit these fine folks at Ecosaurus. And if you don’t see something you like, consider searching out another eco-friendly company or finding other ways of presenting gifts rather than paper that gets tossed 2 minutes into the festivities. Love the green!

You’re not. You can’t. You won’t ever be.

20 Sep

Short of killing someone, I believe the worst thing one human being can do to another is to make someone feel small: “You’re not,” “You can’t,” “You won’t ever be.” It drives me crazy in any form it appears – from social abuse to abuse of power by governments and corporations.
– Stan Slap


I ran across this quote as a status on a Facebook page this evening. I don’t know Stan Slap, or where the quote came from (although I’ll be looking for it later on) but it really struck a chord with me. When I hear my kids arguing the one thing that just burns me is belittling. My goal is to put a complete stop to that once and for all. That is one of those learned traits that I will not turn a blind eye to and allow to continue.

As I struggle with my ongoing self esteem issues I became acutely aware of belittling. I thought it was normal. Talking about the dumb things mama did, being told I had a pea brain, the amazement at my one good idea, constant correction. Being told no one would ever want to see a 40 year old female bass player. Haha, funny joke. But those comments add up. And pile up. And soon you just give up your spirit and lose yourself. You become invisible.

Imagine my surprise when someone told me they “see” me. I didn’t know what they were talking about. I felt about as tiny and invisible as a defeated spirit could. But someone saw me. Saw the light about to burn out. That is when I started to find myself again. I was surprised, too. I thought my spirit was gone forever. But if there is one thing I can teach my kids – and they will understand it – do not ever let anyone diminish your spirit.

Find those in need. Start “seeing” those people. Build people up. Don’t ever belittle people. Stop the cycle now.


Random Phone Photo Friday!

16 Sep


This is the sunrise in the happiest place on Earth – and if you’ve been following along, you’ll know that is Cocoa Beach, FL. There is an awesome little place there called Anthony’s on the Beach. A little motel right on the beach with faded paint. It is a jewel in the rough. And if I could I would buy that motel and paint it glorious colors and spend the rest of my time right here on the beach. Or at least have it be my home to come back to after I travel the world.

I’m especially fond of pelicans. I didn’t know that about myself.

Cute cute cute!

15 Sep

Made it! Today is payday and we have made it through a really long stretch of “scraping.” But we are all good now – trying to decide what to have for dinner now that we can put away the frozen chicken patties and dry cereal. It is very exciting when you now have almost unlimited possibilities!


I know it isn’t Wicked Web Wednesday, but I did stumble across this site today and wanted to share it with you all since I am thinking about food. As you are all well aware, I am kitchen challenged. So I was intrigued when I saw this first photo:



Death by cupcake? Too cute! The Cutest Food website just has pages and pages of the coolest looking food ever. Check out a few more:





lol! Angry Bird pizza! Or how about a slice of this?



Go visit and peruse. There were just too many cute foods to show. The panda bread was really cute too. Cute cute!!



Wicked Web Wednesday!

14 Sep

I can’t believe I forgot last week. Doh! I thought I had a plethora of posts all scheduled and ready to go, but no, I was mistaken. And seriously, what is my major malfunction with the scheduling thing? Have I mentioned I have issues with time – space – and distance? Eastern time, central time, military time, clock time. Sheesh…too much to keep straight. So therefore, my posts could show up at any time, and most probably NOT the time I thought they would.

Today’s happy happy joy joy Wicked Web Wednesday post is about one of my all-time favorite games…SCRABBLE! I admit, I am kind of an English language geek. Rather than play with the neighborhood kids, when I was little I used to sneak behind the chairs in the living room and curl up with the dictionary or the 1973 version of the World Book Encyclopedia.

Now, I don’t believe we owned a Scrabble board when I was growing up. We had the original Battleship (still have), Candyland, Monopoly, Uncle Wiggly (still have, and everyone makes fun of it, much to my dismay), and my all time favorites – Cooties, Ants in the Pants and Don’t Spill The Beans. I’d always wanted the game Trouble with that ever fun popping bubble thing with the dice in it. I did buy myself that one last Christmas. Wrapped it up and put it under the tree for me, I did.

But anyway, I discovered Scrabble as a married person. And then discovered it on Facebook. WOOOOOT! Love it!! I’ve been known to have as many as 15 games going at a time before my friends get tired of it and forget to take their turns and the games just forfeit. But I do so love playing Scrabble online that I invite each and every one of you to play me. Come on, play me!

So when I saw this fabulous idea I knew that someday I would have this for my own. Again, not any time soon by the looks of it as I would need an actual patio that I could do cool stuff to, but someday. And please, for goodness sake, if you love this as much as I do and make one of your own, please send pics!!

Go read up on how they make it in the online version of Sunset Magazine entitled Great Garden Features – Backyard Scrabble




Trusting These Times

13 Sep

In continuing yesterday’s tale, one thing I’ve noticed is that I am acutely aware now of the vast, vast disparities between those that have, and those that have not. I’ve been on both sides. And I’ve certainly not hit rock bottom by any means. We’ve been going through some tough times, but my kids are well taken care of. They enjoy activities at school, they might not get what they want immediately, it may take a couple weeks or a month for me to save the money to buy what they need, but they do get whatever they need.

That being said, I wonder sometimes how other people can get by. I am separated at the moment, not divorced. My husband claims the kids, so I basically am considered “single.” Which means with my salary I don’t qualify for any assistance. Even though I am basically their full-time caregiver. I take care of them from after school until bedtime. All activity driving, most meals. Doctor’s appointments, shopping trips. They are with me. So how do people who make too much for assistance get by when they have to take care of kids too? And your job doesn’t pay nearly enough? It is something I’ve been pondering a lot. I’m not quite to the point where I can pick up an additional part time job yet, but it may be in my future. I just don’t know how to work that out with juggling the kids.

So while pondering these issues I am also acutely aware of the other side as well. The side I used to be on. Now please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not saying any of this is bad, I, at this point in my life, just find it extremely curious. As an entrepreneur with Blanket Statements and Happy Jack Designs I’m subscribed to many other entrepreneur sites. And the vastness of “things” one can get is just incredible. I’m wondering if I’m embracing this time in my life as a way to see it. To figure out where I want to be in the range of “being-ness.”  I will tell you, being where I am right now is an eye opener. It is something I had never really considered.

Growing up my mother used to tell us we couldn’t have whatever we wanted because someday we wouldn’t have money. And she didn’t want us to be used to having money and whatever we wanted. I’m not quite sure that approach helped me any, but it is an interesting concept. We were upper-middle class growing up. I don’t think anything, though, can really prepare you for the hardships when they occur.

These times challenge you to trust that everything will be alright. All your needs will be met. But it is also a time to re-examine what you thought were your needs. When it comes right down to it, you really don’t have very many.

Don’t know if any of that makes any sense, but I feel better venting it already. And if I do, maybe someone else will too. That is the point, after all. Working it all out.

Embracing the Feelings

12 Sep

I’ve noticed some things lately. I’m trying to do more of that. Noticing things. Rather than just going about my day and sloughing off whatever comes my way. I’m trying to embrace the feelings – good or bad. And look at them. And ponder them. And maybe come to some conclusions. Or maybe not.

I’ve been having a hard time again lately. Not quite sure why. My ego is bruised at work, but that isn’t really anything new. I am struggling again with finances. Not sure why that is either – lots of fees and payments for things, I guess. School photos, special meals, car upkeep, gas…mostly gas. Driving around in a not very gas efficient 1999 mini van is killing me. I really do cringe at the thought of getting another car, though, after the last time I went to a car dealer and they laughed at me. Seriously. Laughed in my face. That was when I found out the mortgage wasn’t being paid. That was 3-4 years ago now. I’m not looking forward to going back to a car dealer.

So anyway, I’m looking seriously at this lack of funds thing. This has probably been the longest stretch we’ve gone at scraping money together. My check on the first didn’t last long at all. It usually doesn’t with rent coming out of that one. But insurance went up this month too for some reason. Wasn’t expecting that. So last week we started scraping money. I had to send a payment in for the boy last week that consisted mostly of change. Because I didn’t have any actual dollars. That was a new one. The girl and I took $15 and went grocery shopping – stocked up on as many $1 items as we could find. Got the cheapest milk we could find. Cereal goes a long way. Bag of chicken patties was our splurge item at $5 for the bag. But you can do multiple things with chicken patties. (We did this weekend!)

After that I took my last $20 and put 5 gallons of gas in the van. That was last Thursday. Friday I had to drive all over kingdom come for work. My $20 in gas was gone. That $20 lasted about a day. My reimbursement for gas won’t come until September 22nd. Luckily, my neighbor once again, bailed me out with gas and filled up my car for me. That makes me very nervous though. I’m not sure how I can pay that back. A full tank of gas is a luxury I just can’t afford anymore.

That’s the kind of thing I’ve been thinking about lately. The little things that I’d never ever considered before I had to. About how people live in situations like this. Whether of their own making or not. My number one priority now is gas in the car. To make sure I can get to work and get the kids where they need to be. Food is number two. Making sure I can feed the kids something. Planning what I can make that might last a couple of meals. Nutrition certainly takes a back seat when you are scraping. Cheap food is all carb-laden. Eggs are good. We had those yesterday for brunch – another good way to go when you are trying to conserve what you have. Combine mealtimes.

I’ve been existing on coffee and water at work. I did find two dollars in the purse that I rarely use over the weekend, but those are like gold bars right now. I don’t dare spend them. I’ve got to make it through another 4 days until payday. And don’t get me wrong. I know I have friends out there that would help me out if I would ask. And it’s not that I am too proud to accept help. I’ve accepted a lot of help already. That is part of my resistance, but mainly, and I know this will sound absolutely crazy, but I am embracing this time in my life. I am going through this for a reason. I chose to leave my seemingly “normal” life where everything looked fine from the outside but was in disarray on the inside. Things are in a different sort of disarray at the moment, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I know that sounds absurd. But as I said above, there is some reason for this.

Gratitude for what I have.

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