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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Time Flies

I can't believe that the last time I posted was last Friday!

It's a gray and rainy day here. The kind of day when you just want to curl up and sleep the day away like the cat who is currently ensconced on the couch.  Well, actually she's perched on the arm, but she's sleeping... That counts, right?

Things we've accomplished this week? Hmm...

#1's headlight was out of kilter due to his run in with the deer and one of his brake lights wasn't working quite right. We thought we'd send the car in for an oil change a little early and get those two items looked at while it was there. Mr. called the fixit place and they told him it would be $50 to look at the tail light and $60 to look at the headlight. Not to fix those items, mind you... to LOOK at them.  (The oil change is $19.99 with a coupon.)

We are not car people. We are not particularly handy people. We can do some stuff, but other things like anything having to do with a car is generally out of our league.  But when $110 is at stake, we research before we throw in the towel.
I googled and surfed. Mr. went to the store and got new tail light bulbs. 
We figured out how to look at and fix both of those items.
We drove to the high school where the car was parked. One of the new tail light bulbs was defective - how can one attempt to be handy when the newly purchased bulb is defective??  But we persevered.  We wiggled and jiggled and guess what? We fixed both items. Yes, my friends. We saved ourselves $110.
The oil change - it's going to wait until he rolls over that magic number that is written on the sticker...

I take hundreds of pictures of the band during each competition - as you know. This past weekend we had a parade and a competition.  The shutter on my camera got a really good workout!  I spent 3 mornings uploading all of those little lovelies to Snapfish - I have to do it before 7am when the band width speed is quicker than that of a sloth. It took me 3 mornings, but they are done!  Woo hoo! Now I just have to figure out which of the 290 I uploaded, I want for the scrapbook...
Yes, uploading was the easy part...

My sister was here visiting. Unfortunately, she had a terrible cold. But, when you're sick, there's no place better to be than at Mom's.

Our week is winding down.
We've got another competition this weekend and the weather is supposed to be perfect! 
My couch and my cat are calling me. I've got a snuggly blanket, a cup of tea, and my TV clicker.
Life is good.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why is it?

That we cram a football game, a parade, and a band competition into less than 24 hours?
Why can we not spread it out? 
That would be too easy... Besides, what would we talk about?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Things...

Are happening here at The Crossing.
You all know that #1 is a senior in high school.
He has had some great things happen in the past couple of weeks.
He's been accepted to The Citadel.
He's been accepted to Norwich.
He is 2 for 2 so far.
His first choice is VMI. He applied there on September 7th when the on-line application became live.
He checked his application status last week - everything has been received.
He had his interview in August.
He did the Chemistry Camp in July.
He absolutely loves it there. He is comfortable and relaxed on campus.
He says it's homey there.
He met the Band Director - a really great guy who loves his kids and his program. #1 wants to play in the Jazz Band and Sax Ensemble.
#1's school is VMI...
But, he has to be patient and wait.
He is waiting.
He is hoping.

I'll let you know how it goes, but for now - it's going pretty well. 
He has options and they are all good.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Funny

I got this in my email and found it tickled my funny bone... I hope it tickles yours. If it doesn't, please click the red x and close the window.

Today's word is.......  Fluctuations
I was at my bank today; there was a short line.
There was just one lady in front of me, an Asian lady who was trying to exchange yen for dollars.
It was obvious she was a little irritated . . .

She asked the teller, "Why it change?
Yesterday, I get two hunat dolla fo yen. Today I only get hunat eighty? Why it change?"
The teller shrugged his shoulders and said, "Fluctuations."
The Asian lady says, "Fluc you white people too".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Win some plastic...

See the Ziploc post -- leave a comment and win some Ziploc goodness.

Me me me meeee!

1.. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
My middle name - I was named after my mother's best friend.
3.. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
No - that's why I type
4.. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
I like it all...
5.. HAVE KIDS?
Yes - two
6.. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
Sure - Although some people think I'm mean and nasty until they get to know me... Then they realize I'm not all that bad.
7.. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
Who me?
8.. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes, as a matter of fact, I do... They aren't very pretty, though.
9.. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
No
10.. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
11.. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES BEFORE YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Heck, no.
13.. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM
Bunny Tracks
14.. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Eyes
15.. RED OR PINK?
Red
16.. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
The pain in my neck...
17.. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST ?
My Gram
18.. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU?
No... I don't want my email box filled with junk, thanks.
19.. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm not wearing shoes
20.. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
A hot dog and some cheezits.
21.. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Football
22.. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Blue
23.. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Mr's cooking
24.. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
Mr.
25.. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU?
Sure
26.. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Men's diving
27.. Hair Color?
Brown with splashes of gray.
28… EYE COLOR?
Blue
29.. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
No - I wear glasses.
30.. FAVORITE FOOD?
I like it all... except for liver and lima beans and peas
31.. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
Happy endings.
32.. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Inception
33.. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Red
32. SUMMER or WINTER?
Winter
35.. HUGS OR KISSES?
Yes
37.. MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Your guess is as good as mine
38.. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
See number 37
39.. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?   I'm between books at the moment
40.. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Crumbs...
41.. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST.  The Closer
42.. FAVORITE SOUND?  My children laughing
43.. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES?  Beatles
44.. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? The Middle East
45.. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?   I can fit high school students into band uniforms with little to no alterations needed.  Oh, and I can ring handbells.
46.. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?  Boston, MA
47.. WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK?  See number 37.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lost and Found

We had a family wedding this weekend in Canada.
We flew Jet Blue from Washington, Dulles to JFK to Burlington, Vermont.
Our wake up time on Saturday morning was approximately 2:30am. Yes, that's mighty early.  But, we had to be at the airport by 4am. You know, security and all.
We arrived at the airport, flew through security, and arrived at the gate in plenty of time to sit and wait.
While we waited, LLB and I changed our iTouches to Airplane Mode - so that the wi-fi is off.
I put mine back in my suitcase pocket.
She thought she put hers back in her small pink backpack.
They called our flight.
We boarded.
We took off.
We watched a little airplane TV.
She looked for her iTouch. (The one she'd purchased with her babysitting money.)
It was not there.
She freaked -- just a little bit.
She breathed.
We called the flight attendant. He took all of her information and her boarding pass.
He returned and told us to speak with the person at the desk as we exited the plane at JFK.
We thanked him.
When we left the plane, we did find the person at the desk. She told us we needed to see the people in baggage. We had less than 25 min. between flights. That was NOT going to work. She told us to do it in Burlington.
When we arrived in Burlington, we went right to the Jet Blue desk and explained our plight. They were wonderful! They took LLB's information. They put it into the system. They also gave us the direct phone number to lost and found at Dulles.
While Mr. was securing our rental car, we called the phone number.  The people on the other end were terrific!! They asked us what gate. They asked where we were sitting. They asked us what it looked like -- we described a basic iTouch and told them that her name was engraved on the back and that it was in a clear case.
They told us to hold on for a minute.
They made some calls...
They did some searching...
The woman came back on the line and said, "Ma'am, we have it."
They FOUND the iTouch.
Yes, they found it!
We thanked her profusely and told her when our flight was due in.
She told us to go to baggage and to look for the little office behind the carousel.
When we arrived back at Dulles - the next afternoon - we did exactly what she'd told us to do.
The people in the office were very kind.
They went to the back room and got it.
My LLB was jumping up and down with excitement!
My LLB is a very happy girl.
She will be writing thank you notes.
As for me - My faith in humanity is restored.

Thanks again, Jet Blue! Your staff went above and beyond and we really really appreciate it.

Ziploc Baggies and More

I received a bunch of Ziploc bags and containers to try out.  I visited the Ziploc website and I think you'd really enjoy it. They have recipes, craft ideas, storage ideas and more! Go ahead... Click the button... I'll wait.

See? I told you it was worth the click!

I got some new Ziploc quart sized storage bags with smart zip and an expandable bottom. These are awesome! My kids like to take "sub" sized sandwiches -- you know, on a hoagie roll -- to school. I do cut the subs in half, but the sandwich bags kinda smoosh the rolls when I zip them up. These new bags with the expandable bottoms are perfect for those sandwiches!!  No more smooshed rolls at lunch time. The kids actually noticed and said something like, "Mom, those new baggies you got -- they don't smoosh the sandwiches. You gotta get those, k?" (Hey, it's the little things!)  It just happened that my bagel bag got a hole in it so, rather than having the last 2 bagels go stale, I put them in one of these and, Voila!!  They fit perfectly... (see picture below)

I also got the Ziploc sandwich bags - which I love. I put their regular sized sandwiches - you know, the ones on plain old sliced bread or hot dog rolls - in those bags. I also use them for their grapes, their cookies (those of you who use snack bags for cookies -- my kids take many cookies and share with their friends), pretzels and more.  Heck, I don't just use 'em for food. I use them for travel purposes -- I put my mini shampoo and such in there so that if they leak, it doesn't get all over my stuff.  Now that I think of it, I use them for something in almost every room in my house!They are indispensible! 

The Ziploc expandable bottom freezer bags have been another terrific little item around here. We tend to buy in bulk.  Those particular bags are perfect for chicken breast, hamburger, and even pork chops.  We can put enough for a meal or individual in each bag and drop it right into the freezer. It's perfect!!  You can see my frozen chicken breast in the photo below... I knew you'd love it!

They also sent the Ziploc smart snap square containers - medium size. These arrived at the right time. Mr. had just made spaghetti sauce. We filled the containers - which have measurements on the side so you know exactly how much you are putting in each one. They seal nice and tight. We put those right into the freezer as well. Mr. also used one to take his salad to work in the other day. He loves the size -- it's just enough. AND, they wash in the top rack of the dishwasher.

The best part about all of this is that you can win your own bunch of Ziploc goodness!!  Leave me a comment by Sept 18th - US addresses only.  I'll pull a name out of a hat.  Ziploc will send it directly to you. How cool is that??

"This post was written for Family Review Network & SC Johnson who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest opinions."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Soy Joy

Years ago a new product called SoyJoy hit the market. It was a bar made of soy and all natural stuff. It was healthy and was supposed to taste good. It was healthy...
Fast forward to last week.  Soy Joy asked if we would try their product again. You know, give it a second chance. I want a second chance sometimes, so I was more than happy to do that! Besides, I'm always looking for an easy snack for Mr and the kids.
They said that the new SOYJOY nutritional bar is more delicately baked to be fruitier, moister and better than before. I think they are right!
I received 3 bars - a banana, a strawberry, and a blueberry.
When I opened each package, the smell was divine! The banana bar smells JUST LIKE banana bread. The blueberry smelled like blueberry muffins.
We tried them.
My Mr. LOVES them. He went out and bought some to keep in his desk at work. The carb count isn't very high and the ingredients are such that he can eat this without it affecting his blood sugar. This is a very good thing for someone who needs to eat often.  My Mr. is not a big banana person, but he really  liked the banana flavor. His favorite, though, is the blueberry.  He likes the fact that they are a soft bar -- more cookie like than granola like. He can swill one down between meetings and be content. The best thing is that they are made with all natural ingredients -- no junk. 
Grandpa liked them very much. He likes everything, so this was no surprise. He did say that he liked the strawberry the best.
Gram and I thought they were okay. I think I expected them to be more like banana bread and  "sweeter" than they were.  They tasted good, but the consistency is not what I expected. They are definitely better than they were the first time I tried them years ago... 
So - if you are looking for an afternoon snack and you want to stay away from the sweet stuff, SoyJoy just might be what you are looking for. 
Oh and you can win $1000, too!!
SoyJoy is doing a Second Chance contest on Face Book: 


In the spirit of second chances, SOYJOY is hosting the Second Chances Contest. Share your story about a time you did not make the best first impression, but with a second chance, turned it into a joyous ending! You'll have a chance to win one of three $1,000 prizes. Entries can be submitted in the form of a 30-second video or a 100-word written story. Don't wait! The submission period ends October 3.


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog campaign by Mom Central on behalf of SOYJOY and received samples of their nutritional bars to facilitate my candid review. Mom Central also sent me a gift card to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Oh Deer...

The neighborhood buck stopped Mr. on his walk with Zeb yesterday.  Mr. clapped his hands, threw sticks, made noise - the buck didn't move. He just stood and watched the crazy man with the dog...
Eventually, Mr. found a metal sign which he flapped enough to make it make some loud noises. The buck didn't like those noises and ran off.  I know what you are thinking - the dog... Didn't the dog bark or something?  Unfortunately, our dog is a wee bit on the ditzy side and goes into a "walkie high" when he's on a leash... he's happy... he's sniffing dead things... he's walking... life is great!!  He never saw or smelled the buck... Some watch dog/protector he turned out to be, huh? 

Not only did Mr. have a run in with the deer yesterday, #1's car almost had one, too.
He was coming home after swim team and was slowly rounding the corner into the development - about a mile from home.  He saw something out of the corner of his eye and stopped the car. (Very smart!)  A deer ran into the street, bumped his headlight, stumbled a bit, and ran off.  #1 hopped out and checked for dents -- not one! Phew! He was a little shaken, but is just fine.
Life lesson #35...
Pay attention - deer come out of nowhere and try to attack your car.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Best Email Ever!!

My friend, Miss J, sent me this today.
I absolutely have to share it with you!


And it came to pass in the Age of Insanity that the people of the land called America , having lost their morals, their initiative, and their will to defend their liberties, chose as their Supreme Leader that person known as "The One."

He emerged from the vapors with a message that had no meaning; but He hypnotized the people telling them, "I am sent to save you." My lack of experience, my questionable ethics, my monstrous ego, and my association with evil doers are of no consequence. I shall save you with hope and Change. Go, therefore, and proclaim throughout the land that he who proceeded me is evil, that he has defiled the nation, and that all he has built must be destroyed. And the people rejoiced, for even though they knew not what "The One" would do, he had promised that it was good; and they believed. And "The One" said " We live in the greatest country in the world. Help me change everything about it!"

And the people said, "Hallelujah! Change is good!"

Then He said, "We are going to tax the rich fat-cats." And the people said "Sock it to them!" "And redistribute their wealth." And the people said, "Show us the money!" And then he said, "redistribution of wealth is good for everybody..."

And Joe the plumber asked, " Are you kidding me? You're going to steal my money and give it to the deadbeats??" And "The One" ridiculed and taunted him, and Joe's personal records were hacked and publicized.

One lone reporter asked, "Isn't that Marxist policy?" And she was banished from the kingdom.

 Then a citizen asked, "With no foreign relations experience and having zero military experience or knowledge, how will you deal with radical terrorists?" And "The One" said, "Simple. I shall sit with them and talk with them and show them how nice we really are; and they will forget that they ever wanted to kill us all!" And the people said, "Hallelujah!! We are safe at last, and we can beat our weapons into free cars for the people!"

 Then "The One" said "I shall give 95% of you lower taxes." And one, lone voice said, "But 40% of us don't pay ANY taxes." So "The One" said, "Then I shall give you some of the taxes the fat-cats pay!" And the people said, "Hallelujah! Show us the money!"

Then "The One" said, "I shall tax your Capital Gains when you sell your homes!" And the people yawned and the slumping housing market collapsed. And He said. "I shall mandate employer-funded health care for every worker and raise the minimum wage. And I shall give every person unlimited healthcare and medicine and transportation to the clinics." And the people said, "Give me some of that!" Then he said, "I shall penalize employers who ship jobs overseas." And the people said, "Where's my rebate check?"

 Then "The One" said, "I shall bankrupt the coal industry and electricity rates will skyrocket!" And the people said, "Coal is dirty, coal is evil, no more coal! But we don't care for that part about higher electric rates." So "The One" said, Not to worry. If your rebate isn't enough to cover your expenses, we shall bail you out. Just sign up with the ACORN and you troubles are over!"

 Then He said, "Illegal immigrants feel scorned and slighted. Let's grant them amnesty, Social Security, free education, free lunches, free medical care, bi-lingual signs and guaranteed housing..." And the people said, "Hallelujah!" and they made him king!

 And so it came to pass that employers, facing spiraling costs and ever-higher taxes, raised their prices and laid off workers. Others simply gave up and went out of business and the economy sank like unto a rock dropped from a cliff. The banking industry was destroyed. Manufacturing slowed to a crawl. And more of the people were without a means of support.

 Then "The One" said, "I am the "the One"- The Messiah - and I'm here to save you! We shall just print more money so everyone will have enough!" But our foreign trading partners said unto Him. "Wait a minute. Your dollar is not worth a pile of camel dung! You will have to pay more... And "The One" said, "Wait a minute. That is unfair!!" And the world said, "Neither are these other idiotic programs you have embraced. Lo, you have become a Socialist state and a second-rate power. Now you shall play by our rules!"

And the people cried out, "Alas, alas!! What have we done?" But yea verily, it was too late. The people set upon The One and spat upon him and stoned him, and his name was dung. And the once mighty nation was no more; and the once proud people were without sustenance or shelter or hope. And the Change "The One" had given them was as like unto a poison that had destroyed them and like a whirlwind that consumed all that they had built.

 And the people beat their chests in despair and cried out in anguish,
 "give us back our nation and our pride and our hope!!" But it was too
 late, and their homeland was no more.

 You may think this a fairy tale, but it's not.
 It's happening RIGHT NOW

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A good one!

This is for Mrs. Who who will appreciate this more than most!  I got this in an email and I HAD to share!! I'm still chuckling...

One day a fourth-grade teacher asked the children what their fathers did for a living.. All the typical answers came up -- fireman, mechanic, businessman, salesman, doctor, lawyer, and so forth.

However, little Justin was being uncharacteristically quiet, so when the teacher prodded him about his father, he finally replied,

'Okay...my father's an exotic dancer in a Gay cabaret and takes off all his clothes in front of other men and they put money in his underwear.   Sometimes, if the offer is really good, he will go home with some guy and stay with him all night for money.'

The teacher, obviously shaken by this statement, hurriedly set the other children to work on some exercises and then took little Justin aside to ask him, "Is that really true about your father?"

'No', the boy said, 'He actually works for the Democratic National  Committee and helped get Barack Obama elected President last year, but I  was too embarrassed to say that in front of the class."

Saturday, September 04, 2010

A thank you note...

Hello generous people,
For only the second time in my adult life, I am not ashamed of my country. I want to thank the hard working American people for paying $242 thousand dollars plus additional expenses for my vacation in Spain . My daughter Sasha, several long-time family friends, my personal staff and various guests had a wonderful time. Honestly, you just haven't lived until you have stayed in a $2,500.00 per night suite at a 5-Star luxury hotel. We only booked 70 rooms for our friends, staff and family. Thank you also for the use of Air Force 2 and the 70 Secret Service personnel who tagged along to be sure we were safe and cared for at all times.

Air Force 2 only used 47,500 gallons of jet fuel for this trip and carbon emissions were a mere 1,031 tons of CO2. It costs only $11,500 per hour to operate Air Force 2 and each additional plane for the other members of our party group. These are only rough estimates, but they are close (who's counting?). That's quite a carbon footprint as my good friend Al Gore would say, so we must ask the American citizens to drive smaller, more fuel efficient cars and drive less too, so we can lessen our combined carbon
footprint.

I know times are hard and millions of you are struggling to put food on the table and trying to make ends meet. I do appreciate your sacrifice and do hope you find work soon. I was really exhausted after Barack took our family on a luxury vacation in Maine a few weeks ago. I just had to get away for a few days. Will write more from Martha's Vineyard where we will spend our sixth vacation this year with more of our family and friends.**

Cordially,
Michelle Obama

Thanks to Janet for forwarding this to my in-box today.

Success!

For all of you who may be concerned, my dear friend, S, still has hair and is not speaking in tongues. She also succeeded in finding me 3 dresses that are terrific!

On the way to the mall, she told me that she thought she wouldn't have any trouble finding me a dress. I laughed out loud!  I told her that although there are a lot of dresses out there, I look ridiculous in most of them. I explained the dork factor...
She did not believe me until I started trying on dresses...
It was hysterically funny.
There was that one that made my butt look like a shelf. Now, I know I can stand to lose a few pounds, but my butt is NOT shelving...  She said, "Eww, why does your butt look like that? Take that off!"
There was that one that made me look like I had EE's... I so don't! But, that dress definitely had potential!!!  BTW: She loved that dress - I liked it okay but I'm not into flaunting what I don't have - especially at a wedding.  I don't want to upstage the bride, you know?
There was one that made me look 12 months pregnant... Her words: OH!! Take that off! Just take it off!
There was another that made my skin look green....  Her comment: Oh my, that's a really bad color for you!  She's so sweet...
There were so many that just didn't make the cut.

Please note that before lunch, we had found a bargain dress for $13.97 that wasn't quite what we'd consider wedding attire.  Church - sure, but wedding... eh not so much.  But, we couldn't pass up that kind of a bargain!

We took a break for lunch. We chatted... we mulled... we mapped out our afternoon stores...

With 30 minutes left we hit one last store and hit the jackpot!  We found 5 dresses that fit and 2 that were  phenomenal.

In the end I ended up with a lovely burgundy print dress that hides all of my flaws yet shows off my figure.  I can wear it right up until the weather starts to get warm... it's got those lovely fall and winter colors I love so much! I also ended up with a solid burgundy that is a classic go everywhere dress. I am thrilled!  I came home with 3 lovely dresses that fit... that doesn't usually happen in my world.

S is amazing!! I think I will never ever shop without her again!!   So, S, if you're reading, I'm going to need a few spring and summer outfits with graduation and such coming up! (We will have to take the rest of the gang with us, because this kind of fun HAS to be shared!)

Friday, September 03, 2010

Where has the time gone?

I can't believe I haven't posted in a whole week! This is so unlike me.

Today I'm shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding with my dear friend S. She's got her work cut out for her in a "What Not to Wear" sort of way.  If she's still speaking in complete sentences at the end of our adventure, it will be a miracle...  I'm not an easy person to dress. Many things look great on the hangar and look um... less than desirable?? once they've landed on my body. I look like a dork in many outfits... and in others, dorky is an understatement...
My friend, S will never be the same after this shopping extravaganza.
At least she'll have a lot to talk about at the dinner table tonight...