Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas

So - it's a busy time of year and I'm out of time. Enjoy this picture that LLB took one morning on the way to ring bells...  That's fog.
I'm up to my eyeballs in stuff. I'll see you all next week sometime, k?
Merry Christmas to all....
And to all, a good night.

Mrs. Butterworths Review and Give Away

I was asked to try the Mrs. Butterworth's Syrup in the Limited Edition Holiday Bottle.  It is so cute! Mrs. Butterworth is all dressed up! It sure beats that yellow apron she usually sports with her plain brown bottle.  Not that there is anything wrong with her brown bottle, mind you.

Needless to say, we had a snow day and we ate pancakes and syrup for breakfast. The kids and I enjoyed the syrup very much!  (We enjoyed them so much, that we forgot to take a picture!)  It was nice and thick and buttery tasting. Just like I remember from when I was a kid and Mrs. Butterworth graced my breakfast table.

These bottles are collectible and only available for a limited time.  If you happen to like Mrs. B and her new dress, you can win a bottle here!  Just leave me a comment by December 27th. 

This post was written for Family Review Network & Pinnacle Food Groups who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Pledge Review and Give Away

I was asked to review Pledge Lemon Clean.
I love the lemon scent of Pledge. It brings back memories of home -- my mother dusted with Pledge and so did my grandmother.  There are actually two websites you can peruse that will tell you about Pledge - The regular site and this one: Mom it Forward.  Check them both out. You'll be glad you did.  I happen to really like the Mom it Forward site because it has interesting articles about family, school, and parenting.

The box arrived and this is what they sent:

I got a basket with a new red dishtowel, some photo coasters, a deck of cards and the Pledge.  The coasters and the deck of cards are so we can sit around and play games with all the time we save using the pledge!  The basket is for the pretzels we'll eat while we play the games and the dishtowel is to make my kitchen look festive.  I love this little basket!!

Anyway, I had a party the other night, so this little gem arrived in the nick of time! I cleaned my fireplace surround with it. I cleaned my piano with it. I cleaned my wood furniture pieces with it. I even cleaned my TV with it.  I will admit that I didn't clean the TV screen with it.  I cleaned and dusted and I have to say, I'm impressed. I cleaned it all and only had to use one cleaner. It saved me a ton of time!!

I like how it cleaned everything and left that yummy lemon scent in the air.
The company says:

About Pledge®:
This holiday season Pledge® is empowering moms to put a new twist on their family’s tried and true traditions. One easy way to do that is to make all areas of your home shine. That’s right – that trusted yellow can under your kitchen sink can be used to dust, shine and protect a variety of household surfaces:
  • Leather
  • Stainless Steel
  • Granite
  • Marble
  • Laminate
  • Wood
I can give a can of Pledge away!! You want one?? I know you do!!
Leave me a comment before January 1st!

This post was written for Family Review Network & Pledge who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Pure Silk

    When I was first asked to review Pure Silk, it was a lot warmer out and I was still wearing capris. Well, the Pure Silk arrived at my doorstep a few days ago... It is cold out and to be honest, shaving my legs in the winter is not something I worry about like I do in the summer months.

    Fortunately for, you, my dear reader, and my family, I decided to try this stuff out. It is WONDERFUL!!  It feels nice when you put it on. It feels nice when you shave. My legs felt smooth and silky after I finished. And I have to say, it smells nice, too! 
    When I was finished, I passed it on to LLB to try. She is on the swim team and her legs have been getting very dry and flaky lately.  She was just as impressed as I was. She said her legs felt moisturized when she was done. AND she said that they stayed smooth and silky all day -- even after her time in the pool. Now THAT's sayin' somethin!!

    So - if you've got dry hairy legs - this is your solution!  Try Pure Silk. You'll be glad you did.

    This post was written for Family Review Network & Pure Silk who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Pecans in the Cemetary

    On the outskirts of a small town, there was a big, old pecan tree just inside the cemetery fence. One day, two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts.
    'One for you, one for me One for you, one for me,' said one boy.
    Several dropped and rolled down toward the fence.
    Another boy came riding along the road on his bicycle. As he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the cemetery. He slowed down to investigate.. Sure enough, he heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.'
    He just knew what it was. He jumped back on his bike and rode off.
    Just around the bend he met an old man with a cane, hobbling along.
    'Come here quick,' said the boy, 'you won't believe what I heard! Satan and the Lord are down at the cemetery dividing up the souls.'
    The man said, 'Beat it kid, can't you see it's hard for me to walk.' When the boy insisted though, the man hobbled slowly to the cemetery.
    Standing by the fence they heard, 'One for you, one for me. One for you, one for me.
    The old man whispered, 'Boy, you've been tellin' me the truth. Let's see if we can see the Lord.'
    Shaking with fear, they peered through the fence, yet were still unable to see anything. The old man and the boy gripped the wrought iron bars of the fence tighter and tighter as they tried to get a glimpse of the Lord.
    At last they heard, 'One for you, one for me. That's all. Now let's go get those nuts by the fence and we'll be done.'
    They say the old man made it back to town a full 5 minutes ahead of the kid on the bike.

    I hope this brought a smile to your face. I found it in my email this morning and just had to share...

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Cheese, Grommit!

    We LOVE cheese - Almost as much as Wallace and Grommit!

    I was asked to review the newest Cracker Barrel Limited Edition Holiday Reserve Cheddar Cheese.
    It arrived on my porch early yesterday morning. I was SOOO excited! (I know - it doesn't take much.)

    It took all the willpower I had to hold off until 11:30am.  I opened the Limited Edition White Cheddar (which is labeled very very sharp), sliced off a piece, and popped it into my mouth. It was pure heaven.  The taste is phenomenal! It is smooth and sweet, but not too sweet.  So many cheeses these days taste like soap, but not this... this is awesome!  It's a nice sharp cheese and has a bit of a bite to it - just the way I like it. Oh my!  You don't even need a cracker - it's that good.

    If I were to serve this to a crowd, I would pair it with a yummy peppercorn cracker or flat bread and some green seedless grapes. I'd serve it with a lovely white wine... ooohh that sounds really good. (I wonder if I have any grapes and wine in my fridge... let me check...) I didn't find any wine or grapes, but I did come across that cheese and had to have another piece... okay so I had 2... alright... 3 pieces.

    They also sent me the Limited Edition Cheddar which is only very sharp. I loved that, too! I'd pair that with a yummy cracker and maybe some red wine. You know, just to be different.  It would look great on a holiday table with some red grapes or purple grapes and some really yummy white peppercorn crackers.  So festive... so yummy!

    There is only one thing that I don't like about this cheese: It is only available until January 1st. 

    What they said:
    Cracker Barrel Limited Edition Holiday Reserve features flavors to please any palette– from the most notorious cheese snob to the least adventurous eater. No other cheddar cheese within the Cracker Barrel portfolio uses the same unique cultures as
    Limited Edition Holiday Reserve.

    Cheese is a no fuss way to round out a holiday party’s menu. Cracker Barrel Holiday Reserve Aged Cheddar Cheese is delicious and unique enough to serve on its own – or to pair with crackers and accoutrements like dried fruits, chocolate and nuts.

    I really wish this cheese were available all year, as it would be a perfect cheese for polo.  It would go very nicely with my champagne... I'm not kidding... I'm serious!!

    We have a Christmas Party to attend this weekend. I am going to purchase a block of this to take to the party.  I am going to slice it nice and thin - because cheese (and cold cuts for that matter) always tastes best when thin.  I'm sure that there will only be crumbs left on the plate. The first person that tries it will tell their companion how wonderful it is and then... the rest of the guests will be like vultures and when they finally step away from the plate mere seconds later, there will be nothing left.

    Maybe I should buy 2 blocks...

    This post was written for Family Review Network & Kraft Cracker Barrel who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Wednesday, December 08, 2010

    The Christmas Letter

    Here is the Christmas letter I wrote to send out this year. So -- if you want to know what's going on around here, read this. If you don't want to know - stop reading now.

    I thought I’d fill you in on our family life this year. Since there is so much to tell and I’m too lazy to write it all down in each and every Christmas card with a pen, you’re getting this note.

    #1 is now 18 and is a high school senior.   How time flies!  And no, I’m not old enough to have a high school senior.  #1’s hard work in school has paid off! He has received a 4-year Army ROTC Scholarship to his first choice school, Virginia Military Institute. He got one to Virginia Tech, as well. (He would really prefer to serve with the Navy or the Air Force, so he is waiting to hear from them in early 2011 about their ROTC Scholarships. Keep your fingers crossed!) He has also been accepted to The Citadel and to Norwich – complete with scholarship monies.  It’s really fun to open a letter from a college and discover that 1 – they want you and 2 – they are giving you money.
    #1 was one of two saxophones selected for The Music Educators National Conference Honor Band in June.  He spent a week under the direction of nationally recognized conductors and he met a lot of really great and talented kids from across the nation. The week culminated with a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.  It was a phenomenal experience.
    #1 continues to play in the Marching Band at school and is the Woodwind Captain again this year. He is also involved in the Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, Sax Ensemble, and more.  I suspect that #1 will continue to play his Sax in college.  There are jazz bands and marching bands at every school he is interested in attending. 

    LLB is 15 and is a sophomore. How do they grow up so fast?! LLB continues to play the trumpet. She is in Marching Band, Jazz Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, the Pit Orchestra, and more. She was one of 3 students and the only freshman from our high school to make the District Band last spring – this is quite an accomplishment. This coming January she will be playing at the Shepherd University Honor Ensemble at Shepherd in West Virginia.
    Trumpet is not LLB’s only instrument. She learned how to play the marimba – a xylophone-like instrument – last winter. She really enjoys it and will continue to play it in Percussion Ensemble this year.  LLB also continues to ring handbells. She rings 4 in hand like a pro and can switch to the bass line in the blink of an eye.  Ahhh – youth!
    LLB is also doing very well in school. Her favorite classes are Math and Music Theory. She has doubled up on the Math this year and loves it.  (I find that a bit scary, myself.) LLB continues to be a voracious reader. She and her friends swap books like we used to trade lunches.

    We all like to ski and this year we discovered that our county has a ski club. Who knew?! #1 and LLB enjoy their time on the slopes even though the vertical here in Virginia does not compare to the vertical in New England.  In late March, Mr insisted that they hit the slopes on a beautiful 75o day.  Spring skiing is not something we get much of here, and they just had to take advantage of the day.  There were a few bloody knees thanks to tumbles in the pebble-textured snow, but it was a great time!!

    There is so much more to tell, but I’m running out of space…

    Mr is still at his long time company doing whatever it is he does there. He enjoys sawing fallen trees with his chain saw and mowing our acreage with his tractor in his spare time.  Once a month, he plays bass guitar in the Church Folk and Gospel band.  I direct a handbell choir at a local church and do some substitute teaching at the local middle school.  Mr and I are involved in our Band Parents Organization as well as the Parent Advisory Council and a half dozen other volunteer committees. Basically, we keep busy.   

    If you’re ever in the DC area, shoot us an email. ladybugxing at We’d love to see you.  You can also find me on Facebook - LadyBug Crossing.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    Monday, December 06, 2010

    He made it!

    #1 received his Virginia Military Institute acceptance certificate and letter on Saturday.
    We are so proud and he is thrilled! 
    Now we wait on Navy...
    It's all good and as we said before - the boy has options.
    Options are great.

    Sunday, December 05, 2010

    Hickory Farms Picnic Basket

    I got this lovely Hickory Farms Picnic basket to review. The basket itself is terrific! It is a Peterboro basket which is an excellent basket. I am currently using the basket to hold some Christmas hostess gifts, but I'll definitely be using this basket for polo in the summer.

    When I opened the basket, this is what I saw:

    The goodies inside were plenty! There were 3 summer sausages, 2 cheeses, 2 jars of mustard, a box of yummy pepper flat bread, a box of peanut brittle, some mint melt-aways, and some hard candies. I couldn't believe how much yummy goodness they stuffed in there.

    We ate one of the summer sausages and the cheese and crackers at Thanksgiving as our appetizer. The summer sausage was phenomenal - we ate the beef and pork sausage. We topped it with the mustards - one was a honey mustard and the other was a sweet - hot mustard. The consensus of opinion was: They are both terrific. The combination of the two in the basket was perfect because you make everyone happy. They sent a Swiss cheese and a Monterey Jack cheese. Those who like a cheese with a little sharp will enjoy the Swiss and those who like a mild cheese will enjoy the Jack. See? Something for everyone. The pepper flat bread made the experience simply phenomenal! We would get the basket again just to get that flat bread!!

    I took the beef sausage to a friend's house as an appetizer last week. I sliced it very thin and brought some pepper crackers and some cheese along to see what they thought of the sausage. Everyone loved it!! It is really yummy.  I think one of the people who tried it went on-line and bought some after our get-together...

    I have one sausage left, the Turkey. I've not eaten it yet, but if it is anything like the other two, it's simply awesome!

    As for the peanut brittle and the mint melt-aways, they are awesome. Mr. and Grandpa loved the peanut brittle. Both commented that it was delicious and just sweet enough to let the salty through. I happen to be a mint melt-away fan from way back and these simply melted in my mouth with just enough soft minty goodness. I have to say I'll never eat another melt-away that doesn't come from Hickory Farms!!

    If you are looking for a great gift to send some special people in your life, this is it! There is something for everyone. If the picnic basket isn't your thing, fear not! Hickory Farms has many gift boxes to choose from. The prices range from $16 - $100 - so again, something for everyone in every price range! Once again this holiday season, Hickory Farms will donate $5 from each Party Planner Gift Box sold to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry Campaign, a national nonprofit that is ending childhood hunger in America.

    Hickory Farms provides free military shipping to military APO/FPO addresses on select products, allowing our troops across the globe to share in holiday traditions.

    By the way, the packaging was great. The recycled cardboard box made a great fire starter.  The inner fill inside the basket was a brown paper fill that I also used as kindling in my wood stove. Very eco-friendly and it didn't get everywhere like those starch peanuts seem to do.

    “I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hickory Farms and received a signature gift box from Hickory Farms to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

    Thursday, December 02, 2010

    Time Keeps On Ticking...

    I cannot believe it's already December 2nd.
    Time sure does fly!  Oh, look at that... I still haven't fixed the date on my watch. I'll get to that - eventually.

    We've had so many good things going on around here, but I haven't really had a chance to tell you all about them. 

    #1 has received a 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship to his first choice school - Virginia Military Institute. We are waiting to hear from them as to whether or not he has been accepted. (I called on Monday and they assured me that he will probably know before Christmas.)  
    #1 has been accepted to The Citadel and Norwich - both excellent military schools - one in the South where it's warm... The other in the North where it's down right cold. Norwich has come through with an academic scholarship so that's kinda cool. They want #1 to visit, so we are thinking that a trip in January might be just the ticket. He'll probably know where he stands with VMI by then.

    #1 also got a 4 year Army ROTC Scholarship to Virginia Tech - we haven't heard from them yet, either.  Tech is a huge school, so I would prefer he choose one of the other smaller institutions, you know?  He does not need to be distracted by all the great things to do and see (ahem) at a large University...
    #1 has been interviewed by our State Rep's office for an appointment to the USNA.  This is a stretch - he's academically and medically qualified, but he is not a top notch athlete. (You can't be good at everything!) Let's see if the State Rep thinks he is a good candidate or not. Either way, our boy has options. 

    LLB was accepted to the Shepherd University Honor Band for a weekend January. She will spend a few days at the college playing her trumpet and learning new stuff. I'm not sure who else tried out, but she is very excited to be going.  She is hoping to make the District Band again this year. I'm sure I'll be hearing a LOT of trumpet this week and next as she gets ready for the audition next weekend.

    Marching season is over except for this weekend's Christmas Parades, and Swim season has started. The first meet is next Friday. The kids have been swimming and running and getting fit. Although, I have to say that to have the kids running for 45 minutes after swimming for an hour does not thrill me.  It is cold out and it's getting dark earlier every day. I'm SURE someone will turn an ankle in the fields before the season is over. I can only hope that the coach stops this running foolishness before someone gets hurt.  That said, #1 found out yesterday that if he can shave 3 seconds off of his backstroke time, he can break the school record. I think all those push-ups he's been doing to get ready for military service are beginning to pay off.  Maybe he IS an athlete after all...

    Percussion Ensemble - also known as Indoor Drum Line or IDL - started this week. LLB wants to play the marimba again and #1 wants to play the tenors - 4 or 5 drums all connected.  I am sure he has forgotten that he will have to carry them and they are not light. LLB's choice was smart - the marimba is on wheels! We will have Indoor Competitions with this group, but the key word with this is Indoor. It will be the first time since #1 was a freshman that this group has been able to do any competitions. It will be fun!! Exhausting, I'm sure, but fun.

    Christmas is right around the corner. If you are in the neighborhood on December 18th, please stop in to our annual Christmas Pot Luck.  The party starts around 6:30 or so.  Bring a dish to share and your instrument if you play one. We will be resurrecting the Ladybug Crossing Christmas Band for Christmas caroling at it's absolute best. If you don't play, bring your voice - we always need carolers.

    Wednesday, December 01, 2010

    Swag Soft Sedo Dog Pic Pic App Review

    I was asked to try out the Sedo Pic Pic App on my iTouch.

    This is what the company says about the app:  Sedo Pic Pic is based on Sedo Dog, a brand new 3D cartoon series (coming soon) about a pack of adorable dogs with super powers fighting in the name of justice. This series has also been licensed to Japan mobile phone companies as interactive mobile mascots! Doodle in different shapes and colors and conveniently resize stamps and photo props with the tips of your fingers.
    -  Ultra uber cute cartoon dogs and Aha the devious cat!
    -  Over 150 different Sedo stamps and picture frames!
    -  Add your own drawings!
    -  Add your own customized text!
    -  Upload your pictures to Facebook!

    All I can say is: It is fun and it's adorable!  I LOVE it!!!

    It's like this:  You take your photographs that are stored in your iTouch or your iPhone and make them even more unique!  You can add frames and stamps to them. You can add words in many different fonts. You can share them on Facebook or Twitter with the touch of a button!

    So - you want to know what I've done.  Well, since I don't post pictures of my family on the internet I had to get creative. I found this little gem and played with it to make it all mine!  I just love this!

    I also played with this one of Zeb. He doesn't like the camera at all, but I think this is adorable!

    There are so many fun things you can do with Sedo Dog Pic Pic!! It's really fun. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. If you make a mistake, you can always delete the item or move it around after you choose it. 

    I will say that when I first downloaded it, I had some crashes. I updated the iTunes software on my iTouch and I've not had a problem since.  I just love this little app.

    Heck, it's 99 cents on iTunes. Get it! It's a bargain and it's fun!

    This post was written for Family Review Network & Swag Soft who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Terro Ant and Spider Killer -- Review and Giveaway!

    Fall is the time of year I start to see more spiders and other insect type critters trying to get in to my house. I don't like spiders or other creepy crawlies in my house at any time of year, so when I was asked to review the Terro Ant and Spider killers, I was more than happy to try it all out.  I'd like you all to remember that I live out in the country, so bugs and stuff are the norm around here. I'm not saying I like them, I'm saying that ants and spiders happen -- especially out here. 

    The Ant Killer is in granule form.  You just sprinkle it around the perimeter of the house and amazingly enough, the ants go away. I had a terrible time with ants this year, so the fact that they are gone is a huge relief.  I'm not sure how it works, but I don't much care. They are gone and I am a happy camper. I've got some left to use in the spring when those nasty sugar ants come back... I can't wait! They won't know what hit 'em! Bwahahahaha!!!

    The spider killer comes in spray form. You can either spray the spiders directly or you can spray in any cracks and crevices in which you believe said spiders may be partying with the included crevice straw thingy. The spray is long lasting and residual up to 12 weeks. I sprayed the garage - yes, pretty much the whole thing as it was a party stop for all kinds of the 8 legged critters.  I found that once I sprayed, the number of spiders diminished to the point that I only see one or two now - as opposed to the much larger number I used to have.   Oh and the one or two I see, aren't looking particularly healthy.

    So - if you need to get rid of Ants and or Spiders - Try Terro.  It works.

    They are letting me give away some of this miraculous stuff.  If you live in the continental US and you'd like to try this, leave me a comment by Dec. 10th.  I'll pick a name out of a hat.  You will receive the product directly from the manufacturer.

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

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Silly Dog

    Zeb forgets that his legs are short and that he is - in effect - a small dog.
    In his mind, he is a grehound/doberman/shepherd cross...
    In reality, he is a corgi - a small corgi.
    Zeb is a pretty fast runner and an excellent herder.
    In his mind he is faster Secretariat.
    In reality, he's not that fast.
    Zeb is not fast enough to catch a deer.
    You think he would have figured that out by now...
    Today he chased one across the yard and into the woods.
    He returned 20 minutes later -- sans deer.
    Maybe it's the chase he likes.
    Maybe it's the exercise -- nah -- he is currently curled up, happily snoring in his crate.
    He's probably dreaming about catching that deer.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    Little Star

    I received the book, Little Star, by Anthony DeStefano to review.
    It is a children's Christmas story. We collect Christmas books and put them out during the season for all to read. I find that my children - now high schoolers - still read the stories while they sit by the tree.

    When Little Star arrived in the mail, you would have thought it was a new video game. They both got very excited about this new book for our collection.  They both read the story and LOVED it!  The story is sweet - it's about the littlest star in the sky and how he becomes Jesus' star.  This story will bring a tear to your eye - like all awesome stories. I'm not going to tell you why, because I want you all to go out and buy this sweet book.

    The illustrations are phenomenal!  The kids told me that this book was an excellent addition to our collection.  They are picky about what goes in it - the stories have to be wonderful and the pictures have to be great. This book fits the bill!

    This book is certain to become a Christmas classic. It already has in our house!

    This post was written for Family Review Network & Little Star who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010


    Deer are so graceful.
    Even when they stand and watch you as you open the back door.
    They are just amazing animals.
    Zeb just chased one across the back 40.
    She leaped, effortlessly, over a pile of brush...
    It was awesome... it was beautiful... 
    I just wish the deer wouldn't eat all of my plants.

    I just heard a gunshot.
    Someone will have venison for dinner.

    Friday, November 12, 2010


    I went shopping with LLB yesterday. We were looking for bedding for my bed, tennies, and a few other goodies. We found some great things - no bedding - but I did get myself some new tennies. LLB got a couple of sweaters, some new black pants, and a new hat - very stylish and super cute. 
    The best part? We saved well over $100 between sale prices and a 30% off my entire purchase coupon!
    That is the only way to shop!

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Tax Cuts Explained

    If I hear that tired mantra - "Tax cuts for the rich" - one more time,I'm going to probably drop dead from "the big one". If you can't make a liberal understand tax cuts using this example, just walk away, and save yourself the grief.

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay $1.
    The sixth would pay $3.
    The seventh would pay $7.
    The eighth would pay $12.
    The ninth would pay $18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

    So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar everyday and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day theowner threw them a curve ball.

    "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80."

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free, but what about the other six men, the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?'

    They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33, but if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)
    The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
    The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
    The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 ( 22% savings).
    The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before, and the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

    "I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, proclaiming,
    "But he got $10!"

    "Yeah, that's right!" exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too!
     It's unfair that he got ten times more than I did!"

    "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two?
    The wealthy get all the breaks !"

    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison"
    We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up. The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important: They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill !

    And that, boys and girls, journalists, politicians both corrupt and straight (OK...not many straight, but it's for them all), moaners, gloom and doom merchants, political activists with their heads up their butts, and college professors - this is how the tax system works:

    The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction...It's simple, basic Math.

    Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier - an event that would have a devastating impact on every other sector of the economy.

    For those who understand, no explanation is needed. For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

    Monday, November 08, 2010

    Mousing Around

    I got a new mouse to try and one to give away!
    It's called the ErgoMotion Laser Mouse by Smartfish.
    I was skeptical. I use my computer and my mouse all the time. I don't do change well, but I thought I'd give this little guy at try. I've had shoulder pain and all kinds of wrist issues over the years, so... if I could find a mouse that helped me alleviate some of that, it would be great!
    The ErgoMotion Laser Mouse is a mouse on a pedestal. It's a little larger than the mouse that came with my mac.  It rocks on the pedestal. The pedestal and the rocking motion are what make this mouse so incredibly comfortable.  It's the little things...
    I really like this mouse.  It's far more comfortable to use. It's raised up just enough so that my shoulder doesn't ache after I use it.  It doesn't weigh much and it absolutely glides across the mouse pad - that surprised me -- I don't know why, but it did.
    The mouse is very comfortable in my hand. I like the roller wheel on top much better than the ball in my other mouse.  It's just the right size and is in just the right place.
    The only thing I'm not used to is the right click button. This is because I have a Mac and my right click buttons are on the side of my old mouse. (And, I never use them...)
    I love this mouse. I'll be using it exclusively from now on.
    My Mac mouse is currently set aside on my desk - I think I'll use it as a paperweight.

    You can win an ErgoMotion Laser Mouse by leaving me a comment by Saturday. I'll be pulling names out of a hat. The Mouse will come directly from the manufacturer.  Remember, if you don't win this mouse, you can always ask Santa to bring you one.

    This post was written for Family Review Network & ErgoMotion Laser Mouse who provided the complimentary product for review & giveaway in exchange for my honest opinions.

    Wednesday, November 03, 2010

    Spin and Go Mop

    I got a Spin and Go Mop to review.
    I will tell you it was quite late in arriving, so my floors - which I'd waited to wash specifically for this mop - were filthy. As in disgustingly filthy. As in my husband was wondering if I'd lost my mind filthy.
    I took the mop and bucket out of the box.  (I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures, so the picture from the Spin and Go website will have to do this time...)
    The bucket has a "salad spinner" at one end that works when you press the lever with your foot.
    The mop handle screws together and is very sturdy.
    The mop head clicks into the handle with the press of your foot. You don't even have to touch it! I love that!
    I filled the bucket with hot water. (I have hardwood floors, so I use very little soap if any.)
    I dunked the microfiber mop head into the water and swished.
    Then, I took it out of the water and put it into the basket. I pressed it down to the notches, held the handle gently, and pushed the foot pedal. I'll be darned if that thing didn't spin that mop head to the perfect wet/not too wet/not too dry consistency.  I'm very fussy about the wetness of my mop because all of my floors are hardwood.  Did you notice that my hands did not touch the mop head at all?? Yay!!
    I drew the mop across the floor and saw - to my great relief - a clean streak!  Now, my floors were awful and I washed them twice because they were so awful.  I went through 4 buckets of water. That mop took every last little bit of grime off of my floors.  I did the kitchen, family room, and breakfast areas.  The whole thing took me 30 minutes tops.  The best part? I didn't have to touch the mop head at all. I could have washed the floor in my good clothes. I didn't get splashed. I didn't get wet. I didn't have wrinkly hands when I was finished.  You see, I usually wash my floors on my hands and knees. It usually takes me well over an hour to get done.  I did my floors twice and I did far more at one time than I normally do.  (I usually do the kitchen/breakfast nook one day and the rest another day.) 
    The spin and go mop is my new favorite! I LOVE it. 
    As a matter of fact, I'm going to wash my floors again, today!!  It's quick. It's easy. And best of all, it works! This is by far the best mop I've ever used!!

    They say I can give one of these away.  You want one? Leave me a comment.

    "This post was written for Family Review Network & Spin & Go who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review"

    Thursday, October 28, 2010

    What side of the fence?

    If you ever wondered what side of the fence you sit on, this is a great test!

    If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.
    If a liberal doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

    If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.
    If a liberal is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

    If a conservative is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
    If a liberal is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

    If a conservative is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
    A liberal wonders who is going to take care of him.

    If a conservative doesn't like a talk show host, he switches channels.
    Liberals demand that those they don't like be shut down.

    If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.
    A liberal non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.  (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

    If a conservative decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
    A liberal demands that the rest of us pay for his.

    If a conservative reads this, he'll forward it so his friends can have a good laugh.
    A liberal will delete it because he's "offended."

    Well, I forwarded it to you.

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Gettin' The Run Around

    The school system wants to put a $25 million addition on our high school. At first glance that sounds great, doesn't it?
    Well, the net gain is one - as in 1 - classroom.  It is a lovely energy efficient building, with breakout areas for the kids. If they were college kids, then breakout areas would be fine, but they are high school students who aren't allowed to be anywhere without adult supervision.  There is a huge lobby area and new administrative offices. You see why they are doing this, right? Lobby areas affect learning? Sure.
    The other issue with this addition is that they have completely neglected the 40 year old - never ever been renovated - Performing Arts Wing. The wing was completed in 1963. They have had 3 coats of paint since then. No sound proofing. No acoustical improvements. They have a spotlight that isn't strong enough to reach the stage.  The whole wing is not ADA compliant. There is no ramp access to the stage - all the large instruments have to be hauled up and down stairs that are too narrow.  There are outlets that spark when the kids in the pit orchestra plug in their stand lights. The return for the HVAC is in the pit area, and when they turn the air on in the spring during rehearsals, it spews dust and smoke and God knows what else. That said, the list of other safety issues is as long as my arm.
    A group of parents went to the school board and told them that the money would be better spent down in the Performing Arts Wing. We explained our reasons. We wrote letters. We talked to the newspaper. My last email from the Superintendent told me that the Performing Arts Department was included in the planning. (Really? I think not. Because if it were, we'd have a whole new music wing, thankyouverymuch.) He also told me I needed to speak with my principal. Really? H knows what I need and he told me to go to the School Board and the Superintendent.  Mr. Superintendent, I do NOT appreciate getting the run around.
    Over a year ago, word came down from on high that they were going to renovate the high school. We were told that the main reason for doing the renovation was to update and improve the Performing Arts wing, update the science rooms that are at the top of that wing, and make the whole thing ADA compliant. It's there in black and white.  Somewhere along the way, the architects decided that the Performing Arts wing was too expensive to do at the same time as the classroom building. What got cut? Yes - the Performing Arts Wing.
    Now they want us to believe that there will be money left after the building is complete. They will renovate the PA wing with whatever is left. Leftovers? Again?
    We won't be having leftovers! 
    They have messed with the wrong parents.
    Neither of my children will be there to reap the benefits of this long and arduous fight. But we must pay it forward. If we don't try to get what the kids need now, they'll never get it.

    How to explain it so they understand...

    A young woman was about to finish her first year of college.  Like so many others her age, she considered herself to be very liberal, and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.

    She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch conservative, a feeling she openly expressed.  Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.

    One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs.

    The self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she indicated so to her father.  He responded by asking how she was doing in school.

    Taken aback, she answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew.  She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends because she spent all her time studying.

    Her father listened and then asked, “How is your friend Audrey doing?”

    She replied, “Audrey is barely getting by.  All she takes are easy classes, she never studies and she barely has a 2.0 GPA.  She is so popular on campus; college for her is a blast.  She's always invited to all the parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because she's too hung over.”

    Her wise father asked his daughter, “Why don't you go to the Dean's office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0.  That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.”

    The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion, angrily fired back, “That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair!  I've worked really hard for my grades!  I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work!  Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree.  She played while I worked my tail off!”

    The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently, “Welcome to the conservative side of the fence.”

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    We made it!

    We survived the weekend.
    The Homecoming festivities were all attended and all participants from The Crossing had a marvelous time.  The parade down Main Street to the school was fun. The game was great - Our team won! The dance was Saturday. See how great they look?
    LLB made quite an impression with her date, J. His eyes practically popped out of his head when she got out of the car. It was very sweet. (She does clean up pretty well.) They must have had a great time at the dance because J asked her to be his girl.  (Let me just remind all of you that if he breaks her heart, I'm sending #1 after him and there will be little mercy.  It's the mama bear thing... Ahem...)
    Speaking of #1, he turned 18 yesterday! He received a video game and a new guitar for his birthday.  He is thrilled with both, but the guitar is amazing. It plays effortlessly and sounds phenomenal. 
    FYI: The old hunk of junk guitar went back to Mr. who would rather use it for firewood than play it.
    It was a good weekend all around.
    Now, I'll take a deep breath and jump into this week...
    After I have a cup of tea... and a piece of birthday cake.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    It's Homecoming!

    It's the weekend! This means that it's homecoming - Parade and game today, dance tomorrow.
    I've made chocolate covered marshmallows for the band kids. A huge thank you goes out to Bloom and Giant for their generous donations of sprinkles.  Here are the marshmallows.  They are contained... briefly! I've got to curl the ribbons and then make pretty displays. They are HUGE marshmallows! (That measuring cup in the picture is a 1/4 cup measure.)
    As you know, my #1 son wanted to celebrate his birthday with his friends at tonight's game. This means that I needed cake. The only time I could get the cake was yesterday. Of course one wouldn't be enough, so I had to get two.  And of course they needed to be refrigerated.
    This is what my fridge looks like - you need to be VERY careful when you open it because you just don't know what might try to jump out or escape or simply fall on your foot.  The milk is wedged in there. The rest of the shelves were full before I started, so I did some "creative fridge shelf stacking" yesterday. I think it's a sport worthy of an Olympic sanction -- or at the very least, it should be a required Mensa test.
    So - it's going to be a busy, but fun weekend around here. My house, which is currently upside down, will eventually be righted and everything put back to normal. But until then - if you come to visit, push a pile aside, have a seat and enjoy the chaos!

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    It's what day?

    Well, it's been busy around here.
    I've been working on getting some renovations on the docket for our high school music wing. We've only had 3 coats of paint since 1963. The back wall of the auditorium is crumbling and needs to be repaired before it falls away.  The wing itself is not handicapped accessible. They have broken fixtures in the bathrooms. The spotlight in the auditorium is undersized and the light doesn't even reach the stage. The electrical outlets in the orchestra pit spark when you plug anything in to them. The list goes on.  It's Fine Arts' turn to get, you know?
    In the mean time, it's marching season. We've done competitions all over the state and although it's been really really fun, the parents are getting tired. (Riding in school buses got really old really quick - like way back in September.) We've got one more parade, two more competitions, and three more football games before the first weekend in November.  (Hey, is that all?)
    Homecoming is this weekend and we've got tons of fun things going this week.  It's Spirit Week - this means that they need to dress up in different outfits every day. They did Around the World day on Monday, Wild West day yesterday, and today is Wacky Wednesday.   Today I just watched them walk out the door in outfits they would have put together to wear to pre-school.  It wasn't pretty...
    Speaking of Homecoming they have a parade and a game on Friday, and a dance on Saturday. LLB has a date to the dance with a very nice young man - a trumpet player who moved here from out west.  He and LLB have a lot of things in common including their instrument, their love of marching band, and their favorite food (spaghetti with sauce and cheese).  FYI: LLB's dress is adorable. She's got cute shoes and the perfect necklace and earrings to go with it. (Fear not, I will take a picture or 50 and be sure to share with you.) #1 has a date with a lovely young lady who is active in Theater. They've been friends since middle school when they were in a play together. 
    Homecoming is quite an event around here. The kids have made reservations for a group of 16 to have dinner at one of the local eateries before they head off to the dance. These kids know how to make a time of it, that's for sure!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Crossword Cubes Game

    Crossword Cubes is a new game and I LOVE it!
    You can play it alone or with friends.

    It is easy to learn and fun to play -- there are 13 letter cubes.
    You shake 'em up in the cup and dump 'em out.
    Then you create a crossword with your cubes. 
    Add up the score using the numbers on the letters - just like scrabble...
    The person with the highest score wins.  See? Simple!

    I spent quite some time playing this game by myself. It's perfect for when you're waiting for an appointment or for dinner to get done. I keep it on my kitchen counter so I can play it any time.  I do play it often...
    Mr. and I really enjoyed this game. It was fast and fun. We decided that since it's so portable, we'd take it pretty much anywhere we might have to wait. We also thought it would make a great game for Family Game Night. 
    Mr and I simply LOVE word games.  Crossword Cubes is now one of our most favorite games. 

    "This post was written for Family Review Network & Marina Games who provided the complimentary product for review in exchange for my honest review"

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Halls Cough Drops and Give Away

    Halls is the name you think of when you have a cold and you are coughing your head off. I know this. I usually cough from December until May with some form of bronchitis or another... This year, though, I've started coughing now. These arrived at the perfect time!
    I don't have allergies, but Ragweed and hay fever are just starting to grip down on the country’s sinuses.  HALLS can help relieve those horrible allergy-related symptoms.

    Halls is terrific for all kinds of coughs. It can quiet a cough and open your sinuses in less than 10 seconds.

    I happen to like the Halls in the bag -- I keep them in the car, in my purse, in my band bag, in my cupboard, and even in my nightstand.  I like the zipper closure.

    I think almost everyone I know has a halls cough drop (or10) in their purse.
    They can quiet a cough in church, in school, in meetings, on the bus, in the car... anywhere!
     You can win some Halls!

    All you have to do is leave a comment by Oct. 15th, and I'll draw a name out of a hat. If you win, you will receive your 10 sticks of Halls cough drops directly from the manufacturer.

     This post was written for Family Review Network and HALLS who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Want Free Candles?

    Leave a comment on the post below.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    Glade Scented Oil Candles

    I was asked to review and GIVE AWAY  Glade Scented Oil Candles.
    When it arrived and I took it out of the box, the scent was extremely strong. I got the Vanilla Lavender scented one to review.  I'll be honest -- I had my doubts! The scent was almost too much, but since I promised a review, I continued and I am really glad I did. (I was so excited to light it that I forgot to take pictures...)
    The glass holder is really nice. It's wider than most votive holders. The holder comes with a metal plate in the bottom. The candle itself is magnetized - actually it's the wick holder portion of the candle that is magnetized -- a very ingenious design. You don't have to worry that the wick is going to fall over and snuff itself out!
    Speaking of the holder, you can design your own and if it's chosen, you can win $10,000 and see your design in stores!  Check it out: HERE  You only have until October 31st to create your design, so hop to it! I made one - snowflakes... only because I couldn't find a ladybug. I hope they pick it, but if they don't, it's okay because maybe they picked yours.
    I lit the candle and the smell was very nice -- not too strong at all. As a matter of fact it was lovely! (Yes, I was very surprised!!) I set it in my entryway to see how far the scent would travel. I could catch a hint of it in my kitchen, but since it wasn't super strong even in the entry way, it was perfect.
    I liked the way it melted - it turned into a little liquid puddle. The wick put itself out after all of the wax/oil was gone - it took a few hours.   The candle burned completely and very clean - no smoky flame, no soot on the glass, no soot anywhere for that matter.  See:
    The glass holder did not get particularly hot on the bottom - I think this is because of the metal liner.  It would be safe for any kind of furniture. (I put it on a stone trivet because I wasn't sure how hot it would get.)
    So - if you are looking for a great way to smell up your house - try the Glade Scented Oil Candles! They are awesome! You can win one of these beauties! Just leave a comment by Oct. 8th and I'll pick a winner out of a hat. The candle will come directly from the manufacturer.
    This post was written for Family Review Network and SC Johnson who provided the complimentary product for review and giveaway in exchange for my honest review.

    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!

    My middle name - I was named after my mother's best friend.
    No - that's why I type
    I like it all...
    5.. HAVE KIDS?
    Yes - two
    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.
    Who me?
    Yes, as a matter of fact, I do... They aren't very pretty, though.
    Cinnamon Toast Crunch
    Heck, no.
    Bunny Tracks
    15.. RED OR PINK?
    The pain in my neck...
    My Gram
    No... I don't want my email box filled with junk, thanks.
    I'm not wearing shoes
    A hot dog and some cheezits.
    Mr's cooking
    Men's diving
    27.. Hair Color?
    Brown with splashes of gray.
    28… EYE COLOR?
    No - I wear glasses.
    I like it all... except for liver and lima beans and peas
    Happy endings.
    32. SUMMER or WINTER?
    35.. HUGS OR KISSES?
    Your guess is as good as mine
    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
    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

    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