Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Guess who's got a new patio?

Mom called Monday evening to tell me about their latest home improvement project. Through the years my parents had always done their own remodeling, but some of their more recent projects would prove to be a bit much for either. Dad having finally agreed to contract out the tougher projects, watched as the landscaping crew started work on their new patio. A couple of years ago they had French doors added to the entry of the dining room and had been waiting to add on the patio.

They had decided they wanted one make of natural stone set in sand to compliment their bank yard landscape. Mom didn't say what type of stone they used, but I can only imagine it is light in color. Now the only thing needed is a set of new patio furniture with a natural look like the one in the picture. A cozy setting for a romantic dinner for two. I can see Mom and Dad now, sitting outside feeding the squirrels while sipping on some sparkling cider.

Pictures of the patio after our visit this coming weekend!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Help, my plunger isn't working!

As I tried to fill the sink with water the other morning, I realized that my plunger handle was not making the stopper go up or down. This in an important thing for it to do if I am to retain any water in the sink. Try as I might, I was unable to make my attempt at plumbing work. Apparently, the problem was not where I had originally anticipated and it wasn't in an area I could easily reach. What's happens next in the bathroom faucets repair dilemma is a godsend. My son says as he enters the bathroom, "Mom, I'll fix it. It's done that once before and I know how to fix it." Thank goodness he has been paying attention in his classes in AG Mechanics!

A Rewarding Year with Changing Roles

Last Thursday evening was the FFA Chapter's Annual Awards Banquet. It was a night filled with friends, faculty, fun, food, and lots of awards. Perhaps the most rewarding event for us was the ways in which our children have grown this year. The room was filled with pride as the members watched a slide show presentation by Maria
(the officer's historian). She did a great job!

During the slide show everyone seemed to sense how quickly the year has passed, and as another school year comes to an end, it has been one with many rewards as well as a change in roles. Both Ryan and Jenn are actively involved with their high school's FFA Chapter. Ryan has been a member since his freshman year and served this year as Chaplain on the officer's team. This was Jenn's first year participating as a freshman.

At first Ryan was upset that his sister was wanting to be involved in something that had been "his" experience for the past three years. After a long talk, he agreed that since being a part of the FFA had proven to be such a big help to him and his success in high school and life, why not wish that for his sister? Both of their AG teachers have made an impact in how they learn, in a drive for success, and a spirit of cooperation and teamwork. In fact Ryan and Jenn are considering pursuing careers in some type of agricultural endeavor.

Ryan has decided to take his SAT's this year, talk to his counselor at school about what he has to do to begin applying for college assistance, and take on a new role next year in school as Junior Advisor in the FFA, and spend two semesters as a DOC (doer of chores) for both Ms. Mauney and the new AG teacher. All of this will set in motion his plans to attend college with his best friend, Andrew when he graduates from high school next year.

As for Jenn, she worked hard all year, participating in every event she could, volunteered for teams to compete in regional, federation and now goes on to the state level to compete in two categories, Creed and Tool Team. She was inducted into her newly appointed position as Secretary on the FFA Chapter's officer team.

Ryan exhibited a great deal of teamwork throughout the year, encouraging his sister to go for her goals, and as he retired his position on the team and welcomed Jenn into her first year of service. This picture to the right shows how close these two have become, a welcome change to the antics they experienced as youth. At the end of the banquet, as they all said goodnight you can see the tears of sorrow and joy, as the retiring officers welcome in the junior officers. You could tell it was the ending of another school year, and they would soon be saying their goodbyes.

Here are a few pictures from the banquet, enjoy!

Jenn and Trish
introduce the retiring 2007-2008 Officer's team

Ryan (Chaplain), Maria (Historian), & Emily (Reporter)

Mike (Secretary) & Kali (President)

John (Vice-President)

Anna (Treasurer) & Andrew (Sentinel)

Our heartfelt wishes go with them, as do our prayers for a safe and successful journey in this adventure known as life!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Update: Who Wants a Memory Foam Mattress???

Hello everyone,

I received a comment on my blog today regarding a Referral Code for 5% off the purchase of a mattress from As a responsible blogger, I contacted the company to check the validity of the offer left by an anonymous reader. According to Steve Nice at the offer is all right, and the code is legit! Here it is:

"You can get a 5% discount off Bedinabox’s low prices for memory foam mattresses (which come with free shipping) and all their other bedding products by entering referral code 13591080511 when checking out."

So remember to include the referral code if you are interested in purchasing any of their wonderful mattresses!

By the way, here is the entire list of winners from round one in the's video contest. You can watch our entry, and though it was not picked this time, who knows, maybe next? It now has 1107 views on YouTube ... LOL!

Remembering With Memory Foam Mattress

Comments and suggestions are welcome!

In no specific order here are the winners beginning with :

Winner #1
January 17th - "It is time for a NEW MATTRESS!" submitted by
Winner #2
January 18th -
"Lil' Ceej Commercial" submitted by Cherryl
Winner #3
January 21st - "Sleep Outside the Box; An Epic Mattress" submitted by
Winner #4
January 23rd -
"Beds — It’s a Hard Choice!" submitted by Maggie
Winner #5
January 30th -
"" submitted by justsimplyholly
Winner #6
January 31st - "New Year's Resolutions" submitted by Melissa's Place
Winner #7
February 19th -
"My Mattress Commercial" by Jill
Winner #8
February 20th -
"the bedinabox" submitted by Sig at Modern Soapbox
Winner #9
February 26th -
"'Twas the Week Before Christmas" submitted by TheSassySoutherner
Winner #10
March 6th -
"Oh Santa" submitted by Staci

Hope you enjoyed the videos!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Imagine GBs of Photos ... in an ity bity space!

On my birthday last year I received a new Sony Digital Camera! It takes awesome stills and videos, and for someone who loves to take photos, this was the perfect gift. It's only limitations is storage space. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing that all too familiar message, "No memory space in internal memory."

For example, when I took pictures of the kids on prom night, I had to limit the poses as I would run out of space. I've been looking for a micro sd memory card for the camera that would allow us to take more photographs before having to transfer them, and enable us to transfer those photographs to our computers no matter where we are located. What amazes me is how many photos you can store in such a small space!

Now approaching our fifth year together, Mr.D and I have lots of pictures of events, our children, and various other subject matter that we'd love to save. Sounds like a good idea, eh?

PS Thanks again for the camera, Mom and Dad!

Congrats, Jenn!

Earlier this evening Jenn interviewed for her possible spot on the officers team in her local FFA Chapter. She was so excited that she developed an upset stomach, but she managed to pull herself together and gracefully answer all of the present officer's questions. According to her brother; who is the retiring Chaplain, she had a "really good" interview. After her interview we came home as she was still feeling a bit weak and settled in for the night.

Around 9:00 the phone rang. It was Uncle Steve calling to ask why she had missed the awards ceremony, he realized this as they called her name for an AG APPS (Agricultural Applications) Award, Principals List, and Honor Roll and she didn't appear on stage to receive her awards.

She was aware of the Principals List, and Honor Roll awards as she had received those in school. She was surprised by the news that she had also received the AG APPS Award! Even though we didn't get to see her walk across the stage for those we are so proud of all of her accomplishments this year!

On Monday, she also received a trophy for "Most Improved Color Guard" while she was at the high school's Band Banquet. She truly is an intelligent, beautiful, and caring young lady!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is starting a new franchise a good idea?

Imagine driving work in the early morning and spying a "Hot [Doughnuts] Now" sign. You stop by and pick up a dozen or two of the scrumptious delights and head on in to surprise your coworkers. Images like this have long caused me to wonder if a franchise of this products would do well in our area. I've also imagined myself as the manager of one such establishment, however I fear the start-up cost would be far greater than my imaginations. So, for now, we will visit our favorite doughnut shop on our way to visit my daughter in Virginia.

MMmmm ... I can smell that fresh hot glaze on those freshly baked pastries right now!

Reality Check: I know, it's not gonna help with the weight loss management, but it's gonna taste oh, so good!

Are Diet Pills for Everyone?

In a day and age of such technology, one thing remains the same, people trying to lose weight have to find a solution that is tailored to them personally. So how does one choose the plan or pill that will get them to their desired weight? Is there really a magic plan or pill to accomplish such a feat? I've tried several food programs and some have yielded more permanent results than others, still I have wondered if trying one such diet pill as Phentermine no prescription might accelerate that process. Whichever option I choose, it will be one based on safe medical advice from my physician. So, if you're considering a change in how you manage your weight, remember to check with your doctor first, it could mean a world of difference in your physical well being and peace of mind.

How's Your Memory?

Mine? Well, suffice it to say slower than normal, not my brain but my computer's memory. Even though I have a DSL connection to the internet, and it's free of viruses, my memory's access is too slow. It is so frustrating to try and navigate from program to program when I sit down to work at my computer. It's been suggested that perhaps I should upgrade my memory in order to move more effectively between tasks.

That said, I needed to know how to go about finding the right memory. Thank goodness for those special people in your life who know all about computers. Even though I am attending classes for computer technology, I still need a helping hand from time to time. "Mr.D" has agreed to help me get my computer up to speed, then I should be able to keep up with my work in a more timely manner. It's hard to imagine something so small doing such a big job!

Thank you, "Mr.D" :*

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How do they find their facts?

Whether you are a company looking for statistics before trying out a new product line, or a blogger wanting to increase your readership, where do you go for that type of information? Can you conduct your own market research or do you need a company trained in collecting that kind of data? Where do they collect the data? Do they wander the streets in Tokyo or Hong Kong, or do they search the internet for answers? I'm not really sure, but this I do know, I'd love to find a way to make more money while staying at home. With the price of gasoline continuing to climb and my salary not climbing along with it, it is putting a huge dent into our budget!


Monday, May 12, 2008

Decorating with Elegance

May 3rd was the prom at our area high schools. Our school's theme was "A Night in Paris" and they spared no expense; well, maybe a bit. The students decorated the multi-purpose room with balloon arches, French paintings, and much more. Someone had even suggested that they should have centerpieces made from ostrich feathers to give the table settings a touch of class. I will agree that it would be beautiful, yet the other costs involved in the prom itself were already mounting with ease. It would have been a lovely idea, but they opted for a less expensive bird of the feather; synthetic that is!

Ooo-la-la, au revoir mon ami!

Mother's Day with a twist or two!

Yesterday was Mother's Day, one spent with loved ones and hearing from those unable to be present for the day. Lisa and Pamela both wished me a happy day from their homes in VA and NJ, wishing they could have been here for the days events. As we began our day we headed to my parents to celebrate the day with them and to spend a relaxing afternoon with family, food and fun.

Most everyone stopped by while we were there, Neal and Sandra, Steve, Tracy and Ashley, Greg (who is presently living with our parents), and Ryan, Jenn and me. David and Cameron had stopped by on Saturday in order for them to spend Mother's Day with Teri (Cameron's mom). It's so nice to be close enough to spend these days together.

After our visit we headed home. We were trying to dodge the storms headed to our area and hoped we had timed it just right. Well, it didn't happen. Steve and his family left about 30 to 45 minutes before we had and they managed to miss a tornado that crossed the road to home. As we approached the same area, the road was blocked off and we were about 20 cars out from the damage from that tornado.

While we patiently sat there waiting for news of the hold up, I was on the phone with both my boyfriend and parents trying to find an alternate route to miss the ominous clouds approaching from the rear. According to the fireman there was a store in the road ahead and they were trying to move the debris out of the way to move traffic along. Meanwhile the storm had dropped heavy rain and then pea sized hail on us and the winds were picking up. As the sky turned a funny color green-gray, my boyfriend was mapping the storm and assured us that we were at the north end of that cell. Thank goodness he was right!

My parents suggested we return to their home and spend the night until all of the storms had passed. No sooner than they had offered refuge, the debris was removed enough that we were able to safely travel homeward. Once we arrived home, we settled in for a peaceful night's sleep, or so we thought. Unfortunately, my back was not going to cooperate. I had been suffering with what felt like a pinched nerve in my back and it would end up sending me to the ER for treatment. All is well, only a pulled muscle, easily treatable with meds and bed rest for 3 - 4 days. No problem!

Talk about a day or twists, first a twister, then a twisted muscle! Thought the day went rougher for some than others, there were no deaths related to the storms in our area, and the injuries were minor. Overall, it was a most thankful Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Time for a New View?

A while back my youngest child set up her television set and VCR in my room because she was home sick from school. What better place to set up a nurses station than in Mom's room. After all the bed is softer, it's larger for stretching out in, and there seems to be some comfort in selecting that room while she is at work. For me it reminded me that I need some sort of tv mount as there is very limited walking space in my room. In fact, there is less than 12" at the foot of my bed to run the vacuum through and around to the opposite side, thus making it difficult to add anything else to the floor space. A wall mount should do the trick just fine!

Thanks for the reminder, Jenn!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Alcohol Addiction: Genetic or Learned Behavior?

Being the parent to several children, one of the things we've discussed at great length has been the avoidance of illegal drug use and its abuse, as well as the use and abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs. As they each come of age our discussions are revisited, especially since they have biological fathers with different tolerances for alcohol.

My eldest children's father used and abused both drugs and alcohol. The youngest children's father neither abused drugs, nor drank in excess to my knowledge. Our children did notice he had not only started smoking for the first time in his life at age 39, but he had also picked up more frequent alcohol consumption. Since we were no longer together, I cannot be sure how any excess drinking would affect his behavior, nor how his genetic makeup would effect a dependency on alcohol.

While I can see my first ex-husband spending countless hours in an alcohol rehab for substance abuse, I wouldn't foresee that happening with the second ex-husband; that is unless he learns to be dependent upon it for comfort. My reasoning comes from having spent years with each. While one drank to disguise the aroma of marijuana or to get a buzz (which usually required more than a six pack), his abuse eventually lead to the use of harder drugs. The other drank moderately and only on social occasions, until our separation when the children would talk about his drinking habits during visits which were new to all of us.

Consequently, we all have agreed that since there might be a predisposition for alcohol dependency for some of our children, that all of them would do well to be responsible when deciding to consume alcohol as they reach that legal age of 21. After all, what is the purpose in getting drunk just to get passed the bad taste one has for the drink? Isn't it better to enjoy with moderation?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ladies & Gentlemen ... The Prom

Saturday was our local area high school's night for their JR-SR proms. What a night it was indeed. We had company for the weekend to assist in the festivities and to see the children in their best attire! Pictures to follow ...