Sunday, March 25, 2007

Off The Map

For the second time this year I have seen a movie about a quirky family with a bunch of rich characters, each and every one full of love. The first one was "Little Miss Sunshine", the second was "Off the Map". To say this film is set in rural New Mexico is to put it a little mildly. I love stories which are just strange enough to be believable. This sure fit the bill. I definitely recommend you add it to your queue!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Tuesday Is Trash Day

True enough, Tuesday is trash day at our house, but we weren't counting on this being ready for the trash just yet. This morning, when my husband did search and rescue for his iPod video, it was a little too late.

Is there an iPodmedic in the house?
The outer part of the iPod has nary a scratch, it was in the trusty Acme wallet. But the inner crystal is cracked and hemorrhaging.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby!


Yesterday was my daughter's birthday! We celebrated her with this Alice in Wonderland cake and a couple of chocolate oreo mousse bombs. Thanks to the folks at West Point Market for the great desserts!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fun Friday Finds

Our local grocer runs a "Pick 5" all the time. You choose any 5 items from their special selection with a Pick 5 sticker on it and pay only $19.95. This used to be filled with great finds. Now it's usually enough beef roast for one person, less than two pounds of ground beef, sections of trail balogna worth only four dollars in the first place, etc.

Every once in a while there are cuts of meat labeled around the 7-8 dollar price range. Today there were six hams, around 9 pounds a piece, with a price tag around $30 each. So... 6 hams at $4 each = $24 for six hams, a $180 value!

I grabbed all six of them. I kept one for our house, gave one to my daughter's boyfriend, and sent the other four to my grandparents. Viva la ham! (?)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Terrific Thursday Treasure

If you have kids who have handheld video games, here's the best trinket (at an amazingly low price) you'll ever find to accessorize.

With the Ring Boy You get 10 game tabs and the ring for $3.95 or 5 sets for $14.95, both with free shipping.

I've bought a few of these, and they're great because all the games are on the rings instead of in the couch, car seats, etc. For car trips, especially, this is great. No more dropping one little cartridge and looking all over for it. The ring is very lightweight, so it doesn't feel cumbersome, even if you play with it attached.

*I think this is also a good idea for all those plastic cards we have to carry now. Blockbuster, grocery store discount cards, drug store discount cards, insurance cards, prescription cards, airline and hotel cards for points, etc.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tall Tuesday Tale... sort of

The following is a copy of a lunatic letter I sent to the people at Pentel in a desperate attempt to get refills for my favorite pen. Do they care about their (scarily) loyal customers? I think not.

They have not even bothered to send a canned reply. Uncaring group, they are!

Dear Pentel-People,

The one, the only pen I've ever used that was perfectly comfortable, perfectly fluid, always reliable, beautiful, and trustworthy has run out of ink.

This pen is like an appendage to me, I fell in Love with it, and, like a true girl in Love, I have eyes for no other. I can not be swayed.

This pen is the Pentel B460. It's a stainless steel click pen with a black rubber grip that's not too big, not too straight, not too soft, not too hard.Like that one bowl of porridge dear, sweet Goldilocks finally ate, it's just right. It's righter (sic) than rain. It's the bed Goldilocks could finally fall asleep in.

I'll admit I've tried. I've tried writing with other pens. My husband bought me two pens from Tiffany & Co. Those pens are pretty, and people gush over them, but they're all fluff and no substance. In my mind, my heart, my hand - there's only one pen for me. My B460 is best friend material. (I mean, "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" - People let me tell you 'bout my best friend - type of material- Gee, I hope whoever reads this is old enough to remember that show, but I'm probably going to seem totally insane anyway, so it's of minimal importance.)

Please! I need these refills or bears might eat me!

Now, I might sound a little melodramatic to you, but I've searched for years, in several countries, in several languages for these refills, all to no avail. Between you and me, I think there is a world-wide conspiracy to keep me from my beloved refills. If I don't get them, three bears might eat me! Goldilocks - she had a happy ending. What about me, Pentel-People? Can you help me have a happy ending? I don't want to waste your time with just a silly little refill - I'll buy 10 - I'll buy 20! I want to write with this pen for the rest of my life!

I need refills for this pen. I've become like a crack-addict and the Pentel KFLT8 refill is my drug.

Now, to you Powers That Be at Pentel, this request may seem silly. To people who know me, this request may seem silly. But to anyone, anywhere, who's ever had a favorite thing that couldn't possibly be replaced, this request makes perfect sense.

I'm a pen-nobody. They will never write about me in "Penmanship Monthly" or "Cosmo Pen". I can't influence millions, or even thousands, or even hundreds to use any certain pen. I might have influence over tens of people - I can be crafty that way. But, even though I'm just a wife, mom of 5, and seemingly insane woman who's almost 40, for heaven's sake, ranting about a pen in an email to a bunch of people who grace the cover of "Pen" every month, I hope my gratitude alone will make it worth your while to help me find refills for my trusty Pentel B460.

Please, can you help me?

Pretty Please?

Pretty Please with sugar on top?


My Name
xxxx My Rd.
My City, XX xxxxx-xxxx

(xxx)xxx-xxxx <--- my super-duper top secret cell phone number!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Magical Monday Memory


of my all-time favorite days was when the kids and I went to the square and took these pictures. They were all having a great time enjoying each others company. I remember at the time thinking they were getting so big. Now I look at these pictures and ask myself how I didn't see how little they were. I guess this is what it is like being a parent. The oldest is now a college sophomore, the second oldest will graduate high school this year, another will be a high school senior next year, and the youngest starts high school next year. Don't ask me where all the time went. I really don't know.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shocking Sunday Secret

I chose a sad secret this week. I always hope the sad ones are a lie, but I know better than to believe the fantasy I try to feed myself.

It reads:
"My husband beats me. When people ask about the bruises I tell them that I take kick-boxing. They are nice and pretend to believe me."

Note to 'friends': Don't pretend to believe your friend when what they really need is your help. It's not so nice.

If this is happening to you (or any kind of physical, verbal, or emotional abuse) then you need to contact your local battered women's shelter.

Before you say "No, no, not me, I can't go stay at the BWS" let me tell you something else:

They are not going to pressure you to stay with them. They don't have an infinite amount of money to spend on people, so they're quite willing to help women who don't stay there. They help you get a protection order. They offer you things like food and toiletries. They can send an advocate to court with you. They might find you an attorney who will help you at a reduced cost, or even free.

Before discounting their help, just call and talk to them and see what they can do for you. When so much else hurts, it can't hurt to give them a try. The worst that can happen is you hang up the phone no better off than you were before you called.

Please, ask for help.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Simple Saturday Suggestion: Work From Home


I file this thought of mine under the category of "It Seems Really Simple To Me" aka "Even a dummy can figure this out.":

Why doesn't our government (or anyone, for that matter) put pressure on businesses to implement more telecommuting? I mean, the technology is there. Pretty much anyone has it these days. So, why are every Tom, Dick and Harry still schlepping out to their automobiles and driving to work five days a week? Why aren't more and more desk workers spending anywhere from 1-4 days a week working from home? Here are some benefits I could see to this:

1. Less traffic in any given rush hour
2. Less wear and tear on vehicles for workers
3. Less auto accidents
3.2 Leading to less injuries/deaths
3.3 Requiring less emergency services
4. Less fuel consumed by Americans in general
4.2 Leading to less dependency on foreign oil
4.3 And less global warming
5. Families wouldn't need as many vehicles
6. Cost of auto insurance would be less with fewer cars and less accidents
7. Less energy used in the workplace
8. Less maintenance necessary in the workplace
9. Commute time could be dedicated to more work or more family time
10. Less kids home alone after school
11. Less stress

I can't find a single reason not to allow for most workers (besides service workers) to work at home at least part of the time. So why aren't there large numbers of people out there promoting this cause?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Ghostess With the Mostest?

The other day I brought home a bag of things from the drugstore. After that we went out shopping and came home with a few bags of stuff. The bag from the drugstore, with all the contents, has disappeared. I had put it on my bed. Now it's just - gone. Where oh where could it be? I ask because we have a lot of things disappear and reappear in this house. Strange things. Things we've looked for repeatedly later show up in a place we've looked. Even places we've looked in teams. Retainers have shown up in a retainer box I'd checked with Allison - twice. Earrings have shown up in a previously searched spot after being lost for months. There are other examples. Suffice it to say - we feel haunted by a mischievous ghost. I can't figure out what a ghost would want with a box of Tampax, some nail repair, and a nifty pen-sized spray of hand sanitizer/lotion. If you want to help me find it, leave a note saying where you think it is. If you are right, and I find the bag because of your suggestion, I'll send you a $5 gift card to Home Depot.

My friend has 'George'. She finds giant toenails in the mostly unused 3rd floor of her house. But that's a story best told by Manda herself.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Top Personal/Lifestyle Blog - Fuel My Blog

   Somehow I managed to beg for enough votes to be top blog on the personal/lifestyle page today. Since this may never happen again, I want to document it. Thanks for helping, and please click on the fire every day if you can.

I think I will celebrate this little victory (I'll take them where I can get them, thank you very much) by scouring the internet for another set of highballs.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Good Things DO Happen To Good People!


I went to Indexed today, as I do every day since I discovered it and saw this! Jessica Hagy got a book deal with Penguin's Viking Studio. Congratulations Jessica!

When I Say No I Feel Guilty... Do You?

Do you end up doing what other people want you to do because you don't want to be thought of as a jerk, a meanie, or just downright rude? Do you often hear yourself saying you'll do something you absolutely do not want to do? Do you fail to look out for your own best interests in the same way you'd counsel anyone you love to do?

If you are sitting there nodding your head in agreement you need to buy this book. I read this book many years ago and sometimes I go back to it and read parts of it again. I'd suggest it to any other person on the planet.

The author deserves a gold medal in the humanities.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The New And Improved Fuel My Blog


To improve is to change;
to be perfect is to change often. — Winston Churchill

If Winston Churchill knew what he was talking about, Fuel My Blog is the perfect pink-faced infant. Only born in December, Fuel My Blog is already undergoing a huge overhaul.
Today is the day of the big re-launch for Fuel My Blog. It's a new site, yet it's been redesigned, revamped, made over, fixed up, updated, reincarnated. Well, let's just say it's been improved. If you don't already have your blog listed at Fuel My blog, you should get over there and do it!
As of today there will be a forum, making the website truly interactive. There was a site blog, where one could leave comments, but a community can really take shape when there is a forum in place. Come on over to Fuel My Blog and read the bogs you find interesting. Read the forum. Write in the forum. Add your blog. Have fun!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Meijer - The Grocer Who Cares?

How's this for a grocery store (or any store) caring about the consumer? I was perusing the Meijer website today and stumbled across this:

The Program covers leading, oral generic antibiotics with a special focus on the prescriptions most often filled for children. The following are FREE with your doctor's prescription, regardless of insurance or co-pay:
Penicillin VK