Friday, September 30, 2011

Celebrate Shelter Animals with Martha Speaks

Some of you may remember our experience with fostering puppies before we adopted Bella.  If not then at the very least you have to go look at the all the cute pictures.

PBS KIDS' Martha Speaks is partnering with the Humane Society of the United States to celebrate the great work done by animal shelters around the country. To celebrate this partnership, they're airing a special week of shelter dog episodes, including the brand new "Carolina Picks a Lily" beginning Monday, October 3, 2011 on PBS KIDS.  Here's a preview.

The boys and I enjoyed a special sneak peek of the episode and were reminded that adopting a pet is a life long commitment and should never be done on impulse.

Coincidentally, my birthday just happens to fall during the week of October 3rd as well.  So I've decided to donate one item to the Will County Humane Society for every comment made on this blog post.

Disclaimer:  I was sent a video of the new episode but was not compensated in any other way.  The idea to donate items to the Humane Society comes from bloggy friend Same Old Shannon.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Bitter 'Sweetness'

Prior to this post I have only shared this information with Whynot and my SIL, who is like a mother to me.

Yesterday's news of a new book about Walter 'Sweetness' Payton reminded me of how saddened, angry and confused I was when several years ago I read that letter.

It came in that tell tale European envelope with Air Mail stamped on the front and foreign stamps attached to the upper right hand corner.  At first I thought it was a letter from my Ciocia in Poland, but it was addressed to me in my maiden name.  Odd, I thought.  She knows my correct name.

I turned the envelope over and saw an unfamiliar woman's name with an address in Germany.  I didn't think I had any relatives in Germany.

I opened the envelope and stared at the papers in front of me. It was hand written in English.

As I continued reading, a sickening feeling formed in the pit of my stomach.  This woman stated her name and birth date, she went on to mention her mother's name and the town in Germany where she was born.  She wrote that she knew I was the daughter of Jan Kaminski, born in Poland and the year he was born.  She also knew that he was in the army at the time of World War II.  This was getting very eerie.

She claimed that as a soldier, my father, Jan Kaminski, and her mother produced a child during the war and she was that child.  That I was her half sister.

My head started to spin!  I thought I was going to throw up.  My father had died years before this so I couldn't ask him if this was true.

My parents didn't meet and marry until 1959, so it was not a matter of infidelity and yet this letter was very upsetting to me.

I read and reread the letter and then it hit me, the one tiny detail that was incorrect!  I realized that it was very possible that her claim was a lie and this woman was probably trying to scam me in some way.

I called Whynot and cried over the phone, he told me not to worry.  His standard response.  I called my SIL who was far more sympathetic.  I asked her to please not tell my mother, she didn't need to get all worked up over this.

I destroyed the letter and didn't think much of it until I read in today's paper about a newly released book about Walter.  I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but we own several items autographed by 'Sweetness'.  His first Chicago area home was across the street from my SIL's aunt and uncle and there are several pictures of my SIL and him in the neighborhood.  She still speaks of a kind man who always stopped to wave and say hello to neighbors.

#34 was human and therefore not perfect.  His wife Connie knew of the infidelity, the wife always knows.  But Brittney and Jarrett didn't deserve to have the image of their father tarnished.  The man is a football legend and to profit from his story when you don't understand the demons he was fighting is just flat out wrong.

RIP Sweetness.
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Ready to Ditch Your Car?

The price of gas is absolutely ridiculous lately.  I work at home and use my car only for errands and pleasure driving.  Whynot and Glitter Gurl are fortunate to work near home so their commute is nice and short.

An e-bike is a good way to get exercise, save money on gas and go longer distances.  State laws may vary, but here in Illinois the rider must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet. They do not require a license or registration and all normal traffic rules for regular bicycles also apply to e-bikes.

I'm not sure Whynot would be willing to try one of the men's bikes to save money.  But I could see Glitter Gurl cruising to and from work on of the sophisticated e-bikes.  The battery system has a range of over 50 miles on one charge.  She has a birthday coming up, I wonder if they come in pink or purple.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post, but opinions are my own.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I May Be Rushing Things

But it's almost time to deck the halls again.

In 88 days it will all be over.   


I love getting Christmas cards!  Especially the personalized ones with a picture of the family.  I keep those forever, really I do.  I haul out the box of decorations and I stop to look at the cards from Christmases past.  Whynot is  less than thrilled with me at that point, as I go on and on about how I know these people and gush over the beautiful card.

Eh whatevs.  

Christmas cards make me happy.

Once the kids grew up I didn't think anyone would care for a Christmas card with a picture of me and Whynot.  But this year I don't care, I'm sending out the most awesome Christmas card!

You love it don't you?  You're going to hang it on your tree and keep it forever.  You know what else?  I don't even mind if you send me the very same card, that's how much I love it!  But you don't have to send me the same card because Tiny Prints has hundreds of beautiful cards to choose from. 

Hurry you have less than 88 days!

Disclaimer:  Tiny Prints is providing me cards in exchange for telling you about them, all opinions are my own.

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A is for Apples and G is for Grilled Grandma

Once upon a little while, a family went apple picking.

Back Row: Augie Dawgs, Ink Man, Megryansmom, Glitter Gurl  Front Row: Ryan
They had a great time.

NOT The End.

Fast forward almost 20 years and they introduce a new generation to the apple orchard.

We're squeezing lots of outdoor fun into our fall weekends.

Check it out!  I'm a celebrity on Grandma's Briefs today!  Please leave me some comment love there (and here too).  If you're a grandma that would like to be grilled, let Lisa know and you could soon be sporting this awesome button on your blog.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Web Hosting

Do you hear the words web hosting and feel that you're listening to a foreign language?

Web hosting is basically the process of displaying files on the internet and is the backbone of the internet. Without web hosting, the internet would not exist.

When considering website hosting, there are several options available to you.  If you're a beginner blogger there are free website hosting services which might be a good idea while you practice your skills or if you just want to see if running a website is the thing for you.  If you have a specific plan in mind and have visions of a wildly popular blog, you may want to purchase a domain name and pay for a reliable hosting service.

I found that this page on Hosting Reviews has some very helpful information on trusted hosting companies for every budget.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post, links were provided, but opinions are my own.
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Sam’s Club Pink Promotion and Giveaway

Give back by purchasing your favorite cereal or snack! This October, by making simple everyday purchases at Sam´s Club, you can help support breast cancer education and research. Beginning September 19th, Sam´s Club stores will feature exclusive pink packaging on some of your favorite participating General Mills products in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For 5 years, General Mills has partnered with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Foundation to bring breast cancer support to local communities, and this year they are making their annual donation of $2 million to the foundation to advance breast cancer research and support education and community outreach projects.

Purchase specially-marked General Mills products like Cheerios and Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies at your local Sam’s Club and help decide how half of that contribution will be donated by voting at from now until April 14, 2012.

General Mills’ donations will be divided between two important Komen programs: the Treatment and Assistance Program, which assists women in securing care they otherwise may not be able to afford, and Prevention Research, which helps unlock the keys to preventing breast cancer. Voting results will be announced on Mother’s Day 2012.

To get you started, I am giving away a $25 Sam’s Club gift card.  To enter, please tell me what you're doing  to help the fight against breast cancer?  Winner will be chosen by using and notified by email.  Contest runs through Friday, October 7th.

Disclosure: The information and gift card(s) have been provided by Sam´s Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Road Trip-Part 3

We've been squeezing in every little bit of fun into our weekends before winter hits and I have so much to tell you, but first I need to finish up the Road Trip story.  Haven't read part one and part two yet?  What are you waiting for?   GO READ!  It's truly titillating!

We left Harrah's Metropolis after a nondescript breakfast at the hotel.  However, I wasn't leaving Metropolis without seeing the giant Superman statue!

Prompted by all that schweddy balls talk

So glad we were there on a Sunday!  OUCH!

Off to our last stop before Home Sweet Home.  St. Louis, MO.  Only 220 some odd miles.  The slot gods were much better to me in St. Louis.  Won back what I had lost and had the fun of playing for several ours on their money.  After having a late lunch in the Diamond Lounge we were headed back home.

Only four more hours, I could do this ride blindfolded.  Straight north on I-55.  Springfield, Bloomington-Normal, Towanda, which always makes me think of Fried Green Tomatoes.  Pontiac, Dwight, right past the slowest McDonald's in the entire universe.  Braidwood, Wilmington, Channahon.  Almost home!

I-80 looks clear, put the pedal to the medal we're almost there.  Two days, three casinos, four states and we survived.  That made a total of six Harrah's properties visited for The Great Race to Rewards promotion.  Which will give us plenty of spending money the next time we hit Las Vegas.  I can almost taste that big fat juicy steak at The Range.
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Switch to Straight Talk and Save

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Straight Talk for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

I love to save money, who doesn't? Every bit I save makes me feel a little richer.  With Android on Straight Talk  I can cut my cell phone bill in half and still get great nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity. There are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks.

Straight Talk has some great monthly plans.  The “All You Need Plan” meets even the needs of heavy phone users Hook, line and sinker with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data. Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web.  411 calls are included at no extra charge and there are no activation, reactivation, or termination fees.

Call a friend with Straight Talk International Long Distance Service, a flexible prepaid calling service that enables you to make international calls from your home, cell or office phone at low rates.

They have some great phones available as well.  Reconditioned phones are available from $10.00.  Smart phones, touch screen phones and app capable phones with Everything you need  like a camera, mp3 player, mobile web access, and blue-tooth capability.

For more information on Straight Talk, check out these videos on YouTube.

Visit Sponsor's Site
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Friday, September 23, 2011

School Bells

Sending a child to kindergarten can be an education for parents and grandparents, as well as for the little darling.  In just about a month, we've heard some very interesting stories about TOF's school days.

TOF's First Day of  Kindergarten

Augie Dawgs packs TOF's lunch everyday, sometimes he eats it and sometimes...well let me just tell you how it all goes down.

The first few days went without incident.  Ham sandwich, various snacky type things and a juice box.

And then we heard this:

How was your lunch today TOF?

I didn't eat it.  A mean boy took my sandwich away from me.


Yeah, he didn't like his sandwich so he ate mine.

TOF, don't let people eat your food.  Tell the lunch lady if it happens again.

I think the mean boy doesn't like Pa's bread (cinnamon raisin bread).  Can I have my sandwich on Pa's bread?

and this:

TOF, did you eat your sandwich today?

Uh huh.  The mean boy doesn't like Pa's bread!

and then this:

TOF, don't pick your nose.  Do you have bad boogers?  Do you want a tissue?

No, I have Play Doh in my nose!

What!?  Why do you have Plah Doh in your nose?

Well this werewolf boy...he's not really a werewolf,  just a boy who is a werewolf, but he's not.  He's just a boy.  He put it in my nose.

Augie Dawgs was at Curriculum Night and TOF's teacher mentioned what a great imagination he had and the wonderful stories he told her.  After hearing about his days at school, I shudder to think of the things he shares with her about his home life.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Yoplait Light Swap and Giveaway

Small changes can make a big difference over time. That's why Yoplait Light has created the "Yoplait Light Swap" to remind people that by making simple substitutions, like swapping one item from your diet per day for a 100 or 110 calorie Yoplait Light, you can cut unwanted calories and help yourself feel great about daily diet choices. Through swapping tips for food, fitness, and fashion, the "Yoplait Light Swap" can help remind you how rewarding one simple change can be.

Yoplait Light yogurt offers 33 different options to choose from in fruit, pastry and dessert flavors that contain around 100 calories or less, providing endless swapping options.

Like Yoplait on Facebook to share your favorite food, exercise and fashion swaps, find recipes and quizzes.

Visit Yoplait to download a printable coupon* for $1.00 off the purchase of three (3) cups of Yoplait Light yogurt to get you started with the "Yoplait Light Swap" today!

Plus, you can win a fabulous prize package containing:
  • (1) VIP coupon for a free cup of Yoplait Light yogurt
  • Insulated tote bag
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglass holder
  • Hardcover planner
  • Ballpoint pen
To enter just leave a comment telling me which of the 33 flavors might be your new favorite.  Winner will be chosen through and notified via email.  Contest ends on Friday September 30th.

 Disclaimer:  The Yoplait Light Swap prize pack, information and coupon have been provided by Yoplait through MyBlogSpark 

*This coupon offer for Yoplait Light yogurt is not valid in some states, including California, Idaho, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota and Tennessee.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cold Stone and Make-A-Wish Foundation-Free Ice Cream

Celebrating the 10th year of working together, Cold Stone Creamery locations will serve up a month-long fundraising celebration to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. 

Throughout September, every Cold Stone store will sell paper wish stars for $1 each, leading up to the 10th Annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social on September 27, From 5-8 p.m.  Enjoy a free 3-ounce portion of Sprinkled with Wishes containing Sweet Cream Ice Cream, moist Brownie, Rainbow Sprinkles and rich Fudge, to celebrate the event.

Cold Stone Creamery has supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2002, generating a total of more than $4 million in donations. That's enough to grant nearly 800 wishes - each one a life-affirming gift that makes wish kids stronger, more optimistic, more willing to overcome the obstacles in their lives.

Everyone is encouraged to make a donation to ensure that the 10th annual ice cream social is the most successful yet.

See the website for a location near you and find more information about Cold Stone Creamery on facebook.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Now This Might Be a Handy Tool

Several years ago, Whynot just had to have an iPod.  So off he went to the big blue electronics store to purchase one.  He brought it home and plopped it in front of me to program.  Thus began my love/hate/mostly hate, relationship with the iPod.  

I had no problem uploading music to the device.  Pictures were a huge pain, but I did it.  Videos, fuhgetaboutit! I just couldn't figure out how to upload movies and videos.  I often wonder if the newer generation iPods made that any easier.

ImTOO DVD Ripper makes DVD movies playable on devices such as iPod, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, Apple TV, PSP, PS3, BlackBerry, iRiver PMP, Windows Mobile phone, Xbox, mobile phone, NDS, Wii, and many others.

ImTOO DVD Ripper lets you rip DVD to any video and audio format quickly, easily and with excellent quality. Don’t worry about the disappointment of lost or scratched discs. Digitally backup your favorite DVD movies on the hard drive or watch them on your devices on the go.

Not a PC?  Then ImTOO DVD Ripper for Mac is the version for you.

Disclaimer:  This is a sponsored post, links were provided, opinions are my own.
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Monday...Nuff Said

It's been raining here for about eleventy thirteen days. 

The big NASCAR race in J-town yesterday was rescheduled because of the rain.

I am not a NASCAR fan at all.  But Augie Dawgs tells me that if it had at least stopped raining yesterday, they could have proceeded with the race.  She said they have these big blowers to dry the track.  When I heard her say that, I pictured those hand dryers in public restrooms.

I could just picture the grounds crew making their way around the track with commercial hand dryers to prepare for the race.  Then the announcers would say something like "this portion of the race is brought to you by Dyson Hand Dryers."

I think I'm the only one laughing right now.

Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post, links were provided, but the opinions are my own.
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Friday, September 16, 2011

Halloween is just around the corner! If you'd like to get more creative than cutting some holes out of a white sheet and calling your child a ghost, then I have the perfect website for you! offers the largest selection of children's costumes online at great prices. With over 3,000 costumes and accessories to choose from including superheroes and Disney Princesses, you can shop with your children for a variety of great costumes without the fear of seeing costumes that may be inappropriate for youngsters, like sexy kittens and bloody ghouls.

Dress Up RoomOne of the fun features on is their Dress-Up Room app. Just upload your child's photo to the app and see what they would look like dressed up in their favorite costume. You can even easily share their photos with your friends on Facebook! is the go-to source for children's costumes and they have a special offer for my readers- a special 10% off coupon code* for you to use. The coupon code is BLOGGER10. Get ahead of the Halloween crowds and get your child's costume tonight!

For all of the latest news on you can follow them on Facebook.

*All products are eligible for this discount. Coupon is good through Sunday, October 16th at 11:59pm PST. Merchandise total of $8.95 must be after any coupons have been applied. Discount does not apply to shipping, or sales taxes (CA only.) Coupon will be reflected as a 10% discount on the merchandise subtotal on the checkout page. Coupon cannot be combined with other coupon offers. Coupon is non-negotiable. Not valid for prior purchases. reserves the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized, altered, or ineligible use of a discount.

Disclaimer: By sharing this post with you , I was entered to win $100 to spend at

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Road Trip-Part 2

If you missed Part 1 go read that now.

Why are you still reading Part 2?  You'll miss important details.  Go now and read Part 1 first.  I'll wait.  I have time.

OK all caught up?  Good.

So we set out about noon on Saturday and drove.  Well, Whynot drove, I offered, he said later if he got tired.  Grr, later when he would be tired, I would be tired as well!  Traffic was surprising light , we were making good time and shortly into our trip we saw the welcome to Indiana sign.  Traveling south on I-65 makes for a nice boring trip.  Cornfields and more cornfields.

OH LOOK, it's the windmills!   

Let's stop for gas and a quick burger.   

There's the Veladrome.

In 1993 I got my first and only speeding ticket, just outside Indianapolis.  I've never felt the same way about Indiana again.

Seymour?  Really, because there is nothing to see there.  Whynot pointed out some thoroughbred farm we drove past, I wasn't really paying attention.  I-64, 3 miles ahead.  What the what?  Bridge closed?  Construction?  Thank goodness for GPS.  We arrived at our 1st casino destination.  Horseshoe, Southern Indiana.

Do you want to gamble first or eat?

Let's gamble, then eat.

I walked around looking for a lucky machine, popped $20 in and cashed out for $110.  Sweet!  This is fun!

Time to eat.  We had coupons for 2 free buffets.  Paula Deen buffets to be more specific.  I was looking forward to it.  Now after the fact, it's a good thing they were free, because it was nothing to write home about.  The food was overly salty.  The fried chicken was good as was this potato casserole I tried.  Mashed potatoes, sliced potatoes, bacon, onions and green peppers.  I had seconds of the potatoes.  I also had some stuffed pepper, the pepper wasn't tender and the filling was runny instead of meatball consistency.  The buffet was disappointing and totally not worth $24.99 IMO. 

Off to our second destination, home of Superman, Metropolis IL.  Me checking the map. Yes, a real live map.  I-65 south to I-24 west.

Ohhhh, so that's where Santa Claus, Indiana is.

You know who's from Santa Claus, Indiana don't you?

No, who?

Jay Cutler.  You know who Jay Cutler is don't you?

Yes, I know who Jay Cutler is!  He plays for the Bears.

Very good!

It was a little after 8 or 9 depending on whose time zone you wanted to use and we were the only car on the road for miles.  We couldn't even play the license plate game.  Long, dark miles!  Long, dark, boring miles!

You want to stop and say hi to John Gotti?

Not particularly.  Thinking to myself, can you even do that?  Go into a prison and say, I'd like to see John Gotti?  What would I even say to him?  Hi you're the Gambino!

Just a few more miles.  Another gas stop.  Gas stops in deserted places make me think of that guy who allegedly killed his family not too far from our house.  And the movie Deliverance.

11pm-ish, we arrived at our destination, Harrah's Metropolis, where we would be spending the night.  Checked into our comped room, big, clean, nice King sized bed.  After freshening up, we headed to the casino.  Not good my friends, not good at all.  It's small and dated and the slots were tight.  Stole all my winnings and then some.  We went to bed with sad faces and lighter pockets.  I slept incredibly well, considering I don't sleep well in hotels rooms.

There's more and it's just as riveting, so please come back.
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy 2nd Birthday TC

Happy Birthday my wonderful, mischievous, cuddly, brown eyed boy!  

Today you're TWO!

I can't believe two years have gone by so quickly already.  I can remember the day as if it were only yesterday.  It was warmer than today is, but just as sunny.  Pa was home with your big brother and I was at the hospital with your mommy and daddy, just waiting.  And waiting.  It was going to be a long day and night, so I came home for a bit to take a nap.  When I got back, Dr T announced that we probably weren't going to have a baby until sometime the next day.  Nana (GlitterGurl) was sad.  Her birthday was exactly one month away and she wanted to share the 15th with you. 

Always eager to please you arrived at 11pm. I immediately counted all your fingers and toes and the nurse announced your weight, 10 lbs 3 oz.  Another nurse stated that she would run down to Peds to get you some size 1 diapers because the newborns wouldn't fit.  You were a big healthy boy with a head full of dark brown hair.

Two years later, you're a man of few words, just like your Bahhh (Pa).  You say thank you, but refuse to say please.  You say love you and give the best wet kisses and big hugs.  Eat and nooooo are two of your favorites.  I often find you standing in front of the fridge, chowing down on berries or grabbing a stick of string cheese.  To say that you have a voracious appetite is quite the understatement.  You start to tremble on the exit ramp near Costco and when we enter the parking lot you scream Costco and yum yums.  Your other favorite place to graze is the Union Station Buffet at Harrah's.  The waitresses there remember you and always ask about you when you're not with us.  Sadly it's closing for remodeling in a week. 

You know exactly what you want and how to get it.  You're so confident and fearless.  And stubborn!  Lord knows where you get that from.  You won't take no for an answer.  We constantly butt heads about that.  You're such a free spirited, happy boy.  I find it hard to discipline you when you flash those brown eyes and big smile. 

I'm looking forward to the many adventures we'll share in the coming years.  I always want the best for you.  I want you to keep smiling and know that you are loved by so many people.  If we can make it through these terrible twos together, there is a great big world out there for us to explore.

I love you baby boy!

 Don't ever forget, I'm the best Mema ever!
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Friend's Divorce

Disclaimer:  This is a paid guest post, posted by Gaylord Campbell

My friend is getting divorced. It has been a very difficult time for her. When it first happened, I just tried to ignore the situation. I wasn’t trying to be a bad friend, but I didn’t know if she wanted to talk about it or if she just wanted to pretend everything was ok. I decided I would only talk about it if she brought it up. One day she finally told me she needed to talk. I felt so sorry for her. She said she was upset it was happening. During the days she was lonely and the nights were scary. I told her it would all end up better in the end. I would always be there for her and we would get through this together. I also went to and found her an alarm system to help with the fear. No one should feel afraid in their home. She is getting happier and dealing with it better each day. We were talking yesterday and she said she has found a hobby to during the day and the nights are less scary. I am so happy she is getting through this. She only deserves the best!
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They're Baaaaaack

This supersedes any travel updates.

It's causing me to have such horrible anxiety that I think I'm going to puke.

We last heard from them three years ago.  Fixed the problem and life was good.

Them being those blasted varmints....raccoons!

This time, we heard them early Saturday morning, 12:30 am to be precise.  I banged on the walls, and Whynot saw the ba$tard leave.  Durwood came by and fix the hole AGAIN, sprayed some ammonia (supposedly, raccoons hate the smell) and set a trap.  The trap sat empty, we thought he was gone.


5am this morning, I hear the scurrying again.  So I start banging and making all sorts of noise, but I'm not sure I heard him leave and Whynot was busy in the bathroom and couldn't be outside to check for sure.

So now, here I sit, anxiety level at an all time high.  A knot in my stomach so big I seriously think I'm gonna puke any minute.  AND I have to put on a brave face for the sake of TC!

An adult in the house right now would be wonderful.  Any takers?  I'll hold the ladder while you go up in the attic.

I have cookies.

Or maybe you want to buy a house?
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Road Trip-Part 1

I used to say that the true test of a good relationship was being able to hang wallpaper together.  If the paper was on the wall and you didn't kill each other, you had a good relationship.  But times have changed and wallpaper is so last century and so the test has changed as well.

Saturday, Whynot and I set out on a little road trip.  We didn't leave until almost noon, because...well, it's a long story...grab some coffee.

TOF had T-ball, Durwood had to work, meaning we would have to take TC to T-ball with us.  The child is like the Tazmanian Devil, meets Roadrunner and turns into a rabid raccoon.  He knows there is popcorn at the concession stand.  As soon as we get out of the car he makes a beeline for the stand and cries for popcorn.  He consumes 1/2 the bag in 2 seconds flat and then proceed to empty the rest piece by piece filling the bag with rocks and gravel, which he then throws up in the air.  This goes on before the first inning begins and then he stands outside the dugout crying, "TOF TOF ball!"  It makes for a long hour and a half.

I decided that instead of subjecting everyone to that drama, I would be a martyr and miss TOF's game so that I could stay home with TC.  Then I suggested that he spend Friday night at our house, so Augie Dawgs wouldn't have to wake him up so early.  Hehe, I knew he would sleep until almost 9:30 and it would be an easy morning for me.  Win, win for everyone!  Plus it gave me a chance to pack for our whirlwind weekend.

Harrahs Total Rewards has a promotion going on right now called The Great Race to Rewards.  We could each earn up to 60,000 reward credits for visiting participating properties.  So Whynot decided it would be fun to drive from J-town, to Southern Indiana, then to Metropolis and on to St Louis and back home.  I was a bit hesitant.  Fun?  Um, not so much.  I hate car trips.  They exhaust me.  Plus my long legs cramp up from sitting still for so long.

Obviously we survived, or you wouldn't be reading this.  Come back tomorrow to read more about our trip.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Top Ten Signs You've Made it Big in Blogging

#10 A reader names their llamas after you!

Introducing Megryansmom and Whynot Llama

They belong to my bloggy buddy Marilyn at The Fat Bottom Farm.  I'm not sure who is who and Megryansmom was originally named Dolly, but when I told Marilyn how insulted I was that one llama was named Whynot and the other one was not Megryansmom, she immediately changed Dolly's name.  That's bloggy love I tell ya!

Marilyn tells me, as far as llamas go they're pretty good, even though the only thing they scare off (or try to) is the pig. She doesn't think Megryansmom is expecting. (That's a relief.) She may be barren and Whynot has been emasculated.  (I had nothing to do with that, it was all his ex-wife's doing)

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Disney on Ice Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey-Review

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy. 

That's Disney talk for we came , we saw, we loved.

Wednesday night, we were treated to a delightful rendition of our beloved Disney characters on skates. This time it was all of our favorites from Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stitch, and Peter Pan.

I especially loved the scenes where Lilo talked about the importance of family.  It just made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside.  Feld really knows how to put on a production that everyone will love, from the youngest family members, right down to the grammas and grandpas.  Who can't help but tap their feet to the beat of Elvis?

I couldn't help but notice the two little girls sitting near us.  They were so excited about seeing Ariel and Tinkerbell, I could hear them squealing.

If you haven't made any weekend plans, I urge you to grab the kids, pack the car and head to the United Center, where parking is free for all family events.  You can still save $4 per ticket on all remaining performances by using code MOM1 at this Ticketmaster page

If you're not in the Chicago area, be sure to look for Disney on Ice Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey in your town.

Disclaimer:  We received complimentary tickets to the show, but all opinions are my own.
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Halloween Bunting Tutorial

Raise your hand if you've ever drooled over the Pottery Barn catalog.

Page after page of beautiful home decor and each one finds me foaming more than the last.  Thankfully the checkbook snaps me back to reality rather quickly.

This was my inspiration!

The Trick or Treat bunting above the doorway.  Isn't that just adorable!  Sure is, but not $29.99 plus shipping and handling adorable.  Etsy wasn't any better.  Some of them were selling for $40.

If I can't buy it on the cheap, my only option is to make it myself!

Off to Hobby Lobby, where I chose one yard each of three coordinating Halloween fabrics.  On sale for $5.59 a yard and a $2 spool of 2 inch wide ribbon that I thought was 48 feet long.
I had an idea of what I wanted the flags to look like so I just played around folding a sheet of newspaper until I got the desired shape.

My flags are 9 1/2 inches across the top and 12 inches long.  I added a 5/8 seam allowance and cut a pattern that size.  A rotary cutter made cutting the fabric pieces easier and I also flipped my template as I cut, so as not to waste any fabric. (Note-With fabrics that have an obvious picture or words, every other flag will be upside down, but that's OK, I just used that piece on the backside, where no one would see.)

 I now had 26 plus flags cut out.  I put two of the same triangles right sides together and sewed down the length of the two long sides, leaving the top open.  Repeat 12 times.  Trim the tip off the bottom and then a little up the sides. (about 2 inches)  This will prevent a big bulge at the tip of your flag when you turn them right side out.  Turn and press.  Crafting is the only thing I use my iron for LOL.

You now have 13 flags.  Trim the little bit of seam that's showing at the top and any hanging threads.

Back to the ironing board.  Take the entire 12 feet of ribbon, fold the width in half and iron.  Fold that in half lengthwise and pin the center.  Now take a flag and pin the center of the top of the flag to the center of the folded ribbon.  I then pinned 6 flags on the right, alternating the designs and then mirrored the pattern on the left.  I just thought it would look cool that way.  I also didn't leave any space in between, just pinned one flag directly next to the last one.

Once everything was pinned, I started at one end and stitched very closely to the edge of the ribbon all the way to the other end.  I had about 12 inches left on each end and so I made a loop on each end for hanging.

I think I like it just the way it is, without the lettering, but I am going to add those plastic spider rings on the ribbon in between each of the flags.  It's really hard to get a decent picture of the whole thing, I hope you can get the idea.

I also had enough fabric left to make 9 more flags, and I should have some leftover black ribbon in my stash, so I'll be making another bunting for Augie Dawgs!

If I'm feeling really ambitious I may make a birthday bunting for the boys, and Christmas and Easter.  It was a quick and easy craft, just the way I like them.  Who knows, maybe I'll make one for a giveaway.  What do you think?  Would you enter a giveaway if that was the prize?  Or would you make one yourself?

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Math

Is there a full moon or something?

I'm making a craft for Augie Dawgs (blogpost coming soon) and I have this spool of ribbon to use.  It says 4 yards.  I think to myself...awesome....48 feet of ribbon, there's enough to make 2 of this craft!

New math!

I'm sewing and my phone beeps.  It's GlitterGurl's Facebook status.  What?  Don't all of you subscribe to your kids status updates?  How else are you going to stalk them?

Anyhoo....her status says:
I asked a customer if they wanted a footlong or a 6inch..she says well how big is the footlong? SAY WHAT?! R U KIDDING ME? have no words
 New Math!
For the record, 4 yards of ribbon is not 48 feet, it's 12 feet!  And a foot long...12 inches lady!  
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Opening Tonight-Disney On Ice Presents Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey

We're ready!  And so excited to be heading to the United Center in Chicago later tonight for Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey.  We've never been disappointed with a Disney on Ice presentation.  The skating is so well choreographed, it's just a delightful show for young and old.

Did you know that it takes 10-12 hours to set up the production?  But only 3-5 to tear it down.  Reminds me a little of decorating for Christmas.  They haul all that stuff in 13 trucks!

I'm looking forward to seeing all the beautiful costumes.  Each character changes costumes an average of 4 times per show.  That's a total of 220 costumes. No wonder they travel with 3 sets of washers and dryers!

Get a great deal on tickets! 4 tickets for just $44 to the 7:00 p.m. performance on Wednesday September 7 or the 7:00 p.m. performance on Thursday September 8 at -- or save $4 per ticket on all remaining performances by using code MOM1 at >this Ticketmaster page.

Disclaimer:  I will receive free tickets to the performance for sharing this information with you, but all opinions are my own.  Photos courtesy of Feld Entertainment
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's Almost Halloween!

With Labor Day upon us and back to school behind us, it's time to start thinking about Halloween!

The boys have already chosen their costumes.  Any guesses?  I'm not doing a reveal just yet, but I will tell you that they are both within the same theme.  They are going to be so stinkin' cute again this year.  I even made them treat bags to match the costumes.

Remember last year?  My caped crusaders, the dynamic duo.

At Halloween Promo Codes, they have lots of ideas for saving money on Halloween including Coupons, Online Coupons, Promo Codes, and Free Shipping.

Halloween Promo Codes has put together some great deals found online for everything you could want for your spooky celebrations without breaking the bank.

Disclaimer:  This was a sponsored post, links were provided but the opinions are my own.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Upromise Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPromise for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Upromise is a reward program that puts money into a college savings account for your children by allowing you to purchase items in more than 800 online stores, 8,000+ restaurants, including thousands of grocery and drugstore items.

correct spelling_UPromise_Brand_728x90_static.jpg

With only 5% of people prepared to fully pay for the cost of college, Upromise earnings make it easier to help pay for those expenses.  Upromise members have received more than $600 million in college savings through their rewards program.  In honor of their 10th anniversary, it wants to celebrate all of the ways it has helped to fuel those sparks that made children into the people they are today and the adults they will become tomorrow.

Do you have a dream for your child?  I've only ever wanted happiness for my children, but that grand prize would sure help GlitterGurl finish up her degree and fulfill her dream of being an elementary teacher. You can participate in the sweepstakes by submitting a story, and then vote on your favorite stories by “liking” them. Upromise will give away $1,000 to 10 winners and a grand prize winner for $10,000 will be selected from the participants as well.

Read all official rules here dream wall official rules

Leave me a comment about the dream you have for your children and then go to the Dream Wall to submit your dream and enter the sweepstakes.

Visit Sponsor's Site
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Kalahari Resorts Giveaway

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kalahari® Resorts for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

With TOF back in school, we have a few 3 and even 4 day weekends coming up.  Both boys love the water and I can't think of anything more fun than taking them to a water park.

Kalahari Resort Sandusky has something for everyone.  There's a water park, with over 500,000 gallons of water, a lazy river, big slides like the the Zimbabwe Zipper which reaches speeds of 40 mph, and little slides too.

The Safari Outdoor Adventure Park features a three-level ropes course, 400 foot long Zip Line Tour, 32 foot high Adventure Climbing Wall and the Safari Adventures Animal Park where visitors can get up-close and personal with some really awesome animals.

Learn more about the amazing packages and special deals that Kalahari has to offer:

You can win a free stay at a Kalahari Resort valued at over $200!!

To enter, all you have to do is:
1.) Leave a comment on the contest about the feature or amenity you are the most excited to experience when visiting a Kalahari resort
2.) Tweet out a message containing a link back to the contest rules and the hashtag #KalahariResorts
Check out more information about the contest and to enter, visit:
Stay up to date with Kalahari by connecting with them on Facebook and Twitter.

Please note that I am not giving away the prize on my site, you must follow the link above to enter.
Visit Sponsor's Site
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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Disney On Ice Presents Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey

Disney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey
United Center: Sept. 7 – 11, 2011

Show Description:

Make imagination your destination! Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a journey into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch. Discover Ariel and Sebastian’s enchanting undersea kingdom; visit the Pride Lands with Simba and Nala; soar through starry skies with Peter Pan and his sassy fairy friend Tinker Bell; and say “aloha” to fun with Lilo and Stitch. You'll be captivated by the music, beauty and laughter in a journey so magical, you’ll never want to go home.

Receive 4 tickets for just $44 to the 7:00 p.m. performance on Wednesday September 7 or the 7:00 p.m. performance on Thursday September 8 at -- or save $4 per ticket on all remaining performances by using code MOM1 at this Ticketmaster page.

And as always, parking is free for all family shows at the United Center. Go to for more information. Facility and handling fees may apply to ticket prices.

Disclaimer:  I will receive free tickets to the performance for sharing this information with you.
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