Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts

Friday, April 1, 2016

Is It Real?

Or is it April Fools?

April showers bring May flowers, but the first day of April brings out the jokester in some of us. Here are some interesting stories I happened upon this morning.

Hip2Save is giving up couponing in favor of a singing career. Introducing Hip2Sing! Following her childhood dream of becoming a singer, Ms. Hip2Save is turning over the reins of her couponing empire to her trusted team while she pursues a different kind of spotlight.


Looking for Romance on the highway? Look no further. Check out the new Gas Buddy with BenefitsHere's what they are saying about the newest edition in the Gas Buddy lineup. 

What is more romantic than finding love at a gas station?” said Helen Johnson, expert relationship advisor for GasBuddyWithBenefits. “GasBuddy has been outstanding at matching users with the perfect gas station, and with such passionate users, there were sure to be some lovebirds that shared more than just their love for gas..."


Are you in the market for a new job? Like to work alone? Redbox has just the job for you! Here are some additional requirements. Hurry, this opportunity is valid online today only!

• Must be able to think "inside the box"
• Not afraid of the dark
• Skilled at stacking discs
• Yoga experience recommended


Please share any April Fools jokes you have fallen victim to, or instigated.



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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tuesday Wines, Wednesday Chores

This is Day 13 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is The day after last night. Please visit the other participants for more stories.

This topic could conjure up all sorts of tales from the truly bizarre to the painfully mundane. Last night was fun but definitely not bizarre, and today leans more toward the mundane.



The third Tuesday of each month is our wine club meeting (American Wine Society). We are currently meeting in a private room in a downtown restaurant, where many of us have dinner first. 

After dinner, we began with a half hour social where we chatted with friends, talking about our cats, the weather and the dreadful parking situation. 

During the meeting, Sara Gutterbock, from Mutual Distributing Co., gave a delightful and educational presentation of Ancient Wines for Modern Times, and we tasted two whites and three reds, all from Italy, as she talked in detail about the varietals, history, locations, and ideal growing conditions for each. 

These were not your run-of-the-mill grocery store wines, not that there is anything wrong with that. That's where most of mine come from, but many of these varietals are rarely found outside their region. For the whites we had a blend of 25% Pinot Blanco, 25% Pinot Grigio and 60% Tocai Friulano (now called Tai) and a 100% Garganega Soave Classico. For the reds, the first was a blend of  90% Monica, 5% Carigano, and 5% Bovale Sardo, followed by two single-grape wines, Nerello Cappuccio and Uva di Troia.

We sampled the wines with a variety of cheese, crackers and salami that complemented the wines, which were all available for order. We enjoyed them all, and ordered some for ourselves.

As for the day after, it begins with watching Netflix and writing this post while hubby has breakfast with a group of amateur radio enthusiasts. Then comes the more mundane task of hand-washing all the tasting glasses from last night, unloading the dishwasher and a host of other daily chores. 

Rumble, rumble, thump -there goes the garbage truck. The recycle truck will be along later -then we'll haul the bins back to the house. The neighbors across the street have a large piece of trench-digging equipment at work in their yard. It is 26 degrees, and I don't envy those working outside as we anticipate the onset of snow showers this afternoon.

Yep, just another Wednesday...the day after Tuesday night.



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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Out of Luck

This is Day 9 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Today's prompt is Slim Pickings. Please visit the other participants for more interesting views on this topic.



Have you ever gone to a potluck and find you were just out of luck instead?  There is a local event that I have attended a couple times. The decorations are tropical and the atmosphere is festive. There is music playing as people stream in to find a seat - friends and strangers sitting together at the many tables, each adorned with a centerpiece and a label. 

That label, my friends, is important. You must take note and pay attention. Each label on each table is an island name such as Oahu or Maui. To get to the food that each of you has lovingly prepared (or bought on the way) and carefully placed on the long serving tables, you must now wait for your island to be called. 

And wait...and wait...until all the other islands have been called and yours is the only table left sitting and there are three tables worth of people still in line ahead of you. By the time you inch your way to the front of the line, what looked like food for an army is now slim pickings indeed!

Now don't get me wrong it is a fun, hugely attended event and the staff goes out of their way to ensure everyone has good time...you just might not want to go hungry. In all fairness, my table wasn't always last - once it was next to the last.



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Friday, June 5, 2015

Timber!

Before
It was a sad day when we had our old maple systematically disassembled. The tree was still full of life, but losing the battle with substance. It had a hollow so large we could have rented it out. 


It was outside the bedroom window and if it fell, at worst we could be squashed, at the very least it would mean major repairs. We had avoided that decision far too long for comfort. Each ice storm or wind gust took us closer to calamity.

The team of tree removal specialists got the job done quickly and efficiently, and cleaned up after themselves. Watch the video to see one of their trickier maneuvers.




After
All that was left was the trunk, which was taken down in sections.  This was done about two years ago. The stump remains and the grass is beginning to grow back in where it had died out because of the dense shade. I miss that old tree, but a couple Mimosa trees have sprouted along the fence - I'll take them in trade.



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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Butterflies and Fleece

My wonderful friend, Ashley, made this really cute butterfly blanket for me for my birthday, and presented it to me when they were in town over Easter. 

As usual I am behind on crafty things and often jump on the bandwagon just as it pulls out of the station so I had not heard of the no-sew, tied fleece blankets. Apparently fleece is in now and to make it easier for the sewing challenged (yes, I am in that group) those with craftier minds than mine came up with this method.

The result is a beautiful blanket with a fringe and not a stitch of sewing. How cool is that?



She searched long and hard for colors and patterns that suited me. Cats and wine themes were not to be found, and anything pink was automatically rejected (I don't like pink...at all). Finally the butterfly pattern was selected, and a coordinating solid was chosen. 

To make the fringe, you lay the pieces together with the pretty sides facing out, making sure the edges are even. Then you make cuts into the fabric about 5 inches long at 1-inch intervals. When all the cuts are made, then you simply double knot the strips and you have a blanket. 

Being the curious sort, I wondered what else you could make using this technique and Google provided me with a plethora of styles, uses and methods. You can even fill them for a thicker blanket, make pillows, pet beds or ponchos. 


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Not Just Another Day!

February 18th is:

National Drink Wine Day

Cheers!
National Crab-stuffed Flounder Day

National Battery Day

Ash Wednesday

But most importantly

It is Hubby's birthday!


A great big Happy Birthday to my hubby!




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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

That's Our Girl

Is she looking for a little quiet time, or is she saying "Aha, the closet door is open...finally".  I wish I had a video of her approach.  You see even though the door was open there were a few obstacles in her way. 

This is just the spot for me!

While she was trying to figure out how to reach the shelf, she looked like a cat on a Pogo stick, bouncing up and down on her back feet as if trying to calculate the distance and thrust required to elevate her 12-pound self to her goal.  After a half dozen or so bounces she paused and tried to get in past the hamper. Nope, can't squeeze through the gap...more bounces. We were cracking up, trying to stifle our laughter so as not to scare her out of her mission.

She finally rethought her strategy and took the more circuitous route via a stool and a suitcase, then balancing on the hamper, stepped coolly onto the shelf.

"Well," I said "she's smarter than we thought."  Sometimes she gives the impression of being somewhat of a ditz.



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Thursday, January 29, 2015

Steamed

This is day 19 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Steamed.

Image Source: Bkt Tinggi BBQ
Steamed seafood is a favorite of mine.  There was a place on the beach in Florida that we used to go to for their steamed mussels. It was across the street from the Gulf, perched on the bank of the intracoastal. The view was fantastic and the mussels were equally as good.

We would sit by the window and order a bowl of mussels and a couple glasses of chardonnay.  This was accompanied by their delicious bread and butter. Yum! 

Sadly they closed, and even though they reopened a few years later in another location, it was not the same. I continue to order mussels but I haven't found any to compare to those.

On another note, I was a little steamed yesterday when a bottle of olive oil slipped through an opening in my cart and broke at my feet, dousing my shoes and jeans.  Ugh!



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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

That's Awkward!

This is day 17 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is That awkward dinner party.


We've all had that awkward moment..."uh, sorry,
am I interrupting something?"

Image Source: zhengman

Hmmm, it looks like things are about to get
awkward at the Queen's table!


Image Source: Yamino



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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ten Tips for Surviving Clutter

This is day 13 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Organizing.

Are you an "a place for everything and everything in it's place" kind of person, or do things just fall where they may and you walk around stuff for days (or weeks) and then realizing that what takes hours to sort through would have only take minutes a day to put away?


Do you say, "but I don't have enough storage"?  Do you find that getting organized is easy but staying that way is harder?

Here are a few tips to get you organized and help you stay that way.
  1. As suggested above, the first step in organization is finding a place for everything.  For example if your shoes are scattered from the back door to the bedroom, try getting some plastic shoe boxes with lids and storing them on a shelf in your closet. If you still have the original boxes just use those.

  2. Trying to find a receipt for the appliance you bought six months ago can be challenging.  Get a file box or accordion file folder and staple the receipt to the instruction manual and file it under the appropriate letter such as C for camera, instead of N for Nikon.

  3. Does tax time role around and have you scrambling to gather all the pertinent information you have saved throughout the year?  At the beginning of each year, make up a folder labeled 2015 Tax Information.  When you get receipts, pay taxes, make donations, etc., place the documents in the folder and you're good to at tax time.

  4. Don't be a collector unless you are into Art.  Freebies are fine, but a dozen coffee mugs or T-shirts that you don't use or wear just take up valuable space and add to the clutter.  A good rule of thumb is when something comes in - something else goes out.

  5. Eliminating duplicates is another way of decluttering.  If you have already collected those 12 coffee mug or T-shirts, try winnowing it down to your two favorites and donate the rest.

  6. If lack of space is an issue, try and find interesting and decorative ways of adding more storage. Invest in a closet organizer, or put up shelves in the bathroom to hold towels and other toiletries. If you have room consider adding a baker's rack in the kitchen.

  7. Is your closet bulging with clothes that no longer fit or that you haven't worn since Reagan was in office? On the whole, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time and the rest just hang there collecting dust, so cull out the overlooked, unloved clothes from decades past and donate them. They are now called vintage clothing and there is a market for them.

  8. Are you constantly misplacing things or making laps around the house to find your keys?  Try installing a hook by the door for your keys. Add a shelf for your sunglasses or other miscellaneous items you grab on the way out the door.

  9. Do you find your spend more time searching for supplies for a task than it takes to complete the task itself?  Plastic school boxes or shoe boxes will help organize such things as your manicure tools, kid's crafts or school projects, art supplies, or letter writing (pens, note paper, stamps).

  10. Don't wait until clutter overtakes you.  Remember it takes longer to dig your way out than to deal with it on an ongoing basis. You may want to tackle your kitchen weekly, and your closet twice a year, perhaps Spring and Fall.

What are some of your organizing tips or solutions?



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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

I Was A Newbie

This is day 12 of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Newbies.


Image Source: Bloglovin.com
No matter where we are now one thing is for certain, we have all been a "newbie" at least once in our lives. A new kid in school, a new job, the new player on the team, and a graduate entering the workforce are all examples of a newbie.

A recently licensed driver is also a newbie.  Remember the day you got your drivers license? Things are different now, but when I was learning to drive, I took the drivers ed classes and got my permit at 15.  The day I turned 16, Daddy drove me to the DMV, where I proceeded to take the written test, and then the dreaded road test.  That road test nearly did me in.  I turned the three point turn into four points and a few other minor infractions, but I passed. Afterward...Daddy drove me back home, or to school, I don't remember which.

At that point, I thought I had learned to drive.  I hadn't really driven a lot with my permit, so even though I had the license to prove it, my lack of experience meant I was still a newbie.

Shortly after I got my license, I convinced my Mom to let me drive to school one day.  So cool was I.  After school a friend and I drove the few blocks to Mayberry's for ice cream.  Ms. Cool had left her purse on the chair at school.  No license, no money and driving my Mom's car. Fortunately, we made it back to the school, I collected my purse and drove home with no one being the wiser.  Some things are best left unsaid.

What are some of your early driving experiences?




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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Gossips

This is day nine of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Dishing the Dirt.


This painting is titled The Gossips and was painted by Norman Rockwell in 1948.
Image Source: Gandalf's Gallery
Norman Rockwell paints the perfect example of dishing the dirt, and it is my expectation that the first lady in the painting said something about the gentlemen in the green hat on the last row that made him a laughing stock. He seems mighty displeased with her.

Who is the woman and what is her relationship with him? And in the interest of continuing to dish the dirt, what did she say?


There is more about The Gossips here including some answers.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Got Boots?

This is day eight of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Favorite article of clothing for winter.



In many areas winter means frigid temperatures, shivering, cold feet, wind-blown watery eyes and runny noses. In other places the seasons meld one into the other with barely a flicker of the thermometer. Whether it's parkas or bikinis, there is a staple in your wardrobe without which the season would be incomplete.

Here in North Carolina our winters vary broadly from year to year. Some are mild with only the merest dusting of snow, gone before lunch time. Every so often, however, we get a good (or bad) one, depending on your point of view.

That is when I pull out my favorite article of winter clothing, my snow boots. Not just any snow boots, but the same pair that have kept my feet warm and dry through several decades. I've even featured my old faithful boots here before.

Now I have coats and jackets, hoodies, and scarves and a multitude of gloves, but going out in anything except my trusty snow boots, would be like going out in bunny slippers.

What keeps you warm in the chill of winter?

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

55 Hotdogs

This is day seven of the 20 Days of Chill writing challenge hosted by P. J. at A ‘lil HooHaa. Please join me as we share a month of reading, writing and discovery. Today's topic is Ten hotdogs.

Do you remember the nursery rhyme about 10 little indians?  If not, it goes like this:




If for some crazy reason you can't see the video, click here.

Vienna has claimed the wiener for over 500 years, and Germany is likely be the first to put their dachshund sausages in a bun.  Whether you call them wieners or frankfurters, dogs or pigs in blankets, almost everyone likes a good hot dog. Whether they are fried, steamed or grilled, there are a multitude of different ways to dress them. You can get them from the diner, the ballgame or a hot dog stand or your own back yard.  There are even eating contests to see how many you can eat in a specified number of minutes.  So how do you like your dogs?


Let's see how many you can eat!

One little 
Image Source: Wikipedia
Two little 
Image Source: Joseph Devon
Three little hot dogs
Image Source: Wikipedia
Four little 
Image Source: Freestockphotos.biz
Five little 
Image Source: Modified from Sh4rp_i
Six little hot dogs
Image Source: Arnold Gatilao
Seven little 
Image Source: Freestockphotos.biz
Eight little 
Image Source: Irish Fireside
Nine little hot dogs
Image Source: Wikimedia
Wow, ten little hot dogs - Boy, that's a lot of wieners!
Image Source: Wikipedia

  Fifty-five to be exact!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Secret Ingredient

This is day three of the January writing challenge hosted by P. J. at the 'lilhoohaa blog. Let's join in and share a month of reading, writing and discovery.  Today's topic is Willly Wonka's greatest candy making secret.

Image Source: Wikipedia
I saw this many years ago, but honestly don't remember much about it, so I Googled it. There are a lot of opinions ranging from those who think its a whimsical, fanciful movie for and about kids and that Wonka does no wrong, to others who are sure there is a dark, sinister sub-story playing out within the factory.  One reviewer went to far as to call it a "horror movie in disguise as a children's movie".

Apparently there is some secret ingredient or method that makes his confections superior to others. Let's use some imagination shall we.  It's 1971 and the Willy Wonka is offering factory tours to the children. Little kids flock by the hundreds, lured by dreams of endless chocolate...tempted by tasty treats offered by the master chocolatier himself.

So what's the secret?  Does he use the finest cocoa beans, or maybe his cousin's best friend's great-grandmother's recipe? Some folks even believe that it was the children themselves. Why else would he give special tours of the chocolate factory if not to steal their sugary goodness. You know they are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Wait, that would explain the girls, but what about the boys? Snips and snails, and...oh no...not puppy dog tails.  That's just awful-all those poor, tailless puppies running around, all in the name of great candy. That definitely leaves a bad taste in my mouth!



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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Class of 1943


Today would have been Mom's 89th birthday. Seventy-one years ago she graduated from the Mattanawcook Academy. The academy was founded in 1847 as Lincoln High School. The name was changed to Mattanawcook Academy in 1850.  Today it is part of Regional School Unit No. 67, which includes Mattanawcook Junior High School, and Ella P. Burr Elementary School.

Here are some facts and other tidbits about her home town.

Lincoln was a small town with a population (according to the 1940 census) of 3,653, and the major business in the area centered around sawmills along the Penobscot River and the pulp and paper mill.  Mom's younger brother worked for a while in the paper mill, and if you have ever smelled a paper mill in production, it is not a scent you will forget.

As of the 2010 census, Lincoln had a population of 5,085 and having increased less than 1,500 in 70 years, it is still a small town.

Every area has their signature food, and a favorite of mine is the New England staple...Bean Hole Beans.  These are absolutely a treat.  First dig a big hole and build a fire.  Then take a cast iron pot with a lid (I have one of these), fill with beans, salt pork (or bacon), onions, dry mustard and molasses.  Bury the pot in the pit of coals and wait...8-10 hours later you will have a delicious pot of beans. I remember Mom telling me about eating bean hole bean sandwiches for breakfast.

Above and beyond the bean hole beans, the food that brings me a sigh squeal of delight is fried clams, preferably those found at clam shacks along the beaches.  Others may favor the oohed-and-aahed-over Maine lobster, but give me a plate of fried clams (whole or strips) dressed only in salt, and I am one happy camper.


These are from the Sea Hag in Florida.
On rare occasion you can actually get good fried clams somewhere other than New England. While these aren't quite the same, they are a good substitute.

Along with the good comes the not-so-good.  Black Flies.  If you live or have visited in the northern states in the summer, you know about Black Flies. They bite, but even more irritating to me is the swarming around your face. They are tiny, a 16th of an inch or less, and they can get in your eyes, so you are constantly swatting them away.

While doing research for this post, I found a list of residents buried at the South Lincoln Maine Cemetery, also known as the Mohawk Cemetery.  A number of my relatives are buried there, including my grandparents, great grandparents and uncles.  There is an old wrought iron fence around the cemetery, and at the gate there is (or was) a water spigot for visitors to get water for the flowers.

There is a lot more to the State of Maine and the Town of Lincoln, but these are a few of the things with which I have a personal connection.  For anyone interested, there is more information at their web site Welcome to Lincoln.

I miss thee, my Mother! Thy image is still
The deepest impressed on my heart.
- Eliza Cook

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Links to pictures and more info are in bold.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life

It is day 23 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is There are things.  For more insight into all kinds of things, head over to WWFC.



There are things that make me
Happy
Sad
Angry
Frustrated
Crazy

There are things that make me
Smile
Laugh
Cry
Shriek
Pout

There are things that make me
Run
Jump
Dance
Skip
Sing

What are all these things?

Life!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's Only A Dream

It is day 22 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is It's only a dream.  Head on over to WWFC for a peek into some more dreams.

Fear rises, heart pounds
Silent scream, frozen in place
Eyes open, relieved

Image Source: BiblioMama
How often have you had a scary dream and were able to wake yourself up?  It seems when I'm having a dream that I know is going to end badly for me, I manage to wake up before anything happens.  Sometimes it me waking up just in time, but other times it is actually me telling myself that this is not real...it's only a dream. 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

What's That He Said?

It is day 16 of the Third Second Annual 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike at We Work for Cheese and today's prompt is Shakespearean English.  Put on your best English accent and join us for a Shakespeare festival.

Hamlet anyone?

"I ask to be or not to be, that is the question."  What kind of question is that?  Either you are or you're not.

"Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."  It's the Cheese!

"The rest, is silence."  Well that's [yawn] boring.

"Remember me."  Remember you...I don't know you.

"A man may fish with the worm that hath eat of a king, and eat of the fish that hath fed of that worm."  What?  Now you're just trying to confuse me.

Even Gilligan got into Shakespeare.




Three Little Pigs - Shakespearean Style!

Here we look at how a simple children's story might have been written in Shakespeare's time, as told by John Branyan. It's a tad long, but it's worth it.  


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