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

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:
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:
Five little 
Image Source: Modified from Sh4rp_i
Six little hot dogs
Image Source: Arnold Gatilao
Seven little 
Image Source:
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


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

There are things that make me

There are things that make me

What are all these things?


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'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.  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

What Does It Mean?

It is day 15 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 My ears are ringing.  Are your ears ringing yet?  No, well head over to WWFC for the latest buzz.

Image Source:
We've all had ringing ears at one time or another, right? You know that high pitch sound that comes on suddenly and other sounds are momentarily hushed.  It's obvious immediately when it happens but it goes away so gradually you hardly notice. When the ringing in your ears doesn't go away it is likely tinnitus, which commonly affects people over 40, and more often men than women. Medication or injury can also cause ringing ears.  

But this is not a medical lesson.  We're here for another reason. Superstition. That't right. Did you know there is a superstition about ringing ears? You didn't?  I didn't either. 

The superstition holds that if your left ear is ringing, then someone is saying nice things about you. But, if your right ear is ringing, beware because someone is speaking badly of you.  I had always heard that if your ears were burning, then someone was talking about you. This is better because you know if it's good or bad.

According to one source, you can break it down even further by not only left or right ear, but by the time of day the ringing occurs.  

11 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Left ear means a girlfriend or loved one is thinking about you.
Right ear means you will lose money.

1 a.m. - 3 a.m.

Left ear means you will have a quarrel.
Right ear means you will have a more serious dispute.

3 a.m. - 5 a.m.

Left ear means you will lose money.
Right ear means you will be rushed off your feet.

It goes on to cover all 24 hours of the day with such predictions as friends coming over, you will be taking a journey, you will have a feast, etc.   The writer states that these are the Chinese interpretations of ringing in the ears.

After all that, my ears are ringing, how about yours?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Bite at a Time

It is day 12 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 One Bite.  Now pop on over to WWFC and see who else took a bite out of this challenge.

Another One Bites the Dust

If you just want a nibble, how about an Amuse Bouche?
Image Source:  Becky Quan
For the heartier appetites...

Image Source: comindwork

Be careful who you invite for dinner.
Image Source:  DeviantArt
This post has been brought to you one byte at a time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Not What You Were Expecting?

It is day 9 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 Dylan.  Now get on over and check out the other participants at WWFC!

I expect many of you have seen this show which ran from 1997 until 2004.  Dylan McDermott, who played Bobby Donnell, was the recipient of the Golden Globe award for best performance by an actor in a TV series in 1999, and nominated for others.

But how many of you ever watched Dark Blue?  This was a Crime Drama that ran on TNT 2009-2010.    McDermott played the Lt. Carter Shaw of the LAPD, leader of a small, secret undercover team.  The show had fans, but alas it didn't make it past the second season.  

I know this is not what was expected from or intended by today's prompt, but sometimes you've got to do whatever floats your boat. All I can be is me - whoever that is. -Bob Dylan

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It is day 8 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 Damn!  Now get on over and check out the other participants at WWFC!

Sample game
There were a few things I thought of that could elicit such an exclamation, but didn't think any of those would be appropriate. Then I remembered something that happened a while back. Hubby and I play Word Feud on our phones.  This is a game similar to Scrabble or Words with Friends.  

Anyway, Hubby had a game going with a friend of ours, and after making a particularly good play, he got a one-word text message. We could hear our friend as if he were sitting at the table with us..."Dayum".

Thursday, February 6, 2014


It is day 6 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 Scatterbrained.  So check out the other participants at WWFC.

I was all set to charge through this writing challenge like a plow through snow.  I had pre-written the first four posts, and pulled the fifth out of my hat - literally at the eleventh hour, but now the hat's empty.  

I searched every nook and cranny looking for two words to string together, but all I found was dust bunnies and half eaten cat toys.  

I stared intently at the cat in hopes of gaining some inspiration, and she just looked at me as if to say this is payback for all the times you called me a twit.   

I went off in so many different directions it suddenly sounds like I'm a Phi Beta Ditz alumna.

Thoughts, elusive as the morning mist, have been bobbling around my brain like the head on a pigeon, never settling in one place long enough to put two and two together.  

So instead of coming up with some witty dialog, here I sit watching reruns and listening to the clock ticking off the seconds in my head.  

Scatterbrained?  No, but my low fuel light came on about 20% into the challenge.  I guess it's time for a fill up.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Getting Started in the New Year

With the new day comes new strength 
and new beginnings. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Welcome to 2014.  A new year, new adventures, new beginnings and new memories.  Do you make resolutions?  Do you start hitting the gym, begin diets, make a bucket list?  Do you suffer the disappointment of not keeping your resolutions, your diet stalls and you end up as a couch potato by the time the Super Bowl rolls around?

The new year is a good time to begin afresh, but the best of intentions fail when you try to implement too much change at once, at least this has been my experience.  

So I don't make resolutions for the new year.  Instead I set goals and continually strive to eat better, exercise more, stay positive, be nicer, be more organized (stay organized) and a whole host of other things.

Every time I fall off the wagon, I pick myself up, brush the dust off and remind myself that I can do this.

Here are some tips on how to start small and accomplish your goals (not resolutions).

  • Pick one or two things that you think you can do regularly. If you don't exercise, try walking for 15 minutes every day.  If you do work out, add a class, increase a weight, time or distance.  
  • Instead of a full blown diet, choose a healthy snack such as yogurt or nuts over candy and chips or water over sugared beverages.
  • Skip the numbers.  Forget the holiday statistics.  Don't focus on your weight in pounds.  Let your body be your guide.  You will know when things are working for you.  
  • Get organized one project at a time.  Change is overwhelming so don't decide to do a major overhaul in January and find yourself afloat in chaos come Spring.  Make a list. Compartmentalize each project so that you start and finish one before moving on to another.  This will keep your house in order and your sanity intact.
  • Try something new.  This can be anything from creative arts to taking a cooking class, learning a foreign language, travel or volunteering.  Find your passion and embrace it.
  • Relax.  This is something many of us need to work on.  We think if we are relaxing, i.e. "doing nothing" that we are wasting time, not being productive or just lazy.  Not true. Relaxation allows you to restore your balance, reduce stress and increase focus when you return to your activities.
Remember, starting small doesn't mean thinking small.  Whatever you dream, you can do.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cartoon Rosie

Do you remember when the primary function of a phone was making calls?   Not too many decades ago, phones were wired directly into the walls.  Now we walk around not only carrying our phones in our pockets, but the internet and multi-feature cameras as well.

I was playing around with the cartoon setting on my phone's camera the other day and this was the result.

This is what my Rosie looks like after having been cartooned.  It reminds me of an old paint-by-number picture.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Fluffernutter

This was my lunch the other day.  Hopefully the nutrition in the peanut butter offset the empty calories of the marshmallow creme - a gooey layer of carbs and sugar slathered on a slice of white bread.

The Fluffernutter was a phrase coined in 1960 for the peanut butter and marshmallow sandwich.  Marshmallow Creme (also known as Marshmallow Fluff) was credited to several inventors Emma and Amory Curtis in 1913 and Archibald Query in 1917, both from Massachusetts.  During World War I Emma Curtis created a recipe using peanut butter and marshmallow creme on white bread, which she then sold to Durkee-Mower Inc.  They changed the name to Marshmallow Fluff, which paved the way for today's Fluffernutter.  It soon gained popularity and has been proposed as the official state sandwich of Massachusetts.

The Fluffernutter is still most popular in New England, so what is a Southern gal doing eating one?  My Mom was from Maine and she would occasionally make them for lunch as an alternative to the many, many bologna sandwiches I ate.

Now that I've admitted it, who else enjoys a Fluffernutter?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Stalker

Stalking is something that happens to other people.  You know famous people, important people.  I never figured that would be me.  She is beautiful, I will admit, and I suppose I'm partly to blame for my situation.  I took pity on her and friended her because...well she lives with a bunch of real dogs.  

Now I find her waiting for me when I get home.  She appears from out of nowhere whenever I venture outside.  She boldly shows her affection for me and tries to force her way into my home. To get my attention, she throws herself at my feet, and when I try to leave her, she chases me down and trips me.  She even attacked my hubby.

To make matters worse, she lives next door and can scale the fence in two seconds flat.  Who knows...I may have to become a hermit.  Where is the "unfriend" button?

This is the face of a stalker!

She really is beautiful.

You know I'll find you!

Her moods can be as explosive as the pistol she was named for, but in all fairness to the lovely Beretta, she has calmed down some, and I no longer fear a feline home invasion.  Maybe living with six humans and a pack of dogs is sometimes just too much for her and she needs a little one-on-one with a cat person.  I can understand...that would make me a little nuts too.  I guess she could use a friend.


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