She's an 8 month old Chihuahua.
I know I said I would never get a dog as long as we lived in this sardine can of a house but when this dog was described to me over the phone, I just couldn't say no. Kasey has always wanted a Chihuahua or a poodle because she thinks they are strictly indoor dogs and do not want to stay outside like our beagle, Shiloh, always did. We had to give Shiloh away before we moved in here. See, we live in a small house not 30 feet from the street with no fenced yard. Not a great place to have a dog, that's for sure. I've said since we moved here that I didn't want another dog until we had a fenced yard so that I wouldn't have to take it out on a leash to go potty.
Bubba wasn't none too thrilled to be getting a dog but I insisted and pretty much didn't give him a choice in the matter. He doesn't clean up after it, take it outside, feed it or anything else for that matter, so why should he care if we have a dog in the house?
Anyway, we are all getting along fabulously. She's a smart dog. Loves her monkey toys and loves the baby. We fixed up a small cable run out the back door. I clip the end of it to her collar, she runs out, barks at the dog next door a couple times so he won't watch her poop, does her business and comes right back up to the door when she is done.
And she sleeps with Kasey every night.....which Kasey just loves.
Kasey told me a couple days ago that she feels so much better since getting a dog. She's not lonely at night and she says she feels better having more responsibility.
Boy, does she have some surprises coming as she gets older as far as feeling good about having more responsibilities.....heehee
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Well, the holidays are upon us. I love this time of year. I love the family gatherings and having dinner, playing games, watching the Christmas specials on tv, just generally celebrating the spirit of family. There's something about this time of year that makes me feel so much closer to my family. We're a big one.....last count I think was 38 immediate family members in all. I'm so lucky and blessed to belong to such a big and wonderful tribe.
There's only one thing I hate about this time of year more than the traffic, the crowds at the stores and the nasty Merry Christmas versus Happy Holidays war.
It's the 'Scraps Debates' that happen after every meal. You know how it is....all the women are in the kitchen, Saran-Wrap flying everywhere, lid and bowl matching sessions in every corner, people are putting on coats, gathering their children, trying to get home before they pass out from all the overeating and you get stuck in the middle of the kitchen with.........
You want to take some of this turkey home with you? Why don't you take some of this pie home with you? You want to take some of these rolls home with you? Take this veggie tray with you and eat it later. You want to take some of this dressing home with you? You want to take....you gotta take.......you wanna......
Sounds like some sort of leftovers auction!
Because this scenario happens at every family gathering of a meal, it takes FOREVER to get out the door and get gone. I seriously dread saying goodbye. The mumble and rumble from the kitchen starts at that precise moment you say anything about heading home. The ripping of Saran Wrap starts up and if you don't quickly find your coat and grab the door handle to freedom, you're bombarded from all sides with a run-down of the days menu, just ready for you to take home.
I understand why some people appreciate leftovers while others won't touch them. I'm one of those that won't touch them, especially if it's any kind of meat. The flavors and textures are just lost when warming them in the microwave. And I can't eat a half of a bowl of cranberry sauce if I don't have all the other fixin's to go with it like the older generation can.
Because, you know, it's the older generations that instigate this behavior. They'll save every last scrape of foodstuff from a dish and make a meal of it later. Literally, I've seen two spoonfuls of corn saved in a butter dish before. I don't know if they think we're still in a depression or what.
I don't mind taking back the leftovers of the dishes that I brought, but if I wanted to take a bunch of other peoples leftovers home too, I would have brought my own set of butter dishes. I don't want to take all that crap home. I just want to get my dishes, get my coat, give my love and get in the car. I don't want your leftovers! Stop trying to pawn all this food off onto me!
You're giving me a headache.
How does it work?You'll be randomly paired with a partner who's online and using the feature. Over a 90-second period, you and your partner will be shown the same set of images and asked to provide as many labels as possible to describe each image you see. When your label matches your partner's label, you'll earn some points and move on to the next image until time runs out. After time expires, you can explore the images you've seen and the websites where those images were found. And we'll show you the points you've earned throughout the session.
For example, this image can be described by the labels: bird, sky, soaring, or frigate bird.
What is required to participate?
Although you do not have to log in to your Google account to help, logging in will allow you to keep track of your points. You can also choose to provide a nickname, or you can remain anonymous.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
This is freaky!
This letter and pictures were recently sent in to Field & Stream:
My son, Tony Zajac, of Grantfork Illinois, went on his first hunting trip to Franklin county in southern Illinois and shot his first deer. This deer is very unusual. It is a spike buck with 5 legs. I have attached a picture of this for your readers to see.
Thanks in advance,
Note: The date is obviously wrong on the pictures.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'm all for not smoking around children but if we don't stop invasions like this from coming to fruition, the government will be telling us what to eat and what to wear next. Besides, not smoking around your children should be common sense. As a former smoker, I had no common sense at the time. Hopefully I stopped in time to prevent further damage to my children and myself.
"Vermont, Washington and other states and counties already prohibit foster parents from smoking around children in their homes and cars.Arkansas and Louisiana passed laws this year forbidding anyone from smoking in cars carrying young children."
I just don't get it! What is the appeal of plastic plants? They rarely look real and because the point of a plastic plant is that one need not attend to it, they end up just sitting there collecting dust and being tacky.
And have you ever checked the prices of plastic plants? They're ridiculously expensive. Real plants are cheaper.
I appreciate the gesture of people wanting rooms to seem warm, inviting and comfortable, but I could live a perfectly happy life without ever seeing a plastic plant.
A SPECIAL ONE TIME TAX CREDIT ON YOUR 2006 TAX RETURN
When it comes time to prepare and file your 2006 tax return, make sure you don't overlook the "federal excise tax refund credit." You claim the credit on line 71 of your form 1040. A similar line will be available if you file the short form 1040A. If you have family or friends who no longer file a tax return AND they have their own land phone in their home and have been paying a phone bill for years, make sure they know about this form 1040EZ-T.
What is this all about? Well the federal excise tax has been charge to you on your phone bill for years. It is an old tax that was assessed on your toll calls based on how far the call was being made and how much time you talked on that call. When phone companies began to offer flat fee phone service, challenges to the excise tax ended up in federal courts in several districts of the country.
The challenges pointed out that flat fee/rate phone service had nothing to do with the distance and the length of the phone call. Therefore, the excise tax should/could not be assessed.
The IRS has now conceded this argument. Phone companies have been given notice to stop assessing the federal excise tax as of Aug 30, 2006. You will most likely see the tax on your September cutoff statement, but it should NOT be on your October bill.
But the challengers of the old law also demanded restitution. So the IRS has announced that a one time credit will be available when you and I file our 2006 tax return as I explained above. However, the IRS also established limits on how BIG a credit you can get.
Here's how it works.
If you file your return as a single person with just you as a dependent, you get to claim a $30 credit on line 71 of your 1040.
If you file with a child or a parent as your dependent, you claim $40.
If you file your return as a married couple with no children ,you claim $40.
If you file as married with children, you claim $50 if one child, $60 if two children.
In all cases, the most you get to claim is $60 - UNLESS you have all your phone bills starting AFTER Feb 28, 2003 through July 31, 2006 (do not use any bills starting Aug 1, 2006.), then you can add up the ACTUAL TAX AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR BILLS AND CLAIM THAT FOR A CREDIT.
Now if you have your actual phone bills and come up with an ACTUAL TAX AMOUNT, you cannot use line 71 on your tax return. You have to complete a special form number 8913 and attach it to your tax return.
Individuals using the special from 1040EZ-T will have to attach this form 8913 also.
One final point - this credit is a refundable credit. That means you get this money, no matter how your tax return works out. If you would end up owing the IRS a balance, the refund will reduce that balance you owe.
If you end up getting a refund, the credit will be added and you get a bigger refund by that $30 to $60, depending on how many dependents are on your return.
Feel free to pass this on for family and friends who don't have computers.
See http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161506,00.html for more details.
Now this would be fun to have! You could just whip this out anytime you felt like it. Far out!
When driven into end grain along a joint, these simple steel “clamps” draw boards tightly together for gluing up panels, table or bench tops, and can be used again and again.
Cooking By Numbers
Are you ready to cook? Get clicking on what you've got in your pantry or fridge and this site will show you what you can cook. Can't make up your mind about what to cook? Click "I feel lucky". Bon Appétit!
The World's Greatest Recipe Collection
More to come.......
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Postcard Christmas Card Cookies
Swedish Christmas Cookies
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
The VeinViewer by Luminetx™ uses a combination of near-infrared light and patented technologies to image vascular structures, thus allowing physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals to clearly see accessible vasculature (or lack thereof) in real time, directly on the surface of the skin.
The goal of the game is to transport everyone across the river. The rules are:
1. The father cannot be left alone with any daughter (without the mother present).
2. The mother cannot be left alone with any son (without the father present).
3. The thief cannot be left alone with any family member (without the cop present).
4. Only the father, mother, and cop can operate the boat.
Sounds simple? Fair enough - let’s see if you can beat the game: Press the round blue button to start.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Using traditional methods, the artists sculpted twelve life-size portraits of ordinary American citizens-representing twelve members of a jury. The heads were then laser-scanned, rapid-prototyped at small scale, cast in pewter in large quantities, finished with a hand-rubbed patina, and precisely affixed to hundreds of suspended cables.
Check out more sculptures by Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schechter.
Monday, November 20, 2006
While I think this cell phone tip is really neat, I don't see myself using it much. I'm never far from home or a computer but I still feel the need to know how to do this. The way my luck runs, I'll need to use it sometime soon after I delete it from my inbox.
The steps (given by Google):
1. Start a new text message and type in your search query
2. Send the message to the number "46645" (GOOGL)
3. You'll receive text message(s) with results
Try it out here:
My gosh! These are so adorable! I need one.......or two...or three. I could totally see myself talking to these plants.
"Oh, look at the tiny, little bitty baby. Aren't you a cute little guy? Who's the sweet little planty-wanty? You are! Yes, you are!"
Sunday, November 19, 2006
I do not like the MySpace website or any other website like it.
I am not going to let my kids post to these social networking websites. I mean, what for? They can communicate with their friends via email, telephone, IM, cellphone, text message or at school. Why let them set up a page on a website for them to broadcast their face and other information for all the world to see?
I used to have a MySpace page but I took it down. I used it mainly to keep track of my neices and nephews MySpace pages. It had my picture, first name and age on there but not much else to identify me with. But even if it did, I am an adult. I can do that if I want. I know what I am doing. Most kids don't.
While they still live in my house, my kids have to abide by my rules. And if I want to make one of the rules that you are not allowed to post your name, picture or any other identifiable information on the internet, then so be it. It will be known right from the beginning that it's not allowed and that I will be monitoring their moves on the computer. I will know what they are doing and who they are talking and sharing information with or the computer will be off limits. I have enough other stuff to worry about in my life than having to also worry about what my kids are doing on the internet.
Here's a couple links to pages by Bob Rankin that has a lot of useful information about MySpace and other social networking websites.
MySpace - Good or Evil?
How to retrieve a forgotten MySpace password
This part hit a nerve:
Kids on Myspace should be cautioned about not revealing their physical location to strangers, but there's another potential downside to sharing your photo, personal information and ramblings in an online public space... Landlords, employers and college admissions departments can (and do) use Myspace and other social networking sites as a part of background checks.That right there should be enough to scare any potential 16 year old looking for their first job to not post information about themselves on the internet. Especially if it's false information used to make themselves look cool for all their friends. Obviously, their friends aren't the only ones reading about them.
So if you've been turned down for an apartment, a new job, or didn't get accepted to the college of your choice, it's entirely possible that something in your online profile was a factor. It's also possible that a bogus profile created by a pranskster or malicious person may be reflecting negatively on you.
Plus, if you haven't had the chance to catch the show "To Catch A Predator" with Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC, you need to set up a time to watch it. The Dateline team has caught almost 200 men (predators) since the show started and more keep coming.....even ones that have seen the show! Most parents don't think something like this could happen to them or their child until it's too late.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
The best $9 I've ever spent!
We have such a blast with the Fling Sock. With very little effort, you can launch this baby 3 times as far as you could throw a baseball. And even the very little kids could throw it decent enough for the adults to play with them. So far, everyone we've managed to get outside with us and play, love the Fling Sock. We can't wait until it gets warm enough so we can get back out there and fling it some more. I'm going to buy another one so more can play at the same time.
Amazon.com carries them too!
I know a certain step-father that could use these too.....he's got the recycling bug bad but has a boring system for it. I know it works for him, but who wouldn't welcome a bright, colorful change like this??
Friday, November 17, 2006
According to this article at the Washington Post, cursive writing could become a thing of the past.
The Handwriting Is on the Wall
Researchers See a Downside as Keyboards Replace Pens in Schools
By Margaret Webb Pressler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 11, 2006; Page A01
The computer keyboard helped kill shorthand, and now it's threatening to finish off longhand.
When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters.
Actually I wouldn't mind it so much. When in school, learning to write in cursive was like learning a second alphabet. I can still remember how hard it was to learn and I dread it for my own kids. I agree that it might still need to be taught in schools as a means of being able to read it when needed, but other than that, I don't see the use for it.
Cats In Sinks
I don't know why. Just go there. It's cute.
For some strange reason, I am actually more interested in the variety of sinks and faucet hardware. Kind of like a secret peek into the lives of other people and their bathrooms and kitchens. Fascinating.
I am now convinced there is a website for everything.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
My house smelled so yummy. Getting sick of eating cereal or oatmeal for breakfast every morning, I decided to switch things up this week and make a whole bunch of muffins. I made 36 muffins in a little over an hour. Bubba and Kasey just loved it.
Then as I was sitting in my kitchen between batches, I would stare at my gorgeous Christmas Cactus plant. These are my favorite type of succulent. The challenge to get them to bloom every year is fun. I wish my house could be filled with blooms all year long.
I gotta go with Ron on this one. I'm sick of all the brouhaha about this.
Monday, November 13, 2006
'WAR ON CHRISTMAS' NOISE STARTS AGAIN
Social conservatives made a lot of noise about this last year. They're going to make an even bigger racket this year.
Already, Wal-Mart has announced it will use "Merry Christmas" in its advertising. The heathens at Best Buy, however, will use the generic:
"We are going to continue to use the term holiday because there are several holidays throughout that time period, and we certainly need to be respectful of all of them," said Dawn Bryant, spokeswoman at Best Buy Co. Inc.
Note to social cons: If you're serious about waging war, there are real ones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jibbitz are fun pieces that fit inside the holes of Crocs. Like jewelry for your shoes. Kinda fun looking but also look like something you would pick up at a truckstop convenience store. More for kids if you ask me but I hear even grown-ups are wearing them.
I'm not a fan of Crocs. I have a pair but mainly only wear them when I am watering plants outside. They're too utilitarian for me. I don't like the shape of them. And the colors aren't exactly wardrobe friendly either. Maybe I should get a white pair. That way they would go with anything.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
YUM! YUM! 'Tis so good!
What irks me is Country Crock has many other flavors that I haven't seen yet. I would love to try the Blueberry spread. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
After reading an article today about Michael Jackson and viewing the accompanying pictures (left), I've pondered this question:
Do you think we will ever find out all his weird secrets? Or will he carry them to the grave?
I mean seriously, the guy claims he hasn't had as much plastic surgery done as has obviously been done. (His nose is as pointy as a pencil.) He claims to have a rare skin condition that turns his skin white. (Look at that! He's as white as I am! But his nails are still brown....what's up with that? Ew.) Why can't he just fess up and admit to all this nonsense? Will he ever?
Anomalies Unlimited offers an excellent sketch of Michael's strange metamorphasis.
You gotta see this! In a way, I feel sorry for the guy. Anyone that could be that disturbed by their own looks so much as to do this to themselves over and over deserves some sympathy.
Normally I could care less about Michael Jackson (albeit I did have a tremendous crush on him during the early 80's Thriller stage), but with the articles coming out about him getting weirder and stranger by the day, I can't help but wonder how this story is going to play out at the end.
How do I use OneLook's reverse dictionary feature?
OneLook's reverse dictionary lets you describe a concept and get back a list of words and phrases related to that concept. Your description can be a few words, a sentence, a question, or even just a single word. Just type it into the box above and hit the "Find words" button. (Keep it short to get the best results.) In most cases you'll get back a list of related terms with the best matches shown first.
Why would I want to do this?
Here are some possible applications, with examples:
|· Find a word if you know its definition|| barrel maker, museum guide, |
search for food, urge to travel,
being tried twice for the same crime,
when cancer spreads through the body,
|· Explore related concepts||baseball, clouds, twisty, push|
|· Generate a list of words in some category||large birds, green fruit, Canadian authors|
|· Answer basic identification questions|| What is the capital of Vietnam? |
Who is Big Bird's friend on Sesame Street?
What is the longest river in the world?
|· Solve crossword puzzle clues, or find words if you only know some of the letters|
(Use pattern:clue syntax)
|??lon:synthetic fabric, s?nt?:christmas, l*ch*:fruit, ??????:hit, c*:board game|
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Granny Geek says this is the best salad dressing ever. I may have to try this sometime soon.
You won’t believe how two tablespoons of this dressing “wakes up” a bowl of greens. Besides, this is a perfect way to use up the rest of that bottle of capers that been hiding in the refrigerator forever.
Makes 1 cup
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 heaping tablespoons large capers
1 heaping tablespoon freshly-ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves
1 heaping tablespoon salt
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Combine the sugar, capers, pepper, garlic, salt and vinegar in a blender. Add the olive oil slowly until everything’s smooth.
Sounds good, but what the heck is a caper??
Oh yeah....I gotta get one of these! I have our cellar (partially) packed for emergencies because as most of you know, living here in Missouri where severe thunderstorms and tornados force us into shelters on a regular basis, you have to be prepared at a moments notice. Not everything we would need is down there though. I have a short list of things that I must gather to take with us when we head "down under". One of them is a radio. The only radio I have is a giant boombox-type. It's quite the handful. But with this little gem, I could just leave it down there with the rest of the blankets and water. I love the features of this radio....especially the built-in cellphone charger and flashlight. And it's a hand crank radio. I've never heard of such a thing.
Bean's Emergency Weather Radio
Stay informed and be prepared during a power outage or an emergency. The portable FR-300 radio broadcasts news and current weather conditions, has a built-in LED light with emergency flash and siren, and includes four adapters for charging common cell phones. Now available in a selection of exclusive translucent colors as well as camouflage. Great to have on hand at camp or while traveling in remote areas.
The hand-crank power generator charges an internal NiMH battery for power in case of an emergency. Features an AM/FM tuner, audio from TV1 and TV2 (VHF channels 2 to 13) and all seven NOAA Weather Radio channels. Nylon carry case for traveling. Can also run on three AA batteries, not included. Made for L.L.Bean by Eton.
Monday, November 13, 2006
I hate that feeling.
Bubba and Kasey left to go deer hunting Friday night, so it's just been Korey and I for the last few days.
Last night he calls to tell me that they are staying one more night and will be back Monday afternoon. So because they didn't come home on Sunday as previously planned, ever since I woke up this morning, I have been thinking it's Sunday. I missed a couple morning shows that I normally watch on weekdays. I nearly didn't get the mail out on time this morning, because in my mind, the mail doesn't run on Sundays. I feel like Sunday all over. Lazy. This is going to screw me up for the whole week now. What do you bet I put the trash out on Thursday instead of Wednesday?
I love these! Sure to brighten any childs day. Choose from 3 pages of note designs each with different sayings.
Alenka's Lunch Box Notes
Lighten Up Your Child's Lunch Box, Backpack, even a Pocket, and fill their school day with encouragement.
*There's editable notes too.
I love to read but sometimes I can't get comfy while doing it. I'd like to lay on my back and be able to hold the book up with one hand instead of two. This would be just the ticket.
It's little inventions like this that irk me. I have the problem this solves, so why couldn't I have thought of the solution first!?!?
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Thanksgiving is almost upon us! Let's talk turkey, shall we?
Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet
This site has more information than I could possibly ever tell you about. It covers everything from "How to Cook a Turkey" to "The Right Way to Store Leftovers". These easy recipes, menus, and helpful how- tos will help you simplify — and enjoy — Thanksgiving this year.
Why Do We Eat Turkey for Thanksgiving?
Although juicy and tender butterball turkeys are the main cuisine of today's Thanksgiving celebrations, these birds were NOT ALWAYS the most popular centerpieces on the first Thanksgiving tables.
Yes, this next entry is for real!
Season Shot is made of tightly packed seasoning bound by a fully biodegradable food product. The seasoning is actually injected into the bird on impact seasoning the meat from the inside out. When the bird is cooked the seasoning pellets melt into the meat spreading the flavor to the entire bird. Forget worrying about shot breaking your teeth and start wondering about which flavor shot to use!
|Load your gun with Season Shot and let the hunt begin. Watch as your bird is seasoned on impact leaving no harmful waste behind in the environment.||Forget about removing shot, prepare the whole bird for dinner! The Season Shot pellets will melt in the oven seasoning the entire bird.||Enjoy! No wasted time, no wasted meat, no waste left behind. Finally there's a better way!|
- The long fleshy skin that hangs over a turkey's beak is called a snood.
- The color of a wild turkey's naked head and neck area can change blue when mating.
- Male turkeys are nicknamed "toms" while females are called "hens."
- When turkeys reach maturity they can have as many as 3,500 feathers!
- Faster than a speeding bullet--Wild turkeys can run up to 55 miles an hour!