Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm a Marilyn

I saw this quiz on Ginni's blog and took it on a whim. I was bit surprised at the results. Who are you most like?


Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Marilyn!

mm.marilyn_.jpg

You are a Marilyn -- "I am affectionate and skeptical."

Marilyns are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Be direct and clear
  • * Listen to me carefully
  • * Don't judge me for my anxiety
  • * Work things through with me
  • * Reassure me that everything is OK between us
  • * Laugh and make jokes with me
  • * Gently push me toward new experiences
  • * Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Marilyn
  • * being committed and faithful to family and friends
  • * being responsible and hardworking
  • * being compassionate toward others
  • * having intellect and wit
  • * being a nonconformist
  • * confronting danger bravely
  • * being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Marilyn
  • * the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind
  • * procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself
  • * fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of
  • * exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger
  • * wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right
  • * being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Marilyns as Children Often
  • * are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn
  • * are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger
  • * form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent
  • * look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel
  • * are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Marilyns as Parents
  • * are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty
  • * are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence
  • * worry more than most that their children will get hurt
  • * sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Top 100 Songs of 1980

I saw this on Cori's blog and thought that this would be a really cool one to do. Thanks, Cori!

Since Blogger doesn't have strikethrough, anything that's not bolded I either don't like or don't care about. You can be sure that most of the disco-style music from 1980 would be on the "I really hate that song" list.

The Rules:

A.) Go to Music Outfitters.

B.) Enter the year you graduated from high school in the search function and get the list of 100 most popular songs of that year (the top link).

C.) Bold the songs you like, strike through the ones you REALLY hate.

1. Call Me, Blondie
2. Another Brick In The Wall, Pink Floyd
3. Magic, Olivia Newton-John
4. Rock With You, Michael Jackson
5. Do That To Me One More Time, Captain and Tennille
6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Queen
7. Coming Up, Paul McCartney
8. Funkytown, Lipps, Inc.
9. It's Still Rock And Roll To Me, Billy Joel
10. The Rose, Bette Midler
11. Escape (The Pina Colada Song), Rupert Holmes
12. Cars, Gary Numan
13. Cruisin', Smokey Robinson
14. Working My Way Back To You/Forgive Me Girl, Spinners
15. Lost In Love, Air Supply
16. Little Jeannie, Elton John
17. Ride Like The Wind, Cristopher Cross
18. Upside Down, Diana Ross
19. Please Don't Go, K.C. and The Sunshine Band
20. Babe, Styx
21. With You I'm Born Again, Billy Preston and Syreeta
22. Shining Star, Manhattans
23. Still, Commodores
24. Yes, I'm Ready, Teri De Sario With K.C.
25. Sexy Eyes, Dr. Hook
26. Steal Away, Robbie Dupree
27. Biggest Part Of Me, Ambrosia
28. This Is It, Kenny Loggins
29. Cupid-I've Loved You For A Long Time, Spinners
30. Let's Get Serious, Jermaine Jackson
31. Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer, Kenny Rogers and Kim Carnes
32. Sailing, Christopher Cross
33. Longer, Dan Fogelberg
34. Coward Of The County, Kenny Rogers
35. Ladies Night, Kool and The Gang
36. Take Your Time, S.O.S. Band
37. No More Tears (Enough Is Enough), Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer
38. Too Hot, Kool and The Gang
39. More Love, Kim Carnes
40. Pop Muzik, M
41. Brass In Pocket, Pretenders
42. Special Lady, Ray, Goodman and Brown
43. Send One Your Love, Stevie Wonder
44. The Second Time Around, Shalamar
45. We Don't Talk Anymore, Cliff Richard
46. Stomp - Brothers Johnson
47. Heartache Tonight, Eagles
48. Stomp, Brothers Johnson
49. Tired Of Toein' The Line, Rocky Burnette
50. Better Love Next Time, Dr. Hook
51. Him, Rupert Holmes
52. Against The Wind, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
53. On The Radio, Donna Summer
54. Emotional Rescue, Rolling Stones
55. Rise, Herb Alpert
56. All Out Of Love, Air Supply
57. Cool Change, Little River Band
58. You're Only Lonely, J.D. Souther
59. Desire, Andy Gibb
60. Let My Love Open The Door, Pete Townshend
61. Daydream Believer, Anne Murray
62. I Can't Tell You Why, Eagles
63. Don't Let Go, Isaac Hayes
64. Don't Do Me Like That, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
65. She's Out Of My Life, Michael Jackson
66. Fame, Irene Cara
67. Fire Lake, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band
68. How Do I Make You, Linda Ronstadt
69. Into The Night, Benny Mardones
70. Let Me Love You Tonight, Pure Prairie League
71. Misunderstanding, Genesis
72. An American Dream, Dirt Band
73. One Fine Day, Carole King
74. Dim All The Lights, Donna Summer
75. You May Be Right, Billy Joel
76. Hurt So Bad, Linda Ronstadt
77. Should've Never Let You Go, Neil Sedaka and Dara Sedaka
78. Pilot Of The Airwaves, Charlie Dore
79. Off The Wall, Michael Jackson
80. I Pledge My Love, Peaches and Herb
81. The Long Run, Eagles
82. Stand By Me, Mickey Gilley
83. Heartbreaker, Pat Benatar
84. Deja Vu, Dionne Warwick
85. Drivin' My Life Away, Eddie Rabbitt
86. Take The Long Way Home, Supertramp
87. Sara, Fleetwood Mac
88. Wait For Me, Daryl Hall and John Oates
89. Jo Jo, Boz Scaggs
90. September Morn, Neil Diamond
91. Give Me The Night, George Benson
92. Broken Hearted Me, Anne Murray
93. You Decorated My Life, Kenny Rogers
94. Tusk, Fleetwood Mac
95. I Wanna Be Your Lover, Prince
96. In America, Charlie Daniels Band
97. Breakdown Dead Ahead, Boz Scaggs
98. Ships, Barry Manilow
99. All Night Long, Joe Walsh
100. Refugee, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last blog entry. There are some really great suggestions and I've already done my shopping for the stuff I'm going to use for the layout of the photo. I'll be going to a scrapbook retreat this weekend and I've already got all my stuff packed. When I return, I'll post a picture of the layout itself.

And without any further ado, let me announce who won the drawing. I took all the names from the comments (one per person), put them into a bag and had one of my trusty co-workers draw the lucky slip of paper. The winner of a handmade (by me) mini-album is...


Ginni G! Congratulations, Ginni! I'll get it right out to you when I get back from my weekend.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Calling all Scrapping Friends!

I found this picture in one of the many boxes of photos I snagged from my parents' home last Thanksgiving. I have yet to actually make any pages with any of these old, one-of-a-kind photos because "I don't want to ruin them". I have some nebulous ideas about what I want to do with this one, but I would like to hear from you some suggestions for titles, colors, point me to a really cool sketch, techniques for adhering it, etc. And in appreciation for your help, I will send you a hand-made accordion mini-album. Leave a comment with your suggestions and at the end of September, I'll draw a name for this little RAK. Oh yes, the actual photo is about 5x7.

This is a picture of me and my little brother at my grandparents' home. I was about three, he was less than a year. What can you make of this?



Thanks for looking and thank you for your inspiration!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank you, Suzanne!

Thanks to my friend, Suzanne, for this lovely gift! It means a lot that you consider me a friend, as I consider you my friend, too.


And what good is friendship if you don't pass it on?

The rules for the "Blogging Friends Forever" award are:
* Only five people allowed
* Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog
* One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog or lives in another part of the world.
* You must link back to whoever gave you the award.
* The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.

Tammy - Life on Possom Trot
Colleen - Scrapping Granny (Yes, I know you already got it, but you are a faithful reader!)
Pam - Blah Blah Blog
Ginni - My Scrappy World (You too!)
Rach - Dutch Femka

Friday, August 8, 2008

Happy Anniversary, L'il Darling

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. We really believe that God chose us for each other and we are so happy that we found us. If I hadn't been a music major required to play in the basketball band in college and he hadn't had a bad day at work and wanted to play his sax, he would never have sat next to me at that basketball game and asked me out. There are so many "coincidences" that brought us together that we can only believe that we were led by the Holy Spirit to each other.

We've had our ups and downs, but then what marriage hasn't? Those things that have caused us pain have only worked to make a stronger marriage. And the good times have only cemented that strength. We have two smart and loving boys that are growing into smart and wonderful men. What more can we ask for, but many more years of loving each other and having more fun?

I love you, dear.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Weekend Creations

I was kind of busy creating things this past weekend. I belong to a reunion group (an accountability group) made up of women who have been on the Walk to Emmaus, a spiritual retreat. I've been with this group of ladies for almost 12 years now. Some have gone, others have come, but there are a few of us that remain together. Although I don't get to meet with them often, because of my job, I still feel part of the group. We had lunch together in July and I always take a picture, either at Christmas or in the summer, and send it to each of them. I made cards for each of the ladies in the group and sent them the photos in the cards. I made eight of these:



Part of scrapbooking is to use, well, your scraps. And an efficient use of scraps is to make greeting cards from scraps leftover from creating a layout. Being the backwards person that I am, I created the layout after making the cards. I wanted the layout to have the flavor of the cards, including some matching elements, like the quotes and stamps. I really like the way it turned out:



In addition to those projects, I am trying to keep up with a Challenge A Day on 123-Scrap, so this weekend the challenge was to make a layout from the pictures and papers we gathered in a different day's challenge. I had just gotten some pictures from my SIL from her trip to Germany with her best friend and their sons that I wanted to scrap. They'll go in my nephew's album for him someday, but I had fun with it. Without further adieu, here's familie:



(Sorry for the scanning issue and their names were put on the layout after I scanned it) Love you, DB!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Here's A Good Attitude Reminder

I read this on Pam's blog this morning. I hope you'll take the time to read it because it's a way of life in making choices. And it's based in part on my favorite scripture in Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So go out today and live your life with the choices you make, but not worrying about tomorrow, because worry won't change a thing!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Time For Another Blog Quiz

What kind of fruit are you?




You Are a Strawberry



You are friendly, outgoing, and well liked by many people.

You are popular, but there's nothing you ordinary or average about you.



You a very interesting person, and you have many facets to your personality.

Sometimes you feel very conflicted. Your different sides of your personality pull at you.



You are a very sensual and passionate person. You are fiery... you can't help it.

In general, you keep your passionate side under wraps. You are only wild in private.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If You Care

I received an e-mail link to this, but instead of forwarding it to everyone, I'm putting it here. It won't get any more coverage, but I would like it to be here as long as I can keep it.




God Bless Our Troops.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

This Will Make You Smile

I saw this video on Jennifer McGuire's blog and she was right. It made me smile. I even laughed. I hope you enjoy the enthusiasm in it.


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

YITL Cards

I was listening to Verdi's Requiem this evening only because my choir director was in the chorus. Turns out that I could probably stand to listen to it again. Can you tell I'm not a huge opera fan? Anyway, while I was listening I worked on catching up with some of the YITL challenges from Suzanne. Here are the ones I did this evening.

Proud

Happy

Garden

Spring

Time

Pink

Fun

Bloom



I still have a ways to go to get caught up, but that's okay. I know they still love me anyway.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Turn Out The Lights

I am not from this Congressman's district, but I wish I was. ( I really don't like my non-representative. I didn't vote for him and he hasn't had a challenger in many years, dang it! If I had the money, I'd consider it myself, but I'm not a politician. Aren't you glad?) If there was ever an argument for reducing government intrusiveness into Americans' lives, this little light bulb makes the point.



I'm not sure I want to have those bulbs in my house if the EPA has a three page warning and use sheet to go with them. I'm all for conserving energy, but being forced by the government to use a product that we don't even produce in this country? I truly believe that our government wants to sell out our country to the highest bidder.

Folks, I can't see Senator McCain doing this quite as soon as I can see Senator Obama doing it, but it doesn't have to start with the Executive branch to change things. Be sure that the representatives you elect are ready to fight for this country with all the might and power of the people beside them, not doing deals in back rooms with countries that want our natural resources and for our people to labor for those countries and to steal our pride. It's time to take back our beloved country and set the government straight!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Summer Reading

Do you like to read during the summer? I don't generally limit myself to reading in the summer, but that's traditional time for keeping the kids current. Too bad my kids don't like to read. A friend came to visit recently and on his drive up (about 5 hours) he was listening to a book on tape called The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans. Evans also wrote The Horse Whisperer. I hadn't read either one, but he said that Jumper was a really good story. I think he found driving difficult while listening to it. Anyway, after supper that evening, we went to Half Price Books because he had some books to sell and I love browsing there anyway. While he was waiting for his offer, I looked for either Evans book, but couldn't find them, so I wandered around looking at other stuff. I almost bought a book on making handmade journal books, but decided to save my pennies because I have enough projects going on at home already. Including de-cluttering.

When I caught back up with my friend, he had both books in his hand. I snapped them up and started reading that week. I first read The Horse Whisperer. I haven't seen the movie, yet, so I had no idea what the book was about other than it was about a woman and a cowboy. It was much more than that and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was very surprised at the ending, but I can understand it. I'll probably start reading The Smoke Jumper later this week or next week.



In other news, my younger child is graduated from high school now. We are so proud of him. He'll be attending the University of Texas at San Antonio this fall. I'm still waiting for him to get a job, but I suppose it will happen eventually. With the stuff that's planned for summer, he's concerned about getting a job that will let him take off the time he needs for vacation Bible school and incoming freshman orientation at the university. I'll cut him a little slack for now, but only until after orientation.



Since we've decided that we're going to be in this house for a while, we figured we ought to do some of the maintenance items we've been putting off. We'd have to do them to sell it anyway, but who's counting? We got two free toilets from our local water board to replace the old large-flow ones that came with the house (nearly $1000 worth of toilets and installation stuff) and I decided that before I would put one of those lovely new fixtures in the dingy, nasty guest bath, I was going tile the floor. That was over Memorial Day weekend. What a chore! That vinyl flooring glue was almost melded into the concrete after 22 years! It took Friday night and all day Saturday to get the floor prepared for tiling. But I must say that getting about 25 square feet of tiling done in a 3-day weekend wasn't terribly hard and it turned out lovely.

We had to rent a tile saw because the tile cutters we had weren't hefty enough for that tile, but let me tell you, for less than $150, we've got a nice new floor in there. Now I just need to think about tearing out the old wallpaper and painting and re-grouting the shower enclosure, caulk. Can you tell I'm not done, yet?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Hello Again

Well, it's been a long time again. I really need to get back on track with the blog, but life has been getting in the way.


Today is Mother's Day. I hope you had a great one. Mine was better than I thought it would be. We went to church and sang beautifully. My saxophone playing kind of sucked, but it was okay. I hadn't played in more than two weeks, so it was about like I expected. We sang "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" by David Kauffman and it was just amazing. We had a guest conductor because JD was at his brother's wedding in Ohio.


Between services, the Youth held Breakfast for Mom in which our youth served us muffins and coffee. It was very nice and I got to visit with the other youth moms, something I don't get to do very often. DS#2 even stopped my on my way to the coffee pot to get it for me. He's been sweet all day today.


After the second service, DS#2 went home and took our instruments for us so that we could go to the UTSA baseball game. DS#1 told us that if we were going to go to any one game at Roadrunner Field this year, today was the day. Their magic number to win the conference title again was two. They needed a win and Lamar-Beaumont needed a loss. We went just so that we could watch the game and hope to see a celebration afterwards. What do you think happened?

Meet your 2008 Southland Conference Second-Consecutive Champions, the University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners! (Photos from UTSA Athletics website)

It was a sight to see because the dugout was in the dark as to the outcome of the Lamar game. I was texting DS#1 in the press box, but he wasn't allowed to give out the status. I guess the coaches wanted the 'Runners to play their game and not worry about how the other team was doing. It worked. They were clueless until after the last out.

After the game, DH and I came home and rested. I made another layout for my Disney trip. Since I haven't seen my camera all weekend I can't post a picture of it and in fact, the camera will be going to Arlington, TX tomorrow with DS#1 to go see the Texas Rangers play the Seattle Mariners. The reason for that is the new Mariners catcher/designated hitter is leaving tickets for him at will-call. They're friends. When Jeff Clement was down here visiting his brother, a UTSA coach, during the off-season, he worked out at the UTSA facilities and DS#1 helped him out, gave him rides, etc. So they know each other. I hope he gets a few good shots with him and Jeff. He'll probably put them on the wall of his store, along with a broken bat that belonged to Jeff. Hmmm....

Anyway, after the game and us resting a bit, the four of us went out for supper. It was nice to have the family together for a change since everyone seems to be off in their own directions doing their own things. DH thought they should take me out for a meal for Mother's Day. We had fun. Even though DS#1 was tired and thinks his little brother is a moron, he still laughed at some of the jokes and had a good time. I know I did.

And in other news, DS#2 was accepted into UTSA last week for his undergraduate work. He graduates high school in less than a month and now I know for sure he's going to college. Yeah!!!

I hope that all you mothers have had a wonderful day in some way and all of you that aren't mothers thanked God for a mother who gave life to you. God bless you all!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blog Challenges #16 and # 17

Wow, I can't believe it's been two weeks since I posted anything. I'm going to start with Suzanne's blog challenges. If you aren't into reading long posts, now's the time to bail!

Blog Challenge #16
Do you have pets? If so, how did they come to be furry family? Write about them and their personalities. If not, write about a past pet that touched your heart. Please include photos!

We have two cats and a dog. Jericho and Jessica are ranch cats, no that' s not their breed, but where they came from. They were from a litter of semi-feral cats that keep the rodent population at bay at the family ranch. My uncle feeds those cats every few days when he's up there feeding the cows and goats. We had had a couple of ranch cats before Jericho and Jessica (Checkers and Pumpkin) that DS#2 was very attached to, but Pumpkin followed DS#1 to school one day and never came back. Checkers was poisoned by anti-freeze, probably by a neighbor. So we got Jericho and Jessica. They were supposed to be mostly outside cats, but they are mostly indoors now. Jericho must remain indoors at all times because he was infected with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in a cat fight. He can infect other cats, so we keep him inside. He misses outside a lot and spends every waking moment trying to figure out how to get out. Jessica has been immunized so she gets to go in and out. They both sleep with DH and I at night which drove DH crazy when they first started. He just kicks them out of his way now. Jericho curls up next to me at bedtime and puts me to sleep.

The two of them are somewhat schizophrenic because they'll be all cozy and cuddly licking each other and a split second later hissing and wrestling with each other. They've been sprayed with a water bottle so many times to break up the fighting that they pretty much ignore it now. They have learned that if they start wrestling at night to do it silently. DH has observed this, but I sleep through it. Jericho likes to hang out in my scrap room when I'm in there. He used to lay on the end of my desk, but since it's so cluttered, he's taken to laying on the top of the piano and staring out the window into the back yard. He's been trapped in there so many times now, that when I tell him it's time to leave, he'll get up, stretch, and casually make his way to the door.

Snickers was a stray that DS#1's cello teacher's wife found in the middle of the freeway on a rainy day. She coaxed him into her car with a Snicker's candy bar, hence the name. They kept him for a while as they tried to find the owner, but no one ever claimed him. He's a sweet dog and just hangs around waiting to be petted. We dog-sat him over Christmas one year while they took their dalmatian with them for the holidays and he got along great with Tango, our Australian Cattle Dog. We decided that if they were still looking for a home for Snickers that we'd take him as a canine companion for Tango. They were both outside dogs until Tango lost her battle with kidney disease. Now he's an indoor dog that loves to go outside with his people and for rides in the car. Doesn't matter whose car it is, he'll jump in and wait for it to go. Dumb dog.

Blog Challenge # 17
Where were you when something incredibly important happened on a worldy level? (i.e. the assassination of Kennedy, the destruction of the World Trade Centers, The Challenger explosion, etc.) Write about it.

I remember two major world events in particular - the Challenger explosion and the attack on the World Trade Centers. What is interesting to me is that for both disasters I was working in the industry most affected by each of them. I was working in the Space Sciences department at a research company when Challenger when up. There had been talk of my director actually being a mission specialist someday on a Shuttle mission. I was a college student at the time and I remember my "supervisor" came running into the room where all of us students worked and with real tears in his eyes announced that the Shuttle had exploded. I don't think he was so much affected by the loss of the souls on board than by the loss of any dream he had of being an astronaut. Not that this loser would ever be an astronaut! He really thought he would get to go in the director's place since he didn't want to go. I do remember, however, rushing to the conference room where they had set up a television for us to view the coverage. It was a really sad day.

On 9-11, I was working for a giant insurance and financial services company and I had gone to the cafeteria to get breakfast. As I was leaving the cafeteria I saw a large group of people gathered in the television room in the cafeteria. I stopped to see what was going on and it appeared that a plane had crashed into the WTC. I remember reading about a plane that crashed into the Empire State Building in the 50's, but the building was repairable, so I figured this was just another accident. By the time I got back to my desk, the word was out that a second plane had crashed into the other tower and I knew that it was no accident. Shortly after that someone in the area announced that the Pentagon had been attacked, too. As the news kept rolling in, people were achieving greater levels of shock. Since the company's primary customers were military folks and we handled a lot of their money, this was devastating to us. We prided ourselves on customer service and we had to be especially ready to deal with this event. Because they closed the Stock Market that day and the whole country was pretty much shutdown and everyone was frightened, senior management sent all but essential personnel home. I was allowed to go home. I know that at the time I didn't understand the full impact that event would have on our world, but I know now that our world will never be the same as it was before 9-11. I know that I won't be the same as before 9-11.

If you've hung through this long post, thank you for reading. Please leave a comment about your own experiences, or if you're doing Suzanne's challenge, then post a link.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blog Challenge #15

From Suzanne's blog:

Have you ever lost anything special? What was it? Did you ever find it?

I've lost a lot of things in my lifetime. Most things I've found eventually, but one thing I lost when I was a child was a special blanket that was probably a baby blanket. I used to carry it everywhere I went, slept with it, used it for a tent...all the things children do with a blanket. I even used it to cover the cage of a pet rodent I was carrying to school for show and tell. I remember it was very thick with a very special woven pattern. I've never seen anything like it, since. I don't remember it disappearing until one day I remembered that I hadn't seen it for awhile. I suspect my mother probably threw it away when I wasn't looking one day. It was pretty ratty looking, truth be told. Needless to say, I never found it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Got Your Mojo On?

Here's a place to use it:

Seven Random Facts

I've been tagged by Colleen. Thanks, Colleen, this is the first time I've been named in a tag! So without further ado, here is my response to the tag:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and leave a comment on their blog, so that their readers can visit yours.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 7 Random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 random people at the bottom of your post, linking to their blog. Let each person know by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I'm a fifth generation Texan. The farthest north I've lived is Austin and the farthest south is San Antonio.
2. I play (in the order I learned) piano, clarinet, saxophone.
3. I sing in the choir and have about a 2-1/2 octave range. Not bragging, just a fact.
4. I have two cats and a dog.
5. Since high school I've driven 10 different cars, three of which were hand-me-downs (two from my mother).
6. I've been married for more than 26 years.
7. Both of my sons are over 6 feet tall (6'5" and 6'2).

I'm tagging Ginni, Amy, Pam, Lisa, Bonnie, Tams, and Rach.

Friday, April 4, 2008

What Kind of Theologan Are You?

Found this on Tams' blog and thought it was interesting.






Which theologian are you?
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Anselm

Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'


Anselm


93%

Karl Barth


87%

John Calvin


80%

Martin Luther


67%

Jonathan Edwards


67%

Friedrich Schleiermacher


60%

Augustine


60%

Charles Finney


33%

J├╝rgen Moltmann


33%

Paul Tillich


33%


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Suzanne's Blog Challenge #14

April Fools! What memory does the word 'prank' stir up for you? Write about a time someone played a prank on you or you played a prank on someone else.

I think the best/worst prank anyone ever played on me was in high school. I drove a '67 Volkswagon Beetle then and usually parked it in front of the band hall when I drove to school. One Saturday, a large group of us went to Solo and Ensemble Contest in a town that was about an hour and half's drive away. We rode a big yellow bus as that was all we had and could afford in 1980. (It was a really small school compared to today's schools!)

When we arrived back at the school at the end of the day, I got off the bus, went to the band hall to put away my stuff and when I came back out to go to the car, it was gone! I know I had locked it, I always did. I had the key in my hand, so I know no one drove off with it. All the kids that were around heard my commotion as I went back inside to use the phone to call my dad and the sherriff's office. While I was talking to my dad, someone came in and said, "Karen, they found your car!" When I found out where it was, the only thing I could think of was that some of the football players from my class had picked it up and moved it about 100 yards to the other side of a building behind a fence next to the band hall. It was not visible unless you went looking for it.

No one ever fessed up to it. Hmm...

"No Good Deed Goes Unpunished"

My choir director, Jeremiah, asked me to play clarinet with his Junior Varsity girls' choir at concert and sight reading contest on Monday. I actually didn't find out about it until Sunday evening after I got home from the Kairos Outside retreat. No problem, though because he said it was easy and it was only about 16 measures.

I left from work with just barely enough time to get there. I had every intention of going back to work to make up for the time. I was taking a late lunch. It turns out that I didn't have enough time to eat. I sped (yes, I said sped) over to the school, which was about 20 miles away from work. I found the other clarinet player, a 7th grader from our church who plays with us sometimes at church and we waited for Jeremiah and his choir to show up. Meanwhile we warmed up and read through the music. Simple enough.

They finally showed up and when it was our turn we went into the warm-up room where we heard the choir for the first time and they heard us for the first time. Then it was off to the stage to perform. We played the bit of the one piece and after it was over, we put our horns away while the choir went off to the sight reading room. For those who don't know, sight reading is a contest where the group is given a piece of music they've never seen before, get a few instructions from the conductor and then perform it without rehearsal. It can be quite nerve wracking for everyone involved, including spectators!

I went out to the car to head back to work and this is what I found.


Yes, that is radiator fluid running from under the car. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon when I found this and about 9:00 when I took the photo. My camera just happened to be in DS#1's truck when he and DH came with radiator fluid to see if just filling it would work. It didn't. Inspection of the car showed that all the fluid had spewed out from under the radiator fill cap. I guess I drove it too fast. It's not the first time I've munged the thermostat in a car from driving too fast. It probably didn't help that the radiator fluid in that car was more than five years and 80,000 miles old, either.

I had called roadside assistance to bring me fluid, but they called a couple of providers and they all wanted to tow it someplace. No one would just bring me radiator fluid. Since I was 25 miles from home and there is an 11 mile tow limit, and I didn't know any facilities in the area to fix it at 6:00 PM, I called my DH to help. They came, about an hour and a half later. In the mean time, Jeremiah had left with his choir after offering me a ride on the bus back to his car, but I chose to stay with mine. Something interesting I noted, though, was that as I sat in my car with the hood up and the driver's door open, not a single person stopped to ask if I needed help. And I was in a busy parking lot! At a high school!

After two trips to the parts store for a socket set, thermostat, and WD-40, we still couldn't get the water jacket off without rounding the bolts. Jeremiah called to see if I was okay and he spoke to DH. When he told him of the towing dilemma, Jeremiah suggested we have it towed to his house since it was only about 5 miles from the school. What a life saver! I called roadside assistance back and told them we had a place to tow the vehicle. They got there about 45 minutes later and towed it away.

I got home at 10:30 that night, starving, cranky, and tired. I told my husband that no good deed goes unpunished and he jokingly replied that the next time anyone asked me to help them that I should just say NO! At that time, I was ready to take his advice, but of course I won't. That's just not me.

The car is now home with a new thermostat. DH and one of his co-workers went across town with tools borrowed from a mechanic-friend to get it fixed. Thanks Neil!

Oh yeah, after we called for the tow truck, two different people stopped within about three minutes to see if we needed help. Go figure. I think I would have had a few more offers of help earlier had I been on my side of town!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How's Your Spelling?

I saw this quiz over on Pam's blog and being the stickler that I am about spelling, I just had to take it.




Your Spelling is Perfect



You got 10/10 correct.



Your spelling is excellent. You also have a great memory and eye for detail.

How's Your Spelling?

Okay, I'm proud of myself.

Monday, March 31, 2008

"...I was in prison and you came to visit me"

The title is from the Bible, Matthew 25:36. My weekend was spent with a group of ladies whose lives have been interrupted by a loved one in prison.

Kairos Outside is a ministry aimed at women who have a relative or friend in prison. Or they may have been in prison themselves. It is sponsored by women and attended by women. The only men serving were in the kitchen cooking and serving meals. I've been involved in the Walk to Emmaus for a number of years and Kairos is an outgrowth of the Cursillo program, of which the Walk to Emmaus is also based on. Kairos is a Greek word meaning "God's time." This was a very special weekend for me because I have not served in this type of ministry before.

Two of my friends from church asked me to join their music team because they wanted a high harmony voice. They're both altos. I've always wanted to be on a music team with Sue, so I said yes. Musically it was everything I expected it to be. As for the weekend itself, I didn't know what to expect. I have to say that I was moved by the women I met. There were some whose husband was in prison and had been for some time. I was impressed by their love for those men and their willingness to wait for them, no matter how painful their lives are. Then there were women with sons in prison. They were the ones who struggle with uncertainty and fear.

I spent most of the weekend in a fog of catching up because I didn't keep the schedule and it wasn't as organized as I'm used to with the Walk to Emmaus, but that didn't keep me from feeling right along with these ladies. It was an emotional roller coaster all weekend, from laughing so hard I almost wet myself to crying so hard I couldn't sing when I needed to. There are so many things that I want to talk about, but can't because the motto for Kairos Outside is "What you hear here, what you share here, when you leave here, let it stay here." So, suffice it to say that this is one of the most powerful ministry retreats I've ever been involved in and learned once again that I am more blessed by serving than those I bless with my service. Praise be to God for all His blessings and goodness.

Oh, yes, if you happen to have a few spare dollars to donate somewhere, please consider Kairos Outside because guests and team members don't pay to attend, but food and supplies must be purchased and the facilities rented. You can find out more by seeking them out at many local churches or clicking on the Kairos Outside link. Thank you and God bless you!

Friday, March 28, 2008

What Color Are You?

Take this test!
You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

What Kind of Shoe Are You?




You Are Flip Flops



You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.



Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!



You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.



You should live: By the beach



You should work: At a casual up and coming company

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Easter is the most important season of the Christian calendar and as such it gets a huge celebration at church. Ours was no different this morning. We had a sunrise service at 6:30 this morning, which was very nice. It was lead by the youth and the message was inspiring. The pastor's daughter did the homily and she pointed out that growing up, when she wanted to learn about Jesus, it was from the Bible in the context of history, but she realized that Jesus is not just in the past, but comes to meet us from the future. How profound is that from a 16 year old?

Our next two services were filled with an amazing amount of music of many different styles. We had a choral and brass call to worship, a brass quartet piece, the praise music with band (including the brass guys, a flute, a clarinet, and myself on sax). We really rocked "Did You Feel The Mountain Tremble." Then we had a choral offeratory, and the final hymn was with brass, woodwind, organ (with a new console), rhythm, and choir and congregation. It was just beautiful and grand.

I don't know how, or even if, you celebrate Easter, but I hope that you were able to enjoy this special day of resurrection and hope for the future.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Survived the Band Trip

I finally am updating my blog after returning from the high school band trip. This may be a bit long, so my apologies up front. The photo album can be viewed from the link below.

WHS Band Trip 2008


We left on Friday after school was out for Spring Break. We took three buses, three directors, 104 kids, 13 chaperones, and a van with the banner in it. The trip was scheduled to take about 20 hours, but it was actually a bit longer. We watched about three movies before everyone on my bus crashed for the night. Of course the drivers had to stop periodically by law and most kids got off for those 15 minutes of break. We stopped to eat breakfast near Pensacola, FL on Saturday morning.

When we arrived at the hotel, it was about 4:30, an hour and half late. We had about an hour to get checked in and ready to leave for the Pirate Dinner Show. The show was a lot of fun with the whole restaurant divided into color groups represented by a pirate wearing the group color. Our group spread across red and yellow. The story was fun and there were some interesting games and stunts performed. The food distribution was interesting to watch. The servers had huge carts of food that they pretty much just slopped onto the plates in front of people. It was very much like cafeteria food and there was a lot of it. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

The next day was the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. I was in charge of a group of eight freshman boys and one sophomore girl, who is dating one of the boys. The band director instructed us to keep the students' passes so that they wouldn't lose them. So as soon as we were inside the gates, I collected them up and asked them what they wanted to do. Most groups ditched their chaperones and went off in groups of three or four. My group wanted to hang together and they didn't mind if I hung out with them. The first place we went was to Space Mountain. I think I really impressed the kids with my willingness to ride the rides. And let me tell you, we rode a lot!

The next day we added a person so our group because she wasn't having too much fun with her group of girls. We spent day two at Hollywood Studios and the first thing we did was ride the Tower of Terror. Everyone wanted to do it again after dark, so we made plans to come back. Before the ride we got Fast Passes for the Aerosmith roller coaster. So then we went looking for rides to ride and things to do until time to ride with Aerosmith. That was a lot of fun. If you like roller coasters, the Rockin' Roller Coaster is one to do.

Right around dark we met up with several other groups of kids to ride the Tower of Terror again. There is something to be said for cell phones because all the kids had them and were able to hook up just about any time. So we all got into line as a huge group. There were 17 of us. Turns out that a car can hold 21 people. One of the other chaperones, who came as our photographer and was hanging out with us, had the two of us bookend the kids in the ride. On the way up the hill we had a bit of drama with the kids. One of the girls from another group lit into the girl who joined our group that day for something that had nothing to do with anything. It's one of those teenagers in love things and there was a spat taking place. I had to call down the attacker and told her that wasn't the time or place for that kind of behavior. The one being attacked wanted to leave, but I wouldn't let her. As a chaperone I couldn't have a single girl wandering around on her own in a park full of strangers. Anyway, we got on the ride and had a blast, even in the dark.

We got through the day and onto the next, my birthday. You know what was bizarre that day? The two girls that were fighting, who were from the same group, were buddies again. That day we went to Island of Adventure at Universal Studios. My group grew again. I guess word was getting around that Mrs. B. was cool.

The started out with breakfast at Denny's where one of the other chaperones bought my breakfast. As I was getting ready to leave, some of the boys from my group were coming in and sitting at a large table. The student leader of my group got up and wished me a happy birthday and gave me a huge hug. I think that made my day. Later, at the park, the group chose to go to Island of Adventure since that's where all the thrill rides are. Our first ride was the Hulk. What a wild ride! We stood in line for more than an hour, but it was worth it.

After that we worked our way around the park riding rides and getting wet. The next to the last ride we rode was the wild river ride, the one in the big round raft. We loaded our 19 kids into two of them and we got soaked! When we got back to the get-off point, there was no one waiting to get on the ride so they let us go around again. The boat turned 180 degrees from the first time around and everyone who escaped the soaking the first time got it good the second time around. We got off the ride with teeth chattering and bodies shivering. The other boatload of kids went around third time. While we were waiting for them, we were wringing out our socks and clothing as best we could. It was cold, but it was so much fun! And we had just enough time to ride the Hulk again. What a thrill that was!

I got back to my room and immediately took a shower to get warm. The next day was packing up and loading up to leave from Epcot. By the time we got to Epcot everyone was exhausted. I think a lot of people were ready to just go home, but we had one more day of "fun." My group kind of went their own way. There aren't many thrill rides at Epcot, so we went to the first one that didn't have a two-hour wait time, Test Track. We showed up there with eight people, but most of them decided to not ride or go in the single-rider line. I ended up with our group's student leader riding with me. We had been riding everything together anyway, so I don't think he minded waiting with me. We didn't have a lot of time at Epcot because we had to leave. We even left an hour earlier than planned because of some expected bad weather. I think the whole crowd was happy to be heading for the buses to go home.

One thing that I discovered was that my tennis shoes weren't the best for walking and standing in line for all day. After the second park day my feet were screaming. I almost couldn't walk to the bus and I stil had to do chaperone duties after we got back to the hotel rooms. The third day I wore my Crocs. I was concerned about how my feet were going to hold up in them, but I did even better on days three and four in the Crocs.

I'm still sufferning from swelling in my feet and ankles from the bus ride home and no matter how long I keep my feet up, I still can't feel everything with them. My sleep schedule is just now starting to get back to normal, and I have to go back to work on Monday. But despite all that I had a great time and will remember this for many years.

Oh yeah, DS#2 was on the trip, but I gave him his space, so I didn't see too much of him for most of the trip. I think he had fun. LOL!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, 123-Scrap!!!

I'm preparing to take my son and about 100 of his closest friends to Disneyworld tomorrow, so I'll be missing out on one of the coolest things to do for a weekend (outside of visiting the Mouse). 123-Scrap is having their 4th Birthday Cyber Crop and everyone is invited. There are games, chats, lots of challenges, lots of prizes and lots of fun. I'll be thinking about the girls while I'm gone, but you can certainly join them for the festivities. If you do, be sure and leave a comment here so I can vicariously enjoy the fun!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Weekend Photos

Warning: This post has a lot of photos and is a bit long. Thx.

Over at 123-Scrap.com we're doing a Picture A Week thread. It's not really a challenge, just something to do. Since December, I've not taken my camera everywhere with me and when the call for this week's favorite picture shows up, I remember that I haven't taken any, yet. Saturday I saw the posting about an hour before sunset. So I grabbed my camera and went outside to see what there was to see.

The sun was still bright, but not immediately visible from the back yard. As I walked around the back I spotted the mountain laurel tree that has never bloomed. I planted it nearly 20 years ago from a seed I got from my parents' place near Austin. It wasn't so impressive in the pictures. I went to the front to see what might be there. I was actually stalking the cat because I had seen her walk by on the fence from my scrap room, but the camera batteries were both dead and I missed the shot. TWICE! So, while in the front yard I spotted a flower pot that I inherited from my mother. This flower pot is significant because I just finished scrapping a bunch of photos of Mom with her donkey, goats, and cows. My mother loved livestock and she got this goat planter in Mexico sometime during my lifetime. It's now in my front yard, so I snagged a picture of it.


I was also thinking about Suzanne's word for the week "garden." I'm thinking about putting a photo on my card this week. I thought that with the sun shining through the leaves, my iris bed would be kind of cool. But it's kind of weedy right now. It still made a pretty cool shot. Just ignore the dead grass!


Right above the iris bed is the neighbor's loquat tree. He planted it there about 12 years ago and it's kind of neat there. Although it can leave messy fruit droppings in the summer. Loquats have large glossy leaves that are very pretty to look at. One thing I remember about it was during the winter of 2006-07 we had a very severe frost and my son had parked his truck facing the tree. The next morning we came out and some of the leaves had frozen to the truck. When I backed the truck up to go to the store, there was a perfect loquat leaf ice sculpture on the hood! Well, that tree is putting on the first of its fruit now. And the sun was just perfect for this photo.


Then I started looking at other blooming things. The peach tree outside my scrap room window is blooming.


The pyrocanthus bush in the neighbor's yard had beautiful bright berries on it. And he just replaced the old fence with new boards. It took a cool shot, too.


His crabapple tree is blooming.


But my favorite picture of all is of a single peach blossom.


Happy Spring, everyone!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Singing the National Anthem

Singing the National Anthem is very important to me. I don't know why, it's probably just because I love my country so much and want to honor it. Maybe it's because I'm able to sing it. I always sing the National Anthem and I sing it out loud and proudly. I've sung it standing next to the marching band in the stadium stands while the home band plays and have had the kids near me turn to stare. Anyway, when this link was sent to me, I just had to share it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKCVS57j284

Online Friends

When I first told my husband that I was going to meet a lady that I knew from online, he freaked a bit. This lady is a scrapbooking buddy from 123-Scrap.com. Chris lives in California and when I went out to Anaheim for a class, I made arrangements to meet her. We had a lovely time eating dinner and getting to know one another. We had wine on the deck of a restaurant that sat high above the breakers of the Pacific Ocean. The plan was to capture the sunset with our cameras. That was in 2006.

This past weekend, I got to meet three other ladies from 123-Scrap.com. Pam came from the east coast, Tammy came with her family from North Texas, and Amy and her family live close to me. We met at a restaurant for supper and my husband got to meet a bunch of my online buddies and their families. I guess he's okay with me meeting scrapping friends, now!

I took this photo of the right side of the table with my three visitors.

Anyway, after we ate, we sent the families on their way and we went to a Friday night crop at a local scrapbook store (LSS for those who follow scrapping). It was a lot of fun to get to know these ladies and form closer bonds.

Amy took this photo in front of the Tim Holtz display.

I already know that whenever I travel for training I'm going to be looking for places that have scrappers nearby so that I can meet them. Sometimes we drive to Pittsburgh to visit relatives and I'm going to make it a point to swing through Alabama to visit SUZANNE. Consider yourself warned, my friend! I'll let you know when we decide to go to PA again. Probably next year or so, so you have time. :-)

Friday, February 29, 2008

YITL Challenge #8 and #9

I have a little time off and needed to catch up on Suzanne's YITL challenge. I know there are a couple that I still need to do, but I haven't forgotten them. Today I created cards for "Friends" and "Escape."



Whenever I think of friends, I think of the song written by Debra Smith and performed by her husband, Michael W. Smith. I discovered this song about the time that my best friend was about to move from San Antonio to Huntsville, AL. My friend brought me into a personal relationship with Christ and I'll be forever grateful for that. That's what friend means to me.



Suzanne mentioned on a forum that today's work was a tough one for her and I can understand why. Escape can mean so many things, but I think that no matter what the situation or circumstances, you can escape to your dreams and be happy at least for a little while. Escape to me means moving from a bad situation to a better one. What better way to escape than by dreaming?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What is My Favorite Appliance?

The blog challenge from Suzanne this week is "What is your favorite household appliance? Why? We want details! Include a photo if you can."

My favorite household appliance is my washing machine. This little gem is a Miele washer from Germany (although we bought it here) that can do amazing things with laundry. It's a front loader and is water efficient. I don't have to use a lot of soap, although it does require special soap, and I can stuff it full! When we bought it, I asked how we know it full. The installer/technician said that if we can't get a hand in between the clothes and the tub wall, then it's too full. They said it would wash 11 pairs of jeans at a time. And I've done it! I can put the whole king-sized set of bedding, including mattress pad, and still have room for some towels. The photo isn't my actual washer because getting a picture of it would require rearranging furniture (yes, my house is that small).


But here's the best part of the whole thing - I can set the timer on it to delay up to 9 and a half hours. Someone will put a load in at night, set it for about a 3 to 4 hour delay and when I wake up in the morning, I just toss it into the companion dryer. Clothes are warm and dry by the time everyone finishes showering! The only bad part about that is that clothes don't get put away properly because as soon as we're dressed, we're out the door. Perhaps I should build a clothes room in my house where everyone keeps their clothes instead of depending on them to take them from the laundry area to their rooms...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Does "Karen" Mean?

I got this from Mary Elizabeth's blog:





What Karen Means



You are a seeker of knowledge, and you have learned many things in your life.

You are also a keeper of knowledge - meaning you don't spill secrets or spread gossip.

People sometimes think you're snobby or aloof, but you're just too deep in thought to pay attention to them.



You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.



You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.



You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.



You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.

You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.

You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

What's Your Name's Hidden Meaning?


I would probably agree with most of this, but I don't think I have a ton of energy and am too hard to handle. Ha!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Finally, A Blog Thingy I Really Like




You Are a Conservative Chick



Like Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Ann Coulter, you're conservative and proud of it.

You speak your mind, even if everyone else around you disagrees.

As you see it, you have to stand up for traditional values and what's right.

Are You a Liberal Lady or a Conservative Chick?

That's right, I'm conservative and proud of it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Blog Challenge #8

Notice: I've put a new widget on my sidebar to the right. Down near the bottom you'll find Dilbert! There's a new strip daily.

In response to Suzanne's Blog Challenge #8: Complete this paragraph. "Ten years from now, I..."

Ten years from now, I will be playing with grandkids on weekends, taking them to Sunday School and church on Sundays, and hoping their parents are mature enough to be parents. I will be close to early retirement, and unless my husband strikes it rich, will be working for another few years because the cost of living will have skyrocketed, no matter how much I save right now. And if I'm retired, I'll be traveling, hopefully by sailboat, and coming home to my scraproom to make albums of our travels and my grandkids. I will insist that since my husband took a retirement job while waiting for me to retire, that I should get a retirement job for a few years, too. I'll work at an LSS (local scrapbook store) or Hobby Lobby to be able to feed my addiction. And in 10 years, we'll be celebrating our 37th anniversary in high style!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Suzanne's Blog Challenge

I'm playing catch-up here. The first challenge I'm writing about was Blog Challenge #5: Post an entry about a positive customer service experience you've had. Who was it with? Did you praise them on the spot? Did you go home and write a letter to the company management?

My best ever customer service experience was with AT&T, believe it or not. DS#1 has had more trouble with his cell phone and I even went last year and bought another one at our band's silent auction (a $250 phone for $50, what a deal!). So when this phone cratered on him and our contract was finally up for renewal, he, DS#2 and I went to the store to get new phones. The person who helped us was extremely friendly and helpful and he kept giving us all kinds of discounts. We ended up getting four phones that retail for $250 each for a total of $80. I was so impressed with his service while he systematically activated four phones, printed out rebate forms and receipts that I thanked him and then asked for his manager. I spoke directly to the manager about the wonderful service her employee had provided and that I wanted her to know personally right then. I've never gone out of my way to praise someone, but this guy restored my faith in service-oriented people, that they really do still exist.

The second challenge is from Blog Challenge #6: Share a recipe that you're "famous" for and a photo if you can. Write about how it became yours and any other story about the recipe that you'd like to share.

I'm not famous for any kind of recipe, but one of my favorites that I've had to double up in the last few years because it's such a hit is "Hamburger Corn Casserole." I got the recipe online somewhere many years ago and haven't been able to find it again, so I've been making it from memory for the last couple of years.

Hamburger Corn Casserole

3 TBSP flour
1 TBSP chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (suit to taste)
1 cup instant rice
1 lb. ground beef, browned
1 small onioned, chopped, sauteed with beef (optional)
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. pkg frozen corn
3 TBSP butter or margarine

Mix flour, chili powder, salt and pepper. Set aside. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray and layer the instant rice in the bottom. Sprinkle one-third of the flour and spice mixture over rice, dot with 1 TBSP butter. Layer ground beef over rice and sprinkle with one-third of the flour and spice mixture. Layer canned tomatoes over beef and sprinkle with remaining flour and spice mixture and dot with 1 TBSP butter. Layer frozen corn over top and dot with remaining butter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Serves 4-6 regular people or two of my guys.

I don't have a picture of it because I haven't made it recently, but it is on the rotation for next week!

The next is Blog Challenge #7: What store best represents what type of person you are right now? Are you a Macy's or Wal-Mart type of person? Do you wish you were a different store? Take any direction you'd like; either where you shop in real life or comparing your personality to a particular store. Have fun with it!

The store that best represents me right now would have to be Wal-Mart. I don't like Wal-Mart because of their business practices, but they have everything I need. There's a little bit of everything there, much like my life right now. I wish I were more like Target in that it's always neat and clean and uncluttered, unlike Wal-Mart, which can be pretty disgusting at times. IRL, I only go to Wal-Mart for emergencies and shop at a local grocery chain and Target for everything else. Primarily though, either store represents how cheap I am. I don't like to pay much for anything!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

If you are thinking of voting Democrat...

A friend of mine sent me this e-mail and I felt I needed to share it with anyone who will read it. I consider myself conservative and will support whichever Republican candidate gets nominated (unlike some who will sit out the election rather than vote for McCain, allowing the Democrat to be elected). Whether you're rich or not, the following data should prove that Democrats want the government to take care of everyone with your money instead of everyone living the ideals of America of being self-sufficient and helping others on our own.

This is interesting. Just compare the taxes.

www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/151.html

     Taxes under Clinton 1999         Taxes under Bush 2008
Single making 30K - tax $8,400    - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $14,000     - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $23,250     - tax $18,750
Married making 60K - tax $16,800    - tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $21,000    - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $38,750    - tax $31,250


If you want to know just how effective the mainstream media is, it is amazing how many people that fall into the categories above think Bush is screwing them and Bill Clinton was the greatest President ever. If any Democrat is elected, ALL of them say they will repeal the Bush tax cuts and a good portion of the people that fall into the categories above can't wait for it to happen. The Democrats with the help of the media have convinced a large percent of the American people, that the Bush tax cuts benefited only the wealthy. How many times have you heard it?

If you go to the link above, you'll find the tax brackets for all of the years since 1913. Do you remember the 70% tax bracket? That was before I started paying taxes, but I know it wasn't good. Elect a Democrat president and it could happen again.