Monday, December 29, 2008

A Christmas Photo...

My daughter loves getting ready for Santa, from the baking of the cookies to the trying to stay up all night waiting for him to come... We DID track him via NORAD this year, which was tons of fun watching where he was in the world at specific times.

This year, she was pretty lucky and kept her wish list reasonable so she was able to get quite a few things from it. (except the live kitten and pony of course!) I can remember asking for a pony too, way back when. A gift we are all looking forward to using this coming summer is the metal detector she wanted. Who doesn't want to find buried treasure? I can seriously see us hitting the beach and parks with it this year, hoping to find something more valuable than then pop tops from cans and rusty old nails. But I am sure we'll find our share of those too!

Hubby and I didn't buy for each other this year. We decided it'd be best to give to the kids and instead we opted for a nice Christmas Eve dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant. We had what they call a Parillada for 2, which is basically fajitas for 2 with ground spicy sausage, chicken, beef and pork, along with the grilled veggies. Plus we each got a nice side of rice, refried beans and a small salad with guacamole and sour cream sides too. I have a feeling we are going back on New Years Eve, and this time I am asking for the frozen strawberry margarita too! They make them good and strong :)

Just wanted to say hey, Happy New Year's to you all! Work will be nuts this week, and I will be looking forward to having New Year's Day off. But dreading going back on Friday for just one day! So Happy New Year's everyone, celebrate and have fun-but stay out of trouble!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Circle II Circle-New Album Out!

Ok, I rarely if ever listen to metal music. It's just not my thing-although in the 80's growing up I gotta admit I was a fan of the "hair bands." Long hair, big hair, teased hair, no hair- I pretty much dealt with all of the different 80's offerings out there.

Growing up, most of the radio stations played pop hits and while I loved those, I was also a big fan of Europop and dance music from Europe. This wasn't readily available in Central Maine, but a 4 hour drive to Canada did the trick, and at 16 (under the watchful eye of mom and grandma) I headed to the Canadian discos until 3 am to dance until I dropped. I still have lots of old cassettes purchased in Canada from those days, and my teen son will often listen to them with me and laugh. It's a far cry from the rap he is used to-but amazingly he did enjoy several of the songs. One he currently has on his Zune is Blue by Eiffel 65.

My half brother Andy was quite a guitarist back then. He played in several local bands and actually traveled out to LA to visit with Dick Clark and get noticed in the music industry. He can play any type of music, so when he set out for Nashville with some local boys to find his fame in the industry we were pretty proud. And he toured the circuit, appearing in back up bands on CMT and playing in Nashville, Vegas and Branson.

But he always loved rock music, even as a kid. I was pretty shocked when I heard in 2003 that he'd joined Circle II Circle an American Metal Band was was pretty famous in South America and Europe. And pretty darn popular in the U.S. too!( It seems weird seeing your brother on You Tube and seeing his CD's in record stores. If you're a fan of metal, check out You Tube Circle II Circle Evermore for his awesome solo. This year they have a new album out, and that means a new tour to Europe. I'd love to see them play in New England, since I haven't met any of his band members.

Be sure to check out their website, I plan on getting their new album for my son and will be contacting Andy later on to see if he can spare a few autographed CD's and a tee or two for my blog to give away. Until then, check them out on You Tube and online!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Loving my Pureology...

Back when I first started blogging, I noticed a giveaway for Pureology Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner. I'd never heard of the brand before, and was interested to see what it was all about. Since I color treat my hair (highlights 3x a year at $100 a pop) AND I get dandruff (especially in the winter, the cold really dries out my scalp) this shampoo and conditioner sounded like something I really wanted to try.

I was surprised to win it, and when it came, I didn't use it immediately. I continued on with my dollar store shampoos and good old Head & Shoulders. In early November I got my highlights done again and decided to try the Pureology then. The first thing I noticed was that it takes a little to get the job done-no more slathering on tons just to get some sudsy action. Same goes with the conditioner. The second thing I noticed was the texture, the feel of the shampoo and conditioner in my hand. It wasn't watery, it was smooth and creamy. My concern was that it would leave my hair greasy looking, but I was relieved to see that it didn't. I have fine hair that has lost most of its life (after having kids, I lost my curls) but this shampoo made it bouncy and gave it enough volume to make me feel good about my thinning, fine hair.

If you are looking for a lot of scent, this doesn't have it-sorry. There is a subtle scent, but not an overwhelming "Gee, your hair smells terrific" type scent. But that's ok-because I prefer to have a shampoo that gets the job done, without leaving tons of residue on my hair. Before Pureology I was scratching incessantly like my cats in flea season. Now the only flakes I see are outdoors from the winter snows. My color has remained vibrant, and not faded either. If my darn roots weren't growing out, I'd probably get away with 2 highlights a year using this shampoo.I will mention that it is kind of pricey, $30+ for just the shampoo so probably about $60 or so for both items. My stylist had never heard of it either, and the salon she works at is going to see if they can start getting it in as well since I raved so much about it. Given the cost, I probably would not have ever tried it had I not had the chance to actually experience the difference it made in my hair. But I am glad I did, and will most likely be setting aside some money I saved from coupon cutting for groceries so when I run out of it I can replenish my stock-because I'm worth it.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Let it snow...No, not again!

It's officially the beginning of winter and I am already sick of snow!!! While we lucked out here in Northern New England with the Friday night storm (we got about 5-6 inches here where I live, a considerable difference from the "dusting" we were supposed to get) today there is no lucking out whatsoever. They are calling for FEET, not inches. And near blizzard conditions.
I am sick of looking out the window and seeing white-sure, it's beautiful and all but my poor snowblower is running overtime and my husband's back still hasn't recovered from shoveling out the walkway yesterday.
It's amazing to see parts of the country getting snow, places that haven't seen snow in years. Along with frigid temperatures, this sure makes the beginning of winter a tough thing to take right now. Even Christmas Eve is not exempt, we're expecting some sort of storm, rain, snow, sleet-not sure yet depending on the temperatures.
So, do you have snow yet? Are you sick of it? Or is snow a rare occasion for you, and you were thrilled to have the kids experience it, build a snowman, etc...? (but I betcha weren't thrilled to DRIVE in it, huh?) Right now, this is one gal who just doesn't wanna hear anyone singing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

Twinkle, Twinkle-It's the Birthday Girl!

Quite a few months back, I won a GC from Twinkling Tees for Deja and ordered her a lovely PINK name shirt. I decided to keep it for her birthday, to make it special. Since her birthday was on a weekend, I decided to give it to her early, so she could wear it to school that Friday.

As you can see, she is very happy with her new shirt! I love the sparkly pink crystals and the cute little tiara design. Jill did a wonderful job, and her tees are gorgeous! When I placed the order, she sent me several emails letting me know about design, color, and the status of my order. The constant communication was great, it made ME feel special because she valued my business enough to take time from her busy day to update me on my order.

At school when Deja took off her jacket she was greeted to "OOH HOW PRETTY!" from all of her little girl friends and even the boys came over to check out her new shirt. With so many great designs, Twinkling Tees has something for everyone. Now for the sad part-I recently went back to their site ( and saw a message Jill had posted about not being able to accept more orders for girls or babies after Jan. 30, 2009. Something to do with a new law, testing the products, and making it very expensive for small businesses like hers to survive should this go through. It really irritated me that we can allow all these Made in China items into our country with little regulation, and here is a small business like hers who might be out of business soon due to this new law. We can allow items made with child labor or sweat shop labor (two of my sisters in law work in Guatemala in maquilas-huge clothing factories which pay pennies per piece, long 12 hour days and no breaks) but can't allow a working mommy a break?

I am hoping for some extra money in January-because I really hope to get a couple more shirts before that ordering deadline for Deja. The shirts are just so pretty, and I want Jill to know I am supporting her and think this whole thing is absurd. If you are thinking of getting a Twinkling Tee for your little one, make sure to do it soon! Thanks Jill and Twinkling Tees for making Dejanera's birthday special!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Storm Update

Well, got home and we still had power :) which I kind of expected since the power never went out once during the storm. My driveway, however is a frozen icy mess. Just getting the car in those huge ruts is a task in itself.

We headed out to RI yesterday morning for a quick trip to drop off Christmas gifts to hubby's sister Vidalia and her family. As we took off, I left my digital camera at home but had a disposable 35mm and snapped a few pics of the scenery from the ice storm. Just getting onto the highway there was a huge tree down, and as we went further South noticed more and more ice coated trees. The ice glinting in the sun was beautiful on the branches, but the trees were so heavy they were bent over almost touching the ground in places.

As we headed South, we noticed the sun had melted some of the ice on the trees-which is actually a good thing because luckily there hasn't been a wind because if there had been, the combined weight of the ice and the wind would have taken many more trees down. In RI, no snow and the temperature Saturday was cold, but not unbearable. The wind there was worse than anything, because when it hit you the cold blasted at you making for some cold body parts that went uncovered :) I never hardly ever wear a hat myself unless necessary so my ears were a bit frosty... Today was sunny when we woke up and quite a bit warmer thank goodness.

Heading North, it looked like the trees in Southern Maine had finally shed their ice coatings but when we got to Central Maine where I live the ice was still heavy on the trees-meaning it hadn't gotten above freezing and the trees could still break from all this weight. And some are STILL without power. I consider myself lucky, because mine did not go out. I hope we have a warm up soon, because all that ice on the trees isn't a good thing. Plus my driveway needs to thaw out! Anyone wanna send me some warm weather?

Friday, December 12, 2008

No work, no pics and a migraine-

Today they cancelled work, lucky me didn't lose power. But some did. I didn't venture out today, even though the ice was melting. Now it is freezing again. You just can't seem to win in the wintertime here in Maine. I was in bed at 9pm last night. Amazing, for me. I am ready for bed yet again as well. I have a really bad migraine-it feels like someone is shoving a screwdriver thru my right eye and temple simultaneously. Ouch. My meds are not touchin' it and I am supposed to go to Rhode Island tomorrow. Luckily we are staying in a hotel, so if I feel sick I will end up lying on my hotel bed in a darkened room with a cold cloth over my eyes. I just hope this isn't one of the few times a year that I have a headache that makes me go to the ER for an IV. I'm off to bed now-hoping to be online tomorrow with my laptop.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wonderful...a State of Emergency!

Just checked in on the weather after opening the door and hearing the telltale sign of freezing rain hitting the surfaces... While beautiful, definitely dangerous. Seems the Governor declared a state of emergency...allowing out of state power companies to come in and help us if the power goes out. And they expect it will. So I will be online for as long as I can. This stuff is supposed to go on until midday tomorrow unfortunately. And it is coming down at a good clip right now as it's supposed to all night. I made hubby stay home from work tonight, and my employer pretty much told everyone to get out around 4. Tomorrow might be a snow day, well ice day I should say. Just have to wait and see. Hoping to get some good photos if I can tomorrow-but if internet service and poles are down I might be down for awhile as well as I have DSL. So if ya don't see me post for a bit or get a bounceback on my email-it just might be that the mail box is full! I will be glad to see summer again-and winter has only just started!

Monday, December 8, 2008

HP MAGIC-If Rhonda wins, you could too!

Ok, so my blogger buddy and co-worker Rhonda decided to enter the HP Magic Giveaway over at Chris Pirillo's site and talk about her latest hobby, which is geocaching. Last night she told me her entry had been posted and was open to comments. The person who gets the most comments wins that awesome $6000 prize package. Wow!

Rhonda's son is graduating next June, so she'd love to gift him with a laptop before he goes to college. Plus, I know she is in need of new upgrades herself but, like many of us it's just not possible right now. Rhonda and I were discussing this giveaway at lunch, and she asked a few of our coworkers to help her achieve her dream. One thing that was important for Rhonda and that she was really excited about was the fact that she can share this package with others too. And she decided if people were able to help her out, and if she won, she'd give away a laptop to one of her random commenters too!

So if you want to help her out, please leave a meaningful comment (Chris says short comments will be deleted) on her entry here: before 10 pm CST on the 10th. And if she wins, you just might be a winner too!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I wanna have lunch with Mario Batali!

Don't you? Well, maybe not lunch with HIM-but I'd love to carry my lunch around in one of his new stylish lunchbags. Guess what? Over at My Wooden Spoon they are having a great giveaway, with three winners!

I've been looking for a great new bag and the styles are awesome! Head on over and check it out-but you'd better hurry because it ends the 14th!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

PC Issues-Bear With Me!

My PC has been very sluggish lately, and I just assumed it was to all the feeds I had subscribed to... it was SUPPOSED to be protected by McAfee as part of my Verizon DSL service pkg. BUT when Fairpoint bought out Verizon here in Northern New England this past year, service has sucked.

I called for help, Fairpoint transfers me to Verizon-get Verizon and then they send me BACK. I guess when the change took place, my virus protection went by the wayside and I didn't figure it out. I deleted off McAfee last night and began running Windows One Live for their free trial. It supposedly isolated 2 adware programs (quarantined) and deleted 10+ Trojan viruses. Yet I still have the annoying pop ups going on, and don't know why that wasn't fixed. The worst part I hate is when my daughter is at the computer and those porno pop ups come up-I could be doing anything, just browsing email, working on my blog, searching for info-and up pops some semi nude woman offering to make my day (or night) Hubby, not normally a computer user-perks right up.

Currently am cleaning out my junk mail, seems lots of stuff got sent there that should not have gone there. So if you sent me an email, please be patient. I think it's time I get this PC to the doctor-but I might just have to make do a bit until after the holidays. (and tax refund time) I do have access to another PC but it is not hooked up yet-but I might be doing that soon! Thanks for understanding!

Sleepless Nights and Infomercials....

Goodness, what a difference a day makes. While I am kind of still in a funk, and still sick-I am past my raving and ranting yesterday. Whew! Who knew that doing all that raving and ranting would leave me exhausted?

You know, I am not sure I am sick with a cold-I mean it's more like allergies. We have forced hot air for our heat source, and I wonder if all that dust is just doing it's wonders to my poor nose. I swear, Jose changes the filters on the furnace every couple of weeks. But this is the reason I SO hate dusting and cleaning stuff, because the minute I get near anything dusty I suffer big time. Itchy red eyes, scratchy throat and stuffed up nose. All the classic symptoms. I was up at 4 am due to nose running, postnasal drip etc... I turned on the TV and sure enough, there was David Oreck talking to me. Well, not to me, but to anyone who would listen at 4 am about his wonderful air purifier. Boy, is he smart. He knows those people that need fresh, clean air are going to be up at all hours, miserable as hell. And there he is, offering help and salvation to those who watch. I could have sworn that as he spoke about his wonderful product and all that it had to offer and stretched out his hand the dirty air in the room parted and I heard the sound of angels singing.

A bright light shone in the room, and I took it as a sign. I started rummaging through my purse for my credit card. Just as I had phone in hand and was ready to plunk down some serious cash-hubby Jose walks in. Seems the blinding light were the headlights from his car as he was parking it in the driveway. Seeing me there, frozen like a deer by a pair of headlights-he swoops in and takes over. Suddenly I am transformed from the peace and serenity of David Oreck's magical promises to a face paced action movie in Spanish. Gone are the visions of thick smoke disappearing in little boxes filled with those air purifiers and now I am staring down the barrel of a .45 at some dude that resembles Juan Valdez. (remember the Colombian coffee guy and the simple nod of the head as he handed you a cup of Colombian coffee that made your morning complete?)

If Mr. Oreck is reading this, he can send me one of those lovely air purifiers to review and I will subject it to cat hair, dust mites, dander-heck I will even start a small grease fire in the kitchen to test out the smoke factor. And I won't hold him responsible if I manage to burn the house down in the process. All I want is a GOOD night of sleep-is that too much to ask?

Monday, December 1, 2008

I know I should be Jumping for Joy, but...

I mean, I won TWO COMPLETELY AWESOME wonderful blog wins today. Things I really wanted and am going to have so much fun using. And I am so damn psyched, but I just can't get around to feeling very happy. I have been so fortunate with bloggy wins lately, it has been amazing. I love reading new blogs, visiting new sites, and most of all meeting some very wonderful people online. Not to mention the recipes, hints, tips and other stuff I have learned.

Earlier this evening, my mom called me and told me she and my dad got back from his dr. appointment. His appointment was originally scheduled for Dec. 9th, but when they moved it up to today, the 1st I kind of knew that wasn't good news.

He has non small cell squamous lung cancer, stage 3. His cancer is good sized, about 6 centimeters and the reason he hasn't been breathing well is that the cancer is growing over his airpipe or in that area, blocking it. He also has moderate emphysema and his heart test didn't come back very good-some of the cancer has spread to his lymph nodes as well. Radiation and Chemo are definitely on the list, surgery in the future, we're not sure. The surgeons and team assigned to his case meets tomorrow to decide on his treatment plan.

My mom was supposed to run an errand for me to the post office since work has been completely nuts-and she hasn't because she forgot. I can understand, because we both have alot on our mind right now. Between my dad and my son-who just might be a teen father in the spring-lots of things have been going through my mind. Some people think I am brave to blog about these things, as most blogs are happy, funny, and very rarely talk about the bad moments. Maybe I am brave, because I bring up the bad moments, I dunno. But to me, writing is all about expressing yourself-the good, the bad and the ugly (which would be just a pic of me at 42 lol...) and if I feel I have to tread on eggshells because of what others might be thinking or writing about me behind my back-then I shouldn't be writing anything. I've seen some blogs promoting blog peace-and wondered what it was all about. I assume it is because people are writing nasty things about each other-which to me kinda sucks and reminds me of the movie Mean Girls. I thought that type of drama ended in high school... maybe I am just being bitchy, maybe it's hormones, a full moon coming up, PMS, anxiety or a combination of all of the above but bear with me-this too, will pass. Until then, goodnight.