Monday, March 30, 2009

Thanks Billie @ A Peaceful Serenity Blog!

Today I received a gorgeous apron-you can see a photo of it on Billie's blog I don't sew and I had been wanting an apron for the longest time. When I found out I won one, and I could choose from either of her lovely designs I was happy to pick the pink/blue one since those are my favorite colors.

The blue is so pretty, the material sparkles a bit and really looks great. Her design is so cute and the apron is very well made, I was in apron heaven! But...
as hubby and I looked at this gorgeous apron we both knew I wasn't going to keep it.

Now, it wasn't planned that way. I had planned to keep it and hang it in my blue kitchen, where it would fit in just perfectly. After seeing my mother in law's most recent photo of her in the kitchen in Guatemala, and looking at the apron she used-I know I had to send it to her. The apron she had was stained, dreary looking and the fabric was thin-so thin it had torn in several places and had been mended more than once. Jose explained that an apron such as I had won was a luxury item there, and way, way out of their price range. Most native Guatemalans can't even afford the gorgeous fabrics made by the Indian weavers because the costs are so high due to tourists and such. He told me that when he had to buy the ropa tipica (Indigenous Clothing) for his children for a holiday it cost him almost a month's wages-and that was years ago when they were 4 and 2! (now 18 & 16)

I feel good about giving this gorgeous apron to her-I know she will treasure it and love it as much as I would. And be the envy of her friends and family as well, as she cooks on holidays and special occasions and serves everyone wearing her new apron. I just want to give a shout out and a big thanks to Billie, for choosing me as a winner and giving me the opportunity to give my mother in law something very special this Mother's Day. Thank you!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Country Bob Winners!

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Timestamp: 2009-03-28 10:57:47 UTC

woohoo! Someone's getting some All Purpose Sauce! I've been non-existent this week as my PC got some sort of virus where I'd type in MSN or my blog address, it pops up for a second and then it forwarded it to a google page where it says the link was broken? So I have been running scans and doing all sorts of stuff to flush it out of my system!

I will be posting more giveaways soon, this darn virus and my limited time to work on it was a big deterrent this week in getting things done. But now, I am laid off so.... (though I DID apply for another FT job within my company, so maybe, maybe not laid off for too long!)

Without further ado, the winners are: Hondaray6 and Exotic1 aka the two Rhondas who visit my blog frequently! This is too funny, both winners having the same first name but it goes to show that you can win and with extra entries your odds are even better! Congrats ladies, I am on my way to email you both in a few. And I will be posting a photo of my next two giveaway items later today. Gotta get ready for the annual Credit Union meeting (they give away prizes too!!!) at 9 am today!

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce-Review & Giveaway

This is a sticky post: Part of Michele's Countdown to Layoff Giveaways

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring and with Spring comes sunshine, warmer weather and BBQ season!

After a long, long Maine winter full of snow and cold temperatures, it is time to celebrate. My neighbor has begun getting her garden ready for planting and some lovely flowers are blooming in her yard as well. I'm jealous-and SO ready for celebrating my own rite of Spring. So while Hubby fumbles in the yard picking up the remnants of last years garden, I will be getting the food ready for the grill. And using my Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce on my great tasting Omaha Steaks burgers.

Several weeks ago I was contacted by Al Malekovic, a great guy who wanted to let me know about Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. Al was nice enough to send me a couple of bottles and I visited the web site to see what I could make that was fast and easy AND indoors! (It was too cold to BBQ in February!) Visions of me outside on the grill shivering in the cold had me waiting a few weeks to try things out-at least grill-wise.

I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled to see lots of neat recipes on their website for everything from appetizers to the main entree. And easy, how could I go wrong? I decided to go with the Country Bob's Mexican Lasagna and see what hubby thought. For his Mexican Lasagna, I made a slight substitution and added black beans instead of kidney beans-but it was still good! (Being Central American, he is more a black bean man :) I was a little concerned the sauce would leave a sweet taste, which hubby is not fond of. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it left a slight flavoring, not overpowering and certainly not too sweet like some other sauces can be. My suggestion is that if you want to add a little more heat to this dish, spice it up a little with the Spicy version of Country Bob's. Be adventurous-you only live once, right?

There are many things you can do with Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. My teen son decided he was going to put some on top of his shredded chicken nachos and he also liked the flavor. I wanted Deja to try some with her french fries, but she's been sick lately so she politely refused for the moment. Country Bob's Sauce has been a hit in our book and next up on the list is the Spicy version to try out. One thing I do want to make next is the Chex Mix-Deja wants to have a few friends over and it'd be a cute snack for them to make with mom supervising of course!

Al was nice enough to offer up a giveaway as well on my site. I will be giving away 2bottles each to 2 winners! The giveaway begins today and ends on Friday, the 27th which is my last day of work btw! You can post up until 11:59 PM EST. US Only Please! For your first REQUIRED entry you must visit the Country Bob's website and tell me: The name of a store nearest you that sells Country Bob's, OR a recipe you would love to try if you won OR something you learned about the company. You don't need to do all three, just be sure to visit this wonderful sponsor's site and look around a bit.

Extra entries can be had by:
following me on Twitter and tweeting about the giveaway (leave a separate comment)
following my blog (leave a separate comment letting me know!)
for an extra FIVE entries (leave separate comments) BLOG about my contest and leave me the link so I can check it out

so you can have a total of 8 entries if you do all of these. Winners will be picked by and announced Saturday the 28th. PLEASE leave a way to contact you (public profile on blog w/email addy visible) or a valid email in your comment. Good luck!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Attention All Kmart Shoppers!

Well today I ventured into the land of Super Doubles. Last time I did so, I had less coupons and the system still messed up and didn't give me doubles on all I had bought. (and yes, I followed the rules-no DND coupons, no more than four like coupons and way under the 75 coupon limit total) and I already know no overage etc...

Today all went well, except I still am owed 8 dollars. I stood at the service desk and tried to complain, but they were too busy and gave some lame excuse. And of course, I didn't have my coupons anymore to back me up. I did get a few things on sale that weren't used with coupons but all in all I spent over $100 and saved half of it-my total was about $58. And since I still claim they owe me $8 I should have been about $50.00. I did well in stocking up on personal products and house cleaning items-things I will use during layoff have on hand.

Anyways, if you have a Kmart in your area that is doing Super Doubles (doubling coupons to $2 face value-for example your coupon is $2 off, you get $4, $1 gets $2) then you should take advantage of the deals to be had. I got some nice Gillette body wash for hubby and Gillette shampoo for hubby for .99 and .49 after the coupons doubled from $2 to $4 off. Had I more high valued coupons I would have done better, but half was pretty good too, especially since not all the items I got had coupons for them. Happy Shopping everyone!

Friday, March 20, 2009


Had this old pic in my files from a mystery shop I did long ago. And it made me hungry. Since tonight is usually Pizza night and I did not eat pizza, I am now craving it.

Instead I went to the local seafood restaurant and had a Maine Native Shimp basket. Those are the ONLY shimp I will eat, as far as fried shrimp go. I remember once, on my way to Florida I stopped at a Shoney's in NC for the seafood buffet. Not sure if they still have it but this was years ago-and it all was good-except for the shrimp. Even when I lived in RI for 7 years, never ordered the shrimp. Native Shrimp are tinier and more tender than their counterparts when fried. The ones I had at Shoneys were tough and chewy. One bite was enough for me.

So even as my larger than it should be belly is full, I am still thinking pizza. I wonder if Papa John knows I am thinking of him? Bet he would be flattered, huh? I usually alternate pizza night weekly, getting a Philly Cheese Steak from Dominos, a Combination pizza hut thin crust w/jalapenos added, the Papa Johns pictured above, the local house of pizza house special and of course the anytime of day or night bacon breakfast pizza. Gotta keep things varied-that makes it fun.

One pet peeve I have is mandatory delivery fees costing $2 bucks and up. They were initiated due to high gas costs, but they kept it on even when gas went down. Apparently the house and the driver split the fee-and when you add in their regular tip on top of that it can get quite costly. So lately, I have been skipping the laziness and going to pick it up myself. Heck, I use coupons already to get the best deal I can so if I can save more by picking it up myself so be it.

Anyways, I have pizza on the brain as I head to bed for the night-- gotta get up early tomorrow-going to meet with a realtor as I am helping our Brazilian friends buy a house in a town about 45 minutes from here and we need to go look at houses they have picked out. I am helping to G'nite everyone!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Win this cute Tie Dye Webkinz Frog!

Love Webkinz? Do your kids love Webkinz? I know Deja does, so I was happy to see this neat tie dye frog Webkinz giveaway over at A Happy Hippy Mom's blog! Deja could spend hours on the Webkinz website playing with her animals. Geez, where was all the neat stuff when I was a kid? Ok, enough whining! Head on over and enter:

Check this out!

All American Mommy is giving away an AWESOME prize package consisting of a Logitech Home Security system! How cool is that?

With so much violence going on nowadays, from home invasions to robberies and thefts this would be a perfect way to monitor your home from your cell phone or another computer. Who doesn't want to relax a bit while away from home, or on vacation? I know I do! Go and check it out here:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery rash-Diagnosed!

Deja wouldn't let me put her pic up today. She is pretty self conscious since she started getting a rash all over her face and body. It itches. And she is miserable.

It was strange, she was sick this past Friday with a headache and sore throat. I kept her home, thinking she just had a bug going around. This is the time of year where kids bring home lots of goodies to give to family members. Last year at this time I was so sick from a sinus infection I needed multiple meds as my Z pack refused to work.

I got a little concerned when she started to feel better throat wise and then the spots started. She has never had Chicken Pox, and that was my first thought. The ones on her face were kind of like little blisters and she had them inside her mouth too. But the rest of her body had a raised red rash, kind of like a sandpaper feeling and it looked like her whole body had the goosebumps. I had just never seen anything like it, and since she'd had the vaccine for Chicken Pox I thought this might be it, but in a reduced capacity.

They snuck her in the back entrance at the doctor's office today. Boy, didn't I feel important-like some sort of VIP who didn't even have to check in. Now if they only made When the doctor came in she was wondering what it was too, and she went to get her supervisor (these are residents in training, supervised by regular physicians) and by then I was thinking that there was something wrong. I tend to panic when my kids are sick-but I don't think I am the only one. :) I'd rather be safe than sorry, and besides, with a rash like that and no clearance from the doctor I don't think they would let her step foot in school.

The supervisor said it looked like strep throat-the rash that appears with strep sometimes. Now Deja has never had strep but Demetrio gets it at least twice a year---never with a rash. So yeah, I was thrown for a loop on this one. The swab was the least fun part of the appointment, but it was necessary. And it was positive. But she is out of school tomorrow and she has 10 days of the pink stuff. And a photo in mom's camera with her face full of little red spots. I can't imagine when she is a teen and gets a zit. She got worked up enough looking at the ones she has on her face now. So I am preparing myself for the worst-the teen years. They are coming, and so are the zits, PMS, and boys. It's bound to be a few fun years for sure!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Pacifier needed?

After my dad died last month, I got back the kitten (he's about 9 months old now)that he was babysitting for me back in August when I went to Texas. I know, it seems like he babysat him a long time, but fact is that his cat Candy fell in love with my little kitten and he couldn't bear to separate them. Even though my dad was ill, he got lots of enjoyment from his cats and his dog and he loved their companionship.

Dad called the cat Tippy because he couldn't remember the name Stubby that I'd given him. I already have a Tippy here, so needless to say, his name has been changed again to Stubby. This cat slept with my dad every night and when my dad told my mom that this cat sucked his paw and fell asleep like a baby sucking its thumb no one believed him.

Till we got him. The first few days he came home he was skittish and hiding alot, but as he got used to us he began to curl up in the bed with me. We noticed that he seemed to be biting on his back paw but Jose checked things out and there was nothing. It seemed every time he came on the bed and were giving him attention he'd get relaxed and curl up into a ball, putting his BACK paw in his mouth and sucking loudly. Yup, sucking loud enough to keep me awake at night. I'd never seen anything like this before so ended up looking on YouTube and found a few videos of cats sucking their front paws like babies while relaxing, but none sucking their rear paws. (he uses the front paws for kneading the bed, me, or whatever is close by) So here are a couple pics of my paw sucking cat-for your enjoyment! What crazy things do your pets do?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Head over to Missie's blog and win!

Missie has a cute blog devoted to finding great stuff on Etsy, one stop shopping as she says. I think it's a great idea because how many of us have the time to go through all Etsy has to offer?

I know I don't-and I just might find something really cute over at Missie's blog. It's a great way to promote a new vendor as well, and discover new items.

In the meantime, she is giving away something from her own shop just for visiting and promoting her blog. She has some gorgeous Twilight jewelry and I will tell ya I have my eyes on a pair of gorgeous earrings she has! Head over for yourself and check it out, and if you decide to enter her contest-I'd appreciate it if you let her know I sent you! Here's the link:

Check out the new waterbed!

Being an 80's girl, I had to get a waterbed. The old school kind (motionless was the only upgrade-I had a full motion one when I was in my early 20's and boy, did I get seasick on that thing!)

But waterbeds are not easy to find nowadays, so I was pretty happy to find one that was a floor model-at a very discounted price-there are a few scratches on the end of it, but that can be remedied with wood filler, etc... besides, when I had gotten my first waterbed years ago and it was brand new, that was the part that got scratched the first anyways.

Hubby had been complaining quite awhile about spending $500+ for mattresses that last a couple of years and then start poking into you. He just could never feel rested, and often ended up tossing and turning. He'd heard of waterbeds and actually had a friend in Rhode Island that had a full motion one, but never had seen a motionless one or one with cylinders inside that looked like a mattress on the outside.

So I took him up to the store that had these type of mattresses and he fell in love with them. We checked out a couple of platform bed models before I saw the old school 80's style display. I loved the fact that it was king sized, had the full box foundation with a nice little bookcase headboard and had 6 nice drawers underneath for storage. It reminded me of years ago, when everyone I knew seemed to have a waterbed.

So here it is, hubby is pretending to sleep btw-and Deja was so relaxed she actually FELL asleep while watching TV with us. Hubby is happy now, his room is pretty much his kingdom (notice the mini fridge equipped with Heineken nearby?) and after loudly complaining that he could no longer see the tv from the bed, he did his part to stimulate the economy by ordering a new tv for the wall complete with mounting arm so he can position it just the way he likes.

Just what I need-a one stop entertainment center. Next will come the video games (yes, he will be hooking up the xbox 360 I won last summer) and if the man could fit a pool table in there, he would. Heck, he is already talking foosball table. I might just as well charge admission. Pleasure Palace takes on a whole new concept here-I can see a bunch of men sitting in my bedroom, beers in hand, shouting "GOOOAAALLL!" as they wait for me to pass them the nachos.

Wish me luck, playoff season is coming up soon. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bowling! What fun!

At the end of February, Deja headed over to the local bowling alley for a birthday party. It was lots of fun (as you can tell by the pics) and she had a blast! Here she is modelilng her new glasses by the way-she has to wear them until she is 11 or so providing all goes well.

Have you ever seen Ficklets? They are these cute little eyeglasses accessories in lots of cool shapes and colors. Deja is currently wearing pink sparkly butterfly ones-and has gotten lots of compliments on her fashionista eyewear. I had won these on a blog giveaway some time back, and hope to buy her some more designs so she can have fun matching with her clothes. For me, they were a little hard to understand at first on how to put them on-but once daddy got them on for her (he has fingernails, I don't!) I understood how to do it. And they have only come off once during play, and Deja was able to put them right back on herself. So if a 7 year old can do it, anyone can! She has an eye appointment next week and I can't wait to see what her doctor says-everyone around here hasn't seen Ficklets before and I have been happily telling folks where to find them online.

She is pretty happy overall wearing her glasses, but there are some days I know it is a pain for her. As she gets older, and starts thinking about...boys-that is when I expect some sort of a struggle with getting her to wear them. If you or your children wear glasses, check out the cool eye candy here: I know you will find a pair that you love, and they are quite affordable too! Adults, check this out
they have some gorgeous designs for you too! So see, Ficklets aren't just for kids!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Finally Spill the Beans on My Problem Child-LONG POST BEWARE~

UPDATED: Court resulted in $50 Restitution and 60 hours community service-6 days in the local juvenile facility all suspended provided he does the community service. Considering how he does NOT want to go back to that place, I know the community service will be done!

Because I cannot find my cable for my digital camera, I am unable to post pics until I find the time to look for it. Which could be hours, days or even months. No, just kidding-I think I know where it is, but am too lazy to get up and go find it. Ever have one of those days?

Tomorrow is another court date for my problem child. I told him I am saving all his paperwork and one day will make a scrapbook out of it-with pics of him behind bars etc... so hopefully when he grows out of this stage in life and smartens up and stops being an idiot he can look back on it and see what a brat he was.

It is not really a laughing matter, I actually used to stress so much about it-daily migraines, sick for days on end-and the feeling that I was going to have a heart attack from all the stuff he was doing. And of course the loss of control and parental respect. Blame his biological dad for that though, he encourages my sons bad behavior and enables him-they party together. And when I, the primary custodial parent go to the police to complain that my minor child is partying and drinking etc... with dad the law tells me there is no law against a minor child drinking with a parent present. So there is nothing they could do. And then, try calling the state to file a claim against your ex-and be told that the neglect charge could go against YOU because the kid lives with you in the first place. See something wrong here, folks?

I was a teen once, and wasn't an angel by any means. But today's teens are exposed to so much more-drugs, alcohol, teen sex, STD's to name a few. As parents we want to protect them from these things, but today I have seen quite a few parents laugh at me when I called to tell them that their child was smoking marijuana with my child. Why? Because the parents are smoking it WITH them! Now I won't pull a Bill Clinton, I tried AND I inhaled. But it was a passing phase and nothing more than that. So when I heard my son had tried it, I wasn't freaked out. I tried talking to him. And then stuck his ass in Rehab for 9 weeks. In Eighth grade.

Rehab was a waste-he continued using while in there. (it was outpatient) He just wasn't and isn't ready to stop. Then the thefts started, first from my home-expensive stuff, like Xbox 360's sold for $50, gold jewelry, $400 from his stepdad's wallet. I took him to court once-got the item back. His dad paid the restitution to the store (Gamestop) for the PSP he pawned. (with the help of someone over 18 of course) I thought I hid it good-evidently not. When I was in TX this past August and he wasn't even living in my home-he stole it again. This time, I never got it back.

He continued to steal. This time from neighbors in his dad's apt. bldg. Forcing his dad's eviction and getting caught for 2 felony robberies and 2 felony burglaries. He is facing detention until he is 20-he went for 7 days in January and hated it. But I feel guilty saying this, at least I knew where he was and what he was doing at night. He is on probation until he is 18. He told me that the thefts he got caught for were just the tip of the iceberg. That he could possibly be convicted for 10 or so more-if people talked. He said he felt invincible-until he got caught. I think the stealing for him was such a high that it felt almost as good as the bags of weed he got for selling or trading the stuff he stole.

I didn't bring him up this way. He was taught stealing was wrong. I divorced his dad when he was three, so he would not grow up in an alcoholic household. When he was little he didn't want to be around dad much, and dad didn't want him around either. It crimped his single man party going lifestyle. But as he got older, he started visiting more. Dad became the fun parent. I was the bitchy one. My son is most likely bi-polar, he fits the profile perfectly. And the risky behavior and wanting excitement is a big factor, one that continues to get him into trouble even today.

I have good days and bad days. I won't pretend life is perfect, because I know it's not. This summer he decided to move out. I played the tough parent, and said that if he thought the grass was greener on the other side-to go for it. Instead of moving in with dad, like I thought, he moved in with his 13 year old girlfriend and her family. They'd been on and off for the past couple of years, but she had cheated on him-and had sex-with other guys. In defending her honor, he'd gotten the shit kicked out of him once, and another time, a gun pointed to his head because he picked a fight with the wrong person. My son is pretty much a loner, and has only been with this girl, that I know-because he does talk to me about stuff like that. I tried to preach to him about safe sex-but she's pregnant and due in May. There is talk that the state may take her baby, which doesn't surprise me. Her three other siblings were taken away for neglect as her mother is an alcoholic. When he lived at that house, he was able to do what he wanted. And bring all the stolen goodies over there-her relatives bought the jewelry, the laptop, and were watching the flat screen TV and pretended to be innocent when the cops showed up at their door with search warrants and confiscated all the stuff back. They knew it was stolen, but weren't charged. They blamed it on my son-saying he had told them his grandmother gave him that stuff to sell. Um, dontcha think if your teen shows up carrying a $1500 TV into the house you are gonna ask where the heck it came from? I know I would have.

When school started, she went back. He waited for her all day at her house. After a couple weeks, she met a new kid at school. And dumped him, told him to get out and gave all his nice SouthPole stuff to her cousins and her new boyfriend. He's back with her now, and has been for awhile. But she did cheat on him, how else did he get the Chlamydia he is being treated for now? I wonder if this kid is even his, and when I demanded a blood test her parents threw me out. So now I wait. While my son stands by her and cares for her during her pregnancy. He doesn't say much about the STD, and is glad it wasn't Herpes or AIDS. I feel bad for her too, she is looking for love in all the wrong places-and not getting it from her mom-when she needs it the most. What's done is done. Irregardless these kids are going to have a harsh wake up call when this baby is born in a few months. And if it is his, I have a feeling I will be raising a baby as well.

I actually write very little about my son, but tonight I felt like spilling the beans. Why? I don't know, maybe I am brave. Possibly because all this makes you stronger-but it never gets any easier. Maybe it's therapeutic writing, I dunno. So there it is, the dirty laundry has been aired (with plenty of stains!) and the skeletons came charging out of the closet. One thing, I used to feel like a failure as a parent. Now, I no longer feel that way. The guilt is gone, and I realize I have done what I could and until he makes positive choices in his life I cannot change things for him. It is kind of like leaving the alcoholic wallowing in their own empty bottles and barf-once they hit rock bottom and want to change, then they are willing to listen. In the meantime, all the services and help you give them does nothing at all. Support them, be there for them but keep in mind that sometimes one of the hardest things you have to do as a parent is to let go...and let your child hit rock bottom before they pull themselves up and seek help on their own.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Where is the Wisdom in Wisdom Teeth?

Tomorrow my teenager goes in for dental surgery. He is having all four wisdom teeth removed and most likely he will be one miserable child tomorrow.

We went in last week to the oral surgeon's office and watched the video. My teen son, always so brave about stuff cringed in his seat as they mentioned possible side effects. Lucky for him, his xray showed an easy removal-or so they say.

My wisdom teeth never showed up. Ever. At 42, who knows if they will ever make an appearance? My coworker, on the other hand, had her teeth show up in her mid to late 30's and she's my age now suffering with them still.

At my age, I have no desire to go to an oral surgeon for removal of anything. I get sweaty palms just from a dental cleaning, thank you. I have no desire to resemble Sandy Cheeks as she prepares for hibernation in Bikini Bottom-my cheeks are well rounded enough as it is and the only visible stockpiling I am doing right now is on the shelves in the basement.

I wish him luck tomorrow, I will be at work while his dad takes him to get the procedure done. I just don't get it-wisdom teeth? Where the heck did that come from? Considering so many people end up in pain and needing these things out, whoever came up with the name wasn't very wise to begin with. Then again, maybe they were-it's "only" $1500 plus the cost of anaesthesia to do the extractions so someone was definitely thinking in that respect.

Wish me luck-tomorrow I will have to deal with a cranky, sore as hell teenager who will want to rip my head off (or at least a few of my teeth out). Until then, remember to brush and floss daily. It may not help with your wisdom teeth, but your teeth will sure look pretty!