Monday, May 31, 2010

Wishing you all the best this Memorial Day!

Hope you are all enjoying the long weekend-BBQ's, time with family and friends, and of course, remembering those close to us that have passed away. I still can't bring myself to visit the cemetery, though my mom and my daughter go quite frequently.

I don't deal with death well, even if it is the odd woman next door's dog that died. I felt guilty about calling animal control, but seriously, to leave her dog under her chair in a garbage bag in 90 degree heat was really pushing it. Besides, I actually thought that a raccoon or even a skunk (they are known to live under her porch) had died, so that was the real reason I'd called animal control... even though I had a suspicion that it "might" have been her dog since he'd be noticeably absent from her yard for two weeks. I didn't call animal control back today, even though she didn't do a great job of burying him, so long as I can't smell him wafting into my bedroom window, she can keep him wherever she wants to.

I DID buy some fake flowers at Walmart though, and gave them to my mom to go and put on my dad and grandparents graves. She plants the real flowers, but they, well, they DIE and I'd rather have something that lasts in the cemetery. There is enough death to deal with there, and wilted flowers depress me even more.

So enjoy your day, eat some steak, and remember your loved ones. And those brave souls that have served our country and helped us fight for freedom as well, because without them, who knows where we might be right now as a country.

Leaving you all with a photo of my dad, doing what he loved, watching tv and smoking cigarettes. (lung cancer eventually was his downfall, by the way) It's my 2nd Memorial Day without him or my grandmother, and I still miss them terribly.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I'm heading to Guatemala in a few short weeks... June 17th to be exact. Now I am already scared of the plane ride ahead- (all the news reports of more terrorist attacks to come, near misses with other planes and several crashes have added more than one gray hair to my head these past few weeks)and of course the potential for earthquakes which I have never experienced before. (other than watching them on TV disaster movies of course.)

Imagine my surprise when I find out now that PACAYA volcano (the one closest to the city of course) has been erupting since this past Thursday. Hubby's family in the city were cleaning up ash that fell around their house, the first they have seen since 1998. But they could not clean up the ash fast enough-because on the heels of the erupting volcano, we've got Tropical Storm Agatha. 10-20-30 inches of rain, mudslides, impassible roadways, flooding, and a State of Calamity for the country. Not to mention that the airport is still closed... for the next 5 days. Wow!

I am wondering why all this shit is happening now that I have finally (in 12 years of being married) decided to get on the plane and go. This has got to be some sort of sign, but I haven't quite figured it out yet. My son told me to have a pleasant trip, and told me that he hoped my will was up to date. Very comforting news...I'll tell ya! Now, in addition to malaria, dengue fever, or some other foreign illness that I might get-I've got to worry about volcanoes and way too much rain. I should have known though, hubby DID tell me we were visiting his homeland in the rainy season.

I'm a trooper, I am still planning on going. Don't ask me why, because I don't know the answer myself. Maybe this 44 year old broad is ready for some sort of new adventure. I have already packed the hand crank flashlight/radio/cellphone charger. I'm buying lots of bottled water in 5 gallon jugs when I get there. Hubby's family has plenty of beans, rice and corn to make tortillas-so I might just come home a few pounds lighter as well. Heading to a country where there is currently a state of emergency, and possibility for more eruptions in the near future has me a bit unsettled. It will certainly be interesting-but I am sure I will make it just fine, I will be in good hands.

I've even told hubby, if the airport isn't open, maybe we can get in by going to El Salvador instead, and having his family pick us up there. My mother thinks I am crazy. My son is already picking out what he wants from my estate. I'm due to go back to work soon after I return to the US-ladies, I know you read this blog, so for some reason if I don't show, don't give up on me just yet. I may need to wade in snake infested waters, through fields of volcanic ash, but I will be back, better late than never.

In the meantime, I leave you all with a pic of the very pretty city lights... and the current natural light show going on from Pacaya Volcano. Beautiful, but very scary at the same time.

*** Note Added *** In this post, I am making fun of myself because I am a wimp when it comes to plane rides, natural disasters etc... It is in no way meant to make light of the situation Guatemalans are now facing in their country as they struggle with not one, but two devastating natural disasters within the same time frame. My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Guatemala during this horrible time. I feel absolutely terrible for those killed, hurt or dislocated from their homes by this double disaster. In a few short weeks, I will be there to see the devastation first hand for myself, and I am sure it will be a sobering experience. I am currently monitoring the situation via the web, news and firsthand from hubby's family. It seems our Earth is full of surprises, with natural and man made disasters going on all over. I am really wondering if all this 2012 stuff is true...but that, my folks, is another post. Wherever you are, stay safe and stay strong!

UPDATE: For a very somber look at the devastation going on in Guatemala due to Agatha, check out Expat Mom for her excellent photos showing first hand accounts of what has happened there. And if you can donate or help in any way, please do! Some poor people now have nothing at all... I know if I go there, if the airport opens by June 17th, I am definitely going to be emotional after seeing these tragic scenes. It is definitely going to be a long recovery time, and I wish the Guatemalan people the best. Some people have asked me why I am even considering going now that this has happened, but I don't have any answers. All I can say is that I feel that I need to be there...

I Smell Something Dead...

It's Memorial Day weekend and a great day for a BBQ. But I'm not having one. With the high temperatures we've had this past week, it is now a nice, comfortable Saturday with a refreshing breeze....

But the breeze carries the odor of something dead and rotting. I haven't pinpointed it yet but I have an idea that the odd woman next door has something to do with it. She had an older black dog, which has not been seen in a couple of weeks. My son says it appears she has been trying to dig a hole and there is a suspicious looking trash bag on her porch surrounded by flies.

I know it's not HER because I sent hubby out to investigate if perhaps a wild animal or another animal might have died on our property. As he was getting close to her property, she quickly went and shut her windows. Since she's shut the windows, the smell has gone down considerably. BUT... that would mean something else is in said trash bag outdoors and something dead is INSIDE the house. Since I am a horror fanatic, I am starting to think that maybe she got pissed at the man who used to come visit her this past winter (and take out her trash) and she decided to silence him forever. No one else has been allowed inside her house-friends come and get her to go grocery shopping, but they leave the bags on the porch. Recently a friend came and beeped repeatedly, she did not come out.

I called Animal Control this morning. I couldn't stand the smell wafting in with the breeze any longer. I explained that SOMETHING was dead somewhere and my suspicions were with the neighbor lady. Animal Control asked me if I'd SEEN the neighbor lady recently. Yup, so it's not HER. But it's something near her house, that's for sure. Right now, the Animal Control officer is on an emergency call, but they will be here soon afterward. I just can't explain the smell of rotting flesh, but it is VERY offensive. And something you never forget.

Back when we first moved to Maine our neighbors in the next apartment had a huge Doberman. I hadn't seen the dog, so assumed with 3 little boys and all, the apartment was just too small for the dog. I saw the dog again in the Spring.... in a trash bag wrapped up on our back porch. He'd died of Parvo over the winter, and the cold weather had kept him preserved. The tenants had wrapped up his body, and not having the money to dispose of him properly, left him in pieces in garbage bags on our shared back porch. Spring came, and the weather began to get warmer. And with it came the odor of dead flesh. I'd never smelled it before, and was shocked to find out that the dog was dead and decaying out back. I wanted to call Animal Control back then, but the Property Manager came and stuck it out with the trash. Ewwww....

This time I am the property owner, and since this horrible smell is coming onto my property I've called Animal Control. They can call the owner of the house next door (my neighbor rents her house) call the police or do whatever they determine but just get that Godforsaken dead smell out of the neighborhood so I can enjoy my BBQ later this weekend. You know, to dispose of an animal if it dies of natural causes you gotta have $. It goes by weight, and she probably did not have the $100+ to cremate him with a veterinarian office. I think she's disabled, so burying him might take her a long time. Like my son said, it looks like she started a hole, but wasn't getting very far. If it is her dog, she should have asked friends to help her bury him-I'm sure they would have. But then again, she is very ODD.

In the meantime, I am waiting here with windows closed for Animal Control. Will update as to what the offensive smell is once we figure it out. Looks like hubby might have to take me out for a steak dinner if I can't do my cookout, lol.

UPDATE: Animal Control officer came and talked with my neighbor. Neighbor admitted her dog died, that she didn't have a shovel good enough to dig a hole with and her son was coming to do it today. Considering I've been smelling this for the last week, and haven't seen the dog in 2 weeks-obviously she had no hurry to bury him before Animal Control got there. Animal Control told me to make sure dog was buried today, if not, call her back tomorrow. Ewww... In the meantime, windows are closed and I am waiting to see if it gets done. What a freakin' health hazard! Some people....

2ND UPDATE: It's almost 8 PM est here, hubby took me to Texas Roadhouse instead of having our BBQ outside because of the stench. Son said while I was gone a guy came to visit our odd neighbor woman and she told him about the dog. He originally said he'd put it in the trunk and bury it someplace (probably thought it JUST died, little did he know it's been dead about 2 wks now) so when he gets close to the garbage bag, gets a whiff, and almost pukes. Apparently they had words and he told her he "wasn't effing touching it" and left. Neighbor lady now has a better shovel and gloves. Keeps going in and out of her house and my son can see her digging from his upstairs window. Says she is basically burying it in front yard in very shallow hole, just throwing a little dirt over it. I really don't think this will work-poor hubby was trying to change the oil in his car earlier today and had to come in and gag a few times due to the smell, it really is THAT bad folks. Guess I will have to see what tomorrow will bring...just wish she'd buried the darn thing right after he died rather than let him sit in 90 degree temps and decompose...ugh.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Can Haz Fleas

The joys of warm weather... abundant sunshine, warm temps, gorgeous flowers and plants, a green garden, and fleas.

You know you've got them in the house the minute your pet starts scratching like it's possessed. I've got it x4. With four cats, I've got four times the fleas to contend with. Flea meds are NOT cheap. I can vacuum every single pet hair in the house, but there is no way I am going to suck up every damn flea. And that escapee comes back with a vengeance a few weeks later with all their new friends. And people, lemme tell ya, these things are not playing around-they are out for BLOOD.

Hubby suffers more than I do-I mean he's hairier than I am and they probably mistake him for one of the cats or something. Either that, or they've developed a taste for that exotic Guatemalan blood he has. I guess they figure, why drink Wild Irish Rose when you can have a little Veuve-Clicquot instead, lol.

It starts so innocently, a scratch here, a scratch there. Everywhere a scratch, scratch. Sometimes we can even SEE them as they make their way to the next victim for a feast. (even with the expensive, monthly cat flea meds that we get, it won't keep them away-so I search the internet for ideas on how to deal with this plague, without resorting to bombing the entire house and leaving for the weekend)

So there you have it folks...we have fleas. Uninvited house guests that like to make their presence known, and irritate the hell out of us at times. Kind of like when your mother in law comes to stay for an extended period of time. You can relate, I know you can.

I've offered to shave hubby, but I can't print what his response to that was. I can tell you that it involved a four letter word though, along with his promise to ban all the felines to the basement for the remainder of the summer. (he's at work right now, and as I write this, one of the cats is lying on his pillow. Grooming himself. I know what that means... )

I wish we could just hang a sign on the door that says, "No Fleas, Please." Maybe they'd get the hint. I keep telling myself that fleas have been on this Earth for years, along with spiders, flies, lice and cockroaches. They must have SOME sort of purpose to be here. If you figure it out, be sure to let me know!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone :)

Giveaways Around the Web !

After visiting here, why don't you check out Blommis Stuffies and Fun event going on from 5/24 to 5/28... the link on my sidebar will take you there-

Or if you are in a hurry, check out these already posted event giveaways from Blommi:

Healthy Lifestyle Choose You Gift Pack 6/8

Zylie the Bear of Shen (Bears with a Story) 6/9

Bink'd Temporary Tattoo with mini Caboodle purse 6/9

Wilton Giant Cupcake Pan 6/15

Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

And the winner for the Uprinting Rolled Canvas is...

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2010-05-25 12:55:18 UTC

which is TRINA who said:

Trina said...

I tweeted

May 24, 2010 3:11 AM

Congratulations to you Trina and thanks to all the others that entered. I will be posting a giveaway soon for Sunglass Warehouse either today or tomorrow. Enjoy your day, and Trina I am off to email you!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Kudos to Tiny Prints!

As far as invites go, I've always been one to go to the local Dollar Store to get invites for birthdays, showers, etc... However, I was lucky enough to win a couple of gift certificates to Tiny Prints since I've been blogging and have been holding off on using them for the "perfect occasion."

You see, these are the invites, announcements, etc... that you want to use when you want to make a good impression. Perfect for weddings, showers, newborns, and other milestone occasions in your life when you want something really special. I will admit, they DO cost more than those Dollar Store announcements you can get-but they are custom made just for YOU and no one else.

My daughter is having her much delayed (but better late than never!) baptism party in Guatemala on July 6th. That, as far as the Hispanic community goes, is a BIG event. Same with First Communions, First Birthdays, Baby Showers, and the HOLY GRAIL of them all, the Quince party. (if you have ever seen MTV's My Sweet 16 you'll know what I mean.) Not everyone can afford the MTV-esque parties, but parents do scrimp and save every penny for these get-togethers which can easily cost upwards of a thousand dollars and have hundreds of guests. Take it from one who is planning such a party now-it's a lot of work! (and thank Goodness for the favorable exchange rate as well)

I left the invitations to Tiny Prints, because I knew they would make a great impression for this once in a lifetime event. And I was not disappointed in the least. The invitations came quickly, and I was even able to check out a proof online before final printing due to the fact that the invites were done in Spanish. They even called me to tell me they were sending a proof to my email, and wanted my final approval before printing. Tiny Prints wanted to make sure that they got it just right for us, and their attention to detail and customer service were definitely A plus in my book.

I did encounter a slight problem when it came time to order, for some reason my credit card was not going through so I tried my debit card to no avail. It was late, so the next morning I went back into my cart and contacted Shelby through the online chat option. She placed my order for me, however the gift certificates were not deducted. After some checking and chatting back and forth, she did manage to deduct the GC's and she assured me that my debit card would be credited-however when I checked my balance I saw they had deducted the total amount, then the correct amount but no refund was issued. I wasn't upset, as I knew this might happen, so the following Tuesday I contacted Sarah, in Customer Service, by phone. She said it appeared the credit would go through soon, as it normally takes 3-5 business days. She said she'd check with her supervisor and email me, and within an hour or so, I heard from her that all was fine and that my credit was pending. Two days later, the money was indeed returned to my account. That was the only glitch, and it could have been because I was using the 2 GC's at once, or something simple like that. But it was resolved, and both Sarah and Shelby were very helpful and ensured that I was charged correctly. I was very pleased with both the customer service I received and the finished product as well.

If you have a special celebration, or something going on that requires an invite or announcement-you may want to check out Tiny Prints to see if they have what you need. They often have sales and specials going on as well, which make these much more affordable. That being said, I am definitely going to check them out again when it comes time for my daughter's next important party.

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post. I had won, within the last two years, 2 $50 GC's to Tiny Prints which I used for an online order. Because I was pleased with the experience, the customer service I received and the finished product, I wanted to let you all know about my experience.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My husband the shopaholic...

Most men don't like to shop. My hubby, however is the exception. It's my fault really, because the bargain hunter in me really woke up something in him. At first, he was too busy with his buddies to go shopping. Then we moved back to my hometown here in Maine.

That, my folks, is when the shopping began. I made the mistake of introducing him to a discount store called Marden's. (which actually has several stores throughout the state)It is a kind of surplus type of store-let's say your favorite mall is hit by a tornado. Buyers from Marden's rush to the scene and make a bid on the goods. So basically, it is a surplus and salvage type store.

The man can actually spend HOURS walking around in Marden's looking at things. From tools, to furniture, to everything in between-he is never bored. Considering the inventory is constantly changing, that probably is a good thing. On payday he will go to cash his check. Several hours later, he will appear. A smile on his face, and a bag from Marden's in his hot little hands. Their motto is "You should have bought it when you saw it at Mardens." A couple of times, hubby waited a few weeks for something he really wanted. It was a wonderful display of will power on his part. Unfortunately said items were no longer available, and hubby now buys it when he sees it at Mardens. Doesn't matter that he may not need it.

Like the 155 pairs of women's shoes he bought by the bagful for $1 a bag. Great deal, the shoes were out on the sidewalk sale and quite ugly by my standards but with designer names and in the $50 price range each he had eager clerks scouring those shelves for him and filling bag after bag. Probably about $30 spent. Lucky for him, he has sisters. That pallet of machetes... sure, it was a great deal for about 20 bucks. Currently they are sitting in my back yard, rusting after the winter snow and spring rains had penetrated through the boxes. It seemed like a great idea at the time... or so he thought.

Then there was the JC Penney super spree. I've never seen anything like it. They had marked clothing down to .97 and hubby was scooping up racks of clothing and bringing it to the checkout. (that was one time I cursed them for not having carts) Finally, after he decided he'd had enough, we brought the rest of the purchases to the counter. The registers at JCP are notoriously slow for updating and putting in the sale prices. Especially with the volume of clothing he'd gotten. I felt bad for the clerk, I really did. By then, a crowd of women had assembled and were watching with interest. Either they thought I was a very lucky woman with a whole new wardrobe, or they were just astonished to see a man enjoy shopping.

It took her about an hour to check us out, and another 15 minutes of waiting for the register to finally catch up with the total. I held my breath. Hubby waited, JCP card in hand. The clerk bent down and began slowly folding up the receipt. The total of the merchandise was a little over $400.00. I groaned, thinking about the upcoming bill we'd have to pay. Then the clerk announced to the waiting crowd that this gentleman had just saved over three thousand dollars by buying all of these items on clearance. Someone started clapping and then the whole group joined in. A man patted hubby on the back and praised him for a good job. Hubby looked like the cat who just swallowed a canary, a smug look on his face. I just rolled my eyes and told him we needed to get the heck out of there, lest strange women start following us home eager to get a piece of the action. (not that action, but a free outfit or something lol)

Sigh...yesterday was payday. He went to Marden's alone. He still hadn't picked up our daughter from childcare and I was getting worried. Today, he buttered me up with a Subway breakfast sandwich. I knew what was coming. A trip to Marden's was in my future. Sure enough, he popped the question. We headed to Marden's and I told him I'd wait in the car. Lucky for me, he was quick-he made his purchase and got the heck out. As he got into the car, I heard him humming the catchy Marden's tune. Today, he bought it when he saw it... at Marden's. That should tide him over just fine... until about this time next week.

(for those interested, today the Shopping King bought a wired Xbox 360 game controller)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let's hear it for the girls!

I don't dislike wearing a bra. However, I dislike wearing one that is the wrong size. Over the years, a woman's body changes. What was once perky and pleasant succumbs to the laws of gravity over time and with weight gain, breastfeeding, and all the other changes our bodies go through we often are still using the same bra size from years ago.

I finally realized I wasn't a 36C anymore a few years back. It was hard to accept that middle aged spread had set in and with my weight gain and age, I needed to wear a larger size bra for a more comfortable fit. While I have never had a professional fitting, so to speak, I went into the store and tried on several bras until I found one that felt comfortable. It's safe to say that I graduated up a few sizes and while it is not 100 percent perfect, it's a start.

Wearing the wrong bra size is very common. As a matter of fact, 7 out of 10 women are wearing the incorrect size which can cause bruising, digging, back and shoulder pain and cause your clothes to not fit very well-all the more reason to find out your true bra size. No one likes to be in pain, and we all like to look good-and the right bra can accomplish that if we take the time in our busy schedules to make sure we are wearing the correct size bra to begin with.

I'm sure you recognize the brand name Playtex as one of the leaders in womens bras. They have been around for as long as I can remember (and I'm in my 40's!) and they know their stuff. I was pleased to see that they have launched a new website (and contest!) where you can go to nominate yourself or even a friend to receive a bra makeover from style expert Alison Deyette. You could be one of 10 winners to win a trip to New York for a bra fitting and walk away with some great Playtex products for the new you! Apply today, but hurry-the last day to enter is Friday, May 21st!

By posting this information, I am entered into a contest to win a free bra from Playtex. I did not receive any compensation for this post and thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I've got a Boo-Boo (or three)

Today was the day. I was sliced, diced and frozen all in one sitting. And folks, I am not talking about food here. I am talking about my skin... or what is left of it in certain spots.

A few years ago my dad had a run in with skin cancer. Since I am as pale as Casper on a good day, and know that my years of slathering on baby oil to fry in the sun would one day catch up to me, I decided to have my doctors do a mole, freckle and skin inspection for anything suspicious.

My days of looking like a Maine lobster, red from the pot were long gone. However the skin damage from those days gone by catches up to you years later. Take it from one who knows, and who silently curses those with gorgeous, glowing brown skin and wonderful genes.

Today I walked into the procedure room and was greeted by the nurse. As she laid out various instruments of torture, I asked her about the process. She said we should wait for the doctor to come in. Within moments there was a tap on the door and in walked the doctor, a resident, and another young man young enough to be my son. The young man, sensing I was a bit uncomfortable baring body parts to 3 strange men said he would leave if need be-but I told him it was fine, I'd had kids and there is nothing more intimate than opening your legs and pushing in front of complete strangers male and female, so he could just stay right where he was if he wanted.

After a few nervous laughs by all, I showed the doctors my areas of concern. All appeared just fine, but some were in areas that needed removal. I had a large skin tag right on my bra line, that always seemed to catch my underwire bra at the wrong time. That one was definitely a goner. Another skin tag on my back shoulder-which I actually thought was a mole-that one needed to go too. And finally some sort of ugly warty looking thing which had sprouted out of my forehead within the last month or two. (I told them all I had considered leaving it on for Halloween and dressing up as a witch, which would have been perfect, lol.)

First up, my forehead. They decided they would cut it off and put some sort of gel or whatever on it to keep it from bleeding. But first, the needles. Ah, the numbing process. I asked them how deep the needle was going in-the resident smiled and said that it wouldn't penetrate my skull or anything but I would feel some slight burning. Gee thanks, see that's what I get for watching too many darn horror movies I said to the group assembled over me peering at my forehead. Of course, the warty thing had to appear right where I have a huge patch of white or gray hair (that I tell my colorist to make sure she covers up) and it was only drawing attention to an area that did not need any help since I kind of resemble a striped skunk if I let the darn hair grow out without color for a certain amount of time.

So in goes the needle, and then the burn. But oh no, one was not enough. They decided to torture me with TWO. Lucky for them, they numbed it up good. No screaming came from the room at all. The implements of torture were working just fine. But then when they mentioned two more needles at the other sites, I asked them what about freezing it off with liquid nitrogen. Hmmm, definitely a possibility. Off runs the nurse to get the mixture.

When she returns, I lift up my johnny and we get started on the bra area. Freezing them off consists of dipping some plier like things or scissors into very cold water. They get it at the very stalk, and do it three times, each time it turns white. I kept my eyes closed. I really did not want to see. Both areas received this same treatment, and while it stings a bit it was much better than more needles. The areas are red, and within a few days the skin tags will fall off. I will spare you the photos of that area, since this is not WebMD or anything like that. But rest assured, it does work.

Now that I have chattered way too much in the doctor's office (it was the nerves talking, folks) the nurse asks me if I would like to do the fun part. Considering I had no idea that there even WAS a fun part to any of this, I asked her what she meant. She hands me the very cold liquid nitrogen cup and tells me to throw it on the carpet. I felt like a kid about to do something very naughty... but she was telling me to do it, so she'd be the one to blame if something went horribly wrong. So I tossed the contents onto the floor and immediately a cloud of white smoke came up, my daughter would have thought that was too cool! I thought it was too cool, but figured I would be pushing my luck if I asked her to get some more so I could do it again.

Right now, as I write this, the forehead is pounding, and my bra is off and the girls are resting comfortably. My skin tags still hurt a bit but in a few days my agony should subside. But the great thing is that I passed the test, all moles and freckles appeared normal and my years of not slathering on SPF 45 have not caused major damage or skin cancer. So blog readers, be aware of any changes to your moles, freckles, etc... and be sure to wear lots of sunscreen when you are out and about this year enjoying your summer. And if my hairdresser happens to read this, rest assured we will have an appointment within the next 2 weeks :) photo above for your viewing enjoyment of my boo-boo (I wanted a cool Barbie Band-aid but the nurse said they were all out) excuse the bad angle, you have no idea how hard it is to photo your forehead with only one eye open. Have a great night folks!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Other Male in My Life....

My hubby is jealous. I've got another male in my life-and hubby doesn't like it. See, I've bonded with this guy. We have an understanding, and I could swear that he knows what I am thinking. He's SO much more in tune to me than hubby will ever be.

When I am gone, he misses me terribly. People even tell me he cries for me. If I am outside, but out of view, I can hear him wailing in the house. Of course, he will shut up the minute I walk in the door and give him my full attention.

To make matters worse, I let him sleep with me. This drives my hubby insane. He hates sharing his bed with anyone, but hubby works nights, so what he doesn't know won't hurt him. And I made my kids promise to never tell. Lucky for the other male in my life, he hears hubby long before I do, and slinks away before the door opens and he's caught red handed in my bed.

I don't even need an alarm clock in the morning, I'll get woken up by a loving nudge or head butt right around the time I need to take the kids to school or go to work. I swear he has some sort of an internal clock that knows my schedule by heart. When I was working, and came home for lunch, he'd be by the door, waiting patiently for a little love. And perhaps a treat or two.

Last week, as I was sitting by my computer wondering what on Earth I was going to do next, he demanded some love and attention for the 100th time that day. Hubby was sleeping (or so I thought) so I bent down and gave him a kiss on the top of the head. He reciprocated, with a nudge to my cheek and a cold, wet nose pressed to my lips. I had to laugh, those whiskers were tickling me! Hubby, awakened by the noise looked over and saw... my cat. Stubby was nestled into my neck and he was purring with glee.

It was too late. Images of the green eyed monster flashed before my eyes as hubby focused on the object of my attention. And saw that it wasn't HIM. Hubby shouted an obscenity at the cat, startling him, and he promptly jumped down onto the floor and scurried away, but not before shredding my neck in the process.

I cried out, bleeding and in pain. Hubby looked guilty but seemed a bit pleased with himself as well. I ran to the bathroom and checked my neck, tears welling up in my eyes. The cat found me and looked at me with those sad eyes similar to Puss in Boots during the Shrek movie right before he shredded those soldiers with his mighty sword. Only the shredding had already been done, and he knew he'd been a bad boy. I'm okay, I've got a few cuts and puncture marks but they will heal. Stubby's currently playing it safe by staying away until hubby heads to work-then he'll join me on the bed later on.

Hubby came home the next morning and showed me the Band-Aid on his finger. I asked him what happened. He said I'd cursed him. (he's convinced I am a witch, you know) Apparently he sliced a good chunk of his finger off with a utility knife at work. He blamed me. He blamed the cat. I told him I know who did it. It was the Green eyed monster and if he wasn't careful that wouldn't be the only appendage he'd come close to losing. He paused in thought for quite some time, and later, when he saw the cat jump up and demand attention from me, he turned his attention towards the TV.

Knowing that they were low on food, I went to the bathroom to check their dish. It was full. Apparently there had been a peace offering issued sometime during the early morning hours. At around the time hubby gets home from work. I can't wait to see what Stubby will offer to hubby-a hairball perhaps, some fleas (along with bites), or even a second-hand dead mouse that my outdoor kitty Tippy brings inside to show off his hunting prowess. The truce appears to be working, hubby has been ignoring the cat, even though said cat has been demanding more of my attention just to see what hubby will do. I'm relieved, I still have my neck and jugular vein intact-the cat is happy I'm still able to show him love, and hubby has resigned himself to the fact that he has to share my love with another... even if that "other" happens to be a furry feline.

Thursday, May 13, 2010 Rolled Canvas Giveaway!

As the saying goes, "A Picture Tells A Thousand Words". Capturing these moments in our lives with photos is one way to keep these memories with us forever. When I was younger, we had basic 35mm cameras, Polaroid instants (for those embarrassing moments, lol)and 110 film cameras. As the years went by, technology improved and now our milestones are captured forever in digital images.

One of my favorite online printers gives you the opportunity to turn life's most precious moments into masterpieces. They have a variety of great products, but the ones that stand out for me are the canvas prints. Durable and long lasting, these turn your photos into works of art.

Today I went to the park and took a photo of Deja and her school friend Evan on the tire swing. They had a blast and it was great to see them so happy enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. I am taking photos of Deja and her friends so that when she gets older, she'll remember the fun times she had when she was younger. The years fly by quickly, and before you know it, you're an adult! So the time to enjoy these carefree moments is now, and a fun canvas print (rolled or stretched)adds color, pizazz and class to your collection.

I've got a couple more photos I've taken of my daughter and my grandson these past few weeks, and I'd love to capture these moments forever by creating something special for my family wall in the living room. has given me the chance to do just that, and is also offering my readers a great prize too!

One of my readers will get the opportunity to have a photo of theirs turned into a canvas print! If you want to learn more, read on.

Giveaway starts today and ends May 24, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST. You don't have to be a blogger to enter, however I will need a way to contact you. Winner will be determined by and notified by email.

The Prize is a....

16 x 20 Rolled Canvas for One (1) Winner!

Specifications: 1 Business Day Turnaround

Shipping: FREE UPS Ground Shipping

Eligibility: Limited to US Residents only

Remember that you can also buy canvas prints or other items from online printer

First MANDATORY entry: head on over to look around a bit, and then tell me what you would put on your canvas!

EXTRA OPTIONAL ENTRIES: (leave separate comments, if it says +2, leave 2 comments)
+1 Tell me what other product you like at
+2 Current blog follower via Google Friend Connect
+3 New Blog follower via Google Friend Connect
+1 Follow me on Twitter
+2 Tweet this giveaway, can be done daily too! Please leave me a link to your tweet.
+5 Add my button to your sidebar, please leave a link so I can find you!
+5 Add this giveaway to any giveaway linky and leave me a link so I can check it out!

Good luck!

DISCLAIMER: I was not paid to write this review, however graciously offered me a Blogger Appreciation Prize in return for my post. Thank you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Welcome to the 80's!

Over the weekend my mother showed up at my house with my pink hair crimper, straight from the 80's. She'd had it stored in the attic and was wondering if I still wanted it. Deja, my 8 year old, was curious as to what a hair crimper did. I explained that it made your hair wavy and gave it some volume. Apparently that explanation wasn't good enough.

Today before school she was insistent that I crimp her hair. She even woke up early so that I could do it. She's heard about curling irons, straight irons and other hair goodies, but never, ever heard of a CRIMPING iron. Never mind the fact that she'd look like she came straight out of the 80's-she wanted to do it NOW.

I let my trusty iron heat up and proceeded to crimp. Her eyes never left the mirror and lit up in amazement every time I'd take the iron off her hair and it would be in curly waves. Man, my arm was getting tired! I forgot just how time consuming and hard this was to do! lol... either that or my old age is getting the best of me. (somehow I think that the latter is true)

To complete the look, we added an adorable hat that she'd chosen from Sweet Stella Baby's Etsy shop that I had won in a blog giveaway a couple of months ago. Check out the Etsy shop, she has a sale going on and tons of cute stuff too!

So here is the little Princess as I call her- (actually she is a Diva, and it's only just beginning! one said girls were this hard lol Daddy already fears he'll have to take out a loan just to keep her closet full of the latest fashions) she's ready to head out the door, in her new crimped 'do. (all her little friends commented on her hair today and asked where they could get their hair done like that...) Let's hope their moms or grandmoms (eek!) remember the 80's and somewhere, up in the attic or down in the basement... there's a dusty box full of 80's treasures just waiting to be opened. And maybe, just maybe, they'll find their own pink and purple Conair crimping iron way down at the bottom.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CSN Stores Giveaway! CLOSED

I will be the first to admit that I love shopping. I love getting items that are priced competitively or on sale, and stores that have a huge selection of goods to choose from.

That being said, many stores don't always have exactly what I am looking for. And with limited time, I sometimes have to go to two or three stores in our area to find what I want. I love shopping online too, but I'll confess, I absolutely hate shipping fees!

When I found out about CSN Stores (you can access over 200+ stores on their site!) and saw the wonderful selection of items they offer, I was hooked. It truly is a place for one-stop shopping, and you can often find items on sale AND with free shipping as well. Plus, you don't have to drive around town wasting gas and precious time looking for what you need. The whole process can be done any time of day or night, right from the convenience of your own home-on YOUR time, when it's convenient for YOU. And that, my folks, is the way I like it.

CSN Stores has been around since 2002, and is currently located in Boston, MA. They offer brand name goods for your home and office at competitive prices, while focusing on excellent customer service, well trained and informative employees and stand by their guarantee of: "We guarantee your absolute satisfaction - 100% of the time." The website is easy to use, even for those not so internet savvy (like my mom) and you can refine your searches many ways, helping you to find exactly what you are looking for in no time at all.

Since we bought our house in 2005, I've been doing things little by little to get it decorated the way I want it. When we first moved in, one of the things I noticed I needed to get done would be to repaint the shower/tub ceiling and replace the now non-functioning light over the tub with something a little more my style. (photo above of how it looks now) I've been drooling over the options available in the CSN Stores Recessed Lighting section but have been unable to nail it down to a final choice.

I was thrilled when contacted by Jason at CSN Stores and given the option to choose any product of up to $60.00 to review OR to give away a product from any of the CSN 200+ Stores to one of my readers! Now, if you're like I am, you just might have a special project you want to finish as well, or you might need a cookware item, etc.. so I've left it up to you what you would choose with your $60.00 credit. Keep in mind though, that your item has to be under $60 and shipping included for the giveaway. Since CSN Stores ships to both US AND Canada address, my US readers and those north of the border can enter too!

You do not have to be a blogger to enter, however I MUST have a way to contact you if you are the winner, so please be sure that your email address is in your comment. Winner will be selected by and notified by email shortly thereafter. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my winning email notice or I will have to select another winner. Giveaway will end on June 1, 2010 at 11:59 pm EST.

Okay, now that all that is said and done-I need your help! For your first MANDATORY entry, please go to the link above (recessed lighting) in my post and when you get there, check out the Shower Lighting section. Let me know what YOU would choose from their vast selection to replace that nasty looking light above. I need some ideas folks! You may also let me know what you would get with your $60 credit to CSN Stores as well, if you'd like. But don't worry, that part isn't mandatory, I'm just curious as to what you'd spend the $60 on if you won.

You may also earn extra entries as listed below. Keep in mind that you will need to enter each comment separately, so if it says +5 you need to leave 5 SEPARATE comments.

+3 current blog follower via Google Friend connect
+2 new blog follower via Google Friend connect
+1 current or new twitter follower (micaela6955)
+1 tweet about giveaway, leave a link to your tweet please! Can do this daily.
+5 Blog about this giveaway, and leave me a link to your post.
+5 Post this on any giveaway linky and leave me the info so I can check it out.
+2 Add my button to your sidebar

Wishing you all lots of luck and hoping to get some great ideas as to what I should get to replace my current shower lighting, thanks for the help and for your comments!

Disclaimer: The content above is my own opinion. I did not receive any compensation for this review and giveaway, I was offered the chance to review and/or give away an item to my readers from CSN Stores. I chose to let my readers receive the gift credit so they could experience CSN Stores great service for themselves. That being said, I have been the lucky recipient of an item or two from other blog giveaways in the past offering CSN Store merchandise, and I am impressed with their quality and selection of items and quick shipping.

Hope you all enjoy your day-may it be special and filled with love.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Pics from Rhode Island

During our recent trip to Rhode Island, my little grandson tagged along with us. He actually seemed quite at ease sitting on hubby's lap in the parking lot thinking he was driving my car. (he did hit the horn a couple of times to hurry his parents up a bit as they were in the store taking up WAY too much time, lol)

I also got to go to a party while there-a friend of ours little boy made his Confirmation and I have to admit he looked very handsome in his all white suit! My daughter was upset, she'd stayed home with Grandma in Maine and when she heard that her little friend had a party and she wasn't there, she was very disappointed. I wish I'd known ahead of time, so that she could have come with us. But I've set up a play date for the local Chuck E. Cheese in about a month before we fly out to Guatemala, so she'll get to see him then.

And finally, Pupusas to go! Deja had asked me to bring her Pupusas from the local El Salvadoran restaurant while we were there, so I ended up getting some Pupusas revueltas and brought them home-I can tell you they didn't last very long in this house ;)

We'll be heading back down there again sometime this month and finally in June before we fly out on the 17th for Central America. I've been super busy catching up on emails and getting the necessary doctor appointments, dentist visits and shots (ouch!!!) needed for our trip. Knowing my luck, I will end up with some foreign sickness and spend most of my time in the bathroom! So... because I don't want that to happen, I am getting the needed shots and meds here before I go for myself and Deja. Hubby feels he doesn't need anything, and he's been fine each time he's gone before so he says he's all set. (he HATES going to the dr. office, and I think that might have something to do with him not wanting to get meds and shots!) It's raining here today in Maine and damp and dreary-so I'll be cleaning house and trying to get some blogging and emails done as I am so far behind on everything! Wishing you all a wonderful week!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Review-Pollo Campero, Pawtucket, RI

I went. I saw. And I ate. Pollo Campero that is. Every Guatemalan that I know is absolutely NUTS over this chicken so I decided that once they opened up shop in my neck of the woods I was heading to check it out. I had business to do in Providence this past week, so it was a good time to head to Pawtucket and check out the local Pollo Campero.

When we arrived, the restaurant was practically empty. I was surprised, but considering it had opened some time ago the long lines of Latinos eager for their chicken fix had long gone by. As soon as I opened the door, I was greeted with the smell of fried chicken and my mouth started watering in anticipation. I was surprised to see another Gringo there getting himself a box to go, and while in line trying to decide what to get a few more people showed up.

Considering my only experience with Pollo Campero prior to this was eating a piece that had traveled thousands of miles in hubby's carry on bag, and then the four hours home in a car, finally getting a fresh, hot piece of chicken was very appealing.

I went with a combo meal-a leg and thigh along with rice and a soft drink. Hubby chose the same as me, but with beans as his side. I also could not resist the tres leches cake that seemed to be calling me from behind the counter.

Hubby took a few bites, savored the taste, and announced that while the chicken was good and had SOME spices, it was not as good as the original in Guatemala. Ah... nothing ever tastes as good as home, so I knew that it wouldn't satisfy him completely. But he did eat it all, and we went back for a second trip with my son and his girlfriend before heading back to Maine later that day and got a box to take home.

I am one who loves the (unhealthy) seasoned chicken skin, if I could I would eat just that, lol. I found this chicken to be plump, juicy and lightly seasoned with a very slight bit of heat. It wasn't greasy at all, and that was a plus. The rice was so-so. The next day I had fries, and if I had to choose again, I'd probably go with the fries. Hubby did mention that his beans were ok. I would have liked to try the fried plaintains, but my stomach can only take so much in one sitting. One thing I loved was the salad type bar that had jalapenos, pico de gallo, and other Latin type condiments that could be added to give it even more heat if needed. The tres leches cake was delicious, a bit watery on the bottom but still every bit as good.

What surprised me was that everything was served on white china plates. While the silverware was plastic, the plates were the real deal. No disposable plates here. I would hate to be their dishwasher though, lol! Both visits, the restaurant was very clean and the restrooms as well. Our last visit was a Sunday around noon time and while they were not busy when we arrived, people getting out of church ended up filling it up pretty quickly.

I will be heading to RI in a few weeks for more business, and will definitely stop for some more Pollo Campero-I'll be heading to Guatemala on June 17th and can't wait to try them out there as well. If you've got a Pollo Campero near you, be sure to check it out and let me know what you think!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Soleil 100 Days

Soleil 100 Days: "There are thousands of fun, sharable prizes in the BIC® Soleil® 100 Days of Sunshine promotion. Join now!"