Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday's Feast #158

Appetizer:
Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

Mi Mommasita!!!

Soup:
If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

0-33 A.D. following Jesus around everywhere, what I could have seen!!!

Salad:
What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

Only 1??? I've witnessed the birth of 2 children, the birth of puppies, a baby's first sucks on a bottle, walking up to the Grand Canyon, I've witnessed a huge rainbow that had another rainbow inside and another one inside that one and another and another until you couldn't see it anymore. I counted 9 layers before they blended together! This is only a double rainbow.

Main Course:
If you were a celebrity, what would you do for a publicity stunt?

I have no idea. I'm not that into publicity. Maybe jump onto Oprah's couch?

Dessert:
What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

I used to think 23 or 24 would be a great age to start having babies, but that came and went 10 years ago, so I say 35 or 36? LOL


Incompetent vs. Incontinence

How many phone calls, how many days wasted....how high is my level of frustration with my new credit card company? THROUGH THE ROOF!

I got a new credit card (as some of you know) to use as back up funding for my upcoming trip. After some investigating, I discovered that one of my other cards has a better rate for purchases and this new card offers 0% through Aug. 2008 for balance transfers! Hello!

So I decided to transfer a large sum of the old card to the new card in order to utilize the best of what both cards offer! Then after you receive the card itself, they send out a 'welcome package'. You have to receive the welcome package to initiate the balance transfer. I never received the welcome package. I called them back after a few weeks, and they said they would send out another one. I never received that one either! Now it's getting too close to have the balance transferred before I leave! I honestly feel like sending them a huge package of adult diapers! If they can't even mail out a package that is their own standard procedure! And I know they have the right address, or I wouldn't have received the card in the first place! Sheesk!

Light at the end of the tunnel

A friend of mine from the bible study, recently confided in me that she was having some issues with paying back some cash advance loans. She said that she didn't have any issues with credit cards, like most people (myself included in times past), but couldn't seem to get out from under this problem.

This is one aspect I haven't talked about here when I've addressed how to fix money issues. I apologize, it's just that I don't use those kinds of loans and hadn't thought of it.

My suggestion would be, get 1 loan or 1 new credit card with a balance big enough to pay off all those cash advance loans. That way, you have one payment per month which will sometimes even be less than all the other payments you are making to those loans. Also, it provides the light at the end of the tunnel and STOPS the cycle of continuing payments! Then, once that loan is paid off, or that credit card is paid off, close the account!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My first blog award!

Thanks to Bridget over at 'And miles to go before we sleep' for handing out this fun award and recognizing me and others enough to pass it on! It's much appreciated and certainly brought a smile to my face today! Thanks for including me...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Gum

That's right, gum. It's something so simple, and yet I rarely buy it! I'm not sure why, maybe it's because I try not to tempt myself by walking down the candy isle. But there was a coupon and so now I have 2 different packs of 17 sticks each. One is of the minty variety, because I like to taste freshness sometimes.

The other one I chose, was a hot cinnamony flavor. I seem to be addicted to the burn lately! I find myself thinking about that hot feeling on my tongue even when I'm not chewing it! I was enjoying it so much yesterday, shortly after I began to chew it, I forgot it was gum an swallowed it! Do you know how long it has been since I swallowed gum? Maybe 20 some odd years! LOL I kinda felt a little nauseous thinking about it in there. But I'm sad now, because I'm down to having only 2 sticks left. I'm not sure if I will buy any more...I don't want to become addicted for real.

How about you, have you rediscovered an old favorite treat recently that you hadn't enjoyed in a long while?

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It was bound to happen eventually.

What you are about to hear is a story that happened to me just the other night. For you see, I am now in the habit of 'can hunting' on my way home late at night. 'Can hunting' is just that, searching out aluminum cans to recycle. It's one of the many ways of making money I recently started to incorporate into my way of life. I like to hunt cans late at night through the park near my house because there are no other people driving through the park at that late hour! I feel safer and it's easier to do what I need to do without other cars, bicyclists and the like. I also circle a couple of streets on the outskirts of the park too.

I always approach the cans cautiously. Sometimes they are not exactly empty. I know this must sound yucky to you readers out there, but it's free money just laying there! I can't help myself! So I have a way of pouring that's really more of a centrifical flinging than anything. I like the liquids to splash away from my ankles! I go can hunting at least once or twice a week now, I just can't help myself!

Well, anyway, it was bound to happen eventually, I stopped to pick up a can and did my test-fling-are you empty-dump move when I felt something inside the can come out and fall onto the ground and scurry away. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I threw the can and got the bleep out of there. I couldn't make out exactly what it was, but it was BIG and dark, it kinda reminded me of one of those Madagascar hissing cockroaches they used to make the participants on Fear Factor eat! I can't even stand to look at a small picture of one on my blog, so click at your own risk!

I might be done 'Can hunting' for a while...

What to wear, what to wear!

Ok, now I'm having a dilemma and I'm asking you people to help me out here. I will be traveling to new destinations. I've bought new clothes, but what do I wear to the different places? I'm fairly certain I know which outfits I'd like to wear for my photos in Italy, that came very easy to me. It also seems like the Lord has really helped me find just the right shirts to fit my mood right now. I am so thankful! Normally it is hard for me to even find clothes I like because I am oddly proportioned. Basically all belly! Seriously, I could pass for at least 9 or 10 months pregnant right now. I'm working on it, but I have come to a place of acceptance. See me, love me. I am embracing my budah-belly-ness.

Anyway, back to what to wear. So, what do you wear to a sunrise at Stonehenge? A hoodie and jeans? How about the castle feast? I will not be able to rent costuming to take with me and don't own any I could take. Seriously, what do I want to look like in these photos? Maybe I should go for something more dignified? And then, the castle feast...I mean it's not like I'll see men dressed up in cufflinks and cumber buns. It's not your standard 'dress up' fair. I wish I had something sort of empire waist and bell sleeves. Oh gosh, I just thought about shoes! What kind of shoes do you wear to Stonehenge??? Um, help!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Beating the system

I got a new PDA cell phone here while back, and the only thing I noticed it couldn't do was take pictures. I chose this particular one because I knew I needed to get on board and update my technology. Get organized. And hey, let's face it, it was in my price range. At the time, I didn't really care that it didn't take photos, I didn't think it would be a bid deal. Boy was I wrong.

I've had a camera phone for so long before this, I really miss being able to change the wallpaper to my kitties or whatever fun place I'd recently visited. Who doesn't get tired of looking at the same ol' thing day in and day out? I know what I'm missing! I had a free month of internet at first and I went online and just downloaded a couple of wallpapers so I could have something other than the default screen to look at. That was fine at the time but I only had like 3 to choose from because you still had to pay for the right to download it.

My phone uses a mini disc for memory storage. My new camera takes an SD type. Well, guess what I just found? The mini disc adapter that came with the mini disc!!! Yay! So I conducted an experiment and hoped for the best. I took the mini disc out of my phone, put it inside the adapter, put them in my camera, snapped off a few shots of my furry babies and then put the mini disc back into my phone and it worked!!! I'd never thought of trying this before but I'm glad I found that adapter. I did it again and this time, I took a few more shots. It's really hard to get 2 cats to do something interesting when they are close to each other. Well for my 2 it is anyway. Here's the best shot of them together, it's currently the wallpaper on my phone ;-)

Taking donations

I've been working so hard these past few months to earn the extra cash needed to take this trip. I do so apologize for having what must seem like tons of posts about my upcoming vacation, but you see, it's the biggest thing on my mind right now. Most things I will be doing from now until I leave, will be centered around getting ready for take-off. Now back to what I was saying.

I've been working overtime, selling things on ebay, using this blog, collecting aluminum cans and really, pretty much everything short of starting a home based business to make the cash. I'd love to go on this trip and come home debt free from it! I don't want to come home and make payments on my memories. I believe this can be done! So, if you care to, I'm now taking donations LOL Just joking of course, unless you really wanted to, send me a comment and I'll tell you where to direct your much appreciated funds LOL

I need to formulate a list

Yes, as you might remember, I am Queen List-maker! But I am beginning to feel the crunch of time coming down on me with my planning and preparing for this trip. I mean, just look at the countdown over there in the sidebar...it's not taking a break! As of the time of this post, I am looking at only 19 days before take off!

So, I will need to make a list of everything I am expecting to get done before leaving and I need to coordinate it with the schedule I have already created for the days left. Right now I have a list of different topical lists of things that either have to be bought, printed, copied, acquired, packed, read or completed before I can leave! Those lists include (but are not limited to *that's the accountant in me*):
  • Things to pack: carry on
  • Things to pack: luggage
  • Things to do to prepare for trip
  • Paperwork for traveling
  • Things to do at home to be gone for 2 weeks
So as you can see, I really need to consolidate all this information into one so I don't miss anything. I have a feeling, I'm going to need a vacation after my vacation!

You're Invited!

Well, it started out as a book party and has now turned into a real party with guests and eats and all that! My friend Jen has just started selling At Home America and I wanted to do a party for her. She even graciously offered to have the show at her house, since I just don't have time to prepare my house and also, most of my people are towards that neck of the woods anyway!

Like many people, I had never heard of At Home America (or AHA) before, but they are 25 years old! There aren't very many distributors in our area that I know of, so it's very likely to be new to many people.

I personally describe their merchandise to be a mix of Pampered Chef, Home Interiors, PartyLite and Home Made Gourmet type items because they have bakeware, dinnerware, jar candes, tee lights, difusers, wax melts and warmers, wreaths, sit arounds, plaques, lots of wrought iron items and even cast iron items, clocks, hooks, shelves, vases, lamps, serving bowls, mixing bowls, full on furniture, serving caddys, throw blankets, painted wooden words of all kinds, rugs, mirrors, magazine racks, photo frames, sconces, phones, radios, an old style turntable, drinkware, coasters, towels, soap dispenser, runners, a vintage fan, decorative pillows, stemware, dip mixes, beer bread mixes (but you can use any carbonated beverage), serving platters, an over the sink rack and much more! That's just in the everyday catalog!

Right now they have a fall and holiday catalog too that has wonderful fall and thanksgiving must-haves as well as Christmas and winter decorations and serving accoutrement. They have like 700 items too take in and you can check out the catalogs online and let me know what you like if you can't come to the party. I will make sure you get it :)

I sent out 42 invitations, of course only about 20% will show up...but hopefully more can come. The party is set for Sat. September 8th, 2007 at 4:01 pm. If you live in the greater St. Louis Area and would like to come, by all means, shoot me a comment and let me know, I'll give you all the information! If you bring a friend, you will earn extra 'Auction Bucks' which can be used to win a special prize :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's funny sometimes...

how you can find fun things online quite by accident, that you end up really liking!

So I have this friend, Patrick who DJs a show called 'The Patrick D. Show' over at MoJoRadioLive. Anyway, whilst trying to get to a point that I could listen to his show, I had to end up...well, I'm still not sure how it all works. There's now an iTunes player involved, basically the point of my story is, I've been turned onto this internet radio station called Live365! They have 10,000 radio stations all free and commercial free (except for the ones they inject to get us interested in buying a paid membership, but I don't mind a few of these from time to time. It beats real radio with commercials every 10 minutes for 10 minutes!

Oh, also, not to shock anyone, but I apparently like listening to the fun sounds of a station called Polynesian Underground. I like it! It's sorta reggea & stuff....reminds me of my trip to the Bahamas and such. Good times...

This is NOT a paid post! Look, it's link-free!!! ;-)

I'm worried about my pictures...

and I haven't even taken them yet! I guess more specifically, I'm worried about the photos of me on my vacation. Maybe I should explain. You see, I have really long hair. It's mostly all one length (although I am going for a haircut before I leave, but more on that later) and frankly there's a fine line most days between hair that gets a second look and hair that makes you want to turn your head the other way!

Usually, to get hair that looks on the 'good' side, I have to do at least some fixing to it that certainly requires a hair dryer at the very minimum! I can kick it up a notch by adding some style with a curling or flattening iron....but the friend I'll be visiting doesn't have ANY such girly power tools for me to use, and mine won't work with the European electrical currents and outlets! So I'm afraid I will be experiencing a perpetual 'bad hair day' in all my photos throughout my entire vacation! Ugh.... Ok, note to friends & family who are reading this: A good birthday or christmas gift idea is that Photoshop program for my computer so I can jazz up my photos when I get back home! LOL

Did I mention this?

On my last Friday night in England we are going to a medieval castle feast and then spending the night in the castle!!!! Note: I will be in my own room.....alone.....got it? Ok, now read on...

Ruthin castle is called 'The Red Fort' and is located in Northern Wales in Ruthin in Denbigshire. I just did a search for it to add a photo and you will not believe the site I just found it on a haunted hotel website!

Oh, Lordy....what have I gotten myself into? According to this website, the 'Grey Lady' is a regular visitor! I don't want to meet her in the hallway by myself... And it's not cheap either...all the reservations for dinner and hotel stay were made already through my friend and her husband that I will be traveling with, so I'm not sure of the final pricing, but my friend said it's comparable to a Bed and Breakfast in that area. I checked online and it looks like it could be upwards of $250! For just me! Oh boy.... I'd better work as many overtime hours as possible! Back to work for me!!!

At work again on Saturday

In preparation of my upcoming trip and due to the fact that I have a lot of work to get done (and being distracted by my blogging habbit!), I am at work again on a Saturday. I don't mind really, it's not like strenuous physical labor. And all too soon (20 days to be exact!) I will be off to Europe on my vacation for 2 weeks and not worried at all about working all these Saturdays!

Boy it will be weird not to be at work for so long...I won't miss it here, though I think my boss will have a renewed appreciation for me by the time I get back. You see, he will have to do all the payrolls that I normally do while I'm gone, plus whatever work he has to do as well! Yeah, take that bossman! LOL

One thing I think we could use around this office is possibly some collaboration software. I've been at him to get a website for our business and they offer website content management, business email solution and enhanced communication among managers and employees. Besides, they offer a free 30 day trial! Anyway, I guess I can't expect him to move too quickly on these things, we only first got high speed internet here in the office a few short months ago! And wouldn't have it now, if it weren't for me pushing and then actually calling and getting it all going and setting it all up, thank you very much! ;-)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Ah, good times...

Speaking of getting started with PayU2Blog, I just received my first set of assignments! 4 to be exact :) Anyway, you get a list of assignments by way of keywords. So I took a gander and the topics seem to be all over the place. Right away I know this is going to be fun, I love a good challenge!

Some of you know I will be going on a big trip to England and Italy here in the next 21 days (OMG I can't believe it's coming so fast!) (*that's what she said*) (sorry, couldn't help myself...) and I just know it's going to be the trip of a lifetime! Certainly something I have wanted to do, but never thought I would. This is a really big deal to me, prior to this, one of the biggest trips I'd ever been on was a road trip to the Rio Las Vegas with 3 friends! It's a really great big curved colorful building (casino and resort actually) with great views, just off the strip. Picture this: A road trip over 3,000 miles with 4 women from the Midwest and back. Too bad that trip ended with the loss of some friendships, but hopefully this one will not end on a sour note.

Welcome to PayU2Blog!

I'm in! This is great, I've been hearing really great things about this up and coming site. The forums over at Geeky Speaky are full of helpful tips and shiny happy bloggers making money and even getting free products to review! Check out this new banner I chose:

Get Paid Money to Blog

I put one over in my sidebar to attract all you bloggers who haven't yet looked into making money with your blogs. I've been a member of PayPerPost for a few months now and have done really well. But I honestly think PayU2Blog will be even better because they have some very simple guidelines:
  • Posts have to be only 60 words (or more, of course)
  • Posts can be of any content as long as you include the text link assigned (aka freeform)
  • You can post 1 assignment per post
  • You can post back to back paid posts
  • No disclosure required
  • You get paid every two weeks
  • $5 per assignment
  • Assignments are dropped every Friday
  • There's no limit to the number of assignments you can complete in a week, up to how many they actually give you, of course
  • What are you waiting for? This is only some of the great bennies!
Come on down, you can too earn some nice dough!
Come on, click the cat, you know you want to!

Ok, Ok...

I have to fess up. For anyone who has been watching my sidebar ticker countdown called 'A mile a day before England', you have probably noticed that the tiny treadmill marker has not moved in over a week. I KNOW!!! I am feeling it too. Every night when I lay down, I tell myself I will get up the next morning and walk. And every morning, I get up late and don't have time.

I can't do that, I only have 21 days left until I leave and I want to be used to walking everyday by then! So bookmark my blog, come back and check each day to see if I have walked. I will update it every day around 10 am CST. If the marker doesn't move, feel free to yell at me in a comment! I hereby give you permission.

Friday's Feast #157

Appetizer:
Say there’s a book written about your life. Who would you want to narrate the audio version?
Um, me. It's my life! Who else would be able to articulate the inflections such as I?
(Random internet photo)

Soup:
Take the letters from your favorite kind of nut and write a sentence. (Example: Perhaps every avenue needs understanding today.) Christ always shows his everlasting wonderfulness!


Salad:
If you could go back in time and spend one week in another decade, which decade would you choose? This one is too hard! I might say the 80's. What a time, what a time!

(Click to enlarge)

For those of you living in St. Louis during the 80's, click the logo (then come back here!)

Main Course:
Name a song that brings back memories for you.
How about we try and see if there is a song that doesn't bring back memories? Ok, one for me is Buddy Holly's 'Peggy Sue'. I remember listening to the 8 track while riding in my dad's old Ford Fairlane car on our way to the country to visit grandparents, in the back seat, which seamed to be covered in plastic. Anyway, I was very young but I still remember it every time I hear that song!

Dessert:
Do you prefer to wash your hands in cold water or warm water?
Both, either, I'm not picky about this one.




Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fabulous Fox Theatre presents (again) Wicked the Musical!

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

I saw this a couple of years ago. I had not (and still haven't & don't want to) read the book, but I wanted to see it. My boss pooled his birthday bonus and Christmas bonus for me together and paid for my ticket ($60, big bonuses, huh?) But I went, by myself and I loved it! I then received the soundtrack on CD from my cousin Misty for my birthday! She wanted to go with me, but our schedules just conflicted to the point that she didn't get to go at all.

Now it's here again, and we have already began to make arrangements to get our tickets early. I hope we can get great seats this time. The most expensive seats are only $70 & $75 depending on which night the performance is on.

The Wizard of Oz is one of my all time ever favorite movies EVER!!! So I was leery of what this musical would do to damage my love for that. I was really worried it would change my feelings about it, but honestly, it didn't! I mean, they are sort of related, but I think this could stand alone as it's own interesting performance and not need to influence the timeless movie at all! It definitely puts a twist on the ideas behind it, and frankly I think it's quite cunning!

I am looking forward to all the songs, which by now I know by heart (sorry everyone who will be sitting around me!) I can't wait to see Glinda the 'good' witch "Toss, toss" her hair and Elphaba take flight for the first time! It's so powerful and moving and overall one of the most entertaining live shows I've ever seen! I can't wait to see it again!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Postie petition to PPP: Change the Captchas system

I almost had a $500 opp!!!! In PPP's Special '1k Tuesday' that seems to have started today, Wednesday, I had a chance at the only $500 opp of the day!!! It came up white, took too long to load, then I got stuck at the captcha screen, AGAIN!

We are all too familiar with captchas. I use the blogspot captcha setting on the comments here, myself. They certainly aren't our best friends, but we understand the need for them and rightfully appreciate the idea behind them. That being said, having a captcha that is not even a real word sometimes, with a thick black line through wavy and fuzzy black lettering of the same thickness, sometimes hyphenated words and now I've seen number sequences including a hyphen and a parentheses at the end!?!?!?!?!?

I have been reading a lot of posts from the PPP forums and many people have reported problems with this. Some say they are getting characters on letters that we don't even have buttons for on our keyboards, they type the letter without it and it goes through. Some people say they don't even bother with the space between the 2 'words' and it goes right through. Still other people are saying they type in the two words as best as they can make em' out to be, up to 12 times and it simply doesn't work at all!

Do you agree the current captcha settings need to be changed? If so, please join me here with a comment to PPP. They need to hear us that the current captcha service really needs to be more user friendly. We are the users, and we all say: MAKE SOME CHANGES!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Hairspray: A movie review

I went to see this movie on Sunday with my mom. We got there after the previews had already begun, so we didn't get our first choice for seating. We ended up sitting 1 row from the front off to the right side.

That being said, I did have an idea for what the movie would be about before I went in, because I had seen the Oprah episode a while back, featuring some of the main characters. I don't think my mom knew about it though. It was nice to see so many recognizable faces! I didn't realize there would be so many big names. I think that the brand new actress, Nikki Blonsky did a really great job. In a way, she reminds me of myself. I think everyone likes to think they could be an actress, if only given the chance (any talent agents, please contact me straight away!).

Over all, I thought this movie was pretty good. It was very predictable at times (and I've never seen the original either, from 1988 with Ricki Lake.) My mom made a comment towards the end of the movie, that they were wearing her out with all that dancing! It seems that once it got started, it didn't stop. I actually didn't care for John Travolta playing the mom in this movie. I mean, I get it, it was funny, but he does NOT make a good woman actress. He did nail the Baltimore accent in his voice though. I think I kept getting turned off by his manly hands and arms. Anyway, it didn't work well for me. I did really love Queen Latifa in this movie. She always has a great presence. Also, Christopher Walken was great as well. There's a scene with a whoopy cushion bed, that about made me pee my pants!!! Had I been at home, I would definitely have rewound it! Michelle Pfeiffer is one of my favorites from all times, so of course I think she did a good job. The movie delivered high energy, lots of fun songs that could easily get stuck in your head, and all in all a great story of determination. I would recommend it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Heads or Tails #2


This week's Heads or Tails theme is 'LUCK'. We are supposed to list a couple of ways luck has played a part in our life. So here goes:

I simply don't believe in luck. I believe in the perfect and divine will of God in my life and that leaves no room for any ideas of random cosmic forces swaying from good to bad. As a matter of fact, if I had to depend on luck to be my future, I would be a terribly sad soul! The idea of luck is that of what, karma? If you do good, good things will happen? And if you don't then...? That's not true at all. Good things happen to bad people and vice versa.

No, I think more, the idea of luck is random acts of good and bad things happening without regard to deserving actions. If you find $20 on the ground or $100 drifting down the street, you might say, 'It's good luck!' No, it's a $20 bill or $100 bill that you were meant to snatch up, or it wouldn't have been there when you were. Ever wonder how many more people found such money on that street on all the other days it's been in existence? What about bad luck? Ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? Did you think it was bad luck out to get you?

For me, to have any belief in luck, would be silly and frankly unfruitful. I also don't understand why people always say 'Good luck' to their opponents in a race or a game. Seriously! I'm not kidding here...I don't get this. Why would you wish your opponent to do well? Are you not going to put forth all of your efforts to beat them? If you really wished them to do well in the race, you would withdraw yourself from their competition! That would give them an advantage, thus showing that person you wish them well. I think it's ok to wish them safety or enjoyment in the sport of the competition, but to wish someone 'good luck' seems a bit ridiculous to me. I think people who say 'Good luck' to me at the beginning of a game or race or something, is two faced.

2 cents deposited!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Friday's Feast #156

Appetizer:
Describe your laundry routine. Do you have a certain day when you do it all, or do you just wash whatever you need for the next day?
I wait until I have no 'favorites' left and then I breakdown and do it all!

Not my cat-random internet photo!
Soup:
In your opinion, what age will you be when you’ll consider yourself to truly be old?
Depends, sometimes I feel old even though I'm not right now. I guess I'll consider myself old when I'm about 65-70

Old lady or young lady?
Salad:
What is one of your goals? Is it short-term, long-term, or both?
Short Term-to lose any amount of weight before I leave on my trip. Long Term-to buy my own house!

Main Course:
Name something unbelievable you’ve seen or read lately.
I heard on the radio this morning, a business in S. Carolina (I think) was overcharging the Pentagon (or some gvt. agency) on shipping for tiny $1.80 nuts and bolts to be shipped various places and had gotten away with it for like the past 6 years and they just discovered she ripped us off for about $20,000,000!!! Apparently there was a loophole in the system for items being shipped to war zones. The system never questioned the amounts and automatically paid whatever was on the invoice. They have discovered there were more than one business doing this. They are going to try to auction off the items purchased with the laundered money to recoup some of it. The lady pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 40 years.

Dessert:
On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how happy are you today?
I'd say about an 8!




Thursday, August 16, 2007

Footprints in the carpet

I had the special privilege last night, to witness the (almost) first steps of a child. This may not seem like a big deal to you, if you have kids and have witnessed this before. But I don't have babies yet and haven't had this pleasure yet, it was so precious to me. It's something we all do at different points in our development, but this particular one is special to my heart.

Bless his heart, he's been walking pretty well while holding on to things and he just decided to let go! He does look, as his mommy called it, 'Like a baby Frankenstein' stumbling about with tension in his shoulders as he strained to keep his balance and his little arms stretched out ready to grab on to anything - just in case. You couldn't help but to let out laughter in a very pure and joyful way. The kind of emotion that comes with one of those tiny tears that well up in your eyes but don't necessarily fall. You find yourself clapping and saying, 'Good boy, you're doing it, you're walking, buddy!' It's made even sweeter when he drops to his bottom and looks up at you smiling from ear to ear! And then eagerly searches for a help up to do it all over again.

I had the awesome privilege of watching him be born. I will never cease to be amazed by this entire process. I think we tend to take it for granted really, the miracle that is life. There's certainly a divine plan to this story and I love watching it develop, like the chapters of a book. I am so thankful for times like these, when we can enjoy the life given and hope is full and untainted by the world. This baby will take many more steps in his life, but they may never be as precious as these first few!

(Thanks, 'Mom' for the opportunity to share in his birth and giving me permission to use his oh-so-cute pictures!)

Credit Card Traps

In preparation of my upcoming trip, I thought it necessary to take on a new credit card. I ONLY did this to ensure I would have a back up plan for my savings. I have never been to Europe, and I've heard it's quite expensive.


We all get tons of these offers in the mail everyday. They all make tempting offers of 0%'s and low interest rates and it makes you wonder, 'How many of these are actually credit card traps?' There is inevitably fine print to be considered, if you can decipher the codes and footnotes.

So, I read each one and made a choice. As it turns out, the credit card I applied for, has an introductory rate of 0% on balance transfers until August 2008. Awesome! This way, I can free up a large portion of my balance on another card that actually has a better rate for purchases. I had to research all the current rates that I'm being charged on the different cards, find out what the cash advance rate is, because it's always higher, and then I could make an informed decision about the best way to take advantage of the great offer, instead of it taking advantage of me.

Are you familiar with that information on your cards? What are your current rates? Have your introductory offers from long ago, now ran out? If so, what is your new rate?

My suggestion is to educate yourself on the terms and conditions that accompany each offer. They are all different. We all need to learn to use credit cards much more frugally than we have been. Using these offers are helpful in your financial planning and if you ever consider debt consolidation or other forms of debt management. It's your money and you work hard for it. You owe it to yourself to make informed decisions. Perhaps, if you need help getting started, you could consider credit counseling! Can't hurt :)

Epic - Week 1

Tuesday night marked the beginning of my new bible study called Epic by John Eldredge. As always with the first week, you have an introduction from the teacher as to how she will run the class, what is expected from us and any special issues will be addressed this night.

Things are always hectic for me the first nights because I am mom's helper (my mom is the teacher in case you missed the first post about this). It's my job to make sure each person signs in, gets their name tag with sticker, take payment for the books and hand out the books, study guides and folders. It's a lot, and inevitably a traffic jam ensues. But I just keep at it and before I know it it's done.

We watched a short DVD of the prologue to the study. John Eldredge himself is giving his prologue to a large study group. The stage behind him was full of props, as if he were backstage on a movie set. I kept thinking, "How fitting! I always thought life was like a movie." Each week will have a DVD like this to move us through the study. I like this kind of study, I also like the one's with CDs too but I like DVDs more. It's easier to listen when you have something to look at! LOL

We had 20 women in class Tuesday, including mom. There were about 8 women who didn't show up. We'll see if they will come next week or decided to take the class on Thursdays instead.
Anyway, Epic is a study about 'The story God is telling'. So often, we will react so differently once we have the full story. We all have a story. The years of our lives are like chapters. We are also part of a bigger story. This study will help us explore our story, to actually begin to record our story.

I am so excited, the more I hear about this study, the more enthused I get! I have always felt like there is a story just waiting to be told lurking inside me. I'm hoping it will be as Epic as I think it might be. I'll post again after I've done this week's homework and you can take this journey with me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nasty crack

I was driving along on the highway last night when out of no where, well, not NO where, obviously it was kicked up from the road or maybe someone's tire....oh never mind, anyway, I was driving along when - KA-BLAMMO!

Instant crack-age. I mean, we are not talking about a tiny little ting or scratch in the tempered glass. This was an instant break which fingered off in like 2 or 3 directions. This morning I was greeted with the accompanying and every so inevitable split going off from it. I would suppose the split is aided by the humidity and heat extreme we are encountering here in the Midwest. Man this is gonna cost me, it's directly in front of my view starting from the top and going down right now about 8 or 9 inches.

These things happen I guess. I can't cry too much, for all I know, I've done the same to someone else unbeknown by me. If I have before, sorry!!! My turn for a payback I guess.

Wordless Wednesday




Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Heads or Tails #1

Time for a new meme. It'll give Tuesdays a boost of fun! Today's meme is brought to you by Skittles. She made this up and this week's theme is 'Beginnings' so here goes!

-In the beginning, God created - EVERYTHING!!
-Beginning this Thursday, I plan to listen to my friend Patrick do his DJing thang over at KMRL live internet radio show called 'The Patrick D. show.' Due to technical difficulties, I've had to miss it in the past. Come listen too, won't you?
-I'm beginning to fall behind at work because I spend waaaaay too much time blogging!
-I'm beginning to get more and more excited about my trip, it's getting closer and closer!
-It's beginning to look like the end of summer and beginning of fall, one of my fave times of the year!
-I did a search in Goggle Images for the word 'Beginning' and this was the first photo it gave me: