Thursday, December 23, 2010

HP Printer Giveaway!

As some of you know, I am a HUGE fan of Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. (See link to her blog in my blog list...)
Well through December 31st she's doing a giveaway contest for a free HP Printer! Check it out here:
Pioneer Woman's HP Printer Giveaway
Now, if you don't want to enter because you want to give me a better chance to win it, then that's okay. ;) Seriously though, good luck to all who enter!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I've been going along just fine lately--working, getting ready for Christmas, keeping up with friends on Facebook---but suddenly tonight, as I was sitting here by myself in the living room it hit me...I miss my family. I've been living in Idaho for over 14 years now and everyone feels so far away. I see others around me who have family close by, some even still living with their families. Our family is spread so far and wide throughout the U.S. and it would be impossible to be close to them all the time.
In some cultures, families live together from birth until death. The old take care of the young and eventually the young take care of the old. Meals are taken together, hardships are worked through together and celebrations are rejoiced together. It's tough to do that from thousands of miles away.
I know I've missed a lot of moments with my family. I can't turn back the clock and stop everyone from living their lives and moving on. But I would give anything to snuggle with my sister in my dad's big easy chair again, her in her soft cotton nightgown and me in my warm Winnie the Pooh pajamas. To watch my brother practicing with his cheerleading squad in our backyard, in awe of how grown up he seemed. To drive my dad's '84 Camaro for the first time on a lonely highway through Utah, just the two of us on a four state road trip. To learn how to two-step with my mother in our living room, the two of us laughing at stumbling over our own feet.
We all move on and make our own lives. I just wish we all could have made them a little closer together...

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Own Sponge-Worthy Episode...

Any Seinfeld fans out there?  We all remember the "sponge-worthy" episode, right?  Elaine's favorite birth control, the Today sponge gets taken off the market. 

ELAINE: Well, Kramer was right. My friend Kim told me the sponge is off the market.
JERRY: So what are you gonna do?
ELAINE: I'll tell you what I'm gonna do - I'm gonna do a hard-target search. Of every drug store, general store, health store and grocery store in a 25-block radius.

This episode always made me laugh every time I saw it. It cracked me up how crazed Elaine got about trying to find her sponges.....until I experienced a similar situation today.

(Warning to any men reading this blog....this is where I talk about "girly stuff".  Avert your eyes if talk about periods & tampons make you queasy).....

So today I was already in a cranky mood because I'm on my period and feeling crampy & bloated.  I was down to my last tampon and had to make an emergency run to Albertsons near my work at lunch.  I wandered down the feminine hygiene aisle until I came to a very conspicuous empty space in the shelves.  This is when I noticed that the tags on the shelf under this empty space said "O.B." on them.  Um......that's my brand.....this is weird.  So I corralled an employee (female of course) over to the empty space and said, "Can you tell me if you have any of these in the back?"  To which she replied, "We don't keep anything in the back.  We've had a lot of women asking about those, but we haven't got them at any of the stores.  There must be a problem with our warehouse."

So I thanked her and went back to work, crossing my fingers (and legs), hoping to avoid any embarassing situation.  Luckily I made it through the rest of the afternoon and after work I stopped by Walmart to pick up a box.  Walmart didn't even have an empty space, there was no sign of them whatsoever on the shelves.  This is when I started to get nervous. 

After staring like a deer in the headlights at the non-existence of the very thing I needed, I got my cell phone out and did a search for the O.B. company.  I called their 800 number and this is how the conversation went:

ME: "Is there some kind of problem with the O.B. tampons?  I can't seem to find them anywhere."
OPERATOR: "Yes, I apologize, but there is an issue with them and they have stopped production while they're working on it."
ME: "Stopped production??!!  But this is the only brand I use!  Are they going to start making them again?!"
OPERATOR: "After working on the issue, they were able to correct it in all but the Ultra absorbtion product, so they expect to bring back all absorptions except that one....byyyyyyyy......spring."
ME: .............."Excuse me......did you say SPRING??"
ME: "Are you SERIOUS?!  What am I supposed to do until spring?!!"
OPERATOR: "I apologize for any incovenience...and to be honest, because the O.B. product is fairly unique to other brands we really don't have a substitution to recommend to you at this time."
ME: "............................."
OPERATOR: "Ma'am, are you still there?"
ME: "Um.....yes....but what am I going to do?"
OPERATOR: "I'm sorry, I really don't know what to tell you.  You can try doing a search online to see who might still be carrying some of the product. I understand that women tend to be very loyal to their brand.  One woman who called said that she saw a box on Ebay selling for $105.00.....and it had bids.  Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
ME: "no."

I left Walmart and immediately called one of my friends and went on a rant....

ME: "OHMYGOD, they've discontinued my freaking tampons!"
FRIEND: "Can't you use something else?"
ME: "I've used the same brand since I was 14!  They aren't bringing them back until spring!  I don't know what I'm going to do....holy crap, I'm going to have to revert back to the Little House on the Prairie days and call in sick for a week every 28 days because I'll be just lying in bed bleeding out, not taking any visitors.  I'm going to have to roll up rags & twigs."
FRIEND: "Just go look at the smaller, less frequented stores.  Maybe you'll find some there."
This was about the time reason started sinking in....

(Thanks Merlinda, for giving me a verbal face slap to calm me down...)

I drove to a small independently owned grocery store and almost did a Snoopy dance when I walked down the feminine hygiene aisle and found several boxes on the shelf.  I immediately thought back to Elaine and her Today sponges...

PHARMACIST: Can I help you?
ELAINE (with little hope): Yeah, do you have any Today sponges? I know they're off the market, but...
PHARMACIST: Actually, we have a case left.
ELAINE (excited): A case! A case of sponges? I mean, uh...a case. Huh. many come in a case?
ELAINE: Sixty?! Uh...well, I'll take three.
ELAINE: Make it ten.
ELAINE: Twenty sponges should be plenty.
PHARMACIST: Did you say twenty?
ELAINE: Yeah, twenty-five sponges is just fine.
PHARMACIST: Right. So, you're set with twenty-five.
ELAINE: Yeah. Just give me the whole case and I'll be on my way.

Okay, so I didn't buy a case of O.B. tampons (mainly because they didn't have a case)...but I did buy the only two large boxes of my prefered size and a couple of boxes of another size too, just in case.  I brought my small armful to the cashier and tried not to feel too self conscious as I set them on the conveyor belt.  I didn't want to come off as some crazed woman preparing for period armageddon.  When she started ringing them up I said, "I feel the need to explain that the company has stopped production on these until spring."

The cashier just looked at me and kept ringing them up.....Yeah, I'm pretty sure she thought I was a loon....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Under Construction....

My blog is currently under construction....or maybe it would be re-construction.  Anyway, I'm sorting through some things and will start up again fresh soon.  Or depending on my mood, I may just start a whole new blog.  If that happens, I'll be sure to post a link so all of my readers (all two of you) can find me. :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

This Time For Real...

Okay, so things didn't take off like I'd hoped after my last post...  But here I am, a month later, this time honestly renewed, refreshed & ready for changes!  (This last phrase will look familiar to those of you who are my friends on Facebook.)

My son & I just got back from a trip on Saturday that had been about three years in the making.  On our last cruise in 2007 we had heard about the new ship Oasis that Royal Caribbean was working on.  When we heard about it, my son said, "That would be a great ship to sail on!"  I realized that it was supposed to come out the same year my son graduated high school so a plan was put in place to take the cruise as a graduation celebration.

Well, life happened and between the divorce, remarriage and economy troubles we almost didn't end up going.  But thanks to some wonderful friends & family we were able to make it.  I had meant to discuss the trip before I left but in all the chaos of life that just didn't happen.  But now we're back and I can say the trip was awesome!  (Yes, I use that word a's the Southern California girl in me coming out...)  The best part about the trip and cruise was that my son & I really got to connect on a new level.  He is now officially an adult and we had some great conversations along the way that I probably wouldn't have had with him a couple of years ago.  There just seems to be more of an "openness" to our discussions now--probably because he feels that now as an adult he can't "get in trouble" for saying the wrong things.  Who knows.  Anyway, after we got home, before I went to sleep, he came in and thanked me for taking him on the trip and said it was so worth it.  That was the cherry on top of the sundae for me.

So, now back to life.  You know, being away from the rest of your family (i.e. husband) for ten days can give both of you time to think and reflect on things.  Sometimes unfortunately we have to get to a place that seems like there's no hope to realize just how much there is.  I think it did both of us a lot of good and without going into major personal detail about our life lately, we are both feeling refreshed and ready for changes.  Changes for the good, like taking control of our out-of-control house, trying to get some of our bills paid off, and looking into eventually moving into our own house.  Not to mention making more time for ourselves and making sure we take the time to slow down and appreciate each other.

Life is good. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Other than my Ebay announcement, I really haven't blogged in awhile.  I hate to sound so cliche and say, "I've just been so busy!" but it really is true.  I'm trying hard to get my house organized (a fantastic feat for me, in case you don't know me well) and also I am now a mere THREE weeks away from a trip that's been in the planning works for about three YEARS now.  (I will expound more on this trip in the weeks to come, trust me...)  Every day I've said to myself, "I really need to get back into my blog" and then nothing happened.

But then today I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman, called "10 Important Things I've Learned About Blogging".  It really gave me that kick in the ass that I needed to get back on track.  I think in the past I worried too much about not having specific things to blog about.  But Ree's article reminded me that I need to just let go and have fun with it.

So.......let the fun begin! 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Who Loves Makeup Bags/Totes?

Just a quick heads up...
I was cleaning out some boxes this weekend and found a whole bag full of Clinique makeup bags/totes.  I don't use much makeup as it is, so I can't see keeping all of them when someone else can get good use out of them.  So I've listed them on Ebay and if you're interested you can find them here:
McFaddensFarm on Ebay

So if you decide to give it a go, happy bidding! :-)

P.S.  Yes, I'm aware that it has been a REALLY long time since I've posted here.  I vow I will get back to posting regularly.  We're still getting ready (and trying to earn spending money) for my son's graduation cruise coming up on 9/30.  I will be posting updates on our lives and my usual general observations on the world soon...  

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Corn Chip Feet

My dog's feet smell like corn chips....I like to smell them....
Is that wrong?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Groupon...This is Cool!

Have any of my tens of readers out there heard of Groupon?  It's a web site/application that offers discounts/coupons for local businesses in your area.  I signed up for it a month or so ago, but originally it said it still wasn't in Boise yet.  This is because they have to have a large enough group of people sign up in one area to start off with to make sure that they can offer the discounts. 
Well apparently enough people signed up because I started getting a Deal of the Day email last week.  I'm sure there will be plenty of them that I'm not interested in...but it's great when there's one that I really like.  Already I've found one that I'm interested in and want to try.  (30 day exercise boot camp, normally $149 on Groupon for $39.  I may try this to get in shape before my upcoming cruise in October.)  You can check out the Groupon web site to find out more info about how it works and what the deals are in your area. 
And with Groupon you can also refer friends and get credits towards future deals.  Here's how it works:  If someone joins Groupon within 72 hours after clicking your link, they'll notify you within 24 hours of their first purchase and automatically add $10 Groupon Bucks to your account. You can refer as many people as you like.  Even if you don't click on my link and sign up, it's still worth it to check it out.  You never know if you'll find a deal you like!   

Saturday, June 26, 2010

18 Years....

Today is my son's 18th birthday.  Back on this day in 1992 I never would have thought about this day coming.  All I could see was the precious little bundle in my arms and really couldn't think about anything past that. 

 He always marched to the beat of his own drum, even from an early age.  What a rebel!

 But I always knew that he was going places....

And he's never been afraid to try new things and embrace it with everything he had, even if it meant trying something people might think is weird...

He's always had a unique sense of humor....I think he gets that from me.  He has the ability to make me laugh even when I don't want to...

I've always been amazed at his ability to fall asleep pretty much anywhere/any way....

When it comes to his love of music, he's worked hard at it and never stops learning...

He's had many friends over the years, some that have come and gone, some that have been there since kindergarten...
(These were kids he went to a home daycare with when he was around 2 years old.  The two boys on the left, believe it or not are the grandsons of Frankie Avalon.  I wonder what they're up to these days?  The girl on the right reconnected with Collin awhile back on is wonderful.)

Life with him is always an adventure...

And as I look back I realize it was all of these crazy little things in his life that shaped him into the respectable young man he is today....
Uh, yeah........

Happy 18th Birthday Collin!  I love you more than barbecued potato chips.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

This Year's Garden....

This year has been a strange one in regards to our garden.  The weather didn't allow us to get things done until a lot later than usual.  Plus I took a totally different approach this year (especially since I knew that I was the one who would be doing 99% of the work this time around) and made sort of a modified raised bed/square foot garden plan.  Honestly.....I pretty much made it up as I went along.  After seeing how my neighbors did their garden with a similar raised/sunken path design, I adopted that for mine.  Then when I planted I still tried to follow the basic guidelines of square foot gardening.  I'm not doing as many of the vining plant vertically like they do in square foot gardening, but I'm still using the spacing as a guideline.  I was thrilled to get ahold of some straw bales for free (thank you Craigslist!) to help keep weeds & mud down to a minimum.  Now that some of the seeds I planted are actually sprouting, I plan to mulch a little heavier with the straw.  So here's where I'm at right now:
The closest rows (the skinnier ones) are my corn rows.  (Heh...corn rows....)  I just got those planted (yes, I know I'm frightfully late, but at least I got them in) and I plan to companion plant the beans next to the corn once it gets about a foot or two high.  My poor little cherry tomatoes are in the first wide row after that--they suffered quite a bit when we had bad winds the day I planted them.  Also in that row is bell peppers and a few watermelon plants at the end of the row that I plan to let meander through the rest of the plants on that row.  Oh and on the opposite end of that, where the wire fencing is, I planted peas. 
Look!  They're just starting to sprout!

Beyond that is the row with egg plant, zucchini and cucumbers, which are also just emerging from the soil.  See, there they are!

Then in the last regular row I have my Big Boy tomatoes, jalapeno peppers and a few honey dew melons at the end (which, like the watermelon, will be allowed to wander through the other plants.)  The raised beds in the railroad ties so far have onions, carrots & lettuce.  I had also intended to plant garlic and herbs but have been a little preoccupied with the rest of the garden.  Hopefully I'll get around to it soon.  
Oh, see what I'm doing there?  That's new this year too.  I'm trying not to stress too hard about being all formal about the garden.  If I get it planted, good for me!  If I don't, I'll be sure to plan better next year.  This year is all about experimenting and learning what works best for me.  And trying not to be too worried about everything perfectly in it's place.  

I still haven't given up the tape measure though....gotta use that when I space my seeds.  Sorry, can't let go of that one...

Baby steps.... 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jewelry & Watches...

As previously posted, I have been selling some stuff that I don't wear/use any more on EBay.  Here's the skinny on what's going on:  I had booked a trip for my son & I for his graduation several years ago and figured I'd save up until it was time for final payment.  Well, the time for final payment is in just a few weeks and due to the crash of the economy last year and my husband being laid off several times over the last year, our savings had to be used for bills, groceries, etc.  We've been planning/looking forward to this trip for several years now so I hate to cancel--especially since the air fare is non-refundable.  So I figure I might as well get rid of the stuff I don't wear/use anymore and try to get some money for the trip in the process.
I still have some items left, some that are a little "higher end", like jewelry & watches.  If anyone is interested in the following, please contact me at jmcfadden9580 (at) msn (dot) com with the item in the subject line so I know what it's about. Or comment here with your contact email & I'll get ahold of you.  The asking prices are what I'd like to get but I will consider REASONABLE offers.  Thanks!

Lia Sophia "Antique" Necklace - $25.00
"Antique" looking necklace, very cute!  This one is no longer available through Lia Sophia so I don't have the details on it.  But you can check out the Lia Sophia website to read more about their jewelry. 
Necklace adjusts to different lengths by hooking clasp onto different points in the chain.  Excellent condition--only worn a few times.  Looks great with something casual or classy!

14K White Gold Adjustable Box Chain - $100.00
This beautiful necklace can adjust from 16" to 20" so it is very versatile to have in your jewelry collection.  Necklace adjusts on a slide (see picture above) and has a sturdy clasp.  Wear it alone or with a beautiful pendant hanging on it.  This one is in excellent condition--no kinks, no bends--and looks like new!  It retails for $219.99 and you can find more information about it on the Kay Jeweler site.

Citizen Eco-Drive Watches:
Eco-Drive watches are equipped with a special titanium lithium-ion secondary battery that is charged by a solar cell located behind the dial.  Light passes through the covering crystal & dial to reach the solar cell.  Charge the battery just be setting the watch in natural light.  Just keep the watch exposed to light of any kind to keep charged.  If kept in the dark it will eventually go into "hibernation mode".  Just re-expose to natural light to charge & it will start right back up again.  You never have to buy another battery!   

Citizen Eco-Drive "Petite Palidoro" Watch - $150.00

Beautiful all stainless steel gold tone watch with Swarovski Crystal accents.  Water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Comes in original Citizen storage box.
This watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  I only wore this watch a few times for special occasions.  Excellent condition.

It retails at $315.00 and you can find more info on the Citizen Palidoro web page.

Citizen Eco-Drive EW9142-61D Watch & Bracelet Set - $175.00
Beautiful all stainless steel gold tone watch & matching bracelet, both with Swarovski Crystal accents. 
Watch is water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Lovely Mother of Pearl dial face. 
Bracelet matches watch with similar band pattern.  Sturdy jewelry clasp. 
Set comes in original Citizen storage box which is a beautiful lined cherry-tone wooden box.
The watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  Bracelet is original size.  I only wore this set a couple of times for special occasions.  Excellent condition.
This set is no longer available through Citizen but originally retailed at $335.00.

Citizen Eco-Drive "Lucca" Watch w/Diamond Accents - $200.00
Beautiful all stainless steel two-tone (silver/gold) watch with 28 diamond accents. 
Watch is water resistant.  Sturdy deployment clasp with push button.  Lovely Mother of Pearl dial face with date window.  Hour, minute & second hand.  Cabochon crown. 
Watch comes in original Citizen storage box. 
The watch is sized to my wrist but the original extra links are included.  Great condition, only a couple of small minor surface scratches on the crystal.  These are not noticeable unless you turn the watch "just right" in the light.
 Retails for $425.00 and more information can be found at the Citizen Lucca web site.

I use Paypal, unless you're local and want to just pay cash.  If you're not local, you will pay shipping and I'll just add it to the Paypal invoice.  (I won't charge any extra, just the exact cost of shipping.)  So contact me as soon as possible through the email listed above and I'll send you an invoice through Paypal or we'll work out the details if you're local.  No spam, please!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

It's Just a Cartoon....It's Just a Cartoon.....It's Just a...Pass the Tissues!!

Tomorrow is my birthday and my son thought it would be fun tonight to go and see the new Toy Story 3 movie--just the two of us.  I thought it was a great idea and was glad my son had thought of it.  We had seen the original Toy Story movie together when he was only three years old, then later Toy Story 2 when he was seven.  I never stopped to think of the irony of it (or the emotional ramifications) of seeing this movie until we were at the theater.  
My son turned to me as we were walking into the theater and said "This movie came out when I was just a little kid, then we saw the second one when I was a little older and now we're going to see the last one just when my childhood is ending.  How weird is that?" weird is that?........(gulp)

  I knew I was in trouble when the movie had barely started and there were flashbacks into Andy's life of him playing with his toys as a little boy.  As I was watching that, it dawned on me that I had seen my own son playing like that with his Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys as a child.  (Yes, he also wrote his name in permanent marker on the bottom of each of their boots and he still has those toys.)  As my eyes started to well up with tears I knew this viewing with my son was going to be different than other movies we'd seen recently.

Thankfully the movie (I won't go into detail for those of you who haven't seen it yet) doesn't spend a lot of time dwelling on the part of Andy going off to college and leaving his toys (and childhood) behind, or I probably wouldn't have made it through the movie.  It's mostly about the adventure of the toys themselves.  But near the end, when there was a scene of his mother walking into his empty room right before he left for college, I pretty much almost lost it.   

I can't tell you (seriously, I'm sitting here trying to think of the right words to describe this) just how special (ugh, not the right word!) it was to be able to see this movie with my son, only a few weeks after he graduated high school and one week before his eighteenth birthday.  It may sound silly, but I honestly won't ever forget sharing that little moment in time with him.  When the movie ended and the credits started rolling, the two of us just sat there kind of taking it all in.  (I even caught my son rubbing his eyes a little.)  I'm sure from my son's point of view it was more about it being a sentimental ending to a movie.  To me though, it was the sentimental end to an era in my son's life.   

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Miss You Grandma...

On June 10, 1912 my grandmother Ina Mae Cowley was born.  Later in her adult life she became Ina Mae Graves and eventually Ina Mae Pommaz, which is the name I grew up knowing her by.  We lost her in February of 1996, just four months shy of her 84th birthday.  It wasn't until she was gone that I realized how much I had lost when she passed away.  It always seems like we realize in retrospect just how much someone had an influence on our life.  If she was still with us, she would have turned 98 today. 
I don't know a lot about her life as a child.  But I have a wonderful little photo album that belonged to her that I like to imagine gives me a little glimpse into her life as a young woman.  It's filled with old black & white photos of her friends, family members and of course her.  Some of the photos don't have have captions or explanations and I like to make up stories in my head about the men in the stiff suits and big cowboy hats...or the girl standing with her back to the camera all alone with the old car in the background.

But I don't have to make up stories about my memories of her--Like being a small child and playing out in the backyard of her house with my sister, with the hum & rattle of her rock tumbler running in the garage.  Or looking through the large encyclopedias she had, trying to figure out all of the riddles & optical illusions.
The place I have the most memories about though is the mobile home she lived in for years in Long Beach.  (The same mobile home I rode my bicycle to when I was only about 7 years old and got mad at my sister who was babysitting me.  This little trip took me all the way from our house near Studebaker & Atherton to her mobile home park off Lyons Drive, just past the Edison plant!)  I remember sitting at a table in her "goody room" (the extra room in her mobile home that was filled with every kind of craft notion you could imagine), while she patiently showed me how to thread beads on a wire to make a bracelet.  This room was a treasure trove for a little girl.  It's where I learned about Christmas card ornaments, Mod Podge and turquoise & bone jewelry.  I also remember the fascinating knick-knacks in her living room like her Kewpie Doll collection and the interesting things her son (my Uncle David) sent to her from Australia & New Zealand.  I remember the stacks of romance paperback books she had in her bedroom.  And as a teenager, I remember the times that I had cramps so bad they would make me sick to my stomach.  My grandmother would come get me at school, since my mom was working, and take me to her mobile home.  She would take me to her bedroom and put me in her bed, propped up with pillows so I could watch the Twilight Zone & Little House on the Prairie reruns.  She would always bring a hot water bottle in and lay it on my abdomen and make me tea.  

It's looking back on memories like these, as an adult, that remind me what a wonderful person she was and how much I probably under-appreciated her when I was younger.  I'm happy that I got to have her in my life for as long as I did, especially since my Grandmother Heinrich on my dad's side passed away when I was only one year old.  I'm glad I get to have my memories of her.  I've been thinking of her today and just wanted to do something to show how much she meant to me.

      Happy Birthday Grandma...I miss you....   

Friday, June 4, 2010

And The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down...

We are having a miserably wet, rainy day today...this is one of many rainy days we've had over the last month or so.  Where's summer?  Anyway, as I've been sitting here all morning, listening to the rain pattering outside my window, all I could think of was this:

Hope it's a little more dry where you're at today....

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day...

Today is Memorial Day...I think that over the years people have equated Memorial Day with picnics, taking the boat out to the lake, camping and the "official start of summer".  Although it was originally established on May 30th, it was later (in 1968) moved to the last Monday of the month of May to ensure a three day weekend.  This is probably one of the reasons people look at it as more of a "fun weekend" holiday.  But I don't want to lose sight of the real reason for the holiday.  
My family has a lot of ties to the military:
  • My Grandfather Heinrich joined the U.S. Navy when he met some American sailors on the U.S.S. Brooklyn on tour in China.  At the time he was playing in the German Holly Symphony Orchestra, on a Lloyd Lines ocean liner which was docked next to the Naval gunboat in China.  He left everything behind in East Germany, including his parents, brothers & sisters and accepted the American sailors' invitation to join with them and continue their tour.  He served during the Boxer Rebellion the Philippines Insurrection and WWI.
  • My Grandfather Graves was a Navy Seabee and served during the duration of WWII.  The Seabees built bases, bridges, roadways & airstrips during war times.
  • My grandmother Pommaz was one of the women referred to as a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II, working in the factories and at Douglas Aircraft to help out in the absence of the men who went off to war.  (I know this isn't technically military but I count it as helping out during war time.)
  •   My father joined what was then known as the Army Air Corps (later separated out as the Air Force, it's own branch) right at the end of high school and went over seas to England & Germany at the end of World War II.
  • My mother's brother, my Uncle Frank served in the Army, enlisting after high school around 1953.
  • My mother's cousin Arland served in the Korean War as a soldier in the Army.
  • My sister's husband Chuck served several terms in the Marine Corps and then later served for one term in the Army.
  • My ex sister-in-law Karen (my brother's ex-wife) served in the Navy.  (Thanks again for the Navy boondock boots in high school!)  ;)
  • My step-brother Matt has served for 24 years in the Air Force.  He's been to Iraq at least two times that I know of.  I think he's retiring soon. 
  • My sister's daughter is now currently serving in the Army National Guard.
A few family members tried to serve in the military but for various reasons weren't able to:
  • My mother's other brother, my Uncle David ("Fred") enlisted but was sent home after just a few days because of his heart.
  • My father's brother Carl tried to enlist in the Army but was turned down because of a punctured ear drum.  Undeterred, he then also tried to enlist in the Navy AND the Marine Corps but was turned down by both because of the same thing.
Their hearts were in it but their bodies wouldn't let them...

I couldn't be more proud of all of these family members that have done their part over the years to protect and serve our country.  Luckily none of these family members were lost during war time or any training.  I know may others out there aren't as fortunate.  Let's not forget those who gave their lives for our country.

Happy Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We Have Protection...

Well we didn't get anything planted today, but mainly because we spent most of the day getting things "ready".  As I mentioned in the previous post, we got our raised beds in earlier today.  After getting a couple of the rows tilled and mapping out where we wanted to put some things, we realized that all of our work is going to be for nothing if anything gets into the garden.  (Like our dogs.)  So we broke out the post pounder and the t-posts and let my step son get some exercise.  (He's going to have noodle arms when he wakes up tomorrow morning!)  He got 15 posts pounded into the ground to make up our fence.  I arranged a couple of the posts closer together to be our "entrance" and then we got the fencing.  (This is when I thank my work for "donating" the fencing and posts to me...all I have to do is bring in some veggies this summer!  I love bartering!)  It's not necessarily pretty, but it's functional.  It will keep out the dogs and maybe even the neighbor's horse if he wanders into our front pasture and doesn't go running full force towards the fence.  It works for what we want it to do...

Let The Gardening Begin!

Okay, we are WAY behind this year on getting our garden done.  However, this may not be a bad thing considering just last weekend we had two nights that dipped down to freezing and our neighbor has had to replant their garden twice this spring.  But because I didn't anticipate us planting this late, my seedlings are practically full grown plants!  I'm almost expecting to come out some morning and find a little green tomato hanging off the plant.  Ha ha!
Unfortunately, like I mentioned about last weekend, the weather has not been cooperative lately.  Add to that the fact that we had to prepare for graduation with my oldest son, my husband just started a new job and my son just started a new job... It just hasn't been in the cards for us.

So I was really excited when today the weather looked good, my husband was here, our youngest son was here and no one felt sick, injured, etc.  We got out there a little late in the day but within the first hour we already had finished our first garden project--the raised beds.
 It's only one small part of the garden, but I feel so much better knowing it's done.  I couldn't lift those heavy railroad ties all by myself so having the guys get it done for me was a relief.  This is where I'm going to grow my "root vegetables" and other veggies that do well in raised beds--carrots, onions, garlic and lettuce.  Tomorrow while my husband is out shooting with some friends, I'll get all of these settled into their beds.

Next stop--tomatoes, peppers and potato towers!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Auctions Ending Saturday!

Just a heads up, my latest auctions on Ebay end Saturday, 5/29.  Only a couple of things but they're two of the cutest pairs of shoes (I think) that I own.  Check them out here:
Current Ebay Auctions

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time To Close The Chapter On School Days...

This was September 2, 1997.  
It was my son's first day of kindergarten.  
I love the Green Eggs & Ham shirt.  And look at those little legs!  He was missing his front tooth because it had been knocked out when he was two years old when he fell on the sidewalk outside our apartment in Camarillo, California.  I'm not sure what specific thing he has in his hand but I know it was what was left of his breakfast.  (He's always been a slow eater...)
I felt like posting this today because yesterday was my son's LAST day of school.  His last school day of 12th grade.  His graduation ceremony is this coming Friday night.  We've been through so much during the years between these two days.  
A year ago I thought we'd never be close again.  It's personal and I don't want to post his private issues here for everyone to see.  But I can say that I'm so glad that we've managed to grow close again.  He's still my "little boy" and I'm sure he always will be to me.  Even though he's already grown into a wonderful young man.   
  It's strange to look at this picture and realize it's the same person as in the first picture.  Even though he's my own son and I've watched him grow up the last 13 years, I still don't connect the two pictures.  I'm sure it will get even harder when I have a wedding picture to connect or a picture of him with his own child.  
But....those things are in the future.  For now, I can look at this new picture and remind myself that this is not only the end to one chapter, but the beginning of a new one.  
I can't wait to see how it goes...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Wait Here Honey, Mommy Has To Pee...."

When I was out this evening with my husband at our local JC Penney, I ducked into the restroom for a moment and was immediately perplexed by something I saw....

I'm glad no one else was there because I must have looked like an idiot, standing there staring at this little seat attached to the wall.  It's positioned right next to (and below) the Koala baby changing station.

Okay, obviously it's for a very small child.  It even has instructions for the "proper use":

But what I want to know is....why?  Are you supposed to strap your kid onto the wall to keep your hands free so you can go pee?  Is this in case you have twins, so you can strap one kid down while you're changing the other one and then switch?  
My son is turning 18 next month so it's been quite a while since I had to worry about such things as where to put my child while I'm using a public restroom.  (Insert some ridiculous statement here like, "Back in my day we just strapped our kid to our back and carried him around everywhere--shopping, working, gardening...We didn't have all of these fancy new-fangled gadgets to help lessen the load.")  So someone help me out here....what is this for?  Am I missing the obvious?  Am I just not up-to-date on all of the latest child rearing practices?  Please....enlighten me....

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm Back...And With a Recommendation...

This past weekend I wasn't feeling well and apart from a day of bad horror movies on Lifetime I spent some time watching movies.  Then since today is my day off and I'm all alone (good time to see movies that no one else in the family wants to watch) I decided to watch one that was recommended to me through Netflix the other day.  It was a movie from 2005 called Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School, rated PG-13 (for "mature situations and language".)  This is the product description for this movie on Amazon:
It may not sound interesting but it was a cute movie and one that I was glad I took the time to watch.  I was surprised at all of the stars that kept popping up in the movie, right down to the very last 5 minutes--John Goodman, Marisa Tomei, Sean Astin, Robert Carlyle (Full Monty!),  Camryn Manheim, Donnie Wahlberg, Mary Steenburgen, Miguel Sandoval (Medium), Danny Devito, Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters), David Paymer, Adam Arkin (Chicago Hope, Sons of Anarchy) get the idea.  It was only 1 hour & 45 minutes long so even if you don't like it you won't have wasted much time.  It's listed as a drama, but there is humor in there too.  Let me know what you think if you watch it!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Cleaning...

Okay, not really...I hate cleaning, lol.  What I'm really saying is that I am putting my blog on a short (hopefully) hiatus while I get some things in order.  I hope to be back soon, blogging stronger than ever.  Hopefully I don't lose all my readers (all 5 of you) in the meantime...

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Ebay Time Again!

It's that time again!  More Ebay listings going up today.  Pampered Chef, shoes & some beautiful Citizen Eco-Drive watches.  Still trying to fund that trip for my son's graduation....

Ebay Listings

Happy Shopping!!  :-)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dream House

Today my husband was working a  landscape job in Star.  He realized as he was getting near the end of the day that he needed a couple more bags of paver base.  I ran to Lowe's for him and had to use my Garmin GPS to figure out how to get to the job without going far out of my way.  At one point I was sure that my Garmin was getting me lost.  But I figured it would get me there eventually and just went along for the ride.

I've learned that sometimes when you're just going along not knowing where you are, you see interesting things....I found this house.  It was empty, weather beaten and run down.  But when I saw it I almost stopped in the middle of the road.  It tugged at my heartstrings.  But I had to get the materials to my husband so I went on my way.  However, on the way home, I made sure I drove past it again and this time, with no traffic around me, I DID stop in the middle of the road.  I was able to snap a quick picture with my cell phone.  Of course, the picture doesn't really do it justice.  Maybe this is the point when I need to explain that I have a love for old farm houses.  Whether they're still in great shape or dilapidated, I still love them.  (A part of me probably even loves the old run down ones more.)  If I had an unlimited supply of money, I would find just the right one and restore it to it's original splendor.  I think this one would be perfect for restoration.... 

What's In A Name?

I thought maybe I had talked about it here, but I can't find a post about must have been just on Facebook. But here's the scoop...I am wanting to start up a roadside produce stand. We live right on a busy main road and it would be an ideal location to just go ahead and set up a little stand where I can sell our garden produce after work during the week and throughout the day on weekends. I have this wonderful vision of it being something that I can eventually make a web site for and even link it to my Twitter account so customers can follow me and I can post what veggies we're selling that day. I still have a lot to figure out and plan but here's my main dilemma right now:

I need a name.

I plan to only grow organic so I thought of having something in the name like "bare" or "naked" and it would get attention, lol. I didn't see a website out there already with a name like "naked veggies" or "bare veggies" but when I tried to look up the domain they're already taken. I also thought of having a name that includes MY name in it. The one I wanted most was "Plain Jane Produce" or something along those lines. But of course, there's a web site out there called plainjaneproduce already that is actually a branch of Chiquita. Damn it. Then there's the idea of using our last name so the other day I thought it was cute to use "Baker's Acres". Um....would you believe there's a camp site in New Jersey of all places with that name?? I'm starting to feel a little discouraged.

So here's where I need your help. I'm open to ideas...I had joked around in the past about having a watermelon & cantaloupe stand and naming it "Jane's Melons" but I really want it to be about ALL the produce. I plan to have veggies, some fruit (the melons) and eventually if my chicken idea takes off, maybe some eggs. That's why I like the "produce" idea a lot. I don't know if my tiny little plot can really be called a "farm". Are there legal ramifications to calling yourself a farm? Hmmmm... I might have to look into that. Anyway, does anyone out there have some good suggestions? I'm not saying I'll get big enough that I'll end up marketing to grocery chains or anything, but I'd like to keep it open to be able to have a web site, a Twitter account, maybe come up with my own logo....
Let's hear your ideas!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Are What You Eat....

I have made an executive decision at our house and I want to get some chickens. I know it seems like this is the "in" thing to do lately but that's not why I'm doing it. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years now and finally decided that despite what the rest of my family thinks about it, I want to do it.
My sister has been giving me a lot of very good information about current food practices (Take the time to watch Food Inc. it will open your eyes) and I just don't want to depend on the giant food conglomerates for our main sources of food (eggs, beef, chicken, pork, etc.). We already have a freezer full of beef that came from a steer that our neighbor gave us. This was a steer who was raised on grass, roaming our pasture and eating freely. Not loaded with hormones, not given a bunch of chemicals, just allowed to consume all the pasture grass it wanted (hay during winter). The only "chemicals" it was given were vaccinations when it was born. We were able to see it every day and know where it came from and what it was eating. After doing this once and liking the beef we got from it, I am determined to continue to raise our own beef from now on. (Or at least get the beef from a trusted friend if we're not able to do it ourselves, if we have to move at some point & don't have the room.)

But, I digress....back to my chickens. When we moved into this house it came with some standing structures out in the pasture along the south side of our property. There is what we call the "tack barn" which is really just a small one room building that the original owner used for a woodshop. Then there are two "shelter" type structures that were apparently used for livestock, llamas, horses, etc. at some point. One is larger and we used it last year for the pig pen. The other is smaller and we haven't used it for anything since we've been here. But after looking at it, I've decided it would make a great chicken coop.The structure in the upper right corner of the picture is what I'd like to enclose on the front with chicken wire and make a door on the right side so we can get in & out. With just a few chickens we can have a regular supply of eggs and if we get a few more we can also have some for butchering too. (Although I have to admit I don't think I can manage the butchering on my own, even just for the chickens.) Plus if we get our garden fenced in this year, I can let them roam around the garden & eat the unwanted bugs.
If I'm able to start this endeavor, I'll be sure to keep you apprised of the progress. Oh...and I'll also let you know how it goes when we decide to get the goats too...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ladies, this is awesome--Men, you may want to step away for a moment...

Ladies, today we're going to talk about your period. Yes, that awful monthly visitor that we all hate. I am the first to admit that I am one of those women who is horrible about remembering when it's due, having supplies on hand, etc. But when I upgraded my phone at the beginning of the year I found an application that I think is totally awesome! (Yes, that's the Southern California beach girl coming out in me...I said totally awesome...)
It's called "My Days" and this little application has really been helpful to me. In this application you can click on a specific date on the calendar and add "Start Period" or "End Period". You can even take it a step further and add "Had Sex" or "Took Pill" if you need to keep track of these things (or if you just want to remind your husband that no, it has NOT been WEEKS since the last time you had sex.) ;) Once you add in your first period cycle, it then calculates when all of your future periods will be. It also tells you when your are in "high fertility" days and when you are ovulating. This can be handy for those of you who might be trying to get pregnant. Or if you're like me, when to NOT get pregnant.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for me) this is only available for the Android-based phones--not iPhone or Windows based. But if you have an Android-based phone I would highly recommend looking into this application. If you don't, hopefully your phone has a similar application available.

Oh...and did I mention this is FREE? Yay for free!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just Call Me Madam....

So to try to supplement our current income, I've been trying to find a job I can do in the evenings. Preferably something that doesn't take too much time away from my family and is interesting enough that I'm not bored out of my mind. I just had an interview today at Mystique Dining in Boise and to quote the woman I talked to there, "We like you!" (Thank you to my junior high school Glee teacher, Mr. Dublin for casting me in various parts in musicals so I would be prepared for this later in life...ha ha.)
Technically I don't know if I'm what they call "hired" this point I'm "auditioning". I will only work one or two nights a week to start off so they can see if I'm a good fit with everyone else and to see if I like it. My official title is "Hostess", which is not the typical hostess you think of at a restaurant. I do not stand by the front counter and seat people as they come in. Instead, the people who come in are guests to "my" dinner party. They're announced by butlers and seated at a table that holds 18. I welcome them to the evening, let them know what will be in store for them and then proceed to "mingle" and help out the butlers throughout the night. (Announcing courses, helping fill drinks, making sure the guests feel like it's all about them...)
Did I mention I'll be wearing a Victorian dress the whole time?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ebay Listings

Every once in awhile I go through my closet & the house and see if there are things I can get rid of that I don't use, wear, need, etc. Lately it's been about shoes.
I've had a bad habit in the past of buying a pair of shoes because they look really cute in the store. Then I get them home & wear them maybe once or twice and then they sit in the box in my closet not getting any use. By listing them on Ebay, someone else who would appreciate them more can buy them for less than they would from the store.

So if anyone out there is interested, I'll be listing several things over the next few days or weeks. You can find my listings here:

Pass the info along if you know of anyone else who might be interested...I won't give anyone a guilt trip by telling them that the proceeds from these bids will go towards my son's graduation present trip... ;)
Let the bidding begin! :)

What Were They Thinking??!!

This is the last year my son is a "child"...he turns 18 this summer. Every year I have done up an Easter basket for him, using the same basket (with stuffed bunny attached) that my parents bought for him when he was 9 months old. (Call me a sentimental old fool...) So I decided to go all out and make him a basket full of all of his favorites from over the years. A trip the local Walmart was necessary.
As I was walking down the Easter aisle at Walmart, I happened upon something that made me do a double-take.

Behold....the sugar cookie lollipop with the pornographic monkey (squirrel??):

Who's brilliant idea was it to decorate these cookies this way?? What is that supposed to be?? I showed a picture of it to my husband and he said, "Maybe it's a flashlight, honey." Yeah...because monkeys carrying flashlights just screams Easter... I could see maybe a mushroom...but again, why a random mushroom in front of a monkey for Easter? Oh, and not all of them had such a cap on them. (Maybe these were the Gentile monkeys?) I'm sure there was some original concept behind these (maybe it IS a squirrel and that's his nut. Heh.) But either the machine that made these was set incorrectly or the people who did these by hand were giggling to themselves while they decorated.

The really funny thing about it (as if x-rated monkeys on children's Easter cookies was not funny enough), was that there were several other styles of these cookies. All of the other boxes had about 1/2 of ONE box left. This style? FIVE boxes. So I know I'm not the only one who saw these and thought they looked like they should be sold at the local adult shop instead of the Easter aisle at Walmart. I can just see the parents, seeing them and picking one up to put in the cart saying, "Oh, what cute a little monke.......oh.......OH!" And then quickly putting it back on the shelf and scurrying away.
Someone at quality control needs to be fired....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sweet Tea....for Grown Ups

In my old age (ha ha) I'm trying to be more adventurous when it comes to food & drink. More recently, I've wanted to learn a lot more about wine. I've never really been a beer drinker (can't stand the taste of the stuff) so wine seems the other obvious option.

When I was in my early 20's, the only thing I knew about wine was what I learned drinking White Zinfandel with my room mates. (That was back when I thought spaghetti consisted of spaghetti noodles & a jar of spaghetti sauce...) As I've gotten older, especially more recently, I've tried to expand my experience with wines. Thanks to my sister I even found a red wine that I liked. I'm also surprisingly impressed with the knowledge my niece possesses about wines & pairings. Of course, she does own a restaurant and is married to a master chef. That could have something to do with it. Lately I've discovered that at World Market you can try all kinds of different wines from around the world, a lot of them at pretty decent prices. It's a good way to try new things without breaking your budget.

So the other day when I walked into my local World Market, a display right near the front of the store caught my eye. I zeroed in on the words "Sweet Tea" because I am a tea drinker--a sweet tea drinker. I'm talking the sweeter the better...Southern style, so sweet you can feel your tongue curl. (Okay, maybe not THAT sweet, but I do like mine pretty strong!) Imagine my surprise when I looked closer at the display and discovered it was actually a wine! Olde Savannah Sweet Tea. I paid my $6.98 (on sale!) and brought my new found purchase home.

Tonight seemed like a good night to try it--no kids at home and I'm in a relaxed mood. So I pulled out my favorite rabbit ears (wine opener people.....just a wine opener) and got a wine glass out of the cupboard. It was only then that I realized that this bottle has a screw-off cap. Okay, no big deal--I've had some good wines before with screw-off caps. Heck, I've even had some good wines out of a box.

When I poured it into the glass, it was a little odd. Only because it is in fact the color of sweet tea. I could see that in the bottle, but when it was actually sitting in the glass it hits home. It's hard to pick up a glass that looks like it has whiskey in it and expect to taste wine. Another thing--it has a distinct smell. This is a problem for me because I am big on smell. Of all my senses, my smell is probably strongest. I can't be around people with strong perfume and can smell b.o. a mile away. I don't know how to describe the smell--some reviews I've read say that it smells like perfume. I can't say I'd wear it. Maybe it's more like a cologne. I don't know, but it has a distinct smell.

So the time for tasting was here. I don't know what I was expecting....maybe sweet tea? Again, I'm having a hard time describing it. Doesn't exactly taste like wine...doesn't exactly taste like sweet tea...definitely had an aftertaste. Maybe something a little medicinal? I can't say it hated though. I also couldn't say that I loved it. I don't know if I'll finish the bottle. I've read it should be served very chilled, over ice, with a slice of lemon. Well I did have it chilled, although I didn't put it over ice and didn't happen to have a lemon handy. Maybe next time I'll try it that way and see if my opinion changes. If you're feeling adventurous, maybe you'll want to try it for yourself.

One last thing I thought was's made in California. I really thought it would have been from Georgia with a name like "Olde Savannah", or at least some other southern state...