If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble. ~Bob Hope

Monday, April 30, 2012

Blogger Opp: Free Sign Up: $100 Paypal Cash

Note: This post is only open for bloggers who wish to participate in my upcoming birthday bash.
Event Details:
- The giveaway will go live on my birthday (May 8, 2012)
- Open Worldwide
- Prize: $100 Paypal Cash for One Winner
Sign Up Fee & Info:
- NO COST for the first link (Facebook Page only)
- To participate, please share this free event on your site and complete the form below.
If you would like to include more links (Twitter, Pinterest, Votes, etc.) for this giveaway, then please send the fee to chicalgene@gmail.com via Paypal. Each additional link will cost $2.

Blogger Sign Up for Man Cave Filling Giveaway

Looking for a fun, effective way to promote your blog? Consider sponsoring a giveaway. Tell 'em Jenny Wolfe sent ya :)


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting to Know You Weekend #BlogHop – 4/27/12

Getting to Know You

Hop over to http://spilledmilkshake.com/2012/getting-to-know-you-weekend-bloghop-42712/ for the complete hopping instructions!

Sleeping with a Rockstar, sleeping with...

This is not some schmoopy post about life with my husband. Although, before him my only experience with energy drinks was Josta way back in the day and a Red Bull and Vodka that I never finished. My other half is quite the purveyor of drinks that have heart attack warnings or as he calls them "Strength".

I remember the first time I had strength. He finally convinced me to try one when we were in Cincinnati over Memorial weekend in 2007. I don't remember what I had only that it took me the better part of the way home to finish it...and that I was up until four in the morning that night. Since then, I have been known to have one on occasion. If something new comes out that comes highly recommended by him, then I'll give it a whirl when I feel like not sleeping sounds like a good idea. 

You can imagine then the excitement generated when we saw Rockstar Relax a few weeks ago. It wasn't a night for relaxing, plus we weren't where the deals are at so we passed. Few days later, he and I split one. I slept well that night.

I wanted to try it because it does not have Melatonin. Me and melatonin do not get along, and I try to avoid it at all costs. Unfortunately, just about every other mellow mood, relaxation tonic contains it.

So, last night, I thought I'd try one again. This time, I drank the whole can myself. I should have known I was in trouble when I went to the bathroom and noticed what a dopey grin and sleepy eyes I had. Yes, I most certainly relaxed. However, in the future, I will not drink more than 1 serving aka half a can.

It was a bit disturbing, much like my usual melatonin experiences except I didn't wake up at 2 in the morning unable to get back to sleep. And by disturbing, I mean pretty f'd up. It was as if Syd Barrett and Quentin Tarentino collaborated on a screenplay for Stanley Kubrick to direct. I'd be afraid to even try to analyze the dream because it was just that grotesque.

Overall, it's a good tasting drink and I didn't have problems with the single serving size. There is nothing in the ingredients that jumps out at me, so my best guess is that it was too much of a good thing and that my overtiredness of the past week worked against me. I have another in the fridge, and I'll probably give it another whirl tonight. However, if there is more facial debridement in dreamland, I will just stick to chamomile.

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's hard to believe how I have grown.

I just wanted to take a quick minute to thank you all for reading! I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but it was just shy of a month ago that I posted something about wanting to hit 3000 page views. I posted it as a plea really because I just wanted to hit 3000 before the month of March was over. It was pure vanity and it took a few days after I initially posted to pass that magic number.

It side swiped me to see that I am on the verge of breaking 4000 total page views. Dude, I have had 911 hits in the past month. To put that in perspective, that's more than double the total number of hits that I had in January.

I am very grateful for everyone who comes here, even if by accident. Page views are really the only way those of us who do this have of gauging things. Sure, I really would post just as much if I just had one person but it feels really good to look at the stats and see readers!

 I don't know if there will be posts or not, we have the first t-ball game tomorrow and some other odds and ends going on and you know what they say about the best laid plans. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something. Mitch Hedberg

This has been on my heart and mind to write for a while. I think posting about squirrel welfare in this neighborhood brought it back to my fore mind. This is one of those post that would be best read with you sitting in front of your open pantry which is pretty easy for most of us with our fancy mobile devices.
Yep...my cupboard.

So, I don't know, nor can I find clear information about where the Feeding 5000 project as I know it started. My first experience with it was at Grace, and they are doing it now at Christ so maybe it's a Methodist thing.

I used to attend a church that collected food on an ongoing basis, and while I was going there I looked up the Feeding 5000 shopping list because it always seemed like a good guide to me. The program aims to provide 2 days of food for a family of four. The shopping list is fairly simple:
2 cans meat (12-24 oz. each), 1 lb. dry pasta, 2 cans vegetables (14.5 oz.), 1 jar peanut butter (18 oz.), preferably creamy, 2 cans fruit (16 oz.), 2 boxes macaroni and cheese or rice (71/4 oz.), 2 cans soup ( 103/4 oz.), 1 lb. dried beans or 1 can baked beans, 1 box hot or dry cereal (12-18 oz.), 1 can spaghetti sauce (15-26 oz.), 1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.) or 1 pkg of 3 (8 fl. oz.) of nonrefrigerated milk
The reason I recommended reading this while looking at your own pantry is that I think too often people's knee-jerk reaction is to say they have nothing to give without realizing how blessed they are. I pulled enough out of my cupboard to start two bags. I spent $24.00 at the store to finish them off. I probably could have spent less but I will not donate anything that I wouldn't feed my own family. I know I am weird like that but how thoughtful a gift is it if in your quest to help you assume that people who need food assistance love all that corn and el cheapo mac and cheese. Just sayin'

Anyway, someone inevitably argues the ol' "beggars can't be choosers" line of thought. That line is more of a reminder to folks receiving something to be grateful for their gifts, not an invitation to change the world with cheap Mexican canned goods you wouldn't eat yourself. Giving should come from a place of love. I know that all the government assistance programs have really eroded that place in most of our hearts. I'm guilty of it. Why should I help out people who are getting this that and the other? Why should I help out even more, I'm already paying for xyz through my taxes? I could go on and on, because well, I am fairly Objectivist by nature. But on the softer side of me, you never know what tomorrow brings. From a Christian perspective, it's not for any of us to judge the situation, it's not in our job description. The judgement belongs solely to God, our only job is to give from a place of love and in doing so bear witness to redemptive nature of Jesus Christ....or something like that.

Hunger is no joke. Something like  1 in 6 Americans are dealing with hunger issues. Things have been rough and tumble and less than stable the past couple of years. 1 in 6 means that on any given day here in one of the richest countries in the world something like 52 million people aren't getting what they need to survive.

With what was on hand and $24.00 I gathered 2 days of food for 2 families. If I had gone out and straight up bought just enough for 1 family it would have been under $20 easy. I am not made of money by any means. $20 is roughly equivalent to a family trip to Subway. I can do without Subway once a week if it means someone else gets to go to bed with a full belly.

File it under the whole the love you take, is equal to the love you make...or you get what you give. I always have just what I need. Back at my old church, I was donating food weekly at a time when neither of us had a job or any idea what the future was going to bring for us. Using the list can make it a nice little family project. When I did my shopping trip, I told my three year old we weren't there to buy for us we were there to buy for a family that needed help, just like when he bought presents for the little girl at Christmas. Even at three he understands.

You know, this blog is titled as it is as a reminder to me to not be such a hard-headed, hearted Biznotch. I've been around a couple of rough blocks, as had my husband, and it's easy to look at life and say well, "I did it." This blog and these random trains of thought help to remind me that not everyone has the same capabilities as me. So, I do what I can (pun intended), and you should too. Besides, that can of beans has probably been sitting in your cupboard since last Summer, doesn't it make sense to give it to someone who is dying to eat it?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

They Got a Committee to Get Me Off the Block Because I Feed the Squirrels Nuts and I Feed 'Em Non-Stop

If as you read the title it sounds vaguely familiar, then you are probably a Beastie Boys fan. For some reason, "Slow Ride" by Beastie Boys is a song that my head goes to a lot. It may be that the song is almost 30 years old...so I have been listening to it for awhile. I think its a credit to Beastie Boys and Rick Rubin that yesterday "Girls" came on the radio and my 16-year-old commented that it sounded like a new song but then continued that it couldn't really be new because it wasn't completely stupid.

Back to the squirrels, if you live in the Miami Valley you may remember seeing what seemed like a slow news day story about a lady who was in trouble with the law for feeding squirrels. I think it was October or November. I would have probably not watched but they were two streets over. It didn't specifically say that, I just recognized the houses.

Anyway, it answered a question I have had since I moved in here. "Who the hell is feeding the squirrels all these peanuts?!" I know, at first, that everyone is like so what some lady fed squirrels, big deal. A couple of nuts, here and there is no big deal. My grandma would buy a bag of peanuts to feed Miss Suzy, and that bag would last her a month or two. Were just talking a little bag too, like you might get at a ballgame. This lady was (hopefully was but I'll get to that) heavily invested in squirrel welfare, and we felt the effects two blocks over. I have always found, and still find, peanut shells. At any given time, there are squirrels in my back and front yard foraging for their savings.

I have been some what lucky and mostly just annoyed. I have lost plants to these little boogers. Most recently they dug into both pots of my morning glory starts. That more than made me mad, they had just got to a place where probably this week I could start training them up the front post. There were a few salvageable, but not enough to cover the area I need covered. Talking to my neighbor the other week, she said she quit trying to plant anything new because she felt like all she was doing was opening squirrel buffets. The closer neighbors have fared worse with extensive damage caused by their squirrel infestation.
She's not supposed to be subsidizing the squirrels anymore. She's been to court. (If you are wondering, the exact charge was trespassing because she would go into neighbor's yards and feed the bushy tailed rodents.) There's like so many issues here I could talk about! Like getting people the help they need, it's just my opinion but when you reach a point in your life where you are spending obscene amounts of time and money feeding wildlife (and no your kids don't count, despite their behavior) there just may be some sort of intervention needed. I don't buy the excuse that she (or anyone else like that is "taking care of" these creatures. Just like ducks don't naturally eat Wonder bread, squirrels don't consume unsalted peanuts in their natural habitat. When you feed wildlife food you do two things, make them lazy and put them in harms way. I have an aunt whose degree is in interpretive biology, if you don't believe me I'll put you in touch with her. By the time she gets done with you, you'll be afraid to spit gum out the window. (Seriously).

I have my doubts that the feeding has stopped. Compulsions don't just stop because the court orders them too. The court order is supposed to be the wake up call to get your shit together but it doesn't always work that way.

So, I am off this morning to get some mulch so that these useless garden beds in front of my house can have a little zing. I'd rather plant flowers but the squirrel lady has pretty much ruined that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Starting where you are and doing what you can with what you've got

SuperStar Heart
The last couple of days this idea keeps turning up for me in the strangest places.  

And in truth, I wrote that sentence over a month ago. Seriously, I started to write but actually got distracted by my son...and by the time I got back to what I was doing I had lost steam. It must be a place I am in currently though because I still find ideas flying at me faster than I can do anything about them.

Start Where You Are always comes to mind for me because I read the Pema Chodron book of the same name quite a few years back. I try to keep in mind that for anything that you start, you have to start right where you are. You have to use what you have. And there is that whole work thing in there.

I feel really overwhelmed by own brain right now. I want to develop this blog. I want to help my husband with enpde. I have ideas about event planning. I have ideas about getting my MBA. I have vacation ideas. I have ideas for turning a dead blog into something useful for others. I have ideas for dinner. I have ideas that will keep me busy well into the next century.

I can get started, but I'm not sure what I have got. Are my ideas good? I am not going to lie, some days I wonder if I am not living in some completely delusional fantasy that I even have a creative bone in my body. All the self doubt seems counterproductive, but it's where I am at. I can't move forward until I figure out what's up with this yoke around my neck.

It's funny about ideas. I could claim them to be divine inspiration, but then when they all fail miserably it sort of contradicts my idea of a benevolent god who loves me. I could claim them side effects of mental illness which is great if they fail. If they succeed though, then they are overshadowed by the whole overcoming the odds story.

Maybe there is something to my joking that I want to be an oracle when I grow up. With all these ideas, I could certainly pawn a few of them off to people who are more motivated, more prepared, more equipped than me. But then, that goes into my whole Idiocracy conundrum. I can relate too well with Joe and his always getting out of the way whenever the command to "Lead., Follow, or Get Out of the Way" is presented.

I don't know. On some levels it is driving me nuts because I have just felt so uninspired and unaccomplished over the past couple years that it seems cruel that this would all happen at once. Seriously, so much has changed since I wrote that first sentence a month ago! Heck, not even changed, just happened. It feels like the last month was years ago. It makes me wonder how next month will play out. Is there something good at the end of this blur or is it that burst of energy before I implode? 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Do Not Disturb

From http://www.ernstwoltering.nl/pages/HiVolt/brainwaves.jpg
So, this Monday I woke up to a brilliant idea. Well, more like was awoken to and it's more of an application of existing technology than original idea but anyway...

I don't remember the last time I woke up on my own, when I was ready to wake up. It's been at least three years. Actually, more like four because when I was pregnant with our son, hip pain and general discomfort woke me up most nights.

My husband can never seem to understand why I am so tired all the time. What he sees is us getting into bed at the same time and me getting out of bed after him. In his mind, I am deeply, restfully, and blissfully sleeping every moment I am in our bed. I wish that was the case because I'd be super energized and ready to go much more often than I am lately.

So, my idea is to construct some sort of brain wave reader headband. This headband would have lights on it that indicate where the wearer is in the sleep cycle. Red would mean do not wake, green would be go, and yellow would be a wake at own risk sort of warning.

My husband woke me up in the middle of a dream. Sure, it was a crazy ass dream but nonetheless it was right in the middle. I feel disoriented when I get woke up like that. Takes me sometime to get my bearing and figure out what exactly this reality entails. I often think, that the reason I do not feel rested is because I don't really fall asleep until he gets out of bed. Not being fully rested is a bit like being drunk but not in any sort of fun way.

If this headband existed, then he wouldn't have woke me. I bet that I probably would have woke on my own in plenty of time to get him to pick up his rental for his business trip. At the very least, he would have woke me on a yellow, which would have meant that I was not in the throngs of deep REM. I would have been better mentally recharged, and then he would not have had to call me from the road while I was writing this entry to tell me he had a voicemail from our credit union. Turns out I left my debit card in the ATM this morning, and if I do not pick it up in 24 hours they will destroy it. It'd be nicer if they would just mail it back to me, but if they destroy it then I have to PAY for a new one, so why would they spend the postage when they stand to profit off my absent-mindedness!

If only...ugh, and now I have to go and get this back because I am thinking the kids will want to eat this week and I haven't bought groceries.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Cold and rainy outside...

It kind of fits my mood today.

Have you ever just felt like you were stuck in some weird situation where every turn you made somehow never got you out? Like some sick and twisted life labyrinth without the entertainment benefit of David Bowie.

A little over two years ago, we decided that we wanted/needed to move. I loved my little house in Southern Hills but it was just that little. Plus, development on the outskirts of the neighborhood coupled with the whole economy/foreclosure crisis had changed the flavor of the neighborhood for the worse. So, we did everything you're supposed to do to get your house in order and put it on the market.

We had lookers but no takers which in the beginning was okay because we had not found a place that we liked. Then, July 3, 2010 we went to look at two houses on the same street. The first one on paper was my house. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, basement and no rear neighbors. Unfortunately, once inside it wasn't workable. The bedrooms were okay, but the second bathroom was just a toilet and half sink in the basement...no walls around it, just sitting there in the basement. So, we walked down to the second house which was across the street and four or so doors down. On paper, I wasn't crazy about it. I think a lot of that is that it was a Cape Cod and it looked just like a Hillcrest house.

Once inside though, it was a different story. Four bedrooms plus a study, two bathrooms, no basement but it didn't really matter because there was soo much room for activities. So, we put in an offer and hoped that everything would work out.

In the course of everything that happened from that day to the day we closed, we were advised to consider converting our little house into a rental. There is a whole lot around that decision that I am not going to get into but we are wondering now about the quality of consultation and service we have received over the last 18 or so months.

Our tenant moved out at the end of March. The entire time we had a tenant we had a property manager, and I use that term extremely loosely. See, the whole point of paying a licensed real estate professional to act on our behalf was to tap into that professional knowledge and hopefully hedge ourselves against some renters from hell nightmare.

I can't really get into details because we are still exploring our options as far as how to proceed. As this ball of yarn unwinds we are finding that it's a tangled mess. We fired our so called property manager. I am entirely not sure what he effectively did or why he completely failed to inform us of things that we should have been advised of....like rental registration. It would have been nice to have known that when we converted to a rental we were obligated to notify the county auditor of the change. Why would it have been nice? Well, apparently the city has been to our other property repeatedly for violations by tenants. How did we find out? When my husband stopped by the other house yesterday there was a notice taped to the door.

There is a right way and a wrong way to deal with this. It is taking every ounce of my being not to post all sort of bad review all over this page and the internet at large. I am mad as hell. I am completely disappointed at the complete lack of integrity exhibited by our former real estate agent and the previous tenants. I wonder, actually, I am fairly certain that there might be an undisclosed conflict in terms of the relationship between the former agent and the tenants.

I feel better getting that off of my chest. Thanks for listening and pray that I don't do something stupid in the course of dealing with other people's BS.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Dayton Dragons dreaming on such an April day

Opening Day 2011
One of my favorite places to go in Dayton.

We didn't make it down to Opening Day this year but we were able to catch it on 7-2. Finally, going to catch our first game of the season this weekend. I'm excited. I seriously am like a little kid when it comes to hitting a game.

I have so many great Dragons ball memories, and many more to come I am sure. One that almost immediately pops to mind is the day I got completely drenched because we were short a ticket. Ryan took the kids ahead in because it was obvious a storm was a brewin'. It was one of those times where everyone is playing beat the clock to try and take cover. I swear literally the minute the box office lady slid my ticket through the sky ripped open and flooded the Earth. Torrential downpour with about six of us trying to stay reasonable dry huddled under the slim box office awnings with the wind blowing waves of water right at us. It isn't that far from the BO to the gate, but it was one of those rains that you're just better waiting out. Did I mention that my husband had our umbrella? C'est la vie!

When it died down enough to get into the stadium, there was such an energy inside. No game going on obviously, just throngs of people managing to still have a great time despite the elements. That was the night that one of the player's proposed to his girlfriend, too. It seemed like the normal in-between inning madness with Heater. The game was explained, the girl blindfolded, music going but then Heater sneaked off and the player (I off hand can't remember who it was) went out and kneeled down in front of her. The music is still going but honestly, there was a hush about the stadium. If you've ever been to a game, you would know that these little intermissions don't take long, so she must have sensed something and when she took her blinders off, BOOM! It was pretty awesome, and lucky for him she said yes.

Like I said, I don't think I have ever had a bad time with the Dayton Dragons. This morning could have been totally bad and frustrating. When I had technical issues with printing forwarded tickets, it literally could have taken all day to resolve. I called and a real person answered the phone and got me right where I needed to be and I got everything taken care of in under ten minutes. Awwwwwwwwwwwwsssome!

Feel free to share your Dayton Dragons (or other baseball) memories in the comments.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Driving Miss Jenny

Behind the Wheel at Disney 2006
My daughter turned 16 a few weeks ago. She has had her permit since the day she could get it at 15 1/2. She drove a short part of the way home that day, and then not again until a few weeks ago... ostensibly because I yelled at her. To be fair, it wasn't yelling it was the kind of panic that happens when you are a passenger in a car that seems like it's about to hit a parked car.

We have graduated driving rules here in Ohio. It means that ya can't just rush through classes and get out on the road and wreak total havok anymore. Permit at 15 1/2, lessons with a lot of classroom and lesser amount of on the road training, and 50-hours of additional driving. Sure, it's a safe bet that there are parents out there who probably just sign away the affidavit much the same way people blindly sign their financial responsibility when they renew their tags but that's irrelevant to this story.

We have logged a quite a bit of time over the last couple of weeks. It helps too that she now volunteers to drive places. Fifty hours though it's still a ways off. It seems almost unattainable and I am just the passenger. As a matter of fact, I think if you really did the math, factoring school and parental schedules and sibling conflicts, it seems like it would take a year to get all those hours in.

We drove last night for an hour or so. As her skill gets better it is quite a bit more like joyriding and less like work. No more white-knuckling...and she's pretty relaxed now too. I do sort of enjoy being driven around like this. Sure, I drive around alone and with my husband but there is something different about driving around with my daughter.

Some of it I think is the wonderment, the world that opens up. I find myself having some of the same feelings during this driving experience that I did when she was younger and their were all those skills being learned and mastered in rapid fire. The curiosity of it all. Where does this go? What does this mean? How long has that been there? Exploring new worlds together, on purpose for the first time in years.

We have miles to go still, and I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Not for Mammals: A vacuum review that doesn't suck which is more than I can say for this Shark

So it occurred to me that I don't need much to start doing reviews. Goodness knows that I own a bunch of stuff and I have opinions about most of it. I have wanted to get this off of my chest for awhile, too.

Back over Christmas, I worked at a department store. After Christmas, I had some rewards burning a hole in my pocket and coincidentally I killed a vacuum cleaner. It wasn't on purpose, I swear. There was a suction issue and after a thorough examination and a little bit of hose cleaning, I thought the problem was solved until my living room was filled with that horrible smell of deceased vacuum. Anyway, I did some looking online and called the store where I worked to see if we actually had any vacuums in stock.

Later that evening, I dragged my husband to the mall and we became the new
owners of a Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum. At first, I really liked it. I liked that there was the option to run the vacuum without the brush roller on. I liked how it seemed to do a better job cleaning my carpet. I certainly enjoyed how much easier it now was to vacuum the stairs and the weird multi-level landing in our house.
My enjoyment of my new vacuum was short-lived, though. Seems about every two or three uses, I have to give the brush roller a haircut which is why I have deemed this vacuum unfit for mammals. Ironic because every review that I ever read of it claimed that it was great for pet owners. My best guess is that every reviewing pet owner was bald, balding, or sporting a buzz cut because there is no way any human with hair would have ever given this machine thumbs up...well, unless of course all of the reviewers wrote their reviews in the honeymoon stage of ownership.

My daughter and I usually sport shoulder length hair or longer, and I worry that we may have some sort of health issue as much of our hair as I have cut out of the roller brush. It's disappointing really because I didn't spend as much as I did to become a vacuum cosmetologist. 

It's an adequate vacuum...for Lex Luthor. Otherwise, I can't say that I am happy with this purchase. I have never encountered this level of hair clog with any other vacuum. At one point in my life, I lived with two brothers, two cats, three dogs, a long-hair mama and wooly-bearded dad. If our vacuum had ever experienced that level of maintenance, the menagerie would have been re-homed.

And now having owned this vacuum for 4 months, can't help but wonder if some of the reviews aren't akin to the same phenomenon as when people start using those colon cleansers and think they are seeing amazing results but it's a combination of being hyperfocused on their poop and what not that causes them to overstate their results. My next vacuum will come carefully recommended to me by the boys at Fussneckers 'cause the internet can not be trusted ;)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Technical difficulties brought to you by the letter M,O,N,D,A and Y

Okay, okay, it isn't just Monday that is to blame. I've been out of sorts most of the weekend. I did work on trying revamp the page only to hit a wall created by my piecemeal knowledge of HTML and a lack of patience.

Tis mostly okay anyway because the intense focusing on this and what I call my practice blog lead to some interesting clarifications in me gulliver. I probably can't give my DIY tech bent all the credit. I started reading Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You by Joyce Meyer on Thursday. Hmmm, so my picture is probably indicative that I've not read the whole book but what I have read has been very insightful and has some practical application to my life.

It's going to take longer than a weekend to get  this blog whipped into shaped. It didn't seem like it would. Patience is not one of my virtues. I really feel like I have been working on things forever and nothing ever quite comes to fruition.

There ya go another Jen-U-Whine blog :-P

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's Friday, and that's about all I got

Like I said yesterday, working on reclaiming my working time from my family.

Funny thing, I have been wondering but not actively researching how so many mama bloggers like myself were able to offer fantabulous giveaways and yesterday my answer came in my email. God, I love the interweb! So, sometime this weekend I am going to dedicate sometime to reading the rules and revamping a few things so that I can check "Offer giveaways" off of my 2012 to do list.

Might take a few days off to get things organized, so don't miss me too much. I'll be back. Not in an Arnie sort of way tho, more like an MC Lyte sorta way..."and better than before as if that was possible." What an idea, let's get the Friday dance party started old school, okay, it's really more of a groove than a dancer but one of my all time faves!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

All it takes is one.

Some one once asked me about my blogging habit. Specifically, by what criteria did I consider it "successful". My answer? One hit. One hit a day is all it takes to make me happy. They thought that was stupid. They thought I should be striving for big numbers and world-wide blogging fame.

For the record, there are many more hits a day than one. And this blog has had steady growth over the past year. I am completely thrilled and thankful for all the silent and not so silent readers out there.

I have been more sporadic than normal in the past couple weeks because of life. Some how the time I carved out for me has been eaten by the monster called Motherhood. Not complain' just sayin'... and things are starting to get normalized as far as my hubby's new job so I believe I will be getting back on track.

If you have ever really looked at the sidebars and what not of this blog, you'll notice that I chose to highlight a quote other than the Lao Tzu quote that contains the blog title. No, I chose Emerson:
To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children ...to leave the world a better place...to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
I chose it because I think it says what most of us think about success in life.

I know a lot of people who would read that and deem it an impossible task. I fell into that group once upon a time. It took me a long time that  you can't just set the world on fire quickly and easier than you can start your campfire with the biggest log available. No, you start small if you want it to last. Your starters, your kindling, your patience, and sometimes a lot of matches.

Who will you help to laugh today? Whose respect will you win? How will you endure yourself to the children around you?

Will you leave the world a better place? Will one life have breathed easier because of you?

Just answer yes. Believe that the answer is yes, and enjoy the ride my friend because everything else is just details. And if you need a little extra assurance, the fact that you are reading this means the world to me, so you are already on your way to finding your success!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The wisdom of the 40 month old

When I got up this morning, I sort of thought that it was going to be a no post day. I hadn't really gotten together any subjects or anything for the week, and nothing was really "calling" to be written about.

Then, we went to story time at the library. In light of losing preschool, we back on the library/rec center/metropark/momtopia rotation. The library being the easiest of all of those because we can walk over in less than ten minutes.

We usually cut through the high school fields rather than walk all the way up to the road, and today was no exception. Today though, they were grading the softball field and it was quite windy so there was a veritable dust storm in our path. So, instead of cutting between the baseball and softball field we cut between the softball and discus fields. Ever try to explain discus to a three year old? Not easy, and I used to throw!

We get up to the parking lot of the old surgical center and I realize that we should have taken a turn to the other parking lot. No biggie, and I said something to that effect out loud and said something about having to take a detour...but I don't remember my exact quote. This lead to having to explain detour to the boy.

So, we did story time and its craft and headed home. Walking back through the field, he brought up detour again. A detour isn't wrong, it's just not the way you want to go, he said out of the blue.  Wow! You know I've never really thought about that but it is true. We're always so often put out by detours, especially when driving, but they always still get you where you needed to go. I think the same could be said about detours in life, if you are willing to accept that you always move forward and you always get just what you need.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Native Plants, fuzzy babies, and other fun!

I know this is sort of down to wire and last minute and I apologize. This weekend coming up is the native plant sale at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm in Englewood, Ohio.

You can pre-order from a nice variety of perennial plants but pre-orders need to be in by 4/10 aka tomorrow. The public sale is Saturday, April 14, 2012 from 10am to 4:30pm at Aullwood Farm, 9101 Frederick Oike, Dayton, Ohio 45414. There will also be rescued wildflowers and hypertufas available.

The fuzzy babies part of this post is that Farm Babies Festival is right around the corner! May 19, 2012 also at the farm and a very nice way to spend an afternoon with your family. Food, entertainment, activities for the kids, and baby animals! A bonus this year is that the new Farm Discovery Center will be unveiled. We were unable to beat the rain when we went in 2011, but still managed to spend a couple of hours there. If you wander past the barns and out to pasture you will find the trail that leads to the Nature Center and a great way to extend your adventure.

There is aullways (sic) aull sorts of other fun going on at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm and I really encourage you to explore them. You can find Aullwood on the web at http://web4.audubon.org/local/sanctuary/aullwood/

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Have a great day! No cool pics or anything like that, I'm too tired.

Investing in yourself...literally.

{EAV:eddef492e1f9a4cb}I think I have a new favorite game...Empire Avenue. Which really operates kind of like the stock market, but the product is yourself and your social media activities. You don't have to be some hot and heavy social media guru to enjoy Empire Avenue. I've been playing for less than a day and managed to make it onto a Hot Picks List.

I guess I like it because I am just a dabbler who is considering a more in depth romance with social media. Plus, since all of my "stuff" is linked in to my Empire Avenue account, it's far more productive than any Zynga game...now to convince my FrontierVille friends of that!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

So, I never thought I'd have to warn ya not to Google April flowers

Seriously, I was looking for some graphics I could use on today's post. Wish I would have known that April Flowers is a porn star before I searched it. Even with safe search on, the first hit is her wikipedia page with two other sites making on the first page of search results. Smh, and don't even get me started on the images page.

The upnote is I learned a piece of history in that April Flowers was also the name of a exotic dancer from the 60s who had some mob ties and did a frame up on a sheriff candidate in Cincy/NKY. (Abridged history by Jenny, so please no trying to correct me by adding details.)

I hate to even imagine what searching "april showers bring may flowers" might turn up. Shrug, I guess that's what happens in a world where so many people ascribe to be rock stars and ballers. I am just in a bad mood today I guess, and witnessing the further decline of civilization isn't helping. I just wanted to look at pretty flower spreads...and I guess in away I did minus the pretty.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kindness to Your Inbox

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway at WomanlyWoman.com

In honor of her 1 year blogoversary, Liz at Womanly Woman is hosting a giveaway.You can enter here on my page, or hop over to http://www.womanlywoman.com/2012/04/win-cookes-cash-in-the-happy-blogoversary-womanlywoman-com-giveaway-extravaganza.html  to check it out. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Women with Heart Network Shopping & Bingo Event at Valley Vineyards 5/3/2012

Mark your calendars! Thursday, May 3, 2012 the Women with Heart Networking Group will present its bi-monthly shopping and bingo event at beautiful Valley Vineyard in Morrow, Ohio.

Doors open at 7pm for Shopping / Bingo begins at 8pm
Cash & Carry Items will be available, and all in attendance must be at least 18 years of age!

The Women with Heart Networking Group (WHNG) has a mission to give back to our community. Abuse and Rape Crisis Shelter (ARCS) will be our spotlight charity and we ask that everyone who attends the WHNG Bingo event bring a donation for ARCS. You can find their wishlist online at: http://www.arcshelter.com/wish_list. When you arrive, you will receive one bingo card for your donation.

You can earn extra bingo cards during shopping hour for visiting with the vendors, making purchases, booking home parties, or even signing up as a consultant with one of our vendors.Each of our vendors supply a prize from their company. The value of these prizes usually ranges from $25-30 and every vendor displays their Bingo prize 

Food and wine will be available for purchase from Valley Vineyards throughout the event.

If you are looking for a fun evening with friends, I highly recommend you make plans to come to the WHNG Shopping and Bingo on May 3, 2012 at Valley Vineyards.

Valley Vineyards is located at 
2276 East US 22 & 3, Morrow, Ohio 45152 and has been making quality, award-winning, nationally recognized wines for over 40 years.

Vendors may include: Tupperware, Body by Vi, Melaleuca, Partylite, Kele and Co, Scentsy, Votre Vu, Lia Sophia, Silpada, Do You Bake, Thirty-one, Gold Canyon, Mary Kay, Celebrating Home, Pampered Chef, Wildtree, Longaberger, and Tastefully Simple. If you represent a company not listed here and are in the Lebanon, Ohio area visit the WHNG Group page on Facebook to get more information about joining our wonderful group.

And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

I remember when top hats and aviator goggles were all the rage. Hell, I remember when 4 Non-Blondes were all the rage.I remember a lot, sometimes the downside of getting older.

I don't know what was the bigger appeal of this group, the lyrics, the name or the fact that it was some girls I could relate to. All of the above I guess...maybe. I remember listening to "What's Up" a lot with my friend, Julie. I remember it meaning a lot more when I was 25. "25 years of my life and still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope For a destination." 
And now here I am, ten years past twenty five still pondering that meaning.

I do feel peculiar. Moreso than I care to admit most days. But yeah, it always amazes me how much I don't fit in sometimes. And that's with trying to!!

I guess, the impetus for all this is my recent evaluation that I have amounted to nothing. It's not melodrama. I try and try and try and do not yield the same fruits as others seem to yield doing the exact same or less then I am attempting.

 ...one day my dad said "Bobby you are 17, it's time to throw childish things aside" and I said "OK Pop", but he didn't really say that he said that "Stop being a fucking dinosaur and get a job".
Maybe it's time to stop being a dinosaur.Granted, I never a got a paycheck from my last job. But maybe the point of life is that everyone is miserable all the time and no body really ever gets to do what they want. Least, that's how I am seeing it. 'Cuz I dunno, really, seriously, I've laid a lot of ground work to this magical forest I thought existed and where I am standing right now, seems like all I did is waste a lot bread laying my path.

I am not trying to be a downer. It's just where I am at right now, in this moment. I thought I was following a "calling" but more and more it seems like maybe I am just delusional.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Half Cox(ed): April 1, 2012

Well, it's what it is! My battery died before we got all the way around Cox Arboretum. I was extremely pleased with the way some of these turned out. The view finder view really didn't do them justice! So enjoy a few pictures from Cox!

Monday, April 2, 2012

We interrupt your normal scheduled blog for this announcement.

Just resting my eyes.
It's 1:14AM. I should be in bed. I had something planned for tomorrow...well, I guess today's post now. In light of the fact that I have stayed up too far past my bed time, I am just posting this rubbish so that I don't feel like more of a slacker than I already do :-?

I hardly ever stay up this late anymore, and with good reason...my son is an early riser and thinks I should be also.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fool

April Fool by Soul Asylum circa 1993

I am pretty sure I watched this live. I am pretty sure I wore out my Soul Asylum cassette. I <3 this particular song immensely and it's a perfect day to share it :)