Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Memory nightshirt

I'll be the first to admit I was a little weird and my friends were also a little, um, unique back in high school.

Well, I was cleaning recently and found the nightshirt I added to for about a year back in the day.   I'd take fabric paint and we'd write quotes and such, and it's now like a fabric scrapbook, although after about 20 years some of the words are peeling.  The glow in the dark paint still works, though, and the night I tested it, I would see "Shelly Lynn" lit up in my dark bedroom.



The above photo is to represent one of my friends' saying "Pin a Rose on your nose", but I then started saying "Pin a flower on your face" because that's the way it looked to me after I painted it on the shirt.

There's well over 100 sayings and each one means something (though with some the meaning has seemed to fade).I won't list them all, but here's some of them:

Whatcha been up to for the last year  *  Electric Slide   *  taters  *  4 dictionaries  *  clip on shades  *  my nose itches  *  greening  *  Daryll's  *  Name Your Poison  *  Memorial Mausoleum  *  Why don't angels play bongo drums?  *  Pretty Good Fun  *  She's secular  *  Visdom -- no Wisdom   *  The 70s are alive and well in that bag  *  I didn't know meatloaf made a noise  *  RF 501 Radio  *  Life is Like a Plate of Chipped Ham  *  Loof  *  26 Baked Potatoes  *  trench coat  *  Ezra  *  chocolate thumbprint cookies  *  Lucas McGraw  *  Swabie  *  Helga's Dowry  *  All's Quiet on the Western Front *  NIPC  *  Guys are the chili powder of life (oh my!  Which of my friends coined that phrase!)  *  There goes a REGULAR guy  *  Fabric store on the beach  *  Lot's birdseed  *  Camp GoNoWhere  *  Your library card is stuck to my foot  *  It's a towel, no it feels like curtains, IT'S BELLBOTTOMS  *  easy cheese  *  1972 penny  *  One person eating a tart is not two people eating a tart  *  make sure the candles are out  *  I'm giving birth to a headache  *  chicken bone love offering  *  Someone's sleeping Lord, Kumbuya  *  T Rex on PMS  *  Heraldina  *  broccoli soup  *  Ten in a A Taurus  *  The Galley Buffet  *  The Fingernail that works Wonders  *  I love your Smile (which I drew complete with missing teeth for a funny effect)

I have videos of some of these events.  But more important I still have some of these friends.  I posted the recipe for the chocolate pudding thumbprint cookies on Facebook a couple years ago.  One of my friends made them and said they weren't as good as they were 20 years ago.  I kind of doubt they would be.  Carrying eggs (not even in a bag, just an egg in each hand) from another street to my house, then to make a parody of a Julia Child cookie show. 

We may have been a bit unique, but we had fun.  Been there, done that, and I still have the nightshirt to prove it!



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day 1989

Dad only went to church on occasion.  One of those "on occasions" was Father's Day 1989.

The church was one I did Bible quizzing with, a little more on the upscale side than those churches in my hometown.

As is custom in some congregations, all fathers were given a small gift.  Most churches I've attended will give a "soap on a rope" which my dad used to leave in the car for a few months until the summer sun made the "Wild Forest" scent a little much and Mom or I would move the box with the corded soap to a box of things to sell when we would have a garage sale.

Father's Day 1989, however, was a bit different.  The church handed out small wrapped gifts to each dad. Inside each was a tire gauge.  I was sitting with the teenagers and we were passing this picture of Dad down through the pew and each of us were trying to keep from laughing as it came to us.  (Passing pictures was as popular as passing notes, and often just as entertaining.)


I was passing a note to the pastor's son to tell him "That's my grandmother's dog upside down with it's legs in the air" when I noticed a lull in the proceedings.

Pastor K was going on "Someone must have it!  It is just a small piece of paper taped to the package that says 'Happy Father's Day'. "

Unknown to me, Mom was nudging Dad to raise his hand.  More description as to how "Happy Father's Day" was written from the pulpit.

Dad slightly slipped up his left index finger.  This was a standard greeting to people.  Like "We're #1" except he wouldn't raise his hand in the air to do so, only about shoulder height unless he was driving and then he would keep his hand on the wheel and "wave" by raising a digit or two.

Pastor K seemed THRILLED to find that someone really had won the big prize for the day.

Dad had to go to the pulpit to collect his winnings.  It was a $20 gift certificate to a local steak house.  Instead of "Thank you", my dad bellowed, "ALLLLLL RIGHHHHHTTTT!"

Dad left the pulpit area to resume sitting with Mom.  I was receiving a note from a friend that said, "Maybe he will start coming to church more often."  I glanced up and saw Dad high-five a deacon on his way back to his pew.

My last Father's Day with Dad was in 2006.  His gift that year came from my recent trip to Israel -- a Pittsburgh Steeler's t-shirt in Hebrew.  But I will never forget the year he high-fived a deacon visiting a church in which he barely knew anyone.  We laughed about that for years, and I still do.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Just for Today!

Setting a goal that seems so far in the distance to achieve is often discouraging. That's where the concept of The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want
comes in. Instead of looking ahead to fit into a bikini for the beach next summer, look fantastic for your 20th high school reunion, or even be able to wear a certain dress to the company Christmas party, those goals are sometimes so long in the future or you have so much to lose that you give up before then.

What Chantel Hobbs teaches is taking one day at a time. Just for today you will eat healthy. Just for today you can fit in 30 minutes of cardio. It doesn't seem as daunting to think you will stay on track just for today. But when you start thinking of all those days between now and the bikini, that's often where failure lies, rarely in just today.

There are 31 exercises using a medicine ball included in this book as well as sample menus.
Overall, rather than a diet book, I would call this an encouragement to lose weight book. You can do this for today. Forget about yesterday, and don't worry about tomorrow. Just do this TODAY!

Here is a video about how the author lost weight:




Would you like to read chapter one?  You can do so right here! 


One Day Way by Chantel Hobbs (Chapter 1)


Like what you read?  You can buy it here:   The One-Day Way: Today Is All the Time You Need to Lose All the Weight You Want



FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. The opinions contained in this review are mine.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Saying Goodbye again.

I have dear friends who live in Russia. They are from the USA but their job takes them overseas for three years at a time. 

This week was the event I tried to pretend all year that would not happen.  We said goodbye until I visit.  (I visited for two weeks in 2009.) 

There's just so many things they miss out on living overseas.  And there's so many things I miss out on, too.  In 2009 I was able to be at my "niece's" 4th birthday party.  That was so special to be able to share a party with them.  It is a rare thing.

I'm thankful for 8 cent a minute telephone rates through our telephone company.  I'm thankful for Skype.  I'm thankful for the Scrabble site where he and I make a Scrabble play almost daily and might include some small bit of information.  I'm thankful for Facebook.

But there are times I just wish they lived closer.

I'll miss picking up the phone and seeing it's them.  (With Skype it says 'unknown number').  I'll miss the phone calls saying "We're going to be in -- what day works for you?"  (His parents live near me.)

I'm going to miss hearing "Aunt Jenn".  I'm going to miss the hugs.  The smiles of total and complete joy my infant "nephew" gives everyone.

But I'm looking forward to Skype chats, photos, and visiting again in a couple years.

Somehow, though, it doesn't seem as hard this time.  I've visited Russia.  When they say, "Our new place is near the school" I know where the school is. 

Rich Mullins wrote in a song "Far away is just somewhere you've never been."  May be.  But right now, Russia seems a very long way away when five people I love so much are moving back there. 

This is the last photo I'll have taken with my "niece" and "nephew" for a few years.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Couponing to a T.

I did an interesting deal today.

I noticed a while back I needed to replace some of my summer t-shirts.

And in the May issue of All You, there was a $5 coupon that was good on Just My Size shirts.

I had won a $50 gift card, so I used that to buy some extra All You magazines.

Today I purchased 5 t-shirts that were $6 each.  After coupons, today I paid $5 for ALL.  (Of course, I bought the magazines for the coupons, so at $1.88 each for those, I paid $2.88). 

But $2.88 for a new T-shirt isn't bad when you need them.  :)  I still have a few coupons left to use before they expire, too!  Might go with something more than just a plain t-shirt next time, but the plain ones were cheaper, and they are easier to pair with more items.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review: Growing Up Amish

I felt a more appropriate name for “Growing Up Amish: A Memoir” would have been “Leaving the Amish: A Memoir”. I expected this memoir to be more about experiences as the author was a child, but I felt that instead he focused on the experience of trying to leave the Amish Church. Even so, it was an enjoyable read into the life of a culture that while they may live near me, I know little about them.


Ira Wagler was born in Canada as an Amish child. He recounts the moves, why they moved, and how the different Amish districts and bishops differed in what they allowed. The world was calling to him, and although he was afraid of what might happen if he left the Amish Church (meaning he would go to hell), the allure of the world beckoned.

He recounts tales of youthful reckless stunts and jobs across the western United States and into Canada.

He returns to the Amish Church. He gets baptized as a full member. His engagement is thought to be enough to settle him down. But it wasn't. He leaves. And returns. And leaves for good.

I appreciated he voiced his struggles. The Amish culture is all he knew growing up. Of course it has it's attractions, but so does the world with it's pick up trucks, radios, and blue jeans.

It may be considered another “Coming of Age” memoir, but this one is very different than any I've ever read. It is a good book, and I definitely enjoyed it.  It releases on July 1, 2011 and I encourage you to add it to your summer reading list.




FTC disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free from the publisher in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed about it are my own.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Guest Blog Post by: Anonymous Couponer

I received this as an e-mail last week.  I thought it was so funny and currently appropriate I asked if I could use it as an anonymous guest post!  I think you will enjoy!  I definately enjoy my bargains, but like my guest blogger, I like to do it ethically, honestly, and politely (i.e. not clearing shelves).

~~~~~

I went to Staples to get the $5.99 ream of copy paper, minus the $3 coupon. Then do the $3 rebate. The cashier was friendly and asked me if I did coupons. I said, "Yes, but I am not an extreme coupon person". She then asked what sites I liked.


Gosh, I almost feel embarrassed and don't want anything to do with the extreme couponer persona. Uggg. Now I try not to take my coupon binders in the store because so many people are trailing around trying to be "extremers". I just want to lay low.

I hate feeling crummy about using coupons! But, hey, I will just keep plugging along with my handful of coupons and maybe I can invent an invisible or camouflaged coupon holder!!

Ha, maybe I can hide the coupons and then just whip them out at the last minute. I could wear a dark pair of shades and a trench coat. That way I could get attention for wearing that outfit in 100 degree Texas heat rather than attention for the coupons! LOL

Or maybe I could throw them off by borrowing a small child and bribing them to go through the checkout for me. Ha... or how about wearing a pair of panty hose on my head and waving around that phone on tv that has such a clear picture of a tarantula. Then the cashier could scream hysterically while I quickly scan the coupons myself. Then my pantyhosed head shot will be unidentifiable on the homeland security tapes! LOL

Okay, I just thought I would vent to a fellow couponer that doesn't care for the extremes either!!

Happy couponing!! ( Saying that in a whisper)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My turkey sandwich Headache.

Welcome to another edition of "How do I do these things?".  I really wish this was a series I didn't need to write, but like developing TMJ from cleaning my purse, I've learned I have to either laugh or cry at the things I do, and personally I prefer to laugh.

The other day I bought some mesquite smoked turkey for sandwiches.   This morning, I decided to fix a sandwich and have chips for breakfast.  I open the drawer in the fridge where I put it.  I couldn't find it.  I took everything out of that drawer.  Cheeses, Mom's ham (and I hate ham.  It is one food I can't stand to eat, so that was not an option for my sandwich), hummus, hot dogs. . .

I asked Mom, who was in another room.  She claimed she hadn't done anything with it and she didn't know why I couldn't find it.

I inserted myself deeper into the fridge, still looking.  Not realizing how far inside the fridge I was, I raised up, and really clonked my head against the bottom of the freezer door, which was closed.  I had to sit down.  After seeing stars, even with an excruciating headache, I continued taking everything out of the fridge in search of my turkey.  I was not going to let a lunch meat get the best of me.

After a little bit, I said, "I can't find it anywhere.  I can find your ham, but I can't find my turkey."

Mom informed me that was not her ham, she had eaten it. 

In reality she made mesquite smoked turkey grilled cheese sandwiches.  When I informed her of that she said "I didn't think they tasted quite right."

And I didn't feel like my head felt quite right, so I went back to bed. 

It's now dinner time and I still have a bit of a headache but it's nothing compared to what it was. (And I'll live, I do think it's time for more Tylenol.)

A turkey sandwich did get the best of me after all.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Christian Sex books shouldn't be something to giggle about.

Growing up in church, our "Christian Sex Education" was more like "Sex Mis-Information".  While I appreciate what the adults were attempting to do, I don't condone their methods of "keeping us pure" by frightening us with stories of those infected with HIV, abortions, and teen pregnancy.  Fear only works for so long.  I stayed in the teen group a little longer than most, and in the early 1990s I can remember all of the youth group being herded into the basement of the church.  The church's TV and VCR was down there.  We were not separated by gender, and we constantly giggled when the man on the Christian videos mispronounced "puberty".

Any questions?

Of course, any normal teenager wants to know EVERYTHING about sex even if they are not sexually active.  However, no normal teenager is going to ask questions in front of the youth leaders, their husbands, and 15 members of the opposite sex.  The adults may have even planned it this way so they wouldn't be caught off guard with any questions they didn't want to answer!

Twenty years later. . .

Dannah Gresh publishes the book  What Are You Waiting For?: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex .  I've been seeing links to CNN's religion blog with her article My Take: There's Nothing Brief About a Hookup .  In fact, this link was shared quite often by my Facebook friends, so when I had the opportunity to review her book, I jumped at the chance.

What you will NOT find in What Are You Waiting For?:

You will NOT find exaggerated facts to scare teens into not having sex.  You will NOT find mis-information.

What you WILL find in What Are You Waiting For?:

You WILL find honest facts.  You WILL find reasons (mainly spiritual and emotional) she believes teenagers and other singles should wait until marriage.  You WILL find honest talk about subjects my youth leaders shied away from 20 years ago. 

You can watch Dannah Gresh's book trailer here:




Obviously, with the content of the book, I would recommend it for high schoolers and above.  It is not for the faint of heart (and my youth leaders likely would have fainted with this book in the 1980s.)  But it's real!  I have a number of friends who are young adults, and this is common knowledge to them even if it wasn't so much talked about when I was their age?

Ready to dive into a frank discussion about God's plan for sex and why she believes people should wait until marriage?  You can read chapter one right here on my blog.



What Are You Waiting For by Dannah Gresh (Chapter 1)


Ready to buy this book to read to yourself or give to your daughter?  You can do so here:




This is a book I wish we would have had available to us in the 1980s.  Maybe we could have had our questions answered better with less giggling!  I'm glad to see there are books like this for this generation of young people!

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book to review from the publisher.  In no way did that influence my opinion of the book.

If you could take a moment and rank my review (based on the quality of my review) that would be fantastic! Thank you!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How many guinea pigs do you have?

I often get the question "How many guinea pigs do you have?"  Currently the answer is three, but these are the guinea pigs I've had over the years.  I have a photo of them in my room with the title "Guinea Pigs are Love with Fur".    Also listed is the years we had them, we give forever homes, but we have gotten pigs that had lived elsewhere for a while, so the dates are just from when they were with us, not how old they were.

Tilly aka Mr. Piggy Man
1980s
(Photo coming soon, I don't have one in my computer)

Hamlet (left)
2000-2004
Sherman (right)
2002 - 2004


Archie
2004-2007

Pepin
2004 - 2008


Ceasar
2004 - 2008

Charlie
2008 - 2010

Baby Crockett
2008 - present

Fuzzbutt (left)
Einstein (right)
2009 - present



Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I recently was given the opportunity to try Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil .  Prior to this opportunity, I had never known anything about coconut oil!  But Tropical Traditions gave me a link to learn about their coconut oil! It is all processed by hand and is USDA certified organic!



Finally, my jar of coconut oil arrived.




Of course, I wanted to know how it tasted when used!  I posted on Facebook when I got this review, and a friend of mine told me how wonderful popcorn tastes when you make it on the stove using coconut oil!  I bought a bag of popcorn to try that as well, but still haven't done so because I've not really wanted a snack of an evening since I received the oil.

So, I decided to use it in baking for my review.  After all, then I'd be able to take my finished product to church and share with friends and see what they think.

I visited the web page with lots of coconut oil recipes.  One thing I disliked was many of them required ingredients I don't think the average household would have.  I did find a recipe for Toasted Coconut Ginger Blondies and decided I would make that!  I didn't have any ginger, so I had to adapt it a little.

One thing I noticed is although I used the size pan the recipe called for, they seemed extremely thin, but that didn't hurt the taste any.

I thought they looked very yummy, but the real test is the taste.



I have to say I felt they were okay. I liked them but these would never be a favorite baked treat of mine. I might make them again in the future because they were rather simple to make for a home made treat, and they were a huge hit with my friends at church. 

When I say a huge hit, I'm basing it on the ones who were able to eat a blondie.  Six of the fourteen blondies I took to share were eaten by one of my friends.  One friend ate two, and the other seven were quickly eaten as well!  So these were very much enjoyed by my friends. 
 

This is my friend eating blondie number five.


Although I've so far only used it in blondies, I'm hoping to try it in more of my cooking! 

Want to try it yourself?  You can puchase it here:  http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/virgin_coconut_oil.htm and if you use referrer number 7762660 when placing an order, you will receive a complementary copy of their book about Virgin Coconut Oil.

FTC Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review in return for the free product.