Its Minutes are Numbered – The Cell Phone Battery

I love Saturday Night Live. I completely get that it’s satire and it’s meant in fun, but do you ever think that the Powers that Be over there know how influential they can be? They made a complete mockery out of George Bush and clearly took sides during the last presidential election. I know people are smart enough to draw their own opinions, but could they be swayed one way or another without even knowing it?

I don’t really have time to get into how deep that could go today. Why did I even start it? I was just looking at my phone whose battery meter is dead. It’s always dead. I love my Motorola phones, don’t get me wrong,  But the Motorola batteries have been causing me stress for the last few years. I usually blame myself – saying that I leave the internet open too long or something. But then there was this skit on SNL this weekend.

The skit was based on a verizon commercial talking about – and confusing people with – all the different Verizon phones and options. At the end someone asked what happens if the phone gets wet and the sales guy said that it instantly dies. I laughed – it was a real “it’s funny cus it’s true!” moment. But then I applied it to real life and today’s phones – for all the fancy stuff they can do – are fragile little things! Which got me thinking – I should not take the blame for USING a product the way it was intended. The fact that it’s dying so quickly could be the fault of batteries whose technology has not yet caught up with that of the phone.

So that’s my new theory. I try to have one on something every week. What do you think?

The sk

Easy Room Updates

I was talking a couple of weeks ago about how I always grow unhappy with my house in the early weeks and months following Christmas. As all the holiday decorations get put away and my activity slows down a little and am in the position to sit still for periods of time, I see all these things I don’t like. Worn out spots, grimey spots, outdated spots. And my mind quickly goes to all the beautiful shiny new housewares I saw when I was out Christmas shopping; Things that I didn’t really register at the time because I was on a mission and focused on other things, but obviously I took note of them on some level because they start to flood my mind. A hundred household items, big and small, start nagging me and making me feel bad about what I already have. I try to ignore it and not make any choices or changes during this time because I know it’s an irrational impulsive thing. I might do a tiny bit of work to my son’s room though.

My son’s room, which was not too long ago the envy of my daughter, now looks like a barracks. He has been grounded from everything, leaving it looking extremely bare. He’s also been hospitalized and is still in a healing/recovery mode, so for his safety and ours there are a lot of things he just can’t have in his room. Add to that my husband’s refusal to put any color in the house besides white carpet and white walls and you’ve got one stark ugly bedroom. So I’m studying it and looking online at sample bedrooms and such and I discover how much impact is made by comforters, pillows, a valance, and switch plate covers. I already framed and hung his baseball jerseys and put up some shelves with some memorabilia. And I’m thinking about hanging his snow board strategically in the room which would give a big burst of life to the room AND provide a functional convenient place to keep the big over powering thing :)

Do you find the once you get in the right mindset you start having ideas and realize you have a lot of solutions right in front you that don’t cost a lot of money? Do you have any good tips for fast cheap decorating updates?

Troubled Waters

Do you know that there is a statistic that says 75% of people suffer from mild chronic dehydration daily? Finding that out was a real eye opener to me because so many people, myself included, complain of lacking in energy and needing a boost. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I don’t drink water at all. Hm. I wonder why I’m so tired every day! I know I need to drink more but why don’t I?

Two thirds of our body make up is water. It is common knowledge that we should drink 8 glasses of water to maintain good health. Over the years I believe this philosophy has become so identified with the area of diet and weight loss that people forget that it’s just plain essential for good health. I know I did.

I used to carry a water bottle with me everywhere and drank at least a gallon of water per day. It was easy to do when I had a 9 to 5 office job with a schedule and a routine. It should be easy too, working at home with everything I need to eat and drink healthy at my fingertips but it’s the structure that’s missing. I need to make a priority of fixing this.

So okay. I’m ready to drink more water. Why’s it gotta be so hard, though?! The water coming out of my tap is filled with chemicals. Bottled water is bad for the environment and we are not supposed to use those bottles over again. We can BUY reusable water bottles to be kinder to the universe, but we still need to buy the water filtration pitcher and THEN oh my goodness have you seen the price of the filters?  I have a Brita pitcher which I love. I just put in my last filter. I lucked into a pack of them that were in a clearance bin somewhere, otherwise I might have been still using the last – outdated – one. Look – I know that clean healthy water is one of the biggest priorities I have. But what makes me mad is that clean water should not be so difficult to access. Just like clean, organic food, it makes me mad that I have to pay for something that the earth once supplied in its cleanest healthiest form.

Guess what I found out today. That those water filters that attach to your faucet are super affordable. Duh. Why don’t I have one of these? It solves all the problems – clean, convenient, and affordable. You can even find discounts online if you shop around or grab a  pur water filteration coupon code.

Okay. I’m all set now. How about you? How do you purify your water?




Post Christmas Shopping Dysfunction

I’m in a mood again. I hate my house and I think I’m beginning to see a pattern. I blame the holidays. Over the last few years I have not only shopped less, but I simply don’t go anywhere. It’s easier to not be depressed over what you don’t have if you don’t know what you’re missing, right? But then Christmas comes along and I am forced to go out. Maybe it’s to pick up a few presents for family members or maybe it’s to take my kids to the mall to use their gift cards. While I’m out there, I see stuff. I see beautiful clean fluffy towels, comfy looking modern furniture, whimsical plate patterns and glassware, and so on. I don’t realize it at the time, or even know that I am aware of these things at the time. But later it gets me.

Some time after Christmas has passed, like maybe exactly one month, I start looking at things with disdain. My living room furniture is 15 years old. It lacks luster and is not really comfy anymore. Faded, tattered linens. Broken up mismatched drinking glasses. Pffft. And there is always something that really stands out. Fortunately last year the thing that bothered me was a simple fix. I finally went on a mission to find – and found – the perfect plaque in the perfect colors with the perfect saying – to  replace a clock I took down in the kitchen. Also – the rug and shower curtain in the guest bathroom. I know these aren’t major purchases financially – but I am very particular about what I want and I won’t settle until I find it. So I still love how my guest bathroom looks except now – a year after the new curtain and rug, and a month after being out shopping, the sink has become an eyesore to me. Uh oh.

Shower curtain / rug combo – easy. Vessel sink / vessel sink faucets combo – super duper not easy.

I cannot complain about my house really. It was new when we bought it in 1997 and its neutralness maintained its timeliness. But it is starting to seem dated to me as decor has evolved dramatically over the last several years. I always intended to change all the Formica counter tops but now I just want to rip everything out and start over. The vessel sinks are not really that expensive. The vessel faucet actually costs more than the sink. Then there’s the cabinet or pedestal, though. Now I’m into big dollar. More than any of my Christmas and Birthday money can help. But that’s okay. Now that I realize the pattern and where these feelings are coming from, I think if I wait it out, they will pass until there’s room in the budget for bigger projects. Maybe for now I can get some towels that aren’t torn or bleach stained. That would make me happy too.

Post Christmas Shopping Dysfunction. Did I just invent something new or have you experienced it too?



Maybe It’s Time for Me to Fly

I want to move but I don’t know where to go. It’s just that it occurred to me recently that I can work from anywhere and my husband hates his job, so why stay here? Why not just call a New York moving company or LA movers right now and just take off. Start fresh some place that has the vibe, the culture, the art, and energy that I crave?  I am not saying that this is a terrible place to live because it isn’t. But I do seem to have some dependency on sunshine that is getting stronger as I get older. Each dark gloomy winter season is taking a heavier toll on me as years go by, leaving me depressed and melancholy. Come summer I perk back up and feel vibrant again – but I feel in a rut of constantly having to reset myself – never really moving forward anymore. Hm. Better scratch the New York movers and make that North Carolina or Los Angeles movers! :)

For funzies I searched the healthiest cities to live and was not at all surprised to find that California boasted 10 of the 20 healthiest cities. And I learned that I was right to have that ) Los Angeles moving company on my list. LA was #10 on the list! I also drifted off into fantasy land for a minute thinking about San Jose (#1!)  and San Francisco. I’ve been to both and experienced an instant increase in quality of life when my allergy, sinus, and body aches disappeared. I know the grass is always greener and every place holds its challenges, but I think that waking up feeling your physical best every day would only lead to achieving your personal best every day.

Still, Michigan to California is quite a distance to leave between friends and family so I have to consider that as I adjust the parameters of my job search. Wish me luck!

If you could start out fresh anywhere in the world, where would you go?


A Toast to the Bubbly

I love wine. Moscato is always my choice but any wine will do. Except for the real wine-ish ones. Anything too dark or too dry I have have to add Sprite and make it a spritzer. I suppose this is what prevents me from being a REAL wine lover. And champagne? Forget about it. OH unless it’s a Mimosa. Then I LOVE champagne. Speaking of champagne, did you know that its invention was an accident? Yep. They were trying real hard to get rid of the bubbles. My favorite Moscato has a light fizz to it so I am glad the wine gods decided to work with the bubbles instead of against it. Cheers to champagne! infographic Champagne

Tax Time!

Every year I panic at tax time. So  much to gather, so many dots to connect. And I don’t pay taxes through the year or set any  money aside so there’s always the fear that THIS is going to be the year that I made too much without preparing for taxes that it’s going to offset what hubby pays and we’ll end up owing. For one hot second I had the panic again and then I remembered – I didn’t sell real estate last year! All I have to pull together is my freelance writing biz and that’s a snap!

So now I’m sitting back, no worries, thinking “I should  become a tax preparer.” I mean how hard can it be, right? Take a tax class, find some clients, crunch some numbers for a few months, make some extra money… Oh right – one problem – I can’t do math. It makes my  head hurt. Probably that whole “finding some clients” thing might prove to be difficult as well. Hm. I better think of something else to make some extra money. :)


Hug Your Love Bug!

Valentine’s Day is coming and although I am usually criticizing it, today I am excited for it. No, not because I foresee gifts and goodies coming my way, but because I ran across something fun and delightful that shattered my “Valentine’s Day” is lame image.

Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about being in love and honoring the one you love, correct? But over time, to me, it has become a tool of the flower, chocolate, and greeting card industries. Like everything else, its meaning has been bastardized. And not only has the meaning been corrupted, but pressure has been put on everybody to love the same things. Chocolate and roses. Pfffft. I hate roses. And I’d rather have a Reese’s peanut butter cup than a box of chocolates. Or a heart shaped Twizzler. Now THAT would be something.

Oh and how could I forget jewelry?! Don’t even get me started.

So that’s why Valentine’s Day irks me. I love individuality though, so for ME I would love it if SOMEONE say … made me a bouquet of Reese’s peanut butter cups on wooden kabob skewers. I’d probably be moved to tears. But let’s face it – not many … “people” we will call them… think like that. Hence the default roses and Forrest Gump chocolates. WELL finally a delivery service that has unique custom yummies and pretties that can be made to suit your Valentine and really show them you know them and care. :)

For instance – I use the term “love bug” alot and you should have seen me when I scrolled over THE LOVE BUG gift. A bouquet of tiny red flowers popping out of a pail that looks like a lady bug, accompanied by 6 fudgy cake pops in the shape of love bugs! I squealed. I did. Cookies, fruit, wine, bath stuff, brownies- OH and this brownie cake! You know what – just click here for Shari’s brownies  and you can browse for yourself.

It’s been a particularly tough few years. Whatever your budget, whatever your “Valentine’s Day” beliefs, it couldn’t hurt to devote a day to YOUR love bugs and make sure they know how much you appreciate them. :) I think we all could use a hug right about now.

Fun Beyond Electronics

Activities are expensive aren’t they? I complain all the time that my kids want to spend all their time on electronics and video games but when it comes right down to it, sometimes that’s all I can afford.

In the early days after the adoption we had my daughter in ballet and drama, and my son id karate, baseball, and wrestling. It was great. At 3 and 7, having been uprooted many times from families and schools, we found value in the socializing and confidence building in addition to the fun they were having. Classes were kinda pricey – and dance was over the top with the costumes at recital time, but it was worth it to see them blossom.

As the years went by and it became increasingly difficult for me to work due to their special needs, the kids had to start making choices about which activities they wanted most because without my income we couldn’t swing them all. The last year we did ballet we even opted out of the recital because it required too much money too close to Christmas. Cut to now, as a national recession has piggy backed on top of our already tight belt tightening, nobody is enrolled in anything.

My daughter loves to draw now. She’s into cartooning. Since we haven’t been able to enroll her in art classes, we have found lots of free resources on the internet and she is teaching herself some amazing things. She can often be found with her head in her netbook and for a hot second I am concerned and then I realize, she’s reading stories and studying art strategies. Do I still hope to get her enrolled in art classes at some point? Yes. She says she wants to be an artist for Sega, so I need to do what I can to get her the training she needs. But for now she’s okay.

My son is a tougher customer. He is a video game addict so anything we can do to get him out and socializing and exercising an using different skills is welcome. Guess what he loves – snowboarding and mountain biking. Neat right? We bought him all his gear last year figuring it would last him through this year but his boots and pants are too small. Dammit. And he wants to mountain bike like his Dad which is great, except that by the time I buy him the Canondale Lefty bike, Yakima bike rack, Peralzumi shoes and everything else he has picked out – we won’t have money left for groceries. For months.

Does he need to have top notch everything to get started? I don’t think so. But his Dad’s head is stuck in the days when he had lots of disposable income and it’s difficult for him to accept notions such as “budget” and “walk before you crawl.” Sigh.

With my son just two years away from 18, graduating high school, and facing college & life, the financial aspect of raising children is really weighing heavily on me. Like so many others, the last few years have brought us reduced savings accounts, assets, and home values. It’s like having to start all over, but in the negative, and we have only two years to catch up and get prepared for college.  Then a few more years for the other college student, and then somehow for retirement. I know things always work out somehow, but as I sit here an contemplate and try to make plans and set goals – I just don’t see how.

I should add that I am sick today and seeing mostly everything in negative light so I bet I’ll have a better disposition in a few days.

What activities do your kids enjoy? What gets them off the electronics?


Baby Brother

Guest post of the week by Moises Henderson

My baby brother just graduated from high school. He is so smart and is moving to downtown Atlanta to go to Georgia Tech. He will be the one in the family that actually owns the beach house for us to rent during the summer. We went last weekend to get him moved into his new place. He is renting a one bedroom apartment downtown right by the school. The apartment is fine, but I noticed the neighborhood that it is in. I tried to not make that the first thing I said when he was showing us his place for the first time. He was all proud of himself now that he is growing up and moved out of mom and dad’s house. I tried to ooh and aah over the place before I talked about the scary neighborhood that it is located in. I told him he really needs to get a home security system. Then he goes off on how that isn’t manly and how he is not going to do that. I really wish he would because I would feel a lot better about him living there.