My bout with my beloved boater

When you think of someone living on a boat, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? What do you imagine it to look like? Under what circumstances do you suppose would precipitate a person choosing to live on a boat?

Needless to say, the idea has never appealed to me. Not even on a million dollar yacht, would I choose to live, unless the alternative was homelessness perhaps. Unless my finances were in such serious arrears (which, by the way, is today’s Word of the Day by dictionary.com) that I had no other choice, I could not see myself living on a boat. But that’s just me, or so I thought. I know someone else who says it would be living his dream.

“Wouldn’t you get lonely?” I questioned, although he’s probably the biggest “loner” I ever have met, to which he replied, “No, I’d have you with me!” “Oh really!” I exclaimed and then laughed, “You would really want me to live on a boat with you?” “Of course!” he said, “but I don’t know how you’d do. You couldn’t bring a bunch of stuff, it’s just the bare necessities on a boat.” I felt a twinge of fear at the mere thought of this and then chuckled when I thought, well, I am an all-or-nothing kind of person!

A bit later, I thought about all of the things on my never-ending to-do list. The many things I feel I need to do, the things I want to do, and the things I told others I would do, weighed heavily on my mind. Just think of how many things would be eliminated from my list if we lived on a boat, I mused to myself. Just think of how much time I would have to do all the things I want to do most in this life if we lived on a boat! My excitement surprised me.

Upon seeing today’s Word of the Day, I first thought of when it would have applied to my financial health. Thankful to no longer be in such a situation, my attention turned to the phone calls from friends I need to return, my over-grown garden, and lots of laundry. I was somewhat surprised at how feeling overwhelmed due to arrears  is the same for me, whether the cause is finances, friendships or chores.

Meaning the state of being behind or late, especially in the fulfillment of a duty, promise, obligation, or the like, the word arrears [uh-reerz] is a plural noun and, according to dictionary.com, idioms, when talking about being in arrears. So that feeling, for me, really stems from me not fulfilling an obligation, whatever it is. The solution? Well, picking up the phone is a start. Whether it is to straighten out finances or catch up with a friend, merely making the attempt eases the overwhelming feelings. Or I could just sail away with my husband.

 

Killing Words

Most people have heard of homicide, but what about the word verbicide? My first thought upon seeing this Word of the Day was that just as Homo, as in Homo sapiens, is a human, verb is a word. In other words, just as homicide means killing another person, verbicide is the killing of a word. Sort of.

Oliver Wendell Holmes compared homicide and verbicide in The Atlantic Monthly in 1857, saying that life and language are both sacred. “That is,” he wrote, “violent treatment of a word with fatal results to its legitimate meaning, which is its life – are alike forbidden.” According to the definition by Dictionary.com, the distortion or depreciation of the meaning of such word must be done willfully for it to be considered verbicide. Not like when my husband (soon-to-be then) asked my mom who “Carte Blanche” was when she informed him that she had (her, it) to choose the flowers for our wedding. No, he didn’t commit verbicide that day, he had just never heard of “carte blanche” before. He’s likely to never forget what it means now, over twenty years later it is still one of my favorite wedding stories. Thankfully, he’s a good sport.

I was going to say that the next time you think about deliberately changing the meaning of a word by the way you use it, keep in mind that it’s verbicide and you might decide against it. However, upon second thought of this statement, I wonder about using a pun. Perhaps I’ll look further into the differences tomorrow, if there are any, but until then I’m done!

Vain People or Vane People?

You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you… Oops, wait a minute – back up. Sorry, wrong vain. I meant to say – You’re so vane, no one can ever count on you, and of course I am talking to those who change their minds with the wind. Yep, according to Dictionary.com, today’s Word of the Day, vane, refers to people as well as a weather vane and six other items. If you didn’t know that, then you have learned something new today!

Word up – One way to win a conversation

“Appealing to one’s prejudices, emotions, or special interests rather than to one’s intellect or reason,” is the definition of today’s Word of the Day by Dictionary.com… do you know what it is? The second definition of this adjective is “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering his argument,” and no, the answer is not politician. Besides, that would be a noun. We are looking for the adjective that describes the politician. The word we are looking for today is ad hominem.

John Locke is quoted using this word in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding from 1960. Locke writes, “…a third way is to press a man with consequences drawn from his own principles or concessions. This is already known under the name argumentum ad hominem.” This quote also comes from Dictionary.com and I can only guess what he means about a third way to… what? Appeal to the man’s prejudices and emotions or attack his character? I guess either one would work.

So there you have it. Sometimes focusing on the fluff and not the real stuff is the only way out of a conversation. For example, if your neighbor can’t stop talking about what a great experience going to a NASCAR race is, and won’t stop trying to talk you into going, an ad hominem remark might work. If he doesn’t want you to know how redneck he really is, then saying something such as, “Ya, I could arrange a church field-trip and change the stereotype of NASCAR fans around the world,” just might do the trick.

Without a Paddle?

IMG_1076What’s worse than finding yourself up a creek without a paddle? How about out in the Gulf without one? The Gulf of Mexico, that is. At least in a creek, your odds of drifting to shore somewhere nearby are a whole lot better.

If you have read my blog about our recent vacation to the Florida Keys (assusieseesit.wordpress.com) (currently working on new location), you probably know where I am going with this. But if not, I will fill you in on what makes for a great substitute paddle. First of all though, let me say that I do not recommend replacing the paddle, something I think every boat should carry two of (2 – got that Dave?) at all times, but just in case you find yourself adrift with only one, and your ship-mate is hollering at you to find something to paddle with, anything to help their efforts of using the one on board, and to keep from going in circles, I’m here to tell you that a fin works just fine. I found that it was much more work on my arms than a paddle, but it did the job nonetheless. Of course, this would only be an option if you had snorkeling or scuba gear on-board, and fortunately, we did, since we had been out snorkeling.

Perhaps that’s what my husband was thinking all along in order to preserve our precious room aboard, which is fine – should he be the one leaning over the side of the boat pushing at the tide with a dive fin on his hand – but no, it wasn’t  like that. Did I get mad? Oh you bet I did! But I’m an adult, and have been trying to act like one, so it didn’t take me long to realize that I’m responsible for my own well-being and situations I put myself into. Okay, I lied, it took me a while to realize this. Initially, I felt that he should have taken a little better care of me after 20 years of marriage, but why? Where did this idea come from? What’s wrong with me taking care of me? What if he expected the same? I don’t know, but one thing’s for sure – 2 decades after saying “I do,” I continue to willingly play in the mud with him and then get mad when I get dirty. Now whose fault is that?

The fact of the matter is, I have more fun with him – broke down in the middle of a mud pit or stranded out in the Gulf of Mexico – than it’s worth getting upset about. And it is possible to make the upsetting stuff not so upsetting. I mean, who doesn’t love a good story? And that’s what made my paddling do-able – thinking of the story I was going to make of it, which brought on an entire new blog. And by the way, Dave offered to use the fin, and asked me more than once if I wanted to trade, but don’t you know, I had to be the one suffering in this story, so I told him, “No, I’m FINE.” And the poor guy believed me.

It all turned out fine though, and I would repeat the whole trip in an instant. You can read about it on my new WordPress blog – As Susie Sees It (will let you know). And in the meantime, if you’re going out on a boat, don’t forget the paddles! Both of them!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.

Don’t Know Where To Go, Go See A Show!

“Go see a show,” a fun solution if you ever have the opportunity to do so.  The Kravis Center in downtown West Palm Beach is a gorgeous theater, just going there was a treat.  And although I had never heard of Chick Corea or Bela Fleck before my husband informed me he was going to see them in concert and would love it if I would accompany him, I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

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The piano and banjo, that’s all they play, for over two hours.  I was surprised at how fast the time flew.  I was surprised at how good I felt on the way out.  I was surprised on the way home when I realized that I hadn’t thought of anything else, which is a good thing.  Sometimes clearing your mind and not thinking about the weight of your world does wonders.  Going to a show is likely to accomplish just that.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell will be at the Kravis Center in May, I’d like to go to that.  Steve Martin plays the banjo, in case you didn’t know.  Another thing I didn’t know is that you can see most shows there for only twenty-five bucks.  A Good Deal!  So next time you are looking to do something and don’t know what to do or where to go, find your local theater and go see a show!

Recycle, Reduce, Reuse

Do you know a pack-rat?  How about a hoarder?  Is there a difference?  My husband could point out a few that we know but don’t you dare lump him in that category.  No, he is what he calls a frugal builder.

It started when he was 10 and the neighbor gave him some wood he had in his garage to build a tree fort.  A few decades later and now a contractor, my husband Dave rarely passes up an opportunity to bring home the freebies.  Plywood, posts, studs and blocks, both glass and concrete, those are things I can look forward to him getting excited about.

Usually, he has no idea what the item will be used for, he just knows that someday it will come in handy for someone or something.  Like last fall, he made the platform for the Relay for Life float in the Acreage Parade completely out of freebies.  And after the parade, the material got dismantled and put back in the shop for whenever it is needed again.  Probably for the wall of hope needed next month.

What I used to hound him for, bringing each and every thing he could re-use home with him, I am now grateful for.  It’s funny how life turns around.  I’m sure having it in his shop versus our living room makes a big difference too.  And one last thing – if you are a saver of your stuff, that’s fine, just make sure you re-use!

 

Hang Around Long Enough, You’ll Need A Slim Shim

Today’s tip involves some tactics that may be a little much for the average person to perform, but if you know your way around tools and are handy around the house, then you could probably pull it off.  But unless you have a slightly off-kilter door in need of adjusting, my solution will mean little to you anyway.

So let’s say you have an interior door that is having a problem latching.  The strike-plate, where the doorknob’s insides latch into the hole, is probably a little too high or low, and therefore the latch won’t catch.  If the hole is higher than the latch on the door, the door needs to be raised ever so slightly.  One way to do this is to put a small shim under the door’s hinge.  First, cut a small piece of cardboard (I used a diet coke box) a little smaller than the hinge on the door jam, or the frame of the door.  Unscrew the bottom hinge on the frame (not the door), slip the piece of cardboard under the hinge, and screw it back in.

This may seem silly to some, but before you seek out your screwdriver make sure you comply with any rules your community may have about stuff like this.  I know of an association that could very  well say you need a permit because technically, in a very obscure way, you are hanging a door.  So understand how some may see it as way more than it actually is, but don’t make it more than it is either, if you are thinking about performing this fix.

 

Green Eggs And Ham, Break The Fast Ma’am

In my whole forty-something years of living, I have never heard, until the other day that is, that breakfast literally means break a fast.  Of all the people I have told this interesting tidbit to, I’m the only one who just recently found this out.

My dad also shared a tidbit with me about breakfast, though I believe the original source was Dr. Oz from the TV show.  He said that you should eat protein within thirty minutes of waking up.  From what I remember, you will be more energetic, crave sugar less (if you do), and it aids in weight loss.  Speaking of Dr. Oz, he will be in town here on Saturday, March 23, at the Gardens Mall, in case you are interested.

So who’s with me on eating some protein after waking in order to break the fast we’ve been in?

 

Don’t Give It Up, Give It Over

People can be so mean.

Some behave badly in an effort to make themselves feel better, others pass it on because, well, that’s all they know, and there are those who feel they have been wronged and believe someone should pay for it.  And sometimes, that someone is anyone.

Perhaps if you have been mean to others (and are aware of it), you might find it a little easier to be forgiving, because you can put yourselves in the mean person’s shoes. But if you have been hurt so badly that you can not find it in your heart to forgive, then what do you do?  I have heard helpful phrases like, “Let it go,” “Give it to God,” and “Turn it over,” and they are great and everything, but tonight I heard something better.

Beth Moore, in teaching her bible study James on DVD, captivated my attention tonight, as she does every Monday night.  Do you know what it means to yield?  Driving a car, if you come upon a yield sign, you slow down or stop to let the other cars on the road go first.  Well, forgiveness is an act of yielding.  Say what?  That’s what I thought when I first heard this.

Get this – instead of  “letting it go” or “giving it to God,” how about “yielding it up”?  Of course, if you are a master of letting it go, then by all means, keep doing what works.  But for me, yielding is more palatable than letting go.  There is a situation I am having trouble “letting go” of, I mean, I’m not ready or willing to totally release it and have it gone forever (or even just the rest of the day), but I can see myself willing and able to yield it up to God.

James 3:17 (NKJV) says, “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.”  So it seems it’s not mandatory to give it up, it’s perfectly acceptable to just yield.  Next time you find yourself frustrated with this forgiveness issue, remember Beth Moore’s wise words – “Don’t give it up, give it over!”

It Starts With A Seed

seedsWith March quickly marching toward us, it’s time for us Floridians to start gardening.  Well, some here never stop, but technically now is the time to plant.  The non-Floridians could also start, indoors anyway, and I have a couple of ideas that you may find useful.

Seedlings are easy to start and fun to watch grow.  Here’s a way the whole family can see:  Wet a sponge and put it on a plate, spread your seeds out evenly on the sponge and put the plate in a sunny window.  Keep the sponge damp by frequently adding water.  When the seedlings have a healthy root, pot them up in peat pots to get them ready for the garden.

You can also make a simple “mini-greenhouse” to start your seeds in, using materials you can recycle from the grocery store.  Clear plastic containers that goods come in from the bakery work well, with the hinged top and see-thru plastic.  You can fill it with starter mix if you want, or just use the bottom and close the lid to retain moisture.  Empty egg cartons also work well.

When watering the seedlings, use a teaspoon of baby shampoo mixed with a quart of water.  This will keep the soil surface soft and moist so seedlings can break through easily.  You can also keep your seedlings cozy by storing them on top of your refrigerator, where they will stay warm.  Just don’t forget about them, they need to stay moist too.

So go have fun with some seedlings, and make sure you check back for ideas for when your seedlings become sprouts!

When Life Throws You Lemons

When my daughter called to tell me of her plight at the auto mechanic shop today, I was doing housework and was a sweaty, disheveled mess.  “My car won’t be ready until five, and I have to be at school at three to take an exam.  Do you think you could pick me up and give me a ride, and if not, can you help me with the bus schedule?”  Just the thought of her willingness to take the bus makes me smile.

“No, you’re not taking the bus, I’ll be there in a half an hour,” I said, and hung up the phone.  As I headed for the door, I caught my reflection and in my thoughts gasped, I can’t go out in public looking like this!  I washed my face, brushed my teeth and grabbed a baseball hat out of the closet.  I am so glad I did, because when my daughter suggested we get a bite to eat in the mall’s food court, I didn’t have to feel sorry for her having to be seen with me.  With a pair of big sunglasses to go with the hat, I was incognito.

My sweet daughter apologized for ruining my day and I told her that life happens, and when it does, we just have to go with it.  You can either float along with the current or fight it.  “No big deal,” I told her, when I should have said, “Are you kidding me?  I can’t remember the last time just you and I got out and had lunch together, and that absolutely made my day!”  Because it did.

So remember the hat trick next time life happens to you.  And who knows, you may get lucky too!

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If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

Sometimes the solution is as easy as keeping your mouth shut.  Whether you are a passenger in a speeding boat or have a hot head in a room full of people, keeping your mouth shut can save you.

I recently heeded this advice, which is good, but I keep wanting to throw my two cents in, which is not good.  No one wants my two cents, not on this matter anyway.  And I don’t blame them, considering I haven’t much nice to say.

So God, with His great sense of humor, reminded me of this and why I need to continue to keep my mouth shut.  Currently in week three of Beth Moore’s study on the book of James, I opened my homework up tonight and found instructions to write Proverbs 17:27.  Proverbs?  I thought.  This is a study of James, why am I looking up Proverbs?  Then I got the punchline.  Proverbs 17:27 says, “The intelligent person restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a man of understanding.”  Thank you God, I needed that reminder!

To Train A Cat

The newest kitty in our home, affectionately called “Miss Kitty”, likes to climb.  She particularly likes the shelves on our bedroom wall, which is a problem.

To put an end to her shelf-climbing, I put water in a spray bottle and kept it next to my bed.  Every time I saw her checking out the shelves, I sprayed a stream of water across the room at her.  Let me tell you, she does not like it.  Needless to say, she started staying away from the shelves and before I knew it, the spray bottle wound up in the kitchen since I found I really didn’t it in the bedroom any longer.

Well tonight, Miss Kitty walked over to an area I did not want her in and when I reached for the spray bottle by my bed, it was not there.  Miss Kitty did not seem to realize this either, as she flashed me a look then took off from the area.  It was as if she said, I know, I know, I’m outta here.

So using the spray bottle to keep my cats out of my stuff has worked well.  And after a while, a pretend bottle even works!

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Share Your Uses!

Who doesn’t have a tin of petroleum jelly in their medicine cabinet?

If there were such a thing as a list of “must haves around the house,” I would think it would be on it.  It has so many uses, and I would have thought it to be with first aid stuff, but at my local grocery store it is only on the baby aisle.  Having no babies, it took me a while to find it.

My inclination of looking for it in first aid probably comes from a doctor telling me that it was just as good to use on my cut as neosporin because I was on an antibiotic.  He said the antibiotic made up for difference between the two.  This was many years ago, but I don’t think either has changed much since then.

I have many more uses for petroleum jelly, but the one I came across today is new to me.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I was told that you can use it to remove imperfections in your wood furniture.  Rub the jelly on water spots and heat marks, coating the area of the imperfection and let it stand overnight.  Wipe clean in the morning.

What are some uses you have for this product?  G Rated please.

How About Some Salt in Your Wash?

While I was folding clothes this afternoon, my husband asked me why I was doing laundry on my birthday.  “It’s Thursday and I need to do laundry,” was all I could think to say.  “Awe, well you shouldn’t have to do laundry on your birthday,” he said.  No that’s okay, you don’t know it yet but I’m not cooking today, I thought.

I will take laundry over cooking any day.  Okay, most days.  Washing my husband’s clothes can be challenging, depending on the type of job he is on.  I have learned some helpful tricks though.

  • Add a couple pinches of salt to your wash water.  Your clothes should keep their vivid colors and wear longer for a lot less than colorsafe bleach.  Bleach is harder on fabric than salt.
  • If your laundry soap is almost gone and you have a couple of loads left to do, make it stretch by adding a 1/4 cup of baking soda.  As a bonus, your clothes will smell fresh and feel soft.
  • And did you know that rinsing your clothes in cold water not only saves energy, but it keeps clothes from excessive wrinkling and makes them easier to iron?  Now you do!

It was a good day to catch up on laundry because it was a good day not to cook.  Happy Birthday to me!

 

It’s Time For Me To… Take Over

Do you have a particular project that you wouldn’t mind delegating?  Do you have a friend with a tendency to take over projects you start?  Well there you go!  Need I say more?

Well, I will anyway.  My wonderful husband of 20 years this year has that tendency.  My best friend dubbed him “Take Over Dave” a couple of decades ago, and we laughed about it again today as he started clearing an area my friend was clearing.  She moved to another area, and he was over there within 10 minutes.  I searched my brain for something I’d been wanting him to do; I was going to start doing it and just wait for him to come take over.  Unfortunately, I don’t climb ladders, change electrical parts or work on automobiles, so there wasn’t anything on my “his to do list” that I could actually start.

Another unfortunate is, I have found out that it doesn’t work well with dishes or laundry.  It occasionally works with cooking, but it’s a gamble and usually only on Sunday’s.  Is this deceitful?  I don’t think so, but then again, my husband is well aware of what’s going on.  It’s all in fun, and hey – we get something done!

 

A Walk A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Ever since I can remember, my father has stressed to us kids how important exercise is.  He would quote statistics that showed how exercise lowers the chances of stroke and depression and how it improves overall health.  And he didn’t just say it, he lived it.

Both of my parents were always into sports, while I was growing up it was tennis.  Prior to getting married and having children though, they both played basketball in high school.  My father, Wendell Arnold, touches on this in his book, FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST, and their first picture together that I know of is from this time period on the basketball court.  From page 38 of Wendell Arnold’s autobiography:

By the end of the year basketball season got into full swing.  We were both very good basketball players.  Our school had girls and boys traveling on the same bus.  As we traveled to the game boys and girls had to sit on opposite sides of the bus, but on the way home we could sit together.  Everyone knew the back seat was ours on the trip home.  Everyone thought we were making out but really we were sleeping, as we were exhausted.  We continued dating the remainder of my senior year and then all through Carolyn’s senior year.

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I had received a scholarship from Tishomingo College to play football but I thought it was too far away from Hastings.  I was also considering enrolling in at Oklahoma State University; however, I decided to go to Cameron College in Lawton because Carolyn thought it would be nice if I went to Cameron, as it was closer to home.  She was in her senior year and I could come down on weekends. We went out every weekend.  Life was good.  Carolyn’s dad became increasingly concerned that our relationship was growing much too serious and he monitored her curfew relentlessly.  Carolyn was at the top of her class academically and her parents weren’t about to let their daughter sacrifice her grades for a courtship.

If you haven’t already, please visit wendellarnold.com for more information about Wendell Arnold’s autobiography.  Already receiving rave reviews, you won’t want to miss this intriguing story!

In the meantime, exercise just a little each day to lower your chances of stroke, depression and improve your overall health, even if it’s just walking for 20 minutes.  And I’m not talking collectively, but all at once!

Oops, I’ve Done It Again

How is it possible that in the last 4 hours I went from not caring one bit who wins the super bowl, to getting emotionally involved in this close, close game?

And who didn’t feel just a bit of suspense when the lights went out?

What about that Budweiser commercial with the Clydesdale?  It left me a bit misty-eyed.

Darn Super Bowl, you roped me in as I sat on the sidelines not wanting to get involved.  Considering that happens to me frequently in life in general, perhaps I don’t want to just sit on the sidelines as much as I think I do.

And this might not make sense to you, but I’m reminded of a bumper sticker I saw today for my solution –

If you skeered, say you skeered.

Never Saw This One Coming

Have you ever heard of someone taking their cat to get “fixed” only to find out the cat’s already sterilized?  Well now you have!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about making an appointment with the spay shuttle for a new kitty that adopted us.  Well I have an update.  On the appointed day, I dropped Miss Kitty off at 8:30 AM and was told to return at 3:30 PM for pickup.  Around noon, I received a call from the vet at the shuttle.  She started slowly and even sounded confused as she asked, “Ms. Raffey, um, you brought Miss Kitty in this morning to get spayed?”  “Yes,” I replied.  “Well, hmm, she is already sterilized.”  Not making the connection that sterilized means “fixed,” I stammered, “What?” “She has been sterilized,” the vet repeated.

I was shocked.  “How long have you had her?” Still trying to comprehend this news, I weakly said, “About two months.”  It had actually been a little longer.  The vet said, “Well she’s yours then, we’ll go ahead and put the chip in her, she’s yours.”  I was surprised that this kitty had been sterilized but did not have a chip.  I questioned the vet about this and she confirmed that was the way it was.  And as if this wasn’t strange enough, I was shocked once again when I picked her up.

You see, I had assumed Miss Kitty was just a kitten.  She is small and very playful, just like kittens are.  Her “meow” is soft and whiny, just like a kitten.  She has no fear, and the other animals, even the dog, steer clear of her.  As it turns out, she is full-grown.  Based on her teeth, the vet estimated her to be three and a half years old.  Did I mention she has a bobtail?  Not exactly the same breed as a domestic short hair cat with  a tail.  But she is lovey and playful and just as cute as could be.  And it makes me wonder if someone is missing her.  It makes me wonder why she didn’t have a chip, as it usually comes with the “fixing” these days.  I have a couple of reasons why I don’t like the idea of micro-chipping, but it is a solution to not loosing your pet.

She has a habit of sticking her tongue out, and keeping it there!

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Keep On Keepin On

Whether you are dieting, quitting smoking or trying to write in your blog everyday, it is important to start with a plan.

When making that plan, don’t forget to include positive self-talk at least every hour such as, “You got this!  You can do it!”  I have a friend that says, “Fake it till you make it,” or as Kenneth on 30 Rock told Jack when Jack asked him how he could be so happy all the time, “I lie to myself every morning when I get up.”  I started doing that and found that the lie I thought I was telling myself became the truth.  It was actually the truth all along, I just didn’t believe it.

Another ingredient for success is to not let a slip up totally derail you.  For instance, if your goal was to write in your blog everyday and you missed like the twenty-eighth day, don’t let it get you down.  Get right back up on that horse again and keep riding.  Or smoking, say you got a puff from a co-worker at lunch so you thought, what the heck, I might as well go get a pack, no, no, no!  Please don’t.  Learn from your mistake and resolve to do better next time.  Give yourself a next time to do better by staying on that horse.

Funny thing is, that’s not what I was going to write when I started.  I guess someone out there needed to hear this.  Possible me.

Wish Your Tomatoes Red

Fried green tomatoes taste terrific, to me anyway.  But not everyone enjoys the taste or the texture, and there are those who won’t even give them a try.

So what do you do if you have green tomatoes and you wish they were red?  Put them in a brown paper bag such as a lunch sack and check them everyday.  I believe the time it takes to ripen depends on things like humidity and temperature, so just check the bag daily.  They should ripen twice as fast as they would if you were to just put them out on the counter.

Before you know it, your wish for red tomatoes will come true.

 

Read a suspenseful story about Wendell Arnold’s wishes coming true, or prayers answered, in his autobiography titled FROM THE COTTON PATCH TO Ph.D., GOD’S MANAGEMENT OF MAN THROUGH THE EYES OF A SCIENTIST.  Go to wendellarnold.com for more information!

Just Don’t Say No (the first time anyway)

IMG_1273“Hi, would you like to buy some girl scout cookies?” the little girl proudly asked in a bubbly tone.  “Sure,” I replied, who can say no to a little girl in uniform?

A box of thin mints for the birthday girl I am on my way to see, a box of Tagalongs to satisfy any chocolate cravings I might have in the next few days, and a box of Dulce de Leche just because they’re my favorite.  Yes, girl scout cookie time is upon us.  The girl scouts are trying to raise money and it would be nice if you could help them.

So what cookie is your favorite?  Which box will adorn your kitchen table, the one that makes you a part of the solution?  Yes, to the girl scouts, we can all be a part of their solution.

 

Blinker Broke, or Just Stubborn?

Is not using the turn signal a national problem, or is it just an issue in south Florida?

Driving home today, there was a good amount of traffic on the four lane road, and when one of the lanes became a right turn only lane, I deducted that there was a vehicle that did not want to remain in that lane.  First of all, the lane turns into an elementary school that had long ago dismissed and the parking lot was empty.  Secondly, the lady driving had a panicked look on her face as her eyes shifted from her side mirror to her windshield repetitively.  “Oh my gosh lady, turn on your turn signal!” I said, feeling a chuckle welling up and thinking, some people, hmm! 

In that moment, I felt that she was being stubborn, not turning on her turn signal to alert the other drivers that she needed out of her lane and into the only other one.  And no one let her in.  She got up to the school and stopped.  Other drivers honked, I assumed because no one knew what the heck this lady was doing.  Or maybe they did, just like I, but had an attitude of we’re not mind readers lady, you don’t tell us what you need, you don’t get our help.

Car after car passed her by while she sat stopped in that turn lane.  I directed my attention back to the windshield and stopped keeping tabs through my rear-view mirror.  So what’s the deal?  Does using the turn signal now signify some kind of status we shouldn’t be associated with?  I don’t get it.  But I do get that if you want to switch lanes, you have a much better chance of someone letting you in if you let them know you need in, and that can be accomplished by using your turn signal.

Papaya Enzymes for Papa’s Health

Doesn’t it bug you when you think you don’t have an answer, then you think of one and wonder why in the world you didn’t think of it right away?  It happened to me today and the question was, “Why does my stomach hurt and what can I do about it?”

I had such stomach distress this afternoon, I didn’t know how I was going to make it to my committee meeting for Relay.  I agonized over it for forty-five minutes before I remembered the bottle of papaya enzymes my dad had given me months ago.  I can’t believe it took me so long to think of it, I had eaten some several times and was just going on and on to someone a couple of weeks ago about how they should try it.

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Like the directions indicate, I chewed up four of the tablets, and within 7 minutes I felt fine.  I not only made it to the meeting, but I indulged in eating the delicious hors d’oeuvres our hostess, Valerie, made and put out.  May I never forget about papaya enzymes again.  There’s no need to sit five minutes with stomach discomfort, let alone forty-five!

So if you ever experience symptoms such as these, try chewable papaya enzymes – a great solution for promoting digestive health.  And don’t forget to consult with your doctor if this is something you are not sure about.  And make sure you read the label too, you know, just in case.  In case of what? you ask, I don’t know!  Just don’t come looking for me if it turns out you’re allergic to soy!  Because it contains soy.  It’s on the label.

As Bob Barker Would Say…

Homeless cats have a way of finding our home and some of them decide they’re going to stay.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), not all the cats have long lives with us.  I try not to get too attached, it’s tough loosing an animal you’ve grown to love, but nevertheless, as a responsible pet owner, I feel I have to take care of them.   And that is one of the reasons I am thankful for The Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control.

For only forty bucks, they spay or neuter your cat and give it a rabies shot and a microchip.  Technically, I own three cats that I have no idea what happened to.  Out in the woods, 4 miles from pavement like we are, the stray population is unlike anywhere else around.  It’s really no wonder we get the amount of strays we do.  The wild animal population out here is also unlike surrounding areas, and… well, it’s the circle of life I guess.

At any rate, I do not wish to be a cat lady who has a hundred cats but I don’t really see a sensible alternative.  They would need to open another ward to deal with the amount of strays out here each year.  Besides, I can’t even think of what could happen if they don’t find a home.  I’d rather pay forty bucks.  I try to have an attitude that they are just another animal, and whatever happens to them happens.  It’s going to be hard with this one though.  She is such a sweetie, sort of.  She’s picky and she’s tough.  She is very much respected and she’s just a tiny little thing.  “Miss Kitty” goes in Thursday for her appointment.

I didn’t want to wake her up, better picture tomorrow.

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Here’s a link to their website.  For everyone not in Palm Beach County, Florida, try searching for “spay shuttle” in your area.  The way it works here is you call and leave a message (561-233-SPAY), they will call you back and tell you what day to bring your pet in.  Drop off is 8 AM and pickup is 3 PM.  Why spend hundreds at the vet when you don’t need to?  Thursday will be the fourth time the shuttle has been my solution!

As Bob Barker would say, “Don’t forget to spay or neuter your pets!”

Calling all Entrepreneurs

The five sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank are very entertaining just being themselves.  There’s the Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, FUBU guy Damon, my memory fails me on his last name, maybe Johns?  Then there’s Kevin O’Leary (Mr. Money), the real estate lady from Manhattan – Barbara, I can’t think of her last name, and finally on the end sits Robert, can’t think of his last name either.  He’s my favorite, probably because he’s the nice guy.

People come on the show with an invention or an idea and try to talk the sharks into investing in them.  We have seen some really good  ideas, some that are just okay, and a few that made us wonder what planet these people were from.  It is interesting to see the shark’s reactions and sometimes they really surprise me.  I have seen a good idea get tanked and millions of dollars handed over for a dumb idea.  This is just my opinion of course.

Whatever rating the ideas score, the show remains entertaining and we’ve come to feel like we know the sharks.  Marks attitude grew on me, Damon’s smile is too cute, Kevin’s boldness is, well, there’s just something about it, Barbara is helpful and Robert is, like I said, the nice guy.  I would love to get on the show.  If you are an inventor and looking for an investor, you should check out Shark Tank (Click on this link), a great solution for entrepreneurs. My husband and I watch it every Friday night.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

 

Blame It On The Rain

This solution isn’t for everyone, in fact, if you are watching your diet and do not wish to be tempted, then you may want to skip today’s blog.  Today it’s all about giving in to a craving.

 

Blame it on the moon, blame it on biology, blame it on the rain, or just accept that this sometimes happens.  Irritable and loafy, I turned to the bag.  I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is and I’ve come to terms with it.  My husband on the other hand, well he wasn’t very happy.

You see, he wanted some too, but when I walked in the room holding the bag tight to my chest, I informed him that I am so sorry, but …

 

IT WAS ONLY A 72 OUNCE BAG!

NOT ENOUGH TO SHARE…

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When I saw that these chocolate morsels were all natural (top right corner), I figured that eating a few cupfuls couldn’t be bad for me after all!  I decided I could share a handful.  I also made five dozen cookies and gave a couple away, a couple of cookies that is.

So that’s my solution for days like this.  If you choose to try this at home, please bake responsibly and eat in moderation. 

Side effects may include: nausea, difficulty sleeping and weight gain.  Talk to your doctor at once if depression worsens.

And now that I have Milli Vanilli rolling around in my head with flashbacks of the eighties, it’s time to hit the hay!  Sweet dreams! 

Why Wash, When You Can Wipe!

A handy tip I got from my mother involves Clorox wipes and the bathroom.  Instead of soap and water, use a wipe to clean your hands upon departure of the lavatory.  I thought it was brilliant – no hand towel to collect germs through the uses, no paper towels to waste, no water mess around the sink – just pop the lid open, yank a wipe out, pop the lid shut, wipe your hands, then throw the wipe in the trash.  Yes, brilliant I say, and my mom even kicks it up a notch.

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My mother showed me how easy it is to clean surfaces while you’re at it.  “I mean,” she said, “you might as well wipe it across the faucet while you’ve got it in your hand.”  She has a point.  And if you take ten seconds to wipe something every time you’re in there, you can bet that your bathroom will pretty much always be clean.  I’m in the habit and I’m hooked.  And by the way, it only takes five seconds to wipe the seat.

My parents not only have a container of the Clorox wipes in their bathroom (both of them), but you can find a canister in the kitchen, the living room, the laundry room and in their car.  My husband on the other hand, gets frustrated and wants to know why we have one of these in every room.  “Don’t you just love Costco?” I ask.  Then he asks why there’s anything, anything at all, on the kitchen counter tops.  He is more of a minimalist.  More shelves I say, more shelves!

A Little Bit Of Paint – Make It What It Aint!

Feeling the need to re-arrange my shelves due to the latest accumulation of stuff, I went on the hunt for some bookends.  I knew we had some around, and we did.  I was a bit dismayed though at the condition they were in but it didn’t take long for me to think of a solution.  Maybe five seconds.

The next thing you know, I’m recalling where we put the cans of spray paint and as I’m glancing around, I see green, pink and black.  Good enough.  It just so happens that both green and pink match the sponge-painted decor (which is peach but it blends well) and the curtains.  Very cool.

So my solution today is to grab a can of spray paint to turn an unsightly item into an attractive one!

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