Wednesday, January 28, 2009

But Wait! There's More....

I have a confession to make. I have a weakness for infomercials. I'm not sure if they have infomercials in other countries like the U.S. has them. Hopefully they don't. I know I am not alone. I would like for you to fess up if you have ever purchased something from an informercial. I know there are other gullible people out there; those that call within the next 10 minutes.... Boy, I'm glad I made that call look what I've got:

Here is a picture of some of the items that I have purchased from infomercials over the years or purchased at a store from the "As Seen On TV" aisle.

In the picture above you will see:

A Bravetti Deep Fryer. It claims to fry food so fast the grease doesn't have time to soak in. I have used it. It does a nice job with deep frying. It's just a pain to clean.

The Turbo Cooker. It promised to take food from frozen to fabulously cooked in 15 minutes and make it healthy too. I used it quite a bit for a while. You can cook your meat on the bottom and your veggies on the rack all at the same time and cleanup is a snap. I just pulled it out of a cabinet. I forgot I had it. oops

Hip Hop Abs dvd's.... hahhhahhhaaaaahhhhhaaaaahhaaaa. Ohhhh, my abs hurt from laughing so hard at myself. I'm sure they would work, if I would do them.

The Listen Up. I did not buy this item. Buster thought it would be funny to buy this for me. No, I don't listen in on people's conversation at the park or over the fence. But if I ever need it I know I have one. I'm mad because now they came out with one that hooks on the ear and looks like a headset from a cell phone. I want that one!

The Scunci Steamer. It promises to steam all the germs, gunk, mildew and stains from your belongings and home. I've used it a few times. It's OK. I'll give it that.

The Ped Egg. This is the only one I wish I hadn't bought. It will take your feet from Bad to Worse in no time. I'm not a fan of this product. Use with caution and have a tourniquet handy.

The Swivel Sweeper. With little effort you can sweep under furniture and between hard to reach places. Those rotating blades do all the work for you. It has a rechargeable battery. This was purchased for me as well. My Mom has one and liked hers so she got me one. I like it and use it all the time.

So you can see I loves me some infomercials. But, I'm living more frugally this year. So I'll keep surfing on to the next channel when I see an infomercial, but that Shamwow is really looking tempting.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Blurb from the Burbs - IV

It's 2009 and I don't know about you, but I'm looking for ways I can be more frugal this year.
I've checked out several books from the library (reading the frugal way - no buying - just borrowing).
These are the books I've checked out and mostly read/skimmed/glanced over....

Living Rich for Less by Ellie Kay

Frugal Luxuries by Tracy McBride

The Frugal Woman's Guide to a Rich Life. Edited by Stacia Ragolia

The one I found the most helpful is The Frugal Woman's Guide to a Rich Life.
I read this idea and have used it now for a couple of weeks. It works. So I'm sharing it with you...
* Purchase a small bottle of generic liquid fabric softener.
* Put one cup of the softener in a container
with one cup of water.
* Place the lid back on and give it a little shake.
* Cut a 4x6" sponge into four squares.
* Soak the sponge(s) in the mixture.
* Throw an unsqueezed sponge in the dryer
with your clothes.
* Placed the dried sponge back in the mixture.

I realize this is such inspiring photography. Sponges floating in fabric softener sitting on top of my dryer. Sorry, I just like having a picture with my post. Breaks up all those words. [and for the visual learners among us....I need pictures. :)]

I know I've posted about fabric softener before, but I read this and like this idea so much better than the vinegar one.

Check out my other Blurbs:

How to save on your electric bill:
Blurb from the Burbs III

How to save on lunch meat:
Blurb from the Burbs II

If you have a frugal idea, let me know. I'd love to read it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Miss America

Meet Amanda Tapley. Amanda is the current Miss Alabama. Right now she is in Las Vegas, NV competing in the Miss America pageant.

When we lived in Alabama, Amanda's Aunt Karen was my neighbor. I got to know and admire this family and treasure their friendship.
Amanda is truly a beautiful young woman inside and out. I wish you all could meet her.

Tomorrow night on TLC (Friday 1/23/09) the final show of Countdown to the Crown is airing. During this show America will be able to help vote in 15 finalist into the Miss America Pageant. The Pageant is on Saturday Night.
Amanda did her talent competition yesterday and came in 2nd place. You should hear her play the piano. She has also been selected in the top 3 for a community service award.

If you will, I would appreciate you voting for Amanda tomorrow night. If you can take one minute and do that. I know this post is targeted at bloggers here in the states. But if you live in another country, please say a prayer for Amanda and I know God has big plans for her life no matter what happens on Saturday.

Go Amanda!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Happy Pig Award

Yesterday Betty at Keeper of the Skies posted a recipe for Lumpia. I have never heard of Lumpia, much less made it. I decided to give it a try for our dinner last night.

My little family loved it. Leah helped me roll them. They are full of chopped vegetables. My kids did not even notice the veggies!!! You can probably put any kind of veggie you want in there. Buster won't eat onions so I didn't put those in and I didn't put the spouts in mine. I put green bell pepper and cabbage in along with the other ingredients Betty had listed. Go to Betty's blog. She has step-by-step pictures posted along with the recipe for Lumpia.

So Betty I'm awarding you this Happy Pig Award for your Lumpia Recipe.

I would also like to award the Happy Pig to TracyP for leading us all into temptation during Christmas. Her Christmas Cookie Exchange was lots of fun. I tried a couple of the recipes listed on there. We loved them and my neighbors did too.

Thanks Betty and TracyP.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scripture to Memorize #2 of 24 & Geography Quiz

Ok... This is the scripture I'm working on for the last half of January. I think I have my other one memorized pretty good. Thanks to a song I made up in my head. Don't worry I'll spare you the vocals.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 (NIV)

How are you with World Geography? I just did this drag and drop map of the Middle East to see if I could place the countries in the correct place. Let's just say....I need to study before I take this one again. It doesn't keep score, but I figured out pretty quick how unknowledgeable (dumb) I am in trying to place some of these countries.

Go check it out and let me know how you did.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Givinya poses this comment and question on the "Under Renovation" post:

Thanks for asking about an updated picture to go along with my new blog look.

Actually, I'm starting to resemble Libby more and more these days. Our hair color is almost identical now. I have to trim her beard and mine occasionally....

Keep in mind I "resemble" not "mimic"Libby. I do try and keep from sniffing others when we meet. And the licking thing.... I don't even want to think about it.

If I only had eyelashes like her. She has amazing long, dark eyelashes. People that see her always comment on them.
Because of her picture, we've made quite a few Miniature Schnauzer friends around the world. So that part has been fun.

We'll see what I can come up with. Thanks again for asking.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Under Renovation

Since the construction sign is up on my blog (see post below), I wanted to let you know I'm making a few changes around here. So If things look a little unorganized and not matchy during your visit, it's because they are.

I'm stretching my little blogger brain and branching out. I've had blogger envy since the first day I stepped into this world of blogging, but haven't mustered up the courage to do anything about it.

In my mind I'm thinking.....○○○What a great segue. The construction looking art post followed up with this blog renovation post. I didn't even plan this.

Sorry, back to the post....

TracyP revealed one of her online haunts where she does digital scrapbooking and makes incredible pages. So I got to thinking maybe I could create a new header on So this is what I came up with.

Then, Allison the Displaced Texan in Germany has sweetly offered to help some lost blogger souls with some sprucing up and new headers. She is very creative as you can see from her blog. Anyway, we are collaborating on a new background.

So stay tuned and excuse the mess.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange You Cute....Not Really

Last week I was reading Ronnica's blog and she was on a little rant about the color orange.

Really, it had nothing to do with the fact she was a OU fan and they were about to play that orange team down in FL.

Anyway I told her about this art that has been added to our community's landscape. We live in one of those... you know "Master-planned - Homeowner Association legislated - over regulated - deed restricted" (you get the idea) communities.

Over the years the town Fathers have selected and purchased for our viewing pleasure, art pieces for us to enjoy while driving on our 35 mph well maintained roads. I guess the art is suppose to make us feel more cultured around here.

Well, one of the latest additions had a lot of people stumped. Look at the picture and see what you think.

A number of letters were written to the local paper about the new construction sign placed in the grassy median. It didn't take long for it to sink into our little community deed restricted brains that our hard earned money in the form of homeowner dues paid for this fine artistic expression.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scripture to Memorize this year #1

This year Beth Moore at The LPM Blog has challenged all the "Siestas" that read her blog to memorize 24 Bible verses or passages during 2009. So on the 1st and 15th of every month you are suppose to post your memory verse that you are working on. She suggest getting note cards that come spiral bound so you can keep them all together.

Remember that word 'DEEPER' that I'm using this year. Well this is part of it. I want to memorize more scripture.

Another Beth at Be Still Beth is hosting an accountability group. Since Beth Moore's blog has more than 3000 people listed as participants she decided to make a smaller, more intimate group that could be accountable to each other.

This is late, but I'm posting it and will post again on the 15th of the month. But the scripture I'm working on right now is:

Psalm 119:1-2 NIV

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless,
who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep His statutes
and seek Him with all their heart.

Join us at Be Still Beth's blog and challenge yourself to memorize scripture this year. It will be fun to do it together.

Friday, January 9, 2009

same kind of different as me

This is a book you need to read this year.

A friend suggested I read it. She didn't really give an explanation of the book. Just said "you need to read it".

So on her recommendation I went to the Library. It was checked out. I reserved it. I finally got the notice it was my turn to read the book.

What I didn't realize it was my turn to share in the personal life of an actual Texas family and a homeless man. This book is written very honest and straight forward. There are two authors and each writes a chapter to tell the same true story from their perspective.

This is definitely a book that I had to read with a box of tissues. But I promise if you read it you will not regret it. It has opened my eyes to see things more compassionately. It has changed my views on some issues. It is a challenging book.

The book title is:

Same kind of different as Me by Ron Hall & Denver Moore
Publisher Thomas Nelson

If you read it, come back and let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I've been blogging for about six months, but never had a Facebook account. That has changed. I'm now on Facebook and boy do I have lots of friends already.

Last evening as I was putting the finishing touches on our home cooked supper, Buster was standing in the kitchen pouring himself a glass of Diet Pepsi.

He "sweetly" asked...

"You been bloggin all day?".

I promptly said "NO"

As he was lifting his glass to take the first swallow... I continued....

"I started a Facebook account today".

He proceeded to choke on the first swallow.

I know what he was thinking....


Don't worry Buster, I'll throw in a load now and then. I promise.

So what do you think about Facebook. Do you have an account?
Do you use it a lot? What do you like or not like about it?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Word Is...

I was reading over at Penless Thoughts blog the other day and she wrote about her word and goal for 2009. I started thinking about it and praying for a word that I could use to express my desire for me this year. This morning I found it....
In Luke 6:46-48 (The Message) we read about builders and foundations.
Why are you so polite with me, always saying 'Yes, sir,' and 'That's Right, Sir,' but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.
"If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last.
I want the foundation of my life to be deep and built on the truths of God's word.
Ephesians 3:18 (The Message)
I ask Him to strengthen you by his Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength. - that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love.
Reach out and experience the breadth!
Test its length!
Plumb the depths!
Rise to the heights!
Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
So as I type I also pray these scriptures that I will plumb the depths this year and grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus.
In future post I"ll share some ways I will be digging deeper.
If you have a word for the year, please share it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday to Me

YES, today JANUARY 4TH is my MY BIRTHDAY. I am forty thr thr thr three. There I said it.

I always thought that having a birthday ten days after Christmas was just not fair. I always had good birthdays though. My mom and dad were wonderful about planning something fun for my birthday when I was growing up. So no complaints there. But it is still so close to Christmas.

Now that I'm getting a little older, I'm OK with a January birthday. [It's not like I can change it.]
Not only do I get to buy a new unfilled, blank calendar each January, but I also have the opportunity to begin a new year of me each January.

This is the way I chose to celebrated my birthday today. First we went to the 11:00 service at church then...

This is the new house Keith and the girls got me for my Birthday:


This is the place I requested {forced} my family to take me for my birthday ~ A garden tour of Miss Ima Hogg's 14 acre estate at Bayou Bend in Houston.

The thoughts of touring 14 acres of gardens just thrills them. (not) But it's my birthday and it's the only day out of the year that I get to expose them to things that I enjoy. Mother's Day also works to my advantage :)

As you can see Buster enjoyed the tour of the garden immensely: There's just nothing like flora and fauna to get Buster "RELAXED".


I'll give you a quick background on Miss Ima Hogg (1882-1975) if you aren't familiar with her. Her home was built in 1927. She was the only daughter of James Hogg. He was governor of the State of Texas in 1881. She never married, but was known as a collector and philanthropist during her life and she was just flat out stinkin rich!

Here are some pictures of Miss Ima Hogg's beautiful gardens. Keep in mind it is January and in just a couple of months these pictures would be exploding with color, but it is a beautiful place to see no matter what time of year.

[why did I forget to suck in my stomach???] dadgummit

The camellias were blooming and some azaleas:

Paige and Leah finally got Buster up. I'll only post a couple of more pictures....Hang in there with me. Remember it's MY birthday!

One of the corners of Miss Ima's house:

Our tour had come to an end - time to cross that bridge, get back to the car and have lunch:

So we headed off to California Pizza Kitchen where I enjoyed a scrumptious pizza covered in Goat Cheese/Roasted Red Pepper/Grilled Eggplant and caramelized onions. Needless to say I didn't have to share with anyone. hehehe.

THEN, on the way home (No we don't live next door to Miss Ima) we're pretty close to our house when we stop at a red light; then start to go when it turned green and something did not sound right or feel right. WE HAD A FLAT TIRE.

Thankfully we were off the busy interstate and on a street in our community close to a grocery store parking lot. We limped in. While Buster took care of our tire problem, the girls and I went into the grocery store. Paige and Leah snuck into the bakery and bought me the cake that you see at the top of this post. I was off looking at goat cheese or something.

Then we came home and I opened my gift. It is a tortilla press. I've been wanting one for a long time. Now I have to figure out how to use it.

I know this is a long post, but I only turn 43 once. [unless I decide to turn it again a few more times. That is a woman's prerogative] So thanks for hangin in there with me as I chronicled my special day.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

2008 Christmas Highlights

Here are some highlights of our Christmas Season this year.

We went to the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at our Church.

Leah was busy with Christmas Crafts, making cookies for Santa and helping bake the cookies for the tins we gave to our neighbors. She also made a Gingerbread House at a friend's birthday party.

We spent time just relaxing and reading...

Plenty of Love and Hugs for everyone (including Libby).

Paige got a Sock Monkey for Christmas...Buster got socks for Christmas. This is his imitation of Sock Monkey using his new black socks.

We feel so blessed to have a loving family and so happy that both sets of grandparents came to spend Christmas with us. We had a great time together.