Thursday, August 30, 2012


      So today was a great mailbox day, but the odd thing was all three awesome things came from the same company!  Black and Mild (the cigarillos) has a summer sweepstakes taking place right now and all three things were prizes or premiums from L&M.  Even though I am not a smoker, Andy is, so he usually reaps the benefits but all three prizes from today were useful and cool and not only smoker friendly.

      The first thing they sent was an ashtray which is very interesting and is curved steel with a wood laminate on the outside.  "How is that useful to a non-smoker?" you may ask... well, it just so happens that it is the perfect size to keep tiny things like hairpins organized and it also makes a really interesting business card stand because it is just the right size.  When I take advantage of my Klout perk for business cards I will be able to send it and them along with my sister Marcia when she sells my jewelry at craft shows.  I am very excited that she took almost all of the jewelry I had finished and is going to try and sell it next time she does a show - awesome!

      Next was a cool set of wooden ear buds for my Ipod.  They are made of a really pale blonde wood in the casing near the top and the company (Sentry) says that it really improves the sound quality.  We shall see!

      Last I got my ridiculously fabulous Zippo lighter.  It is sleek and gunmetal metallic grey and I LOVE it.  I use lighters to light things other than cigarettes like candles and the tips of my fingers.  I am going to have some blisters for sure but I have always wanted my own Zippo and this one is impressive.

      I also got a notification that I won a VitaVault from the Appetite for Health Facebook page giveaway.  If you think of those neat little dump bins for candy at places like Dylan's candy bar where they load from the top and have a clear lid that lets you pull them from the bottom that is what it's like but on a smaller scale so you have your vitamins and supplements in plain view and you don't forget to take them.  I need the reminder and I have a bunch that I should take but I don't because they are "out of site out of mind".  This should be a really good healthy step for me and I can't wait for it to arrive.

      Last but not least I won the DSW new store instant win game again *I think!  The game freezes after the three icons pop up but again I have sent a screenshot to the shulovers to see if they can fix the error.  Right now I am looking at a whole stack of gift cards and a reward certificate so I am going to get some awesome new fall boots.

      A few small crummy things happened today - I bought a new wok that I was terribly excited about but it got a black spot that I could not scrub off on the very first use, and I didn't even have the heat higher than medium!  Plus the "paint" or coating chipped off the bottom as soon as I tried to rinse it off.  I have always bought Nordicware bake ware, but I am never buying a pan or pot from them again.  It's insane to me that a $30 "Green" wok could be so horrible.  I think there was something wrong with it or it was faulty.  I was going to return it tomorrow but I think I am going to photograph it first and post it for them to see.  Also the beautiful birdbath that my mother-in-law Lana got me started cracking and almost all of the paint that was in the interior of it is now chipped horribly or completely missing.  It started to develop an algae problem no matter how often we changed the water and it has eaten away the colorful finish.  It was also terribly expensive and I hope that I can salvage it in the spring by repainting it myself.  I will have to look into some enamels to fix it.  Cinna also decided to catch a possum this morning and almost caught a rabbit tonight but luckily I was not a witness to either and she is fine and was not bitten, scratched or otherwise injured.

      Much love to you all - I hope you had a very good day and that you are all ready to have a smashing weekend.  Lauren and I are going to visit the grand opening of an Ulta store in Winchester, VA so hopefully we will score some excellent swag and I will have a great makeup post this weekend - wish us luck!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Friends and acquaintances

      I fear that my definition of "friend" isn't really accurate anymore.  I call so many people my friend.  I have always applied the term to the people I know and nearly always start a story I'm telling my husband "My friend ______ said..."  The time has come to reevaluate that.

      As I grow older (which I am extra conscious of this week) I am realizing that nearly every person I apply the term friend to is merely acquaintance.  It is a distressing realization in more ways than one.  Many of the people I have been closest to friendship wise throughout my life are now people I rarely hear from.  When I was younger and more outgoing I could strike up an instant rapport with people and easily adjust to changes and new settings, but now I find it very difficult to get to know new faces and even more difficult to find people willing to reciprocate the time and effort I put into relationships.  If I am your friend you can count on me.  Many of the "friends" I have had in the past take advantage of that knowledge in different ways.  At the end of the day the people I should be calling my friends are few and far between.

      I'm going to try an experiment.  For the next week I'm going to do my best to remove the word "friend" from my vocabulary.  I am going to replace the phrase "my friend" with the person's first name and a few adjectives as to where I know them from if necessary when speaking to my husband.  I'm also going to stop referring to the folks on Facebook as my friends (even though of the 480+ people who are listed as my Facebook "friends" I actually know and have more than a passing acquaintance with 99% of them) even if they are.  I'm just going to think of how these people really fit into my life, and evaluate if they are important to me and if I am important to them.  Unfortunately a large percentage of these folks would probably classify me as unimportant no matter how I try to please them.

      I'm also going to try and let go of the need to be accepted  and place less importance on it.  Hopefully it will help me form healthier relationships.  I am sure it is going to be a long haul, but I am just as sure that it needs to happen.  I can't even count how many times I have gone out of my way to to something nice for someone or to cater to people who have no appreciation for me.  I see those memes on Facebook all the time that say something to the tune of "I could car less what you think of me and my opinions" and wish that I could literally care less about some things and some people.  I am too much of a bleeding heart and it is probably one of my most mixed qualities.  It can be a blessing to be sensitive to others and it can also be a curse to care so much that I place their opinions above my own.

      Hopefully some of you will be able to help me with this.  All of my family members that have told me that I'm a pushover and I need to get a backbone and to "stop giving so much of myself away", take note: I need some people around pointing out my flaws as much as I need people who are willing to help me change my destructive patterns.  If you are a true friend to me it would help to know that you're excited that I am taking this step.

      In the coming days I will head back to the thankfulness posts that you're used to.  I am thankful that I have had all kinds of relationships in my life - good ones, bad ones, and those of the screwball comedy variety.  I am thankful for the people who have crossed my path, good and bad because they unknowingly have done much to shape the person I am.  Much love to all of you.  


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sisters.... Sisters....

      I saw my sister Marcia today for the first time in a year.  She only lives about 25 miles from me, but her job keeps her so busy that she never makes it out my way so I seldom see her.  It was nice to catch up, and she brought me a great Sinatra themed Barbie doll for my birthday.

      I felt like I got a lot accomplished this weekend - the plants Andy's mom brought are in the ground, the hedges in the front are trimmed and ready to winter over, the flower beds were attended to and weeds were pulled and I got all of the potted plants arranged in the front as well as my new flag out.  It felt very domestic and nice until Marc started in on the fact that she felt like I should be on Hoarders because I have way to much stuff.  Andy then teamed up with her to talk about how ridiculous I was with all the boxes of stuff that I have.  I love winning stuff but I have an awful habit of wanting to keep it around rather than use it because it is a "major award".  I guess I'm the dad in A Christmas Story who wants the whole neighborhood to see the spoils of a contest winner.  Over the next few weeks I am going to be cataloging and photographing most of the stuff I have won so I can show pictures and do posts on the sheer amounts of cool free things that have shown up.  Then I am going to sort through it and donate or sell or possibly swap some of it so it goes places other than here.

      I may be a tiny bit carried away, but it seems like a much healthier addiction than some of the other available ones.  Maybe I'm just a shopafreebaholic.  That doesn't sad so terrible.

      In exactly one hour I will be a whole year older.  Weird.  I don't feel any older.  I never do.  I feel younger if anything!

      Much love to all of you - I'll be watching my dear friend's little boy tomorrow so I don't know if I will be on, but I will try to leave a note to let all of you know how it feels to be 37.  (I am expecting it feels exactly like 36 with an extra twist of sarcasm.)  Goodnight!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting a little older every day

      I am going to be 37 very soon.  I don't feel old, but when I think about my perception of people's age when I was a child and how I see people now I start to wonder.  When I was 10 anyone over 21 was ancient.  Anyone over 40 was over the hill.  Now as I see my parents lose their minds to Alzheimer's dementia I wonder just how old I'm going to end up becoming.  I certainly don't feel that and I assume my parents didn't feel their age either.  Hell, my mom had me when she was 38 and that was back before every woman in Hollywood was having a baby at 45.  It was a big deal to wait to have a child in the 70's and an even bigger deal to have one with an 11 year gap between it and your next oldest child.  It's kind of a miracle I'm here at all I guess, but I still wonder how others see me.  I don't get carded when I buy alcohol anymore so I must've crossed a fine line at some point.

      My mother-in-law Lana dropped off some lovely plants and a glazed planter for my birthday today.  She also brought me a china bowl that she picked up at a flea market almost a year ago after I told her I liked it but it was too expensive.  She said it was intended for a Christmas gift last year but she just found it because she hid it and forgot it existed.  I guess that's the kind of stuff I have to look forward to.  She also used the phrased "well, when I drop dead" four times today when she brought my gifts over.  She is a loon, but I'm lucky to have her.

      My husband Andy stopped at Ten Thousand Villages on the way home from seeing The Expendables 2 in the theatre.  He bought me two gorgeous candle holders that he picked out all himself and a candy bar that was outrageously expensive but also incredibly delicious.  It has ground up espresso roasted coffee beans it it and it made me swoon.  You heard me.  Swoon!

      I hope all of you have reason to swoon today and are thankful for each day you get.  They aren't endless.  Much love to all of you.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Check it out

Here is a neat site offering a free engraved keychain when you link to them.  They offer customized engraving services and sell key chains, name plates, book marks and other engraved metal items.

Check them out here: nameplates

If you have your own blog or personal website you can link to (not Facebook) you can also sign up for the free item.  They explain it all here:

So give it a go!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Missing Puck

      I am struck today at how terribly I miss my beloved dog Puck.  We had to put him down a few months ago because he was in a great deal of pain and had been for some time due to his Lyme disease.  His joints and hips made it very difficult for him to get around and he was struggling daily.  In his last few days he stopped eating and was just miserable.  I hated to take him to the vet, knowing he wasn't coming home with me that day.  He had been several times in the weeks leading up to it because he was declining so rapidly.  Sometimes I am completely wrecked when I think about him.  Perhaps it is unnatural to have such an attachment to an animal but I get a lump in my throat every day when I let Obi outside and I have forgotten before and called to Puck, thinking he was just around the corner and playing keep away to stay outside and run for a few extra minutes.  He was a great dog.  A big stinky, shedding, drooling nightmare of a dog at times, but he was mine and he meant the world to me.  I am lucky to have had him for the nearly eight years he was with me, but I still wish he were here.  Now I worry about losing Obi.  A lot.

      Sorry for such a melancholy post.  I am thankful to have had all the joy he brought me.  I'm thankful for it far more than I am sad that he is no longer with me.  Much love to all of you - I hope that you appreciate your pets and give them an extra hug tonight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sticking to it

      I said every day, and by golly I will post something every day!

     There wasn't a ton happening today aside from me being dreadfully tired but I did win three things.  My Favorite Pet Shop has a Facebook contest right now where they give away 100 items a night for three days to the first 100 responses at 8:30pm.  I won a glittery cat collar tonight which will fit the teeny neck of my chihuahua Obi Wan Kenobi.  I also won two Twitter Trivia contests today.  I got a box of Cafe' Escapes K-Cups for my Keurig for knowing that the swimming distance record was set in the Amazon river, not in the ocean (because I am a weirdo and I knew it but double checked myself on Google to be sure).  I also got a Riunite Wine bottle opener for knowing that the cork on their sweet wines said "Chill - Enjoy" because I had just seen a photo of one on their Facebook page.  I love little serendipitous occurrences.

      It was a slow freebie mail day but I received the Tom's of Maine deodorant sample, a box of free books and other fun stuff that I bought with the $25 Visa gift card I won a few months back from Camel, Shape magazine, Newsweek magazine and OK magazine all of which were 1 year subscriptions that I got for free from a variety of sites.  I collect points on Recyclebank, My Coke Rewards, Rewards Gold, and Free Biz Mags to get these and I have also won a couple of subscriptions for entering contests.  Purex sent me 2 years of Ladies Home Journal and I also won subscriptions to Self and Everyday Food from random contests on Facebook.

    There's more, but my bed is calling.  So much for going to sleep at 8:30 tonight since I was really sleepy.  Too bad I got sidetracked 30 times!  Much love to all of you, and may you all get a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


      Even though I don't smoke, my husband does.  As much as I would love for him to quit it seems like whenever he goes through periods of stress he snaps right back into the comforting lull of the habit.  I feel fine about playing instant win games on tobacco web sites because if I ever won cigarettes or coupons they would just go straight to Andy, and if I got some cool freebie or prize then I would jump up and down and do my patented "I won I won" dance.  This dance is not rare.  It happens a lot.  It is rarely seen though by people who do not have the joy of living with me.  My friend Brooke Harrison knows just what it looks like.  She used to call it the happy dance.  It involves having both thumbs up and rolling them in slow circles towards yourself while making a face that might be described as a duck face in the current cool kid lingo - I did that dance today.

      From the Black and Mild website I am going to receive a Zippo Black Ice lighter.  Now you may say "Why the heck would a girl who doesn't smoke be so excited about a lighter?"  If you said that I'd tell you - "BECAUSE THEY"RE STUPID AWESOME!"  I'd say it just like that in shouty capitals so you'd get the point.  You can feel my excitement can't you?  When I was in high school and college I spent inordinate amounts of time with Zippo lighters belonging to my boyfriends.  I learned how to do tricks.  I could snap my fingers next to the flint and not light it.  That was my best trick - I was a master at it.  I was also very good at the trick I call "letting the metal case get gloriously hot and then shoving my thumb down on it, burning myself and crying".  I only did that trick every once in awhile because it was very difficult to master it, but master it I did and I had the blistered thumb pads to prove it.

      Soon I will be caressing the sleek black exterior of my very own Zippo.  Black and Mild can't be held responsible really.  They tried to convince me that my obsession with winning one wasn't going to come to anything good by awarding me a really cool looking pair of branded ear buds that were made from blonde wood, but I would not be so easily swayed.  (Although thanks for the ear buds too guys - I'm sure they will be cool.)  Other tobacco instant win games have also tried to keep their Zippo prizes out of my hands.  Copenhagen and Skoal (who admittedly are smokeless tobacco products and I find it a little weird they even offer lighters as prizes but hey, who am I to judge?) sent me barbeque sauce and a "hamburger" speaker for my iPod.  Marlboro is sending some awesome looking Wayfarer sunglasses that will most assuredly make me look like Detective David Addison on Moonlighting (that's Bruce Willis to you kids under 25).   I'm getting some freezable coasters from them too and someone is sending me a deck of playing cards.  Camel has even gifted me with virtual dice (which is the lamest instant win gift of all time) and a $25 Visa gift card which I used on a site where I wanted to see what it was about but didn't want to give out my credit card information so it kind of rocked.

      I am very excited that Black and Mild finally gave into my magic chant of "Zipp-o, Zipp-o, Zip-Zip-Zipp-o - Come onnnnn no whammies!"  If you would like to try the chant for yourself, by all means do.  I want you all to practice your non-skilled tricks and accidentally light your cutoff jeans on fire.  (Which I never did by the way - I was falsely accused.

      Go play games.  Be thankful for the awesome stuff that shows up randomly.  Don't be super disappointed when your chants ("Ranch! Ranch! I really like ketchup too!) don't always work, because sometimes you will walk away a winner.  My fingers are burning just thinking about it!!!

      Much love to all of you and good vibes and magic chants too.

Play the Summer of Enjoyment Instant Win Game here for a chance to win your own:
P.S. They have the most fabulously funky (Gotta Be A Love by Greyboy) song that plays in the background on the site.  It goes amazingly well with my Zippo chant.  Good luck.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hi, it's me - the woefully bad at organizing her thoughts gal!

Ah.  Remember when I said I was going to get better at posting?  For reals?

I didn't get any better.

I aim to change that.  I have a ridiculous amount of things to talk about and post about and they are coming.  Pronto.  Definitely this time.  Soon!

Today was a stellar day and I decided that I need to make sure the folks around me have stellar days too so I'm going to share all the fun stuff that has been turning up in my mailbox with you.  Starting today I am going to make a super human effort to post something every day.  It might not be awesome, but it will be about the things I am thankful for and the little tiny joys that keep popping up around me.

Oprah sent me some BB cream today.  How freakin' awesome is that?  I will tell you about it tomorrow.  I promise!

Much love to you dear readers.