Friday, December 31, 2010

5 Things I Learned This Week #102 (health, P.O., jokes, books)

The Great Outdoors

When reading I'm Outnumbered by Laura Lee Groves, I read this following quote from Last Child In the Woods by Richard Louv that I found very interesting:
A growing body of evidence indicates that direct exposure to nature is essential for physical and emotional health. For example, new studies suggest that exposure to nature may reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and that it can improve all childrens cognitive abilities and resistance to negative stresses and depression.
I MUST get out more!  (My review is at Grab A Book From Our Stack.)

Post Office

When going for stamps, I discovered the convenient post office in the building across the street from where I work is permanently closed. There is another one not too far, but I don't know if I'd have time to go there on break.


I noticed in one of the Yahoo news articles, Sitting Shortens Your Lifespan that "even if you exercise every day, sitting for long periods can shorten your life span. . . . Recent studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods of time can increase your risk for serious health issues, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and possibly cancer--even if you exercise on a daily basis." This is NOT good news for me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

First Line Meme: Overview of My Blogging Year

I thought this idea from Suko's Notebook was a fun way to review the year of my blog so decided to do it. Like she said, after doing it one year, it will probably make me more focused on getting better first lines in my posts. The idea is to just list the first line of the first post for each month.

January 2010: (I did two posts January 1: (1) At the Creative Junkie I came across a post about her trip to San Francisco which shows all the hills.

(2) Have morning devotions in den each morning (which means less blog commenting).

February 2010: I just saw "The Wronged Man" on Lifetime and had to write about it right away.

March 2010: We read a lot of good books this month which made it hard to pick, but here's what we came up with:  Karen's Pick: Intervention by Terri Blackstock is a book about a single mother’s love for her children and the struggle to help her daughter, Emily, get off drugs.

April 2010: 1. Blogging is a big waste of time! (April Fool!)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Salvaging The Computer Keyboard

Our computer keyboard is four years old and some of the letters have worn off—it gets used every day. I don’t even notice this but Gerard does because he types with the hunt and peck method. He keeps saying we need a new keyboard, but I really don’t think so. All the keys work so I just stuck some masking tape on the worn keys and wrote the letters on it. I think it’s a great solution which extends the life of our keyboard!

Have you helped your husband lately? Got any tips on how to make something last longer?

Find best posts of the week at the Saturday Sampling link-up or add one of your own.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Spunky Doodle's Christmas Report

Christmas was fun because there were lots of presents at our house which meant lots of wrapping paper and boxes to nestle in.  We got another laser beam toy which is fun.  Now we can have one upstairs and one on the main floor too! (If you click the link, it will take you to a video of us playing with it from last Christmas.)

I opened the play mat so got on it first.  See those feather things sticking up in the corner?  I got them out, Karen put them back, I got them out, Karen put them back.  It was fun! 

Monday, December 27, 2010

You Have A Really Cute Surprise Waiting For You!

When I got home from work last Thursday for the holiday weekend, Gerard met me at the bus stop and asked me if Sara was Mountain Woman. She is. He told me she sent us something really cute but wouldn't tell me what it was. When I got home, I found this:

It is a Vermont Teddy Bear wearing sunglasses with a cow bell around its neck and a piece of chocolate for me! The Holstein cow pattern is so appropriate coming from Mountain Woman who lives on a farm in Vermont. Even the box has a game board on the inside. We love it! Our two other Vermont bears quickly welcomed our new addition as you can see they all found a place together on our electric heater in our living room:

Party Bear is on the left and Secretary Bear on the right. ("Farm Bear" is between them.) Thanks so much to Mountain Woman and Man, our good blogging buddies. It was such a nice surprise and was a great beginning to my holiday weekend!

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know some of you have seen this before since I made it last year, but I realize I picked up a lot of new readers this year so decided to post it again.  (After all, I did pay for the download so might as well use it, right?)  I am thrilled to have so many followers.  I never expected this many when I first started blogging.

Yesterday I enjoyed my day off and went to the Cleveland zoo in the morning.  It was a good day to go, not crowded at all!  The first thing Gerard and I did was visit the Rainforest and decorate some Christmas cookies!  It was fun!  Gerard made the tree with chocolate frosting and I did a star with vanilla frosting. 

Then we ate them up right away and went off to be entertained by the otters, orangutans, the fossa, the snow leopard, monkeys and many other animals.  We did skip the Northern Trek though today because it was getting cold, we were getting hungry and time was flying by.

We all wish you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.  Hope you have good weather if you are going visiting. 

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Friday, December 24, 2010

4 Things I Learned This Week #101 (gifts, fitness, cinnamon, video)

Great Last Minute Gifts

Over At Sparkle, I got a great idea for a last-minute gift. I learned that at Best Friends (there are some others listed too), you can sponsor a rescue animal in someone elses name and they will get an e-card letting them know you made a donation in their name and show the animal you picked to sponsor.

Working Out

When reading my Biggest Loser calendar, I came across this tip from Jillian (one of the trainers on the show): Eat a small snack 30 minutes before a workout so your body doesn't metabolize your muscle tissue for energy.


According to Joyce Schneider, NY Healthy Diet Examiner, Cinnamon has 5 times as many antioxidants as 1/2 cup of blueberries or a cup of pomegranate juice. Since I saw this, I started eating Kellogg's Fiber Plus Cinnamon Oat Crunch cereal--it's good!

Saturday Sampling

Over at Half Past Kissin' Time, since Saturday is Christmas, there isn't going to be a Saturday Sampling post this week; therefore, I will share my top finds of the week that I would have linked up with you here:
A Christmas Story-Sometimes Angels Have Screwy Wings over at Duck and Wheel With String

I forgot which blog I saw this video on, but it cracked me up! Please let me know if it was your blog I saw this on. I learned from this that Adults have the phone number to Santa's home. I loved that line!

Click this link for more Friday Fragments.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Deck The Halls!

Our pets insisted that we post this video on all our blogs this week so I hope you enjoyed it.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's Your Favorite Christmas Carol?

My favorite Christmas carol is JOY TO THE WORLD. I always liked that one because it was fun to play on the piano and also it mentions making room for Jesus in our hearts which implies a personal relationship with Him. It also makes it clear that Jesus is Lord and salvation through Jesus is for the whole world!

When I think of all Jesus sacrificed it boggles my mind. He was certainly better off in heaven but he came down to earth as a human, born as a baby in a stable no less to show us what God is like and to be our Savior. I am so glad that I have a personal relationship with him and peace with God. I hope you do too!

What is your favorite Christmas carol? If you are not a believer because you have serious doubts and many questions, you may like Letters From A Skeptic.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

More Pet Posts Coming Up

In an effort to make things a big simpler on the blogging front, I have decided to let our pets post on here from now on instead of over at They are thrilled about this. They think more people will read their posts on here.

If you have a dog, I think you should get her or him a bone for Christmas!  As you can see in the video, I carried my Thanksgiving bone everywhere.  I sure hope Karen and Gerard get the hint here!  Do you think I made myself clear enough?  Gerard thought it was so cute he told Karen to make a video of it.

So, what do you want for Christmas? Woof! Woof!

Friday, December 17, 2010

2 Things I Learned This Week #100 Plus Fragments (Oregon, Barnes & Noble)


Over at Beaded Tail I learned you can see sea lions in Oregon! I never realized they lived there.

Barnes & Noble

When I went on Barnes & Noble to use the gift cards I got for my birthday from my bosses, I checked "My Funny Dad, Harry" page and saw I had six customer reviews there--five 5-star reviews that I didn't know about from total strangers!

I didn't learn much this week, sorry. Therefore, I shall share some of my random thoughts since this is Friday Fragments. Find more Fragments at Half Past Kissin' Time.

My Random Fragments:

(1) Good thing I got my cold on the last two days of my scheduled time off. Not that I wanted to be sick on my last days off, but at least I was able to be off when I still had days to use.

(2) I see Gerard got two calendars for 2011--one from Best Friends and a big desk calendar from work. Guess he won't be needing the weekly planner Peanuts one I got for him for Christmas. Looks like it will be used at the computer now (unless he has a better use for it, which I doubt).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Holiday Tag

(Manny visiting our Nativity last year)
My Reader's Block has tagged everyone who reads her blog post in this little game of Holiday Tag. So, I'll do the same: If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged and fill it out! (Leave a link to yours below.)

1. When do you usually know and feel that it's finally the holidays?
When the church is decorated, I hear Christmas music playing in the stores and restaurants, and we get off work!

2. What do you want for Christmas this year?
Anything my husband wants to give me. Gerard wants a thin warm jacket he can wear as an under jacket. Trouble is I couldn't find exactly the kind he wants.

3. Do you go all out with decorations?
Nope.  See our decorations at Decorating, Bah Humbug!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy 57th Birthday, Karen!

Gerard always likes to surprise me with gifts and this year was no different. He did it again! The first one I opened was a heated car seat. A very practical gift that he got me because my car heater takes so long to heat up. He was disappointed that it doesn't fit my seat because of the hand rests, but really, I think it would have been a fuss thing so am just as glad it didn't fit. We can return it. I love that he always is looking out for me and trying to make me comfortable though.

Since I needed the receipt to return it and would see what else was on it, he also gave me the other gift he bought at Brookstone--a Boogie Board! Do you know what that is? It's a 5x7 LCD writing tablet that you write on with a stylus or any tool that won't scratch it. To erase, you press a button. It's good for temporary notes or scorekeeping.

Here is a picture of me in my new Browns jersey. This one is special though because it has my name on the back!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet My "Snowwoman"--Ms. Poofy!

I could moan and grown about the snow, but instead I choose to enjoy it and make the most of it. When at the eye doctor last week I happened to pick up a magazine that had instructions for making a snowman that I thought I would try. I always thought you just rolled the snow into three balls and stacked them on top of each other, but this article said you should do it this way:

1. Use a shovel and pile up the snow in a big pile.
2. Use your hands to sculpt your snowman.
3. Make it on a platform so it's not right on the ground.
4. When finished, our water on it to make it last longer.

Friday, December 10, 2010

5 Things I Learned This Week #99 (dogs, grammar, exercise, snowman)

Dentist's Pet Calms His Patients

Now this is a great idea! A dentist in California brings their pet 10 lb. dog into the office and lets it lay on the patients lap to calm them while having surgery! Now that's a dentist I wouldn't mind going to. I wish dentists in my neck of the woods would see this and get inspired.  See article here.
Related posts: I'm Afraid--The Dentist Is Going To Hurt Me!
I Survived My Oral Surgeon Trip--Hurray!


I am finally convinced that the correct spelling of the plural possessive form for children is "childrens'" and not "childrens" as I originally learned. (I see spell checker doesn't accept "childrens" either though.) Hmm. Anyhow, since Amazon spells it without the apostrophe, I guess I will too. Terri Blackstock, a Christian author, wrote a post about The Changing Grammar Rules that I found interesting.

Funny Exercise Tips

At 365 Cat Ladies and Friends I learned a new exercise routine from her cat: Physical Phitness With Buttonwillow. This is the funniest post about exercising I ever saw!

Building A Snowman

When at the eye doctor I happened to look at a magazine and found instructions on how to make a snowman. I found out you roll the snow into three balls and stack them, but instead you use a shovel and pile up the snow in a big pile, then just sculpt it into a snowman. When done, pour water on it to give it a longer life. I don't remember the name of the magazine.

A Challenge For You:  I tried this and will post about it with a picture of it Monday which is my birthday. It will have a Linky to it so you can make a snow sculpture over the weekend and link up your post with a picture of it.   

Now Something I'd Like To Learn--Clip Art

I wanted to find some FREE clip art to use for this post but couldn't. Anyone know where I can find some?  UPDATED 12/12/10:  Thanks to Kirby3131 at The Goat, I now found some absolutely free clip art at and at  See my clip art snowman above?

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Snowstorms Like This Make Me Really Wish I Could Retire!

Yesterday the snow came and came and came in Cleveland. When I talked to Gerard at lunch time, he said he would leave the car in the corner parking lot for me and would call me probably a little after 5:00 when he got there to let me know he made it okay. Well, I got my cell phone ready at the bus stop and waited for his call, praying for him to get home safely the whole time. At 5:40 he called to let me know he was STILL downtown, not even to the ramp yet to get on the interstate. Traffic was not moving.

Why is it on snowy days people don't want to stop for the red lights at major intersections? This is what causes the gridlocks when drivers continue going when there is no room to go so they get stuck blocking the intersection. One lady actually stood in the middle of the street trying to direct traffic and get the drivers to stop at the red light before blocking the intersection. She was very brave but it was a futile effort. She kept yelling for the drivers to stop but they wouldn't! I was hoping she wouldn't get hit! The streets were snow covered and slippery. Finally, a policeman took over and had a little more success than the lady did.

It snowed the whole day and Gerard had to drive home in white-out conditions. On days like this, I am thankful I take the bus. Although I had to wait 50 minutes for the bus to come, at least I was in a bus shelter, dressed warm enough that I wasn't cold at all and even was able to sit down to wait for it. Mostly, I was worried about Gerard because I was in good shape. When my bus came, I could sit back and read my book while praying for Gerard to make it home safely. It normally takes me an hour to get home, but yesterday it took me 2 1/2 hours.

I shoveled the front while Gerard walked Abby, then watched The Biggest Loser and didn't go near the computer. Gerard shoveled the drive in the back and watched the end of the Celtics game. We were both so glad to finally be home and get to relax!

Doesn't this make you want to move to Cleveland?  Gerard said this morning he wishes he were retired right now and living in Florida! 

(Pictures taken on my afternoon break.  It was 27 degrees and fortunately, not a strong wind.  Didn't take any pictures at the bus stop because I was focused on waiting for Gerard's call so held onto my cell phone.)

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are You An Elf Or Reindeer?

I thought it's time for s silly little quiz. I've been kind of down lately so decided to take this quiz to see if I was more like an elf or a reindeer. I thought I'd be more elf, but it says I'm a reindeer.  I think the first three statements are true of me, but not the last one.  I am content to stay home and usually have to really push myself to go somewhere new.

You Are A Reindeer

You are a solid, dependable person. You are more likely to act than talk.

You have a lot of endurance and grit. You can work well into the night if you need to.

You are cooperative and competent. You like being part of a team, especially if everyone is pulling their weight.

You are energetic and hyper. You don't like to stay still for to long, and you're always ready to go somewhere new!

Are You An Elf or a Reindeer?
Let me know which one you are in the comments.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decorating? Bah Humbug!

I just didn't feel like decorating this year so left it up to Gerard. I just didn't feel like fussing with setting up the tree only to have to take it down again in three or four weeks. Maybe because we hadn't had snow, I just wasn't in the mood. Today we got snow though and I still didn't set up the tree. 

Gerard said he didn't mind. He pulled out some decorations: the Christmassy stuffed animals and the bear runner for the table. He hung up our stockings and I put the small Nativity set on the mantel. So far, that's the extent of our decorating.

I feel old that I don't get excited about decorating anymore. I never was very big on it, but this is really sad. I have the big nativity set I didn't even bring out this year because it's so big, it sort of overpowers our dining room table. I have a nice little village, but don't know where to put it. Spunky liked knocking the little people down when I had it on the mantle other years.  I know she'll miss it. I supposed I could have set it up there again, but then would have to find room for the other stuff we have up there.

There's still time before Christmas so I may change my mind and bring out more stuff.  The cats do enjoy the tree so may set it up for their pleasure.  We'll see.

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Let Your Dog Help Decorate This Year!

Wouldn't it be nice to let your pets do the Christmas decorating for you? Watch this:

Gerard and I both thought this video was so cute and amazing that we just had to share it with you. There was an article in BARK by Lisa Wogan. The video was originally just made for fun for family, friends and the dog school members. It was made in a Budapest flat and took six hours to shoot it.

Hey, Abby! Watch and learn.

When do you decorate for Christmas?

Find the best posts of the week or link up yours at Saturday Sampling over at Half Past Kissin' Time.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

2 Things I Learned This Week #98 (blogging, accident, Gerard)

Submit Your URL To Increase Traffic To Your Blog

Over at A Book Inside, Still Need More Hits After Blog Jog Day? I learned that we can actually submit our posts URL to these three search engines: Here are the links to submit your new posts:
She gives more suggestions for increasing your traffic too.

Accident:  Fooled By Gerard--Happy Birthday!

Gerard's immediate supervisor, Bob, got in an accident Wednesday, getting a concussion, messed up shoulder and totaling his new car. How sad for him! He's single, shares his home with a brother and lives a few houses up the street from us. Gerard is off for his birthday today, but let me think that since it's such a small place where he works and it's their busy time, with Bob being out, Gerard had to work.  Fortunately, Bob was back to work yesterday.  I learned that Gerard can still surprise me. Oh well, I'm grateful it wasn't Gerard in the accident and that we are both off today to celebrate his birthday.  I canceled the eye appointment I made for him so will try to get him in again and I seriously considered not using my vacation day.  Good thing I decided to still take off anyhow!  I didn't find out he didn't have to work until it was time for him to get up this morning. He's a rascal!  Happy Birthday, Honey!

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