Thursday, January 31, 2013

Working On My New Year's Resolution: Eat Out With Co-Workers

I normally spend my lunch hour eating a quick lunch that I bring from home in the lunch room and then the rest of my lunch hour reading away from the office by myself. This year one of my New Year's Resolutions was to be more social at work by going out for lunch with a co-worker at least once a month. I got right on this and have lined up people to go to lunch with through August!  I know this sounds weird but I also know myself; if I don't intentionally plan ahead, it likely won't happen.

January I went with Marcy to Sammy's Grille, a little family run restaurant nearby that is inside our building. I've walked by this place so many times for the past 25 years but never once went in until this month. It reminded me of the soda shop on the Andy Griffith Show! The waitress was very friendly and the food was very good. I had a burger since I hadn't had one in a very long time. I resisted the malt (mostly because it was over $2 and I didn't want to spend anymore than $5 for lunch). I also resisted getting fries. We had a nice chat and it was fun just breaking out of my routine for a change of pace.

Sammy's Grille opens early for breakfast too, I believe at 6 a.m.  It's nice they have their menu posted right on the front window so people like me can plan ahead on what to order!  Where and when was the last time you went out to lunch with someone?  I highly recommend it!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wonderfully Made By God: A Man With No Arms and Legs

I just saw this video of Nick Vujicic on the Oprah show last week and was so inspired by it that I had to blog about it. You may have already seen it because it has over one million views, but if not, please take some time when you have a chance to watch it. Nick was born with no arms or legs but chose to focus on what he did have instead of what he didn't.

Man with No Arms and Legs Goes on Oprah to Share the Gospel!
from keephopealive on GodTube.

Ephesians 2:10 says,
We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Each one of us is a "designer original" as Carol Ladd says in her book, The Power of a Positive Woman. Everyone can use whatever God has given them to do what God has created them to do. Everyone has unique gifts, talents and abilities given to them by God to honor and glorify Him, so EVERYONE is valuable!

If there's something you think you can't do, or that bothers you about your appearance, I hope you will watch this video because it will give you a positive outlook and put things in proper perspective.

Psalm 139:14:
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
What did you think of the video?

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Mischief: Closet Adventure by Manny Boy

We have the most interesting closet ever!  It is in the bathroom.  After I made my mom chase me around the house before letting her brush my teeth and her calling me a wuss, I figured I'd show her.  When she opened the bathroom closet door, I went in and pushed aside the bag blocking the secret passage to the basement!  C'mon, I'll show you!

Mom said, "No Manny!  Don't go in there!  Just look though how tempting it is.  There's a little ledge on both sides that I could easily walk on.  It would be too high a jump for me to leap off though but I think that's what my mom thought might happen.  I am smarter than to do that, mom.

I am not a reckless cat. Although I may be curious, I am also quite cautious. See me checking it all out first? I also waited for my mom to turn around before I went in. She really didn't think I would but boy, did I fool her!

Here I go!  Who's the wuss now, mom?

I'm in!  I did it!  Hey look! I have to give some credit to the Mischief Master Class Book that inspired me to do "Rule No. 17--Try something new."

See, down there!!  I can see the green table with the two paint-by-number pictures setting on it that is next to my litter box!  You can't really tell what a big jump down it is, but trust me, it's far!

These pictures were all re-enacted because the first time I did this, my mom was too worried and freaked out to get the camera!  She looked away and when she turned back, I was gone.  Then I popped my head through the opening and came back out.  She was very relieved.  I guess she decided I wouldn't do anything too crazy so asked me nicely to go in again so she could get pictures for this Monday Mischief post.  I made her wait a day but agreed it would make for a good mischief post so cooperated eventually.

Now mom has decided to move this big hamper in front instead of the paper bag to block off the secret passage and ruin our fun.  She says she doesn't want to take any chances that me or Spunky will get even braver and go out into the basement ceiling.

Join in the Monday Mischief blog hop with us!

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Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Things We Learned This Week

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

Van Repairs

So far so good with the duct tape holding up my mirror on the driver's side of my van. It just dropped off while I was driving last Saturday, held only by a wire! My van passenger door stripping came loose again, and our repair shop said I needed to take it to a body shop to get that fixed, ugh.

A Hole In Our House

When the guys came to upgrade our new water meter, they told us our dryer cover came off where the dryer pipe is. Again, duct tape to the rescue until we can get to Home Depot or Loew's for some caulking to put around it. Good thing they told us, it's on the side of our house that we really don't pass by in the winter. Who knows how long its been off!

Vet News

Spunky and Abby went to the vet Monday. Spunky went from being obese down to being overweight and everything was good for her . . . until we got the results of her stool sample the next day--Giardias (intestinal disease)! They say I should brush her teeth every day though instead of just once a week. Abby was all good except she has a broken tooth and needs an x-ray of it and a dental cleaning. They may have to pull the tooth out too depending on what the x-ray shows. Manny goes next month. Going to the vet is very stressful--never know what they'll find!

Power of Cute

Spunky Doodle as a Kitten

Looking at cute kitten pictures promotes positive emotions in both male and females which promotes more focused attention according to findings at Hiroshima University:
Each test proved that viewing images of kittens and puppies prior to performing a task led to an improved performance, even when compared to seeing pictures of adult dogs and cats, or extremely appetizing food.

But what is it about cute animals that makes a better impression on our attitudes towards work? Each experiment showed candidates had more focused attention after the adorable images triggered positive emotions in both female and male subjects.
--See whole article: Kawaii--The Power of Cute

Monopoly Token Vote

Over at Acting Balanced's post Classic Monopoly, Changes are Coming! I learned that one of the tokens will be discontinued and a new one will take its place. People can vote for their favorite tokens on a Facebook page. Follow the link to read all about it and go vote! I voted to keep the car and of course I chose the cat for the new token. I think they should get rid of the iron.

Super Bowl Commercial Preview

You can see several Doritos 30 sec. commercial choices over at Dogtime and vote for your favorite. Two feature dogs and one a goat. Did you know one 30 sec. Super Bowl commercial costs $3.8 million? This is insane! I can't help but think how that money could be better spent making the world a better place and helping people in need.

Cat Owners

Know what state has the most cat owners? I didn't until I played the Freekibble game today and learned it is Vermont with Maine coming in second. That surprised me about Vermont because it's such a little state.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Want to See Our Kitchen? (Writer's Workshop)

It is very small. So small in fact that we have no room for both a table and stove, so we have no stove. We use a microwave that sets on the table. We had our cupboards refinished by Thiels years ago. If Gerard and I are both in the kitchen at the same time, we generally bump into each other! The busiest time is in the morning when the pets gather around me waiting for breakfast. Our cat, Manny Boy likes to jump up on the table and Spunky Doodle likes the counter top. Fortunately, our dog stays on the floor. Both the cats and dog drink from the big green bowl next to the refrigerator.

Our refrigerator is covered with our pet certificates from the vet for bravery and Abby's awards from her dog training classes at PetSmart, plus four magnets that say "I love my pet" and one that says "Adopt a Pet."  My toy parrot sits on top of the refrigerator and my Koala bear cookie jar lives on the table next to our microwave.  The old linoleum floor is scheduled to be replaced this spring or summer.  I never did like it but put up with it now for 15 years.  I'm not very picky about stuff like that.  I'm not big on decorating so pretty much make do with how things are.

Although it is small, we do have lots of cupboards which is very nice.  Normally, there is not a bag of dog food sitting on the floor but we just bought that because we were getting low.  It goes in that bottom cupboard that it is next to.  The two in the middle hold our food--the left side is my husband's and the right side is mine.  We usually eat different things so each have our own cupboard.  We do share now and then though.

Above our sink is a nice little shelf for a clock and our garage door openers.  The poster over the sink is from our VBS week last summer.  My husband liked it so much he asked if we could have it at the end of the week.  It's a picture of a girl hugging her dog and it says "True Love only from Jesus."

So there is the tour of our kitchen.  I like that the window is on the east side so in the morning when the sun is up, it is nice and bright. And yes, we manage nicely without a stove.

This post was inspired by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Being a Good Mom--Brushing My Pets' Teeth

The vet told me we should really brush our pets' teeth because it can help them maintain good health and save us money down the road on teeth cleanings and extractions. Okay, so I'm trying. The video below shows how it goes on a good day, well for the cats at least.

So, naturally our pets would like to know who you think did the best.

I use a little brush for the cats that I got from our vet with the special toothpaste for animals. DO NOT USE human toothpaste for them. For Abby though, I use a regular size brush because it's easier to reach back farther and I get to keep all my fingers!

They all like the poultry taste of it but it's hard sometimes to actually get it on their teeth before they lick it off the brush! I introduced it gradually by letting them just lick it at first. Then the next week, I let the cats actually play with the little brush, seeing that it wouldn't hurt them. Finally, I put the brush in their mouth and gave them a treat afterward. Then now we are up to what you see in the video. I actually get to put some toothpaste on their teeth with the brush.

Do you brush your pets' teeth? Some days I try, but don't feel very successful. Last time Manny ran away from me and I had to chase him around. I finally gave up and tried again later which worked somewhat. He's usually the hardest one so that's why I was so surprised in the video when he was actually cooperative.

Joining in with Cats on Tuesday.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

6 Tips For Making Your Passwords Strong

As part of information security at work we got an email about having to change our passwords every 120 days and tips for making strong passwords. (No, Beaded Tail, just because you can't remember it doesn't necessarily mean it is strong. A skilled hacker could figure it out!) When reviewing all my personal passwords, I was a bit surprised that out of 50, only 12 met these requirements! I thought my readers may find this information enlightening and helpful as well so am sharing it with you. It's definitely time for me to change my passwords even though it's a pain.
  1. Do NOT use a dictionary word as your password. (If you must, string several together) 

  2. Do NOT use standard number substitutions. Think "P455w0rd" is a good password? N0p3! Here I thought I was being so clever and that I had a very strong password by doing this but cracking tools now have those built in. 

  3. Make it long. (The longer, the better!) Today's processing speeds mean that even a short weird password like "h6!r$q" is quickly crackable!

  4. Use different passwords. If one is hacked, and you use it on all or many of your accounts, the hacker then has access to all of them! This would be very bad!

  5. Give bogus answers to security questions but make your answers memorable. Think of them as a secondary password.

  6. Use a mix of Alpha, Numeric, Capital letters and Special Characters.

Here's a couple things you can do to protect against hackers:
  1. Use a unique, secure email address for password recoveries. If a hacker knows where your password reset goes, that's a line of attack. Create a special account you never use for communications and make sure to choose a username that isn't tied to your name so it can't be easily guessed.

  2. Opt out of Spokeo and One of the easiest ways to hack into an account is through your email and billing address information.
Now, are you going to actually use this information to improve your security? Maybe it's time for you to replace your passwords with some new ones. Let the fun begin!

Source:  Tips from Wired magazine, December, "Kill The Password"

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Friday, January 18, 2013

8 Things We Learned This Week

Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:


Dear Abby just died at age 94 and I heard for the first time that Ann Landers is her twin sister. When we used to get the paper, Dear Abby was one of my favorite columns. Did you know that?

Read it Twice!

Last Saturday when visiting at Legacy Place, I was thrilled to hear that the one lady read and liked My Funny Dad, Harry so much, that she read it twice! You made my day, Ginny!


Do you know what a SHAKA sign is and what it means? I didn't until I read SHAKA, Hand Gesture I Golden Approve over at Sugar's blog. Sugar is a Golden Retriever who lives in Hawaii and is a blogging buddy of ours. It means to hang loose.

New Game

I love games and over at Comedy Plus this week, Sandy shared how to play "Quarters" which is a new game to me. I printed out the directions. All you need to play is dice and some coins--(wouldn't have to be quarters), could even use candy!

Embed Tweets

I just learned this week how to embed a tweet when entering Sparkle's contest: click on time of tweet, mouse over your tweet and it brings up an URL for just that tweet with an option to embed it or even email it. 


Out of my 50 passwords, only 12 are very strong. I plan to do a post about this soon.


My hubby learned to use a new bagging machine at work. He says it makes the task easier so that's good! I learn new things at work all the time too. It seems there is always something new to learn.

Snowmobile Accident

I always thought it would be great fun to snowmobile until I read about Tom Hedin's terrible snowmobile accident over at It's Just Life, "Reconfiguring? You Betcha!". He and his family could really use our prayers and even some financial support. He has a beautiful family but suffered serious injuries including a brain hemorrhage and many broken bones. He's only been at his new job for six months so does not qualify for FMLA. Please follow the link to learn more and see the family picture.

A Surprise

When I went to link up this post, I saw this Amazon ad for my book come up at the bottom of the screen:

(I wanted to just show the ad but didn't know how to get it so printed the whole screen into paint.)

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Things That Currently Bug Us

Life is really good for us and we really aren't experience any major troubles right now which we are thankful for.  There are a few little things though that are like gnats that are currently bugging us.  Want to know what they are?  No?  then move on.  Yes? then keep on reading.  Here's our list:

Can you guess what bugs Gerard about the top shelf?
  1. Gerard just told me the other day that if we would use a different bowl for Abby's food, we could have all three bowls in our bear plate set on the shelf and it would look better.  We've been using one of these bowls for close to a year at least and he just mentioned that it bothered him.  This cracked me up that such a thing bugged him.  I immediately looked for a different bowl for Abby and found one. 

  2. This is NOT good!

    Yesterday, the rubber stripping at the bottom of my middle van door came loose again, impeding the opening and closing of the door.  This bugs me because we use this door every week when we visit the skilled care facilities with Abby.  I already had this problem fixed once before and now it happened again.   

  3. These stains are too tough for these three cleaners.
  4. We have these stubborn stains in our den and I've tried three different cleaners to try getting them out but none have worked. Granted, the Nature's Miracle says to use it first or it will react with the previous chemicals used and won't work. Well, of the three, it still seemed to work best. I used it on the spot farthest right and at least it foamed up and made it lighter. It's supposed to draw the urine out of the carpet. That first one, the foam just made the spot bigger and the Bissell stomp n go didn't seem to do anything at all. It is the easiest one to use though. Hopefully it will work on stains not set in better!
  5. These were so good--a gift from my ex-boss for Christmas.
  6. I went to the cupboard to have a piece of my Malley's candy and was shocked to find only three pieces left! Last I looked, there were like three whole rows left! I did say Gerard could have "some" too, but he ate practically the whole box! These were really good creams so I packed the last three pieces into my lunch bag. Guess he felt bad because he just bought two big special dark Hershey chocolate bars and told me I could have one--he just found out that a little dark chocolate is good for you.  Gerard says, "NO, I DID NOT EAT THE WHOLE BOX!  I KNOW WHAT I ATE, AND I KNOW I DIDN'T!" (I think I had about 6 pieces, at the most 8.)

  7. I really like this pen . . . I'd like it more if I didn't have to tape it..
  8. The free YAMMER pen I got writes nice with a fine line which I like, and is wide so easy to hold. The only trouble is that the clicker won't stay down to keep the point out. I taped it down with scotch tape, but it only holds for a day and then I have to retape it the next day.

  9. Finally, having lights on in an empty room bugs me. I see no reason for this, but Gerard does it every time he vacuums. He says it's easier because then he doesn't have to turn the lights on and off while he maneuvers the vacuum cleaner around. I guess I can see that at least makes a little sense, right? But why put on both lights in the dining room while he goes to walk the dog? I even turn out the one light and turn it back on when it's near time for his return. 
What's bugging you lately?  Here's your chance to sound off.
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    Monday, January 14, 2013

    Monday Mischief: Outtake of Spunky and Manny

    Go away, Manny, I want to be in this alone!

    While doing the new header picture for our book blog this week, we had this little incident.  We started a bit of a boxing match over who was going to be in the picture this week. 

    We are joining Monday Mischief this week.

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    Friday, January 11, 2013

    6 Friday Fragments (Blogs, TV, Animals, Sports)

    Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:

    New Blog

    I discovered our youth pastor has begun blogging at Daniel JF Adams--The Life and Times of a Youth Pastor. Having once been a youth director and still having a love for teens, I found his posts interesting. Please visit his blog and welcome him to "Blogland."

    Hockey and The Biggest Loser Return

    Gerard is really looking forward to hockey starting again. Does anyone else care? He loves the Boston Bruins! Me, I'm glad The Biggest Loser is on again and Jillian is back on the show.  Click the link to see my post about it including some suggestions on how I think the show could be improved. 


    I was surprised to see Mountain Woman's horses enjoying the snow in Vermont when it's so cold there but she said, "Horses love cold weather as long as they are fed and watered. No bugs bothering them."

    PJ Party Again

    Love you, Abby!

    Well, Abby woke us up again last night around 1:30 and would not let me sleep. Even when I went on the couch, she still would not settle down until finally, after about 45 minutes, she hopped up with me and then laid ON me. It was cute but Gerard wasn't eager to take pictures. We had a nice bonding time but I did not get much sleep.

    New Coach

    The Browns have another new head coach--Rob Chudzinski is back. He was with the Browns in 2007 and 2008 as offensive coordinator and was with the North Carolina Panthers last year. I wish they would have brought Mangini back or offered the job to Jim Tressle (OSU's former coach). Oh well, what do I know? We'll see what

    New Year's Resolutions

    I am happy to report I am doing well with my new year's resolutions. How about you?

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    Thursday, January 10, 2013

    Some Suggestions for The Biggest Loser Show--Love It!

    Me and my cat, Manny, love "The Biggest Loser" show!  It started on Sunday night for two hours and followed up with another two hours on Monday.  I DVRd it so it only took me three hours to watch instead of four.  I had planned to just watch the first show but it was so good, I couldn't stop and watched the second show too. This show is so inspirational when you watch it from the beginning to end and see the contestants transform both in attitude and appearance.

    This season, for the first time, they are including three obese kids, all of which are very likable and you just can't help but pull for them.  I loved that they get to participate in the challenges with the adults in fun ways.  They train separately and are not at the ranch the whole time so they can continue their normal life at home but the trainers check in with them and all three trainers get to work with all three kids.  The kids are very happy to be there and I was glad that the trainers took a different approach in training them than they do with the adults.  Even Jillian (the mean trainer) was actually nice to them and related to them well, sharing some of her background.

    Another change they made at least at the beginning this season, is that the contestants do not get to vote off anyone, but instead the one who loses the least weight on the losing team is the one to go.  This is a fairer weigh of eliminating people; however, because of the second week "curse" (if someone loses a whole lot the first week, usually the second week is a bad one for them).  In this case, I felt it was very unfair that Nathan had to leave even though he lost 25 pounds in just two weeks (20 the first week, only 5 the second week).  Yes, his team lost but others on the show lost less than he did.  I just didn't seem right to me and I am not the only one.  When I read their Facebook Fan page, there were lots of comments about the unfairness of this.  I'm thinking somehow, he'll be back, I hope!

    Here are some suggestions I think the show should consider making:

    • I suggest that they address the second week "curse" issue by using a combined weight loss including both the first and second weeks to compensate for this occurrence.  Either that, or let those who lose 15 or more pounds in the first week get a free pass the second week.  
    • The first three weeks I'd like to see them work with the trainers without teams.  If they would wait to set up the teams, they could see who clicks best with which trainer, and balance out the teams better.  Just sayin'.  I don't know why they don't do it this way.
    •  Tell Jillian to clean up her language and treat the contestants with respect.  I don't know what got into her, but she was beyond tough, she was downright disrespectful.  She does liven things up on the show and I like how she pushes them to do better; however, she needs to treat people with respect.  
    • I would appreciate not seeing the people actually vomit.  That was just disgusting.
    • Finally, for the time being, I hate when teams get pound advantages in the weigh-in for winning a challenge.  This really doesn't seem right at all to me because it could hurt the team who lost the most weight which is what this show is all about.  A better reward would be an extra hour of training one-on-one with the trainer of their choice or even a personal type reward.  
    What do you think about this show and my suggestions for improvement?  Do you watch?  

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    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

    How To Get Your Cats To Come

    The video above shows five different ways I use to get my cats to come. Note, not all cats will respond to all these ways. Both my cats, (Spunky Doodle and Manny Boy) come when I rattle their food bags or when I eat fish. Spunky Doodle will respond to the noise the buttons make on the phone and when I turn on the shower. Manny likes when I lay on the couch to watch TV. He'll usually come and lay on my legs. His favorite shows are "Survivor," "Parenthood," and "The Biggest Loser."

    If they do not come when I do these things, I know something must be wrong and start checking the closets.

    What do you do to get your cats to come?


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    Saturday, January 5, 2013

    My 2013 New Year Resolutions

    still working at skipping the donuts

    I have ten resolutions/goals for 2013, some of which are repeats from last year because I still want to do them. Here they are:
    1. Move: Don't lay if I can sit; don't sit if I can stand, don't stand if I can walk, don't walk if I can run.
    2. Bank spouse's paycheck in savings.
    3. Keep track of what charities I give to and just make one donation to those I do not support monthly. Support Samaritan's Purse monthly in place of Boys Town.
    4. Park in the first open spot I see on nice days.
    5. Love all, serve all. Show more kindness to people I actually see, including strangers..
    6. Get new linoleum for kitchen.
    7. Get new front doorknob--it's still broke.
    8. Go out to lunch at least every other month with a friend or co-worker.
    9. Get den closet cleaned out.
    10. My word for 2013: declutter. I am going to try to throw something away every day.  Gerard was glad to hear this!
    Take a guess as to which one you think will be my biggest challenge.  Go ahead, try and guess.
    If you guessed No. 8 is going to be my biggest challenge, you are correct!.
    How's that? Which one do you like best? Feel free to use any of mine if you can't think of any.

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    Friday, January 4, 2013

    5 Friday Fragments (Klutzy, Tweets, resolutions, computer, book)

    Friday Fragments is hosted my Half-Past Kissin' Time for bloggers to post a list of short things on their minds that aren't really enough for a whole post. Here we go:


    Sometimes I can't believe how klutzy I am. Last Sunday I even got hurt sitting in church! I bent over to get my coat on and boom! I banged my forehead hard on the pew in front of me and my glasses fell off. Fortunately, it was at the end of the service and I put some ice on it right after. Kathy at the Junk Drawer agreed with me that I should win the "Klutz of the Year" award. Can you beat this?

    My Favorite Tweets of 2012

    21 Nov Thangluai Family Thangluai Family ‏@TheGodTweeter

    Out of difficulties grow miracles!

    14 Nov mamakatslosinit mamakatslosinit ‏@mamakatslosinit

    I put another dog to the IQ test...see how Jack did:

    15 Mar Joel Osteen Joel Osteen ‏@JoelOsteen

    When things don’t go your way, don’t get bent out of shape. Just go with the flow and let God use you in the way He wants.


    I am happy to report that I kept ALL 8 of my New Year's Resolutions for 2012!  Unfortunately, after memorizing the book of James by June 2012, I have forgotten it already.  I still remember the concepts but not word for word.  I will post ones for this year soon--I wrote them on my calendar.  Did you make any?

    No Internet Connection

    Yesterday and today when we opened Firefox, instead of our ATT email page we got a goofy message that we do not have an Internet connection. Then have to hit "connect" and then have to enter our modem access code that is on back of our DSL modem. (After this happening twice, I wrote it down.) Anyone else experiencing this? Anyone know what's going on? We never got this message before in the whole five years we've had the computer.

    The Titanic

    Before I read I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 by Lauren Tarshish,I didn't realize how big it was! It was like a palace, 11 stories high and only 16 lifeboats. After this event, it became law for ships to have lifeboats enough for all crew and passengers.  If you like to read, be sure to look at Our Favorite Reads for December and 2012 for some great book recommendations--both fiction and non-fiction.  

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    Thursday, January 3, 2013

    Our Favorite Reads For December and for 2012

    Karen's favorite read for December was In Too Deep by Mary Conneally.

    In Too Deep by Mary Conneally is the second book of the Kincaid Brides series. It is about Audra and Ethan who enter a marriage of convenience and both are fearful of caring too much and getting hurt. Audra finds out that her former husband stole a fortune and the guy who he stole it from is coming after her because he thinks she knows where it is. The story takes place during 1866 in Colorado territory. Audra and Ethan have some very humorous conversations and both find courage to face their fears.

    I liked this book very much because it was a sweet romance without being racy and still had enough adventure and suspense to peak my interest. The first book of the Kincaid Brides series (Out of Control) centered on Ethan’s bossy older brother, Rafe and his wife, Julia who is Audra’s step-daughter. I liked this book much better and give this this 5 stars for good Christian romance. I look forward to reading Over the Edge, the last in the series, about the youngest brother, Seth.

    Gerard's favorite read for December was Comet's Tale by Steven D. Wolf 

    What an amazing true story Comet's Tale by Steven D. Wolf is!  Steven Wolf saved Comet from a bad fate, then Steve's health took a turn for the worse and Comet came through for him.  Comet became the first ever Greyhound service dog.  Find out by reading the book why Comet was named the "Service Dog of the Year."  If you like feel-good stories, start off the new year with this one! Thanks for sharing your story, Mr. Wolf, and give Comet a treat for me and my dog, Abby.  LOVED this book! (rating 5++)

    And for our favorites for the year, we made two videos: One for non-fiction favorites and one for fiction favorites. You can see our reviews over at Grab A Book From Our Stack by searching for the book title or author.

    (I'm having trouble embedding the videos--they keep changing to Spunky's kitty condo one for some unknown reason, so here's the links if needed too (Fiction Books--; Non-Fiction Books--

    Our 2012 Non-fiction Favorites

    Our 2012 favorite fiction books:


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    Tuesday, January 1, 2013

    We Got Boxes! by Spunky Doodle

    Early Christmas morning Karen was making Manny and me a kitty condo out of cardboard boxes. I was testing them out as she stacked them and taped them together. It was so much fun watching her. I actively supervised while Manny watched from a distance. There are three different levels and she made it in two sections for easy repositioning. It turned out to be pretty big and she wasn't sure where she was going to put it. For now, it is in the upstairs hall.

    Check this out

    She keeps trying to take pictures of Manny and me in it in different sections, but we generally wait until she's gone. Sometimes I'll go in it when she's there but then she runs for the camera. I go in it more than Manny does. Once Karen put my Kong toy with food in it and after I ate it, I vomited it up right on the "welcome" door mat. At least I didn't make a mess inside.

    Maybe if you have cats, you could make one for them! My mom had lots of fun making it (I think more than I have using it). Linked up with Camera Critters and Pet Pride.


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