Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Free apple bookmark printable

You may wonder where I’ve been lately.  First off, my hubs and I took an impromptu road trip to help our 22-year-old son in the military drive his car all the way across country.  Comfort was in short supply in a tiny little car that was so low to the ground that I hit the ceiling whenever we drove over a pebble!

We are also in the middle of redecorating our family room.  If you’ve ever started a project in a home you have lived in for several years then you have also opened the proverbial “can of worms”.  How so?  Well, after the painting, we had to get a new carpet.  After the carpet we had to get a new sofa.  After the sofa we had to get a better TV stand.  After the TV stand…well you get the drift. 

So as a result my blogging has gotten a bit lax.  After all, waiting 4 weeks for a sofa delivery has sort of displaced a lot of things.  I can barely find a chair to sit in so creativity has taken a back seat.

I know that school is either in session or almost ready so I am reposting a free apple coloring bookmark printable from my other blog Make it easy crafts that you may have missed.  Get them reading…and coloring.  And enjoy those little ones before they get old enough to buy a car for looks alone!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Is this pear ripe yet?

Did you know that pears ripen the best when are off the tree?  If they ripen on the tree they get mushy in the center by the time they are ripe enough to eat!  So that is why that pear you just bought is hard and doesn’t seem ready to eat at all!  That is because it isn’t. And it has nothing to do with keeping them unripe while they make their journey to your grocery store. 

So what do you do to ripen your pears perfectly?  First of all if your pick your pears right off your tree (Like I did) you must chill it in the refrigerator first.  For Bartlett a day or two will suffice.  Bosc and Anjou need longer periods of chilling. Grocery store pears have already had their chilling period.  After they chill out Bartlett pears will need 4-5 days to ripen at between 65-75 degrees and up to two weeks for Bosc and Anjou. I do it on my kitchen counter.  The ethylene gas they produce speeds up the ripening.  You can speed up this process even more by putting your pears in a paper bag with another ethylene producing fruit such as bananas or apples, which will concentrate this ripening hormone.

So how do you tell when your pears are ready?  You simply hold the pear in the palm of your hand and push slightly at the stem end of the fruit.  If it gives evenly, it’s ready to eat.  If you have to push harder than slightly, you must wait a bit longer to enjoy it’s juicy goodness.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Involuntary mom arm

When you drive the older kids around (And by older I'm talking teenagers and above) do you do the mom arm thing when making a quick stop?

If you are not a mom then you may be wondering what in the world am I talking about.

Mom arm
- n
1.  Also called a maternal automobile restraint.  An arm placed in front of an unsuspecting passenger to restrain forward motion in a event of a collision.

2.  An overprotective action which causes involuntary eye rolling in pre-adults.

Since my daughter graduated college last year I haven't had the opportunity to drive with her as a passenger of late.  Last week while we were going out to lunch, a car cut in front of me forcing me to brake quickly.  The old familiar mom arm appeared and she looked at me as if I had grown two horns.  I just shrugged it off.  I doubt that the mom arm really does much in the way of protection in an accident.  The seat beat takes care of that.  Since the mom arm is involuntary it really doesn't matter if the passenger is a child, adult, or stranger.  It just happens.

A few days later I received a phone call from said daughter.  While she was taking her beloved jack russell terrier to the vet, she stopped short and lo and behold the mom arm made an appearance!  Dogs don't roll their eyes, but judging from the horror my daughter felt, I can only imagine the look on her face.  Guess the mom arm works with pets too.

Do you do the mom arm?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Do you have a special pillow?

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two types of people in this world.  Those who have a favorite pillow and cannot sleep unless they have it, and those who can sleep on anything that even remotely resembles a pillow.  I am one of the former.

Whenever I travel, I have to pack my pillow.  Granted, it takes up valuable suitcase space, but hotel pillows just don’t cut it.  It’s bad enough I have to sleep in an unfamiliar bed, but without my special pillow, I wouldn’t sleep at all.  I mean seriously, some pillows are too fat; some too flat but my pillow it just right.  It took me a long time to get that perfect balance of softness and squishiness.  I had to go through two crushed foam pillows, one fiber filled one and a memory foam pillow that was so heavy I could have killed someone had I the desire to engage in a pillow fight!

Now my husband can sleep on any old pillow and he just doesn’t get my pillow fixation. When I make the bed each day I am careful to place each of our pillows on the proper side, but every once in a while I make a mistake.  Since he goes to bed earlier than I do, if this happens I freak out as I watch him peacefully slumber on my special pillow.  What comes next is the planning phase.  I have to figure out a way to remove the pillow from under his head without waking him.  Although the man can sleep through a hurricane (and he has) this is no easy feat.

I pull on one end of the pillow.  He grunts and lets out a tiny snore.  I pull a little more and part of his head flops down.  His eyelids flutter but he returns his head to its lopsided position.  I realize there is no way to do this slowly and try the band-aid removal method.  You know the drill; just whip it off really quick.  So I yank it fast and his head bounces on the mattress, but I quickly move the pillow to my side of the bed.  He sits bolt upright looking at me.  Thinking fast, I tell him that he must have been having a bad dream and threw his pillow to the foot of the bed where I placed it. (The man swears he rarely dreams) In his semi conscious state, he looks at me and takes his pillow and continues his nightly snore fest.  I hug my special pillow tightly and swear I will not make this mistake again, and drift off to my dreams, which now that I have my pillow-- are sweet.

My question to you is this…Do you have a special pillow?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Am I one of the X-men?

Just saw the new X-man movie last night and while I'm not usually a fan of the comic book type movies, I do like the X-man series.  They are usually smart and very, very creative.  Except for the blue (Beast) a hulk like X-man most, of them are pretty cool looking.

I am however, beginning to think that maybe I should be included in their little troupe. Lately whenever I walk into a room electronic things go on the blink.  Yes, the remote on the TV gets squirrely, the computer can't find the wifi, and the light bulbs go out.  Maybe I'm haunted but I've been kidding around with my husband and telling him that I am just one of the X-men and I have powers that will need Charles Xavier to steer me in the right direction.

My abilities have no bounds.  We walked down a sidewalk and the alarms on two cars we passed (on my side) started sounding.  Personally I don't know what use I can be since breaking things isn't really a super power but maybe I could be a secret weapon of some sort.  Enough about me.

You will enjoy the new X-man movie, it's really very good!  It's time travel theme is unique setting it apart from the usual summer blockbuster that just relies on special effects and CGI without any story line.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day ideas

Just thought you all would enjoy the awesome Father's Day ideas on Bowdabra's blog with Link party!

Check it out right here...

Last minute creative gifts for men

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Racoon go home!

Hummers not appearing 

You know I have been feeding birds for years.  I've never had a problem with raccoons before, squirrels yes but never raccoons until now that is.  My frustration is mounting while this furry raider comes no matter what I do and drains both the seed feeder and the hummingbird feeders every single night!

I can take the feeders in and put them in the garage every night for a week and leave it out one night and by morning he has put his germy mouth all over them and they are empty.  Hummingbirds that are usually are fighting for space on my deck are all but absent this year!

He's scattered my pots of mint all over the much for raccoons hating mint!  And I have even stood there by the sliding doors and chased him numerous times but the persistent thing just comes back minutes later.  It's like a war, and who is going to give up first.  It's stating to look like it will be me!

Last night we had a thunderstorm and I figured that I would just leave the feeders out.  Sure enough they were empty in the morning.  It's starting to make me very sad because I am truly thinking of giving up, raising the white flag, retiring the feeders, and put aside my enjoyable pastime of watching the birds.

But wait...maybe I can figure out a way to make some sort of baffle.  Will it baffle me or the coon...time will tell.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Where is Daniel Boone when I need him?

Ok, so I have a problem.  I have a very tenacious raccoon that visits my bird feeders nightly.  I have a squirrel proof feeder but as yet I haven't seen a raccoon proof one. Easy pickings for a raccoon with his nimble hands.  Every night he goes to the bird feeder and empties out the seed, then he moseys on over to the hummingbird feeder and drinks the nectar.  He's got a regular cafe on my deck!

I'm at wits end.  I can take the feeders in for an entire week and put them in the garage at night and thinking he has gone on to greener pastures I foolishly leave them out one night and he drains them.  Taking them in each night works, but the only problem is I am not always home right when it gets dark and if I get there too late he's already been there and gone!

That tenacious raccoon is brazen too.  I've chased him away, only to have him return in just a few minutes.  One night I stood at the sliding door leading to my deck and chased him off yelling like a banshee while he just gave me the stink eye, left, and returned moments later.  This happened multiple times till I gave up and went to bed.  

So recently I heard that raccoons hate mint.  So out I went and bought a bunch of pots and potted mint all over the deck. He would have to rub on it and get up close and personal to that particular herb.  So what did he do?  Well, this morning I had a ton of spilled and broken posts and muddy dirt spilled all over my deck, the ground, everywhere.  

I wish he could be made into a coon skin cap, so where is Daniel Boone when you need him?
Seriously I couldn't hurt a fly, in fact I don't even kill bugs, but I need a solution or the birds will have to just exist without me.  Makes me sad, since my husband calls me the bird lady.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Say no to bullies

I just read an article in a national magazine about a case in which some middle school girls bullied another classmate and the classmate committed suicide.  Sad case for all involved.  It got me to thinking about bullies and those who bully and about a long ago incident in my own life…perhaps my story will help someone, perhaps not, because years pass but mostly human nature stays the same.

It’s been a long, long time since I passed my middle school years.  Middle school however remains the toughest years for kids. And with Facebook, the Internet and cell phones I think it’s even harder. They struggle to find a place for themselves, they just discover the opposite sex, and formerly kind kids can become just plain mean. 

My 7th grade year my parents moved from a southern city back to their home state in the north and I had to start a new school.  Entering a new school the first year of middle school is never easy, but it twice as hard when you are the new kid. 

I was skinny and small and unfortunately for me, smart.  So while I struggled to fit in this new environment, I excelled in my schoolwork. Like most middle schools there were cliques, with a queen bee and all her minions.  The queen bee took no interest in me.  I wasn’t worth her time but one of her followers took it upon herself to make my life a living hell.  Why you might wonder?  Maybe it was because of a test where I got an A and most others failed. Maybe it was just because I was new and appeared as though I couldn’t defend myself, which in all honesty was pretty much true.  At any rate she took every opportunity to berate me, tease me and make my former love of school torturous.

I couldn’t talk to my parents; they weren’t the type of parents you could confide in.  They would just recite the usual adage, “sticks and stones, blah, blah, blah.”  So every day I came home from school, I cried myself to sleep and dreaded the morning.

This girl, I’ll call her Muriel, began to egg me on further.  She wanted to fight.  I’d never been in a fight.  I didn’t even know how to fight and I certainly wasn’t going to fight in school because it didn’t matter who started the fight, both participants would face suspension.

The year went on and the bullying continued, even gaining more bullies to stand beside Muriel.  It was like a snowball, gaining momentum.  I wracked my brain for a solution, dreading each day but never letting the bullying change me.

And then I had my answer. The last day of school was approaching and I would stand up to Muriel and her crowd.  I wouldn’t have to worry about suspension on the last day of school and my family was moving that summer back to the south. 

I still remember the day I gathered all my strength and walked up to Muriel.  I fairly shouted that if she wanted to fight, I’d fight.  But it had to be in the front of the school on the last day of school. She was shocked.  Who was this mouse that was now roaring in her face.  She might even have wondered if I had some secret plan. I didn’t. No plan, just my stupid idea to stand up to a bully.  What was I thinking?  Muriel would kill me, with everyone looking.  I had two brothers and I’d never even fought with them!

Muriel tried to change the location to the back of the school, but I refused.  May as well just be a big show.

That day I went to school much as I imagine someone goes to their execution. My immediate future was starting to look a bit bleak!

Passing in the halls Muriel still tried to change the location.  But a strange thing happened, that day.  Kid’s were coming up to me and offering their support.  I found that no one likes a bully, not even bullies themselves! 

The final bell rang and I walked to front of the school--to my doom.  I turned around and walking behind me was a crowd. And they were on my side!

So I went to the front and waited.  We all waited, and waited and waited.  After about 20 minutes, someone came up to me and told me that Muriel had sneaked out the back door and was gone. 

I didn’t have to fight.  I simply had to stand up to her and she was the one who chickened out.  What did I learn from this event? I learned that bullies are insecure people who pick on those they feel cannot or will not defend themselves.  Once you stand up to one, their armor falls to the ground.

I doubt kids will change.  I’m a pacifist and I definitely do not encourage fighting, but sometimes you just have to stand up to a bully and hope it turns out like it did for me.  No fight, just a bully’s weakness revealed. And parents-- if a bully is affecting your child negatively, get him or her therapy to deal with it. Teach your kid’s to be kind.  Teach them that if they push someone around you will not condone or tolerate it.  There will always be bullies. The world changes daily, but people--they stay the same. 

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