Monday, August 31, 2009

I Did It!!


The big belly dance extravaganza was on Saturday night. I was very nervous but managed to make it through the performance, despite the fact that I had not gone to the bathroom in hours and didn't want to risk getting my outfit all discombobulated should I attempt to go in the tiny stall at the performance center. (Next time I will risk it!)

Our little group only came to the front of the stage for about a minute, so I suggested to VC and my folks not to blink our they might miss us.

As I sat through the rest of the show, which was a mix of our group and a much larger group from the instructors home studio- over 60 dancers in all, I slowly came to the sinking realization that the best dancers were the ones out front. You may notice from this photo, that I am safely in the REAR, which may explain my level of dance. Just an observation.


Yet, I keep reminding myself that I am not a "natural" and that I did this on a lark, so I am tryin' not to judge myself too harshly!!

Interestingly, I noticed that many of the dancers did NOT don tribal makeup!!! They went for a more natural made up look, which is, of course, way more attractive!!!!! There I was with my makeup that was bordering on Goth, and they looked like princesses - doh!!! I should have assumed some of the dancers would try to "sex it up" and also noticed that the young dancers only wore one thin skirt slung waaaay low on their hips. Also much more attractive than the 42 yards of fabric I was wearing. Why did I not anticipate all this????

You should have seen the looks I got when we stopped at Target and the Chinese Buffet on the way home :D

Oh, I almost forgot the "Ariel" update. Would you believe she went out of her way (well, not toooo far out of the way being that I walked up to her) to ask me if I would be continuing with the class? And, her "cohort" told me she would not be continuing on -- and GAVE ME A HUG since she wouldn't be seeing me anymore!! Just when I thought they (esp. Ariel) were back to their old ways!

Life never ceases to amaze me....

Friday, August 28, 2009

If Napkins Don't Excite You, This is NOT the Post for You (aka Napkin Nirvana)

I try to avoid getting all weepy over products; I really do. But, I was surprised the other day when I wiped my mouth on the new napkins I had just moments earlier placed in my napkin holder.

After years of using generic store brand napkins, this was pure bliss. I didn't know napkins could feel so fluffy and delightful!!


You may be wondering what brought on the change from generic to name brand. I'm not gonna say the brand since it's not like this is a paid endorsement or anything Bounty.

The change was on accounta the fact that I purchase my paper towels at the my local warehouse store - in the 16 roll BIG package. I received in the mail a handy dandy coupon for a free package (the 200 count) of napkins with purchase of said paper towels. I couldn't pass up an offer such as this. (If you are a believer in small locally owned shops, please refrain from chastising me. Because if it wasn't for BJ's I would not have had the opportunity to experience the equivalent of Napkin Nirvana.)

I can't wait to get home and eat!!! or rather - wipe!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Begging for Attention

Did you read about the guy in Australia who is making $50,000 a year begging (tax free!)? He gives beggars a bad name. I'm trying to decide if he is a complete idiot for doing the interview with Australia's Daily Telegraph because the jig is probably up about now.

The man, Ken Johnson, is making up to $400 a day begging. How do I get in on that gig??

Bet no one gets on his case if he mis-hears them - HA!

Will you think twice the next time you see someone begging for money?
[If she has dark hair, green eyes, bangs, and a line on her chin, I'm sure she's legit ;-) ]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Listen Up

Do you know someone who asks you how your family is doing and then turns around to do something else before even listening to your answer? Do you have to tell that same person the same thing over and over and they act surprised each time because they never fully listened to what you were saying the first 7 times??

If you recall, on Saturday, there was an event that required mingling. Not a natural mingler, I need to psych myself up for these events.

I made the rounds to talk with as many people as I could. It was a successful night, up until the point that I mis-heard something.

I was chit chatting with a guest and she inquired who made the pots that were right there in front of us. I figured she was referring to the one containing the hors d'oeurve that is a specialty of a co-worker. I told her that that it was made by an artist whose wife was in attendance.

Not two seconds later, my co-worker shouts over asking me who made the special hors d'oeurve with a big grin and says loudly that she made it and why did I say someone else made it. I replied that of course, she made it, at which point she told me that the guest had just explained to her that I said someone else made them.

Oops!! Over the din of the crowd, what I understood to be "pots" was really "nuts"!!! I was mortified, especially when my co-worker joked about it not one or two, but three times in the next half hour- loudly. Loudly.

She joked that I must be drinking (which I wasn't) or going nuts.

HA HA HA HA HA. TEE HEE HEE HEE HEE. HARDY HAR HAR (when was the last time you heard that?) *I'm rolling on the floor laughing*

I'm all for a good natured ribbing, not the kind that makes me look like a dunce in front of potential clients who I've never met before.

I guess she forgot the part that I mentioned to her previously about my loss of hearing!!

Which really doesn't surprise me. Perhaps I'll need to bring it up 8 times before the next event!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School in Style

...errrr...not exactly.

Last week I asked VC if he wanted to get his hair cut before going back to school since it is getting pretty shaggy. He typed out that he did not "want to risk it" (He was in the middle of using his anti-cavity rinse - hence the typing.)

Anyway, he is at that age where he is very conscious of things that may make him a "target" - he even passed on a Renaissance promo that would have involved handing out waters to runners at a local triathalon over the weekend, since he would have been doing so in his Renaissance costume and did not want to be recognized by any kids who attended his school.

So you can imagine my dismay when he called to tell me that his nose was bleeding after a diabolo injury. Here's his new Back to School look --->
Think anyone will notice?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My Binder's Cheaper Than Your's!

This week we finally tackled Back to School Shopping, after putting it off for weeks...

Last year we wasted a lot of time and money getting duplicate supplies since each of VC's 6 teachers had a separate supply list. We did not realize that only one or two binders would do the trick (doh!). This year at back to school night, we talked to the teachers about supplies so we could get a good idea of what was needed (or not needed) in order to save money. I suggested that we do this in order not to overbuy, plus it is a good way for VC to speak up and meet his teachers.

His math teacher was kind enough to advise us that the $100 graphing calculator was not a requirement (even though it was on the supply list) and that there would be some available in class. He told VC that he could probably make due without purchasing his own. That conversation right there resulted in significant money savings!

VC is a very money conscious 13 year old, which probably comes from spending time shopping with a mom who taught him "per unit pricing" at a very young age :-) He is the one who normally responds, "That's OK, I'm fine," when I suggest buying something for him.

Back to School is a great time to teach kids lessons about saving money. Instead of picking up the first binders we found (since the 3 and 4 inch binders are expensive) I suggested we do some comparison shopping.

VC had a brainstorm that we should check for the binders when we were shopping at our local Warehouse Club. He is a great comparison shopper so while I headed to the freezer section in search of free samples , to get some yogurt, he headed to the office section and discovered they had a package of two 3 inch binders for $10.00. I told him that was probably a reasonable price, but suggested we check another location before making the purchase.

He was stunned to see that comparable binders sold for $17 EACH at the second store. He suggested we drive on back to the first store (which was close by) and said that he would run in and purchase them. This is another perk to having a teenager. I was able to wait in the car while he ran in and made the purchase.

VC was very pleased with his informed decision. He told me he didn't need anything else, although I finally insisted that we get some new black pens even though he felt the ones we had were just fine. (Of course, the pens were on sale at 8 for $1.00 so I couldn't resist :D As I told him, we could always put them aside for next year.)

The moral of this story is not to point out our halcyon ways of dealing with money decisions, but rather to show that it is possible to get your kids involved in money decisions beginning at an early age and help them become lifelong savers.

The next big thing to tackle will be getting out of bed at the crack of dawn on Tuesday for the first day of school!! I can assure you it won't be pretty....


For more ideas on teaching kids about money while doing back to school shopping, visit Parent Bloggers Network. PBN is working with Capital One to get the word out about the talking to kids about budgeting and finances. This post was written as part of a PBN Blog Blast. Now's the time to get started talking to your kids about money.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Six Word Saturday


Opening at the Gallery; Mingling Required

Friday, August 21, 2009

Project Cheeseball

Alicia, a fellow cheesy blogger, who blogs at It Ain't Easy Being Cheesy surprised me this week, by workin' the cheeseballs into a moustache post!


You can view the hilarity here. And this is the Utz Cheese Ball pic she posted:










I like the UTZ-stache!!

Check out Alicia's blog when you have a moment. It is full of pics of her adorable kids, her hunk of a husband, occasional blood and gore, egg testicles and Il Divo. All that and much, much more...

Thanks Alicia for submitting your Utz Cheese Ball photo.

Interested in participating in Project Cheeseball and introducing new readers to your blog? It's simple: Just send me a photo of you and the Utz Cheese Balls in a distinct location near you! I'll feature your photos and link to your blog. The 35 oz. barrels of Utz Cheese Balls are sold at your local Sam's Club, BJ's or Staples or are available for purchase online directly from UTZ or through Amazon.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Call Off the Smackdown - for now.

Dedicated blogger and self-professed "glamazon wannabe" Kristin inquired yesterday about the happenings at my belly dance class and I was more than happy to share the news:

photo credit: LloydThrap

I can safely say that we call call off the smackdown, for now: "Ariel" and her cohort in dance seem to be coming around! (so maybe there IS hope for Omarosa after all!)

[If you are new to my blog you can catch up on the drama here and here.]

Last week Ariel was her usual standoffish self. We were gathered around the instructor as she showed us how to apply our makeup (there is a photo of me in my dance makeup to your right). She wandered in late, and instead of sitting on the floor with the group, stood off to the side.

But here's the interesting part: The instructor offered each of us a choice of bindi (which are kinda like jewels with sticky on the back that are applied to the face, usually on the forehead). Everyone one was excited - who doesn't love a freebie!!!

We each selected one, and then the teacher noticed that Ariel had not selected any. She encouraged her to take one, but Ariel kept refusing, saying she had already purchased her own, like the teacher's bindi weren't good enough!! Rude much???

Where was I, oh yeah, this was supposed to be a positive post about the "new" Ariel.

So that was the class from two weeks ago. On Monday, Ariel was smiling and joked that the three of us with yellow skirts kept lining up in a row. Friendly banter. Very unexpected! But, here is the coup de gras: After class was over, one of the students from the advanced class, who sells costumes, showed up with some skirts that were marked down to $50.

Natch, I had to try one on, and I absolutely loved it. The shade of blue perfectly complimented my yellow skirt. (Despite my belly dancing on a budget rule, I had to splurge.) I had been hoping to find another skirt, since "real" dancers usually layer two skirts and my yellow skirt was only 17 yards, very "puny" by belly dance standards.

So I was trying on the skirt over my skirt and Ariel overheard me talking to my buddy about which color to get and Ariel commented which one she thought would work best. Well, I'll be!! Not only was she speaking to 'lil ole me - but she was being friendly and helpful....

I am not sure to what we owe this pleasant turn of events. Is there a possibility we will be official "sisters in dance" by our recital on the 29th??? Stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm Surprised This Hasn't Gotten More Press

Did anyone see the CNN article about Omarosa Manigault Stallworth of “The Apprentice” and “The Celebrity Apprentice?” Apparently, she is going to be attending divinity school on a scholarship. She is studying for a Doctorate of Ministry.

While I didn't watch the the complete first season that she was on The Apprentice, I caught glimpses of some of Omarosa's more infamous outbursts. I did, however, watch her on Celebrity Apprentice and felt her attacks on Piers Morgan were particularly vicious.

So you can imagine my surprise after reading about the newer, softer Omarosa.

Publicity stunt or Genuine change of heart? Your thoughts....

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dare You to Try This!

I'm a little behind on my reading, "reading" meaning free magazines that I pick up as I leave the supermarket with my Tuesday sub special.

I finally finished last month's issue of Skirt magazine. Now, I do love me some Skirt!, but I almost laughed out loud when I read a suggestion in the Feminist themed issue:

"Wear Skirt! to the Supermarket

Do critical readings of women's magazine covers - out loud- while you're in line at the grocery store. 'Wow, look how much they've airbrushed her! She doesn't even look like a human being anymore. They put pictures like that on magazines to make the rest of us feel terrible about ourselves.' This helps to decolonize your own mind and also can serve as consciousness-raising for people in line with you."

I'll admit that this is the first time I have heard the word "decolonize." If I hadn't read it in context, I would have surmised it to be one of those colonics!

I'm not sure about you, but I doubt the people in line with me at the grocery store want me raising their consciousness - just a guess!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Update You've Been Waiting For- Bromance Involved

I write this from a small coffee shop in the Mountains. Sign on wall: "Drink Coffee...do stupid things faster & with more energy!"

Having finally had a chance to get together the photos from last week's skate session, at which time I met the bromance, I bring you my thoughts as well as a short video of MB skating. Wait a minute. Slow down. What was that??? You met the bromance in the flesh? Tell us more!!! Short summary: tattooed legs and arms, psuedo mullet and pierced ear!

I'll admit that this historic meeting was a little more anticlimatic than I had been envisioning. Maybe because I had built up the meeting so much in my mind that I had expected him to be a larger than life figure. In reality, he - excuse me a second while I confirm with MB approximately how tall the bromance is - that's right - he was about 5' 9" tall. [I had a whole 'nother paragraph in here that I decided to delete so you will just have to imagine what it said and whether or not it may have been snotty :D and whether it involved someone and their wife checking i-phones throughout the night]

However, props to the bromance for commenting that I am a kick a$$ skater. (modest much? LOL) I was ready to sign up with the local roller derby team that came in to practice after the public session. I quickly retreated after realizing they could probably blow me over like a feather.




The "bro" is a decent skater and I have not seen MB this animated about skating in a long, long time. He has an extra spring in his step, and for that, I am thankful to his new bromance.

Fortunately, MB does not envision us traveling the country in an RV visiting rinks in every state, yet...He has discovered that he and the bromance do not have much in common outside of skating. We are not gadget people. We are also not very flashy, except when I am in my skankilicious costume - Get this, when we got out of the rink, I almost died when I saw the bromance's choice of vehicle: A sparkly white Hummer with lots of antennas- overcompensating much? [As all the Hummer drivers quietly unsubscribe to my blog, in my mind I prepare another blog post about losing a reader.]

Super spunky reader Amanda requested a video of MB skating, so here it is. The video was taped from my point and shoot camera since I didn't want to risk the video camera being "lifted". In the video he is doing the shuffle, which we like to do in unison. (VC taped footage of us skating together but it too blurry for a quality blog such as this ;-):


video




















Does my outfit in these photos scream "suburban mom goes skating?" or what??? The horror!!

And there ya have it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Project Cheeseball


A few days ago this conversation transpired on Twitter:

From @KWR221: I'm buying snacks to bring when I see my kids at camp... @carmasez ... perhaps I should buy cheezeballs? :-)

From @CarmaSez (clearly trying to sound cool): @kwr221 abso-frickin'- lutely -- doin' my happy dance. It's about time for another Project Cheeseball Post :D

From @KWR221: @carmasez i'm in bjs and there are no utz cheese balls!!!

From @CarmaSez: @kwr221 you're kidding!!!!!!! Are you near a Staples? I've heard they also have the Utz Cheeseballs

From @KWR221: @CarmaSez I got my Utz on at Staples! I have pics of cheeseballs. Will send to to you this weekend.

From @CarmaSez: @kwr221 you have made my day. Eagerly awaiting cheesy photos for Project Cheeseball - @Staples to rescue!! That WAS easy :D couldn't resist

And with that, another Project Cheeseball post was hatched....

Kristin aka @KWR221 blogs at GiVe Me a MiNuTe, I'lL COmE Up with SoMeThInG

She likes to type with a lot of capitals inserted among her lowercase letters, that is, when she decides to type! She recently discovered that she has been blogging less because "[her] typing skillz suck." One thing that doesn't suck, though, is her wicked sense of humor, as when she recently twittered a wedding. C'mon, admit it, weddings CAN get boring at times!!

This has officially become the longest introduction to a Project Cheeseball post. So, without further ado, here are Kristin's pics (which were taken in Upstate New York):

And look who got to ride shotgun!:


Kristin claims that her brother eats only healthy foods, but I seriously doubt he was able to refrain from indulging in the orangey bliss that is Utz Cheese Balls. Just look how happy he is!! I think it's lurve!


And the cheeseballs just so happened to work their way into YMCA camp!


How 'bout that happy camper!!

For those of you who are always wondering if the cheeseball containers are ever opened and the contents consumed, here's your answer:
Kristin even got a close up - salivate on this :D

Thank you Kristin and family for this spUTZtacular Project Cheeseball!!

Interested in participating in Project Cheeseball and introducing new readers to your blog? It's simple: Just send me a photo of you and the Utz Cheese Balls in a distinct location near you! I'll feature your photos and link to your blog. The 35 oz. barrels of Utz Cheese Balls are sold at your local Sam's Club, BJ's or Staples or are available for purchase online directly from UTZ or through Amazon.com.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Hefty Review!


Dedicated reader Lucy recently requested for me to do a product review of a product she was interested in purchasing: Hefty Unscented Odor Block trash bags. My reply: sure thing! So I headed out to pick some up....

The bags I tested were The Gripper Bags with the new Unscented Odor Block Technology by Hefty. I'll admit that I was a bit hesitant to take on this challenge since we normally try to limit fragrant items around the house due to allergies, but then I realized the key word: Unscented!! These bags DO NOT mask the odors with other more fragrant odors! They neutralize odors.
I was in.

The Hefty Odor Block bags are reasonably priced at around $7.00 for 40 - 13 Gallon Size Bags.

Since my kitchen trash can (help me out here, is it still called a trash can if it is in the kitchen and not made of metal?) was not that tall, I instead simply placed the bag on a floor in the corner of the kitchen and filled it up over a few days. Not too classy, but it did the trick!

The results: The bags do work. Assuming you have a large garbage receptacle with one of those plastic lids, they would probably be even more effective. I tested a variety of items. One that was most fragrant was cantaloupe scraps. Here, it was still possible to smell some odor, but it was a lot less potent than it would normally have been. Oh, and I tested the bags on the week we had to toss out the $12 in parboiled ribs- with 6 days to go before trash pick up day. I'm happy to say the smell in the garage (where we keep our roll out container) was bearable even on day 6.

I did not experience complete odor elimination, but what I did smell was a significant reduction in odor.

But, who better to do the ultimate smell test than VC (before he went on the excursion to his grandparents and donned his vest)

Our old trash disposal bag:


The Hefty with Unscented Odor Block Bag (a close smell):


"Ahhhh....much better!"

Interested in having me test a product for you (within reasonable limitations), please let me know. BTW, don't all request a BumpIts test at once! :D

I am excited about my next review featuring a product from Teak, Wicker, and More, a fantastic site that sells everything from patio furniture to rugs - and, of course, more! Stay tuned...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Multiple Choice

(GAH, I was all set to hit publish when I noticed my follower tally was back up- yet, this post was already prepared so I've decided to run with it anyway- since I'm lazy like that )

I couldn't help but notice notice that my last post has cost me the loss of a follower, especially since it's not like I sit at the computer all day tallying followers ;-) which leaves me to ponder hypothetically, would any of these items ever be construed as objectional:

A. the word 'pseudo' being prominently featured in the title
B. the mention of amateur radio
C. the use of Morse Code
D. the display of a Renaissance costume
E. the "puffy shirt" reference from Seinfeld
F. comparisons to Robin Hood
G. the word "skankilicious"
H. the shameless attempt to garner sympathy for my hand injury
I. the use of a euphemism for a 'curse word'*
J. what? you don't like the Ice Road Truckers
K. all of the above
L. none of the above
M. we're not gonna tell ya

Do you mean to tell me the hip bloggers are not blogging about such topics these days? ;-)


*In first town we lived in after moving South, we had an elderly neighbor who used to complain about EVERYTHING -- he used to say "dag blame" this "dag blame" that - so we quickly added those fun words to our lexicon!

photo credit tapasparida

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pseudo Empty Nesters Bid Adieu to Robin Hood

There is so much to catch up on! Today we dropped off VC for an extended visit with my parents. We met at roughly the halfway point, which has become our regular "transfer spot." You see, they enjoy having VC for visits sans his annoying parents so they can brainwash him -- kidding. However, they have already hinted that it is not necessary for us to spend the weekend when we come to pick him up next week. Gosh!

In actuality, VC will be there this week so that my dad can help him prepare for his amateur radio license test to qualify for the next level of operator. (I'd tell you what that is, but, as you would expect, I am clueless on such matters. The only Morse Code I know is the dot dot dot dash dash dash .... one.) Can you see that my dorkiness may have been inherited????

Of course, I will miss my compadre. I say this realizing that "we are his disciplinarians, not his friends" - as MB used to like to remind me. Blah, Blah, Blah....spoilsport ;-) That said, I'm not gonna mention which one of us was all teary eyed when he called us two hours later from my parents house (with a question about exterior hard drives) (Hint: the one with the hairy legs and facial hair-- and none of you better guess me!!!)

Here is VC at the meeting spot, bag in hand:


Do you like his ZooYork shirt? We got that in NYC (duh!)

One of the perks of VC staying with my parents is that my mom, who is an excellent seamstress, will be able to create a vest for his Renaissance Festival costume. Yep, VC passed the audition to be a street performer at the festival which begins in a few months. So much costuming to work on. I just finalized the skankilicious costume for my dance class and now I'm onto gathering parts for his costume. Two costumes in a matter of months??? My head is ready to explode!

Here's VC modeling the prototype vest that his friend (who is much older and larger) will be wearing over his puffy shirt (any other Senior Bloggers remember the Seinfeld episode?):
VC's vest will be much shorter with criss cross leather rope lacing it up; kinda like Robin Hood's.

My hand is slowly healing. Thanks for all your concern ;-)

Here's what it looks like with the bruise where the vein opened for some unknown reason:



I personally think it had to do with our "dag blame" mouse, that took 7 clicks to process anything that would normally require one click. MB thinks there is no way the mouse could have caused my injury. Like he is an MD - pfft! (We got a new one this weekend - a mouse without a ball- we are such trendsetters ;-) And there I was scoffing at the ABC news report from last year listing blogger as one of the most hazardous professions, right up there with loggers and Ice Road Truckers! Now I know better!!

(I'll be playing catch-up with your blogs this week, as I gave my hand a rest most of the weekend.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Helping Care For This Cuddly Guy!




Friday, August 7, 2009

Giftcard Winner!


By random drawing last night, the winner of the $50 Gift Card to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM is:

JannaBee!!!!!!

who said she liked best the Flower Trug by Jane Carroll- pictured above.

JannaBee is getting set for a Lollapalooza of a weekend (hopefully in the proper capris ;-) so I'm not sure when I will be hearing from her!! Congratulations Janna and thanks to everyone who participated :D



Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

41

Timestamp: 2009-08-07 02:04:06 UTC

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Why Doesn't Mine Look Like That???


This is a new segment I hope to post occasionally: "Why Doesn't Mine Look Like That???"

The inspiration: This microwave 'meal' that VC cooked up yesterday. It was supposed to be a special treat. (This will give you an idea of what constitutes a "treat" at our place!) Yet, I'm not sure how much of a treat it really was, after seeing what it looked like on the box vs. what it looked like in its fully cooked glory.

No rainbow of crisp colored veggies as "advertised". No sireeeee. Check out these soggy veggies and meat and gravy the color of sludge. Ever been the victim of a similar "bait and switch"??

Congratulations to Janelle, winner of my Victorian Playhouse print! [anyone who commented on something they saw in either video was included in the drawing since what we had was a "failure to communicate" on my part :D ]

There is still time to enter the drawing for the $50 giftcard to 1-800-FLOWERS-COM!

Unrelated topic, a huge vein has popped out in my thumb area so I may be a little slower responding to comments as I give my hand a break! *currently icing it as I type*

P.S. Guess where we are all headed tonight? Hint: Possible disco ball and glow in the dark planet decor.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Final Post Where I Discuss Chiggers

Please bear with me as I conclude with this final post on the topic. Although, I hate to say "final" because you just never know; look at Cher's "Farewell" Tour!

It has come to my attention that many people are unaware what a real chigger bite looks like, and are therefore mistaking plebeian mosquito bites as being the far nastier variety, i.e. chigger bites. Furthermore, they are being all melodramatic to their family members claiming they are plagued with chigger bites, and are using it as an excuse to get out of doing work around the house, oh wait, that's MY excuse :D

Without further ado, I have taken some photos of my chigger bites. I will spare you any photos of my butt cheeks. Here's Exhibit A: a bite that was on my finger, middle finger to be exact!


And Exhibit B: A bite that was on my thigh (ignore the spider veins) or is it really my butt (I'll never tell) - blogger has decided to put the picture in crooked.
Here's some further info on the chiggers themselves:

- they are barely visible to the naked eye (their length is less than 1/150th of an inch).

This is a great photo someone took of a chigger on a coin so you can get an idea how tiny they are. They basically look like small red dots that move:




Here is some info from medicinenet.com that I have summarized:

Chiggers insert their feeding structures into the skin and inject enzymes that cause destruction of host tissue. Hardening of the surrounding skin results in the formation of a feeding tube. Chigger larvae then feed upon the destroyed tissue. If they are not disturbed (which is rarely the case because they cause substantial itching - you don't say!!) they may feed [on your tissue] for a few days.

Here are the symptoms:

A chigger bite itself is not noticeable. After the chigger has begun to inject digestive enzymes into the skin (usually after about 1-3 hours), symptoms typically begin.

  • Pronounced itching is the most common symptom.

  • The area of the bite may be reddened, flat, or raised; sometimes it resembles a pustule or blister.

  • The itch is most intense within 1-2 days after the bite.

  • The itching persists for several days, and complete resolution of the skin lesions can take up to TWO WEEKS!!!!!!!!
I hope you have found this to be somewhat helpful. At just over one week, the itching finally subsided.

Although I will not be resuming talk of chiggers, I do have an interesting tick story that may appear in a separate post. Please try and contain your excitement!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Milestone

In VC's baby book, I've keep track of all his milestones, you know: Baby's First Crawl, Baby's First Time Using Matches, Baby's First Hair Cut, Baby's First Curse Word, Baby's First Visit to the Dentist, Baby's First Nine Ball Flash....

Well, now we've got a new milestone to add:

BABY'S FIRST TIME MOWING THE LAWN (COMPLETELY)!!
Just look how happy he is :D

The Free Ride ends Here. MB and I realized that there are so many things a strapping 13 year old like VC should be doing! I know I was mowing the lawn by 13!

I want to thank several wonderful bloggers who have graciously bestowed upon me some recent awards:

From the ever charming Danielle:

as well as the Kreativ Blogger Award!

From the spirited and talented Kristen:

as well as the Friends Award!

From the fabulous fashionistas Kristin and Megan at Bon Bon Rose:

also the Lovely Blog award!

And, from the charismatic and ever resourceful Kathie:




and the Friends Award!

I hope that I have not left anyone out. But if I have (shame on me!) - all awards are always credited on my Awards page.

THANKS FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY BLOGGY HEART TO ALL WHO READ AND COMMENT ON MY BLOG!

Last but not least, extra special thanks to Sara Bonds from Subjective Beauty for jazzin' up my blog layout!! I hope you like the new format :D

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Post Where I Guilt You into Watching A Video - possible prize involved

Here's the thing. Remember that little two minute video in the last post? (not my SITS video submission- although there is still time to vote for that video here)

Well, I've discovered that a whole 7 people have watched it (the other 8 views were from me :D

I figured I'd provide some back story into how long it took for the video to be made and posted so that I can guilt you into watching it, especially since VC had to edit it not once but twice.

We started making the video on Thursday. I installed a new editing program, and was unable to play back the video in windows Media Player, due to missing all sorts of codec and framework crap. This meant I had to search the web to find the proper programs to download, but apparently they did not work completely.

I figured I'd go ahead and load it onto blogger anyway. The video took hours to load. I had to leave the computer on all night and when I got up at 5:30 on Friday to check on it-- the video was loaded, but there was just one problem: THERE WAS NO AUDIO!! I thought of typing in subtitles, but if I can't get anyone to watch a video without subtitles, lotsa luck putting in subtitles!

So I woke VC up at 7:30 - long before his summer wakeup time of 9:45. I asked him if he could quickly redo the video before I had to leave for work with my laptop. I was finally able to tear him away from watching juggling videos on YouTube long enough to work on re-editing the video. Then I had to leave my laptop on for hours at work while it loaded onto YouTube.

The whole process start to finish was about 17 hours....of course, part of that time was spent loading the video. Anyway, it was a TON of work and while I'm glad that a whole 7 people watched the video, I was hoping for at least 10 viewers, you know, for VC's sake ;-) because I am NOT that sensitive.

Did you notice the digitially altered photo that was on the wall as we were doing the drawing? It is actually a photo of a mixed media project I made of a Victorian Play House that is cute as can be. I printed up several of them on 7 x 9 paper quality stock including the signed border (the image is 5 x 7)- in a "limited edition of 125" - Yeah, real wishful thinking on my part! Well, I've decided to give one away to someone who watches the video and leaves a comment on this post.

***I'd post a video of the actual print, but with all the copyright infringement that goes on with the internets, I've decided not to. You gotta trust me that it is a lovely print***

Please leave a comment on this post of something you heard or saw in the video; and while this is all on the "honor system" - do realize I am able to view video count totals on YouTube *does the finger tip dance like Mr. Burns*

The contest will end sometime.


***giveaway now closed***
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