Any Soldier

A soldier waits patiently for the mail
While waiting for his work detail
A letter is held up addressed to any G.I.
He yells out "Corporal May I?"

He takes the letter into his hand
And sits off to the side on a pile of sand
Dear Soldier, words are not enough
To comfort you when things are tough

I just wanted to keep you in touch
That you are appreciated so much
Even though I do not know you
I feel I owe so much to you

Your in my prayers each day and night
whether your sleeping or in a combat fight
that you are kept safe and strong
and soon back home where you belong

It is what you chose to do for us all
when your duty has come to call
I wish I could shake your hand
And be more supportive where you stand

Where would we be without Heroes like you
Keeping our freedom alive with all you do
Thank you for a service well done
Thank your parents to, for you are their son


Groceries: Saving Money

With rising gas prices the cost of buying groceries is going up too. Finding ways to save on your grocery bill seems to get harder, as the most important items on your list like milk, eggs, butter is going up faster then the other items. My spouse and I try to live off of $30 a week, it is not easy to stay in that range.

Where I found the best values for our money, was to shop at a few different places. The first one I like to shop at is this little butcher shop that sells fresh meat in bulk. Boneless chicken can cost up to $3.99 and more depending on where you shop. At the butchers I can buy a ten pound bag for $2.00 a pound, saving me $1.00 per pound. The ground hamburger which is sold in 5 pound bag I save the same way. Instead of paying $2.99, I pay $1.99. Pork too is cheaper in this butcher market then the big grocery.

The key here is, I received a seal a meal for Christmas. I divide the meats into servings for the two of us, seal each serving and place it into the freezer. With the Chicken, the breasts are usually huge, allowing us to eat one cutting it in half per meal. With the Chicken, last time I bought it I was able to freeze 20 individual pieces. The beef, I was able to freeze 10 packages for the two of us. Now I have a month to a month and a half worth of meat for the around $35.00 with tax. Being my spouse works mostly afternoons we have dinner together maybe 4 or 5 times a week.

For the vegetables, I find the local growers are much more cheaper then the grocer. I blanch or steam the vegetables and seal them after cooled. As I need the vegetables I just take them from the freezer. Canned vegetables, I find for me, have been cheaper at the discount grocer Aldi. I can buy a months worth of canned vegetables, cereal, bread, and dairy items for about $45.00.

I have been trying to find better ways to save on groceries as my spouse had to take employment at half the pay due to medical reasons of being epileptic. He was not permitted to drive a commercial truck as his medication levels were too unstable after his last episode. Lunch meat, for lunches, we found are cheaper at our local party store then the big grocer deli. We pay almost half price, for lunch meat and cheese with our local party store. All this with clipping those coupons, helps keep some money back in our pockets. Also to find cheaper ways of making our favorite dishes helps as well. Hope this helps someone out with cutting your grocery bill in this day and age.

Electronics and Saving Money

So you have your eye on a new digital camera, computer, or printer. Before you head out to the store and purchase that new item that you been wanting for so long, there maybe a way to cut some dollars off that bill.

I will use the example of my fathers printer/fax machine. My father had been wanting one for some time. He waited until the Christmas sales, he checked all the ads, and when he found one, he was going to head out the door. I stopped him with the paper in his hand, and asked him would he want to say a little more money if he could. “Of Course” was his reply.

I went online and checked the website online specials. They offered the same items, some a little cheaper. Then I logged onto, here I found a special coupon to save him an additional $10. The key was the sales online started at midnight with limited quantities. I stayed up when midnight hit, I placed an online order for his printer for $40.00, used the coupon for $10, plus there was a mail in rebate for $10. The end cost, $20 for a regular $60.00 printer. I went to the store with my E receipt and picked up his new printer. Needless to say he was very happy.

The coupons you can find on this site range for just about any store from Best Buy to Flower shops. Anything you can find online, there is probably a money saving coupon on there for you to put back money into your pocket. Today I found coupon for 40% off digital cameras, imagine saving 40%, a $179.00 camera for $129, sounds good to me. There are more valuable coupons to be found for your favorite store.

The only thing with this online coupon site is, that you have to purchase online. You can pick your items up at the store, or have them shipped. Some stores offer free shipping along with using the coupon. Another place where I bought my spouse a down winter coat was With Michigan’s harsh cold winters, he had no really warm coat. I found a goose down coat, regular price for $140, name brand, I bought for $35.00, paying only $2.99 shipping. My husband says he actually sweats in that coat it is so warm.

Unique Birthday Gifts

When it comes to buying gifts for birthdays, I have a hard time as most of my family are difficult to buy for. My brother and sister are professionals, and have pretty much everything they want. Over the years, I have tried to find unique items they may not have seen or ever tried. Now the problem is with this idea is, I can not afford to purchase anything expensive. Below I listed some ideas, that in the past they have enjoyed, and maybe one of your family members will too.

1.Giant Fortune Cookie: The prices range from $17-$25 depending on what you want on your cookie, such as chocolate, sprinkles, or nuts. You also are able to place a personalize message as the fortune to be read by the lucky gift recipient. It is a large cookie and will be enjoyed. There are several sites online who offer these huge cookies, I try to stay local and help out people in Michigan, plus Jillians prices are more cheaper then others I have come across.

2.Chili: I purchased a gift package by this one company named Fartless. They sell Fartless chili. My brother who has everything loved this package of chili fixins and custom bowl. Also I included the beer bread to accompany his chili package. Its a gift with a little humor and who doesn’t love chili? The prices range from $7.00 on up.

3.Kringle: You can order a large Kringle danish there are 26 different flavors to choose from. The prices are $25 and up. It is possible if having a party to order two to save, it is possible to get ten servings out of one Kringle.

4.Fudge:The Brigittine Monks have the best fudge next to Mackinaw Island Fudge. Their prices are moderate but the quality is exceptional. The fudge is the monks only source of income, so it is a win win situation.

5.Adopt a Wolf:You can adopt a wolf through a non profit organization, with this adoption you will get a color photo, certificate, and more information on these lovely creatures.

6.Baklava: You can purchase a nice tray at a greek store or restaurant. Comes with standard to the chocolate covered and nut coated. Average price $17.99 for medium tray.

All these gift ideas, I have purchased for my hard to buy for family members, and they all appreciated and loved the non traditional ideas of gift cards, or running back to the store to exchange the gift. Below I listed a few websites where I purchase these gifts from. If you choose one or more I hope your family member likes it as well. , , , ,

Melamine in our Products

With hearing so much in the news lately about tainted milk, and food, I became curious as to why this is happening. So I did a Google search and came across an interesting article in the L.A. Times, Friday May 18, 2007 written by Don Lee. It explained that “China exported over $2.5 billion of food ingredients to the United States and the world, an increase of 150% from two previous years”. Don Lee also reported that “China is predominate maker of vanilla flavoring,citric acid, and vitamins”. All which can be found in the foods we purchase at any store. I never knew this, it is overwhelming to me.

Just recently in the news, China was pulling their White Rabbit Candy from the market due to the previous scare of the milk contamination that made several infants sick with kidney stones, and is currently being tested for melamine.

I wanted to find out more about Melamine, and what it is all about. I found some interesting information at Wise Geek. “Melamine is an organic compound combined with formaldehyde to make a resin. A synthetic polymer fire resistant and heat tolerant. Melamine is used to make floor tiles, kitchen ware,plastic plates, to filters. In 2007 veterinary scientists determined that Melamine was the cause of all the pet deaths, due to the contaminated food. Somehow prior to this report melamine was thought to of been non toxic or minimally toxic.”

Remember the Pet food recall when the Melamine got into the wheat gluten, and thus gave pets renal failure? Minimally toxic?, minimal is still enough to alarm people to keep it out of the food supply.

Upon reading the definition of melamine on Wikipedia I found: “The practice of adding “melamine scrap” to animal feed is reported to be widespread in China in order to give the appearance of increased protein content in animal feed . Melamine is sometimes illegally added to food products in order to increase the apparent protein content. Melamine, classified a controlled substance in China, has been illegally used in the high profile 2008 baby milk scandal case which led to the death of at least 4 infants. Melamine by itself is nontoxic in low doses, but when combined with cyanuric acid it can cause fatal kidney stones.” So what in the world is it doing in food?

Also found under the Melamine definition :”Melamine may have been added to fool government quality tests after water was added to fraudulently increase the milk’s volume. The” adulterant” melamine was added to the milk to allow the company to dilute the milk with water and circumvent government regulations, since melamine will cause a false increase in the measurement of protein by increasing the nitrogen levels in the milk.” O.k now we can see it all about money.

What does the “Adulterant” mean when stating adulterant melamine?

Adulterants:” Chemical substances which should not be contained within other substances (eg. Food,beverages,fuels,or pesticides)for legal or other reasons. Adulterants may be intentionally added to substances to reduce manufacturing costs, or for some deceptive or malicious purpose. Adulterants may also be accidentally or unknowingly introduced into substances.”

I must add that it is also stated:”The FSIS meaning the Food Safety and Inspection Service of the FDA has testing methods to analyze cyromazine and melamine. The FDA and FSIS will test to ensure our meat, poultry, and dairy products are safe for consumer consumption. The FDA has made available to food manufacturers a procedure providing a general guide for the sample preparation and analysis of wheat gluten and pet food matrices for melamine using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the same methodology “.

Now, I never took biology or chemistry in high school as I was more a history and sociology buff, so I was not aware what this Melamine was, or what it was doing in the food supply. This is why I wanted to write this, to let others know about it, if they had not known, and make people a bit more aware of what is exactly going, and in China, that they use this stuff like they do. Was the 2007 Pet Food, 2007 Ohio Fish Recall, and now the 2008 baby milk recall intentional? I can not say. The sources seem to point to one thing, Melamine.

It seems to me, with all the sick, dying, and deceased babies, and the animals that died as well in the past, why not stop the use of this Melamine? Is it because it falsifies the protein content to look more better? Or is it for money? Another questions I can not answer, but hope it will end real soon.

Below are the sites in which I located information on melamine.,

Ridding Your Home Of Animal Urine

You bought a new house, and your anxious to move in, but with the old owners gone you smell cat urine. This happened to me. When I looked at the house, I never noticed the smell, until we started to move in. Even though cats use a litter box, the male cats will still spray to mark their territory, or to announce to other cats it is ready to mate, as will the female. You can eliminate the smell but it will take some elbow grease on your part.

You will need good latex gloves, face mask, safety glasses, bucket, sponges, Kilz primer, paint brushes and rollers. Keep a fan nearby and have windows open for cross ventilation. With the Bleach being a strong mix, you will need to have windows and doors open. I tried a lesser mix and it did not conquer the urine smell on the walls.

1.Mix in bucket 50/50 solution of bleach and warm water. Wash all the walls, and any area you noticed drip marks, that is probably going to need washing twice. Allow to dry.

2. Kilz the entire wall, let dry

3. Paint over the kilzed wall once dry

For floors and wood, we used a product you can find in the pet store called simple solutions. It works on virtually any surface and the cost is only $7.99. Use this to clean cupboards, vinyl or ceramic floors. If you can not afford new carpeting, and want to clean the old carpeting, Bissells multi allergen formula carpet cleaner solution works great. Pre treat any spots you may see with the simple solution first. If you choose to put in new carpet, you may want to clean the sub floor with simple solution or bleach water mixture to ensure no urine set into the flooring.

The fact is yes cats do spray. They will do this in marking their territory, or to announce to other cats it is ready to mate. Also they spray out of anger or frustration. If the previous owner was good about keeping up cleaning after the spraying, there is a good chance no damage was done. If the cat sprayed the carpet chances are it went to the sub floor as well. I have friends who have cats and argue that cats do not spray, or their home does not smell of cat. The fact is, even if you have a dog, if you live with the smell of an animal that sprays chances are you won’t notice it. Follow the simple steps above, and like me, your home can be free of urine smell.

1.Facts on cat spraying:

Cutting the Utility Bills

Times are getting harder and money is getting tighter. Every family is trying to figure out how to cut back and how to save money. With winter around the corner, the addition of a gas bill for some is going to hurt the pocket book. There are ways to cut back those utilities.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that appliances still draw energy even though they are switched off. We all heard the term electricity vampires, well these electricity Vampires are: Kitchen appliances, Stereos, and televisions. It also states that 75 % of homes usage of power is consumed when appliances are turned off.

Electric: Change your standard light bulbs to the new energy efficient spiral ones. Use LED night lights at night instead of the bulb night lights. Start by unplugging appliances not in use such as microwave, toaster, and coffee machine. Power strip is a good idea you can simply turn it off cutting power to those appliances not in use all together. Below are some common house hold appliances,the energy and cost they use, if left on 100% of the time. Also, when not in a room turn them lights off. More appliances can be found at:

Ceiling fan w/o lights: $1.31

Ceiling fan w lights :$5.98 (using 3-60 watt standard bulbs)

microwave 1500 watt : $2.19

Toaster Oven; $1.46

Television 27 inch: $2.19

Cable Converter box: $3.64

Computer Monitor:$4.66

With winter coming, many of us will have a high gas bill heating our homes. Identify your drafty areas, on a windy day, using a lit incense stick slowly move it around windows, outlets, and doors. Once you located your leaks fix them.

1. Windows: Shrink fitting window plastic. Seal up all windows, to keep cold air out and warm air in.

2. Outside: Remove old deteriorating caulking around windows and doors and replace with new caulk. For cement, fill in with masonry sealer. If you have storm window, put them up. Replace any foam stripping around windows that is corroded.

3. Outlet: Outlet gaskets, these gaskets go behind your outlet cover eliminating drafts. These are for the plugs and switches.

4. Doors: Sliding patio doors: Seal up with shrink window plastic. Using these doors allows more cold air to enter your home during winter then the standard door. Regular doors, when closed place a rolled up long rolled up towel to eliminate drafts. Inspect the foam around the door Jamb. Replace if necessary.

5. Temperature: Keeping your thermostat at a lower temperature will help cut that gas bill. Turn it down, dress a little warmer. We keep our home at 68, during the day, and before bed we turn it 65. Any higher for us, is uncomfortable.

6. Furnace: Before winter make sure your furnace is working properly with no leaks that can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. In your mail, you can find coupons for tune ups from your local heating and cooling places. Make sure your filter is clean and not dirty.

7. Alarm devices: Check those batteries in the fire detector and CO2 detector

8. Ceiling fans: Switch on to reverse, this allows the ceiling fan to push the warm air down and circulate more.

These are some things we do to keep our utilities down. Also at night, if we are just watching a television show, or movie, we do not keep lights on. Each room has its own LED night light which gives us plenty of light to walk around. On average in the summer using our window air unit, our electric bill was $40.00 at the highest. In the winter months, using all the tips above our highest gas bill was $65.00. Another tip for the summer months, when not using the gas to heat our home, we had a $17.00 gas bill, just for the pilot running. Shut off your pilot light to your furnace. If you do not know how, ask a neighbor or someone at the hardware store. This may eliminate that extra cost in the summer. When not in use, turn it off. Below I listed more sites with tips to keep your bills down.

Energy :,


Organic Foods Or Not

Many people are looking to Organic as the safer solution to buying food. If you are like my mother in-law, she shops as strictly organic as she can. Products that fill her cart are labeled organic, free range, hormone free, and all natural. My concern for her, not only as my mother in-law, but as a senior citizen on a fixed income. Let’s look at the definitions for a moment of what each of these mean.

Organic: growing with out the use of fertilizers, fertilizing using manure, compost is used to feed the soil.

Free Range: animals are allowed to roam freely without containment.

Hormone Free: No animals have been injected with hormones to produce rapid growth or more milk.

All Natural: Foods that do not have additives such as artificial coloring or preservatives.

This all sounds really good but the question is, are they any better or have more nutritional value? According to the Mayo Clinic website, an article I read there states “No conclusive evidence shows that organic food is more nutritious than is conventionally grown food. And the USDA — even though it certifies organic food — doesn’t claim that these products are safer or more nutritious.”

The fact of farmers using the organic method, is more for the environment. The results are, less pollution and water conservation. It is true the Organic foods cost more mainly due to the cost of farming process. Therefor the more costly farming of organics is passed to you, the consumer.
The fact of farmers using the organic method, is more for the environment. The results are, less pollution and water conservation. It is true the Organic foods cost more mainly due to the cost of farming process. Therefor the more costly farming of organics is passed to you, the consumer.

Basically, I asked her if there was a difference in taste, organic to regular foods, and she did not really notice any difference what so ever. Example, she purchased 1 organic sweet potato, the cost a whopping $4.99. Now you can buy sweet potatoes as low as $1.49 cents a pound on sale. The only thing I pointed out to her is that she is spending more money on foods then she has to. I left the choice to her rather to keep buying organic or not. I have noticed she cut back, saving some money.

It may be a little more time consuming to wash your fruit and vegetables if you buy from a big chain grocer, but you will save more money as well. The other solution, buy from local farmers on the side of the road, stock up and freeze extra vegetables. I know one lady farmer near me uses organic methods in her garden and does not pass a huge buck onto me. So with all this said, I will shop and buy regular foods and just wash them accordingly. If you are extremely worried about chemicals, peel off the skin. I am all for saving the environment but at the same time, it is more important for me to keep more money in my wallet. The choice is yours to make, to be organic or not to be.

Organic Food:

Lucky Bamboo

Hello, my name is Dessy and I am a plant killer. It is true, I can finally admit it. I love plants, but I do nothing but kill them. Artificial plants are OK to look at, they are easy to care for, they require nothing more then dusting, but they look just that, very fake.

I heard that the Spider plant is an easy plant to care for. I bought one, placed it on a pedestal and gave it water when soil was going dry, it had sun light, but it hated me and tried to die. I placed it outside in the backyard, and to my surprise it lived. So OK, it doesn’t want to be anywhere near me, I thought to myself laughing. One elderly lady told me to try a fern. While I was shopping at the grocery store, I bought one. I hung it proudly on a hook, in my front room by the picture window. I gave it water, when the soil felt dry and misted it with water, but within a week, I killed it. Right about now, no one in a nursery should allow me to have a plant.

One day I ordered Chinese take out, while waiting, I noticed a large vase with several tall beautiful Bamboo. The price tag was $4.00 each. I asked the lady behind the counter if it was easy to care for, and she assured me it was extremely easy and hardy. I could not resist I bought one. I took it home and placed in a large glass vase on my kitchen table. I later went to the store and bought glass marbles, to keep the Bamboo propped up and not leaning off to the side.

Doing some research on how to care for this exotic looking plant, I found it is a no brainer. The Bamboo only needs an inch or so of water and little direct sunlight to keep it happy. I only need to change the water once a week and keep it in a room where the temperature is about 65 to 70 degrees. To keep my Bamboo healthy I need to use spring water, since tap water contains fluoride it will turn the leaves yellow. Also occasionally adding African Violet Fertilizer.

I am proud to say, I have had my Bamboo now for 1 1/2 years, adding two littler stalks to my vase, and they are striving. I finally found a plant I can enjoy, without the plant meeting a untimely death. If you are like me and are the Terminator of house plants, try looking into Bamboo. It is tropical looking and legend says, it brings Luck, although I have not seen any yet personally, I believe it does. Below I listed a site with great information on Bamboo and how to care for it in your home.

Bamboo care:

Home Improvement :Painting on a Budget

When we first moved into our new townhouse, the entire place was painted flat white. It felt cold and looked like an institution. We went out to buy paint, we got lucky and found the perfect color in the clearance area for $5.00. The regular price was $23.00. The color may not have been what the other person wanted, but it was a warm neutral beige, just the color we were looking for to paint our living room. I was happy with the end results of a more cozy welcoming feel.

The bathroom was done by the complex, in a gorgeous ceramic tile, biscotti in color. The tub area was even done with ceramic tile giving it a upscale look, the problem was the flat white paint. Every time we walked in, it was nothing short of the feeling you get when you walk into a hospital bathroom.

Being tight on money, I thought hard on how to make it look more appealing. The solution was stripes. I ran the idea past my husband who turned it down saying it would look “stupid”. I convinced him to let me give it a try, if he hated it, I would paint it solid. Winning my argument, my spouse and I taped off every other ceramic tile which measured 12 3/4 inches. Prepping the outside area with a brush, I then rolled on the soft brown paint in the alternating strips. Immediately the tape must come down, otherwise, the newly dried paint could peel off with tape removal.

I loved the look, but it was missing something. I picked apart a fake flower arrangement that had weird items in it such as turkey feathers, and placed them into a large oval basket, setting it on top of my cabinet behind the toilet. I then took a small palm and placed it onto the vanity along with a large star fish. Stepping back and taking a look at my newly painted stripe bathroom, I was pleased, as it has a spa like feeling now. The cost to warm up my bathroom: one quart of paint for $9.99.

To change the look of your home doesn’t have to be costly. Check the clearance racks near the paint departments. Often enough you can find paint marked down as low as $3.00 depending on brand and color. Another place to search for items to change the look of your home is, Habitat For Humanity resale stores. They are given donations of paint, fixtures, and cabinets. All proceeds go toward building homes sponsored by Habitat For Humanity. I found paint at their resale store as low as $2.00, but they are not completely full gallons of paint. Another example of a great find is, my sister seen a new vanity with faux marble top at the store near her for only $15.00. You can find bargains to help warm up your home if you have a tight budget and at the same time help out Habitat for Humanity.

Teen Bullying

I grew up in the 70’s, my high school years were in the 80’s. Looking at all the news headlines of school yard bullying seems to more profound now, then when I, or you were in school. I can remember one or two teens, who had the stereo type of being the bully, but not like the bullying taking place in today’s school. In our parents time, and our time of high school, there were cliques, groups of certain people, but it seems like things have gotten way out of control with today’s teens. Sit back and think about when you were in school.

I can not imagine, being a parent and having to deal with a situation that my son or daughter was jumped in a bathroom, filmed and then put up on you tube. Or that they were the aggressor. Watching talk shows that feature the children who were beat up, and the teens who assaulted them, I can not figure out why the parents are so quick to defend and deny their child is the aggressor, even with video proof, they are still blind to that fact, placing blame on the other children. It is baffling.

Throughout many cases of behavioral aggression, blame was attributed to the kind of music they listened to. The music had hidden messages, and these messages told the children to act as they had. I do not know if I buy that one. In my teen years I listened to a wide range of music, from Ozzy Osbourn, to Sid vicious Punk music. Simply put, I nor my friends, never participated in aggressive behavior seen now a days.

Where does all this aggression come from? Are the girls of the 2000, acting out like their favorite movie actress, or video game character? Women in today’s films, play a more violent role of characters. I admit I love these films, and the actresses who play them. But with these young girls who act out so violently, and video tape it, placing it on you tube for the whole world to see, could it be the possibility of them wanting to be just like that Rough and tough character in the film, or video game they love to play? Wish I had the answer to that one but I do not. In my view it makes sense, but I am not a psychologist.

School bullying has and probably will always be present. The alarming situation lies in today’s time. It happens too frequently, and it is not just the boys anymore. If your child is the victim, look for warning signs. If you suspect your child may be the aggressor, seek help for them. It is difficult enough to get through high school, keep up grades in hopes of getting to college. The last thing these teens need is bullying. Bullying destroys children, and in some cases, the result is suicide, or murder.

Signs of the victim: Outside the obvious of physical cuts, bruises, there is mood changes. Mood Changes include: emotionally withdrawn, hot temper, and being aggressive towards their own siblings. Changes in friends, loss of friends, skipping school, making up excuses not to attend school. Below is a link to more information on bullying and what to do if you find your child in that situation.


Best Online Game Sites

If you are like me, you enjoy word games, and puzzle games to keep your mind sharp. Not only for that reason, but also to relax and pass time. There are many web sites on the Internet to play free word and puzzle games. They all have different graphics and vary in the speed, and technological problems.

1. : Free. Here they have card games, word games, and arcade games. The only problem I have encountered is I freeze up a lot while playing. I am not sure if it is my computer or not, I am doubting that since it is fairly new, and happened before with my old one. It is an enjoyable site to play on.

2. :Free. Also you can pay a yearly fee or monthly fee of $5.99 to enjoy extra games. Graphics are very good, speed is excellent, I experience no freeze ups, overall the people are very friendly. Again Pogo offers word games, card games, arcade games, and many memory games. You have the option of choosing what room to play in like, teens to 50+ which is an added bonus. Free, easy sign up, yet not offering as many games as yahoo or pogo.

4. Free to play. graphics are good, people again are friendly. If you purchase the game disc, you get more options to make avatar, and sound effects. Many word games, to keep your mind sharp.

5. Free offering many puzzle and word games. My favorite game on Boxerjam is strike a match.

All these websites offer easy sign up. I have not experienced any spam in the email, making these 5 sites the best word game sites for me. They offer games not only for adults, but for children too. They are also good for the elderly, allowing them to play games to keep their minds sharp, and meet other senior citizens, and chat while playing.

Dogs and Seperation Anxiety

You just a new dog or puppy, and they tend to bark the moment you head out the door. It is possible they have separation anxiety. Some dogs, will develop separation anxiety especially if they are use to having their human with them the majority of the time.

My dog had separation anxiety. I wanted to try a doggy day care, there was one 1/2 mile from my house, ideally located across the street from where I do most of my shopping. I brought her in, she seemed to love the fact of other dogs running around in the play area, so I thought it would work out. They wanted to see how she would react if I was out of sight. I walked into the next room, and sure enough, she paced frantically, and whined. Doggy day care was out of the question.

How I broke her of her separation anxiety took time. Before I would leave the house, I would turn on the radio to a soft music station. Each day I left, the time frame I was gone increased by 5 to 10 minutes. It went well, soon I was able to leave the house for an hour or so without her panicking.

If your dog seems to bark constantly the minute you walk out your door, try a few different techniques. The radio works great, keep it tuned into a soft music station, as heavy metal music most likely won’t clam your friend. The television, is another tool to use. Keep an eye on your pet, and watch what programs they respond to. This could any television show with animals, or cartoons. My dog seems to like cartoons, which have talking, allowing her not to feel alone, that someone is near.
A crate is a good idea, but not for locking a pet up for hours at a time. The crate I use for my pet is the sturdy plastic, with windows at each side near the top. The door is left off, and she is able to go in and out as she wants. You will need a bed, or blankets inside as it has raised plastic nubs inside. The crate gives her a sense of security. As the dog is a descendant of the wild wolf, they live in dens. So she feels secure when she goes in her crate. I do not suggest locking your pet in the crate for punishment.

Barking is not so much a problem if you own your home, as the dog is inside. But if you live in an apartment, it will be disruptive to the neighbors around you. All cities have ordinances about excessive barking. These ordinances also apply to apartment buildings. Give the ideas I used a try and in time your dog will not panic when you leave your home.

I Yam what I Yam

I grew to love sweet potatoes as I lived down south for a while. In the bigger cities you could find several road side stands with trailer loads of sweet potatoes, selling real cheap. When we moved north, it is harder to find them, especially off season, they become expensive. What you will see more of in stores are Yams.

What is the difference between a Yam and a Sweet Potato? Both are similiarly nutritious, although the Yam lacks the vitamin A of the sweet potato. A sweet potato is loaded in potassium and five times higher the daily recommendation of vitamin A then that of the yam. Yams are a great source for vitamin C, fiber, and the vitamin B6. Yams help protect against heart disease, and is also thought to be an anti-cancer food.

How to tell them apart?, besides the label at the grocer? Sweet potato ends will taper to a point, with the skin the color of white, yellow, orange or purple.Yams, having over hundreds of varieties, can be white, pink or brownish black, and have a rough and scaly skin. It can be hard to tell them apart with out looking at the label above the stocked produce. Is there a difference in taste? To me, none at all.

I love the yam, sweet potato, but not a big fan of regular potatoes. The possiblities are endless to the dishes you can make with them. Besides the obvious of the pie, I added below two of my favorites.

Texas Road House Loaded Sweet Potato: Cook yam in oven or the faster way in microwave. Poke several holes for ventilation. Bake on potato button if you have that option if not, 5 minutes. Cut open, and spoon out the yam into a dish. Mash, adding a little butter, and brown sugar. Then toss in marshmallows, and drizzle caramel, gently mix. Spoon back into Yam, spray top with cooking spray and wrap in foil. Place in oven and bake additional 10 minutes. Or place on BBQ.

Stringy Fries: Use your fryer, or pan fry. Peel thin strips of the yam into a bowl. When fryer is ready, toss in and fry for a minute or two. Drain onto a cooling rack, and sprinkle a little brown sugar and cinnamin onto them. Enjoy!

Online Gift Cards and Eating Out

If you like to go out for dinner, but money is becoming tighter, there is one option to help you go out to eat. Whether it is for a birthday or anniversary, or just because, this site will help you out. The website, It was my mother-in-laws birthday, and we didn’t have enough to take her to a nicer restaurant, on that site, I was able to purchase an online gift card of $25, and only pay $10. The website lists local restaurants in your area varying from BBQ, to pubs offering tasty dishes. Anything you can imagine, Chinese, pizza, fish, BBQ, to regular bar that serves up legendary burgers.

I thought it was too good to be true, so I gave it a try. It was easy to use, I simply typed in my zip code, and searched the several pages of participating restaurants, until I found the one I wanted. The gift cards range in price from a $10 you pay $3, $25 you pay $10, and $50 you pay $20. There is one thing, a minimum purchase is required usually in the amount of $35 for a $25 gift card, but using these online gift cards you can get a meal free. When you find a restaurant you like, simply click on the gift card option you want, purchase it, then print it.

We searched the listings and found a BBQ restaurant we always wanted to try. I purchased an gift card of $25, paying only $10, printed it. We got to the restaurant, and ordered our rib dinner. When we got our bill, we handed the printed gift card,( which your paper will have the restaurant name, the dollar amount of gift card, and bar code), to the waitress, she came back with the $25.00 taken off. No hassles, what so ever. Our bill was $35.00 minus the $25, came out to $10 . Keep in mine you spend $10 to buy gift card, so end cost $20 for 3 people, for a $35 meal including drinks(non alcohol is what we had). Still saving $15.00, on your meal, not bad for 3 people. It is so easy, why not try it and enjoy a dinner out tonight, search, buy, and print.

Purified Water

Many Americans love to drink bottled water. Depending on where you live, this seems to be the choice, as water sometimes tastes too chlorinated. And bottled water seems to be very different, crisp, clean taste in bottled water to tap. Although some news have reported some bottle water manufacturers have admitted to using tap water, there are legitimate sources still out there.

My spouse and I, while driving around our new neighborhood, spotted a new water store, called Purified Water to Go. Being curious we went in, and tried the water. It was amazingly great. This store offers two different kinds of purification ozone, and oxygen. What are they? According to a pamphlet I picked up from their store, Oxygenated water goes into our bodies and is absorbed quickly. The health benefits of Oxygenated water you ask? Increased stamina, more energy, and better heart rate. Ozone, being a form of oxygen is more unstable, resulting in a detoxifying effect. I was told by the employee that if we were to chose the ozone water, it needs to be consumed in a 8 hour period. The Oxygenated water has a longer shelf life, allowing us to buy 10 gallons at once.

If you try the Ozone water, according to their flyer, it is said to have the following health benefits: Detoxifies the blood,strengthens the immune system, recovery process is 50% faster, increases oxygen uptake at the cell level, rejuvenates and revitalizes unhealthy cells, reverses collagen cross linking and aging pigment, relieving allergy, asthma, emphysema, and sinus problems.

In their store, you can find many flyers and pamphlets with useful information such as storing, and what type of container to use. When you look at the bottom of a bottle, you will notice a triangle, and an number, it will be a 1,2,3,or 7. A number 1 with the word PETE, are recommended for one time use only. A number 2 with HDPE, such as milk containers, cheap water bottles, can leave a bad taste in the water in a short period of time. A number 3 with PVC, is limited in use when used with purified water. A number 7, keeps water pure and great tasting, and is safe to use for years. If you have your own containers, you can bring them in, or purchase theirs if you are unsure if yours is safe or not.

In being a customer, we purchase the water and Ice they make. The ice is not like the ice you find in those big freezers outside the party stores. Their ice is crystal clear and has no bad taste. The party store ice, is cloudy and tastes very different, as it is from the tap. The break down in price, is if you purchase a $10 water card, the cost per gallon is .45. The higher the dollar amount the price decreases, saving you a little more money. To save more money, by buying gallons, you can use a portable water container, filling it up at home, saving you the $1.50 in purchase at the party store or gas station.

Although it is cheaper in the end to use regular tap water, I myself prefer the purified water, as it removes the metals,chlorine, and sediments. It just simply tastes better, and is better for you. If you have one near you give it a try. You will be amazed at the taste, and quality. Also you will learn much more about tap water, and the benefits of the purified water.

Information: Pamphlets from store. and

Amero ..New Currency or Hoax

Todays hot topic on blog sites is, the Amero. What is Amero? It is a “supposedly” new currency. As stated from the wikipedia website ” The North American Currency Union is a theorized economic and monetary union of the three principal countries of North America, namely Canada, the United States, and Mexico.” It is said that these 3 countries would give up their currency, the US dollar, Canadian dollar, and the Peso. If these 3 countries do this, hypothetically speaking the new currency would be Amero. Conspiracy theorist argue that the United States, Canada, and Mexico have already begun to put into effect such a currency. It is also said all deny such thinking. All based on the same concept as what brought forth the Euro.

People are ranting that there is a NAU(North American Union) and they are vying for the Amero. If you do a google search for Amero, you can find numerous articles on this topic. Whose brainstorm was this? A Mr. Herbert G Grubel, who in September 1999 wrote the book The Case for the Amero. Where do people think this will come from? The Security And Prosperity Partnership Of North America. The SPP is a real organization, you can read more at . The on the SPP website it states that they are a “trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.” Also stating “It includes ambitious security and prosperity programs to keep our borders closed to terrorism yet open to trade.”

Reading another article by a Mr. Paul Micheal on April 4Th,2007, he states a lot of interesting points to think about. He states in a portion of his article about the SPP “If there is a plan in the works to create a union of Canada, the USA and Mexico, the last thing you’d want to do is close the borders. Quite the opposite. You want open borders. It’s good for business. And as we all know, big business and large multi-national corporations are always looking for new ways to make a profit. ”

Many sites I came upon claim all this is nothing but a Hoax. What it is doing is, throwing people into a panic. They are already worried about their money, and this “old” new topic is stirring some commotion . People are getting panicked over their 401K’s and savings over this hype. Many sites claim it is all true, while some think it is merely gossip. Do I feel we will see it in our lifetime? The way things keep declining, I can not say a yes or no. Some do predict it could happen by 2010. You do the research and decide for yourself. Below I listed more reading on the “Amero”.
Paul Micheal :

Choosing between a D.O. and a M.D.

If you are in the market of looking for a new family physician, there are plenty listed in the phone book. To chose between and MD(Medical Doctor) and a DO(Doctor Of Osteopathy) is a choice you have to make. What is the difference between the MD and a DO? The education needed for both, are similar. They both train, acquiring a four year undergraduate degree in pre-med or related science field. They both go on for another four more years of training before examinations, which will grant them a license to practice medicine. Then depending on the field of medicine they chose, it will be another two to six years of study. If they become a specialist, then more examinations are required to be licensed in the field of choice.

The MD will focus on a certain part of the body, where as the DO will view the entirety of the situation, meaning the whole body. Unlike the MD, an DO is trained in muscular skeletal system as well as manipulation, giving him an extra advantage as a doctor. Also adding, the time spent in the room with the patient is more if you see a DO. We once timed the MD we were seeing, he stayed in the room for 4 minutes, where as the timing on the DO was 15 minutes. I myself have had both for physicians, and my preference is the DO. Mainly for the amount of time they dedicate with patients, as well as the manipulation. I suffer with the occasional back spasms, to the point where I am immobile, and also have constant numbness in my left thigh. The MD I was seeing, only wanted to prescribe medications, in hopes it would cure the situation. I changed to a DO, who now gives me relief when I have the spasms, by manipulation, and a shot of Toradol, which is a combination medication and steroid. I found that in seeing a DO, I am not pushed prescriptions on, as I was with the MD. This is just my experience, and as my mother in law recently switched to a DO, she is doing better herself.

In a nutshell, if you have problems, where you need to see a chiropractor, and if you find a good DO, they can do the same, and in my case since I was injured by a chiropractor, I worry about getting injured again. A Lot of the time, medications are not needed, and a simple manipulation, cures the ailment, for me anyways. In keeping with seeing a DO, this also gives the physician, more knowledge of what your body is going through, where as if you opted Chiropractic, your doctor could be in the dark, and possibly if there is an underlying condition causing your pains. The choice is going to be a decision for you, on who is the right type of physician for you. I added a link to where you can read more on the differences between a DO and MD.

How I overcame Agoraphobia

I had a bout with being Agoraphobic for approximately 7 months. I was afraid to leave the house, I woke up when my spouse woke, showered and then went right back to sleep. During this period I had suffered a bad inner ear infection which I had bad vertigo. What I did to resolve this Agoraphobia, I will not recommend, because it is unconventional, even though it worked for me. I am a believer in what I had done, and always was a believer in the American Indian Medicine man.

My spouse is a native American. His family tree shows many colorful people from a Chief, to a medicine man. After I lost hope in getting well, I called his Aunt out in North Dakota. She gave me my spouses cousins number, who is a medicine man, along with another who is in located in Canada. I am a firm believer in the native Americans, that the medicine man was able to heal, after all they lived many many years without conventional medicine. I called the Chief in Canada, told him my story. He agreed to come see me, as my spouse was American Indian, only for the cost of gasoline.

Two days later, he came to my door step, as he said he would. He was accompanied by two others, of the same Indian culture. I will not describe the set up or the ceremony, as they do hold this sacred. But after an good half hour of ceremony, he told me within 1 week, I would be healed. I waited patiently, as there was a lot I was missing out on. In one week, just as he said, I was in the car driving, I was shopping. It was to me, a miracle. Could this of been resolved by a modern day Doctor? Probably, but I had wasted enough time of my life. I do not recommend this to just anyone, as it can be harmful as good, as I had learned from one American Indian I spoke to. I am just happy that I am now able to be free from this Agoraphobia, and live a happier life.

The facts still amaze me on the American Indian, and how without the conventional medicine, they strived, and lived a long time. This is what made my decision to seek out a medicine mans help. But once again, I strongly caution, as it is not meant to replace anyone’s physician. It is to me, a wonderful story I wanted to share. I do not encourage this, just wanted it to be an inspirational story for others that it is possible to conquer.

Dental School, Option for Dental Work

Many people today, do not have health insurance, let alone dental coverage. Many of us put off seeing the dentist because it is not the most pleasant experience. No one likes mouth pain, it can be very painful. What do you do if you have no insurance, and can not afford to go? Dentists often have coupons you can find in the mail offering free x-rays, and examination or for the low cost of $10, I have seen a few. What if they come back and tell you that you need work done, that could amount up to hundreds of dollars, and you can not afford it? It is possible that many offer a payment plan with half down, or even offer a credit plan with their office upon approval. Many people have blemishes on their credit reports that may prevent that payment plan.

The alternative is, look up the nearest dental school. They offer Endodontics, which is root canals, Orthodontics, braces to straighten teeth, and Pediatric Dentistry, for children of 3 years to 16. Also is the Oral Surgeons for the extractions and root canals as I told you of earlier. Here in Michigan, there is a dental school in the city of Detroit. It is Wayne State University Dental School. I myself, had my wisdom teeth extracted at this school. I never swelled up, or got black and blue as many of my friends had. I was under sedation and never felt a thing. What the dental school offers is no charge consultation. They do require x-rays which will cost $48.00. They will also provide you with detail plan of work needed and the cost. How can this save you money? Being a Dental School, you will be in a student clinic, which allows the cost to be about half the price of a dental office. They do expect payment though, once services is rendered.

Do not panic over being worked on by students, as they are closely supervised by the instructor, and are not freshmen. I had a few services done there while my sister was attending the dental school, and had no issues of complaints, or dental complications. It is a win win situation, you get lower cost care, and the students get experience while working on you. Even if you have dental insurance they accept most, and medicaid. Give it some thought you only have one set of teeth. Below I listed the Link to WSU Dental School for more information.

Christmas time and Soldiers

This holiday season, we will be celebrating with family and friends. While we do this, there is still many men and women fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our troops need our support each and every day. Many of these of men and women have family, yet some do not. They may be an only child, or signed up having no family. This holiday season we should try to remember these brave men and women who put their lives on the line every day for us. What can we do to show our support?

This year, I am not handing out gifts to family members, as for a couple of reasons. Money is tight, and there is nothing I could buy them they do not already have. Instead I am going to buy items requested by these military persons, and send off care package in every one’s name. I came upon a website, in which military personnel write, leave their name, unit, and items requested. What they ask for is simple things, such as writing paper, snacks, hygiene items, and books. As I read numerous times, there is no PX here, these are some things we would appreciate. I feel they are asking so little, for so much of what they do.

If you are not able to purchase these small items, maybe just send a card. Let them know we know you are still there fighting, and that we support them, and pray for their safe return home. I had a pen pal in the first gulf war. He had no family that wrote, just me. I sent care packages every other week, of cookies, brownies, paper and gum. I did not expect much in return, I was just thankful for them doing what they do. Well, when the war ended, and they came home. I got a phone call at 2 am. It was my pen pal. The first thing they did when the plane landed was call to thank me for everything I did. It was heart touching. Sometimes in a place where these soldiers are, is a bad cold place. They need our support, to get them through each day. If you can afford to buy small bottles of hygienic items, paper and snacks, think about the next time you go shopping, and maybe pick some up here and there. Put together a care package and send it off to a lonely soldier. It may just make a difference in their life, when things around them are so cold. Where can you find a solider to send a care package to? is an independent charity that can help you. You will be able to search on what to send, how to, and who to send it to. Also if you wish, you can just donate money. Here you can purchase phone cards for the military, so they can call home and hear a friendly voice. What ever option you choose, you will make someones day a little brighter.

Airpurifers and the benefits

Most people I know, have at least one air purifier in their home. Some use it them to filter extra allergens in the air, while others smoke, and want to filter the air in their home. I have two air purifiers. One small table top unit I have, is the Ionic Breeze with Germicidal Protection, and the other is a Biozone unit. Both are used for the same purpose of filtering the air for smoke, and pet dander in my house. I purchased the Biozone because we moved into a house that had the old style blown in insulation. I developed a bad cough and allergies. When I used the Biozone in my house, I began to breathe better, and the cough soon diminished.

The Biozone unit, was more costly, the unit I have is, the Biozone 1000. This unit cost me $250.00, and is used to purifier my living room, and bedroom area. This unit is designed to filter out bacteria, viruses, mold, allergens, smoke, odors, dust. The Biozone is equipped with an ultraviolet light, that actually does eliminate the smell of cigarettes, in our home. It will leave your room with a fresh, crisp smell, much like after a cool rain. I have had this unit since 2003, and never once had to replace the ultra violet light bulb, the only maintenance to do on this unit is gently clean the bulb. It may cost more, but the savings in the end is dramatic, compared to buying filters and replacing them at $9 to $ 15 dollars each per month or every other month, adds up to a huge chunk of change. The makers of Biozone, also sell units to go directly into your furnace, and portable models for the car. There is different size units, for various size homes, and usage per room. One of my relatives has put one in their furnace, due to severe allergies, and I can tell you there is a noticeable difference in the air quality and smell verses the last unit placed on her furnace.

The Ionic Breeze table top model, is used primarily in the kitchen. It is also nice for the fact of no filters, just lift out, and clean with a slightly damp cloth that comes with the unit. It also leaves the room with a crisp, fresh, smell. This unit normally costs $85. I found it on the clearance rack at the linen store, for $50 and they let me use my 20% coupon with it.

Both units are well made, and serve the purpose of purifying the air very well. With the smaller units priced at $50 to $90, it makes sense for me to use the Biozone alone. My electric bill has not gone up much in using this unit, as I do not run it 24/7, just a half hour a day or so. That is all the is necessary for me to run the unit to purify the air. If you are looking into buying a air purifier, consider the cost in the long run of buying filters, compared to the beneficial use of ultra violet lightWhich ever unit you decide to use, I am sure you will be happy with it. As with any electronics, that have an ultraviolet light, you do not want to stand close, be near, or stare into the light, use accordingly to manufacturer guidelines.

Christmas gifts homemade

The Christmas spirit is all around us, even though Thanksgiving is not here yet. The stores already have up their displays of Christmas trees, and decorations. For many of us who may be on a stricter budget then last year, there is still gifts you can give, that will touch anyone on your list. These gifts, are the gifts from the heart.

If you have time on your hands and can bake, consider a gift basket of baked goods. I use to do this for our pastor, and he loved them. You do not even need a basket to put your gifts in, just use a little imagination. While you are out shopping, ask a clerk if they have any boxes that are clean, about a six or eight inches long in length, and maybe eight inches or so wide. When you get home, cut this box down to a two inch or three inch height. If you have some plain wrapping paper, conform it to the new box size, using clear tape to seal the edges. Now you have a pretty nice box to set your baked good in. What you decide to put in this box is up to you, it can be, Christmas cookies, muffins, different cake squares, or even homemade candy. When done placing the items inside the box, take cellophane that has a Christmas design on it and cut a large enough piece to wrap the box and upwards. Place the box on the wrap, turn the cellophane upwards and tie shut with curly ribbon, add a curly ribbon bow or make your own, and your done.

If you can sew, there is many things you can make for the women in your family, using your imagination, I will give you two ideas to start.

1.Refrigerator Snap or Tie Hand Towel: What you will need to purchase is any hand towel with decorations, or holiday theme, and a yard of plain material that matches the colors on your hand towel. Out of newspaper, make a pattern slightly smaller then width of the hand towel, taper the pattern to the top about two inches, leaving it rounded. The length of this piece is going to be about eleven to twelve inches in height. Turn material inside out and sew together, and also make a small hem to enclose edges so they do not unravel. Turn right side out, and pin the towel to the fabric, you will have a small pleating across the top where towel is to be sewn. When done sewing, attach a small snap, placing the male part at the top, and the female part four inches down. Now you have a homemade kitchen hand towel, that snaps onto the refrigerator handle. You can make four or five and place them in a nice gift bag.

2. For the lady with the baby, washable no tie bib: This idea is using the same item of the kitchen hand towel. You will need to buy some t-shirt ribbing from the material store, about one yard or two depending on how many you are going to make. Take the towel and fold over about a 1/3 down, cut a hole big enough to slip the babies head through. (Here, you may need to ask for dimensions if you do not have a baby yourself) After cutting the hole, sew the t-shirt ribbing around the cut edge sealing it closed. If you bought a plain towel, you can sew on teddy bear patch or any thing else that comes to your mind.

For the men in the family: Using the same idea of homemade gift box, or gift bag, place several items inside they enjoy. Bake their favorite cookies, or brownies. Maybe if they end up getting coffee in the morning give a gift card to the nearest place they frequent. As for children’s gifts, many stores are bringing back the lay away policy, put a little down, and pay each week.

There is no doubt that Christmas is going to difficult this year for many. No matter what the gift, we all must all remember the true meaning behind the reason for the season. Seems like somewhere in time, it became overly commercial and some seemed to have forgot. May you all have a wonderful happy Christmas.

Allergies and Dogs

There is a lot of talk about what kind of dog the Obamas should get for their children Sasha and Malia. President Elect Obamas daughter Malia, is said to have allergies, narrowing the range of puppies. I have to praise President Elect Obama for wanting to adopt a shelter dog. It is possible with long searching to find such an dog that will be good for his family and his daughters allergies. Being she is so young, I can not imagine this child taking shots, as my brother does, due to his allergies, and having a long hair dog.

There are many different dogs that are good for people with allergies. At the dog park, where I go with my dog, many people there have allergies, and have dogs. One dog, which is the most playful, energetic, goofy, friendly one is named Riley. He is a Labradoodle. His mom, picked him out due to her allergies. She said she has had no problems with her allergies, with Riley. A Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador, and a Poodle. They have a semi short coat, long luscious eye lashes, for a comical touch.

Doing a search on dogs for people with allergies, there is a long list according to one veterinarian that is suitable for people with allergies. These dogs are the Terrier, Bichon, Chinese Crested, Water Spaniel, Maltese, Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Schnauzer, Mexican Hairless. In my experience, my sister is very allergic to pet dander. She never had any allergy problems, with either of my dogs, one which was a Doberman, and the other a mix of Husky, Sheppard. My brother, who takes shots for his allergies, has Irish setters, again, I really would not put a child in that in situation of having to take shots.

There are allot of products, and things you can do, to help keep your allergies in check. Washing your pet bedding often, here you should use baby hypo allergenic laundry soap such as Dreft, which contains no perfumes, you do not want to use soap with perfumes it may harm your dog. There are many shampoos you can buy for your pet, if you suffer from allergies, as well. Myself, our dog gets a bath every three months or so depending if she gets into the mud or not. Too much frequent bathing is not good, as their skin can dry, causing them to scratch and become miserable. Also the tablet of Garlic and Brewers Yeast, is helpful. This keeps shedding down and is said to help deter fleas and ticks. I give it to my pet, and never once has she had any flea or tick problems, I could just be lucky in the area.

Keeping your dog well groomed, and using hepa filters in your house, along with furnace filters that rate high 1000 and up, and that states dust, mold, pollen, and animal dander can help all year round with keeping these allergy irritants lower. Which ever breed, or mixed breed the Obamas choose, I hope the girls and their new best friend, have a long happy life together.

Adopting a Pet

Adopting an animal is a huge decision. If you are thinking about doing so, please sit back and take the time to make this decision. I say this because of a few things. First is, there is an overwhelming amount of animals in the shelters now. They lost their homes from unforeseen circumstances.

First, decide if you have the time, and can fully keep this animal for the duration of its life. It is not fair to adopt, and then in a month or so decide, it was a mistake. These animals need a home that can provide love, food, and care. Many live to be the age of 13 years, can you give this animal a home for this long? Much like humans, they may get sick, and require medical care. Not only for when they fall ill, but they need yearly care as well. Heart worm checks, shots and medication for heart worm yearly is necessary.

If you can adopt, and do so, keep in mind, the shelter dogs are plenty, and they want nothing more then a new lease on life. They have unconditional love to offer, and plus many are already house broken, and know tricks. They can be a fantastic addition to any family. Please, commit, only if you can for the animals life.

Overloaded Sweet Potato

Items Needed for Baked Sweet Potatoes:

1 Sweet Potato per person

Mini Marsh Mellows



Caramel Topping

There is two baking methods, the longer version, requires poking the sweet potato several times, wrapping them in foil and baking in the oven at 375 degrees, for a good hour or until soft. The easier method I like is, the microwave. Poke the potato several times, and place two or three into the microwave and push the potato preset button if you have one for as many potatoes that you have. If you don't, then the cooking time is approximately 5 minutes per potato.

When the buzzer goes off, remove and repeat for the remaining sweet potatoes. Let cool slightly, cut a slit down the middle, and squeeze the sides to open. Spoon out the insides, and place in a bowl. The quantity of the next ingredients are according to your liking,and the amount of mashed potatoes you have, increasing the contents for more then three potatoes, 1 Tablespoon butter, little bit of milk, 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, pinch of nutmeg, and mash to blend. Now add to the mashed potatoes mini marsh mellows, and caramel topping, tossing gently. Place each sweet potato onto a piece of foil that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray and seal. Place into a warm oven until ready to serve.

If any of you have eaten out at Texas Roadhouse, you will see this is very similar to their ultimate Sweet Potato they serve. ENJOY!

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is near an money is tight. Still wanting to buy gifts for family can turn into a heartache, as the funds are not available like it was the year before. There is still many nice gifts to buy for family members, that they will enjoy without spending a lot of money.

You may not be able to go out and buy anything really fancy, but deals can be found, that they will like.Below I listed some examples.
Gucci style Stainless Steel link Bracelet $19.95
A CZ heart and key bracelet for women $29.95
Cute Puffed Heart gold tone pendant toggle necklace $21.99
14k Gold over silver journey sapphire necklace.$18.99
Polo bi fold leather wallet $13.99
Under the clearance tab
Calla Croco embossed patent satchel with studs.$29.90 marked down from $89.90. Very cute.
5 Pc enamel black bangle bracelet marked down from $29.95 to $7.00.
Hot in Hollywood Obi belts marked down to $9.00
Invicta elements bracelets clearance for $19.99

The local stores such as Dollar General,Walgreen's,and CVS, all have items under ten. Bath sets, Perfume sets, and gift cards.

Whatever you decide, I am sure everyone knows things are bad all over, and any gift is a gift from the heart. Sometimes shopping online will offer more savings, if you are able to shop this way. Hit up the clearance areas of QVC and HSN for items that need to move for new items coming in. As for, if you can use their buy now bill me later, this may help in your Christmas shopping. When using the bill me later, shop with in reason, so you can pay your bill, and not put a blemish on your credit. Good luck shopping, and Have a Great Christmas.