Archive for October, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things:

1. Pantene Nature Essentials Smooth Vitality shampoo and conditioner–love how it smells, love that it actually does make my hair smooth and shiny.  Try it.  It’s way better than Dove.

2. Palmolive dish soap–it’s the only one I’ve ever used that keeps its sud.  That’s very important to me.  My two favorites smells are the purple and the clear.

3. Crest Regular Cavity Protection Toothpaste–everything else just tastes gross.

4. Spinach–I think I could add it to just about every meal I ever cook (except maybe certain breakfasts).

5. Cool fall nights and warm cozy blankets–they are the best ever combination for sleeping.

6. Kittens–I want one.

7.  Socks.

8.  Smiles–like Tim’s.

9.  Dawn and dusk–because of the moment when the whole world holds its breath and glows right along with the sky.

10.  Hymns–because I can hum them in my head no matter what.


Merry Christmas! Have a magazine.

I just purchased 2 of the 1,400,329.5 gifts I need to navigate the upcoming holiday season, and I got a pretty good deal on some pretty great stuff, and I’m nice like that, so I’m gonna share:

A company called Eversave (very similar to Groupon) is offering a $26 coupon voucher to bluedolphin-magazines for only $12 through tomorrow morning.  You can buy up to 5 vouchers, but the catch is you can only use one voucher per purchase (so, for instance, you can’t use 2 vouchers to get a $50 subscription for $24, but you can use 1 to get it for $36).

They also offer a $5 credit to first-time users (that would be me) if you sign up to receive daily deal alerts by e-mail (I signed up for the city nearest me, since there isn’t one in my exact area).

Using this program, I got $70 worth of magazines for $55 dollars.  Not bad, if you consider the specific magazines I purchased (and the specific people I purchased them for):

WORLD magazine: a biweekly news/culture magazine from a Christian perspective that Tim and I both appreciate.  It contains news articles, political analyses, culture commentary, book/music/movie reviews, and (often very) thoughtful columns on current issues, all of which we usually find quite apt.  A subscription usually costs $49.95.  With 1 coupon voucher ($12–>$26) + my $5 credit, I was able to purchase a year’s subscription for $31.  That’s an $18.95 savings!  We could add this to our current subscription, thus extending its life AND/OR we could give this as a gift to one of our brother-in-laws for his birthday in a couple of weeks.

ALL YOU magazine: I started getting this last May solely for the coupons it contains (some grocery items and cosmetics), but I’ve surprised myself by really enjoying the content, too.  I’ve discovered some great recipes, tried a few of their workouts, and solved all their crossword puzzles.  Through Eversave, I was able to get a 1 year subscription (normally $20) for $12–which works out to exactly $1/magazine.  I’m pretty sure I usually save about that much (sometimes more) in coupons from each issue, so I can basically subscribe for free.  Pretty sweet!  Again, this can be added to a current subscription, thus extending its life, AND/OR I could give this as a gift to a sister-in-law who had a birthday a couple weeks ago. 

BlueDolphin-Magazines has thousands of other subscriptions available; these were just the two that met my needs.  If you’d like to take advantage of this deal for some Christmas shopping of your own, you can google Eversave-Pittsburgh OR use this link.  (If you use this link, I’ll benefit from your purchase.  If that makes you uncomfortable, go for google.)  The deal expires tomorrow morning, so don’t procrastinate too long!

(**Disclaimer: I have to wait 2 days to receive my vouchers.  I ordered them this morning, so I won’t get them until Saturday.  That means I don’t know for sure how they work; but I’m pretty confident ((based on the reputation of the company and the number of other people who’ve also purchased this deal)) that they will.)

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Dove, you are the bane of my existance.

Exactly one year ago this month, I received a Costco coupon book in the mail. 

I somehow managed to make a trip amid working, closing on a house, and keeping Tim happy.  Wonders never cease.

I am still using 4 of the things I purchased (with coupons) while there:

1) Dishwasher Detergent

2) Laundry Detergent

3) Toilet Bowl Cleaner

4) Dove Shampoo and Conditioner

(Just goes to show how often I clean the toilet.)

For the record, I am glad not to have bought 1) Dishwasher Detergent, 2) Laundry Detergent, and 3) Toilet Bowl Cleaner in a whole year.  Ladies, it’s been nice doing (cleaning) business with you.  I’ve enjoyed it.  Truly, I have.

And then there’s Dove.

Dove, I’ve used your barsoap since I was a wee thing, and I will use it until the day I die.

But I hate your shampoo and conditioner.

It is the bane of my existence.

Pretty much everything bad that has ever happened to me this entire year can be traced back to the two green bottles of your cucumber slime hunkered out in my shower.

The green bottles of Beelzebub, I like to call them…because just like the ol’ devil himself, I try and try and TRY but I cannot rid myself of them. And I am here today to tell you that at the cross, Jesus won my battle with Satan.  That B-bub’s a goner, man.  But Jesus forgot to crush the head of my Dove Moisture Therapy while He was at it. 

For real, I feel like the widow with the endless pitcher of oil–except I’m not a widow and my endless supply comes out of a salon pump.  I have done everything I can think of.  Absolutely everything.  I use two squirts instead of one with every shower.  I *accidentally* over squirt  and miss my hand sometimes.  I buried T’s manly-smelling All-in-One deep in a pile of feminine hygiene products so he’ll have to use mine.  I use shampoo instead of body wash.  I shampoo the carpet in my car.  I shampoo stray neighbor hood cats.  Tim and I have shampoo wars at every opportunity.  I make Tim shave with shampoo lather.  Even still…the bottle isn’t even half gone.

Why couldn’t they have been two huge, never ending bottles of mint dark chocolate ice cream, Dove?  Why?  Whyyyyyyyy?!?!

Dear Reader, I know what you’re thinking.  You’re thinking “Throw them away!”  In fact, you might even be screaming it.

Here’s the thing: I can’t.

I can’t, I can’t, I can’t.

I can oversquirt and overuse and whine and complain and threaten until I’m oily in the hair blue in the face. 

Thus far, and no farther.

While there is life and breath left in me (and my shampoo bottle), I will never, ever throw away anything that has even the smallest potential of usefulness.

Waste not, want not.  That’s my motto…even when it means waste not what I want not. 

Here I stand.  I can do no other.   

[Tim would just like me to tell you that he has never shaved with shampoo lather, nor used anything but his own manly smelling shampoo, neither.]

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Another Great Science Quote (that made me smile)

Occasion: 5th grade science class

Topic: Insects and the Bible

Question by teacher: Does anyone remember what John the Baptist did with insects?!

Answer by student, with a look of incredulous horror: He didn’t baptize them, did he?!?!

Teacher: Nope.

Student: Oh, good.  That would have been too weird.


Turning Point

The quote on which today turned (from bad to good):

“And when you say ‘interesting facts’, Mrs. Carr, you really do mean interesting.”–Lainey, 3rd grade, with a knowing nod, all ears to learn about earthworms.

Sometimes, all it takes to make a difference in someone’s life is one little sentence.

Thirteen or so simple words.

Five measly seconds.

…and a seed of encouragement is planted, grown, and bearing fruit.

A picture of redemption: something ugly (a day, an attitude, a circumstance, a burden, a life) transformed, redirected, and renewed into something beautiful.

Who can you affirm today?

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How I Keep Tim Hopping.

My goal in life is to keep Tim on his toes.

It’s a hard job.  But someone has to do it.

I achieve success by such sundry means as threats, pouts, licks, vocal contortions, and crazy schemes.

Ooooh, yes, the crazy schemes.  Works every time.

There was the time I made calls to some office to find out what it would take for us to take in 5 foster children.

There was the time I started buying things at garage sales that I knew I’d never use so that I could open my own thrift shop.

There was the time I came home with a shopping bag full of maternity clothes, just in case, you know, Tim starts gaining weight or something.

There was the time I started looking at real estate in Montana.

There was the time I wanted to paint our bathroom bright orange (in honor of the sunset).

There was the time I woke us up at 5:30 to go running every morning for a whole week.

There was the time I read about a girl who hasn’t used shampoo in over a year and decided it might as well be me.

There was the time I threatened to write a blog post titled “Our Sketchy Humor”.

There was the time I scoured craigslist for a cheap dairy cow.  There was the time I found one.

There was the time (that might have occurred sometime within the last 24 hours) I stumbled upon a website called Eating Bugs!!.  There was the time I read it.  There was the time it made me laugh out loud, at which time I caught Tim’s attention, at which time he read over my shoulder, at which time he began to get a little nervous.

At this point in our relationship, see, he knows me a little too well.

As in, he has figured out a bit about how my brain works.  He knows that one moment a matter of fleeting amusement, the next ant tacos simmering on the stove.

Mmmmm-mmmm.  I can just smell them now.

Anyone want to come for dinner?

(In case you haven’t figured this out by now, all I’m really trying to accomplish is a “Honey, why don’t we eat out tonight?” from the T-man.)

((The link (((above or copied again here))) really is well worth a read, even if you have absolutely no interest in low fat protein.  For example: “Insects are very easy to raise.  There is no manure forking, no hay bale lifting, no veterinary bills.  You can raise them in an apartment without getting complaints.”  Hahahaha.  How is that not funny?))

(((Also,  just in case you need a little extra convincing and are of the camp that believes whole grain bread is the most biblical ((((based on a misinterpretation of a verse in Ezekiel that happens to be a pet peeve of mine)))): read Leviticus 11:21-22, and then we’ll talk))).



Dear House,

Happy 1st anniversary, you old brick!  You’ve come a long way in the last year (as have we), and we’re so proud of you.

Since last year:

We textured you (master bedroom and kitchen ceilings, hallway wall)…

 painted you (master bedroom and bath, kitchen, den, loft)…

tiled you (side hall entrance)…

carpeted you (den)…

rewindowed you…

furnished you…

decorated you…

and loved you.

You’ve gone from:




and this





and this.

We hope to continue more of the same next year, specifically in the areas of the front room and the guest bedrooms.  We’d also like to spend some time sprucing up your outsides.  There is so much to do, and we spend so little time doing it…but you’ve been very patient.

Thanks for being such a good house.


The Owners

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