Saturday, December 31, 2011


A lesson filled year. A heartbreaking year. A joyous year. An exhausting year.

One of my best friends nearly died.

One I loved dearly did die.

I learned the art of organizing a fund raiser.

I survived the heartache of a fund raiser.

We bought a new house.

And we moved.

One child graduated.

The other performed.

New friendships were formed.

Some friendships were deepened.

Some friendships were lost.

We learned of 5 new babies joining our family.

Zion lived.

We lost Uncle Jr., Thelma, Vernon, Mary, and many more.

I remembered my strength and was reminded of my vulnerability.

More than once I almost gave up.

The love of others encouraged me on.

I'm not eager to see 2011 end.

I'm not sad to see it go.

I endured.  I loved.  I lost.  I gave.  I received.

And I was blessed.

Monday, October 3, 2011


How can you not smile?

This is one of the wonderful pieces we've purchased at Palms Up Pottery in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  This store is one of our annual stops, and I'm so grateful they're always there!  This piece was acquired on our most recent trip and I absolutely adore it.  It makes me smile every day and every time I look at it.  It's a sponge holder sitting right next to our sink.  I love it!  How can you not?!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Good Food with Chef Boyardee

I love the classics from my childhood~ chili (hotter and spicier than it was), goulash, scalloped potatoes and ham, and (yumilicious) roast beef with potatoes and carrots.  And I love to find new ways to dress up dinner time!

When the opportunity to host a Chef Boyardee House Party came along, I was on that application!  My youngest daughter, Katana, is having a Ravioli phase in her life, so if I could learn ways to make a family MEAL using some Chef Boyardee recipes, I was bound to be a hero in her eyes!

Of the five recipe cards I got with my House Party kit, I opted to try the Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake, Taco-roni and Ravioli Lasagna.  Each recipe was 6 servings, but because I was expecting a lot of people with hearty appetites, I doubled the recipes.

The Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake was the biggest hit!  I improvised (as I often do) and added extra cheese and pepperoni.  The result was a perfectly cheesy and pepperoni spaghetti with meatballs.  The recipe calls for baking mix spooned on the bottom of the pan before baking.  I used Bisquick and thought it gave the meal a nice balance.  Steve didn't like the texture the breading provided, but Ryan sure seemed to love it!
The Taco-roni had a unique Mexican Flavor with the corn and black beans added in.  We added cheese to the top and used it more as a nacho chip dip than a meal item.  The recipe said to use tomatoes, but I may have to try this one again with some of my homemade salsa!
I would consider the Ravioli Lasagna a cross between your standard meat lasagna and a vegetarian lasagna. I say that because the recipe required spinach, which isn't something I normally put in my meat lasagna but DO put in my vegetarian lasagna.  And it had that wonderful ravioli taste that Katana loves!  The recipe indicates using frozen spinach, but next time I'll use fresh spinach because that's my favorite kind of spinach.
A big thank you to Vicky for helping me prepare the dishes for the party!  Those of you who attended today's House Party and sampled the dishes, please take a few minutes to complete a survey by clicking here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I've needed this myself and have passed it along to some others recently.

You can cast a circle of salt.  You can use 5 white candles in the form of a pentagram.  You can improvise as you see fit.  Make it yours.

Please do not print this.  Re-write the words to paper in your own hand to help empower the words.

Chant them. Sing them. Believe them.

To the God/Goddess
I call to thee
Restore what's mine
And set me free
I call the air
To clear the bind
Restore what's right
Restore what's mine
Solvo mihi iam, paro mihi solvo*
Solvo meus vox, beatus exsisto*
Blessed be

Release me now, Set me free*
Release my power, Blessed be*

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Plea for Jen

Sometimes I’m at a loss for where to begin.

I am absolutely HORRIBLE at asking for help I may need. I am so much better asking for people to help me help others.

But now I’m begging you to help me help Jen and her family.

We haven’t been asking for handouts. Everything that we’ve done in our quest for financial help has been accompanied by SOMETHING for the donor. We’ve done a Mary Kay fund raiser. We held a multi-family yard sale. We’re doing a Pampered Chef fund raiser. We’re doing a Spaghetti Dinner. We’ve gotten donations of “stuff” to raffle and auction at the dinner. Even the businesses donating the “stuff” are getting something: good will and the not-requested-by-them advertisement of their generosity. We’ll be holding a benefit concert in October, and plans for a skate-a-thon and a bowling tournament are in the works.

Here’s the thing: for only $10 per adult, you can get a nice spaghetti dinner. You give a little and you get back something in return. You don’t have to bid on auction items or buy raffle tickets.

Now I need to tell you some things that I’ve been holding back. I’ve been holding it back because I don’t want to sound pessimistic. But it’s time to let you in on some things.

Jen is receiving chemo treatments to help prolong her life as much as possible. She has two 13-year-old boys at home that need her to be around. The doctors can’t give any time frame on how long she has. As a matter of fact, it was looking like she wouldn’t make it out of the hospital back in August. Time could be extremely short. We don’t know.

What we do know is that she has bone, liver and chest cancer after having had a double mastectomy 3 years ago. The prohibitive cost of health and life insurance because of her pre-existing condition puts her family in a financial quandary. Her husband was off work for three weeks when she was hospitalized in July and August. She was hospitalized again last night and will not be at the spaghetti dinner.

And I need you to know that mostly, the money we’re raising will probably be used for funeral expenses. Perhaps I’ve been in denial. I prefer to think of it as eternal optimism. Her trip to the hospital last night triggered the need to be a lot more realistic.

Every one of you that has helped so far, I thank you. Jen and Jason thank you. And if you’ve decided that you want to help without buying something or going to any of the events, we’ve conceded and set up a Paypal account. So if you can even spare $5, it’ll help more than you know. You’ll find the Paypal “Donate” button on this page.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Trying to Make Sense of It

August 10, 2011

Dear Glenn,

I received a call from Vicky last night and most of what she said was received in a haze. I didn’t hear it. The reality of some of the facts didn’t sink in until 3 beers later.

She began the conversation with, “when it rains, it pours, at least in my life lately.” Then she asked if I had heard about the accident on Henry Rd. yesterday afternoon, you know, the one where someone died and another person was life-flighted out. I said I’d seen a little about it.

And I just knew at that point, she knew the person who had died. With everything that has been going on lately with Jen being in the hospital, I figured this was a moment where she was going to need some comfort and support from me.  I didn't know that we were both going to be in need of some comfort and support.

Her voice started to break up a little and there were a few hitches in her breathing as she blurted out, “Glenn Miller was the one who died.” She said it so fast it sounded like she was trying to prevent the words from burning her. I jolted out of my chair and yelled, “no way! Oh my God!” and Steve and Megan looked at me with concern, and I gathered myself long enough to tell them it wasn’t about Jen. Because you know (now) how much we’ve been dealing with lately.

Everything else she said got stuck somewhere in my brain. Some of it sunk in 3 beers later, after my youngest daughter got home from the fair. I remembered Vicky saying that you almost had your sons with you. You were going to run some errands and take them with you, then come back to pick up Angel and go to a game. But Angel suggested that you run your errands and then stop back to get them.  She was the Angel who saved their lives yesterday. I hugged my daughter so tight when she got home.

This morning I remembered Vicky saying that one of your friends was one of the first on scene and he didn’t even realize it was you until they ran your plates.

I later remembered her saying there might be something to the concept that your time here on earth is set from the beginning. It certainly explains why you didn’t have your sons with you.

You, my dear Glenn, will always maintain a special place in my heart. A part of me will always love you. The adult in me sees our relationship so differently than the teenager did. I recall our last conversation and meeting with a smile. I remember you cared. And I remember you respected. And I’ll never forget your beautiful smile or the butterflies you gave me in high school. I still remember your middle name. And your birth date. And even though you may not have heard, I always wished you a Happy Birthday on your day…a whisper into the air.  I'm certain I'll continue that tradition.

And I hope and pray that Angel, Glennie and Noah will be able to move forward on love's wings, knowing that you'll still be there with them, even if they can't see you.

Thank you, Glenn, for being you.  Rest In Peace, my friend.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yard Sale Fund Raising Event for Jennifer Gootee Aug. 19-21

One of my best friends has been overwhelmed with bad health in the last week. Due to Jen's previous battle with cancer, they have been unable to get reasonably priced health insurance or life insurance. For those of you who don't know Jen and Jason's situation, Jen has been a stay-at-home mom and Jason has been the only source of income for the family. Jason is a long haul truck driver who is usually on the road for two weeks then home for a couple days, then back on the road. In addition to their 13-year-old son, Leland, they currently have legal guardianship of Matt, one of Leland's friends from when they lived in Westland. I've watched Matt flourish from a shy, uncertain boy to a vibrant, talkative, smiling kid under their care.

On July 29th, Jen was taken to ER. She was having a coughing fit that hurt so badly she finally conceded to seeing a doctor. Jason was in Arizona helping a friend leave an abusive relationship. It was discovered the Jen had fluid around her lung.

Jason got back on Monday morning, and Jen was transferred from the Tecumseh hospital to St. Joe's in Ann Arbor Monday night. In addition to the fluid around her lung, she now had fluid around her heart. St. Joe’s has done additional testing on her liver and her bones.

Jason has now been out of work for almost two weeks. They don’t have health insurance. They don’t have life insurance. They don’t have a prognosis yet, either.

In an effort to help them with their mounting bills, we’re hosting a yard sale and donating 100% of the profits. The yard sale will occur August 19-21 at 163 W. Prospect St. in Jackson.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Mary Kay Fund Raising Event for Jennifer Gootee

One of my best friends has been overwhelmed with bad health in the last week. Due to Jen's previous battle with cancer, they have been unable to get reasonably priced health insurance or life insurance. For those of you who don't know Jen and Jason's situation, Jen has been a stay-at-home mom and Jason has been the only source of income for the family. Jason is a long haul truck driver who is usually on the road for two weeks then home for a couple days, then back on the road. In addition to their 13-year-old son, Leland, they currently have legal guardianship of Matt, one of Leland's friends from when they lived in Westland. I've watched Matt flourish from a shy, uncertain boy to a vibrant, talkative, smiling kid under their care.

On July 29th, Jen was taken to ER. She was having a coughing fit that hurt so badly she finally conceded to seeing a doctor. Jason was in Arizona helping a friend leave an abusive relationship. It was discovered the Jen had fluid around her lung.

Jason got back on Monday morning, and Jen was transferred from the Tecumseh hospital to St. Joe's in Ann Arbor Monday night. In addition to the fluid around her lung, she now had fluid around her heart. St. Joe’s has done additional testing on her liver and her bones.

Jason has now been out of work for almost two weeks. They don’t have health insurance. They don’t have life insurance. They don’t have a prognosis yet, either.

In an effort to help them with their mounting bills, I'm donating 100% of the profit of any Mary Kay order from now until the end of August. If you've been wanting to try Mary Kay products, you can now try them knowing that you're also helping out a wonderful family!

Just head out to my website at
to place your order. You can securely pay for your product right on the website. For only $5, you can have your order shipped directly to you from the Mary Kay warehouse. Mary Kay has everything from basic skin care and make up to pedicure products and sun care.  We have a men’s product line, too!  Please check out the online catalogue and place an order!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Have You Seen Me?

My name is Kenneth Sheridan Davis. I am 67, was last seen about 11 p.m. Thursday (July 14th) at my residence, 817 Seymour Ave.

I don’t suffer from any known medical conditions. I’m an avid fisherman and frequent lakes and ponds in and around Jackson, Ingham and Calhoun counties and northern Indiana.

I am 5’ 7” tall, weigh 165 pounds and have white hair and blue eyes. I drive a gray 1998 Jeep Cherokee with license plate number BSL 3108.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Jackson Police Department at (517) 788-4100.

Link to the Jackson Citizen Patriot MLive is here.
Update 7-29-2011

I am ecstatic to report that Ken has been found as of 7-28-11.  Thank you to everyone that has helped by re-posting, re-tweeting, praying, looking and spreading the word.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Attention: Bengel/Bengal Relatives

July 28, 2011 marks the 100th birthday of Sister Marina (Margaret) Bengal. Conrad Malloy, one of her nephews, had the most AWESOME idea that we should spread the word and get everyone to send her a birthday so that we can surpass 100 birthday cards for her this year. Please send her a beautiful birthday card~religiously themed would be overwhelmingly enjoyed the most. I do believe (based on my research, at least) that Conrad is correct when he states that she may have lived longer than any other Bengel/Bengal relative. Please send the cards to:

Sister Marina Bengal, S.C.C.
Sacred Heart Convent
2221 Elmwood Ave.
Wilmette, IL 60091-1435

Please help spread the word, too!!

Dawn D. Bengel
The Bengel/Bengal News

Thursday, June 9, 2011


We love our customers.

But we need some help with a problem being presented by some of our customers.

We are often inundated with phone calls from customers who have checked their computer in for service. 

This week, we've had more than 7 different customers call, at least once (some more often), between Monday and Wednesday about computers that were brought in for service on Monday.

One called about 4 hours after checking in their computer.  And again the next day.  And again the next day.

One called less than 48 hours after checking in their computer.  You need to know that the problem was an intermittent blue screen. The customer stated at check-in that the computer can sometimes run for 8 hours or more before the blue screen occurs.  It was checked in within the last 30 minutes of business on Monday.  It was at the end of the Monday lineup (which tends to be significant).

One came in for a virus cleanup (and has been here many times before for the same reason).  The husband dropped it off.  The wife called the next day.  Even though we've ALWAYS told our customers that a virus cleanup will take 2-3 days.  The husband called the next morning.  The husband called AGAIN that afternoon.

We always tell the customer when the system is checked in for service that we will call them.  Even if they've been here a dozen times over the last 5 years, we tell them we will call them.  This approach is not working.  And everyone's patience is getting a little worn.  We're not getting computers serviced in the amount of time it should take because we're spending so much time answering calls about when the system will be ready.  The customers are frustrated because their computers aren't done.

So when they call to check on their computer, how can we tell them that their phone call is only putting their system repair further behind without offending them?  If it were you, how would you like to hear it?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Negativity? Not!

I've been dealing with tons of negativity slapping at me from every direction in my life.  Depression?  Maybe.  But I don't think so.  My problem is that I'm a sponge.  I absorb it all.  It changes my chemistry.

And I don't see enough of this.

Thank you for the positivity!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I had this idea for a post that a friend pulled right out of my brain...while I was sleeping...from hundreds of miles away.  I hadn't discussed this idea with anyone, which is how I know she stole it from my brain while I was sleeping.

Or great minds think alike?

Mine was going to be titled "I Am Not a Republican."  Hers was titled, "Posters on my Wall: A Liberal's Agenda on Facebook."  You can read her post here.

At the time that I was going to write the post, I was utterly enraged by a video spreading on Facebook of Rachel Maddow twisting and distorting the facts regarding Michigan's newly elected Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal.  Rather than spouting off in anger, I decided to wait.

Rick Snyder is a Republican.  Much like Liberal's, Republican's have agendas.  I tend to lump myself into the category of Independent.  And yes, even Independent's have agendas.

I don't necessarily like all of the proposals made by our newly elected governor, but I couldn't believe the distortion of facts in that Maddow video.  The most disturbing part for me, though, was the number of my respected friends that re-posted the video as if it were 100% fact rather than doing any research for themselves.  It felt like lamb's being led to the slaughter.  I was heartbroken.  The irony:  in the same time-frame, I was accused of being brainwashed because I refused to bend to some man's way of thinking and instead, I chose to read the facts for myself. 

But one thing I've learned in my adult life is this: bull-headed people come in all sizes and shapes, religious affiliations and political beliefs.  This knowledge has been solidified by my experience with social networking. 

Me?  I'll remain an Independent thinker and open to hearing opposing arguments.  I won't stomp my feet and have a cyber temper-tantrum if you disagree with my point of view.  I might shrug my shoulders. I might shake my head. I might privately vent about closed-minded people.  I might do all three.  But who knows?  At the end of the day, I might change my mind.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Brief Relief

News of his death brought tears to my eyes in that moment of remembrance.
A moment of brief relief. 
And now, the relief is over as the possibility of heightened attacks looms over US. 

The terror I felt that day.
The fear for the future of my children.
The reality that life as we knew it in America would change forever.
I take a whole lot less for granted.

A moment of brief relief.
Not happy.
Guilty for that brief relief.
The crushing weight of those memories.
Staring at the TV screen.

Knowing the journey continues.
It's over now.
That moment.
Brief Relief.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not-So-Bad Spring Cleaning

As most of you know, I recently moved.  The opportunity to do my BzzAgent duties by trying out SC Johnson cleaning and spring freshening supplies couldn't have come at a better time!  This year, it's not just a matter of spring cleaning.  I had to clean the house we were moving in to and the house we were leaving behind!!

I received my BzzAgent kit, which included some products I'm familiar with: the Lemon Pledge and the Foaming Scrubbing Bubbles.  It also included products I would have been reticent to use or try: the Glade Plugin Scented Oil and the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel.  As a bonus (to me), it included one of their Glade candles in a limited edition Spring scent, and coupons for me to utilize and pass out to some of my friends and family members.  I was happy to find coupons for floor care products to try on my wood flooring in the new house, not to mention the ceramic and linoleum flooring, too!

The biggest items for me, though, were trying the new products.  Using the Toilet Cleaning Gel was very different than the way we used to clean toilets!  One application of the disk and it's still cleaning my toilet two weeks later!  How do I know?  I still smell it every time I walk into the bathroom!!

The Glade Plugin Scented Oil was cause for trepidation.  I have a very sensitive nose, especially after quitting smoking.  I don't want my home to have any overpowering smells.  Too much of a good thing with home scents can be bad.  When I got home from work on the first day of the Glade Plugin experiment, I was overwhelmed by the scent.  I had it set to the medium setting in the kitchen, which is my primary door of use.  So I turned it down to low and moved it.  It's now by the front door, which is a more neutral location for the first floor of the house.  It's just about perfect on the low setting.  I can tell it's there, but it's not overwhelming me.  And I like it so much that I bought more scents to try! 

What a great way to welcome Spring!  Now if we could just get the weather back on track... ;-)

Disclosure: I was provided some product and coupons to share my opinions.  My opinions, however, are entirely my own.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

To Complain or Not Complain


An employee of a large company that you do business with fails to follow up with you, call you when you request they call, verbally denies your request without gathering all of the legitimate details, later states they can fulfill the request but ultimately loses that one aspect of your business for their company as a result.


Do you formalize your complaint in writing?  If so, would you do it knowing that the employee could lose their job?

If the employee didn't lose their job, would you feel comfortable continuing to conduct business with the company?  Or would you feel awkward every time you entered that location? 

Would you really want to continue doing business with a company who lets their employees get away with treating the customer like that?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reader's Digest We Hear You, America! Contest

I love Jackson, Michigan.  Reader's Digest had a competition recently where 10 municipalities were all going to win prize money based on the numbers of "Cheers" a town received.  I'm happy to report that a Michigan town won the grand municipal prize, which should have been about $40,000.  I'm sad to report that Jackson ranked at about number 57 when that competition ended.

But Reader's Digest has brought the competition back, and I'm hoping to get more cheers for Jackson!!  Jackson needs so many things: jobs, roads that don't break our cars, pool maintenance at Ella Sharp, more than one operational fire station, and hope.

Here's what you can do:

Go to the Reader's Digest We Hear You America page by clicking here.

On the right hand side, you'll see a section that says "Cheer now for your town."  Type in Jackson, MI and then click the "Cheer" button.

On the next screen, your first visit to the site will require you to register.  On future visits, you'll only be required to enter your e-mail address to login.

After you register/login, you'll see a "Cheer!" button on the left hand side.  Click that repeatedly (it'll change to Cheer Louder when you've maxed your votes for the day) until you've voted your 10x.  You can watch the total cheers at the top go up.

After you've reached your max cheers for the day, you can click on cheer louder and help spread the word by sending e-mails, posting to Twitter and posting to Facebook. 

Help spread the word and let's get Jackson in the top 10, if not #1.  The contest ends on May 16, 2011.  We can do this, Jackson!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Philly Cooking Creme Helped My Dinnertime Dilemma!

I was hoping to have a house-warming party using the awesome Philly Dinnertime Dilemma kit that I received from  However, the banks had a different idea (and they didn't even know it!).

We closed on our new house a little later than we anticipated, so instead of a house-warming party, it was a moving party!!

We had some snacks out to nibble on between loads, but the Kraft Philly Cooking Cremes, which come in Original, Savory Garlic, Santa Fe and Italian Herb, were awesomely handy for this tired gal when it came time to really FEED to moving crew!!

I did a little prep the night before by pre-cooking the approximate amount of pasta I was going to need.  I even decided to mix it up a little using various types, including sea shell pasta, which is always a favorite with the kids.

So when the time rolled around to begin the food, I defrosted my chicken and cooked it in the absolutely awesome GreenPan that I got.  What an amazing pan!  No oil, butter or grease needed to prevent my chicken from sticking, but it's NOT Teflon, either!

I used a total of 6 Philly Cooking Cremes to fee my moving crew of about 20 friends.  One friend was so geeked about the whole idea of promoting good foods that she ran home and applied to become a hostess.  Another, who works at Meijer and had been wondering about the Philly Cooking Cremes, was happy to have finally tried them.

We had an outstanding time!  The Philly Cooking Cremes are bound to become a staple in our house, especially when we know that we'll be having guests! ;-)

My guests can participate in additional online conversation here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We're Moving!

Isn't it beautiful?! 

We weren't really looking to buy a house (for all the friends and relatives who may be shocked by the news of us moving), but there's an odd, interesting story behind me and this house.  Perhaps I should feel a little guilty, but I can't find the guilt on this one.  That may have much to do with the work ahead, but I'm ready for it!

When Steve and I opened ProTech Computers out on Horton Rd., we drove by this house every day on our way to work.  This house spoke to me when it went up for sale shortly after that commute began.  I wanted this house.  I couldn't afford to do anything about it.  Our new store was barely a year old and, as is typical when starting a new business, things had been slow.  Times were tough.  They wanted more than I could sneeze at, especially since I already owned a house and couldn't fathom selling it for what I owed in the current housing market.

Sigh.  The house sold to someone else.  The For Sale sign was gone.  I told it if we were meant to be together, someday it would happen.

I had never stepped foot inside the house.  Never pulled into the driveway.  Never saw the back yard.

Fast forward about four years.  The house is for sale again.  I actually look up the house and find out what they wanted for it. 

Wow.  It was in forclosure.  They were asking for less than a third of the asking price all those years ago.  I wanted this house so bad that I could have put an offer in without even seeing inside.  Sanity won, however, and we made an appointment to look at it.

The backyard is vast.  My nieces can't wait to play on the tire swing.  My daughter can't wait to play on the tire swing.  The tire swing has been granted a one summer season reprieve, then it's outta here!

For the first time in their lives, my daughters will no longer have to share a bedroom.  And for the first time in a long time, we'll have more than one bathroom.

It needs a lot of work.  A lot of care and maintenance.  A lot of love.  We didn't look at it through rose colored glasses, trust me.  We're going to have many work filled weekends ahead of us.  And we're so excited!!

The paperwork gets signed on Monday afternoon.  Then someday you'll have to drop by and check out our new home!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


It's not about the every-day crap that life throws at me.  I can deal with that.  I DO deal with that.  I sink into my own little self-made depressions and have to pull myself out eventually to continue dealing with all the other crap!

But what I have an immensely difficult time dealing with is the dog crap that finds it's way onto my property.  I have a neighbor, some 3 or 4 houses away.  They own a little dog.

For years, they have disobeyed the local leash law.  They walk this dog without a leash.  Not such a bad thing, except that the dog doesn't walk with them and they spend a large portion of the walk yelling her name to get her to come back to where they are.  Peaceful neighborhood, existent no more.

The dog hobbles around on three legs because it has been hit by vehicles in the past.  Yes.  That was plural.  It has happened more than once, and still, the dog is walked without a leash and the dog continues to run wherever it wants.

But wait!  I forgot to mention that they don't always actually walk the dog themselves.  Maybe that's how it was hit by vehicles in the past.  I know there has been more than one ocassion when I have almost hit the suddenly-dashing-in-front-of-my-moving-car dog. 

And the dog has been crapping in my yard.  Last Saturday, I removed a pile of dog crap from the four corners where the sidewalk intersects my driveway...and a pile at the bottom of my concrete steps.  Monday morning, after the massive snowfall we had Sunday, I had the pleasure of cleaning up more.

I don't have pets anymore.  My dog died nine years ago.  And when she was alive, I didn't let her crap in other people's yards.  So why do I have to clean up other animal crap in my yard?

I spoke with someone from the City offices yesterday.  We don't have a law requiring owners to clean up after their pet when they're out for a walk.  There is a law for not allowing animal defacation to get out of control on your property.  I can talk to my neighbors about the crap, but they can choose to ignore me or punish me with more crap.  After all, it's in my yard, not theirs.  I can report the dog to Animal Control when it's out without a leash, but if Animal Control arrives and the dog is back in the house it's a waste of time.  Well, I've been told I can always catch the dog for Animal Control.

So guess who gets in trouble with the city for the crap?  And how fair is that?

What would you do?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

9 Whole Months


Today, I'm celebrating the 9 month anniversary of the day that I last smoked a cigarette.  At one point today, I really wanted a cigarette.  I was upset and frustrated with underwriters who keep putting hurdles between me and the house I'm trying to buy.  My old habit haunted me.  It would have been so easy to pick up a cigarette to calm the upset and frustration.

But I didn't.  And I confessed the want to my youngest daughter.  She said she was proud of me because I'm such a strong person. 

I don't usually think of it that way.

But yes.  It has been nine whole months.

Clip art copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Awesome Cosmopolitan Deal!

I love Cosmopolitan magazine!

As a BzzAgent, I got this awesome offer for a 12 month subscription of Cosmpolitan magazine for just $5 and I just had to share!!  It's like getting 11 months free!  You can also subscribe to Marie Claire for only $5 more!

Cosmo is the magazine for the take charge woman, with articles on relationships, health, fashion and well-being! You can't miss out on this exciting opportunity!  Click here to subscribe now.