Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Reasonable Resolution For 2014

Every year, millions of people make a resolution to change in the upcoming year.  Lose weight.  Exercise more.  Go back to school.  Scratch off an item on their bucket list.  Try to keep a plant alive for more than a couple weeks...

Every year, millions fail.  

I am guilty of failing for many years.  Quitting smoking turned out to be a success, but weight loss after quitting smoking has been a disaster.  Exercising has been a bust as well.  The more weight I gained, the more tired I became, the more tired I became, the less motivated I was, the less motivated I was, the more I ate.

So, as my husband and I consumed pie, cookies, and candy over Christmas, talking about starting a diet on the first of the year (same discussion every year), I started to feel the disappointment set in.

I hadn't even started yet and I was already failing.

I made a momentous decision about what I'm actually resolved to do.  I'll try to eat healthier and lose weight, but I often try this every few weeks so it's not really a resolution.

This year, at the end of each day, I resolve to write down the most memorable thing that happened to me.  Whether it was laughing hysterically, crying, getting angry, smiling for no reason, or just a quiet moment holding a purring kitten...  

I will write down the one thing that stuck out the most to me that day and at the end of the year, I will open that jar and read the little pieces of paper.  I may add a small token of a memory.  I may even share my experiences with my husband.  

I will take stock of what my year consisted of and learn from it.  Did I spend too much time mad at my husband?  Did I laugh a lot?  Was I a positive or negative person?

Next year, the resolution will be to focus on those good days and try to eliminate the bad.  Like counting calories for my spirit, I resolve to fix myself from the inside out.  One day at a time.

You can't lose a hundred pounds overnight and you can't heal your soul in a breath.  A year-long project to choose the right resolution for myself, one that won't fail.  To become a better person, mother, wife, friend.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Common Sense...Where Did It Go?

At least a dozen times a day I ask aloud, "Seriously?"

I don't know what happened to the world in the Land of Smart Phones and Stupid People, but I'm really sick of it.  Cashiers can't make change.  If your bill is $7.52, give them $10.02 and watch the confusion come over their face.  I often get, "It's SEVEN FIFTY-TWO..."

Yeah, speaking louder doesn't make you seem like less of an idiot and I don't want a pocket full of change when I can have two quarters instead.  Seriously?

When my son was born, I made it abundantly clear we would not talk in baby talk to him.  Why learn two languages when he can learn our native tongue of English?  By two he was building a ravine for his trains, by five he was playing along with Jeopardy, and beating me.

He was diagnosed as autistic when a neurologist (in baby-speak) asked, "Uh... can you touch your nose?  Can you?  Can you touch it?"  My son was a year and a half and looked at me like the doctor was a moron and we walked out.  Yes, he can touch his nose.  He can also speak normally and was doing basic math.  Seriously?

Parents don't parent any more.  Stop medicating your kids for ADD or ADHD!  They don't have problems, they're kids.  They have more energy than us, they learn by touching, doing, exploring.

And stop with the not-my-child attitude.  Yes, your child.  I love my kid, but if he does wrong, he pays the price, I don't buy him a new video game because "he must be feeling unloved".  Seriously?  He's testing me and he lost, so he'll pay the price.

How about the new labels on things?

Don't eat the new dishwasher tablets.
Don't use bleach containers as drink containers.
Don't climb over the fences in a zoo, because you may be eaten.
Never iron clothes while wearing them.
Viagra is not for newborns.  WHAT??
Microwave not to be used for drying pets.
Egg carton:  Allergy advice, contains egg.
Do not hold the wrong end of a chain saw.  (with photo in case you don't know which end is the wrong end)

My favorite:  Warning, these peanuts may contain peanuts or peanut by-products.  Seriously?

Sadly, some idiot had to have done these things to warrant a label.  What would possess a person to do these things?

I have to give myself pep talks before leaving the house, do a little meditating, then keep my head down and plow through the crowds so I don't hurt people.  I should come with a warning label.  

Warning:  I will slap you without prior notice if you lack common sense.

Oh and...

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Family In Need...Magnum's Lift To Freedom

As Christmas approaches I start getting a little cheap with things because I know I'll have to buy numerous gifts for others.  Not to mention the road trip prior that I'll have to make to my parents home for Thanksgiving...

Sometimes I my heart just breaks for those in need.

My son has quite a few friends that eat peanut butter & jelly, Chef Boyardee, or ramen noodles for dinner every night.  They have never travelled or seen anything outside of their county, much less their state.

Then you take into account we live in a world of social media.  People don't interact with each other or actually speak any more.  Texting is the norm. So how do we get people to care?

It's hard to imagine that someone you know might actually need something important.  I never pass a Salvation Army can at Christmas without dropping at least a dollar in it, I always give a few canned items during food drives, because I know every little bit helps.

I know this because I'm also a volunteer.  I also believe Karma is watching me and eventually I'll be rewarded for all of my efforts to help others.

We don't have a lot, but I know we have more than others and if we don't reach out, if it's possible, who will?

Thanks to Facebook, I reconnected with an old friend I've known since fifth grade.  She and I have shared many laughs and talks, but you wouldn't know she was burdened.  She has a son born with spina bifida, but it doesn't bring her down, she is as fierce as any mother and encourages her son to do all he can possibly do in life.

Unfortunately, her husband has lost his job and they are still trying to pay for the lift in their van that helps transport him around.  Maybe someone will see this, maybe someone will share, but my greatest hope is that someone will donate a little money and help them.

I've given up 20 Starbucks coffees or twelve trips through fast food restaurants, or three lunches with friends, or any other numbers of ways to justify the small amount I was able to give.

What can you give up to help someone truly in need?

The link to donate:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dear Guy Who Just Made My Burrito

I didn't write this.  I found it here.  But I laughed so hard I thought I was going to have an aneurysm...

Dear Guy Who Just Made My Burrito:

Have you ever been to earth?

On earth, we use the word “burrito” to describe a tortilla filled with things you eat. Pretty simple stuff, and I’m surprised you at least got that part right. My burrito was, in fact, filled with food. In this, you and I agree and are friends. But this is also where my lifelong hatred begins for you and anyone else whose brain has been repeatedly scrubbed with the same mixture of bleach and Pop Rocks as yours has. Because that should have killed you, but left you around long enough to do what you did to me today. Let me explain:

You’re an idiot.

Let me further explain:

Burritos are eaten from one end to the other. So that means when you assemble a burrito with motherfucking ZONES of ingredients going that direction, you create a disgusting experience for the burrito’s end user. When you make a burrito, you should put the ingredients in layers lengthwise. That way, every bite has AT LEAST A FUCKING CHANCE of getting at least two types of ingredients, and there is little chance of becoming almost hopelessly trapped in a goddamned cilantro cavern.

Have you ever eaten one of the things you make all fucking day? You should try one. They are pretty good WHEN YOU ARE NOT WILLING YOURSELF THROUGH THE FUCKING EMPIRE OF SOUR CREAM ONLY TO END UP IN LETTUCE COUNTRY.

When you eat a burrito, you don’t stand it up and bite down on it lengthwise like a fucking Rancor. Humans can’t usually dislocate their jaws, and I’m not a fucking pelican. But you must think that’s how it’s done, since that would be THE ONLY FUCKING WAY to take a bite of your crapstrosity and have it taste like a burrito.

And guess what else, player? You probably can’t guess anything, because I’m pretty sure you’re just a mop with a hat on it that fell over and spilled some shit into a tortilla, but just in case, here’s what:

Humans also don’t eat burritos like fucking corn on the cob. Like a fucking typewriter from one end to the other a little at a time and then DING next line. But today I wish I had tried that. Because at least THEN I would be able to eat some rice, then beans, then be all like HEY BEANS I’LL BE RIGHT BACK JUST GOING OVER HERE TO THE GUACAMOLE FOR A SECOND.



You built this thing like a fucking pack of LifeSavers.



I just want a burrito.

In conclusion:

You’re the worst thing that has ever happened to the universe, you owe everyone everywhere an apology for this burritobomination, and I hope your babies look like monkeys.


A fucking fork?




Jesus already gave me two burrito forks. One at the end of each arm. They’re called fucking HANDS.

A fork. My god. I haven’t cried since I was six, but I’m fucking sobbing now.

People eat burritos with forks?

God is sorry he made us.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What I Remember About 9/11

My son was four so we were up early, breakfast was over and I turned on the TV in my bedroom, sat on the bed with my coffee cup to catch up on the latest news and celebrity gossip on my morning show while he played in his room to the same video he's watched for 43 days straight...

Then:  Breaking News.

First the picture that one of the Twin Towers on fire.  I was shocked, how horrible!  And the very first thing that went through my mind was the bombing in the World Trade Center in 1993.

I thought, "My God, they did it again."  The news anchor was listening for updates and not speaking yet.  Then the announcement that a plane crashed into the building.

I called, my friend and neighbor, who also had a four year old, always up early, and they came over immediately.  She put her daughter with my son and came in my room.  A second neighbor, just walked in and sat on the bed.  The three of us silent, transfixed.  All of us, still in pajamas.

I called my parents, "Are you watching the news? Well turn it on!", then hung up.

We sat together, staring at the horror, when this appeared on screen:

We reached for each other and held hands.  "Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God."  We were two military wives, one military member, and we knew what this meant.  

One is tragic, two...deliberate.

We sat in silence watching the news, the children happily playing, oblivious, as report after report rolled in of other hijackings, potential hijackings, and fear for which target would be next.  

Then the Petagon...

As the towers fell, as the panic ensued; our fear, anger, and worry set in.

"We need to donate blood."  It was something Amy and I did once a month, but I felt compelled to do it right now.

We hurriedly dressed and headed to the Red Cross, while Johnnie got called in to work.

We were listening to the radio about the crash in Pennsylvania, while heading down the road to helping the only way we could. Upon our return to the military base we lived on, it was locked up tight, cars were being searched, bomb sniffing dogs, confusion, and panic.

We spent hours together silently tending our children, eating a tasteless lunch, before she took her daughter home and I held my son.  The world had changed and we would never be the same.  Attacked in our own country, on our own soil.  

Trying to explain to a four year old little boy what it meant, why Mommy was crying, and later... why Daddy had to leave us for so long...

At 8:49 EST, every year, I say a prayer for the ones who were lost, the families left behind, and those (like my husband) who fight to prevent these things from happening again.

Although much more profound, I think of this a "The Kennedy Tragedy" of my generation.  A Nation shocked, stunned, and immobile, before getting angry and seeking revenge.

I will never forget that morning.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Genius Ideas During Insomnia

I do my best thinking in the middle of the night.

So I may not be the first to think of this idea, but I didn't read about it anywhere.

I have these gorgeous dishes I bought at Pier 1 (Vallarta, 12 place setting -- plates, salad plates, bowls, & canisters) ages ago and they were extremely expensive.  They have little nicks and chips along the edges from normal wear and tear...

They bother me.  I'm embarrassed to serve visitors and use my good china for guests even if it's hamburgers/hot dogs.  I didn't want to throw them out, they don't sell them any more and I've been stumped on what to do.  

A marker would still leave the dent and fade in the dishwasher.  The rough edges would still be there.


So I never paint my nails because I work with my hands and my nails look wretched, but I do paint my toenails in summer wearing sandals.  I have a ton of colors and it got me to thinking...

Nail polish is smooth, it's waterproof, and comes in a million colors.

I was at Target and staring at all of them on a wall.  The manager walks by saying "Tough choice, I know."

But she didn't know.  I kept thinking of that paint commercial, "Not like a puuuuuuurrrrrple, but more like a puuuurrpppple."  

I needed just the right shade of blue and not metallic.


One dab and it hardly shows, patience and two coats and yes, it's held up through washing, the dishwasher, and my family!

I'm telling everyone I know because my dishes look new again and I can use them once more without embarrassment!!  Who knew?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Handicap Parking Privileges

The latest internet outrage has been about someone who left a note on a windshield saying "You are clearly not disabled.  Shame on you" given to a woman parked in a handicap spot.

Privilege:  (noun) a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.

I have a handicap tag for my rear-view mirror.  I'm not old, I'm not in a wheelchair, I walk around on my own two feet and other than being overweight, you wouldn't think me handicapped as I walk into a store, the mall, or Walmart.

But did you know that I am recovering from a broken neck?  That I'm overweight from the inactivity during my recovery?  Did you know that for two years I was in physical therapy and the fact that I can walk on my own two feet is a blessing?

Some days I park in handicap, some days I don't.  It depends on the amount of cars in a parking lot and how much shopping I will be doing.  When I do utilize this option, I always pick the furthest spot and never in a van accessible space.

I don't use the store scooters, I try my best to continue walking on my own and hoping the day comes when I won't need that tag.  I'm not taking advantage and I'm not even complaining.

But I've seen the looks.  

The snotty, holier-than-thou looks by others as I hop out of my SUV and enter a store, happy and perky.  If you've never seen disdain, wake a cat up.  Same look.

But where are you halfway through my shopping where I'm sweating and leaning on the buggy?  Where are you when I literally cry out in pain as I put bags in my car?  Where are you as I struggle to even get in the car, then sit there panting from pain unable to turn my neck or start the car for a while?  Sometimes having to wait for medicine to kick in while I sit in the heat.

Did you know that the weight gained has stressed my heart so that just doing day-to-day activities could cause it to rupture from all the strain, lifting and pushing heavy things?  Can't see that can you?

I passed out in a Walmart once.  As I was blacking out, people just walked past me, stepped over me or ignored me.  Finally, a worker came to my rescue and called an ambulance.  

Those people who didn't give a damn?  Same ones giving me that look as they walked into the store.  Did they remember I was the one they mocked?  I bet they didn't notice anything except I was blocking the DVD New Release section.

Not every handicap is visible.  Stop judging others based on what you believe to be right.  I'm so sick of people like that.  I believe in the full circle of life and I have a photographic memory.  So if Karma doesn't get you, I may walk past you one day in your time of need.  

Maybe I'll help, or just maybe I'll step over you and keep going...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Behind The Curtain

Everyone remembers The Wizard of Oz.  The Great and Powerful Oz was nothing more than a little man behind a curtain with a projector and megaphone...

But what happens when you look behind the curtain of your hero?  

Sometimes we learn that those we admire, those that lifted us up, or those that inspired us...are just ordinary people with problems just like ours.

I recently found out my hero was worse off than I was.  Did I really derive all of my strength from someone who could be so weak?

I'm so disappointed.  

I'm not even sure if it's because I looked behind the curtain or if because what was revealed was such a lie.

I'm not a present-shaker.  I don't peek.  I wasn't the one that pulled back the curtain.  But what I saw behind there almost left me bereft.

The lesson I took away?  I'm better off being my own hero.

I shall make my own magic, lift myself up, and inspire others to do the same.  Heroes are for kids.  As adults, we need to be our own hero and stop depending on other people to inspire us when the world is ripe for our own inspiration.

Don't look behind the curtain.  Look beyond it, to the world that awaits...

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Reality Of Middle Age And Fashion

I recently started receiving catalogs from many new companies I've never shopped with before.  Perhaps they are affiliates of my favorite boutiques?  Maybe they got my name off some obscure website I visited once upon a time.

No matter, it's the target audience I'm questioning.  For me, "cold shoulder" equates to "room for arm fat".  And what's with this top?  Are we going into battle on a futuristic planet?  Why is she squatting?

My lithe twenties have passed me by decades ago.  Although in my dreams I am my current older self, I am often once again thinner and able to move without creaks and pops.  In real life, it takes me twenty minutes to get out of bed and into the bathroom because my joints don't quite work the way they used to.

I flip through these tantalizing pages of potential beauty and sex appeal and laugh.  Usually out loud.

The other day I was shopping for a tee shirt.  A specific one at Eddie Bauer.  They didn't have that particular style, but I was offered by an eager sales girl some "fabulously comfortable leggings" with a printed tee that wouldn't even cover my mid section.

Seriously?  I get those "People of Walmart" memes, I know what she's up to and I wasn't born yesterday!

I have feet like Bilbo Baggins.  Try squeezing my size tens in those and you'll have toes poking out like weeds in sidewalk cracks.  Forget trying to walk in these.  I have visions of scraped palms, a bone shattered (possibly a hip), but in none of my fantasies does a handsome doctor roll my stretcher into the Emergency Room, look me over and say, "Sexy shoes.  Are you married?"

The reality would be, "Are you crazy?  You can't walk in shoes like that with your weight balanced on a toothpick.  Nurse call psychiatric while we put her in X-ray.  And somebody cut these things off her feet, her toes are purple from lack of circulation..."

And what the Hell is that?  In case I get mugged by a sea urchin I'll have the ability to fight back?

Do I want to be old?  NO.  But please, can't we make sweats/yoga pants and large tees somewhere between bootylicious and old-lady-cruise-wear for normal, every day people?  

We are moms, or even grandmothers, we have kids, pets, car pools, jobs, and errands.  I don't dance on a pole, battle medieval knights, or frequent street corners outside trendy clubs on weekends.

I love heels, I do, even at five foot nine, I'll tower to six-one in a normal looking shoe with some comfort padding in the insole, I mean you know, to dinner and back and they usually end up being carried into the house, but I love a good, pretty shoe.  

I'll even put on a nice leopard or zebra print.  I'm not so stymied that I'm in a monochromatic cotton jumpsuit, but I certainly don't need a top where I have to tape it down so my nipples don't show or wear something underneath to keep my twins from taking center stage.

I would love to not only find a pair of boots that would fit over my jeans like every little girl on TV, but how about a pair that fits over my bare calf for the love of God?!?  Why are things only made in size swizzle stick??

And this:

This is not a costume.  This is an actual jacket for sale for every day wear/use.  Unless I start handing out poisoned apples, I'm pretty sure it will never grace the inside of my closet.

**These are actual, current fashions from catalogs I've received within the past two weeks.  Can someone please tell the fashion world that it is OUR generation that spends the most money on fashion and they'd sell a lot more it they'd tone it down, cover it up, and make it comfortable, not creepy?

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Long Road Left Behind

I once wrote in a book to my son:

"In the autumn of my days, I will look back on the changes in your colorful life and know it was a good season."

Before I became a mother I was often heard saying "all the forks in my road have been spoons."  Though I made many mistakes over the years, I don't regret a single one.  Had I not chosen the wrong path once in a while, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Sure we often look back and wonder what it would have been like.  What if I hadn't majored in (this) in college?  What if I had moved to Hollywood?  Whatever happened to that photo that will keep me from being President?  What if I had never said yes to that first date?

I'm only in the mid-summer of my life and I reminisce like many do.  Facebook brings back people I hadn't thought about in years and makes me remember a silly girl in my youth with a bit of a wild streak.

But the road home is filled with mistakes and bad choices.  I often don't want to literally return to where I'm from, much less revisit it in my dreams.

My road has led me to a wonderful son that means the world to me.  Brilliant, funny, and handsome and I was blessed to have him because after giving birth, I no longer could.

Friends, family, and a husband of eighteen years, many ups and downs like most, but a good start to the second half of my life.

I sometimes feel like I missed out on something, mid 40's can be scary, but when I think harder, I realize that I'm only halfway through my life.  It's not a half empty glass.  

I made it to the top of the mountain and it's all downhill from here!  My son goes to college in a couple of years and I have some time to make up for and more than willing to give it a good go.

I look forward to taking in every aspect of my surroundings and enjoying the second half of my life to it's fullest without regrets or stopping to look back down that long and winding road back to where I started...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Man Turns His "Beloved" Cat Into A Hovercraft

This is not a new story, but every time I see something touting this "breakthrough in taxidermy" it sickens me.

The Dutch "artist", Bart Jansen turned his dead cat Orville, named after Orville Wright, into a remote-controlled helicopter, after having him stuffed and mounted propellers to his legs.

The Orvillecopter, which Jansen built with Arjen Beltman, was on display at the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam.

Art?  Really?

Orville died when he was run over by a car and now supposed to receive more powerful engines for the Hague expo.

Orville's owner says he loved birds and he can now fly with them.


Ok, those are the facts.  Let's look at the hideousness of what he did.  He claimed he did it to honor his so-called beloved feline friend because he could now chase birds.

Can he?  He is now a toy, operated by his one-time owner, who I would chance to guess wouldn't chase birds with his fancy new Orvillecopter because it would be cruel to the birds.

Ironic?  I wouldn't bother to post a photo except I know you'll just Google it anyway.

I hope someone turns that guy into a hover craft when he's dead.  Or that he just gets hit by a car.  Either way, I think it's sick what he did and it angers me.  Now it's a joke and other artists are talking about turning different things into hover crafts.

Where's the Dutch version of PETA?  Spain has one.  Of course aren't the Dutch the ones famous for legal drugs & prostitutes, oh, and euthanasia?  

Shouldn't this qualify for animal experimentation?

I saw a story where a sushi restaurant served with these drones instead of a waiter having to walk ten feet to deliver it to a table.

Poor Orville, I hope he is either resting peacefully or haunting the Hell out of his former owner!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

No Rest For The Weary

My grandmother used to tell me that.  She was up long after we went to bed and awake before the chickens.  Looking back, I think she was the rooster's alarm clock.

I never understood what that meant as a child and I was always so frustrated when she'd say it.

I'm tired.  Not exhausted, not depleted, just tired.  What's the difference?  I can go on, I just don't want to.

I wake up and I start my day immediately, no snooze for me.  I feed everyone, I get laundry and dishes started, make beds, lunches, but I feel like I never get anything accomplished.  The floor is always in need of vacuuming, there is always more laundry and dishes piled up.  My calendar is full of appointments, jobs, and errands.

My oldest had his wisdom teeth removed the other day and we have been battling swelling.  He is no longer hurting, but he can't eat because his cheeks are between his teeth, he can't talk right and he is miserable.

As a mother I worry.  About everything.  I called the doctor and was told "give it time".  Easy for him.  He's not losing sleep at night!  Things are piling up as I give my son the extra attention he needs and as I took a few moments to sit, I just said to myself, "I'm so tired."

Then I heard Maw Maw faintly reply, "No rest for the weary," in her cheerful voice.

So I rise and start again to do the things I do, without expecting praise or appreciation.  Just like my grandmother did.

I go to bed well after everyone else and I'm the first one up, before the sun, and I suspect if we had a rooster, I'd have to wake him...

Saturday, June 8, 2013

What's A Writer To Do?

I think I've been telling stories since I was a kid.  Not the tall tale kind to get you out of trouble, but the kind to entertain.

One day I sat down and started typing and three months later I had my first manuscript.  I felt accomplished for the first time in my life.  Up to that point I had discovered about twenty professions I couldn't stick with for any length of time.

It wasn't long after that I started a children's series.  Slowly, the demands of life got in the way and everything has been piling up on a back-burner since.

I take care of my kids, my home, my husband, and everyone around me.  I volunteer several days a week.  I think I stopped sleeping about five years ago.

So one of my jobs was as a photographer.  I volunteer with an animal rescue group and they asked me if I would take pictures for their website of the adoptable animals.  Then they asked me to shoot their charity calendar.

Then my photos started to become so popular that people started asking me to photograph birthday parties, their pets, babies...

Now I'm opening my own photography business.  I think I've been taking pictures as long as I've been telling tales, but I never thought much about it.  

I still feel weird when I get compliments about my work.  I didn't go to college for this.  It's a hobby for which I've suddenly started making money.

I don't believe in altering a photo.  I'll fix a blemish on your face, but I don't alter the integrity of a photo.  I think that's why I'm becoming so popular.  I just take a picture and it is what it is.

Maybe I'll make a go of it, or maybe I'll bust.  My cousin is a wedding photographer in New Orleans and very popular.  I've taken some hints from her.

Either way it'll just be something else to add to a very lengthy resume that I have been building for quite some time now.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I Received A Liebster Award Nomination

So I was nominated for the Liebster Award for my blog.

The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

There are certain criteria that must be met in order to continue sharing this award with other bloggers. It’s sort of a fun chain letter that helps bloggers connect & discover new blogs.

The rules are simple:

11 Random Facts About Me:

1.  I'm a pet photographer, writer, blogger.
2.  My head is full of useless historical facts.
3.  I have long, curly red hair, it's natural and although I get many compliments, I really look more like Merida from Brave.
4.  I am an only child.
5.  I love the movie Sense and Sensibility and cry every time Marianne gets her heart broken & when Elinor finally gets together with Edward.
6.  I have dreams of opening an animal sanctuary.
7.  I've written my manuscript, but too afraid of rejection to publish.
8.  I love to make people laugh.
9.  I'm addicted to coconut Jelly Bellies.
10.  I'd rather nap than clean house (which leads to...).
11.  I'm a stay-at-home-slave.

11 Questions I have to answer:

Why did you start blogging?  Because my husband got tired of listening to my constant chatter.
What are your favorite topics to blog about?  Whatever pops into my head.
Whom? What? Where? Does your blogging inspiration come from?  My random thoughts or something I've heard then pondered.
How do you handle a stressful day?  I eat.  A lot.
What do you hope your readers remember about you?  Some little something they'll carry with them throughout the day.
What is your favorite food?  Mexican.
What’s your favorite quote? You can't fight stupid.
What’s your favorite movie?  Always.
What is your best trait?  My honesty, although it's shocking for some.
Do you have a resolution for 2013?  Don't die.
What makes you giggle?  My husband and son who are equally hysterical.

11 questions for my nominees:

Do you find blogging hard?
Do you blog daily?
Does blogging interfere with your personal life?
Do you judge other blogs against your own?
Do you stick to one theme in your blog?
What is your biggest pet peeve?
What is your Achilles Heel?
Do you blog and regret a post?
Are you a Facebook addict?
Could you live without your cell phone?
What is the greatest technological advance?

And now the blogs I nominate:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cocoa Mulch: The New Deadly Trend

Who wouldn't buy such a highly touted product?  But the warnings are not on the bags.  Know what you are buying/using.

First we'll start with why everyone loves this new mulch trend...


Adding any mulch is good for the garden but Cocoa Shell is the best mulch on the market. And here is why:

1. It looks much better than other mulches. It begins life as a reddish brown color but after time darkens to give a rich brown color that stays for its life. Bark tends to bleach in the sun giving an uneven and untidy appearance. Cocoa Shell gives a lovely contrast to foliage and flowers.

2. Cocoa Shell is packed full of healthy nutrients for all your plants. It has a Nitrogen:Phosphorous:Potash of 3:1:3, which is better than any other mulch. It means it has enough Nitrogen within itself to compost down, whereas bark robs the soil of Nitrogen as it composts and hence deprives plants of this nutrient.

3. It works better than the other mulches. It is better at weed suppression because of the loosely knitted porous mat, and for the same reason better at keeping moisture in the ground (up to 50% better in independent tests). So for a low maintenance option cocoa shell is the best mulch.

4. The texture deters slugs and snails. The texture is not dissimilar to broken egg shells, and hence slugs and snails do not like it. As such it is a very environmentally nematode deterrent. Many hosta growers use it on top of pots for this reason, and as any hosta lovers know, this plant is favorite dish of these slimy pests!

5. Most cats do not like the texture either, so again it is a cat friendly way to keep them off your borders.


If your dog likes to spend sunny days lazing in the garden, his treat-seeking nose may lead him to one danger in particular: sweet-smelling cocoa bean mulch. 

Many gardeners are familiar with the use of cocoa bean shells, a by-product of chocolate production, in landscaping. It’s especially popular for its attractive odor and color and eventual degradation into organic fertilizer. But many pet parents don’t realize that cocoa mulch, if eaten in large quantities by mischievous dogs, can be toxic.

“Dogs are attracted to the fertilizer’s sweet smell,” says Dr. Steven Hansen, ASPCA Chief Operating Officer, “but like chocolate, cocoa bean mulch can be too much for our canine companions.”

Ingestion of large amounts of cocoa bean mulch may cause a variety of clinical signs, including:

elevated heart rate
muscle tremors
neurological disturbances (seizures)

Dr. Hansen recommends that the gardeners among us consider using a nontoxic alternative, such as shredded pine, cedar or hemlock bark, to beautify their yards. These will keep your pooch and your garden happy and healthy.

If you suspect your dog has ingested cocoa bean mulch, please contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

The cocoa mulch contains a chemical called theobromine, when ingested can cause death in 12 to 24 hours.

This product is sold everywhere from Lowe's, Home Depot, Target, to any lawn & garden store.  Please, please, please do not buy or use this product if you own a pet or care about neighbors who own a pet.  

Even my cats like chocolate, I have to be careful with all my furbabies

Be diligent, again, this product comes with no warning.  Spread the word to your friends.

My Zimbio
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