Thursday, April 30, 2009

To Be 6 Again

Personally, I thought the below was a darn good birthday, even for a woman who'll be fifty on her next birthday. I'd love to be treated like a kid again. I love roller coasters, thrill rides, Godzilla movies, tea parties with my girlfriends, and I can't remember the last time I had a guilt-free fast food meal.






 To Be 6 Again...

A man was sitting on the edge of the bed, observing his wife, looking at herself in the mirror. Since her birthday was not far off, he asked what she'd like to  have for her birthday.
"I'd like to be six again", she replied, still looking in the mirror.
On the morning of her birthday, he arose early, made her a nice big bowl of Lucky Charms, and then took her to SixFlags theme park. What a day! 
He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Wall of Fear, the Screaming Monster Roller
Coaster, everything there was.
Five hours later they staggered out of the theme park. Her head was reeling and her stomach felt upside down.
He took her to a McDonald's where he ordered her a Happy Meal with extra fries and a chocolate shake.
Then it was off to a movie, popcorn, a soda pop, and her favorite candy, M&M's. What a fabulous adventure!

Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed exhausted. He leaned over his wife
with a big smile and lovingly asked, "Well Dear, what was it like being six again?"

Her eyes slowly opened and her expression suddenly changed.

"I meant my dress size, you retard! "
The moral of the story: 

Even when a man is listening, he is gonna get it wrong.









Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Literary Nymphs Review for Coyote Non Grata is live!

I finally get to brag without restraint!  

New Review - COYOTE NON GRATA - Lena Austin

Four & ½ Nymphs from Literary Nymphs


The amazing Lena Austin delivers a small peek into this intriguing topic of Native American legends. This is a very enjoyable snippet that will add curiosity and awareness to your day.


Click HERE




Tuesday, April 21, 2009

From a Fan...



Sometimes fans make your heart sing. A fan sent me this. Her coyote picture was cuter, but it refused to reproduce into Blogger. Still, I just had to share.

Coyote Non Grata review from Literary Nymphs!

I love Chocolate Minx!


Lena Austin


Friday, April 17, 2009

FW: Help! I've Been Laid Off!

You've seen my posts where I forwarded from GRS before. This one has real meaning for me.
My DH got laid off almost as soon as he was hired by Werner Trucking. He never even finished the required one year of OTR experience so he could find other work. Talk about a Catch-22. You can't be hired unless you have one year of OTR, but no company will give you that one year except the companies that hire you fresh from school. In between school and that one year, if you lose your job, you're screwed without KY.
If anyone has any suggestions out there on a job for an OTR trucker with less than one year of driving experience, I'd love to hear from you. Serious jobs, please.

Get Rich Slowly

Ask the Readers: Help! I've Been Laid Off!

Posted: 17 Apr 2009 05:00 AM PDT

In December, I shared a guest post that provided 10 essential steps to take before you're laid off. But what if it's too late? What if you've already lost your job? In this economy, more and more people are facing that situation, including long-time GRS reader Allen. He writes:

I was laid off yesterday. If it weren't for Get Rich Slowly, I wouldn't have any money set aside. As it is, I have a small emergency fund.

For the past 3-1/2 years, I've been a quality assurance engineer. Before that I worked at Best Buy. Before that, I dropped out of college. In this job market, I cannot easily find a job in my field; all of them require a college degree, regardless of experience. To this end, I'm thinking about finishing my degree. I'm 28. I haven't been in school for half a decade. My study skills are rusty.

I've been trying to focus on the positives because the alternative isn't helpful. I will get back on my feet, but I don't know how I'm going to pay for my home and car in the short term. If I do go back to school, I might have to work full-time, too. I know people have done more with less, but that doesn't make this any easier. I also have a lot of questions:

  • How do I contact ex-bosses (or ex-coworkers) for letters of recommendation?
  • How do I politely ask lenders if they might be willing to suspend loan payments without affecting my credit score?
  • How can I move from an already thrifty existence to something more meager?
  • I want to roll my 401k into an IRA. Which company should I use? Vanguard?

This is all new to me. I know people have been laid off before — even my father was laid off three times when I was a boy — but this is the first time it's ever happened to me. What next?

I'm a fan of education, and I applaud Allen for considering this route. But I think he needs to be cautious of new debt while doing his best to manage the debt he currently has. If he's already living a frugal lifestyle, there's not going to be much room for him to cut further expenses. (Can he give up the car?) That means his top priority has to be generating additional cash.

For now, I believe Allen should do what he can to bring in some sort of income — any income. Pick up a short-term job, even if it seems like a dead-end, but don't let it become permanent. Better yet, seek help through a temporary agency. (When I was working at the box factory, we often found great future employees through temp agencies.) But I've never faced this situation before, so this purely theoretical advice seems inadequate.

Have you been laid off? How did you handle it? Do you have general advice for Allen's situation, and for others who might have lost their jobs? What about his specific questions? How do you cope with a layoff when you already live frugally, and when you still have debts to pay?

Related Articles at Get Rich Slowly:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

2012 Presidential Candidate

I have to admit, I'm hard-assed enough to agree with most of these. Do I believe Bill Cosby actually wrote this? No. Do I care? No.
Subject: 2012 Presidential Candidate
Bill  Cosby has a great way of distilling things. Looks like he's  done it again!  


(1) 'Press 1 for English' is  immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it  or wait at the border until you can.
Lena's note: I'm willing to be more generous, but I certainly wouldn't make many of the acommodations I see now. When you can't find a job unless you're bi-lingual, there's a problem.

(2) We will  immediately go into a two year isolationist posture to  straighten out the country's attitude. NO imports, no exports.  We will use the '
Wal-Mart  's  policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.'

(3)  When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on  it.

(4) All retired military personnel will be required  to man one of our many observation towers on the southern  border (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not  to fire on
   SOUTHBOUND  aliens.
Just the retirees? Umm...wait. That would include my DH. Besides, what will we do about the ones coming by water, like they do here in Florida?

(5) Social security will immediately return to  its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't  getting nuttin out. Neither the president nor any other politician will be able to touch it..

(6)  Welfare - Checks will be handed out on Fridays at the end of  the 40 hour school week and the successful completion of  urinalysis and a passing grade.

(7) Professional  Athletes--Steroids. The FIRST time you check positive you're  banned for life.

(8) Crime - We will adopt the Turkish  method, the first time you steal, you lose your right hand.  There is no more life sentences. If convicted of murder, you  will be put to death by the same method you chose for your  victim; gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9) One export  will be allowed, Wheat. The world needs to eat. A bushel of  wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.
This one's my favorite.

(10)  All foreign aid using American taxpayer money will immediately  cease, and the saved money will pay off the national debt and  ultimately lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world,  we'll ask the American people if they want to donate to a  disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision whether  it's a worthy cause.

(11) The Pledge of Allegiance will  be said every day at school and every day in  Congress.

(12) The National Anthem will be played at  all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings,  etc.

Sorry  if I stepped on anyone's toes


Bill  Cosby


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My interview with Renee George is live!

Ever wondered what I sound like? LOL! Here you are! This is what happens when I chatter with a dear friend like Renee George! Have a peek!

LGBT Ebook and Print Releases April 11-17, 2009

Elisa Rolle sent me the following. I approve and pass on to you this lovely list.

Following are the LGBT releases for April 11-17 that I will post on Sunday.

Every release will have an excerpt link (posted on my LiveJournal), if available, and a buy link (to the publisher website).

The authors who haven't already sent me an excerpt to post are welcome to do so: if I receive the excerpt before saturday, I will post it this weekend, otherwise I will post it the following weekend and update the releases post.

Most Likely To Succeed by Shawn Lane
Paxton's Winter by T. D. McKinney

Hoosier Werewolf: Howl & Prowl (Collection) by Kate Steele
Coyote Non Grata by Lena Austin
Bad Angels: Falling by Belinda McBride

A Strong Hand by Catt Ford
Naval Maneuvers by John Simpson

Like Magnets, We Attract edited by Jaye Valentine
Dance of the Ravishers by Habu

Dragonmen Book 1: Mate Hunt by Amber Kell


Northern Love by Nica Berry
Reckless Behavior by Amanda Young

Somatesthesia by Ann Somerville

Angels of the Deep by Kirby Crow

Hungry Heart by Jamie Hill

Between Us by AKM Miles
Out to Lunch by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Possessor and Possessed: A Jarheads Story by Sean Michael
Lemon Drops by Sean Michael
Saffron Stains by Alex Draven
Taste Test: Chrome by Tory Temple
Taste Test: Legendary Creatures, edited by Lorna Hinson with stories by ID Locke, Kate Roman and BA Tortuga
Toy Box: Beads edited by M. Rode with stories by Lee Benoit, S. Blaise and Syd McGinley

Wolfen Choice by Jamie Hill & Jude Mason

Warmest Regards, Elisa

My Journal:
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Monday, April 13, 2009

Amazon Debacle-- A calm look

My boss M says this:

Sounds like someone's suing Amazon for selling "Adult" media to minors. Wondered how long that would take. Notice they don't ask for age verification anywhere.

Frankly, I don't think Amazon's sales rankings do anything for us anyway. We're Small Press. That's not how people find our books. They're more likely to find them searching by author or title, or by following a line form our -- or your -- website.

Food for thought: Amazon's invested heavily in their own, proprietary, EXPENSIVE ebook reader, which has no other use but to read e-books, and which reads primarily a format which they also own, MobiPocket -- the least user friendly program I have to deal with.

BN, on the other hand, just purchased FictionWise, which offers all their books in Multiformat files to be read on any reader, PDA, cell phone, laptop desktop -- you name it, if it's newer than a Commodore 64, it works. If I were in the mood to buy stocks, I sure wouldn't be buying Amazon...

As for Amazon, well, it works both ways. If they drop our books, they don't make any more money off of our customers. And doesn't seem to have a problem with our content.

Kinda makes you want to go buy a copy of Unicorn Valley at, doesn't it?

M makes a good point. Hit 'em in the wallet. If Amazon doesn't want to sell my books, others do.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon Ranking-- Gay is the New Black

When did it become okay for a large business to blatantly discriminate against one group of Americans? When did censorship become mainstream?

Is being gay the latest in a long line of groups discriminated against, right along with the obese and the smokers?

I protest!

Recycle Your Cell Phone

I'm a big supporter of cells for soldiers, so this artcle caught my eye. Why not keep that cell and its toxic contents out of the landfills by doing some good?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Doing the Hulu!

No, I didn't misspell anything in the subject line.

If you've had your head under a rock, then you may not have heard of the newest Thank-God-For-The-Internet sensation,

I heard about first from my favorite personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly. Then, my dear friend Terrie told me she'd signed up. Honey, Terrie is a cautious woman who trusts no one. If Terrie signs up for something, then I trust her judgment. She steered me toward, and I've never been sorry!

What's Hulu? FREE TV SHOWS! All my old faves, like Nova, Ghost Hunters, Dresden Files, Dark Shadows, Good Eats (just clips, for now), and Gardening by the Yard! Between Hulu and Netflix, who needs cable TV? Not me! I'm thrilled beyond measure.

Hey, it's FREE. (My favorite brand when I'm shopping, right up there with "On Sale.") What have you got to lose?


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Baking Soda Tips for Harried Moms and Grandmas

Cleaning Baby Equipment
Little hands mean lots of exploring. Safely clean your baby’s area (play pen, changing table, crib, stroller, car seat and high chair) with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Just sprinkle ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda directly on a clean damp sponge and rub the item clean. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Sparkling clean and no harsh cleaners to worry about!

Cleaning Baby Toys
Don’t toy around with harsh cleaners. Clean and deodorize baby toys safely and effectively using 4 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water. Wash toys with a clean damp sponge or cloth, rinse and dry.

Freshen Stuffed Animals
Even Mr. Bear needs a bath. Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Just sprinkle ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off. It’s gentle enough for use around your baby and Teddy will appreciate it too!

Cleaning Baby Equipment
Little hands mean lots of exploring. Safely clean your baby’s area (play pen, changing table, crib, stroller, car seat and high chair) with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda. Just sprinkle ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda directly on a clean damp sponge and rub the item clean. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry. Sparkling clean and no harsh cleaners to worry about!

Just For Kids
ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda invites you to open a box and begin an adventure! Children learn best by doing. As they explore with their hands, they push the boundaries of imagination. We have recipes, activities and experiments to satisfy the most curious and creative youngsters. Ready, Set, Fun, Go! And don’t forget the importance of adult supervision, especially with young children.

Baby spills on carpet
Even little ones can make big messes! Clean and deodorize baby spills on carpets by soaking up as much of the liquid as possible. Clean the stain according to the manufacturers directions and allow to dry. Then to deodorize, when the area is completely dry, sprinkle liberally with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda and let sit for 15 minutes before vacuuming it up. Check for color-fastness first before applying ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda.

Clean Walls
Clean and remove marks (even crayon!) from walls and painted furniture by applying ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

Just For Kids
ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda invites you to open a box and begin an adventure! Children learn best by doing. As they explore with their hands, they push the boundaries of imagination. We have recipes, activities and experiments to satisfy the most curious and creative youngsters. Ready, Set, Fun, Go! And don’t forget the importance of adult supervision, especially with young children.

Clean Furniture
Clean and remove marks (even crayon!) from walls and painted furniture by applying ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.


Because Lena can't keep it clean in her mind....

Cleaning Mommy's Toys from the "Magic Box Under the Bed" (wink)
Don’t toy around with harsh cleaners. Clean and deodorize your adult toys safely and effectively using 4 tablespoons of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water. Wash toys with a clean damp sponge or cloth, rinse and dry. Do I really have to tell you not to immerse your battery operated toys unless they're designed for water play? Wipe them down.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Play Clay-- Non-toxic clay for the kids (and Mom)

My grandchildren are into the colorful but foul-smelling Play-Dough products. I can remember my own kids getting the stuff into the carpets, and how I worried over the harsh chemicals. At one point, I had a salt recipe for making a homemade dough. This is the closest I've found. Nice part is, this one dries hard as a rock. Thank you, Arm and Hammer!

Play Clay
Welcome to the Amazing World of Play Clay™, the homemade modeling clay that becomes permanent after drying. Three simple ingredients you’ll find in your kitchen combine for virtually unlimited creative possibilities for kids of any age. Great for rainy days, birthday parties and class activities. Since it’s made of foodstuffs, it’s safe, non-toxic and economical! And don’t forget the importance of adult supervision, especially with young children.

What can you do with Play Clay?

Roll it, cut it, shape it, mold it, squeeze it! Use Play Clay to make decorations and ornaments, jewelry and gifts, magnets and boxes! And more! To get more great ideas, print out our Amazing World of Play Clay brochure.

Play Clay Recipe (Adult supervision required!)

2 cups ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda
1 cup corn starch
1-1/4 cups cold water (add food coloring to color clay)

STIR together ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda and Corn Starch in saucepan. Add water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches consistency of moist mashed potatoes (approximately 10-15 minutes). If clay is cooked too long, finished crafts may crack. REMOVE mixture to plate and cover with a damp cloth. When Play Clay is cool enough to handle, pat until smooth. Now you’re ready to make fun shapes!


Air: Place finished objects on wire rack. Dry overnight (8 hours).

Oven: Pre-heat oven to lowest setting. Turn oven off , then place finished objects on a cookie sheet in oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Microwave: Place finished object on paper towel. Bake at medium power for 30 seconds; turn crafts over and bake for 30 seconds more. Repeat until Play Clay is completely dry. Let cool before handling.

DECORATING: Colored Clay -- When mixing Play Clay recipe, substitute food color for some of the water to create fun, festive colors. Paint -- Paint dry pieces with water color, poster or acrylic paints. Apply glitter to wet paint. Use felt-tip pens or waterproof marker for drawing and glue to apply details.

Decorative Elements -- Many objects found around the house and yard will help create unique Play Clay crafts. Use buttons or coins to imprint a pattern on a craft. Or accent a design with beads, macaroni, leaves, shells or bark. Either place the decorations on Play Clay while it’s soft or apply with glue to dried craft.

FINISHING: Protect finished Play Clay objects with clear acrylic spray paint or clear nail polish.

STORING: Store any unused Play Clay for up to one week. Simply place in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and refrigerate. Do not freeze. Bring to room temperature before using.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Amazing Savings Using Vinegar

In light of the harsh economic times and the fad of going green, I decided to take another look at the many uses of common household products like vinegar and baking soda instead of harsh and expensive chemicals.

This article gives a lovely overview of vinegar:

I've done the vinegar soak for my hand-held shower head, and the results of its overnight soak in a bucket of vinegar and water were amazing!

I'd forgotten some of the uses, such as the vinegar solution for pet stains. However, you've never had a shinier sink until you scrub with baking soda and a wet sponge, rinse, and then shine up with vinegar! Talk about scrubbing bubbles if you missed a spot in the rinse. LOL!

I've even used vinegar as a hair rinse when I'm preparing for chemical services, like hair coloring. The vinegar breaks down any hard water deposits and chlorine from my hair.

Speaking of the bathroom, I stopped paying for expensive exfoliating scrubs. Baking soda and water is not only safer for my skin and the environment, but afterwards, I can add vinegar to the drain to keep my pipes clear. The bubbling action between the baking soda and vinegar is great.

Here in Florida, insects can be a real problem, especially mosquitoes. I spray vinegar on myself, and not only is it refreshingly cool as it evaporates, but mosquitoes find the "taste" of vinegar repulsive and are less likely to bite.

Replacing liquid fabric softener with vinegar works, too. I've done it. 3/4 of a cup in your fabric softener dispenser does the job. For my dispenser, I put in the vinegar, then fill the rest with water. I haven't used dryer sheets since I discovered this method. What's more, I have less soap residue on my clothes and they look brighter! It also removes cigarette odor from clothing. My nose thanks vinegar for that alone when I go green further and hang clothes out on the line instead of using the dryer.

Best use for baking soda-- relieving acid indigestion. My DH is prone to indigestion. Until I had my LapBand, I suffered from acid reflux. The inexpensive solution as opposed to often ineffective tablets? Baking soda in water, aka old-fashioned sodium bicarbonate. Guess our grandparents were pretty darn smart. Just follow the directions on the box. Gag it down --yes, I know, it's not pleasant-- and within half an hour the soda and the excess acid in your stomach will neutralize each other with a loud burp! (You know, acid plus alkaline...didn't everyone take science in high school?) Unless you take the soda with you, you'll be home and can burp loudly. What? You'd rather be in pain?

Ever brushed your teeth with a baking soda paste? Try it sometime. Yes, it whitens your teeth, too. You're paying how much to have the dentist do this?

More uses for vinegar here:
Ten uses for baking soda here: (I didn't know about the deoderant!)

Arm and Hammer had this great idea for the sneakers, but I'm doing it for those smelly work boots! Steel toe boot reek! I wouldn't mind making these and changing out the baking soda once a month, just to get rid of the stench. Bet it would work for gym bags, too.

Sneaker Peekers
This fun craft does double duty. Kids will have a blast decorating these zany creatures – and then the ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda will go to work deodorizing those smelly sneakers!

What You Need:
1 new, white athletic sock (mid-calf size)
1 cup ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda
1 rubber band
6" ribbon or stringfelt, markers, buttons, and glue for decorating!

How to Make it:

1. Lay newspaper down on your work surface.
2. Fill the sock with 1 cup ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda.
3. Secure with rubber band.
4. Tie ribbon around rubber band, cut off extra sock (cuff area).
5. Decorate! Use Felt, Markers, Buttons, Sequins, etc. to make your Sneaker Peeker an animal, a monster, a flower! Anything goes!
6. Stick them in your sneakers overnight for fresh shoes in the morning!

Remember the importance of adult supervision, especially with young children.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Soup Skills from the Dinner Diva

I love Leanne Ely and her wonderful website, If you haven't heard me bless this woman a thousand times, here's 1001. Because I subscribe and download her LowCarb meal plans, I also get the pleasure of a newsletter. Today's was worth sharing, in part. This is only a partial. There was also a recipe, which I don't have permission to share.

Soup MakingBy Leanne Ely CNC
Spring might be springing but it’s still quite cool outside. The daffodils are trying to convince us it’s warming up and maybe it is on occasion, but we still have cold days, rain (and snow) and sadly the last days of soup making before the weather becomes too warm.
So let’s make some soup! Understanding the basics of good soup will get your soup kicked up several notches and make you the undisputed queen (or king) of soup at your house!
Okay, let’s break it down. First up, mire poix. Say that with me-- meer uh pwah. All that is, is onions, carrots and celery all chopped up; the basic beginning of any good soup. I like the onion to be the lead veggie and the celery and the carrot about the same amounts, so for a pot of soup (using a quart of broth), I’ll use a large onion (about the size of a softball) and one rib of celery (about 8 inches long) and a carrot about the same size. Chop it up (no need to mince) and sauté it in the bottom of your soup pot before introducing the broth. You want the veggies to start to release their aromas, their colors to intensify and in the case of the onion, you want it to become translucent.
Now it’s the broth’s turn. I like homemade chicken broth like everyone else. I don’t always have it, but I always have several quarts of low sodium chicken broth hanging around in my well-stocked pantry (have I told you lately that a well-stocked pantry is a girl’s best friend?). My current favorite broth is Wolfgang Pucks Low Sodium Roasted Chicken Broth. It’s the bomb and lends a wonderful, homemade flavor to your soups.

I'm not as fond of onions as Leanne, and I make no bones about changing my mire poix to suit my family's needs and tastes. For me, the vegetables are all equal in volume. That's the right of any cook, IMHO. For those who read my blog, FatFrogDiary when I posted the "How to Make Homemade Broths and Cream of Veggie Soups," you already have the skills you need.

For those who don't know, go take a look at how many carbs and calories are in the condensed soups available in cans. I'll put on my earmuffs so when you scream, you won't deafen me.

Happy Eating!

Welcome to my Blog!

Thanks for popping by! Don't sit on the whipping horse unless you want to find out how it's used. I speak my mind and annoy many people, but all of it is meant in good spirit. Feel free to argue with me. I like it.

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