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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Coupon Craze (craziness)

I'm a couponer from way back. I guess you could say I was couponing before it was cool. Wal-Mart cashiers and I would have clashes often as they just were not aware of their own policies. Coupons were easy to come-by as people who got the Sunday paper would be more than happy to give them away.

This is just not the case anymore. Thanks to shows like Extreme Couponing, more and more people are getting the couponing bug. With couponing being the new 'in' thing, things have changed for us old-timers to it. No longer are coupons so easy to come by. In fact, sometimes trying to buy a Sunday paper involves driving to several different stores just to find one.

Another draw back is the empty store shelves. As with most new things, people tend to go over-board with it. It becomes almost an addiction to see how low the grocery bill can get using sale ads and coupons. Stocking up with very little cash going out is the ultimate goal. The problem comes though when people try to stock up all at one time. This will wipe entire products off the shelves leaving none for others. Amongst us old-timers, this is considered quite rude.

On the bright side though, Wal-Mart cashiers are much more knowledgeable with their policies. This makes check out much less stressful. In fact, I have actually had cashiers tell ME of a sale on an item that I am purchasing. I know too, the cashiers are very appreciative when a couponer comes to the register prepared.
Stores are all trying to get the business, this brings about greater sales, which in turn brings about greater savings for those willing to put just a little time into research and preparing.

All in all, I'm very pleased that so many people are moving from the spend-spend-spend mentality to taking an active role in saving their families money. For many, it's a great way to involve the whole family in a project together.

As with most things in life, moderation is the key. Don't get so wrapped up in chasing the next great deal that you miss out on life.

Friends don't let friends coupon irresponsibly.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Remember the reason

I must confess this blog entry has been giving me considerable trouble. I have typed and deleted, typed and deleted, typed and deleted. I want to show respect and honor to our Servicemen and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice. I want to honor all who have served their country. I want to make sure Memorial Day weekend is about more then picnics and camping.

This is where the trouble comes in. I am just not able to put into words the feelings I have. The love I have for my country, and those who serve it, is immeasurable. How do you put that kind of love and respect into writing?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Flag Etiquette

I found this information at and wanted to pass it along to all of you.

Flag Etiquette

STANDARDS of RESPECTThe Flag Code, which formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which we give respect to the flag, also contains specific instructions on how the flag is not to be used. They are:

The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
The flag should not be used as a drapery, or for covering a speakers desk, draping a platform, or for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard
The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
The flag should never have placed on it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind.
The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.

The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.

When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Note: Most American Legion Posts regularly conduct a dignified flag burning ceremony, often on Flag Day, June 14th. Many Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, and Girl Scout Troops retire flags regularly as well. Contact your local American Legion Hall or Scout Troop to inquire about the availability of this service.

Displaying the Flag OutdoorsWhen the flag is displayed from a staff projecting from a window, balcony, or a building, the union should be at the peak of the staff unless the flag is at half staff.

When it is displayed from the same flagpole with another flag - of a state, community, society or Scout unit - the flag of the United States must always be at the top except that the church pennant may be flown above the flag during church services for Navy personnel when conducted by a Naval chaplain on a ship at sea.

When the flag is displayed over a street, it should be hung vertically, with the union to the north or east. If the flag is suspended over a sidewalk, the flag's union should be farthest from the building.

When flown with flags of states, communities, or societies on separate flag poles which are of the same height and in a straight line, the flag of the United States is always placed in the position of honor - to its own right.
..The other flags may be smaller but none may be larger.
..No other flag ever should be placed above it.
..The flag of the United States is always the first flag raised and the last to be lowered.

When flown with the national banner of other countries, each flag must be displayed from a separate pole of the same height. Each flag should be the same size. They should be raised and lowered simultaneously. The flag of one nation may not be displayed above that of another nation.

Raising and Lowering the FlagThe flag should be raised briskly and lowered slowly and ceremoniously. Ordinarily it should be displayed only between sunrise and sunset. It should be illuminated if displayed at night.
The flag of the United States of America is saluted as it is hoisted and lowered. The salute is held until the flag is unsnapped from the halyard or through the last note of music, whichever is the longest.

Displaying the Flag IndoorsWhen on display, the flag is accorded the place of honor, always positioned to its own right. Place it to the right of the speaker or staging area or sanctuary. Other flags should be to the left.

The flag of the United States of America should be at the center and at the highest point of the group when a number of flags of states, localities, or societies are grouped for display.

When one flag is used with the flag of the United States of America and the staffs are crossed, the flag of the United States is placed on its own right with its staff in front of the other flag.

When displaying the flag against a wall, vertically or horizontally, the flag's union (stars) should be at the top, to the flag's own right, and to the observer's left.

Parading and Saluting the FlagWhen carried in a procession, the flag should be to the right of the marchers. When other flags are carried, the flag of the United States may be centered in front of the others or carried to their right. When the flag passes in a procession, or when it is hoisted or lowered, all should face the flag and salute.

The SaluteTo salute, all persons come to attention. Those in uniform give the appropriate formal salute. Citizens not in uniform salute by placing their right hand over the heart and men with head cover should remove it and hold it to left shoulder, hand over the heart. Members of organizations in formation salute upon command of the person in charge.

The Pledge of Allegiance and National AnthemThe pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.
When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music.

The Flag in MourningTo place the flag at half staff, hoist it to the peak for an instant and lower it to a position half way between the top and bottom of the staff. The flag is to be raised again to the peak for a moment before it is lowered. On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset.

The flag is to be flown at half staff in mourning for designated, principal government leaders and upon presidential or gubernatorial order.

When used to cover a casket, the flag should be placed with the union at the head and over the left shoulder. It should not be lowered into the grave.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Political divorce agreement


This is a copy of an email I received and thought it too good not to pass along.

Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:
--Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

--We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them.
--You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.
--Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military.
--We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and biodiesel.
--You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell. You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them.

--We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.
--You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens.
--We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks.
--We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood .

--You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us.
--You can have the peaceniks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

--We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.
--You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClane. You can also have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill.

--We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Volt and Leaf you can find.
--You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors.
--We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.
--We'll keep "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "The National Anthem."
--I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute "Imagine", "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing", "Kum Ba Ya" or "We Are the World".

--We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

--Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass it along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you answer which one of us will need whose help in 15 years.

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

P.S.S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.

My kitchen is clean!

A good Proverbs 31 woman takes care of her family and home. I want to be a good Proverbs 31 woman! Sadly though, I am a mediocre wanna-be Proverbs 31 woman. *sigh*

I am often overwhelmed at all I need to accomplish around here. Of course, all that needs to be done is of my own making. I come home and drop items only to do a 'hurry and make the house presentable' sweep of the house, moving all the dropped items around. Yep, welcome to my world.

Today though I am having myself a little The Kitchen is Clean party in my mind. There are balloons, cake and punch. The best part of this party in my mind is no mess to clean up! My clean kitchen gets to stay clean!

I got up this morning and decided it was time to tackle this area of my home. Notes I had written to myself months ago were removed from the front of the fridge. Mason jars were taken off the counter and put away. I found the table!!! I even came across something I had lost a long time ago...the top of the fridge!

Papa Bear came home and said he must be in the wrong house. I told him I kind of liked having the kitchen clean and maybe we should try and keep it that way...this, of course, got me an eye-roll.

If you will excuse me, I'm going to go sit in the kitchen with a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I want to do SOMETHING!

To do good, you actually have to do SOMETHING!

When something tragic happens, we tend to react with our emotions and feel a need to do...something. We don't always know what we can do, we just want to do...something.

Saturday, the Boy Scouts conducted a Disaster Relief Drive for flood and tornado victims. We collected enough items for about 50 health kits. I'm sure those who receive these kits will be very graitful. The problem though is there is still such a need. I'm sure most everyone reading this today has seen the devestation on the news from the tornado that went through Joplin MO. last night.

This could happen to any one of our towns. This could be YOU with your child, or grandchild, or your neighbor's child. You have no home left. You have only the clothes on your back. No money, debit or credit cards. No cell phone.

There are 50 health kits to give away, how is it decided who gets one?

Are you looking at this with emotion and a need to do...something?

Wyanet Boy Scouts will be at the Wyanet Locker this coming Saturday from 10:00-1:00. We will be accepting items for health kits while we are there. This is an opportunity for you to do a very little something that will be a very BIG something to the person who receives the kit.

Here is a link to the items that are being collected

I know I sound like a broken record with all this disaster relief stuff, but if it was your town that was hit, wouldn't you want someone to reach out a helping hand?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Food Crime

I do believe some of the greatest foods are absolutely no good for me.

*White Castle Sliders
*Krispy Kreme donuts
*Hot dogs
*Taco flavored Doritoe's
*Toasted marshmallows

Why oh why can't these yummy morsels of goodness be packed full of vitamins? Why must they rot my teeth and tummy? They bring such happiness to me upon their consumption. I do believe it is a crime for something to be so good, yet so not good for me!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baked Oatmeal

Oh my goodness, do I ever have something to make your taste buds happy. I found these two recipes over at The Meal Consultant. Very simple to make and the daycare children loved it!

Baked Applesauce Oatmeal
½ c. applesauce
⅓ to ½ c. sugar
1 large egg
½ c. water
2 T. butter, room temperature
1½ c. oatmeal
4 T. dry milk powder
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
up to 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Grease (or oil) a square pan. Mix apple-sauce, sugar, egg, water. Add butter, oats, dry milk, baking powder, salt, cinnamon; stir thoroughly. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Makes up to 6 servings.

I'm sure you could add pieces of fruit to this also. I think next time I make it I'll be adding raisins.

I then topped the oatmeal squares with:

Applesauce Syrup
1 c. applesauce
2 T. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ to ½ c. water
(amount of water will depend upon how thick you want syrup, I ended up using almost a full cup)

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Mix well. Heat slowly on low, and serve warm.

Did I happen to mention how happy your taste buds are going to be?!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday's Word

"Instead, you should decide never to do anything that would make your brother stumble or fall into sin."
Romans 14:13

We should never do anything that may cause our brother or sister in Christ to fall into temptation. For example, some believers are fine to drink a glass of wine with their meal. However, others who have struggled with alcohol addiction, may "fall off the wagon" when faced with that simple glass of wine. The point is that people are carefully watching the way we live. Everything we say and do, along with the choices we make, should bring honor to Christ.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sick in Texas

Papa Bear is on his way home from Texas and I do believe I may have to put a temporary stop to his trips. Last time he was down there, our son in law and Papa's brother got food poisoning and were very sick for about a week. Thankfully, Papa Bear didn't get it. We do believe potato salad was the culprit.

Last night, Papa Bear, two of his daughters and a granddaughter all got sick. They are traveling today with yucky stuff coming out of them.

Wonder what my chances are of standing in from of Papa Bear and blocking the door next time he goes?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Heavy hearted

Today I come to you with a heavy heart. Today, a dear friend and confidant was put to rest. Lucky, our 18 year old Black Lab took her last breaths. We found out about 6 months ago that her kidneys were shutting down. Because of medication, she was able to have 6 more months of quality living...and we were able to have 6 more months of love with her. Today though, she was no longer living, just existing. It was time.

We adopted Lucky 5 years ago when she was 13 years old, never dreaming we would have this much time with her. She has been a source of so much joy and love.

Her spot under the window is empty. George (our younger dog) has never been apart from her and is lost. My heart is sad. But...there is a happy, pain free dog running with the angels! Enjoy yourself Lucky!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Disaster Relief Drive

"...To help other people at all times."

"A Scout is helpful"

"Do a good turn daily"

Being helpful to others is just one area in which Boy Scouts are trained. Troop 1056 of Wyanet will be putting this into practise on Saturday, May 21st, 9:00am-2:00pm, outside Sullivan's Foods in Princeton. The Troop is sponsoring a disaster relief drive in conjunction with UMCOR for tornado and flood victims. Being collected are specific items for needed health kits.

*1 hand towel (15"x25" up to 17"x27", not kitchen towels)
*1 wash cloth
*1 comb (large and sturdy, not pocket size)
*1 nail file or fingernail clippers (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
*1 bath size bar of soap (3 oz. or larger in original wrapper)
*1 toothbrush (single brushes only in original wrapper, no child size, no multiple packs, no dentist name or phone number)
*1 tube toothpaste (6.4 oz or larger.)
*6 adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages (regular size and wrapped in a rubberband)

ONLY these items are being collected. We are collecting in bulk so if you want to bring, let's say, a whole box of bandages instead of just 6 of them, we will gladly take your whole box. This goes for all the listed items.

Take a moment and consider what life would be like if you lost everything you own. Imagine not being able to brush your teeth for a week. Imagine how special something as a simple health kit would be.

Troop 1056 asks you to join us in:
"...To help other people at all times."

"A Scout is helpful"

"Do a good turn daily"

Mama Bear

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A tribute to Mothers

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry kool-Aid and saying, "It's okay honey, Mommy's here".

For the mothers who sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies who can't be comforted.

This is for all the Mothers who show up at work with spit-up in their air, milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse.

For all the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see and the mothers who took those babies and gave them loving homes.

This is for mothers whose priceless art collections are hanging on their refrigerator doors.

And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars. And when her child asked, "Did you see me, Mom?" and mom would say, "Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world"...and mean it.

This is for all mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner.

This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children and explained all about 'the birds and the bees' and for those mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't ind the words.

This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.

For all the mothers who read "Mickey Mouse Goes to the Farm" twice a night for a year and then reads it again. "Just one more time".

This is for the mothers who taught their sons to cook and their daughters to sink a jump shot.

This is for every mother who, in a crowded place turns her head automatically when a little voice calls "Mom", even though they know their own offspring are at home, or even grown.

This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with a stomach ache, assuring them they would be just fine once they got there, only to get a call from the school nurse an hour later to come and get their child.

This is for mothers who children have gone astray and can't find the words to reach them.

For all the mothers who bit their lips until they bleed when their 14 year old daughter dyes her hair green.

This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful and now pray they will come home safely from war.

The emotions of motherhood are universal and so are our thoughts for young mothers stumbling through diaper changes and sleep deprivation, and mature mothers learning to let go.

For working mothers and stay at home moms.

Single mothers and married mothers.

Mothers with money and mothers without.

This is for all of you. We love you and appreciate your years of giving and giving.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thinking-Changing story

Hillbilly Housewife is a site I have enjoyed for many years. I was just over there doing some looking around when I ran across a story that has made a huge impact on me. I won't go so far as to say it is life changing, but I will most definately go so far as to say it is thinking changing for me.

I do hope you will grab a cup of your favorite reading beverage and take the time to read this story. I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts.

My mom roles

I am blessed to be a mom, step-mom, foster-mom and grandma. Each one of these roles brings with it an abundance of joy and love.

As mom, I have witnessed my son's ups and downs. Watched many 'firsts'. Felt my heart swell with every "I love you" sent my way.

As step-mom, I have been given the opportunity to be a part of Papa Bear's daughters lives. Unfortunately, only one has accepted me into her life, but I love that one as if she were my very own.

I am not legally a foster-mom, as I took our foster daughter in as an adult. She has a very special place in my heart and is every bit a part of my family as the other 'children' are.

Grandma (Nana) is one of the greatest gifts I have ever been given.

With Mother's Day right around the corner, I am reminded of the impact I am able to have on the lives of those in each of these roles. I can only hope I am able to be a good influence to them all, and that they all know how much I love each and every one of them.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chicken Rice Soup recipe

I made such a yummy soup last night, I just had to come on here and share it will all of you. It started all because I had one lonely little chicken breast in the fridge needing to be used up for supper. I cruised around some of my favorite recipe sites for ideas. What follows is what I finally came up with.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, cut into thin slices
2 celery ribs, sliced
1/4 teaspoon thyme
2 quarts chicken stock or broth
2 cups white rice
1 chicken breast

Cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces (bigger than bite-size). Put this into pot containing 2 quarts water and 10 chicken bouillon cubes (this makes the broth called for). Cover and bring to boil, continuing boiling about 8 minutes). While this is cooking, place another pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.

Remove chicken pieces to cool. Add vegetables to the broth, bringing it back to a boil. Chop chicken into smaller pieces and add back to broth. Add 2 cups white rice to broth, cover, remove from heat and let set 5 minutes or until rice has finished cooking. Stir well and enjoy!

*I did let this sit a bit before eating and found I needed to had 1 cup of water to it as it had thickened quite a bit.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wednesday's Word

God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret.

Ecclesiastes 11:8

Monday, May 2, 2011

U.S.A. Pride

What a wonderful thing it is to see people take pride in our great country. The Patriotic holidays seem to bring out the red white and blue in just about everyone. Events such as 9-11 and the death of Osama bin Laden cause many to flap their patriotic wings. It warms the heart to see this pride.

I wonder though, what about the other days...the seemingly normal days? Where are the waving flags? Where are the painted faces? Where are the patriotic flapping wings?

Those of us living here in the United States of America have been bless with freedoms that others can only dream of. We should always be proud of our country and those who have fought...and those who have died...for us. Let us not just show that pride on 'big days', but always. Fly a flag in front of your home. Tie a yellow ribbon around a tree. Wear red on Fridays to show support for our troops. You, dear reader, have an imaginaion. Put it to good use and come up with ways to show your support and pride every day for the good old U.S.A.!