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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Watching Old Movies

Today was a quiet day. We didn't do much of anything since the Big Guy had a headache. We didn't go anywhere. So we surfed the oceans of channels on the satellite for something that would interest us. I found The Pride of the Yankees (1942) starring Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig on Turner Classic Movies. I like old movies. The guys generally don't, but big guy does like "true stories" and he doesn't like watching movies we have seen 14 gazillion times, so I selected it. I figured if he commented or acted really bored with it, I'd turn it off. Little Guy wasn't interested, but we watched the whole thing and it was pretty good! We're not big sports nuts, but this was more focused on what kind of man Lou Gehrig was.. The movie was very good. I search Lou Gehrig after the movie was over and read a little more about him. It seems he was a very decent man, even more so than the movies was able to paint. In his time, Lou Gehrig was a rock star of the baseball diamond, hugely famous for his stats, but he also was well remembered for being humble and when he knew his health was preventing him from benefiting the team he loved, he drew even more admiration for stepping back so he wouldn't hinder his team or his teammates. His farewell speech was an awesome example of his humble spirit. That old movie didn't go further than that point in his life, but in reading about him I learned that after stepping out of the baseball spotlight, he accepted a ten year appointment by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia as the New York Parole Board Commissioner. Even though he had been offered other, more lucrative speaking and and guest appearances, he accepted the Commissioner post because it gave him the opportunity to do public service. He took the job seriously and visited the city's correction facilities, always insisting that the visits NOT be covered by the media. 
Sadly, a little less than a year and a half after beginning his term as Parole Board Commissioner, he resigned because the ALS had made it impossible for him to continue the job. About a month later and 16 years to the day that he had replaced Wally Pipp on first base, Lou Gehrig died at his home. 
There are some people that truly deserve to be remembered and Lou Gehrig is one of them. He was a decent, humble man and he had immense integrity. And he didn't let those qualities fade away because he became famous. I am very glad we stopped and watched this movie. I might not have looked to read more about him if we hadn't. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Finished Project

I just finished a scarf. I am so excited that our Fiber Guild workshops resume this month! Can't wait to learn more and create new things!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday Thoughts and Thinks

I don't go in for all the celebrity worship. I don't even watch awards shows, reality shows and the like. However, there are a few people I would love to meet or would have loved to meet. 

1. Princess Diana ~ She seemed to have so much compassion! She carried herself so well, was graceful and yet still seemed so approachable. The way she was with children, her own as well as those she visited was so amazing. I would have loved to been able to spend some time with her, the person. 

2. Marilyn Monroe ~ There's been so much written about Marilyn, it's hard to imagine there would be anything not known about her, but I think there was more. I have read about her, watched her music, listened to her recorded songs. I think had she lived and been able to break free of the "studio system" that existed we would have seen a totally different woman than the one remembered. She was very insightful, intellectual and much smarter than she was generally given credit for. 

3. Harper Lee ~ I know very little about this woman but her novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" has been a favorite since I first read it in elementary school. The story itself is fascinating and it would be equally as fascinating to hear her talk about life during that time period since she witnessed that time firsthand.

4. Sterling North ~ The author of Rascal, another favorite book from childhood. I connected with the story for some reason I can't explain. I love it still. Raccoons have always been a favorite animal of mine too so maybe that's why. He grew up in an area I have never been too and during a time before I existed so it would be interesting to be able to talk to him.

5. Bette Davis ~ She is commonly referred to as a "bitch" but Bette Davis seems to have been a fascinating woman. She got the reputation because she wasn't afraid to play the unlikable characters and took on roles other actresses refused to play for for that very reason: they wanted to be seen as the good girls, the heroine of the story. She was a perfectionist and very hard worker. She was a woman that earned many firsts in her life: First female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, was the first person to earn 10 Academy Award nominations and was the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. She was so professional in her career that when things were She lived through many decades of change, both personally and professionally. 

6. Joan Crawford ~ She's another one that people tend to think of as "bitchy", but breaking into Hollywood during a time when everything was male dominated it is a sort of understood. She was on her own, with virtually no support and had to look out for herself. Most people only know her name because of the movie "Mommie Dearest" and while aspects of the movie have been said to be true, I still think there was a lot more to her than what meets the eye. She was beautiful in her younger years, and I think she probably had more intellect than she's given credit for. It would be quite the experience to get to talk with her.
7. Health Ledger ~ Ledger fascinated me from the moment I saw him. There was something in his demeanor. He kept an air of mystery about himself, about his thoughts. From what I've read of him, he refused to compromise himself for the sake of a role or for more money. We didn't get the benefit of a huge body of work from him, but I think he could have and probably would have done some wonderful things had he lived longer. It would have been a unique experience to talk with him.


This is just a short list of some people I find fascinating. There are many more I could list. Most are sadly already gone. I would love to have had the opportunity to talk to, listen to and delve into the intellect and knowledge of these people. Their character, passion, integrity are things that would be wonderful to experience first hand. 

Who would you talk to and what would you ask, if you could talk to anyone?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

BLOGGER OP: Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System Sign Ups

Keurig Vue V700 Brewing System Value $149

Bonus variety box includes: 
  • 1 Barista Prima Italian Roast Coffee 
  • 1 CafĂ© Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa 
  • 1 Celestial Seasonings® Sleepytime Herbal Tea 
  • 1 Celestial Seasonings® Southern Sweet Iced Tea 
  • 1 Gloria Jean's® Hazelnut Coffee 
  • 1 Green Mountain Coffee® Breakfast Blend Travel Mug Coffee 
  • 1 Green Mountain Coffee® Nantucket Blend Coffee 
  • 1 The Original Donut Shop® Extra Bold Coffee 
  • 1 Timothy's® Columbian Decaf Coffee 
  • 1 Tully's® French Roast Coffee 
*Selections may vary based on supply 


-FREE Link with announcement (Twitter or Pinterest)

-Giveaway date:   Jan 31 - Feb 21, 2014  (Closing Jan 24, 2014)

-Co-host $10.00
10 Links  (no google links)
2 Co-host pages

-Extra links $1.50 (no google links)up to 4 links

Send payment to melisurveys1978@gmail.com

~ ~ ~  Sign up here  ~ ~ ~  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Warmze Portable Bottle Warmer

I was sent a Warmze Portable Bottle Warmer set for review. Upon opening, it I was impressed with how easy it looked to use. It looks very easy to slip into the diaper bag and go! The large starter kits contains two self-heating warming wraps and one BottleSoc. I received the Owl Print and it is SO adorable!

The wraps are air activated and the package says they take about 30 minutes to heat a bottle. The wraps offer several benefits:

~ Designed to heat bottle to the perfect tepid temperature (90 - 104 degrees), the temp recommended by pediatricians
~ Stays warm to heat several bottles throughout the day
~ Non-toxic, biodegradable
~ No electricity needed
~ No keeping up with a car charger or sitting in the car waiting
~ No microwaving
~ No batteries
~ No boiling water
~ works with breast milk as well as formula
From the Warmze Website:
Why is heating to tepid so important?
Pediatricians recommend tepid temperature, it helps reduce colic and increase nutrients. Wherever you and your baby go, you can always have a perfect bottle with Warmze. The ONLY portable bottle warmer that is truly portable. Warmze is small and compact and can fit in a purse, diaper bag or anywhere you would store a bottle. Warmze warming pads are disposable and biodegradable. Our product is natural and eco-friendly


Each non-toxic, biodegradable, self-heating  warmer will last up to 10 hours, heating 3 -5. They are air activated so they are a perfect addition to the diaper bag. The BottleSoc is washable, reusable and the large ruffle wipes away dribbles. The BottleSoc also comes in a variety of designs for boys and girls. 

Warmze has been rated the #1 Portable Bottle Warmer!

The starter kits contain a BottleSoc and two warmer wraps 20 hours of warmth!) and are $14.99.
 The warmer refill kits contain 4 warmer wraps (40 hours of warmth!) and cost $12.99
You can view all the wonderful designs and purchase a Warmze kit for yourself on the Warmze website

You can also connect with them on


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Nestle Simply Celebrate with Wonka Candies

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

I have loved Wonka candies as long as I can remember! I remember when Nerds debuted and were all the rage. The flavor combinations were new and exciting and we liked to mix the flavors from different boxes to create our own combinations. And Sweet Tarts! The more sour the candy, the more we liked it! 
I was super excited to get to try and review some holiday versions of candies that I love and hold a special place on my sweet tooth! 
I didn't have time to create a recipe during the busy schedule we had during Christmas, so I borrowed a recipe from the Simply Celebrate site. 

Candy Cane Crunch Brownies

Candy cane Crunch Brownies
Time to complete: 60 Minutes
Makes 16 Brownies
Suitable for ages 3 - 12

~ ~ Homemade brownie recipe or box brownie mix, made and ready to frost

~ ~Favorite chocolate frosting

~ ~ 4 -5 Wonka SweeTARTS Candy Canes

R9 Candy Cane Crunch Brownies 1


Step 1.
Make your favorite brownie recipe or box of brownie mix following directions on box. Let brownies cool and frost with your favorite chocolate frosting. Have children help mix brownies and frost.

Step 2.
Unwrap candy canes. Using blender or small food chopper, crush candy canes leaving some large chunks
R9 Candy Cane Crunch Brownies 2

Step 3. Have children sprinkle the crushed candy canes all over brownies and pat gently into frosting. Cut and serve.

R9 Candy Cane Crunch Brownies 3

Things like this are a wonderful way to get the kids involved and have some fun!
You can find many more wonderful recipes and crafts at Nestle Simply Celebrate

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Angel Watch

The new year has started off with some sadness for us. We're still enduring the loss of Uncle Larry at the end of August, I learned in December that my Dad's diabetes and worsened and he now has to take insulin, one of my husband's uncles died, my father in law is in the hospital for heart tests and we are waiting to find out if the malignant tumor can be removed from my grandpa's throat. And a friend of our died yesterday. Someone our age. We attended school together, but I got to know him better several years afterwards. Mark was a musician and often came into the music store my Father-in-Law owned at the time. He was a really fun guy. He was almost always smiling and if you were in a bad mood when he came in, you were laughing and smiling within a few minutes and by the time he left, you forgot why you had been in a bad mood to start with. Mark had kids, siblings, more friends than you could count. Mark found out he had a heart condition several years ago and had to have a device that helped the blood flow though his heart. Over the years on pump failed, another clogged, he was on and off the transplant list and even got the call a couple times that there was a heart for him... only to find that the heart was not viable. His third device failed last month. When it was found that he also had a blood infection, surgery was out of the question. It also meant he would not be considered for a heart transplant. After exhausting all options, there was nothing more that could be done for Mark. He wanted to go home to spend what ever time he had with his family. Sadly that time was very short. He came home Saturday, January 11 and passed away the next day. 
All through Mark illness, all his family and friends prayed for him. We prayed for healing. We prayed he would live. We prayed for a miracle. I am not a particularly religious person. I don't attend church regularly, but I have beliefs. I believe prayer is powerful. I have seen people healed of illnesses and diseases big and small. When anyone bravely asks for people to pray for them or a loved one, faith denomination doesn't enter my mind. I pray. Mark's death yesterday has had me thinking a lot about prayer. I believe prayer is always answered. It's just sometimes not what we expected or desired. We prayed. Mark IS free of pain. And if there is a heaven, then he is healed. I think all of us praying for him were on what I think of as Angel Watch. He knew he had a small army praying for him. Our prayers sustained him and he made it home to spend those last precious hours with his family. Our prayers held watch over him until it was time for him to go.
No matter what your faith is or what you believe or even if you don't, when some one asks for prayer, honoring their request by saying a prayer or offering a positive thought for them is uplifting and beneficial. It never hurts and often helps. I don't have answers and I question things all the time. I don't know what comes next. I am human. I only know that being on Angel Watch (offering prayers) gives comfort during times of sorrow, pain, anxiety. And if that helps someone, then I am there. I am always open to saying a prayer or sending a good thought your way so don't ever hesitate to ask.
RIP Mark. We will miss you.

P.S. As I was writing today, my Father-in-Law was found to have a 95% blockage and had a stent put in. It's something my own Dad had to have done a little more than a year ago. It is something I think about all the time.. worry about... our time on this Earth is so short, it is but a blink in time. Tell the ones that matter that you love them. Be kind to others. You never really know.
Make it count.

REVIEW: Lost Civilizations by Michael Rank

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

This book highlights 10 civilizations that have vanished throughout history. If you have any interest in history, you would like this. As I read about each civilization, I also thought this would be a great book for students in history class or those researching any of these groups. 
I am fascinated by history, so I dove in when I received the book for this review. It is very well written without being so complicated that it can't be understood and I was very surprised to learn new things about people and civilizations that I thought I knew. I don't want to spoil any of it, but the stroy of Christopher Columbus could be much different than we learned in school! I also learned about a few civilizations and people that I had never heard of before! Michael Rank gives us a glimpse into these cultures and their way of life. Some of the things they did seem strange and the theories as to why they performed certain rituals or tasks the way they did, sets you mind to imagining how differently life was at these various points in history. Lost Civilizations takes you on a trip through time to visit these people and see highlights of how they lived and where they lived. Juxtaposed with our own way of life makes these cultures so interesting! You have to wonder what it must have been like. Adding to the fascinating mental imagery is the fact that all of these civilizations just vanished. Whether all at once or in a gradual fashion, they are gone, leaving only clues, scant information and mysteries that beg to be solved. 
I would recommend Lost Civilizations: 10 Societies that Vanished Without A Trace to anyone that is a history buff, a student learning about ancient history or even a kid that likes to read! It's a nice read that adults as well as kids can get into.

You can check it out and purchase this book on Amazon by clicking the image below.

You can also visit the author, Michael Rank's page


DISCLOSURE: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. This post contains affiliate links.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

REVIEW: Hershey's Spreads

I received a jar of Hershey's Spread through my participation with #Crowdtap and the #spreadpossibilities sampling event. I have done sampling events with them in the past and this one started out no different. Until the sample didn't arrive as expected! It got held up in the snarled mail mess during the holidays and bad weather. When it finally did arrive, the package was a little battered and the spread was FROZEN! Thankfully it thawed just fine and I must say it was worth the wait!!!! I didn't get to let as many people sample it and we didn't get to try it on as many foods as I would have liked had it arrived on time, but I will continue to share because it is good! I received the Chocolate with Almond spread.

Hershey's Spreads can make any snack something special! We tried it on a variety of things:

Homemade Amish Bread 

Saltine Crackers


Biscoff Biscuits

And Popcorn

I have to admit, the celery wasn't my favorite but I could see where kids might like it to jazz up a veggie snack. I didn't have any apples on hand but this would be fabulous for an apple dip! It was delicious on the Amish bread. The spread was tasty on the saltine crackers, giving a great mix of salty and sweet. Biscoff cookies are some of my favorite so I had to try it on those! It was very good, lending it's creamy texture and sweetness to the crunch of the cookie. For the popcorn we popped up some kettle corn and melted the Hershey's spread for a few seconds in the microwave. That made a very good mix too! A tasty mix of salty, sweet, creamy and crunchy.
It goes without saying, that the new Hershey's Spreads go great with a variety of foods and can be used in several different ways. One thing I am going to try soon is to use it in my Amish Bread recipe. It melts so smooth and creamy, it will enhance the flavor and texture! 
I can say without reservation that I think almost anyone would like Hershey's spreads whether to add to a special event or to dress up a kid's snack on occasion. The possibilities are boundless! Pretzels, apples, funnel cakes, toast, cresent rolls and more!

Disclosure: While I received a sample of the product mentioned in this post through my participation with Crowdtap, the opinions expressed are all mine based on my own use of the product. Your opinion may differ from mine.

January "Just Because" Giveaway

Hello and welcome to my January "Just Because" Giveaway!
This one is just from me.
I have been wanting to put together something in appreciation for you guys, but there were so many going on during Christmas and we were overwhelmed.
So far there is a SOHO cosmetic bag, A music CD and various samples. I will be adding more and will add more photos as I do.
More items added!
Assortment of lip balms, 4-in-1 Nail File, Suave Dry Shampoo and Vita Moist hand cream
More items added!
Wash-Off Waterproof Mascara Mini - Black/Brown, Glazewear Lip Gloss - Clear, Beyond Color Radiant Lifting Concealer - Fair, Glazewear Intense - Cherry Liqueur and Glazewear Shine - Tickled Pink

There is only one mandatory entry. All others are optional but will gain you additional opportunities to win. The giveaway is open to those in the continental United States, ages 18 and up. Winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond with their mailing address or another winner will be chosen. 
Please be honest. Entries will be verified.
It ends on 01-31-14.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The Happy Clown With A Frown is responsible for shipment of the prize. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube or any other social media sites or persons.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Great 2014 Freeze In

The weather reports were coming in. Huge freeze headed our way. Right after some rain. And a possibility of .... S-N-O-W. The "S" word! Here in the South, that one word is enough to clear store shelves of bread and milk in a matter of hours. People start panicking and freaking out like that one word equals Armageddon. I grew up "out west" and was pretty used to Winter before ending up down here. I actually had a hard time breathing in all this humidity when I first arrived! From the time I was in first grade, we  walked to school in freezing, snowy weather and I guess we didn't think that much about it. Winter arrives in late October or early November and doesn't leave until Sometime in the middle of the following year. Just one of those things... it's there so long, you have an entire wardrobe that consists of snow suits, snow pants, snow boots, bubble coats, scarves, tons of hats and a bazillion pairs of gloves. We rarely if ever had a "snow day". So the first couple of years in the South had me just sitting back in amazement at the reaction to a dusting of snow. Over the years the bread and milk phenomenon seems to have only grown. I have never seen anything like it. 
I had not gotten groceries in like 5 weeks so Sunday we went to get them. We wisely went early. Most people were either not out yet or were headed to church. We shopped around, taking our time... I did notice there were some empty places on some shelves, but nothing really major.... curiously on my way to get our pet foods, I passed the shelves where they display the "passion" gels and lubricants and those shelves were wiped out with the exception of a few bottles of the more expensive stuff. Guess we'll know if those came in handy sometime between now and say October! Other than that our trip was uneventful. As we left the crowd was growing and cars were beginning to steam into the parking lot. Got home put things away. A few hours later friends started talking about not being able to get milk and bread. Then they started posting photos... the same aisles that had been stocked with plenty when we were there looked like the Grinch had paid a visit! Not even a crumb.... I don't don't know of this happening in any other part of the country.

Now I will say the temps since Sunday have been COLD. This is only about the second time it has been this cold in the years that I have lived here. We took care of out pets, made sure they were protected. We've hung out inside the house, playing and watching movies. The little guy's school cancelled for two days so he has had a very long Christmas break! But that ends tomorrow. I was disappointed that we didn't get any snow or even ice up where we live. I was looking forward to getting some photos. Oh well...I'll hope for next time... not to alarm anyone in the state, but we HAVE had snow storms at then end of March before! Don't all rush out and buy milk and bread at once, okay?