Monday, January 31, 2011

3rd Time Not a Charm

Faith, curled as close to me as she can get.

Tonight when I tried to give Jay his subcutaneous fluids, he jumped as soon as I tried to stick him with the needle.  I didn't manage to get any into him.  My daughter thinks he doesn't need them if he's feeling feisty enough to fight us.  I'm not so sure.  The vet wouldn't have prescribed them just for fun. 

Faith, the other cat, has been hissing at him since he came home.  I've kept her locked in my bedroom, and made her sleep in their cage at night because she acted like she didn't even know him.  She followed him around hissing and spitting, making sure he knew he was not welcome.  I've had to keep them separated, just like when you get a new pet and have to introduce them.  Finally, today, she stopped trying to run him off.  She still hisses occasionally, but only if they happen to cross paths.  She no longer hunts him down.

I didn't think to lock her up before we tried to give him his fluids and she was lurking behind him, watching.  Did that little brat make him nervous?     

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SubQ 2nd Attempt

There is a lot of useful information available on the internet about how to administer subcutaneous fluids.  Apparently, the flow last time was perfect.   Jay was just startled because he's not used to it.  You want it to go pretty quickly so the kitty doesn't have to stay still for too long.  Even the most cooperative cat is only going to put up with so much.

My daughter and I attempted administering the fluids again today.  She got the treats and Jay eagerly jumped into my lap.  Once again, he barely reacted to the needle stick.  He only wiggled a little when she turned on the flow.  After a few minutes, I began to feel moisture in my lap.  Then, I noticed liquid on his fur.  What?  I know I got the needle in.  This time I was the one who freaked and disconnected.  I think I managed to get more fluids into my jeans than I did into Jay.

Later, researching on the net, I discovered a blog a man wrote about giving his cat fluids on a daily basis due to kidney disease.  He said this happens on occasion when the needle goes in too far and pushes out the other side of the "tent" of skin.  All you have to do is pull the needle back a little.  Oh...

Here is a very helpful link should anyone finding this post in the future need to do it themselves:  Or if you just want to read about a really cool cat that even went camping with his person.  (I almost wrote owner, but any cat lover knows you do not own a cat.)

We'll try again tomorrow.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Giving Subcutaneous Fluids to a Feline

A coat rack makes a good IV (or subQ) stand.  

Jay is home!  He is not quite himself, but much better than he was.  I think the vet released him a little earlier because he knew I couldn't afford a huge bill.  He sent him home with liquid pain meds, some muscle relaxant capsules, and a bag of fluid.  I've given him meds before, and had no trouble with the oral prescriptions - just scruff the cat and quickly put it down his throat.  Give him a treat after and he'll even come running when you call, "Time for your medicine!" 

The subcutaneous fluids were a bit of a challenge.  I got a towel for my lap and enlisted my daughter to keep him occupied with treats.  I grabbed the loose skin around his shoulder area like the pet nurse showed me and inserted the needle.  To my surprise, he barely seemed to notice.  When we turned on the drip he freaked out.  He leaped out of my lap and darted across the room. When I located the end of the tube I saw fluid streaming, not dripping, so he must not have liked the sensation of it gushing into him.  The office is closed tomorrow, so I can't ask how to slow it down.  I'll re-read the literature they gave me and / or Google.  I do know that some of the fluid ended up in the right place because my daughter saw a bubble on his shoulder.  Hooray!  I did it right!  We'll try again tomorrow.                

Friday, January 28, 2011

Visiting Hours

Photo taken by my daughter using iPhone.  He really wanted to climb that bookshelf...

Jay wasn't allowed to come home from the hospital today, but we did get to go visit him.  The vet called to let me know he was doing much better today.  "He's headbutting the cage and rubbing up against the side.  I think he would be happy to see you."

Yay!  He must be feeling better.  I waited until my daughter got home from school so we could go together.  We told the receptionist we were there to visit Jay and then noticed a cat lounging on the counter.  Such a friendly, cute little cat it was.  We couldn't resist petting.

I told my daughter she needed to wash her hands since she touched the other cat and she didn't believe me.  Personally, I wash my hands after handling any animal - including my own pets.  I haven't been able to convince my daughter she should do the same.  She asked the receptionist if she needed to wash.  "Always a good idea," she responded. 

We both scrubbed and then headed to the exam room where they had taken Jay.  He had a blue collar around his neck to discourage licking and a catheter connected via a tube to a bag collecting his urine.  The tube was secured to his tail to help stabilize it, but we couldn't let him move around to much, which upset him.  He was very happy to see us at first, but when we didn't let him jump off the examination table to go exploring or let him climb the bookshelves he became annoyed, growling his displeasure.  It's good because that means his condition is improving, but bad because it meant we couldn't stay very long. 

I'm hoping there's not so much blood in his urine tomorrow and the vet lets him come home.      

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cheap Cat Food Costs Big Money

"Mama, Jay's being all quiet in the corner.  He never does that."

Jay is always wanting to be in the center of activity.  If you're washing dishes, he's trying to get in the dishwasher.  If you're doing your hair and makeup, he's on the counter watching.  If you're busy on your laptap, he's in your lap supervising.  He follows my daughter like a puppy.

I went to his isolated corner and picked him up.  He howled in pain.  Oh, no...

The diagnosis?  Urethral obstruction.  He's in the kitty hospital in pain and I'm getting a $1000 bill because I tried to save a few bucks on pet food.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Name my Geocaching Blog

I'm anxious to get started building my geocaching blog.  I considered putting the new one on Wordpress, but nixed the idea after reading that it's only free if you don't want to monetize.  I'll stick with Blogger.

The next step is to think of a name.  I need to think of a good one before I create the URL.  I want something unique.  Adventures in Geocaching has already been used several times over.  Geocaching Grandma has a nice ring, but I'm not that old and I'm not a grandma.  Goecaching Gypsy?  Nope, doesn't suit me.  Snakes, Spiders and Poison Ivy?  That doesn't make it sound very fun.

Hide and Seek?
Grownup Hide and Seek?
Modern Day Treasure Hunt?

Hide & Seek for Grownups was my favorite until I Googled it and discovered a Facebook page already exists with that name.  Does that matter? 

Anybody have any better ideas?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Travel Pages

My Supervisor

The recruiter I'm working with liked my blog so much she considered telling prospective employers about it.  I had thought about adding the link to my resume, but didn't because it wasn't written with a job search in mind.  She has 14 years experience and says she hasn't seen anything that would make her say, "Eeeew, I'm not hiring her," so I might do that. 

I've added two new pages to make the posts I most want them to read easier to find.  They all want to know what I've been doing the past two years and I told them I was on sabbatical, traveling all over the United States.  I'm hoping my blog will help illustrate the fact that I was not sitting at home being lazy or feeling sorry for myself.  I still haven't even written about places like the Everglades, Yellowstone, Shoshone National Forest, or the Grand Canyon.  I should do that.

Some information I've read suggests also explaining gaps in employment on the resume, and some suggest explaining them in a cover letter.  If I don't get the job I'm currently in the interview process for, I'll ask what she thinks.  She also is a professional resume writer. 

She's started her own blog that has some good tips for resume writing.  Did you know you could add "stealth words" so it will be picked up by resume scanning software?  Read about it here.  Go show her blog some love and encourage her to keep hooking me up with interviews until I'm hired!

Monday, January 24, 2011


Image from Flickr.

As my daughter was heading out to visit friends she asked if she still had a curfew, now that she's 18.  I told her after she graduated high school, got a job, and started paying rent she wouldn't have a curfew any more.

Should adult children living in their parent's homes have curfews?  

Sunday, January 23, 2011

400 Mile Fitness Challenge 2011

Most people make their new year's resolutions to get in shape and start exercising in January, then stop by March.  I tend to sit around and vegetate during January because the weather is usually miserable.  Yes, I know Texas is warm and toasty compared to New England and I don't care.  I want my 80 degree days back!

I always feel better when I'm fit, though, and have found something in blogland to help motivate me.  The challenge will run through December 31, 2011.  I have to log 400 miles before then.  It's still January, so it's totally doable.  Walking counts!  Who'll join me?  Click the button for details.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Goblins in Underpants


Image from flickr.

I often check my stats to see which posts are getting views and what search words are leading readers to my blog.  I was more than a bit surprised to see "goblins in underpants".  What?  I searched and discovered that Google considers me an expert on the subject, giving me the third spot on the list.  Why?  Because Tempo mentioned in one of his comments an issue with sock goblins and underpants fairies due to his close vicinity to Middle Earth.  I thought he was exaggerating the problem until three people in a 24-hour period searched for information on the subject.  Each of the poor afflicted souls came to my blog in search of help.

How does one avoid these insidious beasts?  What advice should I give?  Go commando...?    

Friday, January 21, 2011

Better Off Without You

Now that it's all said and done, I can't believe you were the one
To build me up and tear me down like an old abandoned house

   - Daughtry

Every once in a while, I can't resist the temptation of checking out Wyoming's status updates on My Space.
His latest posts were "it's not over" and "I'm waiting for the right moment", both with angry emoticons.  Whoa...

I still miss the person I thought he was, but am realizing more and more with each passing day that he is not the kind of man I would want to be with.  I'm starting to believe maybe I dodged a bullet. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Image from flickr.

I finally monetized.  I've earned 31 cents via Google Adsense in the last week.  Woohoo!  This blog was not created to earn money, and everything I've read suggests it won't earn much because the topics are too diverse.  Sometimes it's a travel blog.  It briefly morphed into a dating blog.  Now it's sometimes a job search blog.  It's a diary, reflecting whatever is happening in my life.  The purpose has always been to interact with people all over the world and it's a success in that area.  This will continue to be my fun blog.

I want to set up another blog with the goal of producing an income.  It still needs to be interesting so people will want to read it.  I need to find my niche.  Google seems to like my local travel posts.  If you search "Galveston Lost Oaks" I'm fourth on the list!  I also continue to get views on others that I wrote months or even a year ago.  Will I be able to create enough content to support a blog, though?  I suppose I could start writing posts and hold off publishing them until I've got a good head start.

I've also thought about starting a geocaching blog.  So far, at least two of you have started hunting caches because of me and people seem to like reading about it.  There are thousands hidden in my local area and over a million hidden worldwide, so I would not likely run out of material.  Not only are there caches to find, but also travel bugs, challenges, hiding caches, events, equipment, etc.  Does it have the potential to earn a profit?  Google doesn't send traffic to those posts, but would that change if there were more of them?     

What would you guys rather read about?  Any other ideas?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Uh-Oh Spaghetti O

I went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients to make chili, but I don't feel like cooking.  Oh, daughter has a few cans of Spaghetti O's...I'm stealing one...

Ugh!  Why did I love these things so much when I was a kid?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Avon Glazewear Lip Gloss

"Always comfy, never sticky."

My daughter has to be careful about which lip glosses she uses.  She has very sensitive skin and has an allergic reaction to a lot of them.  I had her try Avon Glazewear and she had no problems at all.  The price is right, too.  She had been spending $16 at Sephora!  These are $2.99 each in campaign 3 (now) and will be 2 for $5.99 in campaign 4.  Regular price is a bargain at $6.00.  

I have FREE SAMPLES for anyone who sends an email to on or before February 20, 2011.  You may specify a color preference but I reserve the right to substitute based on availability.  One per household, please.

Avon glazewear lip gloss is available in three fabulous finishes:  Shine, sparkle, and intense.  I'm giving away one of each.  One lucky winner will receive (pictured above) rave, darling pink, and crimson.

MANDATORY entry:  Leave a comment stating your favorite glazewear color.  They can be viewed here.

After the mandatory entry, earn one extra entry for each of the following.  Please leave one comment for each entry earned.   Links are in the sidebar.  Don't forget to include your email address if it is not listed in your public profile.

1)  Follow my blog via GFC.
2)  Follow me on Twitter.
3)  Tweet about this contest.  Please link directly to the giveaway. 
4)  Register at my online Avon store.

The winner will be chosen using, will be notified via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  Contest open to U.S. residents only.  Last day to enter:  February 20, 2011. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Round 2

I dragged myself out of my warm bed, showered, dressed in my new pants and sweater (one that was not in the pics from yesterday's post) and headed to my interview.  I told the receptionist that I had a 10:30 appointment with Ms. V.  She made a phone call then informed me that Ms. V was not in today.  What?  Oh, no...

The woman I spoke with last week was there.  She said Ms. V had an emergency, but she rounded up an export supervisor for me to speak with instead.  Again, I did my best to enthusiastically sell myself.  I think I'm getting better with each interview.  I really would love to land this job.  I'm excited to learn the freight forwarding side of the business.  (It doesn't hurt that I would be earning almost as much as I was making at the container shipping company.)  The export supervisor liked me, but I still have to interview with the export manager.  I'm waiting for a call to schedule the next one.

I'm running out of appropriate clothes.  Most of the new ones I bought are not good enough.  I want to dress a bit nicer than I would on a typical workday.  Maybe I could put my suede jacket over a blouse...or the new blazer I just bought...or maybe I should shop for a new interview suit.  I could probably find something for around $150.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Wow, Black Really is Slimming

I instantly lost 10 pounds!

For almost two years I've had no need for work clothes, so I haven't been buying any.  I had to go shopping or I would have nothing to wear when I do get a job.  I headed to Dillard's to buy from their "Investments" petite collection.  I bought two pairs of pants, two blouses, a blazer, and two sweaters I found on sale in another department for $163.67.  Everything is machine washable!  They'll work until I can afford better.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Surreptitious Sales

Apartment management didn't explicitly tell me not to put out flyers any more, they said, "Please go around and pick up the ones that are still out there.  We don't want to advertise which apartments are vacant."  Those clips they put next to all of our doors keep calling me.  They look so...empty...lonely...unfulfilled...

In addition to the big Avon brochures I buy every two weeks, I'm usually sent several smaller brochures full of discounted products.  Sometimes it's 10, sometimes 30, twice they sent me 100 of these for no additional charge.  The temptation is too much.  One building at a time, starting with mine, I'll put these out in the evening and remove the unclaimed ones that are still out in the morning.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cut Off

No Cash, originally uploaded by Kevan.
Image from flickr.

I received a notice from the Texas Attorney General's office that my ex's employer has been notified they are no longer required to withhold from his wages. I thought I was supposed to receive child support until she graduated high school, but I checked my papers and support ended on her 18th birthday. He's never going to voluntarily pay anything, so we are on our own now.

I still have enough money for several months yet...and that interview on Monday...we'll be okay...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Image from flickr.

I didn't get the job that I interviewed for last week, but I had another interview with a different company today. I did better this time. I did a lot more speaking and less just listening and nodding. I didn't wait to be asked why I haven't been working for almost two years and what I've been doing with myself - I told her straight away. No one was hiring for positions paying what I was used to earning and even if I was willing to accept less they weren't eager to hire me for a position I'd leave as soon as something better became available, so I decided to go on sabbatical and travel. I took advantage of my time and the money I'd worked hard to save visiting places I'd always wanted to see. I'm not sure if I told her that I also did a semester of college...

I have to interview with at least one other person before I can be hired. We've scheduled it for Monday. I'm starting to truly believe I'm going to find something soon. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and maybe this time it's not a train.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


TIPs (turn in poachers) Sign, originally uploaded by yakkhapadma.
Image from flickr.

I think I just stole somebody's Avon customer for the second time. I swear, I'm not doing it on purpose. These people want to order Avon and their reps are not doing their jobs! If they'd follow up with their customers, they'd be getting the sales.

The first time was my neighbor. She had a rep who wouldn't respond to her emails, so she called me instead. I don't feel a bit guilty about that one.

The second was today. I left brochures on doors again but didn't knock because it's cold out there. I wanted to get them distributed as quickly as possible and get back home to snuggle under my blanket. A woman who received one of those brochures called, thinking I was the one she placed an order with before Christmas. I don't remember any large orders from that neighborhood and really don't think it was me. She is convinced I sold her $100 worth of Avon and kept saying things like, "Remember, you said I had beautiful furniture." Should I feel bad about taking her business?

If someone places $100 orders with me, I'm going to be dropping brochures on her door often. In fact, that's my plan for tomorrow. Anyone who's ordered from me in the past or shown significant interest in possibly purchasing is getting a new brochure. Then I'm following up with a phone call. I need to make sure no one steals my customers...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Driving, Deciding, and Donating

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

    - Rush

"Can you come meet me at the DPS office?  I don't know what to do." 

"You walk up to the counter and tell the lady you need to renew your license since you just turned 18.  She knows what to do."

"Which counter?  There's more than one line.  I'm confused."

So I spent the afternoon at the DPS office helping my daughter renew her license.  She could have asked someone which line to stand in, but she doesn't like to talk to strangers.  Maybe it's my fault.  Did I overdo the stranger danger thing?

I helped her get in the line at the counter with the big sign above it that said, "Check in here."  While in line she informed me she wasn't going to register to vote because someone told her it costs money.  Her history teacher gets a FAIL.  Poll taxes are illegal and when I studied history that was kind of a big deal.  It shouldn't surprise me they would want to leave out incriminating details like that since it is now the "triangle trade" instead of the slave trade.  The lady behind the counter and I convinced her to check yes and keep her options open.  In the U.S., you have the option to vote if you register, but you are not required.  If you don't register, you cannot vote.        

We were given a number and directed to have a seat and wait until it was called.  While we were waiting, she sat 4 chairs away from me, not talking to anyone while I struck up a conversation with anyone who was willing to talk to me.  The lady next to me said her mother used to sell Avon.  She left with one of my brochures and I left with her contact information to add to my email list.  Hooray!  A potential new customer!

After more than an hour's wait, our number was finally called to go stand in another line, hand in her paperwork, pay her fee, read the eye chart, and get her new photo taken.  While standing in the second line, I noticed she had checked the no box for becoming an organ donor. 

"What do you think you're going to need them for after you're dead?"

"I don't know, but that's weird."

"It's weird to save someone's life with something that's no longer of any use to you?"


"Well you know if they call me I'm donating your organs."

"Well I'm kinda hoping that when I die you'll already be dead."

I'm hoping I go first, too.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cashew Chicken

This is what mine looked like.  Not exactly like the pic in the book...

New Year's Resolution Number 1:  Spend less money on food. 

I've stopped eating out unless I'm with friends and started cooking at home again.  I'm also only buying what we need for a couple of days.  I'm tired of buying $100 or more worth of groceries and throwing half of it away.  (I do have some freeze-dried food we can eat in the event of an emergency.  We are not going to starve.)

Every few days I've been trying a new recipe utilizing at least some ingredients I already have on hand.  I made chicken and rice the other day, and had a pound and a half of chicken breast left over, so I had to search for a recipe to use it up.  I chose a Taste of Home cashew chicken recipe from one of my cookbooks.  It's also available online if you click the link.

Look!  I julienned a green bell pepper with my new toy!  Yes, I'm 42 years old and this was the first time I julienned anything.  It's also the first time I cooked with freshly grated ginger.  It smelled wonderful.

100% of the people that rated this recipe online said they would make it again.  I had to add salt and pepper to give it more flavor and my daughter only ate the rice with sauce.  I don't think I'll make it again, but it was edible.  Maybe I'm just used to spicier dishes.

Now I've got a half a pound of sliced mushrooms I need to use...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Under the Pierce Elevated

Under the Pierce Elevated, originally uploaded by glennaa.
Image from flickr.

Yesterday was pretty and blue...almost 70. Today is wet, cold, and miserable...high 48. It's going to freeze overnight the next 5 days. It's weather like this that reminds me how blessed I am to have a roof over my head, central heat, and indoor plumbing. There are many people - even here in the U.S. - that can't say the same.

It makes me think that maybe I should start sending out resumes earlier than I originally planned. I can still work the Avon, possibly even find customers sooner since I can let new colleagues know I sell it, without being too pushy, of course.

Do you think the post office would deliver mail addressed "Under the Pierce Elevated"? (Just kidding. If I was becoming homeless I'd use the last of my money to get me and my backpacking gear to Maui.)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ban Tarantula Eyes!!!

Have you ever seen someone whose eyelashes remind you of a tarantula?  Have you ever noticed your own looking this way?  It's time to throw out that old tube of mascara!  You want smooth, defined lashes not lumpy, bumpy, hairy, scary tarantula eyes.  Did you know you should replace your mascara every 6 to 8 weeks?  Nasty bacteria can grow in your old tube and cause eye infections.  Also, don't pump the wand.  It pumps air into the tube, allowing even more bacteria to grow and drying out your makeup, causing the dreaded tarantula effect.

My daughter and I are having fun trying out Avon products, now that I've become an Independent Avon Representative.  I've been using the wash-off waterproof mascara in black.  I exercise a lot, and this has yet to run down my face when I sweat.  The few nights I've been too lazy to remove my mascara before going to sleep (you know you've done it), I haven't woken up with raccoon eyes.  It does come off easily using makeup remover without having to scrub.

In campaign three, Avon's wash-off waterproof mascara is on sale for $2.  I'm stocking up and getting a year's supply for $12!  Don't let the price fool you.  Avon has quality products for affordable prices.       

I'm also giving away a tube to one lucky reader to try for free.  To enter, leave a comment stating if you prefer brown or black.  After you leave that mandatory entry, earn more by doing the following.  Please remember to leave your email address in each comment if it is not visible in your public profile.

Leave one additional comment for each of the below:
1)  Follow my blog via GFC.
2)  Follow me on Twitter.
3)  Tweet about this contest.
4)  Register at my online Avon store.

The winner will be chosen using, will be notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond.  Contest open to US residents only.  Last day to enter is February 13, 2011.  

Friday, January 7, 2011

More Than Two

                                   115.365 - You call that a POTD?, originally uploaded by Randy Herbert.
                          Image from Flickr.

"I'm hungry. When are you going to the store?"

"You have a car now. How about I give you the money and my list, and you go to the store?"

Of course she handed me a list and I ended up going to the store. Then I noticed she had written next to yogurt: "more than 2!"

I bought 3.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

It's a Conspiracy

Motivational Poster - Conspiracy, originally uploaded by DiscoWeasel.

Image from Flickr.

Blogger and Yahoo are in cohoots. They've learned of my plan to try to post 365 in 2011 and they are conspiring against me. Last night I wanted to post my giveaway and Blogger wouldn't let me. Today, I wanted to catch up reading and commenting on some of your blogs, but my internet connection keeps crashing. I've been Yahoo'd at least 3 times in the last 30 minutes. This is getting annoying.

What? Me paranoid? Never!

P.S. If you switch the channel every ten minutes, the people on TV can't read your mind. No, the foil hat only works for aliens. Comcast has advanced technology...

Avon Update and Giveaway: Violet and Lychee

I opened a separate bank account for my Avon money.  My daughter asked why I couldn't use the account I already have.  I tried to explain I could but it's not very smart.  I'm not certain she understands.  I had about $100 worth of checks from customers and added another $500 of my own money.  That sounds like a lot until you start thinking about how many businesses you can open with a $500 investment.  It's a very short list.  Avon only requires a $10 investment to get started, but I'm trying to build mine up with a little extra.   

I now have a free debit card for my business account so if I'm shopping for business cards, rubber stamps, or paying postage it's coming out of my Avon account.  Since I was an existing Capital One customer, my first order of checks was free as well. 

There are a lot of new colors and fragrances coming up.  In the campaign 3 brochure there is a new Imari fragrance, 2 new Nailwear Pro colors (Gunmetal and Night Violet), and 4 new shades of Ultra Color Rich Lipstick (Perfect Red, Iced Cocoa, Burnished Gold, and Oxford Wine).  There is also a new Naturals scent - violet and lychee.  The new Naturals scent plus some old Naturals favorites, bubble bath, and a variety of Skin So Soft will be on sale buy 2 get 1 free or buy 3 get 2 free in campaign 3.  The current campaign brochures can always be viewed on my website.  To receive an email at the beginning of each new campaign, register at my store and subscribe to email alerts.  The link to my store is located up at the very top of my sidebar.   

I am giving away some of the new Naturals violet and lychee to one lucky winner.  Pictured above, the giveaway includes: 

One Naturals Canvas Bag
One lychee flower sponge
One hand and body lotion
One shower gel
One body spray

One REQUIRED entry:  Leave one comment advising if you've tried Avon Naturals in the past and what is your favorite scent.

Extra entries:  After completing the required entry, leave one comment for each additional entry earned.

Follow my blog using GFC.  (leave one additional comment)
Follow me on Twitter.  (Leave 1 additional comment.)
Tweet about this contest.  (Two extra entries.  Leave 2 additional comments.)
Register at my online store. No purchase required.  (Three additional entries.  Leave 3 comments.)

Links to Twitter and my online store are also in the sidebar.  Don't forget to include your email address in the comment(s) if it's not listed in your public profile.  Contest open to US residents only.  The winner will be chosen using, will be notified by email, and will have 48 hours to respond.  Last day to enter is February 6, 2011.    

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


18 Cake, originally uploaded by kdanz.
Image from flickr.

My daughter turned 18 years old today. She was 18 months old last week. How did this happen? Am I really old enough to have an 18-year-old daughter?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Has My Ship Come In?

Image from Flickr.

I know I said I wasn't sending out any more resumes until February so that I could concentrate on building my Avon business. That doesn't mean I'm dumb enough to pass up a good job offer if it comes along in January. I sent out two resumes in December and got two interviews with job placement agencies recruiting for temp-to-perm positions. Today, I received a phone call from one of those agencies to schedule an interview with the client, a freight forwarding company. I used to handle some of their business while I was working for the container shipping line and they have an excellent reputation. I'm excited!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First Attempt with Flip Video

Some of us went geocaching at Lake Livingston after we broke camp and I decided to try out my Flip mino HD.  There's a lot of room for improvement.  I cut out three minutes of shoes, ground, leaves, behinds...I was paying more attention to my GPS screen than what I was filming.  I thought I was recording sometimes when I wasn't, so there is no footage of the actual cache and what was inside.  I'll practice.

I thought HD would be sharper.  I don't know if it's because my computer system needs to be upgraded.  For optimum performance, I'm supposed to have the full version of Windows 7 (Starter not supported) and a Core Duo processor.  I have Windows 7 Starter and Atom.  It is working, but playback using the Flip software is jumpy and uploading to YouTube takes loooooooong.      

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Lake Livingston State Park

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Look Vince!  I learned how to add maps!

I brought in the new year on a camping trip with my outdoor group at Lake Livingston State Park.  We rented screened shelters beside the lake.  I spent the night in the loft of one of them.  It was not enclosed by actual walls, so if I had not snuggled into 2 sleeping bags layered together, the cold wind would probably have made me miserable.  In the winter, I take a lightweight fleece bag and stuff it inside a regular sleeping bag which is rated to 50 degrees.  I find layers to be much cozier and warmer than any one bag.  There was a guy sleeping on the floor below me in one cold weather bag and he said he felt the wind.  I don't think he was as comfortable as I was.  A tarp could probably be rigged to help block some of the wind.  During the summer months, there would be plenty of room for an air mattress in the loft and the breeze might be more welcome.  There is electricity in the shelters.           

Most people opted to set up tents.  Eight people are allowed per site whether they sleep inside or out.  We used three sites, one for gathering and eating, two for sleeping, and everyone pitched their tents at shelter site 4 because it had plenty of relatively flat ground suitable for camping.  

We had a potluck dinner.  Every time I car camp with BCO there is more food than we could possibly eat.  I brought tamales, but didn't even bring them out until breakfast because there was too much food.  It was BYOB, but people brought plenty of that to share as well.  Consumption of alcohol is not allowed in public areas of Texas state parks.  (Interiors of shelters, cabins, tents, and campers are not public areas.)  As long as we keep it in our campsite and don't get too rowdy, we never have a problem.     

In the morning, we went on a ranger-led hike.  I learned a few bits of useful information.  This is palmetto.  Any place you see these is not a good place to pitch your tent.  Palmettos thrive in areas where standing water collects.  If you are camped next to these and it rains, you're getting wet.

This is poison ivy.  "Leaves of three, let it be."  You don't want to touch this one.  The middle leaf is symmetrical, while the other 2 leaves are smooth on the inside edge and have pointy lobes on the outside.

We did a little geocaching and I tried to get video with my new Flip Mino HD, but I mostly got footage of the ground and people's behinds.  I'll see what I can do with the editing software...