January 29, 2011


One year ago today I started my blog.

For almost a year prior, I had told my friends and acquaintances I was going to do this, not knowing what a blog even truly was.

At our school, we celebrate birthdays with the child carrying the earth around the sun (a candle) one full rotation,  describing what that/each year of life was like.

It would be an extremely lengthy post if I tried to describe this past year. 
It would suffice just to read my whole blog.
(O.K. at least some of the highlights.)
That sums it up in a blogshell.

I must admit that even 365 days later, whenever I post a new blog and this page closes and changes to the one that says, "Your blog post published successfully!", 
I still get grade-school giddy.

It is hard to believe that I did it!

I would like to take this time to thank all of you who believed in me and have "followed" along!!!!

I hope that the journey we take together this next year will be filled with even more unexpected surprises!


"She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly."~ Kobi Yamada


January 24, 2011

$ Cents-Less Tips $

I thought I would share some practical tips that help me save a few cents.

$$ In order to know if you are getting a "good deal" you need to know what the "going rate" is.

Start with something you buy often or regularly and notice the price.
If your memory (or lack of) is anything like mine it would be helpful to have a small note pad or an awesome electronic devise that you know how to use to keep notes.
Log the various store prices for the same item about 3-5 times.
(Make sure to log which store has which price.)

 So how do you know if the price at Sam's Club is better than the one at Target if the sizes are different?

Well, it's time to get out your handy dandy calculators (unless you're the Rain Man) and punch in the price first.
Here is an example:
This week Kmart has a 63-80 load powder Tide on sale for 10.99.
Target also has it on sale but it is a 95-120 load size for 17.99.

I am starting with 10.99
Then divide it by the loads (or ounces)
(Ah, no math symbols on my computer)
10.99 div 63 = .174 (plus more #'s that don't matter)
10.99 div 80 = .137

Kmart                10.99 div by 63 = .174
                            10.99 div by 80 = .137
Target                17.99 div by 95  = .189
                            17.99 div by 120 = .149

So here the best deal is the larger size @ Kmart.

It used to be that buying in bulk always cost less, but that isn't necessarily true anymore.
Especially if you have coupons.
It may be much cheaper to buy several of the smaller size.

Some things to look out for:

$$ A package that says 30% more free ( or any percent-the higher the better) for the same smaller size price.

$$ A coupon included on or in the package.
Sometimes these can be used instantly and other times the package has to have the coupon cut out of the actual package. (I sometimes go out to my car and cut it out and then return to the store and buy another one.  I know a need a more exciting night life!)

$$ Mail-in rebates on packages.  Try to read the requirements if at all possible before you buy to make sure you can meet them all in order to receive the rebate.

$$ Extra add-ons are sometimes included for free.  I always choose those ones.

$$ Sometimes you get a buy-one-get-one-free.  Right now there is a sale for 4 items at the price of 2.

$$ Bright orange/red clearance stickers on items (usually not on food).
Each store may post a different sale than their sister store. (Is that what you call them?)
So if you are in another store stroll the isles for those stickers.

I hope this has been a little helpful.


And make sure to share YOUR Cents-Less tips with me too!

January 19, 2011


You know how sometimes when you are doing something in the present, it takes you back to the past and to all the feelings that were there at that time?

That's what happened to me today as I was getting my daughters cut-hair ready to send to Locks of Love. 

It is so thick and soft and beautiful.
I remembered her as a little girl patiently waiting as I "fixed"her hair.
I remembered when she would "let" me touch her hair.

And how now she is a beautiful young woman.
That despite that beauty, to her it is only hair not who she is.
How thoughtful she is to donate her hair to help cancer victims,
growing it to share.

I also thought of her friend who was almost exactly the age my daughter is right now when she lost her battle with cancer.

And I was transported back to about four years ago.

I was driving home one day vocally complaining to myself about how I hated my hair.
I can't even remember exactly why.
It probably had to do with a recent haircut or a need for one.
I don't know, but I recall having a life changing moment.
I became aware of what I was doing.
I had a full head of hair.
I had no gray hair.
It always grew back.
But most importantly it was Gods gift to me.
And I was complaining.
How dare me!

Just a couple of weeks prior to that day my daughters friend was crying after school because some girls were mocking the scarf she was wearing to cover her hair loss.
I do not think they understood the cruelness of their actions, nevertheless it had a devastating effect on a sweet, innocent spirit.
What would my whining sound like to her?

I am ashamed to say how shallow and selfish I was that day in my car.
What was I thinking?
Or not? 
I have tried to remember my daughters dear friend and the many profound lessons she taught me in a very short time.
I have tried to be grateful for the many blessings God has bestowed upon me, including my hair.
Mainly I hope that I have put my life in a more proper perspective now.

And I hope and pray that whomever gets some of my daughters hair will feel the love that it was given with.

"No matter what circumstances you sisters experience, your influence can be marvelously far-reaching. I believe some of you have a tendency to underestimate your profound capacity for blessing the lives of others. More often than not, it is not on the stage with some public pronouncement but in your example of righteousness and the countless gentle acts of love and kindness done so willingly, so often on a one-to-one basis."
--James E. Faust 


January 15, 2011

MISSING : 2011 Resolutions

This is the lost and found department.

I am looking for a list that includes promises such as:

Drink 8 glasses of water a day,

Log each penny spent,

Pray and read scriptures morning and night,

Exercise regularly,

Clean out one junk drawer per week,

Write and deliver more thank you notes,

Get rid of clothes that no longer fit,

Keep up with paper work (mainly lists),

Only give advise to my children when they have asked me three times in a row while clicking their heels together repeating, "There's no place like home",

Organize time wisely,

Post a blog at least every three days......
(Let's see, 5th - 15th = 10 days.  O.K. 14 if you don't count today.) 

If you find this list, feel free to try out your new paper shredder with it.

"Many people look forward to the new year for a new start on old habits."  ~Author Unknown

I mentioned before that I regularly resolve to improve myself or situation year-round as needed.

I do though, take advantage of the beginning of the year to "regroup".

Well, I don't know where my "group" is but I am way off the trail!

So I am now resolving to either rewrite my list or make a new more realistic one altogether.

I will consider this quote as I do so:

"I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's."  ~Henry Moore 

 Wish me luck!?

P.S.  Have any of you noticed your lists missing?


January 5, 2011

You Are A Survivor!

In spite of the odds have you overcome a tragedy or trial?

If you were a plant, is this what you would look like?

I still am not a "professional" blogger who always has my camera handy- just in case.
Had the photo been taken inside the store (instead of my house), it would have shown shelves of pots with shriveled bulbs or dead plants, with this one mixed in.

I was drawn to it.
This plant was determined to live.
Refusing to accept that no one had chosen it,
that it was a reject so to speak, now in the clearance section.
Refusing to accept that it was more than half way through its' growth stage.
That according to the packaging it only had a few more weeks to live.
None of that seemed to matter.
It was a survivor.

I could not walk away from it.
That was me in a pot.
In my past plant-life-form.
I too had been a reject,
Someone too had tried to get rid of me.
And yes, I suppose I am more than halfway through my growth stage,
(hopefully with more than a few weeks to live.)
But none of that mattered.

I must have wanted to live bad enough to force my head into the world.
To say, "I am here and still very much alive."
I am a Red Lion.
Nourish me and I will bloom into a beautiful red flower.

All who are here have overcome an adversity in one way or another.
You are all survivors!
Did you realize how hard you had to work to be here?
(Try climbing into a box and closing the lid with just enough space for your hand to fit in and then try sticking your head through it.)
Well, maybe not...

Do you realize that you have blesssed someone's life by blooming?!!!
You too are very much alive!
Never forget that!

"Look at us, said the violets blooming at her feet, all last winter we slept in the seeming death but at the right time God awakened us, and here we are to comfort you."  ~Edward Payson Rod


January 1, 2011

I Heard The Odd Years Are The Best Ones Of Your Life!

A woman visitor said this to a deputy.

I was at the women's jail to sponsor an Al-Anon meeting. 

I stopped to take in what she said before I passed through the metal detector,
And then found myself believing this complete stranger,
getting excited that the best year of my life was right around the corner!

As I walked down the long corridors to the program room, still thinking about the "odd" year phenomenon I realized that it will be 2011.
(I have been known for my tortoise-like processing speed.)

Eleven happens to be my favorite number!

How lucky can I get?!

I will only get one opportunity in my lifetime to live in an 'eleven year'.

As I met with the inmates and we were sharing the changes we each are responsible and accountable for, I mentioned the "best year" theory.
It then became the topic; that we find what we seek. 
That if each of us truly believed that this was to be a guaranteed amazing year, how we would find 365 days of blessings.

Isn't it so with life?
That if we look for the positive it is there.
In the same exact place and circumstance that someone else can find a curse.

Although I am a year-round "resolver" this is a perfect time to challenge myself to find some tender mercies in every day.

* I am blessed with a mind capable of learning to blog.
* I am blessed with determination to continue to change and grow.
* I have all my family alive and communicating with eachother.
* I know my life has purpose and is not some random existence.
* I am truly blessed to recognize that I am and have been blessed a thousand fold.

And for now, I will stop there.

 "There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate."  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com 

                             HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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