Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Walking, do you keep stats? Fitness goals?

So today I started walking.  I am going to try to walk in the mornings when it is cool, but I want to track my walks, and have an idea of how far, and how fast I am going.  As part of a weight loss program walking a few times a week is a good start, and a great way to get out with the baby.  I am not into dieting, so this is not a diet program, we will say I am setting lifetime fitness goals.  This slow start of walking in combination with high protein foods might not be the "fast" way to get in shape, but I think slow and steady, at a pace that I can follow is more important that instant gratification.  I am thinking long term for my fitness goals, and maybe I will get that jogging stroller in a few months.  
Are there any webpages that you use to track your fitness goals?  Walking pages with maps? I am trying to get ideas on how to track my fitness goals.   Thanks for any ideas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Coffee Sleeves Can Save

Think of your daily coffee as a way to be more green.  Say no thanks to that cardboard sleeve to protect your fingers from the heat.  Instead, tell the barista that you have your own unique coffee sleeve.  One that it recycled fabric, in a print that is uniquely you!  When you are not sipping java, store your sleeve on your wrist for easy removal when the caffeine bug bites!

Last Weeks’s Survivor

This episode began, as they all do with the return to camp after the last tribal council. Thank goodness it was J.T.'s turn to go, he will be forever known for the dumbest move on Survivor after giving his idol to Russell.
The finale is near so the players have begun to scramble. Sandra was flipping with Rupert, Candice was flipping with Russell and Amanda lost it altogether.
The reward challenge was won by Colby, Amanda and Danielle. They went to the home/museum of Robert Louis Stevenson had a curious tour in their bedraggled bathing suits and settled down to watch Treasure Island.
Was it just me or did they all look ridiculously uncomfortable lying on the bed together? It was very weird and took a turn for the worse when Danielle found an idol clue nestled in the popcorn and Amanda tried to steal it! Colby was laying back trying to look like he was enjoying the movie when Amanda and Danielle jumped up and started wrestling over the clue. Dumbfounded Colby acted as referee and made Amanda return the clue to Danielle because you know, finders-keepers.
It turns out to be for naught because slippery Russell ended up with the idol and hid it from Danielle. Maybe Russell's confidence was shaken by Parvarti having two idols last week so he decided to play it. This week's casualty was Amanda, who no doubt was kicking herself for not diving into the popcorn first.
I watched last week's last night because I have DVR on my Direct Tv Satellite Tv so now I'm all caught up for tonight's money is on Colby for the boot.
Posted by Erin Alexson

Monday, May 24, 2010


Sea Kayak or canoe?  We are thinking of getting a kayak to paddle around in the bay.  We want to take the baby out and about.  Since we are not really into television, we have to provide great experiences for the baby to learn from.  What better than a day out on the water.  There is so much to see from birds to dolphin, ever minute is new, exciting, and a learning experience.  Not to mention a great way to keep fit!
So the question is do we go with a kayak, canoe, or some other option?

I have looked at the Pamlico 135t and the native ultimate 14.5
Anyone know what vessel would be best for paddling with two adults and a baby?
Let me know of your experiences!

Memory Lane

Reminiscing about high school usually conjures up happy memories, or maybe unhappy memories for some.  I can still remember my high school locker combination, 13, 12, 24.  The sound of spinning the lock dial is a sound that still reminds me of early morning in the hallways.  We would get to school early just so we could meet our friends by the lockers and chat or perhaps gossip before class started.  My school has been remodeled since I was there, and it no longer even has the same gym lockers that I remember, now they are fancy, and fantastic.  The school looks more like a college than a high school.  Which for the current students if great, they have state of the art school.  I don't know if the classes are any better, or if they could be any better.  I look back at my school days with fond memories.  I had a great experience, hanging out by the school lockers are just one of the vivid memories, that I enjoy to look back on.    I know there are some funny tales of high school, that you are just dying to share!  Let them out, we want to hear them.

Struggling in Studying?

There was a time when I needed a statistics tutor.  I remember it was hard to even pay attention in class, because the concepts were just so foreign, they might as well have been speaking Chinese!  This is the case with many kids in school, but they don't want to admit they need help.  For the teenager who thinks they know everything asking for help in studying is the hardest thing ever.  There is help, specifically statistics help.  It is easy, even for that teenager.  Just type in your question and get the help you need quickly.  You don't even have to tell anyone you need help, just try the free statistics help demo!

Can Submit Edge do what it says?

Since I starting blogging on Threadbeaur, one of my goals has been to increase the number of readers I have.  Recently, I have really wanted to get more followers on my blog.  I love to see who is following me, and then I can check out their blogs too.   This is a goal of many bloggers out there.  Getting more people to visit your site, read your articles, click on your links.  I am right?  
There are other websites out there that claim they can improve your stats.  Can they deliver on this?  You can search all over this great internet to find ways to increase traffic throughout your site.  Some are easy, some require lots of time.  All require you to consistently post to your blog.  After all, nobody wants to come to your blog if you don't have anything new to look at.  New interesting content is key to any blog.  I am really one to think that a good picture is key, too.  You can spend days, months, or years building links between you and your internet friends, this is all well and good, but you want to be on google, bing, or whatever search engine you prefer.  It is time to get some help.  Enter Submit Edge.  They claim to do just that.  They will submit your blog to many different directories and boost your websites traffic.  Sweet, right, just what we wanted.  What if you are just a small blog?  They offer many different packages based on your budget and how far you want to spread the word of your blog.  From 100 to 5000 directory submissions, there is bound to be one that is right for you and your page.  I have not found another page quite like this one.  I think it might be good, because even if your webpage is just beginning and your budget is smaller than a grain of rice, you will still be able to get your name out.  Instead of spending all your time trying to link to other pages, this is a link building service that can save you time, and time is money, as they say.  
You may only be concerned with people coming to read your blog occasionally, or you may want to have the Google Page rank of #1.  I think with the help of Submit Edge you could take your blog to a new level.   Certainly, you will be able to get climb the search engine ladder, and perhaps, reach that goal of yours!  Increasing your traffic is a difficult task, but with the help your blog may be the next big thing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Beat the Heat! Quilt indoors.

Thank goodness for the air conditioner.  It is a hot one today.  I had a few spare minutes during Lincoln's naps, and after I finished making ricotta gnocchi.  I picked up my quilt that I have been working on.  I don't think I have shared it with you, so here it is!  I love the colors, and the contrast between the stark white and the black and red.  What a fun quilt.  It is way different than anything I have ever made before.  It is very fun.  I am aiming to have this one done by August.  I am in the home stretch now, hand quilting, then binding!

Minerals turned bad

Asbestos is a nasty little mineral that can cause big health problems.  In a nearby town they found that many of the older houses were effected by asbestos, so much so that they instead of asbestos removal, they opted for house destruction.  You know when people decided that it is not safe enough to just remove, that it must have been really bad.  The asbestos found in the insulation is the worst kind, and is bad for you lungs and can cause an array of health problems.  There are ways to get the asbestos removed, but it has to be done by professionals, and hopefully in an eco-friendly fashion.  Asbestos removal is a dangerous job, and can be very costly.
If you suspect that you have a problem with asbestos, it is best to call the pros.  Analysis of the insulation in question is your first step.  Call around to get the best deal for the job, you always want to get a few quotes.
One of my big concerns is where does all the asbestos containing material go?  In the case of the near by town, they torn down several dozen homes.  I wonder where they took all that material?  Is it labeled then stuck in a land fill?  Who knows, but I do hope that it is bagged properly so that the nasty mineral is not able to escape and infiltrate our water systems.
Asbestos is not just here in America, it is a problem around the globe.  In Britain asbestos claims so many lives of those who work in industry, that it is their biggest industrial killer.   With all this hazardous material, I would think that it would be near the top of the list of environmental concerns.  In the years to come we are sure to see more and more asbestos removal.  With the environmental protection at the top of my list of concerns, I hope that they perfect the disposal of this mineral to ensure that in years to come we don't find out that it is destroying another part of our habitat.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The power of plants

Do you like natural remedies?  Are you always on the lookout for some new homeopathic medicines?  I am intrigued by the power that plants possess.  The fact that plants found in the rain forests are being discovered all the time to have helpful healing properties is fascinating.  Some of the common everyday plants also have traits that are beneficial to our health.  I must say that I have not tried many of these natural remedies, only that I do search for them because I find them interesting.  I recently ran across a website that promotes the benefits of oregano oil.  There are some interesting findings in some new studies that suggest that the oregano oil may be helpful in the fight against some bacteria.   So possibly could be used when antibiotics were not working.  Would it be the first line of defense?  I don't know, but it is really cool to think there is an alternative to antibiotics.  I don't know about you, but I really am not a fan of those antibiotics.
In the north during the long winters have you ever gotten the blues?  Wish you could be outside soaking up some Vitamin D?  When I lived up in Chicago, I always felt sun deprived in the 6 months that winter is there.  Some may argue that point, but after 10 years in Chicago, I am in the camp that things winter is way to long there.  I digress, the point is there are other ways to get vitamin D than from a pill or the sun.  The Bio D-Mulsion is one way to boost your bodies Vitamin D production.  I am in no way prescribing these, I just find natural medicine intriguing.  The power of plants is endless, and everyday we learn something new about the benefits of different plants.  Take advantage of the internet to do your research, you are sure to find something new.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The test of Time

This is an altered photo from our recent trip to Fort Pickens. This place has stood the test of time. The arched hallways are amazing. It was a typical hot Florida day, the sun was beating down, and when you were in full sun, you were hot! Once you stepped inside this fort in the shade of the century old bricks, you were instantly cool! It was amazing the tempurature difference. It was a great day for wandering slowing through the corridors that once housed soldiers, amunition and guns. A history lesson, a photography session, and a day trip! We meanered through the entire fort, looking at the texture of the bricks, the drips from the limestone, and the nooks and crannys of the past.
If you are in the Pensacola area, it is worth the trip out to the Gulf Seashore to see Fort Pickens.
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65 and getting younger every year

Written by Mark Nethers
I remember thinking when I was a child that my dad is 30 years old, man is he really old or what! Well, now that I am going to be celebrating my 65th birthday in a few days I oddly enough no longer feel the way I did about age when I was a child. It is true, I was fearful of growing old. You know you see old people struggling to do the most basic of tasks and lets face it, that is more than a little depressing. I determined in my mind that if I have to grow old I am going to have a good time doing it. And by golly that is exactly what I am doing! When my children began noticing I was asking them with more frequency to repeat something they had said to me we all knew it was probably time to address this issue before it gets any worse. So, I got Hearing aids. And you know what? I actually feel like I have had a new lease on life. It is great. Now my hearing is bordering on the almost supernatural. Seriously, I can hear people talking across the room! I would have done this years ago if I had known how low the Miracle Ear priceswere and much it would help me. So I started thinking what else am I missing out on at my age? So I started asking around and I found out a new senior living facility is accepting new tenants. I took my son Todd and we went over to investigate this senior facility and it was nothing like what I expected. Don't get me wrong, there were old people there, a lot of old people actually. But you know what, the majority of them were laughing and just enjoying life together. I told Todd this place is for me son. Todd agreed and 2 months later I moved in and I haven't stopped "partying" since then! I start out each week with a great very relaxing senior health spa to get me ready for the week. Then I will usually join a senior hiking team or a boating team, or whatever else I feel like that week. And when Friday arrives I am tired, but it is a good tired. After resting up during the weekend I hit the spa on Monday and ready myself to "play" the week away, all over again!

Are you Credit Savvy?

It is has been over a year since I last checked my credit score.  I saw this cute little quiz on freescore.  A smart little squirrel  guides you through a few questions to find out if you know about credit scores.  (I really like squirrels).  Is it a good idea to check your credit?  Yes, once yearly I guess is a good idea to make sure there is nothing fishy on your credit history.  If there is something wrong you will be able to fix it before any problems come up.  I know that we need to keep our credit score in tip top shape so that when we do have to buy a new car, that we will get better financing.   I don't want to have to pay extra interest just because there was a hiccup on my credit score.  Don't be shy, get a copy of your free credit score and make sure it is all right!

Tomato, a month in reveiw

I planted my garden just a month ago.  The plants are really taking off.  The peppers are big, almost ready for harvest.  We have had 4 servings of green beans, and another one on the plant ready to pick.  The tomato plants that i grew from seed are just about 3 feet tall, and really loaded with blooms.  I think this one is a black cherry tomato.  There were three of the 13 plants that the labels were misplaced, so I will have to wait until harvest time to know for sure which plant this is.  I can't wait for the harvest, and to have a fresh tomato and basil salad, with some fresh mozzarella cheese!  Oh, I can almost taste it now.
All in all, I am a fan of the square foot gardening.  It is surely producing more than I expected, and the weeds are usually under control.  If I ever make a new bed, I will do two layers of the weed cloth.  Somehow some dollar weeds made it through and they are pretty much all over.  I keep them at bay by weeding every other day.  They are the only type of weed that I have, so without them, I would have had a weed free garden.
The tomato plants are big enough now that they shade the dollar weed, and they are not growing as fast, but still I have to pull them often.

So here is a recap in pictures from a month ago to now.
Here the tomato seedlings with just a few leaves were put in Mel's Mix on April 14th, and as of yesterday May 17th, they look like this.  I hope everyone is having a good gardening year.  If you have a square foot garden and would like to share please comment on this post so that we can all see your successes.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Organization at its finest.  Have you ever let a friend borrow a book, and then never get it back?  Well,  a friend of mine with an extensive library likes to loan her books to anyone who will enjoy them.  However, she likes to keep them organized, and of course wants the books returned to her.  After many years of handwriting which books she leant to friends, she finally got some custom labels  with small bar codes to affix to each of her treasured books.  Now she has the most organized library of anyone I know.  Maybe a little too organized.  It is like she is running her own private library now.  She now can easily inventory her library and when she lets a friend borrow one of her precious books, she now can scan it, and will know exactly where it went!  No more lost books!  I think it is a great idea that could be put to use in many home situations.  How about for keeping your ever growing wine stash in order, you could place a custom label on each bottle as you brought it home, scan it, and you would have your instant inventory.  Of course, it would take a little effort to set it up, but once the system was in place, you would be very organized.  Once you scan the wine with the label, the description could tell you which wine fridge it was in down to the shelf location, and the notes you may have made on what you liked about the wine.  There are so many possibilities.  If you have a special system that you use to stay organized I would love to hear it.  We could all use a little help when it comes to keeping everything in it's place!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Take only Pictures..Leave only footsteps

Take only pictures, leave only footsteps!!!
This sentiment is one that you often see when in national parks. Over the weekend we took a drive out to Fort Pickens and the Gulf National Seashore. We were among a handful of people walking the old fort grounds. I was snapping pictures of the great architecture left from a by gone era, when what to my disgust we saw. Yes, that is a disposable diaper sitting on the ledge. Why? Why do you leave your disposable diapers when you can just as easily put them in the trash. Do you leave your diapers around your house? Do you leave them to stink in your car? If you don't want them what makes you think I want to see them. Someone has to clean it up, and I don't think they want a diaper either. So this is another reason I hate disposable diapers. With cloth we would never dare leave our diapers behind. Before we went walking around we did a quick cloth diaper change in the car, popped it in our dry bag, and were on our way. We did not leave behind trash.
Sorry this is more of a rant about folks leaving trash behind in the form of diapers. So when you are out and about, leave only footsteps, not your disposable diapers.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Cars, when to let it go.

We are a two car family.  I have a SUV, which I love, and M has a sedan.  Recently we took my car in to be fixed, it was worth the money to get it back into tip top condition.  The problem was as soon as we took mine in M's car started having some trouble.  The check engine light came on, so off we went to the dealer to drop it off too.  The repairs have been quoted well above it's value, so what do we do?  Is it time to dump it and get the SUV we really want, but do we really want to pay the  Chevy Traverse price?  I know, I know it is a gas guzzler, right?  But we really wanted the extra space, and it has three rows, enough room for the baby, the dog and all of our things for a road trip.  Or do we do the more eco-friendly thing and get a smaller car, perhaps we check out the volvo c30 price tag?  Of course there are other options that would not only reduce the amount of times we had to go to the gas station, but would also make us feel good about our driving around town.  We could check out the Honda Insight price and maybe we would be surprised about the roomy interior.  Maybe not, but it is worth a look.  The hybrids do appeal to me, and there are more and more coming on to the market.  Then again, now that we have our little baby maybe we should look into the swagger wagon.  I am sure the toyota sienna price tag would be sure to hurt my feelings though.  The commercials are great, and it does look really roomy.  I guess the question is do we go small and eco-friendly, or spacious.  The price tags are really second  to our needs in the vehicle.  There is no easy decision for us.  We are taking M's car to a local mechanic to see if he can do the work for less than the dealer so, we will wait to see what the local mechanic has to say about our current car before we make any final decisions, and even then I am sure it will take us months to finally pick which car is right for us.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BabyCook carrot cubes

Making baby food is fun, fast and fantasticlly delicious! Just add carrots (organic) and set the babycook to steam. 15 minutes later, puree, and eat, or freeze. I choose to freeze my first batch of carrot puree. I did not think that Lincoln would eat that much of it. So now when the mood strikes, we just grab a one ounce carrot cube from the freezer, thaw, and enjoy. All the healthy benefits of this delicious veggie, none of the chemicals of processed food! What's not to love!
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Thinking Green For Summer

So I am ready for a few trips to the beach.  We take a ton of stuff with us now, because of baby Lincoln.  We have his glasses, hat, sunscreen, towels, and the all important umbrella for shade.
I use my great reusable cloth bags for all the little things.  They make a great place to throw the sunscreen in.  I use a separate one for a snack bag.  After all, who doesn't like a snack when you are at the beach.
This weekend we are headed to Fort Pickens for a little fun.  I will be toting my reusable bags for our day trip there.
Get your bags for the summer.  They are great for the beach or library or your Saturday farmers market trip!

Things You Need to Know When you Move

Guest post written by Erica Famin
Everyone will move at least once in their lives. As most people know, moving can be hectic and can also be very time consuming. There are tons of things to think about when you are preparing for a move. You need to neatly pack all of your items and transport them from one place to the next. If you are not capable of moving all of your items yourself, then you will need to hire a moving company. When hiring a moving company it is very important that you do your research and choose a reputable company. Keep in mind that this company and its employees will be responsible for all of your belongings. Take written inventory of all of your boxes and loose items. This is just to make sure that everything you own is delivered and not lost or stolen. You will also need to plan ahead to ensure that your new home is ready when you get there. You will need to call your current electric provider and cancel your current service and activate your new service. If you do not activate your new service before you move, you will be left in the dark, literally! You also need to set up service for your home phone and high speed internet. Most major phone companies offer great deal on internet bundles that will include your local phone service and high speed internet. If you do not set this service up in advance you could be forced to wait up to a week for the new service to be activated. You really do not realize how much you use the internet until you don’t have it.
Getting all of these things done properly will ensure that you move will go smoothly. You will have so many things to worry about, such as unpacking and organizing your new home that you will be glad you set up your home services in advance.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

This is guest posted by Farah Tompa
I love animals. I love all kinds. I adore dogs, cats, turtles, elephants, and any other kind of animal. If an animal turns up on my porch, you can bet they will probably get a free meal, with the exception maybe of the elephant. I am fascinated by them, especially trained animals. I love hearing stories about monkeys who can make their own sandwiches and dogs that will turn the lights on for their owners. Because of my love for animals, naturally, I love going to the zoo. About one Saturday every month, I will put on a jacket, set my adt, and head off for a day watching these mystifying creatures. I love to look at the monkey exhibit, I adore the koala bears, and I could watch the majestic tiger for hours. I think one of my favorite parts is the goats. I love being right next to the animals and letting them eat out of my hands. My favorite part about most animals is that they will accept you no matter what. They don't care if you are ugly, fat, black or white, as long as you have food in your hand; you are their new best friend. In a world where it is so hard to be accepted, it is nice to know that I can go to the zoo and be accepted by all who are within the reach of my hand full of food. Granted, I don't want the tiger licking out of my hand, but you get the idea. Come to think of it, the camel and his slobbery tongue better stay away, too. I would love to feed a fish to a penguin though. I think the penguins are so neat, all dressed up in their little tuxes. I love watching them because they seem so care free. They just hang out with their friends and play all day. What a life!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tomatoes in all their glory

Look at this wonderful little tomato bloom! The plants are getting so big, winding their way up the twine.
I can't wait to harvest the tomatoes from the 13 plants that I planted. 10 of the plants are heirloom tomatoes that I grew from seed. Very satisfying to see them so tall and on the verge of producing tomatoes!
I spent the majority of mothers day tending the garden, and generally making the back yard better. It was a wonderful day, and gardening on mother's day is going to be our family's tradition!
Like a kid during an easter egg hunt, I searched around my tomato plants in hopes to find the ultimate "easter egg" a little round green tomato starting to grow. Much to my surprise I found 6, and many more blooms that will hopefully turn into some tomatoes shortly! I can't wait to see which plants are the best producers! I will be saving my seeds this year from my favorite plants.
If you have a garden, and are having success, or not, I would love to hear story.
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Clearly Facebook Friendly

Guest Blogger Author:  Jimmy Hendler

I am so happy that I do not have to take advantage of a largeCappuccino in the morning to get my Facebook fix. You know exactly what I mean, yes those Hotspots! Hands up how many of you have been sat in Starbucks only to be approached by a total stranger who want to know what you are doing on your laptop?
Hands up all those who have had a total stranger want to connect with you after discovering you have a Facebook page, while sitting in Starbucks?Okay with wireless internet you will still get the odd tap on the shoulder, but you can certainly find a bit of privacy somewhere more secluded in the city if you need to get away. With Hotspots you simply cannot do this.
Anyhow I want to tell you about how I use my Clear 4G Wimaxinternet to work with social networking, especially with Facebook. We all know Facebook can have its slow moments from time to time, but more so if you are trying to connect from a busy Hotspot location. With wireless Internet you get the speed that is necessary to be able to communicate effectively with friends on the Facebook network. Staying in touch with friends is very important to me, so a quick chat with Maria in Sweden while having a sandwich in the city park is a job well done by my Clear 4G.
It is also very important to me to be able to share photos and exchange messages with my family, which are overseas. I love being able to hop online, then send them a quick note, without the postage cost! I really love how with wireless internet, I can be deep in the mall or inside a coffee shop and still have a really good high-speed connection. It’s made my life online so much easier.
I have personally not found too many locations in the city where reception is terrible, some low spots but mostly everything works well. Overall, social networking is one of my favorite activities, and wireless internet only makes it easier!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stubborn Mom Discovers the Internet

This is a guest post by Candice Teller

I have long been intimidated by computer/Internet technology. As a mature college graduate and professional, I am embarrassed to admit to being an aging dog reluctant to learn new tricks.
After much prodding from my tech savvy friends and family, I have finally joined the ranks of my emailing, downloading, social networking peers. I now have high speed satellite hughs Internet service at home. Once my daughter sat me down for a brief tutorial, I was surprised and delighted by how easy surfing the web can be. Within minutes, all my apprehension melted away and I was off and running.

My first order of business was planning our family's summer vacation. What an eye opener. All the information I could possibly need was readily available at the touch of a button. Vacation hot spots, hotels, restaurants and entertainment were all just a few keystrokes away. My family's dream vacation was fun and easy to plan. All it took was a little research and comparison shopping.

Planning travel used to be a complicated, arduous process. I have relied on travel professionals in the past with mixed results. Never again. Now that I have embraced the amazing gift that is hughes net internet, I feel completely empowered. What a great feeling!

If you are technologically challenged/phobic like I used to be, fear no more. When it comes to surfing the web, you will quickly learn as you go. Take it from an instant convert. There is nothing to it but to do it.

Guest Posting

Would you like to write a guest post on my blog?  Do you have a product that is green, and want to tell it to the world?  Do you have a product that you would like me to review?  Just let me know!  I wanted to try a few new things with the blog, and would love to get some guest postings!