Friday, May 23, 2008

Help Feed Shelter Animals With A Click

Mimi Ausland, an 11 year old girl from Bend, Oregon, wanted to help feed the hungry dogs at her local animal shelter. "There are 10's of thousands of dogs in animal shelters across the country, all needing to be fed a good meal." Say hello to Say hello to!'s primary mission is to provide good, healthy dog food to these shelters who are working so hard to see that no dog goes hungry - they need our help. Our goal is to start with providing free kibble to our local Humane Society, and to expand from there - from one shelter to the next...The generous advertisers on make this possible!

We also want to make it easy and fun for you to help provide free kibble through playing the Bow Wow Trivia game - and we hope you learn a few interesting things about dogs along the way. Thanks and enjoy!

So help Mimi out! Not only can you contribute by visiting each day to answer the trivia question, but you can also post a banner on your blog to help spread the word.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mercury in CFLs

Jennifer left a comment to yesterdays post that brought up a good point. Although CFLs are highly energy efficient, they must be disposed of and handled carefully as they contain mercury.

Here is what energy star has to say about the mercury in CFLs.

Do CFLs contain mercury?
CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 5 milligrams – about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFLs to equal that amount. Mercury currently is an essential component of CFLs and is what allows the bulb to be an efficient light source. No mercury is released when the bulbs are intact or in use. Many manufacturers have taken significant steps to reduce mercury used in their fluorescent lighting products. In fact, the average amount of mercury in a CFL is anticipated to drop by the end of 2007thanks to technology advances and a commitment from members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association.

What precautions should I take when using CFLs in my home?
CFLs are made of glass and can break if dropped or roughly handled. Be careful when removing the bulb from its packaging, installing it, or replacing it. Always screw and unscrew the lamp by its base (not the glass), and never forcefully twist the CFL into a light socket. If a CFL breaks in your home, follow the clean-up recommendations below. Used CFLs should be disposed of properly (see below).

What should I do with a CFL when it burns out?
EPA recommends that consumers take advantage of available local recycling options for compact fluorescent light bulbs. EPA is working with CFL manufacturers and major U.S. retailers to expand recycling and disposal options. Consumers can contact their local municipal solid waste agency directly, or go to or to identify local recycling options.

If every home in America replaced just one incandescent light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified CFL, in one year it would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of more than 800,000 cars.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Energy Savings

Still not sure about those flourescent low wattage energy efficient light bulbs? Consider this...

Total savings over the life of one bulb: $83

Read on... and for more energy efficiency and cost savings read the whole article.

One of the easiest ways to slash your electric bill is to change your light bulbs. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (those funny-looking spiral ones) use 75 percent less energy than incandescent light bulbs of similar brightness. As the bulbs grow in popularity, prices are falling dramatically. Wal-Mart now sells 4-packs of their “Great Values” 23-watt CFLs (the equivalent of 100-watt incandescents) for roughly $8, or $2 per bulb.

While that’s double the price you’d pay for comparable incandescent bulbs, the CFLs will last 8 to 10 times longer because they can burn for up to 10,000 hours. That alone makes them worth the extra price, even before considering the significant energy savings.

If you’re put off by the slightly greater up-front cost, start by replacing the bulbs in the light fixtures you use most commonly. Here’s a breakdown of the math:

Action step: Replace one 100-watt incandescent bulb with one 100-watt CFL

Up-front cost: $1 (more per bulb than an incandescent)

Time to pay off: 17 days

Potential annual savings in electricity: $22

Lifetime Savings in Light Bulb Purchases: $6

Lifetime Electrical Savings: $77

Total Lifetime Savings: $83

* Assumptions: Calculations assume CFL bulb cost of $2 vs. $1 for an incandescent; the bulb is on an average of 8 hours per day; an electrical cost of 10 cents/kWh (kilowatt hour); the CFL bulb lasts 8 times as long as an incandescent. Note: To calculate your potential electrical savings, multiply 770 x your local electrical rate per kilowatt hour


Het Koffiemoment

I've been tagged by Isabella to post 6 random things about me.

So here goes...

1. I rarely wear skirts. Like maybe 2-3 times of year. I like cute clothes but not particularly clothes shopping. My idea of shopping is passing by a store and stopping by for a few minutes to see what I can score off the clearance rack. But I get a lot of compliments on my clothes and people are always surprised at the bargains I find. I NEVER pay full retail price for anything!

2. Along those lines, I do probably 70% or more of my shopping on line. Even a lot of shoes and clothes. Sometimes I will pre-shop online for places like Payless Shoes, Target, JCPeneny, Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond, Linens & Things. I love places that let you buy on-line and get free in store pick up. I just like the convenience of finding exactly what I am looking for without having to search all through the store for it! And search engines like even let you find who has the cheapest price for a particular item. No running all over town!

3. My favorite vacations are either to Disneyland or Disney World, or travelling (so far most of my travels have been in Europe). I am not one to camp out in a hotel laying by a pool or on the beach. I have never been to Mexico (other than a day in Tijuana) or Hawaii. I wouldn't mind going but they just are never my first choice for a vacation.

4. I never really had a boyfriend. I dated a bit, but was far too picky until I met John. We were best friends before we ever started going out and we just kind of "decided" one day that we were officially "together". I never really thought of him as a boyfriend. I just always knew he was more than that to me. He did break up with me for almost a year after we had officially been together for more than a year and a half. He played the field a bit. I went off to Europe. It wasn't until I got back that I was finally resigned to start dating again and it took him seeing me with another guy to figure out that he didn't really want to loose me and he wanted to get back to gether. So we did. It was another 5 years before we got married but we knew long before we did that we would. We just weren't in a hurry. Now we have been married for 9 years and together (not counting our "break") for 16 1/2 years!

5. Ya'all are going to curse me on this one and probably hate me from here on out: I have *never* had to diet. I pretty much eat what I want when I want. I suppose it helps that I prefer nachos and diet coke (I can't STAND regular sodas!) to sweets and I am not a huge snacker. But it is rare for me to gain or lose more than 5 pounds. I have weighed between 130 and 135 most of my life, with an average weight of 132 (I am 5' 8") The one exception was after moving to Central Oregon. You really have to drive all over here, especially living out in the country like we do. The change in lifestyle combined with turning 30 slowed my metabolism for the first time in my life and over the next year I gained 10-15 pounds. All of a sudden I couldn't get under 140 and averaged 145. I wrote it off to getting older and didn't worry about it too much. I still wasn't "overweight" by any stretch of the imagination. I was 147 when I got pregnant with Jaxon at 32 and 178 by the end of my pregnancy. The weight dropped slowly but steadily after having him in March, and then I got sick in October and rapidly dropped the rest of my pregnancy weight. To my surprise, I had dropped down to 130 without really trying (other than getting sick which just dropped the last few). I was sure once I was feeling better that I would gain back up around 140 but to my even greater suprise, I held at my old 130-135 range which is where I still am 4 years later. I don't get any *regular* exercise beyond keeping up with a 4 year old, cleaning house, gardening, etc.

6. I am not big into music. I like it but rarely turn on music on my own accord. I am still stuck in the 80's for the most part but luckily John keeps me up to date with newer stuff although I am horrible at being able to match an artist with a song. Mostly I listen to Kidd Kraddick on my morning commute from 7 -7:30 am and NPR (OPB in Oregon) on the way home. I get most of my news from NPR and follow up on line for particular stories I am interested in.

So that's it for now.

Here are the rules: Link to the person who tagged you. Post the rules on your blog. Write six random things about yourself. Tag six people at the end of your post linking to their blog. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

And I hereby tag my husband John who started a blog then left it without further posting, Leslie at My Mommy's Place, Tasha at La Bella Noire, Dave at Random Walks in the Low Countries, Textual Healer, and Jake at Utterly Boring because although I enjoy lurking on his blog daily to get the Bend gossip, I don't think he has ever posted one of these surveys or seen my site.

I chose these particular blogs to tag to give you a wide range of demographic and geographic locations!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Value of Money

A couple of weeks ago, we were shopping at Target and Jaxon saw a baseball bat and decided that he just HAD to have that bat. Black, aluminum, just like the ones he saw the big kids were using at the park earlier that week.

Well, it is certainly not something he needs, he is only 4 after all! But man, I tell you, I have never seen that kid want something so bad. He was actually sobbing when I didn't buy it after he carried it all through the store and to the cash register. So we had a little talk and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to teach him about the value of money. Oh, he knew we had to pay for things, but he didn't yet understand the concept of where the money comes from, or how much things cost.

So I made a deal with him right there in Target. He could help me out doing things around the house, weeding, cleaning, etc. to earn his own money and when he saved up enough money he could buy the bat himself. He was still a bit disappointed at having to wait but perked up when I told him he could buy it. He seemed to grasp what I had told him about earning the money and saving it until he had enough, and sure enough, he has continued to remember the convesation and has shown a surprising understanding of our discussion.

So for the past couple of weeks he has been helping by cleaning his room, getting dressed by himself and a variety of other things, as well as helping with bigger stuff beyond the standard everyday expectations, such as helping to pull weeds at both our house and Grammie's house. While he doesn't get money for the everyday stuff, he does get money for pulling weeds. Each time we have thanked him for helping and presented him with a dollar or two (well, ok Grammie gave him $4!) which he has put in his treasure chest. Each time he added to it, he would count to see how much he had, and I would tell him how many more dollars he needed.

Well, this weekend he reached his goal so today after I pick him up from day care we are going to Target to buy his ball and bat!

On a side note, he had quite a collection of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies in his treasure chest too, and we showed him how to "trade" those for dollar bills. So he also is learning about different coins, and how much they are worth too. It has been quite an effective learning experience all around!

Friday, May 16, 2008


Ooops. Obama, man this is one bad habit you have GOT to kick immediately!!

*Edited to clarify: I do not consider using words like sweetie or honey to be sexual harassment, or even really sexist.*

I will admit that when men use this term it grates on me more so than when women do it. Older women, not so bad. I do an internal eye roll and move on. Younger women or women of equal age/status with me - it comes across as demeaning and derogatory. It suggests that they don't regard me as an equal or are assuming a greater familiarity or intimacy with me than they are entitled to. When a man does it, especially an older man or one with more status or authority it is definitely derogatory, whether they intend it to be or not, for the same reasons. It is just not respectful. It implies that they do not see me as an equal. It's belittling and gives the impression that I am being written off, disregarded - like I'm 13 or something. (And just try calling a 13 year old sweetie!)

Does it change my opinion of him? No. But he really needs to be more aware of this bad habit and stop doing it immediately.

I am glad that I live in a time and place where the feminist movement accomplished its goals and can stay in retirement - at least in My Neck of the Woods. I have equal status, respect, and pay to that of my male counterparts. I can have a career and be a mom and do not feel judged on either front. I don't feel like I have to fight any battles related to being a woman.

However, two instances stand out in my mind where this was not the case. One was back in 1999. I was 27 at the time and newly married. John and I were in Circuit City in Concord, CA (East Bay SF) looking to spend our wedding money on some electronics. We had $2,000 to spend and were looking to buy a home theater system, DVD player, stereo, speakers, the works. I hovered around the area for a couple of minutes becoming more and more irritated with the two middle aged, male sales associates standing a few feet away, ignoring me while chatting it up. That was bad enough. Sent me a message that they had already written me off as a young (no money) female (obviously not the one to be buying the sound system right?) who wasn't worth wasting their time on. Finally, I got fed up and interrupted them asking if there was anyone who could answer some questions about the features/benefits of the various models. Their response? I'll be with you in a minute sweetie. I promptly turned and walked out. After all, there were 3 other electronics stores within a couple of blocks. I wasn't going to waste my time there, only to get upsold on a piece of junk, which was probably their next move.

The other time? Car shopping of course. I always do the car buying. I bought my first car at 23 (not counting the old Ford Escort my Dad and I bought from the want ads when I was 17). I initially brought my Dad along for back up but after a couple of stops he said I was doing better than he could anyway. So off I went by myself. Sheesh!!! I have to say, most of those salesmen saw me as an easy target when I walked in but were suitably impressed by the time I left, shaking my hand and their heads, telling me I was a tough negotiator, chuckling and wishing me good luck. But I came across at least one that shook his head and said I was being unrealistic, proceeding to end the conversation with me and turning to my Dad. Who of course, shook his head and told him he needed to talk to me as I was the one buying the car. The guy continued to try to go around me through my Dad until we finally got up and walked out.


Have to brag a little on my car buying negotiation skills - here's what they got me:

1995 - 6 month old Eagle Summit (same as a Mitsubishi Mirage - Mitsu engine) with 6,000 miles for $9,995. Sticker price over $14,500 new. I never did a THING to that car in the 10 years I owned it besides routine maintenance. When I sold it it had 168,000 miles on it.

1998 - '97 Jeep Wrangler Sport. I had been watching prices on these and knew that if I was diligent I could find one less than 2 years old for around $17,000. I called all over the Bay Area and spent an average of 30 seconds per call, stating what I was looking for and for how much. Some dealers just said sorry, no dice, some told me I was crazy and counter offered. But on about the 15th call I hit pay dirt. I went in 3 hours later to sign the papers. $16,999.

2005 - '03 Subaru Forester. I had narrowed it down to 2. One at a dealership for $13,500 which was truly a good deal and one from a private owner for $12,500. I tried to get the dealer to match the price or at least drop it a bit. I would have paid cash right then and there but no dice. I still considered it since the dealership would be easier to deal with than a private seller if I had any problems with the car, but ultimately the other car was nicer and I liked the color better on top of the $1,000 savings.

*Back to the main subject*

So, yeah, the use of the word sweetie rubs me the wrong way. If you call me sweetie, I probably won't make a big deal out of it. I certainly won't be offended, but I will write you off as quickly as you just did to me. Don't take me seriously and I will return the favor or find someone else who does.

Bottom line, it's not just the word, but the implication behind it, intended or not. Even if it is not intentional, it has the same effect, and leaves the person on the receiving end wondering not only what was meant by it, but in doubt as to whether or not they are being taken seriously. Obama is NOT in a position right now to give the impression that he is writing off someone's questions or concerns, or not taking them seriously. He still has my vote - I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google Searches That Bring People Here

Some of the google searches that brought people to my blog made me snort and just about choke laughing.

poop in eyes dutch phrase - someone googled this? And my blog came up as the first result???

My blog comes up second right now when you google oregon presidential primary and sixth on AOL. I am not sure what to think about that. Is there really so little news about the Oregon primaries that my measly little blog posting reminding people to vote comes up second?

And someone actually googled Jaxon's dictionary. I guess I have the official one since my post was again #1.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Why Obama?

Read his Blueprint For Change and find out for yourself. The following is his introduction letter in the BFC.

"Thank you for taking a look at this booklet. I believe it’s critically important that those of us who want to lead this nation be open, candid, and clear with the American people about how we will move forward. So I hope this booklet gives you a good sense about where I stand on the fundamental issues facing our country.

But I also hope that this booklet sparks a dialogue and that after you’ve finished reading it, you get in touch with our campaign and give us your thoughts on the policies you find here. It’s time to put government back in your hands, where it belongs. If we want to have policies that are good for the American people, then we need the American people to help shape those policies.

We all know what’s at stake. This is a defining moment in our history. Our nation is at war. The planet is in peril. The dream that so many generations fought for feels as if it’s slowly slipping away. We’ve never paid more for health care or for college. It’s harder to save and retire. And most of all, we’ve lost faith that our leaders can or will do anything about it.

But it is because of their failures that this moment of challenge is also a moment of opportunity. We have a chance to bring the country together in a new majority - to finally tackle problems that Washington has ignored for too long. And that is why the same old Washington textbook campaigns just won’t do in this election.

The Democratic Party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people when we’ve led not by polls, but by principle; not by calculation, but by conviction; when we summoned the entire nation to a common purpose - a higher purpose. And I run for the presidency because that’s the party America needs us to be right now. I run to offer this country change that we can believe in.

I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I’m in this race because I want to stop talking about the outrage of 47 million Americans without health care and start actually doing something about it. I’m in this race to end our dependence on Middle East oil and save our planet from the crisis of climate change so we can give our children a planet that’s cleaner and safer than we found it.

As president, I will end the war in Iraq, a war that I opposed from the beginning and that should never have been authorized. I will finish the fight against Al Qaeda. And I will lead the world to combat the common threats of the 21st century - nuclear weapons and terrorism; climate change and poverty; genocide and disease.

America, our moment is now. I don’t want to spend the next year or the next four years re-fighting the same fights that we had in the 1990s. I don’t want to pit Red America against Blue America, I want to be the President of the United States of America.

That’s why I’m asking you to stand with me, that’s why I’m asking you to caucus for me, that’s why I’m asking you to stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept. In this election - in this moment - let us reach for what we know is possible. A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again.

So thank you for taking the time to read this booklet, which lays out very clearly how I will achieve these goals for the people of Iowa. And if you have any questions or want to get involved or want to offer your ideas about how we can make our policies stronger, I hope you’ll visit, call 515-883-2008 or drop into one of our more than 37 offices across the state.

Barack Obama"

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Never Put an Egg in Your Pocket

So you are probably reading the title of this post and thinking "Duh!"

But I learned this lesson the hard way today.

I put on my coat to head out for lunch and reached into my coat pocket to grab my keys, but found my pocket full of liquid. Full. At first I thought to myself, how did I spill this much liquid without realizing it, where did it come from, and *wow* my coat pocket is pretty water proof. Still confused, I opened the pocket and looked down into it, mistified to see broken egg shell in the pocket amidst the mysterious liquid. I was caught so off guard my brain spun for about 3 seconds before it all fell into place and I started laughing maniacally in the office corridor.

See, each morning, I get up and get dressed and ready for work, then head outside to feed the chicken (we only have one left of the 3 we started with last year) and gather her egg and bring it in the house before getting Jaxon up to get him ready to go. The gate latch requires two hands to latch, so I put the (rather large) egg in my pocket for a *moment*. Unfortunately, this morning Jaxon woke up while I was outside so while I was in the process of latching the gate I heard my husband yell sleepily out the door that Jaxon was crying and calling for me. This made all other thoughts promptly flee my brain, as 6:30 am for John is like 2:00 am for a normal sleep schedule since he doesn't get home from work until after midnight so he was a bit cranky at having to get up to come get me.

So I ran back in the house and got Jaxon ready to go and off we went - egg in pocket long forgotten. Until I reached into my pocket this afternoon on my way to lunch!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Type Racer

This is fun typing game that you can play online - you can race against other people online and it tracks your wpm. Try it out!

Monday, May 05, 2008

My Time in the Netherlands

A Touch of Dutch recently returned a comment I made on one of her posts and asked if I visit The Netherlands often. I can't say that I do, but I have probably spent more time there than the average traveler, and more time there than in any other foreign country.

Fy first visit to a foreign country (not counting day trips to Tijuana and Vancouver B.C.) was to the NL in 1994 as a college student on exchange. I spent 3 months living in Groningen (although I didn't do much in the way of school while I was there) in an international "dorm" (Albertine Agnesplein) which was about a mile from the Zernike complex where the spatial sciences classes were held and about a mile from the center of town. I developed a love for the Dutch in those few months and returned for a visit to both Amsterdam and Groningen in 2001.

Actually, we arrived in Amsterdam on September 10, 2001 and spent the day September 11, 2001 in Groningen, returning to Centraal Station in Amsterdam around midnight that night. I remember seeing a crowd of people at the cafe/bar in the station gathered around the television watching the news. Unfortunately it was in Dutch and we were tired and just wanting to get back to our room to sleep and didn't pay it much attention beyond wondering what was going on. The next morning, no one said anything to us on our way out, or as we boarded a train to head on to Germany. It wasn't until later that day on a boat on the Rhine that we realized something big was happening, but again, the bartenders on the boat were watching a German news broadcast and at first we thought it was just a plane crash. They tried to explain what was happening in limited English and we got the jist of it, but it wasn't until that night when we logged onto CNN in an internet cafe that we learned the full extent of what had happened back home. It was surreal to be abroad while it was all happening. We visited several countries that visit, and everyone was shook up by it, astounded that something like that could happen in America. There was a lot of fear as to what the events would mean for not just America, but the rest of the world.

On a side note, I was also in the NL when I heard the news of Kurt Cobain death in 1994. Being that home was Seattle, this was really big news - lots of stuff going on back home that I completely missed.

So then my third trip to the NL was in 2003 when we had friends living in Leiden who we stayed with for a week. I have to say, I am so glad to have had the perspective of living in the NL as opposed to just the typical tourist experience for two of my three visits. This is a country that just has such a uniqueness to daily life. At first I was irritated and confounded by the closure of stores from 6:00 pm on Saturday until 9:00 or 10:00 am Monday mornings (1:00 pm Mondays for some shops!) but afterwhile came to appreciate it. As a tourist you don't really get the feel of what Dutch life is all about. I am sure there are many experiences I did not get to, but I felt lucky to really get to taste Dutch life.

So what are some of my likes and dislikes?

It is the perfect balance of unique and comfortable, old and modern. You get to experience a change of culture while still feeling comfortable without too much adjustment or culture shock. Lots of fun. And the Dutch are for the most part so easy going and welcoming. And where else can you be in a foreign country with a different language but not have a problem with language barriers? (Well, maybe Ireland but you still hear English spoken in the streets for the most part.) Anyone under 60 is pretty much fluent in English and doesn't think twice about switching to English. And I love the Dutch accent. Crystal clear perfect English but I like the Dutch accent even better than British or Irish or Australian.

And I found the Dutch people on the whole to be extremely well educated and worldly, in the sense that not only are they almost universally multi-ligual (beyond Dutch and English many speak fluent French, and often German, Italian and or Spanish as well!!!) but they tend to be very knowledgeable on world politics, events, and pop-culture. It is very easy to strike up an engaging coversation on a myriad of topics at a cafe or pub or on the train with the person next to you.

Rail travel. I loved walking to the station and traveling by rail, to the next town, or the next country, sometimes spur of the moment. And being able to stop by the local market or the central open air markets in town on the way home.

Biking everywhere! So fast and cheap and no parking worries.

I love going to "the local" pub in the evenings. Since they are usually only patronized by locals from that particular neighborhood, everyone in the pub knows each other and being a visitor you get a lot of attention and great conversation over cheap beer with a cozy atmosphere. And you can walk to and from so you don't have to worry about how much you have to drink!

I love going to the store and trying to find stuff in another language, thinking you have found what you are looking for but finding something new and slightly different, sometimes better, sometimes frustratingly not at all what you were hoping for (like laundry detergent!!!) My favorites, Cassis (black currant)soda and those snack chips that are like a cheeto covered peanut with spicy coating, yogurt (I love the liquidy kind, the stuff you get here is just not the same) and lunch at HEMA! They have the best broodjes (the wheat bread with seeds filled with that herbed cream cheese I can only find in the NL) and their cream of mushroom soup is the best I've ever had. Plus I love the view, (at least at the ones in Groningen and Leiden which are the only two I have been to.)Koffie served the Dutch way, strong, in a little cup and saucer with a biscuit, at a table outside at the edge of the market. I love the little individually wrapped sugar cubes (or should I say sugar rectangles?) even though I don't drink my koffie with sugar.

Crystal clean windows, with minimal drapes right up against the sidewalk, inviting you to peek in the windows. Trying to peek in windows without looking too obvious. And all the plants in the windows!

Things I dislike

Dutch customer service (oxymoron cause for the most part there is no such thing except in small sole-proprietor shops) - especially when the answer is "its impossible" when what is really meant is "no, what you are asking is too much trouble and I don't want to be bothered." No bending the rules in the Netherlands! The Dutch bring new meaning to the phrase "by the book." And yet, on the opposite end of that spectrum, there is an extreme tolerance of breaking the law or bending the rules(squatters, prostitution, drugs - drugs are still not "legal" and yet you can buy a myriad of pot and hash at any number of coffeshops.) It's funny because it seems like the Dutch sweat the small stuff and turn a blind eye to the "big" stuff.

Dog poop. Nothing worse than a nice walk along the canals or in the shopping district only to have you foot slip in the tell-tale mush of a fresh pile of dog doo.

Too much rain and wind!!

Trying to ask about something in Dutch (like a recommendation for rijstafel) that is a name brand or non-translatable and not being understood no matter how sure you are that you have said it correctly. We Americans can understand most English words spoken in even the heaviest of accents but the Dutch cannot seem to understand Dutch spoken with an accent! (Although I am sure my accent is worse than most!)

Overall though, I love the NL and would not at all mind living there!

Friday, May 02, 2008

How Cool is This?

Have you seen the Kindle yet? A bit pricey but I know what my husband is going to want for his birthday (if he can wait that long!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

MOMocrats EXCLUSIVE: Obama Answers Readers' Questions

What sets Obama apart, making him one of the best presidential candidates we've had in a long time, if not ever? He has plans. REAL PLANS. Other candidates confuse goals with plans. Goals are all well and good, but without a PLAN to implement them, they are just a bunch of hot air. Like what we have heard for the past 8 years from out current administration.

Yes we can? Well, Obama has plans that say we can.

So click on the title of this post to see the questions Obama answered on MOMocrats. Definitely worth the read.

Cool Dude

Tuesdays at Munckin Manor are show and tell day. Jaxon LOVES show and tell and always has to have SOMETHING to bring. Days that are not show and tell days we often have to go through a long dialogue of why he can't bring something in with him.

Today as we were getting out of the car he noticed that one of the girls in his class had her doll with her and he immediately began demanding that he be allowed to bring something in too, despite the fact that it was not show and tell day, and we had NOTHING in the car for him to bring in (he had already brought his Bear Tunes CD on Tuesday.) No ammount of reasoning was going to deter him though as he scrambled back into the car and began tearing it apart in search of something, ANYTHING that he might be able to bring in with him, deaf ears to Mommy's protestations.

And find something he did. His sunglasses. So in we came with sunglasses in hand which he immediately had to show each and every kid in the room, with offers to let them try them on, which of course they each wanted to do - even the older kids. I had to intervene after he almost poked someones eye out in his exuberance to share, reminding him to let the kids put them on themselves.

Score 1 for Jaxon, Mommy -1. So far, I seem to be on the losing side of most battles with the Negotiator.