Saturday, January 16, 2010

Let's Talk Computers

I need a new computer. Well, I should say I want a new computer. Mine is an eight year old Dell desktop and it's still working, but it makes me very nervous sometimes. I could go from want to need in a big hurry! I worry that one day it's going to clunk out and then I'll be running out to buy "whatever" and I'll end up paying top dollar for it. Right now I am doing some research and talking to what I call "computer people". I want to know exactly what I need and then I can keep an eye out for sales while I save as much money as I can, as fast as I possibly can....which probably won't be very fast.

I know I will get a laptop because I hate being chained to my computer desk. I would love to be able to curl up in bed or on the couch and write my blog or answer e-mails or even list items for my etsy shop. I could even bring it to work and use it during lunch. Yes, I will get a laptop.

Ah, now the fun starts. Every time I mention getting a laptop, people from all over the country start screaming MAC! MAC! MAC!MAC!

I know Mac is all the rage right now, and I know they are really nice machines that rarely get viruses, however there are a couple of drawbacks for me. I need a large screen. I do not want to sit and squint at a 13 inch screen! I have a 15 inch now and it isn't really big enough for my old eyes. The cost of a large screen Mac is out of this world and I will never pay that for a computer.

The other thing is.....I talked to our tech guy at work. He said that a Mac would be nice for me because I use it for business and it is great for virus protection, but besides that...unless I would use it for all of it's graphic capabilities....he thought I would be just as happy with an HP or a Dell.

I went on the Dell and HP websites and sent him the link for an HP I liked, and sure enough, he thought I found a good HP machine for what I use it for. He also suggested I go to Best Buy or CDW and sit and use it to be sure I like it. I plan to do that this weekend. Now that I kind of know what I'm looking for I do feel a little better about the whole process. At least it is a starting point.

So tell me....what kind of computer do you have? Do you like it....and if all of you say MAC I'm going to scream.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Fly Me To The Moon

Traffic was a bit heavy Wednesday morning. My mind was wandering a bit as we chugged along...when all of sudden thoughts of an old movie popped into my head. It was a movie I wish I had never seen. Not because it was dumb or silly, but because it was one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen. In an attempt pull myself back to "the now" and to get the depressing thoughts out of my head, I searched desperately for something of beauty to focus my attention on.

The traffic came to a complete halt. I gazed to the right...the snowy field was pretty. I gazed to the left and there it was! How awesome!

Three airplanes high in the headed left, one headed right and one looked just like a rocket ship headed to the moon. Each plane was leaving a fresh, crisp contrail behind it. It was so perfect that it almost looked something you would see at an air show.

I sat and stared, hoping the traffic would remain stopped. Longer and longer the thin white contrails got as the planes soared toward their destinations.

According to Wikipedia, condensation trails (contrails for short) are simply artificial clouds, visible trails of condensed water vapour, made by the exhaust of aircraft engines. As the hot exhaust gases cool in the surrounding air, they may precipitate a cloud of microscopic water droplets. If the air is cold enough, this trail will comprise tiny ice crystals....vapour trails.

For me Wednesday morning it was simply beautiful.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Power of Attitude

Somewhere in the hundreds of posts that I've written, there is a post just like this....but with this being the start of a new year, I think it's important to remind ourselves about just how powerful our attitude is.

I have worries and problems like everyone else, yet most of the time I feel happy and at peace...almost joyous most days. Why is that?

It's because I try very hard to think only positive thoughts. Is that always easy? No, of course not. Is everyday a success? No, but my effort is unwavering. I could fill my head with thoughts of my problems and worries about the future and dig myself deep into a depressive hole, but why on earth would I want to spend my days like that?

The awesome thing is that we all have a choice. We are in the driver's seat. Every minute of every day we get to choose the thoughts that fill our heads and the moods we want to be in. I choose positive and happy....and yes, it drives my family nuts sometimes.

Here is an excerpt from "The Power of Attitude". I just love this...

A Native American boy was talking with his grandfather. "What do you think about the world situation?" he asked.

The grandfather replied, "I feel like wolves are fighting in my heart. One is full of anger and hatred; the other is full of love, forgiveness and peace."

"Which one will win?" asked the boy.

To which the grandfather replied, "The one I feed."

The author continues....This simple story provides the essence of a life-changing law of the universe...You become what you think about. The words are almost too simple to feel important, however, if you get it, if you truly understand their meaning, you can forever harness the power of a positive attitude.

He adds...."Simply stated...if we choose to think positive thoughts, we'll get positive results; if we think negative thoughts, we'll get negative results. Pretend for a moment that every thought is a seed you sow in your fertile mind. Therefore, as I once heard someone say, "If you plant crab apples, don't expect to harvest Golden Delicious." You will reap the fruit of the thoughts you sow."

So well said! Think wonderful positive thoughts today and make it the most awesome day possible and don't forget to do something nice for yourself too! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using It Up

Since the new year, there has been a lot of talk about not buying more crafting and art supplies until using up the huge mounds of things we already have. Then Mary at MaryRichmondDesigns asked for people to make things out of material they already had and blog about it today. Well, I have fabric. In fact I have three good sized bags of awesome fabric. It's leftover pieces from aprons and totes and pillows, and it's nice...really, really nice...and it was killing me to have it sitting on the shelf unused.

I had already started using some of it for my new fabric clocks. All three of these are made using leftover fabric. I did have to purchase other things to make the clocks, but at least the fabric is being used. Some of the pieces I had wouldn't work for the clocks, but I still wanted to use them up.

That's when I decided to start making the Itsy Bitsy Tote Bags. I showed you this one on Sunday. I don't know about you, but when I go to the store or to the mall, I do not take a big bag. I need my hands free so I can pick things up and look at them. You sure can't put your purse down anywhere or leave it in a shopping cart, so I prefer a small, lightweight bag that I can "wear".

Here is my second Itsy Bitsy. I had this fabric left from a regular sized tote bag I had made a while ago. I'm going to keep playing around and come up with some other styles, but I think it's a great way to use up fabric that is just sitting here.

Are you being run out of your workshop by bins and boxes and crates and drawers and closets that are overflowing with leftover supplies and materials that seem to multiply all on their own? What do you do when you have more leftover materials than you know what to do with?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are You Ready?

Are you ready Idol fans? Tonight is the night we've all been waiting for! It's the two hour Premier of American Idol!!!! Chee Hoo!

No, I don't watch much TV but Idol is one of the few shows I do watch. Crazy isn't it? Why do I watch it? Well, the early shows give me some really good laughs as people strut their stuff in front of the judges. I love how excited they get when they are looked upon with favor by the panel of judges and get moved on to the next round.

I love a lot of different kinds of music and I really enjoy watching young, talented artists. They can be singing, dancing, acting....doesn't matter to me. I just enjoy their enthusiasm and true love for what they are doing.

I will admit that I cringe when the judges are so brutally honest with some of the contestants, but seriously, if you are so bad that you really can't carry a tune...then you know it and you are just looking to get your face on TV screens across the country. Take what the judges give you and move on people.

As the season progresses, like most other fans, I find my favorites. I also find a few that the judges seem to love that just irritate the hell out of me. Like little Miss Sunshine, Brooke White from Season 7. Oh my word, was she ever annoying with her fake smile and her "Thank you for the criticism, I still love you" attitude. UGH!

Even though there are a number of contestants that I have really liked, this is the first time I have ever owned a CD by one of them. I asked for and received an Adam Lambert CD for Christmas. In my opinion, Adam was probably the most all around talented artist ever to appear on the show....I play that CD over and over again. It's that good.

So, here is to another great season of American Idol. Enjoy Idol fans! Enjoy!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week One of the Makeover

Happy Monday everyone! I just wanted to give you an update today on how my working out and our grocery shopping on a budget went. It went REALLY, REALLY WELL!!!! Chee Hoo!

I did make a change in my workout schedule and decided to make Friday my day off. Friday is my eat whatever I want if I'm eating high calorie, high fat foods....why work out? It's easier to find the time on the weekend anyway, so I think that will be better.

So including Sunday I did Pilates three times, Yoga three times, walked four times, stretched twice and worked my arms twice! I have passed on the walking for three days because the wind chill has been brutal. It's suppose to warm up this week, so hopefully I will get lots of walking in. Yesterday it was 4 degrees with a -15 below wind chill. I won't walk in that. It hurts. :(

I have a couple of other little changes I plan to make to my program because I want to do some specific leg work, so I'll need to figure that out as well. If I'm consistent with the yoga, I won't need the extra stretching either.

I ate pretty good all week and really didn't have much junk and that is a positive for me as well. I am also trying to increase my iron since it was too low to donate blood again, and that really bothers me. Irv and I donate regularly and it's important to me to be able to do that.

Ah....the grocery store. I spent time during the week planning my meals and then I made my shopping list. Next, I went online and found some coupons I could use for a few things. I'm going to spend a little more time on that this week to see if I can find more. With our $3.50 in coupons we ended up spending $116.96 for the week! I paid very close attention to the prices of things to see if I could find cheaper items than what I usually buy...sometimes I did and sometimes I didn't. It was kind of a pain, but the end result was worth it. Now we have money left for our carry out on Friday night.

We have a couple of things to tweak in our why do I have to use my spending money on Starbucks if I want it, and Irv used grocery money on a 6 pack of O'Doules? That doesn't seem quite fair to me. I think we are going to have to work on that one! Isn't that right Irvie? ;-}

I gave Irv all of his money for the week and I have mine. We will see how we do. No using the debit card at all! I really am psyched about this. Hope we see a difference in our bank account and can use the extra money to start really paying down our debt.

I hope your Monday is just as awesome as it can possibly be! Don't forget to do something really nice for yourself today.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Stupendous Saturday!

I started out the day Saturday with another trip over to the blood center. I couldn't donate last week because my iron level was too low. That's the second time that's happened. Well, it was lower this week! Trying to find more iron rich foods to consume!

Next, we headed over to the bank to take out the cash we needed for our new envelope budget system. I am excited and ready to go. We did have a couple of little glitches though. Irv mentioned that we needed salt for the softener......he wanted to rent a movie for tonight....and he needed to get our Lotto tickets. Hmmmmm...I hadn't figured those things in. I made more envelopes and next time we will take out money for entertainment and salt and Lotto. Irv said we could give up on the Lotto, but we have been playing the same stupid numbers since it started and wouldn't that just suck that the first time we don't buy them....our numbers are picked? I know it wouldn't happen, but just in case....I'm still buying!

I managed to list my first Itsy Bitsy Tote Bag in my shop, FourDogDay. The tote is perfect if you don't like to drag a huge bag with you when you go shopping. If you don't read Lanyard Lady's blog...check out this post of hers. Lanyard has a bad shoulder because of what she was carrying in her purse. Too funny....not the bad shoulder, but the stuff that was in her purse!

This blue bird fabric was left over when I made Angela of Pickles on Pizza a vendor apron. It's so darn cute I decided to make a little desk clock out of it. I just love it!

Then I went all out and made two other big clocks. One of these will get listed today and one tomorrow. The first one is leaves on a light gray background. Very outdoorsy.

The second one is my absolute favorites! It's birds in black and white with a little tan thrown in. I think I am going to have to make myself one of these to hang somewhere in my house. It's so ME!

After that it was time to see if I could find some coupons for grocery shopping today. We will be heading out soon and I was hoping to save a little money using coupons. I didn't find too many, but I did get a couple of good ones. We eat very specific foods and brands and are not very flexible, so coupons might be a difficult thing for us.

I have my Week #1 Food Envelope and I put my coupons right in it. I will let you know how we do and if we are able to stay well under the $150 limit so we can get carry out next weekend. Wish us luck!

After that, I still had to hit the floor and do my Pilates. I opted not to walk because the wind chill made it painful to even be outside.

Then I collapsed! Not really. It was an awesome day. Hope you have a good one today. Don't forget to do something nice for yourself today.

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