Tuesday, June 29, 2010


This thing is so awesome!  It took hours to put together but I loved every minute of it, sore neck and all.  Hal totally called me out on having more fun with it than Sarah but I rebutted with a "she can't have fun unless it's assembled!"  If you've seen Toy Story 3 - and the other Toy Story movies - and you've ever played with Legos as a child, this thing is for you (and your kid of course)!  Sarah loves it!  She's always been rather fascinated by trains so I knew she'd like it.  Over the summer she's become a night owl like me and we went to Wal-mart (dare I say the word) at 5:00 in the morning yesterday - she perused the toy section and found this.  It's not cheap, but it is a lot of TOY and it highlights the opening scene in Toy Story 3.  Hal and I had always thought of buying her a train set since she showed such interest, but never did...so this was a great compromise.  I think there is something rather therapeutic about putting together an intricate Lego model.  The instructions had over 60 pages in two booklets.  I think there were a total of 584 pieces too.  Really a well thought out design.  Even Hal was impressed!  But most satisfying was watching Sarah in the floor playing with Buzz, Woody, Jessie, and the Evil Dr. Porkchop!  She was so funny!  Definitely worth the money and I'm not one to spend a lot of money right now.  So there you go!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


The past few weeks have been heavy with responsibility, work, and pickle-making, and I haven't had a lot of time for writing, nor have I been in the mood to write.  Actually tonight I'm not either but I know that this writer's block can go from temporary to semi-permanent if I don't do something to shake it up - so here I am clicking away at the keys.

There isn't much new to report except that our pickles have been met with rave reviews!  It's really exciting to see everyone smiling when they crunch on one of our pickles the first time.  They really are very good and we're actually starting to make a teeny bit of money.  Plus Hal has something to do everyday now - harvest and wash cucumbers and get them ready for pickling.  He's also now made a few dozen jars by himself after learning the uber secret recipe! 

I've also been reading and musing on a whole lot of things - the awful oil that's gushing into the Gulf of Mexico courtesy of BP, the prospect of moving back into our house in the suburbs in a mere 4 months, and I'm thinking of making us a one car family.  That's right!  I don't know if my husband will ever agree to that idea, but as long as he's not working, and when we're back in our house that's only 4 miles from my job (if that), then it makes no sense to have more than one car.  I can bike to work.  Plus, one of our vehicles is paid off so if I can sell the one I'm making payments on, then that's major extra money every month!  We shall see. 

I had one of those extremely nifty 40% off coupons from Border's bookstore tonight and it was burning a hole in my hands so I picked up a copy of Emotional Intelligence 2.0.  I took the online test and got a overall score of 74.  I'm assuming this is out of 100.  So, got a ways to go!  Apparently if your emotional intelligence is high enough, you can make lots more money in your work life.  But that's not why I bought the book.  I like to be self-aware so I thought this might help.  Plus, I know I'm not perfect so I like to constantly be on the prowl for new information that can make me a better person.  There you go.  Get a copy of this book and we'll share scores!  Emotional Intelligence 2.0

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Got in the kitchen last night with our first batch of homegrown organic pickles!  We were able to make 7 quart jars of pickles - and we're super excited and hope that we get lots more cucumbers in the days ahead.  Hal still doesn't have a job so we're hoping this can be his summer activity and that we can sell our pickles for a small profit!  I spent a good bit on the spices and jars so we at least want to make back that money and have enough cucumbers to use up all the spices. 

I made these pickles by tweaking a recipe given to me by my former supervisor at Clemson.  She is an awesome cook and can make anything by hand!  She even makes her own tortilla chips!  But I haven't made these pickles in almost 7 years because when I first got pregnant with Sarah I couldn't stand the smell of garlic.  Kinda funny huh?  They'll be ready to eat Friday at midnight - can't wait to try them again!  Now what to call them?  Heather's Amazin' Dills or Posey's Pernicious Pickles?  :o)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Living on little.

So it turns out that it was NKOTB-not-to-be.  Just couldn't find the cash to go this year unless a large sum of money befalls me before June 19th that is, or I'll make a last ditch effort to see them in New York.  I feel childishly pouty about the whole thing, but this is life.  I'm nearly finished with a wonderful book called The New Good Life by John Robbins, the would-be heir to the Baskin Robbins fortune.  Rather than spend his life wanting for absolutely nothing, he gave it all up to live a simpler, more aware, and earth friendly existence.  This really is a good story, and a good manual for making the financial hard times more palatable.  For me it really is sometimes very difficult, because I work full time but my husband is still not able to find work at all.  So the American consumer in me feels that I ought to be able to reward myself by using my money to purchase something for myself.  This book brings home the point that there are much more rewarding ways to spend our time besides shopping for things to clutter up our houses.  But it doesn't necessarily speak to buying "experiences" like a NKOTB concert.  It does talk about other ways to have fun though, and that'll have to do for now.  So this next week I'm going to get outside more and spend more time with my daughter and less time in front of a computer or a book.  There are cheap ways to have fun.  I should know, I lived cheaply for most of my life.  Tomorrow maybe we'll find some free fun somewhere.

I am not really a material girl.  If I put all of my true wants on a list, I doubt it would equal a hundred thousand dollars.  Seriously.  The most expensive thing would be an Airstream camper!  It would be super fabulous to have one of those to pull around to all the state parks and camp out.  I could take some awesome pictures.  Perhaps I'll start saving now!

Here's the link to the book - I'm definitely going to keep this one on my shelf for reference.  The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less