Thursday, November 7, 2013

French's Mustard 100% Natural?

Good morning!

I did the walk the dogs thing in the rain thing, made sure the wild kittens living under my deck has some dry food, poured more dry food in the bowl under the carport for the mama, sisters, everyone in their brother, went back upstairs and tried to talk Skylar into eating (she isn't feeling well and tried to bury it) and went to get my soup out of the microwave when it caught my eye.

It wasn't so much the fact I left it out last night, it was the fact I noticed 100% Natural staring at me.  The guys over at French's knew what they were doing when they added that to the front of the bottle.  
This isn't an ad for French's mustard.  I don't hawk products on my blog like some bloggers do to get free products so it isn't all about that at all.  It was the fact that it said 100% natural and I stood there trying to figure out what was so natural about it and how did it keep its shelf life being so darn "natural"?  Natural to me means no preservatives unless it was a "natural" preservative right?

So without looking at the back of the bottle, I tried to figure out what was in it.  I've been doing dumb things lately so this was a good test of my mental stability.  Day before yesterday I lost my glasses.  Had to go to the store wearing sunglasses like I was Marilyn Monroe or something. Did I feel weird and the sun wasn't even out.  Every time I wear my sunglasses in the store, I feel like people think I'm going to rob them.  Anyway, they're prescription sunglasses and I had to wear them.  I freaked when I got home.  Looked everywhere and the first thing that popped into my head was that I was going to have to shell out almost $500 for another pair. 

Well I found them.  In the cabinet.  I have a place I always keep them and that's in the case on top of my seasoning rack.  When I saw them gone I thought for sure these damn rescue cats whose asses are going out in the spring once I spay and neuter them knocked them off the counter.  They haven't made their way up to the counter yet but I knew it would be any day.  And yes I live in a zoo.

So I felt right foolish finding them in the cabinet I store pancake mix and stuff like that.  I was cleaning it out and I guess I threw them in there with everything else on the counter that I had sitting there waiting to go back in.  And didn't even remember doing it.

So, when I saw the mustard bottle, and saw the 100% natural, I stopped in my tracks and that's when I tried to figure out just what was so darn natural about it.  Without looking at the back of the bottle, I tried to guess what it had in it.  Okay, mayo was the only thing I could come up with.  Is mayo 100% natural?  I couldn't take it any longer and looked at the back.


Get. Out. Of. Town.

Nahhhh..that can't be all that's in it.  The spices that I presume are all natural make up for the yellow color.  So the ingredients are...drumroll please...distilled vinegar, water, mustard seeds and spices.  Snap, I forgot vinegar, sure.  And NO mayo. 

Well I didn't stop there.  Mustard actually came from the Romans.  And it isn't rocket science to make the stuff at home.  You just need mustard seeds.  At a little over a dollar a container for French's, I'm okay but if you want to get back to the basics, mustard making isn't really all that hard.

This recipe: calls for adding sugar which would make it not so natural unless you used natural sugar cane, right?

Anyway, I have loads to do but I've got to give French's a brownie point for giving me a good topic for a blog post today.  Anyone make their own mustard lately?

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's Frugal Week

Helloooo...okay I know I haven't been updating lately.  Life is insane, but I miss my little boomer chick blog and it was calling my name I am.

I just got back from a trip to the Poconos.  White Haven, PA, to be exact and it was a bit disappointing.  I loved the fall colors, don't get me wrong, but the place sucks as far as having parks and that's what I really went for.  Four of them.  Oh, there were signs for them saying "up ahead" but once you got up ahead, nothing.  It was absolutely crazy. 

So I'm back home and I got back into my normal routine.  After my usual weekly Walmart trip with my son, I told him it was absolutely nuts at how high my groceries were for one week.  It's not like I was feeding a family of four or anything.  Every week it's around $200 and it's time to put my foot down.

So I told my daughter and my son my plans are that next week, it's going to be Frugal Week.  My daughter thought I was nutso and my son said, "But you have to eat."  Yeah, we all have to eat, but I'm going to cut my grocery bill in half.

My son had given me the idea when he told me I needed to look at my grocery bill and see what I could cut back on.  It didn't occur to me until the next day that he was absolutely right.

So I found myself already starting to do the frugal thing even though my Frugal Week won't start officially until Sunday.  I'm thinking that if I can cut my grocery bill in half, then I'll start being consciously aware of what I spend from here on out and possibly it'll creep into other things I can learn to do without.

For one thing, Walmart isn't the best place to do your grocery shopping has other things.  Like mascara. That was a whopping $6.00.  So, I won't be shopping for mascara next week and that saves me six bucks.  So far, I'm down to $194.  Looking at my receipt, $14.00 on a pack of pork chops.  I won't be buying them next week so now my bill is down to $180.  The hot dogs I bought weren't expensive but they'll last another week.  The beef jerkey I buy the dogs every week are $6.00.  I have some left over from last week so I'll use them up and not open the bag I bought this week until Sunday.  I'm still going over the receipt but I'll let you know next week how well Frugal Week is turning out. 

Is everyone's grocery bill high, too?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Life was good on the Outer Banks, NC

Two days is not enough that's for sure, but I just returned from a wonderful short trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  I go every year--sometimes twice a year--and I still can't get enough of it.

We arrived on Tuesday and checked into the Comfort Inn at Nags Head.  We've stayed there before and I really love it.  We've rented houses before but since this was a short trip, we  decided to just go the hotel route.  They allow dogs which was a big plus.  BTW, Max said it was the best vacation he ever had.

As soon as we arrived, we headed to the beach which was just outside our hotel room.  Of course a trip to the Outer Banks would not be complete without a sandy jaunt to Jeannette's Pier.  You can't take the dogs past the gate but they can climb up the steps and walk around the wooden platform.  Max loved it but Cody hated it.  Actually he hated the beach.  I had to carry him the whole time while walking down the beach to Jeannette's Pier.  Here's a picture of the happy camper:

My my I do look great with no make-up and wind-blown tresses, now don't I?

The next day would be our only full day at Outer Banks and I knew I wanted to visit Roanoke Island.  I had been there before but I so wanted to go again.  There is a little shop off to the right just before the bridge that is called Shipwrecked.  It doesn't look all that great on the outside but once you go inside, it's souvenir heaven and the prices are really reasonable except for some of the exotic shells were running about thirty bucks.  I saw a couple of wooden pelicans I wanted to buy, but I had to watch my spending - so next time!

While on Roanoke, we walked the dogs down a trail, then we went exploring and saw The Elizabethan Gardens.  It was beautiful.

This above is the entrance taking with from the side and this one below is me standing in front of it.

Then my phone died and I couldn't take any pictures.  Stupid me forgot to charge it the night before.  But it was a beautiful and relaxing and I did not want to go home.  The people we met there were so friendly and I look forward to my trip there again next year. It's a shame I have to wait a whole year to go back!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What would you do if you had one extra hour a day?

I had an interesting comment from an author today.  I asked him if he had an extra hour to do anything he wanted, what would that be?  Here's his answer:

"Without a doubt, if I had an extra hour, it would be spent writing."

Oh, can I relate.  For those who don't know, I run Pump Up Your Book and it takes me 24 hours to do it.  If I had one extra hour, I would spend it writing, too.

Speaking of writing, I had one of my co-writers from a paranormal book we had written contact me.  Let me give you a little back story about this book.  We had it published back in 2006 by a new small press publisher.  This publisher ended up going bankrupt and taking all of our royalty checks.  We never saw a penny.  We have since gotten our rights back and the book has been in the back of my mind to get it published by someone else but again, there is no extra hour in the day, and like everything else that isn't tour related, it stays on the back burner.

So this co-writer emails me and the other co-writer (there are 3 of us) and tells us that she knows of a publisher who will do it for $15 a month.  I read that over three times.  Like, WTF?

I told both of them what in the heck are they thinking?  You can publish it yourself at CreateSpace for shit's sakes.  And keep all the profit.  I'm a firm believer in never paying to be published.

So after I told them about CreateSpace, they thought it might be a good idea.  So I set up a new Yahoo group for us three to hash out the chapters as we do want to revise it, punch it up, make it better than it was.

They can't get into the group so we're having to email each other which is a pain because the group can keep all the messages together  and I won't have to go looking for something, right?

So anyway, it was the weekend (this past one) and I thought I would take my only paperback copy and go through it.  I decided to go on and type out the words into a doc and that way I'd have it on files and I could revise as I went.  I wrote the first three chapters so I thought that would be a good place to start.  This so called publisher didn't even catch the typos.  I did.

But this is what revising, making it better, is all about.  

So Sunday night comes and I have to get back to working on tours.  I have tried to find a few minutes each day since then to work on this but it looks like Saturdays are about the day I can give it my total attention.

And if I had one extra hour?  Omg.  I'd be working on it like a banshee.

What would you do with one extra hour?

Friday, February 15, 2013

American Idol Rocked Last Night

While Idol hasn't been packing in the ratings it used to, the last two nights have sent them up the charts for Fox TV.  Last night was no exception.  Because I am a die hard American Idol junkee (no crack pipe can hold a light to my allegiance to the cause), I feel as most of you all do that it takes a little while to get into the show at first, then about when they get to Hollywood doing group rounds, you're starting to figure out which ones may or may not make it.  However, some will fool the hell out of you.  I never picked this girl out to be one of my favorites but she definitely is now.  Her name is Zoanette Johnson and I think a better way of me having to explain why she stands out is to show you her performance from last night:

Is she a hoot or what?  My predictions is that she'll go far, but winning?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Is it spring yet?

It's all the way up to 45 degrees all ready.

I hate winter with a passion.  It's not so much the cold (although I hate that as well), it's more about the psyche.  It's all about rejuvenation, waking up, ready to light the world on fire.  Spring comes in with a fiery passion sometimes but it's always welcome and needed and enjoyed.

It's only February 5 and I have a long way to go.  So I need something to look forward to, something to get me out of the winter doldrums so to speak.  So I have found a few things that help.

Funny Pictures
Poor snowman but really, do we need all this frozen white stuff all winter long?  Now, here's what makes me get through the winter:

Okay so this is a rather FAT picture of me taken a couple of years ago (I have lost it since then thank GOD), but this is trip to the Outer Banks started my son and I loving beach walking.  We have a thing here on the island.  If it's above 40 degrees and the wind isn't blowing, you better take a beach walk because it doesn't happen very often.  God I can't believe I was that fat.


Ahhh...Ocean City when they had their kites out.  I can feel the sand between the toes and the ocean breeze in my hair.

Ahh...a little skinnier, thank God, but this picture...this was the first cabin the kids and I stayed in back in '06.  Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  Good good times.

What's not to like about NYC in the springtime?

 Last but not least...looking off your front deck and seeing this - my daughter with her beloved Sheltie, Skylar. These are the pictures that keep me going. 

So what helps you get through the winter doldrums besides a nice warm fire, a good book and everything above?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

I'm baaaaaack....

Happy Sunday to everyone and it's so freaking fantastic to be back! I let this blog go because one of my sidebars slipped to the other side so basically I had one looooong left sidebar and no right sidebar and I couldn't figure out for the life of me what I did or how to fix it. Had I thought for a minute, I could have emailed Zoe at Chick & Sassy a long time ago to save the day as she's the one who fixed me up here, but nooo I had to wait years down the road before duh it hit me, email Zoe!

Zoe fixed me right up, God love her!

Okay let me tell you why I wanted to resurrect this blog. I just went into the hospital (I'm fine!) for an ultrasound and they put a "scope" down my throat to find out why I'm having so much stomach trouble and they found out it's my gall bladder which I've got to have removed (really I'm fine with it...I just want to be out of pain!). Seriously it's fine because now I know and it's not the C word which of course I had that in the back of my mind. Before the tests, all sorts of things were rolling through my head as it would do when you're about to come face to face with your maker or so it seems at the time. Such a drama queen.
But that's not the main reason. The main reason was I was talking to an author about how I started this blog and when I had a book out, it really helped to sell it as I made lots of friends and when those friends found out about my new book, they bought it!

Here's the thing. I went over to this blog to see if the book was still in the sidebar which it isn't (must have taken it down for some odd reason) but one thing led to another and I landed on my links section to see just who was still blogging. What an eye-opener. One had died and several had stopped blogging.
While Zoe and I were hashing out the details of getting this up and running again, I started revamping my blog links so that only my favorites (some had died as I had mentioned but I still wanted to keep the links) remained.
Here's the sad thing about walking down that memory lane. It reminds you of how much time changes things. One blogger left one last message: I'm still here, but I need to know if anyone is reading this? There were no comments and that was the last she wrote.

So sad.

Of course one of my last messages was that I had moved to another blog, so I guess when people landed on this blog they thought I had disappeared too. The crazy thing is this blog is still getting great hits - from the search engines.

But the search engines is so impersonal. Why they are landing here is anyone's guess (not knocking it!) but where is the community I once knew and loved? Where are the laughs, the joys, the friends I would visit every day to see what they were up to?

Back to the tests I had a few days ago, when you are at the boomer age and things start going up on you, you reflect. I think that's what old ladies sitting on rockers on their porches staring off into the distance are doing as well. Reflecting.

Not that I'm old, far from it. I'll be the first to tell you if I ever have to go to the hospital again (which is coming up), I'm going to have my laptop strapped to me under the hospital gown.
And there's so much living I want to do.

I'm not ready to give up the ship yet and resurrecting this blog and rekindling old friendships, making new friendships, that's why I'm here. If you want to leave a comment and friend me, please do it and I will reciprocate as I love meeting new people - boomers and otherwise!

Okay gotta get some work done but it's so good to be back home.