COUNT ON CROSS… keep you informed!




Deborah Nickelson, of Antioch, is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant in Antioch, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Nickelson is taking over the Bases

Deborah Nickelson, of Antioch, is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant in Antioch, CA
The Bases Loaded restaurant in Antioch has a new owner and with that brings many changes.  Deborah Nickelson of Antioch is the new owner of Scends Deux restaurant.  The restaurant at the corner of G street and West 4th street is scheduled to have a grand opening on August 30th.
The new owner believes her family’s time-tested menu and experience in the industry will be the recipe for success.  Debora Nickelson’s Cajun-soul food eatery, Scends deux is slated for a soft opening on Saturday and a grand opening on Aug. 30.


Nascar Crew Chief Greg Zipadelli Sells Mansion for $4.85 Million

Nascar crew chief Greg Zipadelli is finally looking at his mansion on Lake Norman from the rear-view mirror.

Zipadelli, now the competition director for Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing, has sold his massive estate in Mooresville, NC.  Originally listed for $6.8 million back in August 2013, the home ultimately closed in mid-March for nearly $2 million less than the decorated crew chief’s original ask of $4.85 million.  He paid just $1.175 million for the property back in May of 2007.

Built in 2008, the Tudor-style mansion sits on a nearly one-acre lot overlooking Lake Norman and has a total of five bedrooms, eight full bathrooms and two half baths. Highlights include mansion-standard amenities such as a gourmet kitchen, formal living areas and a wine cellar, along with a few unique perks. A decked out man cave comes complete with a wet bar, video game arcades and a pool table; and Zipadelli’s personal office sits adjacent to his garage.  Outside, the scenery of Lake Norman takes center stage from a wide patio area that includes an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, and a pool with a hot tub. A pathway leads from the home to a private dock on the water.


Hayden Pannetierre sold her Hollywood home for $3.075 million


After settling into Nashville, TN, earlier this year, actress Hayden Pannetierre has officially bid adieu to the Hollywood scene—at least, as far as her home in Los Angeles is® has confirmed that the television and film star has parted ways with her house in the celebrity-preferred Hollywood Hills West neighborhood. News of Pannetierre’s home sale was first reported by TMZ and records show the property changed hands in an off-market deal for $3.075 million in early February.  Pannetierre paid $2.635 million for the property back in March of 2008.

Built in 1962, the stylish residence has been updated to include designer finishes, wood flooring, recessed lighting and other luxury touches. An open floor plan of 3,120 square feet contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and an office.  Outside, 180-degree views of Hollywood take center stage thanks to a large, entertaining space with a pool.

Earlier this year, Pannetierre purchased a home in the country music capital after two years of working in the city on the ABC hit series “Nashville.” In addition to her Nashville home, Pannetierre reportedly owns a penthouse apartment in Hollywood, FL.


Gwyneth Paltrow pays $14 million for new home with Chris Martin® has confirmed that actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin, have purchased Lautner’s Garwood Residence in Point Dume. The couple paid $14 million for the home.

Presiding over a little more than an acre overlooking over Little Dume, the Garwood Residence sits hidden from the outside world behind tropical landscaping that provides the perfect cover for the celebrity haven.  A primitive covered pathway leads the way to the one-acre summit, where the 3,650-square-foot home sits. Three bedroom suites, a chef’s kitchen and a media room have perfectly framed views of the ocean through rows of floor-to-ceiling windows, while outer buildings with separate yoga and art studios offer places to escape for the creative type. For the sports enthusiast, there is a custom, full-size tennis court designed by the legendary tennis player and art dealer Gene Mako.  Outside, the landscaping design is punctuated by jungle gardens filled with fruit trees, a pebble-stone pool, and an outdoor master steam room and rain shower. A private pathway leads to the shore and a protected cove that presents the perfect place for boating visitors to drop anchor.


Vince Vaughn Buys $6.5 million home from Trojan’s football coach

In early March we learned that the former USC Trojans football coach had sold his Manhattan Beach, CA  7,300-square-foot custom Craftsman home to Vince Vaughn for $6.5 million.

Built by Nick Schaar in 2002, the rustic-contemporary Craftsman enjoys a half-acre lot and has six bedrooms and seven bathrooms. The grounds include a saltwater swimming pool and spa, a fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, and a guest house.  Inside, vaulted ceilings and a wealth of windows give the home an airy feel. An enormous living room is highlighted by a stone fireplace. The country kitchen comes complete with commercial-grade appliances, a center island and a breakfast nook that faces toward the backyard. The master suite features a private sitting area, a pair of walk-in closets, a steam shower and a spa room.


Zac Efron Lists His Home For Sale $2.849 million

Newly listed in the Hollywood Hills West area of Los Angeles is a home owned by the film and television actor. Zac Efron is asking $2.849 million for the Case Study Program home designed by esteemed architect Rodney Walker.

Built in 1947, the home of the “High School Musical” star has two bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths and 2,400 square feet of living space. Telescoping walls of glass add an organic dimension to the open floor plan, and open the interiors to a large deck and impressive views. Shaded by mature trees, grounds spanning one-third acre offer a relaxed state of living with various patios and an infinity pool with a private cabana.


Kari Cross – Intero Real Estate Services




If you, or someone you know, purchased a home with a FHA or low down payment loan, you are probably paying a monthly mortgage insurance premium fee.   With home values on the rise you may have enough equity in your home to now remove the mortgage insurance fee.  Contact me at for more information.

Information provided by:


If you are thinking about purchasing a new home, you might not always know where to start.  

10 things to know when looking for a new home.

  1. Find a great Realtor
  2. Get pre-approved with your real estate agents preferred lender
  3. Find what loan is best for you
  4. Figure out what your maximum purchase price will be
  5. Determine your wants and needs in a new home
  6. Search what neighborhood fits your needs and your purchase price
  7. Find the perfect home for you
  8. Know what you are signing
  9. Protect yourself through the escrow process
  10. Move into your dream home!

Contact Kari Cross with Intero Real Estate at with all your real estate questions!


So I love Pinterest….BUT

I’m pretty sure it is responsible for many marriages ending in divorce….

and mine might be next!


What kind of people can actually “DO IT YOURSELF ?”  Is it really DIY ?

If my husband comes home from work again and I say to him “look what I found on Pinterest today”, I might have to look for a new place to live.  I have to say I have found many clever crafts on Pinterest and I have made some amazing meals that my family loves.  The problem is my percentage of good to bad is really low, and getting lower.  I have two really bad Pinterest finds and the second one might make my husband divorce me.

It started small.  I went grocery shopping and made purchased the food to put together a month of crock pot meals.  I worked all day and made the meals just like I found on Pinterest and it was totally awesome.  I won’t have to cook late at night, I will come home in the afternoon and the house will smell wonderful.  Everything was wonderful until we sat down to eat them and they were all really bad, so bad I had to make a second dinner for the family.  I have learned that my family is obviously very picky about the food we should stick to the food we are used to.


Then I decided to get crafty.  When remodeling my daughters bedroom she wanted something different and cool so obviously we went on Pinterest for ideas.  We saw several ideas that we loved and we decided on an EASY project.  Well, it looked like an easy project.  Half way through the project I found out the truth…. it was not a DIY project at all.  What kind of person can “Do It Yourself ?”   I thought we would get some old wood pallets paint them white and stack them to make an elevated bed and L-shaped coach.  In my head it looks really cool and super easy.  What it didn’t say on the website was:

  1. Not all pallets are the same size and shape   What?  How was I supposed to know that?
  2. You have to sand the pallets before you paint them.  That was not a step I planned in my head.
  3. You have to use a paint sprayer to get the paint inside the holes of the pallet.

I went from throwing some paint on some pallets and stacking them against the wall to needing my husband to cut, sand, and paint the pallets…… see how the divorce scenario came to play?  It is still an awesome idea….. just not the DIY project I thought it was.  (I will have to share pictures when it is done, only half way finished at this point)


P.S.  I know several people who have made the crock pot meals and they loved them….I also know that many projects are actually DIY, but some should be labeled Do IT With A Team Of Experts.




WOULD YOU RATHER BUY A HOME FOR $200,000 OR $150,000? ….you might be surprised with your answer



What if I told you $200,000 would be better and that if you are interested in purchasing a new home in the near future… will be better than later.


Many people look at only the current Real Estate Market conditions when deciding if they should purchase a home or not, but the most important thing to look at right now is INTEREST RATES.  In California interest rates are at an all time low and some people forecast rates to increase in time.  If interest rates do increase the home you can afford to purchase today will be “out of your price range” tomorrow.

(everyone’s specific situation will vary, but this is an example of one client)

Current interest Rate 3.25% – Monthly Payment $875.00 – Purchase price $200,000

interest Rate Example 5.25% – Monthly Payment $875.00 – Purchase price $150,000

With the above example…..if you would like to stay with a monthly payment of $875.00 you can no longer afford the $200,000 home.

With the unknown interest rate future and home prices beginning to increase, if you are thinking of buying a home….make sure you call today to review your options.



Studies show that texting while driving is 23 times riskier than using a cell phone.  The same study also showed that talking and listening to a cell phone was just 1.3 times as high as non-distracted driving.  The 1.3 is also the same distraction as listening to the radio and that number goes up when changing the station on the radio.

If people are talking on the phone (just as they would if they had a passanger in the car) they will be unable to text while driving.  When texting most drivers have their eyes off the road for nearly five seconds…..that equates to a driver covering a distance  the length of a football field at 55 mph without looking at the road.

The truth is drivers have many distractions while driving and I think we all need to be reminded of the importance of driving carefully and paying extra attention when behind the wheel.  Many states have a “hang up and drive” motto but if everyone was on the phone, they wouldn’t be able to respond to any text messages.  If people talked on the phone they would not have a need to text.  If you are singing along to the radio, talking with friends in the car, or talking on the phone….at least you can always have your eyes on the road.  Singing and talking is better than texting any day.

Keep your eyes on the road…..Don’t text and drive!


THANKSGIVING DAY is when we stop and give thanks for all we have……MEMORIAL DAY is when we stop and give thanks to the people who fought for the things we have.


It is the  VETERAN,  not the preacher,  who has given us freedom of religion.

It is  the VETERAN,  not the reporter,   who has given us freedom of the press.

It is  the VETERAN,  not the poet,  who has given us freedom of speech.

It is  the VETERAN,  not the campus organizer,  who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is  the VETERAN,  not the lawyer,  who has given us the right to a fair trial.

 It is  the VETERAN,  not the politician,  Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the  VETERAN who  salutes the Flag,

It is  the VETERAN  who serves  under the Flag,




It is that time of year again….the sun is out and it is time for summer fun.  Don’t forget about all the fun the County Fair brings to town.  Most fair’s have hours of fun at little to no charge.  You can enjoy a day in the sun and depending on which fair you attend you can see live animals, carnival rides, booths, music, and entertainment.

I found the dates for some of the local fair’s you might be interested in.  Check on line for your local fair information.

ALAMEDA COUNTY FAIR –  June 20 – July 8


MARIN COUNTY FAIR – San Rafael, CA – June 30 – July 4

NAPA COUNTY FAIR – Calistoga, CA – June 29 – July 4

SACRAMENTO COUNTY FAIR – Sacramento, CA – May 24 – May 28

See you at the Fair!


Later this week you can own a piece of Facebook.  A document has just been published with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Form 8-A, which confirms that Facebook’s stock has been registered and approved for listing on the Nasdaq.

Facebook is offering 180 million shares of its Class A common stock and the selling stockholders are offering 157.42 million shares of Class A common stock.  Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will personally sell 30.2 million shares for the IPO.  despite this, he will still control the majority of the company: 57.3 percent of voting shares after the IPO.  The company has set a $28 to $35 IPO price range, but many expect Facebook will raise it as the final date draws closer.

Facebook is expected to start trading this week under the “FB” ticker.  Many believe this Friday is the big day….shares will be priced on May 17, with trading beginning on May 18.  Whenever FB makes its way to the Nasdaq….will you be in line to own a share?

Here’s the relevant excerpt:

Facebook, Inc. (the “Registrant”) hereby incorporates by reference the description of its Class A common stock, par value $0.000006 per share, to be registered hereunder contained under the heading “Description of Capital Stock” in the Registrant’s Registration Statement on Form S-1 (File No. 333-179287), as originally filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) on February 1, 2012, as subsequently amended (the “Registration Statement”), and in the prospectus included in the Registration Statement to be filed separately by the Registrant with the Commission pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, which prospectus shall be deemed to be incorporated by reference herein.

The Registrant’s Class A common stock to be registered hereunder has been approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market of The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC under the symbol “FB.”

Whenever FB makes its way to the Nasdaq….will you be in line to own a share?


Last year I wrote about the “Real” story of St. Patrick’s day, which I love!  I am a big fan of history and how things change over the years.  With St. Patrick’s day this Saturday I thought I would remind everyone about the unusual day of wearing green and drinking beer.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Did you know that St. Patrick was not Irish… was Patrick’s favorite color, not green…..bacon and cabbage was served in Ireland not corned beef….and bars are closed on St. Patrick’s Day.        How did we get the traditions we have today?

ST. PATRICK:  St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century.   At the age of sixteen, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate.  They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity.  During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian.  After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped and traveled to Britain.  After a fifteen year religious training course he was ordained as a priest and sent to Ireland with a mission to convert Irish to Christianity.

Patrick was very successful at establishing monasteries and converting the Irish country to Christianity, but this upset the Celtic Druids.  Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time and continued his quest.  His mission continued in Ireland for thirty years until he retired, and then died on March 17 in AD 461.  For thousands of years, the Irish have observed the day of Saint Patrick’s death as a religious holiday, attending church in the morning and celebrating with food and drink in the afternoon.

St. Patrick’s Day custom came to America in 1737  and was celebrated in Boston.  Today people celebrate with parades, wearing green, and drinking beer.  St. Patrick’s Day is popular also because it takes place just a few days before the first day of spring.  People say it has become the first green of spring.

BEING PINCHED:  People wear green to avoid being pinched.  It is thought that wearing green made you invisible to leprechaun’s and fairy creatures who would pinch anyone who they could see.  People began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder that leprechaun’s would sneak up and pinch them.

GREEN:  The color of St. Patrick was not green… was blue.  In the 19th century green became used as a symbol of Ireland.  Ireland’s flag has green, the beautiful green landscape, and because the day is so close to spring, and the color of the shamrock, all contributed to the color changing to green.  People wear green to pay tribute to Ireland, bring in good luck, and avoid being pinched.

CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE:  Back in the day the Irish had lots of cheap pigs around and bacon and cabbage was the staple dish for most Irish rather than beef.  New York bars started offering a “free lunch” to the Irish construction workers who were building NYC (it was the cheapest meat, and cabbage was the cheapest vegetable.)  They would offer this “free lunch” with the purchase of a couple beers or shots of whiskey.  The corned beef soon became known as the “irish’ food.”

SHAMROCK:  Three is Ireland’s magic number for several reasons.  The shamrock was used by Patrick to explain the Trinity (How the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements in the same entity.)  The shamrock was also the symbol for Past, Present & Future.  Followers would wear shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Day to represent how Patrick used the shamrock in his teaching as well as the Irish’ luck of the number 3.  The  three leaves today mostly symbolize Hope, Faith & Love…If you find a fourth leaf on your shamrock it would stand for luck.

LEPRECHAUN:  The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy that looks like a 2 foot tall old man who dresses like a shoemaker.  According to legend, leprechaun’s are unfriendly, live alone, pass the time making shoes, and possess a hidden pot of gold.  Leprechaun’s had nothing to do with St. Patrick or the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, until 1959.  Walt Disney released a film called Darby O’Gill & the Little People, which introduced America to a very different sort of leprechaun. This cheerful, friendly leprechaun is a purely American invention, but quickly evolved into an easily recognizable symbol of both St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland.

It is so interesting how traditions get started, changed, and carried out.  Don’t forget to wear green, pinch those not wearing green, eat some corned beef and cabbage, and have a green beer. 


High profile criminals are very interesting to me.  Why they do the crime, how they do the crime, and how they get caught……because they eventually get caught!    I took Administration of Justice classes in college and loved when we studied the criminal mind and criminal forensics. I saw that today was the anniversary of the FBI’s release to the public the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

March 14, 1950, the Federal Bureau of Investigation institutes the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list in an effort to publicize particularly dangerous fugitives.

The creation of the program came from a wire service news story in 1949 about the “toughest guys” the FBI wanted to capture.  The story drew so much public attention that the “Ten Most Wanted” list was given the okay by J. Edgar Hoover the following year.

As of 2011, 465 of the criminals included on the list have been apprehended or located, 153 as a result of tips from the public.

The Criminal Investigative Division (CID) of the FBI asks all fifty-six field offices to submit candidates for inclusion on the list.  The CID in association with the Office of Public and congressional Affairs then proposes finalists for approval by the FBI’s Deputy Director.   Generally, the only way to get off the list is to die or to be captured. There have only been a handful of cases where a fugitive has been removed from the list because they no longer were a particularly dangerous menace to society. Only eight women have appeared on the Ten Most Wanted list.

The FBI also works closely with the Fox television show America’s Most Wanted to further publicize the effort to capture dangerous felons.

America’s Most Wanted was launched from the “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list…..a television show that ran for twenty-three years that profiled wanted criminals.  As of February 2012 1,175 people have been captured because of the television series.



Most people have 1,000, 5,000, or 10,000 emails in their inbox….like you are ever going to go back to email number 7,113 and deal with it.  You may have the best of intentions to go back and deal with it, but once it is out of sight it is over.  If you do happen to get back to it, most likely it is too late or the person feels like you have blown them off.

I am working on currently cleaning out my email box so that when I go to bed each night it will be empty and I will be ready for the next day of incoming emails.  With the amount of information we have coming at us each and every day we need to be able to evaluate information quickly and act on it…..not procrastinate on it.  We are in the information age, and information is coming at us like a rushing river and it is not going to slow down anytime soon.  The reality of it is of all the emails I get a day probably on 30 require some kind of a response.

I will be focused on deleting the not so important emails and spam throughout the day.  I will try to whittle down my inbox so that when I do sit down to work on replying and dealing with my emails I can focus on the things that really need my attention and not the junk emails.

Many items I am cc’d on and do not require a reply….I can simply scan through those and either delete or file into the appropriate folder.

Information is power, but only if we use it correctly……DO IT,    DELEGATE IT    OR    DELETE IT !


I always hear people say:




2012 is a leap year, with 366 days instead of the usual 365 days


The Earth does not travel around the Sun in 365 days……it actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds.  Therefore, as the hours accumulated over the centures, an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, and over time the practice became more or less official.

The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, but a more precise formula (still in use today) was adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in years only divisible by four – 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

To make sure the calander stays in tune, another stipulation ruled that no year divisible by 100 would have a leap year, except if it was divisible by 400. Thus, 1700, 1800, and 1900 was not a leap year … but 1600 and 2000 were.

The longest time between two leap years is eight years. The last time this  happened was between 1896 and 1904 and it won’t happen again until 2096 to 2104.

Famous people born on Leap Day – Ja Rule, Anthonio Sabato Jr, Dinah Shore and Jimmy Dorsey

In Greece, people believe it is bad luck to get married in a leap year

St. Patrick of Ireland set February 29th as the day allowing women the right to ask for a man’s hand in marriage.

The Pirates of Penzance opera plays in the leap year birthday by binding Frederic into an apprenticeship until his 21st birthday.  Since Frederic’s birthday falls on February 29th, it means that technically he is only a young boy and won’t reach his 21st birthday until he is in his eighties.

The US Presidential elections are held every four years and occur in the Leap Year

The Summer Olympic Games are held every four years and occur in the Leap Year

Norway’s Henriksen siblings are recognized by the Guinness Book of World  Records. The three siblings were born on three consecutive leap days. Heidi  Henriksen, 1960; Olav Henriksen, 1964; and Leif-Martin Henriksen, 1968.

The Keogh family has three consecutive generations born on Feb. 29. Peter  Anthony was born in Ireland in 1940; his son Peter Eric was born in the U.K. in  1964; and his granddaughter Bethany Wealth was born in the U.K. in 1996.

Being born on leap day isn’t always fun and games. In non-leap years certain  countries legally recognize Feb. 29 birthdays on Feb. 28 or March 1, resulting  in hassles with birth certificates, driver’s licenses and entry fields on  websites.

A person born on February 29 is called a leapling or leaper. A leapling only celebrates one quarter of birthdays than his true age. About 4 million people in the world have been born February 29




The story of Fat Tuesday refers to the practice of letting yourself eat tons of fatty foods on the night before the start of Lent.  Then, during the religious season of Lent you are asked to fast for 40 days without eating most fatty foods, meats, eggs and pancakes.  If you remember we had a very funny encounter last year with our first ever King Cake……read more at OUR NEW KING CAKE TRADITION

The King Cake comes with the idea from the Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child.  The Kings searched for the baby and waited to find him, much like those searching for the baby in the King Cake.

The King Cake is a rich Danish dough braided and baked in a ring or oval shape and topped with traditional Mardi Gras colors.  Inside every cake is one tiny baby (generally plastic now, but sometimes this baby might be made of porcelain or even gold).  The person who finds the baby in their slice of King Cake will be rewarded with good luck.  That person is also traditionally responsible for providing the King Cake at next years party……..

I have to go now……I need to make our King Cake



During peak months, my energy bill is so high!  I am looking for some easy ways to cut my energy costs and thought I would share some findings…….

TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER AT NIGHT (Save up to $105 a year)

Why?   Turning your computer off at night could save you up to a third of its energy costs, depending on your use and power management settings. Save even more by plugging your computer, monitor, and printer into one power strip and turning the strip off when you go to bed.

Is it okay to frequently shut down my computer? The U.S. Department of Energy assures that switching a computer on and off multiple times does not negatively affect its life because advances in technology, typically computers are replacement before equipment failure occurs. In fact, giving your computer a rest can be good for it. Certain software updates require computers to shut down, and the fan is more likely to wear out on a machine that run constantly. Good to know: Some computers have settings that can automatically turn a computer on or off at certain times of day. You are most likely to find these options in the Control Panel folder on a computer running Windows® or in System Preferences on a Mac®. Check your owner’s manual for more specific information.
  • Shut your computer down during the day when you will not use it for the next two hours.
  • Unplug the computer or switch off its power strip after it powers down.
  • Turn off your monitor too for greater savings.


Why?    The edges of doors and windows are often not sealed well, allowing cold air to seep into your home or air conditioning to escape. Windows and doors can be responsible for up to 25% of heat loss in a typical home and 33% of summer heat gain. Weatherstripping your windows and doors will help reduce this leakage.

Step-by-step: Do it yourself:Using affordable supplies from a local home improvement retailer, you may be able to seal your windows and doors yourself. You can usually complete the work within a day, making this an easy weekend project.
  • Doors
    1. Reduce air leakage at the bottom of exterior doors. For a no-cost solution, use rolled-up towels. Or:
    2. Install sweeps at the bottom of exterior doors. Available at most hardware and home supply stores, sweeps are generally plastic or metal strips that you apply to the bottom of the door.
    3. Install low-cost compressible foam. This creates a tight seal around the door. Don’t forget to seal doors into unheated areas of your home, such as the garage.
  • Windows
    1. Seal windows. Rope caulk and compressible foam are very inexpensive. Or,
    2. Install weatherstripping. The cost for this is slightly higher, but still reasonable. Plus, this is a more permanent solution.

SEAL AIR LEAKS (Save up to $100 a year)

Why?    Air leaks can be a large source of air loss in your home. This raises your heating and cooling costs and can make your home less comfortable.

  1. Purchase caulk and/or polyurethane foam appropriate for the surfaces you plan to seal. Check the label for its best uses and whether it is appropriate for indoor or outdoor use. Some caulks are specially designed for small leaks along the edges of walls. Foams are more appropriate for larger gaps and holes.
  2. Find leaks. To find leaks, try to follow drafts of air to their source on the wall, floor, ceiling, and around ductwork. Watching how the smoke of a smoke pen or burning incense flows is one way to check for leaks and drafts.
  3. Check where different materials meet. Look where brick meets wood siding, between the foundation and walls, between the chimney and siding, where gas and electricity lines exit your house, and where there are any penetrations through the floor from unheated crawlspaces and basements.
  4. Seal any cracks you find. Use the right sealant for each leak.

USE DIMMERS (Save up to $35 a year)

Why?   A standard light switch gives you two lighting options – full brightness or none at all.  Dimmers give you more control over the level of light in a room, which opens up stylistic possibilities and saves electricity.  By using only as much light as you need, you can save up to 40% on your lighting bill while extending the life of your bulbs.standard masonry fireplace can add charm to a home, but is also an inefficient way to produce heat. You can make a few easy changes to your fireplace to improve its efficiency.

Even a small reduction makes a difference. The human eye can barely tell the difference between full and 90% brightness, but setting a dimmer at this level can still save you 10% on the room’s lighting costs.


Why?      Though you’re rarely awake to see them, outdoor lamps left on all night can consume more electricity than most of your other light fixtures. However, motion sensors can reduce their energy use by 80% without compromising security or style.

How it works: Motion sensors turn lights on when they detect movement in their vicinity. After a certain amount of time elapses, the lights switch off. You can adjust the time delay.
  • Lights with motion sensors can also contain photocells, which sense sunlight and switch on your lights only when it’s dark outside. ENERGY STAR® fixtures with photocells are available.
  • You can buy new lights that include motion sensors or retrofit your current lights with their own sensors. Either purchase should include installation instructions. The installation itself should take about 30 minutes.
  • If you are using compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs), be sure to look for a motion sensor that is compatible with these types of bulbs.

TURN OFF LIGHTS WHEN NOT NEEDED (Save up to $45 a year)

Why?    An average home’s lighting bill can account for 15% of electricity costs. Turning lights off when you’re not in the room is a simple way for you to make a dent in your utility bill.

How it works:
  • You save energy whenever you turn off a light, unless you plan to turn it on again immediately. Light bulbs use a little bit of extra energy to “start up” — for a compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), only a few seconds of operating power.
  • Turn off incandescent bulbs every time they are not needed.
  • Turning a CFL on and off many times per day can reduce its operating life. If you turn your CFLs on and off very often, you may need to replace them sooner. Generally, it is cost effective to turn off a CFL when you won’t need it for 15 minutes or more.
  • Make it a habit to turn lights off each time you leave a room.
  • Before you go to sleep, walk through your home and shut off any forgotten lights.
  • Encourage other family members to turn off their lights, as well. This is a great way for young children to do their part in saving energy.

USE AND SWITCH OFF POWER STRIPS (Save up to $85 a year)

Why?    Many computers, televisions, and other devices draw power even when they are turned off. Since plugs to these devices can be tough to remove from the outlet and reconnect, use a power strip. With a flip of the switch, you can easily cut off power to multiple devices at once, saving time, energy, and money.

What to look for:
  • Surge protection strips with their own circuit breakers or surge protectors. Protect connected devices in the event of a short-circuit or power surge.
  • Programmable strips with timers. Power down connected appliances according to a schedule you set.
  • Smart” strips that link electronics together. Shutting down one “master” device, such as a computer, automatically turns off peripheral devices, like speakers or printers, on the same strip.
  • Remote controls. Turn off hard-to-reach power strips with the push of a button as you leave the room.
  • More spacing between sockets. This ensures that the strip can fit multiple large power adaptors. This is an especially important feature if you are buying a power strip for a home office.
The energy that some electronics draw while they are off is called a “phantom load.” Products that waste electricity this way are often called “vampire devices.” Which of my electronics are likely to be vampire devices?

  • Televisions
  • Digital video recorders (DVRs)
  • Computers
  • Entertainment systems
  • Video game systems
  • Printers, scanners, and fax machines
  • DVD players
  • Coffee-makers
  • Microwaves
  • Cell phone and battery chargers
  • Any device with a remote control or LED indicator light


Why?    Setting your thermostat for energy savings can decrease your cooling and heating bills significantly.

  • Set your “home occupied” temperature. When you are awake and at home, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests setting your thermostat no higher than 68°F for heating and no lower than 78°F for cooling.
  • Set your “away from home” temperature. When you are away from home, set the thermostat to an energy-saving level. Setting the temperature at least 10°F higher in the summer and 10°F lower in the winter is a good rule of thumb.
  • Go the extra mile: To save even more energy, set your thermostat at least 10°F lower in the winter or 4°F higher in the summer when you’re asleep.


Why?   A standard masonry fireplace can add charm to a home, but is also an inefficient way to produce heat. You can make a few easy changes to your fireplace to improve its efficiency.

  • Seal the top. Install a removable chimney cap or a permanent one if you do not plan to use the fireplace.
  • Keep the damper closed. The damper should be closed tightly whenever you are not using the fireplace.
  • Seal the front. Install a glass door to control the draft when you have a fire.
  • Go the extra mile: A professionally installed fireplace insert is the best option. Fireplace inserts can be cost-effective depending on the age and nature of your fireplace.

OPEN YOUR SHADES ON WINTER DAYS (Save up to $5 a year)

Why?   Taking advantage of winter sunlight can help make a dent in your heating costs. Open blinds during the day to provide natural lighting and capture free heat.

  • When you let the sun in, remember to lower the thermostat by a few degrees. These two steps combined are what save money and energy.
  • South-facing windows have the most potential for heat gain. Keep the drapes up and windows clear in order to let in the most light.
  • The sun is most intense from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., so make sure windows are uncovered during these hours. Close window coverings at night to insulate windows.


Why?   Heating and cooling consume the most energy in the average home — up to 50% of total home energy use. Dirty air filters make your furnace, central air conditioner, or room air conditioner work harder to circulate air. By cleaning or replacing your filters monthly, you can improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

WASH CLOTHES WITH COLD WATER (Save up to $20 a year)

Why?   Washing your clothes uses a sizable amount of energy, especially if you use warm or hot water. About 90% of the energy consumed for washing clothes is used to heat the water. Unless your clothes have oily stains, washing with cold or warm water will clean your clothes just as effectively.

SHAVE A MINUTE OFF SHOWER TIME (Save up to $60 a year)

Why?    The average American spends about 8 minutes taking a shower roughly once a day.  Reducing average shower time by 1 minute can result in a 13% decrease in shower water use, which reduces the money you spend on water heating. 

  1. Time yourself and others. See how long you and your fellow household members take to shower and compare your shower times to the national average. Use a water-proof timer in the shower or a kitchen timer out of the shower.
  2. Set a goal for showering a bit faster.
  3. Added benefits: In addition to saving money on energy, you’ll also save on water costs.


I am starting a dress exchange! Between homecoming, valentines, prom, graduation, etc, I am tired of buying expensive dresses for my daughter that are only worn once. With dances around the corner, I will again find myself at the mall again with my daughter wanting the most expensive dress in the entire state. Oh and of course the dress will be worn only for this one dance (which is in the dark) and never come out of the closet again. The sad thing is that I know all her friends also have 15 dresses in their closets that have only been worn once. Why are we not sharing these dresses?

I am asking everyone who has older children that will not be in need of another dress to donate their old ones so we can get a supply started. Then I am wanting to start an exchange between the girls that are looking for a new dress. If you bring four old dresses you can take home a new dress to keep. Or you can rent a dress for a small fee of only $25.00 to cover the cost of having the dress cleaned upon return. This will save room in your closet, add money to your wallet and still make your kids happy because they can have a new dress.

If you might be interested in donating or exchanging dresses for the upcoming events, please let me know. I am interested to hear your thoughts and help to make our girls and our wallets happy.  Maybe you would like to save some money-getting your daughters next prom dress, or you might be able to help another family save money…..

I know it is a little early to think about prom dresses but to make it work correctly so the girls are happy and you save money we need to start early to get donations so we will have a large selection of styles, colors, and sizes when the time comes.


Baby shower number two was a few weeks ago……you can see my daughter’s baby shower at Elyssa’s Step and Repeat.  This baby shower was for my girlfriend LeeAnn and her baby McKenna that is due the beginning of March.

After spending some time on Pinterest we came up with some great ideas for her shower.  McKenna’s babies room is going to be done in pink and damask black and white.  We decided to start with the damask invitations that we printed and the stamped with McKenna’s initials.

For the favors LeeAnn wanted to do McKenna’s cookies, and they turned out so cute….and taste even better!

Because many of the mom’s coming to the shower had young daughters, we wanted to have a huge candy bar.  We used several pink candies, suckers, mints, M&M’s, Mike &Ikes, pink heart marshmallows, pink Tootsie P0ps, pink malt balls, etc.  We needed something big on either side of the candy bar an my daughter Elyssa and I decided to try to make pink popcorn…….Oh wow it was soooooooo good!

HOW WE MADE PINK POPCORN…..It was a big hit!

  1. We made some old school popcorn so it wouldn’t have any flavor.
  2. We melted some white chocolate and colored it pink.
  3. We put the popcorn in a large paper bag added a little salt and poured on the hot chocolate.
  4. We then had to shake the bag like crazy people forever.
  5. We laid the popcorn flat on cookie sheets and put it in the frig for the chocolate to harden.
  6. When we took it out of the frig we broke it apart and put it in large containers.

Our friend Heather made an awesome cake.  She did a beautiful cake on top along with red velvet cupcakes… Yummy!  and of course in the same pattern.

I made a diaper cake that also went with the theme.

We served pink champagne and ice cream punch along with great food.  She had a ton of great gifts and everyone had so much fun!

I can’t wait for Baby McKenna to arrive….we are so excited to meet her!


January 15, 1967, at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first-ever world championship game of American football.

In the mid-1960’s, an intense competition between players and fans of the National Football League (NFL) and the upstart American Football League (AFL) led to talks of a possible merger.  It was decided that the winners of each league’s championship would meet each year in a single game to determine the “world champion of football.”

In that historic first game–played before a non-sell-out crowd of 61,946 people–Green Bay scored three touchdowns in the second half to defeat Kansas City 35-10. Led by MVP quarterback Bart Starr, the Packers benefited from Max McGee’s stellar receiving and a key interception by safety Willie Wood. For their win, each member of the Packers collected $15,000: the largest single-game share in the history of team sports.

AFL founder Lamar Hunt suggested that the new pro championship be called the “Super Bowl,” and in 1969 the term was officially introduced.  The coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the legendary Packers coach who guided his team to victory in the first two Super Bowls.

Super Bowl Sunday has become an unofficial American holiday, complete with parties, betting pools and excessive consumption of food and drink. On average, 80 to 90 million people are tuned into the game on TV at any given moment, while some 130-140 million watch at least some part of the game. The commercials shown during the game have become an attraction in themselves, with TV networks charging as much as $2.5 million for a 30-second spot and companies making more expensive, high-concept ads each year. The game itself has more than once been upstaged by its elaborate pre-game and halftime entertainment as well as the commercials.



Over the years some commercials have made such a huge impact one sentence, a jingle, or a picture can instantly remind you of a product.  Sometimes the commercial is fabulous and sometimes it is a huge joke, but either way we remember the product…which is the idea.


January 10, 1984 Wendy’s launched a series of adorable elderly ladies, dressed in their Sunday best wondering why the burger is so small.


Proctor & Gamble had Mr. Whipple squeezing toilet paper in 1964.  Whipple scolds customers who “squeeze the Charmin,” while hypocritically entertaining such actions himself when he thinks no one will notice.


The Taco Bell chihuahua was introduced in September 1997.  The dog (sometimes depicted as a Mexican revolutionary wearing a beret or a sombrero) was made to speak through special effects.  Her advertising catchphrase was “Yo Quiero Taco Bell!” (I want Taco Bell!)


Grey Poupon is a brand of Dijon mustard.  In the 1980s a commercial in which a Rolls Royce pulls up alongside another Rolls Royce, and a passenger in one asks a passenger in the other, “Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?”  The other responds, “But of course!”


A company called LifeCall is behind the 1989 commercial containing a scene wherein an elderly woman, identified by a dispatcher as “Mrs. Fletcher”, uses the medical alert pendant after having fallen in the bathroom.  After falling, Mrs. Fletcher speaks the phrase “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!”, after which the dispatcher informs her that he is sending help.


Doublemint gum was launched in the U.S. in 1914.  The Wrigley’s Doublemint Gum twins commercials featured frolicking sets of twins and peppy background singers that used every “double” pun in existence.


A 1974 commercial features a four year old boy holding a fishing rod and a sandwich while singing, “My bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R..”  It became one of the longest running TV commercial in the country.


During the 1970s the television commercials featured a string of visitors to a children’s clubhouse called the Honeycomb Hideout.  The visitors would arrive, initially hostile, and exclaim a need for a “big” taste.  The kids in the clubhouse would introduce the visitor to the cereal examining the size of the cereal bits with a tape measure and singing the jingle.    Honeycomb’s big…yeah yeah yeah!    It’s not small…no no no!


On January 25, 1905, at the Premier Mine in Pretoria, South Africa, a 3,106-carat diamond was discovered during a routine inspection by the mine’s superintendent. Weighing 11.33 pounds, and christened the “Cullinan,” it was the largest diamond ever found.

Frederick Wells was 18 feet below the earth’s surface when he spotted a flash of starlight embedded in the wall just above him. His discovery was presented that same afternoon to Sir Thomas Cullinan, who owned the mine. Cullinan then sold the diamond to the Transvaal provincial government, which presented the stone to Britain’s King Edward VII as a birthday gift.

The stone was later cut into nine large stones and about 100 smaller stones.  The largest stone is called the Cullinan I at 530 carats, the largest-cut-fine-quality colorless diamond in the world.  The second largest stone, the Cullinan II is 317 carats.  The stones are on display in the Tower of London with Britain’s other crown jewels; the Cullinan I is mounted in the British Sovereign’s Royal Scepter, while the Cullinan II sits in the Imperial State Crown.

1.  CULLINAN DIAMOND 3,106-carats

This picture shows the Cullinan diamond after it was cut into several pieces.  The largest cut is 530-carats.   Estimated value of the diamond is over $400 million dollars.

2. THE GOLDEN JUBILEE 545.67 Carats

  Golden Jubilee DiamondThe Golden Jubilee, with the weight of 545.67 carats, is the largest faceted diamond in the world. Rough stone weighed 755 carats and was discovered in Premier mine, South Africa in 1985. The Golden Jubilee was presented to the King of Thailand in 1997 for his Golden Jubilee – the 50th anniversary of his coronation. Prior to this event, the stone was simply known as the Unnamed Brown. Estimated value of the Golden Jubilee is $4-$12 million.

3.  THE INCOMPARABLE 407.48 Carats

Incomparable DiamondThe Incomparable, in its rough state weighing 890 carats, was found in the town of Mbuji Mayi in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) in the 1980s. Four years were spent studying and then cutting the stone, the biggest piece of rough ultimately yielded a gem weighing 407.48 carats; it is the third largest diamond ever cut. Internally flawless clarity and fancy brownish-yellow in color, it measures 53.90 × 35.19 × 28.18 mm.

4.  THE CULLINAN II  317.40 Carats

Cullinan II DiamondThe Cullinan II is the massive 317.40 carat cushion shaped diamond in the center-front of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain.


Spirit of de Grisogono DiamondThe Spirit of de Grisogono, at 312.24 carats, is the world’s largest cut black diamond. In a white gold mounting, it is set with 702 white diamonds totaling 36.69 carats. This diamond originally had a rough weight of 587 carats and was mined several decades ago in west Central Africa before being imported into Switzerland.

6.  THE CENTENARY 273.85 Carats

Centenary Diamond

The Centenary was found in Premier mine in 1986, in its rough form it weighed 599 carats. When cutting was completed the Centenary weighed 273.85 carats and measured 39.90 × 50.50 × 24.55 mm, and had 247 facets – 164 on the stone and 83 around its girdle. Never before had such a high number of facets been polished onto a diamond. The true value of the Centenary diamond is unknown, but the diamond was insured for around $100 million in 1991.

7.  THE JUBILEE 245.35 Carats

 Jubilee Diamond

The Jubilee is a colorless cushion-shaped diamond with a weight of 245.35 carats. The original rough stone, an irregular octahedron without definite faces or shape weighed 650.80 carats and was found in the Jagersfontein Mine towards the end of 1895. When during the cutting it became evident that a superb diamond of exceptional purity and size was being produced, it was planned to present it to Queen Victoria. In the end this did not happen and the diamond remained with its owners. The following year marked the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria (the 75th anniversary of her coronation) so the gem was renamed the Jubilee to commemorate the occasion.

8.  THE DE BEERS  234.65 Carats

 De Beers DiamondPatiala Nacklace

The De Beers diamond was found in Kimberly mines in 1888, the rough stone weighed 428.50 carats.  After its display in Paris the Maharaja of Patiala bought the De Beers. In 1928 Cartier of Paris set it as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that came to be known as the Patiala Necklace. The necklace originally contained about 2,930 diamonds weighing about 962.25 carats. Today’s whereabouts of the De Beers diamond and the Patiala necklace is unknown.

9.  THE RED CROSS 205.07 Carats

 Red Cross Diamond

The Red Cross is canary yellow cushion-shaped diamond with weight of 205.07 carats. The rough stone weighed 375 carats and was found in Kimberly mines (South Africa) in 1901. The diamond was presented as a gift to the art sale held in London by Christies in 1918, on behalf of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St. John.

10.  THE MILLENNIUM STAR  203.04 Carats

 Millennium Star Diamond

The Millennium Star is internally and externally a flawless pear-shaped diamond.  Originally a rough stone of 777 carats.


I have always been a glass half full person….I am the person in my family that is always looking at the bright side of things and insisting that everything will get better.  I think this is a good thing because in my family I am the only one that thinks this way.  I usually get an eye roll or a laugh when I am being a cheerleader for the positive, but I think I make a good balance in our family. (again me being glass half full, right?)

I don’t understand the glass half empty attitude (I am sure just as they don’t understand mine)!  Why do you want to focus on the negative when things are what they are…..Shouldn’t we find the positive and move forward the best we can with the situation?

I have come across some interesting arguments that proves both sides may be wrong……

maybe the glass is not half full or half empty!

What do you think?

Optimist says: The glass is half full

Pessimist says: The glass is half empty

Project Manager says: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be

Realist says: The glass contains half the required amount of liquid for it to overflow

Cynic says:  Wonder who drank the other half

Homemaker says:  The glass is dirty and washes it, dries it and puts it away

Inquisitive child says: What’s in the glass anyhow…

Entrepreneur says: The glass is undervalued by half its potential

Grammarian says: Since full and empty are absolute states they are both incapable of being halved or modified in any way

The student says: The question is just another dirty trick played by the teacher to prove that students are dumb

The psychiatrist says:  Is it really that important? Let’s try to think about what is really bothering you.

The sales person says: Either way you are getting more than your money’s worth compared to buying a full glass

I love the idea that the glass is always full….wait tell I tell my kids this



55 years ago today the Wham-O toy company rolled out their first batch of the aerodynamic plastic discs known as the Frisbee.

William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in Bridgeport Connecticut in 1871.  Students from the nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling “Frisbie.”

In 1948 Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Fransciioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the “Flying Saucer” that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates.  After the two split, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the “Pluto Platter.”

In 1958, a year after the toy’s first release, Wham-O–the company changed its name to the “Frisbee disc,” misspelling the name of the historic pie company. A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc’s surface–called the Rings–to stabilize flight.  By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.

Since it’s release games such as Ultimate Frisbee and Frisbee Golf has added to the demand of the toy.

*  The U.S. Navy spent nearly $400,000 studying the use of FRISBEE–like discs molded into battlefield flares to be launched from low flying airplanes. The Navy also developed a mechanical FRISBEE launcher.

*  The world group marathon record for Frisbee play is 1,198 hours – nearly 45 days.  The record for continual play with two people is 126 hours.

*  The game of “Ultimate” has been demonstrated to require a higher cardiovascular fitness level than any other field game.

*  There are more than 1,000 teams now competing at the college and club level in Ultimate; in 1972, there were two.

*  There are over 30 different periodicals published on flying disc sports. In the last 20 years, 13 books have been published on the subject.

*  There are more than 700 Disc Golf courses in the U.S. These courses are permanent installations, usually located in a public park, where players actually “drive” and “putt” with specially styled discs.

*  The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) is located in Sweden. There are 26 member countries.

*  The men’s outdoor flying disc world record distance toss is 211.32 meters (693.3 feet), made by Scott Stokely of Ft. Collins, Colo., in 1998. The women’s long distal record of 136.31 meters was established by Anni Kreml of San Francisco during 1994 U.S. Open Flying Disc Championships on Aug. 20,1994, in Fort Collins, Colo.

*  The first school for FRISBEE–catching dog training was called the Monterey of FRISBEE Dog Studies in Monterey, Calif. The first all–dog FRISBEE competition was held on Nov. 13, 1974 at California State University, Fullerton.

*  Rare and flying discs have been known to sell for up to $500.

*  The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.


Many times I write about things or places that I have learned about but never experienced.  Last week was the anniversary of a landmark that is located only an hour from my home.

On January 5, 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge….connecting the San Francisco Peninsula with the southern end of Marin County.  A suspension bridge with a center span of 3,000 feet was nearly twice the length of any in existence.  and was supposed to cost 100 million dollars.

Eventually, O’Shaughnessy and Strauss concluded they could build a pure suspension bridge within a practical range of $25-30 million with a main span at least 4,000 feet. The construction plan still faced opposition, including litigation, from many sources. By the time most of the obstacles were cleared, the great depression of 1929 had begun, limiting financing options, so officials convinced voters to support $35 million in bonded indebtedness, citing the jobs that would be created for the project. However, the bonds couldn’t be sold until 1932, when San-Francisco based Bank of America agreed to buy the entire project in order to help the local economy.

The Golden Gate Bridge officially opened on May 27, 1937, the longest bridge span in the world at the time. The first public crossing had taken place the day before, when 200,000 people walked, ran and even roller skated over the new bridge.

With its tall towers and famous red paint job, the bridge quickly became a famous American landmark, and a symbol of San Francisco.


This post might only be for my close readers, but you will all love this story…..

First a little background.  My middle daughter Hailey is a stray animal magnet.  She is always bringing home animals she “finds.”  We have had pretty good luck finding the owners, or new homes for all of her finds.  My family jokes around about how much of an animal lover she is and now I know where she got it from.

My husband called me on Friday from his work (he works at one of our city dump sites) and said….”I found a dog, if I leave it he will probably die…what should I do?”  Can you hear the sadness in his voice???  of course I said bring him home and we will find him someplace to live.

The problem is that I didn’t fully understand the dogs situation……

He is about a 3-year-old Pomeranian male dog.  He had been caught in a cat trap at the facility and was freezing cold.  He has fur on his head and his legs, but all the hair on his body has fallen out.  And the best part, he has been sprayed by a SKUNK.  So he looks bad and he smells even worse!

Because we have other animals we took him to the local vet before we brought him in the house to make sure he was not sick.  The vet thinks he lost his fur because he had fleas and was probably allergic to them.  So $100 later the fleas are gone, he had a bath to get all the dirt off him and he got a clean bill of health….but he still smells like a skunk.

He has been playing well with our dog and cat and loves to sleep with the kids.  He is very friendly and loves to follow everyone around.  The smell is starting to go away, but the fur has not yet grown back.

He is not the cutest dog, but he has a great face and a great personality…. 🙂

Do you know anyone that would like to give this little doggie some love?


It is now January 2nd……how are your New Year’s Resolutions going?  Did you plan on eating healthy and watching less TV…. then woke up tired after a fun filled New Year’s, curled up on the couch and ate a bag of chips while watching Cup Cake Wars.  This year I decided to make resolutions I “should” be able to keep, but first I want to help you with your resolutions.

It’s not to late to make your resolutions and I have some tips that might help you keep them throughout the year.  The most popular resolutions for 2012 are…… Get Healthy – Eat Better – Lose Weight – Save Money – Pay Down Debt – Stop Smoking – Get Organized – More Family Time – Finish Projects – Volunteer – Read More – Better Work Life Balance – Have More Fun – Etc.


GET IN SHAPE:  Going to the gym every day is a common new year’s resolution, but while gym membership enrollments rise in January, many of them are never used. Be realistic about your exercise goals and try to start small.  Try incorporating more physical activity into your every day. For example: Take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk or bike instead of driving.

EAT BETTER:  Busy people often reach for the take-out menus or head to the restaurant for almost every meal.  Why not set a goal of eating in more than you eat out?  If you are the type of person that always eats out, never eating out will be very hard…. Try to make a few extra meals at home each week, and when you do have to eat out….. make sure you try to order the best thing you can find on the menu.

DON’T FORGET BREAKFAST:  In our busy lives, we often forget to eat the most important meal of the day. Breakfast can set the tone for your entire day — providing you with the nutrients you need to have a productive day.  Try giving yourself and extra 10 minutes each morning to have a small breakfast, it can make all the difference.

TURN OFF ELECTRONICS:  In this day and age we’re all wired all the time. Why not try to live in the moment a little more?  Turn your cell phone and computers off at home and during social occasions.  That phone call or text can probably wait until you’re done; it will also make your face-to-face time more valuable and productive. But don’t stop there:   Why not turn it off even when you’re alone? You’ll probably notice more on your walk if you’re not stopping to tweet about it!

BE MORE PERSONAL:  Yes, texts are a really efficient way of reaching somebody — it’s also arguably better because you are not interrupting the person you’re trying to get in touch with.  But when was the last time you had a long phone conversation?  Next time you want to contact someone, try to call them instead of texting. It’s more personal, less prone to miscommunication, and a great way to catch up with someone who is far away.

FACE TIME:  An easy to way to show people around you that you’re engaged and interested is simply to make more eye contact during conversations. In this age of communicating through all kinds of at-a-distance contact, making the most of face-time with other people is a rare and highly appreciated skill.

READ MORE BOOKS:  Continuing on the theme of “unplugging,” consider turning off the Internet at 8 pm every night and getting your content fix out of a book instead!

DON’T BE LATE:  Being on-time is a fine resolution, but if you really want to learn time-management skills, be better than punctual!   My Son-In-Law and I joke that if you are not 10 minutes early……you are late.  Really work to be early to everything, when you try to be “on-time” it is easy to fall short and arrive late.  Being early will give you a little more room for error.

STOP IMPULSE BUYS:  How much of what you spend do you really need? What if you gave yourself more time to consider what you spend? An easy way of forcing this considerate financial behavior is to leave your credit cards at home. This way you can only spend whatever cash you have. If you still want it a few days later, maybe it’s a good choice after all. This is a simple way to cut down on impulse buys.

WRITE A LETTER:  Writing letters used to be an art. What happened? A special way to thank people and remind others you care and are thinking about them is to write handwritten letters, postcards, and thank-you notes for friends, family, and co-workers. It’s an easy sentiment that goes a very long way, particularly because it’s so rare these days.

DON’T GOSSIP:  Many people resolve to not gossip, but why not go a step further? Don’t let other people gossip to you. You’ll be seen as a trustworthy person, and you’ll probably be engaged much more productive conversations in general.

DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT:  Do something every day that takes you out of your comfort zone! This, of course, will be different for everyone. It can be as simple as speaking or smiling to a stranger, signing up for a dance class, running an extra mile, going to dinner by yourself or reading a book you’ve always meant to cross off your list. You may surprise yourself.

SO NOW THAT I HAVE HELPED YOU WITH SOME OF YOUR RESOLUTIONS…..I THOUGHT YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED TO READ SOME FROM MY 2012 LIST.  I decided to make my list more obtainable this year…wish me luck!

  1. Stop exercising…Big waste of time
  2. Gain weight, 10-15 pound goal
  3. Read less. Makes me think too much
  4. Get further in debt..the kids will probably help with this.
  5. Watch more TV…I have been missing some really good stuff.
  6. Wait around for opportunity…..
  7. Procrastinate more….Will start tomorrow.
  8. Stop eating at home…I should eat out more often.
  9. Get more toys..Another one for the kids to get behind.
  10. Spend vacation in Cyberspace




December 7, 1941 at 7:55 am Hawaii time, a Japanese dive bomber bearing the red symbol of the Rising Sun of Japan on its wings appeared out of the clouds above the island of Oahu.  A swarm of 360 Japanese warplanes followed, descending on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in a ferocious assault.  The surprise attack struck a critical blow against the U.S. Pacific fleet and drew the United States irrevocably into World War II.

With diplomatic negotiations with Japan breaking down, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his advisers knew that an eminent Japanese attack was probable, but nothing had been done to increase security at the important naval base at Pearl Harbor. It was Sunday morning, and many military personnel had been given passes to attend religious services off base. At 7:02 a.m., two radar operators spotted large groups of aircraft in flight toward the island from the north, but, with a flight of B-17s expected from the United States at the time, they were told to sound no alarm. Thus, the Japanese air assault came as a devastating surprise to the naval base.

Much of the Pacific fleet was rendered useless: Five of eight battleships, three destroyers, and seven other ships were sunk or severely damaged, and more than 200 aircraft were destroyed. A total of 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,200 were wounded, many while valiantly attempting to repulse the attack. Japan’s losses were some 30 planes, five midget submarines, and fewer than 100 men. Fortunately for the United States, all three Pacific fleet carriers were out at sea on training maneuvers. These giant aircraft carriers would have their revenge against Japan six months later at the Battle of Midway, reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy in a spectacular victory.

The American contribution to the successful Allied war effort spanned four long years and cost more than 400,000 American lives.

The aftermath of World War II left a lasting impression on the world.  At Pearl Harbor, the damage from December 7, 1941 has been repaired but there are memorials to the brave men and women who fought the Japanese sneak attach.  The design of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, with the depression in the center rising upward toward the ends of the structure, depicts the nation’s low morale at the onset of hostilities but gradually climbing higher and higher as America moved toward victory against her enemies.  Japan would be defeated and representatives of Japan would sign the Instrument of Surrender on board the U.S.S. Missouri.  The symbolism of the war’s beginning with the attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the Battleship Arizona, and the war’s end where Japan signed the instruments of surrender on board the Battleship Missouri, is very poignant.

The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors killed on the U.S.S Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The memorial, dedicated in 1962, is visited by more than one million people annually.  Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it.  Today the U.S.S. Arizona leaks 2-9 quarts of oil each day.  The vessel held approximately 1.5 million gallons of “Bunker-C” oil.  The ship burned for 2 1/2 days leaving an unspecified amount of oil onboard.

From the over 180 ships and vessels in Pearl Harbor when the attack began, twelve of these ships were sunk or severely damaged and many other needed extensive repairs.  All but three returned to services, U.S.S. Arizona and the U.S.S. Utah both lay where they fell on the north side of Ford Island.  The U.S.S. Oklahoma, which capsized 20 minutes after nine torpedo hits rested in the main channel of the harbor.  The ship was rolled into an upright position the remains of the over 400 sailors and Marines were removed and the ship was entered into dry dock on December 28, 1943.



Thought you might like some “pick up” lines for todays funny monday:
  • If I could rearrange the alphabet I would put U and I together
  • Are you from Tennessee? Because you’re the only ten I see.
  • I lost my phone number, can i have yours??
  • Your legs must be tired, because you’ve been running through my mind all day long.
  • You look a bit down. Mind if I pick you up?
  • Here I am. Now what are your other two wishes?
  • If I follow you home will you keep me?
  • Are you a Parking ticket because you got Fine written all over you!
  • Does your dad work at Snapple? Cuz you’re made from the best stuff on earth!
  • Someone hand me a map! I’m lost in the sparkle of your eyes.
  • Can you direct me to the nearest phone box, because I have got to call God to tell him I’ve found his missing angel.
  • I hope you know CPR, because you take my breath away!
  • Damn, girl, was your dad a boxer? Because you’re a knockout.
  • If you were a booger, I’d pick you first.
  • Am I dead, Angel? Cause this must be heaven!
  • Damn girl, you have more curves than a race track.
  • Do you know karate? Cos honey, your body is really kickin.
  • I hope you know CPR, cos you take my breath away!
  • I’ve just moved you to the top of my ‘to do’ list.
  • Were you arrested earlier? It’s gotta be illegal to look that good.

This list can go on and on, but I think you get the idea!

I am soooooo glad I am married….these are horrible and I hope people really don’t use any of these.  lol


Today is the first day of december and Christmas is right around the corner.  I have not yet done my shopping and have been wondering what I should buy for everyone.  Some years it is easier than others to know what to buy…..usually everyone wants the same “must have” item.  throughout the years we have had many hot, fly off the shelves, every kid has to have toys.

1920’s was the start of the Christmas giving craze with the boom of the Yo-Yo

1930’s Monopoly, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Comic Books

1940’s Slinky, Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, Silly Putty, Tonka Trucks

1950’s Barbie dolls, car racing sets, Hula Hoop, Mr. Potato Head

  • Mr. Potato Head was the very first toy ever advertised on television and over a million toys were sold in 1952.  The next year Mrs. Potato head was introduced.

1960’s Easy Bake Ovens, Etch-a-Sketch, Operation, twister, Sesame street

1970’s The pet rock, rubiks cube, green slime, hungry hungry hippos, Atari

  • In 1975 over 5 million pet rocks sold which was a 15 million dollar profit in only six months
  • The late 70’s Atari Video Computer System was the hottest toy for several Christmas seasons.  The first two years sales were disappointing due to the market crash, however by 1979 they had several games to choose and the Atari CVS was renamed the Atari 2600.  It quickly became the best selling Christmas present with a million sold that year and cartridge sales at a hundred million dollars.

1980’s Cabbage Patch Dolls, Smurfs, BMX Bikes, Transformer toys, Gameboy

  • Almost 3 million Cabbage Patch dolls were sold in 1983.  The dolls were in short supply and high demand which brought out desperate and crazy shoppers.  Dolls were being delivered to stores  by armored car and TV commercials wer pulled in an attempt to tame the madness.

1990’s Game Boy, Power Rangers, Beanie Babies, Firby, Pokemon, Roller Blades

  • Over 1 million Game Boy systems were sold when it was released during the 1991 Christmas season.  The system came with the game Tetris which was a hit for all ages.
  • Tyco was not expecting the expensive Tickle Me Elmo doll to do so well.  After it was featured on the Rosie O’Donnell show and with the low supply, it was more desirable than ever.  People were going to great lengths to find the doll with some being re-sold in newspapers for as much as $2000 per doll…….You can now find an original doll online for less than $20.00
  • 1998 it was all about Furby.  The Furby was introduced at the Toy Industry Association’s annual Toy Fair in February, months before it’s planned release in October.  With all of the premature media coverage the toys were the new hot item.  It was difficult to keep up with product demand and in 1998 only 1.8 million were sold, however in 1999 the number grew to 14 million.

2000’s  Razor scooters, Bratz dolls, Zhu Zhu Pets, Video Games, iPod, iTouch, Ipad

  • 2006 Playstation 3 allowed gamers to play online and offered multimedia storage as well as the ability to play music, and movies. PS3 had thousands of dollars of pre-sold units and people began camping outside stores to find a system.
  • 10 million Zhu Zhu Pets were sold in 2009.  The robotic hamsters were flying off the shelves.  Kids loved the toys and the parents enjoyed the under $10 price tag and unlike actual hamsters they didn’t poop.

Looking back at our once modest, Yo-Yo filled stockings, we can see how gift giving has changed.  What happened to the joy of family bonding with a small surprise gift?  I can hear todays kids when they are adults…..“When I was little, all we got for Christmas was a lousy Ipad.”

What will be the next big seller?


Thanksgiving has many meanings to many different people.  Maybe it is about being out of school for a long weekend, eating a great dinner, the start to the Christmas holiday season, or spending time with family.

Like the Pilgrims who celebrated their successful crops throughout the year, most people use the day to reflect on all that they are thankful for.  I love that it gives us a chance to come together for no other reason but to share food, stories, love and appreciation.  although it is a wonderful thing to do, it is only 1 day of 365 throughout the year.  I would like to use this one day to kick off my Thanksgiving year and start a season of Thanks-Living!

I want to remind my children throughout the year how special they are to me.  I want my husband to remember all he does each day of the year for our family.  I want to make sure I continually remind my parents and extended family how much they have influenced my life and the lives of my children.  My friends, neighbors, co-workers, and clients should be appreciated throughout the year as well.

While driving down the street I sometimes yell out in the car “I LOVE MY FAMILY”,  I send my husband an email or text that says “THINKING OF YOU”,  take a minute to call a friend and say “HI”, or bake a neighbor some cookies.  I like to call my friends and family with a quick “JUST WANTED TO SAY HI” phone call to let them know I care.

I want to wish all of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING YEAR and……

365 days of THANKS-LIVING!

My daughter Hailey, me, husband Ernie, daughter Elyssa (and baby in her tummy), her husband Nick, and son Hunter


Make this 1 of 365 days of Thanksgiving


I was recently reminded of a vacation my husband and I took about a year ago, and the “bathroom incident”.  We were out to dinner with friends and enjoying a nice afternoon.  On our way out we all decided to use the restroom because we had a long drive ahead.  My girlfriend and I waiting in the entry for the boys to join us and we heard them calling us from around the corner.  The were waiving us to join them in the mensroom…..What?

Not only was I unsure of what they were up to, I make it a point to stay away from pee smelling rooms as much as possible…..sorry guys but the men’s restroom is usually pretty gross compared to the “ladies” restroom.

The boys proceeded to tell us that we had to see the wall paper in the bathroom.



What a funny idea.  Or maybe because I am not a guy I think it is funny.  🙂


My teenage daughter recently received her driver’s license and a new truck.  She has been in need of gas money and has been looking for some extra cash, but finding a job has been hard.  With most adults out of work, it has been difficult to find a part-time job that works with her schedule.  She has began to think “Old School” child labor.

She has asked me to put the word out to family and friends that she will do babysitting or other odd jobs to make some extra cash.  I was thinking back to when we were kids and all the “Odd” jobs we used to have as kids.


Mow Lawns

Rake Leaves

Wash Cars

Shovel Snow

Pull Weeds

Photograph A Party

Walk Dogs


Sell Lemonade


The problem is that most people are now doing these chores themselves and looking to save money any way they can.  How do we teach our children the value of working hard and saving money when it is so difficult to find money……I guess that is the lesson, when you find it you better treasure it.


I have been experimenting with Cake Pops and they have been a huge hit around the neighborhood and at all the parties.  People are now requesting that I bring them to events.  You will not believe how easy they are to make……and they taste amazing.  Because they will be wrapped in chocolate they last for several weeks (we tested them to make sure and they don’t dry out at all.)  You can make them in advance or make a batch to take to several different events.  (I usually get about 24 in a batch but it depends on the size of the balls.)

If I can do it anyone can!

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix  (or chocolate)

1 Can of White Frosting (chocolate if using chocolate cake)

White melting chocolates or chocolate chips

Baking sticks

Decorating supplies  (extra frosting, sprinkles, nuts, etc.)

Step 1:  Bake a Yellow Cake as per directions and let cool.  You could even do this the day before.  (FYI I did Chocolate cake last week and it was even a bigger hit, it tasted like a truffle)

Step 2:  Crumble the cake into the mixer or a bowl to use a hand mixer.  Use the mixer until the cake becomes all crumbs.

Step 3:  For yellow cake add about 3/4 container of white frosting (For chocolate cake add about 3/4 container of chocolate frosting.)  Continue mixing until it becomes completely moist and all stuck together.

Step 4:  Scoop out little balls (I use a coffee scoop, it is the perfect size) and roll them in your hand until they are round.  Place them on a cookie sheet lined with foil.  Continue until all the cake mixture is gone.

Step 5:  Once all the balls are on the cookie sheet.  Melt some white chocolate in a double boiler.  (if you don’t have one, use a large pot of boiling water and set your small pot of candies on top stirring until they melt….be careful with the steam.)  TIP:  Add a few spoonfuls of shortening to the melting candy it will make it less thick and easier to work with.

Step 6:  Dip the tip of the stick into the melted chocolate and push it into the ball of cake (the sticks will all be standing up and the cake pops are upside down).  The chocolate will help hold the stick in place.  Repeat for each ball.  I then put the cookie sheet in the fridge for five or ten minutes to make sure the candy hardens and the pops will be easy to work with.

Step 7:  Once the sticks are firm in place, re-heat the candy (if necessary)…. Pick up one and fix the bottom to make sure it looks nice and round because that will become the top.  Quickly roll the pop in the hot candy and gently roll to remove excess chocolate. (roll upside down to coat with chocolate then hold it flat….if you keep it upside down for long it will fall off the stick)  (If you added the shortening to your candy it will be nice and thin and should allow you to roll the ball in quickly and remove and the excess should roll right off.  Once it has stopped dripping you can add sprinkles, candies, or nuts before the chocolate dries or you can opt to decorate later with colored chocolate.  Place standing up (you can use and upside down collander or piece of styr0foam).

Tip:  If you are decorating with colored chocolate.  Add food coloring to the left over white chocolate and scoop it into a small zip lock bag.  Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze a design onto the pops.


I wrote a message on some of them

I made some different shapes…. A baby, a star, a football, a lego, a teddy bear, etc   The balls are the perfect amount and look the best.


Today I thought I would combine funny monday with a little salute to the veterans.   This last week we celebrated Veterans Day and I found so many amazing stories, pictures, and tributes to our Veterans.  I wouldn’t think of trying to compete with all the amazing articles, so I offer a little Military humar…….which I think can always be used in light of all our Military go through day in and out.

Thank you to all the men and women currently serving our Country…….

and thank you to all of our Veterans!


For those of you who don’t already know……I Love Monkey’s!  I don’t know why I am so fascinated with them, but they have always been my favorite animal.  My daughter sent me some pictures of Mini Monkeys/Pigmy Monkeys yesterday and I had to share them with everyone.

They are the world’s smallest monkeys with a body weight of adults in the wild averaging only 4 ounces.  They are often called finger monkeys and are about 5 inches tall, not including the tail.  They live in high trees on small branches and are able to jump more than 16 feet.  They are found in the rainforest of Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Columbia.  In the wild they live on a diet of fruit, leaves, insects, small reptiles and tree sap.

While I was doing my reasearch I found that people breed these monkeys and sell them…..If only I didn’t have three children, a dog, a cat, a chinchilla, and a job.  lol




I thought I would start Monday off with something to make you laugh.

……And that’s how the fight started jokes…….just in good fun!

My wife walked into the den & asked “Whats on the TV?”
I replied “Dust”

……….And that’s how the fight started


One year, a husband decided to buy his mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift.
The next year, he didn’t buy her a gift.
When she asked him why, he replied, “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year!”

……….And that’s how the fight started


A woman is  looking at her body in the bedroom mirror.
She is not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, ‘I feel horrible; I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.’
‘The husband replies, ‘Your eyesight’s damn near perfect.’

……….And that’s how the fight started


My wife and I were watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire while we were in bed.
I turned to her and said, “Do you want to have sex?” “No,” she answered.
I then said, “Is that your final answer?” She didn’t even look at me this time, simply saying “Yes.”
So I said, “Then I’d like to phone a friend.”

……….And that’s when the fight started


My wife was hinting about what she wanted for our upcoming anniversary.
She said, “I want something shiny that goes from 0 to 200 in about 3 seconds.”
I bought her a scale.

……….And that’s when the fight started


Let me know if you have any good jokes you would like to share……..Happy Monday!


Our pets have a huge impact on our lives from how we socialize to when and where we go on vacations.  Pets give unconditional love and companionship to their owners and are viewed as part of the family.  Although most households have one pet, many have multiple pets.

Our dog Tobi.  We rescued her from a family that was loosing their home two years ago.  She is one of our children and she takes turn sleeping with each of the kids.

Our kitty Moto…..Yes his full name is MOTO CROSS.  We only got Moto a few months ago, but he has already became a big part of the family.  Tobi loves Moto and they play together.

Our third and FINAL pet is Hailey’s Chinchilla, Chester.  She got Chester for her birthday and it is now so fat.  All of our pets are friends and Moto has even taken a dust bath with Chester before…so funny.

Enjoy some fun facts about your family:

1.  DOGS

  • Dogs only sweat from the bottom of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.
  • Dogs do not have an appendix.
  • There are more than 200 different breeds of dogs.
  • Dogs were the first animals domesticated by humans more than 10,000 years ago.

2.  CATS

  • Cats do not have sweat glands.
  • Cats have five toes on each front paw, but only four toes on each back paw.
  • A cat can jump as much as seven times its height.
  • The nose pad of each cat has ridges in a unique pattern like a person’s fingerprints.


  • Hamsters are color blind and most only blink one eye at a time
  • Hamster’s babies are known as puppies
  • Guinea pigs love being petted and some will purr.
  • A guinea pig’s ears are very sensitive to loud noises.


  • There are more than 9,000 species of birds
  • Americans own more than 60 million pet birds.
  • To survive birds must eat at least half its own weight in food each day.
  • A bird’s heart beats 400 times per minute while they are resting.
  • Larger parrots such as the macaws and cockatoos live more than 75 years.


  • About 12 million households have an aquarium
  • Iguanas are able to hold their breath for up to 30 minutes.
  • A garter snake can give birth to 85 babies

Nearly 94% of pet owners say their animals makes them smile more than once a day.


Thousands of years ago, the Celts who lived in the area that is the present day United Kingdom, Ireland and Northern France celebrated the night of October 31st.  Their New Year was on November 1st which marked the end of summer and harvest and the beginning of winter.  The Celts associated the season with death and believed that on the night before their New Year the boundary between the living and the dead was distorted.

The Celts celebrated the night of October 31 when ghosts of the dead were believed to return to earth causing trouble and damaging the community’s food supply.  They observed the event by wearing costumes and lit sacred bonfires to protect them during the coming months.  People went “souling” which was begging for “soul cake” and in return the beggars would promise to pray for the dead of the household.

November 1st was later named All Saint’s Day and October 31st was later named All-Hallows Eve and eventually Halloween.


The Statue of Liberty National Monument officially celebrates her birthday today October 28, 1986.  The people of France gave the Statue to the people of the United States in recognition of the friendship established during the american Revolution.  Over the years, the Statue of Liberty’s symbolism has grown to include freedom and democracy as well as this international friendship.

Sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned to design a sculpture to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence.  Bartholdi required the assistance of an engineer to address structural issues associated with designing the colossal copper sculpture.  Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (designer of the Eiffel Tower) was commissioned to design the massive iron pylon and secondary skeletal framework which allows the Statue’s copper skin to move independently yet stand upright.

The Statue was a joint effort between America and France and it was agreed upon that the American people were to build the pedestal, and the French people were responsible for the Statue and its assembly here in the United States.

The pedestal construction was finished in April of 1886.  The Statue was completed in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York Harbor in June of 1885 on board the French frigate “Isere” which transpired the Statue of Liberty from France to the United States.  In transit, the Statue was reduced to 350 individual pieces and packed in 214 crates.  The Statue was re-assembled on her new pedestal in four months time.  On October 28th 1886, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty took place in front of thousands of spectators.


October 21, 1959, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue, thousands of people lined up outside awaiting the grand opening of the Guggenheim Museum.


Solomon R. Guggenheim was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1861 and was the son of Meyer Guggenheim, a Swiss-born businessman who made his family fortune in mining and smelting.  Meyer and his wife Barbara had four sons.  In 1919 Solomon retired from the family mining business and from his Yukon Gold Company in Alaska (which he founded), and in 1937 started the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, a non-profit corporation dealing in philanthropy and the arts.  In 1949 Solomon passed away and was never able to see the completion of his new museum.


The museum originally called “The Museum of Non-Objective Paintings.” was founded to showcase avant-garde art by early modernists.  The museum first opened in 1939 in a former car showroom in New York.  Within a few years, the collection had outgrown the space and the museum had to move.

In 1943, Solomon Guggenheim contacted architect Frank Lloyd Wright and asked him to design not just a museum, but a “temple of spirit,” where people would learn to see art in a new way.  It took 16 years for the museum to be complete with delays from the war as well as the death of Solomon.  When Solomon passed away, the museum’s board of directors agreed to change the name of the Museum of Non-Objective Painting to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  Wright also passed away just six months before the museum opened.

To Wright’s fans, the museum was a work of art in itself.  Inside, a long ramp spiraled upwards for a total of a quarter-mile around a large central rotunda, topped by a domed glass ceiling.  Upon opening the building has some critics because it was such a sharp contrast to the more typically boxy Manhattan buildings that surround it, but over time it became accepted.

In 1992 Gwathmey Siegel & Associates added and extension to the museum, a ten story limestone tower behind the original spiral.  The new tower provided flat walls for paintings, complementing the display of sculpture around the spiral gallery.  With an ever-expanding art collection, the Guggenheim is home to over 900,000 visitors each year.

The Guggenheim Foundation has continued in recent years to expand its international scope by opening the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Germany in 1997, as well as a large museum the Frank Gehry-designed Abu Dhabi Guggenheim in the United Arab Emirates.  Also opening The Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Lithuania, and The Guggenheim Guadalajara in Mexico.

References in popular culture

  •  In the film L.A. Story, Steve Martin’s character has fun roller-skating through an art museum as a friend videotapes him. An acquaintance he meets in the art museum asks him, “Have you tried the Guggenheim?”
  •  In “The Race,” a 1994 episode of Seinfeld, George claims to have been the architect of the 1992 addition.
  •  In the episode “Art” of the Dilbert TV Series the Guggenheim is seen as being remodeled in accordance with a popular modern art fad.
  •  The exterior of the Guggenheim Museum can be seen in the opening sequence of The Critic.
  •  In the movie Aftershock: Earthquake in New York, it is destroyed by an earthquake.
  •  The movie Men In Black has Will Smith chasing an alien along the ramp (and up the side of the building).
  •  The movie “The Order – From Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle 3” was also filmed here.
  •  The Guggenheim Museum can be built as a landmark in Sim City 4 Rush Hour
  •  The Guggenheim can be seen in the film Downtown 81 starring the artist Jean Michel Basquiat


I might be having a social media melt down!  With all the different methods of staying connected with people on the internet it is so hard to keep up.  I have clients and friends that use different ways to stay in touch so I try to stay connected with them all.  If you are using any of these media portholes, feel free to follow me on:



Facebook is probably the largest social media site and a great way to share information to a large group of people.  Facebook was launched in February 2004 with over 600 million active users as of last year  That is about one person for every fourteen in the world.  WOW!

TWITTER @realtorcross

Twitter is a social networking and micro blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as “tweets”.  Twitter started in July 2006 and has over 200 million users.


Pinterest is a great site that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes, save craft ideas for the kids, etc.  Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.  If you have not been on it… is a must!!


LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site.  The side began in May of 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking.  LinkedIn has more than 75 million registered users, spanning more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. …


A blog is a web site that an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.  My blog has a little bit of everything to keep you informed….  You can COUNT ON CROSS to keep you informed!


Google+ is another social networking platform created by Google to challenge Facebook’s success.  Google+ allows you to share certain things with your “friends” group and other things with the “work” group.  It allows you to choose what information is sent out to what group of people.   (sorry I couldn’t get a picture of my page because it has been down a couple of days)




This last weekend we had a baby shower for my daughter.  Since her last name is Bugnatto and everyone calls her husband “Bug” she is going with a Lady Bug theme because she is having a little girl bug!

I decided to try to get crafty for the shower and the first thing I wanted to make is a Step and Repeat for our picture wall.  You see we have a specific wall in our house that we always stand in front of to photograph every occasion.  For this occasion, I wanted to make a red carpet feel and have a lady bug Step and Repeat.  I started with a large bed sheet and letter stencils I bought as well as shape stencils I made.  I used fabric paint and created a Lady Bug wall.

As the guests came in they each took a picture with Elyssa in front of the step and repeat.  When she sent out her thank you cards each guest received their picture from that day.

Elyssa and Nick in front of the step and repeat

My two girls and I (Elyssa and Hailey) in front of the step and repeat

I also made a diaper cake center piece.  It turned out pretty good also, I used a ton of diapers and rubber bands and covered it in lady bug blankets.  I finished it off with pink ribbon with dots and some cute baby toys and gifts.

Not to bad for someone who is not very crafty.  My mother and my Aunts helped with all the food and the cake….thank you very much for all the help.  The party was great and she got a ton of great gifts to get her started.


Just like in the game telephone, the more people repeat something the more it gets changed, just a little each time.  I was surprised to find out that some of those famous lines in our favorite movies are not exactly as we remember them.  I know that most of these quotes are really minor, but I thought it was fun to remember some of the great quotes and also see how they have been changed to the quotes we use.

Dirty Harry (1971)

What People Say: “Do you feel lucky, punk?”

What The Film Really Said: “Do I feel luck?, Well, do ya punk?


The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

What People Say: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,  Toto.”

What The Film Really Said: ” Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not  in Kansas anymore.”


The Silence Of The Lambs  (1991)

What People Say: “Hello, Clarice…”

What The Film Really Said: ” Good evening, Clarice.” Lecter  does in fact say “Hello, Clarice” in 2001’s Hannibal.


Snow White And The Seven Dwarves (1937)

What People Say: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the  fairest of them all?”

What The Film Really Said: “Magic mirror on the wall, who is  the fairest one of all?”


Lives Of A Bengal Lancer (1935)

What People Say: “We have ways of making you talk.”

What The Film Really Said: “We have ways of making men  talk.”


Field Of Dreams (1989)

What People Say: “If you build it, they will come.”

What The Film Really Said: “If you build it he will  come.”


The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)

What People Say: “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!”

What The Film Really Said: “Badges? We ain’t got no badges.  We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”


Star Trek: The Voyage Home (1987)

What People Say: “Beam me up, Scotty!”

What The Film Really Said: “Scotty, beam us up.”


…And Justice For All (1979)

What People Say: “I’m out of order? You’re out of order!  This whole courtroom’s out of order!”

What The Film Really Said: ” You’re out of order! You’re out  of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!”


The Empire Strikes Back  (1980)

What People Say: “Luke, I am your father.”

What The Film Really Said: “No. I am your father.”


Casablanca (1942)

What People Say: “Play it again, Sam.”

What The Film Really Said: “You played it for her, you can  play it for me. If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”


Forrest Gump

What People Say: “Life is like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you’re gonna get.”

What The Film Really Said: “Life was like a box of chocolates.”


Apollo 13

What People Say: “Houston, we have a problem.”

What The Film Really Said: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.”

What is your favorite movie quote…..and make sure you get it right!


I was award the Versatile Blogger Award nomination last week!  I understand, like my fellow blogger from thefourrooms said, that this is a little of a Pyramid scheme, but it is also a great way to introduce new people to each of our blogs.

I’d like to acknowledge and thank thefourrooms for the nomination as well as the introduction to the new blogs that I really enjoy.

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

  1. Thank the person(s) who gave you the Award and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Pass this Award along to the top 10 (some said 15, but I like top 10 better) recently discovered blogs and let them know about their nomination.
OK, so seven things about myself are:  1. Wife to a wonderful husband and just celebrated our Anniversary last week, 2. Mother of three wonderful children, 3. Soon to be Grandmother (I know what you are thinking, I am too young. lol), 4.  Realtor for the past 11 years, 5. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, 6. I love to laugh, 7. I always try to look at the glass half full.
So Ladies and Gentlemen my 15 Blog nominations are…………….
  1. hunter71  – a little partial, my son
  2. ourbuglife – a little partial, my daughter
  3. thisitalianfamily
  4. cupcakesandcardigans
  5. youvebeenhooked
  6. serenitygame
  7. singlemaltmonkey
  8. ktbwood
  9. countoncross
  10. Sisterhood of the Travelling Military Pants
  11. thefourrooms
  12. play101
  13. mattposky
  14. cauchycomplete
  15. deltasuntimes
Hope you enjoy some of these sites :-)
I did use some of the same sites, but they are all sites I wanted to share with my friends.  Please fill free to forward any of these sites as well as adding your favorites.


Did you hear about Facebook’s new Subscribe button for personal profile pages.  This gives users the same sort of one-sided following experience they get on Twitter and Google+.  This new feature is not automatically placed on everyone’s page, but is really easy to get.

People can now have followers without having to become friends with a stranger and see all of their posts.

In my line of work, as a real estate agent, I am my business….. and it allows followers to gain access to my page without having to become a friend.  Some people might not want to be friends with someone, but would love to see their updates and feeds.

To get your Facebook “Subscribe” button, go to and click on the “Allow Subscribers” button in the top right corner of the page. That’s it!

Don’t forget to either add me as a friend on Facebook, or subscribe to my page…..Kari Cross


231 years ago today Benedict Arnold let his anger and desperation make him do the unthinkable.  In today’s hard times, many people are looking to get out of bad situations and it is sometimes a struggle to know how to do that.  Keep your head up, try to look at the glass half full, surround yourself with helpful people, and always stay true to yourself…. These are things that Benedict Arnold did not do.

During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold was an American hero.  On September 21, 1780 Arnold created a plan to work with British forces.   Benedict Arnold became synonymous with the word “traitor.”

Arnold was born January 14, 1741 into a well-respected family in Norwich, Connecticut.  He joined the Continental Army when the Revolutionary War broke out between Great Britain and its 13 American colonies in 1775.  Arnold helped in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, distinguished himself in campaigns at Lake Champlain, Ridgefield and Saratoga and was making a great name for himself.  In 1777 five men of lesser rank were promoted over Arnold and over the next few years he married for the second time.  Arnold and his wife lived a very lavish lifestyle and accumulated substantial debt.

The debt and the resentment of being overlooked in a promotion where motivating factors in Arnold’s choice to become a traitor.

In 1780 Arnold was given command of West Point in New York.  Arnold contacted the head of the British forces, and proposed handing over West Point and his men in exchange for a large sum of money and a high position in the British Army.  When he met with Major John Andre to finalize the pact, his plan was foiled.  Arnold fled to the enemy side and went on to lead British troops in Virginia and Connecticut.



Another name for the American Flag is Old Glory.  Old Glory is actually a specific flag made in 1824 for Captain William Driver.  Old Glory was made with 24 stars and 13 red and white stripes representing the original 13 colonies.  Old Glory traveled with Captain Driver on his ship and circled the globe twice before retiring with him to Nashville.  When the Civil War began in Tennessee, Old Glory was sewn inside a quilt and it stayed hidden until 1862.  Old Glory never flew again, but it now lives in the Smithsonian.

The current version of the US flag was designed by an 18 year old high school student, who only received a “B-“ for his efforts.  Robert Heft, challenged her teacher that a design proposal accepted by Congress would deserve an “A”.  The teacher did change Heft’s grade to an “A”, and by presidential proclamation his design was officially adopted as the nation’s flag in 1958.

6 US flags are currently stationed on the moon.  They were put there by Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17.  Other countries who have/had flags on the moon include, the Soviet Union, EU and India.

When folded properly, the US flag is shaped like a triangle with only the stars showing. If you have exacting standards, it usually takes 13 folds: the same number of original colonies.


On September 7 1813, the United States officially gets its nickname, “UNCLE SAM”….. Do you know were the name comes from?

Samuel Wilson was a meat packer from Troy, New York and he supplied barrels of beef to the United States Army during the War of 1812.  Wilson would stamped the barrels with “U.S.” for United States.  The soldiers began to refer to the grub as “Uncle Sam’s.”  The local newspaper picked up on the story and Uncle Sam eventually gained widespread acceptance as the nickname for the U.S. federal government.

In the late 1860s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans.

Today’s, more famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg.  In Flagg’s version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words “I Want You For The U.S. Army” was used as a recruiting poster.

In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as “the progenitor of America’s national symbol of Uncle Sam.” Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself “The Home of Uncle Sam.”


I was born and raised in the Bay Area and have lived in Discovery Bay since 1993.  My husband Ernie and I have three children span over several years.  Ernie is my best friend and a great husband and father.

Our oldest daughter Elyssa (22 years old) has recently graduated from Sacramento college.  She fell in love with and married Nick, who is currently in the Army.   Nick and Elyssa are now expecting a baby girl.  Their daughter is due January of 2012 and we are all excited about her arrival.

Our middle daughter Hailey (16 years old) is a Junior in high school and is excited about getting her driver’s license next month.   Hailey is a very smart, beautiful and strong girl.  She was born with a back disorder that gives her chronic pain and she misses a lot of school because of doctors appointments and pain.  She works very hard to take college prep classes in school and maintain her grades even with her lack of attendance.

Our youngest child is Hunter (8 years old) and he is in the third grade.  He does very well in school and receives good marks for his behavior.  Hunter is a dirt bike racer and spends all his free time at the race track.  Hunter has a website ( that follows his life as a dirt bike rider.

I love my family and value the time my husband and I have spent together and the amazing memories we have shared over the years.  I am so proud of all my children and excited to see what is to come.


My daughter came across this cute looking fish and of course she said “Mom, I want one..”  I had not seen these fish before so I did some research to see what this fish was and found that it is not really a fish.  The Mexican walking fish, also known as the axolotl (pronounced ACk-suh-LAH-tuhl) is a very unusual animal.  The axolotl is not even a fish, it is an amphibian aquatic salamander.

It has a rare trait of retaining its larval features throughout its adult life.  It will keep its tadpole-like dorsal fin, which runs almost the length of its body, and its feathery external gills, which protrude from the back of its wide head.  The axolotls differs from most other salamanders because they live permanently in water.  In extremely rare cases, an azolotl will progress to maturity and emerge from the water, but most are content to stay on the bottom of lakes and canals.

The most unusual thing about this animal is that if it looses a limb, it can reproduce another one in about 8 weeks.

They pray on small fish, worms and insects, they have a life span of 10 to 15 years.  The female Axolotl can lay up to 1000 eggs at a time.  They contain poison glands so their pray must think twice before eating the little salamander.

The axolotl is nearing extinction. The axolotl mainly was native from Lake  Xochimilco and Lake Chalco, but, unfortunately, these lakes have already  disappeared or diminished, and most of these species are kept in hatcherys.


Next week is the kickoff of the 2011 NFL Football Season.  After the “Lock-out”, little training and a shortened pre-season, how will the first regular season games play out.  With no teams on a bye the first week, Thursday September 8th will be the kickoff of the first game of a week of great football.  Check your local listings and don’t miss your local team.

Thursday, Sept 8

  • Saints at Packers

Sunday, Sept 11

  • Lions at Buccaneers
  • Falcons at Bears
  • Steelers at Ravens
  • Bengals at Browns
  • Titans at Jaguars
  • Giants at Redskins
  • Cowboys at Jets
  • Bills at Chiefs
  • Colts at Texans
  • Eagles at Rams
  • Seahawks at 49ers
  • Panters at Cardinals
  • Vikings at Chargers

Monday, Sept 12

  • Raiders at Broncos
  • Patriots at Dolphines

The American Professional Football Association was founded in 1920 at a car dealership in Canton, Ohio.  Jim Thorpe was elected as the first president.

In 1948, the Rams became the first team to have a helmet insignia. The distinctive Ram horns were hand-painted onto the helmets by the team’s halfback, Fred Gehrke.

Willie Thrower was the first African-American quarterback in the NFL.  He played for the Chicago Bears in 1953.

1960 the Baltimore Colts had the first cheerleading squad in the NFL.

Monday Night Football first aired in 1970

In 1979, John elway was drafted out of high school to play professional baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

“All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” by Hank Williams Jr. debuted as the Monday Night Football theme in 1989.

Before his 2003 rookie season, tight end Antonia Gates had not played football since his senior year in high school.

Receiver Wes Welker, who tied the league record for most receptions in 2007 (112), went undrafted in the 2004 NFL Draft.

In 2007, LaDainian Tomlinson was offered the spot on the cover of the Madden NFL 08 video game.  He turned it down, and Vince Young was selected instead.

With almost $1 billion in yearly revenues, the NFL is the world’s richest professional sports league.

The Oakland Raiders were originally named the Oakland Senors thanks to fan voting. After being ridiculed by the media for several weeks, the team changed its name to the Raiders (which finished third in the voting).

Dan Reeves, Tony Dungy and Mike Ditka have all appeared in Super Bowls as players, assistant coaches and head coaches.

Emmitt Smith had the same number of rushing yards in his last season as he did in his rookie season (937).

Ronnie Lott received All-Pro honors at three different positions (cornerback, strong safety and free safety).

Eli and Payton Manning are the only set of brothers to play quarterback in a Super Bowl. They are also the only brothers to both win the Super Bowl MVP award.

For a year’s supply of footballs for the NFL, it takes 3,000 cows to supply the leather.

The Vikings Defensive Lineman Jim Marshall once picked up a fumble and ran it all the way back the wrong way to score a Safety for the 49’ers.


I take for granted the changes in my life that has come at the had of Steve Jobs.  I can do my work from any office or home that has a computer.  I can sit on the coach with my laptop and connect with people.  While standing in line at the grocery store I can surf the web.  Waiting for my number to be called at DMV I can play games and download new apps.  I am able to look for places around me, get directions to my destination, and order things online as I travel.  I can now work from anywhere at anytime thanks to Steve Jobs and his idea to create personal computers.

Today Jobs has stepped down as CEO with an undisclosed medical illness.  I am sure I am not alone in wanting to wish him a speedy recovery and thank him for his efforts in expanding our technology through the years.


Steven Jobs was born February 24, 1955, in San Francisco, California, and in 1961 his family moved to Mountain View, California.  He loved electronics and spent a lot of time working in the garage workshop of a neighbor who worked at Hewlett-Packard as an electronics manufacturer.  Jobs enrolled in the Hewlett-Packard Explorer Club at the age of twelve and was introduced to his first computer.  While in high school Jobs attended lectures at the Hewlett-Packard plant. On one occasion he boldly asked William Hewlett , the president, for some parts he needed to complete a class project.  Hewlett was so impressed he gave Jobs the parts, and offered him a summer internship at Hewlett-Packard.

1972 Graduated from high school and enrolled at Reed College in Portland, Oregon

1974 Dropped out of college to visit India and study eastern religions

1975 Joined a group known as the Homebrew Computer Club

1976 Joined club member Steve Wozniak to form a company designed to make personal home computers called The Apple Computer Company

1976 Sold circuit boards (the boards that hold the internal components of a computer) while they worked on the computer prototype

1977 The Apple II had first year sales of $2.7 million.

1980 The company’s sales grew to $200 million within three years.

1984 Apple introduced the Macintosh with small pictures called icons.  It did not sell well because it didn’t provide high quality printing.

1985 Jobs resigned from his company, though he retained his title as chairman of its board of directors.

1986 He purchased Pixar from filmmaker George Lucas and created Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, etc.

1988 He hired some former employers to create a company called NeXt.

1988 The NeXT computer was introduced that everyone loved but it was too costly and could not link to other computers

1996 Apple purchased NeXT Software for over $400 million and Jobs returned to Apple as a part-time consultant to the CEO

1997 Apple entered into a partnership with its competitor Microsoft.

1998 The IMac was introduced which featured a powerful computer at an affordable price.

1999 The IBook was unveiled.

2000 Jobs became the permanent CEO of Apple with the IPod, IPhone and IPads following.

2004 Jobs was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his pancreas. 

2009  Jobs underwent a liver transplant.

2011  January, Jobs went on a medical leave and operations were handed over to Tim Cook

August 25, 2011 Steve Jobs steps down as CEO but says he will remain a presence in the company.


Since my family are very big race fans, I thought I would share some interesting facts about The Brickyard.  On August 19, 1909, the first race was held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of the world’s most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500.  

Built on 328 acres of farmland five miles northwest of Indianapolis, Indiana, the speedway was started by local businessmen as a testing facility for Indiana’s growing automobile industry. The idea was that occasional races at the track would pit cars from different manufacturers against each other. After seeing what these cars could do, spectators would presumably head down to the showroom of their choice to get a closer look.

The rectangular two-and-a-half-mile track linked four turns, each exactly 440 yards from start to finish, by two long and two short straight sections. In that first five-mile race on August 19, 1909, 12,000 spectators watched Austrian engineer Louis Schwitzer win with an average speed of 57.4 miles per hour. The track’s surface of crushed rock and tar proved a disaster, breaking up in a number of places and causing the deaths of two drivers, two mechanics and two spectators.

The surface was soon replaced with 3.2 million paving bricks, laid in a bed of sand and fixed with mortar. Dubbed “The Brickyard,” the speedway reopened in December 1909.  In 1911, low attendance led the track’s owners to make a crucial decision: Instead of shorter races, they resolved to focus on a single, longer event each year, for a much larger prize. That May 30 marked the debut of the Indy 500–a grueling 500-mile race that was an immediate hit with audiences and drew press attention from all over the country. Driver Ray Haroun won the purse of $14,250, with an average speed of 74.59 mph and a total time of 6 hours and 42 minutes.

Since 1911, the Indianapolis 500 has been held every year, with the exception of 1917-18 and 1942-45, when the United States was involved in the two world wars. With an average crowd of 400,000, the Indy 500 is the best-attended event in U.S. sports. In 1936, asphalt was used for the first time to cover the rougher parts of the track, and by 1941 most of the track was paved. The last of the speedway’s original bricks were covered in 1961, except for a three-foot line of bricks left exposed at the start-finish line as a nostalgic reminder of the track’s history.

*  Today race cars travel around the track at an average speed of 230mph.

*  Churchill Downs, Yankee Stadium, the Rose Bowl, the Roman Colosseum and Vatican City all can fit inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval, which covers 253 acres.

*  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the world’s largest spectator sporting facility, with more than 250,000 permanent seats. If the seat boards from the grandstands at IMS were laid end-to-end, they would stretch 99.5 miles.

*  Indy cars accelerate from 0 mph to 100 mph in 4 seconds.


This week marks the anniversary of Woodstock, the most famous music festival in rock ‘n’ roll history, which took place August 15-18, 1969.  The grooviest event in music history, The Woodstock Music Festival was full of peace, love and rock ‘n’ roll in upstate New York.

Conceived as “Three Days of Peace and Music,” Woodstock was a product of a partnership between John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, Artie Kornfield and Michael Lang. Their idea was to make enough money from the event to build a recording studio near the arty New York town of Woodstock. When they couldn’t find an appropriate venue in the town itself, the promoters decided to hold the festival on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York–some 50 miles from Woodstock–owned by Max Yasgur.

By the time the weekend of the festival arrived, the group had sold a total of 186,000 tickets and expected no more than 200,000 people to show up. By Friday night, however, thousands of eager early arrivals were pushing against the entrance gates. Fearing they could not control the crowds, the promoters made the decision to open the concert to everyone, free of charge. Close to half a million people attended Woodstock, jamming the roads around Bethel with eight miles of traffic.

Soaked by rain and wallowing in the muddy mess of Yasgur’s fields, young fans best described as “hippies” euphorically took in the performances of acts like Janis Joplin, Arlo Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Sly and the Family Stone and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  The most memorable moment of the concert for many fans was the closing performance by Jimi Hendrix, who gave a rambling, rocking solo guitar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

With not enough bathroom facilities and first-aid tents to accommodate such a huge crowd, many described the atmosphere at the festival as chaotic. There were surprisingly few episodes of violence, though one teenager was accidentally run over and killed by a tractor and another died from a drug overdose.  A number of musicians performed songs expressing their opposition to the Vietnam War, a sentiment that was enthusiastically shared by the vast majority of the audience. Later, the term “Woodstock Nation” would be used as a general term to describe the youth counterculture of the 1960s.

Max Yasgur was paid $75,000 for the use of his alfalfa field for the venue.  32 bands performed and as an unknown and unproven business concern, the organisers, Woodstock Ventures, had to pay inflated sums to get the top rockers to sign up.  Jefferson Airplane were the first, paid $12,000, double their usual fee. Even hippy band The Grateful Dead demanded cash in hand before they would play, as did Janis Joplin and The Who. 

About two dozen ticket booths should have been in place to charge $24 admission, but they were never installed because of a the crush of festival-goers.  Attempts to get people to pay were abandoned on day one, the fences were torn down and Woodstock was declared a free event.  Organisers at Woodstock Ventures were at least $1.3m in debt afterwards.  It took more than a decade for backers to recoup money, through audio and recording rights.

Several acts that were scheduled to perform did not make it to the stage.

  • Jeff Beck Group (The band broke up in July, forcing cancellation)
  • Iron Butterfly (Stuck at the airport)
  • Joni Mitchell (Joni’s agent put her on “the Dick Cavett Show” instead)
  • Lighthouse (Feared that it would be a “bad scene”)
  • The Moody Blues (took a gig in Paris at the last minute)
  • Ethan Brown (Arrested for LSD three days before the event)

Some declined the invitation to attend

  • The Beatles (John Lennon said he couldn’t get them together)
  • Led Zeppelin (Got a higher paying gig)
  • Bob Dylan (Turned it down because of his disgust for hippies hanging around his house)
  • The Byrds (Turned it down because of a melee during their performance at an earlier Pop Festival)
  • Tommy James & the Shondells (they said they were misinformed about the size and scope of the event)
  • Jethro Tull (thought it wouldn’t be a big deal)
  • Spirit (They had other shows and wanted to keep their commitment)
  • Mind Garage (Figured it wouldn’t be a big deal so they took a different gig)

IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED….. destroy all evidence you ever tried

Many of my clients are frustrated and discouraged about the state of our economy and their personal situations.  My family laughs that I am always a “glass half full person” and try to always find the light at the end of the tunnel.  So I thought today I would share some evidence of successful people throughout history that hit bottom just before soaring to the top.  It is always important to learn from your mistakes and failures only to use it to your advantage.  Instead of saying NEVER TRY, NEVER FAIL….. think about the success you might find after you fail…..

HENRY FORD (FORD MOTOR COMPANY):  Fords early businesses failed and left him broke five times before he founded the successful Ford Motor Company.

SOICHIRO HONDA (HONDA):  Honda was turned down by Toyota Motor Corporation for a job after interviewing for a job as an engineer, leaving him jobless for quite some time. He started making scooters of his own at home, and spurred on by his neighbors, finally started his own business.

AKIO MORITA (SONY):  Sony’s first product was a rice cooker that unfortunately didn’t cook rice, just burnt it, selling less than 100 units. This first setback didn’t stop Morita and his partners as they pushed forward to create a multi-billion dollar company.

BILL GATES (MICROSOFT):  Gates dropping out of Harvard and starting a failed first business with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen called Traf-O-Data. While this early idea didn’t work, Gates’ later work did, creating the global empire that is Microsoft.

MICHAEL JORDAN:  Most people wouldn’t believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn’t let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

BABE RUTH:  You probably know Babe Ruth because of his home run record (714 during his career), but along with all those home runs came a pretty hefty amount of strikeouts as well (1,330 in all). In fact, for decades he held the record for strikeouts. When asked about this he simply said, “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

HARLAND DAVID SANDERS (COLENEL SANDERS):  Perhaps better known as Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame, Sanders had a hard time selling his chicken at first. In fact, his famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

WALT DISNEY:  Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

ALBERT EINSTEIN:  Most of us take Einstein’s name as synonymous with genius, but he didn’t always show such promise. Einstein did not speak until he was four and did not read until he was seven, causing his teachers and parents to think he was mentally handicapped, slow and anti-social. Eventually, he was expelled from school and was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School. It might have taken him a bit longer, but he caught on pretty well in the end, winning the Nobel Prize and changing the face of modern physics.

THOMAS EDISON:  In his early years, teachers told Edison he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Work was no better, as he was fired from his first two jobs for not being productive enough. Even as an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. Of course, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in a design that worked.

FRED ASTAIRE:  In his first screen test, the testing director of MGM noted that Astaire, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire went on to become an incredibly successful actor, singer and dancer and kept that note in his Beverly Hills home to remind him of where he came from.

SIDNEY POITIER:  After his first audition, Poitier was told by the casting director, “Why don’t you stop wasting people’s time and go out and become a dishwasher or something?” Poitier vowed to show him that he could make it, going on to win an Oscar and become one of the most well-regarded actors in the business.

THEODOR SEUSS GIESEL:  Today nearly every child has read The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham, yet 27 different publishers rejected Dr. Seuss’s first book To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.

STEPHEN KING:  The first book by this author, the iconic thriller Carrie, received 30 rejections, finally causing King to give up and throw it in the trash. His wife fished it out and encouraged him to resubmit it, and the rest is history.

ELVIS PRESLEY:   But back in 1954, Elvis was still a nobody, and Jimmy Denny, manager of the Grand Ole Opry, fired Elvis Presley after just one performance telling him, “You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.”

THE BEATLES:  When the Beatles were just starting out, a recording company told them no. They were told “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out,” two things the rest of the world couldn’t have disagreed with more.


If you are what you eat…. than what does that say about the clothes you wear?  Below are some mug shot photos of people who probably should have thought twice before getting dressed that day.

So a little lesson……Think about what you are planning to do before you get dressed in the morning.  If you are going to be breaking the law, make sure you look good for your mug shot.   Enjoy!


This last week my son had a dirt bike race in Washington and we traveled 12 hours to get to the event and camped for the week with friends.  (see more about the trip at on my son’s racing blog)

While camping we got into a conversation about my daughter’s new cell phone.  A friend of ours was giving me a hard time for making my daughter put an otter box cover on her iphone.  He told me that it was borderline abuse to have my teenage daughter have such a large phone.  Since my daughter and I just had a huge disagreement the day before over the use of the case, he was not helping me at all.  Having purchased my iphone three years ago and dropped it many times, I am convinced that the otter box is necessary for my daughter so she won’t break her phone.  Lets face it…’s not like I bought her a huge Motorola brick phone….it’s an iphone in a cute pink case.  Is that so bad?

He kept insisting that I had “ruined the iphone” by putting such a large case on it and that her friends will make fun of her when she goes back to school.  He thought I should just wrap the phone in bubble wrap to make sure it stays safe.  Of course my daughter was thrilled that he would maybe talk me out of making her use the phone case, but no such luck.  I am thinking when she can afford to replace it, then she can take care of it as she wishes.

I started thinking about all the different phones I have had over the years and how far our cell phone technology has come.  Remember Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street using his Motorola DynaTAC.  Since 1983 many different phone styles have come out and new functions were continually being added…what will they think of next?

The original Motorola cell phone was a little to big to fit into a pocket and over the years the sizes have gotten smaller and smaller.  The technology and ability of the phones has also changed over the years.  The phones began to flip close and slide open.  You were able to not only call someone, but send them a message via text.  The screen went from black and white to full color and touch screens.  You could use your phone to take a picture or to surf the web.  You could listen to music while checking your email or talk on the phone while you watch a movie.  Instead of calling someone, now you can see them with the video phones.


200,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo (two hundred trillion) text messages are received in America every day……that is more than an entire years worth of regular mail received in America.

The average teen sends 3339 text messages each month

42% of teens can text message blindfolded

Texting is the #2 use of cellphones….#1 is checking the time

In 2010 Americans spent $42.8 million on cell phones

In 2009 300 million mobile apps were downloaded…In 2010 5 billion mobile apps were downloaded.

There is more than 3.3 billion active mobile phones in the world.  (equal to half of the entire world population)

People throw away more than 125 million cell phones each year.

Two thirds of mobile phone users use the backlight of their phone as a flash light.



My son has my phone over loaded with apps that he keeps finding.  He is allowed to only get the free apps of course.  He recently found one that was fun for us both and kinda goes along with my blog.  The app basically gives random fun facts, which I love!


-Wow… forget about hoping my kids become a doctor…


-Can’t wait to try this one!




-Very good to know right?


-I love this one.  Because I do so much outside, I hate when the weather is wrong.  The other day the weather man said “Mostly sunny with some clouds and a chance of rain.”  What?  I think he covered everything….maybe just say “we have no idea!”


-Television shows have come a long way since then

To be continued…..


On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 Commander, Neil Armstrong made history as the 1st man on the moon.

Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and Buzz Aldrin blasted off on July 16, 1969.  Four days later the three-man crew reached the moon.  Collins stayed in orbit around the moon and took pictures while Armstrong and Aldrin entered the lunar Module called the Eagle.  The Eagle landed down on the moon and Neil Armstrong was the first to exit onto the moon’s surface.

As Neil Armstrong stept onto the moon he said:


Armstong and Aldrin walked around the surface of the mon for three hours doing experiments, and collecting drilling samples, moon dirt and rocks.

They put a U.S. flag on the moon and also left a sign.


JULY 1969, A.D.


The astronauts completed their mission and returned to Earth atmosphere on July 24th.  A parachute opened to safely lower the Columbia into the Pacific Ocean.  After landing in the Ocean, the crew were retrieved by a helicopter and taken to the recovery ship, the USS Hornet.

With no more manned moon visits planned it is nice to remember the great accomplishment made by those three men all those years ago.


Walt Disney wanted to build a place where children and parents could have fun together.  The original plans for the park were on 8 acres next to the Burbank studios where his employees and families could go to relax. Although, World War II put those plans on hold. During the war, Walt had time to come up with new ideas, and creations for his magical park. It was soon clear that 8 acres wouldn’t be enough.

Walt found a rural 160 acre spot in Anaheim, California.  On July 21, 1954 construction began with clearing acres of citrus trees and moving horses to make room for the park.  Walt looked to his movie studio staff for help in making realistic castles, mountains, ships, etc.  They created 20 attractions in five uniquely different lands.  (Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, an Main Street USA)  Opening day was 12 months later on Jul 17, 1955 and after a total investment of $17 million and it was time to open the gate.

The highly anticipated opening day festivities, including the dedication and a parade, were covered by ABC with a 90 minute live special, ‘Dateline Disneyland’, was hosted by television personalities Art Linkletter, Ronald Regan and Bob Cummings.  Ninety million viewers witnessed the fantastic results of one man’s dream come true.

The grand opening did not go so smoothly.  11,000 invitations had been mailed to the studio workers, construction workers, the press and officials.  Counterfeit tickets were used and by mid-afternoon, over 28,000 ticket holders were heading for Disneyland causing unprecedented traffic jams.

although everything appeared to be magical, many things did not go as planned.  A 15 day heat wave raised temperatures up to 110 degrees and due to a plumbers strike, few water fountains were operating.  When the gates opened workers were still planting trees and in some areas paint was still wet.  The asphalt had been poured just that morning and some ares were very soft.  Rides broke down shortly after opening and restaurants and refreshment stands ran out of food and drink.  A gas leak in Fantasyland caused Adventureland, Frontierland, and Fantasyland to close for the afternoon.

During the event, Walt Disney was unaware of the chaotic situation. He was being shuttled from one part of the Park to another for the ‘Dateline Disneyland’ broadcast. It wasn’t until later that he became aware of the negative reaction to Disneyland.  Walt immediately summoned his staff, and measures were taken to deal with the problems of low ride capacity, congested walkways, traffic jams and slow food service. The press was invited back for a private “second day” to experience the true Disneyland.

Disneyland Park was then opened to the public and crowds started to gather in line as early as 2 a.m.  The first person to buy a ticket and enter the park was David MacPherson with admission ticket number two, as Roy O. Disney arranged to pre-purchase ticket number one.  Ten years after opening over 50 Million visitors had come through the gates.  Today, more than four decades later Disneyland’s success is world-renowned.

The park was turning a profit by its second year of operation, and new rides were planned.

All of Disneyland is constructed at 4/8 scale.

Disneyland is home to more than 40 rides and attractions.

More than 400 items are collected by Lost and Found each day.

On an average day, park guests generate more than 30 tons of trash.

Disneyland recycles 4 million pounds of cardboard, paper, and other materials annually.

Over 4 million burgers, 3 million fry orders, 1 million gallons of soda are served each year.

Sleeping Beauty Castle stands only 77 feet tall but looks larger due to forced perspective scaling architecture.

The castle is trimmed in 22 karat gold leaf to ensure it glitters even on cloudy days.

Steve Martin used to work in the Magic Shop in Disneyland.

Disneyland’s address is 1313 Harbor Boulevard.

  • M is the 13th letter of the alphabet, making the address MM for Mickey Mouse.
  • If you turn the address sideways it looks like 2 sets of mouse ears.