Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Like most small time bloggers I check my "stats" page daily.  I like to see how many people are reading my blog, where they are from and how they got here.  Since I don't get many comments on my posts, this at least lets me know that people are reading what I write.

I get the most views from people in the United States, which is understandable since most of my friends live here but I was fascinated by the views I get from other countries - Since the beginning of this month I have gotten 249 from the United States, 82 from the Netherlands, 54 from Russia, 24 from Germany, 22 from France, 12 from Latvia, 11 from China, 11 from Georgia (the country not the state), 9 from Ukraine and 8 from Brazil.  I just hope that these people from around the world aren't judging people form the US solely by what I blog about.

I also get a report on what the use to get to me.  By far people use Internet Explorer the most.  Chrome came in second but it was a distant second with IE having 399 and Chrome only 85.  Firefox, Opera, Safari and NS8 are represented also.  I had never heard of Opera or NS8 before.

97% of my readers are Windows users with only 1% on MAC.

I even get a report of what people typed into the search engine that brought them to my blog. - "My hair cut", "a-frame rabbit barns",  "and full of", "", "movie with the phrase sissy lala", "my big fat butt song, "the feel or it all and finding", and "too cool for coats".

Now the fun part for me.  I get to see which posts are the most popular.  The top 5 so far this year are:  164 page views on my post BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE .   BOOK VS MOVIE - which is tied with SOMETIMES I WISH I WERE A MAN - Then we have LOST PASSIONS - and the # 5 spot goes to THE HAPPY INSIDE .   Click on each to read or reread them yourself.

So it leaves me to wonder WHY these 5 posts were the most popular? I can only think it has something to do with the title of the post and I ask my readers - "do you decide to read solely on the title of the post?"

Anyway - at least with this little STAT's tool, I know that somewhere out there someone is reading what I write and it gives me the encouragement to keep on writing.  THANKS!

~Just Me

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I am not sure if I every told you this, but when I was little I admired my grandmother (Mommom) so much that I vowed to be just like her when I grew up.

Her lifestyle was so different then what mine was growing up. My parents and of course my sister and I, struggled for everything we had.  Heat was even at times a luxury we couldn't afford.  There were no vacations, no credit cards and certainly no shopping for school clothes in the big department stores.  I learned at an early age not to ask for anything so I wouldn't be disappointed.  Both my parents worked, they just had jobs that didn't pay much more then what the every day bills demanded each month.

So when we would go visit my grandmother, I would sit and study her.  I would watch everything about her.  The way she walked and talked,  the way she sat in a chair. I studied her so that some day I could be just like her and never have to go without.  She had credit cards and a new car every other year. She was elegant and put together.  Her hair was always done up, her nails filed and painted, her clothes were stylish AND she always had a pack of  KENT cigarettes within arms reach.

As I teen there wasn't any hope that I could own a new car or a credit card but I could do my hair and nails.  I could walk with grace and talk with intelligence.  I could also have a pack of cigarettes always at arms reach - and I did.

I became a pack a day smoker in my teens.  This is one of only two regrets that I have in my life.

My grandmother eventualy quit smoking and of course that meant that I had to also, but it was not so easy.  I tried several times but the addiction was always to much and I would go back to it within a few days.  I had smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years when she quit.

A few years back I started seeing reports about a new product that replaced the cigarette and all the nasty stuff that tabacco was.  You could still play act at smoking and still get the nicotine but none of the other poisons from the tabaco.  We were now at 28 years of smoking a pack a day and I told myself it was time to give it a try.  I had my doctors blessing and encouragment to go for it - and I did.

I researched several "E-CIG" sites on the internet and choose one and ordered my starter kit.  The day it arrived I read over all the included material, set the battery to charge over night, woke the next morning and smoked my last tobaco cigarette, took my first draw on the ecig and haven't looked back since!

As of today I am 447 days tobaco free! AND if I did the math right I have saved $1,841.90 by switching.  Now I still have spent money to feed my nicotine addiction (reflected in the $$ amount above) but no where near what I had been spending.

I love my ecigs.  I love that I don't smell like smoke any more, I love that I am saving money, and I love that I have cut my pack a day tobaco addiction down to the equivilant of 1/4 a pack of nicotine.  Of course, I will someday quit that too, but for now I am happy with this.

I would LOVE to share these with everyone so I am working on a web store.  The ecig page is up and running.  The other pages aren't ready yet.  PLEASE click this link E-CIGS and you will be taken to my web site.  Once there you can read all about the different companies.  If you click one of the company banners, it will take you to their page. (((YES I do earn a commision by clicking through and ordering))).

I personally deal with SMOKETIP.  I have NOTHING bad to say about this company.

Let me know if you decide to give it a try and what your thoughts are about ecigs.  HAPPY VAPING

~Just Me

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lost Passions

Remember when you were young and had no grown up responsibilities?  Remember the dreams you had back then of the things you would someday do?  Remember all the things you were passionate about?

I have been thinking about those things lately and kicking myself for abandoning my passions.  All those things I once said I wanted to do, pursue, when I grew up.  Some of these things are still on my bucket list but others are something you can't do just once and cross off - these are the passions we had in our youth.

One of these passions for me has always been photography.  I love it.  I love to take pictures that capture a moment in time or tell a story.  Photos that are true art.  Photos that everyone would love to stop and look at, study and want to hang in their home.

I still take tons of pictures but they are just the same type as everyone else does.  You know birthday parties, holidays, trips to the zoo.  Those kind of photos, in my opinion, are just for memories and not "art". There is a difference.

I never followed this passion for photography because I thought you need mounds of high priced equipment and years of study in a dark room.  Now that may have been true 30 years ago, but now thanks to the digital age it no longer is.

I just downloaded a FREE photo editing program and I am having a blast with it.  It has awoken my passion for photography.  I know there are other programs out there but this was the one I decided to give a try first. You can also download it for FREE to your computer by clicking here PICASA.  

It will gather all the photos that you have on your computer and copy them to the program (originals will be left were you had them).  I have only been playing with it for less then 24 hours and I am having a blast.  Take a look at some of the photos that I "edited" with this program.

All of these photos I already had on my computer and all have been cropped and edited.

Now I can't wait to get out and start taking new photos.  I think I have found my passion again.

PLEASE tell me what you think - honestly I want your opinions.  Which is your favorite.  As for mine.  It is the last one above.  My little man.  I love the way this one turned out.

Want to see what it started out as??

~Just Me

Friday, January 13, 2012

Poor Old Lonely House

I have been doing a lot of driving around my new "neighborhood".  Getting the feel or it all and finding the fastest way to get from point A to point B.  In doing this I get to look at all the interesting buildings, attractions and animals that the Eastern Shore of Maryland has to offer.

Today I went to OC to do a mystery shop.  I promise to blog about my mystery shopping this weekend.

On the way to OC I was on a lesser traveled road and came across this poor old lonely house.

It made me sad thinking about it and also made me wonder about the people that use to live there.  Who were they? What did they do? And also where did they go?

There are many of these types of houses around the Eastern Shore.  You can see that on many farms, they just built a new house or brought in a modular.  This also leads me to wonder why they left these poor old lonely houses standing instead of tearing them down.  Do they have some sentimental value to the land owner?  Is it part of a covenant  made when the land was sold?  Or is it just too expensive to tear it down?

My family originally came to this area way back in the early 1700's and it leaves me wondering if any of the poor old lonely houses around here may have sheltered one of them.

I tell myself that some day I will summon up the courage to knock on the farmers door and ask about the old lonely house on his land.  Of course they will most likely think that I am some crazy lady and slam the door in my face - but if that house does hold some sentimental value, maybe they will invite me in and tell me the story behind why it was left standing.

~Just Me

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Happy Inside

Have you ever had one of those moments when your child says something so adult and full of wisdom, that you just want to grab them, hug then and say a silent thank you that you created such a wonderful person as a small tear rolls down your cheek?  I had one of those moments last night with Keegan.

I think my perspective on how "guys" think is skewed just a bit.  I hate to say it but I have grown up knowing too many men who, lets just say, have only three things on there mind - Food, Sports and Sex (in no particular order).  So when I look at my sons I sometimes wonder what I have created and will someday unleash on the world.

Last night as my youngest two sons and I were talking about our day and our plans for the rest of the week, I mentioned that I was thinking about getting my hair cut but was nervous to go too short.  When they asked why I said jokingly "well if it turns out ugly then maybe Daddy won't love me anymore."  To this Keegan stood up, scrunched up his 8 year old face, placed his fisted hands on his hips and replied " MOM, you don't love a girl cause she is pretty, you love a girl cause she makes you all happy inside!"

I couldn't have been more proud of him at that moment and proud of myself for raising such a wonderful, insightful little man.  I grabbed hold of him and hugged him and told him that he was right and asked how he got so smart.  He answered with his stock comment "Well you made me this way, didn't you?"

I sure hope that this stays with him as he gets older and peer pressure sets in.  I hope that one day he meets his soul mate and only looks at the happy inside him and not her outer appearance.


~Just Me

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When peanut butter attacks!

Did you know that you could kill someone with a peanut butter sandwich? How about a glass of milk?  For thousands of people in our country you could do just that - Kill them with a child's favorite lunch!  For more information on Food Allergies please click here - FAAN

Food allergies are real and unfortunately are on the rise.  No one knows for sure why that is.  I have several theories but like everyone else we just don't have an answer, yet.

One of my guesses would be: We are better at diagnosing allergies now then in the past.  I know for years I stayed away from certain foods because I "didn't like them", or "the made me feel uncomfortable" after eating.  Now after being tested I have learned that I am actually allergic to them.  I think many people stay away from foods instinctualy because they know they are allergic or at the least intolerant to them.

Right now though I am on a mission.  Both my young sons have allergies and must carry an Eppi Pen with them.  My youngest for his MAJOR food allergies and my older because he is allergic to bees/hornets/wasps.  (I know not a food but it relates to this story).

Because of these life threatening allergies, both my boys must have their Eppi pens with them at all times, including school.  This way if they have a reaction their life can be saved by someone (even themselves) injecting the epinephrine into their thigh and then calling 911.  By giving them the Eppi as soon as possible it greatly improves their chances of reaching the hospital ALIVE!

On January 2nd a young girl, Ammaria Johnson died at school due to her food allergies.  Click here for the full story as covered by CNN  Allergy Death of 1st grader .  This story made me so mad!  It did not have to happen and YOU can help prevent it from happening again.

Ammaria lived in Virginia which is a state that does not have standard protocols for the schools which allows them to have Eppi Pens in the nurses office for anyone who needs them.  In this state a child must have a "health plan" which includes doctors orders for the Eppi Pen and have one brought and stored at the school by the parent.  This is fine for those who already know they have an allergy that needs an Eppi but what about those who are not aware of they have an allergy - like my son Keegan?  OR for those who's medical insurance only allows 1 Eppi pen per child per year or even for those who have no insurance and can not afford this life saving medicine. Eppi Pens are expensive for the average person.  The average cost of just one injection is around $100.00.  In my house we have to have 2 for Konnor and 2 for Keegan. (Keegan needs a higher dose then Konnor due to his weight).

So what can you do?  And before you say "this doesn't effect me", if you know a child then it does effect you.  Keegan didn't know until he was 7 that he was allergic to bee stings and that first sting would have caused anaphylaxis in him.   How would you feel if it was your child that died because the school could do nothing except call 911 and wait while the child died.

PLEASE take the time to revise this letter and send it off to your senator.  Together we can make the change that can save a child, a family from going through what Ammarie's family has.


MODEL Letter of Support for the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Note:  Please paraphrase.  It is important that Senators do not receive duplicates of the same letter from different individuals. You can look up your local senators at

The Honorable (insert Senator’s name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

Dear Senator (insert name):

I am writing to ask you to co-sponsor S. 1884, the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. I am the parent of a child with severe food allergies.  (Personalize here by inserting a brief description of your child’s allergies.)

Children with food allergies are at risk for anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. To prevent death, anaphylaxis must be treated promptly with an injection of epinephrine. The Durbin-Kirk bill would encourage states to ensure that epinephrine is available in schools and that school personnel are trained to administer it in an emergency. Epinephrine is safe and easy to administer. Children are able to self-administer the medication, and any adult working in a school would be capable of learning how to administer epinephrine in a matter of minutes.

Nearly 6 million American children have potentially life-threatening food allergies. Schools need to be prepared to treat allergic reactions in the event a student’s personal epinephrine auto-injector isn’t available or the student is having a reaction for the first time.

The School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act is not a controversial bill. It is endorsed by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Association of School Nurses. On average it will cost a school just over $100 to have epinephrine available to prevent a fatality from anaphylaxis. This is a small price to pay to save the life of a child.

I hope you will co-sponsor the Durbin-Kirk bill and work to assure passage of this legislation. Thank you for considering my views.


Saturday, January 7, 2012


For those of you who know me, you know that I am not one to waste money.  In fact I hate to spend money on almost anything.  I am the type of person who will try to never spend more the $20 on a pair of shoes or jeans.  I will go to the thrift store, discount warehouse or any place else I can get a bargain.

BUT every once in a while, at the most twice a year, I will reward myself for all the excellent "Mommy work" that I do and head over to the casino.  I leave my debit cards at home and only take $30 with me.  Once that is gone I leave and come home.  Oh, and for those who really know me, they know that I can make that $30 last for hours playing the penny slots.

I never go to win.  I never expect to hit the jack pot.  I just go to have fun, adult fun.  I enjoy the dim lights and the sounds of the slot machines.

So here is my new local casino.  It is a slot parlor really since they do not have any live table games.  That is ok for me since I have yet to play any table games.  I like my slots, my penny slots. To learn more about this casino click here Casino at Ocean Downs

There is only one problem.  There are NO real penny slots any more, at least not at this casino.  I have to be honest and say that I did not look around too much since any walking right now is very painful but I didn't see one machine that was a true penny slot!

Ok, they all say they are penny slots but they all have a "minimum" bet that is anywhere from $0.20 to $1.00.  Sorry but for me that is NOT a penny slot machine.  If I want to play a quarter machine I will go sit at one.

So this is a bad picture but I didn't want to pull out my big camera so I took it with my cell phone.  Right under the 1 cent sign it says that there is a minimum $.20 bet.

So beyond this I was impressed with the little bit I saw.

Along with the slot parlor they have live horse racing during the summer season.  This is something that I really want to go watch.

The outside seating looks, OK .

I didn't walk up to the inside area where they are the simulcasting.

Oh, there is NO smoking inside but they do try to make those who do smoke comfortable no mater what the weather.

These are super hot heaters that are mounted outside in their designated smoking area.  I stood out there for a few minutes and it was like summer time.

So I only stayed about an hour for my first time there.  I had been out all morning in OC watching the coast guard helicopter in a new tower for the inlet ((( go here Living on the Eastern Shore Blog  to read all about that adventure)).  I will go back again and hopefully this time I will be in less pain and able to walk around more and find a real penny slot.  Heck, I will settle on a real nickle slot machine.

~Just Me.