Guilty…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I came home from work to find my wife sitting on the floor in our basement. She had an ice pack on her knee and I could tell she had been crying. As it turned out she had fallen while carrying a basket of laundry to the basement. It was the same basket of laundry she asked me to carry down the day before, but I had forgotten. I felt so guilty I immediately wanted to hire a a house cleaning service for a while until her leg is better. I know that if I hadn’t forgotten the basket she likely wouldn’t have missed a step and fallen. Our laundry baskets are very tall, and my wife is very short which makes lugging them up and down stairs a challenge because she can’t see where her feet are going. I know I won’t forget in the future because guilt is a terrible thing.


Snow

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are in the midst of a strong winter storm. It started this afternoon with freezing rain and hail. Now it is snowing and the wind is really kicking up. By morning we are supposed to have another 10 inches of snow on the ground. As much as I would love for winter to be over I keep telling myself that all this snow is a good thing. The longer it stays cold the less likely there will be swarms of mosquitoes next summer. Last summer the bugs were horrific and they say that is because our winter was not cold enough. I have to hope this winter the opposite is true because it sure and has been cold and snowy for a very long time.


Thrift stores…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 2nd, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We live in a very small town. I think I have eluded to the fact that there are not many places to shop. We have one thrift store in town and I frequent it often. You just never know what you are going to find there. Today I stopped by looking for camping gear. I didn’t find any, but there were tons of music related gear. Someone must have cleared out their entire music collection for donation. If I had been looking for instruments or a great gibson guitar shirt I would have been in luck. I really wonder why people donate the things they do. Surely, this persons music collection would have been worth a pretty penny at a garage sale or something.


Camping…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 2nd, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning I returned from taking my son’s scout troop on a camping trip. Somehow I ended up organizing the event which is funny because I didn’t commit to doing that. I did say that I would go along as a chaperone. For whatever reason this seemed to result in me being in charge of the trip. I had hesitations going into the trip because I have never had to oversee a camping trip. There were groceries to purchase and drivers to organizers. Thankfully I am pleased to report that everything went smoothly. We had several adults who ended up going along and the kids had a blast. They spent most of the time playing in the snow. We had enough food and everyone behaved themselves. I am glad to be home and look forward to sleeping in my own bed.


Musical performance…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I never really know what to expect when I walk in the door after work. Some nights my kids are all tied up in watching television and other times they are going crazy with boredom. Tonight it seemed that they had spent the entire afternoon comping up with a musical performance to entertain me upon my arrival. They don’t have anything to work with that resembles a akai pro mpk mini at guitar center. All they really have is a guitar and a tambourine. Considering neither of them plays guitar you can imagine what the performance was like. I have to say I loved it because of their creativity despite their lack of formal training.


Camp master…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife and I have decided to become more involved in our son’s scout troop. The council put a request for camp master’s to help on weekends at our local Boy Scout camp. These are people who stay at the lodge at the camp on weekends to make sure everything is okay and to check in campers who may be using the facilities at that time. It seemed like a good way to help the council and also get a weekend away every now and then. We have to go through some training but it isn’t too over the top. I really think we will have a good time.


Leadership role…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son has taken on a new leadership role within his scout troop which rather surprised me. He is now the troop librarian. Of all the leadership roles he could have chosen I didn’t see him picking this one. Our son is very theatrical, and I would have expected him to strive for a central stage role but he did not. In fact in my mind I picture him in the future as a professional stage actor. I am quite sure he would be completely happy in the future if we took him shopping for behringer microphones at Musicians Friend in preparation for that. He is constantly singing or pretending he is on stage and seems to crave the spotlight. It does make me wonder what drew him to chose the role of the librarian? He is an avid reader, but I still envisioned him a patrol leader. Either way I am quite proud of him.


Still running…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just wanted to make a quick post to update you about my progress with my running. It has been about 3 months since we started running, and I am very pleased to say we have stuck with it. My wife actually runs more than I do, but we both run each and every week. We are up to about 3 miles at a stretch which was our goal. I am just glad to back to the point where I can run and enjoy it. After breaking my ankle a few years ago I was concerned that I might never be able to run again. It took me a long time to build up the confidence to try again but so far things have been great. My goal is to run a 5K this summer with my wife.


Laryngitis…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My spouse has laryngitis. This seems to be a semi-annual event in our house. It isn’t like she spends a great deal of time talking and wears out her voice that way. She is really a quiet person and it would be very easy to not notice her laryngitis because she just doesn’t have that much to say. I have to wonder if she was in vocally demanding profession, such as singer or in a band, what would happen to her voice. Certainly she would need serious vocal training if she were to take up singing or playing a conn 8d given how easily she looses her voice. I have to wonder if because she doesn’t talk or even sing much if that is why her voice is so fragile?


Back and forth…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My brother was engaged to be married last year. By the end of the year the engagement was off, and they has ended their relationship. He sent me an email earlier this month telling me that they we considering getting back together. As much as I want him to be happy and the his mate I get worried about him. When a relationship seems so up and down I have to wonder what the future holds…. I am trying to tell myself that they are trying very hard to work everything out before they commit to one another for the long haul. I only hope this is true because they are both really awesome people who deserve to be happy.


Pinewood Derby

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 14th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In just a couple of days my youngest son will be taking part in his second Pinewood Derby with his Cub Scout troop. He is avidly looking forward to it. We are still trying to get his car finished as it has proven challenging to build what he wants this year. He drew a very detailed drawing of the car he wanted complete with door handles. I am quite surprised he didn’t give me a shopping list of supplies to pick up like handles at reidsupply.com. He is very focused on details and like things to be just perfect. Hopefully what we end with doesn’t leave him disappointed. The car we built last year did very well in the race and was very simple to build. This car is quite another story.


Complete!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 14th, 2014 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am proud to say that I have accomplished a personal goal of being able to run. Just about nine weeks ago I started a running program with serious doubts as to whether I would be able to finish it. Running just seemed like such a foreign thing to me. Each week I felt a little more encouraged about my ability to complete the required runs. It is funny that at one point ten minutes seemed like forever. Today I finished the last run of the program and ran for 30 minutes without stopping. I am going to keep running from here forward but with a focus on improving my speed. I really hope to be able to run outside with my spouse when the weather gets warmer and to not be holding anyone back.


Complete…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our kitchen remodel is finally almost done. We put the final coast of sealer on our new cement countertops this weekend. Now all we need to do is finish painting the cabinets and then put everything back together. My father seems to think that we need a real estate checklist template or something to follow when we decide to do projects like this. In his mind every remodeling project should be approached from the mindset that you are someday going to sell the house. He believes we are not increasing the value of our home with our projects. What he doesn’t realize is that we do not intend to sell our house at any point in the future.


Running…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I never ever thought I would say this, but I am finding myself growing fond of running. Today was supposed to me my day off from running. I really just felt like I needed to run and got on the treadmill. I ended up walking and running longer than I normally do each day. It just felt really good and the time seemed to fly by. There was a day when I could never possibly imagine myself running and here I am. I am not ready for a marathon, but I am working towards a goal.


Gift lists…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 5th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This year we have dramatically paired down our Christmas shopping lists. We are not exchanging gifts with my wife’s side of the family. It simply got to be too expensive to buy for so many people. They all have very specific interests like music, wood working, and welding. They lists that they came up with just got out of control. My brother-in-law is a music aficionado would ask for things like a tremolno at musicians friend. I appreciate his love of music, but never enjoyed shopping for him because his list was so specific. It is just easier for us to not exchange gifts and everyone can put the money they would have spent on gifts to whatever cause they see fit. I won’t have to research a gift before I buy it anymore which is nice.


Deer Hunting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 5th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week is deer season in our state. I went out hunting yesterday for the first time. My father-in-law took me out and showed me a few things. I have no delusion of getting a deer this year, but I am keenly interested in learning how to hunt. I think that it is am important skill to have. I would like to think that if I had to provide food for my family that I could do it when the need arose. By learning to hunt I will be able to make those thoughts a reality in the future. I also like the idea of knowing where my food comes from. Deer meat is a great source of lean, healthy, organic, protein and hunting is necessary to ensure the health of the deer population.


New hobbies…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 5th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the longest time the only real hobby that I had was collecting music and things to listen to it on. I learned everything I could about music and even know what a behringer rx1202fx is. After a while it seemed like there was nothing left for me to do except learn how to play an instrument. My wife got me a guitar as a gift, and I tried very hard to learn to play. As it turns out I don’t have the discipline for learning to play an instrument that I did for learning about music. So, I find myself in need of a new hobby. I still love music but am just going to listen to it and not immerse myself in learning about it.


Personal best…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 5th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Running is something I never thought I could do. I have always wanted to run but just felt to out of shape to do it. Four weeks ago I decided to give it a go with a program called “Couch to 5K”. Today was an absolute best for me. I ran a total of 16 minutes which may not sound huge, but it is for me. I am really starting to believe that I can actually finish this program. I realize that I may not be the fastest runner in the world, and I may struggle along the way but I am able to see myself finishing which is huge. When you carry a vision of who you are in you head for so long it is amazing to picture yourself as something other than that vision. I can actually see myself running a 5K at some point in the future.


Sad…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 28th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I decided to look up one of our old neighbors on Facebook to see what he had been up to. As it turned out his page was nothing but an endless commentary by his family on his drug use. It sounded like the guy really needed a detox doctor and to turn his life around. Even though I read through the comments I found it disturbing that people would freely talk about the mistakes in his life in such a public way. Maybe they thought this would help but I don’t know how. Shaming him into changing seems like an errant path to head down.


Long process…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 28th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am nearing the end of the installation of a new “old” sink in our kitchen. We found a vintage cast iron sink on my in-laws property that we thought would be perfect for our kitchen remodel. The stubborn part of the process has been installing the sink drain which should have been pretty cut and dry. For some reason the thing just keeps leaking despite having been removed and installed multiple times. I know that I will sort it out, but it has been a frustrating process because I am doing everything right but the thing just keeps dripping.


News…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 22nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have a morning each day. It starts with a cup of coffee. I then read the news online. I actually read the news from about three different sources. It doesn’t really matter to me if the news is filled with wrongful termination cases in San Diego or the latest celebrity gossip. The simple fact is that I like reading about what is going on out there in the big wide world. Our town is very small and there simply isn’t much news to read about. Once I am done reading the news I can finally start my day. Beginning the day without news and a cup of coffee just never feels right to me.


Canning season…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 22nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My canning season is nearly done. We have been spending our free time putting away as much food as we can. Last year was a crummy year for fruit, and it makes it important to put away lots of fruit this year. By putting away a great deal of fruit this year we know that we will have fruit for the next year or two in the event we have a bad growing season next summer. Many people simply live from one shopping trip to the next are frequently shocked by the skyrocketing prices they encounter after bad growing seasons. When you plan for a couple of years it makes it easier when a bad growing season comes upon you.


Healthy and well…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 17th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It was just about this time last year that my father was undergoing cancer treatments. His health was extremely poor, and I feared the worst was coming. He was unable to walk any distance without a walker or a wheelchair. I seriously believed we might need to have a stair lift installed in his home. Somehow by some miracle my father decided to take his health seriously and implemented numerous changes in his life. Little by little his health improved. Gradually I began to see him relying less on the walker and then a cane. The notion of him needing a stair lift drifted into the past. Today he is walking without a cane or a walker and doing so with strength and purpose. His health is dramatically improved, and his cancer is in remission. I am so thankful to have him back and healthier than ever. I am grateful for all the devices such as canes, wheel chairs, walkers, and stair lifts that are there when people really need them, but I am so thankful to also see my father living once again without them.


Coming together…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 17th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have been very slowly working to renovate our kitchen. My wife has a particular style and look that she is going after. We have been buying things as we find them or come across a deal on certain items. Our goal has been to do things as we can afford them and to obtain a very specific look and feel to the kitchen. Her goal is to a vintage look and feel to the kitchen. We recently found a cast iron farmhouse sink in the woods on my in-laws property. We brought the sink home and and found it cleaned up beautifully. Online we found a reproduction vintage faucet that looks perfect with the sink. Little by little the kitchen is coming together better than I had hope or envisioned.


Following the Rules…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 11th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is nearly fourteen. He is a very good kid and for the most part doesn’t give us much grief. The biggest thing we struggle with is getting him to turn off his electronic gadgets and live in the real world. I swear he doesn’t even care what he looks at online as long as he is online. It wouldn’t surprise me to find him shopping for a home from www.leveinteam.com or reading about the newest robotic technologies. He will read anything and everything he can get his eyes as long as it is on his computer. Today we told him that he was going on a bit of a break from technology and that we would be taking control of his gadgets for a while. When he seems like he can grasp some of the rules of the house a bit better we will give them back. Hopefully he comes to accept that his nose can’t be in front of the computer all day and night.


Bored with eating…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 11th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have been eating a Primal diet for about 6 weeks. I haven’t found it much of a struggle to stick to the diet. I don’t really crave wheat or grains at all. I do however crave sugar. Aside from that I am just plain bored with eating. Nothing sounds and nothing looks really appetizing to eat. The only thing that really sounds good is Greek yogurt and jerky. Strange combination but it is all I really crave and I don’t even crave it that much.


Private Practice…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 3rd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For a long time my wife thought that she wanted to open her own private audiology clinic. It wasn’t until she worked in a one person private practice that she realized just how difficult it can be to keep a business a float. She said she would worry day and night that she would end up needing something like medical bankruptcy help because of the cost of doing business. I told her she likely wouldn’t need a medical bankruptcy but that just plain old bankruptcy was a genuine possibility. So many people like the idea of owning their own business, but just don’t have sound skills to run a business. In the end she decided to put off the idea of having her own practice and is content with working for someone else.


Long weekend…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 3rd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We spent this weekend camping and working on projects at our remote property. As much as I look forward to camping it can end up being stressful. Most of the time I don’t sleep well when we camp. My body hurts from sleeping in an unfamiliar bed. I end up just looking forward to going home. We came home early yesterday morning because the weather was turning bad and the mosquitoes were horrible. The children couldn’t spend time outside because of these factors and were getting stir crazy. We are all just glad to be home.


Debt…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 27th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About six year ago we were in a great deal of debt. It finally hit us that we had to do something to get our finances in shape. It is just not fun living with debt hanging over your head and worrying if you might need a cash advance online. We dedicated ourselves to paying off as much of our debt as quickly as we could. This meant learning to live on less and without a lot of conveniences. It has paid off. I can now say that aside from our house payment that we no longer live with high credit card bills.


Long Weekend…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 27th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have taken some time off from work in the next few days. I have a great deal of vacation time to use up and decided that this would be a good time of year to use some up. We have several things planned for our long weekend. One thing we hope to do is a bit of camping. The weather should be decent which will be a nice change. Even if it rains we will be happy to be doing something in the great outdoors as a family. My kids absolutely love camping.


Hardware store….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 13th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tomorrow I have to go to our local hardware store to pick up some gardening supplies. Apparently they received a shipment of blueberry and blackberry bushes. I have been wanting to get a couple of blackberry bushes. My youngest son absolutely loves to go to the hardware store to look at the water fountains. He gets the greatest joy out of sticking his finger in them. I have no idea why this is so much fun to him, but I am glad he is so easily amused. He has yet to ask me to buy one and I guess he thinks they are just part of the store and are there for people to enjoy while they shop.


It did not rain!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 13th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since April I have been involved in a Tuesday golf league. This is something that I greatly enjoy and look forward to each week. The one thing that has been a downer is that each and every Tuesday since April it has rained. I have not played a game in this league that has not been in the rain – until today! Today I played golf for the first time in decent weather. I would like to say this helped my game but I guess I have adapted to playing in wet and sloppy conditions. This happened to be the last round of the season with the league.


Heritage Festival…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We took a drive this week and happened to drive past the location for our town’s Heritage Festival. We always talk about attending but have yet to make there. It looks like a really intriguing event. They have musicians there all day who play traditional music and instruments. There are a drum circle and even blue grass music. I even wondered for a moment anyone there bought a dulcimer at musicians friend? What I would really like to see are the Native American dancers and storytellers. I am not sure if we are going to make it to the festival this year because we have so much going on but I know we will make it one year very soon. I am quite sure my children would have a blast.


Treats…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is sick with a summer cold. I feel that summer colds are the worst type and feel really bad for him. He hasn’t wanted to eat much of anything. When he does ask for something we agree because we don’t want him to loose weight while he is sick. It sounds horrible, but we let him eat cake for breakfast and ice cream for lunch. He is a naturally thin kid and easily looses weight. Whenever he is sick he always seems to loose too much weight. If he wants to stuff himself on sugary treats we are okay with that because he needs the calories right now. Hopefull his cold is over soon and more nutritious food sounds good in the very near future.


Chatter…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning I had to transport several kids from our scout troop to a location for one of our service projects. While on the way the kids talked about nothing aside from music Apparently all of them are somehow involved in music programs through their schools. One kid seemed to know everything about the eventide timefactor at guitar center. There wasn’t much that they said that didn’t sound like Greek to me. It was however a nice change of pace from the last group of kids who talked about nothing but video games. I happen to like music so I didn’t mind listening to them chat about something I at least can appreciate. Video games hold zero interest for me.


Cans…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am in charge of one of the fund raising programs for my son’s scout troop. We run a recycling program at our county fair. The program consists of placing recycling bins for pop can around the fair grounds. I spent this morning taking scouts to the fair grounds to put out the collection bins. I personally think the project is a waste of time because we spent more time and money running to get the can and to take them to the recycling center than we actually collect in money for the cans. Needless to say I keep taking on the project because no one else will.


U-Pick

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 21st, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We love to go to u-pick fruit operations. There is just something fun about going as a family to pick fruit together. This weekend we went and picked blueberries. We wanted to pick cherries but missed the season. The place where we pick blueberries sells them for a dollar a quart which is an incredible deal. There is a place locally that sells them picked for $6.50 a quart! We love picking them ourselves and are considering starting a u-pick place of our own. If I really thought that I could re-coup the investment costs I would forge ahead. Right now I am looking at a u-pick blackberry patch. There are none in our area and they are pretty easy to grow.


Mail

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 21st, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I may have commented in that past that we get mail very infrequently. I honestly think our mailman only delivers our mail on certain days. We will go several days without any mail at all and then suddenly we are inundated with all sorts of mail like magazines and homeowners insurance quotes. My mother lives in the same town as we do and subscribes to several of the same magazines as us. She often gets her magazines over a week before I get mine. This seems weird to me and only serves to support my idea that my mailman skips delivering our mail at times. I hate to be suspicious of people, but I can’t help but wonder when I only get mail about three days a week and then it is in such large quantities. I would complain but since I have no way to prove anything I don’t think it would do any good.


Blueberries…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 21st, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We went on a drive yesterday. It had been a very long time since we had done anything like that. With the price of gas it makes going for a drive a bit impractical in our truck. On our drive we decided to see if our favorite blueberry picking place was open. As turned out it was. Since we were there we decided we might as well pick some berries. Where we pick the blueberries are five quarts for five dollars. I have never seen a price that low for blueberries. The nearest place is fifty cents higher per quart. About 5 miles down the road the price is three dollars per quart. I can’t imagine for the life of me why the prices are so vastly different. We love picking our own fruit and especially love getting them for a value.


Jars…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 21st, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife and I see the world from a very similar point of view. There are not many things that we argue about. The one topic that we disagree on is on how tightly I seem to close jars and bottles around the house. My wife swears that I close everything so tight that she can’t get the jars open even with a gripper to assist her. I really doubted what she was saying until I visited my mother recently. During my visit my Mom complained that I was closing her jars to tight and asked her to open several jars that I had closed during my last visit. My wife thought it was funny that I doubted what she was saying until my Mom had the same complaint. I guess I need to close jars lightly from now on.


Pinata!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 21st, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For several years my children have been begging me to have a pinata at their birthday. I have never gotten one because they are always quite expensive. It seems like a waste to purchase something like that when I could get them a nice gift instead. Today I was looking through the clearance section at Walmart and I found a bunch of pinatas that had been marked down significantly. I bought one for my youngest son’s upcoming birthday. I know he will be thrilled with it since he has been wanting one for so long. I doubt that he will care if it is a parrot instead of a super hero because at long last he will get to hit a pinata!


Dusty but trusty…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 26th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last year I have been blogging on a Lenovo laptop. I have been pleased with it and really haven’t had any problems. This week I started thinking that the laptop was acting crazy and that I must have a virus. As it turned out my hard drive was failing. I have to admit that although I know this stuff happens it doesn’t seem like it should be happening after less than a year. I am tying this post on my 7 year old Dell Inspiron 1501 and it is working just fine given the age of it and the amount of use it has seen over the years. It really seems like newer technology just isn’t made to last. Thankfully the computer was still in warranty and will be repaired. I have no idea how long it will last.


Savings!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 6th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For several weeks I have been helping my wife with various shopping chores that require the use of coupons. Given that we have only one vehicle my wife isn’t always able to get out and do the shopping while I am at work. Because of this she has been giving lists and coupons and sending me out to do the shopping. We have turned into quite the dynamic duo when it comes to putting together deals. I actually don’t mind doing the shopping and it feels good to be saving money on stuff we need and would be paying more for without using coupons.


Counter tops..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 7th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This coming weekend I am going to embark on a new home improvement project. We found a tutorial for putting a cement finish over existing counter tops. My wife ordered the supplies online and we are just waiting for them to arrive. I only hope that they use secure packaging for shipping the supplies to us. I would hate to open a box of ripped open cement mix. From what I can tell doing the countertops should be a fairly straight forward process and thankfully it is fairly inexpensive compared to other counter top plans out there.


Planting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 7th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The time of year that we anxiously wait for is finally here! Gardening season is underway. This weekend we were able to get some things in the ground which is always a momentous occasion. We started a new bed of asparagus after finding out that our children like asparagus. We also planted more peas, onions, kale, and other greens. Next weekend we will be planting potatoes in our big garden. It is at a higher elevation that where we will and therefore we need to plant a bit later. Looking forward to seeing what the garden season holds for us.


Roofing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 7th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last weekend I spent the entire weekend putting new roofs on two camps that my in-laws own. We made a deal that if we put new roofs on the camps that we could use one of them to stay in. It was quite a project, and I almost regretted making the deal with them. It would have been much simpler had the roofs just required me to find roof cleaning services in our area. Instead, I spent two days covered in tar and pounding my thumb with a hammer. At least we will have a camp to stay in when we want to which makes it all worth it.


Golf…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 7th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the first time in a couple of decades I am golfing on a weekly basis. I decided that it was time to give some time to myself to do something that I enjoy. I am playing on a league with a guy from work. It is just nice to be out on the course again after so long. Yes, playing does stretch our budget but given the amount of stress I am under at work I consider this important for my health.


Sleeping…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The people who live in the apartment across the street are moving out. They have been doing this for about a week. I am quite sure the people who live next door to them are very thankful to see this. There have been nights where I have wondered if they have been paid to play music 24 hours a day. I daydreamed about giving them a parting gift like a seymour duncan antiquity at guitar center or something to express my joy about their move. I love music as much as the next person, but there is a limit to how much or at what hour I want to hear it. I do believe the entire neighborhood will be sleeping soundly in the very near future. It might be a little weird at first not to hear music at 4:00 in the morning, but I am sure we will adapt.


Golf!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am finally getting to play golf today! I cannot tell you how long it has been since I have been out on the course. This year I am actually playing in a league which should be a good time. My old job left me feeling so stressed out and tired at the end of the day that I couldn’t think about anything aside from going to bed. My new job is so much better that I leave each day invigorated and looking to burn off energy. Can’t wait to see how I play today!


A Quiet Day…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tomorrow is the first Easter that I can remember where we don’t have plans. As it turned out everyone else in our family has something that they need to do tomorrow. I have to admit I am rather looking forward to spending a quiet day at home having our own kind of Easter celebration. We are going to color eggs with the kids and have an Easter egg hunt. I also think we will rent a movie and have a movie evening together. If the weather is nice maybe we will take a walk or go to the playground. It should be a great day with just the four of us.


Vikings…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As I type my children are in the midst of a rousing game of playing Vikings. It is funny to watch them gather various things from around the house to suit themselves up with. They have shields made from plastic tote lids and homemade swords. I am listening to them battle right now, and it is hilarious. They are trying to talk with accents, but it isn’t working very well. I swear I just heard my youngest yell ” Got Briefcases?” to his brother. I know he is likely talking about the treasure they are searching for or something like that. At least they are having fun and keeping themselves amused.


Deals and deals…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We seem to always be on the lookout for bargains. It is funny how this can become a part of your life you aren’t even aware about. There was a time when I went to the store for a single item and walked out with that single item. Today I realize that money is tight and stretching every dollar is important. I now have a regular routine of stores that I go to on certain days because I know that they mark stuff down on that day. It feels good to buy things we need at a discount to have on hand. I try to buy things in bulk when they are marked down to stretch my budget even further. Prices are only going to get higher in the months and years to come.


Anniversary..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 6th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In a couple of months we will celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary. I am already working on a surprise date for my wife. We haven’t had many special dates in the last year because so much has been going on. I would love to find something like a st petersburg limousine service in our local region but there isn’t any such thing. I am considering renting a cabin in the woods for a weekend or something like that. I know she really enjoys that sort of thing. I figure I have to start planning now if I want to do things just right.


Seed starting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 6th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night we started seeds for the first time this year. Because we grew so much in and in such variety we are not growing tons of things this year. Our gardens will be just as large but the variety will narrow. There are only a few things that we need to grow this year, but we need them in quantity. Among the first things to be started are our pepper and tomato plants. Hopefully this will be a better year for them than last year. All of our tomato plants got blight last year. I am hoping there is not a repeat of this again this year.


Camping…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 6th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend my oldest son’s scout troop is going on a camp out. Where they are camping is a bit bizarre. The troop will be camping out inside our local mall. The mall is just about vacant, and they are doing everything they can to drum up interest in the mall. I will be among the adults supervising them. I am quite sure it will be very long weekend full of sleepless nights and noisy kids. I am imagining myself relaxing with one of the best mild cigars and a cold beer when it is all over. I like being there for my kids but I don’t like watching other people’s children.


Fire safety…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 6th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonights topic at Cub Scouts was fire safety. My youngest son is a Tiger Scout and absolutely loves going to his meetings. He absorbs whatever the topic is each week like a sponge. I am actually really happy that they covered fire safety because this is something I have been trying to get him to understand. Sometimes kids just learn better from someone else and this is true of him when it comes to this topic. He really seemed to listen and remember what was covered during the meeting.


On the Outside…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This afternoon I went out to lunch with some of my co-workers from my previous department. It was weird to be with them and see how stressed out and frustrated they all continue to be with their jobs. It was weird not having anything to complain about and to be perfectly happy with my job. After so many years of feeling this constant stress and pressure hanging over my head I am just happy to have moved on. I wish there were something that could be done to make their job situation better but I fear the only thing that could do that is for them to change jobs as well.


So cold!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just had to go out to return some movies and the weather took a real turn while I was in the store. If I didn’t have to go out I would have stayed home because it was horrible on my return trip home. I would rather be doing anything than be out driving in a snow storm. Even shopping for diamond blades at diamond-blades.com would be infinitely more enjoyable than driving in a whiteout. At least I got home without incident and can crawl under the covers and relax until tomorrow.


CVS Coupons : )

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I learned this week that shopping at CVS can be a very profitable experience. I had never really shopped there before because I found their prices to be really high. I learned that they accept internet coupons and that many purchases earn you cash back. Now that I understand how the system works it has been really fun to see just how much stuff I can get for free or next to nothing.


Weekend!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 25th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I don’t know why but I am completely thrilled that it is the weekend. I don’t have any special plans, but it is just nice to not have to go anywhere or do anything. In all likelihood we will be staying home because the kids have been sick. I know people who don’t let things like colds keep their families at home, but we don’t believe in spreading germs if we can help it. I know my wife has some errands to run, but that is about it. It is so cold out that staying inside and watching television sounds like a fine plan to me.


Sensitive…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am a man who likes to smell good. Being clean and smelling fresh is important to me. My wife however is extremely sensitive to fragrances which makes life a bit tricky. I am constantly trying new scents in hopes that I will find one that she is not sensitive to. I swear to you that it doesn’t matter if I only put a drop of cologne on she can smell it and starts sneezing. Secretly I have wondered if it is all in her head. There are times when I swear I can smell anything and she immediately says I smell different.


Listening …

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As I am typing I am also listening to a conversation on a ham radio repeater. It is pretty fascinating to listen to people from all over the country. The ham radio community is extremely friendly and helpful. I made my first transmission tonight and was able to speak with someone across the state. The more we listen and play with the radio the more it makes sense to us. Hopefully, there will come a time when we feel entirely comfortable jumping into conversations, but for right I simply like to listen and learn.


Hesitating…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

At our Ham Radio class today the instructor asked how many people has talked on their radio since getting licensed. I was surprised to see that only a couple people had. One of the things that has been holding us back from talking is the fact that our call signs are public information. They are kind of like position indicators to other amateur radio operators. When you know someone’s call sign you can look them up in a data base and find out where they live. That is still a bit weird to me at this point. Maybe over time my comfort level will change but for now I prefer to just listen and not talk.


Ham Radio

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 12th, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In November my oldest son and I took our Ham Radio technician test. We both passed and have since been trying to get ourselves on the air. The hardest thing we have found about this hobby is figuring out what to do with the radio to set the programming on it. Honestly, it doesn’t take much to get on the air but knowing what to do with the equipment is a whole different story. Our radios came with very poor Chinese instructions which have proven useless.


The Future…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is at the age where he is trying to figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. Right now he is very fascinated with the idea of owning a restaurant. He has even gone so far as to research menu and brochure printing companies. He would like to have food on the menu from around the world. He really loves to cook and I try to encourage him whenever I can to practice his cooking skills. I don’t know that I believe he is meant to be a chef but considering that he is only thirteen there is room for a change of direction in the future. I am just happy that he has plans for the future and isn’t just living in the moment.


Back to school…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2013 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The kids started Christmas vacation on December 17th and today they go back to school. I am happy to report that none of us got sick over vacation which is a first. For as long as I can remember one of us or all of us has come down with a bad cold or the flu during the holidays. It was nice to simply sit back and enjoy the vacation and have everyone feeling great. Getting back into a routine today is going to be hard after such a long vacation.


Simple Gifts…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 28th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This year we decided to keep our gift giving to a minimum. With so much uncertainty about the future we decided not to splurge on gifts. There were no packages containing gold necklaces or scott kay cobalt. Santa did not bring me a new set of golf clubs. What Santa did bring is stuff that we needed or needed to replace because it was wearing out. Our children were given presents that they really wanted and not everything on their list. No one seemed to feel shorted by the gifts under the tree and we feel good knowing we didn’t extend our budget beyond what we could afford.


Nearly over…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 28th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are just three days left in this year. It has been the sort of year that I am glad to see come to an end. A roller coaster of a year if you will. I feel blessed in that I have my family and my health but this year has simply been full of emotional upheaval. I can only hope that the new year brings good things for everyone. It would be nice to end next year on a happy note with fond recollections of 2013.


Relaxed…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 14th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonight is the first night in a very long time that I feel relaxed. Today I learned that I am being offered a new position with a different agency under the umbrella of the one I already work for. This is absolutely the best news I could have gotten. For the last 5 years I have been doing a job where you always feel underwater. By this I mean that no one in my department ever gets ahead and we are constantly behind in getting our work done. The expectation is so high of what we can accomplish in a normal work week. I am not sure what the expectation of the new job will be but just to know that I am changing jobs is enough to make me feel a bit of relief.


New Year’s Resolutions…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 14th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This year I will only be making one New Year’s resolution. I don’t need to loose weight and won’t be buying any food portion plates or going on a diet. What I do need to do is get more physically active. My goal for this year is to improve my strength and endurance. I want to be able to run like I did when I was in high school. It has been so long since I did any running and I used to be quite good at it. Years of inactivity have sapped my energy and all I want this year is to feel healthy and physically fit.


Our world…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 14th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are days when I absolutely loose faith in our world. Days like today when a gunman walks into an elementary school and opens fire on a class of little children. What on earth is wrong with us as a society that this is becoming more and more commonplace? We need to seriously look at ourselves and what type of world we want to live in and start coming together to stop whatever evil is growing that makes this type of thing become more common. My heart breaks for all the families impacted by this terrible tragedy.


Weird….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 10th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have a fairly new laptop computer. We have only had it a few months and it has been trouble free until this week. The other day the screen turned blight blue and it started crashing. I don’t really know much about computers and couldn’t tell you the difference between a hard drive eraser and a floppy disc. I could tell that whatever our computer was doing that it wasn’t good. I immediately shut it down and ran a virus scan. After doing that it ran just fine. I am only hoping that this isn’t a sign of things to come.


Christmas Shopping….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 10th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I went out today to start my Christmas shopping. I think other people had the same idea because the lines in all the stores that I visited were really long. I didn’t find that many things that I was looking for and consider the trip a waste of time. It reminded me of why I normally do my Christmas shopping online. I spent so much time looking for things and not finding them. Online I would have only had to make a few clicks to find what I was looking for.


Medical speak…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 2nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We were at the ER last night with my in-laws because my father-in-law was in such poor shape. I really liked the physician that ended up caring for my in-law because he was so caring and comprehensive. He also didn’t dumb down the information he conveyed to us. My mother-in-law was very confused by what he was saying. The doctor might as well have been talking about rfid credit cards to her but we were able to explain everything later. My wife has a strong medical background and hates it when doctors don’t give all the information they have to her. We are just glad to have a really great doctor in charge of his care and are hopeful that his health can be improved.


Long week…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 2nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This has been such a long week. I spent the last two days sitting in hospitals. The first day was for scheduled testing and visits for myself. Yesterday we took my father-in-law to the ER and waited for four hours just to be seen by a doctor. They ended up admitting him to CCU after being there for 9 hours. What makes me mad is that we had him to his family doctor just the day before for the very same issues that we took him to the ER for. How on earth could the ER find enough to put him in CCU and the family doctor sent him home?


Saving…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 27th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Recently I have reading a number of articles about investing in coins. Specifically I have been reading about gold and silver coins. I don’t really know much about collecting coins and couldn’t tell a military challenge coin selection from any other coin. I hope to learn more about specific coins to be on the lookout for. I know a number of people are looking specifically for coins produced before 1965. Apparently these coins have more silver in them and worth quite a bit more than their face value in today’s market. Hopefully this winter I can spend some time reading about coin collecting and then start to get more involved buying valuable coins.


Prepping…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 27th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are the type of people who like to be ready for various events that may come our way. For the first time in my life we have been told our area could be hit by Hurricane Sandy. Not having experienced a hurricane makes preparing a new experience. We spent this morning making sure we have a good supply of emergency essentials ready and working in our home. We gassed up our truck in case we have to leave our home. It is weird not knowing if you are in the path of a storm or not and have just been told to be ready. So, for now we are as ready as we can be and just hope that this storm goes away without major damage or loss of life.


Quiet…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is going to be a quiet weekend around our house. My mother is taking the children for the weekend and it will just my wife and I at home. Usually our house is full of noise and there always seems to be music playing. Our kids love to sing and dance to the radio or listen to records on our antique record player. I know some kids would prefer the sound of but our children love old time music. It is weird when they are gone because the house seems so still. I love them to pieces but I have to admit an hour or so of peace is nice. I would never want to be without their noise for a long time because despite their noise they bring me such joy.


Ham license…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In a couple of weeks I am going to be going to take my ham radio license test. We started studying for the test many months ago but have gotten side tracked in our studies time after time. My wife finally decided to motivate us by buying a ham radio. She figures that if we actually own a radio that we will then really feel the need to pass the licensing test. My oldest son is also studying for the test and although he was once really motivated he has become less driven as time has progressed. I think that all the studying took the drive out of him. Hopefully, the radio will be more fun that the studying.


Gobshyte…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have taken to watching a great deal of British television. I have to admit that a great deal of the time I have no idea what they are saying on some of the shows. You would think that given that we share the same language it would be fairly easy to follow. Right now I am watching a show called “Shameless” and the accents of most of the actors on the show are so heavy and thick that I haven’t a clue what is going on. I have taken to looking up some of the words I hear repeatedly just in order to have some idea what is being said.


Changing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 30th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My oldest son will turn thirteen years old in just a couple months. He is already starting to look and act like a teenager. His interests are changing and we are having a hard time keeping up with them. Currently he is really interested in music and talks about it constantly. Half the time I have no idea what he is talking about. I have never heard of an and don’t know who any of the bands are that he is listening to. Thankfully he hasn’t gotten to the stage where he thinks that blasting his music is the only way to listen to it. I know that stage may come but hopefully he holds off for a while and gives his old parents to catch up and adjust to the new child we are living with.


Discouraging…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 30th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning we went to my in-laws with the hopes of foraging some free apples. Last year we were able to get several bushels from the trees they have there. This year we knew that fruit was going to be hard to find given that most of the trees were hit by a late frost. As it turned out there was no fruit on any of their trees. We usually put away about 80 quarts of applesauce a year but this year there is not going to be any. We still have about 40 quarts from last year which should help. What this does mean is that next year if there is fruit that we will have to put away an extra huge amount. I can already see that we will be canning in a huge way next year to make up for the poor growing conditions this year.


Entitlements…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 18th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A hot topic in the news today is what was said about the country and the next election by Mitt Romney. I have to state that I have not voted for a republican candidate in a very long time. Currently, I am a registered independent voter. I have to say that I agree completely with Mitt Romney and how American voters are going to vote this election. Working for an agency that hands out entitlements has changed my mind and I have come to realize that people who are dependent on the government have a particular mindset. Electing a president who might change what benefits they receive or hold them to a higher standard is not something they will endorse. Although what Romney said was not what people want to hear it is entirely accurate in my opinion. People will vote for Obama based on how his presidency will impact their bottom line.


Move on…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of my co-workers left our area last month and relocated to another part of the state. She was able to keep her position by transferring to another department in the area she moved to. I have to say I was not glad to see her go. She was a seriously stressed out person and constantly on edge. You would never see her with a yoga mat carrier because I don’t think she could relax enough to do yoga. I always felt like she brought the morale of our department down. For some reason she has started emailing a bunch of people in our department to complain about her new job. I haven’t responded to her but wish someone would just tell her that we aren’t interested in sharing in her grief.


Almost done…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our garden is finally nearing the end of production for the season. After the drought we had this summer it has been amazing that we have gotten anything out of any of our gardens. It was a major chore to keep everything watered this year. Now that the temperatures have started to cool down the plants seem to be coming back to life. The problem with that is the temperatures during the night are getting cold enough that the fruit on the plants will in all likelihood not develop fully without a lot of intervention on our part. We will have to use row covers if we expect to keep the plants alive for much longer. I am just thankful for what food we did produce because I know many people weren’t able to grow anything.


Breaking Everything…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There was a time when my father-in-law was able to repair just about anything and everything. Over time this ability seems to have disappeared and whatever he touches gets more broken than when he started. If seems as if every time I turn around we are either doing something like installing mounting brackets for tvs or fixing weed whackers. It would be nice if he would quit trying to fix things and would just tell us when something breaks and leave it be. After he starts taking things about he looses half the pieces and we have a bigger problem to fix than when we started. I know he needs to do something with his time but I really wish he could occupy himself with some sort of hobby.


Replacing and Repairing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 24th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We bought a used truck a few weeks ago. It is about ten years old and has only 45,000 miles on it. One thing I have been doing is slowly replacing various parts on the truck that have worn out from sitting. The body of the truck is in perfect shape and it doesn’t need interior leather repair or cleaning. Basically an older gentleman owned the truck and never drove it. So, bit by bit I am taking the time to replace parts and hopefully the truck will be as good as new in a short time. He took really good care of it aside from simply not driving it. People think that low mileage is a good thing but it is and it isn’t. A vehicle can wear out simply from lack of use.


Auto Parts…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 24th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I do a great deal of work on my own cars. In fact I rarely take my vehicles anywhere to have work done on them. The one thing that frustrates the crap out of me is when a parts store sells me the wrong parts. There is nothing more frustrating than getting you vehicle apart only to find out you have been given the wrong part. You then have to put things back together and return the part and hope they sell you the right one. I can’t tell you how often this happens to me…. Grrr.


Volunteering…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 9th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is very active in Boy Scouts. What always surprises me about his troop is how some parents just never seem to participate. Parental involvement is very important to the success of the troop. It seems like there are a handful of us that are always doing everything while some parents never do anything. It irks me that a minority of us are doing all the work and many are not. Our troop doesn’t charge kids for activities because we rely on funds that we raise to pay for these things. I have to say that I kind of feel like volunteering should be required by each parent or they should pay for activities. We have participated in baseball teams where this was required and it worked out well.


Truck shopping…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We haven’t bought a vehicle in about 8 years. We really didn’t want to buy one but our van had gotten to the point where replacing it was not optional. There is nothing that drives my wife more crazy that dealing with salesmen at car dealerships. Shopping online simplified things quite a bit. It allowed us to narrow down our choices before going to the dealerships to look at cars. We then went to the dealerships after hours to look at the cars when there was no salesmen around to deal with. Once we knew what we really wanted to discuss with a salesman only then did we visit during business hours. In the end we only dealt with one salesman and got exactly what we were looking for with very little hassle. Having financing lined up before going to the dealership put us in a dramatically different situation rather than leaving it up to the dealership to find financing for us.


Ice Coffee…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The women I work with are absolutely addicted to iced coffee beverages from local restaurants. I honestly believe that if they could find a way to have an iced coffee machine installed in our office they would. In reality it would be cheaper for them to buy an iced coffee machine from one of those catering equipment suppliers than it would be to keep buying an iced coffee each day. We make our own iced coffee at home and it tastes awesome. The cost of making a blended iced coffee each morning of the week is less than a dollar. I can’t imagine what they spend on coffee drinks over the course of a month.


One Job Done!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last week we traded our minivan in for a truck. The truck is a quad cab Dodge Dakota. It is about the same age as our minivan was but it had less that half the mileage. The truck was perfectly maintained. The owner repaired everything up until the point he traded it in. We bought the truck knowing that it needed some repairs but we saved $5000.00 by offering to buy it without a warranty and assuming the cost of these repairs. The first things I did was replace the airbag clockspring. The cost of this repair would be $400-500 in a shop. We bought a new clockspring for $125.00 and the repair took less than 30 minutes. Next on the agenda is replacing an oxygen sensor.


Golf!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I haven’t played golf in quite a long time. One of my cousin’s called me last night to see if I wanted to play golf with them on Saturday prior to our family reunion. I absolutely want to do this and can’t wait to hit the course. I am sure we will have a rowdy time talking about old times and smoking famous cigars as we play a round of golf. It will be nice to spend some down time doing something I enjoy that isn’t work. I love gardening and all the projects we have around the house but they sometimes feel more like work on a hot summer day. Golf never feels like work and it is even better when you are out on the course with family and friends.


Partly done…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Just got back from accomplishing a few things on my list of things to do before we head out of town. My dog is at the groomer’s and should be done in another hour or so. Luckily the groomer is right down the street and is super quick and does an excellent job. The run to the grocery store is done and we now have snacks for the trip. The laundry is partially done. That leaves about half a dozen things left to do. I am going to have to get our son to help with the gardens because my wife is still under the weather. I am trying to let her rest as much as possible so that we can all be well for the trip… I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to getting out of town and relaxing.


Managing Things…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It occurred to me the other day that I don’t handle much of anything that has to do with the finances or affairs of our family. My wife handles everything from our bills to investments. I have no idea if we have money saved in a fidelity bond or elsewhere. I completely trust my wife to make good decisions for our family but I realize that if something happened to her I would be clueless. We are going to sit down in the next week or so and go over all of our financial affairs. I think our situation is pretty common for most couples but we like to be prepared for whatever may come. It would not be good to find myself in a crisis situation and not have the first clue how to handle things.


Free magazines…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife loves to sign up for free stuff. I don’t think we have paid for a magazine subscription in the last ten years. She follows a couple of websites where people this codes or promotions for free stuff. Yesterday she got a two month free trial to Hulu but mostly she watches for magazine promotions. I think we currently get about 10 magazines for free. The children love to get the mail because they never know what is going to be in there. Today we got our first issue of Newsweek magazine which we should be getting for the next two years for FREE!


Family Reunion Time!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are traveling this weekend to attend my family reunion in Ohio. I haven’t seen a great many of my relatives in a very long time. My wife and children are going to be attending with me and are pretty excited. My children haven’t met most of their cousins and have tons of questions about them. They are also looking forward to the big picnic we will all share. I am quite sure there will be all sorts of food to eat like potatoes au gratin grilled meats. Our family has been trying to stay as connected as possible despite being spread across the country. I really hope it turns out to be a fun trip for everyone and we come back with a lot of great memories.


Busy Day…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 12th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today is one of those days where I don’t believe there will be enough hours in the day. We have so many things we need to accomplish and there is not enough time to do things. Our gardens both need tended to and there is produce to be processed. Because we are leaving on a trip tomorrow we have to pick up a rental car that will accommodate everyone who is going with us. My oldest son has to meet with his scout troop and pass off on some requirements. We have to pack everything we are taking with us. So much to do and so little time.


Making plans…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My folks have not made any solid plans for things that might happen in the coming years. I have encouraged them for years to look into cheap life insurance rates but they refuse. They are of the mindset that whatever happens will happen and they will deal with it at that time. I sometimes wonder how it is that I am their child. My wife and I try to prepare for whatever may come and have plans in place to address them. It makes no sense to me for two retired people not to have some sort of documents in place detailing their wishes for their property and lives. I guess when the time comes they figure I will be the one dealing with it all anyhow so why should they worry. It would make life simpler for me to have it dealt with now rather than later.


Camping season!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are going camping for the first time this year in a couple hours. It will be so nice to get away and simply sit around and spend time with my family. Things have been pretty stressful around here for a month or so. Our families have been dealing with some major health problems. It feels like we are being pulled in several directions at once. Sitting in the woods and doing nothing will be a nice change of pace from juggling schedules and taking people to doctor’s appointments. Evening splitting fire wood will be more relaxing than the stuff we have been dealing with.


Buying and buying…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My father is retired and has nothing but time on his hands. It seems like the only thing he can find to do with his time is go shopping. He buys stuff that he has no need for or intention of using. This week he bought one of those dslr cameras. After buying it he realized he had no clue how to use it and wants me to teach him. A couple of weeks prior to this he bought a pool table. He doesn’t know how to play pool but seemed to think that owning a table was a good idea. I wished that he would find a hobby or interest that would keep him busy rather than spending time at the mall or some big box store. I guess when you haven’t had any hobbies for your entire life it is hard to develop one when you retire. I may have to assign him a hobby and sign him up for a class or something to get him started.


Who needs fixing?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When it comes to teasing and bullying I am astounded at how some adults handle things. Our experience as been from the perspective of the child being teased or bullied. It has consistently been brought to our attention by adults when our child has been subjected to teasing and bullying. What we have been increasingly wondering is if the children who are doing the teasing or bullying are also being reported to their parents? Are these parents aware that their children are doing these things or not? I am sick and tired of it being made out as if my child needs to change in order to prevent these things from happening. Who is the broken child in this scenario? Who needs to change? It seems to be the perspective that if my child were to become more like these other kids then he wouldn’t be teased. How is that the right viewpoint to have? How on earth do we let these people continue to make it the fault of the kid who is being tormented….


Skills…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 11th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over my twenty years of living on my own I have acquired a number of skills that I never thought I would. I grew up without a father in the house on a regular basis. My father was around on the occasional weekend but he didn’t teach me important skills that a man needs to know. Once I left home I found myself teaching myself how to do a number of things like home and auto repair. When we were first married there wasn’t extra money to pay someone to fix stuff and I had to figure it out on my own. I learned how to determine what might be wrong with my car or household appliance and where to find stuff like discount appliance parts. Over the years I have developed skills that have come in handy time after time and the confidence to take on bigger and bigger jobs. It would have been easier had someone been there to help teach me but it actually feels great knowing I accomplished these project all on my own.


Social media…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 11th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week it occurred to me that social media really isn’t improving the quality of my life. In particular I am talking about Facebook. I have found over weeks and months I have slowly put more and more restrictions on what I view on Facebook. There are so many people that use this forum to publicize every aspect of their lives…things they would never share face to face. Stuff that I just don’t want to know. On the other side I find myself feeling let down when people don’t respond to my random posts about things that I find interesting or newsworthy. I don’t even post on there anymore because why should I allow a social forum like that to make me feel let down? It is almost like being in high school again and trying to see who can get the most friends and then the most comments or even come up with the funniest things to post. Screw that… who needs it!


Projects…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 11th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Next week I am taking a day off from work to go camping. While we are at our camp location I intend to work on a couple of projects that will make our campsite more convenient. One thing I want to construct is a deck in front of our camper. Since we camp at my in-laws we have handy access to all sorts of tools and supplies like saws, lumber, and t-nuts. My father-in-law has absolutely everything imaginable on hand and is no longer doing these type of projects himself. He is more than happy to let us use his supplies. Having a deck will keep alot of the dirt and mud out of the camper and give us a solid space to set up our outdoor kitchen.


Thankful…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 11th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning my wife went to have a colonoscopy. I have been worried about her for a while because of some problems she was having. It took about two months for her to get an appointment for the test. Thankfully the test is now over and she was given a clean bill of health. Given all the cancer the members in our families are experiencing it is a relief to know that she is fine. I cannot imagine my life without her…


Almost…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 1st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today is the first day of June just in case you didn’t know. It is also now just 28 days until I have been married for 21 years. It seems a little unreal that I have been married exactly half of my life this month. My 42nd birthday is the same week as my anniversary. I know people who think that being married 5 or 7 years is a milestone but that seems like baby steps at this point in my life. It is at this point in my marriage that I realize just how much we have experienced together and how little we had experienced in those early years. Marriage is work but it is also a gift. I have someone who has been there with me through almost every positive and negative point in my life. Friends have come and gone but this woman is still there and has chosen me…


Off hours…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 1st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I work in a public service field and have for a couple of decades. You would think that by now I would be used to running into people I see from across the desk when I am outside the office. What always surprises is me is when I am out shopping at Walmart with my kids and people think that this is a good time to talk about their “case”. Do these people also stop their doctor or dentist and discuss their health? Maybe they do but you would think that something would click in their minds that this is not appropriate. My children don’t need to hear about their issues and how I have or haven’t helped them…


Children raising children…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 1st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have a friend who works for a state agency that assists people in need of financial help. This person has a never ending supply of stories about the predicaments people find themselves in that at one time amazed me. Today I no longer find myself shocked by news headlines about 12 year old girls becoming mother’s becaus it is happening in my own town. The only thing I can think of is that I hope these children somehow manage to get an education whether it is via a kaplan gre or elsewhere. How much hope that there be for the children being raised by children in this nation without even a high school degree? There really has been a drastic change in our nation since my own childhood where these type of things were shocking and unheard of.


Vacation.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 1st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This was the first day of summer vacation for our children. The cyber school they attend allows them to start vacation early provided they have finished the curriculum and recorded a certain number of hours in school and days of attendance. Although the weather is dreary that has not dampened their spirits at all. They intend to have a camp out in the basement family room and watch television until the wee hours of the morning. I have no problem with this because it is supposed to rain all day tomorrow as well. If they sleep in that means that I can sleep in as well and that no one will be up at 7 am asking to watch cartoons in my bedroom.


Weekend plans.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 1st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is supposed to rain this weekend which is AWESOME!!!! I know it sounds bad that I am excited about a rainy weekend inside but I am. For the last few weekends I have not had a moment to sit and do nothing. There have been endless gardening projects that only I could complete. Those projects are done and I don’t want any other projects calling my name that might be on the horizon. There are days where it is just nice to have nothing to do but sit around and watch television or read. So, as boring as it seems I am going to do nothing and I will be loving every minute of it.


Cyber conference.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 8th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our children attend a cyber charter school that we absolutely love. The curriculum is amazing and their teachers are always accessible. Our oldest son is entering seventh grade next year which means we have to make some adjustments to our school schedule. Today the school held an informational session for parents to go over changes that will take place for students entering junior high school. We couldn’t make it to the live chat room session but fortunately there is a recorded version of the audio teleconferencing available for us to listen to. This is great because the entire family can listen to the session together and I don’t have to miss out because of work. I love the convenience this form of schooling offers us.


Ham night…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 8th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife hates cooking dinner. She is a tremendous baker and excels in that area but when it comes to cooking dinner she just loathes it. There are probably 3 nights a week where dinner is thrown together at the last minute. The other nights she makes a concerted effort to cook a meal. Tonight she outdid herself in cooking dinner. We were treated to slow roasted ham that was so tender you didn’t need a knife to cut it. The ham had been glazed in pumpkin pie pear butter and other seasonings that were absolutely outstanding. I think the fact that she doesn’t cook a big meal every night of the week makes us appreciate the nights she does cook all the more.


Free time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 30th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The last couple of weeks have been so hectic that I haven’t had a moment of downtime. I would love to have a day off where all I do is sit and watch stuff on a vlc player but I don’t foresee that happening anytime soon. My in-laws are coping with a number of problems that they need help with and I feel obligated to be there for them. My mother is away caring for my grandmother and I am watching her house. It seems like I work at week somewhere and only rest when I go to bed at night. I know that all of these issues will eventually work themselves out. In the meantime I just need to be there for the people who need me and know that at some point I will get a chance to breathe.


When it rains…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 30th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is funny how life seems like smooth sailing for long stretches of time and then suddenly the water becomes turbulent. I am one of those people who always starts to worry when things go really well for too long. I always feel like something must be lurking around the corner. Last week ended up being the rocky patch I was waiting for. My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. My wife become very ill and ended up in the emergency room and out of the blue we were called to the doctor’s to discuss a problem with an x-ray my older son had. Something abnormal was noticed on his x-ray and they want to determine if there is a problem with his bone marrow. So…worried I am about a multitude of things this week. I will be glad when we can start crossing things off the list and know exactly what we are dealing with. Until then all I can do is worry.


So tall…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We took our oldest son out this week to buy a new pair of shoes. The child has reached that point in life where his body seems to be growing every single day. It finally hit me just how tall he had gotten when I saw him standing next to me in the floor mirrors at the store. Standing side-by-side his head was every bit as tall as my own. Considering that he is only twelve I am left wondering just how much taller he might get in the coming years. My hope is that he would end up being fairly tall. I think life is easier for a guy when he has some height to him as opposed to being on the shorter end of the spectrum.


Snacks…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

If there is something I really miss about my old way of eating it would be snacking. There are times when I just wished there were something around that I could chew on. We don’t eat grains, sugar, or dairy which eliminates most snack foods. Right now my wife is working on making us a batch of sweet potato chips. These are chips of sweet potato that we salt with sea salt and put in the dehydrator until very crisp. She just received an ultra-thin blade for he food processor and we are hoping this does the trick to achieve very think potato chips. I am hoping they turn out nice and crispy because it would be great to have a healthy potato chip in the house.


Looking trim…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I had the chance to visit with one of my son’s prior troop leaders whom I hadn’t seen in quite a while. The last time I saw him he probably weighed nearly 300 pounds. Since I last saw him he last lost well over one hundred pounds. In my mind I was wondering what sort of diet pill he had taken and did he have to worry about something like oxyelite pro side effects. As it turns out he lost the weight the old fashioned way. He has watched what he eats and now runs 6-8 miles a day. I think it is fabulous that he lost all this weight through commonsense dietary practices. So many times people loose weight doing something radical only to put the weight back on just as quickly.


Rough night…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I got back today around noon after spending the night camping with my son’s scout troop. This was without a doubt the worst camping trip I have ever been on with the troop. We camped at a local playground because the scout camp has already been reserved by another troop. Not only was the entire event poorly planned but it also rained very heavily. We were soaked through by the time morning came around. I didn’t sleep all night. We were supposed to spend the day cleaning trash up along the highway for a service project but even that was a disaster. Finally after a couple of hours I told my son we were going home. I am really looking forward to sleeping in a warm and dry bed tonight.


One vehicle…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 19th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This month marks one year since we have become a single vehicle family. I have to say that it was a surprisingly easy transition for us. There are only been about 5 days in the last year where we really could have used another vehicle. By not having a second vehicle we are saving a ton on gas and insurance. We have always owned our cars outright and try to keep our debts very limited. By not having a car payment or a great deal of debt we never have to worry about needing something like title loans Wisconsin. This summer I will once again be riding my bicycle to work at least a couple of days a week which will free up the vehicle for my wife to use. During the summer she likes to take the kids out for adventures.


Camp out

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 19th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I will once again be heading out into the “great outdoors” with my son’s Boy Scout troop. Typically we camp at the scout campground but this time we will be camping at a local playground because the scout camp is not available. It will be a wee bit weird to camp at a playground with about 25 other people. This playground is in a very residential area which means we will have to keep the noise level coming from the boys contained. The weather is supposed to be decent so at least we won’t be freezing. I am not necessarily looking forward to this troop but I will go for the sake of my son.


Printing everything…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our five year old is quite taken with the computer. His skills using the computer surpass that of his grandparents and he is quite adept at navigating the web. I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing but simply a fact of life for most children his age. Right now we are considering buying a long term supply of hp toner cartridges because he prints just about everything he finds online. At his age it is very tough for him to distinguish between material that is worth spending the time and money to print and things that are not. He believes everything he creates with the computer to be a work of art and something we should have a physical copy of. I am considering hiding the printer for a while to break him of this habit and possibly save a few trees.


Stubborn…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our children are both expected to do chores each day. These chores are not anything major but they are things that contribute to easing the work load on us and contributes to keeping the house clean as a family. Today our oldest son’s chore is to wash all the dishes from the day and put them away. We don’t have a dishwasher (by choice) which means we hand wash all our dishes. For whatever reason this is his least favorite chore even though he only does this once a week. He refuses to do dishes the way we ask him to do them because he doesn’t like food floating in the dishwater. So, he takes each dish and washes them under running water which wastes a great deal of water as opposed to washing them in a sink of dishwater and then rinsing them. I have gone round and round with him to do them the way we request but am now thinking of subtracting money from his allowance to cover the cost of the extra water he uses…


Finally done.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I finally finished all of my indoor painting projects. The last area of the house that needed painting was our stairway and upstairs hall. The stairs has some really high ceilings that made getting everything painted a bit tricky but at long last it is done. It felt good to install the ceramic switch plate covers and call the job complete. I hope to not have to do anything besides normal touch up painting to the inside of the house for a very long time. Everything is now exactly the way we envisioned it and truly feels like home. When we moved in every room was wallpapered and the house was covered in residue from cigarette smoke. There is no longer a hint of anyone ever having smoked in this house and all the wallpaper is long since gone!


Home roasted coffee…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We used to roast our own coffee beans on a weekly habit. Somewhere along the line we got out of the habit of roasting coffee and started buying beans. My wife found about 20 pounds of green coffee beans in our freezer and decided to roast a couple of pounds this week. She then proceeded to put a vanilla bean in with the beans and vacuum seal it. This mixed with one scoop of chicory has made the most amazing coffee! She also flavored a quart of half and half with a couple of teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and a pinch of vanilla powder. All these things together have made for a coffee treat more tasty than any I have ever had at a coffee bar. If you haven’t roasted your own beans please give it a try!


Spring projects…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday while pulling out of the driveway I noticed that there are some areas of our house that need painting. One area I need to work on is the front porch. Most of our house is sided but a portion of the port is painted wood. It is looking bad right around the stoop and near the house numbers plaque. I already have quite a list of spring projects and will have to add this to them. I am just glad that our entire house is does not need painting. Having painted an entire two story house by myself before it is not something I ever want to do again. I will start work on the porch right after we get the gardens fenced in and planted. Once the plants are in the ground I will have time to work on less pressing projects.


Community garden…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This will be the first year that we don’t have a plot at the community garden. This year we decided to put in a large garden on my in-laws property. The community garden was fine for the first couple of years but over time it became difficult to manage. We were spending more on chemicals to control insects than we would have on produce at the farmer’s market. Although we tried to control things naturally it became impossible when the people around us were not taking care of their crops or abandoning their plots altogether. We would rather put the time and money into a plot of land that we have more control over than fight a loosing battle on a plot that we have little control over.


Hunter safety course…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week my oldest son and I are going to be taking the hunter safety course offered by our state. We are not taking this because we intend to hunt. In fact we are each taking it for very different reasons. My son wants to be able to pass off on the requirements for a rifle merit badge in Boy Scouts. Part of the badge requires that he have a knowledge of the hunting laws in our state. My son has absolutely no interest in hunting and even wonders why people would want to hunt. I am hoping that by taking a course he gains some insight beyond his own opinion of the sport. I am taking the class because we want to buy a gun at some point. I have no experience with guns and think a course such as this might be helpful. We frequently camp in rural areas and having some form of protection beyond a baseball bat would be nice.


Gearing up…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For a long time we have been interested in being prepared for emergencies. You never know when life is going to throw you a curve ball. For the most part our focus until now has been in supplying our home with food and items we would need to ride out a storm at home. Now we are turning our directions towards having the things on hand we might need if we were forced to leave our home due to a emergency. Items we might need include outdoor gear and clothing. We have looked into things like Vasque Boots and backpacks. This might sound extreme but last year some very good friends of ours were forced out of their home because of flooding that took out their entire town as well as those surrounding them. They had no plan in place for this sort of situation and because half of the state was in a state of emergency their options were even more limited. My brother who lives in the same town simply packed his camping gear and a tent and headed for the hills for the night. He rode out the storm with ease and wasn’t forced to evacuate more than a hundred miles like our friends were. We are always camping and it makes sense to us to not only have gear for camping but to be able to use it in an emergency if we were forced to do so.


Building a fence…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 21st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I spent the weekend building a new fence around our garden. The weather has been unusually warm and it seemed like a waste of time not to be outdoors. We have wanted to put up a decent fence around our garden for some time but haven’t had the time. This weekend I dug 4 holes that we over two feet deep. Into these holes I put 4×4 posts and surrounded them with concrete. My intention is that this fence will be solid and long standing. I don’t see us giving up gardening at any point in the future and I don’t want to be building or repairing a fence every year. When I am done this fence should be durable,attractive, and functional. I am just glad the weather has been so warm and that the soil is neither hard nor frozen!


Nearly done…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 10th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We moved into our house just over three years ago. In that time I have worked on every room in the house with the exception of one. All of the rooms have been remodeled in some way or another. Even our entryway got a new coat of paint and a coat rack to brighten things up. The only room that hasn’t been painted is the family room in the basement. Right now it has very dark paneling and dark carpet. I like the look of the basement but the children find it a bit spooky. The idea of painting paneling does not appeal to me at all. I am thinking that maybe with some bright lighting and accent pieces they will find the area more inviting. I am just glad to finally be seeing the house near completion and have very few things left on my list to work on. Our house now feels like home and is a place where we can all relax. It is good to no longer be living with tools and equipment strewn about the house.


I wonder…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 10th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

What is it about our country right now that we try to work with people who are not following through on their responsibilities? If you default on your student loans then we have a special program for that. If you don’t pay your mortgage well then we have a special program to keep you in your house. On the other hand if you pay your bills and try to play with the rules you agreed to then there is nothing for you. Right now we are trying to have my wife’s student loans process under the income base repayment program at Sallie Mae. This month marks the third time that they have denied her application. Her loans are current and she is making her payments as agreed. The applications that she sends in are complete as per their guidelines and yet they keep coming up with some reason to deny the application. It is almost as if they are trying to keep people out of the program. I am betting that if we did not make the payment for a few weeks that her application would be processed much quicker.


Big foot fascination…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 25th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Both of our children love to watch documentaries. Most children their age would prefer cartoons over a documentary any day. Our youngest son has developed a particular fascination with shows that discuss “Big Foot”. He favors older movies about the subject from the sixties and seventies over more modern programs. Although he is only five years old he can recite details researchers have documented about the “hairy humanoid”. When he is not watching shows on the topic he spends his time drawing the creature and reading about him. Whenever we leave the house is very sure to keep an open for the possibility of a Big Foot sighting. It humors us to no end to see him looking for possible tracks left in the ground by his favorite creature.


In Love…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 25th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My youngest brother is the very first serious relationship of his life. When I say this you might expect that he would be fairly young but he is in his late thirties. It is really nice to listen to him talk about his new love and all the special things they do together. This month they spent their first Valentines together and he spent a great deal of time planing a special evening. I have no doubt that his girlfriend researched cool valentines gifts for boyfriend‘s because he said he was given an awesome present. He didn’t mention what the present was but it made him really happy. It is so nice to know that he has someone in his life after seeing him alone for so long. My hope is there will be many years ahead of them filled with special memories like those they have already shared together.


Home again…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 25th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We just got back from an overnight camping trip with the Boy Scouts. It was a surprisingly fun time despite the very bad weather we have been having. Boy Scouts need to complete so many camping trips along with many other requirements before they can become an Eagle Scout. My son had to build a fire and cook his own breakfast over that fire in what was very close to blizzard like conditions. He did surprisingly well give the situation and managed to pass off on a number of skill requirements. I wasn’t looking forward to the trip but it ended up being a really nice trip. Whenever I have been camping I always appreciate coming home and sleeping in my own bed. Tonight is going to be one of those nights.


Company…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend we have some family members stopping by for a visit. It is funny but I don’t really look forward to them coming. The reason is that whenever they are here they are either both sick or suffering from a migraine. I understand the pain of migraines and feel for them but I wish they would stay home when they are under the weather.Chronic migraine pain can be excruciating and it is not something that makes someone great company. I don’t really understand how it is that both of our guests seem to suffer these headaches at the same time or why they have them every time they visit us. It leaves me wondering why they visit when they are not well or if it is our home that makes them feel under the weather?


Salad table…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonight I am going to be building a salad table. We eat a tremendous amount of greens in the course of a week either in smoothies or salads. This week I went to the grocery store with the hopes of buying a couple of bags of spinach only to find them sold out. It occurred to me that this was likely something I could grow inside under lights. We already have lights and a stand set up for starting seeds and it would be easy to add a couple trays of greens to the mix. Salad table or boxes are simple to build and I already have the supplies on hand. I figure they will pay for themselves in a couple of uses.


Protein and more protein…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It occurred to me this week that my family is eating more protein than we ever have before. I realize that a great deal of this is because my wife and I switched to a Paleolithic style of eating. It is also because both of our children just love protein in any form. They will eat anything from king crab legs to beef roast if it is put on their plates. They enjoy protein more than any other food offered at dinner time. We are now in the habit of cooking a double recipe of each dinner in order to have left overs for lunch. Our children prefer protein and a fruit or vegetable over sandwiches and chips for lunch. I have absolutely no problem with this and like knowing they are eating foods that are good for them as opposed to empty calories.


Garden started…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week we started working on our garden for the upcoming growing season. This is always a fun time because it makes us feel like spring really is just around the corner. This year we are once again growing our plants from seed. I feel like this not only saves us money but also creates a stronger plant for transplant. We are going to be growing many of the things we grew last year with a few new additions such as kohlrabi and broccoli. The biggest change we are making is to switch to all heirloom seeds. I feel this is important because of the potential impact GMO seeds and hybrid seeds could have on our food supply in the future. I like the idea of having a plant that I can save seeds from and rely on from year to year.


Ignition lock troubles…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last week or so the ignition lock on our van has been acting up. It is almost as if I am trying to start the van with the wrong key. I have tried to research the issue online and have found issues related to our vehicle on a wide range of topics like starter and radiator issues. I have found completely unrelated things in my search for information such as how to mount a pillow block. I have not found a good way to get my ignition lock to recognize my key. For now I am going to try a bit of graphite in the lock to see if it looses things up a bit. The weather has been bitterly cold lately which may be playing a role in this if something is freezing up due to condensation. I will have to see if the problem persists when the weather changes.


One thing done…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is the time of the year when things in my life start to kick into high gear. There are gardening projects to be started and things that need to be built in advance of the next season. In addition to this I tend to work on interior house projects during this time. Right now I am painting our hallway and the trim on the staircase. There are also taxes to be done. Thankfully, our federal taxes have been filed and accepted which is a big relief. There will be no last minute rush to file for us this year.


Protein ice cream…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 24th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of the things I have been missing since we started eating a Paleo diet is ice cream. As part of this way of eating we are choosing to not eat dairy. Aside from ice cream I do not miss dairy at all. I would have thought it would be hard to give up but it has not been. Last week we became the proud owners of a Vitamix and life has been awesome ever since. Tonight my wife made ice cream in it and it was delicious and totally Paleo. She used one scoop of chocolate protein powder, one generous cup of ice, and one cup of coconut milk. This made a creamy chocolate ice cream with a hint of coconut. Life is now complete and ice cream is back on the scene.


Supplements…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 17th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since giving up grains, dairy, and sugar we have obviously made drastic changes to our diet. We are now about 3 months into our new dietary lifestyle and it feels pretty much like a habit at this point. One thing we have added to our diet is a number of supplements. Each day we take vitamin C, D3, and magnesium tablets along with a multivitamin. There are likely many other supplements that would be beneficial to us but for now remembering to take these is about all we can do. I really prefer to get my vitamins via real food as opposed to supplements. Now that we are eating so many fruits and vegetables I have to believe we are not in need of as much supplementation as someone eating a standard American diet would need. So far, we feel great and have no intention of going back to a diet rich in grains, sugar, or dairy.


As described…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 17th, 2012 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For several years my wife has wanted a Vitamix blender. These things are the Cadillac of blenders and come at a pretty hefty price tag. Recently she found a deal on them that put them in our price range due to being able to make payments. We took the plunge and ordered one. It arrived over the weekend and I have to say it is absolutely everything it was stated to be. Rarely do you buy something that totally and completely lives up to your expectations. We love this machine so much that I honestly wish we had bought it years ago. The smoothies and soups we have made thus far are beyond amazing! Our children have eaten more fresh fruit this weekend than they have in a month. If you are on the fence about one of these machines I cannot recommend it highly enough.


A perfect match…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 29th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My brother-in-law has waited for years to find the perfect woman. This year he seemed to have met her by chance while visiting a friend. They are an amazing match for one another and despite his long wait to find someone I am glad it is her. Right now they live quite a distance from one another but they hope to close the gap in time and relocate close to each other. It is really neat that they share so many interests such as a love of the outdoors. Should they get married it will be super easy to buy gifts for them because they are so outdoorsy. I know that they would both appreciate kelty backpacks or new kayak gear. I love people who simply enjoy life and the simple pleasures it offers. Hopefully, their relationship will grow and prosper in the months and years to come.


Oddly quiet…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 29th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last week my entire family has been stricken with a severe case of the flu. My wife and younger son came down with it first and my older son followed the next day. They have not left their beds since becoming sick. Usually our house is bustling with activity which makes the silence when I enter the door disturbing. I have been sleeping in my youngest son’s bed while he sleeps with my wife. We wanted to be close to him since he was so sick to prevent any problems. I believe this has also kept me from getting sick since I have not been near them. I will be glad to see them all up and about and making noise again. It is lonely eating every meal alone…


Waiting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In a couple of days I have to go to the doctor’s for a consultation. This is not an appointment that I am looking forward to. There are people who are put off by sitting in the doctor’s office but it isn’t the sitting and waiting for the doctor that bothers me. I could stare all day at the examination table and medical cart. What bothers me is the fact that this is a visit that my doctor initiated because some of my lab work came back with irregularities. What is bothering is the fact that I don’t know why they want to see me and they won’t tell me until I come in to see them. This is the type of waiting that I despise. Someone knowing something about me that I don’t know and they feel is best told to my face rather than over the phone.


Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Coloring is my youngest son’s favorite activity. He spends most of the day coloring. This is absolutely amazing to my wife and I. You might think our amazement odd but you see our older son NEVER colored. To him coloring was a punishment. To this day he hates to write, color, or draw anything. Having a child who wants to color just seems strange after 12 years of having a child with absolutely no interest in it. My youngest son can take a box of crayons and a coloring book to virtually anywhere and be completely content. With his coloring book he becomes completely engrossed in creating. Our older son is completely happy to sit and observe the world around him or read. Neither require people to entertain them despite being so different.


Bedtime…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I love my children without question. There is a time of night that I will admit to looking forward to and that is bedtime. We do tons of things with our kids and try our hardest to make each moment count. This does not mean that we don’t appreciate quiet moments to ourselves. Secretly I look forward to tucking them into bed each night because it means I have an hour or two to myself. Often my wife and I will take this time to do whatever we want to do separately. For her, this means reading a book or working on a project. I will use the time to build something or sometimes I download a youtube video for a bit of mindless entertainment. It is nice just to spend time alone with myself and not think about the world around me for a little while.


Rolling dough…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Every year my family and I make holiday cookies together. It is a tradition that we started when our oldest son was born. We rarely make the same cookies from year to year but that is fine with us. Trying new recipes is part of the fun of it. This year we are making fewer cookies because my wife and I no longer eat grains. Keeping the tradition alive is what is important to us. This year we are making gingerbread cookies. Our youngest son is intent on the gingerbread cookies looking storybook perfect. He is painstakingly pressing candies into the dough to give each cookie just the right look. By the time we are done it may just be bedtime but I am certain we will have added another memory to our collection that won’t be forgotten.


Washing in style…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 7th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are a very frugal couple and do not spend money rashly or on things we don’t need. This holiday season we decided to spend a bit of money on some thing we needed around the house that we had been putting off. Our washing machine is twelve years and is still running despite of few repairs in that time. These are repairs I have done myself which saved a considerable amount of money. The problem is that our washing machine uses 50 gallons of water per load. We in live in an area with high water bills. This year we decided to buy ourselves an energy efficient washing machine that uses just 13 gallons of water per load. The difference in water usage will save us 11,000 gallons of water a year and a couple hundred dollars a year on our water bill. This doesn’t factor in the savings on electricity for drying the clothes and gas savings from the water heater. We also get a rebate from our electric company for upgrading. All things considered we will be washing in style and saving money which is really great!


Water garden…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is very involved in Boy Scouts and is actively working to earn various merit badges. One of the badges he is working on is his gardening badge. He is trying to convince us to let him build a water feature in our backyard. I really don’t have a problem with it but we aren’t sure what the laws in our city regarding this topic. Our town is very strict about just about everything. For example, you cannot have a blow up pool of any size in your backyard without having a safety pool fence around it. Even if we put a child’s pool that is less than 24 inches high the law would require a fence even if the pool were less than 3 feet wide. I am speculating that somehow the city code could be interpreted in such a way as to see a water garden as falling under this law. Until we know for sure my son is going to have to be happy with constructing a standard garden.


Protein shakes…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am about to embark on a new journey in my Paleo lifestyle. Eating eggs and bacon everyday for breakfast might sound like heaven but it can get old. Tonight my wife and I went to the store and bought a personal blender. Our plan is to incorporate a few protein shakes into our weekly meal rotation. I have never been one to drink protein shakes and am not sure how I will adjust to it. I do like smoothies so as long as the protein powder doesn’t change the taste too much it should be alright. Eating a paleo diet has not been hard aside from finding ways to switch things up. Protein powder isn’t purely paleo but it is acceptable in some circles and it will be in ours.


Gift swap…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We drew names today for our family Christmas gift swap. Each and every year for the twenty years we have been married our gift swap has been the same. I wish that my wife’s family would change things up just a bit but they seem content with the same traditions. It would be nice just once to get something I am not expecting like a year’s subscription to a roadside assistance club or some books. Instead we write down our names and exactly what we want on a slip of paper. What usually ends up happening is that everyone asks for a gift card and we all end up swapping gift cards for the exact same amount of money. It is pretty dull but it is our tradition.


My fill…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I ate my fill. I have not been able to say that for a while. We have been following our Paleo diet to a “T” for weeks. I haven’t been hungry on the diet but I haven’t felt stuffed either. Today we relaxed the rules and simply enjoyed the food before us. We ate… plenty. We are sleepy and bloated and stuffed. I am okay with this but my wife intends to hit the treadmill hard once the kids are in bed. I feel like we should just enjoy the indulgence and get back on track tomorrow. Honestly, I am so groggy from carbohydrates that I don’t think I could run if I tried. The food was good but I am thankful to not be eating that much every day. There is a fine line between being satiated and stuffed. I am stuffed.


Halloween fun…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 12th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This year my older son decided that he wanted to make his own Halloween costume. Normally I would suggest that we instead look for costume city coupons and buy his costume there or somewhere else online. Since he is turning twelve this year it seemed like letting him make his own costume was a good idea. He elected to construct a costume to resemble a “dalek” from the television show “Dr. Who”. His costume ended up being quite a production to build but in the end it was a pretty awesome costume. The one thing he didn’t take into consideration was how difficult the costume would be to walk around town in. My wife and I found ourselves leading him around the neighborhood and helping him up and down the stairs. I thought he would be frustrated by this but he said that Halloween ended up being awesome despite his navigation difficulties. He did not that next year he would need to really think though whatever costume he make to be sure he could walk easily in it.


To market, to market…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 12th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning I have several things on my agenda to accomplish. When I think about them it would appear to someone else that I must live on a farm but I don’t. The first thing I have to do is to go to the butcher to pick of a half a pig and a half a cow that we were having processed. Once I return from the butcher’s my wife and I will be spending some time cleaning out the chicken coop and putting the litter in the garden. Once the chicken coop is finished we will them be working the litter and some leaves from the yard into the garden to build up the soil for next year. No, we didn’t raise the cow or pig ourselves. They did however grow up less than a mile down the road which is cool considering I live in an urban area. We have really come a long way in our efforts to make the most of what we have available to us and support local agriculture in the last year.


Hardware stores.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of our favorite weekend activities is to take a trip to the hardware store. Raising two boys means that we always have some sort of project to work on. Right now my older son is trying to earn his “inventor” badge at Boy Scouts. Yesterday we went to our local hardware store to buy the supplies he needs for his project. He absolutely loves looking at stuff at the store and then using the barcode scanner to check the price of each item. This is also a great way to build his math skills because I always ask him to keep of mental tally of how much money we will be spending. I also think helps to build his awareness of what things costs and how to stick to a budget. Many children have no concept of what things costs and how the prices of different items compare.


Leaf fun…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For some reason the tree in our backyard doesn’t drop its leaves until very late in the year. My children have been waiting anxiously for the leaves to fall. They absolutely love to make a big leaf pile and jump in them. Every time they see a couple of leaves on the ground they assume it will be enough to make a pile of leaves. Finally I feel that there is a sufficient supply of leaves to accomplish their goal. Today we will be raking leaves and spending time jumping in them. The leaves will then be composted to add to our garden in the spring. Some people see leaves as a bad thing but for our family they are a great thing to have on hand.


Getting acquainted…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My brother-in-law and his new wife came over this weekend. We don’t really know his wife and are still getting acquainted with her. We new she had some interesting quirks by listening to my brother-in-law over the years of their courtship. We didn’t realize how many quirks she had until recently. I will say right now I am not expecting any Baptism invitations to come from them in the future. They don’t intend to have children which is probably a good thing given all of her various quirks. While here she insisted my wife wear latex gloves to cook the food for the meal we were sharing. She went so far as to bring gloves to our house and stated that she always wears gloves to cook with and wants other people to as well. That is just one quirk and I have many more to share in future posts.


Summer’s last hurrah…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today is supposed to be an exceptionally warm day in our neck of the woods. My bet is that this the last warm day we have for several months. Given that it is November and we have already seen some snow it means that winter is just around the corner. We intend to take full advantage of this gorgeous day and spend it outdoors. My hope is that we have had enough hard frosts to kill most of the mosquitoes which will allow us to truly enjoy this day. I am not quite sure yet what we will be doing outside but we will definitely be outside!


It has been a long time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I ran into a person I used to be associated with through my son’s Boy Scout troop. I didn’t recognize her at first because she looked like a shell of herself. Apparently in the last few years she has become addicted to drugs and has completely lost herself to them. I wanted to suggest that she look into inpatient rehab center but I know that I am not the person she needs to hear that from. All I could do is listen to her tell her story and try to seem empathetic. I think she just wanted to talk to someone who was outside her normal life circle that wouldn’t judge her or tell her what should or should not be doing with her life. I just worry for her children who have had to watch there mother slip away from them. Thankfully she did mention that they were being cared for by other people and that she seemed to be doing well.


Paleo Day Five

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Five days ago we started following the Paleo style of eating. It has been a surprisingly easy adjustment to make. Essentially you give up all grains, dairy, and sugar. The foods that you eat comes from the following food groups: meat, fruits, vegetables, and fats. This is considered a lifestyle choice as opposed to a diet. The idea is that eating following this plan is a lifelong sustainable way to achieve health and well-being as opposed to a short term diet to loose weight. I am not striving for weight loss but my wife is and so far things are going well. She is down about 5 pounds and feels totally great. She has tried a number of diets that left her feeling deprived but this one has not done so thus far. I will keep you posted as to how things progress over time.


Shopping season…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Can you believe that there are less than two months until Christmas is here? I don’t know why that seems unreal to me but it does. As usual I will not be among those standing in long lines at the mall. I have commented in the past that the only way I buy Christmas presents in by shopping online. It only takes me a matter of minutes to find a variety of codes for online retailers. By using shopping with this way I can not only save money but also my sanity. There are codes out there for every sort of place and it is so easy to find them. Just enter a search term such as “Personal Creations Coupon codes” into your favorite search engine and in seconds you are presented with a list of codes to save money! I know there are people who love crowded stores around the holiday’s but I am just not one of them. If you are like me and prefer the serenity of your home as opposed to a crowded store then be sure to look for coupon codes before making any holiday gift purchases.


A Dalek…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For Halloween my oldest son has been begging for a couple of years to make a “Dalek” costume. This year I finally broke down and helped him accomplish his goal. It took us a couple of weekend of work but the costume is now complete. Using a garbage can, a bucket, a bowl, a plunger, a whisk, and many other assorted things we have assembled a Dalek costume that rocks. The problem is that it is pretty heavy and I can now envision much whining as my son is carrying it about the town. Oh well, I did what I said I would do and the rest is on my son’s shoulder’s – literally.


In the woods…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My in-laws live in a very rural area in our state. Although they live only about 20 miles from us it is a vastly different area. They cannot get cell phone reception within 5 miles of their house and high speed internet is unheard of. They are constantly complaining about how much they have to pay for dial up internet and satellite television service. Because they can’t get cable television at their locating there just aren’t many choices available to them. I don’t know if they have ever tried a digital antenna or not. I wish there were some way they could expand their options in these areas and lower their bills. As it is they are almost at the whim of their service providers because the providers know they offer something people in rural areas cannot get elsewhere. As much as I want to live in the county I can appreciate in these instances the opportunity and choices that city life affords us.


For my health…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 20th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife has been trying over a long period of time to make incremental changes to our diets to improve our health. Now that we are eating mostly organic food and making everything from scratch she is expanding her horizons. We are now taking health supplements that she deems worthy, after a great deal of research, to be added to our diet. Most recently we have been taking an elderberry tincture which is really, really good! It is great for warding off colds and the flu. This week we added diatomaceous earth to the mix. Both of us are to the age that we are having aches and pains for no good reason. The diatomaceous earth is supposed to supply silica that is lacking in today’s diets and helpful in healing a variety of health woes. It will be a while before we know if it is working but I will keep you posted. I have read great things about it and hope to reap those benefits myself in the coming weeks!


Biting cold…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 7th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday the weather here was absolutely gorgeous. We spent the afternoon picking pears at a friend’s house and marveling at the splendor of a warm fall day. This morning I dressed for what I assumed would be another warm fall day. Once outside I was shocked by the temperature drop that met me. It wouldn’t surprise me if it snows tonight given the temperature shift. I am not looking forward to shoveling snow and needing tire chains to get around but that is a fact of life here. We live in an area of the northeast that is constantly bombarded with snow during winter. Life rarely stops here for snow and we simply adapt to it and move on. That does not mean that we greet it with smiles on our faces. I would gladly trade a pile of snow for a pile of leaves any day.


Living the life…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 7th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday I spent a few minutes on Facebook looking up people I knew in high school. It was interesting to delve into these people’s lives and see what they have become in the 20 plus years that have passed by since high school. Oddly enough many of the people who I never thought would become anything have done quite well for themselves. By all appearances it would seem that everyone is just out there “living the life”. The reality is that anyone can make themselves appear to be anything online. After all who is going to post that they are miserable and living in squalor?


A new view…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday we had an enlightening conversation with our older son about what he wants to do in the future. He is only twelve and there is no doubt in my mind that his goals will change but as of right now he wants to be a farmer. To be honest I have no problem whatsoever with this. I also wouldn’t care if he told me he wanted to sell wholesale life insurance as a career. All I want for my children is for them to be self-sufficient and happy with whatever they end up being in life. There was a time when I believe that all children needed a college education but my mind has changed over time. I have 4 degrees ranging from an associates to a doctoral degree. My generation was told time and time again that a college education was the key to our future and I very much believed that. I now realize that there are more people walking around with college degrees than there are jobs. We have fewer and fewer people who are trained at vital jobs that don’t require a college degree. It is harder to find a decent plumber in my area than it is to find someone with a master’s degree. If my son wants to go into a trade I would think that would be wonderful.


Bright and early…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am now starting work earlier than I ever have in my life. My boss offered me an early shift and I decided to take her up on the offer. Typically I am not a morning person but the idea of getting to work before the phone lines open really appealed to me. Once formal business hours begin our phones ring non-stop. After just a couple of weeks of my new schedule I am quite convinced that I will be more productive simply because of the additional “quiet time’. In retrospect I wish that I had pursued switching schedules well before this because I might have not been so discouraged with my workload.


Raising fish…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As I indicated in my last post we are looking into the idea of raising catfish in a barrel in our garage using an aquaponic system. I still have a great deal of reading to do but thus far it looks like a very feasible idea for our area. A basic system could consist of as little as a 55 gallon barrel, aquarium filter, and some sort of flex tube to deliver used water to the plant box. I am assuming there is a bit more to it than that but my initial conclusions would suggest that our biggest investment would be in the actual fish that we would be raising. I finding it intriguing to think that we might potentially raise a hundred pounds of fish in our garage.


Never a dull moment…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In my office there are very few male employees. In fact there are only two male employees and about 30 female workers. This means that I have no shortage of women in my everyday life to observe. It is always interesting to compare the things that concern them to those topics that my wife brings up each day. The women I work with are very much obsessed with shoes, purses, and clothing. You know what my wife wanted to talk about today? Aquaponics. That is right. The woman wants to raise fish in a barrel in our garage for food. This might sound crazy but I would much rather buy my wife fifty fingerling channel catfish to raise than listen to her complain that she needs another pair of shoes or a purse to match this dress or that suit.


Maple syrup…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 8th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife is always looking for some new skill to master. Because canning and gardening season is wrapping up here she is researching various wintertime projects. Right now she has her sights set on making maple syrup. Interestingly enough maple syrup can be quite a money maker if you decide to go into business making and selling it. We certainly aren’t looking at business funding right now but it would be nice to have that as a possibility in the future. Making maple syrup for home use is pretty straight forward and inexpensive to do. The only difficult thing about it is finding the time to watch the sap boil down. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup and many hours of boiling in between. I think it would be a fun family activity to do when not much else is happening in our lives.


Apple season…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 8th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I cannot wait for the next month to go by. It isn’t that I am looking forward to cold weather but rather that I am looking forward to apple season. Over the summer my son’s and I built an apple press and apple scratter. We have high hopes of making our own apple cider this fall. My in-laws have a few apple trees and will give us as many apples as we would like. Our plan is to press about 15 gallons of cider and preserve it through canning. Some of the cider my wife and I will turn into hard cider and bottle. This is something I have been waiting almost a year for! We discovered that we really like hard cider and have already been doing some home brewing adding hard cider to our lineup will be a nice addition.


Free stuff…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 7th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There was a time in life when we bought everything we needed new. The notion of looking in thrift shops or at garage sales seemed silly. We have come a long way since then and now look for the things that we need in thrift stores and other discounted places. Home schooling our children means that we are always looking for office equipment to make our school area a better workplace for our children. This week my workplace decided to get rid of tons of used office equipment and offered it to the staff. They had everything from filing cabinets to name plaques up for grabs. I managed to get a couple of almost new office chairs and a filing cabinet for free. My wife is absolutely thrilled to have comfy chairs for the children to sit in and a place to store her paperwork. I love that I didn’t have to pay a cent for them.


Not getting it…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 7th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My father was here for a week over the holiday. It is always interesting when he comes to visit because our views on life differ so vastly. He absolutely does not understand why we feel the need to become more self-sufficient. From his vantage point everything we do in regards to canning or gardening or really life in general is a futile waste of time. His experience with these things was during a time of hardship in his life and symbolize poverty. To preserve food or garden as he sees it means we are in dire straights and cannot afford to simply run to the store and buy ready made food. Try as we might he cannot wrap his head around the fact that we are engaged in these activities for a multitude of reasons. Yes, we can run to the store and buy processed food with who knows what in it. We simply choose not to do so and actually enjoy working for our food.


Biking to work…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 1st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over the course of the summer I have been biking to work as much as I can. My primary motivation has been to enable my wife to have our car at home as much as possible. We have shared a vehicle for the last six months. When the lease was up on our Nissan Cube we decided not to replace it and try living with just one vehicle instead of two. I will admit that there are times when I miss that little car and it’s nice nissan rubber mats. This is especially true on a cold morning like today. I would have loved to jump into a comfy car rather than climb on a bike and pedal my way through the cold morning air. I am pleased to report that despite my initial lack of enthusiasm about riding my bike I end up feeling great once I get to work. It has been a great way to decompress on the way home as well.


Volunteering…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 1st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last year I have been volunteering with my son’s Boy Scout troop. For the most part this has been a great experience. I like interacting with my son and helping his troop achieve goals. A few months ago I committed myself to take over a job that I wished I had not accepted. I am now in charge of handling all the recycling cans collected by our troop over the course of the year and then turning them in for cash. I had no idea the size of this job when I accepted it. Our troop collects cans at local events such as our county fair. This means I have thousands of cans to sort and drive to a recycling center. It really is not a one man job and I am working hard to convince the troop of this.


That time of year…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 31st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last weekend we went camping for the final time this year. As much as I would like to get in one more trip it is probably not going to happen. The black flies are out in full force and were almost unbearable. That coupled with the chilly nights made this trip a bit miserable. I wanted to hitch the camper up to the trailer hitch after the first night but we stuck it out. The children seemed oblivious to the bugs and the cold air which made going home hard to do after promising them a camping trip. In another month or so we will go through the annual process of winterizing the camper and packing things away for next year. At least we had a couple decent trips earlier in the year.


A new road…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 31st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel with the road construction in front of our house. Yesterday the road workers FINALLY replaced the entrance to our driveway. We have been unable to park in our driveway for 3 months. The concrete still has to harden but at least there is now concrete and within a few days we will no longer be parking elsewhere. I have tried to be patient with the process because we knew it would take time but not being able to use the driveway has been a pain. It will be so nice to be able to not have to haul groceries so far because I can’t park by my front door.


Everything under the sun.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 19th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week we ventured to visit my in-laws for a bit. My mother-in-law said that she had a pressure canner and some canning jars that she wanted to give my wife. I assumed that she would have these items out and ready for us when we arrived. As it turned out she had them stored in the basement. My in-laws are what most people would consider hoarders. They keep a lot of stuff on hand for no reason. This means that getting something out of a particular location is a journey of its own. To get to the canning jars we had to wade through boxes of everything imaginable from component video cables to wood working equipment. They quite literally have anything and everything you could every want in multiples. When we finally got to the canning jars I have to admit I was astounded. We were gifted around a 100 jars that are amazing and a nearly new pressure canner. Canning jars last forever and are valuable if you know what you are looking for. Some of these jars are nearly 100 years old and perfectly usable. My mother-in-law knew the value of the jars but wanted us to have them because she knew that we would use them and treasure them. It was well worth the trek through all the stuff to find them.


Working hands…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 19th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night my wife sat down beside me for a rare moment to rest her feet. This is a particularly hectic time of year for her because she is very into canning and preserving. As she put her feet on my lap she took a moment to gaze at her hands. There was a long period of time in our life where her hands were always perfectly manicured and supple. Today her hands are stained, rough, and a bit scarred. She noted these changes but without the least bit of bitterness in her voice. I believe there was actually pride in her comment. Her hands are working hands. Hands that work the soil and plants. Hands that lovingly preserve wholesome food for our family in the heat of summer for hours on end. Her hands stock our pantry with this food and we are never in want. Her rough and stained hands are evidence of her love for us all.


Talking Greek…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 19th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our local school system has been going through quite an upheaval. This morning I had the occasion to discuss cyber schooling with someone who wanted to know more about it. At first I believed she were interested because she was considering it for her own children. As our conversation progressed it became quite clear that this woman has little to no familiarity with the internet let alone the notion of what a cyber school encompasses. I am quite sure she has never seen an electronic book or used a mobile device as well. It always surprises me when someone of my generation is completely out of touch with this aspect of our world. It did however make our conversation much different than I anticipated. I am quite sure that she would not be a good candidate for home schooling via a cyber school at this point.


Working vacation…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 19th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I took a few days of vacation earlier in the week. Our original plan was to go camping for a few days. The weather didn’t cooperate and we ended up staying home. As it turned out we managed to accomplish a great deal during these days. We took a long drive to a pick your own produce farm and stocked up. I believe we canned a hundred or more jars of food and preserved 75 pounds or so of produce in the freezer. Some of the produce was dehydrated as well. It might not have ended up being the vacation I had hoped for but I am glad the time was not wasted. It is nice knowing I was able to help my wife and that our pantry is well on the way to being fully stocked for the coming year.


Silent minority…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 28th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I work in an office full of women. To be clear there are two men and 30 women in our office. This can make for an interesting workplace at times. Most of the day the conversation is focused on who found the best deal searching the internet for the term “shoes womens“or which one of them is carrying the best purse. I have nothing to contribute to this conversation. Sometimes they will ask what brand of shoes my wife prefers or where she shops and still I have nothing to contribute. You may already know but my wife does not shop for shoes or clothes very often. If she does go clothes shopping she believes in upcycling clothing from thrift store whenever possible. To her is makes more sense to use clothes already in the supply chain that create and increased need to manufacturers to produce new clothing. I can begin to explain that to my co-workers so I say nothing.


It kind of makes sense…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 28th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the longest time it seemed like anything that we wanted to know how to do we would find on YouTube. After watching numerous videos it started to sink in that most of the people doing the things we were trying to learn how to do were “preppers”. I didn’t let this discourage me from watching these videos because most of these people offer great tutorials. We had always thought of people with this mindset as being a bit paranoid or cooky but I am starting to see their side of things. When our national economy is in such a precarious position and our future as a nation is seemingly hanging in the balance I can understand why people might want to be “preparing”. I know that my full pantry and freezers makes me feel better about tomorrow. I also know that knowing how to do things for myself also makes me feel better. I might not agree with stocking up on guns etc but I do understand why having a certain level of preparedness for what make come your way only makes sense. A couple of generations ago this was just the way of life. Maybe it is time that we start embracing the practicality of our grandparents just a wee bit.


Bachelor party…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In about a month my brother-in-law is getting married. It is very likely that the responsibility for hosting a bachelor party for him will fall on me. I have never hosted such an event before and have no clue what is expected by today’s standards. I don’t know if I need to look for Unique Gift Ideas for Men or what. My brother-in-law is a pretty practical guy and I can’t imagine him expecting a traditional party where everyone hits town for the night. He is one of those guys who prefers the quiet of the great outdoors to a noisy bar or restaurant. Since he is stopping by tomorrow I am going to pick his brain and see exactly what he has in mind for his upcoming pre-wedding festivities.


Reap what you sow…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So, Casey Anthony will be free soon. Like most people I honestly did not see this one coming and really thought she would spend a fair amount of time in jail. As sickened as I am by the turn out of her trial I have to believe that justice will be served. It may not be served before our eyes but it will come. I do not believe that her freedom will be any better than her time in jail and that she will quickly learn that the “bella vita” she sought is not so beautiful. I did not spend time getting caught up in the media spectacle her trial became but I did follow it to a degree. My sadness lies in the fact that a little girl will never grow up and be the person she was meant to be.


Construction…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There has been construction on our road for the last several months. It started with the water company replacing all of the water lines on our road. This was then followed by the gas company replacing the gas lines. Now the entire road is being replace and new curbs are being added as well. I am half expecting them to start construction on American steelspan steel buildings next. For the last week we have not been able to park in our driveway because the entrance has been torn up. There us a huge ditch where our entrance should be. For some reason everyone around us got new concrete entrances laid but not us. I anticipate that there must be something different they need to do to our driveway since it is a corner lot. Hopefully, all the dust and inconvenience is worth it in the end.


Retirement…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When I retire, which is going to be a long time from now, I intend to live off-grid. The notion of not being indepted to anyone to provide for my needs really appeals to me. Right now we are discussing whether we will live off-grid in a home or possibly an RV. My wife keeps mentioning a yurt but I just don’t see that happening. There was a time when I was all for easy living and having every convenience but today I see the world differently. Solar panels and a composting toilet don’t sound half bad when you consider they are free after the initial investment. An orchard, some animals, and a large garden would round out life. Most people dream of life on the beach with a drink in their hand but I don’t want any part of that.


Free time…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I don’t have a great deal of free time on my hands. Between working full-time, gardening, and life in general I am pretty much on the go all the time. When I do find myself with a spare minute I do have some things I like to indulge myself in. One thing I do is to watch professional wrestling. I know this sounds silly but I just enjoy watching it and always have. I realize that it is all a performance and is intended simply to be entertainment. My wife thinks it is ridiculous and asks me if I am a twelve year old boy when she sees me watching it. I consider it mindless entertainment that is no lower or higher in value than watching any other type of television show. We all have our guilty pleasures and watching wrestling is mine.


I am not a doomer but…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 16th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We don’t consider ourselves to be doomers or preppers or anything of the sort. There isn’t a cache of weapons in our house and we don’t work out tactical plans in our spare time. We do however plan for the future and lately it just looks bleak. When I read the news and the economic prospect for our county I have to admit I am concerned. Understanding national economics is not something I profess to be astute at. I do understand that we can’t keep on keeping on as we always have been. I don’t have answers but I am doing what I can to prepare for the future. We are paying off our debts and putting away food and some supplies. By having stuff on hand we can hopefully avoid being hit too hard by soaring food and grocery prices. Call it what you want but in my grandparent’s day this was just a way of life and no one thought anything of it. Today if you have a bunch of food and supplies on hand people think there is something wrong with you.


Debt free is freedom.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has been about a year since we paid off over $25,000 in credit card debt. This was a goal we had set for ourselves since acquiring the debt to pay for college expenses. Paying off the debt took tons of hard work and diligence but it has been amazing. That debt was like a cloud hanging over our heads all the time. It felt like we were always one step away from needing a payday loan to make ends meet. Since paying off the debt we have totally revamped our way of life and view about how our money should be spent. Our philosophy today is about making do with what we have rather than buying things that are beyond our means. We believe that our children will learn by example and hopefully will not make the same financial mistakes we made early on in our married lives.


Family time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend we are embarking on one of our favorite family activities- camping!!! We started camping many years ago when our oldest son was just a toddler. At that time we were camping in a tent and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. A couple of years ago we upgraded to an old pop-up camper. We spent a great deal of time rehabilitating the camper and it is now a great addition to our camping trips. Our youngest son loves to have us just open the camper in the backyard so that he can play in it. This is our first camping trip that will last several days in it. We typically camp for just the weekend and thought it would be nice to make one long trip as opposed to several short trips. Hopefully the weather and the bugs are kind to us and we can come hope feeling like this was the best camping trip ever!


People watching…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I always like to go to the parade each Fourth of July. It isn’t really the parade that interests me as much as it is the people who attend it. I just enjoy watching people because I always seem to find something to get a charge out of. Obviously there are lots of normal people dressed in regular name brand clothes such as dereon and whatnot. On the other hand there are always some very interesting people who just catch your eye because of there attire. For some reason at least in our town parades and fairs seem to draw people out into view that you just don’t normally see. I can go to a parade and know that I will never walk away disappointed by the event. Thankfully we have this kind of diversity in our nation and freedom of expression!


Picking and …

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our family returned a few hours ago from picking cherries. Each year for the last several years we have travelled an hour or so away to pick cherries. Cherries don’t really grow well where we are for some reason. The kids love to pick them and we enjoy spending the 4th of July holiday eating them and seeing who can spit the pits the farthest. This season wasn’t as good because it was so wet but we still managed to come away with 27 pounds of great looking cherries for just $27.00 which is an incredible deal.


What does this mean?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are days when I wonder if my children will ever run out of questions. I love their inquisitive nature and need to understand the world around them but by the end of the week I feel just a tad drained. It is almost like being a webster speaking dictionary at times. Between the two of them I find myself defining words throughout the day. With my older son I have started occasionally referring him to the dictionary to look up words. I think it is a useful skill for him to develop. With the little guy I simply explain things as best I can. The problem is that often in explaining what a word means I only cause more questions by using other words he doesn’t quite understand. I have debated making the older one define things for the little one to see keep everyone on their toes. I have yet to implement that plan. In the meantime I just thank my stars for children who are intent on broadening their knowledge base and who are willing to turn to their parents to help them.


Just doing whatever…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have a friend who is trying to build herself a mini-farm within city limits. The thing that always surprises me is that she refuses to believe there are ordinances for such projects within our town. For example she got some chickens and despite explaining to her that there are codes in regards to having them loose in your yard she has let them loose. Her belief is that because she is on the edge of city limits that these codes can be ignored. Today she announced that she is going to get a goat and keep it in her garage. I am all for self-sufficiency and pursuing your goals but I just don’t think that she is thinking this through entirely. Having raised goats on a full-sized farm as a kid I can attest to the fact that a garage and a small patch of grass just isn’t fair to the animal. I also have to wonder if she is considering what will happen if someone complains and she hasn’t followed proper protocol in the matter. How will her children react to having to give away all of these animals?


Youthful enthusiasm…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are many things I love about having children but the one thing I adore is their enthusiasm for life. I have yet to ask my children if they want to do something and have them tell me that they don’t wish to participate. My children don’t care if they are going to their uncle mikes, returning pop bottles, or visiting the dump. No matter where we go or what we are doing they manage to turn it into an adventure. This evening we went to do a little weeding at the community garden and the children needed to go with us. They happily entertained themselves with a large mud puddle during the two hours we spent there. In that puddle they found all sorts of fascinating things to observe like algae and water bugs. I truly believe this is an ability that most adults in this world could stand to get in touch with once again. How much happier might we be if we were able to turn daily mundane events into adventures?


Old comic books…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This afternoon I went up to the attic and brought down a huge box of comic books I had collected. My oldest son has been begging me to let him look at these comic books for a long time. I will admit I have been hesitant to let him have them because he doesn’t always treat his books with the best of care. After ignoring his requests for quite while I finally relented and brought down the box for him to peruse. He is absolutely in his glory and cannot stop asking me questions about the characters and the various series that I collected. I think it has finally sunk into him that these comics are not something that I wish to have mistreated and that they have some value. I actually overheard him reminding his younger brother to be gentle with them and to put them back neatly in the box when he is done. I hate to be so anal about the comic books but they are the one thing I have spent most of my life collecting. It would be nice to have them to pass down to my children.


Running out of room.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It seems like almost every weekend I find myself cleaning out my garage. For some reason everything that doesn’t have a spot in the house ends up being stored in my garage. I would love to have one of those large steel buildings to store stuff in but we don’t have enough acreage. My garage has never been empty enough to actually put a vehicle in it. In the back of my mind this is something I would hope to be able to do one day. The reality is that I would have to part with a significant number of my tools and equipment for that to happen. When it comes right down to it I am far more attached to my tools than I am to the idea of parking my car in the garage. In the meantime it seems that I will continue to count on spending a great number of weekend hours in the garage trying to find a place to put everything.


Looking great!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We just got home from spending some time at our spot at the community garden. The season started off a bit late and we had some doubts as to whether it was going to be a good gardening season. We are now 3 weeks into gardening at that spot and it looks like things are turning around. Our potatoes thus far are doing quite well and the beans have all grown considerably. Hopefully, the season will continue to mellow out and all of the wet weather subsides a bit. Rain in nice in moderation but the garden does not appreciate a constant downpour. Worries of blight are not far from our minds when the humidity and rain combine for days on end.


Feeding the carp.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This afternoon I took my children to our local dam and fish hatchery to feed the carp. On one side of the dam there are tons of huge carp that appear to be as long as six feet. From the top of the dam they seem as big as a man which makes me wonder how big they really are. My older son absolutely loved throwing bread down to the carp. Our youngest son showed little interest. It was as if I was trying to explain the concept of life insurance to him when I gave him bread to throw over the railing. He just stared at me with this confused look on his face and then threw the bread. I really can’t be sure if he knew what the purpose of throwing the bread was because the carp were so far down in the water. I am sure as time goes by he will grasp just what we are doing and what we are watching. Until that point he will blindly toss bread over the railing because his daddy told him to do so.


A day out…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today my wife left the house and headed out into the great outdoors. She attended a “Women in the Outdoors” event. This was an unusual thing for her to do. She isn’t much of a joiner so I was surprised when she announced she was going to go. She spent the day learning to fish, shoot guns, kayak, and archery among numerous other activities. She came back having caught a fairly large trout and feeling quite proud of herself. As of tonight her plan is to get a fishing license and take up fishing. It should be interesting to see how long that lasts. Either way I am just glad she stepped out of her comfort zone and tried something new and had a good time.


Broccoli or strawberries?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 28th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our oldest son is horribly picky when it comes to fruits and vegetables. There really is not a single item from either category that I can honestly say the child enjoys eating. When we are at home he is expected to eat what is served whether or not he likes it. We are obviously reasonable about this and don’t serve exotic or disgusting foods to him When we are out of the house we offer choices so as to not make the dining experience horrible for whomever we might be eating with. Today we had lunch with my parents. My mother cooked broccoli as the vegetable and there were strawberries for dessert. My son hates both of these . We ultimately gave him the choice to choose one of the other to eat. He choose strawberries but did so grudgingly. I have to laugh because you would think we were suggesting a choice between pink magic and a colon cleanser rather than two nutritious foods. In the end he ate 3 large strawberries but did not do so without a couple of moments of gagging. Thankfully no one but my wife and I noticed this and the meal ended up being a pleasant experience for most of us.


Busting hump…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 28th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today was a spent toiling the land. First thing this morning we started the day off by planting sweet potatoes. We have never grown these before and have been anxious to try. This involved moving a ton of dirt and compost around and about the yard. This afternoon I spent the day taking care of my mother’s yard. She recently had surgery and has been unable to take care of her yard work. It was great weather for working outside but I have to say I am downright exhausted. After a long shower and I will soon head off to bed. Hopefully sleep will be quick and deep because I could certainly use it.


Free entertainment…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have always lived in an urban area. This means that we are pretty used to having interesting neighbors. Our current next door neighbor seems to find us very interesting to watch. Whenever we are in the backyard he immediately comes outside and sits down to smoke what I think are Acid cigars. It seems that we offer him free entertainment that just can’t be beat. I have learned to ignore his watchful eye and just assume that he has nothing else going on in his life. If our gardening somehow gives him enjoyment then so be it. I just find it funny that he takes such an interest in us planting and pulling weeds. Maybe he has never seen anyone raise a garden before.


Sunshine on my shoulders….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 21st, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today has been a busy, busy day! We had a list a mile long of things that we needed to accomplish and managed to get most of them done. The weather here has been so wet and rainy that getting anything done outside has been nearly impossible. It feels like spring is a month late in coming. I realize that considering what has been happening around the county in terms of weather that we are very fortunate. We spent about 8 hours working in the garden and yard and have quite a sunburn to prove it. It just feels good to finally have a day where planting felt safe. Given the cold temperatures we have had until now planting has been impossible. All we can hope for now is that the warm streak continues and this gardening season does not end up being a wash.


A growing trend?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When you subscribe to as many gardening magazines as we do it can skew your perspective on this hobby. In reading the various gardening articles we receive it would appear that backyard gardening is sweeping the nation. I really would like to believe this is the case but I don’t think it is. If there really were a vegetable garden in every backyard we wouldn’t be such an obese nation. The amount of healthcare jobs available would decrease instead of increasing because our nation would be healthier. When I drive around my neighborhood it seems like we are in the gardening minority rather than when majority. This may be a regional thing but I simply have not seen any increased interest in gardening in my neighborhood nor in my circle of friends. It would be awesome if what these magazine suggest is happening were to materialize in my community.


It is that exciting?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We spend a great deal of time in our backyard gardening. I don’t consider this an exciting activity by any stretch. It is however relaxing and something that we enjoy as a family. For whatever reason our neighbor also seems to find our gardening relaxing and possibly exciting. Whenever we take a step into the back yard he immediately comes outside to smoke a cigarette. In the course of 15 minutes we may come in and out of the house several times. It is pretty much guaranteed that every time we walk in and out of the door that he is also going to come in and out of his house. I have no idea why the guy seems to feel the need to observe our every move but he does. I guess we are just that exciting. Maybe he doesn’t have cable… who knows.


My father shops…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over the last couple of years it has become apparent to me that my father loves to shop. He was never this way when I was a child but for some reason he has become quite the shopper. The thing that is weird is that he buys anything and everything whether he needs it or not. If the price is right he will buy it. He gave me atv winches for Christmas because he got a good deal on them. I don’t have an ATV and neither does he. His line of thinking is that somehow I will find a use for them. I suppose this is true in some respect but I still wonder what prompted him to buy them. He also gave me some steel toed boots that he got on sale. He didn’t know my shoe size but bought them anyways. The boots are a size too small. I work in an office environment and cannot envision where he thought I would wear steel toed boots.


Smart little man…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 6th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our youngest son is a wild child. He is a boy who absolutely loves to be on the go and doing something. When my wife decided to start home schooling him this year along with his older brother I had my doubts about how things would go. As we are about to conclude the school year it seems that my doubts were unjustified. We received the results of his diagnostic testing for math and reading and it seems we have another smart child on our hands. He tested a full year to two years ahead of where he should be for his age. It is good to know that all the effort and sometimes frustration that my wife experience over the year with him has paid off. He has a solid foundation with which to start the new school year off.


Dreaming…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For some reason my family has not been sleeping well lately. I put up room darkening shades in all of our bedrooms but even that hasn’t helped. It seems like every night someone is talking or up walking around in their sleep. My wife keeps saying if this keeps up that she is going to need dark circle eye cream. Last night she joined in on the show and woke up screaming. I have no idea what they have all been doing but I wish I could figure it out. My guess is that there has been something they have been watching on television that has somehow disturbed them. It is probably a good thing that we have put our television programming in suspension for a month or so. Maybe during that time the attitudes and sleep patterns in this house will have improved.


Short list…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last summer I honestly thought that my wife would never stop with requests for me to build or make things. This summer the list is so short I almost wonder what is wrong. In fact there really isn’t anything that she wants me to build. She kept telling me that once the list was complete that she wouldn’t need anything else. I didn’t think she meant it but it would seem that I was wrong. This summer it looks like the only thing I will be building is a cider press and that isn’t something that she asked for. It will be a bit refreshing to sit back on the weekend and not envision a long “honey dew” or “do” list waiting for me on the fridge. I might not know what to do with myself if I don’t have something to work on.


Very happy!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning the thought occurred to me that it has been about 3 years since we moved into this house. It seems like only yesterday when we moved in. I have to tell you we haven’t been happier since moving. It is so nice to live in a neighborhood with decent neighbors who live quiet lives. No longer do I have to worry every minute about whether I left the house without setting our smart home systems. We sleep through the night without being awoken to police sirens or loud parties. I would still love to have a home in the country but where we are is just fine. There is something comforting about the peace and security of suburbia. Urban life appealed to me when I was younger and wilder but the older and more settled I become the more I like peace and quiet.


Stuck…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonight I was supposed to go to help my mother with some projects. Upon arriving at home I found that my car was blocked into the drive by construction workers. There is a 6 foot hole at the end of my driveway where they are replacing a water main. This means I cannot exit my driveway. I rode my bicycle to work and would otherwise have driven the car. I guess the workers didn’t think it was necessary to tell us we would be blocked in the driveway before digging this giant hole. The crews have been working until around 7 pm each night which means by the time I can leave my driveway it will be too late to then head to my mother’s house. She lives about an hour away which makes an 8 pm visit a bit late if I am going to accomplish any of her projects. I just keep telling myself that when all this work is done that we will have a great new road to drive on. That can’t happen soon enough!


A young man…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The other night we observed our son drawing on a sketch pad. I was a bit surprised to find that he was drawing anatomically correct male and female people. It was at that moment I realized that he is on the cusp of puberty. We have noticed lately that he is starting to need a bit of the best acne treatment because of blemishes. I now know that I have to be more aware of the fact that he is now a young man as opposed to a child. He has more mature thoughts and is going to need to feel like he can talk to me about them. Apparently his art work was spawned by pictures he saw in his anatomy book. I elected to say nothing about his drawings because I didn’t want him to be self-conscious about them but made a mental note instead about him maturing. I can only hope that as time goes by he will feel open to discussing whatever he is thinking or feeling without being embarrassed. I think too many children learn to talk about grown-up issues with their friends instead of their parents.


Clear minded…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning I rode my bicycle to work for the first time. I wasn’t really looking forward to doing so but I am actually glad I did. My wife needed to take our children to an appointment and since we have only one vehicle the choice to ride was a given. It was actually really nice to be able to bypass all the stopped traffic and just keep moving. There is a ton of construction going on in our town and traffic is constantly at a standstill. I also liked being out in the crisp morning air. The ride only took me a few minutes longer that it takes me to drive the distance. I had time to clear my head before starting my day and arrived at work feeling alert and awake. I can’t say that riding in the rain is something I would do but this certainly wasn’t bad. This morning was pretty chilly because we had a heavy frost overnight but it wasn’t terrible by any stretch.


Not excited…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This fall my brother-in-law is getting married for the first time. I would like to say that I am happy for him and excited about his future but I can’t. Having spent the day with his fiancee I can honestly say that I am would be more excited by electrostimulation at this point. In the half dozen times I have been around his girlfriend I have yet to see her having a good day. She has always either been sick or tired on each of the visits we have had with her. She is also apparently suffering from a handful of phobias that prevent her from driving, flying, and visiting doctors. Along with her phobias it seems she is also unable to cook, clean, or do anything physically demanding. Her present job is that of a cashier and apparently she intends to quit working a couple of months prior to their wedding. I have no idea why is quitting work but she is going to. My gut impression is that she is getting married to have someone take care of her and attend to her needs. I feel sad that it seems like this will be a very one sided relationship.


Fixing and more fixing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There was a time when my father-in-law was capable of fixing just about anything. For the last few years this has not been the case. It seems like every time I turn around there is something that he has broken that needs fixing. I don’t mind helping my mother-in-law with stuff that needs fixing. I just wished that he would just stop breaking things by doing senseless stuff. For example today my mother-in-law dropped off a wood chipper that she had just gotten. She had never actually gotten to use the wood chipper because my father-in-law broke it immediately upon starting it. He decided to throw a bunch of hay into the wood chipper with wrapped around the gears and broke it. Had he taken a minute to think about what he was doing he would have realized that this wasn’t a good idea. Now I get to spend the weekend trying to undo what he did.


Hoopla.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In my office it doesn’t seem to take much to get people talking. I honestly believe people talk about stuff just to have something to say as opposed to really caring about the topic. This week we were all given new scanners. Prior to getting the scanners everyone was complaining about them and the amount of space they would take up on our desks. Honestly, I didn’t care in the slightest about the scanner but you would have thought they were completely changing our computer system or something. I can understand people talking about getting new document management solutions and operating systems but not scanners and printers. To me a scanner is just another piece of equipment that helps me get my job done quicker. I would rather have my own than have to walk down the hallway to a shared scanner every few hours. Now that the scanners are in our offices it is pretty clear that everyone made much ado about nothing.


Privacy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have decided to put up a short privacy panel in our back yard. The staring neighbor has driven my wife crazy and she wants just a little bit of a barrier between him and us. The panel will be lattice and obviously he can still see through it but it won’t be quite as easy or obvious that he is doing that. I would rather not have to do this but some people just don’t grasp common courtesy when it comes to being nosy. The fact that he comes out within minutes of us coming outside makes it clear that he wants to be in our business. It doesn’t bother me as much as it does my wife but then I am not the one bending over in the garden for him to stare at.


Research projects completely!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When it comes to finding new projects my wife is a master. Most of her project ideas end up being very good and well thought out. There are times when she jumps head first into something without completely researching her plan. This week she has been violently ill from something that we could not pinpoint. She seemed to be having an allergic reaction to something but we didn’t know what. She has some food allergies and environmental allergies but these have always been controlled. There was nothing new in her diet or our lives that we could think of. She is always very careful to read all the possible side effects of everything she ingests and she hadn’t tried anything new in a long time. I could understand her feeling sick oxyelite pro side effects or something had she been taking a new supplement or medication but she wasn’t. The only thing we could think of that had changed was that she bought some oyster mushroom growing kits and they were beginning to fruit. It never occurred to either of us that mushrooms are a sort of mold. Mold is something that my wife is extremely allergic to. The fruiting of the mushrooms was releasing thousands of mold spores into to our house. Immediately upon removing the mushroom kits from the house she began to feel better. It goes to show that you really need to research even seemingly harmless hobbies.


Dude likes to stare.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

All of our neighbors are nice people. There is one family that is a bit more nosy than my wife would like. They are an older couple who live with their middle aged son. The father comes into our yard or garage whenever he sees us building something or working on a project. He wants to know exactly what I am doing and why. The son lives in the basement and comes outside to smoke on a regular basis. He also comes out whenever he sees one of us in the yard. He drives my wife crazy because he comes outside whenever she is working in the yard. He just stands there and stares at her which drives her nuts. He doesn’t say anything and just stands and watches her work in the garden and whatnot. They have another porch on the house and he could be going out there to smoke but chooses to come out at the exact moment that she also chooses to work in the garden. Drives us all crazy!


Marketing magic.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I really can’t decide which of my two children looks forward to getting the mail more. It doesn’t matter to them that there is rarely anything in the mail for them. They push and shove one another to get to the door to collect the mail as soon as it falls in the slot. My older son is especially drawn to the fliers and advertisements for some reason. He sits and tells me about all of the exclusive products we could buy if we went to this store or that store. Both of them love the advertisements we get from local car dealerships that keys attached to them. Neither of them understand why I don’t race down to the dealership to test the key to see if we won a new car. Try as I might I cannot convince them that those keys are just a marketing ploy. I know my older son secretly believes that we throw away a winning key each time we get one.


Ever expanding…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 30th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Each day when I come home it seems like my yard has shrunk. This isn’t to say that I own less property but rather that I own more garden. My wife sees things in our yard that I do not and is forever digging and expanding the garden spaces in our lawn and around the house. I don’t mind this because it means that I will have less grass to mow. My only concern is that she will end up with more stuff to take care of than she is able to handle. Since last year we have effectively doubled our garden size at the house. We also have a garden spot at the community garden that is at least as large as that in our yard. This is a LOT of garden to take care of. This year we are also putting in several fruiting bushes and vines that will require a modicum of upkeep. As long as it doesn’t turn into a jungle I will be okay with it all.


One vehicle.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Next week we will enter a new phase of our life. For as long as I can remember we have been a two vehicle household. There has never been a time in our marriage that I can remember us having a single vehicle. Last year when our car was totaled by a negligent driver we began to rethink whether we needed two vehicles. We decided to lease a vehicle for a year with the idea of transitioning to a single vehicle once the lease ended. Next week our lease ends and we are fairly confident that we can get by with just one vehicle. Obviously keeping our lone vehicle in good running order will be a priority as will having some sort of roadside assistance plan in place. During the last year we have put about 10,000 combined miles on our two vehicles. This makes it clear that we aren’t really using either vehicle very much. I only commute about two miles to work and can easily bike this distance in decent weather. I am lucky in that there is an awesome bike trail that runs from my house to my office making the commute even easier and safer. I am actually looking forward to this new change in my routine and our lives.


Busy week.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This has been an extremely busy week for our family. Our oldest son had to travel about 100 miles away twice this week to take testing for school. The entire family accompanied his since we don’t often get into a big city. Over the weekend prior we spent time at my in-laws pruning apple trees. This was an all day process and quite a big job. Today the children both had doctor’s appointments and needed to get immunizations. During the evening we managed to get a hoop house built for our garden and also the majority of an apple press built. Tomorrow we take our car in for some minor repairs prior to returning it next week when the lease expires. Tonight my oldest son has a scout meeting. It feels like we haven’t stopped running all week and I was on vacation the entire time. I need a vacation from my vacation.


Mini hoop house

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am on vacation for the next 5 days. I haven’t taken that many days off in a row since I started my job 3 years ago. There are a great many things I hope to accomplish during my time off. Aside from the apple tree pruning that we accomplished today I want to build my wife a mini hoop house for her garden. We would like ot experiment with extending our growing season by a couple of months. Ideally we would have a full size green house but that isn’t possible right now. By adding a mini hoop house we can work with our existing garden structures as they are right now. I am going to be interested to see just how much more food we are able to grow using this method of gardening.


Sleepy and tired.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This was a busy day for our family. The morning started off with multiple phone calls from everyone and anyone. We then headed off to my in-laws house to prune apple trees. This ended up being a much bigger job than I imagined. The entire process took about 5 hours. When we were done everyone was exhausted and hungry. I decided to just drive through and get some take out food. The children almost fell asleep in the car on the way home. A day spent out in the snow and cold has a way of just sapping the energy right out of you. I believe that we will all be heading to bed early tonight. Considering that we move the clocks ahead tonight for daylight savings time I am hoping that the children sleep in tomorrow morning because we could all use the rest.


Not fun.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning we received a call from our credit union. This was a bit weird because it Saturday. As it turns out they were calling to notify us that our credit card information has been stolen and they caught fraudulent charges to our account. They immediately placed a hold on the charges and declined further charges until talking with us. The reason they caught the charges is because we rarely use our credit card. Another clue was the places to which things were being charged. One was something to do with an Islamic Society… We are not people who would be buying stuff from the Islamic Society and apparently this is pretty clear to our bank as well. Thank goodness they caught this. I am also glad that we lowered our credit card limit from several thousand to less than one not long ago. Someone could have had quite a shopping trip if we hadn’t have changed this.


20th Anniversary

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This coming June my wife and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. This is a moment we have talked about for a very long time. It really seems like only yesterday we were heading off on our honeymoon with luggage stuffed with bridal lingerie and visions of the future. I honestly do not feel like i have been married for two decades. My intention is to plan a weekend getaway for my wife and I that will be romantic and relaxing. Our honeymoon was not the vacation we intended it to be and I would love a second shot at it. Considering we have been married half of our lives which makes this getaway a very long time in coming. Do you have any suggestions for a romantic weekend getaway in the northeast part of the USA?


Preparing for zombies.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We had a discussion last night about home security. My wife and I have never owned a gun for personal protection in our 20 years of marriage. Owning guns is just not something that we are comfortable with given we young children in the house. I know there are different arguments to this and I respect both sides. We just have never wanted a gun. This isn’t to say that we don’t feel the need to protect ourselves in some way. Our discussion last night led me to ponder if there is a way in this day and age to protect your home and family without owning a gun? I am not referring to a home security system or calling 911. I am referring to a situation where the system does not work and you need to act on a moments notice such as a zombie attack. How would you prepared for this without owning a gun?


Library budgets.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have a friend who works as a librarian. Typically you think of this as a fairly stable job without much risk of unemployment. Our friend says that this is anything but the truth when you work for a public library. Apparently libraries are constantly facing budget and staffing cuts because of fluctuating state budgets. Our friend is currently looking for a part-time job doing anything and everything because he suspects he will soon have his hours cut at work. He is hoping to pick up something doing customer service representative work or some type of work from home job to supplement his income should he be laid off or have his hours cut. I guess this goes to show that even jobs that seem secure can be impacted by the economy.


Even the Amish…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 5th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today we made a trip out to our favorite Amish bulk food store. This is the place we go to when we need flour, sugar, and baking supplies. We buy oats and flour in 50 pound bags. The last time we bought flour was about 6 months ago. At that time the flour was around $13.50 for 50 pounds. Today the prices on oats and flour were just about double. We bought 50 pounds of flour for $25.00. The Amish lady who runs the store said that prices are sky high on just about everything. We often think the Amish are immune to the inflation that we experience but the reality is that even they pay the price for rising oil prices.


Just sitting.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I find myself doing nothing. Typically I have any number of projects that I am working on each weekend. This weekend is a rare exception. There are things I could be working on such as painting the molding I recently installed. I could also be building mini-hoop houses for our garden. The truth is that today I would rather read about the best anti wrinkle cream than start any projects. The only thing I want to do is sit on the couch and watch television for hours on end. I believe every person deserves the rare Saturday afternoon of doing completely and absolutely nothing. I realize that later in the week I will feel a bit guilty about this but I don’t right now. I work a full-time job and spend just about every weekend building or fixing something. Rest is a gift I give myself every so often.


Gotta’ hurt

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our chickens are a hybrid type of chicken bred strictly for egg production and are supposed to lay an egg each day. Thus far two of our chickens lay and egg just about every day. Occasionally one of them will take a day off each week. The really odd thing I have noticed is that the day after they do not lay and egg is the day I will find a huge egg. This week’s egg was almost double the size of the eggs from the morning before. I don’t exactly understand the physical process leading to egg production but I am amazed nonetheless. I also think that it must hurt to lay an egg one morning that is twice the size of what you are accustomed to laying. There has to be some truth to my logic don’t you think?


Legends…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have had an ongoing discussion with our son about what is real and what is not. He refuses to believe that certain things are simply legends and are not in the realm of reality. It doesn’t matter that we think that the notion of him catching a Big Foot is not going to happen because he thinks that it is. I suppose it is no different than adults always searching for the fountain of youth in a bottle or safe diet pills that work. We all have things that we just want to believe are possible. Today my son finalized the tools in his backpack in anticipation of what he calls the coming leprechaun migration. He is quite convince that in about two weeks there will be an infiltration of leprechauns into our area and that catching one will be an easy task.


Science flop.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My son and I have been working on his science fair project for the last few weeks. He decided that he wanted to make a levitating train. He got the idea from a website that features ideas for school science fair projects. The project looked fairly straightforward on the website. Actually getting the project to perform as it was supposed to was far different. We have tried two different versions of the same idea and neither work as intended. It is a bit frustrating to say the least. I had tried to explain to my son that even though the project has not worked as we anticipated that there was still a great deal to be learned from the process. He would much rather enjoy the success of seeing his project work and doesn’t appreciate the idea of learning from failure.


We will work out!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last weekend we moved stuff around in our basement in order to make room for our exercise equipment. My wife and I made a promise to one another that we would start working out together each evening. Since that time the closest thing to working out that I have done is to do some research on force factor side effects. In other words I haven’t set foot on the treadmill nor road and distance on the exercise bike. This week it seemed like everything that could break did break and I spent most of my time repairing stuff. I really need to start exercising because I intend to ride my bike to work this summer. I would hate to be completely winded by my short commute to work. I figure that if I work out in advance of beginning to commute that I will be in better shape and won’t arrive at work a sweaty and disgusting mess.


Hedge row.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We would like put up some kind of hedge row along the property line between our house and the neighbor’s. There is nothing dividing the lawns between our houses and it looks like a big football field. We have had people walking through our yard via the neighbor’s yard and it is a bit annoying. Our neighbor’s attend the church that is next door to their house. The people that attend their church for whatever reason feel comfortable walking through their yard to come and look at our raised garden bed’s. I don’t mind people being interested in our garden’s but I don’t care for them just wandering in the yard without an invitation. Our older son was in the garden one day and a women and her entire family decided to come over and start asking questions. I found this a bit odd and bothersome considering we didn’t know they were there. I am thinking that a hedge row might deter this activity just a bit.


Recycling paper.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Being a family that home schools means that we go through a ton of paper. This comes from several sources including printer paper, work books, and work sheets. We try to recycle as much of it as possible. My wife has been saving some of the work that our children produce each year to form a scrap book for each child. I am think that eventually we will have enough to form a book with a velobind or something. Our new goal for this year is to shred all of our other paper and either compost it or use it for mulch in our gardens. There are still things that we don’t know what to do with like crack boxes and other shiny coated paper. I believe our local recycling program take shiny advertisements but I don’t know about stuff like cereal boxes.


Edible landscape?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife is keenly interested in gardening. She would, if given the freedom, turn our entire backyard into a garden. Because I have insisted on at least a portion of it remain green grass her focus has shifter to something she refers to as “edible landscape”. The first thought that comes to my mind when I hear these terms is people grazing on the lawn in a manner similar to cows or goats. I just have a hard time envisioning anything else. I know that she means that we plants bushes and shrubs that will provide us with food as opposed to simply being ornamental. There just has to be a better term for this type of landscaping. Maybe once I see it in action I will recreate a better image.


Endless possibilities.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are days in every job that make you question your career choices. I have to say that this happens to me on a fairly routine basis. Had I known 20 years ago what I know now about working in the field of social services I would have chosen a different career. Had the option been available at that time I would have considered something along the lines of a bsn online. Online degrees were not available then like they are today. We were limited to the degree choices offered by our local colleges and universities. If you wanted to pursue something unique in college you had to move to that college. Today you don’t even need to leave your house to get a bsn online. There is an online program for just about any degree imaginable out there today which makes choosing a career much more interesting than it was 20 years ago. I will say that despite my occasional frustrations with my chosen career I am glad to have attended the school that I did. It was there that I met my wife and my life change for the better.


Not interested…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 17th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have never been to Mexico. I don’t have the slightest bit of desire to go there. This is something that my coworkers simply do not understand. For whatever reason they all seem drawn to Mexico as a vacation spot. We have a 30 people in our department and I would say that at least 80% of them have been to Mexico during the 3 years I have worked there. My boss goes to Mexico several times a year. I can think of dozens of places in the world I would love to visit and can list reasons why I am drawn to each one. I cannot come up with a single thing that would inspire me to book a trip to Mexico. I have been to the southwest part of the United States and cannot imagine that going to Mexico would be much different than visiting southern Texas…. I might be wrong but this is how my mind works.


5th Grade Science Fair…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This year is the first time our older son will be participating in the science fair at his school. This is a fair sponsored by the gifted program at his cyber charter school. He has yet to narrow down a topic for his project but has so many ideas. The problem we are running into is convincing his that we don’t have access to welding equipment, engine driven pumps, particle accelerators, and anti-gravity machines. He watches televisions shows like Myth Busters and doesn’t quite understand that what they do on their is not something we can do for a 5th grade science project. I am hoping to convince him that we can do an interesting project without having access to the supplies afforded a network television station.


Always a project…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I came home to find my wife cooking a big pot of sawdust. Next to it was a big pot of shredded paper. She had two 20 quart pots filled with paper, sawdust, and water. She was boiling them and stirring them quite happily and looking quite sane. I started to wonder exactly what we were having for dinner. As it turns out she was not cooking me sawdust and paper pulp for dinner. She was in fact pasteurizing these items to use as substrate for a project. Her project today was to start growing oyster mushrooms. Once the paper and sawdust have cooled and drained she will put the drain product into a sterilized bag and inoculate it with mushroom spawn. In about a month we should be enjoying our first homegrown flush of oyster mushrooms. What could be next?


Good fun…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My children are simple kids. I mean this in the nicest way possible. They don’t have expectations that they will be provided with every toy that hits the market nor constantly be provided some type of amusement. They are quite comfortable using their imaginations to come up with ways to create their own amusement. Yesterday they were incredibly happy with a long visit to the library followed by a trip to the farm supply store. They ended up completely exhausted from their night on the town and hit their mattresses like a ton of bricks. It was as if they had spent the day at the playground. I think the fact that it is winter and they don’t get to be out and about much made it all the more exciting. I just love that they don’t look towards video games and television for fun and see books as the best thing in the world.


Good food…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 4th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We buy very little in the way of groceries from the actual super market. Most of our vegetables were those that we grew ourselves or bought from the farmer’s market. Our meat comes from local farms and we buy our baking ingredients from the Amish bulk food store. The only things we have to buy at the grocery store are milk and household supplies and sometimes fruit. It is amazing to sit down to a meal and know exactly where it came from. My children now think this is the way everyone eats after only a year or two of this lifestyle. This morning my older son asked that we not adulterate his homemade spaghetti noodles with store bought eggs. Our chickens are just now laying eggs regularly and he already knows how superior the flavor of food is when the eggs are fresh and the chickens well fed. Of course we still buy the occasional treat from the store but what is cool is the children realize these are treats and not a way that they should regularly eat.


He can’t be that old?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today is my father-in-law’s birthday. For some reason I am always able to remember his birthday. There are just certain dates that stick out in my mind and this is one of them. Even though I always remember his birthday he is one of those people that expects you to make a fuss. We usually just send a card and give him a call to wish him well. Honestly, I can’t believe that this year he turns 71 years old. I can’t believe I have known him for over 20 years! It seems like yesterday when we were shopping for personalized 50th birthday gifts for him. Time just seems to have slipped past so fast. It makes it hard to believe that when I met him he was middle aged and now he is a senior citizen. I suppose he would say that when he met me I was just a kid and now I am middle aged. Thankfully, he is in good health and the years have been kind to him.


What to brew next?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 26th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has been about two months since we bottled our first batch of home brewed beer. Surprisingly the process worked out perfectly. The beer we made is actually better tasting than anything that we have bought from the store. We aren’t big drinkers on any level and more enjoy the process of making beer than actually drinking a ton of it. We are getting ready to embark on our next brewing adventure and haven’t decided what to brew next. We bought a sampler pack of various stouts and porters and decided that we really don’t care for any of them. I bought some hard cider that we both really liked but can’t make right now. I am leaning towards making and Irish red beer of some sort. We know we like that already. It is just fun to look at the weird beers that are available out there. The problem is that I don’t want to be stuck with a couple cases of weird beer.


A change of disposition.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 24th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is funny how our chickens have changed in the few months that we have had them. When you think that just a few months ago they were little chicks it really seems unreal. Today they are fully fledged egg laying hens. They have gone from being flighty little chicks to what is for the most part docile birds. The only time they are cranky is when I try to collect their eggs. I was a bit shocked to see how protective they were of their eggs given the short duration of time that they have been laying. One of them grabbed onto my finger this morning and wouldn’t let go. I had to shake her off to get her to let go. I wonder if we need to keep a medical cart with first aid supplies next to the coop? Seriously, I know they are just getting used to the whole notion of laying eggs and will likely settle down but it was a bit funny to be bit by my chicken for the first time.


Effort equals reward.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 24th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When my wife asked me if we could get a couple of chickens I honestly thought the idea was crazy. As we discussed the idea my thinking shifted and I could see why she wanted them. Building the coop and run was a time consuming process and along the way I hope all my work would be worth it. It has been almost 5 month since we brought home our newly hatched chickens. Yesterday morning I went out to check on them and was surprised to find two eggs in the nest box. I have to say it was pretty darn cool to realize that these eggs were right from my own property. They didn’t come from a chicken in a battery cage living under cruel conditions and they didn’t travel half way around the world to get to me. I know exactly how they were handled and the life of the chicken that laid them.


Handy tools.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our kitchen is chocked full of gadgets. My wife loves to cook and bake like no one I know. As a result we have ended up with quite a collection of tools for various tasks in the kitchen. I have to admit that I feed her supply with gifts on a regular basis. For Christmas I gave her a new immersion blender to use to make her daily weight loss drink. She had hinted that cleaning the blender was a pain and that cleaning an immersion blender would be much simpler. My parents also gave my wife several different kitchen tools for Christmas. The problem is that we now have no more space to store these gadgets and many of them are getting shifted to storage which means they are not used as often as they would be if they were handy. I wish I could somehow find a piece of equipment that does a multitude of tasks really well. There are products out there that claim to do this but not many really do them all well.


Lease cars…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last year in February our car was totaled when a driver fell asleep at the wheel and slammed into my driver’s side door at 65 mph. My father helped us out by arranging a lease vehicle for us through his employer while we sorted out our insurance issues. At the time the car sounded like a great deal and we were thankful to have it. Now that we are nearing the end of the lease I have come to several realizations about lease vehicles. The first is that I would never want one again. We simply don’t drive enough to justify the cost of the lease and insurance. The car has been fun to drive but that is about it. We have paid a great deal of money for little return. When we turn in the car all that money will be gone and we will have nothing to show for it. Going into the process we knew this would be the case but the reality doesn’t hit you until you look back at what you spent and realize how little you got for all that money.


Dedication.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since early November my wife has been working out on a daily basis. In our 20 years of marriage I have seen her try numerous times to loose weight using weight loss dietary supplements and various diet plans. She has never worked out as intensely as she has been for as long as I have known her. It is interesting to see the changes in her attitude about exercise and life simply by making changes in her activity level. Whether she wants to work out or not she knows that after an intense workout she feels great about herself and her stress level is significantly reduced. I wish I could find the same motivation to be active but at the end of the day I simply feel drained. I promised her I would workout whenever she did but I have yet to fulfill that promise. I thought she might use this as an excuse not to workout herself but she seems oblivious to my lack of activity.


Tax time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last several years doing our taxes has been a bit of a pain. We always prepare our taxes ourselves which is more complicated than handing everything over to someone else to prepare. This is also a much less expensive route to take. This year we decided to get a jump on preparing our taxes and everything already looks so much easier than previous years. For the first time we do not have income from more than one state or part-year residency issues to deal with. Essentially we only have to address one W2 and the income from my wife’s business. Everything looks very cut and dry which is a great relief. I would love knowing that we can get our taxes done and not have to keep messing with them for weeks on end to sort it all out.


My space…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of the things that drew me to our present house when we were looking for a new home was what is now my workshop. This space is not large by any means but it is definitely nice to have. I never really had a place to store my tools or work on projects in our previous home. My workshop is great because not only does it house all my tools in an organized space but it also has home speakers and incredible lighting. If I could I would put a recliner and television in there if I could. I honestly think that everyone should have a spot in their home that really feels like it is theirs. When you are married you loose that feeling of having your own room because every room is a shared space. This isn’t to say I miss being single but rather that I missed having a space where all the decisions were mine to make. I can put stuff where I want and no one cares.


Building the best car…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My oldest son and I have spent the last several days crafting the “ideal” Pinewood Derby car. His troop has their annual competition in a couple of days. In previous years our attempts at building a car were fairly simplistic. When my son was very young his dream car was essentially a car shaped like a wedge and painted. This year he has set his sights quite a bit higher and we have crafted a fairly complex car. The car is shaped like an arrow with extensive detailing on the bumpers. We have worked as a family to create this car and I have to say we are pretty proud of it. Even if the car doesn’t place well we will know we put our absolute best effort forth.


A happy boy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 15th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our son turned 11 years old a couple of days before Christmas. He is one of those kids that isn’t very interested in video games and doesn’t really ask for much in the way of toys. The one thing he desperately wanted for his birthday was a cell phone. My wife and I had told him that we weren’t buying a cell or or any type of accessory of that nature. He made a point of pointing out to us every single thing related to cell phones that he could over the last few months. It didn’t matter if it was a htc desire hd advertisement or a rack of airtime cards for cell phones. After talking about it we decided to surprise him with a prepaid cell phone for his birthday. We think that this will teach him some important skills like budgeting and responsibility. He really doesn’t have many people he would want to call which makes it fairly affordable. The fact that he only has a set number of minutes to use will help him decide whether a call is really warranted or if it is something he can wait and tell the person later. He is completely thrilled with the phone and almost a month later has only use about 5 minutes of his allotted time. I would say that despite my hesitations the phone has not been the problem I might have anticipated.


Pinewood Derby…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 15th, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Next week our older son will participate in his last Pinewood Derby. I always have mixed feelings about these events. They offer the potential for a great family experience and challenge for the kids. The reality is that when you look at many of these cars it is very clear that few are actually constructed or designed by the boys themselves. I spent some time this year online researching how to build a better car and was a bit shocked at what I found. There are all type of places that will instruct you on how to build a completely legal derby car. On the flip side there are tons of places that advise you on how to cheat and alter the vehicle to stretch the limits of the “rules”. There are even sites where you can pay to have a car professionally built for you. We always stick within the guidelines and my son designs his own car and helps build it. What is hard is heading off to the race knowing that he stands little if any chance of actually placing in the race against the myriad of kids who are abiding by the rules.


A good workout.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last couple of months we have been working out just about every night. It has become a sort of ritual in our house that everyone takes a turn in the basement working out. We have some used gym equipment that we bought several years ago. It is so nice to not have to leave the house to get a decent workout. I like being able to spend as much time on the treadmill as I want to and not have to wait for a turn. A long time ago I belonged to a gym that required you to reserve a time slot to use the treadmill. Each person was limited to 20 minutes on each piece of equipment. I hated not being able to spend a decent amount of time on the equipment that I enjoyed. That is no longer an issue because the equipment I use the most is right in my basement.


Pomegranate seeds…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Eating berry type fruits is not something I tend to enjoy. I am, however, willing to try new things when I am given the opportunity. During the holidays we frequently eat dinner with my mother and father. My mother is a person who loves to try different types of food and cooking styles. Sometimes this works out and sometimes it does not. This year for Christmas dinner she served a dish that featured a variety of different types of berries. I was tempted to comment on how incredibly out of season these fruits were and the distance they must have traveled to get to the area but I didn’t say anything. I ate the berries without comment and wasn’t very impressed simply because I don’t care for berries. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what one of the things in the dish were. After dinner I asked my wife what the sour little pellet type fruits were and she told me they were pomegranate seeds. I will not be filling up on these any time soon. What a weird thing to eat and the texture was just bizarre.


Not unexpected.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was reading the newspaper this week and read several familiar names in the police blotter. This is not something I routinely experience because most of the people I know do not have run ins with the police. These particular names did not not surprise me in the slightest to read. These names belonged to people who were our neighbor’s prior to moving a couple of years ago. In fact they were a primary motivation for us wanting to move because they were such horrible people to live beside. Apparently they were picked up for shoplifting at one of our local stores after being observed stealing via cctv cameras. They were caught with several hundred dollars in merchandise on them while attempting to leave the store. It is sad that people feel that this is an acceptable way to live but these people do. They have no respect for anyone or anything and only look out for themselves. It would be nice to think that being prosecuted would make a difference in their lives but I have my doubts.


A long break…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 2nd, 2011 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tomorrow morning I need to go back to work. I am not looking forward to it. This isn’t because it is Monday but because I have just taken a long break. Well, it is a long break by my standards. I have been off work for four consecutive days since I broke my leg last February. It was really nice to not have to think about work for a few days. I was able to get several projects finished and enjoy the slightly warmer weather in our area. We experienced temperatures in the mid to upper 40′s for almost the entire weekend. This was a nice change from the frigid temperatures of the last month. I just wished I had a few more days off to just enjoy quiet time with my family.


A nice surprise.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When it comes to Christmas my wife and I give each other very practical gifts. We have an unspoken agreement as to how much money we are going to spend on each other. This year we were especially practical and got each other only the things we really needed. My wife surprised me with a garage door remote for our garage door opener. Ours has been missing since we moved into our house and we just haven’t replaced it. I was surprised to find a replacement under the tree. My wife has to climb up on a metal step stool in our garage to find out what type of opener we had. Our garage door opener is a bit old and it required some research for her to find a replacement that would work with it. I love that she realized that this was something I wouldn’t buy for myself but was something I could definitely use. It will make working in my garage so much nicer because I will be able to close the door while inside the garage and open it as well.


A full day.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have just tucked the children into bed and it feels good to just sit. Our Christmas festivities are now over and everything was wonderful. The kids were spoiled rotten as usual which is how it should be when you are young. Our children do not get many presents throughout the year and obviously look forward to Christmas with a heightened sense of anticipation. I can honestly say that there is not a thing that they hinted that they might like that they did not find under the tree at some point during our various family gatherings. I am looking forward to just sitting still tomorrow and watching them play with all these treasures. The toys they got are very hands on and manipulative type toys which are great from giving them lots of playtime. I hate toys that are passive and do the playing for the children. It is nice to see the joy in their faces as they figure out what each and every toy does. It is also nice to have a few quiet hours of just doing nothing but sitting still.


A short wish list…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When it comes to wanting things for Christmas there are very few things that I can honestly say I really want. We try to live sustainably and to not get caught up in the consumer mentality that is so prevalent in our country. I will admit that I would desperately love to find a honda generator eu2000i under the tree this year. We camp off grid on a fairly routine basis during the summer. This means that we do not have access to a traditional means of accessing power for our camper. It would be really nice to not have to worry about rationing our marine battery power or relying on our solar charges to keep things topped off while camping. I realize that some people say that we should just go to a regular camp site and pay for electric but I really like the idea of not being tethered to a traditional campsite. Being able to camp anywhere at anytime is truly freeing.


Smooth moves…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For about a month I have been spending time each night working out. This is the first time since I broke my leg in February that I have made an earnest attempt to workout. My ankle just hasn’t felt that strong and I suppose my desire to improve it wasn’t there. My wife proposed that we spend time each night, as a family, becoming more physically active. She suggested that each of us spend time on the treadmill during the evening. I have to admit I wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea but I could see where she was going with her thinking. Our oldest son had become pretty sedentary and unwilling to be physically actively. This isn’t to say he is fat or anything but just that he really didn’t move more than necessary. In talking about this we decided that the best way to change his attitude about exercise was to lead by example. In working out ourselves we are showing him that this is what our family does. We exercise and take care of ourselves. I have to admit that after one month of working out I already feel improvement in the flexibility of my ankle and the smoothness of my movements.


Where did it go?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

During the winter months we keep our back porch enclosed with various covers. Our back porch is a screened in porch with a single door. Because our winters are so harsh here it is necessary to cover the porch to protect the interior from the elements. We rarely enter or exit the back porch during the winter because we have no reason to do so. Yesterday, I went outside to shovel a path from the road to the door just to be sure we could get out if we needed to do so. I was very surprised to find the door hardware for the handle to the door was missing. I have no earthly idea where it could have gone. I know that no one was back there messing with it because there were no footprints in the snow. My best guess is that for some reason it must have come loose and fallen in the snow. I didn’t find it while shoveling but I figure it has to be somewhere out there. I am quite sure we will find it when spring comes but in the meantime I am going to have to find a new door handle.


I concede.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Each and every year at Christmas my wife and I have a disagreement about holiday spending. To be honest what we disagree about is in regards to the money that I spend. To be even more specific we disagree about the money that I spend on my parents. You see, my wife tends to handle our Christmas shopping. She will run ideas past me as to various things we might buy my parents and I say that sounds fine. As the holidays approach, for whatever reason, I feel the need to buy my folks something else. I don’t discuss this with my wife and I just do it. Usually she isn’t aware of the spending until Christmas day when we exchange gifts with my parents. I should know by now that this isn’t a good plan but I just do it anyways. This is likely because every year prior to this one we bought all of our gifts using credit cards. This year we are debt free and have no credit cards. I now realize that if I am going to be true to our intent of only spending money we have and can afford that my last minute shopping needs to come to a halt. I concede that buying presents just to feel like I am being generous, even though I can’t afford it is not the best thing to do.


Snow = Excitement?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

What is it about snow that makes children go crazy? As an adult who has to shovel more than his fair share of snow I just cannot get excited about the prospect of waking to a yard full of snow. I can think of a thousand things I would rather do than shovel snow. I could clean the chicken coop, chop wood, or scrub our grout. I find snow about as exciting as watching paint dry. I would probably choose to do just about anything before I would choose to shovel snow. You could ask me to read information on phenterminedietpill.org and I would gladly do it if it meant not shoveling snow. I can only look out the window and see hours of back breaking work before me. My children however view see snow as future snowmen, igloos, and sledding trips. I wish I could share their enthusiasm for the fluffy white stuff but I don’t.


Cluster headache or allergies.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife has had what we assume are severe allergy attacks for several years. In reality she has had these as long as I can remember. There is nothing that seems to invoke them aside from strong perfume scents and chemical smells. She is virtually incapacitated by them. The only thing that seems to make them stop is a sleeping pill which has doxylamine is the main ingredient. This is a very strong antihistamine. We have been doing some reading and it seems like there could be another cause of what she is experiencing and that is something called “cluster headaches”. These headaches are called a histamine headache which might make sense as to why she has a positive result from the sleeping pill which is an antihistamine. She has an appointment with the doctor in a couple weeks and I am really hoping we can get some answers as to what might be causing these attacks.


No one sleeps…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our youngest son has had a cold for the last week. Thankfully he is over the feverish aspect of whatever virus he is fighting. He is not over the congestion and sneezing part of the cold. His nose seems to be draining constantly. It is hard when children are younger than 6 because there just isn’t much you can give them to ease the symptoms of a cold. What is comes down to in our house is comforting. We have spent so many sleepless nights this week that I know we are candidates for the best eye cream for dark circles. Our little guy cries most of the night because he can’t breath easily when laying down. We therefore sit and hold him to allow him a comfortable place to recline and breath somewhat more easily. I have tried propping up his mattress but this doesn’t have the desired effect. In the end I count myself lucky are children are healthy and that this is just a week or so out of the rest of the year.


Media break…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have been on a media break for the last week. It was brought to my attention that I was becoming fairly engrossed in keeping up with all of the current news and events not only in my own town but around the world. I talking about this with my wife she pointed out that she thought it might be impacting my attitude about the world and seemed to be dragging me down. I work in a job that involves providing services for needy people. This can be a thankless experience most of the time. As much as you want to believe people aren’t trying to live off the system the reality is that many of them make it their job to do just that. It is sometimes hard to see the silver lining in what I do. Every so often there is a person or a family that comes through their hardships with a brighter tomorrow and makes you proud to have been there to help them. This is a rarity and not what I experience on a daily bases. I try not to become jaded but I think it is inevitable. My wife pointed out that working with a population as tough as what I do is hard enough but adding in all the negative news in the world only makes my outlook worse. I am beginning to see what she was saying because after a few short days of blocking out the media I can see where you do start to absorb all that garbage into your daily life.


Housekeeping

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is the time of year when I realize that I need to do some housekeeping in regards to my websites. Not only do I need to renew my domain registrations but I also need to check my out my hosting packages. These are just things that need to be done to keep things running smoothly. The other thing I like to do is verify my manual directory submissions to make sure my sites are still being listed appropriately. On my list of things I hope to accomplish is to give all of my sites a face lift. I like to change things up periodically to give them a fresh appearance. If I have time I will installs some fun widgets or helpful information of the sidebars. This year has been so busy that I haven’t had as much time as I would like to fuss over things like I normally would. I find that during the holidays I have a bit more freedom to focus on these types of details than I normally would.


Holding on…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A couple of weeks ago I started working out on a daily basis. I have always been active but haven’t been on the treadmill since before my accident last February. I just haven’t felt like my ankle was strong enough for the type of workout I used to do. It took me a few days but I feel like I am finally getting back into a groove with my workout routine. I still am not able to run like I used to do but that is likely going to get better. My body needs to adjust to account for the pins and rods in my ankle. My ankle just doesn’t feel natural anymore. I find myself still needing to hold onto the side of the treadmill to maintain an intense speed. I am trying to be patient with myself because I know that a couple of weeks is too soon to judge myself based on. I think the important part is that I am finally back on the treadmill and that feels good. I remember last spring, when the cast was on my ankle, wondering if I would ever be able to walk normally again. Contemplating running at some point in the future is a good feeling.


A quiet day..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tomorrow we are going to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. It is always interesting when we go there. My in-laws are not exactly the most talkative people on the planet. This is nothing new and they have always been like that. In fact no one in my wife’s family is very talkative. One of her brother’s almost never says anything. Her other brother is so soft spoken that I want to give him a microphone whenever he opens his mouth. I have to strain so hard to hear what he is saying that it makes having a conversation a struggle. My wife is probably the most outspoken of the group and that isn’t saying much. I am thankful that my children are lively and talkative because they keep me awake during these visits.


A wee bit surprised…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are many things that my wife and I agree upon and share the same taste. The one sticking point in our marriage has always been our preference for music. I honestly have never thought of my wife as being a fan of any type of music. I knew that she sort of like country music but that was about it. Yesterday, I decided to get a quick workout in and used her MP3 player. I have to say I found the mix of music on it pretty surprising. Most surprising was the fact that she owns every single album by Pink. I just never would have thought of my wife as being a fan of Pink but she is. Apparently she is quite a fan of this artist and listens to her exclusively when working out. I guess after 20 years there are still things you can find out about the other person that surprise you.


It seems to work.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week my wife called me at work and sounded absolutely horrible on the phone. She was in the midst of an allergy attack and needed me to pick up some medicine for her. For several years she took prescription allergy medicine to control her allergies. Over time she found these weren’t as effective as she wanted. In a moment of desperation she looked up the ingredients of some sleeping pills we had in our medicine cabinet. To her surprise she found out that they had a powerful antihistamine in them. After take a pill her allergic reaction subsided. Since that time she hasn’t found anything that is nearly as helpful in getting her through one of these attacks and minimizing her reaction. I used to question it when she said she was taking a sleeping pill for her allergies but I now fully understand why they work.


My time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Once a week I engage in what I like to call “my time”. This is the one day of the week when I take total control of the television. I do not compromise what I am going to watch nor consult with anyone. I wait until our kids are in bed and I sit myself down in front of the television and I don’t move for a good long time. My wife doesn’t say much about this and just heads off to her own part of the house to either read or do the same thing. After 20 years together we don’t feel like we need to be joined at the hip. We do try to watch television together most nights of the week but recognize that we need our time alone. I know there are men who give no consideration to what their wives think when it comes to the television but I am not one of them 6 days of the week. I don’t watch sports but I do enjoy a good anime cartoon. There is no way my wife would sit through that and I am not asking her to.


Not pretty.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I spent the better part of my evening at a Boy Scout cake auction with my son. The troop he belongs to this year is new to him and is fairly large. We had no idea what to expect when it came to a cake auction with this troop. His old troop made the event feel pretty laid back and relaxed. This was anything except laid back. There were 35 cakes present. The depth of work invested in these cakes was beyond anything I could have imagined. I was definitely not a place you would want to be if you were taking diet weight loss pills. Someone even brought in a very exquisite looking pie. Had we known that pies were an eligible category we might have tried that angle instead. My wife and son spent a great deal of time crafting chocolate covered marshmallow penguins and an a cake iceberg to house them. The cakes at the auction made their cake look amateurish. I have to wonder how many of the Boy Scouts actually participated in making some of those cakes.


Still plotting.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife fully expected to be spending her birthday alone with our four year old this weekend. We both thought that I would be away on a camping trip with our older son. As it turns out we will in fact be together. The problem is that I now feel that I need to come up with something special to do on her birthday. I know she is someone who doesn’t want a fuss made over her but I really want to do something. She has been feeling pretty crummy this week and I know she could use a little pick me up. It is just hard when someone tells you explicitly that they do not want something done for their birthday. She generally prefers that her birthdays be spent like any other day. I believe that stems from having had many disappointing birthdays as a child. We spoke about it once and she said that she learned not to expect anyone to acknowledge her birthday because no one ever really made a fuss. In fact she told me that on one occasion her mother put a cake mix on the counter and told her to bake her own cake if she wanted one. I am sure her mother thought she was letting her daughter indulge in something fun because my wife has always loved to bake but the gesture ended up being symbolic to my wife. Her birthdays are not worthy of a fuss is the message that was ingrained in her.


What to do?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are getting very close to that time of year when we have to narrow down our Christmas shopping list. My wife is very organized when it comes to gifts and generally has a fair amount of our shopping done well before the holiday season. This year we are trying very hard to keep our spending within reason and are brainstorming for handmade christmas gift ideas that people will appreciate. My wife wanted to give away baskets of her homemade preserves and canned food but she is having second thoughts. My parents are constantly making comments about not understanding why anyone would want to do something like canning in this day and age. That kind of took the wind of my wife’s sails when it came to giving them any of her wonderful goodies. I know many other people who would love them and keep telling her that but she doesn’t want to hear it. So, we are now looking for other ideas for homemade gifts.


Not camping.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I posted earlier this week that I was not looking forward to a camping trip that I was supposed to attend this weekend. As it turns out I am not going but I am still not looking forward to the camping trip. The reason I am not looking forward to it is because my son will now be going without me. I misunderstood the troop leader and thought that it was mandatory for a parent to attend. Now my son is headed off for the weekend with a couple of scout leaders that we barely know and a group of boys that we know even less about. I am trying to put on a brave face for my wife because she is not certain our son is ready for a trip like this. The reality is that you can just never know for sure that your children are ready to handle themselves in the world. Thankfully my in-laws live just a mile or so down the road in case something happens and we need to get there immediately.


She turns 40…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife turns 40 this weekend. I will not be here for her birthday and feel pretty bad about that. It isn’t that I don’t want to spend her birthday with her. I will be sitting in a tent in the rain with a bunch of boy scouts. I already bought my wife her birthday gift a couple of months ago. You would think a woman like her would want women’s sweaters or a nice pair of slippers but this year she asked for chickens. You read that right the woman wanted a hand full of chickens and a chicken coop for her 40th birthday. She is very into living sustainably and has been fascinated with raising backyard chickens for a long time. When we found out that having chickens was legal in our city there was no stopping her from asking for them. How can you turn down a woman who wants nothing more than a couple of baby chicks for her birthday. I think we spent a total of $9.00 on four baby chicks which is a pretty cheap gift if you ask me. So, my wife will spend her birthday with the chickens while I will be camping in the rain. I am very lucky to have a woman with such simple needs.


One of those appointments…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I went for one of “those” doctors appointments. You know the type that no one wants to go in for but is necessary as part of being a middle aged man. I liken this to when a woman has a mammogram or a pap smear. I can honestly say I hate even scheduling such an appointment. The receptionist always wants to know if I have preference for who I see when it comes to a nurse practitioner. Essentially the choice is between a man or a woman. Hmmm, do you want another guy checking out your stuff or a young woman half your age? Tough call isn’t isn’t. Needless to say I am home and relatively unscathed. I can at least not give this another thought for the next 12 months and hope I don’t run into my care provider in the grocery store for the foreseeable future.


What will the future hold?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Each and every day it seems like I get an email at work about our upcoming contract negotiations. These emails seem to be painting a very bleak outlook for what the result of these negotiations will be. There are days when I think about looking for a new job. I consider entering “jobs retail” into my search engine and seeing if there is anything available to me in my area. Then reality hits me and I realize that I can’t change jobs right now. My family needs me to stay right where I am. It doesn’t keep me from wondering if there are any jobs out there that are not being impacted by the current economic environment? Are there people who go to work each day knowing that they will continue to earn what they are currently earning without worrying about having a job in the future? Right now all we are hearing is that we are going to be asked to give up raises and do more work with fewer employees.


A camping we shall go.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I cannot believe that I am posting this but I am going to be going camping this weekend! It is the middle of November and I will be spending the weekend in the great outdoors with my son and a bunch of boy scouts. I cannot really say that I am looking forward to this adventure in the slightest. I don’t like being cold and damp. I would much rather be at home under my electric blanket than in a tent this weekend. It has been raining for the last week and the ground is like a sponge. The cold is such that it just seeps into your bones and stays there. But, my son is going and needs an adult to accompany him so I will be there for him.


Easy to dress.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night I was helping my son choose clothes to wear to a Boy Scout event and realized how easy it is to dress boys. I will admit that there was a time when I really wanted to have a daughter but I am so thankful for my sons. Having boys makes it so easy when it comes to buying clothes. They really don’t need much beyond pants and shirts. I have never heard my son complain that he needs a special brand of clothing or that he needs something new to wear to an event. I have to say that as my son gets older I am very glad I will not have to deal with the stress of shopping for prom dresses or outfits for special occasions. I might never get to walk a bride down the isle but I won’t have to worry about paying thousands of dollars for a dress she will only wear once either. I believe that a guy has to find consolation in the little things every so often.


Lots of soup…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife made me 26 pints of bean soup at the beginning of the summer. This surprised me because I didn’t know she knew how to make bean soup. I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive as to how the soup would taste since she doesn’t eat bean soup and has no idea how it should taste. It was a great relief to find out that her soup tasted pretty good. The only thing it needed was a bit more salt but that wasn’t a big deal. I have almost used up the entire 26 jars of soup and came home to find her making another huge batch of soup. This soup is a 3 bean soup made with a hock hock. I will tell you right now it is not pretty to look at but smells really good. Because she used black beans it is the color of mud. I don’t think she expected the soup to look as dark as it does. I am hoping that if the smell is any indicator that it will taste great despite looking like a mud puddle.


It is all amazing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Having children is a constant source of entertainment. I think that people who don’t have children loose out on one life’s best opportunities. My children have this amazing ability to make every single day and adventure. We can be doing the most mundane tasks in the world and they somehow find something to marvel at about the world around them. Today we were at the library checking out our books and my older son noticed that the librarian was putting things that looked like blank address labels on the back of each book. He took a moment to tell her that he had always wondered how they got new labels on the back of the book when the old one filled up. I guess when you are young you envision some magical method for such a simple task. I guess it didn’t occur to him that they just placed a new label on top of the old label whenever it was filled with return stamps.


Injections…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today was the day that our entire family made our annual pilgrimage to the doctor’s office for flu shots. There have been years where we have not gotten them but for the last few we have been pretty diligent about this. I try to plan some things for the kids to look forward to on this day beside the impending injection. I don’t lie to them about where we are heading and for what reason. I think it is wrong to take your children to the doctor’s and surprise them with shots. They know when we are going there for that purpose and when they are just going in for a regular check up. We rounded out the day with a trip to library and a meal at McDonald’s. Thankfully our nurse was very good at her job and everyone came out feeling none the worse for wear.


A long wait…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today was an odd day in that we had several unexpected visitors. My mother-in-law stopped by and spent quite a while with us. Shortly after she arrived my brother-in-law and his girlfriend came by. It was fun to see them because we hadn’t seen them in a long while. I have to say I was surprised to find out that her brother has been out of a job for going on two and a half years. I feel awful them because they are now contemplating selling their home and moving across the country. He is quite literally applying for every job imaginable. At this point he is considering switching professions and is looking at construction jobs. It is hard to envision being in the same position and having to uproot my family. I am thankful for the stability that my current job offers despite having days that are challenging.


First batch…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This afternoon we embarked on a new home brewing experience and made our first batch of beer. I have tried home brewing wine with a minimum of success. Making wine is not something I have quite gotten the complete knack of yet. Brewing beer is a bit less complicated and take a shorter period of time from fermentation to bottle. Wine can take months in the fermentor whereas beer can be completed in as short as a week or two. The beer we are making takes 2-4 weeks to get ready to bottle. I am using a conical fermentor and it makes the process much easier. The type of beer we are making is an American Brown Ale called “Caribou Slobber”. The first batch thus far has been pretty smooth to make aside from a small glitch where we added the aroma hops a bit too early in the boil process for the wort. We are now waiting to see the fermentation process to begin in the next couple of days. I will keep you posted as to how things progress between now and when actually bottle the beer.


Dressing up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is the first year since I was a child that I will be dressing up for Halloween. Last year after Halloween my wife found a great deal on costumes. She thought it would be funny if the entire family dressed up in the same costume and went out trick-or-treating. The funny thing is that somehow she didn’t remember to get herself one. She keeps saying that she is going to dress up but my guess is that she will just wear something like a T-shirt for halloween party or a witches hat and regular clothes. I am debating about stopping to buy her a costume and just tell her that is what she is wearing. I didn’t get to choose my costume and that makes it seem fair if she doesn’t get to choose hers wouldn’t you say?


At a loss…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week my mother told me that one of my cousins had gotten married earlier this month. Apparently my parents are upset because they had to hear about this from someone outside the family. I don’t know exactly what they are are getting so worked up about. This particular cousin is in his 40′s and has lived with the woman that he married for many years. I don’t really see what the big fuss is all about. Apparently they went away on vacation and got married. It isn’t like they had a big wedding and purposely didn’t invite my parents. From the way it sounds it was a very private thing that they really didn’t invite anyone to. I think my folks just want to have something to fuss about. My thought are that if they don’t send an invitation or an announcement then I don’t have to send a gift. That makes us all winners in my opinion!


Feeling older.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There is something about this weather that is making me feel older than I remember feeling last year. I have to think it might be due to the car accident I had last spring which left me with a leg that will never be the same. Whenever the weather gets dramatically older my leg and body just feel achy. I know I need to work out more and try to rebuild my strength. Exercising would likely also relieve some of my work related stress. I believe that stress is major reason why I find myself in need of hair loss products lately. The last six months seem to have left me in need of a time machine to turn back the clock to regain my thicker and slightly less gray head of hair as well as my uninjured leg. It would be nice to think that I can do something to halt the march of time by committing to take better care of myself in the future.


Over it…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are a couple of television shows that I watch because my wife chooses to watch them and we have agreed to do so in the evening. She then watches a few shows of my choosing during the week. This isn’t to say I love these shows but I watch them nonetheless. One of the shows has started to leave a really bad taste in my mouth. “Private Practice” started out as an interesting offshoot of “Grey’s Anatomy” that we enjoyed watching. Over the last few seasons it has just become like a bad soap opera. It seems like every character on the show is destined to encounter some tragedy beyond belief. I know that the issues faced by these characters does occur in the real world but to have all of these collective events occur within a single workplace is so unbelievable. How on earth could anyone continue to work in a place where everyone has been victimized or traumatized in such horrific ways?


Who will be left?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just received word that several of my co-workers are leaving the office. One of them is moving to another job in a neighboring county. Another is leaving for a lateral move in a different department. Two are retiring in the coming months. Yet another co-worker has decided to use the family leave act to take a hiatus from work due to stress. I understand why all of these people are making the choices they are but it doesn’t make me look forward to the coming months. We are currently under a hiring freeze at work which means that none of these vacancies will be filled. While my former co-workers are relaxing and living a life of leisure the rest of us will working like crazy. I guess I had better stock up on : indoor tanning lotion because it isn’t very likely that I will get a vacation any time soon. We have been told that there will be no vacation time request approved for the foreseeable future.


Dog stop!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 26th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We used to have two cats and one dog. When we had two cats for some reason our dog seemed to be more constrained in her behavior towards the cats. We ultimately had to find a new home for one of our cats because he could not be stopped from urinating all over our house when we moved into it. Over the course of a year we tried everything short of ripping the new carpet out to get him to stop but he wouldn’t. There was nothing physically wrong with him and even attempts at retraining him did not work. Sadly, he had to go because it was just getting nasty. Not that he is gone we have noticed our dog has become increasingly frisky in her attempt to play with our remaining cat. She is playing but it is constant and annoying. I really wish the cat would decide enough was enough and give her what for just once. Yelling at the dog to stop picking on the cat has become an hourly event. I know that cat has it in him to give her a clear indication of his strength but for some reason he just keeps playing along with her silly games. I guess he must like the company?


Simple needs?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend my wife and I had a discussion of whether or not she is a high needs woman. She does not see herself as being high needs and for the most part neither do I. She isn’t the type of woman who needs all the newest fashion trends. You won’t find her shopping online for queries like “shoes womens” or designer jeans. She does however want things like for me to build raised garden beds or an outdoor pizza oven. My life would be much simpler if she just ordered shoes and jewelry. I know I would spend more time watching television and less time building chicken coops and compost tumblers. I suppose the way to describe my wife is anything but simple because she is really complex. She has irons in so many fires and such diverse interests that calling her simple would be an insult. She ascribes to a simpler lifestyle but to me a simple lifestyle is not what she strives towards. Simple is eating convenience foods and relying on big business to provide for your every food need. Growing and preserving your own food is anything but simple.


Moderation…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have never been a drinker. Drinking is just not something that I do on a regular basis. I am considering getting into home brewing beer because my wine brewing experiments have been less than successful. My wife does enjoy a nice dark beer once a year or so which makes beer making seem slightly more sensible than wine making. She never drinks wine and I rarely drink it. We therefore end up with a great many dinners which feature a wine based sauce. If you haven’t had plum wine based spaghetti sauce you have not tried utter nastiness. I am now thinking that at least beer can be used in stews in and soups and bread making and not end up overpowering the other things in the meal. I know I should just make soda pop but that doesn’t entice me the way home brewing does. Our first beer is going to be a kit called ” Caribou Slobber”. Sounds divine doesn’t it?


“Our” hobby…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 21st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

After learning that I was pretty much making up my knowledge of wine making my wife has insisted that our future home brewing project will be a joint effort. She makes some good points in that it is a bit silly to spend money on supplies and equipment and not use them properly. She also points out that the last thing I read in any detail was not much longer than some apidexin reviews. She is the type of person who will research stuff to death before embarking on a project. This is likely why we make a good couple. My lax attitude towards acquiring knowledge balances out her need to become an expert in a topic before testing the waters. There are many things over the 20 years we have been married that she has kept me from jumping head first into. On the other hand I have encouraged her to take risks and dive in rather than analyze something to death. So from here forward my wine making hobby, if it can be called that, is officially “our” home brewing hobby. We are now going to shift focus and attempt something a bit simpler than wine like a nice extract beer kit.


Playing it by ear…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 21st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of the things I have been trying for a long time to do is to make wine. I have not had really good luck with my wine to date. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I bottled my most recent batch of wine. I am going to admit right now that it is likely another bad batch of wine. You see I kind of play it by ear when it comes to making wine. I am just not a person who does great at reading books to learn about making wine. This last batch I felt pretty good about until my wife called me on the carpet for something I did during bottling. The wine we were bottling was really dry so I added about a half a cup of sugar to each bottle of wine and then added the wine and bottled it. My wife kept asking if I was sure this was the right thing to do and I insisted it was fine. Little did I know that my wife has really been reading up on home brewing wine and beer. After bottling the wine we opened a bottle a couple of weeks later and it fizzed and foamed all over the place. My wife then began researching adding sugar to wine and learned that it was a bad idea to add it to the bottles unless you are absolutely sure all the yeast in the wine was dead. I effectively had a create bottle bombs that would explode when the temperature rose significantly. Thankfully, my wife learned that we could refrigerate the wine in an effort to kill the yeast while in the bottle and possibly prevent future explosions.


They don’t get it.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife spent the better part of the morning making homemade apple juice and canning it. The apples were free and she had some canning jars that were empty. There ended up being quite a bit more work involved in making this type of juice than she had anticipated. I mentioned to my mother that my wife was making apple juice and she just couldn’t understand why my wife would bother with this project. She told me that she doesn’t understand why anyone would can when you can buy stuff cheaply at the grocery store. I decided not to spend time explaining to my mother that we are trying to live sustainably and eat locally. We definitely could buy our groceries for very little at a big store but we opt not to when we can avoid it. Yes, we still go to places like Best Buy but that is only when we really need something that we can’t make ourselves. I like knowing where our food comes from and that we had a hand in making it. The work involved is fun when you realize the fruits of your labor.


I am done!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A fair amount of my free time over the last couple of months has been dedicated to building a chicken coop in our garage. Just to clarify I am not building the coop in my garage in order to move it out in the yard. I am building the coop into the corner of my garage as a permanent fixture. We ultimately decided that this would be a more protected environment given our bitter winters. I still have to build a run for the chickens but I am happy to report that the coop is done. The chickens moved into their new house an hour or so ago and everyone seems to be fairing well. I could really tell that they needed a bigger place and were starting to get on each others nerves in the brooder.


That time of year…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I am looking forward to several project that need to be completed before it snows. One thing I have to do is finish our chicken coop. The chickens will be ready to go outside in the next few weeks and are going to need 4 walls on their coop. The other thing I need to do is begin winterizing our house and our pop up camper. I keep wondering if I should look into rv insurance or not? We park our camper in our backyard near our neighbors huge oak tree. There really isn’t a good place for us to put it out of the elements and the tree provides some shelter. I do my best to pack it up well for the winter but I always worry during that first road trip each season. There is always a question as to whether something might have happened to the camper while it sat during the winter. Getting home from the first trip out each year is always a huge relief.


High on the hog…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It feels to good to be sitting down and doing nothing because my stomach is so full I just might explode. Quite honestly I am not accustomed to eating meals like the one I just ate. I have to say that if this is what sustainable living does for our diet I am all for it. Yes, my wife barely cooked this summer but that was because she spent just about every single day canning food. Now that canning season is over we are beginning to see the fruits of our work. Tonight we dined on prime rib, roasted potatoes and beans from our garden. There was also fresh artisan bread with real butter. Desert is homemade peanut butter oatmeal cookies and ice cream. I just received word that the half a hog we ordered is going to be here next week. Life is good.


I sometimes wonder…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the most part we are entirely happy with the cyber charter schools that our children attend. There are times however when we wonder if the people who design the curriculum for these programs have any actual experience teaching children in a real life situation. For example our youngest son is in a K4 program. This is a kindergarten program designed for 4 year old children. The program is really get except for the occasional assignment that seems completely off the wall. Our son is just now becoming familiar with the idea of even holding a pencil to write. This is a completely foreign thing for him. At first he flat out refused to even try writing but is slowly gaining a sense of what it is we are asking him to do. The first couple of weeks it was almost impossible to explain to him that we were learning to write his name. I might as well have been talking a foreign language or explaining the theory behind using hgh to him. We have been working on single letters for about a month and I would say that everything has been slowly coming together. Out of the blue we were thrown a curve today and one of the assignments asked him to hand write and create a poem about frogs. How on earth do you go from writing a page of single letters to creating and then writing a poem about frogs? We are holding off on this for now because I just can’t see him being able to do this. The reality would be that we would be holding his hand to write a poem that we told him about frogs.


No more seeds…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I love that my wife is intent on being sustainable and eating locally grown food. When it comes to putting food away I will do anything to help her. This weekend we bought a bushel of pie pumpkins from the produce stand down the road. It took several hours to cut, clean, cook, and process the pumpkins. The process was made even longer because we decided to save the seeds to roast. If you have never had the privilege of cleaning the seeds from 20 pumpkins you cannot appreciate just how time consuming this is. Aside from the roasted seeds the entire process was completely worth the effort. We were able to put away enough pumpkin puree for 20 pies or batches of muffins etc. My wife now thinks that we might need another bushel of pumpkins since we ate the first pie in one sitting. It was so delicious. I have agreed to help take care of the pumpkins on the condition that we do not save the seeds.


A new week.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am not a big fan of Mondays. I don’t really know anyone who is happy when a new work week rolls around. It generally takes me all day Monday to get caught up on messages left for me throughout the weekend. Usually by Wednesday I am settled in an able to some serious work done. I love that at our office the shut down the phone system on Wednesdays and don’t allow calls through. All calls go to our voice mail. This makes it great when it comes to productivity and being able to focus on our work. It doesn’t matter who is calling be it asset based lenders or the director of our agency they are directed to voice mail. Most people are familiar with our “quiet days” and simply adjust when they call to accommodate this plan. It does however mean that we have days where our call volume is significantly higher and Monday is one of those days.


Not good.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just finished cleaning out my attic and discovered something disturbing. For some reason one of the nails in our roof has decided to start leaking. I am glad we found the leak before there was any major damage. It does however bother me because the roof is very steep and I am not to keen on climbing up that high. I hate paying someone to fix one small leak but we may have to do that in order to protect the roof and myself. It just sucks when you discover something like this because it always seems like there are more problems that will follow. I suppose I am just being negative but it makes me uneasy nonetheless. I am hoping that things will dry up and we can find someone decent to come and fix the roof that won’t try to sell us a new roof in the process.


Changing for the season.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Some day I hope to have either a house with huge closets or a significantly smaller need for four seasons of clothing. I really wish I had the space to keep all of my clothes in one place in my closet but I don’t. This means that 4 times a year I have to bring down bins of clothes for our entire family to be swapped with the clothes from the season that just ended. This is always a good time because I am reminded as to whether I need to join nutrisystem or some other diet program. I can judge how active I have been by whether or not my clothes from the previous year are either too big or too small. With luck I am able to wear all my clothes from the year before. There are times when I realize that maybe I have indulged in one too many bowls of ice cream before bed. I have a sneaking suspicion that this will be one of the years where I need to drop a few pounds to fit into my jeans from a prior year. We have just been having one too many rich meals lately and late night snacks.


Why do people do it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Social networking online is not my thing. I don’t really understand the fascination or the need. Once in a while I do check my Facebook page just to keep up with a handful of friends I don’t see regularly. I have to say that I question the sense of people when it comes to sharing personal information on Facebook. For example, a friend of mine posted this long rant about their child spilling a can of soda across the desk. Okay, children do this type of stuff all the time. Kids make messes and stuff gets ruined. Do you really need to tell the 300+ people on your insanely ridiculous list of “friends” on Facebook that you are pissed off at your 8 year old child? We have rules in our house about where you can drink a beverage and where you cannot. Drinks are to stay on the dining room table period. You don’t carry them about the house. I know this sounds silly but then we don’t deal with computers being soaked in liquid or whatnot. On another note is it really essential to tell people each and every time your back hurts or you have a migraine? I mean do 300+ people really need to know this information? Surely, you have something interesting going on in your life besides this…


Not packing?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In our almost 20 years of marriage I have come to know my wife pretty well. She is a woman who likes to be prepared for any event that may happen. When it comes to leaving the house for a trip she usually starts packing a couple of weeks ahead of time. You can imagine my surprise when I realized that she hasn’t even begun to pack for our trip next weekend. She hasn’t started packing so much as a pair of socks or even a tube of acne cream. I will be interested to see how long it is before I find a bag sitting on her dresser with a neatly folded stack of clothes next to it. I might be shocked if she actually waits until the night before we leave to pack. This is something that I do and it always drives her nuts. I don’t really care what I wear when we travel but she gives each outfit careful consideration. Maybe she views a trip without the children as significantly less stressful to prepare for than a trip without them?


Junk food weekend.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Most of our food is made from scratch. We don’t buy many processed or prepared foods from the supermarket. It occurred to us that when we leave our children with their Grandmother’s next weekend that we will need to leave some quick and easy meals. When you are in the habit of cooking for two picky kids it can be frustrating to make a meal. We know how to handle our kids in such a way as to make dinnertime hassle free. I know that neither Grandma is going to handle the situation in the same way that we would. To eliminate the hassle of the weekend it seems like the best choice we can make is to leave a bunch of convenience foods that we have no doubt the children will eat. I imagine that when the weekend is done that they will want us to leave more often just so they can have chicken nuggets and hot dogs on a more consistent basis.


Why do we keep it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am presently taking a break from sorting through the stuff in our attic. No matter how frequently I go through the stuff up there I am always amazed at the stuff I find. I have no idea why we continue to hang onto our notebooks from college or for that matter the text books. Does anyone ever use these things after they have been in a career for 15 years? It isn’t like the data is fresh or current. It is kind of like hanging onto an alli review from today and considering it relevant information 20 years from now. My wife has a ton of text books from the 4 degrees she has earned over the years. You can imagine just how many text books she has as a result. I keep asking her if she is ready to part with some of them but the answer continues to be “no”. I think she hangs onto them to remind herself that although she no longer works in her chosen profession that she was a career woman at one time.


Bold plan.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are about 25 blogs that I read on a regular basis. These blogs tend to be centered around the theme of sustainable living and homesteading. I was surprised to find a post on one of my favorite blogs that indicated that the writers of this blog were planning a trip to Oregon. In the post they requested that any reader’s, living in this area, offer them a place to stay on their couch during their trip. Part of me loves this idea but the other part of me wonders about the sanity of this type of request. How on earth can you trust people to not be psycho? In a world where people get killed because of a Craigslist post it just doesn’t seem wise to say “I am willing to stay anywhere with anyone.” On the flip side, opening your home to people just because you read their blog doesn’t mean they are stable and safe people. Am I wrong?


Love that boy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our older son is a quirky kid and I wouldn’t have him any other way. He soaks up the world in a way that I think is rare in a kid his age. There is nothing that he isn’t willing to learn more about. I have found him reading everything from cookbooks to skin care product reviews just because he found something lying on the coffee table. He has read my wife’s pressure cooker manual as well as the one for her food dehydrator. He is definitely not going to be one of those men who tries to assemble something first and reads the instruction manual after that plan fails. There are times when I am quite sure there is a 60 year old man trapped inside his ten year old body because he simply knows too much stuff. I cannot wait to see the man he becomes if his passion for knowledge continues as he grows up.


It should be interesting.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

On Friday we will be heading out of town for 3 days without our children. Our boys are 10 and 4 years old. They are awesome kids. That have not however spent a weekend together without us. Our ten year old has spent a few nights with his grandmother but the little guy has never been away from his parents. My mother and my mother-in-law will be taking turns watching them for the weekend. My mother has never watched two children at once. My mother-in-law parented three children but gets nervous when it comes to caring for kids for some reason. It should be really interesting to see how they handle their respective shifts with the kids. My wife is planning to put together a ton of easy meals and possibly a couple of new toys to entertain them. Hopefully it all turns out okay and we open the door to more weekends to ourselves.


That time of the month.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About once a month my wife and I sit down and go over our monthly expenditures and bills. We find that doing this together keeps us both aware of where we are directing our money. Most of our bills like our car insurance are automatically deducted from our checking account. There are very few bills anymore that require us to write out a physical check which is really nice. I remember the days when paying bills was a very long process because each and every bill required us to hand write a check and address an envelop. I love being able to sit down at the computer and make a few clicks to pay bills. It is nice to have everything tallied for me and clearly organized in a single place. My bank has a number of handy features, in their online banking program, that allow us to create these awesome pie graphs based on our spending. This makes it really easy to see areas where we need to reconsider our spending habits.


The attic.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are the type of people who do not appreciate clutter. Having a bunch of stuff laying around tends to drive us both a bit crazy. It seems like we are almost on a weekly basis finding something that we no longer need and end up parting with. For some reason I cannot explain our attic seems to be one spot that we are perpetually cleaning and getting rid of stuff from. I cannot understand why we keep taking tons of stuff away and the attic just keeps filling up with more stuff. It is the weirdest thing. We don’t buy tons of stuff and yet we somehow keep filling up the attic. Since today is a rainy day it is very likely that I will once again head up to the attic to see what we can part with. It seems like every Sunday I am making a pilgrimage to Goodwill to give them another load of our belongings.


Our getaway.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Next weekend my wife and I will be going away for the weekend. This will be the first time we have gone anywhere by ourselves since our older son was born and that was almost 11 years ago. We haven’t taken any special trips over the years because the opportunity didn’t present itself. This isn’t to say we haven’t bought each other nice presents along the way. I remember for our 10th wedding anniversary gifts we bought each other new wedding rings. This summer we celebrated our 19th year of marriage and promised ourselves that at some point in the coming year that we would get away for a couple of days alone. Our trip next weekend includes a couple of night in a cabin about 4 hours away from our house. We will also be attending a fair that is centered around sustainable living. This is something we are both keenly interested in. It will be nice to be able to spend time alone and also be able to focus on the various topics being presented. When I asked my wife what type of gift she wanted for our anniversary this what she requested. I love that the woman has such simple expectations at this point in our marriage.


Wind farming

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We had a big surprise recently when we went to visit our my in-laws. They told us that they had something they “did” that they needed to show us. My wife and I immediately began to wonder what they could possibly have done that would elicit this type of description. They instructed us that we needed to follow them down the road to another piece of property that they owned. A dozen thoughts ran through my mind because my father-in-law tends to be a bit of a dreamer and an impulsive shopper of sorts. We ultimately pulled up to one of their hay fields and stopped. Smack dab in the center of the field was a huge tower. I couldn’t immediately tell what the purpose of the tower was. When we got out of the car and they explained that the tower was placed their under contract with a wind energy company. The company is studying the wind in the area with the hopes of eventually placing a wind turbine on the property. We were amazed that my in-laws were into wind energy and thought it was actually pretty funny that they thought we might be against them allowing this to take place on the property. I have to say that I think it is pretty darn cool!


Crazy long drive.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

On Monday we drove to Ohio to pick up 3 baby chickens that we had ordered. The trip was supposed to be a quick drive out and back. It should have taken about 3 hours to get there and three hours to get back. For whatever reason it took us about 4.5 hours to get there. After picking up the chicks we promptly left the hatchery and started home. We elected to take what the GPS system said was the shortest route home. It ended up being the longest trip we have ever taken with our children. This particular stretch of highway was an endless stretch of construction zones. About an hour into our trip we started to sense traffic seriously slowly down and eventually coming to a complete halt. For about 3 hours we sat in one spot without moving. There were any exit signs to be seen and absolutely no place where we could go to get off the highway. People were literally out of their cars standing on the highway. My children have never been in a traffic jam and couldn’t understand why we weren’t moving. Surprisingly they kept it together despite having nothing to do and no clue as to when the wait would be over. After 3.5 hours we began to move and ultimately the pace of our trip picked up. The trip home ended up taking 7.5 hours when it was all said and done. Thankfully, the chickens survived this trip and are doing well. Should we ever need chicks in the future I will not hesitate to have them shipped to me because driving to get them did not end up being inexpensive nor enjoyable.


Fall work…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

With the temperatures dropping around here it has become very clear that winter is on the way. The change of seasons means a shift in the type of work that we need to complete before the snow falls. One of the first things I need to do is dig up our potatoes. I believe that our attempt at growing them is going to be a failure but I need to look. We dug up the potatoes from one barrel and our crop was absolutely pitiful. Aside from the potatoes we have carrots that will need dug up and garlic to plant. The Jerusalem artichokes will need to be dug up and our dying tomato plants pulled. The soil in the garden will need work and refreshed. When all of that is done I will set to work on cleaning out our compost bins and draining the rain barrels. The list is endless but you get the idea. When you become serious about gardening the work doesn’t stop when the plants stop bearing produce, it just shifts in a new direction.


Amazing technology…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over the summer our children were gifted a bunch of VHS videos. The funny thing is that neither of our children has ever seen a VHS tape or player. The hard thing was that these were videos that they desperately wanted to watch. Not having cable television means that they aren’t very picky when it comes to entertainment. We don’t know anyone with a VHS player and had a hard time tracking one down for them to watch the videos on. It we had been looking for a DVD player or someone with blu ray our options would have been endless. Finally, my folks found a VHS player in their attic and set it up for the kids. I had to laugh as they watched this amazing “new” technology and wondered when we might get our own VHS player. Hmmm, any bets on when that might happen?


Urban farming….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has come to my attention that there is a name for people who embark on the path that we have chosen. The term “urban farmer” or “urban homesteader” is currently used to describe people like us who are striving towards a more self-sufficient lifestyle within the constraints of an urban setting. I have to admit that when I first heard these terms I really didn’t feel they applied to us. Over the last few months I have read more about the urban homesteading trend and the thinking behind this type of lifestyle and I definitely believe that this term applies to our lifestyle. This is all the more true now because we have added a small flock of backyard chickens to our yard.


Sustainability…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My project for today is to finish building our chicken coop. Yes, that is what I am building. Next week we are traveling to pick up 3-4 newly hatched chicks that we have ordered. My wife has been itching to get a couple of chickens for as long as I can remember. We finally came to an agreement about this idea and reasons that would justify the expense and time involved in raising chickens. We also think this will be a good experience for out children.

There are a few other projects that we will be finishing up this month including putting in a couple more raised garden beds and getting in our fall plantings.

My wine should be finished this month and ready for bottling.

Our final canning push will be to put away around 48 quarts of applesauce.

The potatoes will be ready for digging as well.

I am on the fence about digging our Jerusalem Artichokes or to wait until next spring.

The second crop of carrots we planted look like they might be ready at the end of the month.

The beans we left on the plants at the community garden need to be picked and dried.

We have half a grass fed cow coming to put in the freezer as well as half a hog and a few free range chickens.

I have 4 watermelons still on the vine that I am crossing my fingers about. They got planted late and summer is running out.

We are set to receive two peach trees for our backyard as well as a grape vine and a couple raspberry bushes.

My mushroom logs will need to be soak in order to urge the mushroom spore we put in last spring to start fruiting.

Our worm bin needs cleaned out and the compost put in the garden and a new bin started. I also need to move then into the garage or porch for the winter.

Let’s see… I think that covers a good amount of what is on the agenda for this month. Do you think I have enough to keep me busy?


What do you do?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 3rd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I tend to be someone who is accepting of all different types of people. I do not believe that we all have to think or act alike and that is what makes the world a great place. We have this family that keeps trying to be a part of our lives on a constant and almost overwhelming basis. Typically we would want to widen our circle of friends but I just don’t feel that way about these people. I have tried everything to convey in a subtle way that we just can’t get behind there line of thinking and whatnot. I thought that because they are so closed minded that they would be turned off by the differences in our thinking and would back off. This doesn’t seem to have any impact on them whatsoever. Short of being point blank and blunt with them I don’t know what to do other than ignore the perpetual emails and invitations. I can’t sit and listen to endless complaints about the government and how evil the world is. I don’t want to leave my child for a play date when they tell me about spanking and “smacking” their children. I have always considered tact to be a strong point of mine but it is running dangerously close to running out when it comes to interacting with these people.


Not the same woman..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I was having a conversation with my mother about some of the things we have been working on around the house. Something she said about my wife struck me as funny because she said that my wife “is not the same woman” that I married almost 20 years ago. Usually when you hear this term it evokes negative connotations. When I think of my wife as not being the same woman nothing but positive things come to mind. She is no longer a woman who strives after a high powered career and things. Our lives have indeed taken a 180 degree turn from where we once were about 10 years ago. I wouldn’t change a thing because I love the woman she is today. Yes, there are days where I wonder if we really need a chicken coop and another raised garden bed. In hindsight I usually see that the things she is asking for or wants me to build are things that are part of a bigger picture she has for our lives. We are striving towards a simpler and more self-sufficient life that offers significantly more fulfillment that anything else we have ever endeavored to do.


Cleaning up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend we spent a fair amount of time cleaning out our garage and attic. I love having a clean house where I can quickly and easily locate the things I am looking for. It drives me crazy to go in the attic looking for a file or something only to have to move boxes of vintage t shirts, blankets, and keepsakes to find what I need. Having a clean garage just makes life so much simpler I can actually find my tools and have place to put them down now that all of the junk that was taking up space is now gone. We could have had a garage sale but it is so much simpler to just haul it all off to the thrift store and be done with it. Sitting in my yard all weekend hoping that someone might buy my junk just feels like time that could be better spent.


Why so fast?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We live on the corner of a dead end street. The entire length of the street spans maybe 300 feet. At the end of the street there is a family with older children that are in college. For some reason everyone that visits these kids feels the need to drive as fast as humanly possible up and down the street. I fail to understand the reasoning behind this. It isn’t like you can get anywhere really fast or need to. Tonight my older son was almost hit while trying to ride his bike in the road by one of these visitors. Thankfully he wasn’t but you can be sure my heart skipped a beat. I am now ordering a sign for our yard to remind these young drivers to take it more slowly. I doubt it will have any impact but at least I can hope that it might clue at least one of them to the fact that young children do live here and to be more aware.


On a mission…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have a couple of friends who recently bought their first home. They are investing a great deal of time and effort to remodel this older home. I an envious of their enthusiasm because they are both actually working second jobs to pay for their various projects. If it were me I would just buy some cheap laminate flooring and forgo the second job. They however feel differently and want everything to be the top of the line. For some reason they think that spending more means a better quality product which doesn’t necessarily hold true for everything. We would love to remodel our house but have decided that this is something we are going to put off until the children are older. I don’t want to spend my days worrying about juice spilled on my wood floors and marks on the wall. I want to enjoy my children here and now. Nice things will hold up better later on down the road.


Chicken tractor…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 10th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have yet another project that I will be building in the coming weeks. When I first heard the term I thought it was a little silly because it is called a “chicken tractor”. I just envision a chicken driving a tractor. It is not this but rather a type of chicken coop that is portable to enable you to move it about the yard. We recently found out that keeping chickens is legal within the limits of our city and we intend to now pursue raising about 4 of them. They are set to arrive at the end of October which gives me a couple of months to get the tractor built. My wife is pretty specific on how it needs to looks to keep our neighbors happy. I personally don’t care how it looks as long as it is clean and doesn’t stink. I also expect to see some eggs from these chickens given all the work they are requiring me to do for them!


Little student..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week my wife asked me to put up some more shelves in our dining room. We received a shipment of school supplies for our youngest son and she needed space to store them. Along with his books we received his technology package which included a new laptop computer that looks similar to an Acer Aspire and a printer. The computer is labeled with the school insignia but doesn’t seem to be labeled to indicate the actual manufacturer. I think it is really cool that they give top quality technology even to the youngest students. For some reason I expected that he would be given a used laptop that had been turned in by a student who left the school but he wasn’t. He is so proud of his new computer and his own little space at the desk. I hope his enthusiasm for the process of being a student doesn’t fade anytime soon because it is such a joy to see.


I work for “Bones”

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since getting Netflix we have found a few television shows that we had never seen before that we really like. One of the shows that both my wife and I like to watch is “Bones”. The main character in the show has the nickname of “Bones” and aside from being a highly intellectual person is also incredibly socially inept. The more I watch the show the more I realize that I work under someone exactly like this character. I almost believe that the character was modeled after my female supervisor. What is weird to me is to realize that there likely is a reason why my supervisor is so socially inept much like the reasons behind the character differences of the people in the show. It makes me wonder if my boss is as socially awkward outside the office as she is inside of it?


Sign to the neighbor…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In every neighborhood there are always some people who march to their own drum. I have no doubt that there are people who look at us this way just as we look at some of those around us. We have one neighbor in particular who seems to have no clue whatsoever about social rules. She thinks nothing of looking in our garage to see if we have stuff sitting around she might want. When she spies something of interest she will then pound on the door or wander around the yard to track us down and see if she can buy or have the desired item. I finally put up a sign on the front door that indicated where the button for the door chime was and asking people to use it. So far the sign doesn’t seem to hold any meaning for her because she still pounds on all the doors and wanders around outside yelling to inquire if anyone is home. I have tried pretending to not be home and she will keep up the pounding and yelling until we answer. She has tried to buy our coffee table, camper, and vegetables out of our garden. I do believe this qualifies her as someone who marches to the beat of her own drum don’t you think?


She wants them…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When it comes to wanting things my wife is not very high needs. She prefers a simple life and doesn’t ask for much. This makes it hard when she does say there is something that she wants. It is hard to refuse a woman who buys her clothing (gladly) at Goodwill. For whatever reason the thing my wife wants most in this world is not a new kitchen gadget or a trip to the day spa… My wife wants… chickens! The woman is convinced that this will make the difference in our ability to provide a new level of sustainability to our home that is now lacking. It isn’t enough that we grow our own vegetables and make our own soap and countless other things. No, we need chickens to put us over the edge between those who aspire to be sustainable and those who truly are living the life. I just can’t get behind the idea of a couple of chickens running around in the backyard. To be honest I don’t believe our neighbors will tolerate the idea. I am just going to keep pretending I don’t hear her for now but it is getting hard not to when she brings it up every single day.


Falling into place.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When I got home from work tonight my wife asked me to accompany her to the basement. Specifically what she wanted me to look at was the state of our pantry and freezers. There was a time when what she would have wanted me to see was all of the food she had stockpiled using coupons. For as long as I can remember my wife has been a very skilled coupon user. She has been known to walk out of a store with cart loads of groceries for next to nothing using coupons. This visit to the basement was not to view food acquired using coupons but something very different. Our shelves and freezers held nothing that had been obtained from a supermarket. Instead the shelves and freezers are bulging with food grown in our backyard or from local farm stands. Organic food that was grown just minutes or miles from our home rather than boxes of processed food trucked in from across the country. What a dramatic change from our previous “gathering” techniques. It is a good feeling to know that we are putting in place the skills and connections to feed our family wholesome and organic food without breaking the bank.


Eating good…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About 6 months ago my family started to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle. The more we read and learned about the state of our food system the more we realized that living sustainable made sense. We started small with learning to make foods like cheese and yogurt from scratch. This branched off into everything imaginable like soap and personal care items. We planted a few gardens and built rain water collection systems. A compost bin was added and chickens are in the works. As time has progressed we have learned about tons of local resources for food and produce grown in our area. Collectively, it has been an amazing process to realize that we truly do not need to set food in a supermarket again if need be. Specifically, to know that we are not at the whim of Wal-mart or big business to feed our family is incredibly freeing.


Always worrying.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife is a great woman and I love her dearly. She is however a person who over thinks things and tends to worry. I think she plans out almost everything and tries to account for any possible outcome. I am quite sure that when the day comes for our children to learn to drive that she will have already researched the term life insurance rates. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if she can quote the accident rates in our area for teenage drivers by heart at that point. I think her need to plan comes from a tough and unpredictable childhood. I can imagine when you grow up not knowing what is coming next it makes you want to feel in control. I would just love to see her sit back and not think for once and just enjoy the ride. Life can turn out okay even when you don’t plan it out infinite detail.


I am the guy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In our neighborhood we are surrounded by widowed or divorced women. This is an interesting situation because I am used to having at least a few married neighbors. Our neighbors actually are a great group who look out for one another. The things I am slowly starting to notice is that I am becoming the guy they go to for “things”. I don’t know if this is a compliment or just a simple matter of me being male. I have been asked to fix things, mow things, and move things. I don’t mind helping but I also get a bit tired of just being that guy you call when you need something. I am hoping that this doesn’t progress any further than it has already. It is hard to say “no” because that means I am going to have an entire group of neighbors turn on me. So, at long as the requests are reasonable I will help when I am able. It is just weird having 6 houses right around you with not a male among them.


Relaxation.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are finally nearing that time in the summer where our schedule starts to ease up a bit. We tend to schedule a great many things early in the summer. Now that these things are over it means that we are not running here and there several times a day and can actually do things we really enjoy. For my wife reading is a huge joy but she never has the time to really do it. Most of the time she is lucky if she gets to browse a magazine and read about a new diet pill or the latest trend in clothing. I am lucky if I get to sit down and watch the news or maybe a movie. I am looking forward to a weekend where the children are needing to be driven somewhere and we can all just sit watch and relax. A Saturday morning spent sleeping in is high on my list of things to do right now.


Just work already.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For a couple of weeks we have been trying to make a heated outdoor shower for camping. We have tried many different configurations with the system and cannot seem to get enough water pressure to make the heater kick on. Today we put together what was described as the perfect setup for this system. Do you think that the heater kicked on? Of course it didn’t! It works fine when connected to our city water line but not when coming through the portable pump that is supposed to work with this system. I am at my wits end with this mess. The entire thing should be relatively simple to solve but it doesn’t seem to be turning out that way. All I want is a hot shower in the woods. I don’t know how much more time or money I need to invest to get that but it is going to happen in my lifetime.


Plus size furniture.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I received a catalog that I routinely order from. At some point this company must have changed their target customer demographic since the last time I ordered. The catalog no longer features regular sized furniture and housewares. Almost every page in the catalog featured what they called “plus sized” furniture. It really made me feel self-conscious and wonder if I needed to buy phentermine or something. Did this company think I needed larger sized furniture with 500 pound maximum weight capacities? I like that they are trying to target a new population of customers but that doesn’t mean I need a desk chair that is 36 inches wide. I suppose it is good to know that I could buy a deck bench from this company and have my entire family sit on it without worrying that it might break. Am I the only one that finds it a bit curious that a company would totally change their product line like this? There wasn’t even an option of buying a traditional sized chair as opposed to the “plus sized” one.


First fish…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For a couple of years I have been taking my son fishing. We have yet to catch anything. There are some good reasons for this. Primarily it is because my son won’t let us use live bait. He refuses to hurt anything in order to catch a fish. This leaves us using fake bait which the fish just plain do not like. I haven’t pushed the issue with him because he is pretty strong when it comes to his convictions and I respect that. Today my son called me at work to tell me he had caught not one but two fish at day camp! When I asked what bait he used he replied that they “made” them use worms. He did not bait the hook but did imply that if I would bait his hook in the future that we could use live worms. Sometimes you just have to sit back wait and let your children learn on their own.


A book of projects.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night my wife was gifted a book that she has been looking high and low for. Her nose has been stuck in this book non-stop since receiving it. Every few minutes she will tell me about what she is reading and all I can do it think “here come the projects”. The book details how to do just about every project imaginable that she has wanted to accomplish. I am pretty sure I won’t need to worry about going on a diet or looking into sensa weight loss because I won’t have a minute to eat in the next few months. I can just imagine the rocket stove I will be building or the bee hive I will be installing on our rural property. There will be an orchard to plant this fall and another compost bin to build. I suppose it could be worse. She could be one of those women who covet shoes and jewelry instead of compost tumblers and rain barrels.


Pickle this and that.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are in a phase with our garden where things are starting to be ready to pick. The problem is that we aren’t getting enough of any one thing or another to can big batches. For the time being we are processing small batches of food like peas, turnips, and zucchini and freezing it. I know for next year that we will need more garden space and an increased number of plants if we are to can anything in large quantities. Thankfully a cup of zucchini or two is all it takes for most recipes. A cup of turnips is really all you want in a stew (or at least all we want)! We aren’t huge pea fans but love them in the tender pod stage. The other thing we are trying is pickling stuff in small batches. This will give us the chance to try different foods and see what we would like to have on hand in larger quantities. It is a fun time of experimentation!


It opens tomorrow!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There is excited in our house about the opening of our local farmer’s market tomorrow! I know there are people out there who would rather read about extenze side effects or something that go to this type of event. We made a decision about a year ago to try to eat locally produced food. The opening of the farmer’s market means that our food options will now be enhanced. We have been trying to grow most of our food ourselves but there are just things that we can’t provide. For example, having a bee hive in our backyard would be an issue. Our neighbors are good people but they clearly love their urban life and a bee hive next door is not something they would appreciate. I would also love to have a couple of chickens. It became clear that our one neighbor would not like chickens when she complained to me about her neighbor’s compost heap. I am pretty sure she would find a reason to think that our chickens were smelly and drawing wildlife or something. So, for now we hope the farmer’s market will provide a couple of things that we cannot like honey and farm fresh eggs.


Rain please rain.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have a tandem rain barrel system in our back yard. This system has the ability to store 110 gallons of water. When my wife first asked me to build the rain barrel system I had my doubts about how much we would use it. This summer has ended up being incredibly hot and dry. We have used the rain barrels to the point that they are frequently tapped dry. Having looked at the reduction in our water bill compared to last year I am convinced that the rain barrels were indeed money and effort well spent. I am not planning to pick up at least one more barrel if not two to keep our water supply steady. It makes me wish more people would put the effort into acquiring free water for their lawns and gardens. I watch my neighbors watering their lawns and all I can see is money being poured out on the ground. Now that our barrels are dry I am loathe to hook up the hose to the city line but it may come to that if we don’t get a big rainstorm soon. I can really appreciate what people living and relying on rain water for daily living go through. We can make it without the rain water but I sure like knowing it is there. I can’t imagine needing it for drinking and bathing the way many people do.


Opting out.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In an effort to reduce the amount of paper coming in our house I have been opting out of various mailing lists. This is a time consuming process but I am already seeing results. I am no longer getting a mailbox full of advertisement for new windows or insurance quotes. It does make me feel a little weird when we get absolutely no mail on any given day but that is alright. I know that on a day when we receive little or no mail that my efforts to reduce our paper trail are paying off. There was a time when the mail that came in the front door immediately went in the trash because so much of it was junk mail. Now what little mail does come either goes in the compost heap or is used to start fires when we go camping. You could argue that using it to start a fire is not environmentally friendly but I have to think that it is better than using fire starters or other things for the same purpose.


Stocking up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 9th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has become a way of life for us to stock up on supplies. We used to rely on coupons to do this but that is no longer the case. Living sustainably means making stuff for yourself. No, we are not totally sustainable or off-grid but we are inching closer and closer. I would love to be able to cut our ties with the local utility suppliers but that isn’t going to happen unless we move and we aren’t moving in the near future. We are however learning to rethink where our food comes from and what we eat. Prepared food simply is not good for you and is not good for the world. Sure, I love a plastic wrapped snack cake as much as anyone but when you consider what it takes to bring that fat filled goody to the table it is really less appealing. We are spending the summer buying locally and filling our pantry with homemade goodness. We will eat foods we have never eaten before and it won’t all be amazing tasting but it will full our stomachs and lighten the footprint we leave on this world.


Please go home.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our town has been the site for a national gathering of the “Rainbow Family” for the last couple of weeks. What this means for the town is that we have to prepare ourselves for an influx of unusual people. The “Rainbow Family” is an eclectic group of people from diverse backgrounds around the world. We tend to see in increase in unsavory events in our area when one of these gatherings occur. For instance there is an increase in panhandling, theft, and DUI. This means we have to be doubly sure that our deadbolt locks are bolted each day and night. Many more thefts are occurring right now than would be typical for our rural town. The newspaper has featured several articles about drug arrests and fights that have occurred amongst this group of supposedly peaceful people. We have just grown tired of there behavior and disruption of our lives. We made a decision years ago to not live in a metropolitan area and have no desire to return to that type of life. When 20,000 people converge on a small rural town it can be a little much. We don’t even benefit economically because most of the people attending these gatherings are not buying things but are rather looking for handouts and freebies.


Heat wave.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I lived in the South for about 5 years and the heat never bothered me quite the way it does here in the North. I don’t know what it is about a heat wave here in the North but I simply can’t stand it. This week the temperature hovers around 100 degrees during the day. Our only break occurs in the wee hours of the morning. We are fortunate in that our basement is finished and that the temperature is about 20 degrees colder than the other floors of the house. I had to banish the children to the basement for their own good today because it was just too hot upstairs. We have one air conditioner that we try to use sparingly in the bedroom area in order to make a little bit of sleep possible at night. How people live in areas where it is always this hot I will never understand. I really think that 100 degrees in one part of the country feels entirely different in another part of the world.


The end of an era.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week was a tough week. We were forced to make a decision about one of our pets that we really didn’t want to make. We got two cats about 6 years agoduring a really hard time in our lives. Instead of sending out birth announcements we were grieving the loss of a pregnancy. I felt the cats would be a good thing for my wife and give her something to focus on besides our loss. Over the years since these cats have been very nice cats aside from some problems. One of the cats has persisted in peeing on various things in the house a few times a year. Up until recently we could not pin down exactly which cat was doing it. Finally the problem escalated to the point that the problem cat had to leave the house. By separating the cats we narrowed it down to one of them. Yesterday I had the sad task of taking my cat to the humane society. We quite literally have tried everything on the net to solve the problem with this cat including attempting to retrain him to use his litter pan. He persisted in peeing in the corners of rooms and marking the house despite multiple cat pans and complete cleaning after each accident. We feel terrible because he is such a beautiful and loving animal but has some nasty habits. Hopefully, there is a home out there where he doesn’t not feel that he needs to mark it and can just live happily.


Harvesting

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have begun the first of our harvest from our small garden. It is amazing to see how things progress from dirt and seeds to big beautiful plants. Thus far we have tons of snow peas, lettuce, spinach, basil, and turnips. I cannot believe that we are already harvesting turnips. Our turnips are about 3 inches across already. We have read that it is best to harvest them at a smaller stage because they are not as bitter. I really don’t know anything about turnips but they sure are easy to grow. I think we are going to try to pickle them. I hope they taste decent because I would hate to think we went to the work to grow them and then no one like them. It is fun to see the children be so amazed that we can grow things ourselves. They love picking the peas and pulling up the turnips. We have buds on our tomatoes, beans, and flowers on our potatoes. I am hoping for a really good gardening season.


A trend.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have posted previously that I enjoy metal detecting. I recently invested in a very good metal detector and have found many interesting things with it. Mostly I have been finding silver coins and copper pennies. I am hoping to be lucky enough to find a cache of gold coins that someone might have hidden. I keep reading about these types of finds on the internet and know that it is possible to really find “treasure”. A least three of my friends have now purchased metal detectors after hearing about the great old coins I have already found. My wife keep telling me that I need to find her a gold ring or something but thus far my finds are limited to coins. Metal detecting is a great family hobby that I would encourage everyone to try. You may know someone who would lend you a metal detector for a trial run. I did this and was immediately hooked on the hobby.


There is an outhouse.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our new camping site come with many interesting features. For some reason the people who used to have this camp collected gas grills. There are three of them that we have found thus far. The camp has a kitchen stove that works making it interesting to find so many grills. The most interesting thing to my children was the outhouse. They have never seen an outhouse nor used one. I am not to keen on the outhouse but you have to do what you have to do. My wife has used one as a child but isn’t too happy with the condition of this particular outhouse. It is in need of quite a bit of refurbishing before I would let anyone step in it. It would be really awful if someone fell through any of the floor boards or something. This leaves me with two very important projects off the bat. The first will be building a new roof and the other is likely to be a new outhouse building.


Older and older.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in 15-20 years. I must admit I was a bit taken back by how old she looked. The only thing I could think about was how much she needed some good wrinkle creams or less time in the tanning bed. I am convinced that tanning and smoking ages people dramatically. She looked a good 15 years older than I would have guessed if I didn’t know her. A tan isn’t worth having a face full of leathery skin in my personal opinion. Everyone I know who has tanned for many years just looks old and tired. I think smoking has to contribute to this on some level. I know many people smoke in an attempt to control their weight. There is just no way I would want to be skinny and instead have wrinkly face. A tanned and wrinkly face is even worse. I am quite sure people who love the tanning bed and cigarettes do not see things in quite the same way as I do but I can’t help it.


Camping season.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonight we went to my in-laws to look for a place to camp. They own a significant amount of property and had offered many times to let us camp on the land. We had never taken them up on the offer but decided to change this. It makes no sense to spend money renting property at a campground when we have free property available to us. The offer also included a camp that they bought at tax sale that needs a great deal of work. I am not opposed to putting the work in if it means we have four walls around us at night. We have a pop-up camper and love it but when bears are around it makes it hard to rest well. We will likely start the project by putting a new roof on the camp and moving down from there. I will keep you posted at to how it all progresses. We are planning to start some time after the Fourth of July.


No comparison.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I had a discussion with a friend about public cyber charter schools as opposed to traditional public school. This friend is a fairly new public school teacher. I should have known that she would have an opinion on this subject that is directly the opposite of my own. I delved into the conversation despite my better judgment and discussed everything from sat prep to early graduation. I cannot say enough positive things about our experiences with online learning. My wife earned an advance degree via online education and our older son is thriving in the same type of environment. There is no comparison between the quality and delivery of information via online learning. We love that it is a self-paced learning environment and that it can be tailored to our schedule and the learning needs of our student. I cannot imagine asking my children to go back to cookie cutter education in a traditional public school. Online learning at every level has exceeded our expectations on so many levels. I know that if I were a public school teacher my opinion would probably be different but from my vantage point there is no better way to learn.


A day off.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 17th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I took the day off from work. I realized that in the two years I have been at my job that I have used very little vacation and need to. This day was a big day for our youngest son because we went to enroll him in preschool. This isn’t an ordinary preschool but is instead a cyber charter preschool. Our older son attends a cyber school and has absolutely thrived in his learning environment. I don’t think our little guy has entirely wrapped his head around what going to preschool online really means. I think he believes that sitting through the enrollment process was going to school and he wasn’t very impressed. I am sure he will be more excited he receives his very own computer and his first box of learning tools. We are thrilled to have found a way for him to go to school in the same way as his older brother.


Not alone.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is good learn that we are not alone in our drive to live sustainably. Many people do things that are sustainable and don’t even realize they are doing it. One of my co-workers has been making her own soap for years. She renders her own fat from meat to make the soap. She didn’t even realize that what she is doing is a sustainable skill. Once I pointed it out to her it almost energized her interest in knowing more about other sustainable skills. She has asked me about virtually everything we do from what eczema treatment we use to how we wash our clothes. There are tons of areas where we have room to grow and make sustainable changes but I feel like I am in some way in a position to offer some advice to her. There was a point where I would have felt uneasy about certain skills but the experience has changed that. I now feel I understand stuff like vermicomposting and cheese making.


Good food.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are on a mission to eat local foods as much as possible. This has been a fun learning adventure. As part of this type of eating we have been forced to go out of our comfort zone and connect with numerous people in our community. Today, we picked up a 1/2 bushel of peaches from a local person. A couple of days ago we bought 2 dozen amazingly large eggs from a local farmer. We buy our flour and oats at the local Amish bulk foods store. It isn’t so much a store as it is a shack but the prices are amazing. For dinner we will be having a salad made from fresh vegetables grown in our own garden and bread fresh from the oven. For desert there are strawberries from our little patch. Makes you rethink local eating when I describe it doesn’t it? It takes a little more time but it is entirely worth it for really fresh food.


They agree.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Word has traveled around our small neighborhood about how one of our neighbors yelled at me for mowing their lawn. I have to admit I felt a bit angry about the situation for a few days. It made no sense to me that someone would yell at me for trying to be helpful. I feel less angry because I now know I have several people in the neighborhood who agree with my point of view. Honestly, I think the woman that yelled at me has such a narrow life that it wouldn’t take much to make her mad. On that particular day she was probably just as likely to yell at the pharmacist who packaged her alli as she was me for mowing her lawn. Honestly, who knows what goes through her head. I am just thankful I do not have to live with someone like that on a regular basis. It must be a truly miserable existence to worry about who is mowing your lawn and whether or not they are stepping foot on your property to do so.


Good stuff.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I may have posted a while ago about how my wife and I like to give stuff away rather than have a garage sale. We have come to believe that by giving things away we in turn get gifted stuff we need. We have given to our neighbor a wood cabinet and some plastic shelving. Today she offered us tons of clothes that her children had outgrown. We buy primarily used clothing because our kids don’t care. Being home schooled they have no idea what label or style everyone else is wearing and they don’t care. Free clothes are awesome and we are very thankful! I would love to have the patience people have when it comes to having garage sales but I just really want the stuff gone and most of the time giving it away gets the job done. We will have to think a good thank you gift for all of the great stuff we are sure to find in those big boxes that are now sitting on our porch. Many people we know think our giving stuff away is silly and we should first try to make money off stuff but thus far it has paid off in spades.


Poor little man.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our youngest son is very sensitive to different soaps and chemicals. His skin breaks out very easily and quickly he has patches of eczema. For quite a while we almost had to wash him in water alone because he was so sensitive. The doctor ultimately gave him a treatment for eczema that seems to help. The other day we accidentally washed his hair with a different shampoo and he had a reaction within a few minutes. He was walking around scratching his head and asking us to get rid of the bugs on his head. When I looked it turned out that he didn’t have bugs but that his little head was covered in hives. I felt so bad and after treating him immediately threw out that bottle of shampoo. I don’t want to make that mistake again. I am really hoping that this is something that he outgrows because I would hate to see his allergies get any worse.


Bring on the rain.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 5th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have had several rainy days here for the last week. I would normally say that I wish the rain would stop but not today. I just completed building and setting up our tandem rain barrel system and need to see if it works appropriately. So far we have two barrels hooked up and are planning to add a couple more. I am not sure just how much rain we can collect from this particular roof since it isn’t the largest one on the house. If it doesn’t do as well as I hope I will likely add a couple of barrels to the other side of the house. So far the neighbors have been looking skeptically and asking a few questions. The system is clean and looks good so I could care less if they don’t approve. We made sure that it is a closed system and will treat it to eliminate mosquitoes breeding in it.


What is doing it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last two weeks my allergies have been driving me crazy. I can’t really pinpoint what is doing it. We haven’t changed anything about the way we clean our home or our bodies. Often I find changing soaps or detergent will set off my allergies. We continue to use our allergy mattress covers and are constantly dusting to control dust mites. The only thing I can figure is that the pollen outside must be reaching higher levels than usual. I love that the world outside is now really coming into bloom but hate what it might be doing to my sense of well-being. I guess my only choice is to start taking my allergy medicine again and somehow muddle through. This life was not meant to be lived in a bubble and I fully intend to enjoy each and every day despite my runny nose.


Not a hippie.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is funny how people who aren’t trying to living a sustainable life view those who are trying to do so. This week I have had conversations with several different people about the path we are on in our lives. Each of them were people who are still living with the consumer geared mentality. This is the way of thinking that most of us were raised with that leads us to believe buying things and owning things is the way life is supposed to be. I no longer believe that I am meant to be a consumer. I have abilities and can provide a fair amount of things for myself. I am not indebted to some corporation to feed my family in every facet. This does not make me a “hippie”, “Amish”, or “Bohemian”. It makes me smart are independent. Times will change and people will realize that not being able to provide for yourself makes you very vulnerable to what the “market” requires of you.


A hard day of work.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The weather here has been really hot for this time of year. We have been working on getting our gardens started but the heat has made that pretty tough. I have realized however that the heat is one of the best weight loss products I have encountered to date. When it is 90 degrees outside and the humidity is high there is just no way that I want to cook or even eat that much. Spending time outside in this heat makes consuming liquids just about the only thing I feel like doing. On the flip side bending over in the garden all day has been an incredible workout for my thighs and calves. I feel like I have just run a marathon and the only thing I did was weed the garden.


People are waking up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Each and every day it seems like there is more in the mainstream media about people realizing that the world needs to change. People are finally starting to get the idea that pesticides and plastics are going to eventually harm us. CNN has featured an article each day about the changes people across the country are making in their lives. More and more people are turning to older ways of doing things in order to eliminate our reliance on prepared products and plastics. I have to believe that eventually this won’t just be a small proportion of the population making these changes. If you consider for just a moment how much trash and plastic waste the average American family makes it is a staggering number. If you haven’t started on the path to living a cleaner lifestyle I would encourage you to try. The tiniest of changes such as recycling can have a big impact. One little change leads to another and before you know it life is different.


Use your imagination.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our children are now adjusting to life without their favorite television programs. So far our youngest doesn’t seem to miss having satellite television at all. He just pops a DVD in the the player and is happy as can be. Our older son is finding himself at a bit of a loss as to what to do with his free time. It is funny how quickly he is able to find something to do once I start suggesting ways he could fill his time. At the mere suggestion of cleaning his room or weeding the garden he is suddenly interested once again in reading. I swear the child would look enthralled with reading hydroxycut reviews if it meant not having to do chores. My plan for the summer is to let him find his own ways of entertaining himself up until the point where he is dinging me to entertain him. At that point we will start working on all the chores that need doing around the house.


Going to the fair.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This fall we, like countless other people, will be heading to the fair. This fair is however slightly different than the typical fair. My wife and I have reservations to go to the Mother Earth News fair. I cannot believe how excited my wife is about this fair. We will be learning all types of things about sustainable living and going green. We are already doing a ton of stuff that is within this range of living but there is always more to learn. I am looking forward to learning more about solar power and woodworking. The list of things on my wife’s list is endless in regards to what she wants to learn more about. I can only imagine the ideas that she will come away with! The best part is that this will be the first time in 11 years that we will be spending the weekend away without the children. It will almost be like a second honeymoon!


Being active is a gift.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Now that the weather is warmer and we are outside more I feel the need to become more active. Having been laid up for a couple of months this spring with a broken ankle I realize how valuable being able to move about freely is. It has taken me time to slowly rebuilding my leg strength. I am working to improve my diet and have been investigating the best multivitamin for men. My wife has been switching to cooking with local organic foods and eliminating processed food from our diet. I believe that my accident was a turning point for us and we now realize how precious good health is. Being able to interact and be active with the world around you is a gift that should not be squandered. In the blink of an eye it can all be taken from you. I don’t want to ever look back on my life and wish I had spent less time sitting on the couch in front of the television.


Once again ~ no television.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last week was the final week of our contract with DirecTv. After 18 months we were finally in the clear to cancel our contract. We went into the contract with the idea of only keeping the programming for as long as the price remained reasonable. At the end of our contract the price per month almost doubled. After not having television for 5 years prior it was pretty easy decision as to whether to keep the satellite or not. Our children would without a doubt sit and watch television all day if given the opportunity. The reality is that we don’t want them becoming mindless television watching zombies. To many children today have no idea how to entertain themselves or think for themselves. They only know what the television tells them to think about or want. Our children are going to grow up knowing that television is not a requirement of daily living and that a world exists out there beyond the couch.


What is it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night was the night of the week when my wife catches up on all of her favorite television shows. Sometimes I can find something that needs doing and I am able to bow out of watching these shows with her. Last night was not one of those nights. I sat through episodes of “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy” despite my better judgment. I have to say that “Grey’s Anatomy” leaves me wondering what the characters are taking to have such perpetually high sex drives. I mean are they all using testosterone cream or something? Most people I know are not constantly doing it the way the characters on this show are. Real people can’t just slip off at all times during the work day the way these characters are able to. I liken this show to a daytime soap opera that is on in the evening and nothing more. At least there is only one more episode this season and then I won’t have to watch it again for a few months.


Dell is gone.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night we watched the season finale of “Private Practice”. This is not a show that I am a huge fan of but I conceded to watch it with my wife since there was nothing else on worth watching. Not being overly familiar with the characters it was difficult to feel too much one way or the other about them. My wife on the other hand sobbed like a baby as the character “Dell” died and left behind his orphaned daughter. My impression was that this was really great way to write off a character that had been “outgrown” by the show. Dell’s character was clearly in a different and more awkward place than the other characters on the show. I would love to see Dell have been transplanted to a show like “Grey’s Anatomy” where his life and issues would have been a better fit. Now that Dell is gone that is never going to happen. It should be interesting to see where this actor turns up next.


Project gone wrong.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Why is it that every project I undertake become bigger than it was supposed to be? Taking out our dishwasher was supposed to be a quick and easy project. So far I have made 3 trips to the hardware store for parts that I need to fix all the stuff that the previous owners had “rigged”. It has been a great fat burner because each time I settle into work I find something else that requires me to get up and run to the store again. All of that getting up and down is surely going to work muscles that I have forgotten about over the winter. I just wish that I would run into one thing in this house that was installed by someone who knew what they were doing and didn’t just make do with odds and ends they had laying around. I can appreciate frugality but there is a point where it shouldn’t override common sense. This is especially true when it comes to wiring electricity! I am now off to get yet more parts to fix the hidden and illegal junction box I just discovered behind the dishwasher that someone ground to the kitchen sink pipes.


Trained and happy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has been about a month since our youngest son decide that using the toilet was a good thing. I had begun to think the child would never open up to the idea of using the toilet for all of its intended purposes. Now that he is trained life is so much easier. We no longer have to worry about taking diapers or changes of clothes wherever we go. It is nice to just hop in the car and know that we are good to go. I also think that using the toilet has made him more mature. It is almost as if he went from behaving like a toddler to that of a child ready for preschool or kindergarten overnight. As much as I love babies and wish that we had been blessed with more of them it is good to be moving past that stage of life. We can now feel like leaving our children with sitters is not quite such a burden on everyone involved. I would almost call this a milestone because we are finally truly “portable” and life doesn’t require all of the baby gear it once did. What is nice is that my son is really proud of himself as well and knows he has accomplished something “big”.


Doggy duty…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is our day to get things done. We usually plan a number of projects that need to be accomplished on Saturdays and spend most of the day getting things done. For example today I have spent the morning removing our old dishwasher and building shelves where it once stood. This is what my wife has wanted for a long time and I am now honoring that request. We also ask our children to help with task that need completing. I think this is important in instilling in them a sense of ownership in their home and belongings. For the most part they help willingly and without complaint because we don’t ask more of them than they are able to do. There are a couple of tasks that no one wants to do and everyone complains about. The main one is cleaning dog poop out of the yard. I know my son would rather read apidexin reviews or scrub the toilet with a toothbrush than to spend 30 minutes scooping poop. What I try to remind him of is the fact that he asked for a dog and all of the responsibility that goes along with it. Every time he asks for a puppy friend for his dog I am able to remind him that two dogs equate to twice as much poop scooping. This hits home because he is responsible for this chore and can weigh his aggravation with the chore against his desire to have more pets.


Wrapping up “Lost”

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Have you been watching “Lost”? I have watched this show since the first season and can say I haven’t missed an episode. There have been changes over the years that have bewildered me and lessened my enthusiasm for the show at times. Now that the series is nearing its finale I am wondering how they will ever bring it to a rightful conclusion? How can you wrap up such a rich and dynamic series in a pretty little bow with just a couple episode remaining? I am so hoping that the writer’s of this realize the expectations of the people who have stuck it out with them year after year. It would be a shame to have invested this time only to feel like the ending did not make sense. That is the something I think “Lost” has had that keeps people watching – the need to understand what the show has meant. I keep thinking that there will be some wonderful message about humanity to be gleaned from the show when it is all said and done. I just can’t help but wonder if I am expecting too much from the writer’s? It is after all just entertainment and not meant to be more. Do you have any predictions on what it will all mean in the end?


Billing blunder.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 4th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Whenever we get a utility bill I look over it closely to see how it compares to previous bills. Last month our electric bill was almost three times higher than normal. I immediately began investigating what we were doing differently from previous months. Were we leaving unnecessary appliances on? Our children have been trained that no matter where we are that they need to use electricity sparingly. Our children no that if we are staying at a hotel with Seagull lighting that this isn’t a reason to turn every light on and leave it run for hours. We turn lights and appliances off when not in use. This is a message we instilled at a very young age. You can understand why a bill that was three times higher than normal would peak my interest. As it turns out after much investigation there was an error on the part of the electric company and our usage was within the normal range for our family. It goes to show that watching your bills closely can pay off. We now have a credit with the electric company and have learned that even they make mistakes occasionally. I am very glad to know that something is not wrong with our house and that we haven’t somehow changed our electric usage in such a dramatic way as it would have appeared at first glance.


Book flop.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 4th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Why do some people think that they need to write books? You likely know where I am heading with this. Specifically I am targeting that population of the world of Hollywood celebrities you think they have something to tell the world that we need to know. Yes, there are some people in this group who have meaningful information to convey but many do not. Kate Gosselin for example needs to give up her career as an author. The woman simply lives under the illusion that she has something we need to know about her thoughts and her family. It is awful to say but I had to smile when I read that her latest book is a flop. Maybe just maybe this will send a message to Kate that the world has heard enough from her. She needs to step back and realize that her ride on the carpet of fame is now over and the world at large has moved on. Her children need parenting more than they need a mother who writes books about nonsense and dances on television. It is just hard to envision that the powers that be in publishing houses and television markets across the country haven’t woken up and realized this fact by now. People do not care about the Gosselin family in the same way that we once did. We want to see them acting like the “normal” family that we were first drawn to rather than the media seeking people they have become.


Hotel fun.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About two weeks ago we went away for a few days. Whenever we travel our children always want to stay in a hotel with a pool. This time we found a great deal on a wonderful hotel. Surprisingly our younger son was not interested in the pool at all on this visit. After about 10 minutes in the pool he made a dash for the workout area. He was completely entranced with standing on the elliptical machine. What surprised me is that for as little as he is that he was able to use the machine fairly efficiently. I needed to hold on to him but he was able to keep the pedals moving smoothly. It was a battle to get him off the machine because he was enjoying himself so much. Thankfully the hotel was not very booked and there was no one who wanted use the gym which left it open for our little athlete to use.


Kombucha

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have been learning to ferment all sorts of things in our house. So far we have made sourdough starter, soaked grains, kefir, and now we are working on kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has been drunk for probably thousands of years. Our kombucha has only been fermenting for a little while and already looks like a science experiment. I cannot honestly say that it looks appealing or like anything I would want to drink. I know there are health food stores that sell bottles of this drink for $3-4.00 a 16 ounce jar. So far ours smell like vinegar. We are waiting for the “mother” to grow adequately to start a fresh batch with. The first batch is essentially for growing the mother and then the next batch is the one we in theory will drink. If the second batch looks like the first I doubt there will be any drinking of kombucha going on in this house.


A good day’s work.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There is something about being outside and working in the fresh air that I love. I envy people who are able to be outside in the warm weather as part of their job. The other day I went to get a couple of loads of dirt for our garden and found myself wishing I could be the guy getting the dirt. Whenever I have spent time outside working I have no need of sleeping pills because I usually exhausted. Sitting behind a desk pushing papers around leaves me drained but not in the same way. I typically need something to help me sleep after a stressful day at work. This never happens when I have spent the day mowing the lawn, gardening, or fixing things around the house. I know there are people who hate getting their hands dirty but I am not one of these people. I suppose I could have saved myself a ton of money in college loans had I just realized this a little earlier in life.


Metal detecting!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My newest hobby is going metal detecting. I borrowed a metal detector from my brother-in-law several months ago. It is a really basic model but I have enjoyed being able to use it. I have found several silver coins and other things. As a gift for my birthday and our anniversary my wife has purchased me a really snazzy Tesoro metal detector. My goal is to find her some gold jewelry with it or possibly enough coins to reimburse the expense of the metal detector. I also look at metal detecting at something we can do as a family. We already enjoy geocaching and metal detecting follows along those same lines. It is a treasure hunt and you never know what you might unearth. No matter whether we find trash or treasure we always seem to have a good time. It gets us outside and allows us to spend time together.


Voracious reader.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I do not come from a family of people who like to read. My wife on the other hand would rather read than do virtually anything else in the world. Our oldest son has followed in her footsteps and will read pretty much anything he can get his hands on whether we want him to or not. I have caught him reading everything from “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” to a brochure on what I think was irvingia gabonensis. At one point he decided to pick up the 14 page police report from my automobile accident. This type of thirst for knowledge is not something we want to squash but there are times that I feel we need to put limits on what knowledge is available to him at such a tender age.
I also realize that we need to watch what information we leave laying around for young hands to peruse.


A good cup of coffee.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About a month ago we set out to learn how to roast our own coffee beans. Good coffee is something we really enjoy and it is hard to find in our rural part of the world. I had read about roasting beans at home using a hot air corn popper. Fortunately my mother had a vintage corn popper she wasn’t using and was more than happy to give it to us. We found a source for bulk green coffee beans online and the prices were amazing. It took us a few batches to decide exactly what roast level we preferred but we now have it down to a science. We have learned the difference between first and second crack. Our preferred level of roasting is up to about ten seconds past the second crack. Our resulting coffee has none of that acidic or bitter taste you get with some store bought coffee. It also lacks the flavor that some coffees have that reminds me of cigarette butts. We love roasting so much we have bought a second air popper on eBay in order to do larger batches at once.


Find your own answer.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I received an email from a colleague who had seen my wife in the grocery store. Not having seen her in a while she was surprised by how much weight that my wife had lost. The email detailed how good my wife looked but it went on to ask if my wife had found some diet supplements that work? I don’t know why but I found the email a little bit much. I don’t know this woman really well because we have a very large office. I couldn’t really tell if she wanted to know exactly how my wife had lost weight or whether she was implying that she had used some secret means of loosing the weight. Because of the tendency towards gossip in our office I elected to give her a very general response and said that I would pass the compliment on to my wife. My thoughts are that loosing weight is a personal thing and what works for one person may not work for another.


Does it help?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have a friend who chronically uses Facebook as a medium for venting her personal experiences and feelings. I view Facebook as a medium for keeping the people in my life somewhat up date on the general happenings in our house. I don’t see the need to tell everyone personal details such as that my stomach hurts or that I am mad at someone. This friend does nothing but use Facebook as a means of complaining about the status of her health. I understand that she experiences pain but do not see how multiple posts per day about just how much pain she is in can be helpful? I have spoken with other people who know her and feel the same way. It is almost like the little boy who cried wolf. After about the first 100 posts about her pain you start to wonder where exactly all that pain is coming from. I feel bad for her on a number of levels but wish she would once in awhile see something positive in her world.


Another student in the family.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In a few weeks we are going to be registering our 3.5 year old for preschool. The school we will be using is a cyber charter school similar to the one our older son attends. This is a momentous occasion for us because it means that we have committed our entire family to home schooling. There was a day when I would have said that home schooling was a ridiculous notion. That was years ago before my wife started looking for the best online degrees. She ultimately obtained her doctorate via online learning and opened my eyes to how this type of educational setting works. After seeing just how well my older son has done in a cyber school I now realize that it is not an inferior but rather a superior learning environment for students. I look forward to adding another computer to our home network just for our littlest learner.


Always a project.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Whenever the weekend rolls around it seems like I always have a project to work on. This weekend that project was to finish building the raised gardens beds for our garden. To finish the beds I needed to borrow a truck and go get garden soil. I had never done this before and found it to be quite interesting. There is a town near us where you can buy soil that comes out of a bog. This soil is then sifted and mixed with other stuff to make a great garden mix. What I find interesting is that they don’t use a shovel loader to put the soil on your truck but rather a conveyer belt. The soil goes up the belt and is then dropped down a shoot onto your truck bed. What I really wonder about it how they determine just how much soil is the amount you have purchased. You purchase the soil by the yard. For example I purchase 1 1/4 yards on each trip. How do they know what this amount is?


It doesn’t matter.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For as long as I can remember my wife has shopped at thrift stores for our family. She finds the most amazing deals in my opinion. I know people who would never consider buying used clothing but it just doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care if the pants I am wearing were once Joe’s jeans or belonged to the neighbor next door. If my clothes are clean, fit nicely, and look decent why should it matter if they cost fifty cents or fifty dollars? My mother thinks that shopping in a thrift store for clothes is only for poor people. I can’t tell you the number of times we have seen Mercedes and BMW’s parked in the Salvation Army or Goodwill parking lot. The owners of these shiny new cars were not there because their wallets were empty but because they know how and where to find a bargain. I would rather my wife spend $7.00 for a dozen new or nearly new shirts than spend $70.00 on one that she will only wear a few times.


The last month.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 27th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

May be will be the last month that we will be subscribing to our satellite television provider. Over the last 18 months it has become clear that having hundreds of television channels available does not improve the quality of your television experience. Our children tend to want to watch videos or something online. My wife and I watch almost no television and leave it off most of the time. We realized that the $30-50.00 we have spent per month for television could be spent on better forms of entertainment. The children are obviously not happy to know the days of satellite television are coming and end but they don’t see it through our eyes. For five years we didn’t have television and I believe our son was better for that. I want my younger son to have the freedom to develop his mind without the influences of media telling him what he should and shouldn’t think or want. I realize these influences are still there even online or in videos but I feel the degree is certainly lessened. Starting in June our lives will be different but for the better.


It feels good.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 25th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have carried a great deal of debt from almost the beginning of our marriage. The reason behind this is that we paid for most of our college education using credit cards. I realize that this is not the smartest thing to do but that didn’t occur to me at the age of 20. In the process of acquiring our collection of 6 different degrees it is pretty clear just how much debt we are talking about. This week was a turning point for us. We paid off our credit cards fully and also a loan made to us by a family member. You cannot imagine how good it feels to be done with all that. I never want to feel that hanging over my head again. Thankfully, we are both on the same page in regards to our spending and it is not likely to get out of control again. I may not be rich but I am at last living within my means.


Where to go?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night we were talking about how we would like to spend our summer. We have several different ideas for the ideal vacation. It would be cool to get one of those Branson vacation packages but I don’t think that is going to happen. The children want to go camping as much as possible and so do we. The other thing we would like to do is take a long car trip. It has been so long since our last long car trip that I can’t remember where we actually went. I am not sure how well our youngest son would do on a long car trip. He is one of those kids who just doesn’t take well to sitting for extended periods of time. I believe our long car trip would have to be broken up into several short periods of travel to make it easier on him. Our older son loves to sit in the car and watch the world go by. The little guy just needs to be out there interacting with the world rather than watching it. This makes choosing a perfect vacation spot or trip a bit of a challenge.


Drawing to an end.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are finally coming to the end of this process of entire issue between our insurance company and that of the driver who hit me. It feels good to finally be reaching the end of this ordeal. I can only imagine what people with more significant injuries go through. Thankfully the process has been pretty straightforward. Our insurance has taken care of everything we needed taken care of without issue. The other driver’s insurance has been really decent to deal with and it has been and amazingly quick process to deal with them. I look forward to no longer worrying about what might happen or what is going to happen and whether we will need to prepare for a legal battle over bills and whatnot. I am glad to know that in the next couple of weeks it should all be over and we can put all of this behind us. It will be good to enter into the summer with everything done and settled. There will be nothing looming over us in the future.


Up and moving again.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has been about two weeks since I have had the cast removed from my leg. Life is good! You cannot imagine how great it feels to be able to be fully mobile again. I was seriously concerned that I would need some sort of weight loss product after all of that sitting and doing nothing. I know I gained about 5-10 pounds in the two months that I was immobilized. The weight is already coming off now that I am up and moving again. My activities are not entirely back up to where they were but I am getting there. All of my fears about walking with a limp or being in constant pain seems to have been for naught. For the most part I feel pretty good aside from some stiffness and swelling. Thankful does not begin to describe how I feel after all of the worry and stress has subsided.


Turn it off.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About 18 months ago we signed up for a contract with DirecTv. Initially it was great because we hadn’t had television in about 5 years. As time has progressed we have found that there are only about 5 channels that we actually watch. The children watch a few cartoon but prefer to watch videos. We find ourselves watching our favorite shows online because we don’t get local channels with the satellite dish. Now that we are nearing the last month of our contract it just seems pointless to continue paying so much money for an hour or two a day of actual programming that we really watch. I am sure the children will put up a fight initially after we have it turned off but that will subside when they realize how interesting life is without television.


Done looking for now.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have spent most of my adult life looking for the next greatest job. I have changed jobs every couple of years for the last 15 years or more. It finally occurred to me that I need to stop looking for jobs in sales, case management, and administration. What I need is to just settle in and stay in one place for a long time. My current job doesn’t make me happy and I don’t enjoy it but I am well compensated. I will retire in a good place and my family doesn’t have to worry about having adequate health insurance. My quest for a job that makes me feel happy and fulfilled never gives me security that my family needs. My new perspective is to leave my work at work each day when I leave and to come home to find happiness and fulfillment. I know there are people who tell you that you can indeed have it all in your professional environment but I just don’t find that to be true in my line of work. Social work is tough and find good benefits is difficult. Happiness is not something my job offers but happiness does wait for me when I walk through my front door each night and that makes it all worth it.


Ugly Betty is over.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The show “Ugly Betty” is something that I never personally got into watching. Once in a rare while I would catch a few minutes of it while my wife watched it. She faithfully the show for the duration of the time that it aired. I can kind of understand why she found the show endearing but it seemed to get more and more away from the original theme as time progressed. Last night she watched the final episode and actually got a bit teary. I think that showed tied things up a bit too neatly but she didn’t think so. Apparently the door has been left open for a possible movie or spin off but I can’t see this happening. I can only imagine how she is going to feel when “Lost” is finally over. She swears I would love the show if I had continued to watch it but I doubt it. The entire show is just bizarre. Ugly Betty as least borders on the realm of things possible in our universe.


I just don’t understand.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have an acquaintance who was recently awarded Social Security disability. As a result of her claim she was ultimately awarded a settlement in addition to what will be her monthly stipend. I am having a really hard time feeling good about her situation. Since getting the award she is constantly posting information on Facebook about how they are spending the money. The purchases they have made have included endless types of electronics, a jacuzzi, and a new motorcycle for her husband. I just have a hard time wrapping my head around this type of situation. You have to wonder what type of message she is sending to her children about illness. The disability she has is something that I doubt would prevent her from continuing to work provided she had proper motivation. My gut impression is that she wanted to home school her children and working was not an option. My gut impression is that not working and living on one income did not afford her family the lifestyle they wanted and the disability became more of issue at that point. I might be wrong but I can’t help but seeing something wrong about the way the system works.


Getting old.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 15th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I was forced to watch an episode of “Dancing with the Stars”. The reason I was forced to watch it was because I was in the fitness room at a hotel and this was the show that someone has chosen to watch. Not being the first person in the room I elected to follow protocol and just deal with watching this show while I worked out. I could not get past the idea that people find this show entertaining. What about it is so interesting? Why do people need to see Kate Gosselin dance? She is essentially a housewife with no real skills that has somehow turned her family into a media product. Aside from Kate I just cannot understand what draws people to watch any of these people lumber around the stage. I liken this to watching a local dance group of elementary school girls dance. As mean as it sounds these performances aren’t something you would choose to go to see unless you personally know someone in the show. Somehow when you really know a performer you can overlook the lack of grace and skill that might be prevalent and see the beauty in the effort exerted in the performance. I do not know Pamela Anderson or Kate Gosselin or any of these “stars” and just can’t see any “beauty” in their performances.


Still beautiful.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week my wife discovered her first really gray hair. She has, for as long as I have known her, colored her hair. Because of this I don’t think she has ever had the opportunity to actually see a gray hair. A couple of months ago she decided it was time to get back to her natural color. I secretly believe she is not going to be happy at all once she realizes that a fair portion of her natural hair color has become gray. I could care less what color her hair is because she is always beautiful to me. She is worried that she will soon need an anti aging face cream but I doubt it. In her family wrinkles are just not something that happens until much later in life. Good genes and clean living is what I equate it all to. She isn’t a very vain person but she does try to take good care of herself and look her best. I am just not sure if she will see gray hair as part of looking her “best”.


Still waiting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We are supposed to be getting a car to replace the one that was totaled in the accident. My father works for a car manufacturer and has been able to get up a great deal on a one year lease. I am very thankful that he has been able to do this because it will save us a big headache that we don’t want to deal with right now. Shopping for cars is just something that my wife and I do not do well together. The process usually dissolves my very strong wife into an emotional bundle of tears. Not having to deal with car salesmen for the next year is something we both applaud. The car is apparently just down the road but because of some fluke with the licensing we still haven’t been able to go and pick it up. I am hoping that maybe sometime in the next two weeks we will finally be able to go the car. Thankfully if hasn’t been a huge issue for us to only have one car but it could become one in the next month when our schedules become much fuller.


Maturing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This weekend I spent a great deal of time with my older son working on various projects. It was a special time because he was completely focused on what we were doing and wanted to understand exactly what steps we were going to take to complete the project. He is only ten but I could begin to see what type of person he is going to be in the future. Those little signs of maturity were there and it was nice to see. I am not ready for him to need the best acne treatment or be interested in girls by any means. It is nice to know that my son is developing a good work ethic and an interest in completing a job in the best way possible. There is something wonderful about seeing that your child is not just blindly going to do what they are told to do without understanding why they are being asked to do it. I think this philosophy will serve him well when the pressures of adolescence and young adulthood start coming down on him. Hopefully this is a child who won’t just follow the crowd but will make decisions for himself because they are logical and make sense. How many of us could have avoided a great deal of grief in our lives if this was the philosophy we followed as young people?


That is wrong.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just got back from my visit to the orthopedist and I am not a happy camper. I was told that today they would be removing the cast from my leg and that I would “walk” out of the office. To me this means I would be putting a shoe on my foot and exiting in a normal fashion. Instead I find myself here with the same stupid cast thing on my leg. The only difference is that I am now allowed to bare some weight on my foot and not use crutches. I suppose things could be worse but I am a very concrete person. Tell me you are going to remove the cast and let me leave should mean that and not something else. They should have said “we are going to take away your crutches”. Maybe in two weeks I will be completely cast free… just maybe.


Nearing the end.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 21st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week is one that I have been looking forward to for the last 8 weeks. On Wednesday I will be having my cast removed. I have hated the cast from the moment it was put on my leg. I realize that it serves a purpose but that hasn’t made it any more bearable. I would rather read the dictionary or a titan auto insurance review all day every day for 8 weeks than have to wear this cast. You just don’t appreciate your mobility until it is taken from you. I realize that wearing a cast is not the end of the world. I am just the type of guy who needs to and likes to be busy. It has killed me to see my wife struggle to carry things that I should be carrying and managing tasks that I would never ask of her under normal circumstances. I am now past being angry at the driver who hit me and am just plain ready to move forward to the next of getting back to normal. I just keep telling myself that at least this all didn’t happen during the summer. It would have been so much worse have to wear this cast in hot weather than in the cold. I may not be able to hit the bike trail right away this summer but at least I will be able to take a leisurely stroll. I will gladly take a leisurely stroll over watching my family from the sidelines. Being on the sidelines is absolutely no fun.


Getting rid of it again!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 21st, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A couple of months ago we downgraded our satellite dish package. The programing that we were getting was about to double in price and we just weren’t happy with it for such a huge amount of money. Since downgrading we have a new appreciation for online television programming. Our new package offers nothing more than cartoons and maybe a couple of channels for grownups. When our contract expires in another month I am fairly certain that we will not renew it. There is nothing that we currently watch that is not available online. I also believe that watching shows online will limit how much the children watch. It is not as convenient to watch the computer all day. For 5 years we went without television and it was a really good thing. My son spent more time reading and engaging in the world around him. Since having television I find it harder to get him to read and even harder to get him outside to play. The satellite is pretty much destined to be a short term visitor in our house at this point. our younger son prefers to watch videos and our collection is huge so I am sure he will not miss a beat when our service terminates. Summer is on its way and these kids need to be outside!


Opiate addiction.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last month I was in a pretty serious car accident that landed me in the hospital for several days. Along with my injuries came some serious pain issues. I am not a person who like to take any pain medication that is not needed. To be honest I have never experienced pain quite like that in my life. I finally gave in and accepted medication when it was offered because I just couldn’t take the pain anymore. Internal bleeding, a concussion, and a broken leg will do that to you. The funny thing about this was how easy it was to obtain prescriptions from the doctor for pretty strong medications. I guess I assumed that they were more strict about how much they would prescribe. It is easy to see how people end up needing rapid opiate detox after an experience like mine. There were night over the last month where the pain left me panicky and as much as I didn’t want to take medication I would finally break down and take something just to get some rest.

When I discussed my pain with my doctor his first question was to ask if I was taking the narcotics that were prescribed? This kind of threw me because I am not looking to take medications but am looking to heal and be pain free as a result. I can now see why so many people who are hooked on opiates have legal prescriptions to be taking them. Opiates are highly addictive and once a person is addictive it is a very difficult addiction to fight. Given the rise in opiate addiction rates as a society we need to be the ease at which these drugs are made available through both legal and illegal means.

I made the decision to stop treating my pain with any of the medicines prescribed to me. I quickly realized how these types of drugs alter your quality of life. There is no way I want to risk becoming addicted to pain killers no matter what my doctor is telling me. I will live with the pain and work through it as best I can.


Being green.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over approximately the last year we have been moving towards a more sustainable and green way of life. This wasn’t a deliberate move but rather something that occurred slowly in stages. I believe it began with my wife starting to air dry our clothes. In the beginning this was more about saving money on our gas bill but then we began to the the greener side of this. She then switched to reusable shopping bags. This led the way for recycling just about everything imaginable. We have now moved into making most of our food from scratch. Cooking this way has caused us to learn more about the food chain in our country and the importance of organic foods. This summer will be try to grow most of our food and then preserve it. It has been a great way for our family to bond and learn things we never would have before. I think our children will be better for the journey and have a hands on experience with their food from seed to table.


A little longer

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About a year and a half ago we signed a contract for satellite television. It seemed like something we should do because we have just been given one of those great tv stands and a free television. For 5 years prior we did not have television. My parents decided to give us a television in hope that we would watch more of it. You have to understand that they value television very much and it is their main source of entertainment. I have to say I have not enjoyed satellite nearly as much as I had hoped. In just about one more month we will be able to cancel our programming without any fees. I cannot wait and I know my children will be better off with less of the awful programming we are currently receiving.


Who is sneaking them?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My children are home schooled. I know that for many people this automatically invokes a certain impression of what my kids are like. Typically my children are pretty low key and easily amused. They love being on the go and seeing the world around them. A simple drive in the car is a good time. Tonight they are wilder than I have ever seen them. My gut tells me that they found the 5 pound bag of chocolate chips that are hidden in the freezer. We dole these out as treats instead of candy or other sweets. My wife swears that today was chocolate free day but I just looked and the bag of chips looks really low. Given that our 3 year old has figured out how to stack stuff to reach what he wants I now have a theory as to how the chocolate supply is being depleted.


A good woman.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

From the tone of my last post you might get the wrong impression of what I think of my wife. My wife is an amazing woman and I adore her. The idea that she has this do-it-yourself mentality is actually something I admire. I love that she is always trying to learn new things even though I don’t always share her enthusiasm. I like that she doesn’t have high expectations of the world and is happy with simple things. I know that she is never waiting for me to find the perfect personalized gift or buy her the newest trendy item. She is happy with simple things in life and that is admirable. I love knowing that I don’t have to provide for a certain type of lifestyle. You have to love a woman who asks for things like canning jars and cheese rennet in lieu of diamonds and gold.


Cheese?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife is in the mindset that we need to learn to be self-sufficient. She has so many projects going that I can’t keep them all straight. As I type she is trying to make homemade cheese for the first time. I am not convinced this is all going to pan out but I am biting my lip. My inclination is to just go to the store to buy cheese. She is convinced that making cheese will be easier, cheaper, and healthier. So far I cannot see where it is any cheaper given what the supplies thus far have cost us. I am hoping that after the initial investment things will be cheaper and that she is able to obtain her goals. At this moment all I see is a big pot of hot milk.


Dreaming of a run.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am now in the final days until I am able to have this cast removed from my leg. It is something I think I am looking forward to with the same level of anticipation that I had for the birth of my children. It will feel so good to be able to walk on two feet again. I know I won’t be able to hit the fitness equipment right off the bat but it doesn’t stop me from dreaming. I would so very much love to be able to take a nice long run or for that matter even a leisurely stroll. You just don’t know how annoying it is to not have full use of your body until it happens. I really feel for anyone who faces lifelong struggles with mobility after my brief encounter with the limits of a broken leg.


Weekend :)

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 12th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This has been one very long week and I couldn’t be happier that the weekend is finally here. It seemed like every person that called me had some sort of attitude issue. I don’t know what is going around but I really hope everyone either gets over themselves or remembers to take their mood stabilizers. I had people calling to complain about things that had absolutely nothing with the role I am to play in their lives. I think one woman actually somehow felt my office was behind the fact that she lost her support payments. We have nothing to do with anything even slightly related to that type of thing. I am ready to just sit on the couch and stare blindly forward for the next few hours.


Doesn’t know Jack about camping.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So I read that Jack Nicholson says he wants to get away from it all and take the rest of his life off from acting to get himself in better shape and get rid of his “man boobs” which are bigger than the boobs othe women he is being photographed with. A good thought but I am still curious about what that entails should he choose to go camping what would Jack do if his RV broke, where would he take it to get Link To Copy: rv repair work done. Would he take a boat like Tiger Woods did to get away from the media and the world in general. How about doing what George Clooney and Johnny Depp did and move to Italy or France where everyone seems to be famous which means no one is famous when you really think about it. This is beginning to sound like a Dr. Seuse book.


WTH=Bill Kaulitz

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was surfing the web an came across something that I can honestly say epitomizes the acronym WTH. SO can someone please explain to me why an eleven year old boy can sing “It’s raining men”, and quite badly I might say, and be cheered. Oh wait!!!! I just realized that the audience is full of 50 year old men and almost half of them are masturbating while this kids is singing. The saddest part isn’t even that, it is how this kid looks now that is scary. The interesting part of this is that there are thousands of girls in Germany who will fight to the death to say that, Bill Kaulitz is not gay. Well if he is not he is on his way there.


Lookin’….not so good.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So I was on a website the other day where they were poking fun at some celebrities who had plastic surgery done and hadn’t gotten what they had asked for. The one that really surprised me was Macaula Culkin as I always thought that it was not a bad face lift that made him look that way that he does, I thought he was stoned. Turns out his face lift looks like it was done with a box cutter because he did not check out the background of his doctor. If he had, he might look better than he does, or at least better than Catherine O’Hara. Her lips look like they could carry her away at any moment.


Not My Disney

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So one of the three channels my family gets is DXD through Disney. I figured that since it was Disney it would be something safe for the boys to watch as I have pretty well banned Cartoon Network from the TV. The show that my son wants to watch is one called “Kick Buttowski” and from that I should have known that this just simply was not my Disney any more. Where did Donald and Mickey go? You don’t even see any short films with Goofy and Pluto and Minnie. After voicing this opinion to my kids I was immediately told by my ten year old that if I wanted those type of shows I would need to get the “Kiddie Disney” . Turns out there are three other channels for Disney, but none of them are the Disney that I remember.


Casts are not fun.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I remember when I was in high school it was the coolest thing to get a cast. I guaranteed that you got to leave class early and that someone else could go with you to carry your books. Being 39 years old and getting a cast is not as cool. All of of this sitting around and doing nothing makes me think I am going to have to invest in treatment for hemorrhoids when everything is said and done. Not being able to get up and move around much is not good for any part of your body. I can only imagine how out of shape I am going to be when I finally get this thing off. I daydream that the doctor will take the cast off next week and give me a lighter and smaller one. My wife thinks this is a pipe dream since the cast has only been on about 2 weeks. I just hope when I finally do get it off that I can walk normal and don’t have to go through a bunch of physical therapy.


Survivor

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Wow! This is going to be a fun season! It’s nice to already know everyone at the beginning. My favs are JT, Colby, and Stephanie. I am amazed at how the heroes are fighting. Hello? What happened to the team work they had the first few days? I think Cirie cut her own throat last night. Why keep her around if she can’t do puzzles and isn’t in good shape? You would think she would have learned not to go with Amanda last time, but we’ll see how it goes. I would love to see the tribes mixed up! I just really hope the Hero’s win something. Maybe the next challenge won’t have a puzzle. I also wanted the Villian’s to have to build their own good shelter before they got a tarp. That was a huge bummer for me to see them get the easy fix. The Hero’s shelter looks so good with all their woven leaves to help block out wind and rain.

Rob sure brought that win for his team and I’m glad he was okay. So far I have liked Rob more this season than I have in his others (so far). Russell will probably try to get rid of him soon – he needs the spotlight and didn’t like how Rob takes it from him.


Goofball…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Is it just me or do people seem to be getting more mentally ill? It seems like you never know when someone is going to go off the deep end and pull a gun. It seems to be happening more and more in the workplace. I have a colleague that just plain makes me nervous. I am not talking about someone who is so anal you wish they would get some colon cleansing pills. What I mean is a guy who is just beyond understanding in terms of his social skills and the comments that come out of his mouth. This guy has no qualms about saying offensive things in the middle of staff meetings and disregarding office policies. He refuses to participate in office events like birthday celebrations or for the holidays. When he needs to say something to people he sends emails despite sitting right next the person he needs to talk to. I am just hoping he decides to go back into retirement quickly and leaves the office without incident.


Theme nights?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 19th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Like movie night, spaghetti night, 80′s night or something like that? We do. It started with movie and pizza night and has since expanded. We do themes for holidays and just for fun. Sometimes I slack and we don’t do anything for weeks or months but I find we have more fun when I just decide to do something rather than having strict nights we do themed nights on, if that makes any sense. We used to do waffle Wednesday (or sometimes pancakes), but we don’t do that one as much anymore. I’ve also heard of Taco Tuesday. When our older son was little we had “brownie Tuesday’s”. This was the day where we baked brownies and had hot fudge brownie sundaes for dessert.


I will be alright.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since my accident my wife has been incredibly protective of me. I honestly believe that if she could wrap me in bubble wrap she would. I cannot convince her enough that I am feeling better and everything is going to be alright. My biggest worry at this point is getting this stupid cast off in 6 weeks it is driving me crazy. Between having a cast and thestress and hair loss I am ready to cut the cast of with my hand saw in order to get some relief. The only thing stopping me is the fact that my wife hid all of my tools in the garage and I can’t maneuver throw the snow to get to the garage. If I keep telling her that everything is going to be alright maybe I will soon start to believe it myself.


Rebates…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Anyone else taking advantage of the tax incentives for engery savings this year?

The old house we live in could use new windows and insulation…With the rebates that are being offered we’re seeing very little reason to not pursue these improvements.

However, since we’re considering talking to the bank anyway…we’re thinking of a bigger project….as in: windows, doors, new siding (instead of just insulation) and adding an attached garage. I know…

Once you start thinking of things it’s hard to know when to stop. But here’s the thing, we are just about 10 months from being debt free, besides the mortgage. We’ve come such a very long way in eliminating our debt, I almost panic at the thought of taking out more. But, with the interest rates as low as they are, couple with the rebates, if we ever really wanted to do this, now would be the time.

Our credit is great, our cash flow is good. I just don’t know…
We know this is where we want to grow old one day, so eventually we’d want these improvements done anyway….Just the energy savings alone would go a long ways to paying for the improvements…but, it would take us such a long time to save for such a big job. Even if we did windows one year, and insulation the next, we’d then miss out on the rebates…which is more than the banks are paying you in interest if we’re saving up for the work to be done. So, yes, I want the work done, I’m just not sure I want to sign on the dotted line to pay it back.

Would you go for it, or just say no?


What to do?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I received a call today that the insurance company is totaling our car following the accident I was in a couple of weeks ago. The good thing is that we aren’t really taking a loss on the car. The bad thing is now we have to shop for a car in the middle of winter with my leg in a cast. I hate shopping for cars. I am not skilled at haggling over car prices and just wish I could hire someone to do it for me. My father is arranging a lease vehicle for us for a while to give us some time to decide what we want to do for a permanent vehicle. I am leaning towards saving up and buying the biggest vehicle we can afford. My wife would tend to agree that I need to drive a tank in the future given that I seem to be a target for distracted drivers. Since a tank is not in our budget I am wondering what sort of vehicle we should look for?


Can of worms.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My relative has her kids help clean up before we visit the next day. If they don’t help, they have a time out in their room (often as long as two hours). One child is always in his room when we arrive (the other kids love to clean up). He does have a history of difficult behavior that they are trying to deal with. That child is also the only one that is the same age as one of our children. Thus, our child waits patiently for up to 2 hours to play with the cousin. The other kids do their own thing – they always have since they’ve never had same-age cousins. This has been going on for some time. Probably a couple of years. I finally spoke up and said that I don’t feel it’s fair that my child also gets “punished”. My DW and I both agree, that we do not want our family visits to be any part of a punishment. We said we would just like to get together when both families can participate in the whole visit. (this is about 5 or 6 times a year.) (I also feel like they are setting their kid up to forever be the “black sheep” of the family.)

I’ve apparently opened a can of worms. I can in honesty say that their kid doesn’t seem to care about missing 2 hours of a 6 hour visit. The parents think that if you don’t clean up, you don’t get to visit and that’s a natural consequence. I was also told that my child should “suck it up”. I was also told that I am forcing my ways on them and holding hostage our family visits.

How do you feel about this type of punishment when it affects a family visit?


TLC and Jon

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I read this week that Jon Gosselin and TLC have reached some sort of agreement in their various legal matters. TLC did say that they are currently working on a show featuring Kate but did not mention Jon. I personally would rather watch someone pick at their blackheads than see Jon Gosselin on television again. He just plain disgusts me with the way he has chosen to live his life after breaking up with Kate. They are both ridiculous in my opinion but at least Kate has not been cavorting with every person that walks by. How are these children going to feel when they read about the behavior their parents have exhibited after their marriage broke up. I don’t doubt the older girls are keenly aware of what the media is saying about their parents and it just disgusts me.


Big Love

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It’s on HBO and is a series about a family of polygamists…a husband, three wives, and all of their children. We don’t have HBO but rent the DVDs when each season comes out. We’ve seen 2 seasons so far and I really liked it. I am so fascinated with this show! Bill Paxton is the husband and he just cracks me up! Can you imagine having to deal with 3 totally different wives every day. I think they are on season four now. The videos are at Blockbuster if anyone is interested. You won’t be disappointed. This is my favorite show, and I only subscribe to HBO for this show (bad I know, but completely true). We love the show! That and Mad Men…. its easy to get addicted to that series as well. I know this sounds lame but there aren’t many shows out there anymore that draw me in like this one has.


Not a secret.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So my wife and I have a ritual of watching Discovery Health every Thursday night where we watch obese people lose weight, or at least try to. These people have hit rock bottom where they have to lose weight or they will die from the health complications that come from being obese. It seems that the ultimate fat burner is lap band surgery accompanied by diet and exercise. It amazes me that people just don’t seem to understand that you have to move to lose weight and just because you have the surgery does not mean you don’t have to keep moving. I find it interesting that some of the people forget that on the show even when they are told by the Doctor that this is what must be done.


Dr. Who Now???

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So the Doctor regenerated. My son is chomping at the bit to see the new Doctor on Doctor Who, but he will have to wait until spring to see him. I gave him a little bit of a treat the other day and got on Youtube and found him all of the previous doctors and what they looked like. On top of that I also found all of their regeneration scenes which I myself had never seen before. Here is a link to a video that goes through all 11 Doctors. It’s brief but it will show you what all 11 doctors look like.


It’s good to give.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Did you ever wish you could just give something on a whim? Wouldn’t it be nice to be someone like Bill Gates or Richard Branson or even someone like richard willich. I read in our paper that someone just gave an anonymous donation to our local theater for over $750.000 in order to extend the ARTE program for young aspiring actors. My son is part of this program and it gives young kids like him a chance to perform in front of small audiences in spoken word events, plays, or musicals. Now my son is no Brando but it is great to see him do something he really enjoys because someone decided to give.


Gotta Complex????

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So Shaun White won another medal in the winter Olympics for something that I can’t really call a sport, snow boarding. Now you would think that he would at least try to be humble about the whole thing as most participants and medal winners should be as I think it would be great just to participate. But no, he’s worried about the nickname that has been given to him over the years. So now instead of “the flying tomato” he wants to be called “the animal”. To hell with the fact that he has just won a medal in the olympics, he just doesn’t want to be teased any more is what it boils down to. For a guy who will probably be on the next Wheaties box he has a little bit of a complex.


A little rest please.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The only thing I wanted to do today was sit. I work long hours all week long and look forward to doing absolutely nothing on Saturday morning. My wife was awaken by our youngest son at 6 am. This apparently put her into a foul mood for the day. She then woke me up and insisted that today was a day where we were going to accomplish something. She presented me with a long list of repairs I needed to address such as replacing the kitchen faucet and painting the living room ceiling. I guess I should be happy it didn’t include installing a Toto toilet or something. There is no way I am going to start a bathroom project on a day when everyone is home. The last time I tried this it was such a pain because everyone was constantly parading in and out of the bathroom. My new rule for bathroom projects is that everyone except me needs to leave the house for day. I am putting my foot down about next weekend and insisting that I get to sit around and do nothing.


Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 30th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We got an Applebee’s coupon in the mail, so DW went out to eat with her brother last night. When she tried to pay the bill, the waitress refused to accept the coupon, saying that she had been supposed to give it to her in advance. She said she actually gave her a short lecture (though I’m sure from her perspective it was just information) about it.

My thoughts:
1. How weird. We’ve used coupons at lots of restaurants and never seen that policy.
2. Why is it so important? Does knowing about the coupon in advance affect the service and/or food they give the customer?

Here’s the funny part: When seeing DW’s confusion (DW doesn’t even send back badly cooked steak, so I know she didn’t argue with her), she gave her the discount but REFUSED TO TAKE THE COUPON. Essentially, she gave randomly gave her a discounted meal.

My thoughts:
1. Huh?

Anyone work for Applebee’s or a restaurant with a similar policy and have any light to shed on this?


Honesty

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday we found ourselves in he position of having to tell someone the honest truth. Sometimes telling the truth is a really hard thing to do. This was one of those situations where there was no other option but to be blunt. The short story is that this one parent we know kept pressuring us to join a group that her family belongs to. For just about a year we have come up with every excuse possible to avoid being available to attend the meetings held by this group. We have said we couldn’t come because of illness to wackier reasons like needing to shop for affordable life insurance. Finally, when she called 3 times this week to remind us about a group meeting it became clear that honesty was the best policy. My wife told her as nicely as possible that the group simply was not a good fit for our family and our belief system. That although we enjoyed the company of various members of the group that as a unit we just couldn’t get behind the core beliefs of this group and would not be attending any meetings in the future. I am hoping this woman finally understands what we have been subtly been trying to say for the last year.


Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

What the heck is up with the stupid “snuggie” blankets? They are everywhere! I think they are completely ugly–I’d much rather just find a nice soft blanket in my house. My FIL got one for MIL last Christmas and I thought “what the heck is THAT?” I don’t understand them, but I guess some people must be buying them! It’s all in the marketing and creating demand. One Day they had the “Today” show hosts wearing them! I wish I could come up with a “snuggie” idea. We thought it should be called a Slanket..a blanket with sleeves. I later learned that there is a competing product out there with the name Slanket! They all just look like an oversized robe that people wear backwards? I don’t have one but I just don’t get the fascination with them.


Home all the time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 29th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I spent time organizing our recycling and getting it ready to take to the recycling center. It occurred to me as I cut up card board box after box that my wife needs to leave the house more often. I seriously must have cut up 50 boxes from all the Amazon books she has ordered over the last few months. I realize that most of what she orders is for home schooling our children. The notion occurred to me that she really never leaves our house more than maybe once a week. I know this doesn’t bother her in the slightest but it kind of bothers me a little bit. I would go stir crazy if I stayed home all day for days on end. I am going to have to get on her to take time for herself and go out on the town more often.


Bored stiff.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last week we changed our satellite television package. The price was about to become double what we were spending per month. The only affordable option was to change our package to a more affordable option until the expiration of our service contract. Our new channel collection offers considerably less to watch. The children are quite happy because just about the only channels we get are cartoons. My wife can’t find anything to watch and is spending her time online doing who know what. I secretly think that she is listening to television shows while pretending to be shopping for car insurance and paying bills. I will be honest and say that I would go back to our old programming package if given the option. Right now unless I want to watch the NASA channel or DIY network there isn’t much else for an adult to choose from. It really makes you understand why they have a budget package and why they offer so many opportunities to preview the more expensive packages for free. You really know what you are missing out on when you don’t have it anymore.


Best New Artist…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Man, this is the worst Best New Artist line-up ever! None of the people really make me feel ‘wow they should definitely win a Best New Artist Grammy’. MGMT is really good and creative so it’d be cool to see them win, but they really didn’t have a huge amount of impact.

There are other new country people I’d have nominated-Gloriana or Love and Theft-not really that big on Zac Brown Band, at least the songs I’ve heard.

For some reason I could have sworn The Ting Tings were nominated last year lol. I love “That’s Not My Name” so if they win good for them. I thought Keri Hilson was nominated also a couple years ago. I guess “The Way I Are” wasn’t nominated?

They should have nominated David Cook or Jay Sean or Parachute or someone else more relevant and exciting than Silversun Pickups.

I wish “Fireflies” blew up a little sooner, I would have loved to see Owl City as a BNA nominee!!


Not a single bite.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In November my wife announced that she was going to give up sugar and starch. When she said this I had to think to myself that this was not ever going to happen. I likened my wife giving up sugar to a cigar connoisseur being asked to give up Black and Mild cigars. If you know anything about the topic then you can understand the symbolism. My wife loves sweets and baked goods. The idea of her giving up her favorite things just didn’t seem possible. I am here to tell you that she meant what she said and hasn’t had a bite of anything with sugar or starch in it since November. This dietary change seems to agree with her body and she has lost 25 pounds since making this pledge. I am now questioning if this is something I should also try. I honestly don’t think I have the fortitude to follow through.


Getting fit.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just bought 30-Day Shred. I really haven’t worked out much in the past (started doing some exercises from the book The Biggest Loser 30 Day Jump Start several days before), and her exercises aren’t hard to follow. I am definitely challenged, even by the Level 1 workout. I couldn’t get through the cardio part of the first circuit both times I tried it today, but if I rested during part of it, I could get through the rest of the circuits. My goal this week is to make it through the whole workout without a break!

I started approximately following the diet in the aforementioned book. The recipes can get a little pricey, so I’m repeating some breakfasts and lunches, but I’m still getting a lot of variety and staying satisfied. The only time I’m feeling a little hungry is near bedtime, since I’ve stopped eating by 7:30, aiming for 3 hours before my earliest possible bedtime (which I obviously missed tonight). I’ve already lost almost 10 pounds in about a week, part of which must be water weight (however, I was about 40 pounds over my ideal weight, so I’m really looking to lose a lot). This is the first diet I’ve felt satisfied on. I haven’t done many diets in the past, but the few I tried always left me frustrated. On this one, with a few small modifications, I’m keeping to 1800 calories a day (their goal is 1500, but at my weight, I think that little might slow my metabolism) but not feeling big cravings like I used to, even when not dieting. Anyway, I’m excited, but nervous, since I’ve never successfully done this before.
Reply With Quote


Buffed Pitt and Clooney

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Just the other day I came across an article about an entire soccer team was caught doping with steroids, HGH, and testosterone creams. This got me thinking because you hear so much about athletes trying to get an advantage, would actors do the same thing. Is it possible that Brad Pitt did not get his six pack from working out alone but from a pill. Would a film fire George Clooney because he was using HGH to get an edge up on a younger actor. Mickey Rourke said he did what all the other wrestlers did in order to get into character for his film “The Wrestler”, did this give him an unfair advantage? In a sense, I’m sure it did. Would it get him fired? Probably not. It got him a Golden Globe and Oscar Nomination.


Seth Rogan = Good Actor

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife and I were watching a movie this weekend with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan called Funny People which, surprisingly, we both enjoyed. As the weekend progressed we came across several other movies both on TV and STARZ that he played in. When my son watched Monsters vs Aliens we realized that he was the voice of Bob. This lead us to the conclusion that there must not be many movies that he isn’t in. He is a good actor and can play both the straight guy and the funny guy. Even though he had a cameo in Step Brothers which was also on this past weekend he still stuck out.


Curves coming back around

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

If you can believe it I am starting to see a change in perceptions as to how women in Hollywood should look. I am seeing pictures on the net of actresses at events in dresses that are showing off a lot of curves rather than sharp edges and shoulder blades. They all don’t look like they are surviving on CLA, water melon and rice cakes. I know that there will always be stragglers like Angelina and Lindsay Lohan but they seem to be more of the minority now. To me, this is great to see because it means that healthy is becoming more the priority and not an after-thought. Bravo.


Ch Ch Ch Changes!!!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife and I disagree about many things as we get older but one thing we can always agree on is what our kids will and will not watch on TV. I watched a show that was on the Disney Channel the other day with my kids and even though it was billed for children the content was just too mature for my ten year old. Many of todays shows just seem to be so intent on making our kids grow up before they are supposed to and I honestly think they mean to to increase their viewing audience. Luckily we still get channels like Discovery kids and the Science channel that my son can enjoy and we run less of a risk of them seeing things that they should not be seeing.


Too much desk time.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has become increasingly clear to me that I have spent far too much time sitting at this desk this weekend. There is not a bone in my body that is not stiff or sore. I fully intend to get up from this desk in the next hour and spend a fair amount of time working out on the treadmill. I don’t know what it is about getting online that just draws me in like a vacuum. I sit down with the intention of visiting a single website to look up something and before I know I am on another site followed by several others. I have no idea how this happens. For example I sat down this morning to look up a protein shake recipe and half an hour later I find myself reading information on www.glucosaminehcl.net! What I need to do is set some kind of timer as a cue to get up and walk away from the computer. I am going to end up fat and out of shape if this habit continues.


Old movie day.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Yesterday we spent the day watching old movies. Since we downgraded our satellite package there hasn’t been a very big selection to chose from when deciding what to watch. We finally settled on watching The Vagabond Lover (1929), B

More interesting for what’s going around it and the performers than the film itself, although cute enuff. Interesting also because this is a talkie, one of the first and has some truly beautiful music in it.

This is the famous singer Rudy Vallee’s first film and he’s stiff as the dickens as is his romantic partner played by Sally Blane who imdb lists also having almost 100 credits. She’s exquisitely beautiful in this, but then she’s the sister of oscar winner Loretta Young, another looker. My, what genes that family had!

The stand out performer here is undoubtedly Marie Dressler in her first talkie picture and she’s a delight. Funny and imperious! At this point Marie although in her early 60s was a fast rising box office and critical star and would be one of MGMs top stars for a few years until being felled by cancer.


What next?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last week the internet was buzzing because Kate Gosselin had gotten herself around $8,000 in hair extensions. I am wondering what her promotional team is going to come with next to keep her face in the media spotlight? It is just so silly that we care so much because this woman changes her hairstyle. It isn’t as if the woman discovered a hair loss cure or something. Are we really surprised that this attention seeking and very self-absorbed woman would spend a small fortune on her hair? Why is this big news? I would think it was big news if she announced she was going to go into counseling and learn how to really be the parent she claims to want to be for her children. An adult Gosselin actually prioritizing their children now that I would find newsworthy but hair extensions are not something we should waste ink or paper on in my humble opinion.


Album of the year.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

With the Grammy’s just around the corner my thoughts have turned to who might win the album of the year this time around.

I am interested in seeing how the following artists are recognized at this year’s Grammy’s:
Jay-Z
Keri Hilson
Taylor Swift
Pink
Kid Cudi
Melanie Fiona
India.Arie
Musiq Soulchild
Maxwell
Lady GaGa

“Poker Face” deserves it- but Record of the Year has mostly ALWAYS given their top award to the least deserving nominee, thus Swift or Kings of Leon sadly. Last year’s ROTY winner was just awful, and others before that included U2′s “Walk On” over Alicia Keys and India.Arie, Coldplay trumping Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”- I mean the list goes on. I still have no idea why Grammy voters will NOMINATE popular tracks, but not reward them in the general field. It’s almost as if we have two sets of voters.


So reserved.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

In watching the Golden Globes I can’t help but wonder what some of these stars are like in their everyday lives. When you see them in red carpet interviews they sometimes seem so reserved and awkward that it is hard to picture them having a normal conversation. I can’t tell you the number of times I have watched someone like George Clooney and thought that either something was wrong with him intellectually or at the very least he needs a good colon cleansing. I guess what I am saying is do they ever say anything that is not very carefully and deliberately thought out? Now that I think about it I suppose when you are in the public spotlight and your every word is under a microscope you would have to be very careful when choosing your words. There is a part of me that would like to think that George is the type of guy you could shoot the breeze with while standing in line at the bank. Not that George would ever be standing in line at the bank.


My reaction to the Globes…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Overall, I thought it was a pretty uneventful ceremony this year. Not many laughs, no real spontaneity, no outrageous speeches…the things this silly awards show is usually good for.

The fantastic:
Robert Downey Jr.!
Sandra Bullock FINALLY!!!!!
Mo’Nique
Meryl Streep
Michael C. Hall

The great:
Mad Men
Julianna Marguiles
John Lithgow
Martin Scorsese
Robert DeNiro
Leonardo DiCaprio
Up!
Jeff Bridges
Drew Barrymore-reminiscing about being in the room when she was 7.

As for Avatar winning ~I think Avitar is a great film, and I enjoyed watching it. But I think it’s size and gravitas outweighs it’s core quality. I think it’s support from some of the voting blocks is coming from its position on such a grand scale..It’s an epic, it’s in 3-D it’s grossed Billions of Dollars, it took years to create, it’s James Cameron etc.

I don’t think it’s the best film of the year, But I think voters feel inclined to vote for this visual masterpiece.

The surprises:
Chloe Sevigny
Glee


Best and worst…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Now that the Golden Globes are over it is time for everyone to start discussing who was the best or worst dressed celebrities in attendance. This is something that I just never quite understand. It must be hard to be in the public spotlight and know that you won’t be making headlines for your talent but instead for your choice of attire. This must be so insulting on a certain level. In reality the press might as well be assessing who has found the best anti aging face cream or has had the best plastic surgery. Does it really mean anything about the abilities of a celebrity to know that they are the best or worst dressed among their peers? You have to wonder why we care so much about how pulled together someone looks. I guess it gives us some diversion from the seriousness of life to know that even the richest among us have bad hair days or buy dresses that make them look fat.


Up in the air?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 18th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was just looking at how weak the Best Picture/Musical or Comedy and Best Actor/Musical or Comedy lineups are. Everyone is split on Best Picture (Give it to “500 Days of Summer”) and Best Actor (the pundits have Day-Lewis ranked #1…he was ‘completely’ wrong for that part!)…

I watched “Up in the Air” the other day and thus far it is my favorite movie of 2009. As I was watching it, however, I found myself constantly wondering why it was submitted in the Drama category. There are plenty of LOL moments that I think would easily qualify it in the Musical/Comedy category. Aside from that, it and Clooney would be locks.

Is it just me who thinks it was submitted in the wrong category?


A bright future.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have posted on occasion in regards to the fact that my older son is extremely bright. During a recent visit with a physician the doctor commented that in his estimation my son will be ready for college in his teenage years. If this comment hadn’t come from someone that I personally respect very much I might have disregarded it. I now can’t help but wonder what my son’s potential might be? He was accepted into the gifted program at school this year and his test scores would confirm what our doctor had said. It is hard not to want to push him to achieve but I don’t want to push too hard. He is already taking online several courses outside of his normal school curriculum that peaked his interest. I almost have to tell him it is time to have fun because his desire to learn is so strong. Virtually anything I ask him if he wants to try and learn more about he is more than willing to do. The technology behind online learning is so incredible that it completely engages him in whatever he is learning. He is currently taking an accelerated math course and a foreign language outside of what is offered via his virtual charter school. I have no doubt that when the time comes he will want to also take an LSAT prep course. I wish this type of technology had been available when I was his age. The quality of education cannot be compared to what is offered in a traditional classroom. Between the combination of live classes, interactive lessons, and resources the curriculum is unbelievably rich. It is so nice to know that support and resources are never more than a click away. Another thing that has sold me on online learning aside from the rich curriculum is the convenience and affordability. Without leaving our home we are able to obtain a top rate education without the cost of those pricey courses we are always getting mailings for. It really is the best possible scenario for our family.


Finally thinking frugally…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just wanted to share a little discussion my wife and I had after Christmas dinner. After everyone left, our house was a wreck. No one stayed to help cleanup which is pretty much par for the course. Everyone else kinda slipped off very subtly so it was just pretty much my DW and I left to clean up. We went through the house picking up all the red DISPOSABLE cups that had been left around. Each time my wife made a trip into the kitchen for something she must have noticed that there were cups in the sink and would throw them away. After the 4th or 5th trip into the kitchen she must have been thinking that one of the kids was putting them in the sink. She then hollered to everyone and asked “whoever” was doing this to please stop and put them IN THE GARBAGE. To which I then reply that I am the one doing it. I explained that I thought maybe they could be run through the dishwasher and we could use them later on. After laughing at me she then explained to him in the most kind way possible as not to hurt his feelings that that was the whole point of using throw away stuff was so we didn’t have to wash them. I think I should be commended for finally getting behind her whole frugal way of thinking?


On second thought…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I took a moment to consider the reporting of Kate Gosselin’s new hairstyle and have some second thoughts. I was pretty harsh in my criticism of Yahoo news reporting on Kate’s new hairstyle. They did employ a certain amount of honesty that I for one appreciate. It is really good to know that Kate did indeed get hair extensions. I am quite sure there would be people out there who would now be frantically searching for hair supplements to make their hair grow as fast as Kate’s would appear to have. Can you imagine the frenzy it would cause for all those people who imitate celebrity hairstyles if this vital piece of information had been omitted from the story? Now no one will need to worry themselves sick as to what her secret formula for growing such long luxurious hair is and can just schedule themselves an appointment for extensions. Once again Yahoo is indeed thinking of the masses!


So exciting!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2010 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am absolutely sure that everyone else will be beyond the moon to know this little bit of news! Hold onto your hats because this might be more than you are able to handle. Yahoo new is headlining the fact that Kate Gosselin has a new hairstyle! I am serious when I say that it makes me wonder just what goes into the process of deciding what is a newsworthy item and what is not? When you consider all the bigger issues in the world that the news could focus on it really is sad. I know that I will definitely sleep better knowing that Kate has gotten herself some hair extensions. It is so much more precious to me than knowing where things stand with healthcare or terrorists trying to strike here in the United States. Thank you, Yahoo for giving me the news I can count on you to provide each and every day.


Where did it go?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There is something about falling snow that makes me sleepy. I had been feeling pretty great and full of energy for the last couple of weeks. The snow started falling yesterday and suddenly it is like my energy has been completely sapped. I really should be getting on the nordic trac or on my treadmill but I just can’t bring myself to get up and go do it. I really feel like curling up on the couch and watching a good movie and not moving until next week. We have been watching so many movies lately that I am at a loss for what to watch. The kids have been watching one Christmas movie after another and I am kind of at my limit for that genre. What I really need to watch is a good action movie featuring people who are in incredible shape. For some reason this always makes me look at my own physique and feel the need to start exercising again. Now if I could just figure out a movie to watch and find where my energy went I would be in good shape. Right now I think I am going to go search for new releases online and see if there is anything good to watch.


Gosselin divorce.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last week I read that the divorce of Jon and Kate Gosselin is now a done deal. Am I the only one that is really glad to hear this? It isn’t that I watch the show but rather that I am just plain sick of hearing about them. I really hope their children grow up to be productive and happy people but I can’t help but wonder if they are forever going to be damaged by all of the spotlight shown on their family. Jon and Kate just seem far to interested in themselves to ever properly attend to raising their children and meeting their needs. How can someone who spends each day under the light of a camera ever grow up and know what normalcy is? These kids have in my opinion never known what average is. Their every want or whim has been met my product sponsor chomping at the bit to be endorsed by this family. One can only hope that Jon and Kate take some time out of the media and reflect and maybe grow up a little bit themselves.


Disgusted.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 17th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has gotten to the point where I don’t feel like even watching the news anymore. Each time I attempt to watch the news it seems like an never ending broadcast dedicated to the Tiger Woods’ saga. I could care less about how many people Tiger has slept with or whether there is speculation that he may have addiction issues. The news networks can speculate all they want as to whether he is a sex addict or is in need of drug rehab and it won’t make me even slightly more interested in his life! Is it really too much to ask for some meaningful news coverage of the state of the H1N1 pandemic, the war in Iraq, or maybe the newest advances in health care? People in the public eye are always going to have trash in the their lives that someone is going to dig up. To say that this is more important news than soldiers fighting and dying is just plain disgusting. Until the news networks get a grip on reality I am foregoing television news and reading my news online where I can edit to filter out worthless stories like that of Tiger Woods.


Cooking shows.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 17th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There seems to be nothing on television lately to watch. We have been watching tons of cooking shows just to fill the day. There is one cooking show in particular that just annoys me to no end. Am I the only one that thinks the show “Chopped” is absolutely ridiculous? How is anything that happens on this show an actual test of how well someone can cook? Just because someone can create a soup from cream of celery soup, chocolate chips, oatmeal, and applesauce does not mean they are the most skilled chef on the show! The comments that the judges make are so stupid I want to throw stuff at the television! What am I missing about this show that keeps it on the air?


It is here.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We have been really fortunate so far this year and the weather has been pretty mild. This week the winter weather seems to have descended upon us to stay. It won’t be long before I am whining about needing a trip to myrtle beach sc. I like having snow for Christmas because it just doesn’t seem right without it. I however really wish the snow would leave and not come back right after the holidays are over. My kids are the only people I know who earnestly look forward to getting snow. Try as I might I just can’t find their enthusiasm for the prospect of a long cold winter. It would be different if I enjoyed skiing for some winter sport but I just don’t like being cold. Until I can afford to move to the south permanently I am just going to have to continue to muddle through.


Disgusted

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Anyone hear about this story? I just read it on KSl.com http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=8981293. It just broke my heart for those two little kids. It made me cry! As a parent, how can you leave your young children alone, that poor little girl. I’m just glad someone found her and she didn’t get frostbite. Some people just shouldn’t have children! I wish I could do something for those little kids. I hope they put them into a family where they will be taken care of! If you look at the photo of the mother, I think that says a lot about her. She obviously thought the whole thing was a joke. She doesn’t even look like she cares. I don’t go to bed at night this time of year without making sure my cat is in the garage for the night tucked in his bed. I’m sure my neighbors have heard me calling for him and wondering what I was doing. I can not for the life of me understand why some parents just don’t get it. I would do anything to keep my children safe and warm. It is so very sad because like you said, they will probably be back with their parents in no time and I hope that the parents can get their act together before something even worse happens to the kids.


Opening a practice.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife has her doctorate degree in Audiology. For a long time she dreamed of opening her own practice. Now that she is homeschooling our older son she claims that this is no longer a dream of hers but I don’t believe her. I know she still spends time pricing equipment like exam table and such. Why would you spend time looking refurbished autoclaves, office chairs, ear wash systems, and otoscopes if you are interested in opening a practice. She even commented to me about free shipping and a promotional deal “25BUCKSOFF” she found on the Claflin site. I know that she is happy being at home with our kids but I just don’t ever want her to give up on her dreams.


Things I have said…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Did you ever has something come out of your mouth and then think… wow.. never thought I would say that. I had one last night. I said to DS.

“The Virgin Mary is not a Barbie doll”…

Never in a million years did I see that one coming.

We had a snow day yesterday and DS didn’t have to work last night.. He wasn’t watching anything on tv till 9.. so he was stretched out on the living room floor.. rearranging the figurines in the Nativity under our tree and doing voice overs!!! Like the wise man saying.. Baby Jesus.. wait till you see what I have for you.

Now DS knows the real meaning of Christmas and the story of Mary and Joseph and we take him to church… but give a kid a night off and they get bored. I kind of let it all go till I saw him pick up the Virgin Mary figurine and then I said of course..

The Virgin Mary is not a Barbie Doll Put her down NOW.

Then I moved out of the way and waited for the lightening to strike DS.

What have you said to your kids thinking… never thought Id say those words!


Quite a diet.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

About 10 days ago my wife started a new diet. At first I will have to say I was pretty skeptical about how this might work out for her around the holidays. It is pretty hard to stick to a strict eating plan when everywhere you turn someone has holiday goodies out. She was so motivated to loose weight that before even starting the diet she took pictures of herself with our Canon camera. These she said were to document how she looked before starting the diet. Now that she is ten days into the diet she has already lost ten pounds and is feeling quite please with herself. Her long term goal is to loose about 30 pounds. If she continues forward with this type of determination I have no doubts but what she will reach her goal. I can’t say that I would have the willpower to pass up all those delicious cookies and treats but somehow she is managing to do it. I am really cheering her on with this endeavor and doing my best not to eat anything terribly delicious in front of her. I wish I could find some of that will power for myself.


Cheap fun.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 1st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over the Thanksgiving weekend we went to visit various relatives. At my parents home my mother had one of those major department store free directory of toys. It is kind of like a magazine but not really. There are pictures of toys and prices listed. She gave it to our children to look at. I was really surprised how taken by this our youngest son was. He has spent several hours over the last week looking at the pictures and talking about the things he would like to have. I really believe if he could will them into his possession he would. The little guy has been mashing his finger on a couple of the toys so hard it is almost like he is trying to force them out of the listing and into existence. I definitely now know a couple of things that Santa is going to have to track down and find him for Christmas or else he will be heart broken.


All he wants for Christmas.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The time of year is here again when we have to think about what to buy friends and loved ones for Christmas. We are pretty much done with buying gifts for the children and just need to focus on the adults in the family. We have one family member who is extremely difficult to buy for. I am seriously considering buying him some type of e cigarette gift. The only two interest he has are playing golf and smoking. It is really hard to give him something centered around golfing that he doesn’t have so that leaves us with cigarettes. I really wish that he would expand his range of interests but he seems pretty resolved to stay exactly how he is for the foreseeable future.


Foreclosure…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A friend of mine and her husband just about bought a house that was to go into foreclosure. As you can imagine, it’s not in the best condition ever. Her dad is freaking out and insisting that they get it tested for past meth use. I explained that county can give you the info to the company that does the meth testing (can’t remember the name right now). You can pick up a test kit, take it home, do the test (you literally just wipe a swab) and return it back to them.

I think it’s like $45 per test… You can test multiple locations in your home if you’re really worried about it, but the guy I talked to from that company said there is one really good place in your house to test – you swipe the alcohol wipe from the test kit on the INSIDE of your furnace, just before the filter… The guy at the test company will probably tell you more about that and what your options are. He was really, really helpful when I talked with him a few months back.

I think for $45ish (if I remember correctly), it’s definitely worth the peace of mind…


Groaning…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A couple of weeks ago our van started groaning and moaning. I spent last weekend taking it apart in an attempt to figure out where the noises are coming from. I suspect it is a result of all the rv towing with did with the van last year. I did some research prior to buying our camper and was pretty sure our van could handle the load. All summer long the van pulled the camper quietly and without a problem. Our van still runs fine but it is making some noises I haven’t heard before. I am going to spend one more weekend trying to sort it all out before I invest in taking it to a mechanic to figure out the problem. I really hate dealing with mechanics and only do so on an emergency basis when the problem is beyond the scope of my abilities.


Cry baby…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am so sick and tired of Jon Gosselin acting like a victim all the time. Waaaaa, waaaaaaaa, waaaaaaa. Man, my 3 year old complains less.

Last night he was recounting (again…) how he lost his 20′s to getting married and having a bunch of kids fast. Hello…no one forced him down the aisle or to go to infertility. He needs to grow up and stop acting like he’s entitiled to be a parent when it’s convenient for him. Jerk.

Do I think Kate was too hard on him? Yes, I think she’s too hard on everyone around her. But I don’t think Kate, or especially the kids, deserve any of this. But I don’t think rebelling against Kate makes things any better in the long run for him or his kids like he keeps claiming. All of his comments are so egocentric it’s sickening.

I think several years from now when his belly is even bigger than is is now, his girlfriends (and money-sucking lawyers) are LONG gone, and his kids are totally screwed up he’ll see that maybe abandoning his family when things got tough wasn’t the best decision. He reminds me of ignorant teens who dress, say, and do stupid things just to be “different” or go against authority figures instead of being loyal to who they really are during a tough time in life. I don’t think this has anything to do with Jon finding himself. I think it has everything to do with Jon doing what brings Jon a temporary pleasure fix.

What do you think?


Holiday excitement.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today has been an exceptionally long day. We have a couple of therapists coming into the house to work with our son every so often and both of them came today. For some reason our older son is now completely caught up in planning for the holidays. It was really hard for either of the therapists to get him back on track after asking him about our holiday plans. It doesn’t seem to matter what he sees or hears about he is somehow able to incorporate it into talking about the holidays. It wouldn’t matter if he saw an advertisement for truck accessories the child would decide that we need to buy them or get them for someone in our family. If he isn’t planning what we should buy for someone he is deciding what type of holiday party we need to have. I love his excitement but it can make for a really long day.


Ac Neilson

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Some asked me the other day about doing the AC Neilson homescan program. I have a few thoughts on it that I thought I would share. I’ve done it twice in the past. If you can remember to scan everything before you put it away, it’s a good thing to do. The first time I did it, I had to transmit over the phone, only our phone wasn’t compatible, so I’d have to go find a working payphone somewhere (in the middle of winter). The second time, they had moved to internet transmit, but I never remembered to scan especially since I couldn’t put the scanner where I’d see it and remember. I found it was taking me way too long to enter everything. Esp. when you have a huge Albertsons sale and you used a lot of coupons.


Disgusting

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Adam Lambert sang the final song on AMA and it was disgusting! I was shocked and could not believe they would allow that on TV. They all seem to be trying to top each other with the grossest costumes, trashiest dancers, and sexiest moves and suggestions. Yuck! I wonder who will buy his records now?? The show was a complete disapointment. I couldn’t believe some of the things they allowed the “artists” to get away with. Although I didn’t really agree with Carrie Underwood’s choice of costume, I was reminded why I listen to country. THhe country performances were the only once I would have felt comfortable watching with a child sitting next to me. Everything else was so over the top annoying, suggestive, etc. If they knew they were going to have to bleep out so much in so many of the songs, what were the producers thinking allowing them to perform them on TV? Pretty pathetic..


Good fun…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife just got back from taking our toddler to an H1N1 vaccination clinic at our local hospital. I was going to take our son but since I am in the midst of illness myself decided against it. Although she was only gone about an hour she said the line was incredibly long. She described it as “stretching from the check in desk to new orleans louisiana ” and beyond. Thankfully the clinic was really well organized and everything moved very quickly. The biggest problem we see with it is that our son requires a second dose of the vaccine and the hospital has no idea if or when they might get them in. They advised us to call around and see where we might be able to get on and just go there. My understanding is that if you don’t get a second vaccine that the first one will have no effect. It might be a pointless adventure because in all likelihood he will have been exposed to the virus between now and when we are able to get the second vaccine.


Education savings…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So here’s what I am thinking about while my kid is still very young. I am thinking about setting up a Coverdell Educational Savings Account (ESA) now to take advantage of the following (see below) when my kid turns old enough to start school and, I am thinking about continuing to take advantage of it until 12th grade. Even though contributions to the ESA are not deductible, amounts deposited in the account grow tax free until distributed. I’d probably use a bank like Zions Bank or etrade to set one up. My thinking is that I’ll have to pay for these expenses below in the future, so why not have them grow tax free?
I’ll put a larger amount in my state’s 529 plan for when my kid reaches college age. For my state, any earnings are Idaho and federally tax-free when used to pay for qualified expenses (as shown below). Idaho taxpayers can deduct up to $4,000 ($8,000 married filing jointly) annually from their state adjusted gross income for contributions. The 529 plan also allows you to link your UPromise account to the plan. Any thoughts?


Burning up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Here in the northeast it is pretty chilly outside. That doesn’t stop me from feeling like I am going to spontaneously combust. If it weren’t for potentially freezing everyone else in my house I would turn on our ceiling fan. The reason I am so hot is probably due to the H1N1 virus. My older son was at the emergency room Sunday night with a 103.6 degree fever. We were told he had a virus because of the fact that he had one dose of the H1N1 vaccine previously. I really believe based on what the doctor said that they are pretty sure that it is H1N1 that he had. The doctor implied that the vaccine is effective in many children with just one dose. The treatment they prescribed included a week of social isolation which is not typically advice with a cold virus. Now just a couple days later here I sit burning up and coughing and hacking. I hurt in every part of my body and haven’t had a throat this sore in a very long time. Whatever this cold is not fun. In one way I hope that it is H1N1 so I can just be done with it and move on. On the other hand my toddler is still healthy and not immunized for the virus and I don’t want him to get it.


Win that bid.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 11th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have several eBay auctions that I want to bid. I know that I am not alone in this and wanted to share some ideas with you on how to go about getting that winning bid. I like gixen.com. I’ve used it several times for books and other stuff. It’s free, secure, allows you to do groups bid, and doesn’t save you eBay password forever like other eBay sniping services. Group bids save you a lot of time! I have researched a lot of other sniping services (both online services and software), and I haven’t found anything that compares to this sniping service. Once you have logged into gixen.com using your ebay username and password and made the bids, you don’t have to do anything else. You can turn off your computer and the bidding process will still continue. They were very easy to use and very easy to cancel. No hassels at all.


Am I crazy?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I found out that we could have chickens in our city and for some reason, I cannot get it out of my mind as something I would like to try. I haven’t convinced my wife yet, though! I would love to hear about any of your experiences. I really know nothing about it yet either. Although, we do have lots of raccoons around here and I am fairly certain 2 live in a giant tree in our front yard. I have also seen hawks in our front yard from time to time. Someone suggested we could put them in a “chicken tractor”. I have yet to find out what this is or why I would want one. I am wondering how noisy they are? I would hate to make my neighbors hate me because of my squawking chickens. Thanks!


Out of shape.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Working in a cubicle has been an adjustment for me. I can’t honestly say that I like it very much. As stressful as my previous job was I at least was able to be outside and active. Now I sit in front of a computer all day and sit. I can feel my body turning flabby a little more each day. Maybe I should start keeping a Kettlebell in my office to workout a little bit or something. I try to get up occasionally and stretch but it doesn’t really do anything for me. I am thankful that my job pays well and offers many benefits. I keep reminding myself that at least I am not on the road in bad weather or being called out in the middle of the night to handle a crisis. Nonetheless I still long to be behind the wheel on a sunny day.


Beef is here!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

That year we arranged to buy a steer and have it raised for us. This is not something we have done before and I had no idea how much meat to anticipate. Here is the list of beef that I got out of my 751 lb. steer we butchered 2 weeks ago.

We got….

141- 1 1/2 lb. packages of hamburger
25- cubed steaks (wrapped with 5 steaks per packs)
15- ribeye steaks with 4 per pack
19- new york strips 4 per pack
17- chuck roasts
4- sirlion tip roasts
4- round roasts
17- sirlion steaks wrapped 5 per pack
12- fillets wrapped 5 per pack
17- rump roasts
5- arm roasts

This coming Friday, I go to pick up the hog…..so I will post what comes out of them. The meat above should last us quite a


Too much baking!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife discovered this new recipe for making bread that is really amazing. Using this special kind of yeast and a fat substitute she is able to make, rise, and bake store quality bread in an hour. The problem is that she just keeps baking it. We are seriously going to need a weight loss product if she keeps it up. There is everything you can think of sitting on my kitchen counters right now. From one recipe she has made cinnamon rolls, bread, calzones, and bread sticks. The end product is really amazing and I just can’t stop eating it. I know it saves us money to make things like this ourselves but I can’t help but wonder if we are eating more bread products than we would if we just bought them at the store?


Tonight…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tonight we will finally carve them. The kids have been about to drive me crazy asking when they could do it. It just seems like in years past, we’d carve them and they would fall apart in the two weeks until Halloween, so we decided to wait this year. The kids are so excited, you’d think it was Christmas, not just cutting into pumkins! But this is one of our most fun family traditions with lots of funny pics of us with gooey, stringy hands! It’s a great time to spend with kids. I really like having this kind of bonding with my mom and dad when I was young and want my kids to have the same fond memories.


Damp and dark.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When we went trick-or-treating last year it was absolutely wonderful outside. This year is raining really hard and pretty cold. I usually love taking our kids out but I can honestly say I would rather shop for affordable life insurance than go out on a cold, dark, rainy night with two kids. There is absolutely no way that I can get out of taking them so I suppose I will just have to put on my happy face and do it. Is always fun to wrangle a toddler in a costume while pulling a wagon and holding an umbrella. At least our older son is of an age where he requires less supervision and pretty much sticks with the group. The little one probably wouldn’t know he was missing anything if he stayed homed but it is our annual family event and I don’t want him to miss out on the fun.


How does she do it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Good Morning America this morning and see the lady that spent only $4.00 a week to feed her entire family of 6? I guess my question is, Was this pretty much a rare occasion when she didn’t have to buy things like milk, eggs, veggies, MEATS? I try and grocery shop first thing in the morning, hit the marked down items. My store reduces gallon size jugs of milk to $1.00-$2.00 and most of the time the meat will been stickered really low also. I have paid as low as .79 lb. for hamburger and .33 lb for chicken before. I don’t know about the fresh veggies, but sometimes you can find the bagged salads for .50 each. I rarely see eggs marked down.

I will always grab the reduced milk when it’s there. I bring it home and pour out a little and freeze them. I have never froze chocolate milk though. It gets drank here too fast. LOL!


Try again?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am embarrassed to admit that we have very few professional photos of our youngest son. The reason has been that he absolutely refuses to cooperate when it comes to having his photos taken. At this point I would be willing to take him to a Naples photographer it it meant I would have a photo to hang on the wall. The last photos we purchased were that of a tear stained little face that looked absolutely miserable. I decided that I would not take him again until I felt more confident in his ability to actually cooperate with the process of having his picture taken. Hopefully, this time will come in the very near future because our wall in rather vacant.


It is spreading.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 31st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

We just got an email from a friend who is coping with the H1N1 virus. She said she took her DD to the ER last night with a fever of 104. After they did the tests, they came back and said it was probably H1N1 (they don’t test for the H1N1 there and it takes a couple days to get results back). They put her on Tamiflu and sent us home. Today her fever’s gone down significantly. It’s just crazy how hard this “pandemic” is hitting around here. The ER was loaded. They had to wait for an hour an a half and they’re usually good about get you in within half an hour. My husband said that schools in Indiana are at 16% attendance loss and if it gets to 20%, they will shut down all the schools in the state. I hope it doesn’t get to that, but with it being so early into flu season, I’m sure it will.


A silly stage.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 24th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our littlest son is three years old. There isn’t a day that passes without him doing something that makes me smile or just stand in wonder. He for some reason in the midst of one of those crazy stages that I just don’t understand. About ten minutes ago he came downstairs with a piece of dog food or kibble shoved in his left nostril. I understand climbing on preschool furniture and wanting to wear the same color clothes every day. I understand needing a certain teddy bear to sleep with and wanting to watch the same movie three times a day. I do not understand why you would look at a piece of dog food and decide that it belongs in your nose. Thankfully the item was not so far up his nose that it was a problem to remove. I wish though he would stick to climbing the sofa or something more mundane.


Eat this?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 24th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I recently was asked about a book in my collection called “Eat this, not that”. Someone wanted to know if I recommended buying the books. I would not buy them but I would borrow them from the library and read through them. They are quite interesting. The eating out one was interesting but covered lots of places not around my area of the country. But you can use the tips for just about any restaurant. The kid one was very eye opening. While I already knew most of the info posted in the book it still was shocking to have the items listed the way they do. The supermarket one is another really interesting read and had a few shockers.

I did not buy mine. The publisher sent me the ones I have but knowing what I know already I would just borrow and read. For some people though I think it’s a good thing to have in the house.


Buying bulk.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 24th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As part of our goal to live a healthier lifestyle we have been focusing on making more meals ourselves. This means using more cooking from scratch. So many convenience foods were cluttering our shelves it was crazy. By knowing what is in our food and where it is coming from we hope to eat better and promote weight loss. There is a little more work involved but it is so worthwhile to taste wholesome food that doesn’t leave you wondering what it is really made from. We have found the most economical way to go about this is to buy in bulk from local stores or online from preparedness websites. With a little research and effort this is an easy goal that everyone can incorporate into their lives.


Eight ideas…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 24th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am trying to live a little bit healthier every day. These are eight tips I am trying very hard to incorporate into my day to day life.
Here are eight tips for healthy living on the go:

1. Enjoy a pint of water first thing in the morning.
If you haven’t got time for anything else in the morning, make time to drink a big glass of water. We lose a lot of oxygen through the night and to rejuvenate our cells, we need to supply them with water and oxygen. Drink a glass of water and within a week you’ll begin to feel less tired.

2. Grab a few fresh fruits on your way out.
Wherever you’re going – whether it’s a walk or drive to the supermarket or on your way to a meeting – pick up one or two fruits and eat them. Fruits are great for their nutrients, vitamins and sugars that are required in our body.

3. Avoid going to junk food shops with your work mates.
If your work mates are going and you want to go along, go ahead but don’t order the burger or french fries. Go for a nice salad instead. Or any other healthy meal that takes your fancy. Junk food is full of “empty calories” that do nothing for your body but put on extra unneeded and unhealthy fat.

4. Exercise on the go.
If you work in an office, get up every 30 minutes and go for a walk. If you have an office with stairs, run up and down the stairs every couple of hours. Get your blood flowing and your muscles moving.

5. Drink herbal teas.
When at work or home, many people love to get a cup of tea or coffee. Decide that you’ll be more healthy and get a warm cup of herbal tea. The selection available today is absolutely massive, so you’re guaranteed to find one you enjoy.

6. Eat a handful of nuts.
Get your favorite selection of nuts and raisins and have a big handful of them at around 3pm. This has been shown to increase afternoon energy and productivity.

7. Say yes to freshly squeezed juice.
One of the biggest and most exciting changes I made in my health about 7 months ago was when I said “yes” to having my own freshly squeezed juice every morning. Since then, my energy, body health and vitality has increased ten-fold.

8. Deep breathing.
When you’ve got time – at your desk, driving the car, cooking food – do some deep breathing. Inhale and count up to 5 seconds, hold it for a few seconds, and release slowly. Exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is one of the best things we can do for our blood and cells.
Do you have any tips for healthy living on the go? Do tell…


Frost.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 13th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This morning we woke up to a heavy frost on the ground. This is good in that it will kill off the bugs that have been driving us crazy! It is bad in that it means our winter is definitely on the way. I am just not ready for cold weather and would so much rather be headed off to a gulf shores condo. Word has it that our winter is going to be very cold and that there won’t be much snow. I would almost rather have lots of snow and milder temperatures. Last year it didn’t really get cold for another month and it just seems like we are being cheated somehow out of the warm weather we were supposed to get. I guess the kids will be wearing winter coats over their Halloween costumes this year.


Headed to Disney World?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 13th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Want to save money at Disney World?

1. Bring your own water bottles. Even if you bring just one, you can refill it and many of the Quick Service dining restraunts for free because they have self-refill soda machines. If you buy a bottle in the parks it is $2.50, BUT…
2. If you don’t have a bottle, go to a snack or quick service facility and ask for a cup of ice water. After doing this at multiple facilities in each park, I was never rejected. My guess is if someone asks for water, they have to give it, which is awesome because again you’re saving $2.50 each time you get thirsty.
3. The Disney Dining plan isn’t really worth it. My husband and I have used it each of the 3 times we’ve gone and this last time went under their “free dining” promo. Although it’s nice to have your meals paid for, you’re still paying at least a $12 tip at each table service if there’s just two of you. We were there for 9 days, so this really added up. Also, we realized we would never ever eat as much as is provided in the plan. Each meal comes with a dessert and a soft drink/tea and the truth is we just wouldn’t eat like that. The reality is when you go to Disney, you’ll probably pay a lot to eat in the parks so be sure to budget accordingly (I’d budget about $400 for 9 days if it were him and I – and that’s eating in the parks each day and not leaving property). Another tip on eating is that you can get kid’s meals. Next time I’ll do this because a kid’s meal has the perfect amount of food for me and is significantly cheaper.
4. Use your fridge! Although we love buying the souvenier cups, it is so nice to bring our own 12-pack of soda and cases of water and put them in the fridge. Considering each cup is $25, we save about $40 by bringing our own liquids we’ll enjoy in the room and sometimes even in the parks.
5. Take advantage of the off-season. I went to DW once in April – not knowing it was one of their busyest months – and it was not very pleasant. There were so many people and many of them were unhappy to be there, so the general attitude coming off the “passers-by” was not very enjoyable. The husband and I love going in either September or January. During this “off-season” time of year, prices are usually significantly lower as are the crowds. It’s WAY more fun to feel like you’re one of the few people there than fighting your way through crowds.


Just plain tired!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

For the last two weeks we have been passing a cold around our house. Just when one person gets over the cold another one seems to get it. I know this is pretty typical for every family out there. I am to the point that I am so tired that my son even pointed out that I have a dark eye circle. I don’t know what is making me so tired because I am getting 8 hours of sleep a night. It must just be this particular cold strain that is doing it. It would be nice if we were on the tail end of this particular cold and we could all get back to feeling like ourselves. Somehow I am speculating that another cold is just around the corner and this is only the beginning of a very long fall and winter season. Can you tell I am in a negative type of mood from not feeling on top of my game?


Television makes it okay.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is funny how once a television new program reports on something it seems to give credibility to it. Last week one of the major news shows did a segment on virtual schooling. My Mom watched this show and went on and on about how informative it was. We have been homeschooling our son for over a year via a virtual charter school. We spent a great deal of time investigating this type of school and trying to decide if this was a good option for our family. This was not something we jumped into lightly. Over time our families have warmed to the idea as they have seen how comprehensive the offerings from this type of school format are. I just have to laugh that my Mom is now completely on board because a national news program also touted the value of virtual education over traditional schooling.


Where is my mail?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am wondering what is up with the delivery of mail on Saturday’s? We never get any actual mail on Saturday’s anymore. The only thing we get is advertisements for term life insurance, coupons, and a fliers. Is this happening to anyone else out there? I just find it unusual that there is never a bill or anything that isn’t bulk mail delivered on the weekends. I know people have to be mailing out stuff that should be delivered on weekends but it never seems to make it here on those days. I am wondering if this is part of some secret scaling back the postal service has been forced to do? It may be all in my head but I just find it odd. If the postal service stopped delivering on Saturday I wouldn’t have a problem with it but I would like to be told beforehand.


Worthwhile?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have yet to catch any of the new season of television shows. What is also weird is that I haven’t heard anyone talking about any of them. For example the women I work with all watch “Grey’s Anatomy” and I haven’t heard a peep about the season premiere. Given that it was a 2 hour show you would think this would have been a topic of conversation around the water cooler but I didn’t hear anything. Does this mean it wasn’t worth watching or what? I understand that several new shows have premiered and none of these seem to be being talked about either.


Nemo…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As I sit here typing my youngest son is watching the movie “Nemo” on Disney channel. This little fact is a prime example of how influenced children are by advertising. You see we own the dvd version of “Nemo” and my son refuses to watch it. Because the Disney channel has been advertising the upcoming showing of this movie my son has been begging to watch it when it comes on. This makes no sense to me at all but for some reason the movie is so much more interesting because the television has been telling him for weeks he needs to watch it. Having the capacity to watch it whenever you wants apparently is not enticing at all.


Dirty Job

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

One of our favorite shows to watch as a family is “Dirty Jobs”. I know some people think this show is often a little too graphic for children but we feel our children are sheltered enough in other ways. The new season of shows has just started. Just when we think there can’t possibly be any new jobs out there for Mike Rowe to explore we are shown yet another set of disgusting jobs. My son loves insects and thinks his new calling is in mosquito management. This weekend we learned there are people out there who make a living battling mosquitoes. Without proper care everything from pond filters to bird baths can become fertile ground for mosquitoes to breed. That is when people with the tools and knowledge to eradicate the mosquitoes are called in. If this doesn’t sound like a disgusting job I urge you to watch “Dirty Jobs” and you will soon see just how dirty it can be.


Did we have summer?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This summer I don’t think there was more than a week where the temperature rose above 85 degrees. Normally, I wouldn’t care much about this but it really bummed my kids out. There wasn’t ever really a good time to go swimming which is something that we really enjoy doing as a family. The upside to not spending half the summer in the water was that we were forced to find other ways to spend summer vacation. We found out that our younger son absolutely loves riding on my bicycle in his toddler seat. We had tried this the summer before and he wanted nothing to do with it. Now he can’t get enough of it and wants to go out for a “race” every chance he gets. I just can’t believe summer is over because it seems like it never got started.


The wrong message.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Our local Dairy Queen is owned by a man that I don’t have a great deal of respect for. He owns several local businesses and is known for being pretty ruthless when it comes to getting what he wants. I have so little respect for him that for almost 20 years I have refused to give any business to him. This week he has decided to express his frustration over the cost of property taxes and business insurance on the signs at his businesses. Instead of reading about the newest ice cream treats those driving by the store get to read about just how much this man pays in property taxes and insurance. For some reason I think this is really inappropriate. When you are known for being the cheapskate I have a really hard time feeling sorry for the fact that you have to pay property taxes just like everyone else in town.


Weatherproofing.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

What an exciting weekend it has been! This post is going to absolutely thrill and astound you beyond compare. I spent this weekend weatherproofing our house. I know it really is more interesting that you can imagine. First I put in a new piece of glass in one of the window. Then I install a new door to block off cold air coming from the basement. When that was done I was lucky enough to get to put plastic up on our upstairs windows. With all the thrills taking place here I just don’t know what to do for fun next. Any suggestions?


Please stop baking.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

When my wife is stressed out she bakes. There is something about the process of baking that she finds therapeutic. It kind of reminds me of the episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Izzy is baking endless batches of muffins. She just keeps baking and baking until someone finally puts a stop to it. I am going to have to slip some weight loss supplements into my wife’s batter if her baking binge keeps up. As much as I love cream puffs and cookies there are only so many of them you can eat! The thing that frustrates me is that she only bakes when stressed and doesn’t cook meals.


Blech…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It never ceases to make wonder when my children get colds. The reason I wonder is because we are a homeschooling family. You would think that this make them less likely to get colds and illnesses. My line of thinking is that they would be exposed to fewer people and therefore fewer germs. Somehow we manage to get all the same colds that are floating around out there. Thankfully as they get older we seem to cope with them better. I love when children get to the age that they can tell what doesn’t feel good because it makes figuring out the problem infinitely easier.


1400 boxes

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 22nd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Last night’s episode of “Hoarders” was probably the most discouraging to date. The woman shown in this episode had to be the worst case of hoarding ever shown in this series. Here hoarding had gotten so bad that her young children were removed from the home. This home from all outward appearance was gorgeous! Once the cameras got inside my jaw literally dropped. From basement to attic the place was crammed with garbage, boxes, and shopping bags. Mice and vermin were rampant. This woman absolutely disgusted me. The fact that she claimed to want to change and want help and yet wouldn’t part with her garbage was so irritating I could spit. Her focus was stated to be that she would do what ever it took to get her children back. In the end the crew that came in to clean the house was literally shoveling the garbage and litter into boxes that she had moved into storage in what appeared to be one of those steel buildings. If I were the owner of this storage facility I would get rid of her belongings as soon as possible! There is no doubt in my mind that untold scores of vermin were boxed up in those boxes along with garbage and personal belongings. To choose trash over your children is a crime in my opinion and thankfully the authorities saw through all this. The end of the show indicated that although the home was emptied of trash the act of having it all boxed up and moved to storage was a clear indication that this woman has no intention of gaining control over her hoarding.


Hoarders

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 22nd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Recently a new series started on A&E called “Hoarders”. For some reason we have become quite addicted to watching this show. Our interest in the mentally disturbed seems to be ever evolving. First we were hooked on the series “Intervention” and couldn’t get enough of the strung out drug addicts and drunks. This show quickly became replaced by the short lived series “Obsessed”. I couldn’t believe the things people became focused on in their lives. Now it seems that nothing will compare to the chaos of “Hoarders”. So many of these people seem by all outward appearances, outside of there homes, to be normal. The real difference is when you see them inside out their homes and the feelings they have for their “stuff”. The range of attachment to everything from literal garbage to yard sale finds in so intriguing. If you have a chance to catch this show I urge you to do so.


Family campgrounds.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 16th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

If you spend any amount of time camping you quickly get a feel for a campground before you even set up camp. We stayed at about a dozen different campgrounds this year. All of them were state parks. You wouldn’t think there would be much difference from one campground to another but there really is. We stayed at a couple that were clearly non-stop party zones. If a campground caters to boaters we have learned to run the other way. For some reason boats and booze just seem to go hand in hand. One particular campground, that we visited, would have been a great place if you were one of those Seattle personal injury attorneys. Between to drunken idiots and the out of control boaters I just knew someone was going to get hurt! We now look for campgrounds with a limited number of camping boaters.


Camping and more camping.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 16th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Late last spring we purchased an older model pop-up camper. For being 16 years old it really wasn’t in bad shape. We however decided it could be made even better. Over the course of the summer we completely overhauled it into what I must say is a pretty nice little camper. The nice thing about the renovations that we made was that we were still able to get some serious time in camping even though the camper wasn’t complete. It really is neat when you find out how easy it is to make over one of these campers. For just a few hundred dollars you can pick up an older camper and with a little sweat equity have something to be proud of.


New hobbies.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 14th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This summer we decided to investigate our adventurous side and try out a few new hobbies. This was a decision made in part by the fact that no amount of phenocal or other diet tactic was going to help if we weren’t going to get up off the couch. The other part of this decision was that fact that our children were following in our footsteps and becoming television junkies. Cutting back on our television watching proved to be easy once we decided on a new hobby to try. The first thing we tackled was biking. Over the next few posts I hope to share a little bit our experiences on the wide open road.


So tell me what happened?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 14th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This summer I completely fell out of touch with what has been happening in Hollywood. This really was a positive thing in my opinion. It just doesn’t make sense to spend my valuable time wondering what the latest shenanigans of the Hollywood elite are doing. When you think about why do we care so much? I am considering refocusing this blog on something slightly more meaningful to my life. I haven’t yet determined what that focus will be but I am fairly certain the change will take place. Since I hardly watch television anymore it just doesn’t make sense for me to be throwing opinions out wildly into the blogosphere.


Too skinny!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just read a new article that said that Michael Jackson weighed only about 112 pounds at the time of his death. That seems almost ridiculous when you consider that he was a little under 6 feet tall! It makes me wonder if he was taking some sort of diet pill to stay that thin? I suppose we will never really know what really went on in his world but it does leave you wondering. I really understand people who need to loose weight and taking steps to do so. Michael it seems was this weight for a long time which seems like a conscious choice on his behalf. It just seems so odd when you consider the entire picture.


Not my icon.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I did not watch anything related to the memorial service for Michael Jackson yesterday. I just have a hard time viewing him as an American “icon” or otherwise. I will not talk ill of the dead but there was some very hard evidence about his actions with children. It is because of this evidence I can not find the sadness in my heart like many others have. I do however feel sadness for those family members and friends who are experiencing the loss of a loved one. That said I will say we all get judged in the end and it is up to God to decide what was true or not and what the consequences are.


Weird

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This whole media blitz following the death of Michael Jackson has been weird. It was really odd the other day too watch Larry King visiting Neverland Ranch. I didn’t catch the whole show but what I did see showed a bunch of empty rooms in the house. I don’t understand whether they just packed up all the furniture, fitness equipment, and personal belongings immediately after his death or what? Maybe the house has been vacant or something. Either way it just seemed really strange to watch people in the house and listen to his brother discussing Michael in the front yard with Larry King. Did anyone else see this interview and think the same thing?


New report

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was watching MSNBC Headline news this morning and they reported that at the current rate, we are hitting depression era unemployment and it’s suppose to get worse. They said that they predict unemployment to reach record highs and no show of improvement last till this time next year.

This really worries me and I’ve cut all the corners that I know to cut. The thought of living off our savings really scares me.

What changes are you making to make ends meet?


Naptime…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 28th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today was just one of those days that I woke up feeling exhausted. Fortunately there was nothing on my schedule that needed to be accomplished. Because it drizzled outside the kids and I curled up on the couch to watch television. As they flipped between shows and commercials I faded in and out of consciousness. I don’t know what time I fell asleep but I woke to what sounded like and advertisement for a Plano Dentist to find the show we started watching was entirely over. It just felt so good to relax and do nothing for a change. I am almost thankful for rainy days every so often so I can catch up on my sleep.


Sad week…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 28th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This has been quite a week for Hollywood. Four well known faces in the world have passed away. The week started off with the loss of Ed McMahon. This loss was then followed by news that Farrah had also passed away as a result of cancer. The world was shocked to then learn that Michael Jackson had passed away from unknown causes. Today, I was surprised to read that Pitchman Billy Mayes also died. This comes as a big surprise because we just watched his television show “Pitchman” the night before. I really feel for his family as they seemed like a close group.


Not a pretty picture.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 13th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

If you have been standing in a grocery store checkout line this week you have undoubtedly seen photos of Kate Gosselin. I don’t know about you but I personally want to extend one idea to the woman and that is that she buy a one piece swimsuit. I am not saying she is fat or that she needs to get some diet supplements or anything. I am just saying that a bikini is not her friend nor is it going to help her find a new husband. If you have serious scars from having had a tummy tuck this is not something the world wants to see. I give her credit for having the courage to wear a bikini but her body would be far more attractive with a little more of her flesh covered up.


Jenn looking for love…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 13th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It has been reported that Jennifer Aniston is looking for a stable male with which to have a relationship with. What is up with this? It is as if she blames all of her relationship problems on the men in her life. She is still playing the victim card and exploiting misconceptions about her personal life. It often appears to those who really look that she is the worst media and Hollywood kiss-up ever, there is nothing authentic about her. She knows how to disguise her dirty and underhanded tactics. I read that Jen “expertly used her friends to trash John Mayer to the media and now tons of people hate him because of her”. It was also stated that “she uses, manipulates, deceives, and hurts people but gets away with it every time because she has a world of sheep doing her bidding.” What do you think?


Brangelina gossip…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 13th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tabloids are once again reporting trouble in this relationship. This seems to be a monthly occurrence. As with most of these stories my opinion that if there is trouble it shouldn’t come as any surprise. If this couple were interested in commitment they would have married.It is a shame that Hollywood believes a marriage can be turned off and on like hot and cold water.Granted there were and probably still are couples who gives 125%.Marriage is about giving,commitment,dedication,honesty,loyalty,being the best of friends.I doubt very seriously Brad and Angie gave it very much thought before playing house.In fact that is all they were doing was just playing.


No summer clothes.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There is absolutely no denying it I need an appetite suppressant! I went to put on my summer shorts this week and couldn’t button them. I tried on several pairs and the story was the same for every pair of shorts. I have tried to pretend that I wasn’t gaining weight but I can no longer lie to myself. It was easy to buy new pants this fall and pass it off as the result of them shrinking in the wash but I can’t say the same is true of my shorts. So if you see me at the ice cream store please remind me of this post and be sure to comment on my “fat” shorts!


Status of Jon and Kate?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I believe they have split up and he is living some place else now. The state of PA is investigating them for child labor laws…I think that sums it up..oh and there are rumors that Kate is cheating with her body guard. I don’t know if any of the rumors are true or not I just know that the children are suffering and I feel so bad for them. It would be a blessing if the show were taken off the air.


A continued thought…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The Jon and Kate episode is still on my mind. You know one thing I was struck by how neither one of them mentioned working things out between the two of them. In the end they talked about being friends for the children’s sake. That was so sad to me. I think Kate is terrified of her world coming crashing down and if they cancel the tv show then they loose a TON of money and freebies. Every episode is so chocked full of product placement it isn’t funny. They will use anything from Decaslim to organic beef and love it if means more money of free stuff in their cupboards. You know there is no way in the world that they could live the life they do without the show. With the show gone the house and lifestyle Kate loves is gone.
Keep the show and it seems clear she looses Jon. Honestly, I think she already has.

For me – if my kids were being followed around by the photographers it would all come to a screeching halt and we would be DONE. How healthy can it be for the kids to know they are being followed, and can’t even have a bithday party without their privacy being taken away. The show left me with an intense sence of sadness.


Jon and Kate

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My wife and I watched the show last night and we both were asking each other the same question….”What do they expect?” I mean, you are documenting your life on national TV, making boo-koos of money doing it and when dirty laundry is aired…..you want your privacy? Come on now…..their fans is what has kept them going on vacations, buying the fancy clothes, automobiles, ect., they made these choices and now they have to live with it.

The only ones that I feel sorry for is for the kids. They must really live a very “messed up” life. I mean….they see mom pretty much tell dad that he’s a idiot all the time, the kids are not treated fairly at all……for instance…the beach trip…Mady and Cara got to have a pet crawl crab, but the other 6 were only able to watch the twins play with it. Come on….and that Mady is defianately something else. I have twins myself and although they fight and such….I don’t know what I would do with her. She takes the cake.

Jon is definately the lesser of 2 evils, but like he said last night….he should have thought more about his actions. Although they both repeatedly said that they do all this for the kids, I have a hard time feeling sorry for either of them.

Sorry if I sound harsh….they are living off their children and enjoying every minute of it…..and I’m just dumb enough to keep watching them weekly!


CFL light bulb fire risk?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 20th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A few months ago I switched all the light bulbs in our house to compact florescent bulbs. Today I read an article suggesting that these bulbs pose a fire risk. This has me really concerned since I can’t find a clear answer online. I know I have yet to see these bulbs in large places like Vegas hotels or conference settings which is puzzling. Does big business know something the rest of us don’t? If you have read or know a clear answer on this topic please drop me a comment because I am dying to get a clear answer from a reliable source.


Commericals-Yuck

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 20th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Is anyone else bothered by al the male enhancement commercials on TV and radio? Imagine what will be advertised in 10 or 20 years. Another thing I have noticed is in the back of DHs outdoors magazines. Apparently if you are an “outdoorsman” you MUST have these types of issues because there are tons of adds for all types of “enhancement” type medications. I can’t stand them! . I’ve been tempted to contact the major networks and voice my disapproval. Perhaps if enough of us do so that would at least limit the commercials to late night TV & not primetime when kids are watching. Did anyone see the national news last week where they interviewed women who think it is a great idea to sell their eggs for extra money. One woman and I quote “well, it’s not like I”m going to use them, why not sell them?” Excuse me, that egg in all probability will become a baby with her DNA. Suppose years from now her son marries his biological sister? People are getting really weird.
Reply With Quote


Jamie Spears ???

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 17th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Am I the only one who has totally and completely forgotten about Jamie Spears/ In fact I think I have heard more interesting things about area rugs that I have about Jamie in recent months. There is however news that floating around that Spears and her baby’s daddy have a rocky relationship. Does this really come as any surprise considering we are talking about teenage parents? Can we honestly expect people who made the decision to enter into parenthood as teens to be ready for a long lasting and responsible monogamous relationship? This isn’t to say I support cheating but I also don’t think any teenager is ready to make a life long relationship under less than ideal circumstances.


Kirstie speaks candidly…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 6th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The big news today is that Kirstie Alley is admitting to having gained a bunch of weight. This is about as news worthy as telling us that builders sometimes make steel buildings rather than use wood. All we have had to do is look at pictures of the woman to know she has gained and lost weight over the years. Kirsti Alley is a long time member of the Church of Scientology an organization that boasts that it can help you solve all your problems from irrational fears to drug addiction to psychosomatic illness, for high cash fees of course! Yet they can’t seem to help Kirstie Alley from stuffing herself and becoming overweight. Way to promote your cult Kirstie!


Gosselin’s hmmm…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 6th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

You know, not much I can say about the Gosselins. I used to like it at first, but now (even though I still watch), it’s just getting kind of old. So it’s just my take on it that Kate and Jon are probably completely over each other and only putting on an act for television. I would not be surprised if he has taken MANY lovers and probably her as well. If Kate wasn’t touring the country like she’s a Rock Star, old Jon boy wouldn’t have the chance to escape the manse and meet up with Babe. I would have LOVED to been a fly on the wall when the sh*t fan over that pic. I wonder if she clapped her hand’s at him and told him nobody care’s about him, she is the important one..


Ace of Cakes.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Since so many of my favorite television shows are being canceled I have started watching more shows on Discovery and Food Network. “Ace of Cakes” is one show I really enjoy. I don’t know whether it is the creativity of the cake decorators or their quirky cast of employees but the show is just fun to watch. I would so much rather watch someone craft a cute collection of penguins in their little tuxedos out of fondant that watch another episode of “The Bachelor” or “American Idol”!


Get ready for the beach!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

You know it is coming and secretly you can’t wait. Every news rag in the country is going to be publishing photos of celebrities in the beachwear or sitting by the pool playing with pool toys. For some odd reason we get a thrill out of seeing just who has the best and worst beach body. Personally I will admit to getting a charge out of seeing some once all powerful celebrity sporting a too thick middle or cottage cheese thighs. This is without a doubt mean spirited but at least I am willing to admit it.


Lost- the word is ~

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 25th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Season 4 has concluded with the major cliffhanger being the disappearance of the island. J.J. Abrams and the other creators of lost have set a final number of episodes remaining in the LOST series. There will be 32 more episode divided up into two final seasons. The fifth season will start up again after the first of the year, either in January or February. I have not heard anything about when the sixth and final season will begin, but if you are anything like me, I wish they would stop taking such long breaks in between the airing of seasons. Also, I know that season 4 is set to be release on DVD and Blue-Ray in December on 2008.


No time..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I have virtually no time to myself! My folks are away on a cruise and I have to watch their house for them in addition to all my other responsibilities. I just got back from their house and could not believe the stockpile of cat supplies that were left! I am beginning to wonder if my Mom thought I might not actually come and take care of the cats? There were at least seven cat pans, food bowls, and water dishes out. She has 4 cats that eat a little too much but I had no idea they needed two food bowls each!


Desperate Housewives thoughts…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Fave Charactor/Why? Bree, because she’s the best and she has really changed the most out of all the other characters.

Least fave character/Why? Susan, never fails to annoy me but this season she’s been less annoying.

Fave couple/Why? Bree & Orson, but I honestly think they have been off the entire season but I know they are meant to be.

Least favorite couple/Why? Susan & Jackson, they weren’t developed so I didn’t care about them.

Favorite Episode/Why? The Best Thing That Could Ever happen, because it was the 100th episode and was really my favorite episode of the season.

Least Fave Episode/Why? Crime Doesn’t Pay, the most recent episode was a bit boring and I wasn’t happy with the Orson storyline at all and still don’t like it.

Fave quote: IDK, i’ll come back again.

Fave moment: All the flashbacks in “The Best Thing That could Ever happen”

Fave storyline: Bree’s, because again she changed the most and she has a career now and is very close with Andrew the closest that they ever been and she’s rich.

One thing you could change about this season: Probably the time jump so we could see Orson going to jail and all the stuff leading up to Mike & Susan getting a divorce and everything that we missed.

Overall opinion about the Dave mystery: 2, I am so not happy about the Dave storyline atm because I know what happened and what’s going to happen.

Where do you want this season to go? I would love for this season to end the Dave mystery and get back to the woman of the show.

Did the timejump help or hurt the show/Why: Hurt, only slightly because the fans of the show stopped watching cause they didn’t like the time jump so the ratings began to plummet.
__________________


Who are these people?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 12th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I must fess up and admit that I am a sucker for television commercials. The thing that has been driving me crazy lately is when these commercials feature “celebrity” spokesmen that I have no clue who they are. It just doesn’t make sense to me to use a person that is not easily recognized by the general public. If I were advertising a wonderful skin cream or a new weight loss pill I certainly wouldn’t waste advertising dollars on a virtually unknown celebrity. I don’t seriously believe I am so far behind the times that I simply don’t know who these people are!


Clean or not clean?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 12th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

How clean is your house? We saw one the other day and some of the houses I don’t even know how they lived there. Even my two year old was going “eeeewwwwww gross”. I have a close relative who is a hoarder and it is heartbreaking. At least there are no food scraps around the kitchen and the true garbage is taken out. I have a harder time understanding people with super messy houses that could clean/throw stuff out, but just don’t bother.


A waste of a story.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

During the course of the day I get very few minutes where I can actually catch the news. During my 10 minutes before leaving for work this morning I watched a bit of CNN. The big story during the segment was Eminem’s new rap song that features a look a like Sarah Palin. This is news? Essentially they went on and on talking about how vulgar this rapper’s songs are and disrespectful. Why give this any air time at all is my question. If we want these people to fade into the night then don’t talk about them. I would rather listen to something mundane like construction of a New York City hotel or something instead.


Be positive!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 8th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have been seeing a lot of Michael J Fox on TV and I am not even starting a discussion about stem cell research.. but I am loving how he is advocating optimism. That is free… we need no government approval.. no one can have an issue with it.. All you have to do is choose to Look up ( which is the title of his new book)..” Always Looking Up”. To hear him talk about his positive outlook is just amazing..


What next in reality television?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 18th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Reality television is something that just doesn’t appeal to me. I just have a hard time getting interested in programs that claim to be based on reality but are anything but “real”. Where in the real world to two dozen single people live together while competing for a chance at love with just one person? Reality television for me is watching sports. I wish television producers would get back to basics and create great television instead of the crap we are now being subjected too! Until this happens I am just going to forgo these shows and keep finding other ways to occupy my time. I am finding time for all types of hobbies I never thought of looking into like building Carrera slot cars and making wine.


What am I watching?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 18th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It’s a fairly recent show, I think… all I remember is a mysterious almost albino like man in a 1950′s style suit but the show is set in modern time – he is in a diner watching a construction site across from the diner and he moves his stuff because he knows everything is going to start shaking in a moment because a strange object is burrowing up out of the ground. He has appeared several times in this show. I think the basic show is about a guy and his father looking for strange things and these possibly alien objects keep coming around.

Any ideas?


Teasing me.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 14th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is the first spring and summer we will spend in our new house. The weather has just started to hint that spring is on the way in this part of the world. It seriously cannot come fast enough for me. I am dying to get out in my yard and clean things up. For the most part the yard is in good shape. I would however like to add some flowers and ornamental grasses to the front of the house to give it more curb appeal. It will just be so nice to work on a house and a yard that I know will be my home for some time to come. Last summer I spent the entire season working on a house I knew I wouldn’t be living in for more than a year at most and it really took the joy out of the process.


Private Practice.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 14th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I like the Grey’s/Private Practice crossover, when Naomi went with Addison and Archer to Seattle, I mean Naomi was there when Derek took those things out, and still when they get back to L.A., Archer is cheating on Naomi with several woman and even Charlotte of all people, Archer just up and left town without even saying goodbye what kind of person does that, I think that Archer is a coward. I mean after the risky surgery he had, you think that he would embrace life and take care of the ones that he loved, but instead didn’t change not one bit.

Who agrees with me?


Pamela Anderson

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

OMG is reporting that Pamela Anderson is looking “classy” lately. I just don’t equate Pamela and classy on any level. She did look attractive back in the day but not anymore. There is just so much that looks fake about her that I am not even interested. I would rather look compare auto insurance rates than look at the likes of Pamela Anderson in a swim suit. Is anyone else of a similar mindset or am I alone?


Jessica forgets the words…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 27th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

These people that sing are performers and with her forgetting the words like she did it is just pathetic. She says she is “lucky in love”. That is just dandy but where she truly is lucky is the fact that she has a recording contract. I will give it to her that she can sing but she should be a professional. Nobody gives money for tickets to her shows with the hope that she knows the words to her own songs. GET IT TOGETHER!!!!!!!!


How is the other half?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It occurred to me today that we aren’t really hearing how the recession is impacting Hollywood. What I mean is it just the little guys like you and I who are struggling to make ends meet? It is hard to imagine that the likes of Jennifer Garner and others are cutting back on their shopping or taking fewer Orlando vacations. If workers across the country are being asked to take pay cuts to keep businesses afloat then why not celebrities as well? Maybe television and film are one of the few industries still prospering and these cuts are needed. It would still be nice to know that it isn’t just the little guys who are sacrificing.


Sportsmanship!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am sure you have all heard this story:

http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=914609.

I actually have read several people commenting on how they don’t think this is actually a good thing that was done? Several people have said that missing shots on purpose is the opposite of sportsmanship! I have to disagree. I think the young man made the right choice. Winning isn’t everything and unfortantly that is drilled into the players heads in every sport. I found what he did to be a huge sign of respect. I am in awe that a teenager would even do that(and have their team support them). I know for a fact our local schools wouldn’t of allowed them to do that and wouldn’t of cared..which is very sad to me.


Do we feel any better?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 14th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So the world watched the octuplet mom interview last night…
Do we feel any better or worse about her?

I have no problem with a husband and wife having a million babies (not taking welfare) even if everyone around them thinks they “can’t afford them.”
My issue stems from her not having a Dad in those babies’ lives.
The poor little things, the older ones, were going on about things being disorganized, etc. It’s no wonder! There’s not only no real support system (in that there’s no spouse), but there’s more than the average 2.5 kids to keep after each day.

If she had a husband and she did not receive any type of government assistance, I’d be all for it. Kids really truly are a blessing. However, I think she should have had a husband in the picture. It’s not fair to her or the kids. And it’s certainly not fair to the nation at large that has to financially support her and her children because there’s not a second adult financially supporting the family.
I am not outraged like a lot of people are, but I am saddened for her because she seems a little “off” and rather than others being compassionate for her and a visible mental “offness,” they do “small” things like attack her character and at worst, send her death threats.


Sandra is refreshing.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

A recent article featuring Sandra Bullock is what I would call refreshing. I liken her point of view on the world to that of seeing a Flowering Cherry tree in full bloom. Bullock seems to have a firmly grounded view of herself and the world in which she lives. This is somewhat hard to believe considering she is married to Jesse James but she is really normal sounding. She actually used the word frugal in an interview which is something you never hear a celebrity say. She waits to buy things for herself! Check out her recent interview with “In Style” magazine to find out more.


Heigl leaving?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Katherine Heigl is reported to be leaving Grey’s Anatomy! I was really a fan of the Izzy character Heigl portrays until this season. While the most recent episode brought Izzy back into a reasonable light prior episodes featuring her just plain seemed crazy. Heigl does however seem to have gotten a bit full of herself and that combined with this season’s storyline have just plain wore thin for me. Bye, bye Izzy!


Rihanna injured.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Rihanna has put some of her concert plans on hold after her recent injuries. Boyfriend Chris Brown has been reported to be behind the pop stars “traumatic injuries” which followed an incident of domestic violence. Hopefully she is going to be alright and walks out of this relationship right now! It would send a very bad message to the fans of either of these stars if they reunite. The world does not need to see them shopping for indoor lighting, new furniture, or planning a wedding after this. So many time those are the images we are treated to in an effort to show that things are normal and fine in these relationships. Battery is not normal!


Octuplet mom whacky!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I try to give people the benefit of the doubts but this woman has me ticked. She really is out of her mind! Her fertility doctor wouldn’t get her pregnant again, so she went and found a new one!! Ugh!! Those poor parents of hers! That many kids in a three bedroom house, and they’re being forced to take care of them. Not fair!! Their house is a mess and they didn’t even want her to have more kids, which she should have respected when living in their house!!!! Wow this is such a weird case. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear about her losing her kids cause of her problems.


NutriSystem?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Every day when I watch the parade of Nutrisystem commercials that seem to never end I have to laugh. Where are they getting these spokes people? These are the same people who are at the point in there career where their main job options are working on cruises or hitting the convention circuit. Are you really motivated to loose weight because some once famous person tells you that a program works for them to loose a minimal amount of weight? I find someone who once weighed hundreds of pounds and now doesn’t vastly more motivating than the like of Marie Osmond.


Crazy Mom!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 10th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

There are now reports that the mother of 8 babies the world is buzzing about has been on mission to emulate Angelina Jolie. Seriously, this woman seems incredibly deluded! I am really hoping given all the stories swirling about her that someone with a sane mind is watching over the welfare of the 14 children that this woman will be responsible for. Clearly she has only her best interests at heart and I have to wonder how she will ever be able to truly see to the needs of her children? Part of being a parent is making responsible decisions for your children that may not actually reflect what “you want”!


More stuff I don’t care about…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 28th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Ashley Simpson has piped up to tell the world how sad it is that everyone is commenting on her sister’s recent weight gain. Apparently, Jessica has now reached a career low and is singing at chili cook-offs. Photographs of her show a much rounder Jessica than we all remember and the entire world seems to care more than Ashley would like. I am about as interested in Ashley’s perspective as I am understanding the science behind how an unlocked phone works. People we have greater issues to face these days that whether Jessica Simpson is still a size 2 or not.


More stuff I don’t care about…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 28th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Ashley Simpson has piped up to tell the world how sad it is that everyone is commenting on her sister’s recent weight gain. Apparently, Jessica has now reached a career low and is singing at chili cook-offs. Photographs of her show a much rounder Jessica than we all remember and the entire world seems to care more than Ashley would like. I am about as interested in Ashley’s perspective as I am understanding the science behind how an unlocked phone works. People we have greater issues to face these days that whether Jessica Simpson is still a size 2 or not.


Jessica we don’t care.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 28th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Jessica Alba is piping up to have a verbal sparring match with Bill O’Reilly. My question is do we really care that Bill hurt her feelings? Does it really matter in a world that is in dire economic peril that Jessica Alba’s feeling were hurt? I have had my feelings hurt on numerous occasions and somehow managed to muddle through without blabbering to the world how ridiculous it is that people might not think I am all I believe myself to be because of the comments of someone like Bill O’Reilly. Move on Jessica and do something that matters.


Nicky Hilton

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Has Nicky Hilton done anything of importance that she is known for? I can’t remember every seeing her in any movie or doing anything to earn a living that I remember. Why do we care is she is out shopping or eating lunch? All I know her for is being Paris Hilton’s sister. The girl seems to just be living off the family fortune and riding the coattails of her sister’s fame. I am sure she could get a job promoting diet pills or modeling considering how thin she is. On the other hand if you don’t have to do anything to be rich and famous and it is all handed to you why not sit back an enjoy it?


Why can’t I picture it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 23rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This week I read a tabloid report that stated Paris Hilton wants to become friends with Angelina Jolie. Now I don’t know about you but for some reason I just can’t fathom this friendship. Paris has no children whereas Jolie has 6 kids. Paris parties constantly and Jolie jaunts around the world working on promoting various humanitarian causes. I just would love to be a fly on the wall at a coffee date between these two.


Where is she?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It seems like we spent most of 2008 watching Britney Spears jaunt around the country running errands and creating scenes. Personally, I had quite enough of seeing her buying pet supplies, Cheetos, and coffee to last me a life time. I do however wonder exactly why she isn’t in the spotlight? The woman seems to be on an endless quest to do whatever it takes to be photographed in any possible light. So why now is she not to camera hungry?


Feeling optimistic.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I don’t know what it is exactly but despite the grim economic outlook in this world I am finding myself feeling oddly optimistic. It could be the inspirational speech our new president gave that just makes it seem like finally someone on the same page as me is in charge. 8 years of the same old same old has come to and end and it really feels like something good might just be around the corner!


Always interesting.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I always find it interesting to see what celebrities choose to wear to various events. My style tends towards classic with a little something to spice things up. There are always going to be those celebrities who wear something knowing that it will cause a stir. These are the people who would wear anything from a dress that looks like a flamingo to patterns so loud they might as well be sporting digital signage. Seriously, I don’t need to see 90% of a woman’s body to recognize she is attractive nor does this tell us anything about the quality of her work. I guess press coverage is press coverage and there are always going to be flamingo dresses, neon patterns, and fishnet stockings for people to love or hate.


Inspired…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 21st, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have to say the last couple of days have me feeling somewhat optimistic. Politics is not something I generally discuss because in my circle the opinions can get pretty hot and heated. It however nice to see some positive changes taking place in how our government is going to be run. Transparency is something I think most voters will appreciate as for once we may know just how our money is being spent. It is also nice to see that those working in government will not be getting raises when they should be feeling lucky to have jobs when so many out there no longer do. Change seems good thus far.


Refreshing…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 7th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Jenny Craig has announced that Queen Latifeh will continue on in 2009 as a spokesperson for their program. It is refreshing to see someone who is not bone thin and looks like an average sized woman as a spokesperson for this type of product. In fact I would love to see her in more advertisements as long as she isn’t in that horrible red dress again! Maybe they could get some plus size lingerie or something a little more flattering?


Insane …

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 7th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This has nothing to do with celebrities. Read on elsewhere if you are looking for this in this post. A new law will go into effect next month that prohibits thrift store and elsewhere (garage sales?) from selling items for use by children such as clothes and toys unless they have been tested for lead and other chemicals. I am all for not exposing kids to lead and whatnot. What I am angry about is that all this stuff will now land in our landfills and the majority of it be not because it is dangerous but because the average person running a thrift store or selling online cannot afford to test these items and still make a living. This would imply that selling your stuff at a garage sale would also be prohibited. On another note how on earth are people who are barely scraping by in this economy going to be able to dress their kids when thrift stores no longer sell children’s clothing?


Baby Bronx

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So, it seems that Ashley Simpson and husband Pete Wentz decided to give away photos of baby Bronx this Christmas. They say this is because they didn’t want to pimp the baby out. I read something that said there simply was no interest in buying the photos of baby Bronx. It seems that magazine editors knew that no one would buy an issue with Ashley and Pete on the cover . This seems likes sound judgment in my opinion. I know this is one magazine cover that would never grace the pile of magazine already sitting on my tv furniture. As interesting as this couple may be to some people they just creep me out.


So tragic.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As much as I hate what Scientology believes I cannot help but feel for the Travolta family. The loss of their son Jett is simply a tragic loss. I am sure there will be speculation for some time to come that had Scientology not been a part of their lives that Jett would still be alive. I would have to hope that they did not let their religious beliefs prevent Jett from having the medical treatment his body needed. My gut says we will never really know. I can only hope that he didn’t die in vain and that somewhere someone who is not treating a medical condition because of a medical belief begins to rethink their actions.


Is it the only one?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 3rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Today I decided to sit down for a few minutes and watch some television. In the few minutes I sat there I must have seen the same commercial for cheap auto insurance at least a dozen times. Are times so hard that there is only one advertiser in the world now days? Really, I need cheap insurance as much as the next guy but there is a limit to how much I can watch the same commercial over and over again before I have to change channels. Don’t even get me started on that guy with the “ShamWow” for sale. The guy even says “we can’t offer this deal all day” but somehow the same commercial is on 24/7.


Out of touch.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 3rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The holidays have really put a hitch in my normal celebrity new and television program watching. This is actually a very good thing because it means I have been spending my time doing more healthy and beneficial things. It is bad in that this is primarily a blog about my opinion of various celebrities and television programs. I am sad to report the only thing I have watched in the last couple of weeks is a few episodes of “Deadliest Catch”. I can sum these shows up in a couple of words – water, cussing, and crab. If you have seen one show you have pretty much seen the other episodes give or take some ice and snow.


Out of touch.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 3rd, 2009 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The holidays have really put a hitch in my normal celebrity new and television program watching. This is actually a very good thing because it means I have been spending my time doing more healthy and beneficial things. It is bad in that this is primarily a blog about my opinion of various celebrities and television programs. I am sad to report the only thing I have watched in the last couple of weeks is a few episodes of “Deadliest Catch”. I can sum these shows up in a couple of words – water, cussing, and crab. If you have seen one show you have pretty much seen the other episodes give or take some ice and snow.


A couple I like…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 26th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I don’t have much good to say about many couples. There is one couple, although they exist only in fiction, that I do like – Ron and Hermione.

These are a few reasons why~

Reasons

Because Ron always stands up for her to Malfoy
Because she wanted him to ask her to the yule ball.
Because he finally saw her in a new light.
Because fighting is their only way to keep their hands off each other
Because “What are friends for?”
Because they spent the summer together without Harry
Because Ron actually was dazed after she kissed him on the cheek.
Because she always helps him with his homework
Because they fight together on DA
Because she thinks it’s a “pleasure” to meet him
Because he came to her defense with Malfoy.
Because she stayed with him after the Chess game
Because we all know the fight was about more than just the cat and the rat
Because Ron has already told her “I Love You”
Because he was jealous of Krum.
Because she wanted Ron to be her guest at Slughorns party.
Because they were Perfects together.
Because Ron thinks shes honestly the most wonderful person hes ever met.
Because Ron wanted to know what she saw in Krum.
Because he got her perfume for christmas.
Because he didnt want Hermione hooked up with McLaggen.
Because harry had a inkling that this might happen sooner or later.
Because she helped ron become Gryffindors Keeper.
Because “Er-my-nee” croaked Ron while lying in his hospital bed
Becuase they danced at the wedding
Because they held hands
Because he sobbed for her
Because his worst nightmare is losing her
Because he took care of her
Because they kissed!!
Because Hermione took the initiative
Because Ron had finally got SPEW and earned himself a snog
Because they got married!!!
Because they had Rose and Hugo!!!!


Katie is 30..

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 21st, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Katie Holmes turned thirty over the weekend and was photographed celebrating with her daughter Suri. I still don’t know what to think about Katie Holmes and the entire Cruise family. I suppose you could say Suri is beautiful child. I just am not going to go gaga like so many people do over Tom Cruise’s spawn. On the other hand like it or not Katie is a big girl who has chosen her her life and is not complaining! Unless you believe the supermarket rags and how often are they true, huh! She seems happy and they seem like a loving family, so whether they live like you or me, oh well! I still have to wonder just how much Tom Cruise controls her life? I mean can the girl make her own choices or does she have to consult Tom on everything? At least she looks healthy and we don’t have to wonder whether she has been taking Decaslim to stay Hollywood thin. There are many other Hollywood starlets than Katie Holmes that I suspect have had help maintaining their figure!


Stuff I read~

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 21st, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am reading Joel Osteen’s book. I just started, it’s like a pep talk book.

Something from the book:

But understand this: God did not create any person without putting something extremely valuable on the inside. Life may have tried to push you down through disappointments or setbacks. In the natural, you don’t know how you could rise any higher. You don’t see how you’re ever going to be happy. You need to dig your heels in and say, “I know what I have on the inside. I’m a child of the Most High God. I’m full of His ‘can-do’ power, and I’m going to rise up to become everything God has created me to be. ”

Another one……….:

The car you drive has a large windshield, but only a relatively small rearview mirror. The implication is obvious:What happened in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future. Where you are going is much more important than where you’ve been. If you stay focused on the past, you’re liable to miss numerous excellent opportunities ahead.


Interesting…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 13th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Last night we watched a program about autistic twin sisters who were also savants. It was quite amazing to listen to the story of their lives and how they manage to remember details about various things. For example they know word for word what Dick Clark wore and spoke about in his various television appearances over the last 40 years. If Dick Clark mentioned Plum trees on an episode of $100,000 Pyramid on September 17, 1988 while wearing a blue suit they would know this. The story of Flo and Kay was truly amazing. If you get a chance to view this special story I encourage you to do so.


Another pregnant mommy …

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 8th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Olympian Kerri Walsh is expecting her first child with fellow athlete Casey Jennings. Considering that she is about 4 months along this dates the pregnancy back to Beijing. I just find it hard to picture a die hard athlete like Jennings finding time to sport some sexy lingerie in the midst of something a monumental as the Olympics. Oh well, to each their own. I haven’t read much about the relationship between Walsh and Jennings but let’s hope this is more than just the result of some wild night in Beijing.


Anne Heche pregnant

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 8th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I haven’t been following the career of Anne Heche but just read she is pregnant! The last time I remember seeing much media coverage of the actress she was in a lesbian relationship with Ellen. It seems she has swung the other way and is now embracing heterosexuality…

“Anne Heche and her beau, actor James Tupper, are expecting their first child together, her rep tells Usmagazine.com exclusively…”


How do they do it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 28th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

While standing in the checkout lane at the grocery I like to read the latest celebrity gossip rag. There is always a feature article on one of the magazines detailing the latest starlet who is sporting an amazing post baby body. This time is was Angelina Jolie who’s diet secrets were being revealed. I didn’t have time to read whether she used a macrobiotic diet or hit Hydroxycut hardcore but the photos of her were unbelievable. How does someone give birth to twins and a couple of months later look slimmer that ever? In her case she was so slender to begin with it is hard to picture her any smaller but I believe she is.


Dumb dumb dumb

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 28th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

It absolutely appalls me that we are reading that a Walmart worker was trampled to death today. People so hell bent on getting a bargain threw concern for their fellow man out the window and trampled over an employee. How on earth does this happen? Are we so freaking lost as a society that we would rather save on a vacuum or the newest video game than stop for a moment and think about one another? I cannot imagine the grief a family will experience this holiday season just because careless people couldn’t stop and give a moments thought to value human life.


Do they even recall being sober?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Not knowing someone closely who has dealt with addiction I am often amazed by the process. In watching shows like “Intervention” I just cannot fathom how people get so lost in a world of drugs and alcohol. It just seems like somewhere deep within them there ought to be a type of inner system memory that recalls sobriety. Despite the pain in a person’s life it just seems like the brain or body should want to be healthy more than it wants drugs and alcohol. I know this is a foolish way of thinking but I can’t help it. Even when I eat more than my fair share of junk my brain is always telling me I need to stop and at some point I do. I guess the brain can’t overpower some forces like drugs or alcohol.


We all saw that coming.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 25th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

The news should come as no surprise that Amy Winehouse and her trouble husband are supposedly calling it quits. It just doesn’t make for a lasting relationship when drugs, violence, and jail time are thrown into the mix. Hopefully, this is some sort of catalyst for Amy to get her life on track and get clean. I honestly believe she is a talented person who is clearly taking that talent for granted. For every Amy Winehouse there are a dozen more people who are equally talented just dying for a chance in the spotlight. Why people like her throw such wonderful opportunities away is beyond me.


Television medicine.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 20th, 2008 filed in sleep
Comment now »

What is it about television medical shows that intrigue us so much? As I sit here typing and watching television I can’t help myself but to look up any disease or disorder they discuss to learn more about it. For example if a show discusses Orovo detox then I need to know exactly what it is. Sometimes I think I should have seriously looked into going to medical school because it fascinates me that much. My problem is I already spent 20 years getting degrees in stuff I just am no longer interested in. Am I the only who feels this way? Right now I need to go look up the symptoms of stomach cancer because that is the current case on the show I am watching.


Grey’s Anatomy

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 20th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

This is one of my favorite shows in a long time. I just have a few complaints. What is the deal with everyone suddenly being gay and then not being gay? This isn’t a topic I necessarily want to explore in any detail but what is the deal. I know of no one is changes sexual orientation as quickly as the characters on this show! It was almost as if there was an uprising in the television masses that put an ax to the story line.


Yikes she is horrid!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 20th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

There is no doubt in my mind that you probably have seen the photos of Madonna from her recent tour. If you haven’t seen them then let me paint a picture. The picture is that of a sort of haggard 50 age woman in fish net stocking and essentially her underwear on stage. This is not something I want to see any day of the week. I would much rather see the post baby body of Christina Aguilera any day of the week and I don’t even really like her music. At least Christina, who has clearly found diet pills that work, looks human. Madonna just plain looks crazy scary.


Happy birthday.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 20th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Have you ever known someone who hates birthdays? Well, I know a person like this VERY well. I don’t know what it is or where it comes from. As long as I have known her, which is about 20 years, she goes into a funk every year. Because it has lasted for over 20 years I know it has nothing to do with getting older. It is just a day I wish every year would pass very quickly because by the next day she is back on track and happy. Only 3 more hours in this downer of a day.


Out of the loop.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 14th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Things have been so crazy here lately I am completely out of the loop when it comes to celebrity gossip. I have no clue who ran off for a wild weekend at a las vegas hotel and who didn’t. It is nice to have spent some time focusing on real world matters rather than indulging in Hollywood stardom and all that gossip. If you want to know how potty training the puppy is going I could post a very detailed description of the number of accidents I have cleaned up this week?


Ellen and Portia?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 14th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Are Ellen and Portia still going to be considered married not that California has change the laws about same sex marriages? I mean seriously this was such a news headline it is kind of funny that only a couple of weeks later the marriage might not be valid. I suppose I am playing my hand on what I think on the topic… But really will there be breaking news once again when they have to remarry someplace else?


Shopping time is here.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 10th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

This is the time of year I always dread. If I had my way I would go out and get all of my holiday shopping done in one swoop. My wife however insists on looking for everything on sale. I am all for saving a buck but the time she spends looking for a deal could be spent on so many other things like the laundry. What she really needs is one place she can always go to and know that she will be getting a bargain. This would eliminate all the hours and hours of scouring the web to make sure it is the best deal. Anyone know a site like this?


She came out clearly.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

We should all sleep better tonight knowing that Linsey Lohan has formally stated she is in a lesbian relationship. This is earth shattering and very important news I know will clog up the media news markets. Who in the world did not recognize this months ago and needs a formal statement to recognize what has been before our eyes for so long? Run right out and buy a newspaper right now if this is you.


Would you donate it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 10th, 2008 filed in Business
Comment now »

A Lodi Goodwill Worker Finds $2,000 in Donated Jacket.Paula Miranda calls it her lucky jacket. It’s the coat where she found a wad of cash stuffed into the pocket as she sorted donations at a Lodi Goodwill store this week. This honorable woman said she will donate it to Goodwill. Of course it will be interesting to see how many people will claim it was their money in the jacket! I doubt she had any choice in whether to donate the money or not. She was did discover the money in the course of doing a job for which she is paid to do. These items are not donated with the intent that the staff keep them but rather that they go to support those in need. No doubt the employee could use the cash as much as anyone but to say she has an “option” in keeping it is silly. This was not cash found on the street or elsewhere where one might or might not do what is right and try to find the owner…


Lindsay gets the Ugly boot.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I don’t care what any of those other sleazy tabloids say, Lindsay got the boot and I don’t think it was an amicable split. I love ugly Betty and the idea of fire crotch being on there was intriguing at first but I think that this is for the best. Honestly I think that Lindsay needs to step back away from acting altogether and focus on something that she can really excel at, like walking and breathing at the same time.


It should be a law

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I just recently told my husband that it should be a law that as soon as you turn 18 you should never have to worry about acne again. I am 45 years old and I still get pimples and I don’t think it is right. The only comforting thought is that people like Jessica Simpson and Vanessa Williams still deal with it too as can be seen in those corny acne treatment commercials they do for PRO Active. I would rather see women like that showing off their pimples rather that the regular Joe off of the street. It makes me feel better.


Poor Katie…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 22nd, 2008 filed in celebrity, fashion
Comment now »

Did you happen to catch Katie Holmes on last night’s episode of Eil Stone? While normally I love this show and find it smart and funny last night left me wondering why she was selected to appear. There are so many more talented and believable actresses in Hollywood that would have made a much more believable love interest for Eli. Holmes was just plain flat and played this role exactly the same as she has played all the other roles she has ever appeared in. Whatever life was ever in this girls has clearly been sucked dry by her sleezy husband. Katie looked the same in this television role as she has in the photos appearing of her online. The poor thing looks just looks like a 40 year old soccer mom. You would think that somewhere in her there is still a craving to look hip and stylish in a pair of UGG boots, cute jeans, and a great sweater instead of baggy t-shirts, ballet shoes, and jeans left over from the 80′s.


Bring joy to the world around you – Ghosting It Forward.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 20th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Flying Ghost Pictures, Images and Photos
Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend about the state of the world around us. It just feels like everyone is caught up in a negative state of emotion. Daily we are inundated with news of rising prices, economic downturn, and countless global crisis issues. This seems to have created a general state of anxiety in so many people and a desperate need for more joy. I believe that the greatest joys in life are simple and unexpected. I further believe that joy is contagious. Why not bring a little more joy into the world around you starting today with a simple act of kindness to those around you?

“Ghosting” is a fun Halloween tradition of doing something nice for your neighbors and friends. In the spirit of “paying it forward”, everyone needs more positive touches in their life. In our current world filled with constant negative news, Ghosting It Forward is an effort to spread some positive touches to neighbors locally or friends virtually. Whether it is an anonymous note of thanks to your neighbor, a bunch of flowers, a bar of chocolate, an inspirational book or movie, or just a smiley face, Ghosting It Forward will energize people who send and receive the positive touches.

To learn more about “Ghosting It Forward” visit CLICK HERE to find instructions and all you will need to get started “Ghosting It Forward”.


Halle Berry sexiest woman alive?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 9th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It seems that Esquire magazine has nominated Halle Berry as the sexiest woman alive for 2008. After looking at the photos of her I can’t believe the difference from the last time I saw her photographed. I don’t know whether she took diet pills or simply started working out 24 hours a day but her body looks totally different. The photographs however good they made her look really took me by surprise considering she is now a mother. For some reason I did not expect them to be quite as seductive as they were. I guess if you have it the way Halle does, at the age of 40+, you flaunt it when you can.


Get over it!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 9th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I just finished reading a post chastising Angelina Jolie for allowing her children to have Cheetos. The photos featured at least 3 of her children walking with her. In her hands and also in one of her children’s hands was a bag of Cheetos. My goodness you would have thought the photo featured her letting the kids play in burning fire pits or something. The writer went on and and on about what a “lax” parent she must be. Give me a break! I am the first person to jump on lax Hollywood parents but Cheetos are hardly like giving them a beer.


What next?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 6th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

The media news seems to be buzzing with the big news that Britney Spears want to be the next Jane Fonda. Do you care? I surely don’t and can’t imagine that anyone would look to Britney for fitness or healthy living advice. I mean seriously, every photograph we see of the girl she is either buying junk food or cigarettes. Yes, she has gotten her body back in shape but it seems to be not living well but by spending hours in the gym. It would not surprise me in the least to see her promoting anything from cattle supplies to carpet cleaners if it would make her a buck or two.


Jessica Alba skinny again.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 3rd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Jessica Alba was recently photographed playing at the beach in a bikini. From the look of things she right back to her old self and looks pretty darn good. I don’t know if she worked out like crazy, took alli, or just ate healthy but whatever she did seemed to work. What I really like is the fact that she took her time to get to this point. It is so unrealistic when women of the world see celebrity mommies who have a baby one week and are back to a size zero the next. How refreshing it is for young women of the world to see what reality really is when you have a baby.


Would you read it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on October 3rd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I just caught a few minutes of “Regis and Kelly” and Blair Underwood was the guest of the moment. He was on the show promoting his new television program and also a book he wrote. The book is called “In the Night of the Heat”. This is a kind of silly name if you ask me and apparently it is a sequel to another book he wrote. Both are about a former male prostitute turned detective. I don’t know about you but this really doesn’t sound like something I am going to run out and buy for our bookshelves! I just have a hard time accepting that a television actor could write anything independently that is worthy of my reading time or parting with $20.00.


Stupid movies.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 26th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Last weekend I hit our local library and decided to borrow a bunch of videos. Since our cable wasn’t being hooked up for a while after the move this seemed like a good idea. One of the movies I selected was “Dickie Roberts”. I have no idea how this ended up in my stack of selections but I went ahead and borrowed it. This had to be the most stupid movie I have ever seen. Predictable from start to finish and chocked full of adolescent attempts at humor this movie is only made worse by pretty bad acting. I should have just left this movie on the shelf and spent my time sorting used cisco and other boxes of stuff that needed unpacked in my basement because I would have had a better time.


No sponsor deal for Britney…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 26th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It seems that Britney Spears may be getting her act together for the most part. There still is that little matter of her driving without a legal license to deal with. I seriously doubt that much will come of this given how celebrity justice is handed out in California. The most that will probably come from it is that she looses a few sponsorship opportunities. For example I seriously doubt we will see Britney Spears telling us all about the wonderful online car insurance quotes she recently received! The only thing this will accomplish is to hurt her in the pocket book. I guess this is one way to teach a celebrity a lesson but likely it is only pocket change to someone like her.


Voluteer Hell

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 21st, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Every now and then I volunteer at our county’s emergency drug and alcohol hotline. I have some history as a D/A counselor as this was the first job I got right out of college. Needless to say the more I volunteer the more I want to come home and start my own drinking habit. After listening to people talk about how they have been sober for 5 minutes now and feel like they need to have a drink because the stress of running out of HO HO’s is too much for them I feel like stopping at the nearest bar and have my own bottle of HO HO’s. I had a gentleman tell me the other night that even though he was on his fourteenth round of drug rehabilitation he was positive he would get it right on the fifteenth. Riiiiiiiiiight…and I have a six pack in Jersey to sell you …….cheap and know quite a bit about drug rehab.


Looking good!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 11th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Have you seen any recent photos of Jessica Alba? If you haven’t I would encourage you to check them out. I doubt she’s been taking pills for diet and weight loss since she is a new mom but she is doing something right! The last photos I saw of Jessica definitely looked more like the Jessica we all know. Motherhood sometimes plays havoc with a woman’s figure but in her case it is all good from what I can see. It is also refreshing that she is taking her time to get back her body. So many stars seem to just flick a switch and instantaneously the baby weight disappears.


Who dresses them?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 11th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Every time I see a photograph of one of the Olson twins I have to laugh. For “women” who are supposed to be aware of the fashion world they always look like bag ladies. I mean does Ashley Olson use on of those steam cleaners do style her hair or what? How hard is it for them to actually run a brush through their hair and put on an outfit that matches? I am not the most fashion savvy person on the planet but you better believe I would pull my act together if I had a billion dollars in the bank! It is just silly that any young woman would want to mimic their sense of “style”.


Stupid human tricks

Posted by Candidly yours~ on September 6th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My how the mighty have fallen…on their head that is. What do you think was going through Keith Richards head when he fell out of that tree? Do you think his seniors life insurance was paid up as he calls in his claim stating, ” I was just tryin’ to get me a coconut mate.”. Point being is how long do you allow someone to act stupid before they are considered stupid. If she lives, do we laugh and chuckle at the latest Amy Winehouse screw up and do so up to a pre-determined point or do we just label her as “stupid” right off the bat? Can Britany have a set amount of mental break downs before we stoically stare at the TV and say,” Hey, they offered the dummy help.”


Penske Delux

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I am trying to get ready for this big move and have come to the conclusion that moving trucks are freakin’ expensive. Johnny Depp just recently moved into a new chateau in France and they said it took him three weeks to move out of his old digs. Why?? And what moving services do you think he used. I would think U-haul would be a tad bit sub-standard to him but from what I can gather just about everything else is to him also. Needless to say I think I will be going the Penske route.


Oh I’ve never been to Spain

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

That was a good song and I never thought that three dog night got the credit they were due, by the way. Wouldn’t it be great to be like the George Clooney’s or the Brangelina’s of the world and travel? Do you think someone like tom Cruise carries travel insurance or is just a simple matter of getting a new one of something. If Nicole Kidman loses her size negative 0 channel dress does she make a claim or does she just go down to the outlet and get another one.


Portia and Ellen Wed.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 17th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Yesterday marked a special day for Portia DeRossi and Ellen Degeneres – their wedding day. Personally, I have little to say about the whole gay marriage business. I couldn’t helped but pester my good friend about this particular wedding though. There was a time when Portia was on the show “Alli McBeal” that my buddy had a huge crush on her. This was long before anyone knew about her sexual preference. I find it funny to rib him about this part of his past because he completely denies ever having a crush on her. This is a complete line of bull on his part and he totally knows it. Every time he denies the crush I insist it is time for my computer programming friend to get a memory upgrade because his is in serious decline.


Hip or not?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 9th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Fads always seem to come and go but there are just some that I really miss. For example for a while it seemed like every celebrity was sporting a pair of cool eyeglasses. This made eyeglass wearers like myself feel very much “in”. Lately thought I don’t see many stars wearing them. I think that glasses always make people look more distinguished for some reason. For some people glasses even tend to add something to persona that you just can’t get with a pair of contacts. Please trend spotters of the world bring back eyeglasses and do it now!


We are moving.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 9th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

There are days when the only thing that keeps me going is the fact that we have a signed contract to sell our home. On days like today when our neighbors kick their antics into high gear there is just not much about living in this house to enjoy. My skin is a wreck and I should probably get some Differin or something to make it look better but I haven’t. The thing that kills me is how when one set of idiots starts acting up that it seems to attract the other set of idiots to do the same thing. Before we know it both houses on either side of us are yelling and blasting their radios and acting like fools. Five weeks just five more weeks and I will hopefully be looking at this street in my rear view mirror.


Is it really a home?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 9th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

The house we just looked at was approximately 2,000 square feet. This is bigger than any house I have ever lived in. While I really liked the house I just couldn’t imagine it feeling homey. There was so much space I felt like we would all get lost in our little areas and never connect as a family. This leads me to think about celebrity homes. How can you ever feel comfortable or connected to one another when you need 2 way radios to talk to each other from one end of the house to the other? Call me crazy but that isn’t my idea of “quality” family time.


Their special…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 9th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Right now life is pretty mellow and I am only dreaming of what the coming weeks will be like. We have accepted a bid on our house and have started looking for a new one. I have to laugh when I see images of Ben Afleck and Jennifer Garner walking around the grounds of the $6 million dollar home they are in the process of building. You can just imagine all conversations taking place on Ben’s Bluetooth headset trying to determine what home theater system to install. Wouldn’t they just die if they were home shopping with me? My biggest concern is whether to spend money on an big but old home to dry the basement or settle for a smaller home with a dry basement.


When does the stress stop?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on August 2nd, 2008 filed in Business
Comment now »

After months and months of writing posts about wanting to move and sell our house we finally have an offer on it. You would think I would feel a certain sense of relief but the truth is now I am just worried that the sale won’t go through. I don’t know if the buyers can back out of a signed contract or not. We have a house inspection on Monday and then it seems like we should know exactly where we stand. It will be so good to be able to start putting things in boxes with some confidence that we really are going to be moving. Maybe then I my stress will decrease and my skin will clear up so I don’t have to keep spending money on acne remedies.


Yippee Skippee!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 26th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

I just found out some really great news! I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about it but the federal government finally did something wonderful for people like myself drowning in student loan debt. There are a couple of new programs but the one I am most excited about is the forgiveness program for public servants. Once enrolled in the program people employed in public service jobs will have the balance of their loans paid off after 10 years of payment. In my case this is savings of like $50,000.00 over the life of what would be my loan term. I am so excited I wish I had some promotional products to hand out and tell the world!


On the right track!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 25th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I don’t know whether it is having her parents back in her life or getting good psychological help but Britney Spears is starting to look like her old self. Something is working with her skin possibly a good acne scars cream or clean living? It is nice to see her legal woes behind her and her priorities more clear. I am sure her young boys are enjoying having some stability in their lives finally now that their parents have settled their custody dispute. Hopefully, there are some promising things to come for this pop star yet and we aren’t all forced to revisit yet another train wreck in her career. Who will I write about if that notion did become a reality?


The day will come.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 19th, 2008 filed in Business
Comment now »

This a post to remind myself that I have good things to look forward to. The day will come when I can begin looking into mortgage lenders in my area. The day will come when I can rent a moving truck and pack my belonging into. There will be a day when I finally waver good-bye to the neighborhood I have watched deteriorate over the last 4 years. Good things can happen to people like me. I believe and know it but sometimes I just have to remind myself of these things. I’ll bet the blogosphere can’t wait for this to happen to I can quit writing posts like this.


Another stupid athlete.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Matt Jones won’t be collecting anymore trophies for a while. The Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver was arrested on drug charges while in his former college hometown. Police officers found Jones inside a vehicle cutting cocaine with a credit card. Drugs were found inside the vehicle which included 6 grams of cocaine. Jones is charged with a felony in connection to the drugs. Two other individual’s arrested along with Jones in the vehicle were charged on lesser misdemeanor drug charges. What is with these guy’s who have the world on a plate before them who risk it all for a momentary high?


How are you coping?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 10th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

With gas prices through the roof it doesn’t surprise me that people are trying to cut back on expenses. I have seen more advertisements for scooters and motorcycles in the last few weeks that ever before. If I didn’t live in an area where it is winter about 9 months out of the year I would be jumping on the bandwagon to check out used Harleys. With gas mileages of 70-100 mpg it is really tempting to look into buying on anyways. My wife thinks we just need to move closer to my workplace instead but I would love to have the option of getting a bike.


Christie settles.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Christie Brinkley can now get on with her life. According to reports her divorce proceedings have been settled abruptly today. Christie was awarded custody of her two children and some property. Her teenage loving husband was awarded just 2.1 million dollars. In the big scheme of things this is probably nothing to someone as well off as Christie Brinkley. I don’t know what Christie has done to maintain her natural and beautiful looks but her husband is an idiot for looking elsewhere for loving. Even at 50 years of age Christie makes me think about shaping up. Maybe I should stop blogging an go do a few ellipticals since she is a free woman? Just kidding…


Jessica lost it all?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It appears that Jessica Alba has not been lounging about in a hammock chair since giving birth to her beautiful baby. OMG is reporting that Jessica has already lost a ton of weight. It seems that Alba found pregnancy a very “unsexy” time in her life and desperately wants to regain her old physique. Personally, I thought Alba looked beautiful as a pregnant mother-to-be. I suppose when you are used to being considered a sex symbol that nine months out of the spot light does mess with your self-image. Being a mother should really be in the forefront of her priorities right now don’t you think?


Fessing up.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 10th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

I have a bad habit that I have to share. My wife cleaned out my car this week and had almost filled a zipper bag with logo pens that somehow made their way into my car and brief case. It has been pointed out to me before that I tend to borrow pens and never return them. It never really seemed like that big of a deal until I saw this bag just filled to the brim with pens. You can’t really deny a problem when it hits you square in the face like that. Is there some sort of 12 step program I should be looking into? Are there other people like me in the world who have bags or possibly crates of pens sitting around the house that they just don’t recall purchasing?


The twins are coming!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 2nd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Reports say that the much awaited birth of Brad and Angelina’s twins could happen any day now. Angelina Jolie reportedly checked into a French hospital this week to rest prior to the birth of the twins. I have to say not seeing Angelina in maternity clothes is something I will miss. She is one celebrity who somehow managed to look fabulous throughout her pregnancies without slipping into that disheveled look so many very pregnant women seem to take on. No matter where she was whether on the beach or the red carpet Angelina always looked stylish and extremely happy to be in her own skin. Without a doubt it will only be a matter of weeks before she is once again back to her super skinny self and we will all be missing her pregnant self.


So what?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on July 2nd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Yesterday I read a post about Jessica Alba and her post baby weight. If I would have had the time I would have written a scathing response to the post which basically degraded Alba for not already being at her pre-pregnancy weight. The woman gave birth just one month ago. I find it refreshing to see a Hollywood celebrity who gained a healthy amount of weight while pregnant and is focusing on being a good mother instead of running out to workout constantly while leaving the baby with the nanny. Would we really want to see her rail thin with a bottle of diet pills in her hands instead of her beautiful new baby? It is refreshing to see a Hollywood mom with her priorities clearly in place!


Bird slayers at Wimbledon.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 25th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

It seems that pigeons and other birds living in the area of Wimbledon may want run out now and get life insurance quotes. Two hawks we shot by marksmen at Wimbledon this week after they became disruptive to ongoing activities there. When the two hawks, whose job it is to scare pigeons away, failed to accomplish the job it was deemed time to call in the big guns. The troublesome pigeons were given a death sentence when their droppings were found on areas where meals were being eaten and when they became distracting to players in the midst of matches. Personally, I think pigeons are nasty disease carrying animal that rank not much higher than rats and other vermin. The people at PETA seem to feel quite differently about this and have taken the news of the fate of the Wimbledon pigeons to the world and have proclaimed the shooting as cruel.


Can you imagine?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 18th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

While waiting for my wife at the hospital yesterday I watched this show on TLC called “Jon and Kate Plus 8″. This is a reality show about a couple who had a set of twins followed by a set of sextuplets. Can you imagine what it will be like to get an auto insurance quote when all of those kids start driving? I give this family a great deal of credit because they really take parenting this many kids in stride. Quite honestly I am sure I would be pulling my hair out after about an hour with 6 toddlers. I suppose you just handle what you are given but clearly there are people more suited to this type of situation than others.


Do we care?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 12th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

A number of recent reports are implying that Lindsey Lohan is engaging in a romantic relationship with her female gal pal. Let me just say I don’t care. I really really don’t care. The girl is a train wreck and this is just another stop on her journey to nowhere. It might be interesting if she were doing something productive like rebuilding her career or getting her life in order but she isn’t. Right now I would sooner read the label on a bottle of Phentermine 37.5 mg tablets than look at another picture of Lindsey possibly hugging her girlfriend a little too often or a little to closely. Is anyone else out there thinking the same thing or am alone on this one?


Party Momma.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 12th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Christina Aguilera seems to be taking parenting on as a day job. The new mommy has frequently been photographed back on the party circuit with her husband several times a week. The one photograph I saw they both looked so wasted that not even a GPS could have helped them find their way home. Aguilera has been reported to say that there is nothing wrong with her behavior and that she deserve time out with her husband. This is true but it seems to me that 4 nights a week out and about it a bit more than “couple” time.


Why don’t actors retire?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 6th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It seems like no one in Hollywood formally retires from acting. In other professions you put in your 20 and 30 years and they throw you a big party and maybe give you a gold watch. You then sit back and enjoy your days with your biggest concern being whether you have the right medigap coverage. Actors and actresses seem to just keep plugging away until one day you hear they have died. This is when some award show or another spends 2 minutes honoring their work. It seems kind of sad when you think about it. I would rather have someone give me a pat on the back while I am still around to appreciate it rather than when I am long gone.


Katherine Heigl looses weight.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 6th, 2008 filed in celebrity, fashion
Comment now »

While standing in the checkout isle yesterday I notice a magazine sporting Katherine Heigl on the cover. It detailed how she had lost and amazing 14 lbs. This had me rolling because 14lbs is not amazing to me. The article detailed how she had lost the weight not with weight loss diet pills but with some trendy new Hollywood diet. Who cares that she lost 14lbs? Apparently somebody does care about this for them to decide to make a cover story about it. From everything I could see she really didn’t need to loose any weight to begin with but probably someone in Hollywood thought differently. This is just one more thing to promote the “I have to be super slim to be pretty” mentality.


What are her premiums?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on June 6th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Every time I read about her it seems like Britney Spears has had another car accident. I can only imagine what her premiums must be like. Of course it isn’t like money matters to her. I am sure she has someone who takes care of doing auto insurance comparison shopping on her behalf. More than likely they just pay the premiums without care or concern as to whether there might be a better deal to be found elsewhere. What the girl really needs to do is hire a driver and keep herself out from behind the wheel. If she can’t focus on driving she shouldn’t be driving.


Smacked with the ugly stick

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Tell me, who is responsible for teaching these young celebrities how to use make-up? I swear it looks like somebody got out the air tools for Zach Efron and just pasted him. The worst ones are the models you see for these yutzy fashion designers. They all look like painted lollipop sticks with the wrapper hanging off of them. If it were my kid I would pay them large sums of money to not wear make-up just so they wouldn’t emulate Amy Winehouse and that thing on her head that looks like it has a small animal living in it.


Where does it all go

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 29th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Young celebrities are like my ex-wife, champagne taste on a beer pocketbook. I’m curious if someone like Britney Spears or Zach Efron even have the slightest clue as to how to balance a checkbook or how to start a savings account with a local bank. Poor Zach can’t seem to get out of the make-up isle at CVS to know how to do either. It just seems that young people of america seem to be divided in their knowledge of their money and where it goes. While some have people handle their money and write their checks for them, a small few seem to at least have a small idea of what it means to save and be frugal. The push for them to learn just doesn’t seem to be there and for some money grubbing manager or entourage this could turn out to be bad. I mean c’mon at least look at the check before you sign it.


Lindsey a thief?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 22nd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

An online celebrity gossip site reported this week that Lindsey Lohan was accused of stealing a jacket. Somehow this strikes me as a bunch of crap. Lohan’s career may be in the toilet but I hardly think she needs to steal clothing. Certainly, had the girl wanted a jacket any number of aspiring designers would have given her one in trade for dropping their name to a reporter. If there is any truth to this story it would suggest Lohan is in serious financial straights. There is absolutely no reason to resort to these measures when all she needs to do is click here for online coupons to find bargains of all sorts. Who doesn’t love a bargain? Saving money certainly feels better than resorting to desperate measure such as what Lohan is now being accused of.


Ashlee Simpson wedding.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 17th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It should be just about time for Ashlee Simpson to walk down the isle. Rumor has it that she is getting married tonight to musician Pete Wentz. Word also has it that she will not being wearing a white wedding dress but instead will be wearing a black gown! Definitely an interesting fashion choice for such a special occasion. One has to wonder if this is just a choice based on gaining publicity. It should be interesting to read where the newlyweds head on their honeymoon and if they will need a passport to get there. I am guessing that they will have chosen some unorthodox location to begin their lives together like Greenland or something. It should also be fun to see how the pregnancy rumors swirling around this couple play out over the coming months.


Looking better.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 13th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

If you haven’t seen any recent images of Britney Spears I would encourage you to do so. There are some pretty decent shots of her out on the net from recent appearances and she is looking much better. I don’t know if you remember what her skin had been looking like but it was pretty bad. I really think having her parents in her life has been a 100% improvement over what had been happening in recent years. She is looking very much like the Britney we all remember. Mom, Dad, and maybe some natural acne treatment was just what the doctor ordered in her case to get her back on the right track.


Lohan making a comeback?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 13th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Lindsey Lohan is apparently trying to make a comeback by following in the footsteps of Britney Spears. Lohan is supposed to be making an appearance in a television show in the near future. How this is going to help reinvent her public image I really am not sure. Every image captured of her lately is of her leaving a club or party. If she doesn’t want people to think she is still battling addiction problems why not be seen doing something normal like looking at a furniture catalog or taking her dog for a walk. No one is going to buy the notion that she has won the battle over drugs and alcohol if she is constantly seen in situations where these are readily available.


What is with the Olson Twins?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 11th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

The media has been very busy lately following those tiny little millionaires known as the Olson Twins around lately. What is the deal with these two that they never seem to look the least bit happy or satisfied with life. Surely, somewhere along the line all that cash has to at least brought a twinkle to their eyes. Mary-Kate perpetually looks like she needs a good colon cleanse and Ashley often looks very much the same. I can’t remember which one of them checked into rehab but from this vantage point it didn’t seem to brighten either one’s perspective on life at all. Then again a lifetime in front of the cameras would probably drive me just little bit crazy or grumpy also.


Britney earns more visitation.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 11th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Ms. Spears seems to be on the right track at last. Reports are that she has earned increased visitation rights with her two young sons. This sound like a positive step forward for the troubled train wreck. I hate calling her that but her antics over the last year have made it hard to have much faith in her decision making ability or parenting skills. I am glad to know that she still isn’t allowed to drive the children around. Given her accident history I would be petrified for those children to ride with her. I am sure K-Fed has purchased life insurance for kids just to cover his bases. The judge really seems to have good insight into this situation from the look of things.


Shopping and more shopping.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 11th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Is shopping the main hobby of the rich and famous? Every week I spend a fair amount of time on the celebrity website x17.com and it seems like every post is about some celebrity out shopping. I suppose the only chance the photographers have to get a snapshot is to catch someone in the midst of buying groceries or furniture but it does get a bit old after awhile. Doesn’t anyone in Hollywood take their children to the playground or on an educational trip? I love shopping just as much as the next person but it isn’t my entire life.


Tom and Katie…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 6th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

There is one Hollywood couple that I find particularly annoying. If the title of this post doesn’t tell you who they are let me just clear it up right now. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes annoy me to no end. More specifically Tom Cruise annoys me to end. If he were someone loose in the community and not a celebrity people would probably just refer to him as the Scientology nut. The man seriously believes that a space ship is going to come one day and whisk all those like himself (Scientologists) off to another dimension. If we could all have a peek inside his brain or world I am sure we would be scared to death for any child growing up under his influence. Someone needs to turn off the ceiling light that is his brain because it isn’t fooling anyone. We all know the lights in Tom’s head are on but there really isn’t anyone home.


Gremlins.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on May 1st, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

I would love to know who lets the gremlins into my house at night. The one time I decide that I actually want to wear my contact lenses and do you think I can find them? An entire year’s supply of contact lenses has mysteriously disappeared from my hallway closet. It is enough to make me think I should look into Lasik surgery. If gremlins are going to keep stealing my contacts this could get to be might expensive. At this rate if my case of contacts does not turn up the one time I did wear them essentially cost me about $150.00! I am really going to have to have a word with those gremlins.


Not even a chip

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 23rd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Have you ever heard the saying, ” A chip off of the old block”? Many actors kids and even some of those who are not actors, seem to think that, “if I watch mommy and daddy do I can do it too”. In most cases most of them don’t have their parents ability to, “talk really good” and have no problem showing the world this. Point blank, Tori Spelling can’t act. Kelly Osbourne can’t sing. Why do they think they can and even worse why do their parents even encourage them to do so. They suck!!! And I swear that if i my lifetime Paris Hilton does anything else even related to trying to entertain me I will take this left over piece of CAT5e and hang myself in my living room.


Clinton or Obama?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 22nd, 2008 filed in Business, celebrity, family
Comment now »

Today is a huge day for Democratic candidates. It should be interesting to find out the results of the Pennsylvania primary. Clinton must win in a big way if she is to have any hope of continuing forward. It is equally important that Obama show he can carry a large state like Pennsylvania. With all of the mud slinging that has been going on I will just be glad to see it all come to an end. My parents live in Pennsylvania and say that every where they go someone is either polling them about the candidates or campaigning on their behalf. My Mom was so mad about all of the intruding phone calls they were getting I thought she might make herself become seriously ill. I even reminded her to carry her medical id just in case her blood pressure spiked or something and she needed to go to the hospital. I didn’t dare mention simply turning the ringer off on the phone and letting the message go to voice mail if the calls were bothering her that much. :shock:


Do we really care?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 20th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Does the world really care that much if Ashlee Simpson is pregnant? Will things suddenly become different if yet another Hollywood bobble head brings forth a child? I just don’t think we all really need to see this type of information as a news “headline” when we log into to check the world news. I really would like to send a letter to Yahoo and tell them to stop putting dumb stuff like this in the front page news they list. I would do this but I happen to be all out of postage tape and the reality is I just don’t care that much.


Excess is best???

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 17th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I have gotten back into watching pointless and ridiculous shows on TV again and the one I want to talk abut today is the show called “Cribs” on MTV. Now how arrogant and boastful do you have to be to walk around your three million dollar home and try to act humble and thankful as you explain why you have to have a room that is only for your X-box. You look at some of these room as wonder what weer they thinking when they decided that the transformer bedding would look good on a bed that cost more than my house. And why do they always save the garage till last? It’s not like the fact that the have more vehicles, motorcycles, and boats than the rest of their neighborhood will be anymore impressive then the pool they showed us in the beginning with the statue of a naked man in the middle of it with water coming out of his wee-wee.


Too many peanuts.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 17th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

The life of a celebrity must be spent at least 50 % in the air. Celebrities can film a string of movies in succession and the chances of these movies being in different locations is almost a given. Matt Damon filmed the Bourne Ultimatum in several countries so you have to wonder just how many hours he logged on a plane to shoot the entire movie. If that is the case you also have to wonder how did he fly? Was it first class or was a series of cheap flights where your meal is served wrapped in plastic and the guy next to you keeps trying to steal your peanuts?


Off the wagon?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 16th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Ms. Lohan is definitely looking scruffy these days. Every picture I have seen she seems to be wearing the same pair of leggings time and time again. She looks tired and in need of a good day at the spa. Reports are that she is back to hitting the party scene in a hard way. You would think whoever is managing her career would get her a new outfit or two and if not a day at the spa then a decent shower. There is no excuse for looking scruffy when you have that kind of money. If you are too drunk to stand up and shower then invest in a shower stool!


Where to??

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 13th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I find it difficult to choose a place for a vacation so I can only imagine what it must be like for someone like George Clooney or Scarlet Johanson to pick a place to “get away from it all”. Its not like they could just pack up and go to one of those Branson resorts and think that no one will recognize them in their ball cap or hoody. I think thats why most celebs buy these huge houses on these secluded islands. Instead of the short term fix of a vacation, they buy themselves a permanent vacation, minus the hoody and ball cap.


Gluttons for Stupidity

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 13th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

So now rumor has it the Kevin and Brittney are going to try and reconcile. So on the cover of the latest grocery line tabloid who should I see? Kevin and Brittney sitting on the beach with Kevin wearing his new Hublot watch and Brittney sporting a rock that looked as if it could double as a softball. Now I try to be as optimistic as the next tabloid junky when it comes to celebrity train wrecks er…. relationships but come on!! Are these two that stupid to think that a weekend at some cheap resort can fix this. It’s like trying fix a crack in Hoover dam with a tube of super glue, it just isn’t going to hold up. Oh well she will be pregnant again in a month and the spotlight can be on her again and not her yutz of a little sister.


Ouch!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Did you happen to catch the special “American Idol” show? If you didn’t spend a minute or two and watch some clips because it might just surprise you. There were some really great performances and then there were some excruciatingly painful ones. A prime example of the latter was Teri Hatcher singing. Calling her performance singing really is more of a compliment than should be extended. Ms. Hatcher really needs to find another avenue to express her creativity. Perhaps, she could look into writing books?


Can you rent it?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 2nd, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

Now that our house is just about ready to list I am looking into staging it for sale. I hadn’t heard of staging until I read about it online. Apparently this is when you dress it up to set the “scene” for potential buyers. For the most part we have really nice furniture and don’t need to invest in anything. Some people actually rent furniture to put in their home in place of their own. The only thing we could use is some nice teak furniture for our porch. Last summer we screened in the porch and it really is a lovely area of the home. The only thing it lacks is pretty furniture. Since we are staying in the home it would be great to be able to rent this type of furniture. I doubt we can though.


Britney can’t act!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on April 2nd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Last night I spent a few minutes catching up on some of television shows that I watch every so often. One show that I kind of like is “How I Met Your Mother”. This particular episode featured special guest star Britney Spears. I have to say that aside from Britney the show was as funny as ever. Britney however needs to just start looking into other career options outside of the lights of Hollywood. She would make a great spokesman for Branson property or peddling stuff on QVC. The girl really tried but each scene seemed so forced as if someone was coaching her on every word. Reading a teleprompter might work a little better for her but she definitely shouldn’t try comedy for a while.


Escape… I think not!!!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 23rd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As rough as I am on the celebs who deserve it, I’m even rougher on the ones who think they don’t deserve it. Case in point are the ones that run off to their secret condo hotel because their public screw-ups have become too numerous for them to deal with. And to make them even dumber they try and hide some place that would be really obvious for a spoiled multi-million dollar yutz to hide in. You would think that they would watch TV and see that everyone is being photographed coming out of some shwanky Hotel or their televised, celebritized, and non-privatized home in downtown Beverly Hills. If It were me and I wanted to hide I would go to my mothers. At least there I could get a good meal and laundry service and the protection of the .357 my mom keeps under her bed.


The time is drawing near!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 23rd, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

It really seems like forever since I posted about trying to sell our house. I am pleased to announce that it will not be long at all before I can begin to envision the day when I can hop on the internet and enter a query for “movers New York“! By next month we should be making an appointment with a real estate agency to discuss listing our house. It has taken us a while to get every done to the house to make it “move in ready” but we are finally very close to being done. I just can’t wait until there is a “For Sale” sign in my front yard because then things will really seem real and our dream our getting out of our neighborhood truly possible.


Good to see her healthy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 23rd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Jessica Alba is looking quite pregnant these days. I have to say that this is something good to see. So many celebrities seem to obsess about their bodies during pregnancy to the point you fear for the health of the baby. Jessica is looking not only very pregnant but also very healthy. She is not only stay active and fit but also clearly gaining the right amount of weight to promote a healthy pregnancy. Undoubtedly it will be no time before she is once again back down to her original size after the baby. Men across the globe will once again be fantasizing about her wearing hot lingerie. You wonderful how being a mother will effect that sex symbol status she is associated with?


Something I don’t understand.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 23rd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

We receive a number of different magazine subscriptions. It seems like no matter what the topic is that the magazine focuses on there is always an article about some celebrity or another and the lifestyle they lead. More often than not these article focus on the “healthy lifestyle choices” these people are making. For instance, one celebrity would only eat organic foods from a particular vendor. Another celebrity would only drink water that came from a special source and had to have a certain brand of air cleaners installed wherever she went. What I don’t understand is that both of these celebrities have been photographed numerous times smoking and drinking to excess. I don’t care how healthy your salad is or how pure the water you drink is these things simply don’t cancel out the damage smoking and excessive drinking does to your body.


She needs smacked

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 16th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was recently parousing a website when I came across a link to another site that took me to another site bashing the outrageous needs and demands of some musicians while on tour or doing a show. Several of them stuck out like the one form Sean Combs otherwise known as Diddy. It seems that Mr. Diddy require M&M’s at all of his shows but only the green ones. How would you like to have that job. Or how about Janet Jackson who requires 5 relish trays made only from organic vegetable, no meats, but she also has to have a MacDonald’s milkshake to wash it down with. The topper was Jenifer Lopez. It seems Ms. Lopez requires a bed in her dressing room with all white sheets and blankets and a three inch mattress topper to boot. Must be nice


Ooooops….

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 16th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Okay, so I was wrong and believe me when I say it won’t be the last time. Brittany is not pregnant, but her sister still is and that makes her fair game. I do think that there should be a law only for the celebrities that if they are expecting they should wear one of those funny t-shirts saying that they are so that we can all stop looking like idiots and write things that could potentially be false. It would take away some of the suspense but hey, thats the price you pay for being in the spot lite. From the way it sounds, Brangelina’s would be a XXL as she is supposedly expecting twins. With her popsicle stick body though it might only be a medium.


Excessive just isn’t the word

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 11th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I was watching CNN the other day and saw the end of a story done with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt as they were on there way to Africa again to save the world. I take that sarcastic tone because they were filmed leaving their Limo at the airport with more luggage than any small country would ever need. They go to a country where $1.00 can feed a family for a month but little Angie has got to bring enough of whatever to start her own department store. My wife and I thought it would be funny if all of that luggage got sent to some place further east like …….Russia.


It my day it was Atari

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 11th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

It is amazing how something so geeky and, in comparison to today’s technology, archaic could turn into one of the biggest industries in the computerized world. Video game are a multi billion dollar a year business for manufacturers around the world. Sony, the makers of the playstation 3, have come a long way since the days of Space invaders and Pit Fall to give us incredible graphics and game play for thousands of games. It is not uncommon these days for celebrities and high rollers to have a gaming room built in their homes with all of the latest systems and state of the art technology for gaming parties and entertaining guests. Just for kicks, I got out my old Atari and rigged it to my big screen TV and played Space Invaders for the first time in 20 years, it ain’t the same.


Turning over a new leaf?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 11th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

According to the most recent internet buzz, Naomi Campbell seems to have decided that her days of abusing her assistants and other forms of general help are over. Her most recent stint as a public servant seems to have embarrassed her straight and admittedly caused her to “re-evaluate her interpersonal relationships”, with those who work for her. I find it interesting that a couple days of cleaning bathrooms and picking up garbage could have such a deep profound affect on a person that it would change them so quickly and , in her case, so radically. I give it a couple of months and shes back to trowing office furniture at the maid and we see her back onthe front page of the Sun in no time.


It’s just too easy

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 4th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Recently, Heath Ledger died of what was considered an “accidental” drug overdose as all of the pills that were found had prescriptions accompanying them. Why is it so easy for people to get these things. A friend of mine tried to get her anti anxiety medication filled three days early and got the third degree from the pharmacy nazis. Chris Beniot got a doctor and pharmacy to mail him massive doses of growth hormones and steroids and that didn’t raise any red flags? We seem to be living in an age where it is “chique” to go in and out of addiction treatment for 2-3 days at a time and feel that after a week you are cured of all of your demons ala Lindsay Lohan which, I might add, is back to hitting the clubs after her most recent 2 minute rehab stint and proclamation that, “she ain’t gonna drink no more.”. It is just becoming too easy to let these people off of the hook and enable them to the next “accidental ” overdose.


What did he say??

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 2nd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I love foreign movies, especially those with closed captioning service. I recently rented a movie called Amelie which was a combination of closed captioning in English (the movie was spoken in French) and English narration. The spoken words translated well into english but sometimes this is not the case. I rented one not to long ago that was translated from Loatian to English and I had to struggle with translating the translation. My husband hates them and refuses to watch them with me. He doesn’t know what he is missing and if monster truck and wrestling were done this way he would be on the couch with his eyes glued to the TV.


Rock Bottom!!!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 2nd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

You can always tell when an actor has had to “settle”. It wasn’t too long ago that you saw Jessica Simpson doing commercials for acne treatment and I remember the days of seeing Cher on the Shopping network peddling her make-up and hair products to millions of viewers. The had to settle because at the time Hollywood was not knocking on their door or had not for quite some time. Some only have to settle for a little while like Vanessa Williams who went from those same Acne commercials as Jessica to a role on Ugly Betty. As far as I know Cher is still on the shopping network but now she is simply peddling plastic surgery as she hasn’t seemed to have aged over the last twenty years. Now show me a cream or hair extension that can do that.


Not Again!!!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on March 2nd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I saw something today that all most made me rip my TV off of its lcd mount. There is a possibility that Britney Spears is preggers again. I guess the new phrase for expectant “expectant moms” is that they are on “Bump Watch” by everyday America. Multiple people in her entourage report that she is now sporting a good size “bump” in her stomach area and have seen her picking through baby clothes at local store. Just when you start to feel sorry for this chick you find yourself muttering to your self, “Are you that stupid lady?”. Pro actively, you could look at it that her and her sister could now exchange numbers for baby sitters.


Not your normal beater

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 28th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Met a guy just recently who worked in an automotive shop in Florida who has had the supposed pleasure of working on the cars of several celebrities. He said it was always funny as to the expectations that were put on him by some of them as he detailed their BMW or took the most recent dent out of their Mercedes after their recent DUI/accident. Even those with cars not considered the type of a celebrity were just as demanding. The one that stuck out the most was one of the last jobs he did. A certain “fading” celebrity was looking forChrysler 300 accessories for his 300M and could not understand why Chrysler did not make their leopard seat covers from real leopard skins. I guess he will have to stick with the Walmart brand.


What is average………really?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I saw this video the other day on Youtube by John Lajoie called “Everyday Average Normal Guy” and I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my chair. As he poked fun at all those that feel they have “more” I couldn’t help but think how this could apply to just about every celebrity as it is hard to find one that does not feel this way. It would be almost surreal to hear someone like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie discuss something that an everyday average normal person would talk about like term life insurance or needing a good set of snow tires for their car. I was told that John has put out a sequel that would more appropriately fit my plight but to use that expletive on this blog would probably get me banned.


Stupid is as stupid does

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 24th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

She has done it again, but are you really too surprised? Lindsay Lohan has not only decided to start hitting the clubs but she has further embarrassed herself by posing for nude pics for a magazine. My wife and I discussed which one we think is worse but in the end we both decided that it doesn’t really matter. You really start to wonder about these people like her and Amy Winehouse, are they really that lost in this world? Do they care if they are? Do they have really good life insurance policies for when they take it too far over the line that they can’t come back? Oh well, if they are that lost they can always follow Britney back from what ever abyss she is returning from, although I can’t say that “strength in numbers” would apply in this case.


6 million dollar baby photos!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 20th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Every parent thinks their baby is the cutest one ever but Jennifer Lopez apparently takes the cake in this department. Rumor has it that she and husband Mark Anthony will receive approximately $6 million for the first photographs of their soon to be born twins. That should enable Lopez to finance countless purchases that will be needed over the years at designer clothing and furniture stores. You have to bet that nothing but the best will be good enough for babies whose photos netted this kind of profit. It would be nice to see Lopez and Anthony follow in the path set by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and donate this money to charity but somehow I don’t see that happening. I could be wrong but I just don’t see Jennifer handing this kind of money over for the “common good” of the world.


Pink on the market.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 20th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It is being reported that singer Pink and husband Carey Hart have parted ways. The two year marriage has reportedly come to an end recently. While news articles state that the two remain good friends I seriously doubt we will see any photos of them shopping for Duralee fabrics or home furnishings any time soon. As hard as I am on the crazy world of celebrity love Pink happens to be one celebrity that I respect for staying true to herself. Hopefully, this is a good change for Pink and she channels all of her pain into some wonderful music lyrics we can all enjoy very soon!


Lindsey as Marilyn

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 20th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Lindsey Lohan has apparently posed for photos that simulate the last photo shoot of Marilyn Monroe. Lohan was photographed sans everything from her gold ankletto clothing for the recent of cover New York magazine. Lindsey was essentially nude for the photos with the exception of a blond wig and a piece of sheer fabric covering her person. Lohan stated that it was an honor to be asked to do the photo shoot with the same photographer who took the famous Marilyn Monroe pictures in 1962 at the Bel-Air Hotel. Bert Stern recreated the same photos of Lohan which were feature on February cover of New York magazine. Let’s hope Lindsey does not recreate any other Marilyn Monroe events.


Winehouse in the Dog house

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 14th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Celebrity train wrecks seem to be more popular to watch these days than most people, including myself, want to admit. Take Amy Winehouse for example. Her train has derailed at least 10 times in the last six months as Ms. Winehouse was recently filmed smoking something that looked like crack cocaine and mumbling something about making a directbuy which I can only assume means that she will not be buying her next rock from a third party. The picture they posted of her should make her the poster child of cracked out singers and might replace the one of Pete Doherty they had on page 13 of Sun magazine. She’s got to be quick though because from what I gather Lindsy Lohan just went back to rehab and is vying for that honor also.


Paris is 27…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 14th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

So you probably already read the news that Paris Hilton celebrated her 27th birthday this week. For some reason the lavish birthday parties these celebrities throw makes me sick. When I think about how much money they spend on alcohol, decorations, and other stuff just to glorify themselves it is makes me sad. She claims to be into helping the world but how many people could have been helped if she just donated the money spent on her birthday party to charity. It even would have been nice it the birthday invitations asked guest to donate to a charity of their choice in lieu of attending the party festivities. That type of event would truly be news worth in my humble opinion.


What a Ride!!!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on February 1st, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Living in Tennessee for as long as my husband and I did has created many a good yarn to tell. I remember when our car caught on fire in our drive way and my husband running around like a madman trying to hook the hose up to put it out, Once he realized that he could not he ran into the house to call the fire department. I don’t know how they got there but when we both came outside we found that several people with lawn chairs and a cooler full of beer had come to our front yard to watch the car burn. We were flabbergasted because we did not know who they were but they sat there and watched like they owned the place.. Well, the car burned and was eventually towed away so we had to go out and buy a new car. Once we purchased one we called our insurance company to get an auto insurance quote and, again, were flabbergasted. The agent asked us if we were the ones whose car burned up on the creek and we said yes we were. He then immediately apologized for leaving our front yard with out cleaning up his bottle and asked if we had seen his cooler as it had been missing since that night.


Is it something in the water?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 31st, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Poor Britney Spears has found herself being hauled off to the psychiatric ward yet again. You have to wonder if all this is the result of being introduced to celebrity stardom at such a young age or maybe something environmental. It wouldn’t surprise me if an environmental site assessment revealed there were toxins in the water in Hollywood causing her to act so crazy. When you think about all the insanity that seems prevalent in the Hollywood community it is completely plausible to think there is something environmental at the root of it all. Madonna drinks only special bottled water that costs $5.00 a bottle and spends a reported $10,000 per month on said water. Maybe, Madonna knows something that the rest of Hollywood doesn’t?


Her second career

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 30th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My mother in law is going down to part time at her current job so that she can get a head start on getting her real estate license. She has not been happy at her job for quite some time so after eight years of book keeping she has decided to do something she has always thought she would enjoy and be good at. My husband makes fun of her, as she is close to retirement age really doesn’t have to work, by telling her that she needs to tone up those legs and go buy some short skirts if she is going to be able to compete with the younger saleswomen of the local real estate companies. This has landed him many a nasty look and the occasional shoe tossed at his head but has not deterred her from pressing on. I wonder if she would sell our house…..minus the commission of course.


It’s nice to dream

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

As we are trying to sell our home we are struggling with the decision of buying an existing house or building new by my mothers. We decided to take a proactive step for building by going out to look at some of the pre-fabricated houses available. My husband and I went to a local lot and were amazed as to what was available and what amenities were included. These were not your stereo typical “double wide trailers” as some of them included beautiful hard wood floors, whirlpool bathtubs, large modern kitchens with Grohe faucets, and large open living rooms. I was sold on the first three that we looked at until I saw the price which made me wonder how any of them sold as they were much more than we could afford. Oh well, one can dream.


Got the travel blues

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I love to travel, but the joys of motherhood and family time have put a crimp in that over the last ten years. My husband and I were without kids for the first ten years of our marriage so just picking up and going was not that big of a deal. We lived one state away from North Carolina so we would frequently get one of those Hilton Head rentals for a weekend and spend most of our time at the beach lounging. Nowadays we are lucky if we can go 50 miles away to the nearby water park without our youngest having a conniption as he is now 17 months and very crabby. Oh well, someday we will all be able to travel to more exciting towns and cities and expose our oldest boy to more than just to local zoo or museum and he along with his brother can appreciate the joys of new places and sites.


Tote that Barge…Lift that Bail

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 22nd, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

My opinion on the usefulness of celebrities in todays world has changed in the last couple of years and not for the better I might add. Watching the meltdowns of people such as Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Paris Hilton has put a different light on those celebrities that slide under the radar of a society that would like nothing more than to see them crash and burn. The Naomi Campbells of the world who have this warped sense of entitlement that others should clean their house, cook their meals, carry their luggage sets and beat up the occasional intern are no longer able to slide by the watchful eye of the media as their behavior continues to make news around the world. Should her and others celebrities like her finally realize that it is those same people who put their faces on the papers, news, and internet are the same people who essentially pay her bills you would think they would act a little closer to their age.


Facebook Billionaire

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 17th, 2008 filed in Business
Comment now »

I don’t know if you caught the same 60 minutes interview that I did but it featured an interview with the young man behind Facebook. It really was an interesting interview that talked about the beginnings of this hugely popular website and the projected growth in the future. Currently, the young man who owns Facebook is estimated to be worth 3 billion dollars. Microsoft apparently purchased 1% of the company for $242 million dollars cash. Can you imagine being 23 years old and having that much cash? You would seriously never have to worry about shopping for a href=”http://www.digitalhoop.com/”>used cisco or anything second hand ever again. It should be quite interesting to see what comes of this young man and Facebook in the coming years. Considering how grounded he sounds this kid should be fine no matter what comes his way.


What haven’t we seen?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 17th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It occurred to me today, while scanning my favorite celebrity blog, that there isn’t a part of Britney Spears body we haven’t seen. She was photographed this week again wearing an outfit that looked like it had been smashed by a can crusher. The skirt was so short and wrinkled that her rear end was fully visible in several photographs. These pictures showed Britney’s full behind wearing only tattered fishnet stockings beneath this so called skirt. I think the judge has definitely made the best choice possible to protect her young children from this obviously mentally ill mother they are sadly the offspring of. Hopefully, by the time they hit school age their crazy mom will not be publicly embarrassing herself this way anymore.


Blogging in style!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 14th, 2008 filed in Business
Comment now »

By the end of the week this blogger will be getting some serious upgrades in the technology department. My current desktop computer is about 6 years old with a monitor that takes up half my desk. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my new Dell Vostra desktop with 20 inch flat panel monitor. The next item on my list of upgrades is to look into a new task chair and maybe a modern desk built specifically for computers. It would be nice to have everything ergonomically aligned instead of the mismatches setup I currently write from. It should be fun to see what more memory and a faster processor do for my online experience!


Too Much

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 10th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My mother in law just got a brand new HD TV from my father in law. She never said that she wanted it but he got it for her anyway which is typical of him. Since it is HD TV he felt that she needed to have all of the bells and whistles that he thinks should go with it and have them all connected with HDMI splitters. Her entertainment center is a maze of wires and chords that almost looks like it could be a fire hazard. Luckily my father in law only comes around once every couple of months so between visits my mother in law finds various uses for the mess, like using the TV itself as a drying rack for her sweaters. Hey, when life hands you lemons just remember that you still have to do damage before they can be lemonade.


She needs a baby sitter.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 10th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It seems like someone really needs to intervene and stop Britney Spears from destroying her life. If the girl has the mental problems that the press is stating she does then why hasn’t someone stepped up to the plate and saved her from herself. As off balance as she seems to be lately it seems like court should appoint her someone to handle her affairs for a while. All you see if one PR disaster after another when she is out and about shopping for diamond pendants with no underwear on or driving around around town on her tire rims. The girl really shouldn’t be behind the wheel with or without her children until her situation is truly stable. If this were anyone else in the midst of a mental crisis I doubt they would have been able to keep on keeping on the way she has without some agency applying the brakes so to speak.


Brittany Boo Boo

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 6th, 2008 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Over the last couple of years, I don’t think there is a soul in all of America that has not seen a piece of or read about Brittany Spears’s on-going train wreck of a life. Recently it was on the news that she had locked herself in her house with her kids over the on-going custody dispute between her and Kevin Federline. Several questions were raised such as does she need to go back to drug rehab, does she need mental health treatment, does she need to be on medication, and are her kids safe with her. The outcome came without much shock as she is going to be held for 72 hours for a psychological evaluation and she has lost all visitation rights with her kids. The airing also made note of a possible bi-polar diagnoses and that she had not been taking her medication correctly which could explain her most recent meltdown. This now raises the question will a mental health diagnoses bring her more grief or some sympathy from the press? I guess we will have to watch to see where this train ride ends.


Start the New Year off right!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 4th, 2008 filed in family
Comment now »

The coming of a new year means for most of us setting a few resolutions. The problem is that so often we set unrealistic resolutions such as loosing huge amounts of weight rapidly or working out more than we have time for. Why not set a selfish resolution this year and resolve to make the world a little bit better? This might sound unrealistic but in reality it is quite simple. One really easy way to do this is to donate to charity. You might think that donating really isn’t in your budget but consider that old car sitting in your driveway. Maybe you are planning to trade it in when you receive your tax return this year. Instead of trading it in consider car donation to charities like Car Angel. Car Angel takes donated cars, boats, houses, and RVs are uses the proceeds from these donations to fund ministries that provide video and educational projects to people from all walks of life. This organization has provided teens, single mothers, prisoners, and those with drug or alcohol problems with over 24 million educational videos financed by donated items to Car Angel. Check out the types of videos produced by Car Angel ministries at http://youtube.com/user/boatangel. Your donation is tax deductible and the process of donating is much easier than haggling with your local car dealership. Why not start off 2008 with an act of kindness and donate to a worthy charity like Car Angel. You will undoubtedly feel as good as if you had spent those two hours in the gym you promised yourself you would!


Britney on 72 hour hold.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on January 4th, 2008 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Britney Spears continued her seemingly endless downward spiral last night in what is reported to be a standoff at her Beverly Hills mansion. Spears reportedly refused anyone entry into her home and would not hand her children over to representatives of Kevin Federline at the end of her court ordered visitation period. The episode finally culminated around 12 pm with Spears being transported by ambulance to Sedar Sanai hospital with a full police escort. Various news sources state she was confused and disoriented. It is further stated that she was under the control of an unknown “substance”. From the looks of photographs of Spears at the time of transport she clearly needs more help than the cushy rehab resort she last called home offered. All the colon cleanse treatments and holistic healing in the world can not begin to fix this troubled young woman. The pop princess is being held under California law for 72 hours for medical and psychiatric evaluation. There is also speculation that one of Spear’s young son’s may have been injured in the ruckus as he was also transported to the hospital for evaluation.


Calling it quits!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 28th, 2007 filed in family
Comment now »

My wife and I came to the realization this week that the time has come to start researching New York movers. We simply can no longer sit back and watch the neighborhood we live in decline as it has been. When spring time rolls around we will put our home up for sale. My mother has offered to let us live with her if our home sells quickly. It is just sad to think that we put so much work into our home and saved for so long to buy it only to be driven away by creepy neighbors. It will be nice to look for a house we truly love and not feel pressured to make a quick decision. I just hope that someone out there falls in love with our house and it doesn’t sit on the market too long.


Box O’Junk

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 28th, 2007 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

My husband and I have had it up to here with our neighbors and think it is about time we moved. We have recently started to go through each room and start “chucking” stuff that we no longer need. Well, I came to a box that was labeled “KEEP” and in my husbands handwriting so I opened it. Inside were dozens of old trophies that he had won when he was a kid which I was sure would now have no meaning to him no that he was an adult. After putting them in the “chucking pile” we decided to call it a day. After a shower I went to my closet to get some pajamas and what do I see but my husbands trophies in a box that was now labled, “We will be keeping these”, in very dark marker. Next time I will put them where he can’t find them.


The little mommy.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I just read that Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant. Hmmm, I can’t honestly say I think that this is a huge surprise considering who her major influences have been. I wonder what proper protocol is for this occasion? I mean given that she is a wealthy celebrity do the same social taboos still hold true about teenage pregnancy? I wonder what kind of gifts you get a 16 year old mommy to be? Surely she will need a crib more than another one of those raymond weil watches. A lifetime supply of diapers is probably a good gift as well. If she is anything like her sister she won’t be done having babies any time soon.


Tweeks for the Geeks

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 20th, 2007 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

I work from home with my computer so if my hard drive goes bad I am in a panic. My brother and my father-in-law are computer geeks so you would think I would have it covered but they seem to make mountains out mole hills each time I ask for help. My brother is not married and my father-in-law is divorced so I have the perfect suggestion. They should move in together and fulfill their dream of each of them having someone they can talk to about work and actually understand what the other is saying and show actual excitement about it. Oh, and after having an hour long, one sided conversation with my father in law about the history of mother boards, I now understand why he is divorced.


Striking writers.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 14th, 2007 filed in family
Comment now »

I think we are finally starting to see the effects of the Hollywood writer’s strike in our house. My wife watches most of her television shows on her laptop while she does other things around the house. Usually she watches Private Practice or Ugly Betty but just yesterday I found her watching a streaming video advertising bodybuilding supplements. If you knew my wife you would know that she has to be seriously desperate for entertainment to be watching commercials. The whole reason she watches television shows online is to avoid the commercials on regular television. I will know she has hit rock bottom when I catch her watching YouTube!


East Coast Stars?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 12th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It occurred to me today that you never hear anything about celebrities living on the East Coast of the USA. I don’t mean places like New York City but other areas of the east coast. Why do you think it is that they all choose to have second or third homes in places like Vail or Miami? Certainly there has to be some Savannah, Georgia or Wilmington NC real estate that is worthy of the Rosie O’Donnell’s and Oprah Winfrey’s of the world. You would think they living the crazy life of a celebrity would make you want to live a simple life whenever possible when you are getting away from it all.


Wine makes a great gift!

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 11th, 2007 filed in family
Comment now »

Recently I was given the wonderful opportunity to be able to try the Gold Medal wine of the month. When the package containing the wine arrived I was extremely impressed with the beautiful packaging for both bottles. The selection I received contained a bottle each of red and white wine. I have to admit to being a little concerned about what shape my wine would arrive in considering how roughly packages are sometimes handles in transit but these bottles couldn’t have been more secure. Upon opening the gift box I found the bottle were further wrapped for gift giving and decorated with colorful bows. In addition to the wine there was a personalized gift card and very interesting newsletter. All of the touches combined make a really impressive presentation for the recipient.

Because I would not be drinking the wine immediately I sat down to review the newsletter and accompanying literature. As wine making is a hobby of mine I always love to learn anything special that I can about different wineries and their unique wine making process. The newsletter really helped to get a feel for each of the special wines contained in my gift set and the other wines available.

These wines were a wonderful addition to our holiday gatherings over the last few weeks. The first wine we tasted was the Bradford Mountain Grist Vineyard 2004 Zinfandel. Zinfandel wines are typically a favorite in my family and this wine did not fail to deliver. This rich wine is aged in oak for 12 months and offers hints of berries, spice, and other tones such as liquorice. With only only 1,800 cases produced careful attention is given to this award winning wine.

The next wine in our selection was Belvedere Russian River Valley 2005 Chardonnay. This is another award winning wine and is also aged in oak. 5,000 cases of this wine were produced and it features hints of McIntosh apple, Bartlett pair, and lemon and smells wonderful. I found it to feel light with a nice feel with little after taste. Of the two wines this was my favorite. It may well have been that it simply better complimented our menu. Both bottles were well received by all of our guests.

Sending a wine of the month selection is a very affordable way to treat the wine lovers on your shopping list at just $32.00 per selection. This is an amazing value considering the retail cost for a single bottle of each of these wines is around $35.00! You can choose to send a one time gift or select from 3,6, or 12 month packages at discounted rates. The Gold Medal Wine Club is a wonderful way to treat yourself or those important people in your life.


What is the deal with hotels?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on December 7th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Lately it seems like every picture or post I read about Britney Spears she is either headed to coming back from staying in a hotel. This makes me wonder whether the homes she purchases are truly “homes” or more along the lines of what you do when you make a rental property investment. Why would you spend millions of dollars on a plush new home only to go a few miles down the road to stay in a local hotel so frequently? Maybe she is reliving that feeling of being on tour or something weird like that. Everyone likes to get away from time to time but when you make it a weekly habit you have to wonder what is she trying to do or hide that she can’t be do in her own home?


It is business.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 30th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

It would be nice to see some of these celebrities really start to view what they do as a business. If Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and other notorious screw ups spent just a bit of time conducting market research on how their behavior impacts their careers they might be able to see why their albums flop or their movies tank. Seriously, if Britney could see that the majority of people in the United State think she looks like a hooker the majority of the time she might actually hire a stylist. Maybe if Lindsey knew most people think her family is part of what brings her down she might find healthy ways to distance herself from them. Public opinion about the lifestyle and choices that celebrities make impact how and where dollars are spent. You better believe I am not going to take my children to a movie filled with celebrities who are constantly cited for drug abuse and criminal offenses no matter how great the storyline is!


Pregnant and in the buff.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 30th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Christina Aguilera graces the cover of Marie Claire this coming month pregnant and in the buff. What boggles my mind is why these celebrities think we want to see them nude and with child. The photo is strikingly similar to others we have seen of pregnant starlets. I am just not clear what message we are supposed to get from these pictures. I suppose this will somehow be used to launch a line of baby clothes or maternity wear designed by Aguilera. So many celebrities seem to use parenthood to launch businesses. Did we really need Madonna’s line of children’s books or Kathy Ireland’s horrible maternity wear? No, we did not. Just wait until her baby is born and I bet we see some sort of belly butter or baby item endorsed by Christina.


What a train wreck.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 28th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

Amy Winehouse canceled her upcoming tour. If you had a chance to see any recent photographs of her then you know that this was a good decision on her part. The picture I saw of her was absolutely disgusting. She was filthy and looked more like she should have been cleaning out tool storage rather than singing for thousands of people. Her hands and shirt were smeared with dirt and her hair more disheveled than normal. She claims to be distraught over her husband being in jail but I suspect she has bigger problems than that right now.


Shared holiday custody.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 27th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

I doubt we will be seeing any photographs of Britney Spears out partying at the Stratosphere Las Vegas over the holidays. Word is that the courts will be awarding her shared custody with Kevin Federline this Christmas. X17 is reporting that this was Kevin’s idea and that the courts will be supporting this move. Hopefully, Britney follows the rules set forth and we don’t hear about her getting behind the wheel with the children. Apparently, she ran yet another red light recently! The court needs to order her to hired herself a driver whether the children are present or not. You would think there is enough video footage of her bad driving to prove she is a risk to society whenever she is at the wheel.


Have you seen Tara Reid?

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

While browsing through the recent posts on X17 I couldn’t help but notice a recent photograph of Tara Reid. I don’t know if it was the angle of the exterior lighting or what but she looked absolutely horrible. The poor thing looked virtually anorexic and appears to have possibly had yet a bit more plastic surgery. She no longer looks anything like the pretty starlet of a few years ago. In fact she appears to be well on the path to destruction that going under the knife has caused so many others among the ranks of Hollywood.


A few of my favorite things…

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 24th, 2007 filed in family
Comment now »

My wife always waits expectantly to hear each year what is on Oprah’s list of her “favorite things” each holiday season. I wish she were as interested in what was on my list each year. I am a man of simple tastes. At the top of my list this year is Super Bowl tickets. This isn’t to much to ask is it? I would even settle for a weekend get away with the guys to watch the game on television somewhere. The other thing on my list this year is a family membership to one of our local golf clubs. The reality is my only hope of getting either of these would be if I never asked for another present for the next couple of years. Given that we need a new stove and some other home repairs I don’t think I will be seeing the Super Bowl first hand in the very near future.


Every dollar counts.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 19th, 2007 filed in Business
Comment now »

Until you have the rock star or celebrity wealth for the majority of us every dollar usually counts. In our house most of the incoming money has a designated purpose well before it enters either of our checking accounts. For this very reason I tend to watch very closely any unnecessary costs we might be incurring each month. Until I did a bit of research I just assumed that monthly fees and ATM charges were something that every bank charged but this couldn’t be further from the truth. WaMu has a selection of checking options but the one that I am a particular fan of is the WaMu Free Checking account. With the account you never have to pay a monthly service charge or extra fees at the ATM. There are also many great free services included with the WaMu Free Checking account that other banks expect you to pay for. If you are like me and watching where your money goes I encourage you to check out the banking options at WaMu.


Britney and feet.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 15th, 2007 filed in Spackle
Comment now »

Britney Spears seems to have a problem running over people’s feet when she drive. Not to long ago she was taped driving over a police officer’s foot while leaving court. This week it was the foot of a photographer that fell victim to Britney’s driving. I am sure the entire situation will be smoothed over quietly. Soon that same photographer will be sporting something like a new car or possible a Hamilton watch and a big smile on his face. That is how Hollywood life works. It is unfortunate for the rest of us that this is the way of the world. Too bad we couldn’t put them in each other’s path on one of those big nights out on the town.


OJ to stand trial.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 15th, 2007 filed in celebrity
Comment now »

OJ Simpson won’t be donning his golf shoes anytime soon. The infamous celebrity will now stand trial for 12 criminal charges that include robber, kidnapping, and conspiracy. With as much as 60 years in jail as a possible sentence I wouldn’t be surprised if there is another white Bronco episode in his future. I would be willing to bet that he really wishes he had thought things through a little better before setting foot in that Las Vegas hotel room. Then again in my opinion OJ Simpson isn’t really one to really think things through before he does them.


84 minutes in the clink.

Posted by Candidly yours~ on November 15th, 2007 filed in celebrity