Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What will they think of next?

Environmentalists launch attack on bottled water:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute says bottled water is fast becoming the new "sin" industry.

Several American cities have passed or are considering bans on bottled water. Lawmakers locally and nationally are also considering levying heavy taxes on bottled water. But the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is fighting back by launching a petition campaign and a YouTube video that asks the question "What's stupid about bottled water?"

CEI's director of risk and environmental policy Angela Logomasini explains why bottled water is getting such negative press. "They say it makes too much landfill space, has too big of a carbon footprint and things of that nature," she contends. "They also say it's the same as tap water, which we argue and I've shown in a research study that I did that it's simply not the case."

Logomasini adds that bottled water has become the new "sin" industry and she sites efforts to impose a so-called sin tax on bottled water, such as the one in Chicago.

Angela Logomasini (CEI)"They tax it a nickel per bottle. So if you buy a case, it's a 30-percent tax on the entire case because each bottle in the case is taxed," she notes. "Toronto has banned it in government buildings. Salt Lake City banned it in government buildings, or at least banned government purchases, including for firefighters."

According to Logomasini, Chicago had a budget shortfall, so they saw bottled water as an "easy whipping boy" and imposed the tax. She contends that bottled water regulations are the latest effort in the ultimate "nanny-state" government and wonders what industry will be targeted next.

More information on the benefits of bottled water and a petition to stop government intrusion on the industry can be found at

Note from Lucy: I know that it is better to drink water from a glass bottle, but I do drink a lot of my water from plastic bottles.. I know that it takes up space in the trash dumps, but I recycle my plastic... The gallon bottles are cut down with a special pair of scissors and the smaller bottles are crushed and put into the recycle bin. Since I have been recycling, we have cut down on the amount of trash that goes out into the garbage.

Here's the question: Do you think they should tax us for drinking bottled water?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tidbits from Make a Note/ Won Tons/Car Accident

Recently we woke up one morning to a completely shattered glass oven door, and we hadn't used it in 3 days. When the repairman came out to replace it, he provided a lot of helpful info that could keep your repairman away. First, apparently a glass oven shattering is something that is a common occurrence across all brands. Sometimes it is a flaw in the glass that breaks after repeated heating & cooling. He said that the number one cause was probably people trying to clean it with damp sponges or sprays when it was still hot. In other words, do NOT clean oven glass until it has completely cooled. The cost to replace the glass was about a third of the cost of a new oven. But he said if we ever broke the flat top stove, that it would be cheaper to get a new stove, than replace the flat top panel. He said the number one cause of flat top breaks is something falling from the cabinet over the flat top. So maybe the microwaves on top aren't such a great idea. But if you have any heavy items above your stove...glasses, dishes, pots/pans, china, and most of us do...MOVE THEM. When you move them, place a pillow on top of the flat top, so if you drop anything, it won't break it. Number 2 cause of flat tops breaking, apparently the handymen in our lives trying to climb to reach something & either stepping or kneeling on the flat top. So prevent the break, and you'll save yourself money later.

These are new passports, that are ID card sized, convenient and less expensive than the passport book. But they can only be used to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. They cannot be used for international air travel. Read more about them here...
POST IT...with your current passport, or with your Travel Agent's number.

For a long time our veterans, and active duty for that matter, were told they should not salute in civvies (civilian clothes). But an amendment was recently passed changing that. So let all those proud veterans and active duty service personnel, that we appreciate so much, know that when a flag goes by or the anthem rings out, to feel free to do a military salute. POST IT...with your hats.

Annabelle (5 yr old, white female, 3'4", 35 lbs, brown hair/eyes) was last seen on February 16, 2009 in Conroe, TX, USA. Annabelle may be in the company of an adult female and an adult male. They are believed to be traveling to New York in a white pick-up truck. Annabelle was last seen wearing a Hannah Montana shirt, a pink jacket, blue jeans, and pink boots. For photos and more information click here..

I had been teaching my three-year old daughter, Caitlin, the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat after me the lines from the prayer. Finally, she decided to go solo. I listened with pride as she carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer:"Lead us not into temptation," she prayed, "but deliver us some E-mail. Amen."
• -Unknown(Editor's Note: If your email inbox is anything like mine, I might be praying "deliver us FROM email".)

Won Tons

1 lb ground beef
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon Accent seasoning (optional)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 packages wonton wrappers (skins)

1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white vinegar
4 tablespoons ketchup
1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple in juice

Mix together ground beef egg, accent, green onions, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Place 1 teaspoon ground beef mixture on each won ton wrap, Wet edges of wrap with water. Fold in half to form triangle. Wet one corner on long side of triangle, bring both points on long side together. Repeat for all remaining wraps. Deep fry 8-10 won tons at a time at 350 degrees Fahrenheit approximately 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain in paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Serve with sauce. For sauce: mix all ingredients together in saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until thickened (about 2 minutes).
Recipe by: Shaun Zimmerman on the Real Food for Real People website


If you don't listen to anything else today, listen to this one. This
will definitely make you laugh! Turn up your sound and click on the
website below. The accident occurred in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area.
This is a phone call from a man who witnesses the accident in volving
four elderly women. &nb sp;It was so popular when they played it on
CHUM- FM, and they put it on their website. The guy's laugh is
contagious. Just close your eyes and picture what he sees.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What would first graders say......

1s grade school teacher had twenty-six students in her class. She presented each child in her classroom the 1st half of a well-known proverb and asked them to come up with the remainder of the proverb. It's hard to believe these were actually done by first graders. Their insight may surprise you. While reading, keep in mind that these are first-graders, 6-year-olds, because the last one is a classic!

1.Don't change horses... until they stop running.

2. Strike while the... bug is close.

3. It's always darkest before... Daylight Saving Time.

4.Never underestimate the power of... termites.

5. You can lead a horse to water but... How?

6. Don't bite the hand tha... looks dirty.

7. No news is... impossible

8. A miss is as good as a... Mr.

9. You can't teach an old dog new... Math

10. If you lie down with dogs, you'll stink in the morning.

11. Love all, trust... Me.

12. The pen is mightier than the... pigs.

13.An idle mind is... the best way to relax.

14. Where there's smoke there's... pollution.

15. Happy the bride who... gets all the presents.

16. A penny saved is... not much.

17. Two's company, three's... the Musketeers.

18. Don't put off till tomorrow what... you put on to go to bed.

19. Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and... You have to blow your nose.

20. There are none so blind as... Stevie Wonder.

21. Children should be seen and no... spanked or grounded.

22. If at first you don't succeed... get new batteries.

23. You get out of something only what you... See in the picture on the box

24. When the blind lead the blind... get out of the way.

25. A bird in the hand... is going to poop on you.

And the WINNER and last one!
26. Better late than... Pregnant

Here's the best thing I've read about the Economic Stimulus Plan:

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One
> is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota.
> All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota
> contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some
> figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about
> $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."
> The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, "
> I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100
> profit for me."
> The Chicago contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over to the
> White House official and whispers, "$2,700."
> The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like the other
> guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"
> The Chicago contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we
> hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."
> "Done!" replies the government official.
> And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More ideas from Dollar Stretcher

Technology Meets the Envelope System

When setting a budget, some people don't like to carry their spending cash around with them, but that's the easiest way to keep track of what you spend and what you have left. My suggestion is to get reloadable gift cards. At the beginning of the month, put your spending money on the card. Put the money you have budgeted for fun, for take out, for morning coffees, etc. Pay for all these extras with the gift card, and when used up, it's gone until the next time you are scheduled to reload it. Remember to get a gift card that has no fees!

Using the gift card for all the non-essential purchases is a convenient way to realize what you spend money on and where you go overboard. In fact, you could have a separate gift card for each account in your budget. That way, you couldn't overspend any of them.
DeAnna D.


I use a lint roller to clean my lampshades. It's very sticky, so it works great! And it's very easy! Aubrey E. in Hays, KS

Sweet Smelling Slippers

My husband's slippers always smell like, well, feet! So we put a used dryer sheet in each slipper and now they don't smell anymore! Wendy D. in Boston, MA

Soak the Dirt Away

If you have a load of laundry that doesn't fade, after the washer has filled and agitated to get the soap mixed in, turn the machine off and let the clothes soak for a short time. The dirt flows out and the clothes will last longer as well as the machine parts because of less agitation. Then just turn the machine back on and over to the rinse cycle to complete the wash. Renee P. in Smithville, TN

Video: New Credit Card Rules from the Fed
Some consumer "unfriendly" credit card practices may soon be changed by the Federal Reserve.

Cash Crunch?
6 ways to get liquid in a hurry If your expenses are rising,
your income is falling, and your credit is cut, here's how to
improve the cash flow.

Qualifying for Unemployment
In a recession, more jobless people claim unemployment, but
whether you get it can depend on state rules.

Haggling With Your Credit Card Company
How to get your interest rate lowered.

"Good cheer is a state of mind or mood that promotes happiness or joy... With God’s help, good cheer permits us to rise above the depressing present or difficult circumstances. It is a process of positive reassurance and reinforcement. It is sunshine when clouds block the light."

--Marvin J. Ashton, "Be of Good Cheer", Ensign, May 1986, 66

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, February 06, 2009

I think Big Dave is on to something….

I don’t know how many of you read “Big Daves” blog but he enjoys picking up money on the street and in parking lots.…Well, I read a story this morning about a family in New York City that has been collecting found money for three years now and has collect around $ 1,100.00. They go out as a family, take walks and collect pennies and whatever else they can find. When they get home they put it in a big jar and save their new found treasures.

Years ago, when our family was on vacation in Colorado, we were in the town of Silverton walking around. We had taken the train from Durango to Silverton, as our days adventure, and were out seeing the sights… Next thing you know, my son William, was shouting that he had found some money….He happened to look down and found four, one dollar bills…There they were, lying on the ground. He instantly picked them up and proudly showed them to his mom and dad… Well the girls weren’t going to be outdone and they spent the rest of the trip watching the ground…lol. We asked William, what he wanted to do with his new found fortune and he said, “Ice Cream”. I laughed and we all started looking for a place where we could buy some ice cream…. William was happy to part with his found treasure and he treated us all to ice cream, with a little help from his dad.

It is funny how money can burn a hole in a young persons pocket…I wonder how many of us burn holes in our pockets with our hard earned cash…. Are we paying our bills and saving for a rainy day? Do we go out and buy all of the new fangled items on the market? Do you have a spending personality or do you have a saving personality? I have to admit that I have a saving personality and if I spend it, it had better be on sale or marked down……. I am sad to say that William, at the ripe old age of 27 in nine days, still spends his money as fast as he gets it. He is always out of money and has a hard time paying his bills. I know that we did everything in our power to teach him how to use his money but somehow it didn’t take.

Think about you spending habits in this economy and adjust where necessary…

BTW: It has been a really busy week for me, my Uncle died and my sister had surgery…. The funeral went well and I was able to see family that I haven’t seen in a while. Pat’s surgery went very well and she is on the road to recovery…Enough said.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, February 02, 2009

7 Ways to Trash Your Credit Score

Making some of the following mistakes can ensure that lenders will need a hazmat suit to handle your credit report. By Sheyna Steiner �

Remember the good old days, way back in 2006, when the streets were paved with credit-gold as far as the eye could see and credit cards rained from the sky? Even the credit-destitute were treated like kings by the credit card companies and courted with lavish offers of unlimited credit.
Here in the future, the world has changed. Banks claim they want to lend money, but really they'd prefer to buy other banks with government money.
Credit issuers aren't sure they want to lend money to people who need to borrow it, a situation somewhat analogous to the Groucho Marx axiom, "I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member."
And woe betide those who ask for loans with glaring blemishes on their credit reports. An unpaid collection is apt to be regarded like a cockroach in the consomm�.
These days, wrecking your ability to get credit is about as easy as blowing over a house of credit cards.

7 ways to be credit-stupid:

1. Close credit card accounts

2. Let credit cards collect dust

3. Run up high balances

4. Apply for new credit repeatedly

5. Don't pay fines or noncredit-card bills

6. Ignore mistakes on your report

7. Make late payments or skip them

Note from Lucy: Now days our credit report is more important than ever when applying for a loan.... I know that it can also determine how high your interest rate will be if you do get accepted for a loan..... A so so credit report will not get you a bottom line interest rate.

Another thought: I have Diane and Jessica on my prayer list, and anyone else who are dealing with the aftermath of those terrible ice storms in Arkansas and Kentucky. As beautiful as they are, they are dangerous. Power lines are down, streets are slick, many people are without power, as well as heat. Let's hope for a quick recovery in that area of the country...

Have a great week everyone!