Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Following the herd….

It’s not quite the midnight hour, hubby and I just got back from the movies, we saw Four Christmases, it wasn’t so great, either. I’m just not having any luck at all with movies this Christmas season.

But that’s not what this post is about.  However, something happened at the movies tonight that made me think once again of something John said to me a few months ago.  In fact, I think I blogged about it before, but it’s worth a repeat.

During the hustle and bustle of being out and about this holiday season, his words have followed me everywhere I went and saved me a lot of time.  What he told me that made such a difference was, “Don’t follow the herd.”  He said this to me one day when we were out and about, while he went some alternate route through a back alley instead of waiting in a long line of traffic, and I’ve thought of it often since.

He said that the majority of people are like sheep, they blindly follow where others lead, and that we should never follow the herd, but strike out on our own.  I’ve thought of that time and time again, when instead of waiting in a long line of traffic, I’ve purposely gone a different route. I’ve gone the opposite way of where I was heading and doubled back, I’ve gone thru the back exits at shopping centers, I use service roads instead of going with the flow of the traffic, I’ve tried to be creative in check out lanes in stores by going to some out of the way area and checking out quickly, instead of just standing in line with the herd at the main registers.

You may say, “duh, I know this.”  “What is she blogging about this, for?”  But do you really, do you conscientiously look for alternative routes instead of waiting patiently with everybody else? If you don’t, think about it, going a different direction is truly liberating.

I put this into practice tonight at the movies.  Hubby parked the car, I was waiting in line to get tickets, the only line that was open, I might add, and it was extremely long.

Instead of just standing there waiting with the flock, I went to the registers that were closed, thinking that they would open up because the line was so long.  Sure enough, after just a minute here came a guy and opened the register, and we were able to walk right in, while the herd stood there, waiting….

Silly post, perhaps, and maybe the rest of you are “mavericks” who strike out on their own, but I think perhaps not, maybe you can learn from this, too – think about it the next time you are in line for anything – try something different instead of just blindly following the herd, it really works.  Smart son, I’ve got….


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As the year ends, my gratitude journal…

I’m grateful for -

  • Hubby’s continued good health
  • The smile on John’s face and the twinkle in his eye
  • Ryan and Lindsay living so close and being able to visit so often, I still pinch myself sometimes…
  • Maggie’s recovery from liver shunt and sweet Mollie in our lives
  • Good friends that mean more to me with each passing year
  • The country life, it soothes my soul every single day
  • Online friends, I have some really special ones; without the internet I would have never known they existed
  • A bit more wisdom, it really does come with age
  • And finally, I’m grateful for the ability to get up every day and be self sufficient, it’s a wonderful thing that I try not to take for granted….

I don’t handle stress well anymore…

I’ve been having internet problems for a month now, I lose signal for a bit, then it comes back on.  I’ve talked to my ISP, nothing has been resolved.  Yesterday I was down from early afternoon until late last night.  So I called them again this morning, and they sent out a little man.

Of course it was working when he got here, so he tightened some cables, messed with my modem  with his gauges for a bit, pronounced it in great working order and left.

Well, I know it isn’t fixed, I’m just sitting here waiting for it to go down again, stressed to the max.  I called Hooterville, she gave me some ideas, I swear that woman knows more than any of the technicians they have on their payroll.

Just wish I could roll with it like I used to, but I can’t do it anymore.  So I’m in a mood, because I’m frustrated.  Yeah, I know, in the overall scheme of things, I don’t really have anything to bitch about, but you all know how addicted I am to my computer(s).  I’m thinking I need a major attitude adjustment!  A burger and fries would help….  And a warm oatmeal or cookie or two might just help with the happy hormone.  But of course, I’m eating healthy, so that’s out the window.  Poor pitiful me….

Monday, December 29, 2008

Why is it???

IMG_7167I was talking to Maggie and Mollies breeders this morning, Anna and Stef, as we’re redoing some of their webpages, and Anna was telling me about Jack, a Yorkie she has now, and how he is the most special dog she’s ever had.   She’s been breeding dogs for over twenty years,  why is it that this particular dog means so much to her?

I understand what she means, because for me, Maggie is my one dog in birthdaybike4-15-08_cra lifetime.  Some of  my friends get upset with me when I acknowledge this, but it’s true.  There is just something about Maggie that is so special to me.  It’s not that I don’t or haven’t loved my other dogs, dearly. I’m absolutely crazy about Mollie, she is the sweetest little soul, but there is just something about Maggie that tugs at my heartstrings like no other dog ever has...  Just had to share that this afternoon

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A lazy Sunday night….


Don’t go see this movie….

Christmas Day we went to the movies.  There wasn’t a lot to chose from and against our better judgment, we went to see Marley and Me. 

The movie was a stinker from the get-go.  And then the dog dies!  It was just an awful movie, not well written at all, Owen Wilson was horrid, Jennifer Aniston was the only bright spot.  The dog was meaner than a snake. he was just an awful dog, and then he dies.

Well, we made it to the death scene, got up and walked out. John is dealing with an old dog, not in good health, we just didn’t need to watch the ending.

Save your money, if you’ve ever loved a dog, this movie is not for you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Exciting news from Heavensville…



The breeders that I got Maggie and Mollie from, Anna Stringer and Stephanie Barnes, recently sold a Yorkie pup to Miley Cyrus, and four other pups to Hannah Montana cast members.

I built their website for them,, and Miley Cyrus’s official site is going to be linking to my pages soon.

Anna and Stef  have wonderful dogs.  I’m so happy for them to be getting this great publicity!  Imagine that, my girls are related to a celebrity pooch!  Of course, mine are cuter. *grin*

~ jan

Friday, December 26, 2008



This is John’s dog, Oreo.  ‘O’ is  fourteen now, and not in good health, but she’s still a feisty girl, and the sweetest little soul ever.

I’m dogsitting this week for him and enjoying my time with her.  The three dogs are so cute together, I’ll post some pictures of them for you in the coming days….

It was a really special Christmas at our house…



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Notes from the kitchen….

I made quite a few things from Jan & Friends Christmas Recipes yesterday.  Cousin Phyllis’s Red Velvet Cake was a breeze to make,  my only problem was the cooked flour and milk mixture that you chill and put into the icing to thicken it – you have to do it at a really low heat, and it tried to lump, but I put it thru a strainer and it was fine.

cmarti's-grape-saladMarti’s Grape Salad is in the fridge, it tastes wonderful, haven’t seen  how everybody is going to manuever eating those whole grapes yet, hubby thought I should cut  them in half, but the juice  would run into the dressing, so I vetoed that. 

We’ll just chew with puffy cheeks and hope the grapes aren’t too juicy.  I tried to get small grapes, but couldn’t, these things were really large so eating this could be interesting :0)


coffeecakeJohn’s Cleaning Ladies coffeecake turned out well, despite LC turning off the oven in the middle of baking it.  He thought he was turning off the timer, and I didn’t catch it for awhile, but it turned out fine…

Veronica’s Mackinac Fudge was easy to make, too.  She told me not to beat it with a mixer for the full six minutes, just to beat it until it got thick and glossy, so that’s what I did, I probably beat it for about 3-4 minutes, John gave it a thumbs-up, he loves that recipe.


ccherry-pie The No-Cook Cherry O Pie I made for myself, yeah, I did.  I’ve loved it since I was a teenager, and since I’ve been carb deprived for weeks, this was my Christmas food of choice.

The recipe for it is on Milly Scraps, here’s a quick click if you want to check it out.

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, day 9

Today it’s Jan’s great idea on the cheap that didn’t work out so well for me.  I was watching Regis and Kelly one day and they were talking about how great Preparation H is for under eye puffiness.

Okay, so that made perfect sense to me, it shrinks hemorrhoids, it should reduce under eye bags.  So I’m off to Walgreens to buy a tube, come home smear it on, yuck, it’s oily, it smells awful and doesn’t seem to make any noticable difference in the way my eyes look.

But I gave it a couple of more chances before I threw it in the drawer – my eyes were still puffy, it didn’t help a bit!  Maybe this little trick will make a difference for you, the price is right, only $4.99, but for me it was money wasted.  But maybe not all is lost, if I ever have a  flair-up, I’m all set! ;0)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, day 8

Buf-Puf Facial Sponge, RegularI’ve been a Buff Puff fan since the 80’s.  These reusable pads work great, easily getting rid of the dull skin layer, giving your face a smooth, satiny sheen.  Veronica is fan of these also, and I recently introduced them to Linds, and she loves them, too.  They come in the large,  tear shaped reusable pad pictured above, or throwaway singles.  I prefer the original, reusable ones, I think they work better but they are really hard to find anymore.  I used to be able to get them at any drugstore, but I’ve had to search lately for them, and V isn’t having any luck at all finding them.  You can, however, buy them online at  Interested?  Here’s the quick CLICK.  The cost of these, only $5.19

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Rejuvenator, The Anti Aging Power Treatment KitHowever, if you really want to try something great that costs more than my self-imposed $15.00 limit, Neutrogena makes a Healthy Skin Rejuvinator that is just amazing.  You can buy it from Amazon, or go to Neutrogena’s site to watch a video about it with Diane Lane and get all the information. 

If you’re not familiar with this product, it’s a battery powered vibrating facial massager, with disposable puffs that are infused with ultra-fine crystals that do a wonderful job of exfoliating your skin.  These little crystals are hard to wash off, though, this works best to use before you bathe. It’s much easier to wash them off in the shower, it’s really difficult to get rid of all the grit with just a face cloth.  The cost for this system  is $32.99, and it’s a great product.  The big cosmetic companies make their own versions of this at a much higher price than Neutrogena, but this product works really well.  I usually alternate it with the Buff Puffs.  Works for me…

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I’ve got more glitter on me than an old lap dancer….

Well, it’s just gone to hell in a handbag here today.  The net is just up for a minute, then down again.  I finally started wrapping that ugly paper with wide red ribbon, the wired kind, which would have been really pretty if it wasn’t for that awful paper, nothing could make it look good.

Anyhoo, the red ribbon is embossed with gold snowflakes, gold glitter snowflakes.  Now this isn’t my first rodeo with glitter, I’ve had plenty of disasters with it, and now I not only have glitter all over me, but it’s all over the dining room rug and you can follow a glitter trail all the way down the stone floor to the den where the presents are deposited under the tree.

So  now I have that mess to deal with, not to mention that the M&M’s have been tromping thru it, so they probably have glitter imbedded in their fur, too. And trust me, everything that glitters is not gold….

Oh well, ‘tis the season, right?  Um-hum, sure it is…

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 7

See full size imageToday it’s Micro Tweeze.  It’s a jar of wax, you take off the lid, heat it in the microwave for two minutes, or a bit less, just until the center starts to liquefy, then you put the lid back on until you get to the bathroom – heaven help you should trip and spill that wax all over your floor! Then just get out the magnifying mirror, take a q-tip, an orange stick would work, too, I use a q-tip, dip it into the jar and get a big glob of wax – this is the secret, heavy application, if you smear your brow with a thin layer of wax it will not come off and you will curse me and rue the day I was born. 

It took me awhile to get the hang of this, but you can learn from my mistakes.  I’ve done it so much, that I can roll the q-tip and distribute the wax thickly and evenly. Don’t try rolling it on!  You’re a newbie, gotta learn what you’re doing before you graduate to rolling, first you glob!

So you need to dot a thick glob of wax on your outer brow bone, then another glob closer in toward the arch of your brow, and maybe still another if you need to,  just make sure the globs touch so that it all comes off in one piece.  Press the wax into your skin, being careful not to get it into your eyebrows or heaven forbid your eyelashes, let it cool until it hardens, and starting from the outer corner, quickly rip it off!!!  OUCH!!! Of course it stings, but only for a minute.  You don’t put cloth strips on it like they do in the salon, just glob it on and rip it off. 

It works really well, yeah, works for your upper lip and those pesky post-menopausal chin hairs, too – ughhhh, just don’t go out of the bathroom until you’re finished…. I don’t even let the dogs see me, don’t want to traumatize them.

The jar says you can use it on bikini line, too – you’re on your own with that one, I’m not gonna go there.  I have a girlfriend, who shall forever remain nameless, that had a total disaster with waxing her bikini line herself… YOWSA!

This jar of Micro Tweeze lasts forever, and costs under $12 – less than one salon visit - is that a good deal or what????

Well that was a stupid idea…

I now have raffia all over the dining room floor.  Egads I had forgotten how that stuff strings all over the place.  I wrapped one gift, and it looks just horrid!

It’s hopeless, it’s that stupid paper, no matter what I do, the gifts just look terrible.  Grrrrrrr, I’m not in a good mood, can you tell???? AND, internet goes down constantly this morning, if this even publishes it will be a miracle.  Just one of those days….

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I bought the most gawdawful wrapping paper…

I don’t know what happened this year, I usually buy really pretty wrapping paper, but the stuff I have my presents wrapped in is butt ugly!!  What was I thinking???  I was out and about with a Tri-State-Boomer sinus headache, and I bought multiple rolls of this snowman paper.  I guess I liked it in the store, my brain must have been foggy from all the sinus meds, I brought  it home, hubby wrapped the gifts, that’s what we do, he wraps, I put on the ribbons, and after he got them all wrapped I really looked at that paper and Geezy Pete,  it got hit by the ugly stick!

I was putting on lots of curling ribbons, loading it up with all kinds of geegaws in a desperate attempt to make it look presentable, it still looked horrid, so in desperation I went to WallyWorld and bought raffia, now I’m gonna try loading it up with raffia.  I seriously considered throwing all the paper away and starting over, but figured hubby would throw a hissy, so I’m trying a work around.

I’ll update you on how that’s working out for me.  Probably not so good….

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap. Day 6

Eyelash curlers, those instruments of torture that we squeeze our eyelashes into in an attempt to make them curl.  Nisha once put both rows of her eyelashes in the contraption when she was a teenager and didn’t know what she was doing.

I went a bit over my $15.00 budget on this one, ladies, it’s $19.00, worth the money, too.  This eyelash curler is from shu uemura, you probably will have to order it online, but it’s a quality curler, unlike some of the cheaper models I’ve had in the past.  And the best trick of all, heat it first with your blow dryer, let it cool a bit so you don’t burn your eyelids, then curl, works much better.

Here’s the quick click to shu uemura’s site.

And now for the mascara.  I’ve tried a ton of them over the years, and always go back to Maybelline.  Even the makeup artists love Maybelline, it’s a great product.

Lancome even came out with a vibrating mascara this year, yep, you heard me right, vibrating. Wonder how that’s going over for them…

For years I used Great Lash, the industry standard in the pink tube, but a couple of years ago I tried their XXL Volume & Length Washable Microfiber Mascara.  It’s a two stepper, first you put on the white fiber building layer, then you top it with the mascara.  It really does fill in and lengthen thin lashes without looking fake.  My color of choice, black/brown.  Works for me.  So does the price, it costs about $5.99.

Tomorrow, yes you really can wax at home, really you can.  If I can do it, so can you and you’ll save major money and free yourself from salon visits….

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 6


Ahhhh, lip balm, don’t you love the stuff that glides on like butter, and makes your lips really supple.  If you’re a regular to this site, you know that  me, along with several other readers of this blog have a serious imgresCarmex addiction.  I’ve used it for the last twenty years, and can’t go to sleep at night without it slathered on my lips.  No other brand will do, it has to be Carmex, because it’s all about the sting… And it has to come from  the little glass pot, I don’t like it in a tube. Even Trish’s little granddaughter, Larkin, smears her little lips with the stingy balm.  Carmex rules, but…. just at night. AND, Carmex has come out with it’s first new flavor in 70 years, CHERRY CARMEX!!!! I haven’t found it yet, but I’m on the lookout for it, so is Trish!  Want to read all about Carmex??? Here’s the link… It’s a cute site!

Lip Balm #1For daytime use, nothing compares to Kiehl Lip Balm.  Oh, my, is it ever wonderful.  It’s sooooo moisturizing, has no odor, and leaves your lips with a glossy, non greasy feel.  I can’t buy it locally, I have to order it online.  It’s available  at Bloomies or Nordstroms if you live in a bigger city, if not, you can order directly from the company.  Here’s the CLICK.  And the cost for this bad boy, a mere $6.50, and worth every penny…

Tomorrow it’s mascara and my favorite eyelash curler….

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 5


Running  late today, I could use a rub-a-dub-dub in the tub right now.

Okay, here’s what I’m liking this winter.  It’s more than one thing today.

First of all Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter is fantastic. The suds are really rich, it smells wonderful, and leaves your skin so soft and creamy, never dry.  I follow it up with

Jergens Shea Butter Body Lotion.  I like the way it smells, too.

Of course, I’ve always loved Original Cherry Almond Scented Jergens, that is the best fragrance ever, I never tire of it.

And, then I can’t forget Johnson’s Baby Lotion.  Hooterville started me using it a couple of years ago.  I picked her up and she smelled great.  When I asked her what that was, she said “Johnson’s Baby Lotion,” and it was like ahhhhhh, of course I remember that smell from my babies.  I use it all the time now, too…

And the best loofah I’ve found - The $6.00 one from Bath and Body Works.  Unlike those horrid little hard ball loofah’s, this one is really big and spongy soft.  Treat yourself, it’s worth it!

Tomorrow – a great lip balm, no, not Carmex, even though you all know I’m a Carmex junkie, this is another one….

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

John sent me this tonight, oh what a dog! adorable…

Who in their right mind would want eau de toilette that smells like a Whopper???

Just in time for Christmas, a new body spray is being released from the people who brought you the flame-broiled whopper.

Officials with Burger King say they want to set hearts ablaze for the holidays with its new scent, "Flame",  and yes, it's formulated to smell like char-grilled burgers.

The new fragrance costs $4 a bottle and can be found on their website.

Here’s the click, if you really want to see this -

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 4

I’ve alway had sensitive skin, and it was during a  visit to a dermatologist in the 80’s that I discovered Cetaphil.

You didn’t hear much about it in those days, they didn’t advertise in magazines like they do today.  Doctor’s recommended it to bathe infants in because it was so gentle.  I tried it because I was having a reaction to another product I was using on my face at the time, and I’ve used it ever since.

If you’re unfamiliar with Cetaphil, it can be used with or without water, I never use water, I just put it directly on my face, and remove it with a tissue,   it takes off eye makeup in one gentle swipe, and leaves your skin  feeling really soft with no stickiness, and it never irritates.  Beware of generic brands, though, they don’t work for me, I’ve found them to be  a lot harsher than the  real thing.

A large pump container of Cetaphil will cost about $8.99, but it lasts a really long time.  If you have never used it, try it, it’s a great product.

Tomorrow, rub-a-dub-dub, my faves in the tub….

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One of the best Christmas commercials, ever….

Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 3’m always trying new types of foundation,  usually courtesy of Angie, who tries them first and then tells me what I should buy…

I’ve been using Rimmel Lift and Renew Foundation since she told me about it last year.  I find it at Wally World, it costs $6.99, and I buy both the liquid and the mousse, and rotate them.  I have really sensitive skin, and have no problems with this.  It’s a good product, goes on smoothly, and more importantly, stays on all day.  Give it a try, it’s an inexpensive way to try something new.  Rimmel has blush, also – they come in small sizes, but they only cost $2.99.

Tomorrow, the best makeup remover, ever, I’ve used it for years, and never found anything that works better…

Monday, December 15, 2008

They’re finished…

Just in time for Christmas baking, Jan & Friends Christmas recipes are finished!  Just click on the Christmas Kids in the right sidebar.

I hope you all enjoy them, there are some great recipes in this collection, thanks to my  friends who so generously shared their family favorites.

~ jan

Jean lost her best friend, today…

He’s soaring with the angels, now.  Rest in peace, Sweet Albie…


Jan’s favorite things on the cheap, Day 2

I’ve used a lot of home hair color products over the years, Loreal, Clairol, Nutrisse, Revlon, you name it, if it’s blonde, it’s been on my head.  I even had a fiasco with strawberry blonde during a brain fart last year…

In my quest for the perfect golden shade, I’ve run the gamut from brassy to yellow, I’ve tried really light blonde, and as I look back in pictures, I realize my really light blonde was more like an off shade of platinum, YUCK!  At least I’ve always stayed away from ash, I realized from a friend’s faux pax that ash can give your hair a green hue.

I finally quit going for the gold and went to neutral, and it worked!  Who woulda thunk it, after all these years, I finally found a color that actually looks great!  It’s a nice, gentle blonde, not too pale, definitely not yellow, just a natural blonde.

It’s nice’ n easy Natural Light Neutral Blonde 103 – look for it in your drugstore, it’s a great color, and only costs $6.99, less when it’s one sale.

It’s a good thing…

Tomorrow, a really great foundation at a really great price…

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Jan’s favorite things, on the cheap, Day 1…

I had really good intentions to publish Jan & Friends Favorite Things again this year, did I get it accomplished, no, just didn’t happen.  Instead, I’m going to do a mini version, every day from now until Christmas I’ll publish a favorite cosmetic, nothing over $15.00.  Yeah, I know Oprah did cheap things too this year, well mine are really cheap!!!

I’ve always been a drugstore cosmetic junkie, and found that a lot of it is as good as the pricier stuff, and since I have a huge stash, it will be easy to give all of you a favorite from now until Christmas.

This morning, I’ll start it off with a $1 item.  Yep, just a buck for moisturizer.  I used Clinique for years, spending $$$ on it, finally got smart and realized that I would rather save the big bucks for gorgeous  eye shadows and great blush instead of moisturizer when this does just as well as Clinique.  It’s light, smells great, glides on and gives you a great makeup base.

Johnson’s Softlotion, 24 Hour Moisturizer.  I buy 2 ounce tubes of this at Wally World in the lotion aisle for $1.00.

It’s good stuff, gentle, too, and it has that great Johnson’s smell. 

Tomorrow, I’m going to share the best  at home hair color I’ve ever found!  Trust me, my hair has been every shade of blonde imaginable over the years, but I’ve finally found a great color that works, it might just work for you, too…

If any of you have favorite things on the cheap you would like to add to this, it would be great, just click on the comments below and add it!

~ jan

Saturday, December 13, 2008

a litte trip down memory lane….


This was the gingerbread village that we built last year, the cars and train were made from a spice cake mix that I baked in molded pans from Williams-Sonoma.  There are lots of pictures in last December archives if you are interested.  It was too cute to not post again..  Click here for a link to the pictures -

~ jan


Friday, December 12, 2008

In the middle of the night…

The clock said 1:30 a.m., a moonbeam was shining thru the bedroom window like a beacon on Maggie, bathing her in a soft glow.  I reached in her little bed and took her paw in my hand, she nestled closer to me and let out a big sigh.   I smiled and thought once again, it’s those simple things…

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jan’s helpful hint, this time it’s about Downy…

I happen to be lucky enough to be married to Mr. Fixit.  Hubby is one of those guys who really can fix anything.

I had been complaining about my washer’s Downy dispenser, it was all gunked up, and wasn’t working properly.  He disassembled it, did some research on Google, realized that Downy is made of animal fat, ugh, and that it just congeals and sits in that dispenser in your washing machine.  Apparently mine was barely working.

He spent a good hour cleaning the gobs of goo out of it and putting it back together.  When I asked him this morning if Joe Ordinary could have done it without problems, he said “It would be a challenge.”

So for those of you who live alone, or who doesn’t have a guy that’s handy, it’s a little heads-up.  Perhaps your dispenser is different than mine, I have a Whirlpool Washer, and it’s dispenses from the top of the agitator.

Our solution is to buy a Downy Ball, and forget that stupid dispenser.  He wasn’t a happy camper cleaning all that gooey, apparently “fatty” mess out of there.  I couldn’t have done it, and maybe I can help someone else from having the same problem.

The best Christmas present I can give you, energy…

I’ve blogged about this before, but we all get busy and forget, so once again I’m going to tell you how wonderful Meta Vitamin B Complex is.

It’s holiday time, and if you’re fatigued, really tired, do yourself a favor, pick up a bottle of these at your local drug store.

I’ve taken vitamins over the years, never felt “better” for doing so, but last fall when I was visiting Ry and Lindsay, I was talking to Ryan about overwhelming exhaustion.  He said, “Mom, get yourself a bottle of Mega Vitamin B Complex, it will help, really it will.”

So I listened to him, best thing I ever did, too.  Within a couple of weeks I had a noticable diference in my energy level.  The extreme fatigue was gone, simply put, I just felt better.

I spent a week at their house over Thanksgiving, normally I would have come home and just been zonked for a few days trying to recover.  Not this time, I came home, had a good night’s sleep and went right on with my regular routine, maybe a bit tired the next day, but not exhausted like I used to be.

Vitamin B is water soluable, your body will just expel what it doesn’t need, so give it a try.  If you’re deficient in vitamin B, it will help.  I’ve told several people about this, they’ve had good results ,too.  Be prepared for Gator-Ade pee, though, don’t let it shock you, it’s normal.

Many lie over books 'to impress'

The following was in the news this morning -

Nearly half of all men and one-third of women have lied about what they have read to try to impress friends or potential partners, a survey suggests.

Honor Wilson-Fletcher, director of the National Year of Reading campaign, said: "Reading is a brilliant tool for self-expression.

Isn’t this fascinating…  All this time that I’ve been telling all of you that I read trash, I’ve been lying?  I don’t think so, why would I fess up to being a lightweight in the reading department when I was really reading the heavy stuff…

However, if reading is a brilliant tool for self-expression, it doesn’t say a lot for your truly, does it?

It also doesn’t say a lot for the rest of you who read this silly blog regularly….  Haaa, gotcha this morning!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whew, I can breathe a sigh of relief….

Yahoo News tonight said a lot of tv shows were being cancelled.  I did a quick scan, my favorite, Brothers and Sisters wasn’t on the list.  Thank goodness!!!  I do love that show!

Dirty, Sexy Money got the axe, *yawn*, big deal….

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

This is sooooo funny – great finish….

How cute is this???

My friend, Trish baby sat her granddaughter today, and Larkin had all of her stuffed animals lined up  on the sofa.  Obviously London wanted to be part of the action. 

That little imp, she’s had her picture taken so much, she’s a real pro…


Remember this, Hunts Pizza Flavored Ketchup? I was a huge fan in the day…

imageBeverly Garland, from My Three Sons, died this past weekend, at the age of 82. 

I grew up with that show, and always thought that Robbie (Don Grady) was so cute!

Here’s his website, he’s aged, like the rest of us.  I wouldn’t exactly call him ‘cute’ anymore.



Poor Oprah…

It’s all over the news this morning that Oprah is telling in the January edition of “O” that she has once again ballooned up to 200 lbs.

I’m must admit, I’m weary of Oprah, but I do feel sorry for her.  We all struggle with this, too much food, too little exercise, those horrid fast food restaurants beckoning us when we’re hungry and want to quell the hunger fast.

We’re all doomed, in this age of instant everything.  We don’t do physical labor, we’ve become lazy, and we’ve become a fat nation.

I’m doing Atkins again, which I hate worse than you can ever imagine and swore I would never do again. Do I have any hopes of really losing twenty pounds, of course not.  I have lost the same ten pounds over and over again for the last year now.  Not even venturing into the other ten pound zone.

I do have a barrier that most of you don’t.  It’s not that clothes won’t fit, if I gain too much, my prosthetic legs won’t fit.  Talk about a diet deterrent…  It’s either sit around with them off and munch on those Cheetos, which vanity would never permit me to do, or suck it up and diet…

My friends and I talk all the time about how sad it is, that at our Pressurized Hydrantsage, we can’t just enjoy food.  Of course, what we enjoy, wonderful desserts and yummy breads, packs on the pounds.  We’re all carb addicts, that’s a lot of the problem…

I read the other day, this lady was complaining that her body looked like a fire hydrant.  Poor lady, but you know what’s even sadder, I get it, I really get it…

Sunday, December 7, 2008

More about online coupons…

The other day I mentioned Googling discount coupon before buying online to get additional discounts.  I posted that entry on Monday when I ordered my Peticure Petite for the M&M’s.  It arrived Wednesday.  I was shocked to get it so fast.  And have I trimmed their little dawgie toenails?  Heck no, I’m scared, I’m going to wait until hubby can help me the first time….

But back to the coupons.  I linked to a great article that was on the Drudge Report tonight, apparently its a thriving business saving money online when you order.  It’s a good read for those of you who are buying via your computer this holiday season.

Here’s the link

Southern Living Coconut-Almond Cream Cake for Christmas…

Coconut-Almond Cream Cake from Southern Living

When I was a little girl we always had fresh coconut cake for Christmas. I was telling Lindsay about it  just last week, how Mother would buy a fresh coconut from the grocery store, I can see them, even now, a bushel basket heaped with fresh coconuts, sitting on the concrete floor of the produce section in the local Kroger.

Daddy would take a hammer and a nail and poke a hole in one of the ‘eyes’ and drain the liquid, then they would peel the flesh of the coconut and grate it for the cake.  They didn’t have an electric mixer, and I remember them taking turns beating the batter, as their hands would tire.

It was an absolutely wonderful cake!!! I haven’t had one since I was a child, but it was so special, and they always gave me shavings of the fresh coconut to eat. 

I was looking thru my Southern Living Magazine just now, and found this recipe for Coconut-Almond Cream Cake.  This is what I love about the internet.  I immediately Googled it, and the Southern Living recipe popped right up, along with the original picture.  I’m posting the recipe on Jan Can Cook, it looks fantastic and it’s one that I want to put in the Holiday Archives section so that we won’t lose it.  Magazines get thrown away, along with amazing recipes, but if I take the time to post and tag them, we’ll all have access to them whenever we want…

Here’s the quick CLICK – enjoy and if any of you make it, drop me an email and tell me how fantastic it is….

~ jan

It’s one of those days…


It’s a cold day in Heavensville, weather is in the 20’s,  and I’ve spent my day building the Christmas Munchie Business index page header, the cutey patooties have parked themselves in front of the fireplace for most of the day and  I’ve caught up on my Tivoed episodes of Y&R…  Life is good.

You can link to Munchie Business HERE



Saturday, December 6, 2008

Here comes the bride….

Don’t you just love wedding pictures?  This is Mandi and Nisha at Mandi’s wedding in October.  Nisha and I have been friends forever, I’ve known Mandi since she was a toddler.  The first time I ever met her she was 18 months old, and Ryan was 24 months.  Ry was a happy little guy whose vocabulary mostly consisted of “John do it.”  Meaning John, his three year older brother. 

Nisha brought Mandi to our house at Christmas time, I’ll never forget that little elf of a girl, running toward me in a pink coat with that sweet little face peeking out of a fur hoodie.  She was absolutely adorable.  Nish said to her, “Mandi, recite the Night Before Christmas for Jan.”  And that little baby opened her mouth and out came the entire story.  “Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the house…”

Well, you can imagine, I was totally blown away.  Ryan was sitting in the floor just looking at her, and I thought, OMG, this is a child prodigy.  We love that story, it was just unreal how precocious she was.  And just look at her now…

These are proofs, so quality is a bit fuzzy, but don’t they look amazing?  Beautiful bride, beautiful mother, wonderful friends, I’m blessed to have them in my life…. 



Friday, December 5, 2008

I was SO glad to come home and get my bra off....

Bet you're all smiling, you know exactly what I mean....  I've had the day from hell!!!

Sinus headache out the wazoo, meds not helping but I had to go to the grocery store.  Hooterville has had me on the hunt for Sierra Mist Diet Cranberry Splash.  She told me about it last week, and since I'm a cranberry freak, I can't wait to try it, but  I can't find it anywhere. She said Wally World had it, so I was off to the land of the rednecks in search of it.

O-M-G,  Wally World on a Friday afternoon in December.  What a nightmare!  But then it's a nightmare any time you go there. Oh, how I hate the place, but the prices are good, so I go...

Anyhoo, after circling for fifteen minutes, for real I did, there wasn't  parking spot to be had, so I finally said "screw it" and parked in a striped spot.  And did they have Diet Cranberry Blast.  Of course not...  All they had was the fully leaded, which I'm sure was lots better, but who wants to give up 160 calories for a can of soda?

So I'm back in the car, on my Blackberry, calling the other grocery stores on the west side of Heavensville, nobody has it, grrrrrrr, so I end up at Schnucks desperate for something different than Diet Coke. 

I spot Diet 7-up Pomegranate, and Diet Cherry 7-up, throw them in my cart, along with some Diet Sunkist for LC, come home, pulling that damned bra off as I walk thru the kitchen.  I unload all the stuff, fix myself a glass of the Pomegranate, with an Advil Cold and Sinus chaser, and ya know what, it's good, it's really good. After the day I've had, it would be even better with a healthy splash of vodka!

It's probably not as good as the elusive Cranberry Splash, but hey, tomorrow is another day.  I'll put my bra back on and go on the hunt again.  I'm a woman on a mission...


Carlene sent me a link this morning to an awesome Christmas cooking site.  It's a must see!

Here's the CLICK!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanks for the giggle, Carlene

Dear Santa,

Please send me a baby brother.

  Santa wrote back:
"Send me your mother..."

We've come a long way, baby...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What's not to love about this....

Popcorn Miss Hilda's Popcorn Cake

2 teaspoons plus ¼ cup vegetable oil
12 cups popped popcorn (plain, unsalted and unbuttered)
2 cups M & M candies
1 cup lightly salted cocktail peanuts
1 stick unsalted butter
1 pound marshmallows

Grease a large tube or bundt cake pan with 2 teaspoons of the oil. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix the popped corn with the M & Ms and the peanuts.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, oil, and marshmallows over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When melted, pour over the popcorn mixture, and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared cake pan, pressing down to fit. Cover with aluminum foil to keep moist.

Let sit for 3 to 4 hours, or until firm and set.

To serve, invert the cake pan onto a large plate or platter. Shake gently to release.

Serve at room temperature.
Recipe courtesy Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril's "There's a Chef in My Family," HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2004, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.

A couple of online shopping tips....

If you're like me, nothing beats sitting in your jammies, sipping a cup of coffee and ordering Christmas presents online.  It's so easy, and it's always a kick when the UPS man comes...

When you place an order, you're checking out, and there is usually a little box that says promotion code, or coupon - well, they didn't put that there for fun, girlfriends.  You can usually go to Google, put in the name of the website you're ordering from, with the word coupon after it or if that doesn't work try code, or promotion code and numbers to put in those little boxes and save you $$$$ will show up in your Google search.

Just yesterday I ordered a Peticure Petite for the M&M's.  And, I found this site, it's called,,  they sell all those hokey infomercial items for less money than other websites.  I've read on the Yorkie forums that the Peticure doggie nail dremel is a good product, and since it's so hard for me to clip Yorkie nails, I'm always afraid I will clip too close, I ordered one.  And  I saved $10 by ordering it from the assseenontavguys, versus buying it elsewhere online, and I Googled for a coupon and got another 10% off...  I just Googled asseenontvguys coupon, and wahlaa, discount coupons appeared...

I know, you're all rolling your eyes at the thought of this informercial "junque," but hey, some of it works.  As a spoof last year, I bought my guys Ove Gloves, after Nisha clued me on to them, and guess what, huge hit, the things work great for grabbing hot things from the oven.

Just a little tip for you.  I'm doing some on-line ordering this morning,don't worry, no more infomercial items, I'm not usually into the cheesy stuff,  but just thought I would get the rest of you a heads-upon saving a few $$$$...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sandwich Spread

Barb just emailed me the following recipe, it was a big hit at her house at Thanksgiving.  Everybody was loving it on their turkey and ham sandwiches.  Sounds great, doesn't it?

8 oz.mustard
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbs horseradish
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce

Knit and purl.....

My buddy V is a great knitter.  I've wanted to knit forever, tried it a couple of years ago, but the timing was off, decided to try it again, bought some soft, fuzzy yarn, fired up my computer, went to you tube, found a left handed knitting tutorial.  Well, it looks so easy, NOT!  Decided I had the wrong kind of yarn, so I was off to Wally World for some plain, generic non fuzzy yarn and bigger needles, by the time I got back I was too tired to knit.

I used to be a great crafter, and I crocheted afghans in my twenties, but duh, that was years and years ago...  Surely I can do this, surely I can..

Stella is trying to get her groove back here, after being gone, I have to get those Christmas recipes published - V gave me a new one today for an amazing sounding Snowy Trail Mix to add to the collection.  And Lindsay found a recipe for an Orange Cranberry Cheesecake, she wants me to try for Christmas.

Those Cranberry Bliss Bars were so good, it makes us want to try other orange-cranberry things as well.  Orange-cranberry scones and muffins sound good, too. 

If you want something special this Christmas make those cranberry bliss bars, ladies, I'm telling you they are amazing.  John (eldest son) loved them, he couldn't get enough of them.  I think he's going to make them and take to the office this month to share.

And speaking of food, do you know that I ate my entire birthday cake over the course of the week?  I did, except for one last piece!  And I wish I had ate that!  Dilly is a great little baker, and I hadn't had homemade German Chocolate Cake for years.  And what did the scales say when I got home?  Oh yeah, Miss Piggy here gained 3 lbs.  And let me tell you, it was worth every friggin' pound.  So now I'm back on that horrid Atkins program, which I detest with a purple passion.  Oh well, it was good while it lasted...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rattlesnake Pasta

I posted it for you on Jan Can Cook.  Here's the click - This is so good, you have no idea how good!

Honey, I'm home.......

I'm back in Heavensville, playing catch-up right now, but posting a great recipe for Rattlesnake Pasta later today - it's great for dinner guests this holiday season.  In the meantime, here's a *giggle* for you...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

We’ve had some yummy food….


I’m still visiting Ryan and Lindsay in Versailles.  John left today, hubby left yesterday, Ry and Linds are taking me back to Heavensville tomorrow.  It’s been a week of great food, ladies, Atkins bit the dust with a big kerthud!

Since we had Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday, Thursday Ry decided to roast a Turducken (turkey, stuffed with chicken, stuffed with duck).  He’s wanted to do it for years, we were all skeptical, but it was great.  Definitely worth repeating…  Click on the picture to see a close-up view of it, and yep, it tasted as good as it looked! In the background you see scalloped potatoes, laced with cream and cheddar cheese and seasoned with fresh bay leaves and thyme, and decadent corn muffins from a Williams-Sonoma cooking class, recipes for both of these soon….

I’ll be back to my regular routine, shortly…  Hope you all have had a great holiday!!!

Hugs from the cow pasture…

~ jan

Friday, November 28, 2008

What a true computer geek gets for her birthday….

Not one, but two terabyte external harddrives.  I opened one, and it was like yessssss, I opened the next one, and it was like, huh?

Well, it does make perfect sense.  If I’m backed up on one and it bites the dust, I’m toast…. But if I have two with the same data on them, I’m covered.

Yep, works for me…  Who woulda thunk it, me, a net head, in my soon to be golden years…..

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday to me….

bdayuse You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.


Today’s the day, nono, I’m not having the big “6O”, that’s not blisstil’ next year, let’s not rush it, okay… 

We’re in Versailles for Thanksgiving, John is on his way, Linds made me a German Chocolate cake and these sublime  Cranberry Bliss Bars, the ones from Starbucks that are sooooo good.  I found a recipe for them last year, and it’s a dead ring for Starbucks.  Want the recipe???  Sure thing, I posted it on Milly Scraps, you can access it HERE.

Here’s the cake, looks yummy, huh?  No recipe for it, but it’s the one on the back of the Baker’s German Chocolate.  Mother made me German Chocolate cakes for years, it was a hard decision,  Lemon Meringue Pie or German Chocolate Cake…. As you can see, the cake won.  Wish you could all eat a piece with me…


And dinner tonight?  Ribs and kraut, mashed potatoes and creamed corn.  Ry’s cooking!!! 

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