Monday, September 30, 2013

Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders

When I first heard Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders song No More Mr. Nice Guy, I thought this band has to be from Texas. Boy was I surprised when I found out the band is actually from Austrailia! 

The band would definitely be described as a country band.  I imagined the music being played in roadhouse. You know loud, and a band that has to be able to cope with any audience. The song definitely fits the bill. It definitely conveys the attitude I don’t care what you think of me. I’m just going to be me.  Not only do the lyrics express the attitude, but the use of the harmonica and the easy to remember rhythms of the song get the idea across.

And then there is the song My Baby Gone Cold. The lyrics and melody reminded of rockabilly. It’s a simple song that makes you want to sing along and dance. You know something from the early days of rock and roll where the influence of country music was definitely heard.

The band is a welcome addition to the country music scene. You can learn more about the band on their page at Reverbnation.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Choose To Be Nice

I was so fortunate to be chosen as part of the Choose to be Nice campaign through Pollen-8. I was so excited when I was notified. The goal is to remind people including me to choose to be nice to their fellow human beings. I received a t-shirt that is totally awesome! The challenge is to wear the t-shirt for 10 hours in public and notice when individuals make a choice to be kind to others.

The first day that I wore the t-shirt it was easy. I was going to visit my friends Sarah and Jon, and I was going to the drive-in. Several people saw me in the shirt that day. And Sarah pointed out to her grandson to read the shirt and think about what it said. And when I went out for breakfast the next day I still had the t-shirt on. I was fortunate enough to have friends buy me breakfast in exchange for me leaving the tip. So it was easy to be nice to the waitress, and leave a big tip.

The next time I wore the shirt I was shopping. This was a little more challenging, but not that much more of a challenge. I don’t like to wait in line, and at times I become impatient. Of course this was a day that I had to wait in line several times. But one time in particular I had to remind myself. Just enjoy the wait it’s just part of life. Smile and enjoy the moment. I did, and the clerk thanked me for being patient. She also told me that so many people just get upset when they have to wait. I was thankful that I chose to take another attitude instead of impatience.

And the last few hours that was part of the challenge I wore the t-shirt when I was a tourist in my own hometown. Following the tourist events I met a friend for a late lunch. This was probably the most challenging day to wear the shirt. While my friend and I were eating, the waitress came up and told us quite a bit of personal information about herself.  My friend and were polite and listened to her, which is something I would normally do. But often I would make a comment after someone did this stating that why did so and so tell me that I don’t care. But I thought to myself I shouldn’t complain about someone sharing. It’s time for me to actually be more than polite. I should actually do the second part of being polite. Not complain because I had to be polite. I thought about the shirt I was wearing, and I decided that was the day that I needed to start.

So go over to the Choose to be Nice website, make the pledge to choose to be nice, and then visit the shop to buy a great t-shirt that just might make you think about the way your act at times.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Evil Comb

I am upset with my pet human. As the faithful followers know, I am a groomer extraordinaire! But there are times when my pet human forgets this. And recently she has just cast this knowledge about my grooming skills aside totally. She has been attempting to comb me several times a day. I don’t need to be combed. My hair is beautiful the way it is. There is absolutely no need for another to groom me in particular my pet human. Now I allow her to complete one stroke with the comb, but then I have to give her the look of displeasure. But this is not working. She is not allowing the most evil glare I possess to change her behavior. What has happened? This has always been effective tool in the past when I want my pet to change her behavior. Now she simply continues the behavior. So now I am resorting to running away when she comes toward me with that evil comb. Can someone tell me how to dispose of this evil comb because it is causing me great distress?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Things That Have Made This Week Fabulous

Hearing the sound of friends laughing at silly jokes on the way to MI.

The taste of rich creamy cherry ice cream.

Seeing the perfect purple house on the side of the road.

The feeling of excitement when you drive by a used car lot and realize that you could be in the hearse parade next year because there is a hearse for sale on that lot. Now I just need $3,000.00.

The scent of lemons on my hands after I’ve squeezed the juice from one.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bags and More Want List

Vintage Black Leather Bally Briefcase msjeannieology
Hip Bag Side Satchel AngieMade
Frida Kahlo in Green Oven Mitt outofourmind
Hug and Kiss small original acrylic painting annarobertsart
16oz HANDMADE scented SOy CanDLe - BERRY de la CRÈME PFCandleCo

Oh, yes faithful followers if please stop by Recovering Bankrupt to read my guest post. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Colin Ward’s Music

If you’re ever in the Saint Petersburg, Florida area you should definitely look around and see if Colin Ward is playing somewhere. You might be able to find him playing at a local community event or a local bar. His music reflects the slower pace of life in on the beach, and that Florida mentality.

He’s put together a new cd called Cappuccino. As I listened to the song Let’s Go Downtown, I thought of a lazy vacation day in Florida. The song has that twangy sound of a country song that kind made me think of some of Jimmy Buffett’s music.

But the album has songs with a folksy feel to them like Oh, Appalachia. The song talks about some of the troubles that have faced the people of Appalachia, and how the people in the area have dealt with the problems.

Cappuccino is Ward’s second cd. You can learn more about him and his music by visiting his website. And hopefully, we’ll hear more from Colin in the future.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Trip to Hell and Back

Who says that the trip to hell and back has to be an awful experience? At least my trip to Hell, Michigan wasn’t awful. In fact it was a great time! My friend Rhiannon told me about a hearse parade that takes place in Hell, Michigan a month or so ago, and I said I want to go see that! So the day arrived, and off we all went.

It was a warm beautiful day, and when we arrived at the festival. I was so excited. I waited to see all of these hearses for over a month. When I saw a whole park full of hearses I was like I where do you start?

I loved the 1938 hearse. It was awesome! And the owner knew it too! He made sure that nobody leaned or touched the hearse too much. I can’t say that I blame him! It was in perfect condition!

Another great thing about the day was seeing so many of the hearses decorating in a spooky theme. It’s amazing what you can do with a skeleton, a casket, and a clown costume isn’t it?

But the fun didn’t stop there! The town has an amazing little gift shop full of spooky gifts. The shop hasn’t held back with their decorations either. As my friend Rhiannon put it you look like a kid in a candy shop as I stood admiring all the Halloween goodies and spooky artwork that the shop offered.

And what is a trip to Hell without a stop at Screams Ice Cream? I would say it would be incomplete. The ice cream served there is so good.

While the hearse parade didn’t break the world record as the organizers hoped. There’s always next year, and I can’t wait to return with my traveling buddies to see what happens then.

Guest Blogger Bobaloo

Once again I got the blame for something I didn’t do. I got the blame for this.

Can you believe that my pet human would think that I would stump to something so low in order to receive attention? I would never stoop to tearing up toilet paper! I am far more creative than that! That big white cat Captain did it! And I got the blame! I have to get him back for this. Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to get him in trouble?

Friday, September 20, 2013


I’ve been hearing a lot of great music from Australia recently.  And Evoletah is one of those great bands. I listened to the band’s new album We Ache for the New Moon which was released in June of this year. 

I was impressed! The music is great for those evenings you would rather stay at home and listen to music instead of going out on the town. This is grown up music. And I don’t mean that it’s music for grown-ups. I mean that it’s music by musicians who have some maturity and depth. And they are able to express their maturity in their music.

The song Guillotine has a jazzy feel to it. I loved the band’s use of the saxophone and bass in the song. It just adds something special to the great lyrics. But listen to the song yourself to see what I mean.

Evoletah isn’t a newcomer to the music scene either. They have four other releases that you can purchase through their website. So if you’re looking for music with a slightly artsy and mature feel to it, this band is sure to please you.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Stiletto Ghetto

Now doesn’t the name Stiletto Ghetto just grab your attention? But when you hear their music your attention will drift from the name right to what you hear playing.

From the start the song Kickstart will get you moving. It definitely has a funk base to it with its use of guitar, vocal, drums, and horns. And I love the horns in the song. The lyrics will also get you in the mood for a great party! I pictured as an opening song for a band on a Friday night. The song will make you want to dance and have fun.

When I watched the video for the song Upside Down I thought this is perfect for the song. Everything is moving in fast forward. The song is perfect for clubs and dancing.

The San Francisco based band released its first album Tendernob Hillbillies in 2011, and people noticed. So far they have had two songs used in movie soundtracks. Their next release Legend In Your Own Mind is due to come out in a couple of months. You can get more information at their website. And you can listen to some of their music on Soundcloud. I know that I look forward to hearing more from the band, and I hope that I am able to see them play live at some point.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Things That Have Made This Week Great

These are a few of the things that have made this week great!

The sound of skateboard wheels on the sidewalk.

The smell of apples cooking for apple butter.

The sweet taste of fresh watermelon on a hot summer day. It’s quenches your thirst and tastes and tickles your tongue.

The way the new Dr. Martin Luther King Bridge looks at night when it’s lit up. I know a lot of people in my town criticize it, but I think it looks cool.

Feeling the air conditioner pump out cool air when the temperature got over 90. I’m more of an open doors and windows type of girl, but that air conditioning felt great when it was so hot.

And of course fabulous blog followers!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recovering Bankrupt

Today my friend Gloria from Recovering Bankrupt is doing a guest post. I have known Gloria for oh so many years, and Gloria is definitely a talented individual.And I'm really glad that she has decided to do a guest post for me today. She has started a new blog and I recommend that all of you stop by and visit the blog.

Gloria on the left and Me on the right

My friend Heidi and I are guest blogging on each other's blogs. My newest blog is recoveringbankrupt. I started it because I am writing a book about my experience in chapter 13 bankruptcy, which was converted to a seven. Anyway, here's my guest post.

Do you ever come across something while cleaning and you are like “wow!”? I have a small house and some of my parents's stuff. I've done some cleaning, and while I've made progress, there are some things I just couldn't bear to part with. One of those things was my mother's sewing machine.

My mom could sew. She used to make matching mother/daughter dresses for us. She also made stuffed animals. I think the last time she used the sewing machine was 1984. She made an outfit for my brother's wedding. She never sold the machine, or talked about selling it. There's a lot of stuff in my house that I don't use on a regular basis. The sewing machine sat in a closet in a spare bedroom for at least 10 years, if not more.

My sewing experiences have been limited. I can hem pants and sew on buttons. The last time I actually made something was in middle school. I think I got a C on an apron. I felt bad, because mom could sew and I felt like I was letting her down. Kind of like when I got a B+ in Spanish. That was dad's native language, and I felt like that grade wasn't good enough.

So I never touched the sewing machine after that. I'd watch mom sew, but any attempts to teach me were wasted. I was too impatient. Still am.

But I bought a new smartphone. I wanted to make my own smartphone case for some reason. And so I started experimenting with felt. I sewed it all by hand. My first attempt was a simple felt sleeve. My second attempt was a laughable felt case that was way too loose. I tried to make the cellphone case to look like my dog, Daphne. I'm still messing around with designs. Then, I thought, if you get out that sewing machine, your seems will look better and you'll be able to work faster. So I got it out.

Thankfully, mom had kept the owner's manual, and it was in the first place I looked for it. It had drawings as well as instructions, and despite not having been used in nearly 30 years, it worked. I used the thread that was still on it (brown) and changed the bobbin thread purely by instinct. Mom's dress for my brother's wedding was a pastel green, so I can't think of what other thing she made that would have been brown. So I practiced with some pink fleece I had. After a few practice runs, I decided to try something.

I cut out some fleece and decided to make a double drawstring bag. I had some orange ribbon, so that's what I used for the drawstring. It's a cute, cozy little bag, and I can leave my phone in it while I charge it. It's just wide enough to be snug. I realized certain things, however. Some seems are easier to do first, I discovered. Also, you need to make the fabric cut outs bigger than what you think you need, because if you are sewing the item inside out, then turn it back, the item shrinks. But I'm learning.

And I also feel empowered. I can fix clothes! If I find something at a thrift shop with an iffy hem, I can run it up on the machine, and the stitches won't look like they were made by my five-year-old self. I can have an item with honest to goodness even stitching and everything! And maybe, just maybe, I might end up being able to make my own clothes, or make a pile of some cute smartphone cases. It will take time and practice, but who would have thought my mom's sewing machine would make for an exciting toy with possibilities?

Guest Blogger Captain

This week has been hot! And if you’re a cat and it is hot the only thing to do to conserve energy is to lie around and sleep. The other great way to get relief from the heat is to get your pet human to turn on what they call the air conditioner. This week I decided that this is one of the human’s best creations. It provides cool air so that you can do things other than lie around the house. But if your pet human is like mine she prefers to have windows open and doors open to let fresh air in the house. So sometimes I have to give my pet human a prompt to let her know that I would like to feel the glory of cool air.

The best prompt I provide to my pet is the pathetic look. The pathetic look involves lying on the floor. I stretch out. I’m a big boy so it is difficult to not see me lying on the floor.  Next I twitch my tail occasionally. This allows my human to know about my displeasure. She often asks me what’s wrong when I do this. Next lay with one eye open and the other closed. Just to let your pet know that you want something. At this point they really know something is going on so next readjust and repeat these steps. Soon you find that your pet human gets up and turns on the air conditioner so that you will be more comfortable. Please let me know if you have any suggestions on ways to get human to complete tasks for you. I would love your tips to motivate my pet human.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Marvelous Mushroom Macaroni and Cheese

Here’s a fabulous version of macaroni and cheese that is sure to please.

What you’ll need
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¾ cups diced green pepper
½ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup green onions
¾ cup ricotta cheese
1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 can evaporated milk
1 large egg
4 cups hot cooked elbow macaroni
Vegetable spray
1 tomato sliced
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
What you need to do
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter and saute the mushrooms, green pepper, celery, and green onion .
Combine the ricotta cheese, tarragon, salt, nutmeg, milk and egg in a bowl and mix. Then add mushroom mixture and macaroni and stir well. Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish coated with vegetable spray.

Arrange tomatoes in a pattern over the top of the mixture. Combine the Parmesan cheese, and lemon rind in a bowl and stir. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the tomatoes. Cook for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What My Dream Home Would Look Like

I was looking through pictures on pinterest of what my dream home might look like. I thought that maybe a home with a beautiful poolside would be great. It would be so nice to have my own swimming pool.

Then I decided perhaps a wonderful home in the woods would be a dream come true.

Or maybe one big beautiful mansion could be the dream home.

But then I realized, this is really my dream home. The one I live in now because it’s where I am happy. And after all it’s not the home I love, but the lived in the home.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Smokey's Advice on Receiving Attention

I don’t know if I have told you about my theory on receiving attention or not, so I have decided to share it with you today.  The proper way to seek is attention is to seek quality attention. Do not demand attention all of the time. You are more likely to receive treats and proper petting if you demand attention sporadically. When you see your pet human go into the bathroom follow them! This is very important. If they are sitting on their thrown in the bathroom they are a captive audience. They have little to do but sit there for a few minutes, so why shouldn’t they pet you. Simply present yourself in front of them and give them the it’s time to pay attention to me look. You are all capable of the look it’s in your feline blood. This is an extremely effective way of receiving attention, and it takes little to no time.

Another fantastic way of receive great attention from your pet human is to get in bed with them.  Get close to the human and find where their hands are. Now move towards their hands. If they tuck them under the covers get under the covers. They will appreciate the extra effort and you will receive quality responses. I must warn you all that this is more effective if you do it before they go to sleep than if you do it as they are waking up. Perhaps it is our pet human, but I believe it is true in general that humans do not always wake up in good moods. So be cautious if you employ this method as they are waking up.

And lastly, if your pet human is standing. Stand on your back legs and reach up to touch their hand with your front paws. Humans adore this! They will always pay attention to you when you do this. It makes them believe that you need them, which we all know isn’t true, but a little manipulation never hurts in order to get something you want.

Please feel free to employ these methods in receiving attention from your pet human, and provide me with some feedback on how it is working for you.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Things That Have Made This Week Great

Seeing a pink and purple store sign, you know the owner of that shop has personality with a capitol P.

Hearing the buzzing sound that humming birds make as they fly around.

The taste of home grown tomatoes with my lunch. Thank you Sarah, Jon and Gloria!

The way the cat’s whiskers tickle when they brush against my skin.

The smell of fresh apples after you bite into them.

Last, having the greatest and most faithful blog readers in the world.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

West Indian Fish with Tomato, Pepper, and Onion Relish

Here’s a simple fish recipe that uses loads of those fresh summer vegetables. 

What you’ll need.

2 pounds of firm fish fillets
1 cup of ripe chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped green peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Seasoning Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Put your fillets on a steel baking pan that is greased. Combine all the ingredients except the butter. Spread the relish over the fish fillets. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Dot the fish with butter. Bake for about 4 minutes. Then place under the broiler and cook for another 3 minutes, or until brown on top.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Weekend Wrap Up

I hope everyone had as great a Labor Day Weekend as I did. I decided to wrap up the traditional summer with the way that I started it; A drive to the drive in. Check out the Drive in Life Lessons post to see how I started the summer. I visited the 1324 drive in located in Wabash Indiana this weekend. This was like no other drive in I have ever visited. And I like drive ins. And the reason for this is I didn’t have to wait in line to get in. And the marquee was the best I have ever seen. It’s a fully restored original drive in marquee. It looks fantastic when it’s lit up at night. If you have a chance drive to Wabash just to see the sign lit up. Do it!

Since I traveled down to Wabash for the drive in experience, I spent the night at my friends Sarah and Jon’s house. It was totally awesome! They live out in the country, and it is so quiet. But the other great thing is they loaded me up on fresh fruits and vegetables from their garden. And we picked blackberries. There are few things as tasty as fresh picked blackberries.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Labor Day Letter

Dear Miss Kate Leone:
I’m writing this letter because I’ve recently taken up sewing as a hobby. I saw some of your work or rather the work that is done at your shop, and I thought maybe you could give me some tips.

First of all I am having trouble with my seams. They seem to go every which way but straight. And I believe that in order to have a piece of clothing that looks good, I need to have straight seams. Am I applying to much pressure to the presser foot or do you have other suggestions.

Next the machine just stops sewing sometimes. I look to see if there is excess thread, and I can’t find any is there something else that causes it jam this way?

I’m sure that these questions may seem a bit trivial to a seamstress as skilled as you are. How exactly did you become so skilled at the age of 14?

The blouses that you and your co-workers made are beautiful. I can’t imagine how you do it with my limited skills. I would be overwhelmed. But with so many talented seamstresses at your factory, you must be able to get loads of advice.

I’ve heard that the Triangle Shirt Waist Company Factory you work in does have a few drawbacks. I was surprised that your bosses lock the doors while you work so that you cannot leave your work room floor during work hours. I was also surprised when I heard that your work day started at 7:30am and often worked until 9:00pm. That’s an extremely long day. And I wonder how you find time to do anything other than work. What about time for education? It seems you are very young and that you should be able to have a little more time to yourself.

I was so sad when I heard what happened at the factory. I was even sadder when I heard how the supervisors at your factory had locked the doors so that you and your co-workers couldn’t exit the work floor. It must have been to see the flames and realize that you needed to get out of the building. I can only imagine what the terror you felt when you realized that you could not get down the steps, and that the elevators were no longer working. I wonder what you were thinking about when you realized that you couldn’t escape the fire.

While I wish the individuals who were responsible for the death of you and 145 other of your co-workers had done things differently, they did not. But I do believe that that horrible day did make it possible for some changes to occur in the workplace. Child labor laws have been enacted, which limit the number of hours individuals your age can work. And other laws have been passed to assure that all workplaces have emergency evacuation plans for their employees. And it is much easier to form unions now. I’m sure all of these things could have reduced the chance of your deaths.

But I still don’t understand after your deaths a century ago, how it is possible that recent studies show that 98% of all garment factories in Los Angeles have workplace safety issues that could result in serious injuries or death.

I just thought that I would let you and your co-workers that on Labor Day 2013 your deaths at the Triangle Waistcoat Factory Company haven’t been forgotten, and that there are labor unions, and government agencies who are actually trying to ensure that the tragedy that occurred at your factory does not occur to other factory workers.

Guest Blogger Bobaloo

My pet human and I are having a difference of opinion. Our disagreement arises from her belief that we should eat all of the food in the bowl or almost all of the food in the bowl before we have more added to the bowl. While I believe that fresh food should be added to the food bowl each time she enters the kitchen. So I’ve decided to take a poll today. Please provide the answer in comment section.
Should my food bowl be filled whenever my pet human enters the kitchen?
Should my food bowl be filled when most of the food in the bowl is gone?
Or is there another way that the food bowl should be filled?

I am eager to hear all of your opinions on this issue, and I will take them all into consideration as I attempt to resolve the disagreement with my pet human.