Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Okay, so what have I been doing??

Searching for freebies! Has the economy been a factor for you? It surely has been for our family. So every penny counts now...how about for you?

So...I've been searching hi & lo for the best freebie sites, which I will be adding slowly to this site as I come across them. I've tried the 'so-called' freebies and surveys, and sure enough I've spotted 'loopholes', the true cost for the item in the midst of filling out question after question to get the so-called "free" item. Although the sites I list will have some of these listed on the sites, you should be able to spot them right away when they ask for any kind of 'participation' clause at the beginning and usually the bigger the item, the greater the participation, as one would assume. Try one and see if you want to put the time, energy and cost into this sample and then you'll know whether it's worth it for you...quite frankly I didn't find a sample I felt was worth all of the questions and requirements, but to each his own.

I've ordered many samples over the past month and they are slowly but surely coming in! Why samples? Well, for one, it's nice to have the extra product of something that we are use and need anyway, but it is also a great way to see what's new out there! And best of all, it really is FUN! Okay...and addicting. Only one downside, SPAM and unnecessary newsletters required for the sample, but I have been able to unsubscribe successfully to those I don't want any longer. As for the spam, I would highly recommending setting up an email account just for your freebies, so you know which are actually coming from your freebies! (I didn't do this, but no matter, I'll survive...) I would not put your phone number in, either...unless you want sales people after you...if the sample requires it, ask yourself if the sample is worth it. Maybe it is.

I'm currently trying one "free" survey site that pays $$ per survey...I'll let you know how that goes as I have a feeling I'm not going to like the added 'stipulations' as I go along. Will keep you all posted.

My favorite website so far is http://www.mysavings.com/ because of their cool forum that lists the ups&downs of each sample and actually lists comments to show which ones are SPAM and which samples were actually sent out. It seems to be maintained often also.

Happy Hunting!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Back on track-

Hello fellow bloggers...sounds better than Dear Diary, right?

I'm back on track with health issues actually much faster than I had expected, which I am very thankful for. It was only a few months, but it felt like years.

My family and I have been enjoying the outdoors and the nice weather in July, especially with 10 days up north at our place at the lake! We are addicted to our trailer and all of what a small lakeshore community offers. It has been a time of fun, peace and relaxation.

The only area that I feel I need to get back up to speed is my writing projects, which had been put on the back burner. I feel my novel calling me, and something about approaching Fall always has me itching to complete projects. I was a little discouraged at my lack of progress on revising my novel, but I think I'm ready to start tackling that.

I know it is a lack of motivation. I have plenty of excuses why I haven't been writing, but does it matter? If I really wanted to do it, I would! That's the bottom line.

Anyone else out there struggling with this?

In any case, I feel much better and enjoying life again and perfect timing for the summer and fall!

Well, I've rambled enough!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


As Good Friday and Easter rapidly approaches, I find myself getting excited.

You see, I take time off from work and have a day just for me and my Lord on Good Friday, every year. I'm so looking forward to devotional and prayer time just with my Counselor and Mighty God, and then a little time for my writing, for much needed peace. I usually try to fast as well, and while I don't want to seem ready for a pat on the back, I just can't keep quiet about my enthusiasm for spending one-on-one time with my Savior.

I'm counting down the days and just wanted to share how enthusiastic I am about making time to concentrate on reading scripture and getting close with the Risen Lord and Savior! I can't wait...

And then in my bitty brain, I wonder why I need to wait until Friday?

The Thirteenth Tale By Diane Setterfield

It's funny, but for some reason, I just haven't read a really good book in months until, "The Thirteenth Tale," by Diane Setterfield. I know I'm really late in reading this book, out in 2006!

What an an awe inspiring novel, a wonderfully written tale. As the story progresses, it invokes so many emotions. I found myself relating to the wonderful main characters and others as the plot of the story unfolded. So many questions unanswered throughout and when all were answered at the end, it was total satisfaction. This novel includes a hint of ghosts, misplaced identities, lives revolved around books, books and more books. I felt if it was a match made in heaven; I was one with the story.

The MC, Margaret Lea works in her father's book store and is haunted by an event in her past. One night Margaret receives a letter to visit the home of a famous author, Vida Winter, in England, to record her autobiography. Vida Winter, the author, tells her story between battling a terminal illness, layering stories within stories piquing the curiousity of Margaret and readers.

It is a must read, but one warning. Please make sure you have time to read this because you won't be able to set down this powerfully rewarding piece of literature.


Hello fellow bloggers,

My last blog was about anxiety...yuck!

I am happy to say that I am on the road to recovery, and although I do have times of anxiousness (who doesn't?), I have not had any more panic attacks--Praise God!

I found on the Internet a website from an author who talked about the fact that we have control over panic attacks. Of course he has a book that I haven't ordered about ridding all anxiety. I'm not a big fan of easy answers. (I keep referring to the author as "he" and my apologies, but I don't recall his name) The one thing that he had mentioned on his site helped me. If anyone is interested, I'm sure I could find the web site...please email me. I have no idea if this guy knows his stuff or not, but some of what he mentions on his site helped me.

Control over panic attacks, no way I said to myself. Once your in one, it's uncontrollable, I say. But this author dared its readers to bring on a panic attack and said it wouldn't happen. What? Try to bring on an attack, are ya crazy? (maybe).

This is the thing. People who have panic attacks are VERY afraid of having another, and that (as I think I stated before) can create other panic attacks...now that is just ridiculous! But once the fear is taken out of the equation and that's exactly what happens when one tries to bring on his/her own panic attack, then according to the author, it won't happen. Without the fear, the attack doesn't occur. I'm thinking, yeah right. But I was desperate, so tried it when I was in an anxious state (not in an actual attack). I couldn't bring one on!

So how's it work if one has already started? I can still control it? Some seem to think so. Normally once I'm in a panic attack, I'm in it until it just goes away, or I've done something to help convince me that the fear is totally irrational (which is hard to do), but I've read where others believe that we can refuse to let our minds go through the constant loop of worry (the rapid heartbeat and the rest of the cycle that follows.)

I write this and still don't understand it, but I can tell you that after my worst attack, when I tried to make myself have another panic attack, I couldn't. When I started going through one a few days later, I refused to go down the road of worry/stress/panic, telling myself it wouldn't help to rehash this irrational fear. I'm done with it! If there is something constructive that I can accomplish, then do it; otherwise, let it go! I had to tell myself this off & on after I first noticed signs of an attack...clammy hands, rapid heatbeat, dizzy...

And to date, I haven't had another. This doesn't take away the root of my anxiety of course, and will it work for all of my panic attacks? I have no idea. I just know that this is one of the weirdest things that I've experienced in a long time.

God is good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Anyone else out there experiencing anxiety?

It's one thing to be unmotivated during these winter months, but to then experience anxiety on top of what are classic signs of depression, I think I could lose my mind. I'm not talking worry. I'm talking anxiety (panic) attacks that hit out of the blue that take over whatever it is that I'm doing at that point in time. Whatever it is that I had the panic attack over (could be anything that has given me fear, whether it's rational or not) lasts as lingering anxiety until either it has been proven (and I do mean, proven) that my fear is totally irrational or that I have found a new problem to worry about. It is very disturbing. I try to let these things go, but just can't. I feel like I'm a pretty strong person and most times, I am, but when this anxiety takes over...it's debilitating.

What? Is this the same person who has strong belief in God? How can this be? Honestly I struggle with this. If I had all of this faith in God, why wouldn't I just give this to him? I simply don't know. Faithful critters know that I understand that it's normal to have faith and fear, and that I work hard to hand over my will to Him, but during the times of anxiousness, I can't let go of the fear until it runs out of steam. What creates it? What stops it? I don't know.

Have I been on meds before for this? Yes. I'm sure I blogged about it last year at this time. But the difference is that there was 'usually' a direct underlying cause to my anxiety...this is mostly irrational fear. I even wake up with these panic attacks and it is extremely frightening...heart races and there is this fear that I should be doing something or that I have forgotten to do something. I'll even get up out of bed prepared to rush off to fix the matter and then stand in the kitchen and wonder what the heck I'm doing there. One might diagnose this as a need for control or frustration over my lack of it.

What? Yeah, say it. She's crazy. That's what I think sometimes, too. I know it must be a chemical imbalance...you think? But the meds that one is put on for depression etc is just as bad, at times, as the anxiety. It creates other problems. I probably should have been put on something in the fall so that it wouldn't have gotten this bad in the winter months, which hit me the hardest.

People who know me usually don't have any idea this is happening to me, unless I tell them. I usually keep it to myself until I've worked through the anxiety for whatever reason. For the first time, I let my husband know more about how I feel when this happens. I usually go about the day and struggle with it on my own. Even admitting depression is easier than explaining to people how I feel when struggling with anxiety and panic attacks. I know others struggle with this, but at the time it's happening, it is very personal and even to talk about it with my family is almost impossible.

Who should I also be talking with? Jesus. I try. I try praying and making time for devotions. But during times of great anxiety, it's the only time I've ever not been able to communicate with my Redeemer. Even in the worst stresses of my life, I've been able to, but when I get these attacks, I can't focus on any one thing, including my faithful Counselor whom I know tries to break through the clutter and noise clunking around in my brain.

Then I think that if I could just see the sun! Michiganders (as of last week) only rec'd 14% of the possible sunlight for the month. My hubbie tells me this as I can't even swallow food at a restaurant because my throat has tightened for no apparent reason, oh wait, I was thinking about that worry that I had had a panic attack over a few days before. I've lost weight. I just can't eat at times when these episodes hit. The attack itself doesn't last long, but it's the lingering fear of another and the irrational possibilities that ramble through my head seem to go on and on that takes away what little appetite I had.

Again I say, what? I consider myself to be a fairly healthy person. I've been starting to exercise a little more...okay so I hadn't been. The weather has been so awful that I just want go from home to work, work to home and feel drained just doing that. So, I'm exaggerating here, and do more than that, but that's what it feels like. If I hadn't been eating fairly decent, I would definately be changing that, but I've been pretty good in trying to keep a balanced diet. That is until the anxiety increases for no unknown reason...I wonder if it's tied to hormones, and yes, estrogen make me anxious, but it isn't always linked to that.

Could you understand my scrambled thoughts? If you've got this far, treat yourself! I know I could re-do this, but wanted to keep it real.

So get on meds or not? That is the question. I will be praying on this issue. Please pray for me.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Got Snow?

Last week was a tough week. It's tough to stay positive in the gloom and doom of winter in Michigan. But I really had to remember to be thankful for the things that we take for granted. Last week, I was certainly reminded of this.

Snow, ice, snow, rain, thunder...you name it, we had it last week. One never knew what the roads were really going to be like. One day it was ice and snow covered, other days, it was just snow, sometimes one could even see dry pavement.

On one of the worst driving days I've seen in a long time, I was very thankful that my car handled the ice and snow without any problems (of course I have 'some' experience driving in Michigan winters) ;) The big questions that morning were, was I going to stop at the intersection or how could I get through as many lights without stopping yet not running any red lights. Or avoid the moron who cut in front of me (yes, I actually leave a space between the other car in front of me) and fish tail either on the front or side of me. Yikes!

When I pulled into work driveway, I said a small prayer of thanks to God for getting me to work in one piece. Of course I didn't appear that I would be able to get my car back out of the driveway any time soon, but that was a problem for later.

I made me way through the snow and ice to unlock my work door. It was frozen shut. My key got stuck in the lock, and oh did I say that it was only about five degrees with wind chill of 10-15 below? My hands and feet are already freezing when I decide that 'no, I can't open the door.' I went next door and asked the guys if they could fix it. I think I could have used the word de-icer, but said, that stuff that unfreezes the door or something like that. Where had my intelligence gone, I wondered. But within ten minutes or so, I was inside. Again, another prayer of thanks.

Of course anyone who knows me will know what I did next...went straight for the thermostat to turn up the heat! My boss turns it down quite low so it's about 60 degrees when I walk in on a normal day. We've had issues before here with the furnace so when my eye caught the needle down past 50, I knew I was in for an even rougher day. I cranked up the heat to 80 to no avail.

I called next door (as we lease from that company) to have a repairman come out, knowing full well on this kind of day with high winds, below zero windchills and ice/snow that they wouldn't be out for a while. By afternoon a guy came in asking me what was wrong with the furnace...I had all I could do to remain calm. How do I know?

In any case, he went on to say that they wouldn't risk getting on the roof since that's the type of furnace it is. I nod my understanding, afraid of any unkind words slipping out. 'Please call me tomorrow to let me know when they planned on coming out,' I finally muttered. Oh wouldn't plan on anyone coming until the afternoon. Two days without heat? Well, okay no problem.

Needless to say, since I am intolerant to cold anyway, I had dressed in the warmest clothes I owned that would be acceptable to an office setting, even long underwear! I kept on my coat and clothes and thankfully had two heaters going, but it only kept the heat to about 54.

The heat was back on the following afternoon so all went well. We have had more snow and rain and thunder since then, and scary road moments, but I'm still here! Frozen, but here!

The bottom line to all of my rambling? I am reminded of how good I have it, and how I take for granted the little things that not only make my life more comfortable, but survivable. It's weird but that day helped to keep things in the right perspective. I thank God for all of his wonderful blessings!

But I need more work before I'll see all of this snow in a positive way...hey, I'm still working on it! ;) Oh and another snow advisory out for tonight and tomorrow...imagine that!


Friday, January 18, 2008

Project completed!

Whooppiee!! Project completed!

Such a little room, such a lotta work. The carpeting was replaced this morning. The bed delivered and setup at noon. Just need to get the personal things back in and figure out which pics to hang.

It looks so much different. Funny thing though, if you read my last post you know that I struggled a little too much (for me) to pick a color of paint for the walls. Well...I went with the paint that my hubbie liked since I couldn't make up my mind (out of the top five anyway ;)

Once he saw the room painted for the first time though, he didn't like the color. He said, "it looks pink." Oh good gravy. It's not anywhere near the pink hues. But with the fluorescent light bulb we had in there, by golly (I barely admitted), it did seem a pink tint to it. No problem it's only for a teenage boy...but after changing the bulb and getting the carpeting replaced, it looks more like the creamy beige we picked out. But still...there are times...when yes, it looks a pale pink. Shhh...don't tell my son...

And how was your day?? Now on to the living room...did I just write that? I must be insane!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

On the lighter side of things

On the subject of getting things done...

I finally got motivated and decided to re-do my son's bedroom...the poor boy has had teddy bears stenciled as a border and wall paper that has long needed to be replaced for long time. Sure I tried, really I did. I put baseball theme over the border that included banners, baseball items, and covered the carpeting with an area room that well, could be a boys color, but really isn't. He hangs out in our rec room downstairs so it really doesn't matter to him.

But he asked for a different bed because his bed was up higher as part of a sturdy desk, drawer and bed combo and getting down was not as easy because of his height and a ceiling fan, which is what started all of this. :)

So I spent a week getting all of his things out, how the walls hadn't collapsed from all of that stuff is a miracle. The bed came down yesterday and that was heavy, but thankfully my hubbie and son got it out into the garage until the Salvation Army picks it up. It is in good condition but decided it would be best to donate it. Next week the painter comes and then later in the week the room will be re-carpeted and then the new bed arrives. The hardest part?

Picking out the color. I like the fact that I can make good decisions quickly when necessary. Picked out a scrap of carpeting within five minutes. Two places looking at a bed and made the decision. The color? I had one picked out on the Benjamin-Moore site. Good. No problem. Then I got the wonderful idea to make sure that the brochure matched the color on line, to make sure. I went to the local hardware store for the sample. Unfortunately I found a bunch of them and then didn't like the one I picked out any longer, and had MANY others I liked. They were all so close that it wouldn't matter if I had picked any of them. Silly. I finally asked my hubbie to help pick out the top five. Okay, okay, ladies, I know what you're thinking, mistake. He didn't like it, but he actually picked out the one that I decided to go with. :)

So that had been decided and bed paid for, etc. The painter asks, "do you want the ceiling painted?" I told him that the ceiling was fine. That was until I actually looked at the ceiling. It still had those little glow-in-the-dark stars that have been up since my son was a little boy. I took them off and the glue from the back left discoloring of little dots. No problem, I'll just call the painter back and tell him to do the ceiling in an off-white.

Off-white. No problem, the painter said. Do you have the color of the Benjamin-Moore color? No, I said, can't you just pick one out? He laughed. OH no, he says, I don't think so. Darn. He suggested I pick out another color. I say his own words back, Oh no, I don't think so. How about white? I asked, and then continued, And don't even think about asking for a number.

And...how was your day?