Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vending Machines

I've been talking over on my Work at Home Newsletter website about the business opportunities for vending machines, and something I think would be good for a caregiver and their care recipient would be an idea that I had.

Get some vending machines, then set the machines up on a trailer so that they faced out either side and the back of it, you would probably need to create a side covering for when you are going down the road with the trailer, but that would not be hard. In the middle of the trailer you can put a place accessed from the front and under the machines maybe where there are trays locked away for restocking the machines. Or have a walkway for accessing the backs of them inside the trailer. Then you take it and park at fairs and flea markets with it.

This gives you a vending machine setup that would take care of itself while you and your care recipient just needed to tended to the task of occasionally maintaining the machines. You would be left for the most part to just relax and enjoying the fair yourself. The perfect way, I'd think, to get a small side business that would let you travel from fair to fair and enjoy the day.

It would require looking into, pricing machines from companies to see what the machines would cost you and what it costs to restock them and make the trailer and getting a space at a Saturday Market or local fairs. According to the information at BusinessMart on the vendstar machines; "The United States Department of Labor states that the average hourly income of a vender operator is $70.58" That's not too bad at all for a side business that you and your care recipient can get into and even if you can't make that much, there are other benefits to it.

It is something your care recipient can help with no matter their condition. Even if all they do is drop small plastic balls you have filled with toys or candy into the machines, it gives them something productive to be doing. And that, my friends, the care recipient feeling like they are able to be working still and helping out, is something that most caregivers will agree is worth investing in even if you're barely breaking even.

So, if you have been looking into a side business or hobby that you can get your care recipient involved in with you, look into the possibilities of vending machines. Whether you take them to fairs like I suggested above or set them up at local mom and pop shops and laundromats and places, they are something you and your care recipient can work on together.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

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Family Caregiver Info business plan

I'm revamping my business plan and have decided that I want to create one for my various websites, which means one for Family Caregiver Info too. I want to include things such as projects to undertake for that site - like rallying a letter campaign this November to tell Congress to be kind to caregivers and so forth. So if anyone can think of anything that might be good to focus on for caregivers in the term of over the next year or longer let me know and I'll add it into my business plan.

A few things I have planned for already that I want to focus on include:

  • Create a family caregiver newsletter for my website
  • Get website up and finished now that it has been moved to my server
  • Set up campaign to write congress folks about family caregiver bills
  • See about reviving family caregiver bills that have slipped away through congress forgetting them
  • Work toward more family caregiver resources in Alaska

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Ahhh... do you hear that? Silence.

My sister just took off with my parents to go looking for yard sales to check out, which means that I have a few hours of blissful silence to enjoy and the only thing bothering my quiet if the tapping of the keyboard and the quiet tick of the clock on the window - the clock is precariously close to going out the window.

It is rare that I get to just relax and lounge in silence without the TV or someone calling me. I usually have to wake up around 4 in the morning to get this kind of restful peace. Today I get a few hours of just being alone and enjoying the time to get my scattered thoughts all reined in and enjoying the silence. It won't last long enough.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gourmet Gift Baskets

Gourmet Gift Baskets has some nice things offered on their website, but two that caught my eye are the grilling gift basket and the beer gift basket. Alaska is a place where microbreweries are highly appreciated, so the Microbrew Beer Bucket Gift Basket caught my notice. The perfect thing to set out in a guest room for visiting fishermen the basket has six beers (Samuel Adams Summer Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Magic Hat #9, Pete's Wicked Strawberry Blonde, Smuttynose Old Brown Dog Ale, and Harpoon Munich Dark), and a selection of nuts and beef jerky to go perfectly with the beers.

With baskets like this it is easy to see why Gourmet Gift Basket has the confidence to proclaim about their gift baskets: "Give us a chance to earn your business and we know that you will never shop elsewhere again." Offering gift baskets backed by a 100% satisfaction grantee that are described by them as "works of art", the family owned and operated business packages their baskets in air bags and ships them worldwide via FedEx

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Alaskan Fishermen

Here is another good picture from the road trip - dipnetters. There are times in Alaska when it is okay to go out and dip the salmon out of the rivers with big nets, and when we say big nets, we mean it. These folks were wrapping up a morning of dipnetting salmon down on the Kenai river.

And here's another picture of a pair of fishermen getting ready to dip a salmon that was pole caught out of the river.

And last but not least, a pair of fishermen on a dock near the above two watching others fishing. I really like this picture. (If you look close the man in front, the one leaning on the walking stick, has a small dog on a leash.)


Road tripping in Alaska

My grand plan Friday to start work on a series of trails through the yard was sidetracked by a trip to Seward, Alaska, instead. We planned to drive down there and spend the night, hit the Sea Life Center and come back by 8 p.m. Saturday night.

That didn't work as planned. We got to Seward, but instead of going to the Sea Life Center, which we have been to a few times, we went out and about exploring. We even hit a few yard sales. Ended up going down to Kenai too, then back to Seward then back to the Valley.

Got some pictures, such as this nice one here of a momma bear and her cubs:

and this one of an uncrowded bank of men fishing for salmon. Yes, uncrowded, if they was serious there would be no room between them.

And finally a momma moose and her baby - this is unfortunately the best picture I have of them. They wasn't very far away from us, but was getting dark and they was in tall grasses and underbrush.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Which is better for us and the environment? Large Trucks or Small Cars

Here is something of interest for anyone that likes the diesel power of the large truck, but wants a small car. Isuzu has teamed up with Toyota to work on developing a small diesel engine to be used in passenger cars. Their goal is to research, develop and produce environmentally friendly engines for passenger cars. While I can see where a nice extended cab would be good to have, I would much prefer to be able to drive around a small to mid-sized passenger car when I am not needing to be hauling things around.

It seems that part of the goal for Isuzu and Toyota is to have a positive impact on the global movement toward more environmentally friendly alternatives in the automobile industry. Katsuaki Watanabe, president of Toyota, states that; "Toyota sees protecting the environment as the biggest mission for an automaker." He goes on to note that hybrid technology is one effective way to protect the environment, "but given that each country has different energy policies and regulations... we believe it is necessary to further strengthen areas related to diesels."

That strengthening is something that Yoshinori Ida, president of Isuzu, sees as a benefit as well. He has indicated a feeling that the research alliance between Isuzu and Toyota will be a positive one for the diesel engine industry. Isuzu is, in fact, a leader in the design and manufacture of diesel engines. They began in 1937 as Tokyo Automobile Industries, changing their name to Isuzu in 1949, and were the only company permitted by the Japanese government in 1941 to manufacture diesel powered vehicles. Today they still stand as one of the leaders in design and manufacture of advanced diesel engines.

Ida states, "By teaming up with Toyota, I am certain that we will be able to create the world's best diesel engines." It is an alliance that he sees as not only strengthening the competitive edge of the two companies, but contributing to the global environment.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Planning trails through the yard

I'm trying to decide what the best way to build a scenic parkland through the yard is. I know that my dad wants to get outside and get around, and the rain is finally starting to slacken off some, so I think that today, if the rain stays away, I'll help my dad outside and have him help me lay out and get started on a series of walkways. There's not much that he can do, but I want to at least have him be able to supervise my working on it so that he has something to do. He was always very hands on and getting little projects done, and now he can't work on things like that anymore. I know it's very frustrating to him. This won't be the most perfect of solutions, but I think it'll at least give him something to be doing aside from watching television all the time. And it'll get me off my backside and exercising, which is good.


The sleep cycle of the family caregiver

We have done extensive studies and have detected a pattern in the sleep cycles of the Family Caregiver.

7 p.m. - decides it is time to sleep.
8 p.m. - family caregiver finished getting the house ready so they can sleep
8:30 p.m. - finished getting theirself ready to sleep
9 p.m. - start back on getting house ready
10 p.m. - fall into bed
10:01 p.m. - get out of bed to double check that they had got this and that done
10:30 p.m. - back to bed, collapse and swear not to get out for 8 hours.
10:38 p.m. - back up after only 8 minutes to check that back door was locked and dog has water.
11:00 p.m. - lingered and made sure nothing else needed to be done. Finally - the bed is all that needs them.
12:30 a.m. - care recipient needs help into the bathroom and back to their chair where they are watching a movie.
1:00 a.m. - done helping care recipient and finished getting movie snacks and double checked door is locked and back to bed.
3:00 a.m. - Care recipient finally ready for bed, caregiver drags exhausted backside out of their own bed to help the care recipient to their bed
3:30 a.m. - all caregiver can think of is sleep, barely makes it to bed
4:00 a.m. - Alarm clock one dies an unnoticed and violent death for doing its job
6:00 a.m. - Alarm clock two beaten repeatedly for having the audacity to have a working 'snooze' button that keeps trying to do it's job.

somewhere late morning to early afternoon: as care recipient sleeps peacefully the caregiver sits blurry eyed sipping coffee and planning to make the choice to go to bed at 5 p.m. this time. This, unfortunately, is a very true story.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Find great skins for Ipods, and more, at SkinIt

I was out looking at skins for my laptop and cell phone at SkinIt yesterday, before mom and I went into town. After a hour or more of looking around the site at all the skins I finally decided that I needed to come up with a good theme for my stuff and then go back to look over things again.

The site has a huge selection of skins, and they have things to custom fit all kinds of devices. Everything from laptops to Ipod skins. Even skins for Bluetooth headsets. I need to gather all my gizmoes together and see what all I want skinned, since the things are inexpensive enough I can skin more than one or two of them.

I like the stuff by Larry Elmore, of course, LOL, I've only been a fan of his artwork since I think the 80's. They have a huge selection though, so, just go browse for a little while and pick out your favorite sports team, or maybe some Disney characters, comic book heroes, perhaps a Star Wars character or two? How about a branch of the armed services? Or .... well, I have not found an interest yet that's not covered. lol Check them out to see if they have your favorite skin.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Looking for information on reverse mortgages

Something else that I am looking for information on is the reverse mortgage. I want to make up a guide to what they are all about for Family Caregiver Info. They are something that could be of benefit to a lot of seniors, but I think that anyone looking into the things needs to know exactly what they are looking at, so I want to create an unbiased article on what they are and what people need to think about and ask when they are looking at getting one. Has anyone got one? If so I would love a chance to e-mail back and forth about what your experiences are or what you think of the things. Thanks!

Looking for information on wills

I'm looking into information online about wills, and was just wondering if anyone knew of a good place to look for that sort of thing? I want to create a page at Family Caregiver Info for how to go about setting up wills and what is needed to create one and get it properly notarized and all that. Right now I don't know anything about wills, so this is going to be a interesting exploration in just how the things work and what goes into creating one.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Galucoma: the thief of sight

Something that is not often thought about until it effects you or someone you care about is the various diseases affecting the eyes that come with the effects of aging. I recall when I was younger and my dad began to loose his eyesight, he went to see the doctors and was diagnosed with glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a sneaky type of vision loss that creeps in along the edge of your vision. Giving you a good crisp view of the things you are looking directly at, but causing an area of hazy unfocused vision off to one side. This unfocused section often goes unnoticed because of the effects of glaucoma. When the person redirects their attention to the blurred area it snaps into crisp focus, the blurred segment having moved with the eyes to remain just off to one side of the object being viewed. This makes it very difficult for someone to realize that they are suffering from glaucoma until it has entered the more advanced stages.

My father was able to undergo surgery to correct the problems, avoiding loss of his vision that glaucoma would have eventually resulted in. Years later the silent thief was back, this time my oldest brother was the one that was being robbed of his vision. By the time he was able to get laser surgery to correct the problem he had come very close to losing his vision.

The ability to see is a precious thing, something that should be protected and cherished. The University of Illinois Eye & Ear Infirmary has information on Glaucoma including possible causes and ways to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma.

There are a large number of studies being done to try and understand glaucoma better, including what treatments might be the most effective. The biggest danger glaucoma presents is the painless and symptomless progression toward loss of vision. By making yourself aware of what the known symptoms and risk factors are, and keeping a close watch over yourself and your care recipient, you can better reduce the danger of vision loss due to glaucoma.

If you would like to find out more about glaucoma, and other types of eye diseases that effect the aging eye, the Eye Digest has extensive information available on all kinds of aging eye related diseases.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sultana and Denali - aka: Mt Foraker and Mt McKinley

I went up to check the mail earlier and got a good view from the trail of Sultana and Denali (Mt Foraker and Mt McKinley for you lower 48er's).

Yes, yes, I know, not very impressive... but now take into consideration that this picture was taken from around 200 miles south of the mountains. That's almost as far away as Washington State is wide (Washington's 240 miles wide by 360 miles long). Not too shabby for taking a picture of Canada from the Washington - Oregon border between .


Friday, July 13, 2007

Dating Site: Lovers Planet

This blog post is based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit

Spend a little time meandering around the various dating sites that are so prevalent online and you will notice there are two basic types of people that sign up for them.

1) Those looking for a good time and to meet new people
2) Those looking for that special someone to build a future with

It is the latter type of users that Lovers Planet believes they are the perfect choice for. Lovers Planet says that Russian and Ukraine women who are looking to be brides are more likely to make better brides than women in America, the UK and Australia because russian girls place their desire for a family before their desire for a career.

It is further maintained by Lover's planet, and unconfirmed by me, that there is a lower rate of divorce in marriages with Russian women than those with women in America, the UK and Australia.


Sugar Free Red Bull

I have been drinking Red Bull, the sugar free version of it, and while the taste.... well, it takes more than a little getting used to, but the drink actually does seem to help out with being more focused and able to think straight.

At least it seems to me like it does. Mind you, it is no substitute for lots and lots of good deep sleep, something that I am in desperate need of, but it is a decent drink and seems to work for me when I need it.

And just 10 calories in it means that it's not something that will be too bad on my weight too, which is good.

Transformers meet Robot Desk Lamp

I did an evil thing to my little Robot Desk Lamp. I took him apart and reassembled him - sorta like The Six Million Dollar Man meets a Transporter accident.

The thing now has a long neck and a set of arms for holding the things that I need to have held in place as I work on my small scale stuff that I am always fiddling with.

I truly do love the Robot Desk Lamp, I can see so many possibilities for what can be done with it. I'm gonna create a work station for my crafts with one of these fellows on either end of it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Magic Beyond Imagination!

Looking for something special for that family reunion? Maybe you have a large party planned and want to make it memorable? Check out “Magic Beyond Imagination!”. This is a special brand of “motivational magic” that Robert McEntee has performed for about 20 years.

McEntee works throughout the Long Island, NY area (along with NJ, CT., several other states, as well as Canada), the long island magician specializes in providing total family entertainment with customized themes. He is so much more than just a small party magician, however, McEntee has a special performance called “Miracles of the Mind!” that is an accelerated learning & motivational presentation which he gives to corporations, professional associations, and civic groups.

A graduate of Villanova University as well as Mystery School, the world’s leading theatrical school for magicians, McEntee says, “My job as a magician is to make sure the audience’s imagination comes to life….to let them experience a sense of awe and amazement, as well as joy and laughter.”

Offering everything from a sophisticated walk around performance for receptions to whole shows that can be customized for each individual audience and the event planner’s desired outcomes, McEntee's appearances are mesmerizing with musical routines, great comedy, and plenty of audience participation. They can include everything from storytelling with positive themes to mind-reading. He even has optional balloon sculpturing, when requested, can include a dramatic fire eating display.

For more information on McEntee's availability and performances visit, you can e-mail him through the site, or call 631-757-4206.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Beef stew

I made us a big old thing of beef stew the other night (night before last) and then I reheated it for dinner last night.

Made bread and chocolate pie to go with it the first night, which can be seen in the picture and was really really good. I did not get a chance to have any of the stew last night because I was too tired by the time it was ready, so I just went to bed. It must have been good though, because my parent's, sister and nephews polished the stew off by the time I got up this morning.

Robot Desk Lamp

Was at Wal-Mart last night and I picked me up a new lamp for my office that they had on sale. It's called the Robot Desk Lamp. It is a stick figure-style robot lamp that stands about 15 inches high and has a multi-jointed body in a humanoid shape with a spotlight as the head. Unfortunately it's just multi jointed - not a real robot.

Mine's not the same colors as the one in the picture here, mine has black tubing and silver joints, otherwise he is just the same as this fellow in the picture below. The lamp came complete with the wrench that is needed for tightening up all of his joints when they get loose.

Monday, July 09, 2007

A small home is a cozy home

When I was cleaning houses for people I cleaned two huge houses that were 99.99% wasted space that was just a waste of heating energy. Why have lots of open space if it's not being used? As a family caregiver living in a three bedroom house with my parents, it is almost a life skill to know a thing or three about Small Home Design. People often assume that small house means no space, and yes, I admit it, in our house there is a lot of "clutter" but I'm a packrat tyvm. I have a small office, so redesigning it is going to take into account that I have a big office collection of books and equipment. Shelves will be designed that allow me to store things in efficient manners and I have a plan for a blackboard with a sliding bulletin board front that will allow me to take full advantage of the small space I have for both of them by combining them.

The bathroom is another exercise in spacial economy. With everything from a washer and dryer to handicapped bathtub seats and a vanity that needs to be stored away the bathroom is carefully maintained chaos most of the time, but when there is room to store things that are needed in the bathroom it makes no sense to have a wasted space as a spare room. All that does is add to the heating bills. So even if the house is a bit small for what I would like it to be, it is actually a very nicely laid out chaos that I think would not be any better if it was larger.


My Cookbook: an introduction

I'm making stew tonight for dinner. It just seemed like a good idea when I was in the store yesterday and found a one pound package of chunks of stew meat for $3. A pound of meat is all we really need. I knew I could come up with everything else at the house.

Sure enough, there are baby carrots, a bag of onions, some leftover celery from when we got a bunch and only needed one piece the other day, and although the potatoes were a lot worse for the wear, I was able to get some not quite so worse for wear potatoes from my brother.

I don't have any beef bullion cubes, but I do have a package of beef stew seasoning mix stuff.

So, after while I will brown the meat in the pan, using a little flour salt and pepper (scant on the salt, just enough to draw out the flavor good). Then following a general "this sounds right" recipe I'll cook the meat in water until it's time to add assorted other ingredients. A little flour mixed in cold water as a thickening agent, some kitchen bouquet for flavor and to add color and all I'm missing is a bay leaf. I forget just what the bay leaf does, but this will be the first time I have made a stew without one so I guess I'll find out what it does. LOL

I've decided that I'll use this as a starting recipe for creating a new segment here called My Cookbook. I love to cook, and so does my mom, and generally when we do we cook fast and easy, so I think it would be a good addition to the blog for other caregivers looking for recipes that can be fit into the insane schedule of cooking and caregiving. We'll see how this section evolves.

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ScanShell 800N medical card scanner

The scanshell-store has something that might be of interest to anyone working in home health care services or as a part time physical therapist or similar situations.

The ScanShell 800N medical card scanner. This is a card scanner with a built in automatic card-feed detection mechanism that triggers the scan in a matter of seconds. The card scanner will scan both the front and back of medical insurance cards. The images produced by the scanner are able to be inserted into the patient's data sheets, saved to a file, or exported to any other application. You can even e-mail them or send them to an FTP or web address.

The medicscan card scanner works with any photo media: paper photos, ID cards, checks and even rigid plastic credit cards. It is easy to set up and use, reducing the chance of human error in processing medical insurance cards and easily connects to your PC through a USB port.

The scanners are inexpensive enough to allow for even a part time physical therapist or home health care worker to be able to afford one for use in billing insurance companies more accurately. A wide range of available scanners makes it easy to select one that will do whatever you need, including one that is soon to be available that allows you to select specific fields, or parts of a field, and even select multiple fields together.


Wait, what do you mean this job does not come with sick leave?

There are days when you just want to curl up and not get out of bed. Your head aches and your muscles ache and your joints feel like they were poured full of quick setting cement. Most days this wears off after the first fifteen to twenty minutes and you are fine for the remainder of the day - mostly fine anyway.

This is one of those days when it did not just wear off. I even tool a 30 minute nap about 5 hours after I woke up and it was no good. I ache, my neck aches and my head hurts to the point I feel nauseous.

Problem is, I can't just go back to bed and spend the entire day in bed. No, that would be nice, but as any full-time caregiver can tell you when you pick up that "full-time" badge it really does mean *full*-time. Sick days are not allowed.

I'm trying toast to try and ease off the headache, since I don't have anything I can take for the headache. I would take a couple aspirins, but the bottle is almost empty and I need to hang on to the ones in it for my dad since he needs one every day and I am not sure when I'll be getting to the store to get more.

I hate taking medications anyway, preferring to not muddy up my body's efforts to tell me when there is a problem.


The Expression of Flowers

Flowers have power. They can make someone smile, they can invoke memories, they can make even the most dreary of days brighter. When you see a rose it invokes certain feelings and thoughts, daisies probably make you think of early summer and girls casting their love for a boy upon the windswept petals as she murmurs, "He loves me, he loves me not..."

Whatever memories or special feelings a flower holds for you, it's magical ability to touch our lives and even our hearts is undeniable. Whether you believe in fairies, you can not help but believe in the wonder that flowers possess.

Many people see universal connections to flowers and certain things. An elegant display of flowers more resembling of a sculpture than a floral arrangement is something that eloquently expresses sophistication, a dozen roses has always been the perfect "I love you" gesture, and an eclectic collection of mixed wild flowers will always be the perfect way to say "Happy Mother's Day".

Whatever you need to express, and wherever you need that expression to be delivered to, you can find just what you need at Dot Flowers. The flowers at Dot Flowers are available for same day flower delivery in Florist Direct flower arrangements designed in your local floral shop, or Field Fresh flower delivery straight from our growers’ farms to anywhere in the United States.

Want to send a gift basket? They have a wide selection of gourmet treats from cookies to savory snacks. They want to be sure that you know they understand that the gifts you send represent you both personally and professionally, and they are devoted to helping you make a great impression. Check out the Dot Flowers website and see for yourself how expressive a flower can be.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Am I being watched or something?

Oh man, I'm now paranoid. My Cali-Friend has spies watching me. She just caught me talking at the office water cooler. ::dies laughing:: - okay, no, I'm serious here. I know I work from home, and all that, check out my post titled "Okay that was scary" over at my main blog, or the one "Mondays Suck" on the Work at Home Newsletter.

You'll believe they are watching too. ;-)

Mondays suck

You really want to know what sleep is like for the caregiver? What was that Jack Nicholson said in 'A Few Good Men'? "You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

It's 7:15 in the morning as I write this. I have been awake for maybe 20 minutes. Feels like I been drug behind a leaky cement mixer on a gravel road for that time instead.

I think I got somewhere in the area of about 3 and a half, maybe 4 hours, of sleep last night and that means that this morning every joint in my body feels muggy and achy. Okay, maybe not only because of the lack of rest. It is also a very muggy yucky day out there and I have the song "Monday Monday, can't trust that day..." stuck in my head. That's not a good sign, is it?

Started out poorly enough I suppose. Was around 2 a.m. last night before I went to bed, so that was officially Monday. 3 a.m. my mom woke me up. Her television was not working. First sign on the day going downhill, it turned out that I had accidentally unpluged the satellite receiver box earlier in the evening. oops. Okay, fixed, I crawl back to bed.

Mom woke me up a little while later because the TV had stopped working. Figured that one out blessedly fast. Turned out that the dog had tripped over the cord and it was unplugged just enough to turn off the TV. Got that fixed (still not sure how the dog managed it) and got back to bed. Around 3 or 3-something.

Alarm went off on schedule at 6 a.m. and, also on schedule, I commenced to cussing it out and informing it of precisely where it could put that buzzing noise. I did that maybe 4 or 5 times as it valiantly risked bodily harm to wake me. I finally drizzled out of bed about 5 minutes to 7 and want to go back to bed and sleep until sometime after 3 this afternoon.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Credit Card Search Engine

Being a full-time family caregiver can be rough on the finances, particularly when it comes to one's credit. Bills start to pile up and before you know it you are burried under bad credit and thinking that there is no way out.

The Credit Card Search Engine can help you find credit cards even if you are in need of Bad Credit Credit Cards to help you rebuild your bad credit rating. You can research cards, make comparisons online, and even apply for the cards you want online through the Credit card Search Engine website.

They feature offers from leading U.S Credit Card issuers (names like J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citibank), and they have leading brands such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Caregiver Figurine in the planning stages

I'm planning a caregiver figurine, for my OOAK polymer clay sculptures. I'm still not settled on a specific design for it, but I am doing preliminary sketches and will let you know when I have more idea of what it is that I am going to be creating for it. I've wanted to make a caregiver figure for a long time now (counting in years), but never got around to it. I decided I need to get around to it now.

Know anything about writing campaigns to congress?

Anyone know anything about organizing letter writing campaigns to congress? I want to organize something for November, but Ive never done anything like that before. Any advice greatly appreciated.

My goal is to get people to send letters to congress in November reminding them of National Family Caregiver month and what it means and asking them to please support bills that support family caregivers.

I'm making notes on things that I want to do, such as get a Yahoo Group going for it, set up space on my Family Caregiver Info website next week when I revise it, and make list of congressional people's contact information. I also want to create some sample letters. Does anyone know if e-mails and comments on blogs help any?

Thank you for your time and input. :-)

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

We're a Ford Family

My family has always been Ford people, for the most part. There is the stray blacksheep that likes Chevy's, but what family don't have a few bad seeds in it?

Okay, kidding around aside. I'm a Ford girl. I've been a Ford girl for years and blame it entirely on my dad's old pickup. Old Grandad, so named because years ago my dad had a large bottle of Old Grandad bourbon in a wire framework deal for easy pouring. There was a plaque on the framework that read "Old Grandad" and my dad took it off the framework and mounted it on the dashboard of his truck. Anyway, Old Grandad was the first vehicle I helped to rebuild an engine in. He was also the first one I helped swap engines in. Me and that truck go back over a lot of great memories together and I can't wait until we get his back wheel fixed and he's back on the road.

Until then, I have myself a project and it should be no surprise it's a Ford. (Particularly if you're a regular reader of my blogs and saw the Ford Thunderbird I picked up not very long ago.)

I plan to make the T-bird my winter project car and will be rebuilding it over the course of the winter. Probably over the course of several winters given no more free time than I usually have.

I have planned for this to take a while, because I know that accidents can, and do happen, particularly accidents that can damage to the radiator when swapping out engines. I've already bookmarked in case something happens to the radiator. They an extensive selection of radiators, from ones to fit those rusting Chevy's out back to a Taurus Radiator and even information on ones for the classic cars that I love so much. When I visited the site I was happy to find that they have stores in Alaska, and not too far from me, and it is easy to locate things on the website. There is a chat box on most pages too, it even tells you just how many mechanics are ready to talk to you about your needs with radiators.

I just need to get things arranged out in the yard, stuff like getting the hot tub out of the log garage so I can shove my car into it, and getting my tools all in order (and buying what I need that I or my brother don't already have. I'll be doing 90% of the work on the car myself, but my brother will help me out on it. I want to learn the body work, so this is my test project car to let him teach me how to do that stuff, and the rest of the car is all mine to toy with and slowly get fixed up the way I want my car to be.

I'll be making a website to share what I'm up to with the car, so be sure to keep an eye out for that announcement later on down the line toward Fall. And make sure you check out if you're working on your own project car, they have OE certified radiators and a quality and fit guarantee.

They carry thousands of aftermarket Ford radiators and upgrade radiators, with radiators for Ford models of every year, both new and classic. A bonus for my family is that they have Mustang Radiators (great since my brother restores Mustangs), and aluminum Ford truck radiators - which I am fairly certain is what Old Grandad is going to need the next time we overhaul his engine.

Some of the information in this blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Friday, July 06, 2007

Pretty in Pink - A Pink Dolphin?

Okay, I admit it, when I saw the pictures of the pink dolphin that Calcasieu Charter Service out of Louisiana had put up on their website, I was more than a little skeptical. Who ever heard of a pink dolphin?

But, I went and did a little searching on Google and lo and behold, there is such a thing as pink dolphins! Who knew?

Apparently the pink dolphin is a rare thing with estimates of it numbering 100 to 150 according to a web page on the Western Illinois University website. For more about the pink dolphin check that site out here.

I'm plotting a pretty in pink sculpture now for making with polymer clay featuring a pink dolphin and a pretty mermaid.

Sponge cake came in second in a one entrant contest

Remind me never to enter any contests held by the British, apparently your best is never good enough. Just ask Jenny Brown.

Jenny Brown, 62 and a grandmother, had entered her Victoria Sponge cake in a competition held by the Wimblington Sports Committee. During the judging process the cake apparently failed to live up to expectations because of wire rack marks found on it by the judges. With points deducted for the cosmetic defect the cake was awarded second place - even though it was the only entrant in the competition.

Wait.. the only one? How do we achieve second place? Brown received a trophy and certificate for her second place win, but I would like to know what first place would have received. Did the Wimblington Sports Committee kick her back to second in a one entrant competition to avoid having to award the first place prize?

This is apparently a trend in British competitions since 11 years ago Julie Dent, 44, a member of the Wimblington Sports Committee, was also in a baking contest. "I entered a show with some fruit scones," said Dent. "I was the only entrant but I came third."

As for Jenny Brown, she is not complaining. She said, "The cake hadn't been judged good enough to win the contest, but it was soon polished off and there were certainly no complaints."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change

Written by Sara Orem, PhD, Jacqueline Binkert, PhD, and Ann Clancy, PhD, this book is designed meant to be for anyone that does one-on-one work with the people that can create change in their organizations, but I would really love to check it out some time to see if the principles that they demonstrate for creating change in the workplace might apply to creating change as a caregiver.

All three of this book's authors are involved in business coaching: Sara Orem is a faculty member and coach in the online learning School of Business and Technology at Capella University, and is the principal of her own coaching firm. Capella University, where Orem is faculty member and coach in the School of Business and Technology, offers graduate degree programs in business, including an online mba program. Jacqueline Binkert is an executive coach who specializes in working with leaders and teams during times of change. Ann Clancy is president of Clancy Consultants and has worked with community organizations, large corporations, and federal agencies.

The three have drawn on their experience and written a book that teaches the reader how to tap into, or rediscover, their excitement about their present life and future possibilities. Building on a sense of wonder it guides them through four stages (Discovery, Dream, Design, and Destiny) that help them to feel inspired and gives them an empowering view of themselves and their future.

This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit


Happy 4th of July!

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July everyone!

I picked the above picture up over at Photobucket. It looked like a good one for use from Alaska since there is only a few minutes of darkness at this time of year in which to see fireworks like that.

The best fireworks displays in Alaska are always at the state fair in September, they are set to musical accompaniment and are really neat to watch. I have only made it over there a few times, but it was really kewl each time I got to witness it.

Barnes & Noble is a great store

For years my mom and I have been looking for Gods Little Acre and The Grapes of Wrath in the rental stores and anywhere that sells movies up here, and have not had any luck finding them. I finally thought last night to check out the Barnes & Noble's website to see if there was any chance they might have them, and there they were. I managed to order both movies for her. It ended up costing less than $15 for the both of them, (free shipping by tossing in a polymer clay book for me) and now they're on their way to mom. They should get here some time next week. She don't know I found them, I figure I'll just wait until they get here then just hand them to her.


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