It's Coming Along

For all my home decorating updates click here.

I am on the home stretch, soon the interior of our new home will be painted and pretty :) I have never done well with plain white walls. So far I have painted the following:

The Munchkins room Gray
Office an Aquamarine-ish
Guestroom, 2 tone green and Ivory

Now all I have to tackle is the Mini-Munchkins room (pink of course) and 2 bathrooms. We have hired a professional painter to do the living/family/kitchen room. I am quite independent and like to do things on my own, but that area is just TOO big for me to do. I can't wait to get it all done so we can move in!

Our goal was to be in the house April 1st... Well, that isn't going to happen so now our goal is to be moved in there by May 1st. We just moved our entire lives all the way across the country 4 months ago so the thought of moving again doesn't make me all giddy inside. But a 2 mile move should be a lot easier then a 3,000 mile move, right?

OK, I need to quite dilly dallying and get back to painting.

Ta Ta for now



Saturday Q-Shot: Eyes

I am so excited about this new Meme that my good friend Melissa is doing over at Spoiled Mommy. Each week she will ask a question that you need to answer with a photo. Sounds like fun!

This weeks question is "What is the color of your eyes?"

click photo for a large (prettier) version.

I answered this question with the color of my husbands eyes. He has greenish-gold eyes, and depending on the sunlight you can see hints of light blue. Every color in this picture I can see when he looks at me. This picture was taken while on a hay ride in South Carolina, I got so lucky that it came out so well :)

Join me each week

for "Saturday Q-Shot"
with Spoiled Mommy

Hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday!

Ta Ta for now



American Idol... Top 10

This evening we heard the music of Motown. It was a fun show, Simon & Paula seemed to be flirting up a storm. I loved how Paula gave Simon a coloring book since he was acting like a child! OK, let's get right to business...

My 2 favorites for the evening were:

Allison Iraheta: She rocked the house! "Papa was a rolling stone" was a great song choice for her. I hope America sees how talented she is and keeps her in this competition.

Adam Lambert: Again he surprised everyone, this time with a sweet, soft ballad. I am glad he didn't make it too funky and stayed true to the Motown vibe.

Now for who might be at risk of leaving, Megan Corkrey or Michael Sarver. They both are good, just not good enough in my opinion.

OK everyone, your turn! Who did you love, who did you not love?

Ta Ta for now



Neighborhood Kids Update

In my desperation to help the 2 kids mentioned in the previous post I left out some important information. Sorry guys, it's a little hard to ask for your advice when you don't know all the facts.

The girls are ages 8 and 10
The mom is gone because she works weird hours (at a bar)
I am under the impression that her other kids are supposed to watch these 2
The parenting style next door is very "let them raise themselves"

Thank you all for your wonderful advice, I greatly appreciate it and will let you know what I decide to do.

Ta Ta for now



What Would You Do?

"Latchkey kid or latchkey child refers to a child who returns from school to an empty home because his or her parents are away at work, or a child who is often left at home with little or no parental supervision." ~Wikipedia

Today my neighbors kids knocked on my door. As my husband opened the door I thought "again?"

These 2 sweet girls have knocked on my door quite a few times, every time with a different story:

door was locked
phone was missing
lost the spare key

This time the reason was that the phone was dead. Hum.... I didn't buy it. Their mom is a single mother who works crazy hours and is NEVER home. I offered them an ice cream sandwich, they refused. They used our phone and went back out into the dark night. 30 minutes later the door bell rings and it's those adorable little faces again. "Can we use your phone, I think we dialed the wrong number" YES, anything you guys need!!! Again I offer them some food and if they want to stay inside and watch a movie with us, again they refuse. "We'll be alright."

When they called whomever I got more of the story:

"Mom didn't pay the phone bill again, do you know where she is? OK, I understand... No we'll be fine. When will she be home? Oh... can you come pick us up? No? Oh I see, yeah we can sleep here alone tonight. Thanks anyway, Bye."

WHAT?! Are you kidding me? I am just supposed to send them out my door and act all cool with these kids being left alone all the time? I do keep an eye on the place, but this is just ridiculous! My parents used to work long hours, and I often let myself in after school. But I always knew where they were or how to reach them in case of an emergency. And they NEVER just left me over night!

My heart breaks for them, what would you do?

Ta Ta for now



Music With a Message

I LOVE when music touches your soul, when a songs lyrics make you shed a tear and really think about the world around you. Maybe this is why I love folk music and underground inspirational beats. Artists like Brett Dennen who have important & moving things to say.

Brett Dennen singing Ain't No Reason (one of my favorite)

With that said, while over at Ann Again... and again, I saw this music video below and HAD to put it on here! WOW so moving, makes me want to walk down the street with my own sign of love and hope. With the crazy way our world is these days I think we all could use some hugs, or know someone who needs one.

Free Hugs Campaign with music by: Sick Puppies

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend, now get out there and hug someone!

Today I am going to have a
virtual Girls Night Out!
wanna come? click below!


Ta Ta for now



Birthdays and Silly Days

My munchkin is now a BIG 6 year old! i can't believe it. I am so proud of the handsome sweet boy he is, and I can't wait to see what he becomes in years to come. To celebrate his birthday we had a tailgate party with family. Spring Training for baseball is held in the Phoenix area every year and we were so excited to be apart of it! We went to a Giants vs. Athletics game, my poor Giants didn't win :( Here are some fun pictures of our great day:

tailgate/birthday games

the mini-munchkin in deep thought

my hubby cooking us all some good food

yummy cupcake cake

my parents with the birthday boy

sweet angels

my hubby and i

(that's a water gun) nice shot cousin Mike!)

And the moment you have been waiting for! My moms almost lap dance love song serenade from 2 strangers when us "adults" went out for drinks to celebrate closing on our new home. It was just too funny.

Ta Ta for now



American Idol... Top 11

I'm back! Man what a week we all had with my parents here visiting! All I can say is my mom almost got a lap dance by 2 singing strangers and my dad looks like a lobster "Honey, where's my tanning oil?" More to come on that soon (and yes... I have pictures!)

On with the show. Country week was upon us, and some people ROCKED and other sank horribly. I think Megan Corkrey might be going home next week, we'll have to see. It's definitely getting hard to divide the good from the bad, everyone is SO good at this point. Tonight it was all about the boys in my book. Here are my top 3 picks for country week:

Matt Giraud: His piano skills can not be matched, and I loved his vocals tonight.

Danny Gokey: Wow he sang from the heart! "Jesus take the wheel" is powerful on it's own then you throw Danny in the mix and it's amazing.

Anoop Desai: I am so glad he did great this evening, he needed it from last weeks performance. I never knew he had such a soft side, I liked it.

So... who did you like best? Is there someone you can't wait to see leave?

Ta Ta for now




Alright people, sorry I haven't been sharin' the love this week. My head is spinning. We close on our home THIS FRIDAY! And what does a girl do when she's about to get a new house? Go shopping for fun, new things to fill it of course! You can read about my shopping finds here. My mom & dad fly in Thursday night to celebrate my sons 6th birthday on Saturday. He will be having a tail gate party before we head off to watch a Spring Training baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A's. Then I hope to start painting the new house. Busy, Busy, Busy. I hope you all have a great rest of the week and weekend. I'll be back to blogging soon.

Ta Ta for now



Good-Bye Dear Wolf

(This is my Moment this week because I am going to miss these beautiful animals once they are all gone)

*Before you read further below please refer to a post I wrote a while ago titled
Howling To Be Heard.

The Gray wolf is one my all time favorite animals, and Defenders of Wildlife posted a sad article yesterday that I HAVE to share with you. During President Obama's campaign he said he would fight for animal rights and redo the Endangered Species act... I guess he was kidding.

Here is the article:

Not a good day to be a wolf

Same bad plan for wolves
Salazar strips federal Endangered Species Act protection from wolves in Idaho, Montana

WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced he has decided to follow the Bush administration’s flawed decision to remove the protections of the Endangered Species Act from wolves in Idaho and Montana.

The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president for Defenders of Wildlife:

"Today is a truly disappointing day for Americans who care deeply about the Northern Rockies wolf population and for the integrity of the Endangered Species Act. We are outraged and disappointed that Secretary Salazar has chosen to push the same, terrible Bush administration plan for wolf delisting just six weeks into President Obama’s administration.

"We all expected more from the Obama administration, but Defenders of Wildlife will now move to sue Secretary Salazar as quickly as possible.

"Just three days ago, we were thrilled when President Obama stood before employees of the Department of the Interior, with Secretary Salazar at his side, and vowed to ‘help restore the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act.’ Yet today, Secretary Salazar announced that he is adopting a rule that is just as flawed now as it was when the Bush administration issued this appalling plan. Americans voted for change last November. Today Secretary Salazar gave us more of the same discredited approach to conservation followed by the Bush administration for the past eight years.

"All the reasons why this plan was a bad idea when the Bush administration proposed it still stand today. If this rule is allowed to stand, nearly two-thirds of the wolves in the Northern Rockies could be killed. This plan would undermine the goal of ensuring a healthy, sustainable wolf population in the region. Secretary Salazar’s terrible decision leaves us no choice. We will stand up for wolves and endangered species conservation by moving immediately to challenge this delisting in court."

The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife.

"Nothing about this rule has changed since it was rejected and deemed unlawful in a federal court in July of 2008. It still fails to adequately address biological concerns about the lack of genetic exchange among wolf populations in the northern Rockies and it still fails to address the concerns with the states’ wolf management plans and regulations that undermine a sustainable wolf population by killing too many wolves.

"We had hoped for a new delisting plan, based on current science that provides for a healthy, well connected wolf population in the region. Instead we are forced to, once again, challenge a bad rule forcing the expenditure of time and money that would have been much better served towards developing responsible state management plans.

In short, President Obama lied and I'm mad *gggrrrrrr* Now I have to go figure out what I am going to do about it! Have a good weekend everybody.

This "You're Gonna Miss This...Moment"
inspired and linked back to
Pam @
You're Gonna Miss This . Remember to cherish every
God has given us.

Ta Ta for now



My Daughter Is A Creepy Person!

Ever wonder what happens when you let your daughter play with your photo editing program? Well, the mini-munchkin has been driving me up the wall to "make a picture pretty!" so this afternoon I gave in, prepare yourself people, it gets a little weird...

It all started so simply, what a cute shot of my munchkins
enjoying a morning on our recent trip to South California.
I love these two!


then the editing began


I must worn you, it's quite intense


In A Snowstorm!!!

Where the heck does she come up with this stuff? Have I done something wrong? Should I be worried, I am a little. *sigh* OK, on the positive, she did a job great! Maybe she'll be like her ol' mom and go to college for computer animation, I'd be so proud :)

Have a super awesome wonderful weekend everybody!

Today I am going to have a
Girls Night Out!
wanna come? click below!


Ta Ta for now



Clean Energy & My first Guest Post!

Every now & Then I like to do a serious post about what's going on in the world, so here you go:

Recently there has been a lot of talk in the media about different ways to create electricity, and the impact it has on our planet. People keep talking about "Clean Coal," what is it? I thought what better person to discuss this topic then my husband! He has been in the power industry (Civilian & Navy) for over 18 years and is quite an authority on the subject. Let me give you a heads up... this is a LONG post, but I promise if you make it to the end you will learn a heck of a lot. You might even be surprised by which form of power generation is the cleanest!

“Clean Coal”, it doesn’t exist at this time. Maybe they really mean “cleaner coal”.

Clean coal is a term loosely used and not really understood. All that is needed is an internet search for “clean coal” or maybe even “carbon capture”, and all the information that you will need appears.

“Coal is the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. When burned, it produces emissions that contribute to global warming, create acid rain and pollute water. Clean coal is an umbrella term used to promote the use of coal as an energy source by emphasizing methods being developed to reduce its environmental impact. These efforts include chemically washing minerals and impurities from the coal, gasification, treating the flue gases (gases released by the burning of coal) with steam to remove sulfur dioxide, and carbon capture and storage technologies to capture the carbon dioxide from the flue gas. These methods and the technology used are described as clean coal technology. Major politicians and the coal industry use the term "clean coal" to describe technologies designed to enhance both the efficiency and the environmental acceptability of coal extraction, preparation and use, with no specific quantitative limits on any emissions, particularly carbon dioxide.”

So, based on the information above, which part of it came directly from the Department of Energy (DOE) website, you can see that the term “clean coal” can mean a variety of things. Some coal burning facilities have taking steps that can be considered cleaning coal, but by cleaning it they are just removing unwanted impurities to prevent burning them. This has reduced the release of items such as sulfur and mercury to the environment which does reduce air pollution, but really does nothing for the “Global Warming” issue that so many people are concerned about. Global warming is the result of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) released from the burning of fossil fuels. It doesn’t matter how many times the coal is “cleaned”, it is still a carbon based fuel, and it will release CO2 when burned.

The only way to reduce emission of CO2 is by using a method of carbon capture. This technology is based on stripping the CO2 from the exhaust of plants that burn fossil fuels (by the way burning natural gas also produces CO2, just not as much as coal), and storing it in a designated location. Below is some information on carbon capture. Part of this info is also from the DOE.

“Existing capture technologies, however, are not cost-effective when considered in the context of sequestering CO2 from power plants. Most power plants and other large point sources use air-fired combustors, a process that exhausts CO2 diluted with nitrogen. Flue gas from coal-fired power plants contains 10-12 percent CO2 by volume, while flue gas from natural gas combined cycle plants contains only 3-6 percent CO2. For effective carbon sequestration, the CO2 in these exhaust gases must be separated and concentrated.

CO2 is currently recovered from combustion exhaust by using amine absorbers and cryogenic coolers. The cost of CO2 capture using current technology, however, is on the order of $150 per ton of carbon - much too high for carbon emissions reduction applications. Analysis performed by SFA Pacific, Inc. indicates that adding existing technologies for CO2 capture to an electricity generation process could increase the cost of electricity by 2.5 cents to 4 cents/kWh depending on the type of process.”

Here are some other interesting facts….thanks DOE.

FACT: The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook estimates that the world’s primary energy needs will grow by 55% by 2030, with fossil fuels remaining a significant source of global energy supply. This IEA report also predicts a remarkable 73% increase in global demand for coal, driven largely by China and India’s growing economies.

FACT: In 2007, the U.S. consumed 1.1 billion tons of coal. By 2030, U.S. demand for coal is expected to grow by 48 percent, thus increasing to an estimated 1.7 billion tons, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Information Administration.

FACT: Since 2001, the Bush Administration has invested more than $2.5 billion on clean coal research and development (R&D) technology. (What? The republican’s came up with this?)

FACT: On February 27, 2003, the federal government announced FutureGen, a $1 billion initiative to create a coal-based power plant focused on demonstrating a revolutionary clean coal technology that produces hydrogen and electricity and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions.

Financial Benefits:

• Limits taxpayer financial exposure. Under the restructured approach, DOE will join industry in its efforts to build IGCC plants by providing funding for the addition of CCS technology to multiple plants. Under the concept announced in 2003, taxpayers would have funded 74% of the total project cost, as well as potentially 74%of all cost escalations.

• Provides demonstration of IGCC-CCS technology, enabling the FutureGen initiative to test the technology integration and clear hurdles associated with early technology demonstration to allow rapid commercial deployment after 2015.

• Leverages the Administration’s investment of more than $2.5 billion in clean coal technology since 2001.

• Establishes commercial feasibility and formulates a model that industry could use to deploy commercial-scale plants that each sequesters at least one million metric tons of carbon dioxide annually

The key points from facts above are that the use of coal as an energy source is going to increase dramatically. Carbon capture is very expensive. We do not currently have the technology available to perform carbon capture on large coal burning plants. 2015 is the earliest date when the technology may be available. And we the taxpayers are paying for at least 74% of the research.

So, I believe that I have provided enough info. In summary, the term “clean coal” should really be “cleaner coal”. The release of CO2 is not reduced by our current methods. Therefore, using current terms, “clean coal” is not the immediate solution for the reduction of greenhouse gases or global warming. And, now that you are armed with this knowledge, is it logical for the government’s energy plan to base billions of dollars in spending on technology that doesn’t even exist?

Maybe we should consider solar power? Solar power is a very clean source of electricity. Unless you take into account the batteries that are needed to store the energy. The last time I checked, batteries were still full of acid and lead. Nowhere near as bad as burning coal, but not perfect. The real question is how realistic is it to power cities using solar power.

An area of 3 to 3.5 acres was required to generate 1 MW (megawatt or 1 million watts) of electricity, while the life span of a solar plant is roughly thirty years. The life span is very good assuming that a solar panel can really last 30 years. I do not have any information to disprove that claim, so I must believe it to be accurate (even though the source of the information works for a solar panel production company… and salesmen never lie).

It takes approximately 3.5 acres of solar panels (not including any building or battery storage area involved) to produce 1 MW of power. Let’s put that in perspective. Palo Verde Nuclear Plant produces around 4200 MW of electricity. How many acres of solar panels would it take to equal that? 14,700 acres of solar panels would be needed. That’s a lot of land. I believe this fact alone will prevent solar power from ever becoming a major source of commercial electricity production.

I do believe that smaller applications of solar power, such as panels placed on building and houses, would be beneficial supplementing the production of electricity. If you live in Seattle, solar panels may not be a wise investment. But, in other, sunnier, parts of the country, businesses and homes can reduce their monthly electric bill by supplementing their use with solar panels.

So, where does that leave us? What is the cleanest, most environmentally friendly, efficient method for us to generate the electricity that will be needed to meet the growing demands of the American citizens? I say Nuclear Power. But, this is a topic that I will discuss later. For now, you can think about, debate, or dispute what I have written. But please remember, everything in italics is a fact not an opinion. Some of those facts were provided by our government (namely the DOE). And, as much as you may want to, you can’t argue with facts.

Can you tell my hubby is an instructor in the power industry? Is it that obvious?

Take my advice and read about things you don't understand, check the facts the government gives you. We live in a time where most just nod their heads along with the news reporters. Be free thinking, and decide for yourself what is or isn't true, not just because some politician, or anchor man said so.

Ta Ta for now


American Idol... Top 13

Ladies and Gentlemen here are your top 13 (that was a surprise!) contestants on American Idol:

Michael Sarver, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Allison Iraheta, Adam Lambert, Alexis Grace, Scott MacIntyre, Jorge Nunez, Danny Gokey, Megan Corkrey, Anoop Desai, Jasmine Murray and Matt Giraud.

So there you have it, Who do you think will win?

Ta Ta for now