Friday, October 31, 2008

Important Stuff Before Tuesday

I don't really get how anyone can be undecided at this point ... but just in case anyone is ... the "mainstream" media won't share these with you.

Obama Kicks Off Disagreeing Reporters - No Dissent Allowed (and yes, the article mentions McCain not allowing access from the Dowd...but come's the Dowd!)

It's Going to be like Christmas? Obama-Claus

Are You a Citizen, or a Subject?

This gave me chills!

It's Clearly the Government's Job. Not ours as individuals. Duh.

Read and Laugh

Be Afraid. Be VERY Afraid.

Who Would Iraqis Vote For?

Tipping Less? - I like the note idea.

Have a Happy Halloween and a great weekend!

My Name

I thought this was kind of neat ... I found it over at My Discoveries.

Spell your name using these letters:

A: Best Gf/Bf any one could have
B: You love a certain someone
C: People cant help but check u out

D: You are really lovable

E: You Are Great

F: Easy to fall in love with

G: You never let people tell you what to do

H: You have a very good personality and good looks

I: People love you

J: People Adore you
K: You’re wild and crazy

M: Handsome/Beautiful

N: Easy to fall in love with
O: Best kisser ever
P: You are popular with all types of people

Q: You are a hypocrite

R: You love to kiss

S: You are freakin crazy
T: You are loyal to the ones you love
U: You really like to chill

V: your not judgmental

W: You are popular

X: You never let people tell you

Y: Sexiest bitch alive

Z: Never good enough…

My Resul

M-Handsome/Beautiful (um...not so much)
- You Are Great (well, yes)
G- You never let people tell you what to do (ain't that the truth!)
- AWESOME KISSER (hahahahahaha)
- Easy to fall in love with (ahhh...I'll have to ask hubby but he says I had to trick him into marrying me! LOL)

Go grab and see what your name means.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Something to Ponder

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."
~Thomas Jefferson~

I wonder what our great founding fathers would say about our government today.

My 5 Seconds of Fame

Thanks to my friend Jennifer I found out that one of my pieces of jewelry was on the front page of Etsy for a few seconds today. *grin* Woohoo! I'm famous!

Well, not really. I don't know why but they rotate that page crazy fast. I swear it must have been up for less than 5 minutes. But it was really exciting and Jen took a screen shot!

That's my necklace in the far bottom right corner. My mom wants that necklace and the matching earrings. Ha! I may have to take it out of my shop if she hasn't bought it before Christmas. It'll be hers if I can't think of anything else to get her.

I Hate Hospitals

But in a few minutes I'll be leaving for one. My grandmother (my other grandma...not the one that died last November obviously) is 92 years old and very stubborn ... refusing to live with family and insisting to live at home. Well, she fell and broke her hip. She had surgery two days ago and asked her daughter, my aunt, to make sure I knew.

This is my dad's mom ... and she's always treated my brother and I as special. Dad died when he was only 36 years old...I was 8 and brother was 5.

So I'll be heading down to the hospital to visit her for a little while. I'm really not looking forward to it though. :(

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun New Surveys

OH surveys. =) I suppose you've noticed that I enjoy taking surveys. *blush* I'm kind of geeky that way. I feel that everyone is entitled to my opinion. hahahahaha

First off...Credit Unions... I am a member of a credit union and have been since I was 18 or 19. I love it. :)

Next Up...Starbucks! My SIL works for corporate and brings us coffee (for hubby...I don't drink coffee) sometimes. Plus I LOVE the new Salted Caramel hot chocolate. So yummy. And when we were there on Sunday there was a little card I picked up that had a free iTunes downloadable song on it. Neat.

And one that I swear I've already answered. Or at least some version of it.

Have a Happy Tuesday. And don't forget to check out the auction for Saving Shelter Pets!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

This Week's Menu

I've been cooking lately. A lot. It's frightening and completely against my nature!

But along with the coupon and frugal bug I've been bitten with the home maker bug apparently. I've actually ... *gulp* ... been enjoying myself!

Do NOT tell my husband. I'll never live it down.

Last week I made Chicken and Macaroni and Cheese caserole, Enchilada casserole, Ground Turkey Soft Tacos, and Parmesan Crusted Chicken. We had the mac and cheese two nights. And then Friday we both had frozen microwave meals. :)

So I've been trying to plan ahead and think about what we can make throughout the week. It's more relaxing to know that dinner is planned.

Last night I boiled a chicken and made chicken noodle soup. I got the carrots from my grandfather's garden (they are so yummy) and chopped up some celery. The result was super yummy so last night we had soup and sandwiches.

I'm not entirely sure what we're having tonight but hubby is home so he'd better be making dinner tonight. I'm guessing salmon will be involved.

I have a whole Glad container full of chicken from the chicken last night. I'll either use that for another macaroni casserole or Fajitas. I bought two peppers at the grocery store yesterday. I won't actually eat them but they add good flavor. :)

My recipe list is not very long. Since I wasn't raised to cook I am not very creative when it comes to what I should (or can) cook.

What's your favorite recipe? And remember...I am SUPER picky. I don't eat onions, lettuce, celery, tomatoes (except ketchup or soup), or most other vegetables.

Got any suggestions for easy to cook meals?

Support Saving Shelter Pets

Saving Shelter Pets is a wonderful organization that works super hard to rescue and place those wonderful dogs who find themselves in a Shelter through no fault of their own.

Starting today, October 27, they are holding an auction to raise funds and one of my necklaces is on the auction block for you to win!!!

Bid on goodies through November 21 and get them in time for Christmas. There's even a diamond pendant!!!

Their goal is to raise $2,500 and I hope we can help make it happen. I've already started bidding ... don't outbid me okay? *grin*

Only Another Week

And the madness will be over. I'm really really really looking forward to next week. Our governor's election here in Washington State is just nasty. My husband's union has worked their damnedest to scare him into voting for the Democrat nominee ... and it's partly working. He hasn't finished filling out his ballot. *sigh*

The State Patrol union "dissed" the Republican nominee last time ... I guess. They gave their support to the Dem. I didn't care. The unions almost always support the Democrats - after all the Dems are the ones who give them what they want. Money and power.

The current govna has done her best to buy the support of the unions and the tribes. But I refuse to be bribed. I know it would be in my family's "best interest" to vote for her this year. In the long term though it will NOT benefit us. Our economy has started to slow down just recently. Our unemployment in the state has started to rise. We are "behind" the rest of the country in this respect. Home prices are still pretty high but falling.

And our state budget is out of control - we have BILLIONS in deficits now. I have an inside contact in the Treasurer's office and know that the state budget is insane. And she wants to spend MORE and tax more. That is not going to help us in the long term.

But the powers that be in hubby's union are doing their best to sway him from his conservative standards. It's really sad.

I guess people think it's better to give the state control over their lives. Obama wants to take from the "rich" and give to the "poor" ... oh so Robinhood like ... except that Robinhood took from the GOVERNMENT and gave it back to the people. The exactly OPPOSITE of what he wants to do....taking from the productive in society and giving to the non-productive.

It means redistribution of wealth. Not the creation of wealth and certainly not the creation of opportunity, but simply taking money from the successful and hard-working and distributing it to those whom the government decides “deserve” it.

Socialism (more so than we already have) approaches and I dread the results for the country. I'm trying my hardest to be positive but it sure is difficult.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under the robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” C.S. Lewis
Please read Bill Whittle's article and think about your decision this coming Tuesday, November 4. McCain / Palin may not be the best choice out there but they are far and away the better choice than the "One".

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Sunday Survey

Happy Sunday! I am absolutely exhausted. My knees are killing me tonight...I've been going non stop since 7 a.m. this morning. Trooper and I had a great morning at agility. Kodiak got a doggy massage for his back legs. Timber and Quinn got to play in the big field afterward.

Hubby and I went out to Starbucks where we spent $10 on two of their new Salted Carmel Hot Chocolates and a newspaper. OH MY GOSH! Those new hot chocolates are A-Freaking-Mazing. Seriously. So yummy. Salty and sweet. Then we ran through Jack in the Box and then home. It was fun.

And then I went and saved a bunch of money on groceries. I paid just a little over $9 for 8 big things of juice. Hubby likes juice. Yesterday I got 12 things of Taco Seasoning for $1.25 and 12-packs of Dr Pepper for $1.25 a pack. Woohoo! I love couponing. here's a quick survey. I'd love if you clicked on it. I'm almost at $10 with my DNeero account. *grin*

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stupid STUPID Criminals

Do these MORONS not understand that I want my husband to come home for dinner?!?!? I made dinner (again...I don't know what is wrong with me this week) and now it will be cold by the time hubby gets home.

As hubby drives home, some IDIOT decided he'd pass people in the center turn lane, kick up a bunch of dust, and then try to HIDE when he saw hubby do a U-ey to snag his butt. He jetted into an apartment complex, pulled into a parking spot, and started to get out. Yeah right PUNK.

Hubby handcuffed his A*S and what do you know? He found mary jane so now hubby has to go to the office and file a stupid report. ARG!

Is it selfish of me to want my hubby home? I'm glad he gets another slime ball off the road ... but for pity's sake. I want hubby home for dinner.


Rant over. :)

The dinner smells delicious by the way...if I do say so myself. I had two chicken breasts and found a recipe so easy that even I figured it out (making my own adjustments for lack of certain ingredients). They look really yummy. =)

I just love The Daily Dish. Another great find thanks to Entrecard. Other recipes on her blog that I want to try...Tator Tot Casserole, Crockpot Chicken with Bacon and Cheese, Funnel Cake (because I just can't spend more than $15 on a "kit" from Gooseberry Patch), and this yummy Soda Cake.

I'm really hungry. Do you think hubby would mind if I ate without him? LOL

I Didn't Even Know I was Involved

So I'm glad I don't automatically throw away mail that looks like junk mail.

I open up an envelope today and there's a check in it from some class action lawsuit against the State of Washington. I didn't even know I was part of it ... but I did work for the state for 5+ years. Or maybe it was 4. I can't remember.

And it was for over $200!!!! Which is good since I've spent about that much in the two days. I just made a trip to Jewelweaver and dropped $100. I've been resisting for MONTHS but finally just did it. It helps that they're having a sale. :)

Like I need more beads right? That's the problem with being a bead addict. You can never have enough.

So having this check drop in my lap helps alleviate some of my spending guilt. I guess I should go make some more jewelry now. :)

Should I Turn the Heat On?

I'm being very stubborn. My fingers are freezing but I refuse to turn the heat on. Not the electric and not the natural gas fire place. Nope. Won't do it.

But I tell you determination is breaking. I am really cold today. The little indoor thermostat says 62 but it feels like 42. Outside it's apparently 46.

So when should I turn the heat on? When I can't feel my fingers? Or should I resort to gloves?

I know I'm being stubborn. Hubby hates it. He would have turned the heat on weeks ago. But he also leaves his computer on 24-7 which ticks me off.

Anyone have stats on the power used by a computer left on 24-7? I know I should look it up myself. *grin* I'm being lazy.

And cold.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Foxy Cleopatra

I Am Outraged

Is there no common sense left in the world? Are low level politicians so drunk with power that they will harass an 83 year old woman for a 30 year old "violation" ... You have got to be freaking kidding me.

Face Off Over Converted Garage

Really? REALLY!?! This is what we need code inspectors to waste their time on? Making sure an 83 year old woman spends money that she does not have to turn a bedroom back into a garage. Seriously!

The inspector who first noticed her "violations" must have been really bored that day ... or out looking for someone to slap with a violation.

This is just sick.

Almost as sick as the 89 year old woman arrested for not giving kids their ball back. Yeah ... kids are such angels aren't they? It's all about the kids. Or at least that's what they've been told their whole short lives.

Just sick.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Survey...follow up

Follow up from a previous survey. I do NOT think the election is "over" nor do I think that Obama has this in the bag. McCain supporters have NOT given up the fight, as much as the media has tried to say as much.

Giggle at Griffin coworker forwarded this to me and it is un-freaking believably cute.

I John Stosell

Even as a young gal I used to love to watch John Stosell as a kid...I know. That's sad. But true.

And maybe he helped shape some of my libertarian / conservative views that I hold today.

I meant to record 20/20 from last Friday and totally forgot. Thankfully, Nikki at The Liberty Zone posted the YouTube videos from the show. I highly recommend heading over and watching them.

Government is NOT the answer. =)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Welcome Fall

Yesterday was so cold in the morning that I was actually shivering. Of course, I was outside in the fog with Trooper for agility so we warmed up once we started moving. And he loves the cold.

I hope that we actually get some snow this year. The doggies deserve some snow. And hubby and MIL miss it greatly. If we don't get any at our level (just barely above sea level) then we may need to travel to the mountains to play.

Dog fights have been occurring in our household with sad frequency. Thursday hubby got bit trying to break up Timber and Trooper. Friday Trooper got sent home from daycare with a note because he got in a scuffle. I talked to the staff and apparently he'd been getting more and more assertive with other dogs since Timber came into our pack. :(

Then Sunday there was yet another brawl as daddy made breakfast. *sigh*

So we are on full alert at our house. So far no major injuries (not counting the pretty bad bite that hubby got) but these are both big dogs with a lot of muscle and energy. We don't want to take any chances.

Other than that, the weekend was pretty nice. Sunny after the fog burned off and crisply cold. I volunteered at the GOP headquarters to make phone calls on Saturday. I HATE making phone calls but it wasn't too horrible. It was a lot different than 4 years ago. Much more automated with these great phones that we used to record answers. Not like the paper and pencil I used last time.

If you ever get a call at home and someone wants to ask you just a couple of questions please say yes. =) I had three questions that literally took less than 30 seconds and was so thrilled when someone actually answered them. Even if they gave negative answers I was just glad to interact. Because it's pretty boring making phone calls ... 3/4 of the calls end up being answering machine messages which can get really dull.

Sunday started with Agility where Trooper did wonderfully. I'm afraid they're going to ask us to trial soon. *gulp* Then headed home where hubby finally got out of bed (lazy bum...hahahaha not really...he'd worked overtime late Saturday night) and we decided to run to Schucks to get oil and change my car's oil for the first time ever.

No, not that my car hasn't had an oil change. But I've always taken it to a place to have it done. We've never done it ourselves. And by "ourselves" I mean hubby did it. I pulled the "woman" card and stayed inside to bake a cake and make lunch. I have no interest in learning to change my own oil. If hubby's not around there are people out there who do it for a living.

But the good news is we saved quite a few dollars. Not a ton though because we bought some other things ... anti freeze, windshield wiper fluid, etc. I was nervous to have hubby do it because he's never changed my car's oil before and ... well ... I don't like change. But he did great and even reset my 'maintenance required' light. What a guy. Now if he'll keep doing it we'll be saving at least $25 a time.

And I really did bake a cake. An Extra Dark chocolate cake to which I added chocolate chips. *mouth watering* The frosting is triple chocolate chocolate chip. *drooling* It is SOOOO good. We had it for dessert last night.

It was a great weekend. =)

Oh and I made a bunch of jewelry and took photos last night. I was on a total pearl kick. I can't wait to get the photos edited...I am really sucking at taking photos. The pearls keep getting washed out. They're so much prettier in person.

Have a great Monday!!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Domestic Violence on the Rise

I know some might think that because I'm a Republican that I'm selfish, greedy...oh and racist too. At least one of my commenters does.

It's hard to "know" someone online so of course my hard nose attitude online doesn't quite express how I live my life. Not that I feel that I have to justify myself to one nutter on the internet but it does annoy me that so many people think conservative = bad.

Anyhoo...One thing that calls me into action is working for the YWCA - well, not working "for" them but working with others to raise funds and gifts/donations for the women (and men) and children who need their services.

Frugal Dad notes that as the economy goes down, that domestic violence is going up. I wish this were not the case. I wish couples pulled together to push through the hard times. But stress does strange things to people and even couples with no history of abuse can all of a sudden find themselves experience this horrible situation.

What can we do to help those who find themselves displaced by abuse?

If you have the time and desire, volunteer at a crisis line or domestic violence support team. Not everyone is comfortable working one on one and I admit that I would have a difficult time with this.

I prefer to collect donations and items to donate. I have four or five bags of shampoo, conditioner, baby items, lotion, toothpaste, pads, etc. to take to the local shelter. It's amazing how small things like these can make such a positive impact.

During the Christmas holiday season I work with our local YWCA to gather gifts for a family (that they identify) through my work. I have so much fun with this. Many of the women we've sponsored over the years have been in transition from their abusive relationships into a healthy and functional role within society. One or two years ago we raised money to buy a printer for a woman going to school. Another year a child asked for socks for his gift. He got more than socks, don't worry.

And in this season I'm sure that my company will pull together and make another family's Christmas the best one ever. We have some extremely generous associates who go out of their way to be someone's Christmas angel.

Start planning a few dollars a week and find a Goodwill Angel tree at the mall or local store. Buy one or two items.

There are all sorts of small and meaningful ways to help those who are going through a difficult time.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pssst - Pass It On

Look Books are so fun and seeing my work in one makes me a little giddy.

Check out Posh Mama's first ever Look Book.

Designed specifically to be viewed online, though it can still be printed out. Forward it on to your friends and family for great ideas for this Holiday shopping season.

Posh Mama Rocks!!!

And Now Something More Mellow and some Randomness

Phew...that debate last night was way better than the last two but I'm definitely tired of listening to both candidates yammer on.

I have TONS of work to do today for my "real" job but I have all these ideas for new jewelry. Plus I have to take Trooper to the vet. :( Poor guy. He's had all kinds of bright green goop in his eye for the last few days. So back to the vet to help him fund his kid's college fund. *grin* We love our vet though so I don't mind that he's 30 minutes away and more expensive than some. He's been our vet for years and he rocks.

Working at home is so nice...all my doggies are snoozing right now and are so adorable. I wish I could be snoozing too. LOL

It's freezing in here though. I REFUSE to turn the heat on yet this season. I'm just too cheap. I keep telling hubby to put more clothes on, but one of these days he will insist. We go through this ever year. I hate seeing our power bill go up. The cheapest it has been so far this year was around $130. :( I blame hubby. ha! But he does leave his computer on at all times. I tried convincing him that it costs a lot but he won't turn it off. Arg!

Last winter our bill went over $300 several times. There's only TWO of us in this house and it's not a big house. Jeezalou. We do love our natural gas fire's so pretty ... but the natural gas is more expensive than the electricity. I hope we can keep it under $300 this year.

And here's some of my new jewelry. I'm having a ton of fun lately.

I love this bracelet. I've had several sterling silver magnetic clasps and finally started using them. They are SUPER strong. And look great with this simple olive green pearl strand.
I love playing with Resin and this is one of the first pieces I made on my own outside of class. The pendant is made with precious metal clay...two layers placed it's pretty thick. I showed it to one of my coworkers and her first comment was how heavy it was. It is heavy duty. And I love it!

I just finished two gorgeous (can I say that about my own work?) necklaces made with stick pearls and keishi pearls. They are SOOOOOO yummy. I just need to photograph and list them. I have so many pearls and have been having fun just playing with simple stringing. =)

Have a Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tell Me Something I Don't Know Survey

Interesting Survey but I don't like the options they allow me to pick for each question.

Like the first question...the answers are "she's out of touch" or "she's right on" ... I picked the middle one. I don't think she's right on but I do think, sadly, that she may be correct. But she's right on makes it sound like I think it's a good thing. Which I don't.

Oh and I love the comments on my last blog entry. =) Even if you disagree with me I'm happy to have comments...but I'd really prefer not being called a racist or greedy as neither apply to me. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Leave Me Alone!

* Warning ... very long rant ahead ... I tried to avoid it but I just can't anymore. I wish I knew how to do one of those "read more" links to hide this ridiculously long post ... scroll down past it if you don't want to read it. =)

I really am tired of the election cycle...especially since it's been going for what...two years now!

But this chaps my hide (emphasis mine).

"It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody that is behind you, that they have a chance for success too. I think when you spread the wealth around it's good for everybody."

What THE HELL!?! That is called redistribution and it's's legalized THEFT by the government. And it absolutely DOES punish success, you stark raving lunatic moron. You clearly do NOT understand economics.

I do not work my butt off (basically I have two jobs...though one is arguable more fun) to have the government take my money and give it to someone else (which they already do too much). If I want to donate my money to those less fortunate that is MY choice to make. If I want to stick all my money in my mattress and sit on it that is also MY choice to make. Who the hell in government is going to decide who "deserves" my money more than me???

I really am starting to hate (okay, hate is a strong about loathe?) "the Messiah". When he first started running I liked him well enough...not enough to vote for him because I knew even two years ago that he was too liberal and lacked experience. But the more we learn about him and his ideas the more he freaks me out. The idea of this neo-Marxist Socialist gasbag in office with no opposition (because the Dems will hold onto the majority in the House and's pretty much a given) scares the ever loving pee out of me.

Have you fallen for the claim that you'll get a tax cut as long as you make less than $250,000? Or that 95% of the country will get a tax cut? Sorry...jokes on you. (link may require subscription but it's so important that I quote most of here anyway...emphasis added is mine)
It's a clever pitch, because it lets him pose as a middle-class tax cutter while disguising that he's also proposing one of the largest tax increases ever on the other 5%. But how does he conjure this miracle, especially since more than a third of all Americans already pay no income taxes at all? There are several sleights of hand, but the most creative is to redefine the meaning of "tax cut."

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase "tax credit." ...

In other words, they are an income transfer -- a federal check -- from taxpayers to nontaxpayers. Once upon a time we called this "welfare,"...

The Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year. The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis estimates that by 2011, under the Obama plan, an additional 10 million filers would pay zero taxes while cashing checks from the IRS.

Excuse me?!?! Why is it a good idea for so many to have ZERO stake in how the government is funded and instead simply suck off the tits of the (so called) rich? Why should the hard working have to work even harder to pay for so called "tax cuts" (aka welfare)?

And may I just add that I probably fall into the category of those who would get one of those checks and lower my tax liability. But it's still WRONG. Just because I benefit doesn't mean I support it. I can't be bribed...which I try to tell my husband's union this season when they support the "wrong" candidate who bribes the heck out of them.

It gets worse...

The total annual expenditures on refundable "tax credits" would rise over the next 10 years by $647 billion to $1.054 trillion, according to the Tax Policy Center. This means that the tax-credit welfare state would soon cost four times actual cash welfare. By redefining such income payments as "tax credits," the Obama campaign also redefines them away as a tax share of GDP. Presto, the federal tax burden looks much smaller than it really is.

The political left defends "refundability" on grounds that these payments help to offset the payroll tax. And that was at least plausible when the only major refundable credit was the earned-income tax credit. Taken together, however, these tax credit payments would exceed payroll levies for most low-income workers.

It is also true that John McCain proposes a refundable tax credit -- his $5,000 to help individuals buy health insurance. We've written before that we prefer a tax deduction for individual health care, rather than a credit. But the big difference with Mr. Obama is that Mr. McCain's proposal replaces the tax subsidy for employer-sponsored health insurance that individuals don't now receive if they buy on their own. It merely changes the nature of the tax subsidy; it doesn't create a new one.

Please...PLEASE at least pay attention to these last points...I've added emphasis not in the original article.

There's another catch: Because Mr. Obama's tax credits are phased out as incomes rise, they impose a huge "marginal" tax rate increase on low-income workers. The marginal tax rate refers to the rate on the next dollar of income earned. As the nearby chart illustrates, the marginal rate for millions of low- and middle-income workers would spike as they earn more income.

Some families with an income of $40,000 could lose up to 40 cents in vanishing credits for every additional dollar earned from working overtime or taking a new job. As public policy, this is contradictory. The tax credits are sold in the name of "making work pay," but in practice they can be a disincentive to working harder, especially if you're a lower-income couple getting raises of $1,000 or $2,000 a year. One mystery -- among many -- of the McCain campaign is why it has allowed Mr. Obama's 95% illusion to go unanswered.

Notice that chart...right now if you make $45,000 a year you have zero marginal tax responsibility. Under Obama you'll have 40%! How in the heck is that a tax cut???

I'm all for having those who make more, pay more. That doesn't bother me...though I don't believe they should be completely and totally soaked. But I also believe that everyone should pay SOMETHING. We all have a stake in this great country and when you have a stake in something monetarily it means that much more. How can I appreciate my small stake when people in the top 2% of income earners pay almost 50% of the total taxes?!? Sure seems like I'm getting a free ride from them...or at least a half off ride.

Okay...deep breaths...

Of course, I don't believe all of the hype being talked about ... that an Obama presidency will bring about another Depression (though it could if he tries to hike up the taxes and implement the isolationist policies he preaches) ... that all opposition will be shut down and prosecuted (though they will try to pass the Fairness doctrine which will silence a lot of dissent) ... And I will do my best not to become a victim of ODS (similar to BDS). I think the office of the President deserves a lot more respect than its been given the last eight years.

I really just want to live my life with no government interference and lower taxes. WHY is that too much to ask?!?!?!?!?!?!

Alrighty...this is a great illustration of why the proposed tax plan of "the Messiah" is so screwed up...I'm stealing it from Dust Bunnies who borrowed it from someone else but it's been around for awhile so you may have already read it ...

Barstool Economics...
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay $1.
The sixth would pay $3.
The seventh would pay $7
The eighth would pay $12.
The ninth would pay $18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do. The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. 'Since you are all such good customers, he said, 'I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20. Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

'I only got a dollar out of the $20,'declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man,' but he got $10!

''Yeah, that's right,' exclaimed the fifth man. 'I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!'

'That's true!!' shouted the seventh man. 'Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!

''Wait a minute,' yelled the first four men in unison. 'We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!'

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

For those who understand, no explanation is needed.For those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My First Time

Get your minds out of the gutter!

I'm talking about my very first bank account.

I don't remember my exact age but it was definitely after I was 8 because we had already moved after my dad died. The bank was a small local town type of bank, not a big "Keybank" or anything. It was Puget Sound something and had blue register covers.

While I can't remember all the exact details, I do remember sitting at the bank desk with my mom and getting a brand new blank register with that blue cover and writing in the amount of money I deposited. It was very exciting to have my "own" money put away in the bank, but honestly I didn't truly come to appreciate it until my teens. I tended to want my money in front of me, not in some bank somewhere. But it was incredibly rewarding to watch the balance "grow" in that register.

My mom wasn't the *best* role model when it came to spending. She's fully admitted that she had a lot of guilt when it came to us kids because we didn't have a dad ... so she tried to compensate somehow with buying us a lot of "stuff" that we most likely did not need. I didn't *feel* spoiled because we didn't get everything in the world that we wanted but we surely didn't have any needs go unmet (aside from not having a father of course).

My father's insurance provided a large house (my brother and I each had our own room plus there was a guest room) and a new van. We each played sports. We had a Nintendo.

So my upbringing with money (at least from when I can really remember it) was one of more excess than of saving. My mom tells me that my dad was super tight with money and even made them live off of one paycheck and put the second one completely into savings. I wish I could do that now!

As I got older my bank account grew slowly ... I didn't really need to buy any of my own "stuff" because mom usually bought us whatever we needed and often what we wanted.

When I started working at KFC (my very first "real" job) I also got a checking account...oh boy! THAT was an exciting thing and even today I LOVE to write checks. I resisted using a debit card for a long time. I love duplicate checks because it helps me keep track of the checks I write (and yes, still today I pay extra for pretty checks with the duplicate option). I enjoy balancing my register to the bank record.

I didn't have a lot of bills but I must have inherited some of my dad's thriftiness because I did not end up blowing all of my earnings from KFC or my next jobs at the state (internship) on clothes or food or whatever else we were into at the time. I saved for college. It still boggles my mind that I was able to save over $4,000 for college. Not a lot but with my scholarships and beauty contestant winnings (no, I'm not joking) I was able to escape with a degree and very little loan debt.

Unfortunately, at 18 I also discovered credit cards. I would rack up several thousand dollars ... pay it off ... and start over again. By the time I got married my credit card was over $10,000 in debt. It was incredibly stressful for me and I hated it, but thankfully hubby was very understanding. Two home refinances later (don't worry we still have equity in our home) our credit card debts are paid off and we are working toward becoming debt free.

Sites like Gather Little by Little and now a new one I found The Passive Dad, are hugely influential in keeping that goal of a debt free life in sight. My car is nearly paid off and after that we work on hubby's truck. Then we tackle a stupid debt that hopefully won't take long to knock down and then we work on the house and saving for our dream land and home.

Having goals is great. And watching our savings grow - online now, not through a paper register - is just as rewarding today as it was to watch my piggy bank get fatter as a kid.

Happy Christopher Columbus Day!

Sadly, I still have to work even though it is a holiday. Schools, banks, and the post office didn't have to drag their sorry butts out of bed today. I can hardly keep my eyes open!

I do like this holiday though. I remember celebrating it when I was in elementary school ... apparently back then they still taught history and a feeling of pride in one's country.

Was he a great man? By today's standards ... no probably not. Maybe not even by the standards of his day. But he did lead an age of discovery...

At the end of 1492 most men in Western Europe felt exceedingly gloomy about the future. Christian civilization appeared to be shrinking in area and dividing into hostil units as its sphere contracted. For over a century there had been no important advance in natural science and registration in the universities dwindled as the instruction they offered became increasingly jejune and lifeless. Institutions were decaying, well-meaning people were growing cynical or desperate, and many intelligent men, for want of something better to do, were endeavoring to escape the present through studying the pagan past. . . .

Yet, even as the chroniclers of Nuremberg were correcting their proofs from Koberger's press, a Spanish caravel named Nina scudded before a winter gale into Lisbon with news of a discovery that was to give old Europe another chance. In a few years we find the mental picture completely changed. Strong monarchs are stamping out privy conspiracy and rebellion; the Church, purged and chastened by the Protestant Reformation, puts her house in order; new ideas flare up throughout Italy, France, Germany and the northern nations; faith in God revives and the human spirit is renewed. The change is complete and startling: "A new envisagement of the world has begun, and men are no longer sighing after the imaginary golden age that lay in the distant past, but speculating as to the golden age that might possibly lie in the oncoming future."

Christopher Columbus belonged to an age that was past, yet he became the sign and symbol of this new age of hope, glory and accomplishment. His medieval faith impelled him to a modern solution: Expansion. -borrowed from an Instapundit Post-

I don't think it is necessary to white wash Columbus' accomplishments by ignoring his transgressions. But I do think it important to honor his quest of exploration.

So Happy Exploring to everyone!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Let's Exceed Expectations

I've written here a few times about my absolute obsession with good customer service. I'm very picky as a customer and I really do expect a lot. After all, I'm parting with hard earned money in order to obtain something ... food, clothes, candles, whatever. We all have so many choices out there when it comes to where we shop. So I feel that people should earn my respect, trust, and business.

Designing jewelry is something I absolutely love. I get a special thrill when I am really happy with how a piece turns out. And, fortunately or unfortunately, in order to continue to design I must also sell my work. Which means I end up on the other side of that business/customer relationship ... and it means that I need to be sure to treat my customers the way I expect to be treated.

This year's holiday selling season may be tougher than most ... okay more than "may be" but I'm trying to be optimistic.

As a small little fish in a gigantic ocean, why should someone spend their hard earned dollars with me instead of someone else? Why should I part with my money to buy something from you?

I think the most important thing we can convey to customers is that we care about their business and we care about them. My customers aren't just another "sale" ... I WANT them to love my jewelry as much as I love to create it. I want them to be happy.

It's funny...I've had a few returns over the last few years and looking back on them it's not the returning of money that upsets me. It's that someone wasn't happy or thrilled with my work. That bothers me a heck of a lot more than having to return money. But I'm glad that they were willing to return it rather than keep it and not be happy.

So this season, just remember that those of us who sell, sell more than just a product or service. We're selling an entire experience. From start to finish we need to convince and convey that our "widget" and the experience of buying that widget is going to be the best that a person can find. Does that make sense???

Here's a great article titled "What Are You Really Selling?" that has some great ideas on making the customer experience better.

"In these challenging economic times it is more important than ever to know who we really are as a company, how we are unique in the marketplace and how we can better serve our customers with consistently reinforced service messages that will bring them back to our business again and again and again."

Hang in there. Yes, this is a roller coaster ride of an economy right now but I have faith that our system will survive and recover even stronger than before. =)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Thankfully Thursday - a New Survey

I'm glad it's Thursday because that means tomorrow is Friday. Woohoo!!! I got to sleep in a little bit since I work at home on Thursdays. And it's Agility night. Which is good and bad. Since we're in the more advanced class it doesn't start until 7:30 p.m. and I end up missing Survivor. It's hard to avoid hearing who got kicked off when I go in to work on Friday. So no one tell me, mkay?

And now a new survey...

Have a lovely day.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Opportunity for Exposure

Are you a crafty sort, or a business sort, who wants to get some additional exposure for the holidays?

Posh Mama is creating their first ever Holiday Look Book.

What's a Look Book, you may ask.

A Look Book is sort of like a portfolio ... except that instead of one person's work it combines a whole lotta folks and their work. It can be artistic or not but generally showcases things available for sale.

The neat thing about this particular look book is that it is going to be "viral." In other words, it's an online Look Book meant to be passed friend to friend, family member to family member, posted on blogs, and passed around the world. It can also be printed off but that's just for folks without computer access. =)

Another great thing about this Look Book, being online and all, is that you get a direct link to your shop! You don't get that from a physical Look Book.

Things being what they are in this economy, every bit of advertising helps. The price is right at only $50 with a potential audience of thousands. There are over 2,000 members of Posh Mama alone!

So contact Margaret today at margaret [at] poshmama [dot] com to reserve your space. Only TWO days left! All photos and payment must be received no later than this Thursday, October 9.

And if you mention my name I will earn an extra free placement. But you don't have to mention my name. =) They'll still let you sign up. *grin*

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Help Suggest a Name

Mi Spa is looking for help in naming her new face care system. I love Mi Spa's products and need to order more of her perfume roll on as I'm almost out (I hardly ever use something like that enough to run out but I did!).

If you can think of something to suggest head on over to her blog and leave a comment. =)

It's Raining, It's Pouring

But I'm not snoring. *groan* Sad eh?

I love stormy weather but I have plans to go shopping today. K-Mart is doubling coupons up to $2 and I want some free shampoo. =) I already went on Thursday and got over $150 worth of product for a little over $40. All stuff we'll use or donate.

But the question is whether to force the doggies to stay in their kennel outside in the howling wind and rain ... or risk leaving them in the house and come home to a disaster. *sigh* Timber isn't exactly trusted yet. But I may just leave them inside and try to put anything that can be destroyed away in other rooms. The other three dogs aren't exactly trusted all the time either but I'm hoping if all they have access to is their bones and toys they'll leave wires and paper alone! LOL

Oh ... and the TV season keeps on keeping on. I watched Bones and Sarah Connor last night on DVR. I absolutely LOVE the Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles. It just rocks. But it did confuse the heck out of me this last episode. Is Cameron good? Is she bad? I don't know. I is confused.

I still have Fringe, Law & Order SVU, House, and several of my other favorite shows to watch this weekend. I don't know how I survived without the DVR. =) If I had to cut expenses back drastically I'd be hard pressed to cut the DVR service. I think I'd give up my cell phone first! hahahahaha

So here's a survey about TV. Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

TGIF - Time to Create

I am so ready to get home ... this darn job is so in my way. Thankfully I have a LOT of work to do so the day should go by fairly quickly (yes, I know ... blogging takes away from that work doesn't it). =)

I have so many ideas in my head for new jewelry and I really want to go home and play! I also amazingly have a few orders to fill. Woohoo! About time. *grin* I have a few advertising things coming up in the next few months, plus the holidays are a'comin so I expect to get busier soon. Oh and I have some wedding jewelry to finish up. I can't wait to share the photos from that set!

I've started going through some of my "old" jewelry and if I still like a design I'm taking new photos and reposting them. Some of my old photos are just hideous. And this necklace is so stunning that it really requires better photos.

A pretty rare and hard to find mineral, Charoite is found only in Russia and I wrote about it last September. My grandfather has some rare Charoite that I was delighted to discover in his basement.

I'm hoping to play with the Charoite beads I have in my stash tonight when I get home. The dogs should be tired and hubby will probably go to bed early so the evening will be all mine!

Have a Happy Weekend!!!

You Like Me...You Really Like Me...

I'm all squishy inside...I got nominated for an award. *grin*

And I'd like to thank all the little people who made this award possible.

*cough* *snort* Where's the cane to pull me off stage?!?!?!

Seriously...I'm very thankful that Cynthia of Jewelry Tales nominated me (she makes amazing jewelry!). Especially since I abandoned the jewelry forum where we first met. =)

I would not be where I am today (where am I again?) without the support of several folks. It's amazing how supportive people can be without ever have to meet one another.

Jennifer of Jewelry by Jennifer Casady is a bright light in a sometimes dark world. Even when I'm down she pulls me up with her upbeat attitude and non-stop exhausting go-go-go life. She continues to challenge herself and grow in her jewelry designs.

Daisy at Daisy the Curly Cat and her mommy are a surprising source of inspiration for me. Who would have thought that reading about a kitty would be inspiring? Well, this dilute calico Devon Rex cat brings a smile to my face with her antics and sassy attitude. God Bless you Daisy!

Rachel Lucas cracks me the hell up ... and if you can't handle that language do not visit her blog because she has a sailor's mouth. =) She tells it like it is, whether you want to agree with her or not. And no matter what the topic, from dressing up her dogs to shellacking politicians, her writing rocks my socks. I know she won't care about being nominated so I might not even tell her. *grin* She's a pretty popular gal but I still love to visit and "play" in the comments sections with the other I guess I should nominate all of them too!

And I can't forget my gals at Posh Mama, even though I'm no longer a contributor there and hardly ever visit anymore. I still LOVE all my posh mamas! It's a great place and I highly encourage people to visit and sign up (if you're a female that is ... sorry boys ... girls only). The Posh Mama herself is such an amazing gal who works non stop and has done an amazing thing with the Posh Mama brand. I'm proud to have been in with her at the ground floor and wish her nothing but success!

Miss Angelika has gotten a lot of awards this week but she's just going to have to suck it up and take another one! =) She cracks me up and I really enjoy reading about her, Evan (her son) and MD (her mama). What is it about other people's lives that make reading about everyday things (like going to Walmart or "da dolla sto") so interesting? Maybe it's just the way she writes.

Gather Little by Little is a wonderful blog dedicated to personal finance and growing your wealth little by little. I started reading this blog a couple months ago and it really is invaluable. I have started reading other financial blogs but I like the spiritual focus of GLbL. His writing is down to earth and makes sense. I've even started thinking about our actual financial goals and have this blog to partially thank. :)

Last, but certainly not least, I want to recognize Hounds Good - one of the several animal blogs I ran across via EntreCard - but the one that inspired me to do more. She also introduced me to Saving Shelter Pets and their mission and work has captured my heart. I'm donating a special pendant necklace to their upcoming auction and will let you know when it's available. They do great work.

Here are the rules if you’re nominated (and want to play along):
1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated.
6. Write an acceptance speech in the style of the Academy Awards, thanking everybody’s mother, father, sister, brother, aunties and uncles and the kitchen staff at your favorite restaurant!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another Survey

Just a quick post...I actually have, you know, work to do. Blech!

I don't particularly like the way they lumped "union" in with "business" ... I don't think unions are particularly good at fostering business growth. But whatever. It's just a simple survey.