October 31, 2008

October 28, 2008

Sack Lunches (Borrowed!)

I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.
Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation. 'Where are you headed?', I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
'Chicago - to Great Lakes Base. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Iraq'.
After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached Chicago, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time. As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. 'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to Chicago'. His friend agreed.
I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill.
'Take a lunch to all those soldiers.’ She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him.'
Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated.
She stopped at my seat and asked, 'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?’
'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class. 'This is your thanks.'
After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me.
'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this.’ He handed me twenty-five dollars.
Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked. I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand, and said, 'I want to shake your hand.’
Quickly unfastening my seat belt I stood and took the Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot.’ I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.
Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.
When we landed in Chicago I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!
Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars.
'It will take you some time to reach the base. It will be about time for a sandwich. God Bless You.'
Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little...
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America 'for an amount of 'up to and including my life.’' That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it.'
Do you understand and appreciate what they are doing? Share this with a friend so we will never forget! GOD BLESS AMERICA!

October 27, 2008

*Updated* Tuesday A.M. - Jennifer Hudson's nephew

Academy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson stood again in the Cook County medical examiner's office, clutching the hands of loved ones as they identified the body of yet another slain relative -- her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King.
Even before family members arrived at the morgue Monday, they had been told that the three-day search for the 2nd grader had ended when his body was found slumped in the back seat of a sport-utility vehicle parked on a West Side street.
Amid visibly shaken family members in the medical examiner's office, Hudson bowed her head as if in prayer, then looked up.
"Yes, that's him," she told medical examiner officials as the family stood with her in an adjoining room and looked at a video monitor showing the boy's face.
The toll was inescapable: Hudson had lost her mother, her brother and now her nephew to a murderous rampage.
Even as the family gathered to answer one painful question, police searched the Chevrolet Suburban to answer others.
Officers questioned William Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of Julian's mother, on Friday night, but he stopped talking when police suggested he take a polygraph test, law-enforcement sources said. Balfour has not been charged in the slayings.
Although the sources say Balfour remains the focus of the investigation, the motive remains murky. Police say there have been ongoing disputes between him and his estranged wife, Julia Hudson, and her family.
Hudson's mother and brother had thrown him out of their Englewood house in the past, sources said. Julia Hudson also told police that Balfour had threatened the family. A source said Balfour told Julia Hudson he would kill her if he found out she had a boyfriend, despite the fact that he had other girlfriends.
In another incident, sources said, Julia Hudson arrived Friday morning at Sunrise Bus Co. on payday and discovered her wages had been garnished because of unpaid car payments. Sources said Balfour had taken her car months earlier but promised to make the payments on the vehicle. After seeing her pay stub, Julia Hudson called Balfour to complain about the unpaid bills, sources said.
Police believe that Balfour went to the Hudson family home Friday and shot through the front door, striking Hudson's brother, Jason. Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, came into the living room, screaming, and Balfour shot her as well, sources said. Shell casings were also found in the child's room, but there were no bullet holes or other signs of violence there. Much of the account of what police believe happened that day came from an interview with a girlfriend of Balfour's, sources said.
The sources also said Balfour's girlfriend contradicted his alibi and told police that he was involved in the slayings.
Police have not ruled out the possibility that more than one person was involved, though Supt. Jody Weis said Monday that Balfour was currently their only "person of interest."
On Sunday morning, officials transferred Balfour to Stateville Correctional Center, saying that because he was a suspect in the slayings, he violated conditions of parole for a 1999 conviction for attempted murder.
Over the weekend, the city scoured the area near the first shooting scene and a grid east of where the boy eventually was found. Officers and volunteers taped missing-person posters up in area shops, and vigils were held in Englewood.
But Julian was found Monday morning on the West Side after a tiny dog named Li'l Man howled and barked at an unfamiliar white SUV parked in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue.
The Chihuahua's reaction drew the attention of his owner, John Louden. The SUV matched the description of one police had sought in the killings since Friday. It remains unclear if police had canvassed the block, but some neighbors say they had seen the SUV since Friday. But no one called police before Monday.
Louden, 75, went inside and told his wife, Lynnette. Neighbors said the pace of drug dealing nearby often brought strange cars to the block. But when the Loudens saw the Suburban's license-plate number appear on television, Lynnette Louden called 911.
"The first thing I thought was," she said, " 'Lord, don't let the baby be in there.' "
But he was.
Julian was found slumped over in the back seat of the Suburban, shot in the head. A bullet was found lodged in the vehicle, leading detectives to believe he had been shot in the vehicle. Police don't know precisely when he was killed, saying they are waiting for more information from the medical examiner's office. Police are hoping to find physical evidence at the two crime scenes that breaks the case.
A prayer service was held for the three slain family members in Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church, where one of Hudson's cousins is a minister.
And on the block where the shootings happened near 70th Street and Yale Avenue, about 100 friends and strangers gathered for a candlelight vigil of song and prayer Monday evening.
Surrounded by stuffed animals, balloons and posters that had grown throughout the day, the crowd sang Jennifer Hudson's song "Spotlight."
On behalf of the Hudson family, the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church announced establishment of the Hudson-King Domestic Violence Prevention Fund, c/o Seaway Bank and Trust Co., P.O. Box 19522, Chicago, Ill., 60619.
Angela Rozas, David Heinzmann and Robert Mitchum, Chicago Tribune
Tribune reporters Liam Ford, Jeff Long, Azam Ahmed, Emma Graves Fitzsimmons, Stacy St. Clair, Jeff Coen, Dan P. Blake and James Janega contributed to this report.



4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well.
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. Or use a little bit of a larger mug if you don't want it to spill over.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

October 26, 2008

26-yr old Arkansas TV Anchorwoman (formerly of SC) dies after beating

TV Anchorwoman Dies After Beating

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 26) - An
Arkansas television anchorwoman died
Saturday, several days after she didn’t answer
her wake-up call and was found beaten
in her home, hospital officials said.
Anne Pressly, 26, died at St. Vincent Infirmary
Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman
Margaret Preston said.
In a statement released by the hospital,
Pressly’s parents, Guy and Patti Cannady,
asked for privacy as they grieved.
“It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne
would overcome the injuries inflicted upon
her in the brutal attack at her home,” the
statement read. “We were with her in her
last moments, and although our hearts are
broken, we are at the same time comforted
by our faith knowing that Anne is now with
our heavenly father.”
Pressly was beaten around the head, face
and neck. She had been unable to communicate
with her family or police while being
kept sedated in the intensive care unit.
The anchor’s death came only a day after a
doctor said he was encouraged that her vital
signs were stable while she remained in
critical condition. Dr. Clifton R. Johnson
told reporters Friday that swelling in
Pressly’s brain had gone down since being
hospitalized and that doctors had slowly
been reducing her sedative dosages.
She was discovered Monday morning a
half-hour before she was to appear on ABC
affiliate KATV’s “Daybreak” program. Her
mother went to her home after she didn’t
answer her regular wake-up call.
Police have yet to identify a suspect, though
detectives have combed the area around
Pressly’s home in the Heights neighborhood
— a mix of bungalows and mansions
near the Little Rock Country Club. News reports
have said detectives found evidence
that Pressly’s credit card was used Monday
at a gas station a few miles from her home.
Sgt. Cassandra Davis, a police spokeswoman,
has said investigators suspect
Pressly was the victim of a random attack.
Davis did not return a call for comment
Saturday night.
Pressly was a native of Greenville, S.C., and
moved with her family to Little Rock while
she was in high school. She was a graduate
of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.
She had a small role in the new Oliver Stone
movie “W.,” which was filmed in Shreveport,
La. She appears briefly as a conservative
commentator who speaks favorably of
President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished”
event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the
start of the Iraq war.
On Saturday, KATV opened its nightly
news cast with a seven-minute segment devoted
to Pressly. Anchor Pamela Smith told
viewers that Pressly’s family agreed to have
their daughter be an organ donor. Smith’s
voice hitched as she read condolences sent
into the station, her eyes red.
“She owned every room she was in, not because
she demanded our attention, but because
we willingly gave it to her,” Smith
said. “We all felt a little better, a little more
alive just being near her.
“Life was easy for Anne Pressly. But it is her
death that is so very hard for all of us.”
A reward fund KATV set up to help find the
killer or killers has reached $30,000, the
station reported on its Web site Saturday
No funeral arrangements were immediately

Please pray for her family - this is a devistating blow. She was very young, and they have no leads. ~ Phyllis

Oh man, what a wonderful lunch that was!

Roast with carrots and potatoes. Macaroni & cheese. Butter beans. Collard greens (I only ate a little with some good relish, but they were actually good!). Corn bread. Sweet iced tea. And Banana pudding for dessert! Whew, Lordy! LOL Great fellowship as well, but I'll keep their pics to myself. Never know who doesn't want their pics out there in the world. Here's the food:

Busy Weekend

I went to Kay Arthur's seminar yesterday from 9-5 here in SC, it was incredible! I sooo want to be like her! The passion she has for Jesus, for us to KNOW about him, is beyond words. She does not stray from the Bible, everything she says is backed by it. She is amazing. Did I already say that? :)
I missed the Friday Night session because of the horrible storms we had here. I thought, "Surely they will cancel Fri Night, and not chance Ms Kay getting hurt!". Nope, they were there. But there was no way I was leaving my house. We had 50+ mile an hour winds, lots of rain, falling trees and powerlines - no thank you! So I bought all the live cd's at the end of the seminar :) They had not anticipated just how many people would really be there, and ran out of stickers for the cd's, and the black cases. They had to revert to the small, clear cases. I think that it's awesome that so many people were there!! :) Also, I bought Zach a copy of the "Children's How to Read Your Bible" so he'd have something inductive from her to help him along. I want him to be the kind of man a mother is very proud of, and I want him in Heaven with me! I already have the grown-up's version of that one, but she could only sign one book per person.
I had a gentleman (assuming a bodyguard LOL) take a pic of her and myself, but apparently I waited in the book-signing line so long with the camera open, that it drained the batteries. DUH. You know how people love to talk :)
Kay is a beautiful 74 yr old woman! She looks 60. Her BDay is sometime this month, and so is Billy Graham's. Yes, October Babies, we share our Birthday Month with wonderful people :)

Anyway, today I go to church and Sunday School, and then to a Birthday Lunch (monthly) with my SS ladies. I'm the only one with a BDay this month, so I tried to talk them into NOT celebrating it LOL But they said, oh no, we celebrate so we can eat anyway!! LMBO!!
This time it is being held at Ms Faye's, and she elected to cook again! We love it when she cooks! She's making a roast and all the trimmings and we all take money to pitch-in. Last time she made spaghetti and everything to go with it! YUMMY! Sometimes we take covered dishes to who-ever's home we're eating at, or we go to restaurants and let others wait on us :)

OK, off I go to church. Shouldn't you get going, too?!

Here's a couple of pics of the kid and one of the girls... caio!

October 24, 2008

*Breaking News* Actress Jennifer Hudson's brother and mother shot to death

CHICAGO (WABC) -- The mother of Oscar winning actress Jennifer Hudson has been killed, according to reports in Chicago.
Investigators said two shooting victims were discovered inside a home belonging to Hudson's mother just before 3:00 this afternoon. A cousin who lived nearby discovered the bodies, according to published reports.
"We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation concerning the deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson," Hudson's personal publicist, Lisa Kasteler, said in a statement. "No further comment will be made and the family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time."
Hudson's mother was found shot on the living room floor. Her brother was found in a bedroom, according to investigators. There was no sign of forced entry.

Please pray for the family & friends ~ Phyllis

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for 7-year-old Julian King, and were seeking a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban. The child was the grandson of the female victim, Patterson said.
The alert said the child was possibly abducted, and could be accompanied by a man named William Balfour — considered armed and dangerous — who was a suspect in the double homicide investigation. Records with the Illinois Department of Corrections show Balfour, 27, who has not been charged with a crime, is on parole and spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle.
The two could also be in a teal or green Chrysler Concord with a temporary license plate, a left front headlight hanging out and scratches on the left side of the vehicle, police said.

October 23, 2008

Kitty Day

Here's my girls, Minnie's daughters, Molly (first) and Misty-Monica (second) doing what they do best :)

October 22, 2008

RECIPE! Italian Pasta & Beef Bake - IT WAS YUMMY!

Italian Pasta and Beef Bake

Serves 4 (1 3/4 cups)

Recipe from Pillsbury Annual Recipes 2006.


6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) uncooked Mostaccioli or penne pasta
1/2 pound lean ground beef, (at least 80%)
1 can (15 ounces) Italian-style tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano,undrained
1 jar (4.5 ounce) Green Giant sliced mushrooms (I didn't use ~Phyllis)
2 ounces (1/2 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese

(I also added a teaspoon of garlic salt, and oregano to the meat as I was cooking it ~Phyllis)

Heat oven to 350°.
Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain.
Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in tomatosauce, tomatoes and mushrooms. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat; pour into sprayed baking dish. Add cooked mostaccioli; stir gently to mix.
Spray sheet of foil with cooking spray; place sprayed side down on baking dish and seal tightly. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:Calories 375, From Fat 90. Total fat 10g, Saturated 4g, Cholesterol40mg,Sodium 1200mg, Total Carbohydrate 47g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 8g,Protein 24g.

Time to turn on the Real Estate section of my brain!

It was chilly this morning! I actually warmed up the car this morning for 10 minutes, then Zach & I got in, and drove down the driveway to sit and wait for the bus! LOL It was cold in the car too, but we didn't have actual wind or cold air brushing past us and on our faces. I can't stand for my face to get cold!

Leaving in a few to go to the office with dad for a real estate meeting. Another dot-com meeting. Like I don't know enough about how to tweek my parent's webpage, lol. Last week, we went to the zoo for the meeting. Now that was cool! :) We were allowed to get in free, and walk around after, as long as we wanted! Nice day!

Anyway, I hope you all have an awesome day, and I'll be back in a few hours!


October 21, 2008

JD Autumn Tag Snag

Red Lobster for my BDay dinner! And a new outlook on life?! LOL

Cheese biscuits, OMG! Nuff said!
My son Zach & I split the Fried seafood platter - he wanted to try clamstrips, which I don't eat, so he had those, and we split the crabcakes, shrimp and fish, and our side dish was the mashed potatoes. I gained about 80 lbs LOL
Mom had crab meat alfredo and slaw, and dad had fried shrimp and mashed potatoes. We all gorged on the biscuits too! Yikes LOL
I have actually been sitting here looking up healthy eating online so mom & I can drop about 40lbs each :) We were talking last night about the Adkins diet again, but I've decided just to grab some info and just change what we eat. She buys, I cook. We did the same thing 2 years ago, and from Nov - Jan, I lost 35+ lbs - THRU THE HOLIDAYS! Needless to say, I stopped being a good girl, and gained back even more because I quit smoking last year! But at least I no longer smoke!! Thru the year, my knee has flared up, and I had gotten too lazy and been in too much pain to do anything about exercise.

So once I lose more weight, I can get moving again.
My knee is feeling better, but my stomach is fussin about last night! LOL So we'll start in a couple of days and things will be much better! I have the confidence to start again, and my will power is stronger than it use to be. Go, me! LOL
Speaking of going, I have to get ready for Bible Study. See ya!


October 20, 2008

RECIPE: Blueberry Pudding Cake

Blueberry Pudding Cake
Serves 6

This is really very tasty and I served it with ice cream or whipped cream.
I even reheated this in the micro-wave and it was fine. It is rich so I
would say it makes more like 8 serving. I got this recipe from another
group and it was posted by Sundance.


2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 cup flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water

Combine blueberries, lemon juice and lemon peel in a greased 8-inch square
baking dish; set aside. Combine next 8 ingredients (flour through nutmeg)
in a bowl. Whisk together milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla until
blended. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir just until combined.
Spoon batter over blueberry mixture, spreading evenly. Combine 1/2 cup
sugar and cornstarch, sprinkle over batter. Gradually pour boiling water
over top, covering evenly. Bake at 350° for 40 to 45 minutes or until a
cake tester inserted in center of cake layer comes out clean. Serve warm.

October 19, 2008


Well, EVERYONE who has a Birthday this beautiful month of October! Including me! Tomorrow, Monday the 20th, I'll be celebrating my 22nd Anniversary of my 20th Birthday! WOOHOO! LOL
Happy Birthday to all of my Blogging friends here in Blogger World!


Happy Halloween from JD :)


*REPAIRED* New Presidential Candidate! :)


Well, it worked after I changed layouts. After I changed the first 4 layouts, it cut the right side off. So I tried yet a 5th layout.
Enjoy ;)~

October 17, 2008

Stopping squeaky windshield washers!

We've had non-stop rain here for a few hours in Gaston/Lexington/Irmo, SC, so I had to look this up after my irritating 40 minute ride, each way, dropping the kid off at his dad's for the weekend. Figured I'd share the tips :)

How to stop windshield wipers from squeaking


Clean the windshield glass thoroughly. Try one of these products (but not all at once):
Baking soda (sprinkled on a dry or damp paper towel).

Replace your windshield wiper blades regularly. Wiper blades are not terribly expensive, so you may prefer to get good ones. Replace them at least once per year, before the rainy season.

Refill your windshield wiper fluid.

Check to see if your blades or the wiper assemblies under them are too loose or too tight. This could be causing tension between the glass and wiper.

Apply a product like RainX to your windshield. RainX isn't a glass cleaner but a water repellent that could help to fill in the tiny irregularities that cause your wipers to chatter.


Make sure that your windshield glass is really clean without waxes and oils. This could make the glass very slippery and cause problems.

When you have a free day, try various methods in case one does not work on your particular car.

Don't follow other cars too closely. The road splash contains rubber compounds that build up on the glass that can cause chattering. The film on your windshield builds up quicker when it first starts raining.

If your wipers only chatter when the windshield is not wet enough, clean the windshield thoroughly and try not to worry too much. Lots of wipers skip when the windshield isn't quite wet enough.


Never wax your windshield as this could make the glass and blades very slippery and prevent you from seeing in harsh weather conditions.

When replacing your blades you may have to go through much trial and error because this depends on the type of car you own and how a particular type of wiper blades fits.

After finding a perfect new set of windshield wiper blades be sure to keep notes on the brand name and type so you don't have to go through this ever again.

October 15, 2008

Study Finds Bottled Water Impure, Too

Health News Bottled Water Impure, Too, Study
(Oct. 15) - Tests on leading brands of
bottled water turned up a variety of
contaminants often found in tap water,
according to a study released Wednesday
by an environmental advocacy group.
The findings challenge the popular
impression — and marketing pitch — that
bottled water is purer than tap water, the
researchers say.
However, all the brands met federal
health standards for drinking water. Two
violated a California state standard, the
study said.
An industry group branded the findings
“alarmist.” Joe Doss, president of the
International Bottled Water Association,
said the study is based on the faulty
premise that a contaminant is a health
concern “even if it does not exceed the
established regulatory limit or no standard
has been set.”
The study’s lab tests on 10 brands of
bottled water detected 38 chemicals
including bacteria, caffeine, the pain
reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer,
solvents, plastic-making chemicals and
the radioactive element strontium.
Though some probably came from tap
water that some companies use for their
bottled water, other contaminants
probably leached from plastic bottles, the
researchers said.
“In some cases, it appears bottled water
is no less polluted than tap water and, at
1,900 times the cost, consumers should
expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, an
environmental engineer who co-authored
the study.
The two-year study was done by the
Washington-based Environmental
Working Group, an organization founded
by scientists that advocates stricter
regulation. It found the contaminants in
bottled water purchased in nine states
and Washington, D.C.
Researchers tested one batch for each of
10 brands. Eight did not have
contaminants high enough to warrant
further testing. But two brands did, so
more tests were done and those revealed
chlorine byproducts above California’s
standard, the group reported. The
researchers identified those two brands
as Sam’s Choice sold by Wal-Mart and
Acadia of Giant Food supermarkets.
In the Wal-Mart and Giant Food bottled
water, the highest concentration of
chlorine byproducts, known as
trihalomethanes, was over 35 parts per
billion. California’s limit is 10 parts per
billion or less, and the industry’s
International Bottled Water Association
makes 10 its voluntary guideline. The
federal limit is 80.
Wal-Mart said its own studies did not turn
up illegal levels of contaminants. Giant
Food officials released a statement
asserting that Acadia meets all regulatory
standards. Acadia is sold in the mid-
Atlantic states, so it isn't held to
California’s standard. In most places,
bottled water must meet roughly the same
federal standards as tap water.
The researchers also said the Wal-Mart
brand was five times California’s limit for
one particular chlorine byproduct,
bromodichloromethane. The
environmental group wants Wal-Mart to
label its bottles in California with a
warning because the chlorine-based
contaminants have been linked with
cancer. It has filed a notice of intent to
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Shannon
Frederick said the company was
“puzzled” by the findings because testing
by suppliers and another lab had detected
no “reportable amounts” of such
contaminants. She said Wal-Mart would
investigate further but defended the
quality of its bottled water.
The researchers recommend that people
worried about water contaminants drink
tap water with a carbon filter.

October 14, 2008

Howling Candy Corn Cookie Bark *YUM!*

Howling Candy Corn Cookie Bark

Prep Time: 20 min
Total Time: 20 min
Makes: 20 servings, about 1/3 cup each

16 Halloween OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, coarsely chopped
1-1/2 cups miniature pretzel twists, coarsely broken
1/3 cup raisins
2 pkg. (6 oz. each) BAKER'S White Chocolate
1/2 cup candy corn
1/4 cup brown and orange sprinkles

SPREAD cookies, pretzels and raisins into 13x9-inch rectangle on lightly greased baking sheet; set aside.
PLACE chocolate in small heavy saucepan; cook on very low heat until completely melted, stirring constantly. Drizzle over cookie mixture; spread with spatula to evenly coat all ingredients. Top with candy corn and sprinkles; lightly press into chocolate mixture to secure.
COOL until firm, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.


Nutrition (per serving)
Calories 200 Total fat 9g Saturated fat 4g Cholesterol 5mg Sodium 150mg Carbohydrate 29g Dietary fiber 0g Sugars 23g Protein 2g Vitamin A 0%DV Vitamin C 0%DV Calcium 2%DV Iron 4%DV

October 11, 2008

Johnny Depp voted ''World's Sexiest Man'' !!

Johnny Depp voted ''World's Sexiest Man''
Submitted by Kiran Pahwa on Sat, 10/11/2008 - 09:15.

London, October 11 : He might be 45, but Johnny Depp still rules ladies' hearts, and a new survey justifies that.

According to a new poll, the Hollywood hunk has been voted as the world''s sexiest man.

The 'World's Sexiest Men' survey, headed by 'Cosmopolitan' magazine has revealed that the heartthrob snatched the top spot leaving behind George Clooney to nab the second place - both in their 40''s.

However, following the third place was Jake Gyllenhaal, who's just in his 27th year.

Daniel Craig and Brad Pitt, who are in their 40s took away the fourth and the fifth rank, respectively.

Interestingly, only three men in their 20 somethings made it to the Top 25 list, namely, 'Brokeback Mountain' star Jake Gyllenhaal, British actor James McAvoy who came in No. 6 while singer Justin Timberlake at No. 7.

The survey featured singer-actor Will Smith bagging the 8th spot, followed by ace-footballer David Beckham and actor Wentworth Miller.

"Both George Clooney and Johnny Depp just keep getting better with age," the Daily Star quoted Lizzi Hosking of 'Cosmopolitan' as saying.

The top 25 hunks are:

1 Johnny Depp, 45
2 George Clooney, 47
3 Jake Gyllenhaal, 27
4 Daniel Craig, 40
5 Brad Pitt, 44
6 James McAvoy, 29
7 JustinTimberlake, 27
8 Will Smith, 40
9 David Beckham, 33
10 Wentworth Miller, 36
11 Christian Bale, 34
12 Jonathan Rhys Meyers, 31
13 Take That: Gary Barlow, 37, Mark Owen, 36, Howard Donald, 40 and Jason Orange, 38
14 Ashton Kutcher, 30
15 Dermot O''Leary, 35
16 David Tennant, 37
17 Patrick Dempsey, 42
18 Clive Owen, 44
19 Pierce Brosnan, 55
20 Mark Ronson, 33
21 Gordon Ramsay, 41
22 Russell Brand, 33
23 Pharrell Williams, 35
24 Ryan Reynolds, 31
25 Olivier Martinez, 42 (ANI)

October 06, 2008

Foreclosure Crisis Affects Pets, Too

It's no secret that when people fall on hard times that their animals often fall on hard times as well. It has never been more obvious though than with the recent home foreclosure crisis. In cities where foreclosures are at record levels, shelters and rescues are struggling with the sudden influx of abandoned and relinquished animals.

States all over the country have been hard hit by the market. More than 13,600 Minnesotans lost their homes to foreclosure last year, double the number in 2006. In California the market has crashed hard and some towns have empty houses on every street. Unfortunately, those vacant houses may not be entirely empty. Home owners in a rush sometimes abandon their dogs and cats.

No one wants to believe that they are really going to lose their home, so many owners wait until the eleventh hour to get out. By the time they are about to be locked out from the now bank-owned property it's too late to make arrangements for animals. Frequently, people losing their homes are moving in with family members or into smaller homes and apartments. This generally means that animals are not allowed. On the eve of eviction, many pet owners are making bad decisions.

Shelter Crisis

The Humane Society is urging home owners to think in advance and make arrangements for their animals. Dogs and cats are turning up dumped on farms and rural areas, perhaps their owners are hoping some kind soul will take care of them. Others are leaving them locked in the house or tied in the yard. Perhaps the evicted owners are hoping that the bank will do something to take care of them. Unfortunately, many of these animals are receiving no care at all. Taking pets to a shelter is a much better option, but in areas hard hit by the foreclosure mess, the shelters are at capacity.

Shelter workers argue that even a fifty-fifty chance of making it to find a new home is better than the alternative. Pets without homes may be euthanized, but at least for a while they are safe, warm and fed. At least they will be comfortable up until the end. Being on their own in the country or living off of whatever scraps are still inside the house is hardly humane. Photographs of emaciated animals found in homes are all over the internet. The situation is heartbreaking.

What We Can Do

When the economy takes a plunge, adoptions go down. Adoptions at shelters are at their highest when the sales of new homes are booming. People are financially secure, have a larger property and are ready to take on a new bundle of joy. However, right now even those who are buying new property aren't as likely to adopt. Money is tight for most everyone and a new pet is an added expense. This means there aren't a lot of animals in shelters finding new home.

If you have the room in your home and the means to care for one, now would be an excellent time to adopt a dog or cat. If you've always thought about being a foster home for a rescue group, now is the time to get serious about it. They have never needed you more than they do now. Even just giving a dog or cat a temporary home could really make a difference.

People do desperate things in desperate times, so if you hear of someone that is on the verge of eviction with nowhere to take their pets, don't judge. Instead find a way to help. You can't change that someone made a bad decision on a mortgage product, but you can help change the outcome for their pets. It's time for pet lovers everywhere to get out there and make a difference, even if it's just in one animal's life.

Prayers for friends...

A lady friend in Sunday School, MaryAnn, approx 60-65 yrs old, praying to have negative results on her cancer screening, praying the cancer is not returning after being in submission...this last screening said it had come back, so they are retesting...

I am praying for a 19 yr old young lady, Crystal, who is in serious need of salvation - has an 18 month old son - unmarried - bi - dangerously involved in the secular world - didn't know what 'Sunday School' was when I asked her to visit church with me at the end of last month, saying she didn't know what to do with the child... never came to church with me, but did attend a different church this last week and said she had fun...

Prayers needed for all tweens and the dangerous secular world that pulls at them 24-7. They only "get God" for two hours a week on Sundays, if that. Please teach them right, teach them daily. God, keep watch, cover them. Blind them to the eyes of the devil.

www.pray4clay.com A precious little guy here in SC that has a brain cancer/tumor.

For soldiers who are told to go fight for our freedom. And for their families who are proud but heartbroken. Prayers for the families that have lost their sons and daughters to war. Again, God, cover the eyes of their enemies, that they may be safe.

Prayers for all of my family members and friends, who do or do not believe - keep them all safe. Show them opportunities that are not to be missed :)

And blessings to YOU, for reading this far.
I hope you will pray for these people with me.
Love to all,
Phyllis Adelle

October 04, 2008


Took some pics of Minnie when she was sleeping

Save your money! Forget Gift Cards! (REPOSTING!)


If you have gift cards for stores that are entering bankruptcy protection, make sure you use them IMMEDIATELY! Once they are in bankruptcy, the gift cards are worthless, since gift cards are legally considered LOANS that you made to the company, and you'll have to get in line with all their other creditors to try to get back a few cents on the dollar (if you're lucky).
Another thing, right when these stores need their customer loyalty the most, the bankruptcy judges are telling them they can no longer honor those gift cards.
It makes since, you've already invested the money! If the store honors them, they are out more merchandise!
Have you noticed the news posts about business' closing over the past year and in the coming future?! For example, I read to day that Home Depot is closing 15 of its least-productive stores! Look it up!
People are getting tighter with their money, and rightly so! It's putting a huge dent in business'!
Many companies actually charge a fee from the card if it is not used before a certain time. I noticed that when I worked at a large chain department store! Your money on the card actually shrinks! If you wait a year, on a card that had $50, you may now only have $40!
So, use the cards now or lose them, and give cash as gifts, NOT gift cards! Cash will always be accepted anywhere, but gift cards are only usable at the issuers shops. Best Buy alone has over $500 million in outstanding gift cards floating around out there! The cards are a scam, and they're hoping you'll never redeem them!

7-year old boy breaks into zoo, kills several animals

SYDNEY, Australia (Oct. 3) - A 7-year-old boy broke into a popular Outback zoo, fed a string of animals to the resident crocodile and bashed several lizards to death with a rock, the zoo's director said Friday.
The 30-minute rampage, caught on the zoo's security camera, happened early Wednesday after the boy jumped a security fence at the Alice Springs Reptile Center in central Australia, said zoo director Rex Neindorf.

The child then went on a killing spree, bashing three lizards to death with a rock, including the zoo's beloved, 20-year-old goanna, which he then fed to "Terry," an 11-foot, 440-pound saltwater crocodile, said Neindorf.
The boy also fed several live animals to Terry by throwing them over the two fences surrounding the crocodile's enclosure, at one point climbing over the outer fence to get closer to the giant reptile.
In the footage, the boy's face remains largely blank, Neindorf said, adding: "It was like he was playing a game."
By the time he was done, 13 animals worth around $5,500 had been killed, including a turtle, bearded dragons and thorny devil lizards, Neindorf said. Although none were considered rare, some are difficult to replace, he said.
"We're horrified that anyone can do this and saddened by the age of the child," Neindorf said.
Alice Springs police said they are unable to press charges against the boy because of his age. Children under age 10 can't be charged with criminal offenses in the Northern Territory. His name was not released because of his age.
Neindorf said he plans to sue the boy's parents.
The boy's small size is probably the reason he didn't trip the zoo's security system, which relies on sensors to detect intruders, Neindorf said.
"I just want people to learn that they can't let their children go and run amok," Neindorf said. "If we can't put the blame onto the child, then someone has to accept the responsibility."

Now, Phyllis' take on this:
I am a single (divorced) mom of an 11 yr old (very normal and shy) boy. I do not have much money. Those of you that know me, know I'm a good person. Had my son *snuck out of the house in the middle of the night*, I wouldn't know it. I know my child has good morals. This child's face "was blank". I am wondering if he was in some type of sleep walking. If I were to be sued for Zach's actions, I would be pissed. I barely have enough to pay bills every month, put gas in the car, and buy groceries. Much less pay for a laywer and court fees and thousands of dollars of damage to a zoo that already pulls in a wad of big money. I would beg instead for the authorities to take my son in for psychiatric evaluations. This child needs help, for sure. And maybe a priest should be brought in as well. My first thought was, he was possessed by something or someone. I don't know why my mind went there, but it did. I'm Christian (Baptist), not Catholic, so I don't know why I thought about a priest, either. But that's who you usually hear about in cases of clearing out 'possessions'. Maybe the child had a freaked-out dream about animals killing his parents, and he wanted to stop that from happening. Know one will know until the child is questioned thoroughly.

Your thoughts?

October 02, 2008

If you have school-age children, you need to read this!

From Carol:
NOTE: I have copied here, with permission, a blog that I read today. The blog writer, in her desire to get it out to as many as possible, requested that I email it and copy it to my own blog, so I have done that below.


If you have children or grandchildren, work with children at church,
or you have neighborhood children whose parents you know, please take
note of the information below and pass it along to others. Schools are distributing this book to children through the Scholastic Book Club.

The name of the book is Conversations with God.. James Dobson talked
about this book twice this week. It is devastating. Parents, churches
and Christian schools need to be aware of it. Please pass this
information on to church/e-mail addresses, Parents, Grandparents,
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends.

Please pay special attention not only to what your kids watch on TV,
in movie theaters, on the internet, and the music they listen to, but
also be alert regarding the books they read.

Two particular books are, Conversations with God and Conversations
with God for Teens
, written by Neale D. Walsch. They sound harmless
enough by their titles alone. The books have been on the New York
Times best sellers list for a number of weeks, and they make truth of
the statement, "Don't judge a book by its cover or title."

The author purports to answer various questions asked by kids using
the "voice of God." However, the "answers" that he gives are not
Bible-based and go against the very infallible word of God. For
instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question "Why am I a lesbian?" His answer is that she was 'born that way' because of
genetics (just as you were born right-handed, with brown eyes, etc.).
Then he tells her to go out and "celebrate" her differences.

Another girls poses the question "I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin. Should I marry him?"

His reply is, "Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have
done nothing wrong."

Another question asks about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply "I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to
tell everyone, do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is "judge not lest ye be judged."
Not only are these books the false doctrine of the devil, but in some
instances quote (in error) the Word of God.

And the list goes on. These books (and others like it) are being sold
to schoolchildren through The Scholastic Book Club, and we need to
be aware of what is being fed to our children.

Our children are under attack. So I pray that you be sober and
vigilant about teaching your children the Word of God, and guarding
their exposure to worldly mediums, because our adversary, the devil,
roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter
5:8). We know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, weakest and
YOUNGEST of its prey.

Pass this on to every Believer you know. God bless! And, if you are in doubt, check out the books yourself.

How to Take Back Your Parenting Powers by Susan Epstein, Parent Coach

special report:
How to Take Back Your Parenting Powers

I am about to share with you 5 quick fixes to take back your parenting powers. These powerful ideas may seem simple to apply. However, if your situation requires extra attention, or you try my fixes and they are not working for you, please email me or call and I will be glad to arrange a free phone consultation.

If you’re at your wits end, feeling depleted, exhausted and drained of your energy because of the constant tests you’ve been getting from your child or children, I hear you! And I want you to know that your're not alone. Millions of Americans and parents all around the world are facing similar challenges. Some more extreme, and some a bit milder than what you my be facing.

You love your child. You want them to be as great as you know they can be. You want them to grow up healthy and with their head on straight. But, somewhere along the line they got "derailed" and started on a path that has led to tremendous stress and anxiety for everyone. Pick your poison. Is your child:

And the harder you try to control the situation, the more out of control things get. Maybe they get better for a very brief time (and you hope it will stay this way), but it never lasts and the next big blow up is always just around the corner.

In this Special Report you will learn 5 specific things you can do to quickly take back your parenting powers and defuse your child’s unproductive and negative behavior.Plus, you’ll also...

Command Respect
Set Up Expectations
Watch Out for negativity
Provide nurturance and guidance
Listen for feelings

Case Example
Joey scream at and talks back to his parents all the time. He is constantly picking fights with his younger brothers. He is so angry that Mom is afraid that he is scaring the other children and she hates to admit it but she is often afraid of him, too. How horrible, to be afraid of your own son! Mom and Dad have been around and around with trying to fix this. They have talked to numerous professionals, tried therapy and even medications for the son.

Here is Their Story
Last year, mom took Joey to a therapist. He went to the appointments (more like she dragged him to the appointments). The therapist told mom that he doesn’t talk and there is not much he can do with him in Joey won’t talk in the sessions. The therapist told mom to take Joey to an MD because maybe he is depressed, or bi-polar.

SO, mom followed the therapist’s advice, took Joey to the MD, and the MD prescribed 3 different medications. Mom had to fight with Joey every day to take the medications and if that weren’t bad enough, Joey seemed worse. Instead of acting angry he wouldn’t come out of his room. Mom cancelled the next appointment with the MD and stopped giving Joey the medications. Within 2 weeks Joey started up with the loud angry outbursts. Living this way was taking a toll on the entire family. Mom is even noticing that she and Dad are fighting more and no one in the family is talking to each other. It is like everyone is hiding out!

Sound familiar?
Does this situation sound at all familiar to you? Have you tried everything you know to improve your child’s behavior only to find yourself going around in circles and becoming more and more frustrated?

If so,
Read on and I will show you how in 5 easy steps you can take back your parenting powers!

The 5 Quick Fixes

Parenting Fix #1 - Commanding Respect

Angry kids are not going to cooperate, therefore, YOU must put a stop to back talk, interrupting, face making and other negative body language.

Well, you say, "Easier said than done!"

Actually, it is simple. The glitch is that it takes consistency and a poker face from you. Every time your child engages in one of these negative behaviors, you have to block him/her.

You ask, "EVERY TIME? ARE YOU CRAZY?" "How do I do this?"

Here’s the DRILL:
You say to your son or daughter: "Do not speak to me that way." Or “Do not interrupt me.” Or “Do not make that face.”

AND the glitch, you have to keep saying it until s/he stops and you must remain calm and not give up until s/he stops the behavior...

I guarantee you, that if you keep repeating one of these sentences to your child, with your poker face on, s/he will stop. They will be so shocked, a. that you are following through, and b. that you are not looking or sounding angry.

You are commanding respect.

You need to be ON 100%. Do not let this behavior slide. So pick a day that you are rested and in fairly good spirits, have someone you can call for support if you feel yourself caving...and carry on COMMANDING RESPECT, you deserve it! Don’t you?

Parenting Fix #2 - Setting up Expectations

WARNING! Do not attempt #2 until you have mastered #1.

Good. Now you have his/her attention and respect. Let’s talk about setting up
expectations. You do not want your son/daughter hurting or threatening your other children.

Spell it out. Tell him/her directly that this is unacceptable behavior.
Then tell him/her what the consequence will be if this happens.
The glitch? YOU have to follow through with the consequence.
A word about consequences:
Don’t overdo them. Grounding your child for a month will be more of a hardship for you than for your kid. Remember, you will have to see that face day in and day out, begging you to reconsider.

Think of a consequence that is swift and logical. I personally like restitution in cases like this. An example, would be to do something nice for, with the person that you hurt.
(Maybe take over one of their chores or help them with their homework).

*The key to Setting Up Expectations is to make this a meaningful and teachable moment!

Parenting Fix #3 - Watch out for Negativity

How do you speak to your child? Do you feel angry and resentful about their behavior?
Do you feel that all you focus on is the negative?

Then Stay With ME!

Let’s try something new. Here we go:
80% of the time you will focus on your child’s strengths. That only leaves 20% negativity. How does that sound? It is all in the way you phrase it.

“Joey, I know you are trying really hard to control your temper and I see you catching yourself when you begin to lose it. Is there anything I can do to help you?”

You are encouraging that he is trying while also offering support and help. This will give him motivation and incentive to try even harder.

A word about overprotection:
This does not mean not letting him do the things he wants. Overprotection means that you make excuses for his behavior even though he is out of control. Another word is enabling. If you find yourself blaming others or the school this does not mean you are being positive toward your child. It means that you are letting him off the hook.

*Remember, decreasing negativity towards your child has a direct effect on eliciting more positive behaviors!

Parenting Fix #4 - Provide Nurturance and Guidance

Respect for others:
Teach your child concern for others. Tell him/her how you feel when s/he talks back, calls you names, ignores your requests. Let him/her know that his/her actions affect other people and give him/her examples of this.

“Joey, when you ignore me, my feelings get hurt.”

Problem Solving:
Demonstrate the skill of 'Problem Solving.' Show your child how to process a situation and then get to a resolution.

“Joey, let’s sit down together and talk about what it will take to improve the way we speak to each other.”

Hold your child accountable for the expectations and the rules that you have

“Joey, how will I know that you have completed the chores that I asked you to do?”

Share stories of when you were younger and what you learned from your own experiences. Kids love to hear about Mom's and Dad's childhood.

Make a connection:
Connect with your child. Make eye contact at least 10 times daily with your child. Ask open ended questions- not questions that can be answered “yes or no”.

*Providing Nurturance and Guidance Creates Loving, Giving and Kind Children

Parenting Fix #5 - Listen for Feelings

Are you ready for the final fix? Look past the content of what your child is expressing. What feelings are you noticing? Anger, Sadness, Disappointment, Resentment, Jealousy, Frustration, Happiness, Joy?

Check In:
Check in with your child about his/her feelings. Comment on what you see and ask your child if you are reading him/her correctly. Validate his/her feelings.

“I know you are frustrated that your curfew is 11:00PM, do you want to talk about it?”

Be open to negotiating if it feels right to you. You will not be spoiling your child. Remember, s/he has finally given up the power and maybe getting something in return will seal the deal everybody wins!

“Mom, I feel different, everyone else gets to stay out till 11:30PM.”

Respond Clearly and Concisely:
“Joey, I would be willing to do that but this is what I need from you:

1. Tell me where you are going.
2. Call me if you change locations.
3. Do not arrive even 1 minute after 11:30PM

Can you do this? And remember, Joey, if you are even 1 minute late you will not go out next Saturday night.”

*Listening for feelings creates connection and bonding and love, love, love!

SO, Mom and Dad, You made it!

Once you have gone through these 5 fixes you will be a more confident parent, with a more peaceful home and a much better relationship with your child. Are you up to the challenge to help your child get back on the right path?

Are you ready to take back the power?

As I stated in the beginning of this Special Report, some situations may not be fixed so easily and quickly.

In families where there is:
Martial Discord
Mental Illness
Guilt about Blended Families
Our Own Needs to Get Love and Approval from our Children
Alcohol and Drug Use

Please email or call me for a consulation if you have any of the above going on. Let's get together and make a plan on how you, too, can take your parenting power back.

Here’s What I’ve Developed to Help You Have Well Behaved Kids…

Book: “Taking Back Your Parenting Power System: How to get control of your kids in 30 days or less: The secret formula to powerful parenting.” If you are new to the Parenting Powers System and you are looking for a place to start, this parenting book is it. A collection of many articles from meal time to bedtime, from homework to talking back…I have put together a manual that you can use raising your child from 3 to 18.

Susan P. Epstein, LCSW, Parent Coach

Please contact me with any questions...

Email: susan@parentingpowers.com

Phone: 860.437.0233 (Connecticut)

Stop Paying: 15 Free Services

Stop Paying: 15 Free Services

Posted 1 day, 9 hours ago
Why pay for what you can get for free? From lodging to landscaping, here are 15 free services that you can stop paying for already.

Free Television
Cut that cable bill and use Hulu.com for your movie and television viewing pleasure. Hulu offers full episodes of your favorite current and classic TV shows, full-length movies and thousands of clips– all for free! (Love this place! ~Phyllis

Free College Fund
We’ve mentioned this before but thought it was a lesson worth repeating. Upromise offers a great way to beef up Junior’s college fund without costing you a penny. Upromise.com puts a percentage of the money you spend on every day purchases into a special 529 Plan. It’s completely free.

Free Kids Meals
Want to go out to eat at a restaurant that doesn’t charge you for your little one’s meal? Simply plug in your zip code at KidsMealDeals.com and you’ll get a list of nearby eateries offering free food for youngsters.

Free Invoicing
Here’s a tip for small business owners. Check out BillingBoss.com for an easy (and completely free) way to create, send and track invoices.

Free Business Cards
Snag lots of free stuff at VistaPrint.com. We’re talking business cards, address labels, sticky notes and much more for free. (I love this place! Been using for years! ~Phyllis)

Free Computer Software
If you need software for word processing, spreadsheets, graphics, and presentations, check out OpenOffice.org. It’s a completely free download for anybody.

Free Directory Assistance
Need a number? Rather than tacking on more to your phone bill, try 1-800-Free-411. Get the digits you desire without spending a dime. You may have to listen to a short advertisement but, hey, it’s free.

Free Photo Processing
At Snapfish.com you won’t pay for prints– at least not right away. The first 50 are completely free when you register on the site. After that they're $.09 each.

Free Recipes
Rather than pay for a cookbook, find free recipes on the Internet with sites like Epicurious.com and AllRecipes.com.

Free Landscaping
Need to spruce up your garden? Order some free trees at FreeTreesandPlants.com. It’s a non-profit charity that utilizes the help of disabled employees to process orders.

Free Credit Report
Once a year you are allowed free access to your credit report. Check out AnnualCreditReport.com to check your credit and stop identity theft.

Free Diet Help
Can’t afford a personal trainer or a dietician to help you stay healthy? Try visiting SparkPeople.com for free meal plans, fitness tracking and exercise demos. You can also download a free printable tape measure to measure your success.

Free DVD Rentals
Rather than subscribing to a movie rental service or visiting your neighborhood video store every Friday night, try visiting your local library. Their selection of DVD’s might surprise you, but it won’t come as a surprise that it’s completely free. After all, it is the library. (I've done this the last two years. It has saved me hundreds of $! ~Phyllis)

Free Music
Save money on your music fix by trying out free online streaming radio. Sites like Pandora.com and Free Napster let you decide exactly what you want to listen to. Hear the latest hits or your old favorites for free.

Free Lodging
Hotel stays can cost big bucks, but thanks to CouchSurfing.com you can find a couch to crash on in just about every city for free.

By Alison Storm

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

October 01, 2008

Sarah Michelle Gellar returns to television (HBO)

The erstwhile Buffy the Vampire Slayer star is eying a return to the small screen with a half-hour dramedy pilot at HBO, entitled Wonderful Maladys.

According to Variety, the New York-set show will revolve around three adult siblings who lost their parents at a very early age.

Screenwriter Charles Randolph, who wrote the script with Gellar in mind, describes her character as having "a kind of zealous immaturity -- like a drug addict with a to-do list." Sounds just peachy.

The project, which is aiming to shoot its pilot early next year, marks Gellar's first regular TV gig since Buffy ended in 2003 -- though she's appeared on episodes of The Simpsons and Robot Chicken since. Think she'll slay it? Sound off below.