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All posts for the month February, 2015

A tattoo fundraiser

Published February 28, 2015 by lynn k scott

In my attempts to raise money for the Relay for Life that I am participating in this June, I asked a friend for some help.  The friend happens to be my local tattoo artist.  Together, we are raffling off a $75 gift certificate to the tattoo shop he works for and all the proceeds from the raffle sales will be donated for Relay for Life.

The tattoo artist who I am working with, actually did the memorial tattoo for my sister; the “All Will Get Better Bear”.

Bear

I love the idea and it seems to be going well.  We’ve had several people express interest and we have about 4 months of sales to collect.  My actually fundraising goal is $100.00.  I’m already half-way there, before starting this little venture.  I am hoping to sell enough tickets to reach $500.00.  I know it’s a considerable amount, but it would mean so much to me to be able to turn in that amount in donations.

I do have a fundraising page, which people can also donate directly to.  It makes no difference to me as it all goes to the American Cancer Society.  If you have spare change or would like to donate, check out http://www.relayforlife.org,  Every bit helps to end the disease, far too many of us are familiar with:  Cancer.

QOTD: Topic – Pity (by D.H. Lawrence)

Published February 26, 2015 by lynn k scott

This poem has been with me since I first heard read in a movie.  You know which movie, right?  Anywhooo, when I’m going through something, this poem brings back my “can-do” attitude and gets me refocused on my priorities.

“I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself.  A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” (by David Herbert Lawrence)

Her Last Day with us

Published February 25, 2015 by lynn k scott

This is my first guest post. I read this today and took it as a sign from my mom (she passed 20 months ago today). This song brought tears to my eyes as I heard this song shortly after she passed (another sign).

This is a touching story and should be shared. Please visit the original post to leave any comments. Thank you.

Madison Rising; ever hear of them?

Published February 25, 2015 by lynn k scott

I was figuratively introduced to patriotic band, Madison Rising, a few years ago, by my sister before she really began her cancer battle.  I am not one for remakes.  I typically prefer original songs over revised versions.  I was really hesitant when she told me about their version of the Star Spangled Banner.

WHAT?!  I can’t stand sporting events and the celebrities who think putting their own “spin” on our National Anthem is appropriate.  Now, some band went and added their version?  Whatever, fine….I’ll listen to it…ONCE!

Silly me, my sister knew me and my patriotism.  I have to say, hands down, this is the BEST remake of the Star Spangled Banner that I’ve ever come across.  I would dare to even say, it’s the best, kick-ass version.  After all, it’s representing a very proud country.  Since then, I have replayed this video hundreds of times and shared it with others, as my sister once shared it with me.

So, won’t you take a moment to give Madison Rising a chance to sing you their version of our National Anthem.

Disclaimer:  I am not affiliated with Madison Rising, I have no claim on the video or their song.  I’m simply a patriotic, army mom and fan of their work.

What’s Wrong With English?

Published February 25, 2015 by lynn k scott

I’m going to bring up a topic that probably won’t be construed as being politically correct (PC).  While I’m not purposely trying to offend anyone (this time) with my writing, I’m sure someone will not take these words to heart in the spirit in which it was written.

Most of my life I have had a fascination with language.  I would take different courses, use audio tapes (way back when), use bilingual chat rooms for practice or get together with people who spoke the language I was trying to learn.  I have learned some American Sign Language, Spanish, Tagalog, French and Hungarian.  While I am not fluent in any of these languages, I can utter a few words to having small conversations.

That being said, I couldn’t help but think about why I was listening to music on the radio and the next commercial was completely in Spanish.  It was actually a commercial for Verizon.  I started to question is it because I live in California?  Is it because as a society we’ve gotten completely complacent in assimilation?  What if I wanted to know what the commercial was about?  There wasn’t another version offered in English.

Those questions prompted more questions.  If I lived closer to the Eastern Canadian border, might this commercial been in French?  What about a commercial in Tagalog, Korean, Chinese or Japanese?  After all, we are on the Pacific coast with a fairly large Asian influence.  When does it stop or will it ever stop?

As someone born in the United States, who grew up learning English, it’s almost as if someone like me no longer counts. Companies are bending over backwards to accommodate foreign language speakers.  It’s not a matter of immigration, for this particular observation.  It’s a matter of facts.

The United States, while not having an official language, has the understanding that English is the language of this land. All of our courts, legal proceedings, contracts, treaties, etc. are all in English.  While some people will need an interpreter during certain situations, the written language is English.

When did the country change it’s thought on no one has to at least try to assimilate with the language and customs here? It’s one thing to be a tourist and “get by” while you are visiting in the USA.  It’s another thing to live here for say, five plus years and still only speak your native language.

I understand English isn’t the easiest of languages to learn.  Yet, being immersed in the culture can effectively aid in learning the language quicker, IF that’s a priority.  With making interpreters available in almost every agency, only hiring bilingual employees for companies not doing business out of the country, by not requiring employees speak English while working (unless it’s related to foreign business), does this country a disservice.

How many languages will the DMV offer a driving test in?  Will driving instructors be required to be multilingual because someone couldn’t be bothered to learn English?  Will the road signage be in 15 different languages at some point?  I believe if someone is going to make a residence within the United States, then it’s only common courtesy and decency to make an effort learn the language.  There is no excuse for multi-generations in one family, living in the U.S., who don’t speak English.

To me, this is offensive.  I should not have to change to accommodate someone else’s willful neglect at assimilation.  This country has gone PC-happy.  People who have grown up here are being told you are no longer a priority; in so many words.  I encourage my children to learn other languages and to learn about other cultures.  The fact is we are Americans, we speak English, and we have a right to be proud of that.

QOTD: Topic – Individuality (by G. Carlin)

Published February 24, 2015 by lynn k scott

I will premise today’s quote by stating that George Carlin, in my opinion, was one of the world’s truly great thinkers.  While he didn’t win a Nobel prize or find a cure to a disease, he taught people to think.  He was upfront, direct and truly made you wonder about what he was saying.  He was able to combine his unique perspectives and deliver them through comedy.  To me, that’s talent.  R.I.P. George.

“I don’t like ass kissers, flag wavers or team players. I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people: “Somewhere along the way, someone is going to tell you, ‘There is no “I” in team.’ What you should tell them is, ‘Maybe not. But there is an “I” in independence, individuality and integrity.'” Avoid teams at all cost. Keep your circle small. Never join a group that has a name. If they say, “We’re the So-and-Sos,” take a walk. And if, somehow, you must join, if it’s unavoidable, such as a union or a trade association, go ahead and join. But don’t participate; it will be your death. And if they tell you you’re not a team player, congratulate them on being observant.” (by George Carlin)

Frugality – Take 2

Published February 22, 2015 by lynn k scott

I’ve already written how “frugality” isn’t a 4-letter word.  In fact, I took my own suggestion and am adding a second installment to my original piece.  As I’ve previously stated, with the rising cost of everything these days, many of us need to make our money stretch farther than ever before.  Hopefully, some of the following tips might be useful to you.

  • When grocery shopping, make sure to check the discounted meat section.  Just about every store has one of these sections.  If items are expiring within a day or two, most stores will offer 25%-75% off.  Is the meat bad?  Not at all. However, the store can’t sell it past the “sell by date”, so you might as well save some money on perfectly good meat that needs to be eaten asap or frozen for a future date.
  • Use your crockpot.  If you don’t have one of these useful kitchen appliances, I highly suggest going out and picking one up.  I use mine weekly and have for the last four years, since discovering this time-saving appliance.  First, it allows you to buy tougher cuts of meat, which are usually cheaper than choice cuts of meat.  Since most crockpot recipes take 4+ hours to cook, that’s perfect for the tougher cuts which need that low and slow method.  Second, the crockpot is ideal if you have a very busy schedule as dinner is done when you return home.  It’s one less thing you need to worry about or fit into your schedule.  Lastly, the summer months can be brutal.  Why add the heat of an oven or even the stove for that matter?  The crockpot makes a variety of dishes, all while sitting on your counter and NOT heating your entire house.  Hint:  If you have to buy a crockpot, I recommend the digital kind that will automatically change the setting to “warm” when the cooking time has ended.  This is a great feature for if you’re out of the house all day.  You don’t have to be home to turn it off.
  • Purchase fruits and vegetables in season.  In season?  If you’re unfamiliar with that term, it means, when fruits and vegetables are usually grown.  Example, tomatoes are a summer item.  Buying them in the winter means you are paying higher prices for them to be imported to your area.  This is a good time to learn to eat new fruits and vegetables.  Believe me, you really don’t need to pay $2.00/lb for tomatoes in December.
  • Shop the sales, not the recipe.  Lately, I’ve seen lots of blogs about how to prepare meals ahead of time, freezing them, etc.  What those recipes fail to mention is that you still need to purchase the ingredients, if you don’t already have them on hand.  This could cost you more than the time you are saving by prepping them ahead.  If you’re not shopping more than one store, you’re wasting your money.  Plain and simple.  Today there are stores within a mile or two of each other; some even just across the street from one another  Plan to review the store ads, make lists, and make purchases based on the sales offered.  You’ll be surprised at how much you save.
  • Use club or store rewards cards.  Some people absolutely despise this option.  Yet, this is one of the easiest ways to save.  Most store rewards cards let you load the card online and then just go shopping.  It’s a good way to get the sales, but some are geared toward your purchases.  I like knowing I may receive $1.00 off a box of pasta because I buy it often.  Some stores offer gas rewards.  I have to go grocery shopping anyway.  Why shouldn’t I want $0.10 off my gas purchase the next time I fill up?
  • Coupon.  There I said it.  This one scares more people than using the club cards.  It’s not really difficult and can take time to learn, but even if you end up saving $10/week on groceries, that’s still $10.00.  If you learn to combine coupons with sale items, your savings increases considerably.  There are many online groups that can help you learn to coupon.  NEVER pay someone to teach you!  That’s just wasting money and they are taking advantage of the fact you’re still learning.  Ask coworkers, church members, or look for couponing sites online.  Heck, shoot me an email, and I’ll help you.  No sense paying for what you’ll eventually figure out and the object is saving money, not spending it.  Just a tip:  review each store’s coupon policy online.  It’s also a good idea to print and carry the store’s coupon policy with you while you shop.  You’d be astounded at the lack of training the cashiers and their managers have when it comes to accepting coupons.  Have the proof and you’ll have the savings.
  • If you have a smartphone, then you should be using shopping apps.  These are apps that pay you to purchase certain items.  You’re normally going to buy eggs, milk, juice, etc.  Why not earn $.25 to $1.00 on items you are already buying.  Some apps allow you to cash out at $10.00, while others cash out at $20.00.  Either way, they are easy to use and they reward you for purchasing items you use.  Some shopping apps I use are Ibotta, Snap, and Checkout51.  If you shop online, try using Ebates and/or Swagbucks.  It’s the same principal as the other apps.  Get paid on your purchases.  Every bit back helps.

I hope you’re able to use some of my frugality tips.  I’m sure there will be a “Take 3” in the near future.

Heard from “my” sailor!

Published February 21, 2015 by lynn k scott

Not sure if I shared that I had adopted another deployed military person.  In mid-January, I felt it was time to get back into actively supporting our military.  It was hard to believe at one point I had over 40 deployed people I was writing to.  After my sister’s death, it dwindled down to nothing.  She was such a huge supporter of mine and my efforts to keep up morale of our deployed troops, I had a hard time writing my letters knowing she was gone.

Having “genesis” as my 2015 word,http://pinkherald.com/2015/01/01/welcome-to-2015-and-genesis, it was time to get back on the proverbial (writing) horse.  I applied for another adoptee.  I’ve used various sites over the years to obtain my adoptees. This time I chose to go with http://www.adoptaussoldier.com.  Their website can be a little confusing and you need to email them the adoption request, once you’ve created an account, but overall it’s a good website and has lots of information.

I typically have received Army and Marine personnel to correspond with.  This time, I received a Sailor as my adoptee. This is only the second time, in 5 years, that I have written to a Sailor.  I think it’s really cool to be able to look up the name of the ship they are on and see what it looks like.  Granted, I rarely have information as to where they are and what they are doing, but at least having a visual of the ship they are actually on, and I think that is pretty cool.

Adopting someone who is deployed can be a bit disheartening for those who think they are gaining a pen-pal.  While some adoptees enjoy and/or have the ability to write, sometimes, depending on their location, they are unable to send mail out and some just don’t like writing letters.  I learned this early on.  Fortunately, I have received quite a bit of “free mail”.  That would be mail from my adoptees.  It’s called “free mail” because it doesn’t cost them anything to send out letters.   I have also been lucky enough to have email contact with several of my adoptees.  A few adoptees and I have remained friends over the years.  We follow each other on FaceBook and sometimes take a few minutes for a chat on gmail.  I am privileged to cal them friends.

Just the other day, my adoptee, sent me a quick email to let me know he finally received my first letter.  He has two more already on the way to him.  It put a smile on my face knowing he enjoyed my ramblings recounting my every day activities. The letter he received had a lot to do with the chaos my puppy creates, which is humorous at times.

I get the most satisfaction just knowing that when I send my letters out, my adoptee will hear his name at mail call.  He will receive a letter (and sometimes a package).  He will know someone is thinking of him.  Even if it’s a stranger, an Army mom, who wants to make sure the he knows the gratitude for his service.  I have my daughter draw pictures and sometimes write her own letter that’s included when I send mine out.

While the technological age puts us at an advantage for receiving correspondence quickly, not all of those who are deployed have immediate access to being online, if they have access at all.  Letter writing may obsolete to some, but it is very much part of my life and I’m glad I have the opportunity to send a few letters out to some very worthy recipients.

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