Friday, March 30, 2012

640M Dollar Mega Millions

I’m in. Are you? A group of co-workers play when the pot gets big enough. Isn’t that funny- “When the pot gets big enough?” How big does it have to be to worth it? I think the lowest pot is 12M. Can’t we learn to enjoy life on that? Even split 9-10 ways? How greedy are we anyway?

I love when I hold the copy of the tickets in my hand. I look over the numbers, see if we have any duplicate mega numbers, wonder if that gives us better chances of winning. I’m not going to analyze it. It is luck.

Then I like to daydream about what I would do with all that money. I don’t need that much money, but then again, does anyone really need 600 million? I don’t even care if I have to share the pot with a couple other winners, and then we split the pot here at work. Share the wealth. There seems to be enough to go around and help several people.

Ken saw on the news this morning that 90% of lottery winners go bankrupt in five years. That’s too bad. Don’t most people play it to improve their lives, make life easier and more enjoyable? Maybe we humans get too caught up in the material things in life and forget about the important things like family, religion, trust, responsibility, and caring for and giving to each other.

What would I do with the money…….

Pay off all debts.

Quit work.

Improve our retirement account

 Make sure my family is taken care of financially

Set up college funds for my grandchildren so they could go to any college they choose

Give to charities or causes I want to support

Buy a motor home


Have free time to spend with my family and friends

I doubt I need 600M to accomplish those goals. I guess the rest of the money would just sit in the bank collecting dust balls. I have a happy life now and know that money doesn’t buy happiness. It can alleviate some pressures and worries but true happiness does not come from the green stuff.

Still…..I hope I win.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Goodbye Little Buddy

Ken and I had a very difficult weekend. We lost our little buddy, Clayton, our 15 year old dog. He loved camping and was with us at the campground this weekend.

Clayton napping at camp last Monday 3/19/12

 How come it hurts so much when we lose a pet? I know for me it is because he became part of the family. Kenny had originally gotten Clayton from a shelter for a friend. That friend was only allowed to keep him for about a month before her parents decided they didn't want two dogs in the house. We came home one night and found Clayton tied to our deck steps. At the time, we had a lab living with us and we said we didn't want any more dogs. The problem was, I had fallen in love with  Clayton the first time I saw him before he went to Kenny's friend's house. Kenny then took Clayton to his grandfather's house. Frank loved dogs and said he would keep Clayton. That lasted only about 2 days before I couldn't stand it anymore. I told Ken I really did want Clayton. Frank agreed to let me have him back and he has been with us ever since.

Now that he is gone, I have told Frank (deceased) that he can have Clayton again for a while but someday I will take him back again. Take good care of him for me Frank.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cash Mob-Not Flash Mob!!

Have you ever heard of a cash mob? I hadn't either until last month when the first one was held in Youngstown, Ohio. The idea behind a "Cash Mob" is for lots of people to spend their cash at one local business to support that business. It is a way of keeping our money local and also supporting the little guy, not the box stores and internet companies. Each month, a different local business is chosen and the community is encouraged to shop there on one given day of the month. Last month the first Cash Mob was held at Dorian Book Store on Elm Street in Youngstown.

This month's Cash Mob will be Saturday, March 24, at "Touch the Moon Candy Saloon" at 8 S. Phelps Street in Youngstown, OH. Touch the Moon Saloon is open 11-4 and sells vintage candy, popcorn, hot dogs, coffee, Easter baskets and other stuff.

Also, Saturday, March 24, 2012 is "International Cash Mob Day". Over 500 cash mobs will take place all over our country.

If your community has not yet started a cash mob, maybe it should. Saving one small company in your community keeps the dollars, jobs and families in your community.


Well I did it! I just submitted my first article in hopes of being published. Wish me luck!!

I chose Reminisce Magazine ( as my first venture. I love reading the stories of things that people experienced years ago. And for me, telling my own story is easier than fiction. I only submitted one so far, but I have a couple more I am getting ready to submit.

I am practical enough to know that it may take a while before something is chosen. I do have faith that one day something I write will be published and this is the year I am going to try hard to accomplish that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Please Don't Do That!

My heart is heavy. I read an article that the government is going to allow barred owls to be shot so that the northern spotted owl can survive.
If you have been following my blog, you know that I really like barred owls. We had baby owls at our campsite at Mosquito Lake State Park Campground for the past three years. In 2011, we actually saw the “twins” (see blog titled Twins in May 2011) go in and out of the tree cavity where their nest was located, then stand precariously on the branch, without an ounce of grace, because they still didn’t know how to fly.  Their fluffy little bodies looked so soft like someone had dropped lint on them and it stuck. We enjoyed hearing the little sounds they made as babies, then as they grew older, we could distinguish that they were trying to imitate their parents to let out a real “Who Who” call. I have enjoyed watching the huge black eyes of both babies and adults look down at me while I looked up at them. They didn’t seem to be afraid of us when we were outside in our site. We have watched as the barred owl swoops down to grab a chipmunk using his sharp talons, take it to a branch and enjoy for a fresh yummy dinner.
So strong is my attraction to these beautiful birds that I actually got angry at several crows that were picking on the twins when they were very young. They had taken one of their first ventures a few trees away from their nest. The crows made loud squawks and wouldn’t be quiet. This drew the attention of more of their kind that came to help pester the babies. After diving toward the babies while flying near them, the crows finally perched in branches circling the twins, trapping them on the branches. Finally one of the parents appeared and the crows took off. There is definitely a pecking order with birds and the barred owls are near the top. Their only predator is the great horned owl.
Back to the northern spotted owl. I was surprised when I looked for a picture of a northern spotted owl and saw such a big resemblance to the barred owl in color and spots. Their main US habitat is in the northwestern states and California. This species is on the endangered list and its population is said to be decreasing 3% yearly.

The northern spotted owl has been a source of controversy for years. It was believed that loggers were taking away their favorite habitat, old growth forests. Lumbering in some areas was prohibited, putting many people out of work. Then it was discovered that weather, droughts, and fire were also a danger for the endangered species. Now comes the barred owl, moving into the territory of endangered northern spotted owls, and also being charged for their demise. It is said that the barred owls take over nests, kill the northern spotted owl or disturb their mating and incubating process.
Are we now profiling birds, willing to kill one species to save another? I hope not. Let’s find another solution.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Technology and Nature

 I definitely am not a techie. I struggle with the tv remote, need help starting the Xbox, cannot get our DVD to work, and can’t get the radio in our camper to play from the speakers where I want them.  My car is equipped with lots of technical stuff and voice commands that go unused.  Technology is always changing my world.

But no matter how advanced our technology gets nature and animals continue doing the same things they always have.

Maybe I long for a life like theirs. If I were a squirrel, I would go about my day, running here and there, chasing other squirrels around and around the tree trunk, up and down its massive base, then do high wire acts on the those skinny branches near the top, never falling or losing my footage. I could walk across the telephone wires and look down on the world, no one ever bothering me. Do I know that what I am walking on is a wire and is used to bring voices back and forth from one place to another and do I care? Heck no! I just know it gets me from A to Z quicker. In between playing, I’ll stockpile enough food to get me through the winter and make a mental note of where I hid them.

If I were a flower I would push my little green stem through the ground at the first sight of spring then expand my body into that beautiful plant you humans look forward to each year. As you watch and wait, I would produce a bud, then slowly open it to all its grandeur and royal color and move back and forth in the breeze as you marvel at my beauty.  My pretty little face will you make you smile because you know spring is finally here. You will cultivate the soil for me and I will produce seeds that I drop into that rich earth or for you to plant so my next generation can return and reignite your happiness.

I could be a bear wandering in the woods for three seasons. I could catch fish in the stream, climb the rocks of mountains, and steal food from your picnics like Yogi. When it gets cold, I will just hunker down for a season and sleep. No stress, no lights in my eyes, no digital alarm clock. My body will awaken naturally in the spring feeling refreshed and I will wander out, rub the sleep from my eyes and let out a low growl to test my lungs. I will breathe in the fresh spring air and enjoy the soft grass coming up under my feet. I will gather my cubs and head out for food.

As a barred owl, my large black eyes would take in everything below me unnoticed.  When I get hungry I’ll swoop down and grab my prey, carry it back up to a high branch and enjoy. When I’m done, I’ll just spit out what’s left, no dishwasher needed for clean up for me.

I could be a song bird, my head tilted upward, my feathers close to my body as I belt out my tune, my tiny feet clinging to the branch beneath me. After I finish my melody without the use of speakers or IPods or satellite radio, I would fly off, not making a sound, through the trees, never once bumping into them.

I could be a monarch butterfly who knows when and how to get to New Mexico for the winter without the use of a GPS.

I might choose to be an animal living in the forest and would know naturally to leave an area because of impending weather coming without the use of radar.

How is that these creatures can do these things naturally and we feel naked if we leave our cell phone at home? Maybe we are not the smartest things on earth like we think.

Now where did I put that mouse?