Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Did You Know About Changes to Propel?

Did you know about changes to Propel?

In the past, Propel sports drink has been about the only common sports drink I would let my kids have. But I have noticed a change lately. They have changed the bottles saying that they have reduced the amount of plastic used. That is a good thing. But it seems that in making the change they have also changed the ingredients. My mom bought some Propel at my suggestion and noticed it used high fructose corn syrup. She was surprised since I do not buy products containing that ingredient. I too noticed that in the newer bottles this was listed in the ingredients. They formerly used sucralose, which I am not a big fan of either, but I did compromise on it with my kids. So now we are all disappointed in the change of Propel. One more sports drink I won't buy. But that will save me some money too!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Did You Know We Were Flooded In Last Night?

Did you know we were flooded in last night?

That's right, just one week after having our Jeep Cherokee put out of commission by flood water in our neighborhood, we got flooded in at my uncle's house! The rain came down quickly again, about five inches. The streets leading out of his neighborhood were all under water. I made it to a church parking lot but my dad's car died. We pushed it into the parking lot and sat a few minutes. Then I returned back to my uncles to dry off and wait it out. Soon after, my cousin returned. About an hour later, my parents returned. We all stayed there until nearly 2 am waiting til the waters receded enough for us to get out.

Even on the way home, we saw many abandoned cars. Those with small fancy cars were hopefully smart enough to stay out of it. I know replacing those Corvette and Ferrari parts are not something they want to do every time the streets flood!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Did You Know a Way to Help Our Soldiers?

Did you know a way to help our soldiers?

I learned last week about a group of moms in the Houston area who are looking for donations to send to their children serving in the military overseas. It is a hard scrabble life for these men and women. They are longing for every day items. It is an easy way to give back to the men and women who are giving for us. I was given a list of items that these marines can use. It includes things like toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm, bath soap, toilet paper, white socks, shaving cream, deoderant, and bandaids. Also desired are items like pudding cups, crystal light, coffee, pop tarts, salt and pepper, peanut butter, hard candy. These are items that are simple to pick up at the grocery store. They can be delivered to the marine moms who will pack them up according to regulation and ship them overseas. Check the website for more information. You can even make a donation through paypal to help with the cost of shipping these packages.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Did You Know About Energy Saving Light Bulbs?

Did you know about energy saving light bulbs?

I have been hearing how this is one of the easiest ways to save money on your energy bill. My husband bought a few a couple of years ago. I'd like to buy some more. They are becoming more popular and easier to find. They cost a little more, but last longer and use less energy. Right now I have a stash of Sylvania light bulbs that I need to use up (don't want to be wasteful in that sense either) and then I intend to start going to the new bulbs throughout the house.

Did You Know About our Saturday Deluge?

Did you know about our Saturday deluge?

I took my daughter to see Broadway Across America’s Wizard of Oz today. (Great show!) Just after intermission, I got a call from my neighbor. I did not answer since the show was underway again. After the show, my daughter said she had also gotten a text from another young neighbor. I knew something was wrong then…

I called back to find out that our neighborhood had flooded while we were gone! Everything was fine, no water in the house, though it did come up to the door and in the garage. The car that my son drives was parked out on the street. The water was up to the side door windows! By the time we got home, the water had gone down, but was still standing inside the Jeep (Cherokee)! It was gross! And we’ll see how well we are able to dry it out.

Here is a shot our neighbor took about 30 minutes after the water started receding:

Monday, April 20, 2009

Did You Know Summer is Coming?

Did you know summer is coming?

Not long until summer will be here! I know many people are regretting letting go of their New Year's Resolutions to eat right and lose weight. It's hard to stick with it. There is no magic pill (no matter what claims you hear!) I keep getting tons of emails-try Enphedra, look amazing in two weeks!, burn fat twice as fast!, and on and on....

Yes, summer is coming. But I think it's better to focus on eating right along with daily exercise. Try moderation. Try thinking about a wide variety of colors at each meal. Don't eat out, or at least cut out fast food. Then maybe you'll be ready for the beach when summer arrives.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did You Know About Scholastic Warehouse Book Sales?

Did you know about Scholastic Warehouse Book Sales?

The Scholastic Warehouses, which supply book order forms to kids' schools, will be having their annual spring sales next month. If you live near one, you can save up to 80% off the cover price of books! You can also sign up for a coupon for $10 off a $60-$100 purchase. And if you volunteer to work the book sale, you can earn free books!! Check to see if there is a warehouse sale near you .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Did You Know About Our Tri-County TEA Party?

Did you know about our tri-county TEA Party?

Yesterday a neighboring community hosted a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party to protest the bail outs, stimulus and government overspending. There was a speaker from the Texas Railroad Commission, a local business man who is a Cuban immigrant, and the local U.S. Representative. Folks arrived with signs of protest as well as tea bags to sign and send to Washington. I was also glad to see a media truck on hand as well. It was good to see the area filled with local folks who are wanting to send this message to Washington.

The idea of the tea bags is a symbol extrapolated from the Boston Tea Party. One speaker said this is important because it's not just our tea that is being taxed, it's our lives and our children's and grandchildren's lives. One young girl was carrying a stop sign that said "Stop spending my future income". The congressman loved that. He spoke to the girl and took her stop sign back to Washington with him.

A chest was loaded with all the tea bags and the congressman will be taking these back to Washington with him to express our local dissent over the stimulus and wasteful government spending. As the trunk was being carried to his truck, one young boy ran up urgently yelling "wait, wait!" His tea bag was not yet in the trunk and he knew his lone bag must also make it in the trunk. It was a very fitting end to the scene. This young boy may not realize what a symbol he and his last urgent addition to the trunk exhibited, but the way in which it was played out was a perfect ending to our local Tea Party.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Did You Know About Our Night at the Celtics Game?

Did you know about our night at the Celtics game?

In trying to wrap up our adventure in Boston (nearly a month ago!) I will tell you about the "big event"! All my son cared about was getting to go to a Celtics game. He didn't care what else we did. So I splurged. I bought four tickets to a weeknight game-their only home game while we were in town. I had a chance at some better seats, but by the time I was ready to buy, all that was left were "nosebleed" seats. Although they were pretty pricey, we wanted to do this.

Even though they were high up, they were center court and we had a good view.

I bought them online through a ticket broker. It was hard to get tickets. It seems like Celtics tickets sell out fast. And I was surprised that it really was a well attended game, even though it was a week night.

We were really excited just to be in the "Garden".

Seeing the banners and the Celtic pride was lots of fun.

My son was disappointed that the Celtics had a couple of hurt players including Ray Allen. Also, their opponents, the Heat, played minus Dwayne Wade. Even so, it was a fun game. It was exciting that it even went into over time!! And how much fun that the home team came out on top in the end!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Did You Know About The Boston Sports Museum?

Did you know about the Boston Sports Museum?

This museum is located inside the Northbank Garden. Hours vary based on each day's events. We were lucky to get inside just before closing time on the day we chose to visit. You can purchase tickets inside the Garden and then you go to the museum's entrance. You need to have a cell phone with you because you are instructed to call the museum's phone number to have them come down and escort you up to a private level where the exhibits are displayed.

Due to our commute time, we arrived with only 30 minutes til the museum closed for the day. We were told we could hang around a few extra minutes, but most people allow an hour or more to see all the displays.

On exhibit are items from many of Massachusetts' different sports. Of course, there is lots there to see about the Celtics. There are also displays for the Red Sox, the Bruins, college sports, the Boston Marathon, the Olympics and I am sure others that I've left out.

We enjoyed walking through the corridors where the items are on exhibit reading through lots of the history of sports in Boston. I do wish we would have allowed more time, but we got to see most everything. I learned several things I'd not known enjoyed walking through the exhibits.

part of the original parquet floor from the original Boston Garden

then and now Celtics jerseys

a display of photos taken showing the ubiquitous nature of basketball goals-something I wish I'd have had more time to look at, so I took a picture to look up info later.

how Teddy Roosevelt helped to save football

first women's basketball uniform

Monday, April 6, 2009

Did You Know About Pizzeria Regina?

Did you know about Pizzeria Regina?

I love pizza. So when I found out about a back street brick oven pizzeria in the Italian section of Boston, I had to give it a try. Regina's has been "world famous" since 1926. They use fresh ingredients and I believe even imported yeast. My kids and I could not get enough of the original extra cheese pizza, while my husband preferred the "loaded" ones!

Did You Know About Media Rooms?

Did you know about "media rooms"?

Our friends have a "media room". My daughter says it's pretty cool with black carpet and red walls. But she doesn't think there is enough seating. There are two "video chairs" on the floor, and other than that, you need to bring your blankets to lay on the floor. I don't know if they are planning on getting new furniture, maybe some Berkline theater seats, or if they are going to leave it open like that. Either way, I like having the TV in a place outside of the family room. I like the idea of "purposeful TV watching" as opposed to just having it on all day or being the focus of the family area.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Did You Know About the Bunker Hill Monument?

Did you know about the Bunker Hill Monument?

Across the Charles River in Boston, you can visit the Bunker Hill Monument. This obelisk was built in 1834, but not on the site of the actual battle of Bunker Hill. This memorial is actually closer in on Breed's Hill, Bunker Hill was further out. You can climb the monument and have a nice view back over Boston and out over the river. There are 294 steps to the top, no elevator. Across the street from the monument is a small museum. There is not a lot there, but on the second floor (yes, we climbed more stairs, but found an elevator when we were leaving!) we found a few things that interested us and we enjoyed listening to a narration about the battle. It is always amazing to listen to these stories of courage and patriotism that our forefather's fought for.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Did You Know About Boston's Freedom Trail?

Did you know about Boston's Freedom Trail?

I really enjoyed this tour of historical sites and events from America's Revolutionary War period. The tour starts in Boston Common (you can start anywhere, but this is the "official" starting point.) You can do the tour at a self pace or you can pay to join a tour guide. I thought about doing that, but the best one according to a friend (Ben Franklin), has now retired. And, going with a guide meant going with a group as well. We wanted to go at our own pace, but I also wanted to have some literature to read along the way about each stop. There is no free literature available (at least from the visitor's center) but there are several pieces for sale. I bought one for $3 and it was nothing more than a regular travel brochure, but I wanted the info.

I like how the trail is set up. All through the city is a red-bricked path (or a painted red line along some streets) which you can follow and leads you to all the sights on the trail.

The path is 2.5 miles long and is "round about" in a few places. Along this trail you will see sixteen historical sites, including the State House, Faneuil Hall, the Old State House, the Old North Church, USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill monument. It is very interesting and not a bad walk at all.

Site of Boston Massacre

Paul Revere's House

Revere statue and Old North Church

Bunker Hill Monument

There are some sites you can go into (some closed on Mondays) and admission is charged at most of these. We skipped going into all the ones that charged a fee. Since we had already seen the Constitution earlier, we by-passed it on the way to Bunker Hill. I think this was one of my favorite things of our visit to Boston and we learned and re-learned some things about the Revolution and the folks involved.