Monday, July 26, 2010

Job Opportunity -- Uplifting and Inspiring Rejection Letter Writer

I'm thinking the job opportunity headline needs to read something like this: Uplifting and Inspiring Rejection Letter Writer Wanted!  Why this type of "job opportunity" now?  Well ... let me tell you a short story!  It starts on a hot July afternoon in Jacksonville, Florida.

On July 22, 2010, I commenced my online career search, getting my feet wet, in the local career market here in Northeastern Florida; i.e., Jacksonville, Florida.  My first steps involved taking a proactive approach by employing my Google blog, to announce my initiative: Interviewing a Forward-Thinking Company and Boss in Jacksonville Florida.

I am accepting inquiries from forward-thinking, dynamic companies in the Jacksonville, Florida area. I am actively seeking to secure a meaningful relationship with a very special company AND boss(es) who truly understand that harnessing social media today can be a plus for the company’s bottom-line.  That, plus a need for creative and analytical marketing experience!
The next steps involved selecting a couple of "great" companies for which I would love to "work."  I selected a company for which I've actually worked in two different cities.  The other company is a retail establishment which I frequent OFTEN and have spread the word of mouth buzz to my friends; i.e., "Oh my goodness, you really need to stop in and check out the latest 'fabulous finds' at _________!"

So, the very next day, I get a "thank you" letter from the company that I haven't worked for yet, but where I shop on a frequent basis.  What they had to say:

Exhibit A: Letter #1 from Jacksonville Florida retail company: Received within 24 hours of submitting an online application with resume to this retail company.
Thank you for your interest in the _______ position at _________ [our company].

We are in the process of reviewing all resumes from applicants who have expressed an interest in this opportunity. Should your qualifications and experience match the requirements for this position, you will be contacted directly by a member of our recruiting staff.

Best regards,

Human Resources
OK, I thought ... it is good to be acknowledged and know that a "human" is actually reviewing your qualifications and experience to find a "match" you know?

Fast forward to two days later!  Oh no!!!  It is an uninspiring rejection letter.  My first in this career search.  Good thing my self-esteem is solid ... who knows though how that self-esteem might be after 30 days, 60 days, 90 days of these type of letters!  You know?  So, here is that uninspiring rejection letter:

Exhibit B: Letter #2 from Jacksonville Florida retail company: Received within 2 days after receiving the "Thank You" Letter #1.
Thank you for your interest in the _______ position at _________ [our company -- not yours].

At this time we are pursuing other applicants whose qualifications most closely match the needs of this position. However, we encourage you to review our careers website regularly for available job opportunities matching your career interests and qualifications at our company dot com -- [not yours dot com].

Best wishes for success in your future career endeavors.

Human Resources

Hmmm, I should review the company "website regularly for available job opportunities matching your career." That doesn't sound promising to me. Wouldn't that company KNOW that someone like me was available for a very special "marketing" type career?  You know, this rejection letter surely sounds familiar. I do think that in my career lifetime, I have gotten this VERY SAME letter many a time, even at the START of my career oh so many years ago!

Job Opportunity -- Uplifting and Inspiring Rejection Letter Writer. It is time; the time is ripe for uplifting and inspiring rejection letters.  These canned, uninspiring rejection letters are perpetuating a potential loss of self-esteem amongst those potential career candidates for other jobs.  I'm thinking, in my case, that enclosing a 50% off one item in that favorite "retail" company might have been an improvement.

Note to self:  Make some time to creatively write some uplifting and inspiring rejection letters!  Thank you very much.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Interviewing a Forward-Thinking Company and Boss in Jacksonville Florida

Today's special blog post:  Interviewing a Forward-Thinking Company and Boss in Jacksonville Florida!

BULLETIN: I am accepting inquiries from forward-thinking, dynamic companies in the Jacksonville, Florida area. I am actively seeking to secure a meaningful relationship with a very special company AND boss(es) who truly understand that harnessing social media today can be a plus for the company’s bottom-line.  That, plus a need for creative and analytical marketing experience!

The bottom-line on me? Well, I previously would have described myself with something like this:
A conceptually-creative, analytical, and motivated marketing professional with corporate level experience possessing skills in marketing and business plan development; project management; creative and marketing materials development; web site development and management; data analyses and database development; and online content writer and blogger.

But, now I am that and so much more! Over the past 4+ years, I have worked VERY DILIGENTLY to “establish a reputable name for myself online.” I have actively been involved in “social media marketing” and so much more! Hey, why not Google Me for yourself? I would suggest that you Google “jaguarjulie” and “jaguar julie” and keep in mind that I might be a blonde, but I have a lot of substance and brains behind the smile! I am a motivated and enthused kind of person too!

Of course, I also worked VERY DILIGENTLY at a more traditional “job” because I was sought out for my particularly relevant marketing experience for a start-up company that went from $0 to about oh, $7 million or more in annual sales in the course of 3.5 years!

I’m happy to report, that my current employer and I have come to a mutually-beneficial agreement that I should be allowed to spread my wings now. It’s been a 3.5 year working relationship; me = Marketing Director; them = happy partners who are very thankful for all the contributions. It really worked for me and my personality that they transitioned my work environment to be a home-based business = thank you boss(es)! I know that not everybody is disciplined enough to be productive working from a home office, but I did earn that title of WAHWW and WAHW – that would be “work at home wonder woman” and “work at home workaholic!” TYVM!

For them, I conceived of and developed their company logo which brands them worldwide daily. An additional key contribution was the MS Access database I developed which automates product data sheets, product labeling, and product technical charts. They’ve counted on me for a variety of creatives and marketing collateral materials; competitive intelligence; website management; content writing for the company blog; and gosh, so much more! Yep, I do know that they will miss me!

By the way, I also managed, in my free time, to make a name for myself as a Social Media type along with being a prolific content writer, hubster, lensmaster, and blogger. I’ve written on the socially-popular platform of Squidoo, with over 850 lens articles to my name.

Along with that content writing, came some kudos along the way, such as being inducted into the prestigious Giant Squid 100 Club as a charter member in 2007. Serving as a socially-responsible Squid Angel, mentoring fellow lensmasters, being a Squidoo Activist, making a record number of requested feature-suggestions for improvement of the site, and earning some recognition as lens of the day three times.

In 2008, I was selected as the Giant Squid of the Year and earned the title of having the best cooking page, Stuffed Cabbage, that year. Oh, there were many more bright spots to report on Squidoo! We can surely talk about that in person!

Prior to Squidoo, my websites, and blogging, I maintained the top, #1 personal homepage on the popular platform of ThirdAge for more than a couple of years!

Before all that, I’ve had a most meaningful corporate and Fortune 500, traditional past, having provided marketing services, creative and analytical, for such companies as:
  • Fuji Hunt Photographic Chemicals
  • KPMG LLP
  • Millennium Specialty Chemicals
  • IBM-Florida Capital Trading Area
  • GTE Mobile Communications
  • The Prudential Bank

Of course I have the necessary academic credentials that you would expect of someone who has been a Marketing Director. And, I can use a computer quite efficiently too -- I even get asked to troubleshoot computers from time-to-time! We can talk more specifically about all my skills and talents when we meet.

So, are you interested in talking? I’m ready! Why not put my portfolio of talent and skills to work for your company? You can leave me a confidential, private inquiry in my comments and we can go from there! I will contact you immediately!  Thank you and hope to meet you soon!  Let's talk!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Angel in Heaven Suzanne Ludlum McNeely

In memory of Suzanne, an ANGEL in Heaven, Suzanne Ludlum McNeely. Born on Earth on August 30, 1931, and arrived in Heaven on Saturday, July 17, 2010, via Waycross, Georgia.

Reprint of her online obituary, thanks to Tributes.com.
Mrs. Suzanne Ludlum McNeely, 78, died Saturday morning (July 17, 2010) at Baptist Village Retirement Communities after an extended illness. She was born and raised in Waycross, but she lived in Merritt Island, FL for 25 years before moving back to Waycross in 1981. She graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Savannah as a registered nurse. She retired as the Director of Nursing at Baptist Village after 25 years of service. She was also a member of First Baptist Church Waycross.

Mrs. McNeely is the daughter of the late Lawrence Wesley Ludlum and Anna McGuire Ludlum. She is preceded in death by one sister, Eloise L. Shepherd of Waycross; and one brother, Lawrence Ludlum of Rockford, IL. Survivors include her husband of 53 years, A. C. McNeely of Waycross; two daughters, Marcia Marie Crowley (husband Jim) of Stone Mountain, and Gail Tull (husband Guy) of Annapolis, MD; three grandchildren, Jay Crowley, Olivia Tull and Elliott Tull; one sister, Anna Marie Misner (husband Russ) of Green Cove Springs, FL; a special niece, Susan S. Welch (husband Kenny) of Waycross; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday (July 20, 2010) at First Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Oakland Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6 until 8 p.m. Monday at Music Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Ovarian Cancer Institute, 980 Johnson Ferry Rd., Suite 1040, Atlanta, GA 30342. Music Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


Suzanne was the "integral" element, the linchpin, for many a memory acquired over the years celebrating Thanksgiving with the family. Here is one of those special photos captured at Thanksgiving with the family. Look for Suzanne in the middle of all this family. To her right is her beloved A.C. Thank YOU Suzanne and A.C. and family for ALL THE BLESSED MEMORIES. I will cherish them FOREVER. And, Suzanne, I will always remember YOU. Thank YOU.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Holy Purple Cow COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion

Hello Ladies and Interested Men! Holy Purple Cow! Hold those presses and mascara-less eyelashes for COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara! I had heard tell that BzzAgent Jono was actually wanting to participate in the hoopla to achieve a blast of volume and more dramatic lashes with COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara!

Speaking for myself, I initially thought, "well it is about time!" when I heard that there would be a BzzAgent campaign for a mascara. Yeah, I couldn't wait to get in on the campaign and try that COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara for myself.  Hey, my eyes are truly an important feature; those eyelashes better look great. I don't use false eyelashes; nope, no way -- nothing false about my eyelashes [well, or me for that matter!]

It is now a good week since the purple tube arrived and I am truly digging this mascara!  First of all, hello to my fellow Squidoo lensmasters in the quest for the purple star award.  I am giving the purple star award today to this pretty purple tube of COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara!  OMG, it is the prettiest purple color.  Don't take my word for it, look at that picture!

I wanted to let you know all the players in my mascara lash-off.  We've got Maybelline, the COLOSSAL Volume Express, in that vivid yellow tube.  That's what I had just been using before switching to the COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara!  The rest of the previous players include:
  • Maybelline VOLUM Express Turbo Boost in very black
  • COVERGIRL exact eyelights in black ruby
  • CLINIQUE high impact mascara
  • LANCOME PARIS L'EXTREME
There is just one mascara missing from the previous line-up, and that would be the pink and green tube of Maybelline.  That one fell out of the mix about 6 months ago!

Since it is early in the testing, I will need to follow-up with my adoring public in the near future.  At that time, I will give you my scoop on how much I am enjoying the COVERGIRL LashBlast Fusion mascara!  And, if you live nearby, knock on my door and I'll give you a $2.00 off coupon to try some of this fabulous mascara in the pretty purple tube!  Ah, but you better hurry!  The coupon expires on 9/30/10.

Gotta have it? Well, do not waste a minute ... here it is at Amazon, along with some other great COVERGIRL masacaras!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One of My Inspirations

Those of you who know me and my writing and topics through the platform of Squidoo probably have seen two of my inspirations who are fellow lensmasters. I've written about Martin Stankewitz, aka editionh, as The Art of Zazzle. You might have seen The Wizard of Zazzle, ah Tickety-Boo that would be the Wizard Scott Morton.  Oh, there are other very special Squidoo lensmasters who are an inspiration to me, yes there are!

When I think of an inspiration outside of Squidoo and Zazzle, the very first person who comes to mind is someone that I know YOU would NOT expect.  An inspiration of mine, with whom I would love to have a six-month mentorship, or longer, is Michio Kaku.  Heard of him?  The Wikipedia reference for Michio Kaku gives you more detailed information than I could ever hope to give you here in my blog post; so I say, read that!
Michio Kaku, born January 24, 1947, is an American theoretical physicist specializing in string field theory, and a futurist. He is a popularizer of science, host of two radio programs and a best-selling author.
Michio Kaku, surprisingly reminds me personally a lot of my father who has been deceased for many years along with a hint of Guy Kawasaki!  Yes, good old Guy.  So, if I got that six-month mentorship, it would be quite a fulfilling experience, channeling my father, Guy and a whole lot of inspiration.  I think I need to make a point to attend one of Michio Kaku's talks.  If I had a bucket list, I'd add that!



P.S. I mentioned Guy Kawasaki. You know, I have written a bit about him. Maybe you have seen Best of Guy Kawasaki on Twitter, or The Art of the Start, or how about Reality Check by Guy Kawasaki?  You know, I would sincerely enjoy spending a mentorship with Guy, if he would have time what with all his twittering.  You know?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Fork in the Road Finally

So today I am readying myself for "A Fork in the Road, Finally!"  Today I am expecting that my neuromuscular massage therapy session will be my last official type PT session under the PIP coverage through my automobile insurance.  I also have a final follow-up appointment with my treating physician who has told me that the insurance claims adjuster has been "hounding" her to finalize my treatment and rate me.  I fully expect to be rated this afternoon -- Oh, we are not talking about stars folks.

I've never really heard about "rating" the patient, you know, assigning some point value for my perceived injury.  Like, I don't know, less than 10 points or something?  How does a doctor or insurance company achieve an objective and fair value of a patient's pain or long-term injury?

You know, there are certain "functions" and "things" that I am NOT able to do without feeling very specific pain(s) in my hand, wrist and forearm.  I don't know if I've got THAT now for the rest of my life.  But, I guess that is OK considering I am an old-timer, you know?

FLASHBACK:
It was on December 9, 2009 that a sort of fork in the road first "presented itself." I really thought that my hobby, my passion, my livelihood would come to an end in one abrupt tremendous moment of pain when those trunk hydraulic struts in my car failed and smashed my hand and forearm.  O-M-G!  People, some moments will stick with you forever; that is the type of moment I experienced.  I really thought my writing career had come to an end.

Why doesn't the MRI show everything? Good grief, that was a mystery to me. I've had MRIs in the past you know.  And, I've written about my painful adventures, something like trying to become the Six Million Dollar Wonder Woman or something?  You see, I've been there for SLAP Tear, Meniscus Tear, Morton's Neuroma, Achilles Tendon, and Percutaneous Discectomy! Yes indeed; ALL THAT!

FAST-FORWARD:  "A Fork in the Road, Finally!"
Well, like I said, one thing is coming to the end for me and it is like a fork in the road AND a passing of the baton, so to speak!  YOU see, I was diagnosed less than two weeks ago with trochanteric bursitis. Can YOU believe that?

Remember Gilda Radner's "It's always something!"  Yes it is.  And, how about our dear Bret Michaels, "every rose has its thorn!"  Yeah, it does.

P.S. Thanks my friends, followers, and fans for being there for the journey.  You mean the world to me.  And, I thank YOU for that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Who IS Listening I Wonder

Have you ever paused for a moment in your daily lives, in your internet presence, to speculate as to Who is listening to you? Who is reading that message you have put out there? How many of your readership base is totally getting what you are putting out there? Are they maybe "hearing something else?" You know, not hearing what you originally intended for them to hear?

Well, I was wondering this morning "Who IS Listening?" And, more importantly "do they really get IT?" I honestly think that worldwide there is a bit of information and meaning that gets lost in translation. Sometimes you may have a humorous message and you wonder if that "humor" is totally understood?

I was curious as to what specific countries make up my Squidoo readership base, the platform that occupies a pretty good majority of my time.  Take a look at this chart.


There is no surprise here that the United States is the top country on the list; however, I might have thought the percentage would be a bit higher than 58.55%.

The Top 5 countries responsible for bringing in the readership base to my Squidoo lenses or article base include, in descending order: the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and India.

Gosh, can I make the assumption that about 60% of my readership base will TOTALLY get what I am saying and understand the entire message?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  It's important to understand who is listening when you craft your article and message you know.

You know, it does make sense that Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia are in the Top 5! These 5 countries account for 79.62% of the overall readership base.  So, an assumption could be that, on the very best day, and in the very best crafted message or article, I might be lucky to have 80% of the people TOTALLY get what I am saying.  You know what I am saying?

So, thirteen other countries comprise 9.0% of the overall readership base: Philippines, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, Italy, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Malaysia, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, and Romania.

And, it is an OH WOW for me to see this particular list of countries.  You know why?  Well, I write a LOT about Eastern European topics and about Hungary, Poland, and Romania ... so that is sort of a plus for me to be connecting to a readership base from those very countries, you know?

What countries comprise your readership base?  Who are your Squidoo readers?  Who is listening to you?

P.S. I also write on a second blog, the Topicability Blog. Gosh, I wonder if the worldwide readership base for that blog is comparable to that which comprises my Squidoo lenses or article base? You think?

Monday, June 28, 2010

What the heck am I talking about?

Hello people! Have you ever had somebody ask you, "what the heck do you write about?" Or have you asked yourself, "What the heck am I talking about?" Well I just asked myself that.

In a creative sense, I've been showcasing on the Topicability Blog the Top 100 Squidoo lensmasters and lenses that are occupying the various topics or categories. You know, you can look at those Top 100 lists day in and day out and think you have an idea of what's there on top, but until you generate a Wordle tag cloud, you just can't really know.  A Wordle tag cloud really does creatively sum it all up. You know what I mean, jelly bean?

So, I turned the artistic Wordle microscope on myself today. You see, I really did have an idea of what my Wordle would say, but then again, after I ran with it, I was surprised! Take a look for yourself:

Wordle: The Topics of JaguarJulie 645-Squidoo

Well, I had expected to see Jaguar Julie and say Hungarian front and center; however, I do honestly believe the word that is popping out of that Wordle is Art!  Yes indeed.  And, how life does imitate art sometimes or is it art imitating life?

I'd say Love and Christmas are tied for second place followed up by Best and Fashion and Showcase tied for third place.  Hungarian and Julie seem up next and then we have quite a variety of "topicable" words like Jaguar and Cat and Sweet and Designer and so much more.

What's that YOU say?  Stuffed Cabbage?  Yes?  Where do you see that?  I don't see Stuffed Cabbage or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls there, but I did spot Goulash as in Hungarian Goulash ... you know?

Lately, I've been spending more time blogging ... maybe you noticed that? I've divided up my time here on Jaguar Julie :: Blog On and On and over at Topicability. Here is that topicable line-up of  the Top 100 of the various Squidoo Topics as found over at Topicability:
Have you caught my profiling of the top Squidoo lens, for more than a year, on Squidoo du Jour -- The Top Lens? Have you participated yet in my Hey Monkeybrain debate about Squidoo Stats -- Public or Private?

Why all the tweets on toilet seats oh my!

Good grief Charlie Brown!  I started off thinking I'd see a handful of Twitter tweets on toilet seats and then it kept going and going and going just like that Energizer Bunny, you know?  Holy mackerel Andy, but I am all weirded out this morning that SO many people are talking about toilet seats ... and NOT good things either.  Sorry, you'll have to search that for yourselves as I am not providing a courtesy link ... my grandma is stopping me from doing that.

Gadzooks, but my grandma surely taught us some etiquette you know?  Grandma wouldn't get all the toilet seat and toilet bowl humor and I can see her shaking her head, "Oh no!"

My generation of old foggies wouldn't dream of tweeting personal things like those that I saw this morning on toilet seats in page after page after page of Twitter tweets.  YIKES!  In my personal opinion, a lady just doesn't talk with a potty mouth in public.  But, hey, that's ME, folks!  I am a lady dinosaur me thinks.  And, I apologize for bringing up such a sensitive topic today.  That's OK ... I will continue on my merry way with being a lady; being as polite as I can; being as gracious as I can; being my original and unique self ... striving to be as authentic as I can possibly be ... all things considered, you know?

So, I happened to catch a forum post by somebody asking for visitors and blessings to a particular lens by another lensmaster, a multiple ID lens? Oh gosh, I thought, isn't that coincidentally interesting? That is the very same debate I have on one of my toilet seat lenses.  But, my debate, created in November 2009, is a lonely puppy, feeling empty and unloved ... ah!

You know, I do distinctly remember seeing a recent Amazon Affiliate newsletter, promoting the best toilet seats and I did think, why how topicable that is!! And, I was smiling because I had done a couple of toilet seat lenses in 2009, to talk about the brand of elongated toilet seats that we use at home.  Size, shape and style do matter after all.

Did you catch the June 17th Topicability blog post, Stuck on the toilet oh my?
You know, I know, because I do talk about A Quiet Toilet by Comfort Seats and take 2, Quiet Elongated Toilet Seats by Comfort Seats.  So, I get the subtle humor of it all that the toilet ads keep playing out for me day in and day out.
Hey ... see those first TWO elongated toilet seats by Comfort Seats?  YEP, those are authentically the very toilet seats we have in our home ... the light yellow one and the light pink one!  Hi, grandma!  Yes, I was being polite about toilet seats and the toilet humor that I shared in all those YouTube videos. Hope you got a chance to see it!

Oh, by the way ... I won't be asking for any blessings on my toilet seat lenses. A special thank you to all the visitors and readers who took time to weigh in on that TOPICABLE debate of elongated vs. round!  Ah, I was obviously flushed with excitement to have you all drop by.

And, I do apologize for having to make a commentary like I did earlier ... you know about the etiquette of sharing too much information on toilet seats and toilet bowl humor on Twitter.  Sorry folks!  Oh, I guess, when you've got to go, you've got to go ... but let's keep that between ourselves, shall we?  Cool, ;)

Oh, Oh ... see ya ... I have to go you know?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Why all the ads for Brussels Sprouts

Good afternoon everyone! It's about dinner time for us in Jacksonville, Florida. I can smell the aroma of the cajun-spiced roasted whole chicken wafting from the kitchen and have about another hour or so to be subjected to the killer smells. Once a week, I generally prepare a roasted chicken; sometimes it is cajun-spiced and sometimes it is more of a lemon-pepper chicken.

Sometimes I will prepare brussels sprouts as a side dish to go along with the roasted chicken; sometimes petite red or new potatoes; sometimes a salad; sometimes mixed vegetables. Haven't exactly settled on those side dishes yet, so I think I'll let hubby pick when he gets home.

I've definitely decided not to fix brussels sprouts tonight as I've had my plate full of brussels sprouts today. No, I've not been eating them all day. However, I have noticed that the search engines have over-heated with brussels sprouts the past couple of weeks. Wow! Somebody must have gotten the word out that this mini cabbage head was a hot property or something! Everyone has jumped on the bandwagon to be either talking or advertising for brussels sprouts! It is the wildest thing you know?

Here is a screen capture of the ads from today's search on Yahoo. In the screen capture, you will see the actual placement of the ads at top and at the sidebar. Below the lavender line, those are the ads that have been appearing at the bottom of the search results. They have got you coming and going!


What is pretty wild about all this, is I was JUST asking on June 2, 2010, in my blog post, Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage? And, there is that same website again, that was previously advertising stuffed cabbage, and now is advertising brussels sprouts recipes!  I'm wondering, have you noticed this happening with your food topics?  Have you lost significant traffic lately?  Have you searched and found ads for your food topics?  It is wild I say!


In my Saturday, June 19, 2010 blog post, Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese, I touched on a variety of observations connected to brussels sprouts.  Several forum posts talked about this green vegetable and mini cabbage head.

You know, life can sure be wacky! Once upon a time, a vegetable was just a vegetable. And, then, along came the internet! Now, a vegetable is a hot commodity for ads! Isn't that remarkable?

P.S. Yes, I * Love * Brussels Sprouts - Get Some 5-Star Fabulous Recipes! And, I do so love Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage Rolls -- Find out about my grandma Julia Nagy's secret ingredient for stuffed cabbage rolls.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese

Say people!  As Saturdays go, this one started off like any Saturday of recent experience.  Hubby is off now going round and round on the golf course with the usual suspects, hitting and chasing that silly white ball over the river and through the woods and into 18 holes.  Gosh, what a lovely sport!  I think I need to take it up and hit a few balls and knock the crap out of some silly balls ... you know what I'm suggesting?

The morning has progressed with a visit to freshen up some puppies, feed the cats, and pop that laundry of hubby's into the washer to see if I can hook up with some fabulous finds, or not. I'm hoping for at least a twenty dollar bill; I'd like fifty, but hubby doesn't usually carry fifties or hundreds, at least NOT since we had a rent-paying tenant who didn't have a checking account, so he liked to pay in cash in a dark alley ... oh, kidding!  He ran out of cash and excuses and has moved on to grace somebody elses' path and door.  Thank you Jesus!

I was sitting here looking at something that I would call a mystery, but it really isn't a mystery ... it is the story of popularity, traffic, the internet, and other people who like that story of popularity and want that traffic too ... thinking the road is paved with gold.  Writing on the platform of Squidoo has been a marvelous experience for over 4 years.  The ideas for more Squidoo lenses literally keep exploding out of the top of my head, but I have paused for a moment to notice a mystery.  And, I put a lid on my head to contain those ideas temporarily.

People are talking about how the power of Squidoo has attracted a lot of attention worldwide.  People are talking about traffic suddenly and mysteriously disappearing from their top topic lenses.  Holy Topicability Index Batman!  That's life, you know!  Have we not seen this happen for years and years?  That people will focus on a cool topic that seems to be a cool topic only to them or to only a few people.  And, then they will love and nurture and develop that topic.  Then, BAM!  One day that topic hits the bigtime. "Why, I want a piece of THAT action!"  Yes, others notice and want in on the action.

On June 3, 2010, I penned a JaguarJulie Blog On post asking "Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage?" It was a natural curiosity I had that in the beginning, it was perhaps Martha Stewart and me talking about the virtues and delicious taste of stuffed cabbage rolls. Then, pretty soon ... everybody's talking about delicious stuffed cabbage rolls. Don't you just love the internet, I ask?

So ... BAM! The latest foodsy candidate for all those ads, ads, ads is another gas-producing vegetable, Brussels Sprouts! Oh, I love love love Brussels Sprouts and have written a delicious page to celebrate all those 5-star fabulous recipes for preparing brussels sprouts.  What is most curious, about all this hot air on the internet, is to see a website that I recognize!  First, they loved stuffed cabbage, now they are loving brussels sprouts ... keep your eyes peeled for more from idealhomegarden !!!

Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese I am wondering? This is where I want to show that my thought pattern hit a brain f*rt and started thinking about cheese. You see I dropped by a Squidoo lens that was asking which kind of CHEESE you like on your burgers! Ah, cheese -- I love cheese, but had to start cholesterol-lowering meds so that I could still love my cheese! For me, cheese is such a favorite food, well that is in addition to stuffed cabbage rolls and brussels sprouts oh my!

My favorite cheese is blue cheese ... it can be quite stinky! Oh, I almost forgot, I also love love love limburger cheese ... a shameless plug that stinks, no it's yummy!

Now, here is where this will all make a little sense ... I am attempting to pull this blog post together for you! Who grabbed cut and ate the cheese I am wondering? I picked the fork in the road to venture onto Amazon and search on "Who Moved My Cheese?" as they say it is "An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life."  My first observations made me ask, why is that book not rated as a 5-star book?  It was that curiosity that made me read the reviews.  And, for that I am quite thankful this morning!  You see, I really really really needed a good laugh.  Let me share it ...
Usual cheesey stuff, March 30, 2010 by nr8209
This review is from: Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

This is a typical meaningless self improvement book. We were forced to read it at a previous company. Basically if you think you are so bad you really need help from this book I would give up now and head for the nearest cliff. I much prefer the parody Who Cut The Cheese? - An A-Mazing Parody about Change (and How We Can Get Our Hands on Yours) by Stilton Jarlsberg - a much more satisfying read.

You know it is encouraging to note that Google is always tweaking the algorithm to bring in the most relevant and spot-on search results. I'd like to think that when I am searching on my favorite search engine of Google that they are giving me premium search results. We all are pulled in so many different ways these days. Thank goodness for the fabulous Google. Huh, oh yes there are other search engines out there these days. Hmmm, remember what I said about working on a cool topic, nurturing it, and developing it until it hits the popularity index and then BAM! Others are on the bandwagon? Others are noticing that top traffic cool topic. In February 2008, I penned a fun debate that I think YOU will love. Be sure to express yourself GOOGLE vs. YAHOO -- Which side are you on? Ah, I do love Google you know!

P.S. Ah I am a woman you know! Yep, that is really me in that profile picture -- no mysterious avatar to make you wonder who the heck I am! Oh, and quite incidentally, I am a blonde and blondes do have more fun! Are we having fun yet? Tell ya more later. Thanks for dropping by today. Love ya!

Monday, June 14, 2010

What the heck old crow or a blackbird

What the heck old crow or a blackbird? Today, I was looking up on Wikipedia to check out that wonderful reference for a blackbird and I ended up being a little bit MORE curious than I originally thought!  You see, when you check that reference, you will find a BUNCH more links to other blackbirds!

Next, I looked up the Wikipedia reference for crow as I was thinking that might help to answer my question.  Oh my word!  Have you ever checked out just how many species of crows there are?  There surely are a lot! 

I read there in that Wikipedia reference that "crows have also been known to imitate the human voice, just like parrots. Crows that have been trained to 'speak' are considered valuable in parts of East Asia, as crows are a sign of luck."  Oh, too bad I don't live in East Asia, I thought!

Oh, and reading further on, did YOU know that "in the UK, the crow is considered a pest when in a large community and under certain conditions can be shot under a number of general licences issued by DEFRA."  Oh me, oh my I say!  And, did you know that "a group of crows is called a 'murder'."  Well fancy that.

You see, we had decided to take an early morning ride on hubby's motor scooter ... and that early morning ride morphed into a full-blown motorcycle ride on a day that definitely hit 100 degrees!  He had to stop twice to fill up his gas tank, so that tells ya that we rode a LOT!  I'm not going to tell you about our ride just yet because I am seriously thinking about maybe doing a Squidoo lens or two ... and don't want to let the cat er blackbird or old crow out of the bag just yet.  You know what I'm saying?  Don't want to give away MY topics just yet.

So, at that first gas station we stopped at, hubby was inside a wee bit too long.  I didn't get a chance to share my laughter with him as it played out.  You see, up in the tree was this old crow making lots of noise.  The next thing, that crow flies out of the tree with two mockingbirds zooming into his old butt!  Golly gee those mockingbirds could sure accelerate, I thought!  Next thing you know, there are two old crows up on the power line.  And, now there are some 5-6 mockingbirds making short order of them crows.  I tell you, it was the most hilarious thing I had seen thus far that day!  One of the mockingbirds had been standing guard before all the ruckus took place.  I think the way it was looking, I could understand a "murder of crows!"  Get it???

Well, I might be having a difficult time distinguishing an old crow or two from a blackbird, but I do know an old buzzard when I see one! Say hello to an old turkey vulture! Hello YOU old buzzard YOU!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What the Old HECK is Trochanteric Bursitis?

Ah, yes indeed! What the Heck is Trochanteric Bursitis? Oh, it is also known as Greater Trochanteric Pain Syndrome and that is a huge Oh My! Oh my for me; Oh my for YOU ... some day. Yes, my friends, some day you too can experience the oh no moments of Trochanteric Bursitis!

It was Thursday, June 10, 2010 when I first got the diagnosis of Trochanteric Bursitis from my orthopedic doctor, Dr. Hakim. I really LOVE my doctor as he's been there through thick and through thin with me. He was my crack, expert surgeon for a SLAP Tear major repair surgery on my left shoulder and the Meniscus Tear repair of my left knee.

Do you know something? The reason I am making a point to write this blog post today is to NOT waste any more time on getting this word out there. The word is this, do not hesitate on going to see your doctor at the first sign of hip pain! And, do NOT think because you have hip pain that it means a hip replacement ... you know ... that you would delay seeing your doctor because YOU are so sure it will be a major thing and it is a hip replacement that is part of your problem. That is the very reason I waited THREE years to see my doctor. I was so sure that because my mom has serious hip pain, coupled with my great aunt having to have had two separate hip replacements on the same hip. Well, I think you get what I'm saying, right?


So, I do hope that if you do have any hip issues, that you are fortunate enough to get treatment right away. And, I do hope, for your sake, that you do not need a hip replacement! But if you do, God speed to you in your recovery. And, if you'd like to celebrate a fabulous lady out there who obviously has great hips, stop by my humor page on Hips Don't Lie! Oh, you probably guessed it ... Shakira! Yes, Shakira Shakira ... for her, her hips definitely do not lie!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

What would you do in these circumstances

In a January 9, 2010 blog post, Reflecting on 2009 -- It was a pain-FULL year for us!, I eluded to some of the difficulties that we had experienced over the past couple of years with, of all people, tenants. A little bit of what I had to say six months ago:

It's been a cost to us of some $20,000 plus out of our pockets for non-paying tenants. This has been a really tough "issue" for us as we have not wanted to evict these families, yet we have bills to pay ourselves. It would be too much information to talk any more about these rental matters ... just suffice to say that we are quite charitable people.

You see, I didn't share everything. We went through with only one eviction which ended up costing us a bit more than originally thought. That particular female tenant left us with a messy clean-up and probably not quite $10,000 in total losses. Unfortunately for us, with all the losses we incurred, we still had to pay out of our pockets on our income taxes! That's what I don't get, among other things.

It's pretty doubtful that we can expect to recoup any of those losses from that female tenant as we learned that she also owes a previous landlord about $6,000 for unpaid rent and damages.

Now, talking about that other tenant!!!! Here is where I would pose the question of my readers, "What would you do in these circumstances?"

You see, you really need to hear a bit more of the story to understand all the angst that I am feeling today and why I was unable to sleep much last night and over the past week or so. Last week, I got a phone call from our insurance company for the rental house. I thought that was odd. When I asked hubby about it that evening, he told me "You don't want to know!" Well, YES, I did. It seems the non-paying tenant that finally moved out at the end of 2009, he has secured an attorney! "Huh? I wonder if THAT attorney knows that he owes us over $20,000 in unpaid rent?" I replied.

So, for those of you who follow my Flickr photos, you may have seen that big old water oak that took out the tenant's van. There are lots more pictures of that water oak meeting the van and doing damage to the rental property.

It was, I guess, fortunate for us that our rental home insurance did cover the damaged driveway along with the damage to the carport and side of the house. The "proceeds" were nominal, but did help us to pay to have the repairs made. We then dug into our 401k to secure additional funding for fixing the interior of the home, to clean-up after the non-paying tenant.  And, we opted to NOT rent again, but keep the house "empty and clean" so that we can sell it and recoup our out-of-pockets costs AND losses from the non-paying tenant(s).  Hey!  That house is for sale!

I don't know about homeowner's or rental insurance, you know, about why they would not have paid for the tenant's damaged van. My hubby did say, at the time of the damage, that this tenant had NO insurance on his van which was totaled.  That tenant had someone take away his van and was paid some money for the van's tires, parts, and engine.

Well, it appears that said, non-paying tenant has secured an attorney who is now calling us and trying to submit a claim to our insurance company to pay for that van. "Hmmm," I said to my hubby, "I wonder if that tenant has told his attorney he owes us over $20,000 in unpaid rent?"

We have sure heard a lot in the news over the past year or so about tenant rights.  What the heck about landlord rights?  What can we HONEST landlords do about these tenants who are playing the system and going from one landlord to the next and NOT paying rent.  How the heck does that happen?  And, more importantly, how do these PEOPLE [the non-paying tenants] actually live with themselves? Do they have no sense of decency?

"What would you do in these circumstances?"  You know, I really need to bite my tongue these days and not say, "I told you so" to my hubby.  At these times, it is very important that I project understanding rather than personally want to kick the butt of that non-paying tenant.  You know???


"What would you do in these circumstances?" Take ... one, two, three, four!  So, time for a reality check I think?  Yes, let's get a life already!  Failure is NOT an option.  This is no time for tact, you think?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage

For nearly three years, I have been actively writing and blogging about my favorite comfort food, Stuffed Cabbage. Well before that, I was doing lots of buzzing and sharing of my grandma Julia Nagy's Hungarian recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls as I've always said that her Hungarian stuffed cabbage rolls were the very best!

Over at Squidoo, I have been conducting polls and duels debating whether Hungarian is better than Polish stuffed cabbage recipes. And, I've talked lots and lots about how I really think Martha Stewart has done her part to popularize the Polish recipes for stuffed cabbage. Are you already a fan of stuffed cabbage?

Why do you think stuffed cabbage rolls are so popular?  Do you think it is because of Martha Stewart or perhaps because Jaguar Julie has talked about stuffed cabbage so much?  Which recipe is your favorite for stuffed cabbage?

You know, it was not that long ago that I was checking my daily Google Alerts on stuffed cabbage and what did I see?  Holy mackerel Andy, but I saw that stuffed cabbage rolls have now hit the Nigerian market ... say, you know you've arrived when they are talking about you in Nigeria!  Let's hear it for stuffed cabbage rolls!!!!

So, something else that I've been noticing for longer than a month is the fact that my high traffic to my ever popular Stuffed Cabbage page has been a little off. When I do a Google search, I see that my lens is #1. I do a Bing search, and again my lens is #1 for stuffed cabbage. However, it is when I do a Yahoo search for stuffed cabbage that I discover what I think has happened to my extra traffic.  You see, I'm not the top search result on Yahoo like I am on Google and Bing.  And, it would appear that there is some competition for traffic from LOTS of advertisers!!!  Take a look at this screen capture that I have provided from my Yahoo search.


First of all, do you notice just how many ads there are for stuffed cabbage and stuffed cabbage roll recipes? What the heck is that all about? Do you get it that stuffed cabbage has hit the mainstream of popularity? OK, next ... do you notice some of the websites going after the traffic/hits for stuffed cabbage? I am looking at the top ad ... idealhomegarden.com ... And, even more interesting when you do a Who Is search you see it is a ValueClick website.

Gosh, what do you make of all that ...  Why all the ads for Stuffed Cabbage? If you want the scoop on Stuffed Cabbage and what secret ingredient my grandma added to her recipe, drop by article - it's a five-part series. Check out the various polls, the various stuffed cabbage roll recipes, and drop me a line in the guestbook. Let me know you found me!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Algorithms and long tails oh my!

You probably didn't know it just by looking at me, but I was a Math and Natural Sciences major when I was enrolled in college, Ohio Northern University to be specific.  Yes, looks can be deceiving.  You probably thought for sure that I was a fashion major, yes?  Ah, that's OK because I do have a keen passion for fashion on many a good day.

Well folks!  I was directed this afternoon to check out a recent Matt Cutts video explaining the importance of the long tail.  Huh?  A long tail?  I must admit that I have been hearing more and more about long tail searches and long tail search engine optimization ... and while I get it, the theory, I don't necessarily get everything about it. But, that's OK ... I'll bet that YOU don't necessarily get it and won't necessarily be getting it for some time into the future.  So, you and I really need to figure that out!  Sooner rather than later.

So here I am once again exploring my short tail searches for algorithms ... one thing leads to another. Here is a play out of my journey ... First, I've searched Google on "long tail" yes, really! I know that is a rather short search term. I naturally gravitate to the Wikipedia reference for "long tail" as behind Google [Google has always been #1 in my book!], Wikipedia rocks for me.  "The long tail refers to the statistical property that a larger share of population rests within the tail of a probability distribution than observed under a 'normal' or Gaussian distribution."

So, wow, that is some reference page as it is not meant for the typical blonde, I think.  I am thinking back to those two semesters of Probability and Statistics at ONU! C and B; not my usual A.  I should have paid closer attention to the professor!  Who knew that I would need that at this advanced stage in my life?

I scanned through the technical information on the Wikipedia reference and stopped at "see more" which directed me to swarm intelligence. A word jumped out at me; i.e. stochastic ... as I remember using such a term for a fountain solution that a former company developed ... using that in my marketing literature!

My eyes were next directed on that page to example algorithms ... and that my dears is where I was heard to utter [not udder], "Holy Cow!" You have GOT to check out all those example algorithms; you won't believe all those algorithms!

Next ... I was into reading about Ant colony optimization and before you know it, I got into something rather scientific too, the Firefly algorithm. Now, I truly get fireflies but never would have guessed that there would be an algorithm based on their behavior. It is just frigging amazing!

Something that also stuck with me as I read about the long tail today was how Google can tweak their algorithm with over 400 tweaks in a twelve month period of time. I think that sounds like a lot. So, my action plan is to get me up to speed on understanding long tails and perhaps algorithms too.

What is an algorithm? "An algorithm is an effective method for solving a problem expressed as a finite sequence of instructions."  And, what the heck is a long tail?  Do you get it?  Algorithms and long tails, oh my!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Articles of Inspiration

Where do you find inspiration? What inspires you? What inspires you on a daily basis? Recently I was asked about where I derive my inspiration. On May 18, 2010, in Kimberly's Morning Coffee, SquidooKimberly asked, "what inspires you?"

My answer at that moment was: "Ah, Kimberly! I first think of a fellow lensmaster, editionh aka Martin, when I think about "what inspires me!" Martin inspires me through his artful words, artsy lenses, and wonderful art on zazzle. Thanks for asking!"

I've written about The Art of Zazzle -- My Favorite Zazzle Art which is my tribute lens which spotlights the marvelous Martin and his beautiful, artsy and inspirational art on Zazzle. You know that Zazzle has exploded with items. What makes me smile when I think of Martin is that his art is unique, original and inspiring ... he doesn't try to take stock digital art or clipart to sell his stuff. He sells HIMSELF ... all that is original, artsy and unique!

Do you know that Martin has been kind enough to share with me various websites from which he seeks inspiration on a daily basis.  And, for that I am most thankful.  Thank you Martin!

So this morning I was sitting at my desk in my home office and wondering, "where are those roofers from next door?" The hammering of yesterday had added some interruptions to my thought patterns. Thinking about the hammering and lack of hammering, I started to look around my desk space. There were my articles of inspiration, quite a few of them. "Hmmm," I thought, "I'll take a picture of them and share them with YOU."

Drumroll for my articles of inspiration! Here they are:


So, what have we here? Take a closer look! Some would prod me to make a Squidoo lens, Articles of Inspiration; some might make their own lenses on their articles of inspiration.  My prize inspiration is the original artwork "Be not afraid to sing your own song."  I truly love that!

I've got a "kick butt" Chinese guy, a motorized Energizer bunny, a mosaic Spanish cat, a Joyful Goebel, a Robert Held confetti art glass heart paperweight, and an "I make a difference" lapel pin.  I have several crystal art glass heart paperweights, a "Happiness is a butterfly" inspiration card, two puffed heart crystal candleholders AND a Giant of the Year Award mousepad oh my!

What have you got sitting on your desk that inspires you?  I think I need to tell YOU more about all this stuff ... YES?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Olay Simply Ageless speaks to me!

Oh Joy for COVERGIRL & Olay Simply Ageless! Yes indeed. Over the years, I've been using a variety of Oil of Olay products. Can you imagine my joy when BzzAgent announced recently that a new project was available? A project to try COVERGIRL & Olay Simply Ageless beauty products? Why, I was on it like white is on rice ... or so "they" say.

Here is a picture of those beauty products that were included in my BzzKit.  My kit included #225 foundation, #230 blush, #230 corrector and #220 eye concealer.


I really like the line of Oil of Olay products, so I was pretty excited to be accepted into this project.  In the past, I've mostly used liquid foundation.  Once or twice in the past, I had tried compact type makeup, but not really been that excited about how it was difficult to apply.  Thus far, I am finding application of the COVERGIRL & Olay Simply Ageless [CGOSA] to be almost flawless.  On the flip side of the swirled makeup is a round, spongy applicator that is kept separate in the compact ... that is good.  I don't like my applicator to be parked on top of my makeup.  ;)


Living in Florida, the weather can be quite hot and humid.  And, if you are a menopausal or postmenopausal lady, you're already packing a little extra heat.  Add being a blonde, well then you are over the top on the hot stuff scale!

I like a type of makeup that doesn't make me feel like I am wearing a mask.  And, I like a type of makeup that still lets my skin breathe while providing the extra values of protection from the sun AND anti-aging oh yeah!  So far, I will score these new beauty products high on my like scale.

The breakthrough formula, "infused with Olay Regenerist serum, the Simply Ageless Collection of foundation, blush, concealer, and corrector is formulated to stay suspended over fine lines and wrinkles for flattering, flawless coverage at any age." It won a 2009 Beauty Insider's Choice Award too!

What I am hoping to tell you about is verification of the clinical results which have "shown to provide significant improvement in skin condition in just four weeks."

Oh, since I've now gotten a bit of a tan, I am finding that the #225 foundation is a bit too light for me. It is important to note, that you should probably go a shade darker when picking this foundation. I have another tip for you! As I was in a bit of a hurry the first time I put on the foundation, I actually got a bit on my eyelashes. Well, would you know that when I went to apply my mascara, I found that my mascara applied BETTER! That was an extra bonus.

You'll have to check back with me to hear how I'm doing with the anti-aging benefits! I fully expect to report back that I really do look like I am JUST 39 years old. Oh yeah!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Now I've seen everything

And, so will you after you follow along with me and allow me to share with you something that I find most interesting.  You know they say that necessity is the mother of invention.  And, I'm just betting it was some mother who created this interesting item.

There is a resourceful young lady by the name of Jane Webb who is credited with this nifty invention. We are talking about the Braza Bra Travel Bag (8080) S/Pink Dot!

When Jane Webb was doing extensive travel, she would arrive only to discover that her best assets had become deficits! Jane's sheer frustration, inconvenience and cost of having to run out to replace them, inspired the bra(g). The first protective travel bag for your molded/contour cup bras.

Oh wow! I have to say that when I first looked at this item, I was thinking, "Now who is going to carry a bra bag?" You know? I was thinking it could be a novelty handbag or clutch ... wouldn't Madonna or Lady GaGa like them? I think they would.

Well, I am equally blown away by the fact that this little bag can fit up to 6 bras!!! And size doesn't seem to matter in that it can fit A-D cups! Oh my! I think with the measurements of 13" x 7" x 3" that this COULD be a novelty handbag too? You'd get extra mileage from it.


By the way? Since I've captured your interest today ... may I interest you in a little debate? Go ahead, get it off your chest and debate me. It's Silicone vs. Saline -- Which Side Are YOU On? Feel free to add your comments herein.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coconuts over coconut reef

Yesterday we spent the day on Amelia Island and cruising the sights and shops of Fernandina Beach. What a beautiful day it was for us courtesy of Mother Nature. Today though, Mother Nature has presented us with that type of day in which you blog about what a beautiful day it was the day before ... ah yes, that glass is surely half full.

We live in Jacksonville, Florida. So, that drive to Amelia Island can be quite breathe-taking and stimulating. I love nature, sand, beaches, and water and other beauties of Mother Nature. It was a invigorating drive up the A1A coast of North Florida to our day's destination.

The four guys got in a great day of golf thanks to hubby's most handsome golf pro cousin, eligible single bachelor Clayton. An aside: later that evening, we stopped at the Sand Dollar on the way home. Yikes, they really need a parking valet for that creative parking lot! Oh, and I do hope Clayton is able to hook up with those nice young ladies we talked with there.

So, the guys are off golfing and us gals hit the shops of Fernandina Beach. We first hit two huge flea market type stores -- no names to be shared as the second one! Woo-hoo was that ever a smelly store. Good grief shop owners, please do not bring those horses which pull the carriages into the store. Polly and Barb protested hugely that they wouldn't go into that stinky store. Me? Well, I put my finger under my nose and walked every aisle. But, I could only take so much. We continued on our journey, continually protesting, "I smell horse!" I sure hoped that I didn't smell like a horse.

I've not done much store-shopping over the past few years because I've become so internet-driven. However, I did make time to try on a few different dresses at several shops. In trying on that first dress, I discovered a brand that I was unfamiliar with, coconut reef.  The dress fit quite snugly; I liked it that much I would have bought it, but there was no room for shrinkage; so I let it go.  Today I did a Google search for coconut reef but could NOT find that very dress I liked so much.

So, if you know anything about the coconut reef line, or you see any of those dresses from that brand, please give me a holler!  TYVM.  Oh, let me give you an idea about that particular dress I liked so much!  It is a black sleeveless artsy sundress.  It is cut in an A-line with a large, flouncy ruffle at the hemline that rises up in the middle to reveal a view of your in-shape legs.  I didn't think the ruffle continued onto the back of the dress.  The artsy part was artwork on the front of the dress, along with some beady embellishments.

Hey, I am coconuts over coconut reef -- so please keep me in mind if you find that brand.

On to the next fabulous find!  It was at The Gauzeway that I found another cool dress that I liked.  The brand is Maria de Guadalajara, "the new look of old Mexico."  I had selected two different styles of the 100% cotton gauze dresses to try on.  I wasn't wild about the ruffly purple wrap dress as it had too much going on.  I next tried the sleeveless, long A-line dress that had a hint of ruffle on the shoulder straps.  "BINGO!" I said.  I had grabbed that same style in another color and tried that one on too.  "OMG" I thought "I simply must have both of these dresses in the same style!"

I found my shopping buddies Polly and Barb and told them something like "I was one with that dress!  It was something spiritual ... I felt like a flower child ... I must buy that dress!"  I returned to the 30% off sales rack and spotted the dress in yet another color!  Holy moly batman!  I bought three dresses of the very same style from the Maria de Guadalajara, "the new look of old Mexico" brand.  That's a wow for me and I do think a first.  How many of you ladies would do that?  You know, you find something you like and decide one is not enough?  Oh, a special shout-out for The Gauzeway personnel.  I asked, "Is that you best price?  You know considering I'm taking 3 of these?"  Nice surprise that it was 35% off.  Thank you very much.

If you find yourself on Amelia Island, you must spend a few days touring the shops of Fernandina Beach.  Who knows?  You just might find yourself a couple of new brands of artsy clothing and resort wear.

P.S. I was just searching Amazon for Modern Kiwi and don't you just know it? Life is Good!

Hey Polly, Barb, Andy, Dave, Clayton ... you all.  Life IS Good!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cruising for a bruising

This afternoon, I guess you could say in a sense that I was "cruising for a bruising" in that I was cruising or doing a variety of Google searches to see what I could find on bruising.

Yesterday we had dinner with some work associates. During dinner, I had no indication that anything was out of order with one of our associates. She was wearing a long white blouse over her purple sleeveless turtleneck top. It was time to say our goodbyes and that's when someone asked if I had seen her arms. "Huh," I asked, "what's wrong with your arms?" Well, let me tell you that I saw something I have never ever seen!

Holy moly batman! Our friends arms were discolored intensely with blues and purples of massive bruising. "OMG!" I exclaimed, "what did you do to your arms?" Actually the OMG was really something else, but this is a G-rated blog. You know what she said? She was golfing!!!

What in the world does golfing have to do with extremely discolored, bruised arms??? Oh, it was earlier at dinner that she DID ask me if I had considered again taking up the game of golf ... at this time ... NO!!!!!!!!

It seems the doctor ordered over 9 tubes of blood [oh, good thing that wasn't my doctor eh?] I wonder if he was trying to drain the blood from the bruise? OK, I think not, but just thought that was a lot of blood to be drawn.

So, my cruising for a bruising today directed me to blogging about it. Boy oh boy is it ever difficult to find straightforward answers to such medical type questions! I found this one site that seems to want to rule out wrong diagnoses ... but I was getting lost with all the gadzillions of links.

I guess arm bruising -- symptoms and diagnoses -- would be a good topic for a Squidoo lens???

I'm hoping that our friend and work associate will be OK, but it got me thinking ... what in the world would cause so much bruising from a sport that she loves? Let me say this again! "Holy moly batman!"

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Get the stress out

This past week, I had a follow-up doctor's appointment to tell my doctor, "Uncle!"  Yes, it was a "Uncle" to admit that I probably will not be having much success with the go-it-alone, holistic approach to my attempts to lower my blood pressure AND lower my astronomical cholesterol numbers.  When the doctor first asked me more than a month ago, about whether or not I've "got stress in my life?" I thought, "well, YES!"  But I never really realized just HOW that stress was impacting my health!

Did you see my blog post about Sherry Holder Hunt? I knew Sherry through Squidoo as a fellow lensmaster. She was a beautiful and talented lady; she was a remarkable artist in addition to being a fine writer. Did you see that Sherry was ONLY 48 years old; she left us much too soon, before her time, on April 9th due to a massive heart attack.

Again, I want to say this, “It's been reported that Sherry "might" have suffered additionally from stress in her life.” I don’t know that you need to hear it from a doctor, but don’t we all know that stress can put you at risk! Stress can put you at risk for a variety of health factors; unmanaged or untreated stress can cut a beautiful life short. Need I say MORE???

OK, I’m sitting here studying MY recent VAP Cholesterol Test! Oh dear me!

Total LDL-C Direct = 174 [<130 is suggested] = +44
Sum Total Cholesterol = 250 [<200 is suggested] = +50
Total Non-HDL-C = 194 [<160 is suggested] = +34

Total APOB100 Calc = 122 [<109 is suggested] = +13
Real LDL-C = 150 [<100 is suggested] = +50

You see, I had the “normal” cholesterol blood test prior to the ordered follow-up VAP Cholesterol Test. The day that result came into my doctor’s office, they called me to say I needed the VAP. Then when the VAP results came in, they were even HIGHER than the prior test.

WAKE-UP CALL.

I had thought I could do a life style change and not need medications. However, I was already facing ongoing PT for my hand injury of December 9, 2009. Then, I suffered an injury to my other arm after the follow-up blood test. The doctor diagnosed the condition as a most unusual case of tendonitis in my forearm for the blood drawing event. OK, UNCLE! I told the doctor that I didn’t think I would be able to naturally bring down my cholesterol numbers and reduce my accompanying high blood pressure.

So, I am now on two different meds to deal with the cholesterol and blood pressure issues. I am strongly trying to reduce a huge amount of stress in my life too. Additionally, I am trying to effect a life-style change that will be a complement and give me a synergistic type of improvement in my health.

A lot less time ON THE COMPUTER; more time outside and specifically more time for EXERCISE. SO??? What did I go out and buy? Say hello to Skechers Women's Shape Ups - Strength Fitness Walking Sneaker!

I bought a pair of the black ones from my local mall shoe store. There was a helpful young lady, Samantha, who actually told me she was wearing a competitor’s shoe although she also liked the Skechers brand.

Samantha said that the shoes run true to size, and I would agree. She also showed me the Shape-ups Instructional DVD that comes in the shoe box. “It’s recommended that you watch this DVD first,” she said “and that you ONLY do 20 minutes of exercise the first time you wear the Skechers Shape-ups.”


Me? I’m just happy I’ve got my first pair of the Skechers Women's Shape Ups - Strength Fitness Walking Sneaker! I’m actually studying the line of Skechers and see a couple more pairs in my immediate future.

OK … time to SIGN-OFF as I really should get my exercise program kicked off. Hey, YOU! Let’s KICK SOME BUTT!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

An artist in heaven

Many of us, who are Squidoo lensmasters, got to know a beautiful and talented lady named Sherry Holder Hunt through her Squidoo lenses. What Sherry's Squidoo profile says about her: "a member since May 30 2008, has rated 675 lenses, favorited 392, and has created 41 lenses from scratch.

Sherry was a remarkable person who just happened to be an artist in addition to being a fine writer. Sherry was ONLY 48 years old! 48 years old!!! Sherry left us on April 9th due to a massive heart attack.

It's been reported that Sherry "might" have suffered additionally from stress in her life. I'm not a doctor; I don't know personally what health factors might have impacted Sherry, but I can TELL you this ... stress can put you at risk. I really hate to think that Sherry might have had too much stress in her life. I really hate to think that Sherry is no longer with us, but is up in heaven looking down on us. I think I see her smiling! Sherry, we miss YOU!

It was from a fellow lensmaster Susan that I first learned of Sherry's passing.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the
paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the
shadow of death; I will fear no evil: for thou
art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of mine enemies: thou anointest
my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life; and I will dwell in the
house of the Lord for ever.
Drop by and check out Sherry Holder Hunt, Artist. Her beautiful art can be found gracing many places; like Fine Art America.

"Sherry ... you were a bright star that we got to know through Squidoo. I'm looking up towards the heavens and thinking of you. Blessings to you my dear. We will miss you."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

There is no draw fee charged thank goodness!

And thank goodness there is no draw fee added to the Quest Diagnostics laboratory invoice that I just received from my first visit of March 16, 2010. That was a 2-hour morning at their facility on San Jose Blvd. in Jacksonville, Florida. That was the day hubby was waiting patiently for me and finally came to the blood drawing area to find me. He said I was back there for 40 minutes!

On that faithful day, it was one phlebotomist, 2 needle draw locations, and 5 tubes of blood [pediatric] along with one urine sample.

I know, in the back of my head, I was wondering how much is this going to cost me? You know laboratory charges can vary from one location to another as can insurance coverages. So, to benefit my curious readers, I am attaching a copy of the charges for those various tests. Analytically speaking, it was over $100 per pediatric tube of blood drawn!

Here's a breakdown:
  • Cholesterol $31.75
  • Lipotrotein, direct, HDL $42.25
  • Triglycerides $31.75
  • TSH $100.00
  • Draw Fee, PSC Spec $0.00 [oh yeah!!! Could you imagine??]
  • CBC, PLT, Diff $33.00
  • Creatinine $42.31
  • Microalbumin (QN) $14.34
  • CRP, High Sensitivity $70.00
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel $49.50
  • 25-OH Vitamin D-3 $215.00
GRAND TOTAL: 629.90
The insurance discount was $553.37 leaving my payment due of $76.53.


I have yet to receive the second lab bill for the VAP test! Wonder how much that one will be? I'm thinking it will be more than $200 as I do know I should be paying $30.00 for that test.

Oh, could you imagine that there would someday be a draw fee??? How would they calculate that? Number of times stabbed; needles/supplies wasted er used? Number of phlebotomists involved in drawing that blood? Length of time it took to draw that blood?

For example, I'm thinking of the Mercedes-Benz dealership which assigns time factors to each type of job. Although your auto might be in service for 2 hours; if you have 5 different factors figures in for 5 different jobs, the time factor billed CAN be more than the actual 2 hours. Isn't that weird?

In my circumstances of having blood drawn, I could be in for an additional shocker IF and WHEN they start charging a "draw fee." Oh my!

P.S. Wouldn't it be more pleasurable to be bitten by a vampire, preferably a good-looking, in-demand vampire? Or one of Eastern European origination?  Thanks for visiting the Twilight Zone this afternoon.

A Visit from Grandma Oh My!

A visit from grandma can and should be a wonderful occasion. Grandmothers need to be a part of your family as much as possible, sharing love, wisdom and stories for younger generations to pass along to their family ... to keep the family history alive!

Well, today's visit from grandma, my grandma Julia Nagy is indeed an "Oh My!"

You see, I kid YOU not! It was in the wee hours of Sunday morning, this very Sunday morning, that I had a distinct visit from grandma. I can still visualize the start of that vision which was intermingled into a dream of sorts.

In this vision/dream, I was in another room when I heard water running. It sounded like the kitchen sink. As I came into the kitchen, I glanced to my left to see the left-side of the kitchen sink filling with bubbly, soapy warm water. And, to my amazement, I saw my grandma Julia Nagy's head, as clear as day, sort of bobbing on the top of the soapy water!  Our conversation started then and there.

That part of the vision/dream quickly changed to a vision of my grandma with a slender and lean body, oh, with her head now firmly attached off to the right side of the kitchen near the side door.

We began to talk ... but mostly I was doing the talking. As I am now relaying this "story," I am even more moved by the experience. I am quite the spiritual person, oh yes indeed. I believe in angels, and I believe that my grandma knows things about what "goes on" with our family.

I told my grandma how much I loved her and how I wished that I had told her more times whilst she was "living" that I loved her hugely and how much she really meant to me; how she influenced and contributed to "what I am." Grandma nodded her head and said, "Yes I know."

I continued on in our conversation. She said she knew about my writings on the internet and about how much I talk about her. Oh my! She knew about me sharing her Stuffed Cabbage Recipe! Yes, indeed.

... segway ...

So, it is all the more compelling this vision/dream in that I created a specific SquidCast on April 9, 2010 The Very Best Stuffed Cabbage Rolls should be ... in which I said the following:
I am channeling a message that I received telepathically or should I say, spiritually, from my grandma Julia Nagy ... She is rolling over in her grave.

Well, isn't that particularly interesting? Grandma rolled over in her grave and paid me a visit! Oh my! You'll need to visit that SquidCast and then continue the story to that sidebar widget shown below.

A Dutch Oven for YOUR Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

And, now a word from our sponsors! If you are planning on making Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, you need a good Dutch Oven. Why not try the Lodge Logic Dutch Oven with Loop Handles! I know my grandma Julia Nagy made great Stuffed Cabbage Rolls in her Dutch Oven. While in today's vision/dream, grandma didn't talk about her Dutch Oven, somehow I think she was thinking it ... and now I am sharing that thought with YOU!