Tuesday, October 23, 2012

JEA Overcharges Customers for Services in Florida

Let me repeat that statement. JEA overcharges customers for services routinely! Who is the JEA? The JEA was previously known as Jacksonville Electric Authority, but now is more readily identified by just JEA.

JEA is of course located in Jacksonville, Florida. What I didn't readily know is that JEA "is the seventh largest community-owned electric utility company in the United States and largest in Florida." And, the numbers are important. According to Wikipedia, "as of 2009, JEA serves more than 417,000 electric customers, 305,000 water customers and 230,000 sewer customers."

Isn't that most curious that the number of sewer customer is so much less than the number of water customers? I don't get that stat.

Now to the overcharging! If you, like me, are a JEA customer who uses their water to irrigate your lawn and water your garden, you are being overcharged for services. The JEA takes a monthly water reading to bill its customers for water usage. However, they do not technically take a monthly sewer reading! That's where the overcharging is coming into play. JEA uses the reading from your "measured" water usage to bill the sewer service to match.

But! What if you are using that water for irrigation? If you don't have a separate meter for irrigation, you are being overcharged. Check out the images that follow.
Residential Water Service - 9/13/12-10/14/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Residential Water Service - 9/13/12-10/14/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Residential Sewer Service - 9/13/12-10/14/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Residential Sewer Service - 9/13/12-10/14/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Looking at these two images, Water Service and Sewer Service, you will note that the consumption matches, along with the current reading. Total consumption of water was reported at 2,000 gallons, which is twice the normal usage for me in a one-month period. My normal consumption is 1,000 gallons.

JEA is overcharging me by approximately 1000 gallons for the sewer charge -- that is water NOT going down the sewer, but going into my front and side lawn. That amounts to a minimum overcharge of some $16.36/month.

The next image shows a twelve-month cycle of water usage [and electric usage as well]. There have been three separate months of overcharging by the JEA for services. Matching the sewer consumption to the water consumption is technically an error in that the JEA is not taking into consideration the water being used for irrigation.
Residential Consumption History - 10/11-10/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Residential Consumption History - 10/11-10/12 - Jacksonville, FL
Water and Electric Monthly Usage
In the consumption history, from October 2011 to October 2012, there are 10 months of usage for water service at 1,000 gallons. That is my normal consumption EXCEPT in those months that I need to irrigate the lawn. Three months of water consumption was doubled, at 2,000 gallons; March, September and October. In March, the application of Scott's Weed and Feed required extra irrigation, especially since there was a long period of dry weather. September and October water usage was double due to irrigation for new sod.

In the consumption history, JEA has overcharged me approximately $50.00 [3 x $16.36] for sewer usage.

In August 2012, I received a letter from my Home Owners Association telling me I had a lawn violation for bare spots! Those were bare spots that I caused by pulling out the crabgrass. To comply with the HOA requests, I put down nearly 80 pieces of sod. NO, that was not the size of the bare spots. To know me is to know that I am a bit of a perfectionist. After I had put down several pieces of sod to handle the bare spots, I got "carried away" and moved throughout the front lawn. I opted to be proactive in a number of spots where the grass would benefit from new sod.

And ... then I had to WATER that new sod! Thank goodness that we got a little bit of extra rain at the end of August! Otherwise, my September consumption may have been 3,000 gallons!!! Oh my!

After I laid all that sod, I moved on to do some other yard work! I've written two blog posts about my yard "garden" projects. You see, I had grass issues in a couple areas of my yard which would have required even MORE irrigation usage and JEA overcharges if I had elected to plant more sod. I elected to put in a drought-resistant garden instead! Read about it:
My neighbors tell me that if I put in another meter for irrigation water, that would take care of the "overcharging" for sewer. I was told that, at one time, an irrigation meter was only $600 to install; and that the fee was raised to $1,500. That is the catch; it costs a lot of money for a meter to measure true water usage!!! My neighbor says that's where they get you! It costs you MORE to put in a meter that would accurately measure the water consumption for irrigation purposes. So, it is rather a catch-22 situation.

The JEA "is the seventh largest community-owned electric utility company in the United States and largest in Florida."
  • Total assets $7.5 billion (2010)
  • Total equity $1.5 billion (2010) 
Bottomline, I am not the only customer the JEA is overcharging! I'm certain there are many other customers of the JEA who have only one water meter ... and also water their yards with the water that comes out of the faucet attached to the side of their homes!

Looking again at the number of JEA customers reported in 2009:
  • 417,000 electric customers
  • 305,000 water customers
  • 230,000 sewer customers
These numbers do not tell us total number of individual customers such as myself who use electric, water, and sewer supplied by the JEA. $7.5 billion in total assets and $1.5 billion in total equity sounds like a lot of money! I'm sure the JEA could well afford to offer me a refund of approximately $50.00.

How about you? How much of a refund would you expect from the JEA for overcharged services?

UPDATE: September 2014 - So we JEA customers got notice that there would be a fuel surcharge rollback and we would see a credit on our July bills. Woohoo! I saw a credit of some whopping $12.00! Then, when I got my August bill, I nearly fell off my chair. That bill went up $60.00!!! It made me wonder if on one hand, we got a credit and then on the other hand, we got billed 5 times that credit to recoup the charges? I have still not recovered from that whopping big August 2014 bill -- the largest utility bill in all the 3+ years I have lived in my house.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color

I absolutely adore Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color! First of all, who wouldn't LOVE a paint with that name; i.e. Forget-Me-Not? Check out the color swatch from the Sherwin-Williams website:
Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color
Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color
I first became acquainted with the color palette of Sherwin-Williams in June 2011. After buying my home, I worked out a color palette for my painter. Working off the cottage color palette of Stanley Painted Furniture, I picked several coastal chic colors from Sherwin-Williams.

The SW6824 was the final color that I selected, and initially felt it may be a bit too bold. I needed to cover a deep gray, like battleship, color that was in my front room. That room was used by the previous owners as a sports room. I was converting the room to an art sitting room. Asking my professional painter what he thought about the color, he assured me it was a great color and would not be too dark or bold.

Looking back at all the Sherwin-Williams colors that I selected, I am more than thrilled about the beautiful violet purple of Forget-Me-Not SW6824. Check out the color in a corner of my art sitting room:

jaguarjulie art sitting room painted with sw6824
Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color
On Monday, October 15, 2012, I was looking through my remaining Sherwin-Williams paint to select a color for one wall of my garage. The previous two days, I painted my garage as part of a BzzAgent project for Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint. The two walls of my garage were painted with HC-137, Mill Springs Blue, which is a teal-like color. I thought the SW6824 would provide a nice contrasting wall.

Here is that garage wall before the Sherwin-Williams SW6824:

jaguarjulie garage wall before unpainted
Garage Wall Before : Unpainted
Now, take a look at that garage wall after it has been painted with just one coat of Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint.

Garage Wall After : Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color
You can see the purple paint as it contrasts with the Benjamin Moore Aura HC-137, Mill Springs Blue. See more of that garage in my blog post entitled Benjamin Moore Aura Paint in Action!

Purple is a color that I personally love! I generally like to wear a OPI nail polish which rather looks like that SW6824. I've also sponsored a start wearing purple initiative with my page perfectly titled Start Wearing Purple : Including Gogol Bordello. I've included Gogol Bordello because I credit them with the title of "Start Wearing Purple" as that is one of their gypsy punk songs.

In closing, my review of the Sherwin-Williams SW6824 Forget-Me-Not Paint Color is 5 stars, and I give it two thumbs up. It is a color that evokes an emotional response within me ... akin to something more than lust. Something like a strong love that makes me want to smile and hug somebody. On top of that, this color looks beautiful in my art sitting room AND in my garage!

And, what about that OPI nail polish that I generally like to wear? Why it is OPI Nail Polish Purple With A Purpose! In fact, that OPI nail color is a great color match for the SW6824! I have also found a new poptastic neon purple color that reminds me of Forget-Me-Not! It is Pucci-licious Poptastic Color Club Nail Polish. Check out my review of Pucci-licious!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint in Action

On Friday, October 12, 2012, I received my Benjamin Moore Aura Paint BzzKit from BzzAgent. This has to be the fastest BzzAgent project that I have ever participated in over the past 8 years! On Saturday, October 13, 2012, I drove to my neighborhood Benjamin Moore dealer, Mandarin Paint Center. I was quite impressed with all the Benjamin Moore displays and products in this dealer's store. Check out the photo!

Benjamin Moore Dealer, Mandarin Paint Center - Jacksonville, Florida
Benjamin Moore Dealer, Mandarin Paint Center - Jacksonville, Florida
While I was waiting for Steve Taras to finish with a customer, I browsed the nicely stocked and organized showroom. It was impressive to see all the supportive product literature on the shelves! I took some time to focus on the color of paint I wanted. I had already found a teal-like Affinity color that I liked from the color sample swatch wheel that was in my BzzKit. When I saw the color samples for the Historical Collection, I settled on HC-137, Mill Springs Blue.

Benjamin Moore Aura HC-137 Mill Springs Blue Color Sample
Benjamin Moore Aura HC-137 Mill Springs Blue Color Sample
Benjamin Moore Sheen Chart and Sales Receipt for one gallon of Aura paint
The HC-137, Mill Springs Blue, is shown in the photo above - it is the middle color in the three-color sample. What was curious? The Sheen Chart coincidentally seemed to match my color! If you can see by the sales receipt, that one gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura HC-137 Mill Springs Blue sells for $54.99! Fortunately for me, I #GotItFree [that's I got it free folks!] from BzzAgent!

Now, it was time to put that Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint into action! The intended room for my paint project? Why the garage! You see, I have had the entire interior, including ceiling, of my home painted ... except for the garage. I don't know many garages that would be painted with $54.99 paint!

Garage Wall before - October 13, 2012 AM
Saturday, October 13, 2012, was the perfect day for painting. It was cooler than previous days with a slight breeze. I had to remove items from the overhead shelf and then brush clean the walls and baseboard. I took my time applying the paint with a roller, edging in the ceiling and baseboard area as I went. That paint was a "absolute treat" to work with and apply to the walls. It felt like a paint custard.

Garage Wall after - October 13, 2012 PM
Check out that painted wall! Now, look at the before shot. See all those defects on the wall? The Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint did a FANTASTIC job of covering the defects and imperfections on that garage wall. I probably would have needed to paint two coats with any regular paint. And, I probably should have primed that garage wall first before ... but NO need to do that with Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint -- that primer is already in the paint!

On Sunday, October 14, 2012, I continued with the Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint and painted the back wall. I had just enough paint to finish that second wall. After I finished with the walls, I opened up the pint of Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint and Primer in Eggshell Finish. I painted the baseboards and then opted to paint the door and door molding.

I am so thankful that I had that pint of paint in white! The door looks brand new; plus, the baseboards look pretty incredible for a garage!!

Garage before - October 13, 2012 AM
Take another look at the overall view of the garage interior BEFORE! That's a lot of wall space, not to mention the challenge of trimming those walls! I think the toughest was the far left -- hot water heater!

Garage after - October 16, 2012 AM
Here's an overall view of the garage interior AFTER. The left side wall was actually painted with another color from another brand of paint that I used on my interior. I'll tell you about that wall in a separate blog post as this is about Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint!

The proof is in the pudding ... and in this case, the proof is on the walls! Look at those garage walls! Do you like the color? I love the teal color as I am a Jacksonville Jaguars fan -- that's one of their primary colors.

Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint HC-137 Mill Springs Blue Can
Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint
HC-137 Mill Springs Blue - A Spent Paint Can
Looking back on the painting experience, I was thrilled to have gotten the opportunity to try Benjamin Moore Aura Waterborne Interior Paint. It went on the walls like butter, so to speak, in that it did a great job of immediately covering the wall imperfections. There were no areas on those garage walls that required touch-ups! It was interesting in the clean-up that my paint pan had paint that sort of peeled off.

What a joy it was to test out Benjamin Moore paint in my garage. Normally, I would not ever spend $54.99 on a gallon of paint for a garage. However! Since I #GotItFree, I couldn't be happier. I am a happy camper folks. Thank you Benjamin Moore. And, thank you BzzAgent!

P.S. BzzAgent has instructed us that we no longer are to use the Twitter hashtag of #imabzzagent for our buzz. Instead, we have a "brand new set of mandatory hash tags" to use: #GotItFree and #GotADiscount. And remember to include the hash tag #Aura.

Check out the offerings on Amazon for Benjamin Moore Aura Paint. Amazon has a lot to offer for Benjamin Moore Paint. Try it; you might just like it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint BzzKit

I just received my official BzzKit for the Benjamin Moore Aura Paint campaign. This has got to be one of the better BzzAgent campaigns that I have participated in the 8+ years I have been a BzzAgent!

Benjamin Moore Aura Paint Official BzzKit
Benjamin Moore Aura® Paint Official BzzKit
Photographed by BzzAgent JaguarJulie
As you can see in the picture, there is even a sample pint of that Benjamin Moore Aura® paint! In the official BzzKit you get:
  • One pint of Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint and Primer - my sample is of the Eggshell Finish.
  • Benjamin Moore Aura® Paint Official BzzGuide flyer
  • Benjamin Moore "transform your home with color and paint" flyer
  • Benjamin Moore Affinity Colors - color sample swatch wheel
  • A coupon for one free gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint
  • Five coupons for $5.00 off one gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint
  • Material Safety Data Sheet [MSDS] for Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint and Primer in Eggshell Finish
I know a lot about MSDSs, having working as the Marketing Manager and then Marketing Director for a few companies who produce terpene chemicals and printing chemicals. I learned how to read an MSDS and use the product safety information when producing product data sheets for these companies!

Browsing my BzzGuide, I've learned a few things about Benjamin Moore Aura® Paint:
  • Aura® was introduced in 2006
  • It's the first product launched on the Gennex® colorant system
  • It offers high performance with low odor and low VOCs
  • The Color Lock® technology delivers truer hues and richer colors
  • Paint and primer are combined in one paint; you don't need more than 2 coats
  • Over 3,600 colors from which to choose
Drop back by in a few days as I will be picking out my paint and then starting my painting project. As luck would have it, I totally painted the interior of my home, including the ceiling. However, I didn't paint the garage! Yes, I am going to paint the interior of my garage with Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint and Primer!

At the moment, I am torn between two colors! I am thinking a teal or an eggplant. Looking at the color wheel, I like two really bold Affinity Colors -- fiji AF-525 and kalamata AF-630. I'm thinking I may settle on the teal range of colors since I do support the Jacksonville Jaguars and think a teal garage will be more appealing to a buyer!

Learn more about Benjamin Moore Aura® Waterborne Interior Paint. Check out the videos on How to Prepare Walls for Painting and How to Paint a Wall. Check out the offerings of Benjamin Moore Paint at Amazon.

P.S. BzzAgent has instructed us that we no longer are to use the Twitter hashtag of #imabzzagent for our buzz. Instead, we have a "brand new set of mandatory hash tags" to use: #GotItFree and #GotADiscount. And remember to include the hash tag #Aura.

Coyotes in Our Community Oh My!

As I shuffled through the more than usual mail for the day, I came upon an envelope from our Home Owners Association. You must know that I had a lot of trepidation about opening this envelope as the last letter I received from the HOA told me I had a lawn violation for bare spots!! Oh my! Bare spots in my lawn ... which were of my own doing. I had not liked the crabgrass that was waving at me in said front lawn, so I pulled it. And, the grass was taking a bit of time to come back in ... yes, I had bare spots!

Funny thing, we have a large circular area in the cul-de-sac turnaround that is a complete "bare spot" with dead grass and probably lots of ant mounds. I wonder who gets that lawn violation letter for bare spots? It's looked like that for months!

Well, I already had bad news earlier today, learning that my Squidoo royalty monthly payment was in the toilet literally! About 1/3 of the normal average amount that I have to get to pay my bills. What could get worse? Another HOA violation letter perhaps.

What a surprise! This letter addresses a variety of issues for October. First of all ... "three coyotes have been seen in our community." Googling "Jacksonville Florida coyote," I found an article from St. Pete. They say that coyotes have been in the State of Florida since the 1970s. "Coyotes usually hunt alone, sometimes as a pair." Hmmm, that third coyote might be a juvenile?

Coyote in Florida! Photo Credit: chapstickaddict on Flickr
This photo was taken on November 7, 2006.
The Zoo in Northwest Florida, Santa Rosa County.
"Coyotes are most active at dawn and/or dusk but have been seen anytime of the day. Home ranges typically average 10 square miles." I wonder if this means we will have coyotes for some time or will they wonder off into another of the 10 square miles? Is it possible these are somebody's pets? Would an Irish Wolfhound actually "go after" a coyote? You know, I wrote a recent blog post, Irish Wolfhound in Ten Pensive Photos, as a neighbor has this dog as a pet.

I wonder if any coyotes broke out of the Zoo in Northwest Florida? How would you recognize the sound of a coyote howling? Holy Smokes! Listen to this YouTube video on coyotes howling.

So, what else did that HOA letter warn us about? Nope! The HOA neglected to tell the homeowners about the 2 ninja crooks or burglars who were seen at 3:30am one morning sneaking down the street looking for unlocked cars and who knows what else! Dressed in dark pants and dark hooded jackets, they seriously were up to no good.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's office is patrolling our community for speeders and those drivers who are entering on the wrong side of the entry way. Street parking is an issue -- don't I know about that one! You should see my front yard -- I think it is a Nissan dealership with all the overflow parking. You know, that neighbor who has an oven in their garage and barbecues in their driveway??
  • Our retention pond is extremely low. Some homeowners have piped into that pond to irrigate their lawns? Good grief! People stealing pond water!!
  • Homeowners are ignoring HOA violation notices. Hey, not me seriously!! Have you seen my lawn lately? I laid all that sod -- to cover the bare spots and then some! And, how about my side yard garden and the other front side yard?
  • Trash cans in front of the home -- hey, you should see what I see on my side yard behind that fence which is in disrepair.
  • Lastly, a warning: "You may not be aware that the Homeowner's Association may penalize homeowners for unauthorized violations of our Covenants & Restrictions."
There are the obvious positives and sometimes the negatives to living in a community with an HOA. I've been asked by a neighbor if I want to get on that HOA board. Hmmm, maybe. What I've always yearned for in life and online, is a fairness ... an impartiality. No playing favorites or cronyism. No loopholes which allow for cheaters.

By the way! What about those 3 coyotes? I might want to read up on coyotes so that I can be prepared should they wonder into my yard. After all, there are a couple of cats who like to hang around the place!

Have you seen coyotes around your community? How about ninjas? Seen any ninjas sneaking through your neighborhood lately? Are YOU a ninja perhaps?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Gift of JOY

Sitting at my computer earlier today, penning a recent blog post on Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Pineapple and Mangosteen, I thought about "the gift of JOY." I am testing out the Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser and thought it rather "went well" with the JOY candle holder. And, it rather matched the granite counter top ... so that's where it got located!

JOY Angel Ceramic Candy Holder of JaguarJulie
JOY Angel Ceramic Candy Holder of JaguarJulie
The Gift of Joy! Isn't it interesting how something like a JOY candle holder can have such a special meaning? This special 3-piece ceramic candle holder with angels spells out JOY. This was a Christmas gift of many Decembers ago. This JOY candle holder has followed me through my marriage and subsequent divorce. This JOY has been relocated several times in the past couple of years. This JOY now finds a prominent spot on my kitchen counter top where I can see it every day.

JOY Angel Ceramic Candy Holder of JaguarJulie
JOY Angel Ceramic Candy Holder of JaguarJulie
I sure do love this JOY candle holder. I love the gold stars that accent each of the letters of J, O and Y! And, for sure it gives me great pleasure that there is an angel delicately placed on each of the letters! This is "the gift of JOY" which means so much to me each and every day. Hey, I'm glad that some JOY works its way into my life each day.

Marjolein Bastin Christmas Santa JOY Candle Holder
Marjolein Bastin Christmas Santa JOY Candle Holder
There is another JOY candle holder that I have packed away until Christmas. I actually have two of the Marjolein Bastin Christmas Santa JOY Candle Holders! On my fireplace mantel each Christmas Holiday Season, I place the two JOY candle holders on either side of a Royal Haeger black panther ceramic sculpture. The artwork is Ellen by Linda LeKinff.

Marjolein Bastin Christmas Santa JOY Candle Holder times TWO
Royal Haeger Blank Panther Ceramic Sculpture
Ellen Framed Artwork by Linda LeKinff
Photograph Copyright of JaguarJulie
Do you have any decorative collectibles that bring you JOY like mine? I've looked around eBay and can sometimes find the Marjolein Bastin JOY candle holder. On Amazon, I spied some other JOY candle holders you might like.

Related Reading: Find out more about my JOY in the joyful page I have written, Marjolein Bastin Decorative Gallery. For fine ceramics and pottery collectibles which are Made in U.S.A., you may enjoy Royal Haeger Pottery and Collectibles. For more about a fabulous artist I have featured in my home, you may enjoy the  Linda LeKinff Art Gallery.

Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Pineapple and Mangosteen

I have been testing out the Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser in Pineapple and Mangosteen for about a week. As a BzzAgent, we are privileged to get to sample great products like these ... and then spread the word of mouth on the product to our friends and the world via social media and the internet.

This is my second recent experience with a Glade Expressions product. I've blogged previously about the Glade Expressions Collection Cotton and Italian Mandarin fragrance mist spray. I really am loving the fine quality of the Cotton and Italian Mandarin fragrance.

Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser in Pineapple and Mangosteen refill
Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill
in Pineapple and Mangosteen
While I really do also love the Pineapple and Mangosteen fragrance smell, I am not wild about the presentation of this product. As you can see from the product image, I am testing only the refill and not the actual Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser unit. For the past 3 weeks, I looked in my local stores for the oil diffuser, but could not find the actual unit, only the refills. Using my coupon, I #GotItFree -- I got it free and found it at my local Publix grocery store.

Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill in Pineapple and Mangosteen
Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill in Pineapple and Mangosteen
On my kitchen counter top next to my JOY !!
I don't believe the actual oil diffuser unit would change my opinion of this product. The Pineapple and Mangosteen fragrance is very fruity and true to life in regards to the quality of the actual pineapple smell. It works well in my kitchen where I placed it on my kitchen counter top next to my JOY angel candle holder. I wouldn't want to use that type of fruity smell in the other rooms of my house. Personally, this oil diffuser product doesn't appeal to me, and I doubt I would want to purchase it again.

Glade Expressions oil diffuser and fragrance mist sprays
Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill in Pineapple and Mangosteen
Glade White Tea and Lily Fragrance Spray

Glade Expressions Collection Cotton and Italian Mandarin Spray
Glade Holiday Evergreen Potpourri Spray
Check out the picture of the 4 different Glade fragrance products! You can see how the two newest products compare physically with two older Glade fragrance mist sprays. I really LOVE the fragrances of white tea and lily and the holiday evergreen potpourri. The Cotton and Italian Mandarin fragrance appeals to my senses as well. You see, I am more into fine florals than fruity smells. And, I really do appreciate the traditional fragrance mist sprays -- both in the traditional spray cans and in the newer Glade Expressions Collection mist sprays.

By the way, you can see that I added a pink ribbon to the Glade Expressions Collection Cotton and Italian Mandarin fragrance mist spray. I really feel that white container is a tad bit too white and needs a little dressing up. A pink ribbon seems like the appropriate thing to do for being "in the pink" during the month of October in celebration of my Cancer Awareness.

Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill Package in Pineapple and Mangosteen
Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill Package
in Pineapple and Mangosteen
Checking the outer packaging of the Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill in Pineapple and Mangosteen, it says I should expect 30 days of fragrance on this refill. To activate the diffuser card, I pushed it into the bottle until I heard a click. The package shows that I have a goldish-brown tone diffuser base that is recommended to accompany this refill.

There is a caution that is important! It says "do not use in small, confined pet areas with adequate ventilation." That is good to know because I would think this item would be good for areas with pets.

P.S. BzzAgent has instructed us that we no longer are to use the Twitter hashtag of #imabzzagent for our buzz. Instead, we have a "brand new set of mandatory hash tags" to use: #GotItFree and #GotADiscount. Hey! I got that Glade Expressions Oil Diffuser Refill in Pineapple and Mangosteen free!

Monday, October 08, 2012

Mexican Petunia Garden aka Purple Showers Take Two

In my September 23, 2012 blog post, Mexican Petunia Garden aka Purple Showers, I shared the view of my first Mexican Petunia Garden in my side yard. "Ah, a garden of Mexican Petunias aka Purple Showers. This fabulous purple perennial is also scientifically known as Ruellia brittoniana and as Britton's wild petunia and the Mexican Bluebell."

After completing all the digging up of the grass and weeds and then planting the garden, I had NO idea that I would WANT to do another such garden project like that this year.

Step 1: Selecting the initial section of yard!
However, as time went on ... a week or so ... I consulted with my neighbor on the other side and shared my vision. Down the middle of the side yard, I placed some plastic edging to show her where I would be digging.

A picture is worth a thousand words they say. I started to dig and finished off a square-like portion in one day. That evening, after my neighbor got home, she saw the dig area as you see in Step 1.

Step 2: Starting the first portion of the
Mexican Petunia Garden!
After resting a few hours from the digging, I opted to head out to Home Depot to get 2 Mexican Petunias, 20 Holland red/gray brick pavers, and 2 bags of Scott's red mulch.

In Step 2, you can see the beginning of the vision for my Mexican Petunia Garden! My second one. I didn't want to do the same type of treatment as I did in my other side yard, but I wanted it to be complimentary.

After putting down the 20 brick pavers, I realized it would take about 40 to edge in the garden area.

Step 3: Finishing the digging area for the
Mexican Petunia Garden!
There was a bit of consultation with my two female neighbors to pin down how far I would go with the dig. And, the addition of the 12-inch red brick patio stones, next to the driveway, was a good idea. The patio stones provide a stepping area and help to firm-in the brick pavers.

The extra area took two separate days to completely dig and clean. I was dealing with a lot of rooty weeds! Timing was important so that the yard guys picked up the bags of yard waste from the digs.

Step 4: Completion of the two areas for the
Mexican Petunia Garden!
In Step 4, you can see the completed Mexican Petunia Garden! What a lot of work. You should have seen all the dirt under my nails. The biggest challenge was making so many trips to Home Depot and Lowe's to carry all the garden supplies in the front seat of my sports car!

At one time, I could carry 2 Mexican Petunias that I would lie down on top of 2 bags of mulch. On the floor, I stacked 20 Holland red/gray brick pavers with a bag of dirt on top. I even had a Lowe's guy say, "I don't know how you are going to do that."

Other trips, I could manage 10-14 of the 12-inch red patio stones. I've yet to tally up the cost of the project along with total woman-hours expended! By the way, in the middle of the two garden sections, I added, on Saturday, the Peter Pan Agapanthus which I had in my back yard.

Another view of the Mexican Petunia Garden!
This is a view of the Mexican Petunia Garden looking towards the street. You can see I added more stones and bricks for access to the side and back yards.

I found that when I finished the job, that the red mulch from Lowe's did not match the Home Depot mulch. You can see in Step 1 the Home Depot mulch. This past Saturday, I raked up that mulch and put it around the Drake Elm in my front yard. Now all the mulch matches!

After I finished this "take two" garden, I found I attracted a mole or two ... so I might be writing about how to capture a mole. Or how to send a mole or two packing!

INSPIRATION! Yes, it is important to have inspiration; to be inspired! And, it is just as important to credit that inspiration ... like proper attribution! You see, since I moved into my house, I have been rather fascinated by the Mexican Petunias that I saw across the street. Living in Jacksonville, Florida, Mexican Petunias thrive! Take a look! Tell me, is that not an inspiring view?

My Inspiration: Mexican Petunia Mailbox

Are you inspired? Have you ever planted Mexican Petunias? Do you have a love for Mexican Petunias? What do you think about my two gardens?

Irish Wolfhound in Ten Pensive Photos

Yesterday, I was researching "large brown hound dogs" to try and identify a dog that I had seen in my neighborhood. As I searched, first with a Google image search, it became apparent that the dog I wanted to identify is the Irish Wolfhound. I next did a bit of reading about the Irish Wolfhound on Wikipedia.

After Wikipedia, I did a Google web search to read about the Irish Wolfhound from The American Kennel Club [AKC] and further information on the Irish Wolfhound from the Dog Breed Info Center.

By this time, I had learned a lot about the Irish Wolfhound, "of great size and commanding appearance ... he is the tallest of dogs, but not the heaviest." The Irish Wolfhound is described much like an Olympic athlete. And, it is said that the Irish Wolfhound is described in an old Irish proverb that says, "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked."

What's amazing is the range of colors that are allowed by the American Kennel Club ... "grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, wheaten and steel grey." Two kinds of grey!

The Irish Wolfhound has a relatively short lifespan, ranging between 6 and 10 years with 7 years being the average. The AKC has specified the size and weight of the Irish Wolfhound:
  • Minimum height for mature males: 32 inches, females: 30 inches
  • Minimum weight: 120 lbs. for males, 105 lbs. for females
I last searched on Flickr for Creative Commons photos of the Irish Wolfhound. I honestly had no idea that I would want to do this blog post until I found I couldn't pick just ONE photo of this pensive dog. My image search brought precisely 1,111 results. From all those photos, I opted to conduct a photo contest and celebrate the top ten best photos of the Irish Wolfhound, with one honorable mention. That's 1% ... the cream of the crop! Check out those best photos, see if you agree! 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... Here is the Irish Wolfhound in Ten Pensive Photos!

Irish Wolfhound by Jess and Colin
Honorable Mention

Irish Wolfhound by Dustin_Drew
Irish Wolfhound by Jodi Marr
Irish Wolfhound by Sightsound
Irish Wolfhound by stevet955i
Irish Wolfhound by Mark Robinson
Irish Wolfhound by jbraine
Irish Wolfhound by viclindsay
Irish Wolfhound by LesPaulSupreme
Irish Wolfhound by Sightsound
Aren't those adorably "pensive" photos of the Irish Wolfhound? Do you have a love for Irish Wolfhounds? Perhaps you own or have owned an Irish Wolfhound? Why not share your experience with this dog breed.

Irish Wolfhound Photo Credits:
Honorable Mention : By Jess Liotta and Colin Liotta. This photo was taken on December 19, 2008 using a Nikon D70.
#10 By dustin_drew Dustin Drew. This photo was taken on October 9, 2011 using a Canon EOS 7D.
#9 By jodimarr. This photo was taken on March 14, 2010 using a Canon PowerShot SD750.
#8 By Sighthound Kevin. This photo was taken on April 29, 2007 using a Nikon D50.
#7 By stevet955i Steve. This photo was taken on January 5, 2011 in Seacroft, Leeds, England, GB, using a Nikon D40.
#6 By me'nthedogs Mark Robinson. This photo was taken on April 16, 2009 using a Casio EX-Z1050.
#5 By Jess and Colin Jess Liotta and Colin Liotta. This photo was taken on December 19, 2008 using a Nikon D70.
#4 By jbraine. This photo was taken on March 25, 2008.
#3 By viclindsay. This photo was taken on August 12, 2007 using a Canon PowerShot G3.
#2 By LesPaulSupreme Graham. This photo was taken on March 6, 2008 using a Nikon D40.
#1 By Sighthound Kevin. This photo was taken on July 1, 2007 using a Nikon D50.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Dr. Seuss Santa Grinch with Mask Costume

Feeling a little like the Grinch this year? That's OK! Times are tough. You can be a mean one, just like Mr. Grinch! Check out this Dr. Seuss Santa Grinch with Mask Costume! You can dress up as the Grinch for Halloween. This would make a unique Halloween costume, you know. And, you will be all set for Christmas. Do you run a small company and don't feel like giving out expensive gifts for your employees this year? Or, you've decided to hold back on the distribution of profits to the partners? Be the Grinch!

Dr. Seuss Santa Grinch with Mask Costume

The deluxe Grinch costume includes:
  • Red polyester Santa coat
  • Fuzzy white trim around the hem and cuffs
  • White pom poms adorn the coat front
  • Set of green faux fur Grinch hands
  • Vinyl full Grinch mask
  • Red and white Santa hat
You can dress with ease as the Dr. Seuss Santa Grinch with Mask Costume jacket slips on overhead with an easy tie at the back of the neck. The bottom of the Santa coat is shaped in a circle with a wire hoop. See and breathe easy while wearing the Grinch mask as there are mesh eye holes along with slits near the mouth.

Be sure to accessorize your costume with green tights or leggings. Select from these:
  • Green Opaque Stretchy Leotard Leggings Tights
  • Kelly Green Opaque Tights One-Size
  • Opaque Thigh High Above Knee Socks Green
  • Kelly Green/White Striped Thigh Highs
Why not wear the Dr. Seuss Santa Grinch with Mask Costume for Halloween and then again at Christmas? By the way, the Grinch has been very popular this year! Here are some extra chances to get the Grinch costume:

Do you know that Boris Karloff was the voice of the Grinch before Jim Carey starred in the role?
"Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter you used to bring me?
Why can't I hear music play?"
"You're a mean one Mr. Grinch!"

Check out the other Christmas-themed costumes I've featured:

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Christmas Tree Costume for Adults

Ho Ho Ho! A Tree, A Tree! Oh Christmas Tree ... it's a Christmas Tree with Shoe Boxes Adult Costume! What a different kind of Halloween Costume, for sure. And, what a perfect idea for dressing up at Christmas. It would be a cool idea to dress up as a Christmas Tree Costume and have that special present for your loved one underneath YOU ... the Christmas Tree! Or, if you are planning on popping the question, you could have that special ring as a present underneath that tree. Think about it.
Christmas Tree with Shoe Boxes Adult Costume
I like the idea of multi-purposing your costumes and being able to get the maximum bang for your hard-earned buck. This is one of those costumes that can transition from Halloween to Christmas. And, if you haven't planned for a tree at Christmas, then this costume helps out in that department. Furthermore, you can have a moveable feast with a Christmas Tree that comes to the party!

Consider donning a Christmas Tree with Shoe Boxes Costume for Halloween and then Christmas! This Adult Christmas Tree Costume includes:
  • Green foam tree jumpsuit
  • Gold star on top of the tree
  • Red ornaments
  • Silver garland decoration
Why not get the whole family in the tree costumes:
  • Christmas Tree Kids Costume
  • Christmas Tree Baby Bunting Costume
  • Anit Accessories Christmas Tree Dog Costume, 16-Inch
Check out the other Christmas-themed costumes I've featured:

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ... "this song has many versions!" Just like the multiple wearing opportunities for this costume!

The custom of the Christmas tree goes back many years to early beginnings in the 15th and 16th centuries. We think of "O Tannenbaum" -- Oh Christmas Tree -- as the Christmas tree developed in early modern Germany. The beloved Christmas tree gained in popularity beyond Germany during the second half of the 19th century. "The Christmas tree has also been known as the "Yule-tree", especially in discussions of its folkloristic origins." --Learn more about the custom of the Christmas Tree from Wikipedia.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Red Fraggle Rock Costume for Adults

Hello confident and sassy ladies! Have I got the Halloween Costume that is perfect for you! It's the Fraggle Rock Red Costume for Adults! If you are a fan of bright colors of red, orange and yellow, this costume will make you smile.

Red is a feisty Fraggle who is so fiery that her hair explodes into two red frizzy pom poms! If you're a tough broad, a no nonsense kinda lady, then you need a costume that appeals to your strength and fire! That's why you need the Red Fraggle Rock Costume!
Fraggle Rock Red Costume for Adults

The Fraggle Rock Red Costume for Adults comes complete with:
  • Raging red, long-sleeved shirt
  • Pair of orange shorts
  • Attached orange tail ending in a poof of red frizzy hair
  • Pair of yellow stockings
  • Matching yellow gloves
  • Matching yellow shoe covers
  • Raging red headpiece
The Red Fraggle Rock Costume headpiece comes with Red's famous bulging muppet eyes and two flaming red frizzy pom pom ponytails! Oo La La! There is a hole in Red's mouth through which you can see and navigate.

Get together a group of your gal friends and all dress up in the Fraggle Rock Red Costume for Adults! Make an impact at Halloween and other costume opportunities.

Check out this fabulous Official Fraggle Rock Video: "Do It Anyway!"

What do you know about Fraggle Rock? Fraggle Rock is more famously known as Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock. Of course, Jim Henson created the children's live action puppet television series. The Fraggles are the central characters of this series and you'd be right to think they look like Muppets! Get to know more about all the Fraggle Rock characters. You'll be amazed at the personalities and the creativity!

The show ran from January 10, 1983, to March 30, 1987, on CBC Television in Canada, ITV in the UK, HBO in the United States, Channel 7 in Australia, and TV1 in New Zealand. --Learn more about Fraggle Rock and the infamous Fraggles on Wikipedia!

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Turkey Costume for Adults and Baby : Gobble Gobble!

Everybody loves turkey for Thanksgiving! How about a little turkey for Halloween? This Halloween Costume is a great idea for a little turkey leftovers at Thanksgiving! Dress up for Halloween in a Turkey Fleece Adult Costume. And, then pull out that costume for your Thanksgiving celebration. It would be a great Thanksgiving outfit if you are giving out Thanksgiving baskets to the needy too.
Turkey Fleece Adult Costume
The Turkey Fleece Adult Costume includes:
  • Plush turkey jumpsuit
  • Turkey headpiece with dewlap
  • Turkey feet
What's different about this costume is that you aren't plucking feathers. Be a soft-sided, plush turkey! Go for the gold and get some extra mileage out of that Halloween Costume.

Consider putting a turkey on your head!
  • Roast Turkey Hat Costume Headwear Halloween Thanksgiving
  • Thanksgiving Turkey Hat Accessory/li>
  • Elope Turkey Headband
Oh! And, don't forget baby in a Lil Characters Unisex-Baby Infant Gobbler Costume! Size matters and little can be cute too.

Now a word from our turkey!

What about that turkey and Thanksgiving?
"The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada is a large meal, generally centered around a large roasted turkey ... According to what traditionally is known as "The First Thanksgiving," the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag at Plymouth Colony contained turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash." --Learn more about Thanksgiving and that Thanksgiving turkey dinner from Wikipedia.

Thanksgiving Blessings to you!

Teletubbies Colorful Costumes for Adults and Kids

What a colorful opportunity to dress up with a group of your friends or family members in a Teletubbie Adult Costume Four-Pack! It's not just one Halloween Costume, but FOUR! Check those colors. Almost like a CMYK Halloween Costume. You get a lime-green, luscious purple, vivid red, and vibrant yellow! What color will you be?
Teletubbie Adult Costume Four-Pack

Teaming up with your buddies, or just feeling a little ironic? "The Teletubbies were the United Kingdom's most famous pre-school television characters, so much so that they came to America to entertain our children!"

You will be a hoot with your kids and the kids around the neighborhood. Be a little silly; be very silly times FOUR with the Teletubbie Adult Costume Four-Pack!

What about the Teletubbies? The program is geared towards children between the ages of one and four. However! The Teletubbies had a substantial cult following with older generations, particularly among university and college students.

"The mixture of bright colours, unusual designs, repetitive non-verbal dialogue, ritualistic format, and the occasional forays into physical comedy appealed to many who perceived the programme as having psychedelic qualities." Far out!! --Learn more about the Teletubbies from Wikipedia!

Hideeho neighbor! Dance with the Teletubbies!

Why not get matching Teletubbies Costumes for the Kids? Team up for double the effect!

  • Rasta Imposta Teletubbies Laa-laa, Yellow, 3-4T
  • Rasta Imposta Teletubbies Tinky Winky, Purple, 6-12 Months
  • Rasta Imposta Teletubbies Po, Infant / Toddler Costume
  • Rasta Imposta Teletubbies Dipsy, Green, 18-24 Months

Get adorably colorful Teletubbies items to coordinate with your Halloween Costume!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wizard of Oz Cowardly Lion Costume

A truly manly Halloween Costume is the Wizard Of Oz Cowardly Lion Costume. Not everyone is man enough [or woman enough] to be a manly lion. Sure we know the lion as the "Cowardly Lion," but that was all an act!
Wizard Of Oz Cowardly Lion Costume

The Wizard Of Oz Cowardly Lion Costume includes a one-piece jumpsuit with attached tail and character headpiece. One size fits most adults.

Here is that memorable scene when Dorothy, with the Scarecrow and Tin Man, meet the Cowardly Lion.

We all know the Cowardly Lion as a fictional character in the Land of Oz. The Cowardly Lion was created by American author L. Frank Baum. --Learn more about the Cowardly Lion on Wikipedia.

Get other desirable Wizard of Oz Halloween Costumes:
Get Wizard of Oz Cowardly Lion collectibles.

Wizard of Oz Flying Monkey Costume

Remember those Flying Monkeys in the Wizard of Oz? When the wicked witch bids them be on their way and fetch those ruby slippers? "Fly away, my pretties!" Consider making your own memories this Halloween with the Wizard of Oz Child's Flying Monkey Costume. I'm all for equal rights, nobody says that WOMEN can't be flying monkeys as well.
Wizard of Oz Child's Flying Monkey Costume

The Wizard of Oz Child's Flying Monkey Costume comes with:
  • Grey faux fur jumpsuit
  • Fringed arms and fringed legs
  • Multi-colored jacket
  • Little matching Fez hat
  • Pair of black wings
Some might consider being angels with wings; why not be a flying monkey with wings? Get the impressive, winged Wizard of Oz Child's Flying Monkey Costume. This is the type of Halloween Costume that you will want to get for a group of friends and be several flying monkeys.

Check out the memorable scene withe the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. She prepares the flying monkeys for their quest of the ruby slippers!
Get other desirable Wizard of Oz Halloween Costumes:
The flying monkeys, more notably referred to as "winged monkeys," are fictional characters from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. These flying monkeys made their impact in pop culture thanks to the Wizard of Oz books and the 1939 movie. Their claim to fame today is that they are "regularly referenced in comedic or ironic situations as a source of evil or fear." --Learn more about the flying "winged" monkeys on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wizard of Oz Adult Tin Man Costume

"If I only had a heart!" Remember that lament of the famous Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz? "His desire for a heart notably contrasts with the Scarecrow's desire for brains, reflecting a common debate between the relative importance of the mind and the emotions."

If you are a fan of the Tin Man, you will love the Wizard Of Oz Tin Man Woodman Adult Costume. Get an authentic Wizard of Oz costume from Warner Brothers.
Wizard Of Oz Tin Man Woodman Adult Costume

The costume includes:
  • Silver polyester jumpsuit
  • Foam-lined polyester chest
  • Matching hat with elastic strap
You'll want to get these accessories to complement your Tin Man Halloween Costume:
  • Wizard of Oz Tin Man Axe Costume Accessory
  • Wizard of Oz Heart Clock Toy

Here is a little YouTube video of the Tin Man interacting with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. He does a little song and dance to express his wishes for a heart.

Get other desirable Wizard of Oz Halloween Costumes:
The Tin Man was actually first known as the Tin Woodman. He is the loveable fictional character created by American author L. Frank Baum. Of course we found him in the fictional Land of Oz. "Baum's Tin Woodman first appeared in his classic 1900 book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and reappeared in many other Oz books." --Learn more about the Tin Man on Wikipedia. It is quite a remarkable article that has a lot of interesting facts you may not have known.

Wizard of Oz Adult Super Deluxe Glinda Costume

My recommendation for a Halloween Costume that is not only pretty in pink, but sweet as well, is Glinda the Good Witch! Why not select The Wizard of Oz Glinda the Good Witch Adult Costume.
Wizard of Oz Glinda the Good Witch Adult Costume
Everybody appreciates a good witch with power! For the serious Wizard of Oz fan, you will love this costume. It is the highest quality costume available, just like you might expect to rent. You may consider using this exquisite Glinda costume for other opportunities such as in a Wizard of Oz play.

The Wizard of Oz Glinda the Good Witch Adult Costume includes a satin and tulle dress, hoop skirt and silver headpiece.

Consider some accessories:
  • The Wizard of Oz Glinda Good Witch Adult Costume Wig
  • Flashing Star Wands (1 Dozen)
  • Silver Star Wand (Standard
Chek out this most memorable scene from The Wizard of Oz in which Good Witch Glinda tells Dorothy that she had the power to return home to Kansas all along. Give a listen for the sweetest voice of Glinda!

Undoubtedly one of the sweetest and most popular characters from The Wizard of Oz is Glinda the Good Witch of the South. "She is the most powerful sorceress of Oz, ruler of the Quadling Country south of the Emerald City, and protector of Princess Ozma." American author L. Frank Baum created the fictional character of Glinda to bring a bit of goodness to the Land of Oz. --Learn more about Glinda from Wikipedia.