So, there’s a hurricane coming in case you’ve been living under a rock, it pretty much sucks big time because it’s big and taking it’s time.  I pray that everyone be graced with good luck, a bit of divine protection, and that we all pull through with what really matters… our friends and family.

It’s times like this I’m actually glad we have a Geo because the last 17 bucks we have in the bank account after bills and groceries is enough to fill the tank if we need to evacuate. [sigh]

Be safe folks and send a prayers, positive energy, etc. out to the folks down in the Caribbean they have unfortunately lost loved ones there and this hurricane is really doing a number on them because it’s so slow moving.

Just be safe everyone and evacuate if/when you’re told to.


So as is my want, I scroll through Facebook in the mornings watching ‘friends’ lament about their children, children who’ve got no life skills lament about politics as they still live at home with their parents because it’s tough out there, other folks complaining about other peoples lives, and then of course general stupidity running rampant…yeah, I don’t need soap operas I have social media.  It’s always nice though to read something from Mike Rowe and this morning it was an article he’d shared that was about him from National Review.

I read the article, I liked the article (the link is above) what got stuck in my craw though was a comment from a guy simply going by TJ that said “Yes, there are alternatives to college, but in this day and age, there can only be so many plumbers and electricians.”

I just had to shake my head, because while this mysterious TJ is correct in that “Engineers, doctors, and other highly technical positions still need to be filled.” You can never have enough plumbers and electricians in my humble opinion, lol, but I guess that’s just life experience telling me that if you have a plumbing emergency (and I have before) it’ll be at least 24 hours before someone gets out because they’re usually booked up. I’ll never forget my neighbors plight with water spewing all over her bathroom and her not being able to do a thing about it because nobody knew where the shut off valve for the house was, the good news was the walls pretty much washed themselves at 11 PM.


I guess what I am saying is that we also need people with trade skills, not just a ton of kids coming out of college with a piece of paper that states they have the basic knowledge needed to do some technical job.  For example, nobody would get to where their fancy papered jobs are if it weren’t for road workers. BTW there are usually a ton of available positions in road work starting at laborer if you’re interested, yes you have to start at the bottom because unless you’ve got experience… at the bottom is where you get the beginnings of it for your future trade but working to feed yourself is better than being hungry. 

Just yesterday Dave told me that two of the pipe crew at his job went to lunch and just never came back, a couple weeks before that the ‘new guy’ ran into something with the heavy equipment, showed up clothed in a tank top which is considered improper for their line of work according to the DOT (after he’d had orientation and the company manual that he had to sign off on mind you) and then just wasn’t there anymore and is now the ‘new guy they had’

Is there a point to this rambling? Yes, it’s that, while college is good if you want to get the basics for a technical job (because I guarantee whatever company hires you will also have things you need to learn) it’s not the only beneficial way to get a job out there in the real world…you’d be amazed how fulfilling and lucrative being in construction, lawn care, well drilling, and a variety of overlooked trades really can be. Heck on our way to Disney (finally, lol, it only took us years to get there) we stopped off for a quick bite before we left town and Dave was very animated while pointing out the window and saying, “I dug out that retention pond there and all this sidewalk that you see here on the right. It’s something that people see or utilize everyday and don’t even think twice about but the work I did was useful and the quality of my work will last for years”

And that’s why we like and agree with Mike Rowe, he’s one of us, the people who do the jobs that need to be done that always need more people to do them and are often overlooked.  College isn’t the onlyanswer to a fulfilling career.


So, I had gotten a postcard in the mail and I actually read it because it was talking about one of the local Goodwill Thrift Stores I used to go to on the other side of town (when I lived over there years ago) was moving and becoming a thrift pound store. If you’ve never been to one don’t feel bad I hadn’t either, lol. I was up for a bit of adventure and hadn’t been out alone shy of grocery shopping, getting gas for the car, or hitting the craft store for some canvases in months….so away I went.

Now I have to say I didn’t end up going to the store on the postcard first because much to my delight I ran across a very large thrift store in the same parking lot; I mean seriously what are the odds of finding two just steps from one another?

I have to say that it was so neat and tidy when I went in that I knew that I was in for a treat! No seriously, I took photos, lol. Look, this place is huge! (Yes, I asked for permission to photograph before snapping the photos)

Teen Challenge Super Thrift, Orange Park, Florida
That cart in the front is mine 🙂
Tidy purses and 4 nice changing rooms including a Handicap Accessible one.
Tidy purses and 4 nice changing rooms including a Handicap Accessible one.

This store was called Teen Challenge Super Thrift and for a mere hair over $20 I walked out with 2 sweaters for next winter that are wool like Dave likes for layering at work, a fancy yarn sweater for me that is evening chill appropriate, a skirt that is just darling and a matching top to go with it (and let me tell my other busty and voluptuous friends there was a very good selection for those of us who never cared to lose the baby weight, tons of stuff for many sizes!) another shirt, and a cooler which we desperately needed because ours gave out last summer, and a grinder. Holy cow it was great, the prices were good, and the customer service was excellent.

Those of you who know me know that I am a stickler for good Customer Service having been in customer care in one capacity or another over the years, I’d go so far as to say if everyone took a few pages from the CS handbook the world would have fewer problems.  Anyway, I’ve got the scoop for you here.


The Super Thrift I went to yesterday is at 868 Blanding in Orange Park (drumroll) AND I got the scoop on the discount days! [bowing] Yes, I am awesome and you may get me a cappuccino to say thank you 

  • Monday- 50% off clothes
  • Tuesday- Senior 55+ 25% off
  • Wednesday- Color Tag Sale 25-75% off
  • Thursday- Student (HS or College ID required) 25% off
  • Friday and Saturday- Furniture 25% off

So did I give up on my old go to? Yeah, I did because they changed management, weren’t tidy, and changed their sales to just a small section. Not that I won’t still go there if I’m hunting something in particular because I love thrifting being the thrifty person that I am, however I am more than ok with the drive to the new place based on prices, cleanliness, and the nice folks running it.

On an endnote, yes I did go to that pound store too and it was interesting rummaging through the bins and I even found some stuff, but comparatively I got better deals at the first store especially on the cooler and the kitchen grinder because it wasn’t by the lb.


Information on bottle bills (beverage container deposit laws) throughout the US and around the world.

So here’s the thing, I was born in Michigan where if you were ever strapped for cash all you had to do was take in all the bottles you’d been saving or that you’d snagged off the side of the road when you were a kid and bam! You’ve got like $20.

Not only did we have cash on hand but we were recycling before it was cool.  Even when my mother was on Food Stamps we found the money for the deposit for soda bottles, and mind you this was way back in the day when stuff was cheaper (10 cents could get you like 3 starbursts and 5 tootsie rolls at the corner store) and food stamps looked like monopoly money that came in these little books that you had to tear them out of. Hey, I was like 7 it was pretty, lol.
So forward many many years, and I’ve lived all over our fabulous country.  I started in Benton Harbor, Michigan where I was born and lived all over Southwest Michigan growing up. I have since stayed in Hawaii, California,  Arizona, Alaska, Texas, Colorado, Virginia, Mississippi, Illinois, and Florida. I list where I’ve been so that you can understand that I have seen and not seen bottle recycling from many many different places.  I live in Jacksonville now and we don’t have curbside recycling in my neighborhood like I’d gotten used to in the places that I lived in California, Virginia, and Illinois.

As of now recycling for us consists of saving things and then having to take the time to go all the way to a recycling center very far from our home (rather than just up the road to a grocery store like I’ve done in the past) and getting rid of it there, or recycling here at the house which I prefer to do because you’d be amazed at the things that you can make with 2 liter bottles, wine bottles, water bottles and such when you’re a gardener, lol.

What I don’t understand is why every state doesn’t have bottle/can recycling at the very least.  Even when we are at our poorest we can find 10 cents for a bottle deposit, I know because I’ve seen my mother do it, my mom’s friends do it, heck when I was first out on my own and living on a super tiny budget I was still able to scrape up those 10 pennies for a deposit on a 2 liter of soda, and by golly I took that bottle back and had a dime for the next one I purchased.

If you really want to make a dent in helping the environment this is a small and easy thing to do that has a huge impact because let’s face it you won’t see bottles strewn about the beach, the side of the road, or dropped carelessly around if they’re worth 10¢ each.

I invite you to take a gander at the Bottle Bill Resource Guide to see Countries and States that have Beverage Container Deposits and who is against this common sense way of getting some of the world’s trash put where it belongs instead of floating round our oceans.

FYI in 2014 in Michigan about 367.3 MILLION  was paid in deposits and 345.9 M was refunded, that means 94.2% of all beverage containers purchased were recycled.  So please explain to me why we don’t have this everywhere? People need incentive to do the right thing so give them one.

Countries with Deposit Laws

Turks and Caicos
USA (California, Connecticut, Guam, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Vermont)


Dave: We’ve been having issues for a little while now with our audio/video sounding robotic and or choppy when watching videos, playing games, just about anything on the computer.

Christy: To be honest it was making me nuts and I knew it had something to do with Windows 10 and most likely old drivers or something.

Dave: How many times have you tried updating the drivers now?

Christy: I updated the drivers for the Lenovo audio like 3 times, I seriously updated everything I could that might be related, I went so far as to try the the buffering trick for Chrome but that just made it have no sound.

Dave: And reloading the page only made it sound half as robotic,  it was pretty annoying.

Christy: Today though, I have triumphed!

Dave: [facepalm] You’ve been playing video games again haven’t you?

Christy: [grin] Admit it, we’re old and will take what we can get when it comes to giving a foe (in this case the audio system on the computer) a good smackdown, lol.

Dave: [sigh] Yeah, it’s kinda why I play World of Tanks.  So my gaming is going to sound better now?

Christy: Yeppers! And if any of you out there are also experiencing this issue try changing your speaker settings.

Dave: Seriously? It was just a stupid setting?

Christy: Nine frickin clicks and it was fixed. No idea how the setting got jacked up but it isn’t something I ever mess with so I’m going to blame whatever updated [shrug]

  1. Click on show hidden icons in the shortcut bar(win 10)
  2. Right click on speaker icon
  3. Click on Playback Devices
  4. Click on Speakers
  5. Click on Properties
  6. Click on Advanced tab
  7. From the dropdown menu choose 24 bit, 44100 Hz (Studio Quality)
  8. Click Apply
  9. Click OK

Dave: Brava!


My day thus far consists of loudness on a Sunday morning

  • loud wakeup
  • listening to loud bickering before my first cuppa has done it’s job
  • loud dog barking at the wind
  • loud neighbors blasting their dang music that reverberates through the window shaking the house with the bass
  • another loud dog barking at the wind
  • little bit getting woken up because of loud noise (she’s like a baby bear in her morning grumpies, lol)

and a lot of ‘shushing’ to folks (now including baby bear and her grumblings) who should have the decency to not be loud in the morning most of whom know (I don’t think the neighbors dog knows or cares) that my darlin Dave is currently on night shift and if he’d gotten woken would have come up out of that room like a papa bear seeking retribution.

Really does anyone have any self preservation around here?  I don’t do well in the morning before my coffee has kicked in so most people either leave me be or generously make me a cup [snort] Dave will make me coffee on the super rare (I was hoping this morning) chance that I get to wake up without being woken up by something and I come blearily stumbling out of my den….err…room.

I’ve got to say though, I don’t look nearly as frightening as he does when he comes rolling out of our room with hair sticking up everywhere like a demented redhead Einstein, eyes squinting blearily, muscles rippling as he stretches and gives a grunt of warning to all the land (it’s hilarious to be honest)  before he seeks the coffee pot and his morning dose of caffeinated salvation.

Seriously? If you don’t want to be growled at by any of us then have some respect and be quiet.

The "why did you wake me up" face after the coffee has kicked in :-)
My “why did you wake me up?  my morning is upside down  now” look AFTER the coffee has kicked in 🙂
Although this photo is a couple years old it is the perfect example of the grumpy bear morning genes that were passed onto our youngest, lol.
Although this photo is a couple years old it is the perfect example of the grumpy bear morning genes that were passed onto our youngest, lol.
After baby bear is awake all the way, she’s her normal sweet self! And NO that is NOT coffee in her cup, lol. 


Christy: So yeah, the car is running, I didn’t want to finish the saga of the latest car fiasco until I was sure it was going to ferry us around because I didn’t want to invite Murphy back into the mix by saying everything was fine.

Dave: [snort] He’s there anyway, it’s running rich for some reason.

Christy: Yeah, didn’t this whole mess start with it getting too much gas?

Dave: Of course.

Christy: Also, what do you think that new weird sound I heard when taking Dee to work yesterday morning and turned the wheel hard is?

Dave: Probably about $300.

Christy: Well Dang.

Dave: Yeah, because we have never had a vehicle that didn’t have some kind of issue.

Christy: Maybe we should get a priest to bless it? LOL

Dave: Naw, that might wash the dirt from the worksite off it and I’m pretty sure it’s the dirt that’s holding the car together.

Christy: Good point.


In case you missed it Part One is here and Part Two is here

Christy: Really, I had to finally tell Dave last night after the water pump started leaking immediately after he put it on that he needed to just come in the house and look at it in the morning before he went all crossed eyed. He didn’t say no in part because we were having chicken pasta and also because he was just fed up at that point.

You know, everyone keeps telling us we just need to get a new car.  Like everyone thinks our car is ugly and just has too many issues but honestly a new (to us) engine, a fuel pump, a couple belts, and a new water pump is still cheaper than buying a new car.

Dave: That and we just can’t do a monthly payment at the moment.

Christy: There is that point.

Dave: And I can fill the tank for roughly $13 a week and drive all over Jax to get to wherever our job site is on that tank of gas for usually the whole week.

Christy: Which is saying something since the actual area of Jax is over 800 square miles and to really put it into perspective for people it actually takes about 45 minutes to get to the beach from where we live and that’s using the highways.

Dave: Yeah I’m halfway to the beach on the current job.

Christy: Sheesh, good thing you’re on nights and not stuck in rush hour traffic after work.

Dave: Yep.

Christy: So what’s the issue with the car today?

Dave: Well, the sealant I decided to use takes like 24 hours to set up rather than the usual 30 minutes. So I cleaned off the crud from yesterday, replied and now I can’t do anything until tomorrow.

Christy: You weren’t wearing your reading glasses last night, even after I offered to put them on you :-/

Dave: I didn’t think I needed to to be honest,  I’ve used the stuff before just not that brand so I read what I could which of course were the warnings in the large font size like “do not ingest” which is pretty stupid when you think about it because who in their right mind would ingest something like that.

Christy: [snort] I’m still trying to figure out the do not eat label on some of my makeup, I mean seriously if someone is eating stuff that is obviously not food they aren’t going to care what the label says.

Dave: I always wondered about that, I mean some of the labels they put on stuff is just bizarre and shows that someone was once a moron.

Christy: You’re preaching to the choir, I took the label off the mattress!

Dave: I took the label off my electric razor charger.

Christy: and the pillows

I took the label off the deodorant…to be fair I was bored and there were no books in the bathroom and I couldn’t read the itty bitty writing anyway; it’s like 6 point font, crazy stuff man, crazy.

Dave: I think they make the font on stuff so tiny because they’ve got to put all the warnings…of course if you were actually able to read the ingredients in some of the stuff we use you wouldn’t use it at all which explains how they can get away with using a font so small (that it’s like trying to see a glass splinter in the bottom of your foot) because they can at least say that they listed everything.

Christy: Exactly, doesn’t matter if the average person can’t read it.

Dave: Anyway

To Be Continued……….



So some genius decided that they were going to make a facebook page with my name and all my stuff today while I was taking a well deserved nap.

My question is, “Who the hell would want to be me?” I am probably the only person tough enough to be me. Seriously, think about the crap I’ve been through in my life. It’s not that my life is bad, it’s just that I’ve been through some bad s**t in my life, you know?

For my small amount of fame I paid a heavy price. I mean, I spent years away from my family, I lost everything I owned, and for what? A wiki page?  Yeah, I’ve done interviews in magazines, and for a show, and got a cameo in a movie…but, really?  I suppose someone has it worse than me, or lives under some misconception that my life is fabulous.

Anyone wanting to be me is absolutely absurd, and I think that’s about all I can say about that.

My wife says though if someone wants to be me and finishes the honey do list, she’ll make them a batch of cookies. And on that note if anyone feels like getting to it,  here is the….

Honey Do List

  • Clear shed of spiders and then clean
  • Disassemble old porch and build new one
  • Rake yard
  • Build Potato box


What ever happened to Arbor Day? I haven’t heard hide nor hair of it in years which is really strange to me considering that nowadays everyone is supposedly all about trees and nature and global warming and such.  According to the Arbor Day Foundation we can “green up our communities, replant forests across the country, save the rainforest and make an impact on our planet.”

But I haven’t heard a bit about it in years. Why?

When I was younger it was a big thing in school because everyone would start a seedling in a cup and then on Arbor Day everyone would go plant it. Our teachers considered it a part of our civic duties to plant trees. It was a part of our Science Classes because the teacher considered that since we need oxygen to breathe we should do something to actually facilitate that occurrence. It was about giving back with just a few moments of our own time to the world at large and becoming a bit more connected to the good of all.

Everyone is so concerned about global warming nowadays but honestly you cannot depend on any governments to take care of that issue… you need to do your part. Everyone could do their part.

When I”m at a new work site, the first thing that anyone does is clear the lot of trees and turn it into mulch and anything that can be turned into lumber gets hauled off. None of the resources go to waste but they do go away and are not replaced to their previous ammounts. When my company is done with a lot there is usually a retention pond left which is great for the Eagles that live there. In fact we had to stop for a month and a half at one site because of Eagle breeding season. If we see an Eagle on site then we’re not allowed in that area and leave those trees alone because, hey, it’s eagles, lol.

The good thing about my company is that when we are done with the retention pond there is a plan to resod and replant somne trees where we can. I have to say I like that part of the job. There is something special about planting a tree. My teacher way back in the day said that “it was an investment in our future”… and that has alway stuck with me.

To find out more about Arbor Day (and you should be starting your seedling right now to be able to plant on that day) check out

Heck feel free to combine this with Talk Like A Pirate Day… in which case I must ask

Arrrrrr- you going to plant a tree on Arrrrrr bor day? (April 29th this year since it’s always the last Friday in April)