Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Talented Sister

For Christmas my talented sister Becky made me this purse. It's made out of different colors of silk and is beautful.

In the past she has made these other beautiful purses for me. And there are many more that I haven't taken pictures of.

I have a garmet bag and a gym bag.

This is a cute tote bag she made.

This is a small bag from Whole Foods. Becky put presents in these bags for each of us. This makes a great environmentally friendly gift bag! And they are cheaper than regular gift bags.

I treasure everything that Becky has made for me. They are always unique and quite beautiful. I love purses, and love having one that no one else has!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Anyone that knows me will tell you I'm not much of a baker - despite my name. I do love to cook but appetizers are usually my forte. For some unknown reason, I decided to bake. I think it's because I'm leaving Bill for a few days over the holidays and wanted to leave him with some goodies.

I don't even own a mixer so this is all done with a hand mixer.

I made some shortbread cookies because we both love them. At first I followed the recipe and put them in a pie pan but decided to use my silicone molds for them. They turned out so cute and are quite tasty.

I made peppermint bark that came out quite well too. Did you know that more peppermint bark is sold than any other item at Williams Sonoma? The batch I made cost about $3.00.

I made bite sized brownies in my silicone molds. I also made chocolate chip cookies, not very Christmasy but Bill's favorite. And I made gingersnaps. They did not turn out to what I really wanted. Then I read Kimmie's blog and she had exactly what I wanted. So I hope she brings some home for Christmas. I will now be using her recipe. This recipe was good, but more of a molasses ginger cookie.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I love technology

And shout out to Becky.

Yesterday we finally got fed up enough with our wireless setup to buy a new one. We had our motorola modem for the DSL and then a Linksys wireless router. For wireless, the router was very good. I actually had no problems with it. But late at night as Bill is playing Warhammer, it would just drop and he was wired to it. Every once in awhile, it just would not connect to the DSL and we would have to wait for awhile.

So our solution was to get a box that is a modem and router all in one.

So true to form, I researched them out, or so I thought.

First I stopped at Circuit City. They proceed to tell me they don't have any. Now I don't believe them but that's another story. They told me I had to get one from ATT.

Next I go to Frys thinking that Best Buy wouldn't have them if Circuit City didn't. This was wrong. And this is 2 weekends before Christmas in the middle of Saturday afternoon. I'm so smart, NOT. Of course Fry's true to form, has stuff all over the store. I look in the aisle with the wireless routers, but of course it's not there. So I finally find someone I can ask and they tell me aisle 38. Well, aisle 38 had something completely different. Then I track someone else down and they tell me aisle 43. So I get to aisle 43. And there is a hole where the router should be. But I get the model number.

So here is where technology comes in. First of all we use wireless-n because when I bought my new laptop, I got it with a wireless N, I wanted to be ready for the latest and greatest. So for my desktop, I have an Airlink wireless N adaptor. It was cheap and works all the time!

At Fry's they tell me the only wireless N they had was a Netgear. When I did my research I thought I found a linksys that would work, but ends up it was not a modem and router all in one. And I saw where they had it at Best Buy, Circuit City and Fry's. So that was what I was searching for.

So here is where technology comes in. I call my sister Becky on my cell phone, she gets on the internet and finds the Best Buy that I'm near has one in stock. And it's $15 cheaper than Frys. Granted, the Fry's is not in the best part of town. And I have to cross the parking lots of Office Depot, Walmart, Home Depot, just so I don't have to flip around I45 which is a nightmare 2 weekends before Christmas.

I arrive at Best Buy. The guy shows me where the modems are and it's an ATT Wireless G. I told him I wanted the Netgear DGN2000, and of course it's in a different part of the store. He had no idea it was a dual because they had it in a different place. but he was totally helpful.

I hook it up at home, put in the CD and this baby worked without a problem. I can not say that about the modem that came with the DSL or the Linksys wireless router. Both of those required calls to the ATT and Linksys to get them working. We have two computers wired into it and right now I have 2 computers working wireless and one iPhone. Now all guests to the house will be able to use their personal laptops too.

And hopefully the gamer in the family will get over his frustations of being dropped. I told him that I set it up to drop at 10 PM so he would get off of his game and go to bed. I like the fact we don't have 2 boxes that need to talk to each other.

I highly recommend Netgear DGN2000 to anyone! My computers are at the other end of the house from the router and it works just fine!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kudos to Channel 2 Houston

Anyone that knows me, can tell you I'm a big Channel 2 fan. I especially like Owen Conflenti and Stephen Dean for all their help to us during Hurricane Ike.

Last night the station reported on one of our pet peeves. They did a story on the government (our taxpayer dollars) leaving the lights on all night. The Harris County Law Center has a light bill of $17,000 a month. The City of Houston has a building at 611 Walker St. Their light bill is an astonishing $133,000 a month. Both buildings would leave their lights on 24/7. Channel 2 talked to all the facilities managers of the buildings and immediately noticed a difference in most cases.

This is our money paying these bills. Just doing simple tasks of turning off the lights in the room when you leave makes a difference.

At HP we had instructions to turn the lights off in a room when you left. The security guards making their rounds would turn out any lights in rooms if they found them on. I got put in the dark many times when they didn't see me.

At BMC the lights automatically went off at a certain time. You could turn them back on if you were still working. They also powered down the A/C or Heat for the hours people were not there.

If every business would take simple measures of turning off lights, informing employees of the options to saving electricity and having the guards turn off lights, everyone would save money and the resources would not be used as fast.

Lights Out Houston is a great website. It gives lots of information on what a company can do to save.

Shout out to Channel 2 for their Green solutions!