Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's almost Jim's birthday! (A Kathi post and update)

Jim's birthday is Sunday. If you get a moment, pop by sometime between now and Sunday to wish him the best in the comments? He'll be 57. That means I have three years to plan a big ol' party for his 60th. (But I should probably start now!)

He's had a rough year. He's stressed and worried. He had an ultrasound just after Christmas, but we are so thankful that there is nothing to worry about there. His cousin Bill died. We had a very stressful trip to Laramie, Wyoming, for the funeral. (Stressful 'cause we had to take his mean ol' aunt. She was a pain-in-the-butt.) He's worried about the country and its leaders and what they are working on and the lies and misstatements that go with it.

Let's just say his brain is full.

Bob will be visiting in mid-February, so we hope to be able to get an update on him and a photo. 

For those of you wondering when Jim will post the purple thong dance. . . it really is coming! But with all that Jim's had going on? Well, it just is taking him a little longer to get all his tasks done.

He shaved his front one day in October when I was at work, so there are no photos. And just when I thought the little poke-y hairs that grew back were starting to take their former places on his body a settle down, he thinks he should shave again so that he can post the photos.

I have to tell you. . . those hairs on his chest are SO poke-y when they are growing back in. I'm totally NOT looking forward to that again. Ugh. Every hug or snuggle hurts. Then again, that's nothing compared to all Bob has to deal with, right? And I *am* grateful. Just a little grumbly. My apologies.

So, anyway. . . 

Cheers to Jim! You are the best-est friend I ever had, and I'm so glad you are so good to me and you're the best of doggie-daddie's, too. . I love you to BITS!  xxoo

Monday, January 28, 2013


"It were not the best that we should all think alike: it is difference of opinion that makes horse races."

--Samuel "Mark Twain" Clemens,
American author

Friday, January 25, 2013


The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners held a drawing to give away a Colt AR 15. The lucky guy that won it lives here in Colorado, near the Western Slope. Along with his new shootin' iron, he also got 100 rounds of ammo.

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners can be found at: RMGO.ORG. They are here in Colorado, and are fighting the good fight for gun owners. They said that they had over 30,000 entries for this drawing. The drawing took place in Loveland, Colorado, at Jensens Gun Shop. The owners offered the AR as a prize.

Of course, the media was all over the place. It will be interesting to see what they say, and what kind of spin they put on this. Also, like a lot of gun shops, there were bare shelves here and there. 

So, on this we go. Let's see what transpires from here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Quote of the Week: 1/21/2013

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent. 
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Because We Like to Eat for Free (a Kathi posting)

I have been a mystery shopper for about 25 years. I started doing it in the olden days because I wanted something fun to do. Over the years I've done a lot of shops, everything from fast food, eye exams and eyeglasses, gas stations, hotels, bars, restaurants, movies, massage, retail, and more. Sometimes I go long periods of time without doing any shops, and sometimes I do a lot of shops in a short period of time.

Right now I'm doing lots of shops. You will never get rich from mystery shopping, but you can eat and be entertained for free, and get a little cash with it, too.

If you want something fun to do, give it a try. You can usually take a guest.

Sometimes, it's a little bit of an acting job. You can be an entirely different person on some of these assignments, and some of them even require you to use an alias. In the 1980's, a friend and I had made up a fake name for me -- "Loretta Pomegranate." Unfortunately, I have never been able to use that for a mystery shop 'cause it's too obviously a fake. I told Jim that he should be Pete Moss. That one cracks me up! (Jim didn't seem to think it was all that funny.)

How it works:
You sign up as a shopper. The company collects information from you, such as your name, social security number (they need it to pay you), address, your age, etc. Some also ask you about the equipment available to you (i.e., cell phone, digital camera, fax, scanner), and about your likes and dislikes, or your shopping habits or preferences. Some will ask you to provide a writing sample so they know they aren't contracting with a doofus. Then you check their job board to see if there's anything you want to do. You can also opt in to receive shop notifications by email.

The MSPA -- Mystery Shopping Providers Association -- is the professional association for mystery shoppers. Their Web site is at:
That's a great Web site to look for to learn the basics and what to look for so you don't fall victim to a fake shopping company or other scammers. They list the legitimate mystery shopping companies right there for you.

The MSPA also offers a certification. Becoming certified also lets companies know that you are not just some random person, and it adds credibility to your mystery shopping skills. You can get the silver certification online fairly quickly, and you can get the gold certification at a workshop OR, like I did, you can get the DVD from the MSPA and do it at home. Be sure to save your receipts for your taxes!

Okay, now on to my list of favorite companies to shop for. I sometimes get brownie points or referral money for some of these referrals, so please say that I referred you. (Kathleen Noland, and my email address is kathleennoland @ Or send me an email and I can send you a referral link for some of these companies.

then click on the "Shop for Jancyn" tab or on the Shopper FAQ
I have done fast food and casual dining shops for this company. They also have retail shops.

then click on "Become a Shopper"
I have done clothing retail, fast food, casual dining, and fine dining shops for Bestmark. I have also done Web inquiries and phone inquiries for them. They pay/reimburse quickly. My shopper code is CO2720, and I will appreciate it if you enter that as the referring shopper number so I get credit for you.

MarketForce has a large variety of shop-types, including fast food, gas stations, audits for compliance, merchandising, movie theater checks, promotional materials installation, retail, etc. They can keep you pretty busy if you want to be.

If you like massage, this is the company for you. I have also done casual dining for them, and a hotel dining shop or two. 

Like to go to the movies? In exchange for just a few tasks and an easy report, you get see a movie and get a decent snack and be reimbursed, plus a little fee. I think these shops are my favorite, 'cause I love the movies.

A Closer Look:
This is a good one for restaurant shops. 

I am signed up with several additional companies. You can find a list of legitimate companies on the MSPA Web site. There is also a lot of information on the industry there, so you can educate yourself about the industry.

Be sure to read your shopper agreement and look at the FAQ's. You'll get a lot of information there. 

If you want referrals from me, just email me and let me know!

Monday, January 14, 2013


"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."

Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
French novelist and performer

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

FEED YOUR FACE: Venison Heart

In our family, when we filled our deer tags, we would field dress our deer, and we would save the heart and the liver. Sometimes, there was not much left of the heart. But when there was, we would have liver or heart that night for dinner.

Some people throw the heart out with all of the innards. But, heart is really pretty good eating. It's loaded with B vitamins, lots of protein, and little fat. If cooked right, it can be as tender as a piece of loin. So, let's get going. This is for:


  • 1 venison heart, cleaned, and cut in 1-inch squares 
  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 4 tablespoons of butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Saute the pieces of heart in hot butter melted in a skillet, along with the onion and bacon.
Add the water, diced tomatoes, and wine.
Cover and simmer for 90 minutes or so.
Add and stir in the sour cream, and season with pepper and salt.

Serve over egg noodles or rice.

I always enjoyed this when my Dad would cook it up. It made for a hearty meal after hunting and cleaning our deer, then bringing it back to camp to be hung up. My Dad always left a couple of strips of heart out of our dinner from the night before. He would then make some heart sandwiches for lunch the next day.

You can use this with elk, moose, antelope, buffalo, and even cow. Give it a try. Don't be squeamish. You can also grind it up, and put in your venison sausage.

So, cook some up and FEED YOUR FACE!  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


"Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again."

L. Frank Baum,
Author of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

FEED YOUR FACE: Wine Cookies

Have you ever heard of or had wine cookies? They taste pretty good, and are great if you have company over. So, here we go.

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups white wine (or your favorite, but if you use a pink or red wine your cookies will be, too)
1 cup oil
Enough flour to make a medium type dough

Combine all the ingredients. Roll out on a floured board. Cut into 1 inch strips, and deep fry in oil until they are light brown. Sprinkle them with powdered sugar or drizzle them with some honey.

Our nanny from when my sister and I were really small made these for some of her friends that came over. My sister and I snitched a few. We thought that we were all grown up. They had theirs with wine and some other foods. We had ours with apple juice.

So, make some to FEED YOUR FACE!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Well, I hope that all of you had a Merry Christmas. And that you also have a good New Year. Mine is starting off a bit on a new note. I had an ultrasound done of my innards, as per my doctor, right after Christmas. Now, nothing to worry about. All is fine, except I was told that I have a fatty liver.

So, I have put my liver on a diet. No more junky drinks and such. So, no more Coke, Dr. Pepper, A&W Root Beer and such. From now on? Lite Beer and Jack Daniel's right from the bottle is what my liver gets. No more wimpy drinks.

OH, and they did say something about me needing to lose some weight. Now they want me to multi task!

Jeeze, one thing at a time! I now need to find a diet of some kind. Maybe I'll go Viking or caveman on them. Meat, lots of meat. I can start with bacon, and work my way up the food chain from there. Veggies beware. Except for them damn Smurf brains. (Cauliflower, yuck!)

Salad's, I'm not so into. Course, cows, elk, deer, buffalo, sheep and such eat grass and stuff, that's kinda like a salad. So, I should be okay if I just pig out on meat.

Speaking of pig, I think I will try to come up with a diet type of pork ribs.  It will take time and LOT'S of  pork ribs to get it right. And lets not forget about a diet bacon.

Now, I'm talking REAL pork. Not that namby pamby stuff you find in them health food stores. And then maybe a diet type of Jack Daniel's. . . NAH! Why mess with something that works! So, forget the diet Jack Daniels. Who ever knew that it could be so darn hard to get your liver to diet.

As for the rest of me, more working out and more walking. Hmmm, I wonder if I can sign up for a Krav Maga class. I'll have to check and see if they have a chunky class for beginners. Maybe they can put me in with all the old folks. Knowing my luck, I'll get beat up by a 80 year old lady with a walker.

Stranger things have happened you know.