Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm Turning Into My Grandmother!

Don't get me wrong I loved my little grandma, she was the single best person I've ever known & I miss her everyday.

I remember that every Sunday when she got her newspaper, she would go through the TV guide and mark all of the shows that she wanted to watch that week.  It was often something like the original Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Cheney on Bill Kennedy At The Movies, or someone she liked from the Mike Douglas show.

She also would make "her programs."  The night time shows she didn't want to miss.

I grew up with a television on in every room in the house almost & I get anxious when the house is quiet.  I have the TV on in the background most of the time if I'm not listening to music.

We usually don't keep the TV guide that comes with out paper, but since it's premier season & since I'm hopelessly addicted to TV, I saved it this week.  Just a minute ago I stopped myself after I had grabbed my hilighter, poised to mark up all the shows I can't miss.

It's understandable, really.  I mean I've watched Survivor from day one & now it's on Wednesday!  How can I be expected to remember that right away.  The Big Bang Theory has moved to Thursday, that's going to take some getting used to.

I am a television addcit and I've accepted it.  NCIS, Criminal Minds, Mad Men, The Amazing Race, The Biggest Loser!  I rest my case.

My anxieties will be somewhat relieved tomorrow when I pick up my shiny new DVR that I wrestled from the Comcast people's clutches free of charge.  Once I figure out how to operate it I'll be all set.

This story isn't pitiful and/or sad in anyway right?  Right??

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

World Vision Gift Catalog ~ Giveaway

I am thrilled to be working with the amazing people of World Vision.  The World Vision Gift catalog offers more than 100 poverty-fighting gifts ranging in price from $16 to $39,000 that can be purchased in the name of a mother, child, friend, or loved one. Each of the 35 pages in the catalog overflows with gifts, stories and inspiring photos.

Below you will find a short video clip that chronicles the long-term benefit of a goat (one of the most popular gift items) given to Dorothy, a single mother of 6, in Zambia. The clip shows how one goat can transform the lives of a family and impact an entire community. The catalog motto – Give a gift, Change a life - is exemplified by Dorothy’s story.

Here is a press release that World Vision sent me that has lots of amazing information about this amazing program.

Extend Holiday Dollars through the World Vision Gift Catalog – presents of hope and healing.

Global giving changes the lives of children and spreads year-round joy.

SEATTLE (September 20, 2010) – As the economy continues to struggle, shoppers will look for ways to extend their holiday dollar. What better way than giving two gifts for the price of one – honor a person by name and give a gift that has real-life implications for a family in need? This year meaningful, useful gifts can be purchased through the World Vision Gift Catalog, as 89 percent of donations received go to programs helping children and families overcome poverty in nearly 100 countries.

Each of the 35 pages in the catalog overflows with gifts, inspiring stories and photos. The catalog offers more than 100 poverty-fighting gifts ranging in price from $16 to $39,000 that can be purchased in the name of a family member, teacher, co-worker or child, including many affordable items under $30.

“The global economic crisis and food shortages are pushing millions deeper into poverty,” says World Vision Gift Catalog National Director Devin Hermanson. “I know that people are feeling strapped, but for as little as $25 someone can donate a pair of chickens to a family. Those chickens, as they lay eggs, grow and multiply can change generations of lives in a community. There are plenty of other choices in the World Vision Gift Catalog that are both inexpensive and tremendously powerful in impact. ”

Last year, the Geus family from California made a donation and said they were “amazed to learn the difference a goat can make to a child and their family, especially because it’s the gift that keeps on giving.” The benefit of a gift of livestock, such as a goat, can be found in Dorothy’s story. She is a single mother of six from Zambia who received one goat from a gift catalog donation. The goat multiplied to a herd of 14 and now her family is able to sell the milk allowing her to purchase food and pay school fees for her children. (See link below)

Since the World Vision Gift Catalog was first introduced in 1996, new gifts have been introduced each year. Its popularity as a gift-giving alternative has grown substantially with more than 100,000 purchases made last year. Goats remain the most popular item -- over 50,000 goats were given to families around the world.

Giving a gift from the catalog is more than making a cash donation in a loved one’s name; gift givers can select items that match the hobby or interest of the recipient, for example:

- A gardener may like hybrid or drought-resistant seeds for a farmer ( $17), page 22

- The sports enthusiast could get a kick out of four soccer balls donated to a school ( $32), page 31

- A co-worker might appreciate job training supplies given to a women needing skills and business training ($25), page 14

- The kid in all of us would understand the importance of nurturing playful imagination ($35 provides $385 worth of new toys), page 16

- A foodie knows the importance of eggs, milk and meat in a diet and would see the value of a gift of a goat and two chickens ($100), page 5

January 12 marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Millions of children and families continue to suffer; many are still homeless and hungry. The gift catalog includes items that will aid children and families in Haiti including:

- Food such as beans, flour and cooking oil as well as agricultural support, health care and other life-saving help ($25 provides $100 worth of care), page 26

- Fast Track Frame shelters, designed to safely withstand earthquakes and high-wind hurricanes, are created from concrete, steel tubing and recycled materials ($50 provides $200 worth of building supplies), page 26

After purchasing a Gift Catalog item, the person in whose name the gift was given will receive a special card describing the item as well as its impact.

About World Vision

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the worlds poor, regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit

To raise awareness for their cause, World Vision has offered one Screaming Mimi Reader a chance to win this amazing turquoise bracelet.

How you can enter to win this amazing bracelet:

Mandatory Entry:

Pay a visit to World Vision and leave a comment here telling me what you would love to gift to a family or community.

Extra Entries:

Be a follower of Screaming Mimi  - 1 entry, leave 1 comment

Blog about this giveaway - 5 entries, leave 5 comments, along with link

Tweet this giveaway - 1 entries, leave 1 comment along with link (can be done once daily)
"Win a turquoise bracelet from World Vision at Screaming Mimi Blog"

Contest end on Saturday, October 9th at 12:00 midnight, EST.  Make sure you leave your e-mail address in your comment, so I can contact you if you win.  Winner will have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail before I draw another winner.

*I was given no incentive other than the giveaway for my readers for this post.  I think the quality of World Vision speaks for itself  :)


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bummer & Bummerer!

The bummer news is that I've always had this small mole that has a black hair growing out of it.  It was ugly.  (My mom has the exact same mole, in the exact same place, with the exact same hair.)

The bummerer news is that now my big black mole hair has turned grey.

Oh yeah, I found the first grey hair on my head too.  Does immaturity go with grey hair, lol?

Monday, September 27, 2010

A New Screaming Mimi Venture!

As many of you may know I have a miniature schnauzer name Oskar.  Say hello, Oskar.

Oskar has his own blog, called TheDaily Oskar.  You know how bloggers are really cool people, generally?  Well I have to tell you that the pet blogging community are every bit as supportive of each other, kind and generous as people bloggers are.  We're a little daft too.

Well Oskar & I have started a new pet blogging site to bring pet bloggers together.  Introducing Pet Blogs United!

We launched PBU on 9/16 and so far we have 93 followers! 

When you're having a bad day, reading someone elses's day through the eyes of their pet can really add a smile to your face, so stop by & say hi sometime!

I have to thank my blog designer for creating Pet Blogs United.  I found the most amazing blog designer, Lauren from Designer Blogs.

Custom Blog Design
As soon as I saw their website I knew that they were the ones to design my latest blogging endeavor.  Seriously, if you need a blog makeover, check out Designer Blogs & tell 'em Pam sent ya.
They just added some really nice free stuff, too. 

*I paid full price for my blog layout & am endorsing them purely based totally on my happiness with the process and the finished product.  Designer Blogs is not sponsoring this post in any way.

**Yes, for those of you who don't know, my name is actually Pam, not Mimi.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Secret Santa Gift Exchange

I found a great Secret Santa bloggers gift exchange over at Simply Stacie and Survey Junkie

They have a form that you fill out, and you get to pick the category of item you are interested in receiving.

"Surprise Me! Secret Santa Gift Exchange is a gift exchange/swap for bloggers. Each participating blog will be a Secret Santa & also receive a gift from a Secret Santa.  There are No Sponsors for this event, it's just like one big office party.

After you receive your gift you can tell everyone all about it on your blog.

$15 gift(s) + shipping = $20.00

Each Secret Santa will spend $15 on their gift. This can be one item or multiple items that total $15. We want everyone to enjoy the swap and their gift so we have added category choices for you to choose from on the sign up. This way it helps the Secret Santa have an idea of what you like and so that everyone enjoys their gifts.

Sign up will be open for 2 weeks and will end on Wednesday October 6th."

Hop on over and sign up for some holiday fun!

Enough Is Enough!

Over this past year of being sick I feel like I've lost my 'voice'.  My life & my blog have become too much about my sickness.

Finally since my last hospitalization and a new Dr. I feel better than I have in years.

I'm ready to stop being sick & tired all the time.  I'm tired of always talking about Dr's visits.  From here on out I'm going to have smooth sailing & going to try to get back to my old self, so watch out world, here comes Mimi!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shutterfly Winners!

Well we put all the names in a hat & drew three winners for my Shutterfly 5x7 stationery cards giveaway.

We took pictures and everything.  Then the computer ate them & won't give them back, so you don't get to see my handsome husband Chris picking out the names :(

The winners are:

Pat from Critter Alley

Sarah B. From Yes, Teacher

Karen (Still Magnolia) from Karen's Korner

I'll be contacting all the winners this afternoon.

Sorry this post is really boring, I'm just not feeling well today.  The Michigan fall is doing me in!  89 yesterday & 55 today.  It's a true Michigan fall!

I'll be back to my old Screaming self soon, though!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Good Mail

I LOVE getting good mail.  Today I got my True Lemon prize package from my friend Kat, at Inspiration Can Be Found Everywhere

I have used these products in the past & love them, plus I got 2 great waterbottles.  Thanks Kat!

I also got such a really sweet post card from my friend Sara who is on a river trip through Great Britain! 

She said she lit a candle for my health here at York Minster.

Don't I have the bestest online friends?

*programming note ~ I have just started back up with my college classes after a break due to my illness.  I am taking Philosophy of Ethics & HTML programming.  These classes are compressed from 10 weeks to 6 week because I take them in an online format.  I usually don't have problems keeping up with everything, but these 2 classes look like they may just kick my ass, so if you don't see me around as much as usual, please be patient with me.  Prayers wouldn't hurt either!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Me And My Family

Here are some pics that were taken at my cousin Holly's wedding last month. This was a casual reception a week after they got married, so we're dressed in regular clothes.

My grandpa with his 7 remaining siblings. (He's in the back, on the end, behind the lady with the red pants.)  There were originally 11 of them. A good Catholic Iowa farm family. They needed lots of kids to work the farm. Even with bone cancer my grandpa works my uncle's huge farm as much as he can all summer & keeps all of us in tomatoes & corn. We can the tomatoes and freeze the corn. It's so good in the middle of a long winter to taste the garden & my grandpa's love.

My parents, my boys & I. (Chris had to work.)  My mom put all her weight back on since her breast cancer. She says she lost a boob, but gained almost 100 lbs., lol!

All of us including John's girlfriend, LeighAnne.  She's just like one of our own now :)

And finally me & my baby boys.

Jack looks a little doofy in that pic, but momma loves it anyway

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Paint, Birdseed, Boys, & Silence

While reading a great post over at The Parenting Myth the other day, it reminded me of something.  She mentioned how silence while the children are not sleeping is a bad thing.

That made me think of a specific moment from my boy's childhood that was quite memorable.

Awake children (about 8 & 5), silence, white paint & a 25 lb. bag of birdseed do not go together in a way that will be pleasing to a mother.  It was however, very pleasing for said 8 & 5 year old, that is until momma found them.

They had started by mixing a little birdseed in with the paint.  (To this day I still don't know how they got the paint can open.)  Then a little splashed on one of them.  By the time I found them they were coated in paint & birdseed.  I was tempted to leave them in the yard & let the robins clean them so I wouldn't have to.

I remember feelings of horror, this room will never, ever, be clean again & I will be finding birdseed for years!  Then I laughed.  I laughed until I almost peed & the terrifed look on my boy's faces was instantly replaced with glee.

Laughing is the only thing you can do in these situations & it's still a hilarious memory.  I only wish I had thought to grab the camera, but it's one of those mind pictures that I will never forget.

I love my boys & I love the crazy situations they've gotten me into over the years.  It sure has been a journey!

Also don't forget to enter my Shutterfly giveaway!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dancing With The Stars...Say What?!?

I don't watching Dancing With The Stars, but I have heard that Bristol Palin will be on it this season.

Then I heard that Sarah Palin will be there in the audience tonight to support her daughter.

Then I heard that the song that Bristol will be dancing to is called Mama Told Me Not To Come.

The tackiness level of this event is overwhelming me.

Musical Monday


I heard this song this weekend & I really loved it.  I've never heard of Curtis Stigers before, but the song suits my mood today.  It's called, I Never Saw a Miracle.

For more muscial fun check out Blogging With Amanda and Run DMT.

Also don't forget to enter my Shutterfly giveaway!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shutterfly Giveaway ~ Holiday Cards

While going through old photographs I started scanning them in to put them on disc.  Then I thought about my parents and my in-laws, who most likely would not watch a photo disc.  I had heard great things about Shutterfly from other bloggers, so I went off to try it.

Making my book with Shutterfly was easy and fun.  They offer tons of different layout options for you to choose, or else you can just follow one of their pre-made themes.

You just upload your photos, arrange them and Shutterfly does the rest.  About half way through making my first book, I had ideas for a million more.

You'll never guess what the subject of my first book was...

Of course I chose my boys as a Christmas gift for the grandparents!  I'm going to order another one to keep for myself.  This book is clear, crisp and beautiful.

Even the Shutterfly packing is beautiful!  Don't believe me?  See for yourself.

My next project is holiday cards.  If my kids were younger I would love to make some Halloween Invitations.  As it stands I will be ordering my Christmas Photo Cards sometime next week.  I'm even thinking ahead to March for Birthday Invitations!

Now, Shutterfly has offered me the chance to give away sets of 10 free 5x7 stationery cards to 3 different Screaming Mimi readers!

We're going to make this contest simple, here are the rules:

1.  Be a follower of Screaming Mimi
2. Go To Shutterfly and tell me what kind of cards you would like to order.

That's it!  Leave one comment telling me that you follow Screaming Mimi and which cards you like best and on September 25th. I'll pull a name 3 names out of a hat.  Make sure that you're e-mail address is in your profile or in your comment, or you can't win.

Comments will close 9/24 at midnight Eastern time.  Winners will be notified via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond or else a new winner will be chosen.

*Shutterfly is providing free photo cards to me also for this review.

What are you waiting for, the holidays are getting closer!

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Blogging Means To Me ~ Back To Blogging Day 5

Today's assignment is to write about what blogging means to you. Why do you blog? What purpose does it serve you and how have you benefited from sharing a piece of yourself online this way?

Whew, that's a big one for me.  As a person with bi-polar, social anxiety disorder & gastroparesis, I don't have that many IRL friends.  Those that I do have I have trouble seeing often (although I am getting better!)

Blogging has meant long lasting friendships, people out there who I know honestly care about me & who I honestly care about.

It means meeting some of the kindest, funniest people who inspire me and make me laugh.

It means a place to be me, free from fear or self doubt.

It means a place to chronicle my life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

It means saying prayers for strangers and knowing they are doing the same for me.

In short, blogging, helped to open up my world, when it had become very, very small.  For that I thank all of my blogging friends. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fire Safety

My friend Kat at Inspiration Can Be Found Anywhere posted about this really cool fire safety quiz that could earn your local fire department $10,000!

Take the Liberty Mutual Fire Safety Quiz, select your local fire department and maybe learn a thing or two in the process.  I know it was a good reminder fo me to check my fire detectors.

Fire Mimi says, "Be Safe!"

Pedigree "Write A Blog and Feed A Dog" Event!

For each blog that posts about the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive through September 19th, PEDIGREE® will donate a bag of their new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide.

It’s simple: Write a short blog and feed a dog!

•Each year, more than 4 million dogs end up in shelters and breed rescue organizations. Pedigree created The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive to help shine a spotlight on the plight of these homeless dogs.

•This year the PEDIGREE Adoption Drive is raising awareness for homeless dogs by donating a bowl of food to shelter dogs for everyone who becomes a “Fan” or “Likes” The PEDIGREE Adoption Drive on Facebook. So far more than 1 million bowls have been donated.

•Special for BlogPaws West: For each blog that posts about the PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive through September 19th, PEDIGREE® will donate a bag of their new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to shelters nationwide. It’s simple: Write a post, help a dog.

•Thursday, September 16 through Sunday, September 19, the Pedigree BlogPaws bloggers will host a Blog Hop, to help raise awareness for the “Write a post, help a dog” effort.

Write a post and then go to LIFE WITH DOGS Thursday through, Sunday, 9/19 to leave a link to your post so Pedigree can find it and count it! It's just that simple!

If you can, take 5 minutes to write a post like this & you'll know that a pup will go to bed with a full belly because of you!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I May Have To Change Grocery Stores, But I Still Have My Panties! ~ Back To Blogging Day 3

Today's challenge is to re-publish a post that has a title that you are particularly proud of, again this one speaks for itself!

I May Have To Change Grocery Stores, But I Still Have My Panties!
How many people do you know who can say they lost their underwear at the grocery store? Yep, underpants lost at my local Kroger. Now before you start to think that I was getting hinky with the frozen foods guy, let me explain.

I had errands to run so I had to put on real clothes. For those of you who don't know me in person this means actual pants (not sweats or jammie type pants), shirts with no holes & the appropriate undergarments. If I'm at home all day, I cannot vouch for what you will see if you come knocking on my door unexpectedly, but I can assure you that it isn't pretty.

I was at Target looking for some of those new empire-waisted baby doll type tops that are in style right now & flatter my type of figure. You know the body type with extra rolls of fat around the middle & rear, (sorry to have to leave that image in your head.) When I was reaching in my jeans pocket to get out my car keys I thought I felt something in there besides my keys. I dug around & alas, nothing but keys. I hopped in my Mom-mobile (teal colored Ford Windstar mini-van) & ran off to the grocery store.

I got some lettuce from the produce department, started to move on & realized that I needed some fruit so I circled back. Then I saw them. Laying on the tile in the produce department was a pair of my underwear. You may wonder how I knew they were mine, but I knew it as well as I know my name. Those were my underpants...laying on the the middle of the produce my local Kroger. They must have been stuck inside my jeans from the dryer. I quickly walked over to the bread aisle & weighed my choices. These were a favorite pair of mine. The kind that don't wedge into inappropriate places, don't droop, sag or show visible panty lines. I needed to get these underwear back!

I casually walked back to produce noticed that there were several people around, but none of them were near my unders. Luckily I was able to kick them into the organic food department & pick them up without anyone noticing. I hope.

*Update - I now have a new mini-van, but the same Kroger & the same panties!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back 2 Blogging: Day 2 - Will You Be My Friend?

Today's challenge is to re-publish a post that you wish more readers had seen.  I know that Mimi readers may have already seen this one, but if you're new here, your advice would be welcomed!  I think that the post is self-explanitory as to why it's important to me :-) - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Since I suffer from bi-polar and social anxiety, I don't have too many real-life friends that I do things with. Now I'm in the position of wanting to make new friends and unsure how to go about it without coming off as a stalker!

When I worked outside of the house, I could make friends organically at work. You get to know someone, have lunch, share stories and it can move on easily from there. Since that's not an option I have to just approach people who I am only acquaintances with, to try and pursue a friendship.

There's a cashier at my local Kroger who I really like. We've talked for years while I'm checking out about family, life, our boys. She's seen the boys grow over the past few years and I really like talking to her. Also, the receptionist at my boys orthodontic office is really great to talk to. We have kids the same ages and face a lot of the same challenges and questioning when it comes to raising teenagers who may not follow the path we want for them.

The awkward part is taking these to the next level. Do I just ask if they'd like to go out for coffee sometime? What if I'm just rejected & then have to face these people on a regular basis afterwards, that could be weird.

Any advice Mimi-readers? I would love to hear from you.


*Update, I did give my phone number to the cashier at Kroger, but havn't heard from her.  Our conversations are still fine when I stop in there, though.

I wish I lived closer to some of my dear bloggie friends!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Great Giveaway At Kat's Place!

My beautiful friend Kat over at Inspiration Can Be Found Everywhere, is hosting her first giveaway.

She's giving away some awesome True Lemon, True Lime, & True Orange products along with 2 Rubbermaid Refill/Reuse BPA free bottles - one is 14 oz. and the other is the 20 oz. size.

I have tried the True Lemon & loved it, so head on over to Kat's & tell her Mimi sent ya!  And make sure to look around while you're there, she's got some great posts about all sorts of stuff.

SITS Back To Blogging Event Day 1

Here is my first ever blog post.  I'm participating in a Back to Blogging event this week to try & win Thelma & Louise, check them out!

You're drooling right?  This contest is sponsored by the awesome girls at the Secret To Success Is In Support, Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builders Appliances.

Today's Back To Blogging assignment is to re-post my very first post, so without further ado, here it is.

OK Now What...

I used to write in a journal. I still have about 5 or 6 pretty blank books, their pages filled for a few weeks & then abandoned. Sometimes when I try to start writing, my thoughts come faster than my hand can record them, so I give up.

I know that there are too many thoughts swirling around in my head, seemingly on an endless loop. Maybe if I write some of them down, my brain will be more quiet. Don't worry, all the voices that I hear are my own (o.k., sometimes they belong to my mother). Actually a different voice in my head might be a nice change of pace (unless it's my mothers).

Whe I wrote that post, I never, ever could have imagined that calibur of the friends I would be lucky enough to meet through this blog.  It's been an amazing journey so far.

Tomorrows assignment is to re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you, so play along!