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Showing posts from May, 2010

Frugal Food Eater...Restaurant.com and mall food. Aloha Oregon

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You and I know that mall food is vastly underrated.  Because it is so close and easy to use, we seem to think that the food value ($$$) + food quality (****) can not be good.  How wrong we can be!
     We were out shopping yesterday and decided to use a Restaurant.com certificate that was about to expire to get some Mexican food.  The certificate was for the Mazatlan Mexican at 20413 SW Tualatin Valley Hwy in Aloha, OR (urban spoon info).  The exterior was nothing to shout about but when you stepped inside, you could see the effort that had gone into making this eatery look and feel authentic.
     The Mazatlan Mexican restaurants are a franchise but the service and food does not give you a franchise feel.  It is many time better than our "big box" restaurant in a mall close to us.
     We ate the fajitas yesterday...they were the best we have eaten in a long time.  I think we just loved fact that the flavor was a little different than the standard America…

10 Things About Buying a New Car...we saved some money!

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We just bought a new car today.  Phew!  Trust me there is a reason why we only do this every nine years!  But there were a few things that were different this time around.  We actually enjoyed the experience.
Interest rates for those of us with good credit are REALLY LOW! The gadgets on cars are absolutely amazing.  Because the interest is low we can afford better stuff.  Blue Tooth, Alarm Systems, Tire Pressure Warnings, Sound System that searches for the kind of music you want, 4 wheel drive, etc.More power!  We purchases a Subaru Outback Limited. We found the size and configuration to be perfect and the 2.5i  4 cylinder had a lot more power that the old Forester.Our American Express Credit Card paved the way for Fleet pricing on the car saving us several thousand dollars.We discovered that we we could do most of our research and decision making before we even left home.  By going to American Express Auto Purchase Program, we could compare prices, amenities and view the inter…

Fatal Mistakes...choosing the wrong physician and Valley Fever!

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This transmission electron micrograph (TEM) depicted a highly magnified view of a tissue that had been infected with Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) VALLEY FEVER
My husband and I returned recently from ourwinter in the sun. We lived in Arizona for 7 months this year. The weather was cool, we had lots of rain and the wind seemed to blow more than usual. I don't have the statistics so this is just what I observed.
The coccidioides species of fungi that cause valley fever are commonly found in the soil in certain areas. These fungi can be stirred into the air by anything that disrupts the soil, such as farming, construction and wind. The fungi can then be breathed into the lungs and cause valley fever, also known as acute coccidioidomycosis (kok-sid-e-oi-doh-mi-KOH-sis). It turns out that these are the perfect conditions for a fungus that cause the disease Valley Fever (coccidioides [kok-sid-ee-OI-deze]). Rain helps the fungus grow and wind spreads it around. …

Lental Garden...great Indian food in Beaverton, Oregon

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My husband and I have used restaurant.com for quite a while now.  You can go online and create an account that allows you do buy "gift certificated" for $10-50 at a very low price.  These will be on sale occationally for $2.00!  The restaurants you choose will have some specification for use of the certificates...maybe only after 5:00 or only for dinner.  They will also require that you spend at least twice what the certificate is worth and you can not apply drinks to the amount required.  Not all the places are wonderful but if you want you can get a deal on a newly opened location for an established business.
     On Monday night we used a certificate we bought a little less than a year ago for a Indian restaurant called Lentil Garden (reviews here).  Indian cuisine is very popular in this part of the Portland, Or. metro area.  Not only do we have a lot of Indian families living close by but we also have a young, hip population that loves ethnic food.  We have tried s…

2x Clothes Detergent Use....Avoid Costly Mistakes!

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Don't you just hate it when you call the repair man for a cost of $110.94 to find out you have been using your 2x Kirkland liquid washing machine detergent wrong?  Apparently, following the directions on the container is not a good idea!  Let me tell you the story.
     My husband and I have lived in our condo for 9+ years so the appliances are not new.  When the washing machine decided to overflow, leaving a puddle of water in front of the machine, we thought we were due for a new appliance.  While having new stuff is very cool, I do like things that work and are paid for.  So I called the repair man.  In the mean time, I had quit washing on the super sized setting because every time I did, water was on the floor.  It was a little scary.
    The repair man came the next Monday and my husband followed him upstairs.  They couldn't have been up there more than 5 minutes when I heard my husband calling my name.  He and the repair man greeted me at the top of the stairs.  They…

TV EARS...HOLY COW MARIE, THEY WORK!!!

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Image via Wikipedia note:  Here is a small disclaimer.  I do not get paid by any of these people.  I just tell you what I like! Our New TV Ears(We are the proud owner of TV Ears.  That is what this story is about.) 
     Can you hear me now?  If you live with someone that is deaf you have probably used the Verizon catch phrase. I used to think it was funny but as I grow older the fun has worn off.  Every volume knob is set to 10 (full blast) and old men carry on conversations with each other that would make a great comedy sketch.  And the gifts.....what can I say? 
     I can hear just fine (well sort of)  but my husband is just a mess. Our children love us and want us to have anything that will make our life better/easier.  Bless their little peeked heads, we do appreciate any attention we get.  (Can you see where this going?)
   When my husband's last birthday came around my daughter started talking about getting him a set of the TV Ears you see advertised.  I was less than enthu…

Downsizing to 351 square feet! What more could you want?

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Real Simple magazine featured an article this month called Happily Ever After in 351 Square Feet. I found it interesting that the magazine found this so extraordinary. The young couple  lost their 1400 square foot house to a fire and decided to use insurance money to build a work space on their property instead of a new house.  They took two small cottages that had been given to them and joined them together creating a small home.  They chose to remain childless so the neatnik couple were managing perfectly.  The design for their house was not what I would choose.  They created a kitchen that was oversized and lived in a separate room that included a combined living room and  bedroom.  I think that if they had taken a look at our Park Model design they would have found some very good ideas for optimizing their space.  After all, these little houses are designed to use every inch of space either for storage or for living.  The kitchen you see above has a full sized stove and sink.  The…

PREVENT FATAL FIRES...I discovered candlelight without danger!

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This article in the Oregonian got my attention yesterday.  The headline read, "Deadly fire...." and told about an accident at a assisted living facility in Tigard, OR during the month of December.  It began...
Death is no stranger to assisted living facilities. Susan K. Friedrich died Dec. 21 after suffering second- and third-degree burns to nearly half her body. Caregivers at the Park Place assisted living facility in Tigard allowed a lit candle on Friedrich's coffee table next to her recliner, even though Friedrich's health issues rendered her immobile....The evening of Dec. 20 was peaceful at Park Place. Friedrich, as was her custom, bedded down in her recliner in front of the television. Someone, it's not clear who, lit a candle on the coffee table....It was a Christmas candle and Friedrich liked the Christmas tree smell. Oregon LiveI could only think Old people like beautiful things too!  So when the lady living in a Sunset Management Company assisted …

Urban Legends...The Eye of God

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Is this the eye of God?
    Nobody loves a good urban legend more than I do...they set me off on a search for the truth and that is a good thing. My latest urban legend quest started this morning when I received an email about "The Eye of God". This urban legend has been circulating since 2003 when the image of Helix Nebula, described by astronomers as "a trillion-mile-long tunnel of glowing gases" was originally published by NASA.
The email went like this (I did not edit the email):
This photo is a very rare one, taken by NASA.  This kind of event occurs once in 3000 years.  This photo has done miracles in many lives.  Make a wish. you have looked at the eye of God. Surely you will see the changes in your life within a day!!!  Whether you believe it or not, don't keep this e-mail with you. Pass this at least to 7 persons.  This is a picture NASA took with the Hubbell telescope...Called 'The Eye of God.'   Too awesome to delete.   It is worth …

Hoover Dam By Pass Bridge Pictures...2010

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Clouds hang over the Colorado River canyon.
     This the third time we have crossed Hoover Dam in less than two years.  (See previous articles) Each time I have taken pictures from every angle that I could get in position to click...I never leave the car and we never stop.   Occasionally I reach across my husbands lap and click in the general direction of what I want to capture.  Really, it actually works sometimes.  This year the weather was cloudy and cool so a mist hung over the landscape.  This gave us a whole different kind of beauty.        The keystone had been put in place on this gigantic arch and concrete spans awaiting the placement of the decking are in place all the way across.  The decking is  installed on the east end of the bridge already.  Roadways approaching the bridge are being constructed but are far from complete.  I did notice that RV's are allowed on the road across the top of the dam right now but are being inspected thoroughly.  I don't know if this is…

Travel Quiz...Am I tired, drunk or am I in ?????

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Image via Wikipedia      We have traveled up the road from Arizona to Oregon and back again so many times I have lost count.  It is almost like getting and up in the morning every day of my life.  You would think that we would become bored with the routine...in both cases.  Yet we don't.
     Today I have a little quiz for you.  We have been in five state within the last 4 days...Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Idaho.  We stayed overnight in the three difference towns...Wickenburg, AZ; Las Vegas, NV; Ogden, UT.   Let me give you a little guessing game and see if you can guess which state we were in:
We drove so long we could not get into the restaurant across the street from the motel. When we get that tired we get silly.  When the restaurant owner let us in after we tapped on the window and begged to be fed, he thought we were silly and if you were silly then you must be drunk.  What state were we in?We arrived in town after 4 o'clock in the afternoon and the little store we like to…