Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Free Parking?

There's a debate going on in our house-- nothing earth shattering, but my husband and I have complete opposite opinions. Here's the situation...

Three interns at his company started their new 6 week gig on Monday. They were told at the time of their interview that paid parking was not included.

No parking is available in the company's small garage, but there is ample free street parking three short blocks away. If the interns want to park closer to the office, metered parking is available but it is only for 2 hours at a time and it would cost them $2.00 per hour.

They were each told of the parking situation before they were hired and again on their first day at work. They work 9am to 5pm and the office is in a safe area of Beverly Hills. By the way, the interns earn college credit for their work and are paid minimum wage.

Fast forward four days into the job and all three interns have at least one parking ticket each because they chose to park closer to the office at a meter and "lost track of time".

The interns want the company to pay for their parking tickets.

Who do you think should pay for the parking tickets?
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Fernando Cort├ęs - Fotolia.com

Monday, January 23, 2012


Did you ever go on the hunt for something in your house-- You know you have it, it's big and usually in the way-- You see it all the time, but when you actually need to put your hands on it, you can't for the life of you find it?

Welcome to my world.

The item in question: A huge cake plate with a glass dome similar to the one pictured above. It weighs a ton and is only used once or twice a year. It's great when I need it but when I don't it's a monstrosity that becomes a pain in the you know what to store because of it's awkward size

It belongs to my BFF-- I store it for her because, well, it's so big she doesn't have room for it and, I use it sometimes. When she needs it-- which is almost never, she picks it up and brings it back when she's finished. She and I do this a lot since I live in a house that was previously owned and designed by a crazy woman that built the house around closets and storage. I'm lucky-- I have plenty of storage space.

When the cake plate first arrived in our home, I remember finding the perfect cabinet to put it and realized that if I turned the base upside down and put the dome on upside down that it turns into a huge bowl and I can stack stuff inside thereby not taking up so much wasted space.

When I discovered this trick, I remember thinking I was absolutely brilliant and was very pleased with myself. Little did I know it was intended to be a dual cake plate/punch bowl. *Ahem*

Today's problem-- Or rather the problem I realized at midnight last night I had was, I couldn't remember where I put the dang thing and BFF was coming in the morning to pick it up for a big party she's having.

So there I was in the dark of night, opening every cupboard in the kitchen, pantry, laundry room and garage. I've seen that cake plate and dome so many times that I knew it had something red inside. I searched and searched but the more I did the more I felt like I was staring right at it. After all, I see it All. The. Time! but now it was no where to be found.

Obsessed, I search until 2am before I gave up.

At 7:30am this morning, blurry-eyed, I opened the first cabinet in my kitchen and there, with bags full of plastic red silverware inside, was the cake plate and dome. Right in front of my nose.

I hate when that happens!


A big congratulations to PJ of Seens From The Backs Of My Eyelids for winning my Enjoy Every Sandwich book and $25 Visa gift card giveaway! Please do pay her a visit. I'm a big fan and regular reader of her blog.


And a huge thank you to Davine from 53 Buddhas And Me who made me this beautiful beaded "I Can Do Anything" affirmation bracelet. It came all the way from Australia! With it was a message about her beading that made me smile.... She said "The reason all of my beads are relatively the same is because basically all of humanity is the same but, as you will notice, there is one bead that is different. That is your individual bead." I like that. Thank you Davine! Click HERE to see more of Davine's jewelry.


It's hard to believe but my 3rd Blog Anniversary is coming up! Sheesh, time flies. I'm planning a celebration so be on the look-out February 10th!

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Ugly Quilt & Last Chance For Giveaway!

I didn't plan it and I sure didn't think it would turn out this way, but I just finished a quilt that is U.G.L.Y.

How ugly you ask?


It started out simple enough. A lap size quilt to have in our bedroom for afternoon naps. Twelve inch long strips of fabric, in four different widths, and EIGHTEEN different colors.

A nice idea but not for the color challenged, which in this case would be moi.

To make matters worse, I realised the 12 inch strips turned into 12 inch blocks. That was disappointing because I thought this was a more "challenging" quilt with more intricate piecing.

Call me guilty as charged because mistakes like that are what happens when you don't read the directions-- A detail I definitely failed to do.

Once I got started I soon realized how color challenged I really am. I sewed and sewed and sewed but all the colors became muddy and unattractive together. So I ripped and ripped and ripped it all out and bought more fabric in brighter colors to add in.

I sewed miles of strips, piecing it all together into a much, much bigger than I ever planned quilt.... Which didn't make it any more attractive. Oh no, no, no it did not. It was just a bigger, uglier, more expensive quilt that would definitely not be going in our bedroom.

I decided to finish the quilt anyway and donate it a charity-- There are lots out there that ask for new quilts. Maybe there is someone that's as color challenged as I am who might like it. Or maybe I can find a charity for color-blind people. *Ahem*

After it was all said and done, I laid the quilt out on the floor to decide how I would bind the edges.

That's when I realized the quilt was now so big that I could actually cut the "Ugly Quilt" in half and make not one, but TWO lap size "Ugly Quilts" out of it thereby allowing two people to each have "Ugly Quilts".

I some how thought if I took the time to make two quilts out of the one they would be half as ugly.

Sadly, that was not the case. Ugly is as Ugly does.

The quilt will stay in the closet and not be donated to a charity. There's something about knowingly donating "ugly" to charity that just doesn't feel right.


This may be an odd question, but have you ever thought about the Hepatitis C virus and how easily the disease can be transmitted? I asked Dr. Douglas Dieterich, M.D. and blogged about it over HERE. Please check it out if you have a minute.


And don't forget my GIVEAWAY ends at Midnight, January 20th. Did you enter? $25 Visa Gift Card and two copies of the book Enjoy Every Sandwich. Click HERE.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

Monday, January 9, 2012

And Then I Said "Duh".... and GIVEAWAY

I told you about the recent robberies in my neighborhood in this post and how I was wearing every piece of jewelry I own so as not to make it easy for the @#$%^&! robbers to steal my loot.

Well... That's not all I did. I became very proactive and, in addition to blasting dvds featuring loud barking pooches to trick would be robbers into thinking I had a house full of attack dogs, I also bought a big red lock for the side gate that leads to our back yard. My thinking was that anything to slow down the bad guys was a good thing.

I picked a big bright red lock for our 6 foot high gate-- The new gate we had custom made last summer that was bigger, stronger and more secure than our old 6 foot high gate. We thought the robberies were a good reason to finally get a good lock. The red color was selected because it really stood out on the white fence and seemed more serious looking then the others.

Truly, my red lock made me feel so much safer that I've actually left the house a few time without an annoying dog movie blasting.

I knew the lock would be a problem for the gardener so I was on top of things and made sure he had a key so he could come and go as needed. But, I forgot about the pool guy who comes once a week.


So yesterday, several weeks after the purchase of my big strong lock, I called our pool guy-- A lovely man who's been servicing our pool for the past 12 years. I never know when he works but I know he does because the pool sparkles 365 days a year-- I've always assumed he came the same time the gardener did because they're friends.

The pool guy was so sweet and actually seemed happy to hear from me. What I didn't realize when I called his cell phone was that he was actually on our property cleaning the pool-- A day the gardener was not at our house. Strange because I hadn't given him a key to our new "security gate".

What the heck?!?!? Had someone forgotten to lock the gate? Or gawd forbid, was the big red lock broken?

I wish!

The pool guy simply stepped around the "security gate"-- WITH his very long cleaning pole, gigantic hose and a bunch of chemicals in a bucket.


So I went outside and took a long hard look at my new security gate and realized it was a complete and total joke-- A fake "security gate", useless other than to hide the garbage cans. Even I could step around it and I'm old and afraid of heights.

The big strong gate is attached to a cement wall with three large steps to help would-be robbers, and nice pool guys, up and over into the back yard! It's not secure AT ALL!

Did I mention we've lived here for 18 years and never noticed what a joke the gate was?

Did I mention that we paid $400 to have the new big strong gate built for "security reasons"?

Did I mention that the guy who sold me the gate kept a straight face when he discussed the "big strong security gate" with me?

Did I mention how stupid I feel?

Needless to say, the red security lock is a total waste and gone... But the dog dvds continues to play over and over and over.

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
Don't forget to enter my GIVEAWAY for a $25 Visa Gift Card and two copies of Enjoy Every Sandwich. Click HERE to Enter.
Photo Credit: © baurka - Fotolia.com

Friday, January 6, 2012

Enjoy Every Sandwich Giveaway

To say I was disappointed when our local Barnes and Noble bookstore closed was an understatement because the next closest store is 30 minutes in miserable Los Angeles traffic away.

I'm a big bookstore browser and could easily spend an hour or more each visit looking at various books for one that catches my eye... The one that says "pick me up"... The one that's not necessarily on my radar or the bestseller's list... The one that has the right size type, page cut and cover art that appeals to my senses and will entice me to actually read it from cover to cover.

Sure, I'm a Kindle girl, but I can't completely leave my beloved "real" books behind because I enjoy passing a good read on to my friends and family.

So when I was contacted by the folks involved with Enjoy Every Sandwich by Lee Lipsenthal, M.D., I was intregued because their giveaway offer included not only a $25 Visa gift card but also TWO copies of the book-- One for the winner and one for the winner to share with a friend. How perfect is that. The Giveaway is on!!!

My shelves are lined with numerous "self-help", inspirational and "how-to" books that I've read, reread and collected over the years. If my fav book store hadn't closed, Enjoy Every Sandwich is the kind of book I would have been on the hunt for. It's focus is to be grateful for something every day, and remember to live fully, love well and enjoy every moment.

The book is written by a young 50-something wellness doctor who walks-the-walk and has a great family, great practice, great life... and cancer. But this is not a doom and gloom book about dying. It's about the first 18 months of his journey with cancer and how he lived to the fullest.

I found it to be an interesting and worthwhile read. And, much to my surprise, so did my husband who read the entire book in one day-- Something he never does!

$25 Visa Gift Card
and 2 Copies of Enjoy Every Sandwich

This giveaway is a simple one... Just leave a comment below on this post and you're "in". Blog about it and leave two additional comments to increase your chances. Easy-peasy.

--Contest ends at midnight PT, January 20, 2012
--Sorry, US and Canadian mailing address only.
--$25 Visa Gift Card and two copies of Enjoy Every Sandwich will be shipped directly to the winner by the publisher's representative so be sure I can contact you.
--You must have a blog to enter.
--Giveaway and sample courtesy of Random House
--Books are $22 each

Dr. Lee Lipsenthal worked with Dr. Dean Ornish at the famed Preventive Medicine Research Institute. As medical director of the Institute, he helped thousands of patients to overcome their fear of pain and death and to embrace living life with joy every day. In his own life, happily married and the proud father of two remarkable children, Lee was similarly committed to living life fully and gratefully each day.

The power of these beliefs was tested in July 2009, when Lee was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. As Lee and his wife, Kathy, navigated his illness and treatment over the past two years, Lee discovered that he did not fear death. Instead of fearing the future, he took the time to practice gratitude, connect with his loved ones, and make every attempt to live a full life with each breath. Enjoy Every Sandwich is Lee’s lasting gift to his family, his friends, his colleagues and to readers.

Leave a comment below to enter this giveaway!

Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Way It Was...

I strolled through my posts from 2011 and it got me thinking of what I did and didn't accomplish, participate in, find, lose, regret, wish I'd done, happy I did, and the likes. In no particular order they are as follows...

1) The Kardashians. Why on earth did I get hooked on watching that mess of a family on TV!?!

2) I still, at age 53 3/4, do not color my hair, a claim that neither Katy Perry or Lady Gaga can make. I'm kinda proud of that.

3) There has been no more choking on food from Taco Bell, but sadly taco cravings were replaced by McDonald's cheeseburger cravings. I'm going to need serious Rehab to break that habit. Real Rehab, not Charlie Sheen Rehab, but my thighs will eventually thank me.

4) Another year and I still have yet to see a Harry Potter or Twilight movie. I think that's a good thing.

5) I watched Oprah's "final show" in 2011-- All three of them. But I have a very hard time watching her new network, OWN-- The "all self-help, all the time" channel.

6) All my "bling" is still hidden as the neighborhood robbers continue to elude four private security patrol companies and the LA Police Department. That's why I decided against bidding on Elizabeth Taylor's gems. Wink, wink.

7) My beloved Mac computer was repaired with a massive $900+ fee waived. When Steve Jobs passed away I was surprisingly sad considering I never met him and knew very little about him. It's nearly time to retire my aging laptop and when it's replaced I'll say a prayer of thanks for Steve.

8) After three weeks with 15 mouse traps of various sizes, shapes and styles, smeared with half a jar of peanut butter around my house, I'm convinced that the plumber's claim of "big poops" belonging to what I imagined to be football-sized mice, simply do not exist. Traps are empty and the house has been scoured from top to bottom without so much as a spec of additional "poops" discovered. Phew!

9) Many birthdays and a few births have been celebrated in our family. My sewing machine and I have worked overtime to keep up and that makes me happy.

10) In 2012 I hope to go to New York City and see the 9/11 Memorial. Hard to imagine that awful day was ten years ago but I continue to pray.... for all of us.

11) Spring cleaning: No. Maybe/perhaps/possibly getting to winter cleaning: Yes.

12) I helped move, schlep and paint BFF and Godson's new home. We've accomplish a great deal but still have much work to do.... As in BFF just bought a tile cutter to remodel her bathroom. Help!

13) I did not Occupy Wall Street or anything else, unless your count the above mentioned Micky D's.

14) Kate and William: High Five to the new Royals.

15) Pinterest: IN. Martha Stewart: OUT

16) $27,000 returned to Bank of America. Still no thank you.... or comment.... or anything. Just a much smaller checking account balance.

17) Our swimming pool is still in place. I check-- Every. Single. Day.

18) I need to stop slacking and blog more over HERE.

19) Possibility of a dog joining our family this year? 50/50 but inching up bit by bit.

20) Programs on my TiVo: "Good Wife", "Glee", "Gray's Anatomy", and Anderson Cooper's daytime show-- I had such high hopes for him. What a disappointment.

21) Number of nights spent in hospitals by loved ones in 2011: 67 - Translation: Too damn many.

22) Numbers of bursting buttons by proud parents in our family: Countless. Many of those moments I got to witness and that makes me happy.

23) Number of trips back home to Ohio in 2011: Eight. Many were tear-filled and sad with the passing of my sweet Step-Father but some were pure joy, like this one...

24) Number of Giveaways on this blog in 2011: Three. Another one's coming January 6th!

25) Goals for 2012 include:
-Less tears. More joy.
-Less anxiety. More meditation.
-Stop buying fabric and use up what I already have. (Which should last me til the year 2028!)
-Organize closets-- again. Then stop messing them up.
-Stay healthy or at least healthier.
-Dress up more often.
-Cut my hair and remember how much I will save on Botox if I have bangs. And no crying at the hair salon.
-Go to a different museum at least once every month.
-Move more... Preferably up hill at a fat-burning pace with weights in my hands, the wind in my hair and a butt like Pippa Middleton.

Wishing you all a wonderful , happy and healthy 2012! Thanks for all your blog love.
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: © Callahan - Fotolia.com