Archive for category Family

Easter Clearance at Walgreens

I found a great deal on BIC Spring colored markers at my local Walgreens today. They were on clearance for 90% off, just 9 cents each! I grabbed 6 of them for a whopping total of 54 cents!

Some items such as candy were still 70% off but most were 90% off including Easter baskets, Easter grass, decorations, plastic Easter eggs for the Easter hunt, etc.

Stop by your local Walgreens and see what you find. I know my daughter will be excited to have more BIC markers. I guess it’s time to print out some more free adult coloring pages. You can also visit the BIC Markers website for great craft ideas and some printable coloring pages.

Let us know what kind of deals you find in in the comments below.

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Saving a Pigeon

by Cindy Robinson
Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took previously which are entitled "Stumpy & his girlfriend"

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took before which are entitled “Stumpy & his girlfriend”

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took previously which are entitled "Stumpy & his girlfriend"

Neither of these pigeons are the one in the story. These are photos I took before which are entitled “Stumpy & his girlfriend”

I think I inadvertently saved a pigeon’s life over the weekend, or at least saved it from being maimed and minimized its trauma. Let me rewind a little bit first though.

My daughter and I had plans over the weekend which kept morphing and changing into different plans. Our first set of plans for Saturday didn’t work out the way we’d hoped but later in the day we did indeed have some good fun. Kudos to singers Troye Sivan and Nick Jonas for being awesome young men! We love you guys.

As our plans evolved we found ourselves in a different part of Los Angeles that we don’t normally frequent and in an area I normally consider a pretty nice area. We were hungry and opted for a quick stop to escape the traffic and avoid the long search for a new place to eat. We saw a Costco so decided “Yes, quick & easy.”

It was the craziest damn Costco we’ve ever been to! I won’t name the location because I probably know people who frequent this as their regular Costco. It was like all those bizarre people you see in the bad Wal-Mart photos and videos had escaped to Costco over the weekend!

It was a fest for people watching! There was what I assume, a homeless couple enjoying a pizza with their shopping cart of haphazardly packed belongings next to them. They seemed normal enough, until the man got up to go get something and proceeded to make this bizarre series of noises as he walked between the tables and again as he returned to his seat. But then he just engaged in normal conversation with his lady companion and the table next to him while he was seated.

At the  table next to us was a big guy with a hearty laugh, ear buds in, enjoying some show on his phone, who enjoyed burping – repeatedly, loudly, and without excusing himself, like he was at home on the sofa in his underwear watching TV.

A couple of tables away my daughter is certain she spied a popular Youtuber who had his hair up in a ridiculous man-bun with a woman’s little claw hair clip. I so wish I had scissors handy but my daughter thought it looked good!

At the table in front of us was an older man with grey hair and a boy or young man who appeared to be an older teenager with perhaps some sort of mental disability. At first the boy was sitting at the table with the man eating their pizza. Then the boy sat on the ground and began feeding his pizza crust to the pigeons which of course made them flock to him. At one point, the man got up and left the table to go get something. Then suddenly the boy had a pigeon in his hands! He’d caught one and it looked like we he was grabbing the wing with force like he had intent to do damage. I just automatically yelled out “What the hell are you doing?” And he released the bird while several large and small feathers remained in the boy’s hand. Everything seemed to go silent for a few seconds and then the normal chatter of people eating lunch returned. The man came back to the table and the boy showed him the feathers he’d gotten. I was just sitting there a bit stunned. The man didn’t acknowledge that he’d seen anything go awry but they left a few minutes later. Then it dawned on me that I’d actually said that out loud and I asked my daughter if I had been loud. She said I was and that people stopped to look for a moment but it got him to release the bird.

Some readers may think “it was just a bird” or “pigeons are totally annoying at Costco” or “well, the kid has a disability”. Just because it was one of millions of pigeons doesn’t mean it’s OK to harass and torture it. Just because someone has a disability doesn’t mean they get to skip knowing right from wrong if they are able to process that information. If pigeons are a pest at Costco it’s only because you, the patrons of Costco have taught them to be that way by feeding them and teaching them to seek food from humans instead of finding it as they should. I’m super guilty of this because I like birds, I like it when they are curious and come near me and I sure as hell wasn’t going to sit there and let some kid torture a bird or anything else for that matter.

As for the kid, he did seem to have some disability but did seem functional enough to know right from wrong if he had been taught that. I guess that was the scary part for me. The older man – father, caregiver or whatever he was didn’t even address the kid sitting on the ground trying to catch the pigeon, didn’t clarify to him anything about right or wrong so if the boy can’t grasp that it’s wrong to harm a small bird maybe some other time he won’t understand it’s not right to harm something or someone else.

We sat there kind of shocked for a few minutes and then we figured the poor bird probably flew off to a tree to shit himself crazy with fear after his little ordeal. I couldn’t help but wonder if other people would say something in a situation like this? I wish I’d said something to the man but they left before I came out of my shocked state. But that is me, if I see something strange happening, I will likely say something about it, whether it embarrasses the people I’m with or not.

I didn’t even intend to write about it, and it doesn’t really fit with most of the things we write about at Life On The Scene, but after a few days it’s still sitting in my thoughts going “damn, that was kind of crazy!” so here it is. I just hope the pigeon is OK.

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Starting a New Life

GoFundCollageFor the past couple years, our lives have been in turmoil after the economic crash finally caught up with us when the company I worked for for 8 years closed their California footprint and I was laid off. We ultimately lost our house, put our entire lives in storage except for the bare necessities and headed to a remote desert town to live with family & friends until we could get back on our feet. I accepted an entry level office job because that’s about the only type of office job there was. My salary was about 1/3 of what it used to be.

Our story isn’t very different from thousands of families across the country, and truly, ours pales in comparison to the hardships many suffer. We are blessed to have health on our side! At this time, we need the help of a village to move forward.

After an infinite amount of resumes went out over the last couple years with very few results, I finally secured another position in healthcare at a slightly higher pay scale than I had previously.

If you would consider donating, please visit our Go Fund Me page here

We’ve found a house and furiously working to secure it but have fallen a bit short on funds to do so. I’ve been saving whatever I can but the approval came on the house sooner than expected. With an average of half a dozen other families applying for each house we found, we can’t let the opportunity pass us. We’re hoping you will donate just $10 to help us achieve our dream and start the next chapter in our lives where my daughter can finish out high school in a nice school, maintain those honor roll grades in preparation for college.

We will also need a refrigerator (I haven’t owned one in DECADES as previous houses always had them) and a couch, because our old one wasn’t worth keeping in storage. I will also need to hire some moving help (volunteers anyone??) to move the big stuff like washer, dryer, beds, dressers.

We look forward to being part of a thriving community again and helping others! We thank those who have generously donated and hope that just a few more people will donate and help us reach our goal. I also look forward to being able to resume some freelance photography and blogging to help boost the currently depleted savings.

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Go Fund Me – Do These campaigns Really Work?

GoFundCollageWe are starting this GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help our family buy a piece of land or hopefully even a house in the greater Los Angeles area (looking to stay within 60-90 minutes of Hollywood in any direction).

This is an opportunity for you to help us with a donation of $10 or more to create a more sustainable future for ourselves and in turn, allow us to continue helping others.

I have tried many routes over the past two years. I have applied to countless positions. Something in my efforts just isn’t getting us a step ahead on the road we are looking to travel. The stress and frustration are wearing me down so I’m reaching out to the global community for help. Please consider donating to this campaign or offering other services that will help. The basic advice of “use more keywords” isn’t working!

Please send me an email or post useful ideas or resources in the comments below but most importantly share this post! No one can help if they don’t know it exists.

I am asking for help on multiple levels:

·         A donation of your time as a positive mentor (non-secular approach please) to help me regain a positive outlook on life

·         Are you a super sharp savvy employment recruiter or resume wizard who can help me land a great career position in an Executive Assistant role?

·         Monetary donations of $10 or more to help us secure a safe place for our family to live in the greater Los Angeles area (our family includes those that bark, meow and a couple that hop!)

·         A donation of land (1-5 acres; our furry family is large), a barn, an RV/camper or house would be a dream come true!

·         Gardening supplies so we can turn a piece of the land into a garden to allow us to be self-sustainable and share with our community to help others in need. I am looking for seeds, plants, fruit trees, tools you would like to donate and down the road – you! Garden experts to come lend a hand and play in the dirt with us.

I am asking for help in these areas because it’s been nearly 2 years since I was laid off from my job of 8 years when they closed their California office. In the process I lost my home and we have been temporarily living on a family member’s property in the raw desert outside of Las Vegas. Dust, coyotes and rattlesnakes oh my!

My son has already graduated college and is on his own. However my daughter is in middle school so we are in the home stretch to maintain those honor roll grades as we approach college application time. You can help us get back to an area where education is a stronger focus and she can continue to hone her track & field skills in preparation for a bright future.

I have more than a dozen years’ experience in healthcare and seven years’ experience doing freelance work in the entertainment industry. My last two employers offered me paid relocation. Since the layoff I have only been able to secure an entry-level type office job that doesn’t come close to offering a living wage.

The property we have been living on is being sold and time is of the essence.

If you are able to donate $10 or more today, or offer your time it would go a long way to help our family. Please post our link on your social networks or send to friends who may be able to help with their time.

If you help us to become more self-sufficient, then I will be able to continue helping others even more than we have in the past. I strive to live a green life, donate my time, supplies and money to animal and human causes.

I would like to be in the position again to compost the garden leftovers, share fresh produce from my trees and garden with my neighbors again, and even more so, expand that idea to a community garden and give greatly to those need.

And as always, I will be helping animals in whatever city we end up in.

Please consider helping me so I can in turn help others down the road.

I will post updates here on the blog or share them from the GoFundMe website.

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Living in Broken America

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By Cindy Robinson

The United States of America is broken. We live in a country that is failing its citizens. Growing up I learned about the different political parties representing our country, that each has its own ideals based on their moral beliefs. We learned the purpose of having a fairly equal representation of those parties in our governing offices is to work together, to compromise on issues affecting our country and its citizens – things like healthcare, wages, housing, and protecting our population.

However, our political parties of today have long forgotten the art of compromise, their primary goal is only to further their own agendas and keep the pockets of those already rolling in wealth well lined. Our parties no longer work together to help the American people. They merely work against the opposing party to prevent any positive change for the American people without any regard for the impact these decisions will have on Americans.

An article recently posted on PBS.org pictures hunger in America, showcasing how a variety of families survive on their meager earnings and the small amount of government assistance each receives.  http://www.pbs.org/newshour/art/picturing-hunger-in-america/#the-rundown . The article also highlights how those in need spend endless hours waiting to get any assistance they are applying for. How is an unemployed person supposed to effectively search for a job that will sustain them when they spend half of one day waiting to turn in paperwork to apply for food stamps only to be told they need to wait further to actually receive the aid if they are approved? Then that person spends the better part of another day waiting to turn in paperwork for the next type of assistance they may be applying for.

Back in December Congress voted to end the extension of unemployment benefits for more than one million Americans. The rug was instantly pulled out from under anyone on unemployment. Instead of receiving a bi-weekly unemployment claim, they were mailed a surprise letter indicating their claim had ended, even if they had money remaining on their claim. While I understand, and support one of the opinions behind this move – to get those off unemployment that are just milking the system, its overall effect has been to send more Americans into the system of applying for benefits, increasing the burden on our already overtaxed economy.

I am one of the more than one million Americans affected by this vote. I was laid off by my employer of nearly 8 years in 2013 when they decided to close their California office and move operations east. In addition to constantly applying for as many jobs in my field as possible, I have spent the better part of the last two months seeking assistance of every kind possible that I could locate with almost no results. I started with dialing 211, the United Way, which is supposed to be a collective listing of resources that a person in need can contact in their area. The people that answer the phones are woefully under trained. I called twice in fact and each time they looked up resources by my zip code and simply told me there wasn’t any rental assistance available in my area and they also weren’t helping with gas bills right now. They neglected to tell me that there is an entire list of resources available on my county website and that while some agencies are approved to offer rental assistance, they are out of funding right now and the same goes for utility bill assistance. I only discovered that these resources existed because I am a tech savvy person. What happens when an elderly person or anyone who isn’t tech savvy calls and receives the same answer? Does that person just give up because they were told there aren’t resources available?

America-BrokenWhile I am finally being called in to interview for some great companies in Southern California, those who are hiring are also being very thorough and going through long lists of applicants to decide who is right for the job. Long gone are the days when you’d interview and be hired on the spot or within a couple days, organizations are now taking weeks to make a decision.

During my research for great resources to help sustain my household during these challenging times, I entered a contest on 102.7 KIIS FM, Los Angeles hit radio station hoping to win a $1,000 prize. I discovered there is also a Ryan Seacrest Foundation and sent in my information to them. I never heard back from them, even though I provided information on the deadline I was facing.

I’ve reached the point where I am losing everything. The long list of resources who’s primary goal is listed as preventing homelessness don’t have any assistance to offer, decisions on jobs applied to are moving forward slowly so I am losing my rental home of six years.

I’m a college educated administrative professional with strong computer skills combined with great social media and freelance photography skills looking for a job in the Inland Empire area of Southern California along with a needing a new home that will accept me, a child, cats, dogs and an alligator lizard.

download It seems the only true assistance out there today is community, people helping people as our government and assistance organizations continue to fail us. Today’s headlines focused on the story of Shanesha Taylor in Arizona, a homeless mother of two, who left her young sons in the car while she went into a job interview. While I don’t condone leaving young children unattended, why aren’t there more readily available resources in this situation? How is she supposed to get a job and take care of her family if there isn’t child care to support her so she can go on an interview? Luckily for Shanesha, Amanda Bishop stepped in and set up a fundraising effort on youcaring.com and quickly raised $70,000 for the mother of two.   http://ktla.com/2014/04/01/homeless-mom-arrested-after-leaving-kids-in-car-during-job-interview/#axzz2xhHpgbUy She’s one of the lucky ones who had a kind stranger step in to help her during her time of need.

So I’m asking each one of you that read this to please help those in need around you, even if you don’t know them. We’re all battling something but if more of us work together, lives can be saved, lives can be improved. Be grateful for what you have and share your extras with those who need it.

 

 

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Enter To Win A Pair Of Passes To Experience Grinchmas At Universal Studios Hollywood

Merry Grinchmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The world-famous KROQ is hosting a contest to win a pair of passes to experience Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood. Click the following link to enter. Enter To Win A Pair Of Passes To Experience Grinchmas At Universal Studios Hollywood. The contest closes on December 23, 2012. Winners will be notified via phone by the KROQ promotions department. What a great way to keep the kids or out-of-town visitors busy over the Christmas Holidays!

Grinchmas is open daily December 15-31, 2012. Enjoy the opportunity to play in real snow as you watch Whoville come to life as the Who’s sing Christmas songs. Enjoy celebrity readings of Dr. Seuss’  How the Grinch Stole Christmas and get a family photo with the Grinch and his dog Max.

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Singer Adele Welcomes Baby Boy

English: Adele

English: Adele (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The 24-year-old musician and her partner Simon Knoecki are said to have welcomed their baby boy last Friday but an official statement is yet to be released.

 

“Rolling in the Deep” singer Adele confirmed the pregnancy last June on her website in a statement that said, “I’m delighted to announce that Simon and I are expecting our first child together. I wanted you to hear the news direct from me.”

 

Little else was revealed during the pregnancy other than paparazzi shots snapped of the happy couple in England as they visited doctor’s appointments and prepared for the baby’s arrival shopping for baby clothes and nursery items.

Congratulations to the new family! While Adele enjoys time off with her newly expanded family, fans of the singer can enjoy her latest single, “Skyfall“, from the James Bond movie of the same name or take a trip back to the iTunes Festival London 2011 with the live EP from that concert both recordings available now on iTunes. Skyfall, the movie is in theaters November 9th.

 

 

 

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Readers, have you ever tried this? It looks like a really great trick to get a classy looking bun if you have long hair. I think I need to give this a whirl the next time I come across a sock that’s lost its friend somewhere in the laundry abyss! What other  hair tips have you found to be successful that others may not know about?

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Bananarama Tour for PINKTOBER; Yasmin Le Bon in Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade

Bananarama for Hard Rock Cafe’s PINKTOBER 2012

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society reports the latest statistics for 2012 – “the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Breast cancer death rates have been going down.”

Early detection by getting annual mammograms for women over the age of 40, along with self exams on a regular basis combined with better treatment regimens have led to higher survival rates over the last few years.

Cancer is a terrible disease and I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t been affected by it. During October there are a plethora of events and ways to support breast cancer research and awareness across the country and around the globe. Whether you choose to volunteer, donate money or educate others on cancer awareness, it all adds up and helps save lives.

Supermodel Yasmin Le Bon and Laura Whitmore are Avon’s Breast Cancer Crusade Ambassadors. For every promise made on their website, Avon will donate £1 to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade. You can also enter to win a celebrity t-shirt on the site! Take a look at Avon’s behind the scenes video of Yasmin and Laura as they prepare for the photo shoot and discuss their experiences with cancer.

80’s British pop band, Bananarama, featuring Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward are currently touring the USA having joined forces with the Hard Rock Cafe to celebrate 30 years of music and the launch of the Hard Rock Cafe breast cancer charity PINKTOBER 2012. Remaining tour dates include stops in Los Angeles on October 11th, Seattle on October 13th and it wraps up in Las Vegas on October 15th where you can hear classic hits like Venus and Cruel Summer. 100% of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise funds for breast cancer research. For more information on the PINKTOBER events check out the Hard Rock Cafe events page.

Other Southern California breast cancer awareness events include the annual Bowling for Boobies event sponsored by the Busted Foundation who aids women that are suffering financial hardships due to medical expenses from breast cancer treatment. The Foundation also educates women on their options to help them attain the broadest possible support network during their treatment. Orange County native, Melissa Henry has been participating in and supporting this fun evening to raise money for breast cancer resources since 2005. Bowling For Boobies® Los Angeles Fundraising event takes place on October 21st at Jillian’s on Universal Citywalk and they are only half way to their fundraising goal with 11 days to go! You can make a difference when you donate to support these great causes by making a promise, buying a t-shirt, or dancing the night away to classic 80’s hits. Every $1 counts.

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Tom & Jerry Cartoon Capers on DVD

Tom & Jerry DVD image courtesy of Warner Bros.

So tell me, did you watch Tom & Jerry growing up? I know it was on all the time in our household and I love that Tom & Jerry Fur Flying Adventures Volume 2 is out now on DVD for another generation to enjoy! It’s hard to believe that Hanna Barbera created this zany cartoon more than 70 years ago! Amazingly, every decade since Tom & Jerry’s inception in the 1940’s have seen the comic duo re-emerge as a top cartoon in that decade from Saturday morning cartoons to movie shorts, they are always there.  

In case you aren’t overly familiar with the cat & mouse team (perhaps you’ve just returned from say, Mars?) here is a little bit more info about them and what to expect on this fun-filled DVD from Warner Bros. I love how Spike the dog always steps in to help Jerry and how the lady of the house usually catches Tom in the act of some wrongdoing and yells out “Thomas!”.

One flustered feline + one resourceful rodent = 14 wild and wacky cartoons! Tom – the eternally crabby cat – and Jerry – the hopelessly adorable mouse – find themselves in a fracas once, twice and many times again in this latest bunch of 14 fast and funny cartoons! This time around the dizzy duo takes their tiffs to the beach (Surf-Bored Cat), to the Alps (The A-Tom-inable-Snowman) and to the orchestra (Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl). In Top with Pops Spike the dog pounces into the fray and Jerry learns a mouse’s best friend is a dog! Even vampire hunter Van Helsing gets in the middle of the cat/mouse combat in Monster Con. Your hunt stops here: this new collection of animated antics will delightfully drop you into the middle of non-stop family fun!

As a parent, one of the best things about having kids is that you still get to watch cartoons on a regular basis! I love this DVD compilation because it contains 14 different episodes so if the kids really want to watch some Tom & Jerry, they can pop it in and watch an episode or two without taking over the TV for the time it takes to watch an entire movie. I’m really enjoying the resurgence of cartoons that I enjoyed on Saturday mornings long past and hope you will enjoy this fun DVD with your family too.

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