Sunday, January 30, 2011

Meet Me on Monday (#33)

I had a lot of FUN doing this week's Meet Me on Monday!

**Don't forget to leave me a comment for a follow - I make sure to get to everyone. If you have more than one blog, please let me know which one(s) you want a follow on because some of you have, like, eight blogs and I never know which are the "main" ones.


1.  What do you put on your hot dog?
2.  Do you play Sudoku?
3.  What is your favorite vegetable?
4.  Do you color your hair?
5.  What is your favorite brand of clothing?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How Sweet it is Follower Giveaway a SCAM!!!

If you signed up for this giveaway, go to PayPal and open a case in the resolution center IMMEDIATELY! Go to A Pocket Full of Buttons for more information. I also suggest changing your PayPal password - just in case. Apparently Gina Parker of Parker PR has done similar things like this before, just never this big. I'm glad to have taken advantage of the "deal" where I ended up only losing $5.

Here are links to other blog posts about this:
A Pocket Full of Buttons
Coupons Equal Cash
Lilac City Momma

Thursday, January 27, 2011

About Me (Part I)

I feel that, when you stop by to read a post or two, you should know who is writing to you. Since I have so much of myself to tell you about, I am going to work on writing a few different posts that reveal a little more about me. Hopefully, these will help you understand where I'm coming from and want to read more (and, maybe, even share my posts with others!) So, on to "Part I":

I guess I should start off with, "Hello! My name is Alicia." I grew up in Northwestern Ohio. In fact, except for my twenties, I've lived within a 50-mile radius of western Lake Erie my entire life. I've always been interested in creative pursuits, animals/nature, and learning. The learning part would surprise you if you'd seen any of my grade cards - I'm more of a learn-on-your-own kind of person. In fact, I'm currently working toward a Bachelor in Education. Of course, it will be followed up with a Master's, and probably a Doctorate (if I can afford it!)

Crayola 64 Ct Crayons
There's nothing like the smell of
a freshly-opened box of Crayolas!
I have always been a creative person. There's nothing better than a brand new box of Crayolas (64-count, please!) and a pile of blank paper to get my creative juices flowing. My mom was always working on one project or another when I was young. She'd repaint the rooms, refinish furniture, make clothes for us, and made (and tried out, of course) all kinds of play doughs, paints, and glues for us to play with. My father is musical. I remember his band practicing in our basement when I was little and playing from our garage during neighborhood block parties. Right now, he's playing in a band with a group of guys he just met in Panama (his part-time residence since he's retired.)

Wilton 2109-861 101-Piece Cake-Decorating Tool Set with Storage Caddy
Can you believe it?!
I wish I could say that I spend every spare minute in one creative pursuit or another but, sadly, I don't. I just don't seem to be able to find the time. I love cooking and baking. I've found that they really help me get some of my pent-up creativity out. My mom even gave me a professional Wilton Decorating set for Christmas! My oldest will be 13 in March and I really want to see just how creative I can get with that set and his cake. I'm already making sketches!

I get a lot of chances to play with art supplies with my kids, too. In an earlier post, I wrote about Gummy Lump's "300 Crafts for Kids in 2011" and how I plan to follow along to the best of my toddler's abilities. I'm having as much fun as he is!
Nature has also been an important part of my life. Living so near Lake Erie most of my life, there has always been a river or creek within walking distance. As a child, I would collect amphibians, insects, and (to my mother's horror) reptiles. I also collected leaves, flowers, interesting-looking sticks, rocks... you get the idea. Our porch was the depository of many interesting collections... until I went to bed and my dad cleaned it all off for tomorrow's load of treasures. I still collect a lot of these things. My junk drawer has unmarked envelopes filled with seeds from flowers and other plants that I've come across that I thought looked interesting. These envelopes sit among the typical pens, paper clips, screwdrivers and rubber bands. There are also pretty rocks, shells, and even the occasional snake skin. Oh, and I like bugs. Last summer, I couldn't bring myself to kill the caterpillars that were tearing apart my carrots and parsley, so I brought them inside, put them in a big Ball jar with carefully selected sprigs of their favorite leaves and I ended up with a bunch of these:
Swallowtail Butterflies!!!

I always take my camera along whenever we go for walks. I have come across so many interesting way to incorporate nature in my photography. On those rare occasions when I forgot my camera, I do nothing but see those scenes that would have made great photos. I love my little $90 digital camera and I think it's the best investment I've made in a very long time. Some day, maybe I can save up for a really nice Canon. For now, I'm happy with what I have!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My FIRST Wordless Wednesday!

OK, I've been wanting to get in on Wordless Wednesday for long time now. I just love hopping around and seeing everyone's photos. It's such a wonderfully creative way to express yourself! So, here goes...

No caption necessary!
 Please - I'd love to follow you back! Just leave me a comment with a URL. I'm still trying to get used to doing this and am losing track of who to follow back and HOW to find their blog!

Monday, January 24, 2011

How Sweet it Is! (Your chance to win $1000!)

I'm sure you've noticed that blinking red & white button in the sidebar over there. Well, if you are a GFC follower, take a minute to click on it and enter to win yourself $1000 to PayPal! In fact, you may want to look over the list of other participating blogs and Etsy shops, too. All you have to do, if you already follow or <3 them is leave a comment HERE with the following information:
  1. Who you are following and how ("I follow McCrenshaw on GFC")
  2. Your handle for how you're following (My GFC name is Alicia C.")
  3. The email you use for PayPal ("xxxxxxx at gmail dot com")
There are four way you can enter for following, depending on what the blogger signed up for. GFC, Twitter, Facebook, or Etsy. I only signed up for GFC followers, for example.

Well, I'll tell you what. I'm just going to copy and paste the information from the host blog, the Mrs.

So, hurry up and get over there to ENTER. You're already a follower, why not use that to try for $1000???



For BLOG entries: You MUST FOLLOW BLOGS PUBLICLY via GFC {or email subscription IF the blog DOES NOT HAVE A GFC widget} and YOU MUST include in your comment entry the BLOG you follow and either YOUR GFC NAME or YOUR email address you followed with. 

For TWITTER entries: You MUST include in your comment entry the TWITTER @NAME and your TWITTER @NAME. 

For FACEBOOK entries: You must LIKE the facebook page and YOU MUST include in your comment THE fb PAGE NAME and YOUR FACEBOOK NAME. 

For Etsy shop entries: You must ADD the Etsy shop as a favorite under your Etsy user name  and YOU MUST include in your comment  THE ETSY SHOP NAME and YOUR ETSY USER NAME.


**Winner will be chosen via and the videotaped process will post on and on February 14, 2010 and will then have 48 hours to email their full name, their DOB, and their PayPal address to provided email in order to claim their prize. $1,000 will be sent within 24 hours of receipt of this claim. If the chosen entrant does not claim their prize as stated within 48 hours of the timestamp on the posts - the prize will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn within 24 hours.

Follow my blog with

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Meet Me on Monday (#32)

I really had a good time reading everyone's answers last week AND reading all of the great comments I received, too! I can't wait to get started again today. So, here goes!


1.  What is your favorite kind of fudge?
2.  Is there snow outside your window?
3.  What is your favorite meal of the day?
4.  Do you text on your cell phone?
5.  Waffles or pancakes?
My Answers:

1.  What is your favorite kind of fudge?
     I love Penuche. It's basically all the good stuff that candy is made out of mixed up together: brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter. Mmmm!

2.  Is there snow outside your window?
     Not much. It's been too cold to snow around here lately.

My son walking to school LAST year. This year, there's just about an inch of snow.

3.  What is your favorite meal of the day?
     I'm going to have to say dinner. I love to cook but just don't get the time I want to really delve into complicated recipes. BUT, when hubby or my oldest are hungry, they happily agree to keep an eye on my... um, let's just say "high-spirited" toddler. I really like making homemade pizza and experimenting with the crust/sauce/cheese/toppings. My favorite so far has been Crust with basil and garlic from my garden mixed in, white butter-garlic sauce, Parmesan & Romano cheeses, and sauteed mushrooms, spinach, artichoke hearts, and onions.

4.  Do you text on your cell phone?
   What is this "texting" you speak of? LOL - nope, I only use texting when my son wants to go somewhere after school. We both have pre-paid cell phones for emergencies. Texting costs 1/3 of a minute, so we use that option for simple things. I think we've used a total of 20 minutes talking and texting (combined) since Thanksgiving!

5.  Waffles or pancakes?    Pancakes... for now. I really like waffles, but we don't go out to eat and I don't have a waffle maker - YET. I really want to get one before it gets hot out so we can have waffles topped with ice cream and strawberries for summertime dinners. Not only are they YUMMY, but cooking them doesn't heat up the kitchen!

OK, now I HAVE to get a waffle maker!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

300 Crafts for Kids (and a chance to WIN Melissa & Doug Art Supplies!)

My little guy is nearly 27 months old. For his second birthday, in November, and for Christmas, I stocked him up on art supplies - crayons, watercolors, glue sticks, and play dough were the main attractions. He absolutely LOVES using these. At his age, he wants to be able to do "big people" things, and having these supplies available to him helps with that. Unfortunately, he was getting bored doing the same thing over and over. And I have a huge pile of computer paper covered with scribbles and paint. I cannot bring myself to toss any of the hundreds of pieces of "art" but I really don't have enough wall space to show them off.

Along came Gummy Lump's "300 Crafts for Kids in 2011" to save the day! Nearly every day, Gummy Lump's BLOG and FACEBOOK page will have a new craft for you to enjoy with your child. Each project is designed with younger children in mind. They take between 5 and 30 minutes to complete (not counting drying time) and use supplies that you probably have at home or are readily available wherever you shop. And not to worry if you don't have the exact supplies called for. After the instructions, there are "Optional Ideas" that offer alternative ways the project can be done. There are ALSO tips for doing the projects with older kids and those with special needs.

I'll admit that I was hesitant to try these out with a two-year-old. I mean, let's face it - you never, ever know what might cause a huge tantrum. I could just imagine glue and crayons flying everywhere, maybe even finding sequins in my hair hours (or days!) later. We had already had a go-around about who got to use the white school glue last week and I was not sure if it would be fun or frustrating for both of us. But, I took a deep breath and we did project #13, "Heart Mosaic Valentine Wall Hanging." Here's what it was supposed to look like when finished:

From: Gummy Lump's Blog
I guess that maybe 13 is our lucky number - We had a blast! I made sure that I had all of our supplies ready before I even mentioned that we were going to do a "project" - one of the most exciting words in the world to my little guy. While he napped, I cut a cardboard heart. When I realized that we had run out of construction paper it took only a second to spot our very tall pile of toddler-paintings on the counter and I used one of those to cut a second heart. I set out each item in the order we would need it in. Since we didn't have the foam stickers, sequins, or glitter glue called for, I improvised with beads, rhinestones, little wooden hearts that I've had in my craft drawer for many years (hey, they were on sale!), and markers. Yeah, I know, I need to get shopping if we're going to try to keep up with all 300 craft activities!

Upon awaking, little guy was ecstatic when he saw all of the fun things he could get into. (Did I mention that my craft supply drawers have had to be "locked" with duct tape due to his curiosity? You should see the glitter that is still embedded in the carpet from the day he discovered these drawers held magical treasures!)

The first step was pretty easy and he was able to do most of it himself. We had to wrap the cardboard in tin foil. I only had to help him mold it around the bottom and the dip at the top - he managed to do the rest himself.

Then, we needed to glue the smaller construction paper (or, in our case, watercolor heart) to the foil one. Here's where I expected trouble. Luckily, he was so excited to be doing this that he allowed me to "help" him squeeze the glue bottle without any protest. After the heart was in place, I brought out some colored scraps of paper I had been saving forever. We tore them into pieces and I had him choose one piece and tell me where he wanted it. Then, I put a few dots of glue on that place and he put the paper in place. Once all the paper was glues, we moved on to the beads and rhinestones. I could tell, just by watching him, that he was feeling very important!

When our project was completed, I had him look at it as a whole. Up until that point, I think he was focused on each little section he was working on. His eyes lit up and he said, "Fancy project!" (To him, "fancy" is reserved for anything shiny or sparkly.) He was so proud! I've heard the expression "puffed chest" used to describe someone who is proud, but this was the first time I've seen it with my own eyes.

He even helped me clean all of the supplies up and wash off the highchair tray with no complaints. I had expected major protests when we were through. But he seemed to understand that the project was complete and we didn't need to do any more. I'm still trying to decide which craft we'll do tomorrow. Since we started at number 13, that means that there were 12 projects that we still haven't done. Let's see... I recall seeing a few cooking projects, one with ink and fingerprints, another with cotton balls.... Hmmm...

Oh! One more thing! If you complete any of the crafts posted by Gummy Lump, go over to their Facebook page and upload a picture of the completed project. Every Friday, Gummy Lump will give away Melissa & Doug art supplies to one of the photos uploaded that week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meet Me on Monday - What a Great Idea!

I've been seeing this on a lot of the blogs I follow, so I finally went over to Never Growing Old to find out more about it. Basically, "Java" posts five random questions on Sunday night for bloggers to answer on their own blogs and post on Monday. This helps everyone get to know one another on a more familiar level. After a blogger has posted his or her answers, he or she can go back to the original Meet Me on Monday post and link up with others who have done the same.

I'm very excited about this opportunity to find out more about the people who write the blogs I read daily! Please think about joining in on the fun, too. If you choose not to, at least leave me a comment answering one/all of the questions. I'd love to learn more about YOU, too!

This week's questions:
1.  Do you like your ice cream in a dish, waffle cone, pretzel cone, sugar cone or cake cone?
     I prefer straight chocolate in a dish. But if it's chocolate soft-serve I'll take a cake cone every time!
2.  Do you read the newspaper daily?
     NO! I used to, but I really became depressed and angry. I have two children who still have lives to lead and, after reading the paper for five minutes, I'm not too sure I did the right thing to them by even bringing them into this world. It doesn't matter what aspect of the news you read, 90% of it is bad - environment, government, world peace... (I don't watch the news on T.V. or do more than read the headlines on Yahoo! while I wait for my mail to load.)
3.  Marinara or meat sauce?
     Either as long as there is plenty of freshly-grated parmesan!
4.  Last time you cried?
     Last night. Not really ready to go into details yet.
5.  What word/phrase do you find really annoying?
     It's a tie between "Frickin'" and "SNAP!"
     The first because I have a toddler and my stepson says it all of the time. I just cannot get him to understand that, while he may not be cussing, per se, when my two year old says it, it does NOT sound like "frickin'"!
     And, "SNAP!" is just, plain annoying. I must be getting old.

Below, is the list of other blogs that are participating. If you'd like to join in, link your Meet Me on Mondays post. You can add the linky to your post by clicking "Get the Code."


Sunday, January 16, 2011

All the Giveaways in One Place?! (Giveaway Scout)

I just saw this on Real Mom Reviews. It's a site called Giveaway Scout. According to the site, "We automatically scan thousands of blogs to bring you the latest blog giveaways, coupons, sweepstakes and contests." Yep!

You can choose to just look for certain giveaways in categories such as Home & Garden, Art & Crafts, Parenting, and many more. Each listing consists of the name of the blog hosting the giveaway, the post's title, a thumbnail photo, and the first few sentences of the post. They have a search option that allows you to put keywords, whether you are looking for giveaways, sweepstakes, etc., and the dates the items were added. I tried it out for just a few minutes and didn't get the results I was expecting. I think that I may need to spend a little more time learning how to use the search feature, or it may just not work that well. Only time will tell!

You can also link up your own giveaways on the site, search for free samples, and find sales and deals. I really think that this is a site worth bookmarking!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Thank you so much for stopping! It took me a while to get the confidence I needed to get started on this blog. What really gave me a boost was winning a blog makeover from a holiday giveaway from Simply Stacie.

I was lucky enough to get hooked up with Jessica of So Stylilized!. It took me a few weeks to even contact her - that's how apprehensive I was, but I am so happy that I did! Sometime on Monday, this blog will have a professional look! I really wanted a clean, simple design that would allow readers to focus on the content rather than becoming distracted. Since I am so very new at blogging and not too tech-savvy, it was great to be able to have her give me step-by-step tips. If you don't want to install the templates yourself, she'll do that, too. Here's a peek at the (perfect!) button she designed for me:
If you would like to get a new button or completely redesign your blog, go HERE right now. Currently, you can get any of these for FREE! According to the site, "We are currently offering our design services for FREE with a tip (of any amount) by the client upon the design being finalized!" You can also view many of the designs that have been already done - there is a huge variety of styles - to fit any preference. Just remember that this is a lot of work to be doing for free, so be sure to tip the designer once your design is finished and write up a nice post telling others about So Stylilized, too!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where has all the NATURE gone???

Courtesy of Rosemary Ratcliff

I remember loving nature when I was a kid. Not in the sense that, when people asked me what I liked, I'd say, "Nature!" Summers were the best. I'd wake up, eat breakfast, and run outside. I'd hear, "Make sure you come back when I call you for lunch!" Sometimes I never did make it back. I had things to do. The first was to stir up all of the Mayflies that had settled on our house overnight.

Courtesy Lisa McDonald

When that mission was accomplished, I'd sit watching the robins pull fat worms from the lawn and try to figure out how they did it so easily. I once spent an entire afternoon digging up the flowerbeds and never came across one single wiggly prize. Oh, but if it was raining, that wan a different story. Our suburban sidewalks came alive with earthworms, snails, and slugs. I marvelled at them. All of the kids in the neighborhood took the time to help our slimy friends safely cross that huge concrete "street" by scooping them up and setting them in the grass.

This photo's mine! (His name is Chester, by the way!)
When the sun beat down on us, we'd find ladybugs and grasshoppers. If you could keep a ladybug on you the longest, you would be lucky that day. We had grasshopper contests to see whose insect could jump the highest. I can't recall anyone actually winning - the green jumpers wouldn't follow directions and usually escaped before we could even see which direction they were headed.

Courtesy Dr. Joseph Valks
 We often would find toads and turtles travelling through the neighborhood, on a visit from the creek that ran through the park down the street. Finding a toad made you the most popular kid in the neighborhood for the day. A turtle turned you into a legend for at least a week! I recall always naming my finds "Herkemer." Not sure why. I think I may have had the idea that each toad and turtle I found was a repeat visitor, just dropping by to say "Hi" to me over and over.

Courtesy of Arvind Balaraman
 The evenings were the best! Crickets chirped loudly as we played freeze tag in someones yard. The lightning bugs would come out in droves. There were so many that, after it got completely dark, we could see each other's silhouettes blocking out the swarm of green lights. Who needed a light out there?! And, though we lived in an area surrounded by wetlands, no one had more than four or five mosquito bites at any one time.

Why am I writing about these memories? The recent news about the sudden deaths of thousands of birds and fish around the world got me thinking. My kids will never experience nature the way I did. I live in the same area - the westernmost point of Lake Erie. Now, I get all excited when a Mayfly lands on out house and get the kids to come over to marvel at it. The robins are just passing through now, rarely do my kids have the pleasure of pondering these birds' ability to pluck a worm from the earth. When it rains, a few sorry-looking worms peek out and they don't bring their friends the snails and slugs. They've never seen a toad in the wild and turtles are just pictures in books to them. They rarely spend time outside after dusk because the mosquitoes outnumber the lightning bugs a zillion-to-one.

We have a really nice state park two miles away from us with a beach on the lake. We don't go there. The entire length of the beach is an Area of Concern (AOC), according to the EPA - one of thirty in the entire country the last time I looked. This is due to PCBs and other toxic substances in the water. The insects and animals that I once was in awe of are being killed in alarming numbers. We are warned not to eat the fish from the river that is the center of that AOC. Conveniently, the line for that AOC stops 100 yards before it hits the water treatment plant for our area. (I try not to think about what is coming out of our faucet. I can tell you that 1" of bathwater is a beautiful blue and smells strongly of chlorine bleach.)

Courtesy of Evgeni Dinev

For many years, I have dreamt of moving far away from everything. North Dakota? Alaska? My arthritis won't take the cold. We're looking, though. I've read every book you can think of about homesteading, building your own house, living self-sufficiently and off the grid. My oldest is twelve. I don't think my dreams will be fulfilled by the time he's ready to leave for college. But my toddler, hopefully, will get to experience the wonder of seeing nature in it's natural habitat. We may have to work for years to bring our 5-10 acres back to the way it should be, environmentally, but I'm willing to work hard just so he can feel that awe. And, hopefully, my incredibly creative and imaginative older son will be able to experience it, too, even though he'll be on the cusp of adulthood.

Photo Credits:
Image: Rosemary Ratcliff /
Image: Lisa McDonald /
Image: Dr Joseph Valks /
Image: Arvind Balaraman /
Image: Evgeni Dinev /

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My First Blog Hop?!


Well, looks like I'm jumping into these waters a little sooner than I thought. Impulse made me join my first blog hop. Hopefully, in a few months from now, I'll be in a position to join a blog giveaway hop! So, without further ado, here's the post I found on My Wee View explaining it all:

Welcome to Fun Follow Friday hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. The goal of this hop is to get new Google Friend Connect Followers for your blog and be introduced to new blogs to follow! We wanted to keep it fun and easy so all you have to do is add your blog link and start blog hopping and following away! You aren’t required to write a post for your blog for Fun Follow Fridayunless you want to (but we really appreciate it if you do to help get the word out).
When you visit a blog that you like and want to follow, leave them a comment with your link telling them you are following from the Fun Follow Friday. Of course, we would love for you to follow both hostesses blogs, Simply Stacie and My Wee View, but it isn’t mandatory. If you do follow us, just leave us a comment and we will follow you back.
The main goal is to have fun and follow the blogs that interest you!
There are a few fun things that Fun Follow Fridays does each week:
1.  Each week 1 winner will be randomly drawn for the #3 Spot, this week it’s Mom’s Focus on a Cyber World.
Happy hopping along!

Why do I LOVE our CuddleTunes Bear????

My little guy is into cars. I mean REALLY into cars. At just over two years old, he can tell you if a car is a Ford, Chevy, Cadillac, etc. He also can tell the difference between a Peterbilt and Mack truck. So, when I was lucky enough to have won a CuddleTunes Bear from a contest on SwagGrabber, I was a little apprehensive about whether he'd like it or not. I even felt a little guilty about accepting my prize because I figured there was, in all probability, a little kid out there who would appreciate the musical bear more than mine. Boy, was I wrong!


The CuddleTunes Bear is really a great idea. It's basically an MP3 player built into a teddy bear. The feet hold buttons which control the volume, play/stop, and forward and reverse. A little zipper in the back hides the magic black box which controls everything and a USB cable. When you order your bear, you can download 5 lullaby songs with your child's name featured in them! My favorite is "Golden Slumbers" probably due to the Beatles' version of the song. When my guy heard his name mentioned, he gave the bear a sideways glance, as if to say, "Are you singing to me?!" It was pretty funny, and soon he had the CuddleTunes bear on his lap, listening intently for the next mention of his name.

Something that is especially great about this little bear is you can download your own music to the bear! It has  1GB worth of storage capacity (about 250 songs!) Now, since birth, we've played a compilation of John Lennon's slower songs at bedtime. The problem with using a CD was that, when it was time to go to sleep, we had to go into the other, music-free room to put him down. This always ended up in a protest. Now, with our CuddleTunes bear, he can have his music in bed with him. Another service that CuddleTunes offers is the ability to record sountracks on their Web site. This may not sound like a big deal, but it's great for loved ones who live far away to connect with your child. Maybe Grandma has moved to Florida and still wants to share a special bedtime story with her favorite grandchild? She can simply login to the site, record the story, and then you can download it to your child's bear. If there isn't a special story that you'd like to record, the company offers a story that you can record that introduces the songs.

The bear simply takes two AA batteries. No special $20 battery pack to seach for! And they last a very, very long time. He's been listened to for at least an hour a night since Christmas Day and I have yet to replace his batteries.

Another great feature of this bear is fun for kids and information for you. When the bear is on, a red light in its chest blinks on and off. My son calls it his bear's "heart beep." Cute, huh? To turn the bear off, you have two options: 1) Flip the switch on the box in the zippered compartment of the bear, or 2) hold down the play/stop button for a few seconds until the red "heart beep" blinks fast. The light will go out when you let go of the button and you will know that it's off and not using up power.

The CuddleTunes bear sells on the Web site for $59.95 and comes with the initial five-lullaby soundtrack with your child's name in the lyrics. You can read more on their site, including the text of the story.

You can find out more about CuddleTunes through their Web site, Facebook Page, or Blog.

*** I was not asked to write this review. I recieved a CuddleTunes Bear as a prize in a giveaway. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any way.