Wednesday, April 30, 2008

These Jigglers Don't Jiggle

Cory made Jell-O Jigglers last night so he can take them to school tomorrow. They're eating in French class, and obviously Jell-O is French, right? They're having tacos, too.

Today after school Cory went to take the Jigglers out of the molds and put them into a container, ready to take to school. Right away, he had problems. The Jell-O was too soft. He said he followed the recipe for Jigglers - mix the Jell-O into 2-1/2 cups hot water. I looked at the box and asked him how many boxes of Jell-O he used. One box. He used one box of Jell-O and 2-1/2 cups of water. The recipe says to use four boxes of Jell-O with 2-1/2 cups of water. That would be why his Jigglers were so soft and practically melting when he messed with them.

So, he dumped the not-quite-Jigglers all out into a container so he can eat them later with a spoon. Or a straw. And he made some new ones. Now, as I'm sitting here, I'm not sure how he mixed the new ones. I pulled the boxes of Jell-O out of the cabinet for him, but I just now realized that I didn't pull the four boxes he needed out - just one of one flavor and one of another. I hope he adjusted the water measurements, or he'll be drinking a lot of Jell-O, and I have no idea what the French class is going to eat.

Paid Blogging Goes Social

Anyone who has been reading my blog knows that I write paid posts. While I admit that I do love the money, there have also been many other benefits. I have found out about so many websites and products that I would never have known about otherwise, unless, of course I stumbled across someone else's blog post about it. Even better, I have met a lot of really incredible people.

I recently signed up for SocialSpark, and I expect all of this to get even better. Yes, SocialSpark offers opportunities to get paid, but along with that, SocialSpark lets you connect with other bloggers and the advertisers, too. SocialSpark is about building relationships and community. I think most of us have been connecting in other ways, through services like BlogCatalog, MyBlogLog, Facebook, Myspace, and others, but SocialSpark brings it all together.

OK, SocialSpark doesn't have Scrabulous, but what it does have is the ability to find and add friends, prop them, leave comments, and learn more about them. You can also contact advertisers. For instance, if you think your blog would be perfect for an opp, but it isn't currently available to you, you can contact the advertiser and let them know why it would benefit them to have you blog about their company or product.

There will never be any question which posts are paid because the SocialSpark code of ethics means:
  • 100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
  • 100% Transparency
  • 100% Real Opinions
  • 100% Search Engine Friendly
Just because we blog for money doesn't mean we don't have high standards!

One of the things I'm liking about SocialSpark is the ability to browse the available paid opportunities and being able to see who has already written a post for that opportunity. There are even links so you can read those posts. I admit, I used to go hunting for other posts, or videos, for some of the opps I've taken. I was always interested in seeing what other people had to say about the same thing. SocialSpark makes this so much easier! SocialSpark also lets you send an opportunity to a friend. So, if I see a really great opportunity I think would be perfect for one of my friends, it's really easy to let them know.

I need to spend some more time learning about SocialSpark and all the features, but so far I'm really liking it. SocialSpark is part of IZEA.

If you're interested in making new friends, learning about new products, and getting paid to blog, SocialSpark is the place to be. So, I 'm going to shut up now so you can go check it out.


I asked for votes to help a young lady from my brother's church, Kayleen Hannaway. I figured I ought to post an update and let you all know that she won. My brother posted this, and I grabbed it from him:
I have officially been informed I won the scholarship. =) I am so grateful for everyone who was willing to take time out of their day to help me win money for college. I know this whole competition has been fairly crazy and time consuming, so I want to thank everyone who was willing to be involved. Although it was an unconventional scholarship, I sincerely hope those who gave up their time found connecting with people, networking, meeting new people, and being involved in something with many others, as fun as I did. I am still amazed at how I could win, coming from such a small town, but I know UCG was a huge help, and of course God listening to all the prayers was the only way I could have won. For those who don’t know, I’m planning to attend Vanderbilt University this fall. I’ve been accepted and I will major in neuroscience with a possible minor in bassoon. Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate it. I’m so glad everyone’s help and time was well worth spent.

Kayleen Hannaway
Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Soft, Spreadable Butter

butter-bellBefore I left today, I put the butter in the refrigerator. I like to leave it out so it's easy to spread, except in the summer because I'm afraid it will go bad. Then I have to remember to take it out before I want to use it. Now, also, we have a cat in the house, and I'm afraid that if I leave the butter on the counter, she will find it and eat it, or at least make a mess with it. So, when I remember, I put the butter away.

I have one butter dish that has a lid, and I feel better about leaving that one out, but it had to be washed so the butter was just on a plain butter dish, uncovered. What I really need is a French Butter Bell. I had never seen one of these before, but it would solve all my butter problems. It keeps butter at the perfect temperature so that it's always spreadable, but it won't spoil. The video and diagram on the site explain exactly how it works. Water keeps the butter cool and sealed from the air. Also, it's covered, so I don't have to worry about the cat getting into the butter. So far she's been pretty good about not getting on the counter, which I'm happy about, but I wouldn't bet my butter on it! The Butter Bell comes in 3 different colors, and this red one would go perfectly with the strawberry theme in my kitchen.

Vat19 has the most useful gifts. Just saying, in case you're trying to figure out what to buy me, for my birthday which is coming up next month. *grin*

How Do You Work Outside the Home Moms Do It?

I spent all day today at school, choosing artwork and photographing it for the school calendar. I didn't do the actual photographing. My job is entering all the information, taping and hanging the artwork for the photographing, removing tape, keeping track, etc.

Anyway, I was thinking, our original plan was to start around 9:30 this morning, but we changed it to 10:00, and then that got pushed back even further, so I didn't leave here until 11:00. Before I left home, I had time to put something in the crockpot for dinner, throw some towels in the washer, sort out the clean laundry that didn't get finished last night, water the plants, play one of my turns on Scrabulous, and fix something to take along for lunch.

Yesterday I was complaining that I had a hard time getting things done last week because I had to stop at 5:00pm so we could go to school for Cory's play every night. But at least I had the rest of the day. What about you moms who have to leave the house early in the morning and work outside the house all day? When do you get things done? How do you do it? (Yes, Deb, I'm talking to you!)

I didn't get home until 7:00 - could've been earlier, but we had a meeting, and Mary talks a lot. Happily dinner was ready in the crockpot. Jeffrey went out and mowed the yard, and Cory was working on homework, so they weren't complaining that no one had fed them yet - though they could have eaten any time they felt like it. It didn't take much to get dinner ready, just a matter of pulling some plates out and getting the salad out of the fridge. I also had to check the dryer and turn it back on to get the towels dry and then fold them. I should probably wash the dinner dishes, too, but I decided I can do that tomorrow - because I can. Tomorrow I'm home. How do you do it when you're not home?

Things still need done. How do they get done? Just thinking about it makes me really tired.

Heads or Tails - a Special Memory

Today's theme is:
TAILS - Share a special memory
The year Beth was in 6th grade, she started getting up in the mornings and walking with me. Sometimes we'd roller blade. Sometimes she'd put her roller blades on and skate while I walked. She liked that better, because I will not go down the big hill on my roller blades, but Beth will. Most of the time we walked, and we talked, and just enjoyed being together.

beth 002
It's a special memory for me now, because by the next school year she started Middle School. She didn't have any extra time in the mornings. We had less and less time together. Her life started to revolve around her friends, and she didn't want to spend any time with me or the rest of the family unless she absolutely had to. Somewhere along the line she decided that she hates all of us, her life is horrible, and she just can't wait to turn 18 and move out, because she doesn't need us.

Normal teenage behavior or not, it's hard to see the person she is right now. On the days I start wondering if she'll ever be a nice, decent person, sometimes it helps to remember that she was. Once.
She says she's nice to her friends. Maybe one of these days she'll be nice to us again, too, and not just when she wants something .

Visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

How Did That Happen?

When we got home from the play this afternoon, there was a tab open on my browser, a tab that I never opened. I may never have noticed, but this tab shows a picture of our house. Someone looked up our address on Google and got an actual picture of our house. It's a complete 360° view of our neighborhood, just use the arrows to navigate. I didn't realize you could do that. Has anyone else tried it? I heard something like this was available in Milwaukee, but I thought that was just for the big city.

I still don't know how it got on my computer. Maybe Tillie was playing with the computer while we were gone? She was the only one home.

ETA: It was Beth. She did it sometime before we left and didn't tell me.

Cory's Been Wearing Makeup

...and he doesn't like it.

oddcouple 002

Stage makeup, that is.  Besides the makeup, I'm pretty sure Cory is enjoying being on stage.  He's always loved being up in front of people, acting, being the center of attention.  Stage fright?  What's that?  He has no clue.  He thrives on the whole thing.  He's fun to watch.  Too bad he doesn't get on stage until sometime in the 2nd Act, but the whole play is pretty fun.

 oddcouple 081

We've now seen it 4 times, and there's one more performance to go.  I asked Cory if he'd be mad at me if I didn't go every night, and he said I had to be there, so I've been there.  All the kids are doing a really good job, and I am enjoying it.  I took a bunch of pictures, too.  I just need to get them all off the camera and figure out what I'm going to do with them.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Camera Critters (#3)



Click the graphic to visit the Camera Critters headquarters and find out how you can join in. All the post headers, badges and rules are there, as well as Mr. Linky so you can sign in.

This is all Tillie does all day - sleep!  Sometimes she sleeps in her chair.  Sometimes she sleeps under the couch or under a bed.  The other day I glanced over to find her sleeping in her grocery sack.  Of course you know that having a cat in the house means you must have a grocery sack lying around, too.  Along with all kinds of cat toys and balls and whatever she finds interesting enough to play with.  (See blue ball in background)  In between naps she does find time to play, and eat, and look out the window, too.  Mostly though, she sleeps.

kitty 187
kitty 190

Isn't she cute?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Weird Phones

Beth is always supposed to call when she leaves work at night. It's nice to know when she's headed this way. Last night we hadn't heard from her, so her dad called to ask what was going on. She was on her way home. She tried to call 3 times and couldn't get through.

So we tried calling our home phone with our cell phones. Nope, we couldn't get through either. We kept getting this message telling us we had to dial a 1 or a 0 and the area code, which we shouldn't have to do. So, we tried with the 1 and the area code and still the same message. We could call each other's cell phones. We could call the cell phones with the house phone, but we could not call the house phone with the cell phones.

It was still doing that this morning. Jeffrey called from work. That worked, but then when he tested the cell phone, he got that same message. He borrowed other people's cell phones and called. They worked. He even borrowed a couple cell phones from our same provider, and they worked. He called our provider, US Cellular, and they tried to tell him it was a problem with our home phone. Yeah, right. He called back after more testing with other phones, and they started doing some testing to see what the problem might be. I don't know what they did, but I just tried calling the home phone with my cell phone, and it works - like it's supposed to, like it has always worked before last night.

So, really, Beth has no excuse for not calling to tell me she is going to be late and why.

Too Many Shoes?

I have a thing for shoes. I don't think it's possible to have too many shoes. Sometimes my husband and my closet disagree. The closet overflows, and the husband tells me I should get rid of some. Then again, he's the one who always looks at shoes when we're out, just to see if there are any cute pairs I need. Silly guy! He makes me look at shoe websites, too.

He really doesn't have to make me, though, because when I see a website that sells shoes, I can't help but click to see what they have that I won't be able to live without. Today I visited Infinity Shoes. I had never heard of this site before, so I was anxious to see what they have. Oh yeah, I found a thing or two. Browsing seychelles shoes, I found an adorable pair of boots. Of course, it is Spring now, so I'm thinking more along the lines of sandals than boots. Still, I browsed through the minnetonka boots anyway. I've heard these are really comfortable, and I always look at them when we go to the Dells. I never thought to look for them online.

Beth is just now getting interested in cute shoes. Now that her feet have stopped growing, she could have several pairs of shoes. She also needs comfortable shoes for work, and they can't be tennis shoes. I thought maybe I could find her something she would like. This, of course, is wishful thinking on my part, because, if I like it, she's pretty much certain not to. Still, it's worth a try. The Infinity Shoes website is organized by brand, and since I'm not really familiar with the brands (I shop by cute not by brand) I just started clicking the different brands to see what was available. I was looking through the tsubo shoes, and I found a cute pair of sandals - again, for me. I did eventually find a very cute pair of shoes that might work for Beth.  Of course, my idea of cute and her idea of cute are usually very different, so I should probably let her look for her own shoes.

What's nice about the Infinity Shoes website is that, when you find something you like, they suggest others that you may also like. If she doesn't like these, there are some other, similar styles she might like better. There's enough variety here, that there's bound to be something she will like, even if it's not something I would pick out.

Sky Watch Friday (#20)

It's Friday again, and that means Sky Watch Friday! I love Fridays.  I just wish I didn't have so much to do so that I could visit more.

I took these a couple weeks ago, on a Friday, after I had already posted my Sky Watch Friday for that week.  A storm was coming, and I couldn't help taking some pictures of the clouds.  It was fun watching them.


Look at Those Clouds
There's still some blue sky showing through.
Comin' Up a Storm 
But the heavy, gray clouds are coming in.
Comin' Up a Storm

If you enjoy looking at the sky as much as I do, you'll want to check out Sky Watch Friday at Wiggers World. Join in or just enjoy all the wonderful sky pictures. I really wish I had time to visit them all.  I thoroughly enjoy the ones I do.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Could You Use These Cards For?

I always have a hard time picking out greeting cards. Usually I either like the picture on the front, but I don't like what the card says on the inside. Or I'll like what it says on the inside but not like the front. Wouldn't it be great if I could create my own cards? Actually what would be nice would be to choose a picture I like and put it on some cards, leave them blank on the inside, and have them available to send when I need a card. Even a simple 'Thinking of You' printed on the inside, with plenty of room left for a personal message would be nice.

Cards Direct lets people do just that. You can create custom Photo Cards, using your own photo, customize the text on the inside using either their pre-designed verses or your own, add personalization, and get your very own greeting cards. I know someone who takes amazing photos of a cemetery gate at sunset. Wouldn't one of those photos make great sympathy cards?

I looked around the site a while and really liked the fun of a polka dot card I found.  I could see it being used as a kid's birthday party invitation or a thank you card with a picture from the party on the front. It would be a great memory keepsake for everyone who attended the party.  I think you're pretty much limited to your imagination.

Whatever you use them for, if you design and send your own custom photo cards, I bet no one else will be sending the same cards you are.

Food for a Growing Boy

Cool American Flavored Doritos found in Amsterdam.Image via WikipediaCory just called. He wants me to bring him something to eat. This staying after school is really hard on the teenage boy appetite. He's used to coming home and immediately looking for a snack. Now he has to remember to pack enough food for both lunch, after school snacks, and dinner. I guess today he didn't pack enough. Either that or he just figured his mom is coming so he can let her take care of him. At least he needs me for something, right?

So now I must go find him something, besides that bag of Doritos he asked for. Something halfway good for him, maybe.

How Do You Like My Logo?

I've been playing with logo design today. It would be nice to have logo of my very own, something that people can associate with me and my blog. I could put it on business cards to hand out when I'm away from my computer, so people can find me. I could even have letterhead and address labels for all my correspondence. OK, so I don't really use any kind of snail mail correspondence any more, but I could add my logo to my email signature.

All the big companies have easily recognizable logos. Most of them don't even need a company name to go with their logo. People take one look at the logo, and they know the company it represents. I may never be that recognizable, but it would still be nice to have a logo to use on everything. LogoYes makes it simple for anyone to create their own logo in a few simple steps. Their logo says "Look Big, Win Big" so why not try creating a logo just like the big guys?

Here are the easy steps:
  • Step 1 - Choose an image style: High-tech, bold, or flair. They even give you a short description of the type of company that would be best represented by each style.
  • Step 2 - Choose your industry from a list of several.
  • Step 3 - Then you get a selection of black and white images to choose from. The logo creator notes that you will add color in step 5. You choose the image in black and white because a good design looks good in black and white as well as color. You can browse through the images, or search for something specific. You can click on each symbol to see all of them in that category - even the ones in the other styles you didn't choose in step one. I ended up choosing a butterfly, because there are butterflies in my blog header, and I liked one from the Flair style best.
  • Step 4 - Once you choose your image, you add text (up to 2 lines) and choose a font.
  • Step 5 - layout and design. Here's where you get to add color, move things around, rotate, flip, resize, etc. to get your logo exactly the way you want it. What I could have used here was a button I could click that gave me suggestions because, I wasn't quite sure what to do with my image and my text to make it look good. Luckily, there are several sample logos on the main page, so I spent some time studying those. This is what I came up with:
  • Step 6 - You can buy the logo you create, or choose to create a business card with the logo so you can buy business cards in addition to your logo file. They have several different templates for the business cards. Simply choose one you like and edit the information. Here's mine, sized down to fit here:
What do you think? I'll probably have to play with it some more, but I like that the colors go with my blog, and the butterfly ties it all together. The whole process was really easy, and if you change your mind at any time, you can always click on the step you want to change to go back and fix it. It doesn't look like you lose any of your work by doing that, either. For instance, I went back to change my text, and when I got back to the layout step, my colors and placement were still there, so I didn't have to do that all over again. Or I could just as easily go back to the beginning and start over - until I get the perfect logo.

It's Play Time

Last night was the dress rehearsal for the play Cory is in. They've been working hard with rehearsals and getting the set ready every day after school until 9:00 or so, and sometimes on the weekends, too. It's a small school, and only a few kids are involved in the play, so they get to do everything. When we got to school yesterday around 5:00, Cory was painting the walls.

Jeffrey and I were there to set up the sound system. Since he has volunteered to run sound for the last two years for the Fall musical, and also runs sound for choir and band concerts, he was asked to run the sound for this play, too. Since Cory is in it, how could he say no? Besides, he likes doing it. It does take a lot of time, though. Dress rehearsal last night, and then performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoon. This is new because usually dress rehearsal is Thursday night and the performances are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So, they just added an extra night into the schedule. Jeffrey can't do the sound on Sunday, but he has a young lady helping him this year, and she will be running it on Sunday. She helped him with the sound for the Middle School drama club play, and she really seems to enjoy it. It would be good for a student or students to be involved every time. Of course, it would also be great if the school had its own sound equipment that could run a production like this. This one isn't too hard - there are only 8 students, so they all get their own cordless mic.

Anyway, Jeffrey's helper, Rebecca, helped him get things set up, so there really wasn't too much for me to do - except run home and get some stuff he forgot. With the cost of gas, I really hate making unnecessary trips, and I'm not exactly sure how he forgot whatever it was - part of a couple mics or something. If you need all parts to use something, would you not keep them together? By the time I got back, they were about ready to start, so I sat and watched the play. They're doing The Odd Couple (Female Version). Cory doesn't get on stage for quite a while, being a guy and all. It's mostly about the girls.

While I do want to support Cory, I'm not sure I'm going to go to his play every night. In the past when Jeffrey ran sound for the musicals, I went every night to help him keep track of the script and who was coming on when, etc. This one isn't so complicated, and he's got Rebecca to help him with sound stuff - so he really doesn't need me. I suppose I should ask Cory how he feels about it first...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Do You Know Anyone Who is Moving?

I have a couple friends who are in the process of moving. I do not envy them in the least. Moving is one of those things I never want to have to do again. Besides the fact that I'm quite comfortable here, I think a lot of my aversion to moving is the fact that it seems like such a big job, and I have a hard time knowing where to start. I'm like that with most things. I get overwhelmed with the whole thing, and I need someone (usually my husband) to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces.

Today I found this moving checklist that would be a big help for anyone who is moving. It lists things that need to be done when you are moving, like changing your address, measuring your new house to be sure things will fit, returning library books, and getting utilities turned off or transferred, as well as giving the approximate time frame when you should do all of these things. There's also a great Utility Transfer List you can print out and use to keep track of the utilities.

It's also a good idea to get a quote for your move from multiple moving companies. Having moved several times where we had to pack everything ourselves, rent a truck, get all our friends to help with the loading and unloading, and having moved once where we had a moving company come in and pack everything for us, load it and unload it, I have to say that hiring a moving company is a lot easier. Yes, it will cost more, but it's free to get the quotes, and you're under no obligation to use any of the moving companies. I think it's definitely worth checking to see if it's feasible.

Last Day to Vote

I just received this email, and I know I mentioned this young lady before, but, if you haven't voted yet, would you please consider doing so. All votes must be submitted by 10 or 11am Eastern time today. You are only allowed one voter per IP address. Kayleen is a young lady who attends church with my brother.
Kayleen Hannaway in Salem, Oregon is finalist for a $20,000 scholarship to Vanderbilt University if she wins a national teen contest through voting. (Kind of like American Idol). She has made it through five rounds and is about 20 votes behind in the last three hours of the contest.

Could I ask you to vote for Kayleen Hannaway. It’s very easy. Please go to this link and then scroll down Kayleen’s side to VOTE ME.

I would really appreciate it. It would obviously mean a lot to her.

This must be done before either 10 or 11 am Eastern TODAY, Wednesday.

Thank you. Thank you.

Will I Ever Get Caught Up?

It seems I spent all last week getting the house cleaned and food cooked for the weekend. Then, over the weekend, we had Passover and the first day of Unleavened Bread, which meant people in the house and lots of food. Finally yesterday I got all the dishes washed up and put away. It would have been so much worse if my wonderful husband hadn't washed the dishes Sunday night. I do think I'll keep him!

Sometimes the getting ready and the cleaning up after seems to go on forever. I feel like I'm left with no time to do the regular things that need done - let alone the projects I need to get started working on, like the school calendar. Just a warning, if I disappear every once in a while, it usually means I am too busy to sit down with my computer. It's nice to know I have friends like Tammy who check in to see if everything is OK. Tammy, you're the sweetest!

I'm fine, just too busy to get on here much. I ought to make up some "I'm really busy" type of posts that I can just put up quickly when I don't have time for anything else. Yeah, that sounds good, but I'm not much more likely to do that than I am to go shopping for wood steering wheels.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Heads or Tails - Direction

Today's theme is:

HEADS - Direction

I started thinking about this theme, trying to decide what to post this week.  My first thought was to talk about directions - as in, North, South, East, West.  My husband does not understand how I just have no idea which direction is which.  Is it a feeling?  What is it that lets some people know which direction is which?  If Jeffrey says to go East, I have to ask, "Do I turn right or left?"  To me, those are directions I understand.  Even if I somehow know that I am facing South - just go with me on this, because most of the time I won't even know that - I will still have a hard time figuring out which way is East. 

At least I know the difference between my left and my right, because I've met some people who even get confused by that.  My kids came home from school with an easy way to tell your right from your left.  Make an L with your hands and hold them up like in the picture.  The one that forms the forward L (and not a backwards L) is your left hand.  L for left.  I'd never heard that before, but it works - you know, if you have trouble telling left from right, and people are always saying, "No, your other left!"

Now, follow these directions: visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in on the fun.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Camera Critters (#2)

There's a new meme in town. Our friend Misty has started a new Sunday meme all about pictures of animals/critters, and this is week 2. Click the graphic to visit the Camera Critters headquarters and find out how you can join in. All the post headers, badges and rules are there, as well as Mr. Linky so you can sign in.


Since we're celebrating Passover, I thought some pictures of a cute little lamb would be appropriate. I took these several years ago at Old World Wisconsin, a living history museum we have right on the edge of town. It's really a neat place.
Nearly 600 acres of pristine prairie and lush woodland in the southern unit of Kettle Moraine State Forest provide Old World Wisconsin with an idyllic setting. The largest outdoor museum of rural life in America, Old World Wisconsin portrays the history of immigration and resettlement in late-19th- and early 20th-century Wisconsin.

The lamb I'm cooking for dinner comes from much further away - New Zealand, and I only ever saw that in a package in the store, not looking all cute and woolie like this.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Design Your Own T-shirts

The other day Cory saw some saying on the Internet or in a comic, and his first thought was that he wanted a t-shirt that said that. He loves his t-shirts. They have all kinds of 'interesting' sayings on them. For instance, the one he wore today said, "If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling." What do you think he means by that?

Until now he's been pretty much limited to the t-shirts he can find in the stores. Not any more. Now he can create and order his own custom t-shirts at Blue Cotton. It looks really simple to add your own custom text, shapes, graphics and effects, and create your very own custom t-shirt. Besides t-shirts, they also have several different kinds of clothing and custom embroidery in addition to printing. Shipping is free on standard delivery.

I wonder what kinds of t-shirts the boy is going to come up with now.

An Expensive Week

Placement of parking citation from Huntington Beach, California.Image via WikipediaBeth got a parking ticket this week. Then, the next day, she got another one. Actually, they're both made out to Jeffrey, since it's his car.

To park in the parking lot at school, the students are supposed to buy a parking pass. It's $100 for the entire year, $25 per quarter, or $1 per day. I figure that, since there's a bus she can ride to school, she really does not need to drive to school. Therefore, we will not be paying for a parking pass. If she decides to drive to school, then she is responsible for buying a pass.

Well, I guess she hasn't been buying a pass on the days she drives, because she got a ticket on Tuesday. So, Wednesday she did buy a pass, but she got another ticket. At first they told her she could go in to the police station and show them her parking pass and they would drop that second ticket, then Thursday she, and some other students, got called to the office to be questioned about whether they had parking passes that day. Beth said she had one, it just wasn't taped to the window like it was supposed to be because she didn't get any tape in the office. Then I guess she mentioned the ticket from the previous day and that she had a pass that day, too. The police officer who was questioning these students said that they won't drop that ticket - because how do they know she didn't see she got a ticket and then go get the pass?

That's when I started questioning why the school office doesn't put the time as well as the date on the parking pass when they sell it. If that's really the attitude of the police department - if we don't happen to see it, we're not going to believe you had one - then shouldn't putting the time on the pass just be standard policy? There's a time on the ticket, and it would be easy to check to see if the pass was purchased before or after the ticket was issued. Of course, later on Beth admitted that she bought the pass before lunch, because she 'didn't have time' before school. So, she did get the ticket before she bought the pass - but no one is going to randomly go out to their car to check if they got a ticket in the middle of the day, and then go buy a parking pass. At least I wouldn't think so.

I guess we'll see what happens. That could be $30 she has to pay, if she has to pay both tickets. In addition, she's paying the $1 a day to park now, the way she should have been all along. Either that, or she can ride the bus - for free.

The Name Game

I saw this on Mom Knows Everything. While Tammy didn't actually tag me for this one, I figured she's tagged me for plenty of things I haven't gotten to - so I'll give her tagging credit. It looked like fun.

The Name Game (rated PG 13)

1. Your rock star name (first pet, current car)....... Mutt Venture

2. Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe)...... Jamocha Sandals

3. Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal).......... Black Horse

4. Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born)......Louise Pasadena

5. Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name)...........Hag-An (That sounds really bad.)

6. Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink)......Red Water

7. NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers).......Charles Chalmer

8. Stripper name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy).......... I can't stand perfume, so I'm not so sure how to get this one. I guess that means I don't get a stripper name. :(

9. TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)........ Overmyer Orlando

10. Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower).......Spring Rose (this name will, of course have to change each season, because whatever season we're in is my favorite)

11. Cartoon name: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now)......Strawberry Sweats

12. Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)....... Toast Birch

13. "Adult Film" star name (first pet, first street where you lived)............I guess I don't get an adult film star name, either because I can't for the life of me remember the first street I lived on. I can't even remember the name of the first street Jeffrey and I lived on when we first got married.

Let me know if you decide to do this meme so I can read your names.


I woke up feeling not quite right today, and now it has worked itself into a full-blown headache. Not feeling well at all. I need to get some baking done, but I don't really feel like doing anything but taking a nap. Instead I'll probably sit here for a while and visit some Sky Watch Friday blogs. Maybe I'll get to see some clouds over Branson resorts, blue skies in Portugal, or sunrises in Norway. If you haven't visited a few of these, you really should.

Sky Watch Friday (#19)

It's Friday again, and that means Sky Watch Friday! I love Fridays.

This was taken yesterday morning.  When Jeffrey and I went out for our walk I grabbed my camera, just in case.  I'm always looking at the sky anyway, might as well get some pictures.  I'd been thinking of trying out some interval training - just to up the intensity.  I definitely got that yesterday.  Since Jeffrey has to get back to get ready for work, he wasn't waiting for me.  So, every time I stopped to take a picture, he kept walking, and then I had to run to catch up with him.  Do I want to do that every day?  No, but it was good exercise, and I like some of the pictures I got, especially this one:


If you enjoy looking at the sky as much as I do, you'll want to check out Sky Watch Friday at Wiggers World. Join in or just enjoy all the wonderful sky pictures. I really wish I had time to visit them all.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Going Through the Mail

I sat down to go through the mail this afternoon. Report cards came, so of course I had to go over those. Beth still has her B average. Go, Beth! It is a shame that her lowest grade is in Phy Ed. You'd think that would be a gimme class - show up, dress, participate, have a good attitude, get a good grade. It's the part about participating and having a good attitude she has trouble with.

Cory's grades are mostly A's and a couple B's. I have to mention that because he feels that he doesn't get enough attention for getting good grades. All the attention goes to Beth because her grades aren't what they should be. We look at Cory's grades and, since they're what we expect from him, don't really pay that much attention. Sorry, Cory. You rock! Results from his sophomore testing also came. He scored at the advanced level in all areas. The one that puzzles me is that, with a maximum score of 820 in reading, he only scored a 600. The way that boy reads, I would have expected at least 800! That was only in the 88th percentile for the state. His highest was in Language Arts - 98th percentile.

Also with the report cards, we got summer school registration information. I already filled Cory's out so he can turn it in tomorrow. He has to be registered for the class to get his Driver's Ed teacher to sign the paper he needs to get his learner's permit. Yikes! Cory's going to learn to drive. We'll have to get the permit as soon as possible so he has time to practice before his driving sessions start.

Now I need to get back to work. I'll put all the school stuff where Jeffrey can read it and put the bank statements where I will remember to take them downstairs so I can file them. Jeffrey doesn't look at those. He leaves all the checking and savings accounts to me. Speaking of savings accounts - the interest rate is ridiculous - .11% - We got a whole 13¢ on that account this month.

Of course, that was just the important mail - except for my $20 rebate from Symantec. There was plenty of junk too - credit card offers and people wanting to sell me stuff. That all went straight into the recycle bag.

Please Vote

A young lady my brother goes to church with has made it into the finals to win a $20,000 scholarship from Zinch.

If you could please take a moment to go vote for Kayleen, I know she'd appreciate it. You need to scroll down and fill in the code first and then click the VoteMe! button. Whoever gets the most votes wins. You have until April 23 to vote.

Kayleen Hannaway
Philomath High School |Class of 2008 | Philomath, Oregon, USA

About me: My goal is to always continue improving myself. I respect any person or book, or any medium for that matter, that helps me reach my goal. The most important part of my life is my religion, but I don't like the stereotypes that go along with saying that, so I don't bring attention to it. I think any person should have a set of values that they live by, instead of making decisions depending on the situation. Human beings are too influenced by temporary emotions for that to be successful. I have specific short and long terms goals and don't expect anything less than success for my future.

Zinch is a way for students to show they are more than a test score. They create profiles to showcase themselves to colleges. They can learn about different colleges and what they are about, give a shout out to the schools they are interested in, and communicate with the schools. It looks like there is a lot of information about the college admissions process and a lot of great tools for high school students going through that process as well as being a place to meet and interact with other students going through that same process. I had never heard of it before being asked to vote for Kayleen, but I'm going to strongly suggest that Cory signs up right away.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Is It My Turn Yet?

The problem with being gone all afternoon and then having to put groceries away, fix dinner, eat dinner, clean up after dinner, and clean out the refrigerator so I can put more groceries away, is that I don't get to visit all the blogs I want to visit. Also, it's my turn on almost all of the games I'm playing on Scrabulous. I need to play my turn. I'm getting addicted to that game! I check in several times a day, when I'm home, just to see if it's my turn. I'm even winning some! Tammy says I'm kicking her butt - well, I've had my butt kicked by some of my friends. Sometimes I just can't get any good tiles. Keep trying, Tammy. I bet next time you'll do better. That's what I tell myself when my opponent plays a word worth 149 points...



I've got a problem. No, I don't need to go into alcohol rehab. It's not quite that serious. My problem is that I procrastinate a lot. I learned about a year and a half ago that procrastinating comes with being a perfectionist. I had never thought about it before, but it does make sense. If I don't feel like I have time to do something right, then I usually don't do it at all. I put it off until I have time to do it right. Sometimes that time never comes.

Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will - tomorrow.

It Must Be Spring

Last week, the grass turned green. The trees are budding out, and I'll bet we'll have leaves before too long. I thought about zooming in and taking a picture of some of those tree buds today, but the wind was so strong, I knew I'd never be able to focus on anything. It's light again in the mornings when Jeffrey and I go for our walk. I've got sun in my eyes on the home stretch, but I really can't complain, can I? It's light out! The birds are singing their little hearts out every morning now. They know it's Spring, and they want to be sure we know it, too.

It was practically 70° today. Did I mention the wind? I was afraid my groceries were going to blow away between the store and the van. It was definitely a two-hands-on-the-wheel-if-you-drive-a-high-profile-vehicle day. Said vehicle even got a bath. It was time to wash that winter road salt mess off and start fresh. I'm feeling optimistic that I won't have to deal with that again for a while - like next winter.

And the #1 reason I say it must be Spring? Cory wore shorts to school.

Get on the Road to Clear Skin

Cory came out of the bathroom last night and said he's got a big zit in the middle of his forehead. I bet he would really love it if he knew I was telling you this! Luckily, he only gets a zit or two every once in a while, and they usually go away without too much trouble. For some teens, that's not the case. Some of them have a serious case of acne all over their faces, as if the teenage years aren't difficult enough. It has to be really hard on their self-esteem.

It's definitely worth searching out Acne Treatment that works and learning the facts about acne. One of those treatments I've heard about is Proactiv® Solution , the one advertised by Jessica Simpson. If she ever had acne, you certainly couldn't tell it by looking at her face now. Proactiv® Solution sponsors the website, a comprehensive online acne resource. It's a good place to start, to learn the facts about acne - causes, treatments, myths about acne, and prevention. They want acne sufferers to get on the road to clear skin, and they give them the information to make it happen.

I've Been Gone all Afternoon

Why does it take me so long to shop for groceries? I wanted to get out of here at a decent time this morning, so I could get what I needed and get home - because I have stuff that has to be done around here. Instead, I didn't get out of here until after noon, and then I didn't get home until 4:00. I'm going to blame it on Super Walmart. The store is too big, and it just takes too long to get through. I have to go up and down almost every aisle, just in case I forgot something, and even then I sometimes forget something and have to backtrack. Also, I have to check prices on stuff and look for coupons, and that does take time, but it really bugs me to buy something only to get home later and find out I had a coupon for it that I didn't use.

It also bugs me to go ahead and buy something at Walmart and then get to the grocery store and find it for a better price. For some reason, I can never get it right. If I go ahead and buy it at Walmart, it will cost less at Pick 'n Save. If I pass at Walmart, then it costs more at Pick 'n Save. How do they do that?

I bought some seven grain cereal, and I'm blaming it on Drew. His 5 grain cereal sounded so good, that I figured a couple more grains couldn't hurt. OK, it's what I found at my store. Now I just have to figure out how to cook it without it exploding in my microwave or melting my spoon. I'll think I'll not use a plastic spoon, for starters.

Now I need to go put stuff away - at least the stuff that needs to go into the fridge or freezer.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

More Socks for My Drawer

In my mind, my Socks always need to match whatever I'm wearing. Sometimes, if I don't have the right color socks, I just can't wear certain things. That means I'm always on the lookout for cute socks in great colors, even though I've already got a drawer full. Tonight I found HUE. HUE is the largest and fastest growing Legwear brand in Department Stores, but since I don't go shopping much, I'm happy to see they've got a website.

They specialize in fun, fresh, and fashionable - in socks, tights and leggings. Looking through the socks available on the site, I can certainly see the fun. Most of my socks tend to be solid colors, but I'm liking some of these striped socks, if not for me, then for Beth. She likes to wear bright socks, and she doesn't always care if they match her clothes, as long as they're cute.

Besides the socks, HUE also sells sleepwear, panties, slippers, and handbags. Shipping on all orders is $5.


They're worried that there's a Measles outbreak in Milwaukee and surrounding counties. Several cases have been reported so far. I remember having Measles as a kid. I just thought it was something kids got, part of growing up. Most kids nowadays get shots so they don't have to get them, but our parents didn't believe in getting us immunized. There were some kind of religious reasons that I don't really understand, but I never thought to question it. When I had my own kids, we went ahead and got all their shots. When we were reading the possible side effects they have to tell you about when your kids get shots, the nurse there at the time started telling me how much worse actually getting Measles was and that people can die from it. I didn't realize. I thought it was just a childhood disease.

Anyway, the whole Measles thing reminds me of college. It was a private church college, and most of the students hadn't been immunized. When people started coming down with Measles, the entire campus was put under quarantine. I had already had the Measles, but, of course, I couldn't prove it. It wasn't like I had a doctor's note or anything. Even today they announced on the news that if you think you or your child has Measles, do not just go to the doctor, because they do not want to spread the disease. Well, yeah - so how exactly do you prove later that you had it?

Since I couldn't, I got my first shot ever while in college - a Measles shot.

Some Things I'd Like to Xperience

Hot Air Balloon RaceI've always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon. It's one of those things that is on the list for someday. It's also one of those things I will probably never feel like I can justify paying for. Yeah, I'm cheap like that, but...

If you ever want to buy me a great gift, these Hot Air Balloon Rides at Xperience Days would be just the thing! What an interesting concept in gift giving. Instead of giving some trinket or thing-a-ma-jig that will just sit around and collect dust, gift givers purchase a one of a kind Xperience. You can choose from the hot air balloon rides, surfing lessons, culinary classes, biplane flights, dragster rides, and more. Xperiences can be fun, exciting, interesting, or relaxing, so I'm betting they will have something for everyone. Visit the website and search through the different Xperiences. You can sort them by category, location and price to find just what you are looking for. Remember, for me - hot air balloon rides, or maybe some flying lessons, or a helicopter ride, or hang gliding, or kayaking, or...

Let's All Scream

How does that go?
I scream,
you scream,
we all scream
for ice cream.
Well, get ready to scream. Elizabeth @ Table for Five has another great giveaway going on. She has some amazing sponsors!

The winner of this giveaway will win a year's supply of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (coupons for 2 pints a month for 12 months) and a year’s supply of Reddi-wip® real whipped cream (coupons for 2 cans a month for 12 months). When you're finished screaming, run on over to Table for Five and check out all the details to see how you can enter.

All entries must be received by April 29th at 9 AM ET

I Could Use Some Makeup Tips

Since I'm usually home, I don't really bother with wearing makeup. Sometimes when I go out, I don't even put any on. Beth, on the other hand, thinks she needs Make up all the time. She's 17, and she's gorgeous, but she'll never listen to me when I tell her she doesn't need the makeup, and she'll definitely never listen when I tell her I think she's wearing too much or that it doesn't look good. What is it with teenage girls and those raccoon eyes? Can you say too much eyeliner?

Since I don't wear much makeup, I'm certainly not the one she can turn to for makeup tips. Yes, I know it's only my opinion that black-ringed eyes are unattractive, so I am going to send her the link to She'd be more likely to follow the instructions there for applying natural looking eyeliner than listen to her mom.

Since I never spent much time learning to apply makeup, I think this site could help me, too. They cover the basics of applying makeup and move on to eyes, cheeks, and lips, and even give some skin care tips. It looks like a great resource for everyday makeup tips and tricks. I might even be able to figure out how to wear that lipstick my husband thinks he likes, and not feel like an idiot doing it.

Heads or Tails - Rhymes with Tip

Today's theme is:

TAILS - Anything that rhymes with Tip

I chose something that rhymes with Tip - RIP. I saw this video on Table for 5 a while back, and it's just too cute. I saw this as the perfect excuse to post it myself. After watching this, ripping paper will never quite be the same again.

Today's tip: Don't forget to visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in on the fun.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Dancing or CMT Awards?

Jeffrey asked me tonight if I was going to watch Dancing with the Stars or the CMT Music Awards. I forgot the CMT Awards were on! Oh well, no contest. I'm watching Dancing with the Stars. I love this show. I love to see how the stars improve each week, and it really amazes me how much they can learn in a week and put it all together for the performance. I'm loving Kristi Yamaguchi this season, probably because I've liked her since I first saw her skate. Ballroom dancing is different from ice skating, but she still knows how to pull it together, get out there and perform when the pressure is on.

My other favorite is Marlee Matlin. If I didn't know she is deaf, I certainly wouldn't be able to tell by watching her dance. She can move! She also goes out there and has fun. You can tell she is having a good time with the whole experience. Karen @ A Deaf Mom Shares Her World had the opportunity to interview Marlee last week. If you're interested, you can read the interview here.

Another observation: Shannon Elizabeth reminds me at times of the sister in Dirty Dancing. Something about the way she moves.

Design Information I Can Use

I originally started my blogs because I saw it as a way to play with layout and design. I really didn't have a clue what to write or what to write about, but I had fun tweaking the layouts. I still have a hard time settling on a template or design and sticking with it. I'm always on the lookout for a new one I can work with. Of course, since I've actually started focusing on content and marketing, I don't seem to have as much time to mess with the design. Still, don't be too surprised if one of these days I change everything around.

When it comes to the layout of my blog or any web pages I put together, I need a starting point. I've never been good with just starting from scratch and building anything I'm happy with. When I found this blog covering web design topics, Stylish Design, I thought it would be a good resource to help me with my layout and design needs. I'm seeing more information here about search engine optimization, Google Adsense, PageRank, and how a blog can help your business than actual design information. There is an article on designing a web page with Google Page Creator, which looks very helpful. It doesn't even need to specifically apply to the Google Page Creator because the information could apply to the set up and organization of any web page. I'm guilty of usually jumping in without so much thought on organization, so I could use some of these tips.

Stylish Design is split into various categories such as, How to, SEO, Internet, Tools, and Web Design, making it easy to search through the topics of interest. While my original impression was that this blog was about design and layout - making your pages look pretty, I see that it's more. According to the Stylish Design blog, website design is creation and arrangement of web pages. It's about the organization and structure and about the content, definitely information I can use.

Update: Now it's a seller of beauty supplies.  I suppose that's important, too...

I Missed One Again

How is it that, no matter how carefully I check all the pockets, somehow, some way, somebody's tissue (Kleenex, Puffs) still makes it into the washer? Then, of course, it separates itself into multiple pieces and gets all over the place. Even though I remove the ones I find in the washer, some of them make it through into the dryer, and I'm pulling pieces of tissue off all the laundry - still trying to figure out which pocket it came out of. I know I checked them all. I know I did.

Put the Glasses Away

Cory has been asking for contacts for a while now. Other kids in his class have them, and they seem to be doing fine. I'm still a little apprehensive, though. Is he really responsible enough to take care of them? My brother used to wear contacts. He wore them too long or did something he shouldn't have, and they damaged his eyes. Of course, he was an adult when this happened, so that can't be blamed on teenage irresponsibility. I haven't worn contacts in years. When I had Beth, it just seemed easier not to mess with them and to just wear my glasses. More than 17 years later, I'm still wearing the glasses.

In those 17 years, contacts have changed. It sounds like they are definitely more comfortable, judging by these user reviews of the Acuvue Oasys lenses. They say they are so comfortable they can't even feel them, and their eyes don't dry out the way they did with other lenses. I remember I always had to use eye drops with my contacts because my eyes got so dry, especially when I was tired. Another reason I quit wearing them when I had a new baby - I was always tired!

I'm also going to admit that I have resisted trying contacts again or getting them for Cory because I think they will cost too much. If I'm dumb enough to buy them from the eye doctor, they probably will, but ordering from 1-800-GET-LENS looks like it will make them affordable. 1-800-GET-LENS supplies all the major brands and types of contact lenses direct to your door, at up to 70% savings. Just what I like - convenience and savings. At this rate I will run out of excuses for not getting Cory the contacts he wants.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Camera Critters (#1)

There's a new meme in town. Our friend Misty has started a new Sunday meme all about pictures of animals/critters. Click the graphic to visit the Camera Critters headquarters and find out how you can join in. All the post headers, badges and rules are there, as well as Mr. Linky so you can sign in.


For my first Camera Critters post, I thought I'd use a picture of the critter who lives in our house now, Tillie. It's amazing how often she seems to get herself in front of the camera! I think maybe she's getting a little tired of it?


Friday, April 11, 2008

The Trials of Working

When I used to work at Kohl's, we called everything that belonged in the children's clothes section 'Chitlins' - and that has absolutely nothing to do with anything. It just popped into my head. Except that I am thinking about Beth and her job.

Beth is getting real pissy about her job. She seemed to be enjoying it, but this week she suddenly 'hates' it. The things that bother her seem to be things that are bound to happen no matter where you work, but try explaining that to her. I used to work retail (see above) so I know how it can be. My problems were usually in dealing with customers, and she seems to be having issues with the managers or department heads, feeling that some of them aren't doing their share and some of them have unreasonable expectations. It's hard to learn to 'play the game' and give each one what that one wants and still be able to get the job done.

Beth is talking about looking for a new job, and it would be nice to work closer to home and save money on gas. Even if she worked fewer hours, she'd probably come out ahead. It would also give her more time to concentrate on her schoolwork. She says she's doing well this quarter (report cards come out next week, so we'll see) but there are times she has homework and still has to work until 10pm. That really doesn't leave much time for homework. Still, we keep telling her to appreciate the job she has, and if she really wants a new one, to take advantage of any time she has off to go looking for a new one. Once she gets a new one, then, and only then, should she quit the one she has.

Multiple Personality

Last night Cory recorded at least one scene of the play onto his computer. He read everyone's lines. Then he saved the file as am MP3 and put it on his iPod. He thought it would be a good way to memorize his lines - and everyone else's. He figures if they mess up, then he'll know they're lines too so he can help them out.

This morning he was walking around the house with his iPod saying lines from the play. I, of course, only got parts of it, but I was laughing the whole time. Cory is having so much fun with this. I can hardly wait to see the play. It sounds like we are going to get to see it at least 3 time. Last night the director asked if Jeffrey can run the sound, and he loves to do stuff like that. We were going to be going to the play anyway...

Another Cable?

Have I mentioned how Jeffrey and his friend Don seem to have every cable known to man? At least that's what Don's wife and I think. Still, somehow, the two of them always seem to find a need for some kind of new cable. Who knew there were so many different kinds of cables, all with their own specific purposes? I can't really tell the difference, so if Jeffrey asks me to hand him a Cisco cable or an ethernet cable, I usually end up telling him he needs to get it himself. Actually, I stand there looking confused until he comes over and gets it himself.

Since I know he's going to buy new cables, even though I can't figure out why he needs them, I'm going to send him to to see what they have available. Computer cables, audio/video cables, network cables, they have them all. About those ethernet cables? I'm not sure what they do, but I like the purple one.

I Forgot to Turn the Alarm Off

Tuesday I forgot what day it was. It happened again. Last night shortly after going to bed, I suddenly woke up and thought, "I forgot to turn my alarm off!" So I reached over and slid the switch on the side of my clock radio to the spot I thought was off. Then, I remembered it was Thursday night and not Friday night, like I, for some reason, thought it was. So, of course, I needed to turn the alarm back on. I slid the switch back and forth several times, trying to figure out which notch meant that the alarm is on.

I thought I got it right, but the radio did not come on this morning. Luckily, Jeffrey's alarm went off as usual. I checked mine after we got back from walking this morning. Sure enough - OFF. I really should figure out how to tell if the alarm is set or not, even in the dark, shouldn't I? Oh well, for now I'm leaving it off, because tomorrow is Saturday, and I get to sleep in.

Another Resource for Articles and Tutorials

Periodically I like to post a tip or two that has worked for me and hope it will be helpful to someone. I admit that I don't know everything. Who does, right? What I usually can do is find the information or the answer to a question. With the Internet at my fingertips, when someone asks me how to do something, I may not know right off, but I can usually find out.

As I'm looking, I like to bookmark interesting sites so I can go back to them the next time I'm looking for something. looks like one of those sites I should bookmark. There are articles on a wide range of topics, all organized by category. The first article I saw explains how to create structure and has a lot of information that I do not understand. I think it has something to do with javascript, at least the code looks kind of familiar. I'd like to learn one day, when I have more time. Today I was only skimming through it, and then I got distracted by the articles about blogs. There are articles on managing posts, setting tags and categories, editing templates and more. I know there are plenty of things I don't know about blogs and blogging, so I'm interested in seeing what I can learn here.

Sky Watch Friday (#18)

It's Friday again, and that means Sky Watch Friday! I love Fridays.

Here are some pictures from a recent sunset. This week I was safely shooting out my back door.

Another Sunset
Another Sunset
Another Sunset


The last one was taken at the same time - just a little to the right, away from where the sun was going down.

If you enjoy looking at the sky as much as I do, you'll want to check out Sky Watch Friday at Wiggers World. Join in or just enjoy all the wonderful sky pictures. I really wish I had time to visit them all.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Did You Get Your Baby's Shoes Bronzed?

???I remember when my kids had little feet. Cute, little, adorable feet.

When they started growing up, one of the first things I noticed was that their feet weren't so little any more. I'm going to guess that I'm not alone in that, because people have been bronzing baby shoes to preserve their baby's first shoes for a long time now. It went out of style for a while, but now bronzed baby shoes are back.

These things are so adorable, I'm wondering if I still have a pair or two of baby shoes around here so I can get them bronzed. I know we kept some of the baby clothes, just because, but bronzing the shoes turns them into a great keepsake that can be set out and displayed, to remind us that one time their feet really were that small. Why didn't they stay little like I told them to?

American Bronzing Company is the original bronzer of baby shoes. They have bronzed over 14 million shoes since 1934, and they guarantee your satisfaction. The site explains exactly how the bronzing process works, which is very interesting, but they had me with the picture of the little bronzed sneakers on the first page. Too cute! They have several different styles to choose from, antique or bright bronze, portrait stand, bookends, or unmounted, the choice is yours.

Send and Receive Money for FREE and get an Easy $25

I was dropping Entrecards tonight when I came across this post by Mrs. Micah where she explained how she got an iPod, and didn't have to pay a thing. That's how I found out about Revolution Money Exchange. It's a service that lets you send and receive money for FREE. What's even better is that, if you sign up by April 15th, they will give you $25, just for signing up. Then, for every person you refer who signs up, they will give you $10, up to 50 people, or $500.

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money ExchangeThis looks like a very handy service. It’s easy, secure and, best of all, it’s FREE to register and FREE to send and receive money between MoneyExchange accountholders. Sign up now to get your $25, and use it when you need it. It was quick and easy to register, and as soon as my registration was complete, they sent me my $25. I'd really appreciate it if you'd use my referral link, too. Just click the button or this link that says Sign up now.

Revolution Money Exchange is currently only available to U.S. residents with U.S. bank accounts, but they do have a form on the Contact Us page you can fill out to let them know you would be interested in international availability.

Web Design Information

I started years ago to teach myself to create web pages. I went online and found some basic html tutorials, printed them out, and started building web pages. It wasn't until years later that I realized that I hadn't been doing things quite right. Who knew that just because a page looked good on my computer, that didn't mean it would look good on someone else's computer? Who knew that simply sizing a picture down on the page did not make the actual file smaller, and the page would still take as long to load as if I left the picture at full size? Not me, but I learned, eventually, and I'm still learning.

I know there is so much about web design that I still don't know, and that's why I'm always on the lookout for tips and resources. I just came across this web design blogger at Stylish Design. On this blog, the author Robert shares anything and everything about web design and stuff related to web design. Browsing through the site, I see information about search engine optimization, which I still don't understand, so I'm hoping he has some tips I can use here. Keywords, descriptions, meta tags? Once more, things I did not know anything about until recently, and I still don't really understand what the search engines are actually looking at. There's also information about web design and helpful tools to use in designing your web pages.

The blog is fairly new, so there are only about 30 posts, but Robert is off to a good start, and I think it will be worth checking back to see what else he adds.

Update: removing old links and found that the site now sells beauty products.  I'm not so interested in that!

Scrabulous is Trying to Tell Me Something

Cory mentioned yesterday that he was playing Scrabulous on Facebook with his friend Caroline.  I, of course, told him he should play with me, too, so he said to start a game and he'd play.  Here's the game I started, first game, first word:


Yes, I know - tuition.  It's going to cost us.   The word itself was worth 64 points.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Last Lecture

I'm watching the ABC News special about Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch, who is dying from pancreatic cancer and the way he is living his life. His Last Lecture has been an inspiration to so many people. I've only seen highlights from the lecture, but what I've seen has been amazing. What an attitude.

Here's the lecture video:

Don't tell people how to live their lives. Just tell them stories, and they'll figure out how the stories apply to them.
It really makes you wonder - if you knew you had a limited amount of time to live, what would you do?

Let Hemisphere Educational Travel Handle the Details

I mentioned this morning that Jazz Band is canceled Thursday of this week and Tuesday of next week because the Middle School band is going to Cleveland. The High School band went to Boston last year. Our band director spends a lot of time and puts a lot of effort into planning these trips herself. It really ends up stressing her out sometimes. I mean, that's a lot of work, and she's a band teacher, not a tour guide.

Some of us have wondered if it wouldn't be better for her to find a tour agency that specializes in educational student tours and let them handle all the details. Hemisphere Educational Travel has been doing just that for 37 years. Their travel specialists are former educators and are highly qualified to organize the best student tours imaginable. I looked up Boston, since that's where the band went last year, and several, if not most of the attractions, they saw while they were there are listed. Hemisphere Educational Travel will tailor tour packages to meet the needs of each individual group, and guarantee to have the best prices. Budget is always a big concern, so that's good to know. For our school, I'm thinking of tours in the U.S., but Hemisphere also arranged International Tours.

It would certainly be worth our band director's time to call the toll-free number or fill in the web form to get a free quote the next time she's planning a trip for the band. That way she could let someone else handle all the travel details, like making arrangements for transportation, meals, accommodations, etc., while she concentrates on the band.

Cory's Out with some Senior Girls

There was no play practice tonight, so I figured we'd have Cory home with us. No, he got a call from one of his friends. She wanted him to go with her and a couple other senior girls to a game night at one of the girls' churches. I couldn't see any reason to say no to that. So, off he went. He said if he likes it, he might want to go every week. It goes for 8 weeks, I think. It doesn't hurt that he gets to hang out with several of his friends, who just happen to be girls.

Designer Fabrics at a Fraction of the Price

This sounds like a good way to possibly get some designer fabric at a great price. Design Diva Fabrics has what they call the Vote Up Count Down Sale. Registered users can vote for their favorite fabrics. The fabric that gets the most votes goes into Count Down mode, which means that it gets cheaper by the second, until someone buys it. Then the fabric that got the next highest amount of votes goes into Count Down mode. They will send out emails to let people know when the fabric they voted for goes into Count Down mode, so hopefully, they will not miss a great deal on discount Scalamandre fabric, Italian Chenille, Linens, or Silks.

The key, I think, is to catch it at a price you're willing to pay, but before someone else snatches it away. Since Beth is interested in Interior Design, I think this is something she'll be interested in checking out, if only to get some ideas of what is out there and available.

Yesterday was Tuesday

Shortly after going to bed last night, too late again due to waiting for a working daughter to get home and then talking to her a little, I suddenly remembered, "It's Tuesday, isn't it?" For some reason, yesterday didn't feel like a Tuesday. Maybe it was the fact that Cory didn't go to Jazz Band. I was supposed to drive, but Cory said Jazz Band had been canceled this week. About 5 minutes after we would normally have left, Erich called to see where we were. Cory explained that he thought there was no Jazz Band, but Erich thought there was, so Cory said we'd be there in a couple minutes and they'd go. Then Erich said not to worry about it. Cory offered again to go, but Erich said never mind.

Later on at school Cory found out that there was Jazz Band. It was canceled for Thursday and next Tuesday because the Middle School band is going to Cleveland over the weekend. That makes sense, but that's not what Cory heard, and several other band members heard the same thing. Erich ended up going - after his conversation with Cory, he drove himself.

Anyway, about Tuesday - the trash has to go out on Tuesday night because it gets picked up on Wednesdays, and you never know how early they will get to it. Since everyone was already in bed, we figured Cory could take care of the trash in the morning when he got up. There have been times when we reminded him after he went to bed, but before we did, but the idea of getting up again was just too much. I know Cory had play practice last night, but he was home in plenty of time to take care of the trash. Beth has been getting out of it since she's been working 'till 10, but she does have to help if she happens to have Tuesday night off. Taking out the trash has been the kids' job for I don't know how long, and still they have to be reminded. Granted, I didn't think about it until after I went to bed, but then again, it's not my job.

When I woke Cory up this morning for school, I told him he needed to get the trash taken care of, and he did. It was out at the street by the time Jeffrey and I got back from our walk, in plenty of time to be picked up.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cory's Computer has Moved

I was watching some show on HGTV (I think) this weekend. People wanted to sell their houses, and there was this mother/daughter team who would come in and tell them what they needed to change so the house would, hopefully, sell sooner. One family had the dad's office set up in the area that should have been the dining room. The mother and daughter told them that a buyer would be confused by that and that he should move his office furniture back upstairs and turn the dining room back into a dining room. So they did, moving the baby boy out of the nursery/TV room/home office they had upstairs and into the bedroom with his brother. I would have had the boys in the same room to start with, but it's not me. My two kids shared a room until we moved into this house. If they had been two girls or two boys, they probably would have had to share a room even longer than that. There's nothing that says a kid is entitled to his or her own room.

Anyway, not that we're thinking of selling our house, but since we're thinking of putting new tile in the kitchen and dining room, we did move the computer desk out of the dining room this weekend. Everything is going to have to be moved anyway, and Cory has been wanting to move 'his' computer into his room. It's been in the corner of the dining room for, well, ages, and it's really worked out well - except for the times we think we're talking to Cory but he's got his headphones on watching or listening to something online. Other times we think he's talking to us but he's actually talking to one of his friends. He wants to start a video log on YouTube so he thinks he'll be talking more when he's on the computer and figured it would be nicer for everyone if he wasn't just in the corner of the dining room. So, he cleaned up his room, he and his dad ran the network cable and put in the connector box, and they moved the computer and desk into his room.

It looks strange not having that desk in the corner now, but I'm definitely not confused what the room is for!? It's also strange not having Cory over in the corner where I can just talk to him whenever I want to, after getting his attention, of course. Now I have to go knock on his door and go into his room to talk to him. I'll have to be sure and keep an eye on his video log thing so I know what he's talking about in there!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Heads or Tails - Express

Today it's HEADS - EXPRESS

The first thing that came to mind was to tell you about the way I had to express breast milk when my kids were babies and I was working. Let's just say that it involved a bathroom stall, a Rubbermaid container, and some skills I got early in life milking some goats. But, of course, that was years ago, so it's really not pertinent to today, except that it might send some visitors my way. I wonder what the Googlebots (I started to type Gooblegots. I think I like that better) will make of this? Heads, tails and breasts all in one place.

Moving on.... The next thing that came to mind was the Hogwart's Express. We all love the Harry Potter books - except for Jeffrey who hasn't read the books, but he does like the movies. I especially love the books because they got Beth to read. That is a miracle in itself, and I really ought to find a way to express my appreciation to J.K. Rowling.

Don't forget to visit the home of Heads or Tails to see more participants and join in on the fun. It's a great way to express yourself every week. (to put (thought) into words; utter or state: to express an idea clearly.) - definition from