December 12, 2008
This year I threw away about 20 strings of lights. I am so tired of trying to go through them light by light to see if I can get them to work. It all began with the wreath I mentioned last post...
As you can see, it looked really shabby. The ribbon was faded, ornaments had fallen off or broke, and, of course, the mini-lights didn't work when I plugged it in. So, I stripped it and replaced everything.
Then we started working on the house. Every year we do pretty much the same thing. This year there's a lot less. I bought some new lights to make it look complete, but this is not near what we're used to.
When it came to the tree star, I had another incident with mini-lights. Actually, it all started a few years ago. We had this beautiful golden filigree star. We loved how this star looked and how it made our tree complete. Well, the little mini-lights quit working. We ended up replacing our beautiful star with this one.
We kept the golden star hoping one day we would be able to fix it or find a set of lights for it. Time went by and the golden star was forgotten. The other day I was helping my husband in the garage. He needed a tool so I rummaged through the tool box and found the golden star stored neatly in a zip-lock.
I had a brainstorm. Why not take the lights from the Christmas red mini-light star and put them in here? Brilliance!
I went into the house and pulled the working star down. I carefully disassembled the star and pulled the lights out. Then with utmost care, I reassembled the golden filigree star...
It didn't work! Thinking it had to be the outlet, I tried a different one. Nothing. I pulled out the fuses and put new ones in. It flashed and went out again. I thought one of the mini-lights had to be bad. Nope.
I worked on this for at least an hour. I changed the fuses and lights until, miraculously, it worked save one little mini-light. I got a new light to replace it. I pulled out the dead light and gently plugged in the new one.
I thought, "this is it! We are finally going to have our beautiful golden star back!"
It didn't work. I gave up.
Now we have two stars stored in the zip-lock.
I hate mini-lights.
November 25, 2008
For Thanksgiving dinner we'll be frying our turkey.
I've got the turkey thawing already. So, I won't be reporting any frying disasters afterward. Really, if you use a little common sense and follow certain safety precautions, all will be fine.
I'm making a lot of the usual sides: stuffing, mashed potatoes (sweet and white), cranberries, and gravy. Grandma's bringing green bean casserole and wild rice. I'll be making a pumpkin cheese cake and a ton of appetizers to boot. We always have enough leftovers to feed the family over and over again.
This weekend we'll get the house decorated and the Christmas tree up. I want to try doing some Christmas shopping too, but I doubt I'll get to it.
I need to make updates across the board online for the holidays...So much to do, so little time. My Me page is done. I bypassed doing Thanksgiving themes. I don't know if I can decorate the blog because of all the additions I've done this year. We'll see.
November 6, 2008
We chose the poem. Actually she chose the collage, but I convinced her the poem would be more fun. Here's what the final product looked like:
It looks a lot cooler in person. In the pictures the paper looks like I spilled my morning coffee on it. We stained the paper with tea to give it an old look. Then we burned the edges to make the pages look like they were saved from a fire.
The next big thing we had going on around here was Halloween. You know with a little one you gotta play those games. Here's this year's pumpkin:
It's Frankenstein, just in case you can't see it. Hubby did the carving from a stencil, but he kept saying no one would be able to tell what it was. Can you? (Here's last year's pumpkin)
I was also playing around a lot on Shared Reviews trying to win some contests. I got 3rd and 4th in two separate events to total $25. Not too bad for a little clicking.
The holidays are approaching quickly. I've been struggling with our Christmas decorations too (think Christmas Vacation!). We'll have a house full on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I can't wait!
October 16, 2008
It's a bit chilly outside. I'm hoping we have a cooler winter than we had last year. Given the cool air this morning, I'm thinking we may. I cannot wait to build a fire in the fireplace.
Last year we did not use the fireplace once. I missed it. When we bought this house I could not wait to build a fire for the first time. We have since used up all the wood from the wood pile so it's time to re-stock.
Behind our home is the community park. It's surrounded by trees. There is a slope down to the pond. It's a beautiful walk down some trails to get there.
A few months ago a large old red oak fell to its demise and took down a few cedars in the fall. My husband and I want to clear and chop that tree, and the unfortunate bystanders, to restock our wood pile. I miss the old oak. At this time the leaves would be turning into a glorious spectacle of color, which is rare around here.
Is it wrong to take the wood for our personal use? The property is community owned, but part of the tree fell on our lot. No one ever visits the slope beyond our home. No one keeps the area up. It just grows. I think clearing the debris would make room for new trees to grow, allowing the earth to renew itself.
We've been going back and forth about this situation. I think we're just going to do it. If we had already done the deed, I would build a fire today...
I have some news. I posted about wanting to become a Giant Squid: Squidoo Talk Time. I finally made it! You can see my Giant badge on My Squidoo Cheat-Sheet.
Building my Squidoo presence has taken up a lot of my time. I only have so much computer time during the day with the kids, house, and otherwise. I have to prioritize in order to keep up with my goals. Thank goodness the Squidoo Giant goal has come to fruition. That fire is built, I just have to keep stoking it now.
Back to my original topic...I wonder if my husband would be up for working on the old oak this weekend? Another question popping in my head is if the oak has sat long enough to be useful cooking wood? He probably knows the answer but I'm going to look into it myself.
It would be nice if it is because we have a brisket in the freezer screaming to be smoked--yet another reason to build a fire.
I love to sit out and watch the smoke rise from our pit. On a still day the smoke rising from the fire seemingly doesn't move. It just vanishes and renews itself.
October 10, 2008
I don't know why there is so much double talk, avoiding/begging the question, and he said/she said in politics. Those who get elected never follow through anyway.
Apparently, there are a lot of citizens who are undecided...Okay. If you are undecided you need to check this out:
Even if you are not undecided, check it out.
October 6, 2008
I'm proud to say I convinced him to open his eyes and accept change, change is good. We did a modem speed test on Speakeasy. Our modem is not performing at its peak for our paying for DSL. We'll be getting a new modem from our provider.
Next, I had been researching slow computer issues on the net. I performed all the fixes and deletions I could. The computer itself performs without flaw and is very fast for picture editing, document work, and other little things we do outside the Internet.
I searched about our browser and found slow issues with IE. Not one of the suggested fixes worked for us. So I uploaded a few different browsers to try. My husband barked about this until he sat down and tried them. We ended up with Mozilla Firefox.
Actually we tried FF before but did not like it. It seemed slow. We didn't like the toolbar or customizations. So we updated our IE6 to 7 and stuck with it. There is an IE8 now (Beta), but it did not work for us.
The FF we tried before was an old version. We tried the latest (I think it's 3.0.3) over the weekend and it's lickety split! Pagination is almost instant, pictures load quickly, and downloads are so fast it almost made my head spin.
We also tried Opera. I was really impressed with Opera. It was faster than FF on every account, but we could not get it to load Adobe flash for our music and videos no matter what we did.
The others we tried are not even worth mentioning.
I cannot wait to get our new modem! We'll really be moving on the Internet then.
All I can say about this whole experience is: Change is good!
October 4, 2008
In addition to everything else I've been doing computer wise, I have taken some dear time to clean up and back up certian files. I did some research on cleaning up and speeding up a slow computer. I removed a ton of old programs and moved bookmarks from my favorites to my Stumble account. The computer is a bit faster but not like it should be.
I defragged, cleaned the registry with CCleaner, scanned for viruses, and tweaked some features on my Internet options. Really, I defrag whether it needs it or not once a month. I clean the disk and registry every other week, and the virus stuff does its thing regularly. It helped, but not enough.
I think he's spoiled by those fast machines at his work. Let's face it, our computer is getting old. I told him we may just need to tighten the belt and buy a better/bigger/faster machine, and get a new modem. The modem may be the biggest culprit in this scenario.
"No, no, no," he says. "I know wiping it out and starting anew will bring it back to life"...Whatever.
Even the guy at our DSL provider says our modem is antiquated.
I'm hoping I can convince him today we need to exchange the modem, doing one of those modem speed tests. Honestly, I think removing all the stuff I had on the favorites and the hard drive really helped immensely.
We'll see what happens...
September 25, 2008
September 17, 2008
September 12, 2008
September 5, 2008
Wow, the crowds were not quite as enthusiastic as they were at the DNC. However, they were much more festive with their attire. I just loved the elephant hats with the business suits! That really shows spunk. And, what about the guy dressed just like Abraham Lincoln? Awesome!
Generally, it seemed the crowd took their time to warm up with each speaker--except for with Giuliani and Palin. I don't know if it's just the nature of the Republican party or what.
I have to say McCain made a good choice with Sarah Palin. I liked how she presented herself and what she said. I can tell you, I'm looking forward to the debates. She's a real firecracker. I laughed when she mentioned the Greek columns going back to some prop room on a movie set (referring to the DNC stage).
Cindy McCain's presentation was fantastic. Did you notice, no notes! I never knew about all she has done. I likened her to Princess Diana.
The video presentations really felt good for me. I am more impressed now than I was prior to the RNC. John McCain's video especially got me. I knew in my head what they showed us, but it wasn't until I saw the video did a whole new respect develop for me--pictures are truly worth a thousand words.
A thought kept popping in my head while I watched some of the crowd shots. Don't they screen or search the spectators prior to letting them in? During Palin's speech a woman was escorted out and a man during McCain's. First, why did the cameraman document the incidents and the display of certian banners? I know, it's propaganda but I had to mention it. Second, I think McCain handled it very well. I guess even politicians get hecklers.
The commentators changed their tune from the DNC. It was almost like they jumped on the other side of the fence and turned Democratic from their previous Republican demure. They're reporters so I guess they can flip the coin when they choose.
One issue they pointed out with Obama's speech was he distanced himself from the crowd with the stage choice. McCain opted to redirect the stage so he would be one with the floor. The main commentator kept talking about it almost as if it was a waste of time. Come on guys, damned if you do, damned if you don't was the impression I got. I personally liked McCain's stage better.
Overall, the crowd for the Republican National Convention was just as diverse as it was for the DNC. I swear I saw Bill Clinton there crouching, speaking with one of the big guys in the box where the Palins, McCains and presenters were sitting. Perhaps I was seeing things the camera was shaking and moved away quickly.
August 31, 2008
There is a fawn that hangs around our house. In fact it was born in the woods down the hill. I've been watching this little thing grow pretty much from the day it was born.
Someone or something cut off it's tail! My heart broke when I saw this because I have a feeling it may have been done by some high angst teens we have living in the neighborhood. They've gone through and torn up the tennis courts, drove donuts in the neighborhood park, and even burned down the port-a-potty near the boat ramp.
The neighborhood has taken measures to reinstate our neighborhood watch. This is a good thing but the damage they may have done here is unrepairable.
My husband told me not to be too quick to judge, that it may have been a dog. Well, my thought is, wouldn't the fawn have other battle marks on it if it was a dog?
I took a picture to post here. I'm thinking about going to the next quarterly meeting to bring the subject up. The parents of these horrible kids really need to tighten the reigns or else we'll all be in trouble.
There is another deer I blogged about a few months ago, Notch. I caught her kissing on camera, so I wrote a little about it. Notch has notches cut out of her ears and scars down her back. I thought she had gotten hit by a car or got in a tangle with a barb-wire fence. Now I'm thinking otherwise about her too. Looking at her, the notches are too perfect, almost V like.
August 29, 2008
August 27, 2008
August 26, 2008
The raise in clout means I get .05 more PPM/1000 pay! In the long run, long tail, it works for me. Actually, it almost makes me want to do more promotion to move to clout 8.
I wanted to thank everyone for clicking my Associated Content articles when I post them here and through my widget. Without those clicks I would have never made the move up.
It's funny, I've been doing AC and this blog for one year now. I built the blog right after I joined AC. I make money writing articles for AC but I post more on the blog. I guess I like expressing myself more than conforming to the SEO faction.
Now that school has started up again I'll be back to writing articles again. As you know I put a few things on the back burner during the summer. I submitted one the other day and I'm planning on doing at least one a week.
So, I'll lay out my new goals:
- 1 AC article per week
- 2-3 blog posts per blog per week
- 2 lenses per week (after I meet my 50 goal)
I know I can accomplish this if I spread myself out evenly.
PJN is also:
- The 2nd fastest growing company in Pennsylvania
- The fastest growing affiliate marketing network
- The fastest growing full-service Internet marketing agency
- The fastest growing interactive marketing agency
- The fastest growing search-engine marketing firm
- The fastest growing advertising/marketing in Pennsylvania
- PJN ranks #5 in the United States in advertising/marketing
I'm really happy I signed up with Pepperjam Network. Doing the affiliate ad work has given me a whole new perspective on what to do with my Squidoo lenses. I've gained a lot of new ideas using the banners and links Pepperjam provides.
You know what else? PJN is very helpful. They have a great support system. Plus, all of your banners link back to your PJN account, they track everything for you, and all of your information is laid out so you know exactly what's what!
The more affiliate work I do using Pepperjam, the better I get at building the ad content. I'm almost thinking I'm better at writing ads than any of the other writing I've been doing. Which is baffling to me. I'm building the Squidoo lenses faster and better than I ever had before.
I think everyone should sign up with PJN! If you haven't done it yet, do it now!
August 25, 2008
This is not to say I won't try to slip in a lens here and there on Inspired. You know what they say, the more links the better. I'm just trying to get a little more organized web wise...
Speaking of organization, my oldest daughter went back to school today! Yippee for me and the little one! Now I'll be able to use the computer at will, and hopefully, get back to better posting, reading, writing, and working. All without sleep deprivation!
We did last minute school shopping yesterday. You know when I was in school we never needed all the stuff they need today. I swear manufacturers and schools have joined together and created a monopoly on school supplies (or would that be a conspiracy?).
Gotta have this, gotta have that...Just wait, I'll probably be harping about the special teacher's list she'll bring home tonight--all stuff she must have by tomorrow.
August 22, 2008
August 14, 2008
August 7, 2008
I was beginning to feel as if I were stuck in some Abbot and Costello flick.
July 30, 2008
I signed up to be an affiliate marketer. You can see some of the ads on the top of the blog. Adsense just isn't cutting it for me. I signed up for their "image" ads and still only got text. So I took the plunge to be an affiliate. Guess what, it's free. You should check them out because Pepperjam Network is Now Offering a $10 Affiliate Sign On Bonus. Join Today.
Here's how I'm using the Pepperjam affiliate ads on Squidoo:
- Swimsuit Model Selections for Real People
- Food Recipes: Variety is the Spice of Life
- Debt Free! Real World Credit Management Solutions
- Dereon Makes Perfect Back to School Clothing
- Bartending or Bar Tending? That is the Question...
- Old Vintage Jewelry is Beautiful and Stylish
- The Pepperjam Affiliate Marketing Program is for You!
Here's another affiliate program: ClickBank. Their ads are in text link ads to digital products. I just signed onto this one. I created Bass Fishing Guide for Fishing Largemouth like a Pro. I don't know how many clickbank lenses I'll do, but that lens was a fun one to throw together.
You probably won't have to hear me ramble on too much about affiliate marketing until I get to know the ropes a little better. So far I'm doing alright with it. Every day another advertiser accepts me as an affiliate at pepperjam. As long as they do, I'll keep building the lenses.
If you are looking to run ads on your blogs or make more money on Squidoo, I think you should give Pepperjam a go.
July 21, 2008
(ETA: I found the Siamese Rescue site has more excerpts from the cat diary. Apparently it was written by Diane R. Karius, Ph.D. I think it's hilarious and if I come across any more entries I'll post them.)
EXCERPTS FROM A DOG'S DAILY DIARY
8:00 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9:30 am - Oh Boy! A car ride! My favorite!
9:40 am - Oh Boy! A walk! My favorite!
11:30 am - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
12:00 pm - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
1:00 pm - Oh Boy! The yard! My favorite!
4:00 pm - Oh Boy! The kids! My favorite!
5:00 pm - Oh Boy! Dog food! My favorite!
5:30 pm - Oh Boy! Dad! My favorite!
6:00 pm - Oh Boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
8:30 pm - Oh Boy! Sleeping in master's bed! My favorite!
Here's our cat...Spooky similarities here too.
EXCERPTS FROM A CAT'S DAILY DIARY
Day 183 of my captivity.
My captors continue to taunt and torment me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I, on the other hand, am forced to consume dry cereal only.
The one thing that keeps me going is the blessed hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction I get from ruining the occasional piece of furniture. Tomorrow I may eat another houseplant.
Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded. Must try this at the top of the stairs next time.
In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. Must try this on their bed.
Decapitated a mouse and brought them the body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am truly capable of, and to instill dread and terror in their hearts. They only cooed and repeated "what a good little kitty" I was. Hmmm, not working according to plan.
There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More importantly, I overheard that my confinement was due to my "ability to induce allergies." Must learn what this ability is and how to turn it to my advantage.
I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and possibly snitches as well. The dog is routinely released outdoors and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a complete idiot.
The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant, as he speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the small metal room, his safety is assured. For now.
But I can wait. Oh, yes, I can wait....
July 18, 2008
I belted out an uncontrollable scream and demanded to see him.
My father was in his bed. His complexion was gray. His eyes were shut. He looked peaceful, almost happy.
The pungent scent of rubbing alcohol filled the room. Pristine white sheets lay crisp and smooth upon him. His arms were at his side. He did not move a muscle or crack a joke. I touched his hand. It was cold.
I wanted to cry. I could feel it in my throat but the tears would not fall. He was gone all right.
My sister walked in. Tears streamed down her cheeks. I was jealous. She said mom did not want to come in. I knew she had to.
I sat on my father’s bed. His body shifted. My heart jumped inside of my chest. For a moment I thought he came back but I was wrong.
My sister and I sat silently with our father until there was a knock on the door. I knew who it was. I could not bring myself to open it.
I grabbed my dad’s hand. I asked him to come back. For the first time in my life he did not respond to me.
The door opened and a nurse entered silently. I did not look at her. She whispered something but I ignored her. My sister stood up and left me alone with my daddy.
I pulled my father’s hand and poked his arm. I shook the bed again. He moved but didn’t say a word. I wanted him to tell me, "cut it out!"
My sister returned, “They’re here.” She held her hand out to me. I stood up and shook the bed again. I told him I was sorry I didn’t take him home last night and walked out.
The corridor was silent. The normal hustle and bustle of nurses and staff did not exist that evening. Down the hall, a gurney sat draped in midnight blue. A tall man in a dark suit and tie stood beside it.
The wing doors were still shut. In fact, every door down the hall was closed. I passed the vacant nurses station feeling just as empty.
The drive home was silent except for Nana blowing her nose. I dropped her off and returned home. My sister and mother were sitting on the couch. I went to my room.