Friday, December 29, 2006

We Lived

Well, I made it through Christmas with relatively little pain. Everyone was happy. Santa comes a day early to our house, so we spend actual Christmas day in sweats and never left the house. The girls got new cameras lots of great pictures. My camcorder died that morning so I have no video. Unfortunately Santa had already gone and it was too late to ask for a new one. He did, however, leave me this:

It is beautiful.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Bah Humbug

Just got done with the in-laws Christmas (party). I love my in-laws. They are everything my last set of in-laws weren't, and thankfully, are not everything my last set of in-laws were. This year was a doozy. My husband, the lone success story, has a couple brothers. The youngest has a 20 year old wife (he's mid-thirties) and a 9 year old daughter but a woman who's in close contact with children's services - constantly. This year the youngest brother is drunk, argumentative with everyone, combative, and obviously on something stronger than the pot he's usually smoking. He. Talked. Like. This. The. Whole. Night. By the end of the night I was falling asleep mid-sentence. He called me stupid, he told his mother she had no idea what she was talking about, and just generally made an ass of himself. Then he and his wife (who'd also been drinking) loaded up the 9 year old and went home. To their pit bull. Who is, apparently, the best family dog they could ever have. It's enough to make me want to drink. This is why I love the holidays.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas Carols for the Disturbed

This was taken from another blog. Apparently it offended and made at least one person cry. Folks, that's what we are about here: spreading the pain.

1) Schizophrenia---- Do You Hear What I Hear, the Voices, the Voices?
2) Amnesia-- I Don't Remember If I'll be Home for Christmas
3) Narcissistic-- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
4) Manic-- Deck The Halls And Walls And House And Lawn And Streets And Stores And Office And Town And Cars And Buses And Trucks And Trees And Fire Hydrants And...........
5) Multiple Personality Disorder----We Three Queens Disoriented Are6) Paranoid---Santa Claus Is Coming To Get Us
7) Borderline Personality Disorder--- You Better Watch Out, You Better not Shout, I'm Gonna Cry, and I'll not Tell You Why
8) Full Personality Disorder--- Thoughts of Roasting You On an Open Fire
9) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder---Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
10) Agoraphobia---I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House
11) Senile Dementia---Walking In a Winter Wonderland Miles from My House in My Slippers and Robe
12) Oppositional Defiant Disorder---I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House
13) Social Anxiety Disorder---Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate
14) Attention Deficit Disorder--We Wish You......Hey Look!! It's Snowing!!!

As someone who has to turn her alarm clock 'ON/OFF' exactly seven times every night, my personal favorite is #9 ;) Now can someone pass the tissues.... *sniff*


It is pretty common to run into people in my town who are chronic double-negative users. My question is if a double negative turns the statement into a positive, what would a triple negative do?

I was having trouble coming up with a triple negative, so Amy at work helped me out. She came up with this beauty:

I don't want nothing no more

I have no idea what it means.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This morning I got busted leaving tooth fairy money for the boy. I know he's 9 and too old for that stuff, but I can't find a way to break it to him without upsetting the little ones. He'd tell. So.. I told him I was trying to find his money to take it. I said I wasn't giving you money, I was trying to steal it. Then I offered to take the $5 off his hands. He declined and decided to buy the story.

I guess it's better to be a thief than a liar.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here Comes Santa Clause

One of the presents I got for Dan was a new electric razor. He's been using the same Braun since I've known him (four years now?). I'm hoping he'll like it.

I have two people left on my list. My mom and my grandma. I wanted to get my mom Cold Case on DVD, but apparently they have not released it and are not going to anytime soon. So, that's the only hard thing left.

And I have everything wrapped. I always give everyone a paper and then don't put names on the presents. I enjoy them trying to figure out what belongs to who by the shape of the box and they always forget that everyone gets the same paper for everything.

Balancing Act

A new girl started at work today. That makes us a 'four' when we just got used to being 'three'. If you've ever worked with women, you know how very little it takes to upset the scales of justice. Things went ok today. It will be interesting to see the week play out.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Tree is Up

Last weekend we got the tree up. By 'we', I mean the three kids. They worked together to unpack, build, and decorate it themselves. The bottom of it has colored lights, the top has white. There are three ornaments on most of the branches. I reduced myself to picture-taker and really let them run the show.

I've never been so proud.

Welcome Back

Hello, real world. Glad to be back aboard.

I've been sick pretty much all week. I think I peaked today. I spent much of the day in a drug-induced (yes, legal as long as I buy less than three boxes a month) haze. Mostly I was sleeping. What a way to waste a Saturday, but I feel semi-normal again. My headache is back to a dull-ache and I can breathe out of one nostril. This, folks, we call progress. The worse, however, is yet to come. I think the husband has caught it and you know how men are when they are sick.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Year

Yes, I've started making my list. I've never made resolutions before because I always thought it was a dumb way to motivate a person. If you had the strength to do it in the new year, you have it now. Well, call me a bandwagon-jumper-oner. But I'm going to be specific.

  1. Exercise 4 nights a week by doing as many crunches as I possibly can (plus ten). No credit for future performances.
  2. Keep a cleaner office. This means at least having no more than one junk box full of crap at any one time. And no moving the boxes to another room to make it fit.
  3. Cut my pop intake by one pop a day. I drink about 6 cans a day now. Really.
  4. Replace that one pop with water. The only water I drink now is when I accidentally swallow some when brushing my teeth.
  5. Fit back into my jeans. The size 4's that I loved and that fit me last winter. They will be mine again.
  6. Fight less with Dan. Learn to walk away. At least get out of earshot before I mutter the last word. At least once a week.
  7. Get better with PHP

That is it so far. I would not hold my breath.

For the Bored


[ RED ]
1. Closest red thing to you? One of Meg's Piggies (hair tie)
2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship? Yes, but generally it's the other way around
3. Last thing to make you angry? It was the 9 year old telling me that we weren't going to a pageant, it was a program. He ALWAYS feels the need to correct me.
4. Are you a fan of romance? NO
5. Have you ever been in love? I'm always in love, with someone. Usually myself.
6. Do you have a temper? Yes.

1. Closest green thing to you? Yet another Piggie.
2. Do you care about the environment? More so after watching the movie, The Day After Tomorrow.
3. Are you jealous of anyone right now? Yes, people who get to do what they want and still get a full 9 hours sleep.
4. Are you a lucky person? I'm not unlucky. God Loves me.
5. Do you always want what you can't have? If I want it, I get it. Period. Unless it is sleep.
6. Are you Irish? Nope.

1. Last purple thing you saw? A VERY cute dress at the Christmas (Program) tonight.
2. Like being treated to expensive things? I like to treat myself to expensive things.
3. Do you like mysterious things? No. Surprises Suck.
4. Favorite type of chocolate? Any that 'doesn't count'
5. Ever met anyone in royalty? Does the Quarter Horse Queen count?
6. Are you creative? Depends on how much trouble I'm in.
7. Are you lonely? I walk a pretty lonely path. I find people can only tolerate *so much* of me.

1. Closest yellow thing to you? More PIGGIES!
2. The happiest time(s) of your life? I'm generally happy a lot. I like to spend money on others. And myself.
3. Favorite holiday? I'm not a big fan of holidays. Most likely the 4th of July, there is no expectation to 'perform.'
4. Are you a coward? I'm confrontational, but I have walls. Thick, thick walls.
5. Do you burn or tan? Burn, then tan. But I try not to do either. I don't want wrinkles.
6. Do you want children? I want the three I have. Most of the time.
7. What makes you happy? Peace, Love, and 4-legged furry things.

[ BLUE ]
1. Closest blue thing to you? You guessed it. I think I have the whole bag on my desk.
2. Are you good at calming people down? Yes, I'm pretty level-headed when I have to be. With three kids you learn to distract and replace FAST.
3. Do you like the ocean? I hate water so much I can't even stick my face under the shower.
4. What was the last thing that made you cry? My mom. I cry a lot though. It makes me feel good... well better.
5. Are you a logical thinker? I'd say I'm a rational thinker. I can rationalize anything.
6. Can you sleep easily? I don't even think my head needs to hit the pillow anymore. I'm scheduled though. You won't catch me napping at noon. Unless I'm at work. Drunk.
7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods? I prefer the barn. And people who don't use double negatives.

[ PINK ]
1. Closest pink thing to you? Post-its, actually. Then piggies.
2. Do you like sweet things? I've been know to eat sugar.
3. Like play-fighting? Always.
4. Are you sensitive? And I'd like to stay that way.
5. Do you like punk music? What exactly is punk music? Is it by Pink? Maybe a song or two. I dunno.
6. What is your favorite flower? I'm not a flower person.
7. Does someone have a crush on you? Only every guy at work. Ok, maybe no so much.

1. Closest orange thing to you? I should really take a picture because I am sure you don't believe me.
2. Do you like to burn things? Play with fire, wet the bed. I won't even use a lighter. I'm not sure I could.
3. Dress up for Halloween? Nope, didn't even like to when I was a kid.
4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person? I'm not a mean person, but you won't find my inviting the bums over for dinner. Maybe I'm a little mean.
5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship? You can't have both? I don't think I'm the long-term type, but we'll see.
6. What would your super power be? I'd want to be psychic

1. Closest white thing to you? Paper, paper everywhere
3. Always try to keep the peace? I'm usually the breaker of peace
4. How do you imagine your wedding? My next one? Non-existent
5. Do you like to play in the snow? I didn't even sled as a child. I'd like snow if it was say, 70 out when it happened.
6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist? No and yes.
7. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder(A.D.D)? No. Noone that can watch 12 hours of tv from the same sofa can possibly have ADD.

1. Closest black thing to you? My Mouse or keyboard. Unless you count the undies.... Just kidding.
2. Ever enjoy hurting people? Probably more than I should. Some people, some people just ask for it.
3. Are you sophisticated or silly? I'm sarcastic. But I can behave at a dinner party. If you pay me.
4. ?? Where did 4 go?
5. Do you have a lot of secrets? Yes.
6. What is your favorite color(s)? When I was a kid, I would never pick a favorite color because I didn't want to hurt the other crayon's feelings. They couldn't help being born the color they were. Seriously. I think it carried over. 7. Does the color you wear affect your mood? Well sure. I feel grown-up in black, young in pink, and dorky in red. But does it make me dye my hair and get a nose ring, um nope.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

In Some Serious Need of Professional Help

I've been trying to finish my Christmas shopping plans tonight. I bought a few things online and am trying to nail down the rest. Taking a break, I did a search on blogger for "myhometown, mystate" - and OMG! Not surprisingly it came back with a plethora of people bragging about things like 'only getting 5 days in jail' and 'I have EIGHT tattoos'. Seriously. That. Is. My. Town.

I don't know which is worse: the fact that I am not surprised or the fact that I bothered to look.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Movie Worth Watching

This morning the girls and I watched Eight Below, the movie about the sled dogs. I'd have to say this was the best family movie I've seen in a long time. It clearly beats Ice Age 2, Monster House, and even Dreamer. It made me want to go play in the snow. Highly recommended

Friday, December 08, 2006

Why People Go to Prison for Killing their Exes

Because it is worth it, that is why.

My stupid ex bought the kids rabbits. And then told them that if I wouldn't let them keep them at the barn (not my house btw, someplace I have to drive 20 mins to) then he was going to eat them. Of course I relented under the condition I wouldn't have to feed them or scoop poop. He assured me he was ready to be Father-of-the-Year. Well, he doesn't take them to feed on weekends he has them like he said he would. He didn't feed them when I was out of town so they went 48 hours without food or water. He has never once cleaned up after them. He has never once helped them. I've been gently reminding him and coaxing him into being a better father. He did this crap all the time when we were married. He'd bring home animals that I'd have to care for.

So, tonight I said he could either make the effort or I'd drop the bunnies off at his house.. rather his parents house.. he couldn't handle keeping a job to keep a house. First, he blamed the kids. Called them irresponsible, etc. Like they can DRIVE, HELLO. Then he blamed me. Then I'm not sure, but I think he blamed the rabbits themselves. Basically it was everyone’s fault but his. Then THEN THENNNN he had the nerve to say that he (1) does running around too much for me already -- all the running he does is when I say, sure, you can get the kids for a few hours if you want to then he says (2) he doesn't get enough time with them. Well, Wonder-Dad, let's try an activity that doesn't involve you sleeping when you have them, try feeding the rabbits.

It ended with him telling me it wasn't fair that I brought this up and him telling the kids the rabbits were going to be killed and eaten because I wouldn't take care of them. They cried, thinking it was their fault. I relented saying forget it, I'll shoulder the responsibility as usual. They blame me, he blames me. Me, I blame the rabbits.

I should have hired a Hitman instead of a lawyer. It still might be worth it.

A First

We got a Christmas card from a longtime friend of the Man in this house. The card was signed (names have been withheld for my protection). Nothing else. Just an ad for their website. They aren't even techies (which then I would understand).

I feel Spammed.

What's On

I hate the tv mid-season. I realize that I waste more time than I have making sure I see my favorite shows (I'm down to about 4 - ok 6), and my favorite shows are now all an hour long, but it sure sucks to look at the tv guide and see they are all reruns.

I'm a fan of (in order of the day of the week, of course)

  • Desperate Housewives
  • Brothers & Sisters
  • Lost
  • Ugly Betty
  • Grey's Anatomy
  • ER

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Where Have you Been all my Life?

It's been a little hectic here the last week. Updates have been a long time coming, but I promise I haven't run out of life, just time. Here's the short list, more details on them later.. I hope.

1 . We had our end of year award banquet for the horses. We came home with trophies, plaques, and best of all.... my boy won his first belt buckle. That's a big deal! Hopefully I'll get a pic up soon.

2. My mom and I are not speaking. She blew us on off award night so she could watch my sister ride her horse... as if she couldn't do that any other time. I'm extremely disappointed in her. I'm used to her blowing me off, but these are her only grandkids. It'll be a while before I get over it. She doesn't think she did anything wrong. Both of my biological parents are a disappointment and I don't even expect much from them.

3. Went to Chicago on Tuesday for the SES Conference. In a word - awesome! We got Wednesday off to recover. I slept most of the day.

4. That brings us to today. Here is what you come for. Hick Christmas tales... I saw a yard today that was smaller than my porch. It had three giant Christmas inflatables in it. Two of them were laying over into the street because the people were too lazy to anchor them right - or perhaps they ran out of grass. Classic.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Tomorrow is the Day

It's haircut time. The last time I got my haircut it was February. I'm doing the annual chop and go. This year it's going to be a little different. I'm shelling out the cash for Penzone's. I need it colored to hide the silver. I'm hoping for something dramatic that doesn't make me cry.

Baby It's Cold Outside

This morning it was 60 degrees. Right now it is 35 and falling. With the wind it feels like low teens. Winter has arrived.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

For the Person Who Has Everything

This is a neat site: Wallhogs
You can get life-size prints of your pictures. According to them:

Imagine taking one of your photos or a graphic, blowing it up to 7 feet
tall by over four feet wide, removing any background junk you didn't want,
having it printed on a semi-adhesive vinyl, receiving it via UPS, and installing
the masterpiece onto your wall in just minutes - there you have WALLHOGS.
It appears you can get a vinyl, poster, or canvas done. Pretty reasonable too. A 2 foot tall one will run you between twenty and twenty-five bucks. They offer a money back guarantee as well. They claim that they can remove background clutter as well, but they do not show a pricing for that. I think they look pretty cool and might be an idea gift for that person who has it all. The shipping is through UPS. You upload your image at their site. For their giant 84" print, you're going to want at least an Eight Mega Pixel camera image, according to their chart. What will they think of next?!

$122 for Cough Medicine?

Our family has a cough. Worse than the usual cough we have because Alyssa is basically allergic to the outside. She also can't drink milk when she's off her allergy medicine. Not because she is allergic to any diary products - my closest guess? Because cows eat a lot of grass. The allergist said maybe, but I think that was only to appease me. Anyway, our cough...

The babysitter insisted we get a new cough medicine. Generally I am very anti-medicate your cold. Not only because I think your body knows best, but because they simply don't work. Very hypocritical for someone who lives on a constant does of Advil to keep headaches at bay, I know. The babysitter, who took her daughter to the doctor for a mild fever and a cough, was told she MUST use this Mucinex Cough Syrup for three days. It is a combination cough suppressant and expectorant. I read a study a few years back that says to avoid using cough suppressants unless it interferes with sleeping. Coughing is good - gets the stuff out - and allows you to share germs with your co-workers.

Now, I am not a doctor, but I like a decongestant when I'm mucusy. Dry that crap up. This medicine is supposed to break up the mucus. But then.. instead of coughing it out and getting rid of it, it suppresses your cough. That makes very little sense to me. None, actually.

Back to why it cost me $122: I went to Krogers to buy it, against my better judgement, knowing that Tylenol Cold and Cough would work better (it does). See I hadn't eaten dinner yet and they had family packs of Pork Chops buy one get one free. So I did and then some.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Better than a Phonebook

I've been using Google's analytics for a few weeks now. It shows me the referring keywords if my visitors come from google. Yesterday, someone found my site by searching for:

cowgirl castrating photos

Serious. Totally serious.
Some other recent ones, but none quite as fun:

  • atlantis morissette - relationships
  • thanksgiving slob
  • samsung scd103 eject problem
  • tylenol
  • stationary movies*answers
  • viking stationary movie's results
  • be fearless

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Social Experiment

A month or so ago I was approached by a woman with a horse website. She was frustrated because her site was not searching well - actually at all. She asked advice and I gave it up for *free*. She didn't believe me. A few easy fixes would have landed her exactly where she wanted to be. That irritated me. I took the time to research her site, the competition and solve the problem. Something I am paid very well for at work. She acted like I had never seen a computer before.

So.. to prove a point I bought a domain name similar and threw up a random site. I spent about 20 minutes on it. Maybe 15. In two weeks I turned up #1 on Google for her site name. I'm near the top for some others as well. I don't know how long I'll leave it up. I didn't sign my name to it at all. I don't even have an email. However, if she's clever enough, she'll be in contact. I'll most likely take it down then, it's only to prove a point. In the meantime, I'm going after the keywords Horse Auctions and Tack Auctions. I'll let you know how I do.

10 Things that Make Me Smile

1. Kid DVD's that have an automatic loop feature. Bonus points for the ones that let you skip all the previews and cut straight to the menu.
2. My new wireless keyboard/mouse combo for the Mac.
3. 70 degree days in November.
4. Weeks that I don't have to pack lunches at all.
5. New episodes on TV nights.
6. Having my Christmas shopping at least halfway done.
7. Having everything I bought so far wrapped.
8. My iLife 6 gets delivered tomorrow.
9. All the kids are quietly watching a movie. Together.
10. My family is safe, happy, and warm.

The Problem with People Today

Sick of leftovers, I had McDonald's for lunch. We have three in our town. Each one I personally rate and today I went to the 'best' that we have. The one that usually serves hot, fresh(er) food from people who look like they might have bathed this week. It's the one in front of our WalMart - if that isn't irony at its finest.

Anyway, the menu board has been broken for at least a month, but that's ok. I want a #5. I don't get the people who stand and stare at the menu... it doesn't change. You're at McDonald's. If you don't know what you want, go back to your car, drive home, and stare into the fridge like I'm sure you usually do. As if the food will magically morph into something that sounds good to eat. Back on track: First, it's to go. Second #5 with no lettuce, no tomato, and crispy. Large size. Seriously - I know the questions they ask, I eat out often. Yes, often. The woman, who was the only one there over 45 (kids, stay in school) asked me every single question. As if I hadn't just provided all the answers to her already. Then we finish. Last question. For here or to go? Seriously. They weren't busy and she couldn't remember that? Way to make me feel important. Then her and her co-workers are passing around boxes of cigarettes because making sure they all have enough to smoke at break is WAY more important than getting my food - or helping the other customers that are waiting. The one girl, on break, is drinking her shake at the cash register, gross.

So, fast forward to the food that they throw at me. My fries aren't even halfway full as usual. Generally I politely ask them to 'make them look like the box in the picture' - today, not worth it. The Happy Meal falls halfway out of the bag on the counter when it's thrown. My Premium Chicken Sandwich that cost about 3 bucks alone: on a hamburger bun. When I inquire about that, they seem confused and say yea whatever. Seriously. If I had known that I could have gotten something else.

Granted I am extremely picky about this stuff but I look at it this one way. This is their job. It might not be the greatest job in the world, but that isn't my fault. I don't care if your job is to pass out papers, shovel crap, or throw fries in a bag. You do the best damn job you can do because that is what it is about. Maybe you feel like crap and don't like working in grease. I don't care. You are there because you either aren't ambitious enough to get something better, you lack experience, or you like it. The worse part is when the managers are there watching this and saying nothing. I think it is pathetic.

I worked fast food for 5 months as my first job until I found something with better pay. My cash drawer was never short and I was NEVER rude once - even to the most irate customer. I worked as fast and as hard as I could every single day for minimum wage on crappy hours. I don't regret a single minute of it.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Crisis Averted

We did another shopping trip tonight and I was a total grouch. I was still stressed over what to get the boy. I found a cool robot toy at MicroCenter, but it was $250! That's a lot of money to chance he won't like it. I did return the Palm. By the time I got home I was convinced he needed a dirt bike - the other 'adult' in this house is pushing for a compound bow or a yea. I check the reviews on the Lego Mindstorm NXT when I got home and they looked ok. Right up the boy's alley and he's been asking for a robot for a while now. WELL..... thank you fat wallet for this sweet deal: a coupon code at Barnes & Noble for 25% off and with my membership I got another 10% off -- so I paid $177.02 AFTER tax! Sweet! That's only a few bucks more than the Palm and I know he'll love this. I couldn't be more thrilled.

Yes, free shipping.

Why I Hate the Holidays Part Deux

Shopping for a 9 year old boy sucks. He's always been hard to please. I've tried everything. Some years I've bought by the reviews. Everything they say a boy his age will like I buy. It flopped. One year I bought everything he specifically asked for. I started keeping a list in October and then just went down it. A few years I've bought what I think he'd like based on toys he plays with elsewhere, his personality, etc. That bombed too. I know he's too old for Santa and I know he doesn't want to tell me that he is too old for Santa. His dad took him to see the old man and here is what he said: "I don't really want anything for Christmas, I have everything I need." HUH?!!!

I asked him if that was true, he said he wanted two games for his GBA, but didn't think Santa would understand. That's it. All he wants are two $30 games. Seriously. How am I supposed to work with that? I considered getting him a more advanced digital camera, but figured that would go to waste. I thought about one of those programmable robots, but I hear they break. I ended up buying a Palm E2 because he's always wanting to play with my Palm, but I don't see how that is going to be 'fun' for him when he already has a GBA. He doesn't want a Nintendo DS. AGH! When they were little I didn't have the money to get them what they wanted and now that I do, he doesn't want anything. Isn't that irony at its finest. So, I"m game for any ideas... what do you get a 9 year old boy who (1) doesn't play with trucks, (2) already has a computer, (3) and a pony, and (4) doesn't get into sports?

And I'm not buying a Playstation because we have a Gamecube that I have to ration out time on or he'd play it all day. I think I'll just save the money because it looks like I'll need it for therapy for him.

Friday, November 24, 2006

How'd It Go?

I slept around 4 hours last night and I've been up for 18 and 1/2 hours now. Today was exhausting. Mentally, physically, and well that is pretty much it. The Best Buy line was completely out of control. We waited until an hour after they opened because it was so long outside (people started lining up at noon yesterday). We still had to wait an hour in line. It wasn't so bad, we passed the time with clever games and picking up other merchandise. We got DVDs for $2.99! Even newer releases were that price. I didn't get the laptop for $299, big surprise there. We saw lots of empty stores by 10. All in all it was a success and a lot of fun. I didn't get much shopping done as I have NO idea what to get the kids. I think some of what I did get will go back. Things were easier when they were smaller.

I did not see one fight today, although I did hear about a few. I need to send out a special thanks to Amanda for hanging in there and driving me all over the town, Amanda's brother for an excellent, free Bob Evans breakfast, and Dan for keeping Megan all day. I can't wait till we can do it again next year.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Image Recall 3

A few months ago my 200GB storage drive went bad. On it were years of home movies and every picture I had taken for the past 2 years... the vast majority not backed up. I finally took the time to try to recover the priceless pictures. I used Image Recall 3 to do the job. I hooked up the drive externally through another device that uses USB. This software ran for 91 (yes, NINETY-ONE) straight hours. That's why I've been quiet. In the end, it recovered 11,260 images and had more than 30,000 read errors. I think it got everything. Or at least the majority of what I remember - and some stuff I didn't. The drive itself only showed having about 500 pictures on it and everytime I accessed it though Windows Explorer the whole computer locked up. I am very, very impressed to say the least. I also tried it out on some memory cards and it got most of those photos as well - after the cards had been formatted and used again it still found stuff. If you've lost images off a card, or a drive, I'd recommend this software without hesitation.

Happy Turkey Day

I cooked, I cleaned, I ate, and I played cards. It was a huge success. My grandmother hosted for the first time in 13 years (since my grandfather died). This year it really felt like home. I'm very thankful for that.

Black Friday

I'm gearing up for tomorrow. Checking ads online, I'm very disappointed. It seems there are no great 'bargains' to be found. I generally don't buy on this particular shopping day, but as I love to see the nuts. It really doesn't look like there will be much reason for the nuts to be out. I'm going anyways. This year I will have camera in hand. It's sick, I know, but I hope something camera-worthy pops up. A good fist fight over the last Click DVD for $7.99 will do.

I have to get up at 3am *YAWN*

Monday, November 20, 2006

Damage Control

Growing sick of my country CDs, I decided to listen to Atlantis Morissette whine about some guy who broke her heart. As I was thinking that she needs to just get over it and move on, I started thinking about the last time I had my heart broken by a guy. I can't remember the last time I was on the receiving end of the break-up chat. I must have been in grade school. Every one of my significant relationships have ended because I moved on. I don't think I've ever let someone get close enough to have that kind of control. Upon realizing this, I momentarily panicked thinking I was damaged. Mentally calculating what I might need to spend on therapy, I decided that just wasn't it. I like having the control that comes with always being a step away. I'm solid and comfortable and I choose to be this way.

Looking for a Host?

I’ve started a new site recently just for fun and needed to find hosting for it. We’ve been going through some hosting changes at work as well. The rough part is finding a company that gives you a good plan – what is a good plan anyways? – and provides good support for when you need it. Little to no downtime is a plus too. A lot of times hosting companies will start out great and then slide downhill. This happens especially after you fork over a year’s worth of hosting fees.

The easiest way I’ve seen to compare the hosting companies is here: budget web hosting. You don’t actually buy the hosting through them, but they give you the rundown of the best deals going on. They offer hosting reviews and a nice Frequently Asked Questions section. Also on their site, you will find web hosting news. A lot of it isn’t going to be interesting unless you follow that sort of stuff, but it seems comprehensive. They also offer some Google tools like a link popularity checker and a datacenter checker. This site offers a lot, but most of it leads to other sites. It truly seems to be a directory. While a lot of could be less than worthwhile, the quick comparison on the home page looks great. It could potentially answer a lot of questions

I’ve thought about moving this blog to a hosted domain and saying good-bye to the free stuff, but at this point I really can’t justify it. Blogger has been good to me so far. You really can’t beat the way it integrates with Google’s other stuff like adsense and analytics (convenient, right?). So while you won’t see changes here yet, this might be a good place to start if you are considering moving up to something more permanent.

I Hate the Third Grade

I send my kids to the best school in this county. We are actually in the city district, but I think only parents who don't care about education would send their kids there. School has always been a priority in my life.

My oldest has always struggled in school. In Preschool he was a crayon-thrower. Kindergarten, the crier. First grade brought reading struggles and second brought teacher battles. This year is a new one for me. His teacher seems to genuinely care. We often correspond through email about his progress. He isn't a difficult kid, he wants to please. It just isn't working for him. When he brings his 2 hours of homework home a night, he often has no clue. It seems as if there was no lesson taught at all and I have to teach him all over again. Tonight we learned about rocks and minerals and such. Having hated science myself, it's nice to finally learn this stuff. He picked up fast after a few crude illustrations by myself. The problem? What the heck is he doing all day? He scored great on his state reading test. He sits in the front of the class now. He learns the stuff after we work on it. Is his teacher sleeping at the wheel or does he just not 'get' her? I'm thisclose to homeschooling and I said I'd never do that. I wish summer were here.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

All I Want for Christmas

We usually don't do much of an adult exchange in my house. Christmas is traditionally reserved for the kids. I think it's selfish to spend the money on adults when there are kids to be spoiled. I don't mind getting nothing because I definitely make up for it during the year. We don't combine money in our house, so I don't have to justify my frivolous crap. I don't care what the other parental unit spends his money on either.

That being said, here is MY Christmas list:
Apple 2.0GHz MacBook
Sony VAIO VGN-TXN15P/B 11.1” Widescreen Notebook PC
or anything else in the ultra-portable line. My laptop is nearing the 5 year mark and weighs in at about 10 lbs. It was a hand-me-down and a great portable gaming machine in its day - it still rivals many desktops. It is not-so-portable and the battery life sucks.

So while I know that I haven't been quite that good this year, I'm hoping Santa will see my list anyway. My bet? I'll get a DVD like usual.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

In a Moment of Clarity

We were invited to a party/see my new house gathering of my very good friend. While walking out the door on our way to the OSU/Michigan game party, I asked the baby if she had to potty. She declines. Then the husband helpfully says: "Should we take the p-o-t-t-y?"

I said, no, dear, I know it's in the sticks, but I'm pretty sure she has toilets.


Friday, November 17, 2006

All That and a Bag of Chips

I like to shop. A lot. It works out well for me that our family hits WalMart at least once a week. Our town got a Super WalMart a few years ago. As I suspected, prices went up, quality went down. Everytime I go there I either (1) see someone I know, (2) see someone I think I know, and (3) buy 10 times the amount of stuff I need. WalMart is the only store I've ever entered for a tube of chapstick and came out $200 poorer.
Here's some tips from a pro:

  • Don't take a cart. Even if you think you might like one, don't. It will save you money.
  • Don't go on the first of the month, the first weekend of the month, or any weekend there is not a major sporting even on tv. Not if you live in a hick town.
  • Avoid the electronics area. You really don't need that 100th compilation of 80's music. Start stealing it from the Internet like the rest of the world.
  • Paying in cash, not a good idea. Your cashier will be out of change. Often they won't have a clue how to make change in the first place.
  • You don't need a 5 gallon bottle of shampoo. Ever.
  • At Fall clearance time they move the clothing out to the garden center and the plants to the entrance of the store. No one is sure why.
  • Don't buy movies for the kids anymore. Remember that electronics aisle I warned you about? Send them there while you grocery shop. You save money and they see the latest releases for free, everybody wins.
  • When you can't find your jumbo box of cereal or your $1.88 tub of butter - or even a single diaper in your kid's size in a brand that will not leak at night - remember, WalMart is destroying the world.
Now let me find my car keys...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A Few of My Favorite Things

I know a lot of useless stuff. I love useless information. I've been saving ideas for a while to compose a list. Did you know...

  • Daylight Savings time was first thought of by Ben Franklin. It has nothing to do with farmers and everything to do with conserving energy.
  • A quagmire is a not only a character on Family Guy (which I've never watched) but also means 'a sinking situation, like quicksand'. Next time you can't win, you're facing a quagmire.
  • To concatenate means to join together or link. No dear, we concatenate tonight ;)
  • The only 100% way to prevent or stop male hair loss is castration. Not a vasectomy - castration. No, you don't have to use rubber bands. (thank you Trivial Pursuit for that one)
  • Unopened pop cans explode if you put them in the freezer. A certain someone has done this in my house SEVERAL times in the last few months. Anyone up for the definition of insanity?
  • You can get dried-on crayon out of clothes with WD-40. You can get WD-40 smell out with 3 washings and Febreeze.
  • Jeans always fit better the second day.

What I hope to learn: Why does the house feel too hot in the summer when the thermostat is set at 70 degrees, but too cold in the winter at the same setting? My guess is it has something to do with the moisture in the air?

A Subtle Hint

My girls created this masterpiece for me the other night. They assured me that there was no hidden meaning, but it keeps turning up in the oddest places. One morning I found it on the bed staring at me. Yesterday it was on my keyboard. I'm not sure if it is possessed or if the little trolls are trying to tell me something.

Yes, it's supposed to be me. Eerily accurate.

Online Shopping

One year I did all of my Christmas shopping online. That was 1999. I had a two year old and a brand new baby at home. I avoided going out at all costs because it was a lot of stuff to tote around. Two in diapers? A nightmare. I didn't know much about online deals back then. I stumbled upon stuff and, more often then not, paid too much. Now the first thing I do when I'm buying online is a coupon code search. I still turn up empty-handed a lot, but sometimes I get lucky.

Here are some Best Buy coupons in time for the holiday season. If that is not your store, here are some other coupon codes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No Pain, No Gain

A few days ago I started doing crunches because of my still-present baby bulge. The desk job does not help. It was suggested that I do as many as I can and when it starts burning I do ten more to get the full effects.

I did twelve.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's All This Stuff?

Well since I've been blogging, I've been trying some new stuff that I otherwise wouldn't have touched. You noticed the ads. I've also been trying a site that pays you to advertise on blogs. It's called PayPerPost and you get a few bucks for posting on an 'offer' and leaving it live for 30 days. Your blog has to qualify, which basically means you have to use it. So far it seems ok. It means I have some weird posts now and again, but I'm tagging them all ppp. You usually have to include a link, which is the value to them. But I figure, big deal if I get 5 bucks for 20 minutes of my time. I haven't gotten a check yet. They'll send it to PayPal in 28 more days. It seems fun so far - some of the offers are out there, and some are not so bad. I did get the code to download my songs. Never fear, I'll try to keep them sparse and fill in the gaps with lots of good sarcasm, just like you are used to!

There's No Place Like Home

I'm going to Chicago! There is a work-related conference in December and my department at work is going. We're flying there and back the same day, so I won't get to 'see' anything, but it'll be fun going on a work-sponsored trip! We're going to SES Conference and Expo, which means a whole day with geeks.. I.can't.wait!

The Way We Do the Things We Do

SEO is what I do. Lots of other people do it too. Like this guy:

Search Engine optimization and online marketing from SEO'Brien

SEO is what makes the sites you see when you do a search come back at #1 (or #300 if you suck). In competitive markets it can get tough. Sometimes people employ professionals (like the above-mentioned dude) to do it for them. The tricky part is that we really don't know what the algorithms do to process the stuff. There are guidelines to follow, but there is no magic formula. It can be stressful. I liken it to playing the stock market. Things can be going really well for a long time, you show up to work one day and find it has all crashed. The obsessed fight over PR (Google Page Rank, which you see if you install their toolbar) and analyze datacenters (the google results you see aren't necessarily the results I see). There are the link swappers, white hats, black hats.. and the occasional guy who spouts that he's got all the answers. It's a constantly changing battle, but it's a fun ride if you are on top. The really funny thing? The die-hard obsess about Google, but in reality most of our conversions come from Yahoo and then MSN. MSN is considered junk. They give out love to anyone who can fit the 'keyword' on their page 2 million times. Places like Dogpile? They are a nightmare because they throw the combined sponsored results at the top. I'm not even sure THEY know what they are doing. Right now we are on top, so it's good.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Currently Reading

Smashed by Koren Zailckas

While it's humorous at times and makes me feel pretty darn good about years 21-23 in my life, I would think her parental units are cringing at the fact she wrote a book detailing her drunken years. Not only did she likely hurt them the first time around, but to rub it in their faces? I also don't agree with making money off your stupid years....but all that aside it's interesting. If I were her parents, I'm not sure proud would be the emotion I felt. Can't wait to see if she learns some boundaries by the end.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Common Goal

I'm a slob. I've always been a slob. I get it from my mother, who gets it from her mother. Well, I guess you could call it 'I-can't-ever-throw-this-away-I-might-need-it-someday' disease. I'm a paper-hoarder. I have stacks. It drives the husband batty. He's a neat freak. I usually use the defense that he knew about this before we married. He lived in my apartment with me. I never once said I'd change. Back when he still had to impress me he pretended it didn't bother him.

I made it through my current stack (ignoring the fact that the last two are taking up boxes and I'm ignoring them, they are months old). I'm going to try to try something new. I want to scan in the papers I think I'll need. Progress reports, notes from the teachers, medical bill stubs - and trash the paper. I certainly have the equipment for it. I just need to make the time. Everyone wins. I give it about 3 weeks. You have to really want to change to change and all I want to do is get the boss-man off my back.

My current excuse? When our house looks like my mom's house, then you can complain. If he didn't pick up after me it wouldn't take long. I don't even open my mail anymore.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


The website, Vimo is giving five free song (MP3) downloads on for reviewing a doctor. According to their site: "Vimo lets consumers and small businesses shop for and compare health insurance plans, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), doctors and dentists side-by-side." To get the songs, you have to fill out a review on a doctor. It took me about 3 minutes. The downside is that it said it may be a couple days until the code comes in email. I think you can review multiple doctors for more songs, but I haven't tried. It actually looked pretty interesting, I'm going to see if anyone had bad things to say about any doctor in town - of course!

Why I Hate the Holidays

Today is what? The 11th of November. A full 11 days past Halloween and yet I still see Halloween decorations everywhere. Not just pumpkins. I've seen the giant snow globes in yards, fake cobwebs, skeletons, plastic pumpkins, witches...the whole nine yards. And then there are the over-achievers. Turkeys and pilgrims -- when did Thanksgiving become a decorating holiday? Even so, what is with Christmas already? I like lights and all, but give it a chance to snow first!

I should add that in my town it is not considered tacky to leave up lights all year -- and leave them on. A few certain houses have Merry Christmas spelled out in lights with the help of a staple gun - at least one house has it spelled wrong. I'm certainly not one to begrudge someone the thrill of decorating, but let's get some priorities straight. If you have a yard full of trash and a house with broken windows you do not get to decorate the outside. Ever.

Peer Pressure

Consider it stolen:

  1. Explain what ended your last relationship? Me, I got bored. I do that easily.
  2. When was the last time you shaved? Um, yea
  3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.? Watching the shows I taped during the week.
  4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago? Trying to find my latest back-up CD in my wreck of an office - I gave up.
  5. Are you any good at math? Yes, but don't ask me to spell.
  6. Your prom night? I went 4 times, they were all about the same.
  7. Do you have any famous ancestors? Probably not.
  8. Have you had to take a loan out for school? I'll be paying on it forever too.
  9. Do you know the words to the song on your myspace profile? I'm too old for myspace.
  10. Last thing received in the mail? Old Navy refunded my overpayment on my account - finally!
  11. How many different beverages have you had today? I only drink Diet Pepsi.
  12. Do you ever leave messages on peoples answering machine? Not usually.
  13. Who did you lose your CONCERT virginity to? I saw the big radio station WNCI when I was young.
  14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach? No
  15. What was the most painful dental procedure you have had? Walking through the door is painful enough
  16. What is out your back door? A child's paradise - that never gets used.
  17. Any plans for Friday night? Same ole - the barn, the kids, the PC, then bed.
  18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair? I don't know that it's even been an issue/
  19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns? Yes, yuck.
  20. Have you ever been to a planetarium? Does COSI count?
  21. Do you re-use towels after you shower? Yuck.
  22. Some things you are excited about? right now, Mondays ;)
  23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO? Red.
  24. Describe your keychain(s) Lots and lots of keys.
  25. Where do you keep your change? Everywhere, I'm not organized.
  26. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed? Open.
  27. Did you read this far? Consider yourself tagged.

Friday, November 10, 2006

What's your Cure?

I get a lot of headaches. I'm usually either feeling one come on, trying to ward one off, seriously stricken with one, or rarely, recovering. It used to be that I could sleep one off. That doesn't work anymore, I wake up and it is still there. As close as anyone can figure it is from jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding. When I had my last bout of jaw trouble I made a big effort to stop. I've sort of backed off and the short relief from the headaches is gone. So, I regularly try: ibuprofen, Tylenol, all over-the-counter migraine stuff, sinus stuff, sleep, hot compresses, caffeine, beating my head against the wall. What other tricks are there that I'm missing? It's become a big deal now that I work every day and need to function.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Collector's Item

Do you know the order of the planets from the sun? Thanks to Blue's Clues, I do. Well that and an episode of Saved By the Bell, but I wouldn't admit to that. We have the planet song not only on DVD in Bluestock, but also the original version that was in Blue's Discoveries. Now that Pluto is not longer a follow where I'm going? I'm seeing the big cash dollars on Ebay for sure.

~A better version that I can sing~

Oh the Sun's a hot star!
And Mercury's hot too!
Venus is the brightest planet,
And Earth is home to me and you.
Mars is the red one
And Jupiter's most wide.
Saturn's got those icy rings,
and Uranus spins on it's side.
Neptune's really windy
And Pluto's really small!
Well we wanted to name the planets
and now we named them all!

Here's to MVEMJSUNP.


We have a cereal thief. I hide the good stuff. Stuff like Cookie Crisp - you know the kind that is like 5 bucks for a little box. Today the box is half gone. Either I have taken to midnight snacking in my sleep or someone has found the stash.

They talk me into buying it at the store. A couple days later when it's breakfast and they ask for it I stare at them like they are on crack. Sometimes I feel guilty...for eating the junk -- not for being stingy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Random Thoughts

Ok, I've been inspired. I enjoyed reading the '10' lists and wanted to do my own.

  1. I set my alarm exactly 20 minutes ahead and hit snooze twice to wake up exactly at 6 am. The trick stopped working a long time ago, it's habit now.
  2. I am down to three pairs of jeans that fit nicely - know what that means? Either I do laundry mid-week or I wear dirty ones twice.. good thing I have a desk job.
  3. I only like foods from the four food groups: cereal, pizza, cow, and potato.
  4. I don't eat anything green. Ever.
  5. I wear a size 10 shoe.
  6. I like driving my big truck and, yes, I feel important.
  7. I remember what it was like to wear socks with holes because I couldn't dream of affording new ones.
  8. I've dated guys for their money, but I married for brains.
  9. I barely have a toenail on my little toe because I've ripped it out, it hurts when it grows back.
  10. I don't forward chain email. I smirk at the thought I could have bad luck for 6 million years. I once forwarded one back to the person who sent it - thirty consecutive times.
Man I think I could fill up 20! Tag to anyone who wants to do this and hasn't!

Days of Our Lives

I'm a pretty busy person. I have three kids, three jobs, and three horses. Add some random other animals to the mix, freelance work, and my tech-life..well I have very little in the way of down-time. I like my life. I have always thrived being busy. I used to stay home with the kids. It drove me nuts.

My days run from 4:30 pm to 4:30 pm. That means when I pick up the kids after work, it's already the new day. I don't know why my mind reasons this normal, but it does. Most people don't like Mondays. It's one of my favorite days. It's my Recover-From-the-Weekend day. I enjoy going back to work and having a schedule. Wednesday is a decent day too. It's the Week-is-More-than-Half-Over day. Thursday is One-More-Day-Left day. Friday is Meeting day. The weekend, well those are laundry and barn days. That leaves Tuesday. I wasn't sure what to do with it for the longest time. It's in a bad spot. Too far from the start of the tunnel, too far from the end. Then it hit me! Tuesday is VENDING-MACHINE day! It's the day the vending machines get filled at work. Usually it is with crappy snacks that I don't like, but there is some excitement to it. Every once in a while the vending girl goes back on her meds and there is good stuff in there. So, for me it is 3 hours into Tuesday and thank God it is Vending-Machine day, I'm craving some Oreos.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Thanks, Cherie


You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.

I can't wait to see what Tuesday brings. I'm almost afraid to see what Tuesday brings - to Ohio anyway!

How Do You Record Your Life?

My mom bought me my first camcorder. It was a JVS with no features that was on clearance due to the digital camcorders becoming popular. A few years ago I bought a Samsung digital because I wanted an easier way to get my movies on DVD (without 300+ cords). Well, as naive as I was, you still need to 'play' the movie to the computer and it still needs to render, so no time saved there. Also, going to digital I thought - No Tapes! That was wrong too.

My misfortunate purchase was the Samsung SC-D103. It wasn't the cheapest and it wasn't the most expensive. The reviews were semi-ok, as most were that I checked. We didn't use it much. The video is awful. It doesn't even touch the quality of the cheap analog I have. The movie gets fuzzy, boxy, and very pixelated. About a year after we bought it it was holiday season again so I dug it out and tried to clear the tapes. Well, the tapes appeared blank even though I knew they weren't! I'm in panic mode because I didn't have the stuff off of them and I wanted to get this thing ready. I looked all over for a tape to clean a miniDV head. I finally found one and cleaned it the max amount of times, testing it in between. It didn't work. Finally I tried the time-tested solution of smacking the bottom of the thing. Hello, we have picture! So there is something wrong with the camera that has barely been used - and never been dropped. If you set it down normally it goes back to not being able to play the tapes.

Bottom line, I'd like a new camera. I'd like a reasonably-priced model that uses miniDV tapes and takes a good picture without all the pixelation. Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Burn, Baby, Burn

Well the new DVD burner arrived a few days ago. I finally had time to unpack it today. It seems pretty sweet so far. Installation was smooth and the first couple DVDs came out great. I've been going through what is left of my movies after my miserable HD failure in July (note to others: a back-up hard drive SEEMS like a good place to store stuff, but don't be lazy, make a permanent copy). I LOVE the ease of iMovie and VideoStudio and Pinnacle hands down. Even though it did crash (as they always do), at least it stored all the clips in a trash can and saved me a lot of reconstruction work. I thought Macs didn't crash?

I think I have a lot of movies left on my miniDV tapes because I always forget if I've stored them and just buy new ones. Once I track down where I put the DC cord for the camcorder I'm going to try some more movies.

Incidentally, Blogger Beta doesn't work with Safari, neither does Yahoo Mail beta. Also, I do not like the generic Mac keyboard or mouse. I'm used to my wireless Logitech. I'll be putting the Mac version on my Christmas list. And yes, I ran out of wall outlets a LONG time ago!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Good-bye 2006

Finally -- A picture of our official year-end, our last horse show. The off-season is long and cold.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Homeward Bound

How to get your 2 year old home from the park without a fight:

Hit the alarm button for the car, then tell your child that the car is ready to go home and will probably leave without you if you don't hurry. Works every time.


It suddenly occurred to me that 'Lost' is not the name of the show because they are stranded on an island, it is the name because that is the feeling it leaves you with.

Feeling Nostalgic

Remember when the old people at the doors of WalMart were there to greet you and hand you a cart? Our town upgraded to a huge, SuperMart a few years ago. I don't remember quite when it happened, but somewhere along the way they turned the friendly face of the WalMart greeter into the theft-prevention cops. You no longer are handed a cart, they make a game of shoving them at you when you walk by. That is when they are not too busy writing down that the alarm went off without cause for the 6 millionth time that day. On your way out you are tackled for you receipt to prove you didn't steal that 300lb of dog food that is sitting on top and smashing your bread.

Why steal 300lb bags of dog food when you can take candy bars that fit nicely in your coat pockets?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I did it!

I made the time to go through the list of other 'Moms' blogs and read at least some from each listed. They were all pretty good, I'll have to make time to do it more often.

Guilty Pleasures

When I was in grade school I loved to read. I think I'd love to now, but I don't have the time. Anyways, the series by Judy Blume was one that I read -- SuperFudge, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing...

I saw a set of Judy Blume books in the book order form that one of the kids brought home and ordered it. It included one I'd never seen - Fudge-A-Mania. So yesterday at lunch I sat down and read it. A book written for 2nd graders and I enjoyed every minute of it. I tried to bribe the kids into listening to me read, but once they saw no pictures, that was it. I'm feely pretty dorky.

Now if I could only find the series written by Lois Duncan, my other favorite author...

Games People Play

If you are a movie buff, like my husband, you'll enjoy these games that my October Moms found:

Viking Stationery Movies / Answers Here
M&M's Dark Movies / Answers Here

Google Custom Search

You may have noticed the search feature at the top of the posts. Google has a new program called Google Co-op. You can read more about it here and here. You can customize it to show results only from your site, show regular web results, or show web results while giving preference to sites you choose. You can choose to show ads to earn extra cash, or not. You can also show the results in your site or on a google page. It looked sort of neat and it was free so I'm giving it a spin. If you ever use it, let me know how handy it is. It doesn't search my posts well, but I don't write that much....yet.

New Toy

A few weeks ago I was given a mini Mac or a Mac mini or a baby Mac or WHATEVER it's called ;) Anyways the little that I've used it... It is awesome for things like slideshows, movies, and pictures. So awesome that I'll never do another home movie on my PC. It took me 15 minutes to figure out how to eject a CD. There is no button on the front as I'm used to. I was reading things online telling me to restart and hold certain buttons down (*thinking this is dumb!*). However, in case you ever get in the situation, I finally found there is a handy eject button on the keyboard. Nice. Not the most logical thing, but it worked. It also doesn't have what Apple calls a 'SuperDrive,' which means I can't burn DVDs. So, I had to burn it to an image, find something to convert it and then compress it and move it over to the PC. Luckily the file was under 300MB so it wasn't a huge problem. I have been having a hard time finding an external DVD burner compatible with Mac for under a couple hundred bucks, but I found one online today at MicroCenter.

All in all, I still use my PC, but for nice creative things, I'm going to give this little puppy some more tries. It did a picture slideshow to music in under 10 minutes for me. That's pretty good. In a dream world I could use the same friendly software on my PC and we'd all be happy!

Warm Up Ohio!

I'd like to go ride my horse! Still wishing to move to a place that skips the crappy seasons...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Family Ties

My 'real' dad has never been a part of my life. Why I call him my 'real' dad still baffles me. He's never been there for me, and he's shut the door in my face more times that I care to remember. Our birthdays are one day apart, with his being first. I usually call him on his birthday so I can gloat the next day about him forgetting mine. This year I got busy and forgot. I did receive a phone call from him a few days later. He wanted to know if I wanted some old recliners he wanted to get rid of. Why on Earth..... as if I need old junk?

A few months ago I found the myspace page of the one daughter he claims (yes, there are more of 'us' out there that he doesn't). I read it faithfully, often. It doesn't mention me. I'm no more a part of her life than she is of mine. In a way, it hurts.

If I could go back, I would take back ever meeting him, which I did finally at 18. At least then I could still have the fantasy that he was great and perfect and out saving the world. It's better than the truth: he's a selfish old man who smokes and still doesn't want me. I wish I could sever the ties for good, but I just don't have it in me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Can I borrow your life?

I have this aunt who has this thing. It involves entitlement to every aspect of my life. She has horses too. Last year when I was just starting to get back into horses my dad took me where I needed to go. He also took her. Difference being? I paid gas money. Last winter I decided I was in it for broke and I bought my own trailer. This spring I bought a bigger truck. This fall.. a bigger horse. You get the picture. I've been slowly growing into it. She's had horses since I can remember. She's never owned a trailer. Having already worn out the other family members, I became fresh meat. Here's the deal: I get to buy the equipment, pay for the equipment, maintain the equipment, and she gets to borrow it whenever she wants - for free. Pretty sweet, huh?

I really don't mind sharing with family. My mom, aunt, and I trade things all the time. Giving without gratitude bothers me. I don't hear a thank you... in fact I'm treated like crap every other second of the day unless I'm being asked to loan something out. I feel guilty if I say no, I'm resentful if I say yes (did I mention things often come back trashed or don't come back at all?).

It isn't as if she's homeless, her family way income is much higher than mine. Seriously, if you are going to run with the big dogs, you had better be ready to pony up the dough. Nothing bothers me more than an ungrateful mooch.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The End

Tomorrow is the last horse show of the season for us. It is bittersweet. This is the first year that I have committed as much time, money, and energy to showing. We had a blast. The kids are leading the points in their respective classes as far as I know. Shawn is glad it is over I think. Alyssa would show everyday if she could.

It is also the last planned show for our 19 year old arthritis mare. We bought her as a yearling. I broke her when I was 10 years old and did all the riding on her for the first 5 years or so she was shown. She was my baby. She then took my sister through her first years on a horse and started several other cousins and friends. Then she started all three of my kids. She's getting too old to keep going in the showring, but I hope she can still be ridden. She often limps, a result of the years of hard riding we put her through. She's been the most wonderful babysitter I've ever seen. She's been to the state fair with at least 3 different kids. I was hoping she'd go one more time, but I don't think it will happen. I'm glad she was in my life. I'm glad she lived long enough to be in my children's lives.

We are showing her youngest baby now. This little mare was meant to be her mother's replacement. Even though they are different colors and different sizes, they are the same exact horse with the exact same temperament.

Thank you, Cuddles, for carrying me through so much of my life. I hope your remaining years are the happiest you're ever had. I love you.

Monday, September 18, 2006


Loosely translated, it means "You can kiss me." It's exactly what the note my 6-year-old brought home tonight says.. followed by two hearts. It's from a boy in her class. She assures me that she has no intentions of kissing him.

Part of me panics because I am SO not ready for this. Part of me is jealous. I think I was about 13 before I got my first note like that - and it didn't have hearts.

Monday, September 11, 2006

It's Probably Green with Purple Spots

The sock monster has always wreaked havoc on my life. I hate folding socks. I hate it more than I hate doing dishes, well almost anyways. Tonight, with a little prodding, I decided it was time to see what the damage for say... the last year... has been. Since going back to work full time always, my solution has been to pile up and save the little lost left-overs. We we run out of matching socks, then it's time to get new socks. I never really deal with those lost little children that the monster leaves behind. As I dug through the bags of socks, there were all sorts of little memories. I've never been able to buy the same style twice, so I had a memory book chronicling the growth of my children. Most of the socks no longer fit the original owner. I passed those ones on to the next one in line. With all the sock drawers in the house full, I tied the remaining ones in knots to give to the dog to play with. It was nice getting the storage space back, but I dread starting my collection over. I've made a promise to myself that they get one chance next time. If they leave the dryer without a mate, those socks are moving to the trash. There will be no more grace periods.

A couple of months ago that I even started throwing away the socks with holes in them.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

What a Girl Wants

Yesterday we took Megan to the toy store. It was the first time we've been there since she started talking in complete sentences. She played with a million things and commented "I want this" to everything she touched. As we were dragging her out of another section she looked around, sighed, and whispered, "I want everything."

This morning, as I was shopping online at my favorite Western store, I understood. Megan, I want everything too.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Future Shock

My son and I were at the mall last night and he wanted to stop at the game store. Behind the counter was your average 20-something burnout eating a bag of chips. He followed us around awhile, crunching, and giving me all the scoop on the latest and greatest games out (because I must have had a face that looked like I wanted to know?). After hearing about his life and his debt and his highest score on Zelda.... we finally get to that his father used to ground him by taking away his computer. OH! I say, wouldn't it have been easier to just take the mouse and keyboard away? Proudly he looks (up) at me and says, "Well, then I would have just used the TAB button!" He must have had one of those rare models that built it onto the monitor?

Next he tells me how computer savy his father has become, but not until after he built his computer. $400! He tells me, $400! And it's worth at least $1000! My, he is proud, but after being forced to listen to his life story and all of the things he buys his girlfriend, I was feeling less than patient. While silently wishing the son would hurry up already, I take a deep breath and ...

I cock my head and say, "Well that must have an AMD for $400, eh? What speed?." Slightly bewildered because I was wearing heels instead of my pocket protector, he recovers and sticks out his chest to say, "YES! An AMD Athlon 1400."

"Oh then its a few years old because mine is a 2600 and a few years old." He doesn't get it and drones on about how hard it was to find a motherboard for it because it is so FASTTT. I suggest he try the dumpsters behind the schools. Still not getting it, I shuffle the boy to the door where he stops to gawk at the XBox 360. Our helpful salesman is tell me how it's $400 and the new Playstation will be $600 and he's going to buy (fill-in-the-blank) because he has a compulsive spending problem. I suggest nicely that he invest in a better graphics card and just play pc games because you can at least download them.

Ut oh! No, he says he can't do that, then he'd have to "wipe his machine" and ....... into a frenzy he goes. Cutting him off, I suggest he try Linux. Finally broken, he sighs, "No, I'm not computer-savy enough for Linux."

Yea, I think, leaving the store....that's it in a nutshell.

And isn't it Ironic?

Tonight I discovered I have been cached and I reside in Google. For a living, in the daytime, I am a web designer and SEO (is there anyone between the ages of 23-33 who is not a web designer??). Anyways, I have commercial sites that have a PR 5 and 6 and... well my own personal blog that I ignore is a puny zero. I have no links outside the one in my msn group. All day I've been writing content and working link campaigns and analyzing stats and navigations.. I've been publishing articles! Granted the are not interesting, but they give great links.

Maybe someday I'll do that for my own little slice of the world. But who wants to come home and keep working? Incidentally, I rank #1 on Google for my name. I can be googled ;) and really I've yet to find anyone impressed by that...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is it really September?

Well, almost. It's been a busy second half of the month. School has started and work is crazy. Shawn (in the 3rd grade) has cried at school twice already. *sigh* so it didn't take long to get back into the swing. Both Shawn and Alyssa are grounded until I-don't-know-when for lying to me. This is the first I've had to deal with that and I'm hoping it is the last. They are grounded from everything, and anything else I can come up with until I am no longer mad.

We had a good show last weekend. My mare won reserve champion in the Halter championship class (and 2nd in the regular class). She won the Halter class she was in on Sunday. I was very proud of her. The kids were at their dad's and didn't show. We only have a couple more shows this year. While that is a relief (so much work and money and time!), it's sad. It signals the end of the summer and the start of cold.

Seriously, I'll try to have something a little more interesting in the future, problem is all the drama in my life.... well I'm not going to SHARE with the entire world!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bloggers Block

It's becoming painfully obvious that outside work, I must have no life. I work, pick up the kids, go to the barn, go home and work, pass out exhausted, and start again. You can't blog about work (see dooce) and outside that the most exciting thing I've done this week is get up early to make sure I had dry clothes for work. Fascinating!

Megan is grouchy tonight, Dan is grouchy tonight, and I think I need a beer. I don't even like beer. I'm going to add that to my list of things to do next week - learn to like beer.

*guilty admission: I've been locking myself in the bathroom and faking indigestion to have time to relax... I can spend a good 20 mins reading the paper or surfing the net on my Palm. I think I'm about to get busted though. How many people need to 'poop' 3 times a night?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Back in the saddle again

Well, I rode the horse again tonight, this time with saddle. All went well.What a relief.

We were talking about the cartoon "Jem" today at work. I was talking about it anyways, the 'kids' I work with were looking at me like I was nuts. I even sang the theme song (you're lucky to be spared). Apparently I am the only person in the 22-30 year old range to have heard of the show. It was one of my favorites.

What was your favorite show growing up?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I got dumped..

So I've ridden horses for a while.. like all 26 years of my life. Yesterday, for the first time ever, my ass met with the ground not by choice. It hurt. Like hell. Today it's worse.

My 3 year old filly has been through a lot in her short life. We've been diagnosed with EPM (not the case), laziness (nope), arthritis, and now I think there is a stifle issue. Everytime I get something fixed, something else breaks. It reminds me of the Ford Mustang I used to own. I finally sold that and it now runs perfectly - with no problems - for someone else. Typical

I've ridden her without a saddle for a total of three times. I've gotten to ride her this year a total of three times. I think it's time to saddle up. The worse part about my untimely meeting of Mother Nature's Earth... I had to get up and brush it off and get back on.. and people watched the whole thing.