Monday, March 31, 2008

Snowing Again

We are in the midst of a snowstorm this afternoon.  It is snowing so heavy, I can't help but think how lovely it is.  Even though we are aching for warm weather.  Looking out my windows, you would think it was the dead of winter.

Jack and I did get out in the woods over the weekend.  The snow had settled and compacted a little over a few days, so with the cold everything froze pretty hard.  We were able to take the four-wheeler on the snowmobile trail without sinking in and getting stuck.  That was fun as I have not been out in the woods since the fall.  We were already riding out there daily this time last year.  It's hard to be patient when you know you should be able to do things.

I think I must be taking a break from blogging. Winking It's not intentional, I just think most times I am better at balancing.  Lately I have just been living, being, as you would without Internet, if that makes sense.  I mean to blog but then find myself doing something else.  And the truth is, there are so many things to do it is a wonder we ever find blogging time at all.

It's a busy week.  Molly is working tomorrow instead of Wednesday because of the snowstorm.  I have a dental cleaning tomorrow morning and a doctor appointment on Wednesday afternoon.  There are so many things I need to begin doing this week, so my mind is full.

Molly got her manuscript back again today for review.  They applied the cover title font to the inside pages, the chapter titles and the page headings.  She needs to check that it all looks correct, and then once she gets it she has to review the cover layout again after the proofreader makes a few changes.  Then, finally, I think she signs authorization forms for both and the book goes to print.  It is so close to being finished, it feels like it is dragging.

Well, I would post this but my Internet is out.  I can't figure out how to fix it and the broadband service says no one else is having problems, so who knows when or what.  Hopefully soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

We Saw a Robin . . .

today, finally!!  It seems spring won't come until you see a robin.

Sorry about the lack of posts.  I'm feeling so blank.  Sometimes I find it easier to post to Secondhand Links or even The Hungering Heart, but I really wish I would think of something for my homemaking blogThinking  My mind is very fragmented lately, lots of thoughts in lots of areas.

I've had a spate of computer issues lately too, one is ongoing, and I think I'm going to need to reformat.  So that means a lot of backing up which I should do anyway.  I haven't for a long time, well ever on this computer!  And you know how much time computer problems take up so I haven't been doing much else when I have computer time.

Jack was home yesterday.  He had a day and a half that had to be used up before this month is over.  Tuesday is the only work week day that all the kids are home, so it was nice to just all be home and do things that needed to be done around here.

Well, I think I will post this as a woefully short hello.  At least it's something. Winking

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hobo Bag Sewing Pattern & Thumbtack Tutorial

How About Orange So many blogs so little time, but still, I've been hoping for a little more time to peek into a really neat blog called How About Orange.  Jessica Jones is a graphic designer.  And you'll see she has a fabric collection called Modern Flora™ Fabric Collection.  The hobo bag at the left is made out of one of the fabrics.  You'll also find, among many other things, her own tutorials for fun things to make as well as tutorial links she has gathered from other great places.  Lots of colorful inspiration there!

The sewing pattern and instructions for the hobo bag are found at jcarolinecreative.com and look for this cute! little Thumbtack Tutorial at How About Orange

thumbtacktut

Monday, March 24, 2008

Windows Live Writer Help Groups

I found it rather ironic that right on the heels of posting my happiness over figuring out why I couldn't publish a post with images from Live Writer to Blogger, it happened again two days later.  Same resulting upload failure, but a different error.  This time it was a change Picasa made.  There was a small discussion on the Blogger Help Group, but no info on how to fix the problem.  It was reassuring though to find out that others were experiencing the same problem on the same day which likely meant there would be a fix forthcoming.

When you run into trouble, besides the Blogger Help Group, check Writer Zone, the Writer Team Blog you will find under Help at the top of your Windows Live Writer program.  Writer Zone did not post anything about the file upload error until after things were working again, but it is nice to be able to read the details even after the fact and it will be one of my first recourses another time.  Also check the Windows Live Writer MSN Group which is another wealth of information.  You'll learn things you aren't even trying to figure out.  For instance, the fact that all your drafts and recent posts are backed up in a folder in My Documents called My Weblog Posts.  This is especially helpful if you write a draft post on one computer and want to finish it up on another computer.  The file can be easily transferred instead of having to post the draft online and then calling it up again on the other computer.  I don't think there is currently a way to search this group for whatever you need to find, but one poster offered this link to Search Windows Live Writer Group.

updatestyle

One side note, if you wish to view your unpublished post in "Web Preview" you can update your weblog style by clicking on Weblog —> Edit Weblog Settings —> Editing and then the Update Style button or View and then Update Weblog Style.  Live Writer then downloads all the pretty parts of your blog so that you can view your post in Web Preview as it will look online.  Allow it to post a temporary post which will be deleted automatically, and if you get an error message that states that the style template used for editing your weblog posts could not be downloaded check this help/FAQ page.  One common reason could be that of posting to a private blog.  When using Blogger, if you change permissions for a moment to be viewed by anybody, update your weblog style, and then change the permissions back, that may be all that was stopping the update download.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Love Those Words "He is Risen"

I have not felt very chatty lately.  Just busy, I guess.  And waiting for spring to come. Striaght Face The next five days or so are still below normal temps.  There comes a time you just need spring to at least tease you a little and let you know it's on its way.  It helped though that Jack surprised me the other day with a pot of bright yellow Gerbera Daisies.  Wonderful on my windowsill.

Well, I feel so newsless which is a cousin to listless, if you didn't know. Hee hee  Jack will be home early today.  I'm happy about that.  Jake is working and Molly is working all day, unexpectedly, and all day on Monday too.  We plan a lovely Easter with turkey and ham.

I've gotten some things accomplished in the last days, one of which was putting my web sets on The Hungering Heart again.  After all I've said about not having a graphic site anymore, don't wonder if I am changing my mind.  It's just something I wanted to do for now, probably because of the time of year and also because when I last uploaded these updated web sets, they were online a very, very short time before I took everything down.  So, the web sets are only online for a limited time.  Not sure how long.  I really love just having a site which is centered around a theme, a purpose, instead of graphics.  I like giving free Christian graphics and printables as a little bonus.  I don't want more than that.

Well, I think I shall make-believe I'm really ambitious today Winking and see what happens! Just wanted to mention, if you use Live Writer and suddenly find you get an error and can't publish a post, I wrote about it on Secondhand Links.  If I don't post this weekend or am not able to visit, have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Can't Publish Photos To Live Writer?

I got this error when trying to publish to Live Writer. The remote server returned an error: (500) Internal Server Error. I thought at first it was just something in that particular post. Or maybe the server wasn't working, but I tried publishing from different blogs and using different graphics. After a lot of trying to figure it out, it narrowed down to the fact the post would publish but not if it contained a photo or graphic. I couldn't imagine that I'd used up my allotted storage, although I do post a lot of photos/graphics. Winking I found someone else asking the same question in the Blogger Help Group. Isn't the Internet amazing?

If we don't pay a lot of attention sometimes and take notes for later, we miss the details of some of the things we use all the time. Like for instance, where do our photos go when we upload them for Blogger? I used to wonder and wish I had control over that so I could go delete them if I wanted to, and then I found out one day where they do go so I did have that info tucked away (buried) in my bookmarks. If you use Blogger, they go to your Picasa Web Album. If you're logged in to your Google account when you click that link you'll see all your blogs neatly listed and how many pictures are in each album. Well, sure enough my Windows Live Writer album had 500 photos in it and that apparently means full. One thing, as I understand, those 500 photos are 250 photos and their thumbnails. Also, in my case, the album held a lot of duplicates from when I've had to re-post or republish or try something again. So, I think I'm going to make a practice of deleting those duplicates as they happen.

Getting back to the error problem. As the tech recommended,

When posting pictures to Blogger from WLW suddenly stops working, the most common cause is that the Picasa album that Writer uses is full. If you go to http://picasaweb.google.com and rename the "Windows Live Writer" album to something else, then try again, it should work.

simply renaming the Windows Live Writer album to Windows Live Writer1 fixed it. There is now a new Windows Live Writer album in my Picasa Web Album. Happy. Happy

(Update: I don’t think this is a problem anymore.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Windows Live Writer

livewriterthumb Just in case you have never tried it or heard of it, I wanted to mention Windows Live Writer.  It is a great little program for easily publishing to your blog.  It works with WordPress, Blogger, and most major blogging services.  It makes inserting photos, videos, links and other content quick and easy.  Especially if you have more than one blog.  One of the nicest features is being able to work on a post offline if you'd like and save the draft for later without having to publish anything or be online.  Conversely you can call up a post again which has already been published.  You can also integrate your blog design and graphics so that you can preview your post as it will look online.  Inserting and aligning photos with your text is wonderfully easy, as is the nice feature of adding a drop shadow or photo paper which makes it look like a Polaroid photo.  There are also some very nice image effects.  The nicest feature, for me, is not having to upload photos anymore.  When you insert the photo into your post, you're done.  The photo is uploaded automatically when you publish your post.  Here is a nice review: 12 Reasons Why I Like Windows Live Writer.  Try it if blogging takes you just a little longer than you'd like it to.  I think you'll be pleased!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Reinstalling Mozilla Firefox

firefoxI really love and prefer to use Mozilla's Firefox web browser.  I know IE supports tabs now, for browsing, but I just find Firefox to be cleaner visually.  I love that when I reopen Firefox I can have it set to reopen my windows and tabs from my last session.  Another thing I really like in Firefox are the Add-Ons.  I use FireFTP for uploading my files.  It is the easiest FTP program I have ever used, and the great thing is that it just opens in a tab in your web browser!  The Download Statusbar is another favorite as is Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer which I use to keep the bookmarks on my tower the same as the bookmarks on my laptop.  This is so helpful! and it works great.  I am able to keep a bookmarks "toolbar" just above my browser tabs, a horizontal string of folders with all my bookmarks organized and easy to click from.  The fabulous part of this is bookmarking-made-easy.  I just drag a tab to a folder and it saves that page bookmark in whichever folder I drag it to.  There are just a great many things I love about Firefox.

Still, I've been having some glitches which made some things a little frustrating.  I had tried uninstalling and reinstalling, but that doesn't remove Firefox from your system so it doesn't really help.  This morning I suddenly had this one inch high solid tan horizontal bar underneath my browser window status bar.  Some other things seemed to be working oddly too, so I tried a system restore.  Everything was back to normal, except the tan bar was still there so I uninstalled and reinstalled Firefox hoping whatever little setting had gone haywire would be righted.  The tan bar was still there. At wits end So I decided to find out how to uninstall Firefox completely.  I found this page which was very helpful.  ("This article contains instructions to uninstall Firefox and remove it from your system.") When I reinstalled I could tell that it was a nice new install.  But, the tan bar was still there. Rolling Eyes Back to the Google drawing board.  So I found this link, Gray bar below the status bar, and now the tan bar is gone.Big Grin  It took a little bit, but I finally found which extension was causing the tan bar.  So, just in case you ever need to know, this is how to get rid of that tan bar. Happy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Good News For Your Computer

pchell Because I had updated to another program, I had occasion to want to remove Windows Messenger but could not for the life of me find a simple way to remove it from my computer.  I feel silly saying that it is one of the joys of my life (because I have only had Broadband Internet for less than half a year) to be able to just sit down at the computer and type a question in search and come up with an answer in less time than it would have taken me to connect with dial-up.  But there you go, what a joy to be able to use my computer like a glorified dictionary/cookbook.  I promptly found this site, PC Hell, which appears to have anything and everything you might need to know to fix what we're capable of fixing without having to take your computer to the computer doctor.  I like that.  You'll find How to Uninstall Internet Explorer 7 in case your automatic updates installed it while you weren't looking or How to Remove Windows Messenger in Windows XP which is what I looked for originally.  How to Fix Problem of No Spell Check in Outlook Express I need to send to Mom who just came up with this problem on a new computer.  Or Save and Restore Desktop Layout of Icons which is a great idea if you've got everything just the way you want it and the computer gremlins come in and change it on you.  There are many "How to Remove" links, everything from Gator to McAfee to computer viruses.  I'll let you explore further on your own.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Better Homes and Gardens

this wallpaper found in Summer

I had to share my current desktop wallpaper.  It's still extremely winter here, and it just makes me feel better when I see this summer breezy feeling photo on my monitor.  Mostly I wanted to share this because as wallpapers go, Better Homes and Gardens wallpapers are very high-quality, and very pretty and colorful. There are lots to choose from in quite a few different categories, and some of them even come with recipes!  I think you will have to register before you can download them, and it's really super annoying that there are way more pop-ups than is necessary asking if you want to subscribe to their magazine.  But, it doesn't stop me from going back. Winking What I really love about these online magazines is how you can "clip" things from their pages which are then automatically saved for you to come back and view later.  Especially helpful for recipes, tips, decorating & remodeling info.  Martha Stewart.com is another great clip-able site.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Free audiobooks

PandP Whether you like to listen on your iPod or just play the mp3s on the computer or a cd player, LibriVox has all the free audio books you could want.  Volunteers read (record) chapters of books which LibriVox then releases for free.  Their objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the Internet.

There is a very large catalog of books.  Choose Pride and Prejudice for instance and you will find several choices to make which may or may not matter to you.  There are three different versions of this book, meaning later or future recordings.  And you'll notice there are different readers as well.  You might want to listen briefly to find which reader voice you prefer.  You can download the entire book in a .zip file or chunks of chapters by mp3.  Or you can subscribe in iTunes which is a very nice way to do it.  (And remember you can use iTunes whether you have an iPod or not.)  The entire book goes automatically into your iTunes, but then you manually download each chapter.  The first one usually downloads for you automatically.  And you can even download CD cover art should you want to burn the files to a CD.  In all a very nice site! Thumbs-up

Sharing a New Site and Molly's Book Cover

It's sunny this morning, I'm home for the day, and I can chew on my left side now.  Applause It's the little things for me. Happy Deb from the dentist called night before last to let me know my crown came in a week early so did I want to come in early or keep my next week's appointment?  So I ran in early yesterday morning.  The appointment certainly took longer than I was expecting.  Also, I had thought the second appointment would be the easier of the two, but it wasn't.  This tooth probably isn't that healthy root-wise and when she took the temporary off, oh boy!  Surprise  I had the pleasure of feeling that nerve over and over for about an hour while they readied the crown for cementing in.  But as things seem pretty good so far, I am hopeful this retrieveAllImage.aspxtooth might straighten up and be happy for the duration.

Jack picked me up a new little vacuum yesterday.  I know it's better to have a bag, but I like a bagless and it is a nice little pull around canister vacuum.  I don't have any carpet in the house, and with Barley shedding most of the time, I need something quick and heavy duty.  I haven't really tried it yet, but I am hoping it will be a very satisfactory vacuum.

secondhandlinks
I have another little Blogger blog, not a blog really.  It's just a site to share links I come across.  The name is Secondhand Links . . . mainly because I often come across links other bloggers have found.  I probably wouldn't post currently something someone else posted currently.  On the other hand, there are so many blogs that so many never see, I guess there are enough links to go around. Winking And it's also a way to share things I've found that I think are noteworthy.


fullcoverlayout We got Molly's full cover layout the other night.  I was just amazed how beautiful it looked with the back looking so antique. Molly is so pleased.  After the proofreader checks this cover layout, I think there are only a few steps left, the ones below.

 

10)   Author-approved text to pre press

11)   Printer ready text to author

12)   Author signs off on authorization to print

13)   Text goes to print (books reach author in just under 3 weeks)


What else to share?  Besides the fact that Brett Favre retired?  Crying I've just been busy trying to keep up.  Jacob came home sick from work on Monday.  He was too lightheaded to drive home so Jack picked him up after work.  I will be glad when this virus is completely gone.  It just keeps popping back up every couple of days.  It will be so wonderful to open the windows and to walk out the door and feel fresh warm breezes on my face.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Google Notebook

Google NotebookThe Google Notebook is a fabulous way of keeping track of things you find while surfing the Internet.  Ideally it keeps all your little "clips" for you, complete with pictures and automatically includes the link you clipped it from which is especially important if you later want to give credit to the person/place where you found something.  There are helpful editing features, like adding categorical tags, or notes to a link you've saved, or just your own notes as you surf.  Notes can be easily dragged and dropped from notebook to notebook, and you can have as many different "notebooks" as you'd like.  There is a search feature, and saving a clip is as easy as right-clicking and adding it to your notebook.  It is a great tool for researching.  The makers have this to say about it:

"That's why we built Google Notebook--to give you an online "notebook" where you can organize all your research, add personal notes to it, and share it with others. Google Notebook surfs along quietly with you as you browse, letting you clip and annotate whatever text, images, and links that help answer your question, all without ever leaving the web page you're on."