Friday, November 20, 2009

Do you still use Google Notebook?

I wrote about it in this post almost a year ago. I have since had to reformat my computer so I realized today that, although I still have a Google Notebook account, I no longer had the extension that makes it work in Firefox. That would be simple enough to remedy, but, since they have stopped development for this fun and quite useful little web tool, you can no longer download the extension. (You can read more about the changes on the Google Notebook blog.) However, I never give up that easily. I found this blog which offers an updated extension that will work with Firefox 3.5. It is the clickable green Add to Firefox button in the right-hand sidebar. If you need instructions for installing, click the little Installation link under the button. I’m happy to have it working again! In your travels online all you have to do is highlight a recipe or other piece of information you’d like to save, and right-click, choosing Note This which then will add it to your Notebook. After that you can organize into topics and add labels, etc. Very quick and easy to save your online clippings. smile

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Where Do I Begin?

Life has been so full in the past months. Our summer was busy, and our fall likewise. Jacob graduated this year and has been taking basic EMT training classes since early September. He was also working full time until last week so I am glad he can concentrate fully on his classes now. He has clinicals at the hospital next week and is enrolled in nursing classes next January. I am excited for him to feel a passion for what he is doing. While he is learning a LOT in the EMT course, his desire is to concentrate on nursing.

Molly’s writing career just continues to amaze me. For longer than I can remember, I have wanted to publish a book. Various pursuits over the last few years and being pulled in many directions at once most every day have succeeded in derailing that dream. Even so, I blame myself mostly as, chiefly, I am a disorganized individual. Following alongside Molly in her writing career has been very exciting for me. I definitely had the same passion she has at the age she is now, and while advantages in publishing might be more readily available to her, I feel she has more drive than I ever had. She very much deserves these accomplishments that she has achieved, and I am just wildly proud of her.

I finally finished copy editing the third book in the series just a couple of weeks ago. Major accomplishment for me as she, poor girl, had wanted to release that title in September already. But now, it is done and will be available in just a few days providing the proof copy she is waiting for is all right. I thought I would post the first three covers. This is also a hugely fun and satisfying part of the process for me. Her printer, CreateSpace, is only that, a printer, so you are responsible for every other aspect of publishing, including making the book’s cover. Thank goodness for Photoshop which I love to work with. Molly searches for stock photos and gives me direction as to what she wants the cover to look like and then gives me thumbs up or down along the way until they eventually turn out like this. It is so fun to watch them come to life!

TPDP cover

(The Pirate Daughter’s Promise which is currently with Pleasant Word will be
re-released at CreateSpace with this new cover in the near future.)

Every Tear cover

ACH cover

One last thought about this series, Pirates & Faith. It will live now in my heart forever. I love her characters so much, and it was so fun following them through all four books. (Yes, there is a fourth.) Molly will be the first to say she would likely change a few things in her first book, The Pirate Daughter’s Promise, which was written when she was just fifteen. Her writing talent has grown and improved over the years. I love the sweetness of the first. The second is full of trials and heartache, and it gripped me deeply. It is also full of comedic moments and a deepening of your love for her continuing characters. The third is slightly different, primarily through the eyes of a young man, a ship’s captain. And the fourth, I think, though I will never be quite able to decide, was my favorite. I just could not stop reading it! Molly confided it was her hardest to write. She almost didn’t finish it! I was pleased to tell her I thought it was her best work. So if you are interested in reading this series or purchasing for a gift, the third one should be available very soon. Just check the sidebar to see if it is clickable. It will take you to Amazon.com.

I will write again and tell you about my poor finger sad which has been in distress for three weeks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Oven Timer Is Your Friend

I love the healthy benefits of garlic. The kids and I love steamed garlic on crackers. I put a bunch of peeled cloves in a steamer basket, and when they are finished cooking, it’s not long before all the cloves are eaten.
I did this the other day, but I was busy puttering around the house and had forgotten to put my oven timer on. I use my oven timer so much I am afraid the button will wear out before the oven does. Mostly I use it to let me know when a load of laundry is finished washing.

So, when Sam said, what’s that smell? I thought, the garlic! Okay, so you know the rest. The water had boiled dry under the steamer basket and the inside bottom of my little pan was all black. I did a Google search for cleaning burnt pans and ran across a combination I hadn’t tried before: hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing liquid.

You'll find a bunch of comments on this page if you’re interested: Cleaning Burnt Pans. It’s always nice to have a home remedy to try, isn’t it? smile

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bees. And More Bees.

For years now I have wanted to move our ugly car garage away from the house. Without going into detail other than to say, again, that it is ugly, there are numerous reasons that I thought this would be wonderful. It is attached to the house by a small maybe four foot throughway, one that we did not use anyway. Because we were trying to find some way to magically make a barn appear in which to house our horse (on our land) who currently lives in the barn on the property adjacent to ours, and because we are resourceful people, and after thinking on this quite some time, Jack has decided to turn the garage into a barn. Voilà! I have received my wish. LOL The ugly garage is now moved down by the pasture and will be transformed into a barn for Baylen.

There was a huge amount of buzzing in the wall of the throughway when he moved the garage. It turned out to be a massive hive of bees. Of course more than a few of them ended up in the house. Though men generally don’t think this is a very big deal, wink I’ve been having mild fits over this, especially as we’ve had an annoying amount of wasps this past summer who also find their way into the house. [It’s a very old house by the way.] So I swatted more than a couple of them in the living room today, not to mention more than a few in other places.

shopThis will seem like a change of subject, but it is not. I started getting a headache last night and it developed into a bad one this morning. This afternoon I decided to sit with some warmth on my neck, and Molly and I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic. Had no idea this was such a cute and fun movie! I really loved it. So it was enjoyable, despite the headache, until I felt a bee sting my leg! I panicked and pulled my jeans up, screaming, “Molly, help me! Molly, help me!” So of course the bee stung me again higher up my leg. Ouch! I haven’t been stung since a wasp stung me on the back of my knee when I was a young girl climbing high up in a combine on the farm. I have decided I do not want to get stung again. It hurts and feels like you are being stung repeatedly and now my leg is numb and painful, but I suppose the worst is over. crazy

We went to a Leeland concert last night and if you ever have the chance I would urge you to go. I love Leeland. Great, just fantastic worship songs. I love Leeland’s passion and love for God.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Blog For All Seasons

The other day it occurred to me that I was going into fall & winter with spring graphics. It seems a better thing to have an all-weather/all-season blog design. Isn’t this Trina Clark clip art great? I recently put together a blog design for my niece using Trina Clark’s school clip art and really loved how colorful it was. So much so, I wanted to do one for myself. I love this house, sun, and daisies and all the bold country colors. So that is where this look has come from. I am thinking, now that I critique it, that there is too much busyness, but I love all the color, and I think this is fun for a change.

There are so many times in a day that I think of blogging about something. I really would like to blog regularly, but I can never seem to fit everything into one day. I’m going to try though. I do miss blogging. My summer was so busy, there were things to blog about, but to find the time. surprised Also, please forgive me for never visiting or replying to comments. That sounds so lame, but I just have not been visiting at all these last months and barely blogging as it is. I have been a hit and run blogger. blush

Hey, how about that Bibi Netanyahu at the UN yesterday?! Every time he says “my people” I just think wow. What if we had a leader who would speak with such pride in his nation?

I’m Just Sayin’

wow. You know how I go back and forth about whether or not to include my political feelings in my regular blog postings – so that’s what the new “I’m just sayin’ . . . “ tab is for and generally I’m going to post these things in separate posts, I think, because –frankly? I am uncomfortable writing about something nice like family stuff or exciting like Molly’s books and then switch gears and just vomit all over my vehement feelings for this current administration and YET it's like how can I NOT say something?! This country, the leadership, is just getting more and more bizarre.

I am posting this video to show both the absurdity and the horror of what is happening in this country. The part at 2:36 referencing “all are equal in his sight” as opposed to “all are precious in His sight” offends me more than most things that have happened so far.

 

This video also upsets me every time I hear it. If you voted for obama, did you vote for THIS? “We are ..Days Away From Fundamentally Transforming The United States of America” Did you vote for him to do the things he's doing? If you did, I can’t understand why. I wish people who feel there is something so wrong with this wonderful country would just go live somewhere else.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Scrapbooking Tool Of a Different Sort

I ran across a blog post the other day describing how to organize digital scrapbooking files and folders on your computer. Since beginning digital scrapbooking, that is a large part of what I keep on my computer. Way too much, actually, but that is a different post. LOL

Everyone will have their own way of organizing, depending on what you have be it only kits or more. I happen also to collect commercial use items for making my own papers and elements and am always so grateful to those who share free templates and mini kits, etc. That usually  yields a sizeable amount of zip files to unzip. So. I was really excited to read this blog post which mentions a little program called Extract Now which unzips multiple zip files at once.  Amazing! Especially if you didn’t know that could be done. I love it and wanted to share in case it will be new to you too.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer Is Waning

Summer feels half over, or is it actually? and I have yet to just consciously let summer wash over me with all of its seemingly endless-feeling, warm-breezy, loveliness.  Normally, our life is very quiet and slow (although that never seems to translate into not busy), but this summer has been as busy as it feels. I’m already feeling like I should prepare for the coming school year (although this year I will have only 1 to teach! and how weird will that be?) I must concentrate on just “doing” summer one of these days.

We had a very lovely time away recently. My brother who lives in Alaska came down with his wonderful little family to visit. It happened that it was just me (sans sisters) and my three brothers and our families staying with Mom and Dad. It was a wonderfully relaxing time, and we also celebrated my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary!

Since returning I have been trying to get back into the groove, trying to get organized, trying to make myself do the things I need to do. I have spent a fair amount of time lately blessing my computer with gritted teeth, along with routers that seem not to work, and malfunctions which leave card readers not working. I'm beginning to edit Molly's next book in earnest which is good since she would like it to be done next month. Yikes! We’ve also been spending a lot of time as a family which is important to me as the kids get ever older, going for lots of four wheeler rides across the river which is shallow enough right now we can cross it with our little train of four-wheelers. We went bowling the other night. Exceptionally fun! They have a special every Wednesday night. Very soon we are going to double up and go with our friends (neighbors). I am really looking forward to that. We went to Lifest last Sunday, to see Jeremy Camp. Aside from five hours under a BRUTAL sun which claimed its share of sunburn, again! (I got burned so badly at Mom and Dad’s) we had a fabulous time, and I was so very impressed with Jeremy Camp. You know how we mothers are. I am just indebted to him for how he responded to my kids as they met him. So sincere, sweet, caring. Man. Made such a great memory. Good day.

jc

with Molly
jc2
and Jacob and Sam
jc3

Though I have not accomplished any pages, I have had scrapbooking on my brain a lot lately. In my searches for various scrapbooking related things, I ran across an absolutely fascinating blog this afternoon, The Pioneer Woman. She has made and graciously offered great Photoshop actions! I fiddled with two photos and can’t wait to sink my fingers into more. This first one is our house, last summer. This action makes it look so pretty!

07-09

This second picture is the back field after the hay was baled by the river in the woods. I took this last summer also. I just love this picture.

07-08

Well, whatever else I was going to say has just escaped me! LOL So I will close with that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Great Messages For Women and Wives

Good morning! First, I just wanted to say, you probably have realized by now that I have very strong political feelings. I am very open about it, and I do not mince words.  I am sorry if I might shock you with what I say. I am a very soft-spoken person, but I am very opinionated on this subject.

I am so excited to share a few things that you might not have been aware of. I wasn’t. I used to listen to Focus on the Family daily, religiously, when the kids were small. I’m not sure when I stopped listening. Just too many other things to do. But recently my sister-in-law told me about a wonderful 2-day message she’d heard by Beth Moore called Embracing God’s View of Your Marriage. Also recently, for our 22nd wedding anniversary, Jack gifted me with an iPod touch. (aren’t those apps just the most fun?!!) So I got back into podcasting again. I just love listening to these podcasts that Focus on the Family gives so generously. I still remember the days when you had to order a cassette tape of something you’d heard. So I am especially grateful for this.

beth_moore_02_332 I was just so blessed by this message by Beth Moore. Frankly, though I am married to a really wonderful and sweet man, I find marriage harder now than I ever have. That is no reflection on him.  He’s one of those great slow and steady guys, and he has provided a very stable home for us. But neither of us is perfect and being a woman at this age is very challenging, being a mother of older children (meaning adult and near adult age) can often times be more exhausting mentally than raising small children. There are many factors, not the least of which is this world that vies for our attentions in ways that sneak up on us before we realize how much of us it has stolen in terms of time, etc. So, anyway, I just wanted to share this two part message in case it would be of benefit to you as well. I would hope if you subscribe to the FOTF daily podcasts these messages (April 23 & 24, 2009) would still be automatically downloaded into your iTunes by updating once you’ve subscribed, but if not, I hope these links work for you.

Embracing God’s View of Your Marriage 1

Embracing God’s View of Your Marriage 2

Feldhahn’s-_Shaunti_174And I have more! This morning while I was straightening my hair because it takes almost an hour, I listened to 2 parts of a 3 part message by Shaunti Feldhahn called What Women Should Know About Men which discusses the differences between us. Well, I’ll tell you, I learned some things and am so happy that I did. Though I just keep getting side tracked, my goal is to be a better wife to this man I am married to and when I accomplish that my goal is to be an even better wife for him. Because no matter how much I might get frustrated by the things that I wish were different, he deserves that! I was quite riveted by the first two parts of this message, and I am real interested in the book also that she has written, for women only.for-women-only-212x300

What Women Should Know About Men 1

What Women Should Know About Men 2

What Women Should Know About Men 3

I hope you can access these messages! and if they touch you, tell a friend. smile

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Clapping For Neil Cavuto

Neil CavutoIt’s pretty crappy when you feel helpless to stop what’s happening in America today. Yes, all together we could stop it, but where are the people standing up, banding together? Probably watching TV or on the Internet (and yes, I’m guilty of both). But when their health care goes down the toilet and they begin to wake up and sputter, “what? what?” I’m just going to weep. Because it’s all so stupid these people who voted for obama and who are just blind to it now, what they’ve done. I’m going to be so much more angry than I am right now.  This man who is reveling in being our president and trotting around foreign countries like he is king of the world is such a baby, such a gutless and thin skinned man who lies openly and repeatedly and believes and basks in his own ridiculous press. So. This is why I am posting this link below. It is such a balm to my battered spirit to read these words by Neil Cavuto calling out this awful man.

Obama Was Everywhere Except FOX Today

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Review – Night At the Museum 2

night

Night at the Museum – Battle of the Smithsonian. Have you seen it?! Oh, it was so fun!! Just so many great and funny moments like the part with, Brundon, the security guard and Hank Azaria’s hilarious portrayal of Kahmunrah which just killed me. Amy Adams was a great Amelia Earheart. In all it was just very fun, a very successful sequel, and I love the Smithsonian. It brought back memories of being there with my grandmother years ago.

Movie Review – New In Town

New in Town

I have a new favorite movie, New In Town. Oh this one was just so cute. I loved that it was fairly to quite wholesome. You can’t say that much anymore. And have it be a great movie to boot. [editing to say: upon watching it a second time, it does have a bit of "salty" language] I love Harry Connick Jr., and though I am terribly distracted always by whatever Renée Zellweger has done to her face, I just found myself laughing over and over again during this movie. I am and always will be a Minnesota girl at heart. I live here because my wonderful husband is here, but if I had my druthers I’d take him with me and go back home. So watching a movie that takes place in Minnesota, even with the hilariously gross exaggerations of Minnesota behavior and dialect, was just lots of fun. Also, if you love The Closer as I do, you will just LOVE watching Police Chief Will Pope (J.K. Simmons) as Stu.

Things That Distract Me

while our country is being hijacked and destroyed.

Recently we traveled with Jack again to the Kalahari. I feel so blessed to be able to do this. It was a work conference for him and we would probably not be able to afford two nights there and eating for five and all that goes with a trip like that, but we have been blessed to go there every year since the kids were young. It feels so comfortable now, like home, and I just LOVE going there. We had a great time and again, I just feel so blessed to get that opportunity. We all went to the great theater there and watched the second Night at the Museum movie. Have you seen it?! Oh, it was so fun!! I also watched New In Town, which I loved.

gfbtprev I added another sidebar heading, Scrapbooking. I’ve been a little too scatterbrained in the last months to keep track of specific designers, or begin to have favorites, other than Shabby Miss Jenn. It’s the colors that attract me initially and then papers and elements so I usually just fly around liking this or that but not taking care to remember who did what. But recently I followed a SYTYCD contest over at Digiscrap Addicts. One designer I really like is Megan Turnidge. I love the colors she chooses and the way she puts things together. This week she and a 9 other designers were added to the Scrap Orchard store and they all put together a blog train kit called Girlfriends. Some great colors and fun elements/papers. If you start with Megan’s blog and follow the train until you come back to her you can pick up this great kit. Also, I see she is bringing back her kits one by one from the contest. So, if you like digital scrapbooking, check out Megan’s new blog. It’s very pretty! After this, I’ll be adding my favorite designers to the sidebar over time.

Every Tear

Jack and I are hearing comments from people who are reading Molly’s new book, and it is so exciting to me! After so many hours going through it and editing, it is really exciting for me to hear what they think because I loved it. Apparently it is keeping them up late at night reading. LOLMy sweet Aunt Helen actually had a little heart episode while reading a tension-filled part. I’m just so happy for Molly. If you care to take a look, Amazon has the Look Inside for this book and you can read the prologue. Do remember though that this is part two in a series.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sharing An Interview With John MacArthur

I just wanted to share this with you today. Some time ago my dad gifted me with a John MacArthur study Bible. It has become such a treasure to me. I have learned so much from the notes in this Bible, things I never understood my whole life have become clear.

This morning Jack and the kids and I were going to start watching a two part message by John MacArthur entitled The Only Road to Heaven, but I had recently seen the YouTube video I am embedding below, an interview with John MacArthur by Kirk Cameron, and I thought it would be nice for them to see and “meet” John MacArthur first in this interview. We read his notes and mention him frequently, but it is interesting to see him interviewed and listen to his answers. I find them comforting and incredibly convicting. It cuts me deeply to know how cavalierly I live my life most times, and it worries me that the message of the gospel has been prettied up and watered down.  I think people, or I should say we, try to make God into who we need Him to be so that we can be who and what we want to be, so we can be comfortable doing what we want to do.

I hope this interview and the message it contains will be of value to you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

American Idol, The Shack, and Jon & Kate

It is a gray, rainy day, and I am full of thoughts. First, I wanted to mention how much I did and do appreciate the comments you left regarding my post about our current president. Of course my intentions are to write each of you and express my thanks to you for taking the time to comment, but very often I fail in those intentions so I wanted to express my deep appreciation for your caring and my apology for not responding individually.

American Idol. So Kris was actually voted as America’s choice. I can’t tell you how much this surprised me. Not because I don’t think he deserved the win. I do. As much as I loved Danny Gokey and love his voice, and my kids are wounded to the quick when I say this because we all loved Danny, I thought that Kris was more artistic throughout the competition. I also can say that I did not want Adam to win. While I prefer not to describe what turned me off, the trademark gesture he injected into nearly every song, it had rather to do with the judges. I feel like they talked him up every week, whether it was warranted or not, in a way that seemed to me they were trying to sway votes, and I felt that his win would somehow be forced on us in the same way the media forced Obama on us. So that was a happy, surprised moment when Kris won.

I do think we/our family probably will not/should not watch American Idol next season. I also think what I am going to say next will not be popular. This recent finale show was very well put together, brimming with talent, but it left me feeling extremely uncomfortable. I was doing other things and only had half an eye on the show because I just did not care, but the things I saw and heard made me realize, not for the first time, how emboldened people are, how they just keep pushing things to the next level to see how much we will take. Do we even notice anymore? What people wear, what little they wear, what they say? I am shocked what is acceptable now to say on television, to imply. We’re coming to a slow boil like that poor frog in a pot. And this is what I will dare to say. Three words came to mind as I watched. Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Shack. I blogged recently that I have been making a real effort to read more. Among the books I mentioned starting was The Shack. In the first couple of chapters I really enjoyed the way the author wrote, just very simple and personable. But for some reason I just never got very far in the book. It was lent to my husband by a friend. Jack has not read it, and doesn’t intend to, and since it has just been sitting by my bedside I thought I just need to read it if I’m going to so we can return it. I took it out to the porch with me yesterday afternoon and quickly made it about halfway through. I need first to say that I had great reservations to begin with about this book. Anything like this that takes the Christian world by storm, sweeping through and impacting a great many people, sends up a red flag to me. So, it came to a point where I felt uncomfortable with what I was reading and I thought, I need to see what other people think of this book, people that I trust. So I Googled. There are quite a few reviews which you can find yourself if it matters to you so I will not link to any, and I will not debate this with anyone. That is not my intent, and I would not reply to anyone who wants to debate it. My only intent in blogging about this is to bring it to attention. I just think it is shocking to find that pastors are actually preaching from this book in church. Does that not seem bizarre?

We do watch Jon & Kate, and I love those little ones. You just want to pick them up and squeeze them, and my heart turns over every time I hear Leah say that "Hannah pooped in Hannah’s unnawears." Still, over the last long while it’s just a crazy, painful thing watching this marriage unravel in front of our eyes. I’m no model wife, but I cringe every time I hear Kate talk to her husband.  Even when she says something nice, it is backhanded somehow. And I don’t even know what to say about Jon. It’s all just sad. Why do we stop to look at accidents? I want to get to the point I don’t look. Don’t want to look. So we watched the new season show last night. If you watch Jon & Kate you probably are aware of the tabloid stuff, but I honestly thought last night they’d sit on the couch together, be united in some fashion, and say pooh, tabloids, we’re fine, we’re fighting to stay together. Wow. How not the way it was.  It was extremely painful, and painful to watch. And way more than anyone outside of that couple needed to see, for their sakes. It was clear that they have given up. And all I can think today is if you want to fight for your marriage, if this show is in anyway killing your marriage, stop doing the show!

Well, aren’t you glad you clicked in here today? wink You just caught me on a rambling, thoughtful kind of day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another Chilly May

It’s May! But it rarely feels like it.  The wind is warm this morning, but it has been so chilly in the last week or more.  So much so that it doesn’t occur to us to go riding in the woods, and sadly, this is the prettiest time out there with the grass beginning to grow and the little wildflowers popping up all over. It’s always so soothing to me to go for a ride along the river, see the water, let my thoughts from all day air out.

Life seems so busy, even kind of complicated now, despite the fact we live a very simple, quiet life.  Just lots in my mind always, I guess.  Unless plans change, my kids are going to take a road trip next week.  Though I’ll miss them a lot and I’ll worry a lot until they get where they’re going, I think I’m going to plan my daytime alone like a little vacation.  Have never done that before so I’m excited about it. 

I have begun writing again, so I would probably concentrate heavily on that next week and hopefully even make strides to finish this story finally.  I think I have maybe four chapters or so left unwritten.  It has been so fun to work with Molly on her books that I just can’t resist getting back into my own.  Very soon here I will begin editing her third one, so I wanted to concentrate on my own writing for a bit, get re-established.

Now that we have actually utilized their services, we are pleased with the CreateSpace printing process so far.  Molly finished and uploaded her manuscript and the cover file and received a proof copy of her book last week.  It is an amazing thing to work so long and hard on a project and then hold that finished product in your hands.  It was a big thing even to me so can only imagine what it felt like to her.  This book, Every Tear, is almost three times the size of her first book, so it was very exciting to see it all printed up and real. I was very impressed with the printing, the paper and the ink, just very nice looking.  There was a mistake on their end with the page margins so it was necessary for them to send her a new proof which is delaying its availability which was disappointing, especially as she ordered her first shipment of books, but they rectified things and are sending her an additional shipment free of charge.  So, as I said, we are pleased.rocker

I hope all of you mothers had a lovely and pleasant Mother's Day.  I did.  Jack and the kids surprised me with a porch rocker which I’ve been wanting for a long time.  It is a nice, big, sturdy rocker, like this one only mine is white. I hope to read a lot this summer so hopefully the mosquitoes won’t keep me away from the porch.

Regarding my recent post and the sleep number bed. LOL It just was not very comfortable to me.  I mean you hear so much about them, well, if you listen to talk radio, and think they would be really great.  And maybe they are.  I was too tired to fiddle much with the settings so I had it on low 30s.  But when Jack got up in the morning and crawled over my end of the bed, you know because the space between the bed and the wall in a hotel is too small to actually get off that side, I felt like I was going to be catapulted off the bed.  So, it just seemed to me I was sleeping on a glorified air mattress bed, and I really hate those to begin with.  But that’s just me. LOL

Well, I’m off to watch Rush for a bit.  I might tuck a small post below this one.  I am always loathe to spoil a post with my political feelings, because they are very strong, so I think I will most likely post them separately when I do.

Just For the Record

You know, I go back and forth with myself over this, whether or not to blog about political things. I wonder if those who read my blog are turned off or even offended. It’s not that it would stop me from writing how I feel, I just wonder. Mostly I think I hesitate because of my sweet foreign friends. Because they do not live here and do not know how INCREDIBLY MANY of us are so opposed to this man who has somehow ended up president of our country, and because video and print media gives the impression that this man is a god and doing great and wonderful things, it might seem that all is well and why ever would I oppose that? Well. That’s the nature of this beast, the media. It is so because they say it is so, not because it is true. Our country, our beloved country, is being destroyed. It will never be the same after this man is done with it, and it pains me that so many seem unaware . . . or worse, on board.

But just for the record because I feel like I want to stand on the top of my house and literally scream out my feelings: I despise what this man is doing to our country. He has contempt for me, and I have contempt for him. Too strong? No. How do I know he has contempt for me? Because he has publicly ridiculed me and people who believe the same things I believe, and because I hear it in his voice, and I see it on his face. No good and honorable leader would do that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Back Home Again and Busy

Last week got away from me.  We went out of town for the weekend, met up with my brother and his family, spent a fun night at a hotel with them, realized I will never ever want a Sleep Number bed, went out for brunch the next morning, and then spent a rainy afternoon at a science museum.  A great time away.  Now I am happy to be home, happy to have our dog, Barley, home, and happy to immerse myself in all the projects I’m into and waiting for spring to come back.  Brr.

One of the projects is helping Molly with her book.  She made major publishing changes in the last few weeks, and I have been having so much fun with her!  Because part of her goal is simply to get her books out to the people who are wanting to read them, she has decided to become an independent author.  While you might not have the prestige authors enjoy who go the traditional route, this means you don't have to submit your manuscript for review and wait to be accepted or not, and you don't wait a year or more while the book is edited and put together.  It means you have total control over your project.  In this day and age, when it is possible to do this, it makes sense.  And I love it!

She ran across, CreateSpace, an online, print-on-demand company.  You prepare the book from start to finish, editing, formatting, making the manuscript into book pages, etc.  Fun stuff like finding commercial use fonts for book and chapter titles, little scroll-y doodads, a picture for the book cover, etc.  Basically, you are the publisher.  So, Molly has finished the inside of the book formatting, and we have made the book cover.  All she needs to do is convert it all to PDF and upload to this company.  They print a book for your inspection, send it to you, you check it over, give the go ahead, and the book is then available on Amazon.com.  This whole process is just irresistible to me.

Here is a sneak peek of the cover for Every Tear and a new book trailer.  There are links for her web site and blog at the left where she explains this all more fully and also tells about her experiences while writing each book which I thought was fun and quite interesting to read.  I have loved watching her go through all these stages over the last years.

Every Tear

Well, this will be all for now.  I always have the best of intentions for posting, but to be perfectly frank, I am so concerned over what is happening in our country (and I’m not talking about swine flu) that I spend a lot of time each day listening and learning.  And I forget to blog.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Just Contemplative

It is cold today and even snowed this morning, but we are slated to get warmer weather again on the weekend. I can’t help but think the animals and insects know more than we do…early sightings of robins and even a butterfly! so I am hoping that spring will come on time this year.

I needed to relax and just let my mind have a break yesterday, so I finally worked on a scrapbook page using a baby picture of me and my mom. Such a great kit this is.

Mom & Me
Shabby Babies kit from Shabby Miss Jenn Designs

I see that Barak Obama’s teleprompter has its own blog now. And this photo on the Drudge report certainly does not inspire confidence in me. I can’t believe that he is going to preempt American Idol again next week. I mean as if anyone is going to forget, tune in to Idol, and then continue to watch? It’s like fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I will never ever ever understand why some people think/thought he is such a good speaker. If I hear one more long drawn out aaaannnndddd from him I think I will scream. I miss George Bush so bad.

saluteteleprompter

Jack and I made one of our favorites for supper last night, Super Swiss Ham Buns. I’ll post the recipe next. Thumbs-up

Natasha Richardson

I’ve been so sad about Natasha Richardson. Sad I just loved her in Parent Trap and Maid in Manhattan. It always grieves me so to know how her family must be grieving now.

Super Swiss Ham Buns

12 buns (or less if large buns are used)

Mix well and spread on both sides of bun:
1/2 cup of softened butter
1 tablespoon finally chopped onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon mustard

Add a slice or two of ham to the bun and a slice of Swiss cheese.  Wrap sandwich in aluminum foil.  Bake at 300° for 20-30 minutes.

For the buns, I like petite Kaiser rolls, and we place sliced onions on top of the ham and cheese instead of adding minced to the butter.

Love these!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Is Good Medicine

We enjoyed, thoroughly enjoyed, the first two of hopefully several days of spring-like weather.  Jack and I took a short walk this afternoon down the country road, past the neighbor’s dairy farm and back, and stood and talked to him on the road for awhile.  While we were gone, the kids saw a robin.  That is early for us here so we are hoping for an early spring.  Our hopes will be dashed I am sure, but one never knows!

I’ve been doing some spring cleaning online, doing away with some blogs.  Secondhand Links was a compilation of fun links I would come across and tips and computer and Blogger how-tos.  Those posts are now imported into this blog.  I also imported the posts from my Nature Journal. You can find them by looking in the categories under Nature or various other categories.  Also, before I started this homemaking blog, I had a small, personal blog.  I decided to move all of those past posts into this blog as well. So, now, aside from my graphics site which has been woefully neglected these many months, this is my only blog. DancingHonestly, if you know me well or have followed my blog over the years, you know that consolidation is practically my middle name.  I always seem to be consolidating. Wink It is a good feeling.  I’m going to have to do something about the length of my category list and there might be some overlapping of posts.  I might have posted the same photos and info on both my personal blog and my nature journal at one time, but really, does anyone care? LOL Also, links for recipes might be all mixed up.  If I can, I’ll go through and re-route them.

Well, I am in the process of moving some things around in my bedroom, maybe even this computer, so I’d better get back to it. not one care

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where Oh Where Has That Little . . .

Pam gone, oh where, oh where, can she be?  Wink Hello there.  It’s been a long time.  I think I am dangerously close to not blogging anymore. Surprised Seasons of life and things like that, you know.  If any of you girls has been away from blogging for any length of time, you know how hard it is to pick up again and resume blogging.  You just get so out of practice, and it is certainly not effortless anymore.  Also, I just think it can’t be any fun to check a blog and never find a new post.

But, I don’t have any plans either way, and I did want to pop in and catch up with you a little.  This winter has been very hard in a lot of ways.  I get so frustrated with myself for allowing life to feel so oppressive sometimes.  I will be so glad when it is spring!

I spent a couple of weeks, almost from morning til night, editing Molly’s second book.  That completed, we want to read through it one more time before she submits it to a new publisher.  Then she’ll wait to find out if they will accept it.  She made a book trailer to promote the first book, The Pirate Daughter’s Promise.  Thought you might like to see it!

I think it is just so wonderful.  I have so loved going over this second book, Every Tear, which touched me deeply.  It is always so fun to follow characters into a second book.  Molly hadn’t planned to write more than three for this series, just a trilogy, but she did end up writing a fourth book and finished that just recently.  So I just pray that there will be interest in this second book so she can continue, and so others will get to read what I have and be able to follow these characters.

I think I am on the cusp of making a good decision.  I jumped quite enthusiastically into digital scrapbooking.  Haven’t loved doing something that much in years.  Yet, it wasn’t but a short time that I jumped from scrapbooking into learning the design of scrapbooking kits.  I guess that’s just me, the way I do things.  I renewed my domain, I spent time figuring out a Zen Cart, spent money on tools, and happily so for they are fun!  So fun.  The things you can do and make. It’s unbelievable, and addicting.  But you know, even though I LOVE color and love to work with color, I don’t have that natural thing that so many designers have, that ability to just naturally come up with a theme.  I don’t draw so there wouldn’t be original stuff in my kits…just me perhaps artfully arranging and putting together things others have provided for commercial use.  So.  I think I will just walk away.  Even though I was pretty excited about the kit, but I just think of all the time I could spend reading or writing, for instance, instead of working on kits.  It’s hard, but I think if I am conflicted over it, my heart is not all in.

I do want to begin reading again, regularly.  I used to be such a reader. I recently watched Bleak House so I thought I would love to try reading some Dickens.  And, having been working with Molly on her books and watching her enthusiasm, I miss writing.  I would love to begin working on my book again.

I’ve also been Facebooking.  For me, it is a way to keep in touch with my family which is very scattered geographically.  Last week, Jack took his last week of vacation from last year.  Instead of getting the things done we’d planned, LOL we played four-way games of Scrabble with my mom and dad.  Oh, such fun!  We had such fun chats going during the games.  You can’t beat that. 

So, there are some thoughts and a bit of what I’ve been doing lately. smile

Monday, January 5, 2009

Thinking Ahead

Happy New Year. smile I am still waiting for things to really settle down now that the holidays are over.  I would love to start posting more.  Some of us have not been feeling that well so life does not feel back to normal yet.  Well, what is normal? and does it ever stay normal for long?  wink  I am thankful for all things because good would never feel so good without the bad.  Have been dealing with some anxiety-inducing things which always leave me feeling exhausted mentally.  But, I am excited about this new year, the things it will bring, the changes, etc.  I also received very sad news today, the loss of a little one who would have been born into my extended family later this year.  That is always so sad and it brought back memories of my own little one that I miscarried.  It made me smile though to think those little cousins have met now before any of us have even met them. not one care How sweet.  I hope your new year is burgeoning with high hopes and dreams.  Take care until I return...