Nothing Bullet Sunday (#13) Style

Absolutely nothing. That’s what I’ve done today. We have a busy day of shopping ahead of us tomorrow. And we had a busy week last week, and another busy one coming up, so it feels good to have at least one day to do nothing but… hang out.. whatever. Since doing a whole lot of nothing makes for boring blogging, I thought I’d share some of the sites I visited today when I was surfing, Bullet Sunday style (on Saturday).

  • Jack’s grandmother has this really nice and big turkey roaster. I was asking where she got it and she said she’s probably had it 30-40 years and doesn’t think they are made that big anymore. I went surfing today for one and found this Bialetti Hi-Dome Roaster with Rack that seems like a good deal. It’s not the same as hers, but it might do. As luck would have it, we’ll be at Target tomorrow, too.
  • I also did some searching for turkey brine and how to do it. I’ve never done it before but hear it makes for a juicy turkey. Since we’re having turkey for our Christmas eve dinner, I wanted to learn how. All the sites tell you how for a smaller turkey.. but what about a big 20 lb one? San Francisco Chronicle had what I was looking for.
  • Have you ever cooked a turkey upside down? Or breast side down? I haven’t.. and never even heard of such a practice. But in my searches today I came across Simply Recipes (a site I bookmarked) that shared, Mom’s Roast Turkey Recipe which gives instructions on how to roast a turkey breast side down. Apparently it makes the turkey breast juicier. It sounds really good but I’m nervous to try it.
  • One of the work assignments I received earlier this week I finally looked at today and it took me to charlotte cosmetic dentist web site. I browsed it a bit. Since I don’t live in NC, it doesn’t pertain to me much.
  • I created a character on the test server for EverQuest II and did a search for the best solo class for EverQuest II. I don’t plan on playing on the test server much as I don’t have time to play on the live servers as it is. But when I do, I don’t want to worry about finding a group.

It’s now almost 7:30 PM and we’re getting ready to light a fire in the fireplace, get snuggly and watch some movies. Oh how I wish we had more of these kind of days.

[tags]bullet sunday, nothing, randomness, random stuff, random sites, turkey brine, roasting turkey, upside down turkey[/tags]

Cleaning up my rss reader

RSS Feed Icon Once I discovered the joy that is my RSS reader, I went a bit overboard. I subscribed to everyone I already had bookmarked, then hit that little orange RSS button wherever I saw it on sites I found even slightly interesting. I now find myself a bit overwhelmed and can’t keep up with everything.

I went on a cleaning spree and got rid of a bunch of my subscriptions. First, with the exception of online newspapers, anyone that offered only offered partial excerpts feeds were ditched. This cut down on a lot of my subscriptions. I then scrapped sites that had no new content for weeks or months, and I scrapped sites that were becoming too spammy.

I will never understand why people only offer excerpts. It’s been shown on many different pro-blogging sites that offering only excerpts will not guarantee more traffic to your site. If the average person is like me they will find partial feeds as frustrating as Christmas shopping for The Guy Who Has Everything. (Do you think he’d like these silver cufflinks?)

Think about it.. sites that only offered this were the FIRST to go out of my reader. I don’t care how wonderful your updates / posts are, the reason I choose to read your blog / web site through a reader is to save myself some time. What is really sad about this is a few of these sites I used to visit regularly via my bookmarks before I discovered how to use a reader. Now, I likely won’t be back to your site. So you’ve lost a reader AND a visitor.

I have found that I visit sites more often — especially if I want to leave a comment — if they offer the full post feed. If you’re only offering your RSS subscribers partial excerpt feeds, you’re selling yourself short. Don’t believe me? Read: 34 Reasons Why Readers Unsubscribe from Your Blog. Look at what’s in the top three.

[tags]rss, feed reader, feeds, partial feeds, full feeds, subscribers, rss subscribers[/tags]

Thursday Thirteen #13 – Questions

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Questions

  1. Why do people keep saying they hate Daylight Savings time when we just went OFF daylight saving time? We are on STANDARD time now.
  2. Do people really mean they hate Standard Time?
  3. How come when we just bought a car for our teen child there’ve been exactly 900 articles in our papers about teens dying in car accidents?
  4. Is that really necessary?
  5. How wrong is it that I have a dog massively allergic to fleas? One bite can send him into a frenzy.
  6. Who’s idea of a sick joke was this? (someone please invent pet brushes that will kills fleas too, k? Thanks. Would make my life easier.)
  7. Why does my husband keep bringing home candy from the office when we still have 20 pounds left over from Halloween?
  8. Why don’t trees drop all their leaves at once?
  9. Why can’t Jay Leno and David Lettermen write their own damn monologues? (Don’t flame me for this one. I understand the reasons behind the WGA (writers) strike and why some actors, show hosts, etc. don’t want to cross the picket lines.)
  10. Where’s the rain we were told we’d get today?
  11. Why did a friend have to IM me about the shrimp he had for lunch right as my boss was remoted in to my computer?
  12. How come my husband is funny and witty and comes up with a billion and one absolutely hilarious things to say until I ask him for funny material? Then he’s got nothing.
  13. Why do people leave emergency OMG the sky is falling voice mails and demand someone call them back asap but don’t leave their phone number?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens: Holly | Noelle | Deb | Marina

[tags]Thursday Thirteen, Thursday 13, TT13, questions, writers strike, NaBloPoMo[/tags]

Child Guard

Have you ever lost track of your children? It’s a very awful feeling when you lose track of one of your children. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced it first hand.

The first time was while babysitting my best friend’s daughter while my best friend was working in a department store. Sarah was preschool age at the time and an adventurous and often mischievous child. I showed up at my friends work at quitting time with her daughter and POOF. Sarah disappeared while my friend and I were chatting. And I do mean DISAPPEARED. She was just GONE. I felt horrible. How could I LOSE her?? She was just standing next to me one second before?! My friend and I were both in a panic as we called security and started running all over the store trying to find her. It turned out Sarah decided to play hide n’ seek with us and was found OUTSIDE the store! It was a horrible feeling and I vowed to be much more careful in the future.

Once I had my own kids I learned that being more careful sometimes isn’t enough.

When my daughter was younger she was the kind of child that always stuck close by wherever we went. She never wandered off. She didn’t like strangers and was very shy so we could go anywhere and she’d be glued to us every step of the way. When she was around 4 we were at the mall one evening and stopped by the food court for dinner. I went to one food stand while Jack went to another. I shouted to Jack that he had all the kids and he thought I said I had the kids. The boys ended up sticking with their dad as I walked away so I assumed Melissa would too. When I brought the food back to the table, Melissa was missing. He thought I had her, and I thought he did. We raced around looking for her asking anyone nearby if they had seen her, then we spotted a security guard. We told him what happened and he smiled and said they had her. She had followed another woman in a red shirt with blond hair just like me, and when the woman noticed Melissa following her, she took her to security.

You’d think we’d never ever let this happen again, right? I wish.

We have lost Cody twice since that incident. The first time was right after we bought our first house. He was only two and walked right out of the house and wandered two full blocks away early on a summer morning. The second time was … you guessed it, at the mall.

This has actually been tough for me to write. Looking back at these awful memories it’s hard not to beat myself up. How could anyone lose children FOUR times in their life time? I’m not neglectful and I keep a close eye on my kids, *especially* in a crowd. I’m the kind of parent that if my boys have to use the restroom in a public place and their older brother or dad isn’t around to escort them, I make them go in the girls bathroom with me (and they hate this, believe me). I’ve always been this way. I don’t let my kids out of my site. But all it takes is a split second and things can go wrong.

Child Guard When I was offered the opportunity to review self defense products I almost passed. I browsed the website and they have a lot of great products to help keep one safe such as mace and pepper sprays. Even a newsletter you can join that offers various safety tips and product specials. But I’m not really comfortable having mace or anything like that in my house of mischievous children. Then I noticed there’s other cool stuff like pet safety lights, a cell phone flash light and blinkies so I kept browsing. That’s when I came across a product called Child Guard. When I read this:

Nearly every parent has experienced the high anxiety, even if momentarily, of a “missing” child. In the mall, out in the playground, even at home-a child missing for even a few moments is a very frightening event.

…I got teary. Yes, I know this… Boy do I. And it sucks like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in my life. I went back to the list of products we could review and Child Guard was on the list. I begged and pleaded and got down on my knees jumped all over the opportunity to review Child Guard.

The child guard has two components. One is the Child Sender. This is a cute little animal-shaped “toy” you attach to your child. It comes with a cord so the child can wear it as a necklace or around their wrist. The second component is the Parent Receiver that fits on your key chain. The Child Sender keeps track of how far your children are from you. If your child wanders away from you a certain distance (you can set the distance from 3 feet to 21 feet) the Parent Receiver will beep.

I tested it out today and it works great. Cody is 6 now but you know what? He’s a lot like Sarah: adventurous, mischievous, and independent. Anyone who knows Cody and has read our family site for any length of time knows what I’m talking about. Cody also loves having little gadgets to play with. He never leaves home without a car or lego or something to hold onto or stick in his pocket. So this is perfect! Besides, I’m not taking any chances anymore. I doubt we’ll leave home without this until he gets much older after the experiences we’ve had.

Child guard is not a replacement for using common sense, good judgment, and keeping a close eye on your children. But it will help for those times you can’t be looking 100% of the time. It is impossible to take your children anywhere and be watching them every single second of every minute. When you are paying for groceries you aren’t looking at your kids while you write a check, dig for cash, or swipe your debit card. When you’re out shopping you’re looking at labels, clothing sizes, comparing products, etc. You’re chatting with your spouse, your friends, salespeople. And when you have multiple children, one might grab your attention while the other wanders off. There are tons of opportunities for little ones to run off and as you can see from my examples, it doesn’t take long. It only takes a quick moment. Having something that actually warns you if your child gets too far away would be extremely helpful.

[tags]losing children, keeping an eye on your children[/tags]

Thursday Thirteen #8

Thursday Thirteen
Thirteen Articles or Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed This Week

  1. Mommy Bytes’ post, Thursday Thirteen #18 – Join the Gal to Gal Virtual Walk contains 13 reasons to join the Gal to Gal Virtual Walk to improve the lives of those diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer. I’m now walking too and it only required a donation of $3.00.
  2. Catherine Lawson’s post, Read This Before It Kills You is about paying attention to your health and taking care of yourself. Excellent advice!
  3. The 7 Habits of Highly Defective Bloggers – a helpful list of what NOT to do as a blogger. I might be guilty of a couple of these. Oops.
  4. Six Until Me’s post, Sad Robot is a vivid description of what a bad diabetic low can feel like. This post brought tears to my eyes.
  5. Chocolate: The New Antidepressant? from Diet Blog is a favorite. Anything that tells me chocolate is good for me is an instant favorite.
  6. I enjoy Skeet’s Tuesday Teasers every week. Actually, wait… what am I saying? They drive me nuts! They drive Jack nuts too.
  7. There is always something that makes me smile at LOL Diabetes like this post with my favorite Sesame Street Character, Cookie Monster! P is for Protection
  8. This image in this post at A Pile of Dogbones cracked me up. WARNING: Do not click the link if images of tooth brushes caught in the “act” will offend you!
  9. It takes a lot of guts to admit feelings about yourself like Kellie reveals in Weighty Matters: The Heavy Set Woman. I bet many of us can relate.
  10. The following is not an article. It was an actual conversation that took place this morning while talking to my buddy Jay (no, not Wyldlock, Jay, my ex co-worker):

    Space says (10:42 AM):
    sometimes it’s hard to find 13 things to write about….
    Space says (10:42 AM):
    today I was thinking I’d do 13 articles or blog posts I’ve enjoyed in the past week… cause I remember a lot of good stuff… turns out I only had 9.. and am having a hard time finding 4 more
    Jay says (10:42 AM):
    i can be # 10
    Jay says (10:43 AM):
    i’m an interesting guy
    Jay says (10:43 AM):
    … lol

    Space says (10:43 AM):
    you don’t even have a website that’s functioning, what am I going to link to?
    Jay says (10:43 AM):
    i dunno…
    Jay says (10:43 AM):

    Space says (10:44 AM):
    you’re a dork.

  11. I found this article, John Smedley: Exclusive Interview with the SOE CEO hilarious. Sony buys Sigil and thus owns Vanguard: Saga of Heroes™. All my die-hard EQ buddies will understand the irony of this.
  12. I’m always on the lookout for good blogging tips and things that will help me improve this blog. As such this post, Six Ways Blogging Differs From Other Types of Writing was an interesting read.
  13. My web host is a bit unconventional, to say the least. I absolutely loved their blog post that described how they got started in the business, Are you older than a Fifth Grader?

Links to other Thursday Thirteens:
Qtpies7 | Angela at Mommy Bytes | pussreboots | jennifer

[tags]Thursday Thirteen, Thursday 13, TT13, great articles, Gal to Gal Virtual Walk, blogging tips, everquest, everquest 2, everquest II, sony online entertainment, SOE, sony, weight, health[/tags]

Go Pink for October! (Bullet Sunday #4)

Pink for October October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Last year Dave from went Pink for October. That was the first I’ve heard of it and I thought this was a great idea. Since I wasn’t really keeping my blog up to date then, I did not participate.
This year I proudly sport a Pink for October graphic. You can get your own Pink for October graphic at the Pink for October Website

There are other ways you can support Breast Cancer Awareness such as:

Help spread the word!

[tags]Pink for October, breast cancer, breast cancer awareness, komen for the cure, komen, breast cancer awareness month[/tags]

Who the heck is John Chow? And Why Would I Care?

I keep seeing this name pop up in my reader. People criticizing him, questioning his motives, or model after him. I’ve seen his name and blog show up on forums, too. Stuff like “well John Chow did ____” (fill in the blank) and people are all like “oooohhh”. The first time I read a blog about him, I figured the blog owner knew him or something. So I did some research… and I’m not getting it. Seriously, why is he such a big deal? His blog is ridiculous. There are so many ads and junk that my Norton anti virus had a cow. It’s so ad packed that I have no idea what the blog is about other than the title: “I Make Money Online by Telling People How Much Money I Make Online”. It looks like a splog to me. I understand the criticism, but why would anyone want to model after him or track his moves? Anyone want to enlighten me?

[tags]john chow, splog, splogs, john chow website[/tags]

Bullet Sunday #2

  • For years I read blogs and visited web sites the old fashioned way. I had heard of RSS and feeds and all that but never bothered to check it out. That is till a few weeks ago when I figured I’d give the Google Reader a try. My life has been changed. Forever. I can read three times as many blogs and message boards in half the time. Now I want all the time back that I spent clicking bookmarks and visiting sites one at a time! *sigh* If you don’t have a reader and like to read lots of blogs, get one. You won’t regret it.
  • I am a horrible sister. My brother called needing help with transportation to get his daughter home. He needs some sort of Dodge Charger accessory, er.. no, that’s not what he said. He drives a truck. See, he called at a bad time to tell me his truck was acting up and he needed to give his daughter a ride home. I was in the middle of complete and total chaos. All the kids were here and they were all talking at once. I was working on paperwork that had to be done before Kayla left (Melissa is now officially a cheerleader and Kayla is her coach :)) so I told him I’d call back. The kids didn’t leave for a bit and by the time they did I totally forgot to call him back. He drove his wonky truck anyway. See? I am horrible.
  • pompoms.gif As I mentioned, Melissa is now a cheerleader. She already knows several cheers as her big sister (who she totally idolizes) has taught her many and took her through cheer camp last summer. Now she’s going to be a full fledged cheerleader for a real (grade school) football team. It will give her a lot of experience because she really wants to do this through junior high and high school. Unfortunately they won’t take 6th graders into the cheer leading program at her current junior high 😦 So this is a head start for her. It’s amazing to see this once quiet and oh-so-shy girl come out of her shell more and more as she grows older. She’s still pretty quiet, but knows how to stand up for herself when she has to. She now has the confidence to perform cheers in front of people and it’s wonderful to see. She’s turning into a fine young lady. *sniff*
  • Today has been a weird day. It rained, and that’s weird since it hasn’t really rained more than sprinkles here and there for a long time. I got into a weird small argument with someone. I so don’t get people who can only see things one way and would rather label you than try to understand something that is off course of their one-track minds. I had a weird night because Jack had to go to work at midnight and didn’t get home till after 5 AM so I didn’t sleep well. It’s weird because we both slept in till late morning. Even weirder… properly the weirdest of all, the kids let us sleep in that late. The youngest boys only peeked in on us twice and stayed quiet all morning. Yeah, that was REALLY weird. We got nothing really accomplished today, and that’s weird since we always have something to do. For a weird day it was a good day, though. Even if we are both still tired from the weird night.

[tags]bullet Sunday, weird day, cheerleading, cheerleader, sisters[/tags]

Beautiful Weather, Beautiful Homes

summerhillhouse.jpg This is the last weekend before school starts and it couldn’t be better weather-wise. 80 degrees, light breeze, gorgeous. Jack and I decided to take a drive. There are so many breath-taking places to visit within 20 minutes or less from our home if you know where to look. This time we headed east for the foothills above the Hockinson and Brush Prairie area. We’ve driven up there before and the view back down on Vancouver is gorgeous, as well as the view of the lush forests. There are a few different routes you can take and this time we chose one that led up to a housing community. You could see it from down in Vancouver… and I’ve always wondered who lived up there.

We were blown away! The houses, the views — simply magnificent! I’m not sure how old the community is as all the houses still looked pretty new and some were still being built. Several were also for sale. We had to take a flier on a couple to take a peek at the price. *chokes* $800,000+. Some? One million bucks! I did not have my camera with me. But I did find this picture online that shows the extent of the houses as well as part of the view you can see these people have. The current asking price on this one is only $939,000. One thing I enjoyed about the neighborhood was no two houses were alike. They were all very unique. Some were brick, some were stone, some were traditional, some were ranches, etc.

I found the home owner’s association website for the community and this is how they describe themselves:

Our homes are nestled on ¾ to 1 ¼ acres parcels surrounded by 407 acres of community-owned, forested open space with walking trails throughout. Deer and other wildlife are an every day part of our community.

*tries to stop drooling*. I love my house. Don’t get me wrong. We live in a very nice one in a wonderful neighborhood. But it did get Jack and I to talking… what exactly do these people DO? Doctors? What kind? Lawyers? I joked that maybe one of them invented the colon cleanse that everyone seems to think we need to do these days. (I know, strange, but it was a had to be there moment.) I’d love to know, because I really wouldn’t mind a house up in those hills, lol. Who wouldn’t? 🙂

[tags]beautiful weather, beautiful homes, summer hills, hockinson, brush prairie, dream home[/tags]

Thursday Thirteen #2

It is anniversary week for my husband and I and we are celebrating not only eight years of marriage but 13 years together.

Highlights of the last Thirteen Years with my Husband

  1. 1994: We met online playing a game on a local BBS (the same BBS we met Wyldlock) and began dating shortly after we met face to face. Love at first sight really does exist!
  2. 1995: I spent most of this year sitting on the couch playing computer games and reading books. Bed rest is no fun! After a somewhat difficult pregnancy, our daughter was born in December of this year.
  3. 1996: After overcoming some hardships, we finally started living together and building a decent life for ourselves.
  4. 1997: Sometime this year or the year before (hey it’s hard to remember back that far) we started our own computer business. We had a store and everything. The problem was we tried to offer mostly computer parts that came with free or cheap service. What we should have done was focus on the service part and charged for that instead! We couldn’t compete with the bigger companies like Computer City. This is when I started dabbling in HTML and learning to build web pages. I even started my first “blog” although that term wasn’t around then. I called it a Diary. 🙂
  5. 1998: Our first son together was born on a hot day in the middle of summer. This was the only baby of my four that I carried to full term. Of course this would be the summer we had record-breaking temperatures! The day after I brought him home from the hospital it got up to 105 degrees! Even though I had gestational diabetes, it was a fairly easy pregnancy.
  6. 1999: Jack proposed to me in January and we were finally married on a gorgeous day in August. We paid for everything ourselves and this year was pretty much spent preparing for our wedding.
  7. 2000: Y2K! This was a fateful year for Jack, as he lost a really great job the day he was supposed to start due to failing the background check. What caused him to fail? No high school diploma. Some paperwork was missed on this and literally minutes before he was to head out and start his job on the first day, he got the call that he couldn’t work. This was devasating to both of us. But he went that week and got his GED after not picking up a school book in over 10 years. The agency who placed him at the job he lost found him a 1 week temp job as a replacement. That turned into two weeks, then three. Each week he wondered if they’d still want him around. After a couple months they were so impressed they bought his contract and he’s been there ever since! I also became pregnant with our last child this year and we spent our first wedding anniversary with me in the hospital due to finding out I had uncontrolled diabetes (apparently it didn’t go away with the last pregnancy.)
  8. 2001: I was induced three weeks early and our youngest was born after a very difficult pregnancy (I had to inject insulin the whole pregnancy).
  9. 2002: We moved out of the rented house we had lived in for five years into a really crappy apartment in a horrible neighborhood. This was a temporary move so we could save and prepare to buy our first home. This was a rough year for our relationship as well. But we endured and came out better than ever. We learned that marriage can be work sometimes, but if both partners are 100% committed, you can get through anything.
  10. 2003: We finally bought our first home and moved in on a 96 degree day. We seem to have a lot of events that involve record breaking hot temperatures. 🙂 It took us over a week to get moved but the heat really slowed us down.
  11. 2004: I got my first full time job in over 10 years and began a career. For the first time we were a two income family. We started the process of rebuilding our credit and finally got ahead financially.
  12. 2005: Hawaii!!! Jack surprised me with a trip to Hawaii on Valentine’s day. This was actually for my birthday a week later. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life.
  13. 2006: This was actually a rough year for my family. My mom was in a horrible car accident where she broke her back, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my step father passed away. I don’t look back on this year with much fondness with the exception that through it all my husband was beside me and 100% supportive of everything I had to do. He even had to experience being a single dad while I spent weeks and weeks away from home helping out my mom and then flying to California for my job. It was the first time we had ever been apart that long and the saying is true: Absence DOES make the heart grow fonder. Even if you’ve been together over a decade.

The last 13 years of my life have been the best despite some hardships and struggles. Every year with my husband has been a blessing and I’m looking forward to many many more to come!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens:
Amelia June | pussreboots | Frigga | Holly | Tilly Greene | Buck Naked Politics

[tags]Thursday Thirteen, marriage, anniversary[/tags]