What’s new, pussycat?

Chat Noir
(famous black cat image, which I found here)

I’m sorry, little blog, for neglecting you so.  It’s not that I don’t care about you, it’s just that I don’t care about you as much as I used to.  Harsh?  Indeed.  And I’ve noticed that many of my friends’ blogs are similarly neglected.  Not sure what to do about it, but one option might be to, perhaps, come visit once in awhile, write here, and make more of an effort to go visit my blog friends.  Sigh. So, aside from pancakes I made weeks ago, what’s new around here? Let’s see…

Today is St. Nicholas Day. St. Nicholas was known for (amongst other things) secret gift giving, thus being the predecessor of our Santa Claus. And no, he didn’t live at the North Pole. He lived in what is now Turkey. We celebrate by having some Stollen (meant to represent the Baby Jesus, of all things), though we get the more Dutch version, filled with almond paste. Also, dried fruit. Ted says that dried fruit is a work of the devil, and I can’t imagine that Baby Jesus wants anything to do with Satan, can you? We’ll see what happens there. I wonder what Baby Jesus might think of the Dutch celebration, with Sinterklaus being followed around by his slaves, who might take naughty children away to Spain.

My birthday is at the end of this month, on New Year’s Eve. Cherry and I went out for an early celebration on Saturday. She took me to the best crab restaurant around, Thanh Long, which makes an amazing roast dungeness crab, and some mean garlic noodles. It’s a special treat kind of place, because the crab is quite expensive, and also because there’s enough butter and oil in the crab to clog up your arteries for good, and that’s without the garlic noodles, which come in a close second. Finish it off with a deep fried banana with rich vanilla ice cream, and yeah, you might want to have salad for a few days after that. Not that I’m going to. We’re having steak tonight, ala Ina Garten, with Provencal butter. YUM.

My friend Aimee over at Greeblemonkey has got me hooked on Florence + The Machine, specifically their song “The Dog Days are Over”. One inexpensive and hopefully thoughtful gift I like to give my friends for Christmas is a ‘mix tape’ type CD, and this is definitely going to be included. I’m wondering about the rest of the album. Anyone know if it’s good? Any other songs you’re into right now that I might want to consider including?

Time for a Genevieve update? She’s doing well. She has a bump on the inside of her eyelid that should be removed, but we’re very hesitant to have it done, because she’d have to go under for the procedure. And the thing is, she’s been reacting differently to medications this last year than she did in the past. A pro-biotic she was on for a bit had her totally strung out, pacing the house all night long. An antibiotic she had been on several times before with no issues suddenly had her vomiting. Her vet says she doesn’t want to put her under if we can avoid it, and we’re in agreement. So who knows how that will turn out. But she’s been enjoying the cool winter weather, and while she doesn’t want to go for long walks, once in awhile she’ll start galloping, which is never wise if you’re blind. But on the leash, we let her run a bit, and she seems to really like it.

V-Grrrl mentioned on Facebook how in love she is with SmartWool socks, and everyone who commented on her post said ‘gosh they’re expensive, but I love them so much I’m asking for them for Christmas’, so I bought some for gifts. Anyone else in love with SmartWool? Anyone tried the REI brand, and know if they’re comparable? They looked like they were the same quality of merino wool, but maybe not padded.

Last but certainly not least, today is Richard’s birthday. Wish we lived closer so we could go to dinner with him and Kathy tonight, but since I’m in California, and he’s in Alaska, it’s unlikely. Bummer. Happy Birthday, Richard…I miss you. We’re having steak in your honor. And because we like steak.

Richard and Julie, early 1970s

Things I’ve Done…

(lovely art, titled ‘Regret’, found here)

and would like to never do again.  I saw this over at Suebob’s blog, and I thought it was genius.  So here goes…a list of things I’ve done, and would like to NEVER do again.  Warning.  This may get gross.

  • Get a bad perm
  • Vomit in the bathroom of a bar
  • Fall down while pushing my car, which was out of gas, and get dragged (drug?) across the street by said car, finally stopping when my car crashed into another car, and looking up and seeing that the car belonged to a guy in my French class.  Thankfully, his car was a beater, and he was in his 30s and didn’t care.  Tore a hole through my shoe.
  • Heard the word “Ginormous”
  • Fallen off a horse
  • Lost a beloved parent
  • Lost a beloved pet
  • Had diarrhea on an airplane
  • Had diarrhea in a department store
  • Had diarrhea at a water park (you’re sensing a theme here, with me and my tummy?)
  • Had my car break down on a dark freeway, alone, driving through the Altamont Pass
  • Bash my pinky toe on a coffee table
  • Have a boyfriend take his other girlfriend to Hawaii
  • Be laid off
  • Sleep in a tent in Yosemite (seriously, it’s the bears)
  • Have stoner girls make fun of me in Jr. High
  • Fail French class.  Yes, an F.
  • Ask a boy I really liked to prom, and he says no.
  • Play a cruel joke on someone I love
  • Make my mom cry
  • Lost a friend to inertia
  • Bit my dog’s ear (not Gen…Sam)
  • Have a stranger grab my boob at a party, in my house (I’m glad I hit him and made him leave, though)
  • Fall asleep in a meeting at work
  • Accidentally let Gen’s tail slam  in a gate
  • Break  a champagne flute that we received as a wedding gift from the pundit who married us
  • Eat a bad something that made me sick like a dog
  • Got a bad haircut
  • Hurt my friend’s feelings
  • Cut off the tip of my finger
  • Have mumps
  • Have chickenpox
  • Hear that George Bush was our president.  Twice.
  • See people falling from skyscrapers
  • Almost drown at a water park (better than drowning at a water park, though)
  • Over-react to stupid crap
  • Suffer from a bad case of flu, where I thought I might die.  Didn’t get close, but it felt like it.
  • Drink cheap wine
  • Cry myself to sleep more than once in a week

How about you?

Spaghetti Sauce Sandwich

I was alerted by my blog/Facebook friend, Simon, that this weekend was Sandwich Party #5, which is pretty self-evident. Make a sandwich. Share on your blog. Well, I went to Stockton and took Grandma and Aunt Flo to Sizzler on Saturday, and dined on cheese and crackers on Sunday, so I didn’t get around to making a sandwich for the party until Monday. I thought about trying to do something fancy with arugula and brie or something, but decided to go retro instead.

When serving spaghetti, some people mix the noodles together with the sauce in one big serving bowl, while others serve the noodles plain, and top them individually with sauce. I find that doing things the latter way tends to make gloppy noodles, but that’s how I was raised. Serving your sauce separately leads to lots of leftover sauce, and no leftover pasta. What to do? I discovered one day that if I took some of the sourdough bread that we had, slathered it with butter and garlic powder, and fried it, it made a delicious garlic bread, which is the perfect place to put a bunch of warmed spaghetti sauce. It’s a lot like a sloppy Joe, actually, though I like the flavors of spaghetti sauce better. My mom thought this was a disgusting idea, until she finally gave it a try, and became an instant convert. She always said that sane people are willing to change their mind when they are given the proper evidence, which this sandwich clearly is.

For this sandwich, I started with a lamb ragu, which I made for the gnocchi we had last week. I tend to mix my sauce and pasta, to avoid the gloppy noodles, but this recipe makes more sauce than a pound of gnocchi can accommodate, so we had some left. I’ve updated the recipe a bit, in that I now mix the meat in the Cuisinart with a slice of bread and a couple of tablespoons of milk before browning. It keeps the meat from getting hard or too chewy, which is a trick I learned on America’s Test Kitchen. Luckily, we had one really nice sandwich roll in the freezer, so I took that out, thawed it in our handy toaster oven, and then sliced it, and slathered it with butter and garlic powder.

Bread, butter, garlic powder, and lamb ragu

Bread, butter, garlic powder, and lamb ragu. Mmmm.

Next, I toasted the bread by frying it, butter side down, over medium heat.

J's favorite way of making garlic toast

It comes out slightly crispy and smelling fabulous.

Mmmm. Garlic Toast

Then you cover one piece of toast with some hot spaghetti sauce, and if you have it, a sprinkling of fresh Parmesano Reggiano.

Getting hungry at this point...

Finally, cover with the other piece of toast, slice in half, and enjoy. A perfect sandwich. I was torn between a glass of milk and a diet coke for my beverage. I had the diet coke, but I think it would have been better with a glass of milk. Oh well.

Looks a lot like a sloppy Joe, no?

That’s it. Next time you find yourself with some leftover spaghetti sauce, give this one a try. Truly yummy, esp if you make your own homemade sauce. If you’d like to see what other participants came up with, you can find more over here, or here.

Cleaning House

(graphic found here)
I’ve been cleaning up the old blog a bit lately. Still need to find a few missing friends for my blogroll, I think. Interesting to me to look at it, and see how few of these people actually come here and comment anymore. I don’t know if they’re too busy to comment, but still read, or if they don’t read my blog anymore, or if they read me on a reader, or what. I thought of taking a few off for that reason, figuring that blogging is sort of a reciprocal thing, a community. Then I thought, no, I’m not in it for comments, I’m in it because I love to come here and write, and I love to go and read what you all have written. So I won’t pull anyone that doesn’t know I exist. Not that they’d notice.

I used to keep my book reviews on my sidebar, but that got lost when I updated my theme. I didn’t even update to a new theme, just updated to a more recent version. But anyway, the sidebar was getting unwieldy, so I decided to make a whole new page for my book reviews. There’s a tab there at the top, and if you’re interested in seeing what I’ve read, and if you might be interested in reading some of the same books or not, that’s where you’ll find the easiest access. Of course, you could also just select the ‘books’ category, but then you’d have to page through all of the book blog posts, so this is a lot easier.

Then more recently, I’ve noticed that I’ve been coming here to find recipes, rather than hunting around in my cupboard or trying to squeeze in to the closet behind the carpet cleaner, vacuum cleaner, and paper towels to find a recipe. I can no longer remember which cookbooks were destroyed by our leaky bathtub, and as I find more recipes online, I have a file full of printed webpages, which is not the least bit organized, so finding a recipe can be a pain in the butt. So I decided to make a page here on my blog, where I can find all of my old recipes in one handy place. Good thinking, no?

Not sure what other changes I’ll be making. I’m kinda fed up with this admin side of it. Maybe I’ll take a break, now that it’s not looking quite so crappy. 🙂

Google Reader

Any readers who access my blog via Google Reader have surely noticed an abundance of prescription drug ads in my posts lately.  It appears my blog was hacked.  Joan told me about it over a week ago, and I looked around but the power was out that day and it seemed like a Google issue, so I forgot about it.  Then today, Michelle emailed me about it, and I thought, hmmm, maybe I should look into this some more.  So I searched around about WordPress/Goodle Reader issues, and found a page with some solutions, but they were above my technical ability to execute…so I asked Ted’s friend, Rahul, and he fixed it lickety split.  I just had to go and refresh my reader, and the pesky prescription drug ads went away.  Whew!  THANK YOU Rahul!  You’re my hero. 🙂

So…if you came here via Google Reader…does the issue seem to be resolved to you?  Input would be most welcome.




Hi All,

I don’t use a reader, I’m old school and click the blogs I want to read from my sidebar.  One of my bloggy friends, Joan, told me that my blog is coming up in Google reader with a bunch of pharmaceutical drugs next to it.  Once she clicks the link to my blog, all is well…

Has anyone else had this issue?  Any idea of how to fix it?  I’m on WordPress, but hosted on our own domain.  I updated to the newest version, but it made things kinda wonky, so I reverted back to my old version of WordPress.

Help?  Anyone?

UPDATE: It looks like this is a Google Reader issue, though clearly it isn’t affecting anyone. Maybe later I’ll do some research and try to suss out if it is only affecting people on WordPress, or if it’s random folks on all platforms. Our power is going to be out all day today, so no research today (Thursday).

The Other End (Of the Telescope)

Where does our responsibility as bloggers sit, with regards to one another?  Is it enough to be polite, to not insult or slam those whose blogs we visit?  Should we be honest above all else?  If a blogger that we like starts another venture, be it an online magazine or an etsy shop, or a real, brick and mortar store, should we support them in their endeavors, with clicks or cash or both?  Are we obliged to support them by putting a link to their other endeavors on our sidebar, if that will help them?  Does it depend on how well we feel we know them?  On if we feel like we can get behind what they’re selling?  On whether they come by and comment and seem like a real friend, or if they are just someone whose writing impresses us?

And what if they’re sick?  Or may be sick?  Is it our responsibility to be honest with them, there in the comments, and tell them, “Um, you may be in real live trouble here, you may need to seek help.  Your family, your husband and parents and siblings, all think you need some help.  Listen to them.”  Or is it enough for us to stop by and say, “I’m thinking of you.  Hang on.”  And what if what we say is, “F-them, they don’t know what they’re talking about, you’re fine.”  Are we then assisting in their denial that something may indeed be wrong?  Are we doing them a disservice then, and perhaps even harming them?

The thing is, I think that sometimes in the blogisphere, we mistakenly think that we truly know each other.  That we understand someone truly and wholly, based on what they present for the world to see.  And for some, that’s more true than for others.  Some people pretend to be something they are not, perhaps they pretend to be single and hot and female, while in reality they’re married men in an office park, living out some weird fantasy.  Call me naive, but I suspect that the majority of bloggers out there, at least the ones I have come across, pretty much present themselves as they are.  “This is me”, they say, “and I’d like to tell you my story, my side of things, the story of my life as I live it.”  But even with that, it’s still just their side of things.  It’s not true any more than it’s true that beets are yummy.  Beets are yummy to me, so to me, that statement is true.  But if you hate beets (like Ted and Maya do), then it’s a lie.  But my blog=my truth, not yours.  I think we’re all like that, to some extent or another.

A blogger friend of mine has been having a passel of trouble lately.  Real trouble, and more than her fair share. (Since when is life fair?  Never.) She has lost a lot, and is having trouble coping with those many and significant losses. She is not coping with it well. Perhaps as well as she is able, but really, she seems to be spiraling out of her own control, and she needs some help to get back where she wants to be in life. She has been very public and honest and forthright about her battles, and it’s been somewhat scary to watch. I do not know her in person. I have never met her. She writes the truth, but again, it’s her truth, no one else’s. She has never claimed that her truth was anyone else’s, just that it was hers. Really, truly, all hers. So another blogger mentioned on her blog that while the first blogger clearly needs help, the only comments she is seeing are ‘you go girl’ type comments, and not anything more constructive. While I have been worried about her, and think she may be in real trouble, and that she most certainly has a hard path ahead of her, my comments have stayed at the ‘I’m worried. Take care. I hope you can get back to O.K.’ variety. I kinda felt like she already had it coming at her from her husband, her parents, her siblings, the authorities, etc. That she needed to feel safe on her blog, like this was a place where she could come for support. If she didn’t already have all of those people talking to her, perhaps I might have said something along the lines of, “I think you need to get help. I care.” But I didn’t.

Would you? If you see someone in real honest to god trouble, someone you like, but don’t really know, how much should you say? Is it enough to tell them you care, or do you think that a blogger, one who claims to be a friend, should say more?  And if so, how to say it without chasing them off, if they’re already in a fragile state?

Being a Mom

Being a Mom

KarenMEG over at A Day in the Life was tagged for this meme, which got me thinking. It was started by Her Bad Mother, who wants to know about 5 things you love about being a mom, at the same time acknowledging that it’s not all buttercups and milkshakes. That many of us feel ambivalent about the day to day frustrations in parenting, while at the same time deeply understanding the gifts that it bestows upon us.

Like KarenMEG, and I suspect many parents, I am much more interested in my own child than in yours. Sorry, it’s just true. I wasn’t really interested in kids before I had Maya, except that I desperately wanted one of my own. Sort of like a southern belle in Gone With The Wind, working so very hard to land a husband and get married, without any real understanding of what marriage means.

Examples of the struggles of my parenthood can be found here on my blog. Like here, where I lost my temper and scared her, because she thought I was going to hit her. Others occurred before I started blogging, like her 5 months of colic. The teething. The missing out on movies because getting a babysitter can be a pain in the butt. The changes to marriage, some good, some not.

But the joys of being a mom overwhelm the frustrations. I could probably write a book on things I love about being a mom. Or, at least, about being Maya’s mom. I’ve never been mom to anyone else, so I can’t speak to that.

  1. I loved the days when she was a baby, and we would bring her into our bed with us in the mornings on weekends, in order to get a few more hours of sleep.  Such a sweet, simple time.
  2. I loved when she got old enough to come downstairs and make herself breakfast and watch TV by herself, allowing us to sleep in longer.  At the same time, I missed those weekend morning cuddles.
  3. I love that even now, once in a while, she will come and give us a cuddle.  Much less often with a 13 year old, but so sweet nonetheless.
  4. I love how she and Ted laugh at something wicked, something that would probably not occur to me and my rather dry sense of humor, but that makes us all laugh nonetheless.
  5. I love watching her learn about the world.  The stars, the ocean, all of it.  Sometimes it’s hard, as she gets older, and learns about the cruelty found every day, the absolute horrors.  But the absolute beauties are fun to discover with her.

I’m supposed to tag five other moms, and we’re supposed to see if this little meme can travel the world in 80 clicks. I’m going to take a more organic approach, and say, if you would like to participate, tell what you love about being a mom (or dad!), and go tell Her Bad Mother, as they are tracking the geographic progress of this meme. Especially go tell them if you’re participating, and you don’t live in the United States or Canada.

Most Awesomely Yummy Cookies

Yummy package of cookie goodness!

Yummy package of cookie goodness!

Imagine my surprise when I came home yesterday to find a box of yummy cookie goodness on my doorstep!  I opened it up and found a delicious package of cookies and a sweet note from my pdx bloggy pal, BMC, aka Bite My Cookie.  Maya was generous enough to model for me, both the anticipation of pre-bite into some chocolate chip gooey heaven,



but also an action shot of an actual bite.  Notice the very cute new top she bought herself with a gift card from Auntie Janet, as well as the fierce pink streak in her stylish new hairdo!

Yummy bite!

Yummy bite!

The cookies were pretty big, and mighty rich and buttery, so we started off by splitting a chocolate chip cookie, and then we moved on to a white chocolate chip cookie.  We’re not big white chocolate folks around here, so I was thinking I would ‘pay it forward’ by giving them to our white chocolate loving neighbor, but then we tried them and YUM.  Sorry neighbor.  Your loss.  I can’t decide which ones I like more.  I may have to try again tomorrow, and I’ll let you know. 😉

Thanks SO much, BMC. You totally rock. And the rest of you, if you’re ever over at BMC’s place, be really really nice to her, because this is some action you want to get in on, k?  Word.

Awards, lists, and plans

C from Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island gave me this cheery little award a few weeks ago, and it’s about time I got around to passing it on.  I’ll admit that I wonder if perhaps it mutated somewhere along the way, because it’s a Kreativ Blogger award, but it doesn’t ask you to choose creative people, or talk about 6 ways you enjoy being creative, or anything like that.  Hmmm.  But it’s a fun award, and the perfect way to start out the weekend, so I’ll bite.

The rules are that the recipient is to list six things that make him/her happy before subsequently passing forward the glee to others.

Six things that make me happy are:

  1. Warm days and cool nights, ala Spring and Autumn.
  2. Rainy days when there’s nowhere I need to be.
  3. Spending time with my family.
  4. A good meal with Ted and Maya, whether it’s at a restaurant or home cooked.
  5. A good book.
  6. Spending time with my friends.

Now it’s time to pass on the award to 6 bloggers.  Hmmm.  Whom shall I choose?

  1. Bibliomom ~ I choose her because I’m hoping to motivate her to post, since it’s been awhile, and I enjoy her blog.
  2. Nance ~ I choose Nance because she always makes me laugh, and she’s often snarky.  Fun to see the softer side of Nance, maybe.  Though she might just choose 6 snarky things that make her happy.
  3. OmbudsBen ~ Because I suspect one of the things that makes him happy might be dogs, and dogs are good, right?
  4. Jimmy over at Uncivil ~ Because I suspect he will make me laugh with his answers. No pressure Jimmy, ok?
  5. Simon ~ I’m kind of hoping there will be some pictures of amazing dinners in his answer.  He eats in the most wonderful restaurants, and thankfully, takes pictures for the rest of us to drool over.
  6. Auntie Kate ~ She hasn’t posted since NOVEMBER, so it’s high time she got back to it, don’t you think?  Though perhaps as she’s not posting, she may not be reading either, and thus will never know that she’s been tagged.  So be it.

Next, I was given the Premio Dardos award by Deb from Punctuality Rules.  This award is a bit more overwhelming, because it asks me to tag 15 other bloggers.  You read that right, 15.  That’s practically everyone on my blogroll over there, and crap, if I choose 15 bloggers and I don’t choose you, are your feelings going to be hurt?  And at the same time, if I do choose you, are you going to be pissed off at me because you now have to choose 15 people to pass it on to?  This dilemma has been hurting my head for awhile now, but nonetheless, it’s a very flattering award to receive.

To quote, “Premio Dardos means ‘prize darts’ in Italian. It is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing.”

The rules are to (1) accept the award by posting it on my blog with thanks to the person who gave it to me, and (2) pass it on to 15 other bloggers, along with a comment to let them know.

OK, so here’s my evil solution.  I’m cutting the number in half and rounding up. (And actually, I don’t feel too guilty about this, because I googled the award and peeked around, and on some blogs, the rules only call for 5…yay!) So, instead of tagging 15, I’m only tagging 8.  And two of them won’t be tagging anyone else, (very) sadly.  I’m sorry, but I just can’t pick 2/3 of my blogroll without feeling like crap.  So, without further ado, 8 bloggers awarded by me for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. If you wish you were tagged, tag yourself. You surely fit into this category, and you surely rock. I was probably afraid to tag you because of the ‘tag 15 others’ thing, and you’re far to busy with real life to take something like this on, or perhaps it’s the fact that you’re getting bored with blogging anyway. If you hate me for tagging you, because you hate trying to pick and choose amongst your bloggy loves, just ignore me. I won’t take offense. OK, I guess that wasn’t really without further ado, was it? Rather, it was probably with further ado. Apologitso (I know, what?). Here goes:

  1. A posthumous award to my mom, Maya’s Granny. Her writing, her values, her curiosity and compassion leap out in her writing. If you’ve not read her things, go check out her blog. The last 6 months are mostly me worrying about her recovery, and her attempts at staying in touch with the blogging world, but before that, there’s some really good stuff.
  2. I’m not going to go into so much detail about why I’m picking the rest of you, OK? I guess moms get preferential treatment.

  3. Jill, from Brilliant at Breakfast
  4. Shark-fu, from Angry Black Bitch
  5. Amuirin, from Stop & Wander
  6. Another posthumous award, to Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf
  7. Jess Riley, from Riley’s Ramblings
  8. Suebob, from Red Stapler
  9. C, from Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island

Whew, glad to be done with that. 15 was just too many, don’t you think? I’m clearly a slacker, though, because Deb did a wonderful job of tagging 15 people, and she made it look easy. I suck. C’est la vie.

So, what’s the plan, Stan? Today, my plans are:

  1. Do no laundry.  Seems like I do laundry every dang day.  Today, it’s ‘just say no’.
  2. Do not go to the grocery store.  Seems like I go to the store every dang day.  Again, ‘just say no’.
  3. Eat no meat. (Maya insists that we not eat meat on this holy day, when we worship at the temple of Battlestar Gallactica. I know, we’re probably going to hell for that. Not the meat part, the worshiping.)
  4. Finish my book. I’m totally hooked, and I’m over 500 pages in, with about 100 pages to go.
  5. Take Maya to girl scouts tonight. The moms are going to go out for coffee or margaritas while the girls listen to a guest speaker. Votes?
  6. Look for jobs here in my hometown. I’ve only had one interview so far, and door to door, it’s about an hour. That adds two hours to my day. If I get an offer, I’ll probably take the job, as it would be interesting and challenging and somewhat stable. But if I could find something interesting and challenging and somewhat stable closer to home, I’d be glad of that as well.

Tomorrow, it’s go to a Job Connections meeting, where you network with a bunch of other unemployed folks and hope for someone to know of something. Sunday is girl scout cookie booth day.

How about you? Plans? Lists?

Pardon The Mess…

My blog has been acting weird lately, and we suspect that the template that I’ve been using isn’t completely compatible with the newest version of WordPress.  Every few days, I get completely locked out of my blog.  And then Ted has to go in and fix it, because I haven’t asked him to show me how to do it myself.  I was locked out on Thursday or Friday, and vowed to get to it over the weekend.

But I spent my weekend bike shopping, reading, watching BSG, watching the Super Bowl, gathering tax information together, putting together girl scout cookie orders, grocery shopping, reading some more, watching Big Love, and a bit of time on Face Book.  In other words, I didn’t get to fixing the blog, and then, this morning, locked out again.   Enough is enough, so I’ve updated my template to a newer version of the same one, but some things are lost or misplaced, and it needs some work to get going again.   But today is a work day, and I have a bunch of work to do.  So forgive the double title in the header, the mess that is my sidebar, etc.  It’ll be OK soon. 🙂

UPDATED to add that I decided to go for a whole different look and feel.  Still having problems getting my ‘recent comments’ to show up properly on the sidebar, but everything else seems to be wrangled and under control for now.  Boy, I am going to have a lot of regular work type work tomorrow, huh?  Since I wasted some time on this today?

Blog Comment Day ~ Results

(monkeys found here)

Yesterday was Blog Comment Day, and the assignment was to leave at least 5 comments throughout your blogging day (I always do anyway), and that two of these comments should be to blogs where you have never commented before.  Rather than doing a random ‘next blog’ type thing, I decided to mine the blogrolls of some bloggy friends.  I popped over to Red Stapler, and picked two blogs from her blogroll with tantalizing names.

I visited Godammit, I’m Mad!, and commiserated with her frustration at people feeling pretty high and mighty about buying the Starbucks coffee that donated $.05 to AIDS relief on December first.

I also visited I, Asshole, where I read about her job search, her daughter’s ear piercing, and her frustrations with her mom and Thanksgiving.  The post was funny and snarky and much more interesting than I made it sound.

That’s my two new blogs, where I’ve never been before, talk about commenting.  I liked what I was reading, so I decided to do three more new blogs, and find them the same way.  I went over to another blog friend’s place, Stop and Wander, and perused her blogroll for some new stuff.  Found myself at red Ravine, where QuoinMonkey introduced me to a wonderful art project put on by the city of St. Paul, Minnesota.  It’s called Sidewalk Poetry, and wow, what a breath of fresh air.  A city actually putting money into the arts, and engraving poetry into the sidewalks.  I love this idea, though it would make me want to walk with my eyes pointed down, and one must remember to look both ways before crossing the street.

I then popped over to Maekitso’s Cafe, where Brad writes mostly poetry, along with some juicy confessions of his misspent youth.  From a comment on Brad’s blog, I slid on over to Why Paisley, where I discovered just how different some people’s youth was from mine.  I don’t say this to sound condescending or judgmental in any way, but after reading these last two blogs, I am more thankful than ever for the childhood/adolescence that I had.  They were not perfect.  But they were not excruciating either.

Lastly, and I know, this makes six new blogs, Ted told me about his bloggy buddy, Jeff Vrabel’s post in which his 4-year-old son decided to wander down the street at 1am whilst his parents were asleep, and what came after.  Happy ending, thankfully.

I enjoyed Blog Comment Day…it was fun to stretch out and find a few new blogs, and get a peek into the thoughts and lives of some new and interesting folks out there.  Thanks, John, for the prompt. 🙂


My plan for today’s blog was to make a Thursday 13, and list 13 things for which I am thankful.  Family, friends, our health, having a job, good elections, etc. etc.

As so often happens, though, life got in the way.  Let me tell you what happened.

Ted and I use WordPress to maintain our blogs.  Ted’s really good about updating his blog to the most current version of WordPress, but often the update comes with a small hand full of problems.  There will be something new that he has to tweak, and it takes time, and blah blah blah.  Me?  I’m more the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kind of person.  My blog works perfectly well, I can do everything I want to do, everything’s fine, so no, I won’t make changes that might turn out to be a pain in the neck.

My lackadaisical attitude bit me in the butt on Tuesday.  Seems that some asshat hackers got in and infected a ton of WordPress blogs.  You guessed it, the ones that were on older versions.  Sigh.  So, while I was out with Maya looking for a dress and shoes for Maya to wear for Thanksgiving and a funeral on Saturday, Ted spent hours on the phone with tech support working to get my blog fixed.  Then he had to go onto WordPress user boards Wednesday morning to figure out why I couldn’t log in anymore.

So, today, I am thankful to Ted and his persiverance and dedication, his willingness to spend hours trying to (and succeeding) fix my blog.  Thus far, the only thing that went wrong is that the fonts didn’t line up or something, and there are weird ‘Â’ symbols throughout all of my old posts.  Strange, huh?  I have over a thousand posts, so I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to fix them or not.

Thank you, Ted, my personal IT guru.  You’re the best husband, ever.


My plan today is to make some turkey and yams, eat, relax, have a lovely time with family, and hopefully have a nap.   Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Head Cold Randomness

(picture found here)

Stupid head cold.  Came in and decided to stay a little while.  With it here, I’m having trouble thinking of things to write about.  So too bad for you, this is all you get.

I finished another book, but haven’t taken the time to write about it yet.  Maybe next week.

I didn’t watch “No Country For Old Men” yesterday, because we couldn’t find it on our OnDemand.  Guess we missed that boat.

I’m behind at work, because of being sick, so now I have to get caught up.

I only have one book left to read of my 2008 challenges, “The Pillars of the Earth”.  I’ve heard great things about it from my bloggy friends, but I’ll confess to being a bit intimidated by its huge size.  I keep thinking I should read something else, and put it off for January, and see if someone is having a “Chunkster Challenge”, which is a challenge to read 3 or more books of 450 or more pages.

I received sad news yesterday about a family member who passed away last night.  I don’t feel right writing about it here, but I’ll just say, again, that I could make a long list of people that I would choose to go first.  Unfair. (Since when is life fair, I know, blah blah blah)

Genevieve had a bath yesterday.  She smells a lot better.  Whew.

My company gave us a coupon for a free turkey.  I’m thinking I might make a recipe my old roomie Troy made when we lived in San Francisco, involving champagne.  Yummy.

I’ve been watching too much 90210 lately.  The story arc right now is when Kelly and that girl were burned in the fire, and then the girl becomes obsessed with her.  Remember that?  Funny.

Maya’s itching for Friday to come.  She’s SO looking forward to Twilight.  Can’t. Wait.

OK, that’s it for now.   Sorry I couldn’t do better.  Stupid cold.


  1. Doctor’s appointment today, though not for the cold.  Just a check up.
  2. Get caught up at work.  I’m not THAT far behind.  One of the plus/minus of working from home is that I could do the things that HAD to be done, and then take the rest of the day off, Monday and Tuesday.

NaBloPoMo Champion!

(cute graphic found here)

If there’s an award given out to NaBloPoMo participants, I say this year’s should go to Chrissy over at Random Thoughts and Musings from the Island.  Chrissy is was pregnant, and started out the month with the best of intentions, but then was rushed to the hospital with a thinning cervix…she continued to blog every day, telling of her experience, and EVEN TODAY, after giving birth to a beautiful baby girl, born at 28 weeks.  So I’m guessing she’ll be in the hospital for the next few weeks, keeping her new daughter company, and who knows, may miss a day or two of blogging…but if these past few weeks have been any indication, she’s a super trooper blogger!  Congratulations Chrissy, on your lovely baby.  Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your husband, and your sweet baby girl.