Friday, January 29, 2010


So, my car has been running fine since Monday night's incident. But I'm still planning to replace it. Kent and I went to H&R Block to get our taxes done (for the last time ever!) Wednesday. We didn't qualify for Rapid Refund or Refund Anticipation Loan. So we have to wait 8-15 days for our refund. There was no benefit at all to going there instead of going to the guy we usually go to - an AARP tax aide who does the return for free.

And we are out a couple hundred dollars for this service. Yikes.

But I'm now in a position to start looking for a new car. If I say "new" I mean "new to me" rather than actually new. So, a different car for me. After nearly getting stuck in the snow Monday night, four-wheel drive looks better and better. I do need something that is a little higher to get into, to make it easier for Mom to get in the vehicle. So a van or SUV maybe.

Kent had a Blazer a couple of years ago, which would have been fine except when the door didn't latch. It did that to me once on a trip to Ames. I held the door closed the whole way home. I even stopped at Little Wall Lake and got out, slammed the door shut, crawled in through the back, and got in the driver's seat. My arm touched the door and it popped open. I had to continue holding the door shut the rest of the way home.

I never drove it again.

Kent sold the Blazer a couple of months later, but he still brings it up. He misses it. I don't.

Anyway, so I'll be checking out local vehicle dealers and private sellers. I wish I could keep my license plate - I won't keep the car, and I like my license number. But unless I buy from a private seller and turn right around and give away/sell the Chevy, I don't think I'll be able to do that.

Oh, and for English Composition I have to do a memoir. It's only a few pages, so not a whole autobiography. There are three choices, and they can be combined: chronological, importance, and theme. I will probably do mine on a theme either of cars or travel. I have interesting tales to tell on both themes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Better news

This is what your engine looks like when you drive through a bunch of snow. The car started this morning and Kent drove it to the convenience store.

This chunk was up inside the front of the hood.

So now, I'll get ready for work and run a couple of errands for Mom.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Good news and bad news

The good news is that I made it home in one piece.

The bad news is that I'm not so sure about the car.

We had an early deadline and I was able to leave work at 9 p.m. Travel wasn't too bad most of the way home. Highway 169 was mostly clear, with some areas of blowing snow. County Road D33, though, wasn't so nice.

After I turned from 169 to D33, a truck passed me. I followed it all the way into Otho. When the truck went through drifts, I followed in its tracks. There was one spot where the visibility was so bad that I just plowed through as best I could, but almost got stuck. The truck stopped and nearly backed up, but the driver saw that I was following, so he went on.

(This is a shot of the taillights of the truck I followed into Otho.)

There were some more drifts just outside the city limits and along North Highway Street. That's when the car started acting odd. When I turned onto my street, it died. It would not start again.

The truck came back and came alongside me. The driver asked if I was stuck. I told him the car wouldn't start. He had me try a few more times, then he offered to push the car if it wouldn't cause any damage (I hope he meant to his truck - it doesn't matter what happens to the bumper of my car). He came around and lined his truck up and then gave my car a push. He got it going fast enough that I was able to travel the last two blocks and even turn into the driveway.

So, in the morning I get to open the hood and see if I can figure out what the problem is. I hope it's just that there is snow blocking something, not that something is broken or knocked off. I hope I can figure out what the problem is and that it's easily fixable.

And the timing sucks. I'm supposed to get my financial aid money next week - and I was planning to get a different vehicle. Something with four-wheel drive looks awfully good right now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm old enough to know better

But I still stay up too late most nights. Sometimes too early, if you get what I mean. Last night I was on the computer for way too late, then went to bed and read "Unseen Academicals" by Terry Pratchett. Not the whole book, although I've done that before - even recently.

So now I'm going back to bed for a nap before I go to class. Kent will take Cayla to school - she has some math thing two times a week where she has to be there at 7:30. I'm in no condition to drive.

Later, Kent will take me to class, then head over to Mom's so he can work on her computer. It's loaded with viruses. I brought it home Sunday, but it wouldn't recognize my mouse and keyboard, so we couldn't do anything. So he'll take it back and reformat it there. Loads of fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I feel like I've lived a week

Tuesday was like three different days.

In the morning, there was fog and hoarfrost. It was like fairyland. I took Cayla to school and picked Mom up to go grocery shopping. I didn't take any pictures, sorry. But Wednesday morning might have fog, as well, so another chance for pictures.

I took a nap when I got home, and when I left for work, it was sunny. Everything looked crisp and crunchy (snow crunchy). The air was brisk.

Between 4 and 5 p.m. I learned about the earthquake in Haiti. A former co-worker lives there, working for a charitable organization. I couldn't check on here because my computer at work has Facebook blocked. (I didn't go on Facebook at work often, and it was usually to check to see if the latest dead teenager had friends who started a Facebook group or what would have been in this case - to check on my former co-worker because Facebook is my only contact with her.)

So the rest of the evening, in between proofreading two papers and laying out the obits page, I checked for updates on the Haiti story. It wasn't until late in the evening that any post-earthquake pictures were available on the AP. But it didn't matter, because it wasn't important enough to make it in Wednesday's Messenger. I'm glad it's not up to me to make those decisions.

What I've been able to gather - from an update on former co-worker's Facebook and the website of the organization she works for - she's okay, the kids and the workers at the organization are okay, but the buildings have been damaged.

I don't know what I can do for anyone in Haiti, but I want to do something. Maybe as a family we can figure something out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy birthday to me

I think the girls know it's my birthday ... I dunno.

Anyway, one co-worker gave me a granola bar and money for a soda - it was kind of a joke, but she gives me a Christmas present every year, so no big deal. I modified her desktop wallpaper - jazzed it up a bit, added a calendar. Wait 'til she sees next month - I didn't tell her I was going to do it for every month. Another co-worker gave me a bag of Ghirardelli chocolates. Ummm, chocolate.

Kent said he won't be able to give me anything, which is fine. We are still married but haven't lived together in over a year. He gave me some jewelry and roses for Valentine's Day last year, which was awkward.

Anyway, it's fine. Right now all I want is a good night's sleep (which isn't' happening tonight - it's nearly 1 a.m.)

UPDATE: Amanda said Happy Birthday, but Cayla apparently didn't remember until Mom said something when I picked  her up for church. We got there late (somebody was trying to read through her Relief Society lesson, somebody else took an hour and a half to get out of bed), but I had plenty of time before my lesson. People said they enjoyed it.

We had stew for supper, and I had ice cream later. No cake, but I didn't feel like baking one.

I'll take Mom to the store tomorrow, as well as pay my rent and  ... there was something else ... oh, yeah, pick up my books at the college bookstore and also call the business office to see if my account is okay. Usually by this close to the start of a semester, my classes are listed in Inet, but there's nothing there. I don't know if that indicates a problem with my account or just that the teachers haven't gotten to it yet.

Cayla has just gone to bed (it's nearly 12:30 a.m.) and she'll be hard to get up in the morning. It's a vicious cycle, and she is not cooperating in fixing it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow day (but not for me)

We've had three bad snowstorms in two-week intervals. By bad, I mean schools closed, travel not advised, etc. The first two cut into my pay because we had early deadlines adn I couldn't make up the hours. I'm expected at work today, but haven't shoveled my car all the way out yet.

I was standing in the plowed part of the street. At this point, the plow had done one lane down the middle of the road.

 I park near the end of the driveway and shovel a path from the house to the car and around the car. Here's what I had on one side of the car.

The snowplow has been by again, so I'll go out to see what it looks like now.

UPDATE: I'm  not going to work today. I got stuck half a mile from home, called work, called Cayla to have her bring a shovel, some people helped pushed me out. Cayla was nearly where I was, so I brought her home. She thought I was still going to work, so she locked the door when she came in, and I yelled at her about it. Sorry, Cayla.

Good thing to know: when they say "travel not recommended" they might know what they are talking about.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A song in my heart

Yesterday a co-worker was singing a line from "there were 10 in the bed and the little one said, 'roll over'" and it reminded me of the songs we used to sing when we were kids. Today one of my Facebook friends posted "{sings} all around the cobbler's bench...." So this post is dedicated to the folk songs we used to sing.

"Down in the valley, valley so low. Hang your head over, hear the wind blow."
"You get a line, I'll get a pole, honey (honey). You get a line, I'll get a pole, babe (babe)." (We only sang the first verse.)
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are gray."
"Found a peanut, found a peanut, found a peanut just now ... "

We used to sing these songs and others that I can't recall right now - usually when we were on road trips. I think part of the reason I didn't do this much with my kids is that we didn't always have a car and therefore didn't go places. It was part of what we did on the way to someplace else.

I'm going to ask my parents where they learned the songs and if there are any other songs they remember.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time management

I know I have a problem with this. But some of my problem is caused by others' lack of time management. When I got home last night, Cayla was up and on my laptop. (It was 11:20 p.m.) I told her she needed to go to bed, and I wanted the laptop. After waiting for 10 minutes or more, I went to bed. About 20 minutes after I told her to get off the laptop, she finally did. (There have been times where she took longer.)

I was going to try to sleep, to not go on the computer, but after Ebon (cat) walked across my face, I wasn't ready to sleep. I had to check to see if he left a scratch. so I was waiting for Cayla to get out of the bathroom so I could look in the mirror. She was getting ready to take a shower - at nearly midnight. At this point I had decided to put a load of clothes in the washer, so I had to wait until she was done in her shower. Then I just didn't go to bed - but neither did she. She was still up after 1 a.m.

Cayla is 14 and in eighth grade. She needs her sleep. I'm not home at 10 p.m. to enforce a bedtime. And when I do get home, she ignores what I tell her. I think she gets it from her sister's fine example. Amanda can turn "just a minute" into two hours, and her selective hearing is second to none.

Anyway, I'll end my rant now. I realize the girls get their time management skills from me, but I wish they would occasionally do what I tell them. I do know what I'm talking about once in a while.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Back to square one

After trying and failing to convert my WordPress posts at to Blogger posts, I went through each post and copied each one to my Blogspot blog. When I was about 2/3 of the way through, Blogger started requiring me to do word verification.

If you make a large number of posts in a single day, you will be required to complete word verification. After 24 hours, the word verification will automatically be removed.

So, if anyone is checking, here's the story: I had moved my blog from Blogspot to my hosted site last April. After a few months, I decided that I want to change my hosted site from my personal blog to something I can use to showcase my design work. So I'm moving back. Since Blogger wouldn't take my WordPress posts, I had to do it the hard way. Not much fun, but at least now I can go ahead and post as much as I want here without being concerned about having to move a post later.

Always a step behind?

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on January 3, 2010.

Technically, it's January 3, but this post counts as January 2 because I haven't gone to bed yet.

My plan is to move these posts back to my original blog. Since I wasn't able to convert them from WordPress to Blogger, I'll have to copy them manually and put the date/time of post in the entry. One at a time. Yippee.

I did read the first lesson for Sunday School, but I'm not sure if we're going to church. The high is supposed to be around 3 degrees. I would just rather stay home - and stay inside - when the weather is like this. We'll see.

And my comment about the lesson manual - I really am concerned about how I'm going to make 2 1/2 pages into a regular lesson. I'm more used to running out of time for the lesson, not running out of lesson for the time.

I didn't design anything today (Saturday). I'll try to have things average out. I'm thinking of designs for the rest of the year for Sandy. I kind of wish I could be there on Monday when she sees it for the first time.

New beginnings

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on January 2, 2010.

I haven't formally made any resolutions yet. I do want to do the Design Something Every Day and post it here. Today's is a modification on a co-worker's desktop background. She has a picture of a donkey that she likes. I made some modifications Happy Birthday- I put Happy Birthday across the bottom and added stars around the donkey using a Photoshop brush. And I placed an image of a party hat on the donkey's head. She won't see it until Monday, so we'll see how she likes it. Oh, yeah, I also added a January calendar.

I'm thinking about doing this for each month - modify the original image with specialized additions and a calendar for each month. I've got time, though - I don't have to do it all today.

I had also planned to start reading the Old Testament. We're studying it in Sunday School this year. I glanced over the class guide for the first lesson, which is mainly out of the Pearl of Great Price. I haven't read it lately, so I'll need to do that before Sunday. Also, I need to start working on my Relief Society lesson for next week. I'm kind of panicking over it. The lesson is so short in the book. I don't know how I'm going to make it take the time available. I don't want to get done with the lesson and have 15-20 minutes left!

I will place the NaBloPoMo badge in the sidebar, though. This month's theme is BEST.

Oh, and I'm counting this as the entry for January 1, because I started it on January 1 but just took a little too long getting things finished.

Changing back

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on December 30, 2009.

I've been thinking of changing my personal blog back to my Blogspot site. In anticipation, I have deleted the archived posts that I had imported from Blogspot, and am in the process of figuring out how to export the remaining posts to Blogspot. Then I'll use this site for more professional/design stuff.

I'm going to start designing desktop calendar wallpapers. I spent a great deal of time today downloading resources and I'll be working on integrating those into designs. Smashing Magazine offers a few every month are submitted by designers from around the world. I have also used wallpapers from and in the past. (Mamselle is not doing designs for now - her parents have both just died.)

So, I'll be posting my designs here. I'm also going to try to design something every day.

Time flies

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on December 26, 2009.

I just checked and it's been nearly a month since my last post. This is not good. I'll try to do better, honest.

Here are a few thoughts:
  1. Thanks and kudos to my neighbor who came over Christmas morning and used his snowblower on my driveway. He cleared what I had done after the last snowstorm 2 weeks ago. I hadn't done the whole driveway - just enough at the end to park in and a path to the house. But having him do that was awesome - this recent snow was preceded by rain and sleet, and was wet and heavy. No fun.
  2. I enjoyed having a quiet Christmas at home. I wish I had done laundry during that time, as I really need to do it now but Cayla really needed to take a shower, so I have to wait.
  3. Some people need to take a chill pill. Apparently DJ Delilah decided to take her kids out of their school because the school is adding some things from "The Leader In Me," a program for students from Stephen Covey, author of 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People."
    Here's my response (posted on an LDS forum):
    It's not the first time I've questioned her judgment. She had a caller ask for a song just before Christmas. The caller was listening to Delilah's show while painting her living room of the house she and her husband just bought before putting up the Christmas tree. They had a baby boy in February, so this is the baby's first Christmas. Delilah picked "A Christmas to Remember" for the caller.
    Really? A song about two strangers who randomly decide to go to Tahoe for Christmas and happen to meet, then hook up? And they're hoping to do it again next Christmas? Yeah, I would definitely pick that to associate with my baby's first Christmas.
    In other words, she appears to make decisions based on superficial information. She probably picked "A Christmas to Remember" because of the title, not the content. But the content is what's important. I wonder if she interviews every teacher her kids have to make sure none of those pesky Mormons teach her kids, and runs a background check on her kids' friends to make sure they don't hang with Mormon kids.
  4. I have a habit of trying too much and failing. Seriously. I make New Year's resolutions that last maybe a few days. I've had to drop classes at school two of the last three semesters - and a Flexnet class I only did one assignment in. But I want to try this: Design something every day. I'll post what I do here. I also signed up for a regular class and three Flexnet classes, although I'm thinking of dropping one of those classes. I've got Web Multimedia (in class), English Composition I, Western Civ: Ancient to Early Modern and World Regional Geography. I would drop Geography. We'll see.
  5. I need to get more organized. (And the sky is blue ... )
That's all I've got for now.

Looking at things in a new way

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 28, 2009.

Pencils, chalk, dominos, paper, food 1 2 3 4 5, sand, and makeup.

I realize this is just a bunch of links, but look at how common things are made uncommon by someone who makes a twist on how things are.

Catching up

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 20, 2009.

Obviously, November hasn't been a great month for daily postings. Maybe December will be better.

In the interests of passing at least two classes well, I have dropped two classes. I'll concentrate on getting caught up in my Marketing class. I'm doing okay in Web Animations. I was so far behind in Dreamweaver - I think I could have caught up, but the site wasn't working for me. I'm going to get a book for CS4 (we were working from a book for CS3) and try on my own.

I've got a couple of websites I should work on, too. I need to work on online training for Family History Consultants. I've got a whole list of things I need to do. I get tired just thinking about it.

FFWriMo: placeholder

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on November 7, 2009.

I meant to but haven't actually started writing for Laurie Ashton's Flash Fiction Writing Month. So I'm posting the links to the prompts (so far) so I can go back and go through them.

I participated in some Flash Fiction a couple of years ago (in 2006, actually), but dropped out after a few weeks. This Flash Fiction Writing Month is sort of a counterpoint to National Novel Writing Month, which for the first time since I heard of it I'm not even signing up for. I have never completed it - not even close. And since I already feel like a failure on nearly every level, I'm not going there.

However, I think I can catch up with FFWriMo and produce something that will be interesting to read. And maybe I won't feel like such a failure. (Long story.)

The "ugly" side of autumn

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 22, 2009.

wet, windy day

Okay, it's not really ugly - in fact, there is a certain charm to a drizzly, wet, rainy, windy day, as long as you don't have to spend a great deal of time in it. In fact, it's a great day to go back to bed for a couple of hours. Which I'm about to do.

Free hosting contest

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 15, 2009. is holding a contest to give away 1, 2 or 3 years of web hosting. To enter, follow @myhosting on Twitter and tweet: I just entered to win 1 of 3 FREE web hosting packages! Follow @myhosting and retweet Contest ends today, so time is limited. Open to "everyone worldwide, except Quebec and any other jurisdiction that prohibits participation." (Must have a Twitter account - they are free.)


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 14, 2009.

The other day I clicked on a video that I could not finish watching. It was horrific - a man attempted to dive in water but didn't make it and landed on his head. I'm convinced he did not survive the accident and the image has haunted me since. I will be very careful what I click on from now on.

This video is safe for all ages. It may bring a tear to your eye - it is sentimental and thought-provoking. But it is worth watching and worth considering for your relationships with people of all ages. The video has subtitles and takes about 5 minutes.

Thanks to Mike Henneke for the post - he got it from a reader.

A mixed bag

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on October 13, 2009.

I've had some good days and bad days lately - I suppose everyone does. Yesterday, I was feeling ill and in pain (abdominal distress is enough info for public knowledge). So I called work to say I wasn't feeling well but I would try to come in. Hoping to hear "we'll try to get along without you" but heard "we'll see you when you get here." Sigh.

So I got to work late. When I'm sick, it takes me even longer to get ready. So I got to work and managed the best I could. I had arranged for Cayla to walk to Donna's after school, so we could go grocery shopping after I got off work. It was nearly midnight when we got home.

And I ran over a possum on the way home. I apologized to Cayla, then said at least it wasn't a skunk. I don't think she was impressed.

Because I wasn't feeling well, I didn't eat or drink much. I drank less than a 20-ounce Dr Pepper and this morning I woke up with a massive headache.

Cayla missed the bus at her stop, but I managed to get her to another stop in town. I got a nap in and made it to class on time (Kent drove so I wouldn't have to find a parking spot). I'm not feeling as bad as I did yesterday, so I'll have to go to work. At least I don't have to do obits tonight.

Looking forward to tomorrow. One class early in the morning, so I can nap after that. Yay naps!

Oooh, shiny!

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 28, 2009.

My new Samsung Tap and Take camera arrived today. I won the camera through a Twitter contest. (Note to self: If you win something on Twitter, favorite it!)

It's been nearly a month and anticipation was part of what kept me awake in the middle of the night last night after a leg cramp woke me up. I was up from about 2 a.m. til nearly 5, and didn't go to my one class today. But enough about me - what about the camera.

It comes with a special rechargeable battery, so I had to install and charge the battery first. I took that opportunity to go back to sleep. When I woke up, the battery was charged.

The camera takes a micro SD card, which is not included. I'll buy one tomorrow. It has about 55 M internal memory, so I did take a couple of pictures. All of Amanda's cat, Chicken.

Chicken (Amanda's cat)

One thing that bothers me (and I could be wrong) is that the proportions don't seem right to me. This picture is cropped, so that doesn't show. But the following picture is the proportion that it was taken with:


To me, the proportions seem too long. From what I observed, when you are choosing the file size of the pictures, it's in metric, so it seems that it's in European proportions. (I may not be making sense here.) What I mean is that where we (in the United States) use 3-by-5-inch and 4-by-6-inch photos, those are (apparently) not the proportions that this camera uses. I have not read the entire 110-page manual yet, so there may be a way to fix that.

The camera makes an annoying little noise when you select things on the touch screen, but there's a fix for that. You can select no volume when you adjust the sound/haptic (vibration) option in the menu. It stays that way when you turn off the camera and turn it back on.

There are also advanced settings like ISO (that I haven't dealt with in years). There are options under "scene" that are designed for different light situations, even for fireworks. I'll have to wait awhile before I can test that one out.

The front screen is good for a couple of things: you can see what you will look like if you take your own photo, and it has an animation you can use to get the attention of small children. Samsung Imaging, the company's photo blog, has 20 new animations to download.

So I haven't had much time to try the camera out, but it's pretty cool so far. I kind of wish they would have killed a tree for the printed manual, because I could be reading that when I'm out and about and need to check on something. It comes as a 110-page PDF on the CD-ROM and is also available online.

One thing that is annoying is that when I touch an icon to change something, it reacts so fast I can't read what that feature is. I'll have to read the manual to learn what all the icons mean.

It will be interesting to see if the little kids at church like the animation(s). That's pretty much where I have contact with kids - unless a co-worker brings a kid in, which happens from time to time.

Now it's time to go to work, so I'll have to stop playing with my new toy and get ready. Sigh.

Click for a Cause

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 23, 2009.

I just found out about the National Eat Together Week promotion, which ends Saturday. By printing or sharing recipes, you can help feed others. The pork producers will donate 5 pounds of pork to a food bank for each recipe from the National Eat Together Week page shared through email or printed. What an easy way to help others!

America’s pork producers have officially been encouraging families to enjoy meals together for the last 14 years. Whether it’s dinner, breakfast or a weekend brunch, National Eat Together Week, September 20-26, 2009, encourages families to eat together WHENEVER they can find time.

To help get the word out, the National Pork Board has enlisted all-American supermodel and celebrity mom Niki Taylor, mother of twins Jake and Hunter, and baby Ciel. Says Niki, “With all we’ve got going on, it can be difficult to fit in family meals. However, because we’re so busy, it’s more important than ever to get in quality family time, and eating together is a great way to do that.”America’s pork producers are helping those in need enjoy a meal, too. Beginning at midnight Sunday, September 20, in partnership with Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, America’s pork producers are encouraging you to “click for a cause.” For every recipe printed or shared via email from the special National Eat Together Week section below, America’s pork producers will donate five pounds of pork (or about 25 meals) to a food bank in need.

Disappointment and lack of sleep

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 22, 2009.

I'll head off to bed shortly.

I started out sort of OK. Hit the snooze button a little too much, didn't make sure Cayla got out the door in time and ended up having to drive her to a corner outside of town where the bus could pick her up. Then I kept going, drove through McD for a sausage McGriddle and headed for class. It was pouring rain, but I found a parking space fairly close to the door by my class.

My M-W-F class is one hour on Mondays and Wednesdays, so although it seemed to last forever, it was over in a reasonable amount of time. I went to Wal-Mart for some groceries, and back home for a nap.

Got to work at 1:45 p.m. Which is early unless I'm trying to work a full week. (Because my T-Th class gets out at 2:40 and I can't possibly be at work before 3 p.m. those days, I'm supposed to be at work at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays. Which hasn't worked out so far.)

By 3:30 I felt like I had been there for hours. Things picked up later, I had two newspapers to copy edit, so I kept slogging along.

Then Mom called. She's having cataract surgery this week and needs eyedrops put in that eye 4 times a day, so I was elected to come over and do it before she could go to bed.

I got off work at 11.

That's a problem - Mom can't stay up that late waiting for eyedrops. So Donna's going to do them tomorrow night. She'll also get the morning one, and I'll get one during the day, between classes. Mom thinks a friend from church can do the other one. And I might be able to do three on Wednesday.

The disappointment part was when I stopped at Kum & Go on the way to Mom's after work in hopes of getting a hot chocolate. It was a chilly day and they have really good hot chocolate. But the guy told me the machine was torn down for the night.

I was sad.

Now I'm off to bed. There is pretty much my whole day, except for the part where I'm on Facebook for about an hour and a half just messing around even though I know I need to go to bed.

I wonder if I'll ever learn. ...

Relief Society: Divine Organization for Women

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 20, 2009.

That was today's Relief Society lesson, which I got to teach. I mentioned some things that I found online that happened the same day the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo (original name of the organization) was founded: March 17, 1842. I read part of the first section, and the headers of the rest of the lesson. I had printed out the objectives of the Relief Society, and we went over those:
Participation varied on some of the questions. Visiting teaching was mentioned more than once - which is a valid point.

I took a picture of the board afterwards, and I'll post it here later if I can get it from the camera to the computer. (This computer doesn't communicate with all its ports very well.) I got several compliments on the lesson.

What I didn't include: At, there is a page about the history of the Relief Society. There is a video that can be viewed in three different formats. It's called "Live Up to Your Privileges" and it has four sisters portraying sisters who were involved in the early days of the Relief Society. It's a really nice video. I didn't use it in my class because I don't want to use videos as a crutch. (Plus it's nearly 9 1/2 minutes long.)

Now I'm home and I'm going to shut down the Relief Society sister in me and get a little relief in the form of my Sunday afternoon nap. I've got plans for later, but need rest and some relief for my poor knees. I messed up my right knee about 2 weeks ago, and it's not improving on its own. (I should have taken the advice from our lesson today and asked for a priesthood blessing ... oh well, there's always Wednesday.)

Keeping up with classes

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 10, 2009.

I'm wavering about going to my first class today. Yes, there's a test. But if I can access it from home, I can go to bed right after. Well, only if it's online like our test were last year, and I don't know that yet. I can check in a couple of minutes after the email I sent the instructor is done.

Class started in about 50 minutes. It looks like the test is online and already available (which doesn't seem right). If I go to this class, I'll probably skip the later class in order to come home and take a nap, then go to work early.

Apparently I'm in trouble for not copy-editing a certain page last week that had an error on it. When I came in, I was told by someone who is in authority above me that it had been copy-edited. I suggested to the person who did the page that I should do it anyway, but later was told she was sending it anyway.

On Thursdays, I copy-edit the Lifestyle section for Sunday. I process obits, which is a variably time-consuming task (the more obits come in, the busier I am). I lay out the Go and Do page. I copy-edit the Friday pages. I also get to copy edit pages for another paper that is short-staffed.

I have a class that ends at 2:40 p.m., so the earliest I can be there this semester is 3 p.m. I work as fast as I can, but apparently whatever I can do isn't good enough. When people send pages I haven't looked at and I get in trouble, I resent that. Especially when I wasn't even told directly about this, but heard it second-hand.

Now, I haven't used names for any of this. But watch me get in trouble for it just the same. Apparently I have a magnet for that.

Guess I'll get ready for class. Don't want to miss a test, no matter how crappy I feel.

UPDATE: I was actually on campus looking for a parking space when I realized I was late for class anyway. Since I won't get credit for attending, I went home. I tried to take the test online, but it requires a password (which I assume the teacher tells the people who are there at the time). So I'm going to bed.

Storing data: Mozy

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 6, 2009.

Although I did buy a new USB drive for toting my classwork around from home to school and so on, I'm checking into online storage as well.

The first one I'm trying is Mozy. They have three options: MozyHome Free (2G), MozyHome ($4.95/month) and MozyPro (desktop license is $3.95 plus 50 cents/G per month, server license is $6.95 plus 50 cents/G per month, this is per computer or server).

For each person who joins Mozy from my referral, I would get an extra 256M per month, and so would the person who joins. I am not being compensated by Mozy in any other way, and this referral is what they offer everyone who signs up for MozyHome Free.

Already I don't believe this will work for me. The license agreement gives me the right to copy of the Software (in executable code form only) only on a single computer and only for the purpose of accessing and using the Service. This defeats the purpose I was looking for. I want to upload and download from multiple computers in order to work on the same files in different locations.

HP Back to School: Better Together Giveaway

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 4, 2009.

Daddy Forever is one of the bloggers with open contests in the HP Back to School: Better Together Giveaway. You can enter up to four times, once using each method listed in his post. They aren't difficult - so give it a shot. Then head over to the main contest site - there are four more bloggers with contests to go.

Take Me Back Tuesday

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on September 1, 2009.

This picture is from our first family vacation to Nauvoo, Illinois, in August 2004. My dad, who lives there, gave us a little tour of a couple of places not normally seen by tourists. This was the quarry where the stones for the original Nauvoo Temple came from.

quarry for the stones for the original Nauvoo Temple

Cayla, 8, is facing the camera, Amanda, 11, and Kent are facing away.

When I was little, we lived in Keosauqua, Iowa, about 50 miles from Nauvoo. We could take trips there with people from church - Mom says they took the Primary kids on trips there. So this picture is kind of a link to my own childhood.

So, I'm in a winning mood ...

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 30, 2009.

I happened to check Twitter this morning and saw my name appear. I had entered a contest to win a Samsung ST550 camera by tweeting about the contest. And I'm one of the winners!

The Tap and Take cameras have a huge LCD screen on the back - it takes up almost the entire back of the camera. They also have a small LCD screen on the front, so if you are taking your own picture, you can see what it will look like.

front view of the camera

To enter, follow @tapandtake on Twitter and tweet about the contest. They have tweets you can copy. They also have a Facebook page.

So this evening, I found the link to the Back to school: Better Together contest on There are still 9 blogs that have active contests or contests that haven't begun yet. I'm down to6 I can still enter. I didn't enter at because the HP site says that contest is over on 8/31 but they already closed it and will announce the winner tomorrow.

Always meaning to do something, but

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 26, 2009.

I keep putting things off.

I meant to go to bed an hour ago, but have been wasting time online. And I really mean wasting time. I could/should do productive things like find my Illustrator book from last semester and go through it again to kind of "get back in the groove" or maybe do some family search indexing. (I've done census records, birth certificates, death certificates (four kids age 2 and under - so sad - in a batch of 10-15 names), marriage licenses, and ship passenger lists going to New Zealand.)

And I haven't been keeping up with my blog, which I realize is mostly for my own benefit (as if anyone is reading this!). I should take my posts and put them in some sort of hard copy format for my personal records. My early posts often tell the tale of fights with my husband - those days are (mostly) over. (We get along so much better when we don't live together!)

I should have done laundry tonight - since I didn't, I'll have to do it in the morning right after Cayla goes to school.

But here's what I did do tonight: I made chicken and dumplings, and there's enough chicken and juice left to make another batch of dumplings for lunch tomorrow. And I made brownies! The girls were surprised and please. I already ate my share (oops!) so I can't have any tomorrow. But that's okay - I'll be chowing down on more dumplings. ;-)

Looking ahead

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 16, 2009.

School starts for the girls on Wednesday. And I go back to classes on Sept. 1. I'm looking forward to it, but it will be different. Last year all my classes were in the same room, with the same teacher. Now I will have classes in 3 different buildings, and, of course, different teachers.

I already dropped one class from my schedule. Now I'm having second thought - thinking I should sign back up for that class (Principles of Marketing) and drop Business Math for now. I have another marketing class next semester, so I should probably take this one now.

In addition, by taking this class and dropping the other, it will help my schedule a bit. I can't drop the Dreamweaver class that will make me late for work 2 days a week, as it's a prerequisite for the next semester. But if I change the classes, I'll only have one class M-W-F and 3 classes on Tuesdays and Thursday. I think it will work better for me.

Now if I can just remember this on Monday and go talk to an admissions rep at the college. I believe Mom has an appointment on Monday with the surgeon who did her surgery in July, so that day will be busy for me.

Nestlé Back to School Basics $500 Giveaway

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 11, 2009.

Head on over to Bargain Briana's blog for the Nestlé Back to School Basics $500 giveaway. To enter, post a comment with your favorite money-saving tip for back to school. You can read others' comments to learn more tips. Post an extra comment for each way you promoted the site/giveaway (up to 4 extra entries).

I took advantage of the Tax Free weekend in Iowa to buy school clothes for the girls. I didn't have enough money to get everything, but it helps a little. My tip is to buy extra of things that will run out during the school year - like the 15-cent spiral notebooks that will be around 97 cents later in the year.

Bad kitty

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 8, 2009.

Florida man claims cat downloaded porn found on his computer. Apparently the cat stepped on the keyboard when he left the room while downloading music and when he returned, he found "strange things" on his computer. (Which he apparently didn't delete.) Investigators said there was more than 1,000 images of child porn.

I've heard it's common to "blame the dog" when someone farts, but apparently cats are way more evil than I ever suspected.

(I lived with three cats, plus one that comes and goes as he pleases. I'll have to watch my back.)

Things to do list

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 5, 2009.

Call City Hall and ask how I can get a parking ticket for parking 20 minutes in a one-hour parking spot. I was ticketed 26 minutes after making a deposit at the bank (got the time-stamped receipt) and then driving over to work, where I parked on the street. When I went out to move my car, I found a parking ticket that was timed 3:02. My receipt says 2:36 p.m. Nice going, parking guy!

Maybe it wasn't his fault. Maybe I parked in the Fort Dodge version of the Bermuda triangle, or maybe there's a rift in the space/time continuum or something. Yeah, that's the ticket. (So to speak.)

Schwan's giveaway - act fast!

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 4, 2009.

Schwan's is giving $10 off one food item to the first 500,000 new/returning customers that respond. This is not $10 off an order - it's $10 off one item. So order something that's $9.99, not two items for $4.99 or similar.

I found this giveaway through LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH WITH LESLIE.

I'm getting the Fiesta Lime Chicken dinner for two - that will be 2 meals for me at work.

Fiesta Lime Dinner
Grilled white meat chicken with zesty lime sauce, seasoned rice, cheese and crisp tortilla strips top off this restaurante-inspired meal for two.
Now I'm off to take Mom for an eye appointment. She broke her glasses a couple of weeks ago, and has been wearing old glasses.

UPDATE: I already received my food! A Schwan's guy came by around 12:40 p.m. Tuesday with my order. He wasn't going to be available on Aug. 13, the day I selected to receive my order, so he came by already. Amazing.

MOM UPDATE: Mom has the beginning of a cataract (on her "good" eye), so she'll be having surgery in September. So no new glasses until after the surgery.

Tomorrow's plans

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 3, 2009.

Keeping with the NaBloPoMo theme for August, I'm going to talk about what I'm doing tomorrow.

Mom has an eye appointment at 10:30. She offered to take me to lunch at Pizza Hut, along with Amanda. Amanda probably won't want to go, but Cayla is willing. So, we'll see.

Also, I need to go through my old posts and create comment tags and apply them to the posts. This will be quite interesting, as I imported my Blogger blog over here and have posts dating back to 2005, I believe. It will be a detailed trip down memory lane.

Tomorrow: grocery shopping

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 2, 2009.

The NaBloPoMo theme for August is Tomorrow. It's nearly tomorrow as I post this.

I have a procrastination problem. I can put things off like nobody's business. I've been meaning to sit down and go over my bills, create a good budget plan. I used to do this on a Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet at a job years ago, and it worked for awhile. But that was ages ago.

Another thing I've been meaning to do it create a menu plan. We usually end up buying frozen foods and spend too much, then run out of money and end up eating ramen.

But, tomorrow, I'm going shopping with a menu plan and a grocery list. I'm going to buy enough food for a week, and there will be enough food for everyone in my household. Even snacks. (Not all snacks are bad.) I'm not going to buy a bunch of Hot Pockets, taquitos and frozen dinners.

Tomorrow, I will shop well.


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on August 1, 2009.

That's the August theme for NaBloPoMo. It's also when Cayla comes home.

Technically, it's also today, since it's after 1 a.m. But I'll go to bed and when I wake up, it will be tomorrow for me. ;-)

Tomorrow is the perfect theme for me. I frequently procrastinate. I always want to change my ways, but I'll get to that eventually.

Rachael Ray giveaway

 This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 29, 2009.

Run on over to Nanny Goats in Panties for her first giveaway: a 10-piece Rachael Ray cookware set. Then scroll down and read past posts. And I dare you not to laugh.

Oh, and I would totally keep a NGiP card if I had been able to go to Blogher. Maybe next year. (or 2013, you know, after the world ends). I'm not sure about the macaroons, but if there's brownies, I'm your girl. ;-)

Privacy? What privacy?

 This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 29, 2009.

The coach violated the cheerleaders' privacy by logging into their accounts. She also violated Facebook's terms of service. (Under Safety, No. 4 is You will not solicit login information or access an account belonging to someone else.)

The cheerleaders violated Facebook's terms of service by giving their passwords to the coach. (No. 6 under Registration and Account Security: You will not share your password, let anyone else access your account, or do anything else that might jeopardize the security of your account.) But, the coach is in a position of power in relation to the cheerleaders. They might have felt they had no choice.

Just last month, there was a huge uproar over the request by the city of Bozeman, Montana, for job applicants to turn over their usernames and passwords for any site they access. It came down to people protesting that is an invasion of privacy, and the city has backed off.

Viewing people's Facebook profiles is one thing. Using their passwords to check their private communication is wrong.

Being productive

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 27, 2009.

I have fulfilled several obligations today. I discussed bill-paying with the gas/electric company and water bill (with the city clerk), took Mom to her doctor appointment for a post-surgery checkup (and have her staples removed), registered the girls for school and turned in my paperwork for my registration, plus dropped a class before the semester begins (Sept. 1).

Now I have (slightly less than) an hour to figure out what's for lunch, what I can take for supper, take a shower, get ready for work and get to work by 2.

It feels good to have checked a few things off my list, but wish I had time for a nap before work. I woke up earlier than I wanted because of a really bizarre dream. The end of the dream was Kent and I had been at the Top Hat (trust me, I've never been there or wanted to), walked to the parking lot where my car was supposed to be, and watched a guy showing off by standing on the seat and handlebars of his motorcycle, when he fell off and was run over by the car that was right behind him. And he would have been okay, except the car started backing up and he tried to crawl out the side and was run over by the back tire. That was certainly enough to wake me up.

So, time to get ready for work. Yippee.


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 11, 2009.

Apparently blogger Leslie of Leslie Loves Veggies inadvertently violated Stumbleupon's Terms of Service and got her account suspended. And apparently, this is not a rare phenomenom for bloggers stumbling upon blogs that are offering extra entries in giveaways for people who blog about the giveaways. (Scroll down and read the comments from other people who have had problems.)

I have never registered for Stumbleupon. It doesn't look like it's going to be worth the hassle.

This is how we partay in Otho

 This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 5, 2009.

Or at least how other people party.

Remember to dispose of your beer bottles properly - by smashing them in the street.

And don't forget your firecracker papers:

ANNOUNCEMENT: We are experiencing technical difficulties, will insert photos later.

A quiet Fourth of July

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 4, 2009.

I was at work when Amanda said she couldn’t find BooBoo. I wrapped things up and hurried home. The official Otho fireworks were still going on, but about 100 cars were headed west from Otho. I managed to get home and look for the cat in the garage. I sent Amanda over to Kent’s and wandered around the outside of the house with a flashlight before Cayla came out and said she found BooBoo in the basement (where I had told the girls to look in the first place).
So, there were hundreds of people in Otho, some trying to leave, some hanging around and causing trouble. I could hear some people arguing loudly. I went home to find batteries for my camera, found them and Kent, Cayla and I went to the park.
There were at least three law enforcement vehicles there, sheriff deputies and (I think) Fort Dodge cops – I’m not sure. There were guys in brown  uniforms and blue uniforms, but I didn’t get close enough to see what was on the side of the cars. They seemed to be trying to get people to leave the park, and it was 11 p.m. so we went back home. I took another video showing the park and (unofficial) fireworks.
So, unlike last night, when the booms kept going off until at least 2 a.m., it seems pretty quiet now. It’s actually after midnight, so maybe we’ll get a good night’s sleep if we go to bed soon. We’ve got church and I have to work in the afternoon/evening.
Update: the noise has restarted. Fun. I’m uploading one of my videos to YouTube – it’s taking forever. Because it’s taking so long, I’m only doing one of the videos tonight.

Tiny Plaid Ninjas

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 3, 2009.

I don't know how long I've had this bookmarked, but I've enjoyed watching these little Flash movies. Unfortunately, there are only three TPN movies. There's a CafePress shop with the images on T-shirts, hats and "intimate apparel." Some fans made costumes and wore them to an anime event.

Found on Facebook:

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 2, 2009.

Grant me the senility to forget the people  I never liked anyway,
The good fortune to run into the ones I do, and The eyesight to tell the difference.

Fun patriotic crafts and activities

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 2, 2009.

Holidays in July and information about the month can be found at Annie's "Month of July" Page. One holiday (besides July Fourth, of course) is Bastille Day. That happens to be my dad's birthday. There are also activities and printables here.

A day late and a dollar short

 This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on July 2, 2009.

This post should have been made yesterday, but due to a combination of me not realizing that, yes another month had started and Cayla not getting off the computer when I asked, I wasn't able to get it done on time.

I took advantage of yesterday being my day off to do pretty much nothing. I've got websites to do, housework to do, menus to plan and what-not, but I was on the computer most of the day. I did make chicken and mashed potatoes for supper, though, so it wasn't a total waste.

I tried to get out of taking Cayla to church, but she wanted to go and I had agreed to do an errand for Mom, so I had to. I tried to get Donna to do it, but she said she hadn't been to bed yet (this was 6 p.m., she'd been up since 9 p.m. Tuesday night), so that was a no-go.

So, I dropped Cayla off at church, picked up a hamburger at Wendy's and a chocolate shake at Ja-Mar's for Mom and took them back to her place. It took me about half an hour to get into her email. I don't know what the problem is - she's using a brand-new computer. It only has 1 G RAM, though, and the connection is 768 M. She actually asked to have the older computer (runs on Win98) hooked up again.

So, anyway ... that was pretty much my day yesterday. Except for visiting Sandy M. on the way home - kept the visit short, as she is recovering from surgery. She looks good, though - relaxed. And an argument over having Amanda do something I told her to do on Tuesday - that she didn't do properly, so I gave her a job for Wednesday. I started nagging in the late evening, and ske kept insisting that she couldn't do it alone. It's not a pleasant job, but it's certainly something she can do on her own. It's just that she is great at avoiding work. Grrr.

Fun site of the day

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 29, 2009.

Evil Mad Scientist is "Making the World a Better Place, One Evil Mad Scientist at a Time." They have projects ranging from fractal snowflake cupcakes to electric origami to CandyFab.

A few projects that look like fun:

I've spent about an hour on the site so far and it looks like there are projects within my capabilities. I'd like to make a bristlebot and insert it into one of the little mice our cats like.

Picture Keeper giveaway

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 26, 2009.

Picture Keeper is a way to store photos using special software and a USB drive. You can buy the USB drive with the software or just the software and use your own USB drive. It runs on Windows or Mac.

Jolly Mom is holding a Picture Keeper giveaway ending July 10th at 11:59 PM EST. For anyone not wanting to take their chances on the giveaway, there's a special offer: Get 10% off your order by entering Blogger10 at checkout.

Read the review, visit the website, and see what Picture Keeper can do. I'm thinking I'll probably buy the software and use my own USB if I don't win the giveaway from Jolly Mom.

Pace Picante Sauce Giveaway

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 8, 2009.

$5 Dinners is having a Pace Picante Sauce giveaway.
The lovely folks at Pace are giving away 5 different flavors of the Pace Specialty Salsas, along with a cookbook, so you can put your salsa to good use!

Not only the specialty salsas - which I have never tried - but a cookbook.

This is an easy one to enter: Leave a comment saying you want to win. Two additional entries can be made by promoting the contest by blog or Twitter and by leaving a comment with your favorite Mexican, Tex-Mex, salsa food.

It would be especially cool to win this one because 1) I haven't tried the specialty salsas, 2) there's a cookbook and 3) I won the rice!

EA SPORTS Active giveaway from New York Chica

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 6, 2009.

New York Chica is having a giveaway of the EA SPORTS Active for Wii. Today's the last day to enter (I just found out about it).

From the EA SPORTS Active website:
Developed exclusively for the Wii™ by EA Canada, EA SPORTS Active is an innovative, virtual fitness product that offers personalized, customizable workouts that can be done from the comfort of home. Developed in collaboration with fitness experts, including Bob Greene – renowned exercise physiologist, author and Oprah’s personal trainer – EA        SPORTS Active is a fun and cost-effective way to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The product will be the first in a new line of EA SPORTS virtual fitness products to improve the well-being of people of all ages.

It's like having a virtual personal trainer that keeps track of your progress. I could really use something like this.

Sparkly crown without messy glitter (craft)

 This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 6, 2009.

Really cute (relatively) no-mess craft: Princess crown. It's glitter- and glue-free - use pipe cleaners to thread the pieces of craft foam together. The example uses sparkly pipe cleaners.

Everything Mom has a lot to offer. Groups, forum, games, giveaways, printables (I'm addicted to printables) and more. It's worth spending some time exploring.

Mahatma Jasmine & Basmati Rice- Giveaway (I won!)

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 6, 2009 and updated on June 8, 2009.

Leslie Malone, at Live, Love, Laugh with Leslie, is giving away 2 coupons for rice. These are for a 2-lb bag of Mahatma jasmine rice and Mahatma basmati rice. I have never tried Mahatma rice - I usually buy whatever's cheapest. I'd like to try something new, though. UPDATE: I got an email from Leslie Malone - I won the rice! Now I'm entering a contest at $5 dinners that is for 5 Pace specialty salsas and a cookbook. I could make something with the rice and salsa if I won. How cool is that.

Maybe I'll average a post a day for June

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 6, 2009.

It's disheartening to get off track so quickly. And it's my own fault.

I bought Sims 3 on Tuesday, the day it came out. When I got home from work that night, I was so anxious to try it out I didn't blog, and that just continued from day to day. Not playing Sims 3, but just forgetting to blog.

I think I need to do some maintenance work on my blog - I think the Spring Magazine theme is pretty, but I want to create my own theme. Plus, I think I need to go to three columns. I used to think that was too many, but with all the stuff I have going on in the sidebar (badges & buttons, video, post archives, blogroll), you have to scroll down a lot. That's kind of annoying.

So my current projects are: finishing a website (I'll get paid for), creating a website (for free) and learning how to create a theme in WordPress so I can make my very own for this site.

That should keep me busy this summer. ;-)


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on June 1, 2009.

This is the theme for June NaBloPoMo, or National Blog Posting Month. I haven't gotten my badge on here yet, I finally figured out how to get my badge on here, and I need to get a post in so I can start off on the right foot for the month.

My first entry on the theme is for the veterans of World War II. I recently read "The Greatest Generation." When I bought it, it was with the feeling that this is one of those books that everyone should read, for their own betterment. I still feel that way. I didn't expect to be so affected by the book, though. I had to read it in bits and pieces, and the chapters are perfect for that. I read it that way because I usually can't sit and read large amounts of nonfiction in one sitting. This book was so moving that I could have read more at one time, but there were some parts that made me cry. An account of the first troops to land at Omaha beach on D-Day, some stepped on mine and had one or both legs blown off, but had the presence of mind to direct those who followed and tell them where to step. I cried.

I think there is a tendency between people of different ages to discount those significantly older or younger on the basis that "they wouldn't understand." I found this out when I was training a woman who was older than me at a convenience store - I had worked there longer and the manager apparently had confidence that I knew what I was doing. But the trainee did things her own way, not how I taught her. I can only think she did it because I was younger and she "knew better" even though I followed my training and she didn't. Going the other way, we might consider those of the older generation to have "had their time" and they don't understand what we are going through now.

That generation had been tempered by the Great Depression, followed by war. The current generation had war which is now followed by a great recession. The earlier war led to a kind of prosperity - manufacturers geared up for production to provide the means to win. Our recession is causing great cutbacks across many aspects of our lives. Today General Motors filed for bankruptcy.

There is a saying by George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I think we can learn important lessons from the past, not only how to avoid bad situations but how to survive them. I know I need to apply frugal principles to my life, but I hate the effort or the idea of depriving myself. It's a personal failing.

Anyway, with Memorial Day just past, I do want to give credit to the generation who came of age during World War II. They stepped in to save the world from a dark fate. Then they came home to build their lives. We do owe them a great debt, and we owe it to them to not give up the fight.

Happy birthday Mom!

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 30, 2009.
And now about me:

I took Cayla over to Karen Slawson's to help her pack, and I'll be picking her up shortly. We're going to have lunch (bring Mom lunch) and take Mom to a movie (Night at the Museum 2). Then we'll take Mom home and she should have time for a nap before Suzanna and Donna take her out to supper.

I've spent about the last 3 hours looking up information on how to write a freelance contract, and writing a freelance contract for a site I'm working on for a nonprofit organization. They are having a meeting Monday, so I want to have the contract ready for them. So far I have listed what they provide (text, photos, video) and what I provide (designing the site). They also need to decide if the look of the current site, which I designed for class, is okay or do they want it to look different. I need to know that before I proceed.

And I'm tired. I could take a nap now, but it's nearly time to pick Cayla up. A nap can wait until after the movie. I have the day off (yay!) so I've got plenty of time.

Back to Mom: Her birthday is the traditional day for Memorial Day - we just celebrate the holiday on the last Monday of the month. Her dad told her that all the flags and parade and whatnot was for her birthday. She was mad when she found out the truth. Grandpa Burrell was quite the kidder. ;-)

Back to me: I imported my Blogger blog here, so all my past posts are available.

Counting down

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 29, 2009.

to the Sims 3 release on June 2.

Originally set to be released in February, the game is coming out on Tuesday.

I'm getting anxious.

When I bought this desktop in February, I tried to get one that would play Sims 3. Sad, isn't it, planning a major purchase like that based on whether it would play a certain game. Kind of like buying a car based on if it comes in a certain color.

Anyway, I'm putting the countdown widget in my blog now that the date is nearly here. I had put $5 down at Gamestop for the collector's edition, and I might go in and pay the rest today just so I'll know it's paid for.

Wearing seatbelts

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 26, 2009.

Two teens were injured in a one-vehicle rollover yesterday on U.S. Highway 20 between Fort Dodge and Webster City. They were not wearing seatbelts and the driver was ejected from the vehicle while it was rolling. (Names have been released on the Iowa State Patrol crash report site.)

I know one of the passengers who was in the accident on November 15, 2008, when Jessica Nickless died. Of the four people in the truck, three were not wearing seatbelts. Of those three, one died and the other two had severe injuries. The one wearing the seatbelt had minor injuries.

It's not hard to make a connection here. The authorities want people to wear seatbelts. Why? It's not because the government just wants to control everything about our lives, honest. It's because seatbelts save lives. Truly. It just makes sense. And even if you don't believe it, do it to save the $83 fine you pay if you get caught. But mostly, do it for your family, so they don't have to plan your funeral because you just didn't feel like wearing your seatbelt that day.

Looking up, a little

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 23, 2009.
I'm pretty much over the pain from Sunday. I haven't worn my flats since then - wore fake Crocs to work because I figured it would make my feet and ankles hurt less. Seems I was right. I'll be sure to take my wrist braces - that usually helps when I'm on the computer.

I've got a potentially paying gig for web design, as well as a nonpaying one. It's a favor for a fellow Hatracker, and should be a good learning experience - it will be in wordpress, so I'll have to design a WP theme. So, experience and portfolio. The paying job is based on something I did for school, but I'll have to flesh it out a lot. I'm going to work on a contract before the group meets, and run it by my contact. I want to set out exactly what the website entails, so I don't get into a lot of additions and corrections when I think I'm done. ;-) That could never happen, right?

20 signs you don’t want that web design project

Painfully tired

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 19, 2009.
I had volunteered to cover a graduation on Sunday because there were five in the area on the same day. I took Southeast Webster-Grand. It's close to home, although that didn't matter, as it happens, because I had to drive into Fort Dodge anyway. There was a fatal shooting early Sunday, and I found out about it around 11 a.m.

So, I called Barbara, and Jesse, and came in around 12:15 p.m. I went to cover the graduation, and also copy-edited and paginated (well, one page). I worked 10.25 hours Sunday.

I was in a lot of pain Monday but went to work anyway. Today I had an appointment to discuss a website I'm working on, did a little shopping for Mom, tried for 2 hours to get the website uploaded (finally successful) and went to a class reunion committee meeting. I was supposed to go to church, but Mom decided not to go, so I came home.

I'm supposed to be cooking supper now, but my knees hurt and I don't want to stand. My wrists hurt, and last night even my fingers hurt. Lower back, too. I should sleep, but I'll go cook and work on the website first. Oh, and watch House.

Gunne Sax

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 11, 2009.
I was reminded at work about the Boston Store, which closed in 1979 (the year I graduated from high school). I specifically remember two things we bought there: a chair and my first Gunne Sax dress.

The chair was a ladderback with arms and a rush seat. Mom liked it and bought it, and we always called it the Boston Store chair. She took it with her every time she moved for nearly 30 years, even though the seat was gone. She always planned to get it recaned. I finally convinced her to give it away - through Freecycle - to someone who was learning to do caning.

My first Gunne Sax dress was black calico in at least three patterns. It had long sleeves, and the neckline was a little low, so I usually wore a black Gunne Sax blouse (sheer) under it. I wore it to my grandparents' funerals (Mom's parents, in 1979 and 1981).

My Gunne Sax collection eventually consisted of the black dress, a pink and white dress something like this, a black sheer blouse, a skirt and also a dress that I sewed from a Gunne Sax pattern. That one had spaghetti straps, which I made from ribbon, so I always wore a T-shirt under it. The skirt came just below my knees - not full-length.

The pink dress was very similar to the one on Etsy. It was only pink and white. So imagine all the white parts the same, but where the red calico is on the dress on Etsy, my dress had a solid very light pink color. I also wore something under this one, due to neckline issues. Also, at full length, it was pretty long on me - I'm 5'4" and was probably a size 13 or 15. I wore this dress to church, and also to the TWIRP dance (The Woman is Required to Pay) at the high school - the only high school dance I attended. I asked a guy from church (Bruce Miller) who didn't go to my high school. He was kind enough to accept, and I had a good time. Thanks, Bruce!

So, just bringing up the Boston Store started me on a little trip down memory lane. I'm going to start using tags on my blog entries, and I think I'll use "blast from the past" for this type of post.

Putting things in perspective

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 8, 2009.
36 kids and teens killed in Chicago this school year

I am relieved beyond belief that we moved from Chicago back to Iowa - my concern about violence was one big reason why.

And I am so sad for the families of these kids.


This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 5, 2009.

Fire is good.
Fire is bad.
Fire needs: fuel, heat, oxygen.
Fire has class: A, B, C, D.
Extinguish fire.
Don't start fires.
If you are on fire, stop, drop and roll.

This announcement has been brought to you by the safety video we were required to watch at work Tuesday afternoon. I've been assured there is another video for next week. I can hardly wait.

Just so you know

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on May 4, 2009.
I'm a bitch. And I'm all about me, myself and I, all the time. I never think of anyone else or have any consideration. I only think about me.

Me, me, me.

This message is brought to you by the man I am happily separated from. And I don't think I've been happier about that separation than I was when he was yelling all this at me Monday morning.

Win a Rubik's World Wii game

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on April 29, 2009.
Organize with Sandy Reviews is giving away a Rubik's World game. I'm trying to win. Kent won a Wii and this would be an interesting addition to our games.

Surpassing expectations

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on April 27, 2009.
My last post was nearly a week ago. I was whining - a little - about having to miss a special Relief Society dinner/meeting to go to Cayla's spring concert.

Boy, was I wrong.

I had expected the concert to be, well, a bit on the boring side. I have pretty low expectations about school concerts (and this one encompassed fifth through 12th grades. However, I got a surprise that night.

The music wasn't boring, and the kids played well. (To be fair, I expected the kids to be competent, but thought the music would bore me.)

We're talking "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Smoke on the Water," "1812 Overture."  There was a piece ("Biorhythms") where they didn't use their bows at all - they plucked the strings and made noises with their bodies: clapping, stomping feet, snapping fingers and slapping their hands on their chests and legs. And there was a solo part: Cayla screamed (on cue).

The high school played "Purple Haze" and "Smoke on the Water" arranged for orchestra. They also had "Obsidian," an original orchestra piece in the rock style.

The finale was the "1812 Overture" performed by the whole group: fifth- and sixth-grade honors orchestra, seventh- and eighth-grade orchestra, senior high orchestra and members of the Fort Dodge Area Symphony.

I had a good time that night.

Taking the night off

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on April 21, 2009.
Tonight our ward Relief Society is having the R.S. birthday - dinner and a program. A sister from Ames is coming to do a presentation on Emma Smith. As I understand it, she'll be dressed as Emma Smith. (I think that's how the presentation goes.) I took today off from work so I could go.

On Saturday, Cayla "reminded" me (told me for the first time) that her concert is tonight.

So, I'll be going to her concert. I'm not complaining. I would have wanted to go and would have taken the night off for it anyway. I just wish these events were on different nights. And I'm lucky I'm able to still take the night off - the paginator who is scheduled for tonight had to take it off for personal reasons and I thought I would have to fill in for her.

It's been a tiring day. I had to take Amanda to Radiology for a couple of tests, including a head CT. She complains of stomach aches and headaches a lot and has missed a lot of school. She's going to the alternative high school now. When we got home, we both went on the computer for awhile, then we both took naps.

So, it's time to make supper and get ready to take Cayla to her concert. She has to be there are 6, the concert starts at 7. So I'll have an hour to wait and I don't know what I'll do. I think I'll find a good parking spot and wait at the school.

Busy night

This post was transferred on January 3, 2010. It was originally posted on April 17, 2009.
On Thursdays, I used to just lay out Sunday Lifestyle pages, then lay out Friday pages. Once I started copy editing and they hired a person to paginate on Thursdays, I laid out Lifestyle pages, then did copy editing.

Then the powers that be decided I should also do obits in the evenings, so four nights a week I process obits along with paginating and copy editing. Thursday is one of those nights. And since the entertainment reporter moved over to cops and courts, I'm laying out the Go and Do page.

So yesterday, I laid out two Lifestyle pages, copy edited three Lifestyle pages, processed four obits, copy edited the news part of the paper (except pages 1 and 3), laid out obits and Go and Do. That last one was the worst - there were 16 items and one graphic kept locking up my Mac. I finally replaced the graphic and finished the page, but it wasn't sent until nearly 11 p.m.

Part of the problem was trying to copy edit while laying out Go and Do. And when I got behind and the paginator left before obits was done (technically my page, but could somebody ask if I needed help? No.) then I had to ask someone else for help copy editing, which left that person grumpy ("it's not my job to do this on Thursdays"). Well, we could stay here all night while I try to do three things at once ... or not.

Anyway, tonight I only have to copy edit one page, process obits and paginate. Oh, yeah, and do a page for Sunday Business. Which involves toning photos and typing in cutline info and figuring out which submissions actually have what we need (photo, cutline info which includes the names of everyone in the photo in order) like in the instructions we print every single week on this page.

I shouldn't gripe too much - at least there wasn't a fire at 9:30 p.m. like on Tuesday night.

Anyway, I've got to get to work. I can hardly wait.