Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Quick - hurry up and enter

So I see a couple of giveaways on other blogs that end tonight: the Grand Event Cash Giveaway for $1,000 Paypal and a KitchenAid stand mixer. Of the two, of course, I would want the money first.

I had to take back the brand-new laptop I had bought myself on Valentine's Day so I could have money to get my car fixed. The car is at the shop now, but I haven't heard from the mechanic. He said he would probably be able to look at it Thursday or Friday. Friday is payday, but I was planning to pay rent. So I've got what's left from the laptop money (since I had opened the box, they took 15 percent restocking fee - ouch!), which I put in my savings account so I wouldn't spend it.

Anyway, there's also a Brother sewing machine and Kindle Fire giveaway on a couple of other sites.

I have a Kindle Fire and love it and will be spending quite a lot of time with it tomorrow, as I'll be working from about 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with a couple of breaks here and there, but since my car is (hopefully) being worked on I won't be able to run around during my work breaks. So I'll just hang out in the lunchroom at work and read. A lot.

And so, run, quick, enter some giveaways that end tonight.

My Memories giveaway

Once again I will be giving away a copy of My Memories Suite 3 digital scrapbooking software. I'll post some examples so you can see some cool things you can do with this product.

I made a "cover" for one of my Facebook pages. You can make custom page sizes, even the 851-by-315-pixel size for Facebook covers. I also used My Memories for the profile photo, so they match.

See the blank area in the lower left corner? That will be covered up by the profile picture. If you click on this photo, you can see it bigger.

This is the profile picture. Note that it has the same background as the cover.
I'm going to make covers and matching profile photos for the Carol's Random Babble Facebook page, as well. I just haven't decided which photos to use.

So, here's the giveaway. One download copy of My Memories Suite 3 digital scrapbooking software. The contest begins March 3 and ends March 15. Anyone over 18 in the U.S. and Canada may enter, including my nearest and dearest. Two entries are mandatory - you must like Carol's Random Babble and My Memories on Facebook. The other entries are all optional, and you can tweet once per day for extra entries.

New giveaways coming up

I will be hosting a giveaway on my blog in the next few days, but more on that later.

Here's the big news and if you have your own blog and want to participate, please sign up for this using my blog name, Carol's Random Babble, as the referring blog:

  Cost: $7 to enter, $2 is admin fee due to the magnitude of the giveaway, $5 is for Facebook Link only which will be due on May 13 to the winner of the giveaway. In addition, each blogger will supply the winner with $5 paypal cash. (This one is going to cost A LOT of my own time to organize, set up and make it a success I’m certain it will be. I’m pretty sure it will make the HP giveaway look like child’s play.)

When: Blogs can sign up until March 30, 2012. Giveaway runs April 1st- May 13, 2012 which is Mother’s Day.

How it works: There will be teams: The number of teams depends on how many people sign up. If 100 bloggers sign up, the teams will be divided into 10 bloggers per Rafflecopter and which means there will be 10 Rafflecopters. Once the entrant has entered the giveaway via team 1 RC, they can move on to another team 2 RC and enter there as well. They can enter on all ten RCs!

This is how the prize will work. 1 winner will be selected from each of the Team Rafflecopters. Each winner from each team RC will receive the cash prized from that winning RC. The bloggers on that team RC will send their $5 to the winner. For example: Team 1 RC has ten bloggers in it. Jane Doe wins Team 1 RC. All ten bloggers on Team 1 RC send Jane Doe $5 paypal cash for a grand total of $50 winnings for Jane Doe. Each Team RC will do the same thing for their winner. Finally, all cash winners from each team RC will be put on a new RC drawing. will select one of those cash winners to be the grand prize winner of the NETBOOK COMPUTER!

Bloggers win too! All bloggers on the Rafflecopters will be entered into a drawing at the end of the giveaway to win $100 paypal, courtesy of LaDonna Dennis. At the end of every month, from now until the giveaway starts, all bloggers who’ve entered and PAID their fee will be entered into a drawing to win $25 paypal for that month.

RULES: You must agree to follow the rules of this giveaway.
  1. Sign up and pay your $7 fee.
  2. Agree to pay the cash winner on your RC $5 via Paypal.
  3. Find as many others participants as you possibly can to come and join us on this fabulous giveaway. The more sign ups, the more LIKES! If 100 bloggers sign up, you will get the traffic from their fans coming to enter your RC and vice versa.
  4. Make sure all the bloggers you refer put your blog’s name in the signup sheet.
  5. The Blog with the most referrals will get their $7 sign up fee returned. And I will pay your $5 cash winnings as well.
  6. You must advertise the sign up for this giveaway on your blog, both via a post and a button in the sidebar.
  7. Once the giveaway starts all members signed up are required to advertise the giveaway via all their social networks and by placing a button in their sidebar. Important Information for Entrants: Entrants can enter all Team RCs. They can enter Team 1 RC and complete all the entries, then they can go on to enter all remaining team RCs. Technically, they could win all the Team RCs! On each team RC, they could win up to $50 paypal cash. Each blogger on the Rafflecopter will pay the winner $5 paypal cash.

And, the best part: All Rafflecopter winners will be entered into a selection for the Grand Prize: the NETBOOK! ALL IN ALL THIS GIVEAWAY WILL ONLY COST EACH BLOG THAT SIGNS UP A TOTAL OF $12! $7 due at the time of sign up and $5 due May 13 when the winners are selected. SIGN UP NOW FOR MORE LIKES AND TRAFFIC THEN YOU CAN IMAGINE


Remember: referring blog is Carol's Random Babble, blog owner's name is Carol Foltz.

I participated in a giveaway administered by the same person, and went from 2 likes on my Facebook page (I was one of them) to 1,374 likes. If you are a blogger who wants to promote your blog, this is a quick and easy way to do it. The fact that I have signed up two of my sites for this should tell  you that I believe it works.

This giveaway opens on April 1 and runs through May 13. The previous giveaway I was in ran from Feb. 15 to Feb. 28. So, this one will run three times longer than the first one I participated in, giving the bloggers more time to get fans.

I will post more as we get closer to the time of the giveaway, and of course throughout the giveaway. Good luck to those bloggers who participate!

And the winner is

For the Asus netbook PC giveaway, the winner is Lisa C. The administrator of the giveaway has notified and verified the winner. Congratulations!

I should be starting a new giveaway in the next few days, so keep tuned in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some days just suck

(Sorry, long post and a bit of whining. Feel free to skip this one if that bothers you.)

This will be my last post typed on this particular computer. I will complete a couple of Family Search Indexing batches I had downloaded, and then remove all personal information from it before boxing it back up and returning it to the store.

It's the only way I can think of to get cash to get my car towed into town so I can possibly fix it or if the fixing is too expensive, try to get another car.

And yes, I'm feeling a teensy bit sorry for myself.

But on the other hand, I kind of brought it on myself by buying the laptop in the first place. Had I saved that money, it would have been available without all the hassle of returning something and I wouldn't be moaning about the laptop.

And my (I thought brilliant) idea about using my tax refund to pay my tithing for the year so I wouldn't have to constantly fret about it was apparently the wrong idea, I was informed at church yesterday. We're supposed to pay tithing "as we go" throughout the year. My idea was that by paying it in a lump sum I could avoid that sinking feeling each paycheck when I realize that it's a choice between putting gas in the car so I can get to work or paying tithing - I choose putting gas in the car.

This goes back several years to one particular time when I had $75. I had a choice - pay tithing or buy groceries. Following all the stories I had heard over the years of people who paid tithing when faced with a similar choice would find groceries at their door or whatever, I paid my tithing. I don't remember exactly what transpired after that, except that we didn't have any miracles. I probably had to pawn something or borrow money from my mom. That left me a bit wary of hoping for miracles.

So this year I tried to, I don't know, take the easy way out? In my mind it's like an alcoholic changing the route he (or she) walks home in order to avoid the bar where temptation lies. I feel like I have enough bad habits to change that getting one problem out of the way leaves me free to work on other issues.

But apparently I was wrong.

And now, I will be taking back the PC I shouldn't have bought in the first place and I knew it. Since it's out of the box, they will probably take out a restocking fee, but it's still better than what I have now. And at least I still have a computer to work on, even if it doesn't play my Sims games that I love. I spend too much time goofing around anyway. :-(

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My day so far

Woke up earlier than I wanted to, couldn't go back to sleep.

Had pork potstickers for breakfast, topped with Thai sweet chili sauce, and half a bottle of diet Dr Pepper, which was all I had left. I had forgotten to go to Walmart last night to get sodas, which is probably for the best, as you will see.

Updated my history blog post for today, which is still not done, but is next on the list. It's an incredibly long post, about the death of a prominent citizen of Fort Dodge in 1907.

Took a nap - not as long as I had hoped, but once woken up I couldn't get back to sleep. Why? Too much on my mind. When I drove home last night, my car was acting weird. The steering wheel vibrated more than usual - it does shake a bit and pulls to the left. But it also started making a strange noise as I approached home, and was kind of bouncy. I managed to get home, though, and left myself a note to check it out before going to work.

So, after my brief nap, I took a flashlight and sleeping bag (to lie on) and attempted to look under the car. I couldn't possibly get close enough to see what was wrong. I also started the car and tried to back up, but it won't go anywhere. I opened the hood but couldn't see anything wrong.

I think something is wrong in the vicinity of the driver's front tire. My first thought was that it must be structural, rather than something with the engine, but I could be wrong. But I'm a week away from payday, so no matter what's wrong, I can't deal with it yet.

So, I called my sister and she'll give me some rides this week. I'll have the car towed to a mechanic as soon as possible, and we'll go from there.

And it's not even noon. I'm afraid to ask what the rest of the day has in store for me.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Blame it on the kid

A snow day, 2-hour delay and yet ...

Despite my efforts and the extra time to sleep, Cayla is going to miss the bus again.

Which means I have to drive her to school, and since I have to work some time this morning, I might as well just go to work.

The difference between today and yesterday is that when I'm done with my morning assignment today, I will be heading home for a nap. Yesterday I didn't because of threatening weather, but today I've got to have more sleep.

I may be getting ahead of myself by predicting a missed bus, but I doubt it. She's got 10 minutes to get dried off, dressed and out the door. But since it's already after 9 a.m., whether she misses the bus or not at this point I'll probably go to work early any way. It's just more fun to blame it on the kid.

(Update: She made the bus, not at her stop but still within the little town where we live. I still have to go into town and since I'm up, I might as well do it sooner rather than later. I'm in a better mood now, anyway. I've been frantically looking for a receipt for an item I need to return to OfficeMax and just couldn't find it. But after calling the company, I found out that the emailed receipt that I do have will suffice, and they can also look up the transaction at the store if I don't get that printed out. So I can take back the monitor I no longer need since I got laptops for Cayla and me, and use the money to pay bills. Yay, OfficeMax!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Here's a surprise - or maybe not

Last Monday, the day before Valentine's Day, Kent wanted to talk to me. He wouldn't talk about it on the phone. So I drove over to his place (had to anyway to give him some of the tax refund) to find out what he wanted.

Turns out what he wanted was what I feared - reconciliation.

He said he missed his family and blah, blah, blah. I said I don't feel that way about him and I thought when we parted that he was fine with that.

Yesterday, when I was over at Mom's to change the lightbulb in her bathroom for the third time this year (technically the first time for me, as Donna did the other two, but the third time it had to be changed), she dropped a little bombshell.

Kent had changed his relationship status on Facebook. Recently, as in the past few days.

Really? That's all you have to do? Just change your status and you're done? I wish I had known that.

Unfortunately, before I found about about this, other members of my family did and left a comment or comments on a thread he was involved in and some comments got deleted. So I don't know the whole thing and can only speculate about whom he was referring with this:

Yeah well she is back she found me on facebook i walked away from her 4 years ago and this is the 3rd time she has found me so am going after it

 If I am the "she" he mentioned, let me state that he is misrepresenting. "Found" him? I can't get rid of him. I keep telling myself I'm going to finally file for divorce but never get around to it. I know I should have spent the tax refund on that instead of a new laptop.

Let me tell you the rest of the story.

Last summer, Kent had borrowed my car. He knew he was only supposed to go do one thing, no side trips and no passengers. He was in a neighborhood my car had no business in (it was completely unrelated to why he had the car) and when a boy about 10 years old ran across the road in front of him, he "didn't have time to stop." He still didn't have time to stop right after the boy rolled across the hood of my car, because he continued on. (The boy wasn't seriously injured.)

I was waiting for him to bring my car back - I was at work and took my supper break. I heard sirens off in the distance. The person on desk called my cell phone to say my license number was called over the police scanner. I called Kent and asked him what was up - did he run a stop sign or something? He said,  yes, and he was on his way. (He had previously said he was putting oil in my car, which was his excuse for the delay.)

When he got to my work, I drove. On the way to taking him home, we stopped at Casey's by the college and he got more oil, and allegedly put some in. Then we drove to his friend Chad's house for me to drop him off. The girls called to say a sheriff's deputy had come by, but they didn't open the door. So I called the Law Enforcement Center. A police officer called me back and said Kent was involved in a hit-and-run involving a child.

By this time we were at his friend Chad's. I told Kent he had to call the police back, and he did. And then I took him back to the LEC. (But not before he and his friend Chad were looking at the engine of my car, which is important, because they were the last ones under the hood before the oil cap came off while I was driving from girls camp near Boone back to Fort Dodge, and ruined the engine of my car. I still think he owes me for that.)

At the LEC, Kent went in while I waited outside. Eventually I went in - this was still my supper break and it was taking a long time. The officer mentioned that Kent had told him he had a passenger - remember I said he wasn't supposed to? It just kept getting better and better.

To cut this short (too late!), Kent had a court date in July. He was supposed to pay a fine for leaving the scene of the accident and for court costs. He told me later that he paid that fine in August.

Fast forward to February. We file together because, after all, we are still married, and I give him a portion  of the federal tax refund (to which he is really not entitled,as he pays no taxes and offers no financial support for the girls). Then I find out that the state tax refund is being held. It's being held to pay his court fines from last summer. That's just precious. His major screwup has already cost me a car, and now $262 is being taken from the state refund, and the whole refund is being held up for 45 days because of it.

Also, on Friday, he asked me if he could borrow some money. Isn't that just the cherry on top? 

And he had the audacity to list himself as single. Don't I wish.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


So I'm participating in this giveaway. So far, more than 800 people have liked my Facebook page (and presumably are also following me on Twitter).

And I'm starting to feel a little tense.

We're only 3 days into the giveaway, which ends Feb. 28. Potentially thousands more people may be reading my blog. I feel pressured to entertain and inform. I should be working on blog posts daily, coming up with new, unique things to say to keep the audience captivated by my wit and charm.

Or, I could just go to bed and read until I fall asleep.

To all my new readers: thanks for coming here or liking my blog on Facebook or following me on Twitter. I hope to keep a few of you after the giveaway is over,

If you are interested in history, mosey on over to In Old Fort Dodge, my history blog. I find and transcribe newspaper articles from the early days of Fort Dodge, Iowa. There you will find some fine writing. And some humor, some scary things, and once in a while, truly gross stuff. The journalistic standards of the late 19th and early 20th century are interesting, to say the least.

I feel pressure with that site, as well, but it's more about making sure I type in enough articles, and less about bringing forth wondrous prose from the bowels of my imagination. Typing the articles is much easier.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Asus netbook giveaway

(Update Feb. 29, 2012) And the winner is ... Lisa C. She has been notified and verified by the administrator of the giveaway. Congratulations Lisa C.!

I'm excited to be a part of this group giveaway. One person will receive an Asus Netbook PC. Netbooks are a lighter, more portable version of laptops. This one weighs under 2.5 pounds, or less than half what a laptop would weigh (well, less than half of my new laptop).

The giveaway ends Feb. 28. Good luck!

The Asus 10.1" 1015PX Netbook PC provides the perfect combination of a rich multimedia and Internet experience with a unique look all its own. This cheerful design, exclusive to Walmart, will match your personal style while meeting your technology needs, all with the quality you would expect from the most reliable Windows-based portable PC brand.

Key Features and Benefits:
  • Intel Atom N570 mobile processor
    1.66GHz, 1MB L2 Cache
  • 1GB DDR3 DRAM system memory Expandable to 2GB
    Allows you to do the computer basics of web surfing, emails and documents
  • 250GB hard drive
    Store 166,000 photos, 71,000 songs or 131 hours of HD video and more
  • 10/100Mbps Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN
    Connect to a broadband modem with wired Ethernet or wirelessly connect to a Wi-Fi signal or hotspot with the 802.11b/g/n connection built into your PC
  • 10.1" no-glare display
    Intel UMA Graphics with up to 256MB total graphics memory

    Additional Features:
    • Webcam with built-in microphone
    • 3-in-1 memory card reader
    • 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x headphone jack, 1x microphone jack, 1x RJ-45 Ethernet port, 1x VGA port
    • 3-cell lithium-ion battery, up to 3 h 39 min battery life

    • Genuine Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition
    • Microsoft Office Starter 2010: Includes reduced functionality versions of Microsoft Word and Excel, with advertising. PowerPoint and Outlook are NOT included. Purchase Office 2010 today and get the most out of your new PC.
    • TMS security software (30-day trial)
    • Backup and Restore options built into Windows allows you to create safety copies of your most important personal files, so you're always prepared for the worst

    What's In The Box:
    • Power cord
    • 3-cell lithium-ion battery
    • Quick Start Guide
The FileMate M2825 Wireless Optical Mouse provides the precision of 1000 dpi optical tracking and the freedom of wireless connectivity. It features a scroll wheel for faster scrolling and greater productivity.

FileMate M2825 Wireless Optical Mouse:
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Scroll wheel
  • 1000 dpi
  • Dimensions: 52mm x 95mm x 25mm
  • Color: White and Asus Teal
Netbook Case
The Merkury 15.6" Reversible Laptop Case is made out of shock-absorbing and weather-resistant neoprene material to protect your device and keep it scratch free.
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Easily fits into backpacks, briefcases and other travel cases
  • Soft, scratch-free neoprene offers superior device protection
  • Premium neoprene is shock absorbing and weather resistant
  • Compatible with laptops up to 15.6", and similarly sized devices

Open to US & Canada Only: See Official Rules
Contest Ends Feb 28, 2012 12:01 AM EST

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pure indulgence

So, I've been wavering over the last few days. Buy a desktop computer that can handle the games I want to play (and also Photoshop and Illustrator), built a PC or buy a laptop. Of the three, I like laptops best, but thought maybe I could get more value for the money from a desktop PC, and even more if I built it myself (it was actually Amanda's idea).

So, on Saturday, I went to Office Max with the intention of buying a desktop that was on sale. I left with a monitor but no PC, and planned at that point to build one.

Yet, I wavered. And this morning, after looking at too many options available (this barebones kit includes the processor but no graphics card, this other one has a graphics card but no processor, and neither included the operating system - and that was just between two systems) I was leaning again toward getting a middle to higher end laptop available and on sale at Office Max.

And yet ...

On the front page of the ad was a basic laptop for $300. I could get two of those for the price I was willing to pay for a better laptop, and then Cayla could have her own and we wouldn't have to share. I brought up this idea to Cayla, she said don't get it right away because she wants to look at it first. So I dropped her off at school and went to Office Max to look at what they had.

The $300 was not available. (I've since looked on the website and it's sold out.) So I started looking at more expensive laptops, thinking I could spend $400 on mine and $300 on hers when they get one in (not knowing at that point they are sold out). I bought some other stuff and left.

I didn't get very far. I turned around and went to get money out and went back to Office Max. After looking over my options, I decided on a Toshiba Satellite. It costs as much as the two cheaper laptops, but I have still promised Cayla she will have her own.

So now, I've got software to download and to install. But I've been messing around on Facebook like I could do with my old emachine desktop. I need to get to work.

And I need to find the receipt for that monitor that I won't be needing since we'll all have laptops of our own.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Countdown to giveaway

Recent visitors to my blog may have noticed a new graphic in the right-hand column. I'm participating in a giveaway with a group of bloggers for a netbook computer.

The giveaway will run from Feb. 15 to Feb. 28. I will post more information when the giveaway goes live.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So, I'm on Pinterest now ...

and so far I have managed  to not let it become a great time-sucky, lose a day pinning distraction. Mostly because I hardly go there. (I'm finally learning my limits.)

But I get reminders, people who follow my pins then repin them, and I get an email.

But the latest email was amusing. "Carol Foltz + 2 others repinned your pins on Pinterest." Actually, that was all me. I repinned a couple of pins from one category to another after starting a board on Organization.

I do have followers, really. Thirty-two of them. And none of them are me.

If you'd like an invite to Pinterest, let me know. I have to invite through Facebook or have your email, so contact me one of those ways. My email address is in the right-hand column, below my profile (I post it this way to try to avoid spammers).