Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Making of a Website

Honestly, I do know a little HTML code - very little. So, when hubby made my website I was grateful because he did something that I couldn't do... okay, couldn't do well. But I went to this little seminar thingy where they want to steal your money and promise you a pretty little website that has a drop and click. I figured if these guys were doing it someone else was doing it and doing it cheaper. So, I took my free lunch and free ipod coupon (yeah, they didn't spring for the real thing you have to order it on their website and wait for it to arrive from China) and called it good.

I was right! Voila! A drop in website made easy. I could still put in my HTML codes, but they did everything else. They also had a great feature I never knew existed in a free photo editor that I could sit and play with for hours called Picnik. You can use it free or subscribe. It's well worth the time.

So, up went the website! Then came the idea that it needed promoting. I could sit around and wish for visitors, but that seemed about as likely to work well as the new stimulus plan from Washington. So, I added some content on Witchvox, which is a really sharp site for pagans, and started looking around for ideas. There's a lot out there!

Anyway, things are up and running and I'm rather pleased. Life really doesn't have to be all yucky and complicated. Sometimes someone else is kind enough to do all the hard work and let someone else coast a bit.

So, for all those hardworking programmers that are willing to share - Thank you. You guys ROCK!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Thing About Charlie

Charlie was a rescue Cockatoo. After bringing him home I'm not sure if we rescued him or the bird sanctuary that had him up for adoption. Just kidding. He's really a very sweet guy. He was featherless when we got him and we were told that he'd been plucking for over 5 years. After bringing him home he didn't pluck anymore. He now has all his feathers.

Charlie loves to chase his big bell. He also loves to shake it in his beak and make a lot of noise. He has learned a lot of new words being here, including "Goodnight, Mom." But not everyone is as trusting toward Charlie as my son, Aidan, and I. My husband and our youngest are actually scared of him. Charlie does have a rather sharp beak and he's tasted each of us. I think it was almost like a rite that he went through to ensure that we would be his faithful servants for the rest of his life. So far it's working.

One of Charlie's favorite past-times seems to be chewing up things. He's managed to break out of his cage by carefully inspecting how the doors work. He has chewed through the cage tray and escaped. We had to buy a new tray. We've had to patch the new tray. Now we need another new tray. Evidently plastic is one of his favorite snacks.

Looking at the price of trays I found that buying a new cage might actually be less expensive. So, we've got a new cage for Charlie on the way. This one has a metal grate that covers the tray. We'll have to see what devious plan he has in store for the new home he'll have. This could be interesting, but one thing is for certain - Charlie will find some creative way to be destructive, I'm sure. It's just his way.

Gotta love the guy. He's very intelligent and has earned the respect of the entire household, including the Shepherd, and that ain't no small task.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

9 Year Old Texas Girl Marries

My mother died of cancer when I was 9 years old. It was very hard watching her deteriorate over time, especially when you couldn't quite understand why. My mother was a very good person, kind-hearted, loving, giving.

Today I watched on the news as a very distraught mother of a 9 year old daughter with Leukemia walk down the aisle and get married. The groom was her age or a year or two younger. They met in the cancer hospital and learned to support one another.

In about 3 weeks he will be a very young widower.

But the one thing that hit me in the ceremony, besides the strength of the little girl to live life to the fullest in her last days, were the words of the minister. "Do you promise to be his friend forever?"

That's a very powerful question. If adults could make a promise like that when marrying I think the divorce rate would go way down. Somewhere along the line many of us forget to be friends.

Thank you, Brian, for being my friend forever.

Thank you, children, for showing hope to everyone in a time when for you others would see things as being quite hopeless. You are truly an inspiration.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Tonight we went on a double date and saw the movie "Taken" which deals with the subject of human trafficking. The movie was very good and kept us on the edge of our seat. It was great to see a parent be able to beat up a slew of bad guys and save his daughter, although it was a bit disconcerting to see he wasn't the least bit concerned with other people's daughters and their safe return. You'd think someone that had lost his little girl would have had a bit more compassion, but hey, he saved his girl and it was great.

I would like to think that if anyone ever took my children that I would love to be able to save them like that. I don't, however, have the same skill sets this guy has. Instead of taking guns and shooting the enemy I would be forced to feed them to death. For some reason it just doesn't feel that would be nearly as effective.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

It doesn't get better than this.

Today was freezing and snowy. The streets were slick, yet filled with brave drivers daring the snow to try to keep them homebound.

Sleep deprived I was one that ventured into the white mass of slippery chill with my best friend, Brenda, who was not to be daunted by freezing temperatures and invisible streets. Her heart was set on getting a Wii Fit, which are evidently hard to find here. She was so intent on this task that she was willing to drive 60 miles round trip to make the acquisition to Wal-Mart in Berlin, Wisconsin. The only faux pas we had was in Oshkosh on the return home when the car decided to careen into a curb. The curb won.

After finally making it home I decided to take the boys and the hubby out to a movie. The theater in Menasha has cheap seats and food. The food isn't the greatest, but it's not the worse either. A waitress actually comes and brings food to you so that you don't have to miss the movie.

We watched "Bedtime Stories," which turned out to be cute, much to my surprise. However the best part of the movie was snuggling next to my husband and listening to the boys snigger at the funny parts.

In spite of the cold outside, the moment was very warm and makes one forget the chill of the night.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Octo-Mom and Money

Well, I have steered clear of writing about the woman that found enough money for invitro and college and having another child while poorly raising her other six children, but today I find that she is looking at a home worth over 1 million dollars. So, where does this money come from? People who are donating, obviously. People who are so into scandalizing the population that they are willing to support her by paying her to make appearances and do interviews. Why? Is it really that interesting? No, it's that tragic.

A company went public today to also offer her round the clock assistance for her children. Some of the babies actually need serious medical care. They ask for her to use the public donations she is receiving, which evidently must be numerous, in order to make certain that her children are well cared for. Does she jump on the opportunity? Nopers. She ignores them. Instead she goes mansion shopping.

So, why are people donating money to this woman? She obviously isn't planning on using it to take care of the children and their needs. She wants to upgrade, obviously, who doesn't?

Hey, I have children here. I am not working and need to stay home. How about donating some of that money this way? Or my friend who is getting divorced and has expenses and two children? Or even my other friend with four kids, a sick husband, and is forced to work 10 hours a day just to keep a roof over their heads? What makes this woman so special? Oh yeah. Media attention and a mental disorder.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dentist Day

Deep inside I know that dentists are not evil people. There is something deep rooted in my childhood that has me very fearful of them. Maybe it's the fact that I didn't get to visit the dentist often at all and when I did he said he was putting a "train" in my mouth. Not cool, man.

I have to, as a good parent, take the boys to the dentist. Aidan, the oldest, isn't thrilled. I'm sure that along the line in time I've instilled him with some of my phobia. (There goes my parental A+ rating.) Cian on the other hand is "Okay." Where can I get some of that naive charm? My Shepherd knows too. She's been whining all morning. I swear she motioned for me to hide under the bed.

The truth is even though I'm not the one that is going to be strapped to the chair, (okay, they don't really strap) I'm feeling sick. Is it real or is it just my own version of an emotional disturbance?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weight Watchers and Me

Yes, I have decided to join the masses in an effort to shed pounds and increase my health. In my quest for a better body I have joined Weight Watchers online. I couldn't bring myself to go to weekly meetings and sit with other people that have the same idea of weight loss mania. I just find it to be a rather private endeavor I've embarked upon. Maybe it's because if I fail I don't want to face others and see them as they try and avoid eye contact or give me a smile that says, "Hey, you failed, baby. Do something."

But my one great motivation, besides wanting to live longer and avoid a heart attack, has been music. I've discovered some really cool people like Ingrid Michaelson, The Plain White T's, the Pierces, and Lenka to name a few. They get me moving and grooving to the point of where I have been swinging around and dancing with my two boys in the kitchen or living room or wherever else I can terrorize them. Actually the younger one is more than eager to dance with Mom, it's the older one that wonders if it's actually safe or if he should call someone to come and take me away. But that creates a whole new dilemma. Who will cook his dinner or bake him cookies?

You can always count on the stomach outruling the head on a male, regardless of his age.

Life is sweet.