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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Junkyard Chair...

...or, things you wouldn't have thought you could sit on without noticing.

Ahem. Bit late posting this. These are all the things dear hubby found in this chair when we were getting ready to move it. There's some wooden track, plastic track, a TV remote (my in-laws TV remote, sheesh!), and a whole lot more. To be fair, they were crammed down in the corners, but that remote went missing for a year. Too bad we didn't find any overdue library books in there.

Hey, Blogger, stop rotating my pics! I really, really miss Live Writer, sigh.

Sibling Envy

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods...
...nor thy older brother's trip to upstate New York with Grandma...
...nor his bigger piece of chicken...
...nor his ability to read books that are way beyond your level of understanding...
...nor his going to a 7 pm baseball game with Daddy that'll keep him out way beyond your bedtime...

Mary (age 6) has an acute sense of justice. Translation: She knows when everything's not "Even Steven."

She'll count peanuts, if she has to.

Or even popcorn kernels.

So, when offered an overnight with Grandma and Grandpa to make up for her brother's trip earlier this summer to Nebraska, she asked: "Does this one night count for the WHOLE trip or for just one day of the trip?"

Do you think she'll be a lawyer some day?
Or maybe a politician?

Let me say that while Mary is very concerned that everyone gets what is coming to them (ahem, yeah, justice works both ways, you know), she also has a very generous nature.

When one of the eyes of David's (age 10) wooden snake popped out, never to be found again (and he pouted), she offered to actually pry out one of the eyes out of her wooden snake so he could put it on his. The one without paint on it, of course. And, she meant it.

This isn't about wanting more. It's not greed. (Ok, there's probably a little greed, she is human).

I think she feels like she's being left out. She's missing something, some integral part of being.

She has this sense of urgency, this feeling that if she doesn't do it this time, she's missing the opportunity of a lifetime---and it's lost forever.

Sure, I can say there will be other baseball games when she's older. But I also try to point out that...

Life isn't fair...

in the sense that everything is "Even Steven."

Each of us has different opportunities and challenges...she'll have opportunities in the future that her older brother won't have. And the whole of these is a part of the unique experience of God's world that each of us has.

She doesn't get it.

How can I expect her to, when I didn't get it myself until recently.

Childhood angst. I'm sure this is only a preview of what is to come.

How do you deal with feelings of inequity between your kiddos?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Few of My Favorite Things...

...about our new home...

The front porch. We can watch the world go by.

Some neat lighting.

This stained glass window is next to the front door.

All original door knobs. They are wood, smooth, warm and inviting.

Original woodwork and 6-panel doors throughout. This door is double-hinged!

The floors, not the walls so much. This is before the refinishing.

A mudroom (enclosed porched) off the kitchen!

A huge, eat-in if I can just keep that island clean for food prep.

For some reason Blogger keeps turning this photo (I miss Live Writer.
Dial-up and Live Writer do not mix), but I had to show you my extra deep sink.

Exterior access to the full basement, so convenient for hanging the laundry outside.

Yes, the yard is tiny, but well fenced and landscaped...and mowing takes about 10 minutes.

This post is linked to Wordless Wednesday.

Review and Giveaway: Total Pillow

Total Pillow

The Total Pillow can be bent, folded, twisted and scrunched to your hearts content...its patent pending locking technology holds its shape and supports
  • your neck while sleeping on an airplane
  • between your knees while side-sleeping
  • your tender sit-down when on those hard, cold bleachers at the big game
  • your postpartum sit-down
  • your lower back while typing at your desk
  • your head when you lay it down on your desk because you've gone video blind can't keep your eyes open
Right now my, my dear hubby is falling asleep on the sofa with the Total Pillow between his head and the sofa arm. Not normally a comfy position, but the open flower or donut shape of the Total Pillow cradles his head so it's not resting on the hard sofa arm and his neck is supported. He likes it. I may never get it back.

And I want it back.

I have scoliosis, so back pain is the norm for me. If I fold the Total Pillow in half and wrap it around the back of my neck, I can sit back in my desk chair, encouraging me to sit up straighter, rather than slumping forward. It's just about perfect for this, if you have a high-back chair (I do).

For other uses, like sitting on it, or using it for lower back support, it's a little too firm for my comfort, but then I'm very sensitive to pressure points. Sitting on it puts pressure on my sciatic nerve, so this wouldn't have worked for me as a postpartum pillow. The tiny beads in the pillow, kinda push back on you.

Most neck pillows are crescent shaped and have no handle, so you're stuck either carrying them or putting them in something else. The Total Pillow's ring shape makes it handy for carrying...just don't let the kiddos get hold of it, they might make it their new toy. You can carry it over your arm, or over a suitcase handle. If you have a purse or diaper bag with a detachable strap, you could put the strap through it.

One caveat: The tiny beads inside are a choking hazard for little ones. While the synthetic fabric cover is very tightly woven (the beads can't work their way through the fabric), and the stitching looks good, please keep it away from littles. A tag that comes on the pillow (to be removed by consumer) warns you to discard the pillow if it is punctured for this reason.

Buy it for $19.99 + P&H

How would you like to win one?
One of my readers will receive their very own Total Pillow!

Deadline for entering: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at midnight EST.

For each entry, please leave a separate comment. If your email address is not visible in your profile, please leave it in your comment.

Mandatory to enter: Leave me a comment telling me how you would use the Total Pillow.
Optional additional entries:
  • Follow Homeschooling Hearts & Minds in GFC---see sidebar (1 entry)
  • Subscribe via email---see sidebar (1 entry)
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking back to this post (3 entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
  • Tweet this giveaway (1 entry/day)
  • Enter my $60 CSN Stores giveaway (1 entry)
Disclosure: This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Total Pillow for this review. I received no compensation. This review reflects my honest and opinion and experience with this product.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mama, the Short Order Cook

Mary (age 6): "I want 2 pieces of toast with orange marmalade."
Mama: "How do you ask?"
Mary: "Can I pleeease have 2 pieces of toast with orange marmalade? But, I want the toast to not be brown."
Mama: "Not brown?"
Mary: "Not even a little bit brown. I don't like it brown. Just toasted, but not brown."
David (age 10): "So what you want is warmed bread?"
Mary: "Well, yeaaah, David, it's warm. It's toast. It's just not brown."

Vote for Me in the Big Bad Bedroom Breakup!

I am one of 86 finalists in the Big Bad Bedroom Breakup hosted by CSN Stores. The grand prize: a $10,000 bedroom makeover! My "new" bedroom could really use a makeover. The floor is fabulous, but other than that, well, I'll post some pics soon. If you would like to rate my entry (1-5 stars) and any or all of the other entries, head on over to CSN Stores Facebook page and take a gander. I'm #43 (Susan in Thurmont, MD). Click on the pic below (that's my entry pic) to go directly to my entry (but please, check out the other entries, too, and vote for as many as you want). Voting ends Sept. 10, 2010.

There's an interesting story behind this photo. Back in May, I stumbled across this contest at the last minute (think the day of the deadline). And then forgot about it. It was scheduled to have the winners announced about a month before our move. Fast forward to a week before our move. Most of my life is in boxes. And I get an email saying, we need a pic of your bedroom!. So I asked you want a photo of my half packed up bedroom...or of my empty new bedroom? The photo and the location is the old bedroom.

We had to fix up up to look a little like a bedroom. Hubby said "just leave it a mess." "This isn't a fix my clutter contest!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SunMate Winner!

And the winner of the SunMate giveaway is....
Would you believe it was #1?!

Our Village is a Little Different has 48 hours to email me (you can use the contact button to the right) with contact info...I'm bending the rules a little here, as the giveaway directions did state to leave an email addy. But, I hate to be a crab. If I don't hear from you in 48 hours, I will draw another winner. Congratulations!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Review: Clari-Tea Kettle---Win $60 to CSN Stores! CLOSED

From dinnerware to drill bits, CSN Stores has got it...a one-stop online shop with the things you need delivered right to your door. When they asked me to review something from one of their stores, I had a hard time choosing, but after browsing a bit, I found the perfect thing! Read on to find out how you can win something from CSN Stores.

I am a kettle killer.

I still have visions of the charred remains of my Mom's copper-bottom Revereware kettle more than 20 years later.

Is it that the whistles don't work...or that I'm so distracted that by the time I notice the whistle it's a rasping fizzle?

And why did it take me so long to realize that there are electric kettles out there. With automatic shut-off, no less.

I guess I'm just a little mole burrowed in my own little world.

The Aroma Clari-Tea

It's an electric water kettle and a teapot. Features:
  • cordless kettle the fits into a corded base
  • swivels 360 degrees in its base
  • min. capacity .7 liters
  • max. capacity 1.7 liters
  • glass body with stay-cool plastic handle
  • features a stainless steel infuser
  • switch lights up when it's on
  • automatically shuts off as soon as the water comes to a full rolling boil (205 degrees F)
  • stainless steel strainer in pour spout
  • easy to clean

The infuser is spring loaded. Adding your tea leaves (or even tea bags), is easy peasy. Once your water comes to a boil, just remove the lid.

Hook the infuser under the lid and put the lid back on the pot.

It is a little tricky when you've got boiling hot water in there, but not so tricky that I couldn't do it (and I'm not the most coordinated person in the world).

What I like:
  • Dual purpose! I can use it as a kettle or a teapot without cluttering my cabinet or counter with 2 things. And cabinet space is at a premium around here.
  • It heats up the water fast: about 3-1/2 min. for about a liter (that's the equivalent of a 4 cup teapot).
  • It's faster than a pot on the stove or the microwave...I just might start boiling the pasta water in my kettle.
  • The automatic shut-off takes a load off my mind.
  • The 360 degree swivel is great for the righty (me) and the lefty (hubby).
  • It has a great pour! Absolutely no drips.
  • It's nice and sturdy, does not feel fragile in the hand.
  • Watching the water boil through the glass kettle is wicked cool, (ok, I'm easily amused).
What I don't like (it wouldn't be me if this review was 100% positive):
  • It only has metric markings. It would be nice to have cup or oz. markings on the other side of the handle.
  • Minimum capacity is .7 liters...that's more than 2 large mugs. Since I'm the only tea drinker around here, I usually only make tea for one.
  • The water very quickly cools down after boiling. By the time I'm ready for my second cup, it's not hot enough to steep tea...but it's still plenty hot to drink if I used the kettle to brew the tea. So, good for making a pot, not so good for keeping water hot.
  • The white plastic tends to stain, especially around the spout.
  • The spout strainer doesn't fit tightly against the glass, so tea leaves do get into your cup. Not that the leaves bother me, more that the strainer seems unnecessary, but it's not really designed to be removable.
Overall, I love the Clari-Tea and am not sad to say good-bye to my days of water boiling over in the microwave. Or the watched pot that doesn't boil until I leave the room, only to return to a mess.

Purchase your own Aroma Clari-Tea (AWK-161) from CSN Stores for $49.99

Or would you like to win one?!

One lucky winner will receive his/her very own $60 one-time-use GC code (via email) to spend at any of CSN's 200 Stores. Spend it on the Clari-Tea or some other heart's desire. Here are the rules:
Deadline to enter: Sunday, August 1, 2010, midnight EST
The winner will be drawn and notified sometime on Monday, August 2, 2010.
Drawing is open to residents of the US and Canada.
Important! If you email is not visible in your profile, you must leave it in your comment---If I can't contact you, you can't win.

Mandatory to enter: Please visit CSN Stores and leave a comment telling me about an item you'd like to buy if you win.

Optional additional entries (please leave a separate comment for each entry):
  • Enter my Sunmate Giveaway before it ends---deadline is tomorrow, 7/23 at midnight (1 entry)
  • Follow me in GFC (1 entry)
  • Subscribe to Homeschooling Hearts & Minds via email---see my sidebar (1 entry)
  • Blog about it, linking to this post, leave you link in you comment (3 entries)
  • Follow me on Twitter (1 entry)
  • Tweet about it, you may copy and paste this text if you like, link to your tweet in your comment (1 entry per day): $60 GC #giveaway from CSN Stores at Homeschooling Hearts & Minds, ends 8/1
Disclosure: I received a the Clari-Tea AWK-161 from CSN Stores for review purposes. I received no compensation. This review reflects my honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Evolution vs. Creationism?

OK, I'm going to say it. I'll probably get blasted for it. But I'm going to say it.

Someone left me a comment on a previous post that re-opened this can of worms. It's my blog, so I'm going to say it.

I have a real problem with Christians who insinuate that others cannot really be Christian if they teach/believe in evolution.

Let me make it perfectly clear: I am not preaching evolution, here. The verdict is still out on that one. If you are interested, here is the Catholic Church's stance on the subject of evolution.

I have also not banned the mention of evolution from my home. My children understand that not everything they read in books is substantiated fact. Some of it is hypothesis. We are explorers in God's universe, hoping to understand and appreciate as much of it as our limited beings will allow.

But evolution vs. creation? Black or white. We're right and you are wrong. Why is it in human nature to see everything that way? What if we are all wrong? Let's not forget that we are seeing creation and, yes, even the Bible, through fallible human eyes, pulled in one direction, then the other by our physical faults and weaknesses.

And beyond that, we often are not even talking about the same thing.

You can't have an argument about anything unless everyone knows exactly what they are arguing about. And yet the word "evolution" gets thrown around as if it means the same thing to everyone. It doesn't. Even Darwin knew that.

The next time someone says the word "evolution" to you, ask them: "The evolution of what?" And see what they say.

Sometime I'll write about why Darwin is not evil incarnate (no, he's not a saint, but he's not evil).

And why Lincoln is no saint.

If I still have any readers.

When Mama's not Lookin'...

...the 10-year-old will be ruthlessly attacked by the 4-year-old, sustaining a cut and a goose-egg in the center of his forehead AirBender water cannon, a Happy Meal toy, I think. So much for makin' kids "Happy." Said 10-year-old will melt into a puddle of tears and feign ignorance when asked why there are puddles of water all over the kitchen floor and water is dripping from the hitherto before dry water cannon. (20 minutes later he will admit to filling said water cannon to see how it works---"Oh, that's what you mean, Mama!")

The 4-year-old will disappear into his room, letting out a blood-curdling scream when informed that the treasured water cannon will soon be entering a landfill (along with all those other "Happy" making toys).

Jump ahead about 20 minutes...

...after helping the 4-year-old with cleaning up after using the potty, Mama, hurries downstairs, fearful of leaving an unattended toddler to, oh, I dunno, pull a bag of cheddar pretzels off the table, stuff her face with pretzels and spread about a third of the bag all over the floor. Emma would be so cute with orange stains all around her mouth, all over her hands and all over her perfectly white, brand-new onesie, don't you think?

Mama carries the baby upstairs to change her diaper (the baby's), and other things, and pauses on the stairs when she hears the water running. Hmmm, the 4-year-old finished pottying at least 5 minutes ago...why is the water running?...

...and WHY is he up to his elbows in soap suds that are quickly overtaking the counter?


Peter dissolves into a puddle of tears and hides behind the door.

Mama: I am MAD at you, Peter!

Peter, very sweetly: If you stop being mad at me, I'll draw you a picture.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Woe is Math...

I admit it...I feel like a total failure when it comes to mathematics and my oldest son. My younger children are comfortable with math. To them it's just a part of life. A little game they play. Mary begs to do math. Really.

David (age 10) has a stress reaction every time he is approached with a math worksheet...or even the mention of the word "math."

It all started back when he was in school. Kindergarten was a breeze. Then came 1st grade...and the wheels came off.

He was stuck reading a 1st grade reader all year that he read from cover the cover the first day he brought it home.

He was taking spelling tests for 3 letter words, words he could spell with his eyes shut, and reading at a 5th grade level.

And he decided he absolutely hated math workbooks. Every single page was like wringing a quart of blood from him. Homework took hours. And every ounce of patience I had.

So second grade we did at home and things improved for him, but he still hated math.

Over the past 3 years, I've tried this math program and that math program (Singapore, Making Math Meaningful, Math Mammoth, Math on the Level, and supplements like Mathletics, Quarter-Mile Math, Calculadders, Time 4 Learning, and plenty more, I know I'm forgetting some:-). I've tried no math program in an effort to just shore up his current knowledge and use every day experiences.

The funny thing is...he's very good at math when he applies himself. He picks up concepts easily. But, he's convinced that he's not good at math. And he hates repetition. Once he's decided he knows something, he doesn't want to practice it. At all.

I'm at the end of my rope here. This kid wants to be a structural engineer or an architect or a scientist...some day. He needs the math. But now he's behind. I know there's still time for him to gain all the skills he needs for higher math, but I need to find something to use with him that we can both stick with without pulling our hair out. Preferably something mastery based, because endless spiraling review is something he won't stand for and it would take him forever to catch up that way. Possibly something that comes in smaller books instead of one huge book...or with a computer component.

I would say he's at a beginning 4th grade level (he'll be entering 5th, whatever that really means, in the fall).

Anybody have any suggestions? What math program do you use? And what do you like about it?

Review: Travel the World, A Schoolhouse Planner Module

The Schoolhouse Planner Modules are stand-alone unit studies (you do not need to own the planner to use them) in pdf form, complete with informational text, resource links, activities, coloring pages, copy work pages and more. The 56-page Travel the World (June 2010 module) is a basic overview of world geography, covering latitude, longitude, the hemispheres, the equator, the earth's axis and tilt, the continents and the oceans. The unit could be used for K-8 (optimally 2-5, this was a bit over the heads of my pre-k and 1st grader) and includes extension activities for high school use.

The text is hyper-linked to various sources on the web, including informational links, as well as little games and videos to help reinforce the material. Activities in the unit include mapping, a few mini-books for lapbooking, a crossword, a word search, fill-in the blank type questions, many pages of copywork (both in block print and cursive), and even a couple of recipes. Copy work includes both facts about the earth as well as verses from Scripture (translation used is King James, though I did not see that noted in the unit itself).

This is definitely a Christian study, with scriptural references throughout. On the first page we are informed:

The word geography comes from the Greek geo, which means earth, and graphy which mean to write. So geography is God's handwriting on the earth. When you study geography, you are studying God's story, and plan for man on earth.

Ignoring the grammatical errors in that paragraph, I was a bit taken aback by the logical errors. Sentence 2 simply does not follow sentence 1 in any logical sense. Geography means to write about (describe) the world. There's no so geography is God's handwriting on the earth about it. If you want to make it your mission to view geography as a study of God's handwriting on the earth, I'm cool with that. But, please, do not try to say that the Greek roots of the word say it's so. They do not.

To be fair, this was the only instance where I felt that the author's convictions interfered with the sharing of information and the only part I felt needed to be skipped with my children.

Overall, Travel the World is a compact, handy little study to serve as an introduction to world geography. While the information provided is fairly generic and could just at easily be read from an encyclopedia or retrieved through Google, it's helpful to have it collected here in one spot.

I like the hyper-linked text, but was surprised to find that many of the informational links simply repeat the information given in the text itself. The links to activities for latitude/longitude and placing countries and states are good finds and having them embedded in the study saves me from cluttering my browser's bookmarks (I never can organize my bookmarks, ahem).

I like the inclusion of rebus puzzles (our family loves word puzzles), but we simply could not get the first one. The second picture is so vague we weren't able to guess at what it was supposed to refer to (lucky the answers are included)...of course, someone else might get it right away.

The coloring pages keep little hands busy while listening to the text. The hand-drawn quality of the pictures is endearing and the use of little pictures within the individual country maps is a good way to link features with location. Plenty of practice coloring very small areas---good for fine motor skills.

The lapbooking components (2 mini-books) are minimal, but are meant merely as a starting point. Links are given to some general lapbooking resources and we often find that it's more fun to create your own lapbooking elements.

The high school extension activities are pretty good and could also be used for an advanced middle schooler or upper elementary student who needs more of a challenge. They are a nice mix of research and thinking questions. I may try these with my 10-year-old (he was out of town during the review period).

Worth a look if you want to ease into a study of the world.

Travel the World, the June 2010 Schoolhouse Planner Module, is available from the Old Schoolhouse Store for $7.95. Be sure to visit the link for a sample of the product.

I received a free copy of Travel the World for review purposes. I received no other compensation. This review reflects my honest opinion.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Science of Stuffed Animals

Peter: Look, Eeyore's shatterin'!
Daddy: ???
Peter: Eeyore's SHATTERIN'!
Daddy: What?
Peter: You know, the planet with the rings around it! {rolls eyes}
Daddy: Oh! Saturn! {smiles}
Peter: Look! Shatterin's got a tail!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peter is Practicing His Letters

He gets that they are symbols for sounds.

He also gets that these are not real words (though, he did ask me how to spell "Boom").

And he gets plenty of belly laughs when he asks Mama to "read" what he wrote.

Mama: umm puh mooo, moo pooo, uh mop mmm ppuh, mm, oop moom, opoooom, boom!
Peter: That's a bullet shooting through a machinery and going back into a cannon.
Mama: That's what it sounds like?
Peter: Yep!
Mama: Cool!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Purely Products

Here's an innovative product for our germaphobic society: an ultraviolet light sanitizer that's small enough to fit into your pocket. Or at least a modest-sized handbag. And it even doubles as a flashlight (perfect for when you're in a movie theater and can't find your last roll of lifesavers that just rolled under the seat in front of you---and once you get it back, you can use your handheld germ killer on it).

Introducing Purely Products' Pocket Purifier.

  • kills 99.9% of 99.9% of germs that cause colds, and flu, plus e-coli, salmonella, mold, fungus and MRSA staph
  • has an effective area of about 1" x 4"
  • simply hover the light over the object to be sanitized for 10-12 seconds, and, voila, you're good to go
  • super handy for sanitizing dropped binkies, sippies, lovies...anything your darling precious can toss into the street (or on the restaurant floor, bleh!)
  • runs on 4 AA batteries (not included)
  • Available in demure black or spunky hot pink
  • retails for $29.95

And does it live up to the hype?

Hard to say. I really wanted to try to set up some sort of trial with petri dishes (Debbie did, check out the experiment she did with her kiddos) to truly test this thing...but, alas, I am bacterial culture challenged (at least of the controlled, scientific kind, please don't look in my fridge). I decided to concentrate on not losing the Pocket Purifier in the move. I succeeded...yes! But as far as whether or not it kills germs? I'll have to take that on faith. Debbie's results have made me a believer!

As I'm clearly not a germ killing expert, I'll concentrate on the construction, durability and ease of use.

This is what my batteries looked like after fighting with the Pocket Purifier's battery compartment. The construction is such that the batteries need to be pushed down and the cover slid on (fitting into little grooves) at the same time. The cover on the unit I received does not fit on very easily. Possibly a defect, but worth mentioning. It took a few minutes to get the batteries in and the Purifier back together.

The flashlight feature is a nice bonus. I do keep a small flashlight in my purse, so having one built in saves me from carrying extra stuff around.

And the main event? The switch slips to UV light quite easily. You can't sanitize anything you are holding in your hand---the product warns against exposing your eyes or skin to the UV rays---so simply place the item on a flat surface (the UV area is perfect for coins...probably one of the filthiest things we carry around) and hold the light on it for 10-12 seconds. Easy peasy.

Not very practical for large objects, but definitely handy to have when the baby tosses the 10th spoon on the floor in a restaurant...hey, I wonder if you can use it on food?! Hmm...

Purely Products is offering a special discount to my readers: until August 5, 2010 you can get 25% off your entire order (excluding UV germicidal replacement bulbs). Be sure to check out their other products including the SunMate.

This handy little gadget fits into the palm of your hand and measures the intensity of the sun's rays. Take it with you to the beach, the pool, even the park, click a little button and get an idea of your UV exposure risk. 1 or 2 lights and you're probably ok, but when that little buzzer sounds at 3 or more lights...might be time to head indoors or at least apply some sunscreen.

The SunMate retails for $19.95 and operates on 3 watch batteries (included).

Purely Products is giving away a SunMate to one of my readers!

Drawing closes at midnight (EST) on Friday, July 23, 2010.
To enter, just leave me a comment telling me what you would use a Pocket Purifier on. Be sure to leave your email addy in your comment if it is not available in your profile. If you win and I can't find your email easily, I'll have to draw another winner.e

Optional: For an additional entry, follow my blog in GFC (if you already follow me, give yourself another entry).

This is a Mama Buzz review. The product was provided by: Purely Products . I received no compensation for this review. The views reflected here are purely my own.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Walmart Dash

Amount of time it took Emma to remove shoe #1?
-2 minutes
Came off in the parking lot.

Amount of time it took Peter to whine, "I wanna go hooome?"
1 minute
At least he waited until we were in the store.
Too bad he decided to go off like a siren every other minute.

Amount of time wasted randomly wandering the aisles trying to remember what I was there for?
20 minutes
Would you believe I had a list?
Seems I have a hard time concentrating
when there's a siren in the background.

Amount of time before I realized that Emma had removed shoe #2...and that I had no idea where it was?
About 30 minutes
This would also be about the time
I realized that we needed to make tracks
to make it to the library in time for the sharks program.

Amount of time spent retracing our steps looking for the shoe?
15 minutes
We found it about 3 minutes before the sippy went missing.

Sigh, is it any wonder I prefer to shop at midnight?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Background Graphics and Dial-Up Don't Mix, Folks

So, I've been toodling around the internet and I have to say I'm avoiding any blogs that use graphics as a background. They are so sloooow to load and many don't load properly at all, leaving garish lines. Or worse...the graphic doesn't load at all, and the blog is set to some bizarre background color which appears instead...too bad the mint green text on the fuchsia background causes my eyes to spaz out. Here's a tip: make sure your background color is set to something that works with your text color, even if you have a background image.

According to the most current figures I could find, about 9% of U.S. home internet users are on dial up. Many will intentionally turn off images to get faster load times...make it easy for them to read what you have to say and they might come back.