Monthly Archives: November 2010

Things I’m Thankful For

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Ah, Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday.

We had a larger crew than normal at my parent’s house for Thanksgiving this year. Most of us have been through some hard times this year, with several people joining us who had previously had other family to be with this time last year. Spending the day surrounded by family, I had much time to think about what made the day so special.

I’m so lucky to still have my parents around. They were very happy to have a large crew to feed and several children to keep track of, including 2 furry ones. Though we’d planned on having more people join us, everybody called to talk to the family, even the ones calling from the hospital.

Though my grandparents are rapidly deteriorating, they remembered the names of my children and asked to tell them both Happy Thanksgiving, even though one of them can’t understand yet.

We had friends join us this year and I am so thankful that we can include them in our family. As hard as this year has been for so many, we’re still able to open our homes and help others.

As has been pressed home so much this year, time is short. I’m thankful to be able to spend time with family and to know they love me and they know I love them.

While the house was warm and the food was fantastic, it was the company that made this holiday so fantastic. As my children get older, I hope they can come to appreciate Thanksgiving for what it means to us as a family and love this time of year as much as I do.


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Filed under family, thanksgiving, tradition

Dr. PingOS; or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Linux

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Around this time last year, my laptop had a meltdown. This was helped along by the cracked monitor and the sticky something that was spilled and killed the lamp in my screen. I was not a happy camper. I discovered if I hooked it up to an external monitor that the keyboard and mouse worked ok but I was still operating on Windows Vista and it kept crashing with increasing frequency.

In April of this year, I had a friend come to visit. He took one look at my computer and said “I’m putting Linux on your laptop so you can actually use it.”

Linux? I panicked. I don’t know computers well enough to use Linux! It’s been 20 years since I’ve had to type anything into a command line. Please don’t make me look like an idiot, I begged.

He told me there was nothing to worry about but I didn’t believe him. Didn’t only hackers and computer nerds use Linux? I was an enthusiast, at best.

He installed Ubuntu 10.04 while I was at work and when I came home, it was up and running. He had me type in my password on the sign in page.

Huh, I thought as it opened up. This doesn’t look too scary. The menus were at the top of the screen instead of at the bottom but he showed me how to change it if I wanted to. My files and applications were easier to find than with the Windows start menu. I’d been using Open Office for a little over a year so that wasn’t a big change, except I had the new version which was all shiny.

Well, but what about getting on line? I loved Firefox but it was a total memory hog on Windows. Opening it on my laptop literally meant I couldn’t use anything else but I liked it a lot better than other browsers I’d used. It came pre-installed and, while still a memory hog, my operating system wasn’t taking up most of my available memory. I can be online and write at that same time. Well, in theory. I still get distracted by the shiny online.

Freecell! What about my solitaire game of choice? He showed me the software center, which is on the bar at the top of my screen, where I can install and un-install many, if not most, of the applications available for Linux. Oh, sure, there was freecell but what’s that one that looks like Tetris? Or Lemmings? Bust a Move? Forget Freecell, man, I like these games better!

The one thing I hadn’t found an immediate replacement for was Microsoft Publisher. I love Publisher. Slowly, I ventured out into the Linux community to see if there was a recommendation. What I found astounded me. Yes, people recommended a program which I still haven’t had a chance to explore yet, but it was the attitude that astonished me. I wasn’t a n00b. People were polite and actually wanted to help me. Getting help from Windows is like asking a 14-year-old for, well, just about anything. I felt like I was dealing with grownups while I was getting help for my Linux questions and that was incredibly refreshing.

The great part about all of this? It was all free (that’s free as in freedom and free as in no cost). There are industrial versions of Linux that are meant for large corporations that do cost money but, from my understanding, they don’t cost nearly as much as Windows. Also, I could have run the whole thing off a 4gb memory stick had I really, really wanted to keep Windows on my laptop.

Now, my computer boots up in 30 seconds. I can get online in less than a minute. I’m learning how to use several programs that are supposed to replace other software that I used to play around with. The games are fun and kinda cute. They certainly run better.

If you yourself are interested in checking out linux, check out Ubuntu or Linux Mint, both great for new users. Download the file, burn to a disc, pop it in, and try out the live CD feature, allowing you to demo the operating system without even installing it.

There’s a learning curve but you know what? I think I’m smart enough to use Linux.

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Filed under Firefox, Frozen-Bubble, Linux, New User, Pingus, Quadrapassle, VIsta, Windows Sucks, Windows Vista

A Trip to the Grocery Store

Walking through the book and magazine aisle in the grocery store, I kept looking around and saying, “I know her” or “I’ve met him” or “I went to school with their kids.” There were several books that I could remember conversations I had with the authors.

My aunt is mentioned in the book Gods Guest List by Debbie Macomber. It mentions the book she was writing, which she has since published and which resides on my book shelf.

This trip to the grocery store reminded me why I want to write. I want my friends and family to be able to take a similar walk, point to a book and say, “Hey, I know her,” and it’s my book.

Maybe I should work on my novel some more.

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Filed under ambition, novel, writing


I am not on a diet. I repeat, I am not on a diet. I don’t believe in dieting. I am currently affecting a temporary lifestyle change. No, they’re not the same thing. Let me explain.

I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who I will refer to here as Panda. She’s happy, talkative, cuddly and lactose intolerant. Anybody who is lactose intolerant can tell you how uncomfortable ingesting dairy can be. With a baby who can’t express what hurts much more than to cry, it’s enough to break a mother’s heart.

I’ve been told that many moms at this point just stop breastfeeding and put the baby on a soy formula. Of course, I’m not most moms and I rarely do things the easy way.

I’ve cut dairy out of my diet as much as I could. Some things are made with milk as the wet ingredient but they contain so little that it doesn’t affect her. We’ve learned quickly how to discover what the problem food. Even when I really, really want it to be something else, as will be explained later on.

Due to a thyroid problem, I’m not supposed to eat much soy so finding substitutes for certain things has been difficult though surprisingly fun. Rice milk is really good on cereal. Chocolate almond milk is really good to drink straight. I put almonds on salads instead of cheese.

But, for the most part, I’ve done without. For some things, it was a fight. Especially the chocolate.

For a very long time, I refused to believe that milk chocolate was causing a problem. However, not eating any for 2 days gave conclusive proof that milk chocolate was causing my daughter to be uncomfortable.

I fought it. I ate more just because I wasn’t supposed to. I’d given up milk. I’d given up cheese. Please, don’t ask me to give up chocolate. Reluctantly, I got rid of all the chocolate candy in the house. I stopped making chocolate chip cookies. When I went grocery shopping, I cried over the hostess cupcakes and the donuts.

Since giving up everything I have, I still have rebellious impulses. I have to change the channel when a pizza commercial comes on. When my family is eating enchiladas, my turkey wrap just doesn’t look appetizing. Yes, I do have rebellious impulses. But, it’s not for me. It’s for my daughter.

And it’s only temporary.


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Filed under daughter, diet, dieting sucks, food, life

I wanna do bad things with you . . .

For the weekend sexiness, I’m sharing some of my favorite characters from HBO’s Trueblood.

Eric Northman, Sheriff of Area 5

and Sophie-Ann, the Queen of Louisiana

Anybody else watching? Who’s your favorite?

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Filed under eric northman, pictures, sexy pictures, sophie-ann, trueblood

Photo Critiques

I took some pictures of some bags I was making to put up on Etsy. I needed a background other than a cluttered desk so I put some fabric down that I pulled at random from my stash.

While the fabric is definitely cool, I’m thinking I’ll be doing some new photos. What do you think?

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Filed under bags, Etsy, pictures, sewing

The View From My Window

The colors of autumn won’t last long but I just had to share this. This is what I see when I look directly to the right of my computer and sewing machine. It’s both inspiring and distracting.

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Filed under colors, creativity, inspiration, nature