Thursday, November 18, 2004

Please Update Your RSS Feeds

GOLLY BLOG HOWDY HAS MOVED!

So you're wondering what happened to Golly Blog Howdy? Think I stopped posting altogether??

NO! The RSS feed is just quiet because I'm not posting from the old Blogger URL anymore!


Please reset your RSS feed link to this.


Then you'll get all the Golly Blog Howdy goodness again!

(*whew* - that solves one of the complication of the move.)

Monday, November 15, 2004

GO AWAY! TO MY NEW HOME!!!

GOLLY BLOG HOWDY HAS MOVED! PLEASE GO TO http://GollyBlogHowdy.com!!!

***GollyBlogHowdy.com!!!***
***GollyBlogHowdy.com!!!***
***GollyBlogHowdy.com!!!***
=====================================
Remember Item Two?

Here's the exciting news -- I HAVE A NEW BLOG HOME!!

With my OWN DOMAIN NAME!!

Using software that is NOT BLOGGER!!

And has a WORKING BLOGROLL!!

Yes, it's called GollyBlogHowdy.com!!!

Of COURSE you can COME OVER NOW!!


(No It's Not Yet Finished And Most The Links Inside The Posts Are Broken But The Blog Itself Is Working And That's The Only Place You'll Find Me Now So Go There Already.)

Please don't post comments here any more. I tried to disable further comments, but Blogger (good riddance!) is taking so golly bob howdy long to change my settings, I cut bait.

Why are you still here? GO ALREADY!! See you on the flip-flop.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

GBH May Be Temporarily Offline

...and not due to Blogger (for a change!)

This blog may look altered or may entirely disappear for five minutes, three hours, two days - I dunno. I'm not the techie here (but you all knew that). Suffice it to say that if you have stopped by here and things look odd or abandoned, rest assured, I'm around and am...working...on...a...project.

*big grin*

See you soon.

Homeschool Resources 11.14.04

I have found a new online resource for homeschooling lessons, printables, articles, helpful tips for getting started with homeschooling -- just tons of stuff, a great deal of it for FREE. All you homeschoolers and homeschooling wannabes, check it out.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Two Items

Item One:

A sure sign that this blog is finally hitting its stride: I am now getting spum sent to my gollybloghowdy email account!!

Whoo-hoo!! I'm on the map!!!

- This Pollyanna view brought to you by Half-Full, Incorporated.


Item Two:

Ohhhhhhhh I've got some exciting news and I'm so excited and I can't tell any of you about it yet but oooh I am psyched and I can hardly wait and it's gonna be so kewl and oooh oooh oooh!! (*breaks into Happy Dance; not to be confused with Island Dance*)

- This message brought to you by the Coalition of Women Who Sometimes Speak Like 14-year-old Girls When They Are Ooooh Excited About Something Really Kewl.

I'm Mellie Helen, and I approve these messages.

Amazing Mom Feat 11/13/04

How to Survive a Theme Park Day on $20 Total:

- First, ensure you have on you a twenty dollar bill, some miscellaneous change in the bottom of your purse, and no plastic.

- Drop husband off for out-of-town work meeting in touristy town. Consider how to keep kids occupied for five hours.

- Check purse for annual passes to touristy town theme park, and find them present. Smile. Surprise kids by driving into theme park parking lot. Hear children squeal with delight.

- Pay $7 for parking (leaves $13).

- Wonder how the golly bob howdy you're going to make it through the next five hours on $13 for three people.

- Resist any and all requests for trinkets and momentos which come with a price tag. Instead, deftly steer children toward the lovely gardens and discuss colors, scents, names of plants. When they see yet another shop or cart of toys, engage them in the antics of the animals seen in the park and ask them to show you their best imitation of how they walk and how they sound. Focus their attention on the atmosphere music being piped throughout the grounds, and encourage them to dance to the music. (Earn one demerit for leaving movie camera at home while attempting to mentally capture their moment of joy in your heart forever.)

- When ordering lunch, ask the server whether foregoing the cutesy plastic container for the kids meal results in a lesser charge (answer: yes, by a dollar per meal. Why have I never thought to ask that question before?)

- For two little kids and one mom, order the following: two kids meals (per meal: 3 chicken strips plus fries; drink not included), side of watermelon chunks.

- When son asks if he can have "just one of those strawberries" lining the counter as display, go ahead and ask the service person if there is one (fresh) strawberry he may have. When she responds that they don't sell strawberries, ask whether they just might have one or two in the back, while advantageously showcasing adorable children, their hopeful, angelic faces beaming with anticipation. Receive plate of five juicy berries gratis.

- Pay bill, sit down in scenic locale, divide the strips (two per person) and distribute fries, melon and berries.

- Everyone sips off the Gatorade Mom brought in the stroller.

- Gather together last remaining sraps of funds to purchae one large bag of cotton candy for two extremely cooperative, non-whining, and obedient kids who more than deserve it.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Blog It Forward

A lovely idea was spawned by Buzz, and I am latching (or should I say "Latte-ing") onto it. Especially as my golly-bob-howdy blogrolling feature is refusing to play nicely, this will be a fun way to let all three of you know who else I'm reading on a regular basis. This weekly featurette is supposed to come out on Wednesdays, but, well, what with all the things (and Things) I've been dealing with lately, I am a bit tardy. No matter: without any further ado, let's press on now with...



Our debut featured blog is (drumroll, please....) Moogie's World!

(rabid applause ensues)

I came across Moogie because, well, she came across me, left some comments, and I got to know her blog. I adore her blog. The blog's description at the top of the page is so familiar, it could be on mine. Her current offerings includes treatises on topics such as chicken dance lyrics, farts, and blueberry crunch coffee (no, that's not a typo). Her basic musings are on family, friends, and life in general, and is a great read. Oh, and she blogrolls Golly Blog Howdy, so that immediately gets her a kiss sent all the way from her former Golden State.

So go check Moogie out. And spread the love...you too may Blog It Forward. Please link back here if you use the BiF button above (which you would, naturally, serve on your own host).

Who will be next week's reciptient of the Blog It Forward program? It could be YOU! (Hey, new incentive to comment here, eh?) Tune in next Wednesday! (or, maybe Thursday. or even Friday. Just stay tuned.)

Slap That Bass, Brother!

What with the boots and the name game, I've obviously been on a silly bent lately. Here's more silliness, which I had originally found on the DuDu's Dad Desz blog: Create A Rock Band.

I named my band, The Rock'em Sock'em Robots.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Twiddling Thumbs and Musak

Today was the day of The Doctor Visit. For the Thing. Well, turns out, there are four Things. Good, because you never know when you'll need a spare Thing. The clock is now ticking while the insurance approves/lays down bets/guesses at whim the next steps to take and whether it's worthy of their coverage. So I'll just be twiddling my thumbs and losing sleep 'til they decide to get back to me.

Incidentally, did you know that the traditional method of clasping hands with fingers intertwined and thumbs rotating about themselves is the sign for "Quaker" in American Sign Language? (See? This is an educational blog.)

Whenever I go to the doctor, I always feel like a car getting a maintenance check...or a long deferred overhaul. Particularly noteworthy are the times I'm at an OB/GYN visit -- "Okay, ma'am, let's just have a look under the hood..."

My mom has told and retold her story of visiting her GYN many years ago. This was back when every doctor's office played Musak in the rooms. The story goes that the doc was just getting to his business, when out of the Musak speakers comes the song, "I'll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places."

Still cracks me up. Good, because today...I need a laugh.

Work, Work, Work

Setting: The dinner table.
Time: Dinner time.
Scene: Rainbow is sleeping upstairs, so it's just the mom and the guys. Mom is savoring the beef she lovingly prepared this morning and roasted in the crock-pot all day long. Having wolfed down all the mashed potatoes, the guys want more of the spud, but alas, none remains to be had. Thus, they interrupt their dining to spontaneously make some more.


MERLIN
...aaaand then we stir it up like that...

ASTRO
Daddy, this is some hard work!

MERLIN
Yeah, it is...

NARRATOR: Hard work. Yes. Combining water, boullion, milk, and butter into a Pyrex bowl, shoving it in the mic for three minutes, dumping in flakes and stirring it around is tantamount to torture. And they wonder why it takes Mom so long to make dinner.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Your Moment of Zen: Boots

No explanation here other than, watch out: it's dangerously 60s.

Thanks, Merlin! From www.scopitones.com

Every Cloud Has A Silver...Link

Having finished my Island Dance, I succumbed once again to the disappointment that only a near-zero traffic report can bring. Back to the laptop to catch up on other blogs. As if destiny guided my mouse clicks, I lit upon MoMMY's blog and found something to lift my spirits.

A little droop in your drawers today? Click here. And when asked, type in your first name.

Blog Subluxations

Golly Bob HOWDY was that a screeching halt. I think my blog has whiplash.

One day -- ONE DAY -- off of Blog Explosion, and my traffic has fallen from the usual three readers down to a couple of microbes and a dust bunny.

-ASIDE- Anyone who has visited, read, commented, and/or blogmarked here since I stopped BE is definitely NOT a microbe, nor a dust bunny. You are Champions of Allegience. I must be speaking about the other people. -End Of Aside-

I hopped onto the BE train before I even knew whether there were any other resources out there to introduce one's blog to others. (weepy, doe-eyed voice) "He was the only one I've ever...known," she said quietly.

Thus it is that I am only now learning that there are things called "web rings" ("Oh, you are SUCH a Newbie!" "Am not!" "Are TOO!!" "Am not INFINITY!!"). So I've joined up with a couple of those along with some blog catalogue sites. Perhaps we'll see readership zoom up to six. Quick, Ma, run out to Costco to stock up on them party platters!

Until then, it's mostly me and the crickets. Hey....if no one's here, then I can do whatever I want...I think I'll dance naked on the kitchen island and sing the "Oh Where Is My Hairbrush" song while eating an entire pint of Godiva ice cream! No one will know!! Bwaa-haa-haa-haaa!

--oooh. Except maybe my big brother, who occasionally reads this. And is a minister of music at a church.

Well, at least I'm singing a VeggieTales song...


UPDATE: Okay, I can just hear many of you saying, "What in tarnation is subluxations?" (Or words to that effect.) If you ask, it means you likely do not visit chiropractors on any regular basis. "Subluxation" is the term used to describe a spine and/or other skeletal and nerve connections that are out of alignment. As when one suffers from whiplash (hence the connection between headline and post). No charge for this Vocabulary Lesson; after all, we DO claim to discuss homeschooling matters here. "We" meaning, of course, "Me".

Graduation

My son has just moved up in the world. Astro has bid farewell to his bulky, multi-clicking, five-point harness and said hello to his car seat's new life as a booster. He's really growing up.

*sniff* Before you know it, he'll be driving all by himself, going to college, gettin' married...*sniff*...never calling his mama...*sniff*...

No, no; I'm okay.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ants and Butts and Things

Random thoughts:

1. I am really, really, really tired of ants. Really.

2. Rainbow has a flat bottom. I mean, a really flat bottom. That is, the kind that will, upon maturity, seek out polyester fiberfill assistance from Frederick's of Hollywood to help, er, round out her departing view. I can attest that this characteristic descends from neither her father or her mother. By any stretch of the imagination.

3. I'm having a...thing...checked on Thursday. It may be nothing, but these types of things run in our family, so maybe there's something to it. If you're inclined to prayer, I'd be much obliged. If you're not inclined to prayer, good thoughts are cheerfully accepted as well.



I Pod, You Pod, We All Pod for iPod

Have you seen sites with that "get a free iPod" offer? I've seen 'em here and there, wasn't really interested and thought it sounded like a scam anyway, so I basically ignored the mentions.

Then Merlin got an iPod. Spent $400 for a 40GB, Non-Photo iPod in silver and white. Uses it all the time.

Tiny, sleek, shiny, holds tons of data. Sure it can store a gazillion songs, but it can also be used as an extra hard drive. Merlin used it to back up my computer, for instance. Hm. So it's not just a glorified juke box. Hmm.

I noticed that some of those "free" iPods had monochrome screens; others have color screens, thus affording a pocket-sized photo album. One can give a little scrapbook presentation set to music on the color iPod. What proud Mommy wouldn't want that? Hm again.

But there must be some catch. And there is: ya gotta complete one of the offers, and get five other people to do the same (to get the monochrome screen, which won't allow you to view photos), or ten other people to do the same (to get the color screen version).

Aw, I don't wanna sign up and pay for some service I don't want. But, those iPods are pretty expensive, and if I sign up for a service that costs less than the iPod...hm...

I clicked a link to check out the iPod offer further. Turns out, there are some offers on there that require NO obligation to spend one thin dime, but just "try their service out" -- and THAT consitutes "completing an offer." Hmm some more.

I could use virtually the same effort to get a monochrome version or a color version. Duh - I'll go for the color version.

So I did it. And the offer I signed up for is something I think I'll actually use, is super darn cheap, will save me money, and once again -- I have zero obligation to continue using that service. It cost me nothing to complete this offer. If I choose not to use this particular service, no worries -- and no charges.

So, gee, if you'd like a free iPod...and are willing to sign up for a low or no cost service which may not even come with any obligation to continue...and oh yes, help me obtain my little box of hardware delight...then click here. Heck, you spend 30 seconds on a blog page to get half a credit; go spend 30 seconds finding out about the free iPod and get a device worth $500.

Monday, November 08, 2004

BlogExplosion Anonymous - 1st Meeting

Hello, my name is Mellie Helen, and I’m a blogoholic.

(hears the two or three people which comprise the crowd offer up a somber, “Hello, Mellie Helen.”)

I’m a brand new member here at BlogExplosion Anonymous; um, I’m kind of uncomfortable laying myself bare like this, and right now (nervous laugh) I’d really like to blogsurf. (licks lips.) I’m admitting that my problem is bigger than I am, and I’m ready to take on my demons to free myself and return to a life of normalcy. However un-normal that was.

(deep breath.)

Up until just about a month ago, I was merely a blurker. I’d look at a very few blogs, but never comment on anything, or contact the authors; I never got involved. It was purely social blurking, and I only blurked the big names -- you know them: bOING bOING, FARK, J-Walk, the Disney Blog...but I was content to read and not, ya know, get all caught up in that world. I only checked ‘em two, three times a week tops, and never spent more than a total of, say, half an hour perusing all of them.

Then one day, a friend urged me to try blogging myself. Heh, it always seems to start with “friends”, doesn’t it (more nervous laughter). At first, I eschewed the idea right off the bat. What Me Blog?, I laughed. I don’t know code. I don’t know html from ftp. Plus, I’m an extremely busy mom and just don’t have time for such a thing.

Oh no, it’s easy, the friend reassured me. Gave me a link that set up my blog for free. It’s always free at first, isn’t it. (sees audience members nod knowingly.) What she didn’t tell me was that there was a catch: just one taste of blogging, and you’re hooked. My friend, the pusher.

Since then, I’ve found myself spending time on the blog, first setting it up, finding interesting things to post on it, getting it up and running. My kids were watching tapes on the TV; they’re okay. But then the video watching stretched to two hours...three...four...while I told myself, it’s only temporary; after all, I am in the process of setting up my blog. It’s not like I’ll always be on the computer this much.

Truer words were never thought. As I got more sucked in to the world of blogging, I discovered what I thought would be a fun tool. It turned out to be my ultimate nemesis. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you. Let’s just say it out loud: BlogExplosion. Yes, we know BlogExplosion, and even affectionately refer to it as “BE”. Like it’s a friend. A friend with a hook in our souls.

It was evident now that I was just fine letting my kids sit in front of the tube for up to six hours at a time. “It’s not that bad,” I’d tell myself. “After all, we don’t have television and all of the tapes here are either educational or otherwise fully acceptable.” Never mind the glazed look on their faces. Never mind they were not on their usual bathing or eating schedules. Never mind the abandonment issues they will be discussing with a therapist years down the line.

I was getting wholly consumed with blogging. Get a blogroll going! GASP! The blog rolling thingie isn’t working!! Stay up late into the wee hours of the morning, trying to get it to work. Unsuccessful, I lay myself down in bed only one hour before it’s time to get up. I get up, toss the kids some juice and toast, and sit myself back down to check the blogging again. “How many credits do I have left? Perhaps I’ll make another banner! OH now why did one person rate me a 10 and the very next person rate me a 1? What’s wrong with my blog? I know it’s not the wittiest or most cleverly designed blog around, but....uh oh, my credits are running out. No one will see my blog when surfing. Must spend the next three hours surfing to gain credits! But, oh, I SO want to catch up on reading some of the blogs that really stood out to me as excellent ones -- so then I spend hours reading everyone’s fabulous stuff, while my husband is wondering why there isn’t a clean shirt to be found in the house and the cat drops all his fur from the stress of begging for food, unnoticed.

Then tonight, I recieved my intervention. DH -- who spends his LIFE on the computer -- confronted me and mentioned that he felt that perhaps I was spending a little too much time on the laptop. My knee-jerk reaction was to say, what are you talking about...and I instantly felt defensive...and didn’t want to stop my blogsurfing...and...and...

...and then I realized it was past 7:00pm and hadn’t yet fed my family their dinner.

So that’s it. I’m taking a hiatus from actively surfing and BlogExploding. I will continue to write my blog, and I will continue to read the gems I’ve blogmarked, and may still occasionally check the directory for new material. But I will no longer blogsurf to gain credits, and when the credits on my banners run out, that’ll be the end of my advertising for a time. I need to grab hold of this, and now, before my toddler and pre-schooler are in college and I miss their lives. I mean, we only homeschooled one day this past week. One day!

Those three of you who enjoy Golly Blog Howdy, please do keep coming ‘round. Tell your friends to check it out. Everyone is welcome to fall on by and be an elite reader of the Really Tiny Blog That Almost No One Will Know About Or At Least Hear About For A While.

I’m not writing off BlogExplosion. It’s fine for those who can hold their blogging. But it’s obviously an issue for me, at least for now. I shall remain a member, and I may even come back for full participation. But in the meantime...my family needs me. And I need my family.

If you’ve a mind, you’re welcome join the club.

Do I get a chip now?

UPDATE (AKA, MAKING THIS POST EVEN LONGER): Well, golly bob howdy whattya know. I only just this morning learned that one can purchase credits and banner impressions from BE. On the Members page, there’s a Buy Advertising link. It’s $5 for 500 credits; $9 for 1000 credits; etc. Banners are $7 for 5,000 impressions, $12.50 for 10,000 impressions, etc. Sure, it’s basically pimping to pay people to view your site. But, let’s face it, so is “visiting” a site for only 30 seconds just to get credits. If I add up the hours I was spending in pure surf time and calculate what each hour of my time is worth to me and my family vs. the benefit of getting my three readers to come visit, well, it’s a no-brainer to buy the credits. Plus this way, I can spend more time actually reading the blogs that interest me, rather than eternally surfing.




Delivery Room Dangers

As I come across blogs about pregnancy and teeny tiny little babies, I am brought back to the times in my life when I got to experience the joys of expecting and then holding sweet scented little angels close to my heart for the very first time.

Got me reminiscing about my experiences in the hospital, and I remembered a bizarre experience: Rainbow was born with very long fingernails. I mean, she could have been a hand model for a manicure salon specializing in those Dragon Lady nails. That's not the bizarre part, though. The poor little thing was scratching her papery newborn skin something awful, so I did what any loving mother would do -- I asked the nurse for a pair of nail clippers.

"No, ma'am, we cannot provide you with clippers."

"Oh," I said, privately thinking they probably needed to do the clip job themselves so they could charge my insurance company $543 for the procedure plus an additional $187 in disposal fees. "Then, how soon can you take care of clipping her nails, because they're terribly long, see, and--"

"No, no; we won't clip her nails either."

Um. Okay. Just then, my OB/GYN walked into the room. Finally, someone who might have some sense about this! So I asked her for the clippers, and, to my surprise, she gave me the same response as the nurse.

"What?? Are you serious?" I calmly shouted. This was so ludicrous, I was half-expecting a Candid Camera crew to pop out from behind the modesty curtains at any moment. This was, in my humble opinion, definitely silly policy, but to be fair, I was getting somewhat, er, uber-worked up over the matter. Must have been the hormones. "Why can't you give me clippers for my daughter's nails??"

"Liability issues," was the deadpan reply from my doctor.

My eyes narrowed. "Let me get this straight: you have no problem pumping me full of drugs, sticking a risky epidural hook-up into my spine, screwing a monitor into the top of my not-quite-yet-born baby's skull, fer cryin' out loud, and you're concerned about liability for using fingernail clippers???

"That's right," she calmly stated.

"Well, just what am I supposed to do?" I queried, gritting my teeth into an obviously fake pleasant smile.

Her solution? "Bite them."

I didn't say it, but I thought it loud: "Bite me.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Incredible Putz

Per The Disney Blog:

Quick Quote (some emphases added):
Earning an estimated 70.7 Million Dollars, "The Incredibles" beats Pixar's previous best weekend opening numbers from Finding Nemo. That's a good sign if you ask me.

The three-day weekend total was the best ever for a film released by Disney, and Saturday's $29.4 million was the highest single-day tally for Disney.

----

And Eisner's letting 'em go. What a putz.

(We were part of the Saturday talley, and yes, loved every single minute of it, closing credits included. If you haven't yet, and heck, even if you already have, go get tix to see this on the big screen. Now.)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Pickin' Persimmons

On a recent fine, clear, autumn day, I took the young'uns out to pick persimmons. Why? Because they were there. And they were beautiful. And we had permission. Permission fer pickin' purty persimmons. *grin*

Cruising through wine country, I saw a sign: FUYU PERSIMMONS U PICK. I thought it might be a fun excursion, despite the fact that (a) I only vaguely knew what a persimmon was, and (b) I had no idea what to do with them once we picked them.

Fully expecting these to be the acorn-shaped, kinda mushy fruit I've only known because of the Persimmon Bread my aunt would make, I was surprised to find these small, squat, little orange lumps that were hard as apples. The proprietor informed me that these were "Fuyu" persimmons, and they are eaten while hard and firm, with or without the skins.

Out we ventured to the Very Steep Slope of Death, buckets in hand, little kids hanging onto Mommy for balance and dear life, to experience the bounty of the Lord in the form of these curious fruits. Little hands reached up, twisted the small orange packages on their stems, and delightedly plucked the fruit, faces beaming as if they had just accomplished an amazing feat. And it is amazing, if you think about it.

Not wanting to go overboard with tons of produce I wouldn't know what to do with, we walked away with a modest amount:



(Oh, that tiny little lemon-looking thing in Rainbow's bucket? It's not a lemon. It's a Mexican Lime. So I'm told.)

Once home, I Googled and found this (includes a nice homeschooling unit on the Fuyu persimmon) and this (check out the daily values for fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C - WOW!) . We sliced and ate, and discovered that the Fuyus are Majorly Sweet. I mean, these actually qualify for that standard Grandma quote, "It's Nature's candy!"

So if you can find any Fuyu persimmon trees in your neck of the woods, or if your grocer carries these precious parcels of perfection, be sure to enjoy them. What a wonderful gift from autumn.

The Rating Game

Whilst cruising along in BlogExplosion, I've seen some folks asking others to rate their blog. I've seen ratings of other blogs, I've rated some, and this blog has received ratings too.

But what, exactly, do these ratings tell us?

Hm, ratings are based on...what precisely? Why is a blog awarded a "2" vs. a "9", for instance? Content? Presentation? Subject matter? It's nice to have a ratings system, but without any way to explain why the rating is what it is, how is that helpful to the blogger or to those who visit the blog? I mean, there are some blogs out there I'd really like to read, but, um, can't because it's presented in 2pt. type in pale green on a background of lemon chiffon, and the whole thing is surrounded by flashing, blinking lights dancing around, taunting you to go ahead and just you try to read the posts themselves.

There are blogs that have gorgeous presentations, but the content is, um, lackluster.

Then there are those (like mine!) that has content that is okay and a presentation that is okay. But both could be better. Alrighty -- better how? What specifically would improve any individual blog? We can't explain that by simply assigning a "5".

There are those out there who are html wizards and can create awesome works. There are newbies out there who have very plain looking blogs, but it may have taken more effort for them to create that than was required of the wiz to create theirs. Do we reward "up" points for Successful Achievement in New Endeavors? Or do we rate them "down" because it's not the glitziest site in the blogsphere?

If I could say, "10 on content, 3 on presentation", I would. Or conversely, "3 on content, 10 on presentation". Or even, "Um, I really don't have any interest in knitting, but if I did, your blog would be the one I'd follow, and based on that, I award you an 8". How about that: if you come across a blog that is rich in content and well presented, but is of a subject matter of which you have no interest, do you automatcially give it a low score? Is it their fault you're not into, say, plastic lanyard basket weaving?

Anyone tracking with me here?

This post has been brewing in the back of my mind for awhile now, but it was thanks to the inspiration of the insomniac at Scheiss Weekly that I actually put pen to paper on the idea. So to speak.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE 5:05pm 11/6/04: While we're at it, on BE's Blog Directory, there is a box on the right containing the "Top 10 Rated Blogs". What the golly bob howdy does THAT mean? Most often rated? Most highly rated? Most recently rated? I've been #6 on that list; I've been #1 on that list, and I've been absent from that list. And to me this should mean...what???

Friday, November 05, 2004

ANSWER When I Call Roll!!

What's up with me and Blogrolling.com?

I have added a number of blogs to my blogroll, yet only two are showing up. Fine blogs those two are, and I'm proud to refer you to them; yet, there are indeed others as well which I want to make readily available to Golly Blog Howdy readers. Sadly, there seems to be some mischievous leprechaun in the machine who must not want you to find out about these other gems in the blogsphere. Probably a leprechaun with a thing against Macs. Who's also a communist. And likes haggis.

Double, triple checking the add-a-blog process didn't correct the problem. Contacting blogrolling.com twice didn't solve the problem, as they have opted not to respond as yet, although it's been several days (a week?) since I first contacted them. Hrmm. There go my panties getting all bunched up again.

Fine. Blogrolling moved my cheese, so along with this whine, I'll just have to set my cheese out another way. So here goes:

Some of the blogs I enjoy reading, and you might like too, include --

Kickin' It With Soccamom
Morning Coffee
The Disney Blog
The New Jan Brady
Where The Hell Was I?

There are others, too, which I'll list soon.

Now somebody tell me the url of a better blogrolling service. Please.

And while we're at it...anybody have a good recommendation for a free blog service other than Blogger? Particularly services which do not require a PhD in computer programming, as befitting my computer (ahem) "expertise".

*sigh* Guess I can't post this 'til tomorrow when Blogger is back up yet again. (written really late on 11/4/04)

Ah. How nice of you to return, Blogger.

I don't believe it. Blogger's finally back up. No sooner do I dole out most all my credits to toss up a bunch of banners, when Blogger decides to go down, yet again. Which, I think, means that as people as surfing along, they see a nice blank screen with a 404 or similar error message. Guess now I'll have to pry Astro off of my computer (I'm on Merlin's now) so I can get to the post I've pre-written and saved in another program. So keep your eyes peeled; I'll have a fresh post here soon.

And if you know of another free blog service that doesn't go down every other day and doesn't require a PhD in computer programming, gimme a holler, would you?

I'm starting to use the word "Blogger" in place of other epithets, as in, "Oh, BLOGGER! that hurt!"

Shee.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Showcakes

If you're interested in cake designs, you'll enjoy this occasional feature; if you couldn't give two whits for decorated cakes, well, scroll on to another post below. This is just one of the things I really enjoy doing (see I Make Cakes). Ironically, I'm not a big cake-eater, but I do love to decorate 'em.

So let's start off this Showcase of Cakes -- "Showcakes" -- with pics from the cakes I was supposed to be making the other night when I got all caught up in blogsurfing. I did indeed finish them (in the wee hours), and here are the finished products:

First, the "Harvest Cake" for the Harvest Festival at one church...


...and here are the "Harvest Cupcakes" for the Harvest Festival at another church.


And while we're looking at cakes, here's a non-Harvest Festival item: a Pink Pony birthday cake for a sweet little 3-yr old.


Hard to tell by the pic, but there is edible glitter sprinkled atop the horse, and opalescent pearlizing powder on the mane and tail. So sparkly! Unfortunately, it's easy to tell by the pic that I did not (*shamefaced blush*) use grease-resistant foil on the cake board. D'oh! Had this cake not sat around for hours before being served, this would not have been an issue.

From time to time I'll toss up more cake pics here. If you're a decorator (novice or pro), share your pix with me!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Ye Must Be As A Child

Tucking my little girl in bed tonight, I asked her if she had fun at Rainbows (the Wednesday night church playgroup she's in while Astro attends Royal Rangers, a Boy Scout kind of church org). She said that yes she did have fun. I asked her what happened there tonight.

She said, "Jesus talked to me."

*blink*

"...and, what did He say?"

"I love you."

I am not for one moment doubting that this actually occurred.

Plastic Tubes and Alien Life Forms

I'm washing dishes. (Yeah, the maid has the day off. As usual.) And as my soapy wand wipes over the millionth plastic sippy cup with fanciful straw attached, I'm wondering...

...am I getting this clean?

Because some of these cups you get from theme parks, birthday parties, and the like have special wide-tubes-O'-plastic for straws, and a conventional rip-off-the-paper straw just limply rests in the cup's predesigned hole with a lot of room to spare. Which means that when my toddler tips the cup up to sip from the straw (yeah, I know), a lot more spills out than would if the proper accessory straw were attached. How do you clean these straws?

And now I come upon a quirkily maddening design from our friends at Denny's. Have you seen this sippy cup? Its straw begins inside the cup, hooks at the top like a candy cane, makes a mad scribble of swirls about the outside of the cup before ending at the top again where one can genteely sip from it. Oh, and the lid is *permanently attached* on the straw.

How does one clean this?? Am I feeding my kids microbial aliens that will kill them?

What do you mommies do?

Get Ready to ROCK!!

"Are you ready to learn about letter sounds? Are you ready to ROCK'n'learn about letter sounds??"

Here's a fabulous tool for homeschoolers, or anyone who wants to give their kids a fun time while learning.

Rock'n'Learn is a company that makes audio/visual products to help kids learn the alphabet, phonics, counting, colors, shapes, nursery rhymes, math, science, foreign languages, and more. And they do it in a way that, when the kids play the tapes over and over (and trust me, they will), it won't drive you crazy. Barney the Dinosaur this ain't.

Most of their products are DVDs and tapes of CGI images set to fun music and cute rhymes and fun bits to make learning really enjoyable. I mean, Rainbow (who is not even two and a half yet) knows the difference between a turquoise pentagon and a maroon octogon. Now, I don't know how crucial it is that she knows that at this age, but the point is, they make everything so easy to retain, that she can't help but learn. She's known her alphabet since about 15 mos, currently knows most of the letter sounds (except for the really complicated combinations), and can even read some. The Astronaut-in-Training has been reading for about a year, and he's now 4-1/2. Not because I'm forcing anything down their throats, but due in large part to these videos.

We have several of these, but my favorites are: Colors, Shapes & Counting, Letter Sounds, and Phonics. They also have a line of books with audio tapes that are great for fun learning time in the car.

To see their whole line, and check out samples of their products online, visit their site.

I don't get a penny from promoting these. They are just so good, I tell everyone I can about them. And now you know, too.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Wax On, Wax Off...Wax In, Wax Out

Shower time this morning: we performed our hygiene ritual with the usual procedures, which included using Q-Tips to gently clean the ears (I know, "Never stick anything smaller than your elbow in your ear", but you have not met the Wax Producing Machine that is my dear little Rainbow. How such a delicate flower as she can create such massive gobs of this putrefied stuff never ceases to amaze me).

We moved on to the kids-getting-dried-off-and-dressed event, which included Astro's modeling of his new Loony Tunes underwear. So stylish.

During this portion of the morning exercises, the Astronaut-in-Training spied a large appliance that's been sitting on my bathroom counter for years. Suddenly, he took a great interest in it, asking what the "space-ship shaped thing" was and how it worked. I explained to him that it's a parrafin dip for Mommy's hands, and explained how it's used and that it gives Mommy nice, smooth hands. (And as I was describing this, I was trying to remember the last time I'd actually used it. When did I stop using it? Note to self: start melting the wax tonight. I want nice, smooth hands again.)

Well of course, this sounded too amazing to Astro. He just had to get a better look at it. Now, this device was purchased back when these were the New Thing On The Market, so it's roughly the size of an actual bread box (if anybody out there even remembers those), and cost about $150 at the time. It's oval and has lights and dials and looks almost like it could indeed be a UFO. I removed the lid and lifted him up to peer in and see the solid wax, and again explained that that big chunk would melt down to a very warm liquid, and only Mommy puts her hands in it. He was amazed by it all, and just had to run downstairs to tell Daddy about the cool thing Mommy has.

A few minutes later, I hear Merlin and Astro ascending the stairs. Merlin obviously didn't know what Astro was describing, but due to his son's exuberance, he came up to see what all the fuss was about. They enter the room, Astro's little boy voice exitedly shaking with delight, his arm sticking straight out, pointing to the miracle device.

"Daddy! There it is! That's what I toldjya! It's THAT thing!!"

"Oh? And what does it do?," queried the Daddy.

"It's a machine for melting ear wax! And Mommy sticks her hands in it!"

(Note to self: do NOT melt the wax tonight.)


Santa's Best Toys

No denying it anymore, we are rushing headlong into the holiday shopping season.

Oh yes, I can see you Early Bird Shoppers out there, smugly tossing your heads about as you flippantly declare that you took care of your shopping months ago when you were vacationing in the Hamptons, but I haven't been on vacation yet this year (or last, for that matter), so I just have not yet made my contribution to help Santa in his annual undertaking.

In the event there are others out there like me, who have yet to even think about gift giving, I present for your perusal a virtual toy shop that features playthings which have stood the test of time: the National Toy Hall of Fame. Now, this is not a commercial site; you can't buy anything from them. But how nice to be reminded that special, meaningful toys do not have to blink, beep, flash, or run on a game console to be dear to one's heart. Checkers, Play-Doh, Jump Ropes, Lincoln Logs...they're all there, with a brief bio on each to remind you why they deserve their rightful place in the Hall of Fame.

Links to this site have been floating around the net in recent months, so I am risking redundancy posting it here. But, aw, gee, it's a great starting place when considering what might delight the little boys and girls in your life. Not to mention the warm happy feeling you'll get when cruising through the memory lane of toys you likely had growing up. Have fun, and play nice.

Monday, November 01, 2004

But, How's Their Gas Mileage?

Rainbow got a new pair of sneakers. They are white with pink trim (lots of pink trim), and have a zipper so she can close them up all by herself.

Giddy with power and excitement, she ran in to show them off to Daddy.

Rainbow, demonstrating as she speaks: "Daddy! Daddy! LOOK!! I have new shoes! And see? They go forward, AND they go backward!!"

Let's just hope they don't shift into overdrive. She does that enough on her own.