Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gone Surfing - Be Back April 2

O.k. I'm not a surfer and I wish I was taking a real vacation. The truth is I am in the midst of a big project and need to take a brief break from my blog until April 2. While you are here, feel free to leave a message or blogging tip on the post below.

Hope you have a great Spring Break!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's My Blogging Birthday!

In the novel, It's My F---ing Birthday, the protagonist, a single an bitter High School Art teacher starts an annual journal on her 36th birthday. She does a year-in-review to learn from her mistakes.

Monday, March 17th will mark my one year "birthday" of my foray into the blogging world. I started my blog, Bad Momma as a learning tool. To celebrate my Bloggin' Birthday I have decided to reflect on the past year. This is what I have learned so far:
1. To Have a Friend, You Must Be a Friend
Not only was this a favorite piece of advice from Mom, this is the first suggestion from seasoned bloggers on how to gain friends. The best way to get noticed is to comment on other blogs and to join groups. The Mom Salon - Mombloggers Club is where I made my first blogging friends. I recently joined Cre8Buzz where I have been making lots more. I also joined in on 5 Minutes for Mom's Ultimate blog party and my readership skyrocketed for a few days! I learned it does pay to join in on the games ( if you can find the time ).

2. Laugh and the World Laughs With You
I have found that my best blog reactions have been to humorous entries. I have another blog, Color Me Bitter, which is the place I use to complain. I never get comments there.

3. My Space Is a Scary Place Where You Can be Vulnerable to Stalkers

4. My Space Tom is not a Stalker.

5. Statcounter is a Great Tool

Midway through my blogging year, I installed Stat Counter, which is free for the bare minimum service. It is interesting to see how visitors are finding you. You can also find out what key words are being used.

I found that Sea Monkeys seem to be making a comeback and many guests come to me via this post.

I also am happy to report that I am not the only person to mistake Clorox Wipes as hand & face wipes. This is one of my most popular posts in word searches.

The most disturbing string of search words " how to quietly break a car window" leads what I assume to be aspiring thieves to this post. I am a bit alarmed that this is a popular search.

6. You Don't Have to Be a Great Writer

Keeping it real and striking a common chord is more important than being a great writer. I was intimidated at first, knowing that a few of my blog friends are professional writers. So far no one has been critical of grammar or spelling mistakes. Posts can be corrected after they are published. A bigger priority is to post when you are inspired and to keep your content fresh, so that your friends keep coming back to visit.

7. Anything You Say Can & Will Be Used Against You

Your blog is not a private diary. You should assume the worst; anyone can read your blog, including the people you write about. Even though most of us use pseudonyms, it is not impossible for others to find out your real identity. People have lost jobs over blogs. Jen Lancaster reveals in her book Bitter is the New Black how she lost out on a job when a rival "outed" Jen's blog to the future employer. College students are warned that employers have been known to use MySpace and Face Book in background checks.

8. Blogging is Addictive

My blog has turned out to be much more than I expected. Not only is it a tool for learning, it has been a great way to keep track of events in my life. I also have "met" a lot of very nice Bloggers and am having a blast. Somehow my life seems so much more interesting when I put it into writing. I am struggling with striking a balance and need to make sure I am not neglecting my "real life" duties.

What I Want to Learn:

Friend requests : What is the protocol for dealing with unanswered friend requests? At what point do you retract your unanswered offer of friendship?

How important are rankings? What benchmarks are helpful? What stats should I strive for?

Links to other Blog Friends - Should I take the initiative and add links to the sites of blog friends or should I ask first?

Thanks for coming to my party and for helping to make my first year a great one! In lieu of gifts, please leave me your best advice on how to become a successful blogger or an important lesson that you learned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - My Addictions

In no particular order:


Blogging & Cre8Buzz

Sales at Macy's


Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Baked Some Cookies For the Blog Party!

Thanks for coming to visit. I will have a party post soon... Meanwhile help yourself to some fresh baked cookies while you take a look around.
Best part is that they are special calorie-free Toll House Cookies. Take as many as you like! Oh, wait! I guess that calorie-free thing only works for you. I better stop chowing down.... Enjoy!

Spring Ahead - Blizzard of '08 - March 9 - Update

Hard to Believe that it's Spring Ahead Time!
For those of you who were wondering, the plows came through early this morning. My good neighbor, once again, came out with his snowblower. As I type, he is busy clearing the sidewalk all the way to the corner and the ends of several driveways.

My hubby is planning to go to the store soon for fresh rations. Yea! We're not going to starve. I don't think we would have cut it as a Frontier Family.

Maybe we'll bake some cookies later today. I'll have to send a plate over next door!

p.s. Don't Forget to " Spring Ahead " and set your clocks ahead one hour!

4:00 p.m. Finally got to make that snowman! My work here is done!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow and Order - March 8, 2008

Episode: Snowed In

Background Story: Yesterday, when I left for work, there was no snow on the ground. Originally the blizzard was set to start Thursday night. Both myself and my boys left the house in our street shoes. They were disappointed that there was no snow day and I was laughing at the weather forecasters.

About 10:00 a.m. is when the flurries started and by 2:30 p.m., I forwarded my work # to my cellphone, called UPS & told them not to bother stopping by for the daily pick up. We were not only starting to get some serious snowfall, we also had 30 mph winds that were causing the snow to drift a bit.

I went straight home, resisting the urge to stop at the grocery store. It took twice as long as normal to travel the 7 mile route. Thankfully, everyone was driving carefully.

I made it home shortly after my kids, who arrived home with snow-filled shoes. They were drying out in front of the t.v.

We played a game of Monopoly, had dinner, watched more t.v. and went to bed. Wondering what tomorrow would bring...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.- Woke up, looked outside in amazement, had some breakfast and took photos.

9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. - Realized I needed coffee, frantically searched and finally remembered where I stashed some fresh packets. I made a fresh pot of my "Go-Juice"

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. - Made a quick blog post ( on Blogger ). I seem to be having difficulty and getting error messages.??? I'll try again later. I looked outside to see more flurries. I am now getting worried about our food supply and decide to do a photo inventory. ( Note to self: We need more milk and pulp-free o.j.)

11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. - Hubby wakes up, showers and makes pancakes. I go to start my laundry and find he beat me to the machines. Drat! Decide to play some more at " The Buzz ". Wow, that Stacey is quite prolific! Thanks Stacey for all your comments!

I notice some of my neighbors starting to shovel their driveways. Our next door neighbor is outside with his snowblower. He not only does our walks but the half of our driveway not blocked by cars and helps the neighbor across the street! What a great guy!

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. - Throw in a load of laundry and make the boys turn off the t.v. I pour myself another cup'o joe and go back to my computer. The boys play a card game.

1:00 p.m. - I am called to attend to my middle child who sustained back injuries in a wrestling match with his older brother. I make the oldest put the wet laundry in the dryer while I check for any broken bones.

1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Everyone is thrown outside. When I discover that the snow is too fluffy to pack, I scrap the idea of making a snowman. I go back inside for my camera....

3:00 p.m. - 4:45 Time to sign off and play Uno with my youngest!.....Hubby comes in, takes off wet clothes, sits quietly in corner, crying. He is frozen and hurts all over from shoveling and tells me to get the 2 older boys inside. I call them in but they pretend not to hear as they are busy hollowing out some snow shelters. I try luring them in with hot cocoa. They are not biting. I pull out the big guns and offer up promises of fresh-baked cookies. They drop everything and come in. As we search the cabinets for ingredients, we find out the brown sugar is rock hard and beyond stale. Plan B - we make brownies. ( note to self: add brown sugar, shortening and a 9 x 9 baking pan to grocery list. )

6:00 p.m - It looks like the snow has tapered off. No sign of any snow plows yet. Could be a few days. Food supplies are holding up.Time to think about making dinner....

In like a lion?

You know the expression - " March - In like a lion, out like a lamb." Well, the weather better be nice in a few weeks! The weather has been crazy here. We are supposed to get 10 - 14 " of snow.
Looks like we'll be house-bound today!

The news last night showed panic-stricken shoppers stripping supermarket shelves like bands of hungry locusts. I'm not sure this is really necessary. I grew up in Cleveland, where a few feet of snow was no big deal. However, we also had snow-tires, a regular plowing service and were used to driving in these conditions.

Regardless, we are talking about 1 or 2 days of snow-showers and blowing, drifting snow. I'm not sure I see a reason to worry, ...yet! We usually have about a week's worth of groceries before we would have to survive on a diet of canned peas and macaroni. This might be a good way to clean out our cabinets. We could bake cookies, watch movies, play board games and really bond as a family unit.

I sure hope we have enough food!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - The Give-Away Pile

Knitted Potholder from Long Gone Grandma
(from the lost collection of Sock Monkeys, Knitted flowers with
Sea-shell centers and Barbi-Doll With Long
Crocheted Hoop Skirt / Toilet Tissue Cover)

Petrified Wood Wine Opener and Cork Set

Pink Art-Deco Vase circa 1988 - Mint Condition

I found my marbles. I'm keeping these!

Saki Set won in a Karate Dojo Raffle

An old 35 MM Film Camera and a Poloroid One Step Camera

Nifty Pink Ice Bucket from my 80's Single Days

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning is just another title for rediscovering all your old "treasures" that have been tucked away, collecting dust.

My hubby picked up a bunch of steel shelving racks and plastic tubs from Sam's Club. He has been going through the boys' rooms, our closets and under the beds and conducting a re-organization. I guess you could say our family's possessions are going through a "down-sizing".

The toys that are being kept for now, have been transferred to the basement. My husband has these items neatly organized in clearly labeled tubs and housed on these nifty rolling racks!

The recently "pink slipped" household items are sitting in piles in the living room, waiting to be taken to Good Will. ( I may have to post some " Hall of Shame" photos on Wordless Wednesday before we ship these unwanted goods out. )

A side effect of this Spring Cleaning is that the boys have suddenly re-gained interest in long forgotten toys. They have been spending lots of time in the basement these days reconnecting with their re-located belongings.

It's kind of cute watching my 11 year old play with his toddler Lego set. He was a bit embarrassed to be caught and jumped up right before I took his picture! I guess I'm not the only one in the family that is nostalgic for the "good old days"!