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  • A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.
  • Three Things


    First off, I can’t believe my blog is rated G. I mean, that’s great and everything – but holy heck, I feel like a Disney movie. Only boring. Is it really that bad? No wonder no one has asked me any questions. Which brings me to my second thing – no one has asked me any questions! It would have been better if someone just sent along a hot poker and a dunce cap. Okay, I get it. I either don’t know anything you don’t already know, or uh, something else. That’s cool. I’m fine with that. Which brings me to the awkward stage, and the third thing – hey look! Something shiny!

    blingity bling my new ring' class=
    I’ll take my subtle hints in a plastic bag to-go, please, and get back to work bright and early tomorrow.

    What do you wanna know?


    Maybe you’ve been wanting to pick my brain about something lately, ask me what you might think is a silly question? Not that I’m Dear Abby or anything, but I do have some stuff hidden away in this cranium of mine that might make it fun for you to pick through.

    If you’ve been wondering about anything art related (I get emails asking me how to paint grass. I do.), anything blog related (yes, you should upgrade to the most recent version of WordPress. I will even share the link to the “how to upgrade” page if you can’t find it and need to know that) – anything design related, anything photography related – anything at all. Ask in comments, and I’ll update this entry with my reply.

    I’m happy to share whatever technical knowledge I’ve learned, as well as the resources I learned them through.

    How do you say it?


    I’m sure you’ve all made up a new word or two – either from mispronouncing, from having children, or just for the fun of it, right? We’ve managed to successfully implement a few fun words into our family vocabulary, and I’d like to share them with you.

    1. Dinareenah : this is a personal family favorite, because that runny stuff just isn’t pleasant. Why not make it just a little fun?
    2. Zookini : Better than a one piece, I’ll tell you that. You might need a cover up, though, so’s you don’t spoil.
    3. Hopsipsul : Where you go to have babies, and get your tonsils out.
    4. Beeputer or Pitter : The box you’re using to get on the internet.
    5. Hupme : When you wanna be picked up.
    6. Absofruitley : Yes.
    7. Froo Froops or Froopoops: Only the best cereal ever.
    8. Confoozed : Crazier than kung-fu. You wouldn’t understand.
    9. Prenzel : A little stick pretzel just for kids.
    10. Jabar : A big black cat, that doesn’t have any dots.
    11. Schwirrel : That fluffy little tree rat I so adore.
    12. Shreekit : A loud whisper that everyone can hear.
    13. Cowboys : Bad Boys are skeert of ’em.
    14. Skeert : Very, very afraid.
    15. Vacannoom : The powerful dirt picker upper.
    16. Sim-Sims : Better than the Simpson’s.
    17. Sweats : Those sugary little candies. MmmM.
    18. Keetchy : Where the figerater is.
    19. Figerater : It keeps food in the keetchy cold.
    20. Merrrrrr! : Gimme dat!
    21. Got a good one? Do share. I’ll add more as they pop up!

    Your turn – what crazy words have you replaced in your own vocabulary?

    Just Like Identity Theft.


    It’s all about the mighty blog, today.

    Would you not agree, as a blogger, that your blog is your home on the internet? It’s who you are. The words you say, the way you say them, the contents you choose to display within your posts, within your sidebar. Those things make you identifiable in the blogosphere. When you go out for a bloghop, you don’t just read the blog and get to know the blogger – but if someone were to come up to you and introduce themselves, wouldn’t it be helpful if they added “you know, I’m the tan blog with the shiny satin ribbon and swirly floral pattern across the top.” Wouldn’t that be the clincher for a lot of people? “OH! Yes! You! I know you! You’re the one with the quaint little house tucked back behind the white picket fence and flowers for the summer! I love your boulders!” (can you guess who I’m talking about?)

    It’s not just what you say, folks, it’s your face. Your design is your skin in the blogosphere. Your words are still your words, but how you say them combined with how you look is what makes people remember where they are as well as who you are.

    I’m not saying you have to look great. God knows that a freebie template goes a long way for a lot of people. I’m saying that you are where you blog. What your blog looks like is part of your identity, just as the words you type are the voice that goes with your “face”.

    When you pay someone oodles of your hard earned cash to make you more you, then, it’s like getting a facelift. You’ve gone out and bought a new outfit, and that instantly becomes the way that people see you in their minds. When you pay for something like that, it’s tailored to suit just you. When you give yourself your own facelift, it’s even more personal – because you’ve done all of the hard work yourself in your spare time. You’ve hand sewn your new outfit in very special fabrics from your own mind.

    Having said all of that, say someone comes along and likes how you look. A little technical knowledge will guide a person to view the stylesheet (because unfortunately, there’s no CSS scrambler out there yet), and snag your code for their own personal use. This is where you get a smidge offended, because it’s sortof like your little sister going into your closet and taking a pair of your favorite shoes without asking.

    It’s one thing if your sister asks you where you got your shoes, and then goes to the same store and gets the same pair in a different color, you know? It’s another thing when she just takes yours. Isn’t it?

    I’m full of analogies this morning. Bear with me. I swear there’s a point in here somewhere – I’ll find it. Gimme a minute.

    I don’t understand how some people could not understand that looking at code and learning from it is much different from copying and pasting code. Going so far as to “learn” and implement so much from another stylesheet that you do a double take on the URL is just like identity theft. It is personal. I know I am not the only one who sees it this way, but what I’d really love to wrap my brain around is how the person who doesn’t see it this way thinks. When you right-click “copy” on content from the internet that you didn’t put there, you are taking something from someone else. So for the person who does this, I would ask you two things:

    1. Did the source give you permission to do that?
    2. Are you following their guidelines for using their content?

    Obviously the internet is a cool place to learn and see stuff we wouldn’t otherwise experience, or many of us wouldn’t even be here. I just wish more people would understand that just because you pay your ISP, it doesn’t mean that all of the information you are connected to is included in your monthly rates. I also wish that people would get out of the “if you don’t want someone to take it, don’t put it out there” mentality – because if more people would respect others belongings and whether or not they want to share it, then words like “copyright” wouldn’t exist.

    Yeah, I know, you want to know the source of the drama. Inquiring minds and all that, right? I’m just going to say that (as far as I know) it’s not me or my code, nor is it one of my designs.

    Sometimes? It sucks to be pretty. And good at what you do.

    Eek! A Mouse!


    To those of you who work on your computers all day, I don’t need to tell you how very important it is to have a great mouse. For those of you who don’t? It is really important to have a great mouse. There. Now you know.

    A long long time ago when I was just a wee Irish Lassie, I was sitting beside a piece of sheet metal, leaning back onto my wrists watching TV. When I got up, I twisted my wrist around to push myself up off the floor and wouldn’tchyaknow, that sheet metal took a nice bite out of my wrist. Not just the skin, mind you, but deep down into my sweet little pinky tendon. It hooked me good, and I bled like a stuck pig. It declared that I should forever be annoyed by this injury – particularly in situations where little silver rodents must be moved around a soft cushy pad. Yes, my carpel tunnel doesn’t really like wired up regular mice very much – but more importantly, my scar hates it.

    And then I discovered Kensington’s wireless trackball mouse. And I was in heaven! I could move my pointer around with precision – I can draw with this puppy right in PSP. Ohhhh me loves me little blue mousie, alright. Except thirty times a day when I have to pop the ball out of the socket and wipe off the oils that transfer down to the mechanisms that control the movement. That kinda sucks.

    Lately, me and Kensie have had issues. I’ve spent more time trying to keep him clean than actually being productive, so I decided it was time for a replacement. Well, I was a little wrong about that. It really isn’t time for a replacement, I just forgot to ask Kensie, first. Shame on me.

    Yesterday I went to Staples and picked up the World’s Most Advanced Mouse. Heh! Most advanced my tushie. There’s absolutely no option with this mouse to flip it on it’s back and rub it’s belly to get what you want. It’s a nice mouse, sure, if you don’t have a ghost living in a scar on your wrist that sends shearing flames up your arm into your shoulder if you DARE rub that scar the wrong way. Bah.

    Today, I am trying to make amends with Kensie. I gave him a nice bath in hot soapy water (just the ball, silly.), and I used my magic eraser to attempt to get any build up off of the other very important parts. We’ll see how that goes. All I really know right now is that my level of productivity is in the hands of a wireless trackball that has, of course, been discontinued – and that’s more than a little scary.

    I will never understand why the things I love must be discontinued. WHY!? I can’t find another one of these anywhere. If you know of one that needs a good home, please let me know. I hope someone has a stockpile of them and finds this post. I don’t want a different trackball. I. want. this. one.

    I can’t be the only one who gets the shaft by the makers of my favorite things – so, what is the biggest discontinuation disappointment in your life? Please tell me I’m not alone.

    Squirrely Woes


    We have a sick squirrel. I think she’s a she, so I’m calling her a she. Or a her, depending on the context. Go with me on this one. She is wobbly, and I’m talking she can’t even sit on her hind legs to eat without looking punch drunk. Her eyes are swollen (compared to all of our other 10 nutty guests) and she has a really hard time moving forward. So much so that she kindof tumbles forward into a heap and picks herself back up.

    Part of me wanted to try to capture her and have our animal control officer take her and put her down, since I think she has to be suffering – but then I look at her, she’s plump, eating just fine – and making her way around and up the trees without falling off. Ugh. It’s heartbreaking to see her like this, and worse to think that if this is something viral. What if the other squirrels become afflicted?

    I’m picturing ten really crazy lookin’ squirrels wandering around aimlessly in my backyard doing somersaults. One of them gets up, wobbles over to another one, pushes him over and the rest point and laugh as he falls down and can’t get up. Then they see a human and they all run for cover but because their eyes are swollen they collide in a heap and above the pile of delirious squirrels there’s a big cloud of crazy characters like this:


    because they’re all totally dazed and confused. Then they manage to get untangled from eachother, and rubbing the bumps on their heads they hobble cockeyed over to a tree, except it’s my leg, and they start climbing and OW! THAT HURTS! They still have very sharp little nails.

    It could happen.

    Update: I noticed two more squirrels this morning who have some sort of thing going on with their ears. I’ll call animal control in the morning and find out what I can do.




    “Anyway” by Martina McBride

    You can spend your whole life buildin’
    Something from nothin
    One storm could come and blow it all away
    Build it anyway

    You could chase a dream
    That seems so out of reach
    And you know it might not ever come your way
    Dream it anyway

    God is great but sometimes life aint good
    And when I pray
    It doesn’t always turn out like i think it should
    But I do it anyway
    I do it anyway

    This worlds gone crazy
    And it’s hard to believe
    That tomorrow will be better than today
    Believe it anyway

    You can love someone with all you heart
    For all the right reasons
    And in a moment they can choose to walk away
    love em anyway

    God is great but sometimes life aint good
    And when I pray
    It doesn’t always turn out like i think it should
    But I do it anyway
    Yeah I do it anyway

    You can pour your soul out singin’
    A song you believe in
    That tomorrow they’ll forget you ever sang
    Sing it anyway
    Yeah sing it anyway

    I sing
    I dream
    I love anyway yheah , yheah.

    Grampa Grackle


    300gpagrackle1.jpgI wish I could tell you that I’ve never met a bird I didn’t like. Thanks to Grandpa Grackle, uttering those words would be a big fat lie.

    300gpagrackle2.jpgI don’t know the lifespan of many birds – but I’m really curious about this one. He’s been around for a few years now, intimidating other birds, hoarding the feeders, dominating the bird bath. Grackles are known for preying on sparrows, pecking them in the head just behind their eyes and eating their brains. Yes. I’ve seen them in pursuit. I’ve discarded their leftovers. I know this is normal behavior, and I know that if they didn’t do it, the sparrow population would be overwhelming.

    200bigwigwatershipdown.jpgThis guy, though. He’s just plain mean. You can tell he’s in charge, he bosses the other grackles around, too. He’s been bald for a few years, so he’s not hard to identify. I figure he has to be the leader of the pack – and his baldness is his battle scar. He reminds me of that mean old rabbit Bigwig on Watership Down.

    The girls call Grampa Grackle evil. I have to agree. He scares them – in fact when I was uploading images with Chickeymonkey on my lap, she turned her head away from his photos. We’re a nature loving family – but we’re all in agreement on this one. He’s one critter we just do not like. In fact I’d love to see this pretty girl swooping in to carry him off for lunch one of these days. heh.

    What do you think? Should I give the poor bird a break, or does he creep you out as much as he does me?

    Catching Up!


    I am finally starting to catch up with my “to-do” list. Here are some things I’ve crossed off my list, and I still have to get visuals to go along with everything for you.

    • Finish up a blog design, That one was an EW project that launched last week, it turned out really neat, new moms will love the tips and information on Breastfeeding and parenting. There’s a forum there, too – lots of nice supportive women there. Check it out!
    • Another EW blog design project that I just launched this week is The End User. This is my first fluid blog design for EW, and it’s that black & white one I talked about. It wound up being a really neat layout and project – even though I had to hold myself back from changing just one little hex code to bright red or something. The urge was there, and it persisted – but alas. It’s black, white, and shades of grey, and I shouldn’t even be showing you yet because I still have some tweaking to do. Go on and have a look anyway.
    • Live.Love.Read. It just so happy over there. My eyeballs really enjoy it, it’s like therapy. Go. Get happy. I’ll wait.
    • One of my blogging buddies enjoyed one of my Ten Little Fishies so much, she wanted a print of it. I’ve got one sitting beside me that I’ll be matting and sending out for her by Monday.
    • Sketching Titto for his next portrait – he’s such a ham. His second portrait will be much more colorful as he’s preening and really has a gorgeous spread of tailfeathers. I’ll get his sketch up here later today.
    • Two Mother-Daughter banquets. Two nights in a row this week, I’m telling you – it’s been a smidge busy over here this week.
    • Balancing the checkbook. Next on my list. Ugh.

    I still have some things to add to my list, too! I need to respond to some inquiries and add a photoblog design project, and I also need to find an hour to tell you about the wonderful experience I just had sending off my Great Blue Heron painting to his new home. The whole experience and sequence of events – beginning with meeting Laura – will leave you just as astonished as it did me. Divine intervention indeed.

    I also need to tell you about my neighbor. This lovely woman we’ve lived next to for 11 years is not doing so well. I’ve been assisting her whenever she calls for help, and last weekend I waited with her as the ambulance came to take her to the hospice where she is now staying. She’s had trouble breathing for a couple of years, and initially when she was diagnosed they gave her 6 months. She’s well beyond that, but now she’s suffering and the pain she feels just from the effort it takes her to inhale and exhale breaks my heart. I’m going to cut some irises from her garden and take them to her today, and I’ll probably be saying goodbye. It’s very sad, but I’m glad that they are keeping her as comfortable as possible, she shouldn’t have to suffer through her final days. If you’d keep her in your thoughts and prayers, I know she would feel comforted knowing everyone wishes her peace. It seems odd, and I may even sound glib writing about her, but she’s honestly ready to pass on, she has been. She is tired of having to experience the pain of her body failing her before the Lord is ready to take her.

    Mother’s Day, aaah Mother’s Day. What do you mom’s want for Mother’s Day? Me, I shared my secret with a friend, and I’m not going to spoil it here but wait patiently to see if my family knows me as well as they think they do.

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