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  • Five.


    bitesizedbutterfinger.jpgFive is the answer to the question you have all been asking yourselves for weeks:

    “How many bite sized butterfingers WILL she eat after the no-candy promise is over?”

    I know you were wondering.

    Also, because you need to know, I stockpiled them in the freezer. And I have two left.

    For now.

    Cast your vote, please.


    What’s your favorite medical show?
    totally curious to know how many of you are smart, like me.



    My butt went numb from driving. I annoyed the bejeesus out of my little sister (who drove this backseat driving ohshithandle gripping passenger from Mom’s house downtown), we circled the “W” so many times we lost count before we finally found it. I was welcomed with hugs and giggles with Lisa and proceed to Navy Pier to dilly dally and find the nearest Starbucks. I bought stuff – mainly shoes, because I’m an idiot and wore a new pair that caused a wicked line of blisters across the tops of my feet. I ended up with four pair of shoes in my bag that night – and I’m sure Lisa is still shaking her head and waving her pointy nurse finger at me about always wearing comfortable broken in shoes when you’re going to be walking a lot.

    We put our hair down for the cocktail party and I sought out Kim (aka MommaK) who, with that head of hair, was not hard to find. Yes, she’s gorgeous and sweet and wonderful in person – just like she is on her blog. Lisa, Kim and I had some cocktails, chatted and ran into some other bloggers on the rooftop of the Navy Pier. The three of us cabbed back to the hotel and had some good food and a couple more good drinks, we chatted about the conferences and blogging and it was all really comfortable.

    I didn’t attend the conference and as I understand it – most everything is covered over at ProBlogger, retold by a woman to women so there’s some mushy gushiness for serious (and seriousLY) female bloggers. I just went for the friends, the drinks and the limo ride – the flip flops were a bonus. It was also really nice to see a different side of the City. Having grown up nearby, I steered clear because of the crime and ick – but from the top of the Navy Pier – Chicago is a true melting pot filled with beautiful elements and a nice breeze off of Lake Michigan. The water is clear, the gulls and purple martins were wonderful to watch, and the smell of freshly baked churros made walking on the Pier really enjoyable for as many people as were there.

    It was a short afternoon full of flip-flop shopping, blisters and friends – and I went away from it feeling blessed to know some very sweet people and also a bit like a schmuck for not saying thank you enough, interrupting too much during conversation and overall feeling like I act just like I live in the middle of this here cornfield.

    I hope you had a good weekend, and thank you to everyone who volunteered to beta test for me! You guys are awesome, and I have a lot of work to do!!

    Comment Contest Results


    I’ve just tallied up the results, these are my totals:

    1. Pamibe : 52 referrals
    2. Michele : 44 referrals
    3. Jenny @ Our Life Together : 16 referrals
    4. Shelly @ This Eclectic Life : 4 referrals
    5. Kara : 3 referrals
    6. Erikie : 1 referral
    7. Invalid : 8 (dupes, me, etc.)

    Pamibe is the winner of a custom monochromatic portrait of her dear baby girl Tess who passed away last fall.

    Wow, I coulda’ saved myself the count and gotten the results from you, Pam!

    Michele’s referrals also count toward Pam’s total, so she really ends up with 96 referred comments on her behalf.

    Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated! If you would each (Michele, Jenny, Kara, Erikie & Shelly) please contact me I have a special gift for you for referring people over to play.

    Thank you!

    Refer a Comment Contest


    Because I’m crazy busy over here, I am going to have to go underground for a few days. Maybe even the whole week. Yes, it’s possible. I know, I know. Calm down. You’ll be ok. In fact, you may even wind up being better than ok, because if you have a blog, you can try to win something while I’m working over here in the background (hear the clickity clack of my keyboard already? Smell the burning brain cells? Yes, that’s me.)

    I thought up this crazy thing while I contemplated abandoning you for the whole week. I’m throwing caution to the wind here, so please play along. If you have a blog, or even if you don’t have a blog and you’re just a bloghopper/reader, you can participate. If you don’t, I’m very sorry. You should have a blog, everyone else has one.

    Leanne’s Week-long Refer-A-Comment Contest!


    Here are the rules:

      1. On your blog, or in comments on a blog, send people to this post to leave a comment. THIS post. Not another post. Just this one. If they leave a comment on another post, it won’t count.
      2. The comment left here must say “Referred by way of …….” insert your name/URL in the dotted field. If there are just dots in the comment, I won’t know who referred that commenter now, will I? (one comment per commenter, please.)
      3. The referrer now earns one point toward the grand prize.

    updated to add:

    1. Your own initial comment DOES count for you, but while follow up comments by you as the referrer are appreciated, they are not accumulated into your total. (ie. you comment, then you send referrals, your first comment counts for you – and for the person you were referred by. Ooh it’s getting twisty turney now.)

    See how easy that is? Very. What do you win? Hmmm… I’ve been tossing that one around. I think I will give the winner a choice, because having a choice is such a cool thing. The winner can choose from one of three things:

    1. A lovely signed print of one of my hundred thousand photographs
    2. a climby squirrel t-shirt
    3. a custom 8×8 monochromatic oil painting (person or pet, single subject).

    Now hopefully this isn’t the least bit confusing, but if it is, I will update/clarify as needed. Of course Multiple Personalities need not join in, and I should also tell you that I will moderate comments to verify that all fields are properly filled in and authentic.

    To sum up this complicated way of entering my very-cool-prizes if you win refer-a-comment contest, send people here to comment, be sure they tell me you referred them so you get credit. Your competition are my readers, and the commenters you send – should they decide to play along as well.

    What, do you need a button?
    Fine. Here’s a button.

    refer a comment contest'  class=

    I’ll tally up Friday at 5PM CST and announce/contact the winner.

    Good Luck & have fun!

    People Like Me!


    My sweet friend YellowRose managed to make me blush the other day, sayin’ all kinds of nice things about me and adorning me with this nifty pink shiny button that you can’t even click on, because it doesn’t go anywhere. heh! Go ahead now, hover and click to be sure, I know you want to. (And you better admit if you did. I need the chuckle.)

    Most often, I really don’t feel deserving of such an award. I mean I scrape by here by the skin of my fingertips – hoping for some eyes to pour over my words that see things the same way I do. That’s all a girl can really hope for in the blogosphere, you know? I’m not a writer, I’m a visual artist. So for my words to make sense to someone is super cool to me – and I’m flattered that people take the time to read the words I type as much as I am that you like the designs and art that I create.

    This is the part where I tell you that there are other more amazing bloggers who really make me want to read what they write – theirs are the words I write vicariously in my dreams of being a more prolifically wordy blogger who garners the attention of the readers of the blogosphere, the ones who like a good long story and don’t stop reading until it’s over.

    Passing on the torch to five of my (not all inclusive) favorites:

    1. MommaK : MommaK rocks. She has the wit and sarcasm that I love and can totally relate to – and deep down she’s a huge soft sqwishy hearted fiercely loyal friend.
    2. Robin : Robin has a way of writing that makes you feel like you’ve got her on the phone. WYSIWYG. I love that, because I’m the very same way.
    3. Lisa @ The Shizzle : Lisa can manage to add a touch of hilarity to any given situation, and with her huge family – that’s a requirement. She has to have the shoulders of a linebacker. Seriously. I admire her strength and wisdom, and patience. Because you need a lot of patience with that many kids.
    4. Laura @ VitaminSea : I pink puffy heart Laura because when I go there, I feel like I just popped over for coffee on her patio.
    5. Nancy : Nancy is smart and has a nurturing way about her, I always feel my spirit lifted up when I visit with her through her blog or in email. She’s a wonderful person to know.

    There you have it. Go, visit, and let them know they rock, because they really, really do!

    8 Things I know – Pass it on


    8 thingsShelly at This Eclectic Life is a Red Headed Texan with quite a vivid imagination; she seems to think I have 8 valuable tidbits of knowledge that I should pass along to you. Let me share a little secret with you – I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly those 8 things are since yesterday morning. Now there’s a scary thought.

    Shelly is a smart woman. She definitely knows 8 very important things, and then some. So go read hers, and then click away to another blog, because if you come back here, I’ll be as pale as an Irish Lass on Venice Beach in late July.

    I told her I’d give it a shot though – so I may have to give the whole serious deliberation a rest and go with a few of the more whimsical thoughts that came to mind when I started thinking this through. Without further procrastination adieu, here goes:

    1. Don’t hold your potty while you’re running to the bathroom. It really doesn’t hold anything in. If you gotta go, you gotta go, and nothing is going to stop that. You may as well forego looking like a total dork who waited too long on your way to wet your pants. If you have a bladder control problem, that’s what Depends are for.
    2. Don’t flick your boogers. You never know who they’re going to land on. It’s better to just eat them, or wipe them on your spouses pant leg.
    3. A latte a day keeps the sleepies away. Just be sure you’ve got a double or triple shot of espresso.
    4. Don’t take too many photos of the same dang thing. No one really wants to see a house sparrow blink in slow motion. There are some exceptions to this one, squirrels, for example. You can’t have too many photos of squirrels.
    5. Don’t wear clothes that are too small. Have a look in the mirror. If your junk is hanging out of your trunk, change your clothes. If you think there’s a little bump, it’s really 10x the size of how you see it to the general population. Hide it. Duct tape it. Do whatever you gotta do, but don’t let it hang all out there and don’t walk around thinking you’re hot stuff when really, you look like a bratwurst on the grill bursting out of the slit in the skin. Oh, yes, and if they’re too big and falling down around your buttcrack, buy a belt. The whole “look who we’ve got our Hanes on now” is just a commercial. Don’t take it too seriously – we really don’t all care to know.
    6. Stop and smell the roses. Once a day, find a flower and stick your nose in it. Breathe in. Deeply. (Note: check for bees first. – thanks for pointing that out, Shelly. I can only imagine the lawsuits I would have had to deal with on that one.)
    7. Count your friends. Because some day, your kids are going to ask “How many friends do you have, mommy?” And if you can’t answer that, they’ll make fun of you. Then they’ll tell you that you really only have one friend, and then you’ll feel like a big loser.
    8. Laugh. And then laugh some more. Because laughter really is the best medicine, and it’s also funny when your parrot starts mocking you and laughing back in your own laugh. Then you get to find out how stupid your laugh really sounds, and you can practice a new laugh in front of the mirror – out of earshot of the parrot, of course.

    There you have it. I hope you find my list invaluable, and that you must bookmark it so that you are less likely to forget anything. Send it to your friends, because some people just don’t even know any of this stuff yet, and you could save them the trouble of having to figure it out all by themselves.

    I’m not tagging anyone, but please let me know if you want to take this on and share your wisdom with the blogosphere. I’ll link you up and send people to you, and then Google will love you just as much as I do.

    Dell Dude Gets a Little Squirrely


    Some of you may have ordered your very own Climby Squirrel t-shirt, many of you have not. Ahem.

    Back in March, I had a dilemma (or should I say Dellimma?). I had a few hundred squirrely photos, and not enough room on my hard drive for them all. I decided to back up my photos to CD, but didn’t have a DVD write drive. Enter Dell Dude, who suggested I make apparel with my squirrels. He also really really wanted a free shirt. So because I’m really super awesome (I am too), I procrastinated forever (because honestly, I paid for that DVD write drive, is it too much to hope to get a little lovin’ with the greenbacks in return?). A girl can only pretend to be aloof and forget all about it for so long, you know.

    I finally got the shirt sent off. One for him, and one for me. Mine arrived last weekend, so I knew it wouldn’t be long before Dell Dude opened up a strange little package from CafePress and found a squirrel ready to leap off of 100% cotton in hopes of a peanut, or maybe even a free DVD write drive.

    I love my Climby Squirrel shirt, by the way. It is so wicked that my kids were pouty that they didn’t get one. My photograph/design is printed direct, which means there’s no wierd transfer paper outline – it looks unbelievably cool. In fact, I wore it to the grocery store and people were looking at me funny. Okay so that in itself isn’t entirely unusual, but I am going to attribute that particular days worth of strange glances to the shirt. It works for me.

    In an effort to get all of you slackers fabulous people into one of these cool shirts for the summer, I’m going to give you a little incentive. Click the little button below and send over $25 for the cost of the shirt and the shipping. I’ll do the ordering and have it shipped to me, then I’ll personally sign it with my big fancy relatively famous “L” autograph and forward it on to you for your wearing pleasure.

    I’ll just need you to tell me which one and what size. Sound fun? I thought so.

    :end shameless begging for cash:

    Oh and hey? If you want one of my other photos on a shirt instead? Just pick one.

    I’ll hook you up.

    Special thanks to Dell Dude for sharing himself with the internet. He’s way better than that guy they have doing the PC dude on the Mac commercials, isn’t he? I think so. (BTW, that’s my favoritest commercial ever, in the whole wide world.)

    I’ll share myself getting squirrely just as soon as I get my shirt through the wash again.

    Oh and one more thing. I broke down and bought a Maxtor 300Gig external Hard Drive. (Sorry Dell Dude, I had like 1000 new squirrel photos and not nearly enough DVD’s or cases to put ’em in.)

    Chinese Freeze Tag


    Shelly (This Eclectic Life – bookmark her if you haven’t already) tagged me with this Chinese Freeze Tag. I’m supposed to tell 10 interesting facts about myself. This can be something shocking or anything that may become a surprise to people!

    Shelly seems to think that I am interesting. Haha! Boy have I got her fooled!

    Seriously, I’ll try not to disappoint. I’ve got my gallon of coffee beside me, and I’ll give it a go.

    1. I religiously get up at 6:00 am. You might think I do this because I’m so organized, blah blah blah yadda yadda – but I do it for me. I do it because I get one hour of peace. Me time. Silence in the house, just me, my latte, and my active imagination. I’m rarely productive in this first 60 minutes, the most I get accomplished is my shower and morning latte. I try to go through my favorite reads on bloglines, get my to-do list going in my head – but mostly, I just use that time to relax and get some positive energy going for the day. Yes, I do it on the weekends, too.
    2. I am a compulsive online shopping cartoholic. The other night, I shopped around for a couple of hours and filled my shopping cart with all kinds of wonderful beautiful and insanely expensive camera equipment. Canon 30D. Lenses. Memory Cards. Spare Batteries. Now if only 40 of you would please order a nice big blog design package, I could actually create an account and continue checkout. ::holding my breath::
    3. This one time, at band camp…. oh, wait. I never went to band camp. I went to a girl scout camp once when I was a kid. We made smores, and I felt special because I had little tin campy cookware. Awww. Then I didn’t feel so special because my BFFL totally ignored me and hung out with the troop leaders daughter. Then I hated girl scouts forever and ever and I quit, and I pouted. A lot.
    4. I’m a worst case scenario kind of mother. (Can you imagine?!) If my children are doing something, I will have a visual flash-forward of something crazy and terrible that involves either blood, death or dismemberment, and I will hover over my children to ensure my crazy visions don’t become reality. Here’s an example. My girls are playing in the backyard. Pulling grass and building little grass huts for their LPS (Littlest Pet Shops) and I’ll look at them and smile about how well they’re getting along, and feel at peace. Suddenly, flash forward to my vision of them going for another handful of grass to build another hut, and hidden at the base of the grass is a nail, or a shard of glass, and suddenly my kid pulls her hand up from the ground covered in blood with her finger just dangling there.Sometimes, being a mom in my head is the most terrifying thing on the planet.
    5. I’m a big cry baby. I get choked up at what most people would think are the least emotional things in life. So-and-so got voted off American Idol. My friend talks about how proud she is of her little one for doing something cute. I gaze over my yard and the flowers in bloom. I see a pile of feathers in the backyard that indicate a bird of prey has had lunch. I drive past someplace where there was once a forest, and there’s now a car dealership. I see the balance of the checking account (heh). Someone tells me how much one of my paintings moves them or means to them. Someone asks me what inspires me, or how I paint. Seriously. At least once a day, I will get overly emotional about one thing or another.
    6. Surprise! I drink coffee until about 1pm every day. (just act surprised.)
    7. I used manual focus on my camera for the very first time this weekend and I got a really wicked cool shot that I’m very proud of. I usually don’t push myself with my camera, but lately I’ve been wanting to really get the top of the line equipment and to justify it, I have to learn more. I even tried to take a better shot of the moon last week when it was full. I did ok, I have a lot more to learn, though.
    8. I’m not afraid to learn something new, but I am terrified that I won’t remember it for long once I learn it.
    9. When I was little, I stuck my tongue out when I was concentrating really hard. Coloring, writing, thinking. I still do it. And when I’m painting? I rub my tongue on the inside of my bottom lip, and sometimes when I finish painting for the day my lip is raw. I don’t know that I’m doing it when I’m doing it – I only know that I’ve done it after the damage is done.
    10. This will definitely come as a surprise to most of you. Because it just happened and I haven’t had a chance to really tell anyone yet. I’m pregnant. HAH! Just kidding. No. It’s close though, I totally scorched my hair yesterday when I was trying to fire up the grill. I still have my eyebrows, thank God. I’m terrified of three things in combination: gas, ticking, and flames. Those three things spell death, fire and/or explosion. Just like pregnancy, right? I turned on the propane tank. I turned the dial to “hi”. I pressed the ignition. Tick tick tick – no flame. I tried the two other burners. No flame. I stopped. I went back to the first burner. I turned the dial and pressed the ignition. Tick tick – BOOM (singe). The smell of burning hair is really gross. Just so you know.

    The end. I hope you enjoyed yourself, or at least ordered a wake up call so that you don’t miss anything important today after you wound up face down on your keyboard.

    If you want to do this then TAG! You’re it! Trackback to me so I can come read yours.

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