Monday, May 31, 2010

whole lotta puree-ing goin on

Elli has an intolerance for milk-soy-protein, and a lot of foods affect her. She's done well with the orange vegetables, but couldn't tolerate green beans. Kristin thought it would be a good idea if we made her baby food. And so we did. Broccoli first, followed by yellow squash.

Next we tackled butternut squash.

Here's what she thought of her first taste of yellow squash.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

whole lotta rhubarb in the freezer

Today we went to my daughter LeighAnn's and pulled rhubarb. Also dug out two giant rootballs to bring home and plant. It was in the high eighties with high humidity, so a good time was had by all. No, seriously. She had fixed pulled pork for the occasion - what a sweetie - and it was YUMMY. Her house is so clean on Saturday, not like mine, which was clean the night before for critique, but trashed again by Saturday noon.

So once I got home it took me a lo-o-o-ng time to clean and chop all that rhubarb. But now the freezer is stocked for the coming year. I had been using up the end of last year's rhubarb in preparation for making room for the new crop.  We had chocolate cake with strawberry rhubarb sauce Friday night. Tomorrow I'm making a crisp for LeighAnn and Brad.

And I still have a good sized patch in my own yard to pull and clean yet.

Jay will be tilling and digging to extend the patio tomorrow. Three day weekends are project weekends around here.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Elli is five months old

Today in My Garden

My spiderwort is blooming! It's one of my favorite plants of the year, and I enjoy every day while it's beautiful like this. Will get better pics when the light is better this evening.

I found this basket at a flea market, lined it with that moss stuff and planted for the front porch.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's The Word - GREASE in theaters!

There's a GREASE sing-along movie appearing around the country this summer! How fun would that be? Go vote to bring it to your city!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

bath time

This is just about the only thing that makes Elli cry. And she does it every time. Big tub, plastic tub, makes no difference. She smiles until she's in the water, and then WAHHHH

Blogging at Petticoats and Pistols Today

Come compare pet peeves about the books you've read.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Getting Your Book on Keeper Shelves

DATE: June 1 - 30
COST: $25.

We all have favorite books, and for most of us there are a special few that hold places in our hearts. What writer doesn’t want to be able to write stories that will connect so vividly with readers that their books will become favorites? How does a writer go about writing a book like that? How do you connect with the readers on such an emotional level that they buy in for the duration of the story and root for your characters? By making them feel the story. By putting them in the time and place, by winning their trust, and making them believe that the outcome is important. What your story people say and do are not what hooks the reader. How your characters react is what engages and endears your reader.

Cheryl St.John is the award-winning author of more than thirty-five historical and contemporary novels for Harlequin and Silhouette Books. One thing all reviewers and readers agree on regarding her work is the degree of emotion. Words like heart-warming, emotional depth, touches your soul, tugs your heart all over the map, endearing characters and on my keeper shelf are commonly used to describe her work.

Cheryl believes techniques of writing can be learned and offers this workshop to share methods used to inject tone and communicate senses and feelings. She will reveal what she believes is the most important job we have as writers and give practical, applicable suggestions on the many ways you can convey emotion in your stories.

Cheryl will share a checklist of ways to make sure your book is one readers will want on their keeper shelf. Mark your calendars for this workshop, register now, and prepare by getting out a favorite book and reminding yourself why it’s a keeper.

Cheryl’s achievements include over thirty-five published books in both contemporary and historical genres. She has received multiple Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Awards and three RITA nominations. In describing her stories of second chances and redemption, readers and reviewers use words like, “emotional punch, hometown feel, core values, believable characters and real life situations.” She has taught writing on local and national levels, and is in demand as a motivational speaker.

Cheryl’s upcoming novella, Christmas in Red Willow in the Western Winter Wedding Bells Harlequin Historical anthology, will be in stores this October.

The class will be conducted via subscription to a private yahoogroup. Two lessons per week, followed by questions and answers. Each lesson will include one brief exercise pertaining to the participant’s current work in progress. Entire archived class will be available for one week after the ending date.

“I found Cheryl St. John's class on emotions full of insight and wisdom. Her lessons helped me understand what was missing in my story while offering alternative ways to to approach my writing. Cheryl's willingness to share her experience and expertise is greatly appreciated by this aspiring writer.” - Susan Kapost

“Cheryl’s marvelous understanding of the human condition comes across in her writing and her workshops as well. In Once More with Feeling, I learned how to write characters from the inside out. By the end of her class, I had brand new tools for exposing my characters strengths, vulnerabilities, and greatest desires in a way that leads to strong emotional responses in readers. I highly recommend Cheryl’s class.”
– Kim Louise, Sweet Like Honey, Kimani Press.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amazing 6th Grader

You won't believe this 6th grader's voice and musical skill singing a Lady Gaga song. I think Oprah's going to have him on because he's a YouTube phenomenon. Amazing. CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dancing With the Stars

Dancing with the Stars has been far more exciting than American Idol unfortunately. I loved this Erin Andrews dance. She overcame her fear of leaping for him to catch her, and I was impressed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

HWG Spring Brunch

Betty White is everywhere!

I just love that a mature woman is one of the top celebrities in the news and in movies--even hosting SNL. Click here to see stars like Jennifer Aniston and Rhiana with Betty White hair. And if you're really bored, you can click through and give yourself a digital makeover.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Caterpillar or Mutant Lizard?

Just looking at these pictures makes me itch.

Check out this creature Jay found on a climbing vine. It was eating leaves. Is this a caterpillar? It's HUGE! If it is, what kind of butterfly will it turn into? My guess is it's a mutant lizard. Jay thought it was cool, but it creeped me out. Ever seen anything like this?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Blogging at Petticoats and Pistols Today

I'm blogging at Petticoats and Pistols today! Stop over.

Bleeding Heart and Bumblebee

Don't Fall for email Scams

The latest ploy to steal your credit card number and personal information is so believable that many are falling for it. Con artists are using the telephone in an attempt to trick you to act on an e-mail that looks like it was sent from PayPal, eBay's online payment service.
The-mail uses the same slick come-on as many nefarious attempts to steal your personal information, warning you there was a problem with your PayPal account. But there is no link to click. Instead, users are asked to call a phone number where an automated answering machine asks for account information, mimicking the legitimate ways that customers interact with financial institutions, reports The Associated Press.
Security experts call this new scam "vishing" -- short for "voice phishing."
Sometimes vishing begins with a phone call, not an e-mail. And these calls are quite believable, because the caller already knows your credit card number. All you are asked to provide is the three-digit security code found on the back of the card. "It is becoming more difficult to distinguish phishing attempts from actual attempts to contact customers," Ron O'Brien, a security analyst with Sophos PLC, told the AP.

Here is the valuable lesson: "If you get a telephone call where someone is asking you to provide or confirm any of your personal information, immediately hang up and call your financial institution with the number on the back of the card," Paul Henry, a vice president with Secure Computing Corp. told AP. "If it was a real issue, they can address the issue."

Words of advice:
• Never give anyone your credit card number or the three-digit security code on the back of the card unless you initiate the call. And if you're calling in response to an e-mail, that doesn't count as initiating the call!
• Never click on links in e-mails unless you know the sender and are sure the link is legitimate.
• Never give your personal information to a stranger online or over the telephone.
Spam is annoying, but phishing is dangerous. E-mail phishing scams have one purpose: theft.

What is a phishing scam? It's an e-mail sent to you and hundreds of thousands of others with a message that tries to trick you into revealing sensitive personal information, such as passwords, banking information, your Social Security number, your mother's maiden name, your date of birth and more. The attack is waged against you in an attempt to hijack your assets, steal your identity or even open credit card accounts in your name.

The plea in the e-mail may try to warn you of danger, offer you something for free or entice you with sexy or nude photos or videos of famous people. As phishers become smarter, they are creating more believable scenarios. No matter the ploy, they all have one thing in common: They want you to click on a link or download a file. Don't do it!

Savvy users learn how to spot the e-mail messages sent by phishers and scammers. While some of them are tough to weed out, almost all of them will contain one or more clues that it's a scam. You just have to know what to look for.

Top 5 clues for spotting an e-mail scam:

Clue No. 1: Check the spelling

Scammers are notorious for their lack of basic spelling and grammar skills. Look for misspelled words and incomplete or awkwardly written sentences. It's not uncommon for a scam e-mail that is purportedly from a reputable and well known organization to misspell the name of that organization! For example, one e-mail scam aimed at Facebook users spelled the name of the site in lowercase ("facebook").
Clue No. 2: Who signed it?

If it's a legitimate e-mail from a business, it will be signed with a person's name and contact information, but if it signs off with something vague, such as "Customer Support," be wary.

Be especially aware of e-mails that try to get your attention by using all capital letters, especially in the subject line. Using all caps has long been viewed as online shouting. It just isn't done. The authors of scam e-mails tend to write prose that is over-the-top and very emotional. In addition to a lot of capital letters, look for an excess of exclamation points and dire warnings, such as "Urgent!" or "Danger!"
Clue No. 4: The e-mail has an executable attachment

Phishers can only scam you if you let them. And you do just that if you download e-mail attachments, which can contain computer viruses. Since a favorite way to send a scam e-mail is by making it look as if it were sent to you by someone in your e-mail address book, don't be fooled by the sender's name. Never download an attachment unless you are sure it's legitimate.

Clue No. 5: The e-mail has a link to a Web site

As more people have learned they shouldn't download attachments from strangers, scammers have caught on. Instead of attaching a file, they include a clickable link to a Web site. Click on that link, and you might be asked to provide personal information. Do it, and you've been scammed. For example, you might receive an e-mail that appears to be from your bank, offering you a very low interest rate on a mortgage or home equity loan. If you click on the link, it could ask your name, bank account number and online banking password to get onto the site. Don't ever provide this information if you got on the site by clicking a link in an e-mail.
One final word of advice: Never, ever respond to a spam e-mail. By doing so you confirm your e-mail account is active, and you'll likely be inundated with more spam.