Thursday, April 28, 2011

Top 5 Retractable Leash Users

 FYI - I hate retractable leashes. HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE them.  I hate them mainly because of the people who tend to use them. It's not the dogs' faults.  It's their owners.  If this offends you, maybe you should get another leash & take your dog through some obedience training because I'm not apologizing.

Here are my Top 5 Retractable Leash Sightings in My Neighborhood - it should explain why I hate them so much.


5 - The teenager who doesn't really want to walk the dog(s) and therefore pays absolutely no attention to what the dog is doing or where the dog is pooping.
Guess what?  This isn't good for the dog or the community.  First off, the dog is not being watched & is darting in & out of the road.  Secondly, I'm really sick of all of the poop.

4 - The person who just got home from work & trying to get a quick walk, all the while, texting/chatting on the phone & letting their little shit dog with an attitude run all over the place
See #5 because it applies here, too. I realize your nails/dress slacks might get a little dirty if your dog is near you & that your all-important text/phone call might be interrupted.  I DON'T CARE!  Pay attention to your dog.

3 - The dummy who thinks his/her crazy black lab puppy running full steam at big dogs is cute because it "just wants to play."
REALITY CHECK: It's not cute.  It's seen as aggressive.  Your adorable little puppy is not learning how to interact appropriately with other dogs or people.  It's also not learning to walk properly on a leash or listen to your commands.  You are in for a world of hurt when your cute little lab weighs 100lbs and still doesn't listen to you or walk well on a leash.

2 - The harried mom who lets one of her children "walk" their rambunctious golden retriever with absolutely no leash training while she manages a double stroller & another child who refuses to listen while riding his/her scooter.
I admit that I feel a little sympathy for this mom, to an extent.  I don't have childcare.  I can't leave Klaw at home while I walk the dogs, so I wear him.  You know what else helps?  Investing time in training our dogs to walk on a regular, static leash.  Retractable leashes are, again,  not helping your dog learn how to walk appropriately on leash.  Also, young children should not be walking dogs they cannot control, whether it is due to the size of the dog or because the dog does not respect the child enough to follow the child's commands.  The money &/or time you invest in obedience training with your dog & family is worth it.  If you can't afford a trainer, there are tons of good books & resources online.

As for your kid that won't listen?  I can't really help you there.  I would suggest taking away the scooter.  Just a thought...

and the #1 Retractable Leash Sighting in my neighborhood is:


1 - The "my dogs are my babies" lady with her spoiled little shit dog with an attitude running amuck and trying to attack my dogs.
Please read all of the comments #5 - #2, because they can apply to you, too.  Your spoiled little shit dog with an attitude is a product of you.  I can't blame the dog.  You made the dog this way.  Just because the dog is little does NOT mean it's not aggressive.  It is not cute.  It is aggressive.  Please understand that other dogs don't think your spoiled little shit dog with an attitude is cute, okay?

It also does not mean that it's my dog's fault if he eats your dog.  Guess what?  In this case, your dog was asking for it.  In the natural world, animals fend off aggressors.  The quickest way for a 100lb dog to fend off a 5lb yappy aggressor is to EAT IT.  I would be sad.  For the dog.  For my dog.
By the way, it's not just me:
The Case Against Retractable Leashes
Beware the Potential Dangers of Retractable Leashes
The Dangers of Retractable Leashes
Retractable Leashes Pose Problems for People & Their Pets

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Journey Comes to an End.

The epic adventure begins here...

With Chicago in our rear view mirrors, there was not much else for us to look forward to. We had no plans to make any detours and the rest of the trip plan consisted of an overnight stop in Ohio and then another overnight stop in eastern Pennsylvania before arriving at our ultimate destination in New London, Connecticut. Dana has been to Connecticut before for about a month. Now my tour there was longer than a month but she had had enough after a month. Certainly there wasn't much for her to be excited about. In fact, now that I think about it the only thing that kept us motivated to get there was, well, I had to get there because of my job. We were going to be arriving to our rented home, a home we had only seen in pictures.

I don't remember much about this part of the trip. Or maybe I choose not to remember because it meant that the trip was almost over or that it wasn't that great in this part of the country. Either way our stay in Ohio was fine and the stay in Pennsylvania at the Delaware Water Gap/Pocono Mountain KOA was fine as well.

Just to give you an idea of how we felt about these last two days, I will say that there was only 1 picture taken during this time period. I will include it here just to try to make this entry a bit longer. It does have some significance as Dana is a HUGE Eagles fan. Not the Philadelphia type but the music band type.

I would like to sum up this trip because it truly was one of the best times of my life. I relive it over and over. I'll do it in the form of a survey type style. The answers below are mine alone. Dana's may differ so if you are curious about hers just ask her. If you've taken the time to read all of the last half-dozen or so posts that I've written, I appreciate it. Hopefully, you've at least enjoyed the pictures. As pretty as they are, they don't do justice to and definitely are no substitute for the real thing. And maybe, if you ever find yourself making a cross-country trip, you can refer back to these post for ideas of where to or not to stay and things to do.

Best Campground: We actually stayed at some pretty nice ones. Since I can't narrow it down I'll give a couple. Salmon River RV Park in Elk Bend, ID and Sioux City North KOA, South Dakota. Both very well kept and ran by nice people.

Worst Campground: No contest. West Liberty KOA. Cow pasture, crappy hosts, BP gas station.

Best Drive: From Wells, NV north to Salmon, ID. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Oh yeah, and they had Native Americans on dinosaurs on the side of the road.

Worst Drive: All of it across Iowa, and all of it after Chicago.

Best National Park: Yellowstone. Wasn't expecting much. Completely wrong.

Worst National Park: None. That's why they are National Parks.

Prettiest Scenery: Idaho and Montana

Ugliest Scenery: See answers for "Worst Drive"

Best Person interacted with on trip: Other than Arynn and Dane who we knew already, definitely Marcia from Salmon River RV Park. The girl who kept serving us beer at Craggy Range is a close second.

Worst Person interacted with on trip: Lady from West Liberty KOA. I can give a number of reasons but they are pretty harsh so I'll refrain in this capacity. Dude with dog, Ghost, at LaSalle RV Park in Columbia, MT is second. He wanted to make Samson his bitch. I don't think so.

Thanks again!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

and just like that, he's gone again...

Yes, Chris is under the sea again.  (cue The Little Mermaid)

Don't worry.  No OPSEC violations.  I'm not telling you when he left or when he's coming back; granted, as usual, I don't actually know when he's coming back.  I'm not even going to tell you what boat he's on.  None of that matters.  All that matters is that he is gone and it didn't take very long for Deployment Karma to start rearing her ugly little head.  

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Confessional

Okay, I know and accept that I'm not exactly a trend-setter when it comes to fashion.  However, I generally look presentable.  I prefer classic, American styles (see Ralph Lauren or some pseudo-Hippie commune in NorCal) to anything trendy.  If it can't be worn with flip-flops, it shouldn't be worn.  My go-to wardrobe is comfortable.  I like jeans, capris, peasant skirts, t-shirts & tanks.  I don't really stand out too much in public unless I'm wearing Klaw.  I am a trendsetter in babywearing around here...but I digress.

My sense of fashion has not always been so pleasant.

Sometimes, I embarrassed myself dressing up for special occasions.

Like Easter.


I know what you're thinking.   

How on EARTH could Dana's mom let her leave the house looking like this?

-The Easter dress was a hand-me-down from a family friend (not uncommon for me).
-I only received two pairs of dress shoes a year - one black & one white.  Obviously, it was not time to purchase my "summer" shoes. 
-It's hard to tell, but the tights are match the lavender dress. 
-Yes, that's a mullet.  This was an improvement.  Trust me.
-I am wearing a Swatch watch.  It's not as cool as it may seem.  Swatches weren't cool in the states until the following year.  Dad lived in Germany & bought it for me.
-I have never particularly liked having my picture taken.  I just fake it better now.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicago Bound!

Our epic cross country adventure starts here.

After getting up and getting on the road from Sioux City, SD our plan was to drive west across Iowa and stay in east Iowa at a KOA that is no longer a KOA, probably due to our comments. I will talk about that later.

It was a pretty easy drive across Iowa and not scenic, in my opinion. While we were driving down I-80, or across on I-80, I should say, Dana came across a sign for Elk Horn. We were caravanning, so we carried walkie-talkies to communicate with each other. When she saw the sign for Elk Horn, she radioed over and asked if I wanted to go. Maybe if it was Elk Cove, as in the Elk Cove from the movie Overboard, I would have shown a bit more excitement. I mean, who doesn't watch that movie when it comes on TBS every week? Ok, maybe just me. Anyways, I guess I didn't fully understand how much Dana wanted to go until we had driven ten miles past the exit and she wasn't responding to any of my radio calls. Well, we ended up turning around and headed to Elk Horn, Iowa, the center of Danish ethnicity and home to the Danish Immigrant Museum. If you didn't know, Dana is of Danish descent. The museum was brand new and I will admit, there was some pretty neat stuff inside. This ended up being a good place to stop and let the dogs stretch their legs. As for the town of Elk Horn; not a place you go to on the weekend to get your party on. That is unless your idea of a party is tractor racing down Main Street.

After the brief excursion to Danish America, we continued onward to West Liberty, a small town just outside of Iowa City, home to the Hawkeyes. Iowa City being home to the Hawkeyes, not West Liberty. As I mentioned earlier, we made arrangements to stay at a KOA there. Much like most of Iowa we had seen already, there wasn't much once you pass Iowa City. We get off at the exit for the KOA, follow the signs and end up pulling into a BP gas station. Well we continued to follow the signs that led to the back of the gas station and into the KOA. We could still hear the traffic from the interstate at the entrance (a stone's throw from I-80). We park and go into what was the KOA lodge. It did not resemble any of the lodges we had seen before and when our host (I think that's what they call them at KOA) came out, she was not dressed in the nice embroidered KOA shirts and I definitely knew that corporate KOA had not been out here in a while.

We checked in and pull around to our spot. The RV park was bound by a cow pasture, whose aroma permeated the air, and a mobile home park. We had not stopped to pick up any food for the night so we needed to go out after we got set up. We asked the host for the closest grocery store and she sent us down the highway to the booming metropolis of West Liberty. We drove through what was the downtown area, past what looked to be a business district, but no grocery store. We had plenty of people staring at us and I'm sure the thought that West Liberty might be our last stop EVER crossed both our minds at one point. We got the hell outta dodge and drove back the direction we came and ended up having to drive back to Iowa City to find a grocery store. I'm pretty sure that the cow pasture adjacent to our RV park was home to the cows that would become the West Liberty Saturday night special. I'm sure you don't need a grocery store if you kill your own animals. Talk about fresh.

Needless to say we got up early the next morning, skipped breakfast, and got on the road. If the saying were "give me West Liberty or give me death," we would most assuredly choose death. A bit into our drive that day we saw signs for the Presidential Library and Museum of President Hoover, located in West Branch, Iowa. We had some extra time since we expedited our exit from West Liberty (what's with all the "Wests" in Iowa?) so we decided to stop. The small town was actually pretty neat and the grounds where the museum and grave sites of President Hoover and his wife were very well kept. This was probably the nicest site in Iowa. No offense to anyone from Iowa who reads this. I'm sure our experience was jaded by the former West Liberty KOA.

We make it to Naperville, Illinois, a large suburb outside Chicago, early evening to see our friends Arynn and Dane. I met Dana through Arynn in Charleston, SC back in 2001 so it was certainly good to see her again. They had a Cocker Spaniel named Piper who our dogs enjoyed hanging out with. Dane and Arynn, who knew I was a big Cubs fan, surprised us with tickets to a Cubs game. I was thrilled! I had been to Wrigley back in college while on a road trip to see Georgia Tech play at Notre Dame. Tech lost that game and I honestly don't remember the score of the Cubs game or who they played, but I do remember where I sat and even have pictures of Harry Carey leaning out during the 7th inning stretch singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Dana and I had also seen the Cubs play in San Fran while stationed in Monterey. The Cubs lost that one but I won, seeing as how they had Lagunitas IPA on-tap at the stadium.

I digress. Well Dane and Arynn had to work the day we were going to the game but we had planned to go over to Chicago early to meet Aimster, a friend of Dana's, and a friend of mine from the submarine community, John Red-face, as he is known to us. Dana and I took the train in from Naperville and we all met at the Rock Bottom Brewery downtown. Dane and Arynn were planning on meeting us at the stadium before the game. It was noon when we arrived at Rock Bottom and we didn't leave for several hours.

Dana's friend had to go but John asked us if we wanted to go back to his place which was not far from Wrigley. We had nothing to do for a while so we hung out, maybe had some more beverages, and John escorted us to the stadium where we met up with Dane and Arynn. It was nuts around Wrigley. We found a bar to pre-game for a bit and finally made our way into the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Our seats were AWESOME! Ten rows up from the field on the 3rd base side. Carlos Zambrano had lost that day in San Fran when we last saw the Cubs play and he was back on the mound today. Long story short. The Olde Style flowed and the Cubs' homers flew and in the end, the Cubs destroyed their opponent. It had been a fun day. I could definitely live in Chicago.

After a few days with Arynn and Dane, who were great hosts, we departed and continued east.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Green Cred is in Jeopardy!

I almost freaking forgot about Earth Day!  Thank you, Twitter, for reminding me!  Yes, Facebook, I'm sure if I wasn't on hiatus from you, you would have told me, too.  Jealousy doesn't become you, so calm down.

I've been following The Animated Woman on Twitter for a couple of weeks now.  She is a delight & seriously, too stinkin' cute.  I hope that doesn't offend her because "too stinkin' cute" is one of the highest compliments I ever give.  Check out her blog to see some of her work.  The Animated Woman created a lovely video for Earth Day.  It's simple, short and poignant...and I really liked it so I'm hoping you'll take about 30 seconds to watch it, too.

I also hope you'll check out the Earth Day posts from two of my other favorite bloggers, Ani from The Simple Single Mom and Nicole from Flip Flops & Combat Boots.

Here are my two easiest ways to introduce a little more "green" into your life starting today, Earth Day 2011:

1 - Recycle. Seriously. Most communities offer curbside pick-up, even if you have to pay a little bit to have it.  If you can't/won't pay for curbside pick-up, there is usually a drop off location in the vicinity.  It's an extra half hour of your week (or 2 weeks).  Quit making excuses and just do it.

2 - Compost. You don't have to get all crazy with a huge, expensive compost bin. Even just keeping your oil/meat free scraps to the side when you are preparing dinner can be a good start.  Find a corner in your yard & dump it there.  My Nana didn't get fancy, she just had a little "kitchen scraps" dump site. Our house in Washington had a corner where we just dumped the raked leaves & food.  Now, we have a re-purposed wine barrel (of course we use a wine barrel) with holes Chris drilled into the sides. It works great & we bought it cheap from a local winery.  I made one in Charleston from chicken wire & metal garden posts for next to nothing in cost (anybody who knew me in Charleston knows I was broke as a joke, so this was definitely cheap).

Okay - if you are shaking your head about all of this Earth Day nonsense or if you just like a good dose of sarcasm, you may want to go over to Jamie's blog for Friday's Survival Sarcasm: Easter & Earth DayPossibly, NSFW.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mama wants one of those blog things

Mama’s Losin’ It

This work of fiction (I hope it's a work of fiction) is inspired by 2.) If my mom were a blogger...

Picture a perfectly competent grandmother who works on computers all day long on the phone with her daughter who has very little patience & doesn't like talking on the phone.

Mama:  Dana, what's that thing you do on the computer that you want me to read all the time?
Dana:  It's called a blog, Mom.
Mama:  Oh.  Okay.  I think I need to do that, too.
Dana:  Why? What do you want to blog about?
Mama:  I don't know. Could I put my paintings on it?
Dana:  Well, yeah.
Mama:  How would I do that?
Dana:  Well, you'd have to take a picture with your digital camera and then..
Mama:  Slow down a minute...let me get a pen and some paper.
Dana:  It's not that hard, Mom.
Mama:  I'm old.  Be a little more patient with me.
Dana:  You're not that old, Mom.


Mama:  Okay. Now, what do I do again?
Dana:  Take a picture of your painting with the digital camera. Download the pictures to your computer and then you can upload them to your blog.
Mom:  Wait a second. How do I download the pictures from the camera.
Dana:  You've done this before, Mom.  It's how you get pictures on Facebook.
Mama:  Oh, okay.  I have those instructions around here somewhere.  Let me see if I can find them.
Dana:  Can't you just look for it later?
Mama:  Well, I want to make sure I haven't lost them.  I haven't put pictures up on Facebook in a long time.  Hold on a minute.
Dana:  GAH!


Mama:  Okay.  I found it.  Right where I'd put it.  Now, will I put the pictures on Facebook first?
Dana:  No, Mom.  You want these pictures on your blog.  I mean, you can load them on Facebook if you want to but you don't need to in order to use them on your blog.
Mama: Okay. Where do I get my blog?
Dana:  Well, you have to create a blog, you don't just "get" one.
Mama:  You know what I mean.
Dana:  Blah. You have several options, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, just to name a few.  I use Blogger but a lot of people like WordPress.  I have a Tumblr account, too, and I'm starting to get the hang of that one.  Tumblr might actually be the easiest if you just want to do pictures.  Are you going to write in it like I do with my blog, too?  Or, do you just want to post pictures of your paintings?  Do you want to direct people to the blog to view the paintings if they are interested in buying one?  Like, what's your purpose going to be with the blog?
Mama:  This is confusing.
Dana:  No it's not, Mom, it's just new.  You do far more difficult stuff at work everyday.
Mama:  Well, I don't do THIS at work everyday.
Dana:  Okay.  Whatever.
Mama:  You need to be nicer to your old mother.
Dana:  You're not that old, Mom.
Mama:  I'm old enough.
Dana:  Okay, Mom.  I love you.
Mama:  I guess you're trying to get off the phone with your old mother now, huh?
Dana:  Yep.
Mama:  I love you, too.  Try to be a little more patient with me, please.
Dana: you.  Bye.
Mama: Bye, honey.


I did get permission from my mom to post this because it's a fairly accurate portrayal of any conversation we have ever had that involved computers, cameras, the internet, printers, computer games, social networking, etc.  She was laughing...and then said that she needed me to post some pictures of her paintings to Facebook the next time I come home.  You can't make this stuff up, folks!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Dakotas, Part Two.

Our epic cross country adventure starts here

Ok, so I forgot about the Badlands in South Dakota, but the previous post was long enough so I'll just include it here. I also forgot about one of the most memorable moments we had with the dogs on the trip.

After the nice long day we had visiting Rushmore and Wind Cave National Park, we realized that the dogs really needed some time to run around. Dana had found a state park that was along the way back to the our campground in Rapid City. You are probably asking "how did she do that?" Well, by this point we figured that we needed internet in some form or another. I had only made reservations at campgrounds for a week or so out so, we needed some way to look up places other than calling our parents to look some up for us (which they did on a couple of occasions). We had very cheap cell phones but still internet capable so we bit the bullet and got it on my phone. It was slow with terrible graphics. But it worked. I digress. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wesleyan College: A Pictorial

Hail, Wesleyan, thou emblem of all that is grand;

The noblest, the greatest, in all our fair land.

Thine ideals are honored, thy name always blest;

A fountain of knowledge, the oldest and best.

A star in the dark is thy glorious past,

Forever and ever thy glory shall last.

Upholding thine ideals, thy daughters shall be

True, faithful, and loyal, dear Wesleyan, to thee.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Dakotas are not as Crappy as Everyone Says.

Our epic cross country adventure starts here

When we left Bozeman, packing up the camper was an adventure as I had to accomplish it in a blizzard. Dana and I had not yet caught up to the technology in the 21st century and had cell phones with no internet. I know, right? Well, needless to say it was not as easy as it is now with smart phones to get the weather. Truly, my meteorology skills had declined since college.

In order to see more states that we had yet to see, we drove east to North Dakota. We had the ultimate goal of driving east to North Dakota, just to say we did it, then drive south to South Dakota and see Mt. Rushmore. The drive was a bit too long to do in one day so we made arrangements to stay in a convenient place in North Dakota. Convenient was about it. This campground, located in Belfield, ND, which had full hookups and level sites was in the middle of a tree farm. We were the only people there and the campground was not manned. Honor-code payment. It was kind of creepy but fortunately the Trappers Kettle Restaurant was close by. A unique dining experience, to say the least.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Jessica was the kind of person who genuinely lived every moment; she wasn't afraid to follow her heart in any situation. She was a beautiful person, inside & out.  Jessica was a joy to be around, incredibly intelligent, and a truly gifted dancer.  She had a warm, compassionate spirit that drew people to her.

We met in 3rd grade when I was transferred to a Gifted class at her elementary school and quickly became friends.  That friendship just grew closer when we attended the same middle & high school and saw each other every day instead of just once a week.  Jessica quickly became one of my closest girlfriends, one of my compatriots in the emotionally charged chaos that is high school.  Although we eventually went to separate colleges, our friendship remained.

The summer after we graduated from college, my grandfather was in the hospital.  Jessica frequently came to the hospital to visit us.  She had a wonderfully close relationship to her Poppa and she understood completely how I felt about my Papa.  It was a busy summer and we weren't able to spend as much time together as we would have liked before the next phase of our lives started.

The day my "new" life was to start, my mom woke me up because Jessica's mom was on the phone & wanted to talk to me.  I was moving to Charleston to start graduate school, so I wasn't surprised my "bonus" mom was calling to tell me goodbye & wish me luck.

I was completely unprepared for what she had to tell me.

Jessica had been killed in an accident.

Time stopped.

Reality began to set in and I heard Jessica's mom's sweet voice trying to comfort me.  Me.  In the midst of her worst possible tragedy, she was trying to give me comfort in losing my best friend.  I was in shock.  This didn't happen.  This couldn't have happened.  Not to Jessica.

Then she asked me to do the single most difficult thing I have ever had to do.  Jessica's mom needed me to call our friends and let them know what had happened.  Reality sank in and I became an adult in one single, painful moment.  I had been entrusted with a tremendous and heart-wrenching task and I had to pull myself together long enough to make some of the most difficult phone calls I have ever had to make.  Our circle of friends was tight-knit and I knew no one would be unaffected by Jessica's death.

That was the last moment for many months that I was able to hold it together.  Her death marked the point in my life where I hit rock bottom. I was the friend in our group that could be depended on to be the "rock," the dependable one to help everyone out when they needed it.  Suddenly, I was the friend barely standing on my own two feet, drifting at sea without a rudder. I learned through Jessica's death that I had some incredible friends who were willing to return the favor when I needed them most. Up until that point, I had never needed anyone, much less cried in public.  We circled our wagons and supported each other through our heart break.

Her death changed my life in many tangible ways. My carefully planned life fell apart at the seams and I learned to live without plans, my only goal being to enjoy what I had, where I was, while I was there. I learned everything can be lost in an instant and for the first time, I learned to be vulnerable and open to people and experiences.  I am a better person for having known Jessica; her life and her death changed me forever.

Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was inspired by: 1.) The moment I realized I was a grown up.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Our epic cross country adventure starts here.

When I told my dad we were heading to Bozeman, he pronounced it Boozeman. It's kind of funny if you know my dad, because a booze man he is not.

Our drive from Glacier led us through some scenic areas of Montana. We took roads less travelled, past a frozen lake, through Bald Eagle infested forests, to finally the Bozeman KOA. Again, there was snow all over the ground so, the pics you see on the link are not the views we had. It was a nice KOA though. We had intentions of only staying one night here also, but intentions sometimes go awry. After we got set up, we decided to go exploring. Turns out, Bozeman is a pretty cool town. We made a pitstop at PetSmart for a Halti for Boomer and listened to a saleswoman try to tell us how to walk our dogs. You can imagine how that went over. After PetSmart Dana forced me to go to the Bozeman Brewing Co. were we sampled some really good beer. If I lived in Bozeman, I would be a regular at this establishment. After a couple of beers, we left and went to find a place to eat. As I mentioned Bozeman is a pretty cool town, home to the Montana State Bobcats. We finally decided on the Montana Aleworks Bar & Grill. This place was awesome. Huge selection of beer and the food was awesome.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Have You Missed Me, Facebook?

Well, we are about halfway through Lent and I have held (mostly) strong in my avoidance of Facebook and BabyCenter.

I have to confess that I did log on to Facebook a couple of weeks ago to change my settings.  Some of you may have noticed that you can't comment on my posts or wall anymore.  That was on purpose.  I got tired of hearing about the conversations that were taking place on my wall WITHOUT ME!!!!  I'm sorry, I only look mature.  The witty, funny, and sometimes serious discussions surrounding various posts or comments have been the biggest things I have missed about Facebook.  The connections I've made with like-minded Moms have been what I've missed most about BabyCenter. I changed my settings in the hopes that some of my Facebook & BabyCenter friends would come visit this blog or my other blog, Southern Sass & Global Crass, and comment.  It hasn't really panned out yet. (hint, hint!!!)

Overall, this Lenten fast has proven to be a really good one.  Both Facebook & BabyCenter were becoming huge time-sucks.  I played dumb games all the time, got caught up reading about people's lives & drama that had nothing to do with me (a big problem with BabyCenter - voyeurism is so easy on that website), and I felt like I always had to be "on" and available.  If someone posted an interesting article, I needed to comment immediately.  If there was a cute picture, I needed to "like" it right then.  You get the picture.  My focus needed to shift because the only people who truly need me right now are Chris & Klaw.

Blogging can take place on my schedule.  I can work on various posts when I have time and set them up to post automatically.  I have an email account for the blogs and I get an email if someone comments.  I can respond whenever I have time.  The (self-inflicted) pressure to be present and accessible to everyone, all of the time doesn't exist for me in the world of blogging.

I used to rail against Twitter...and now I have embraced Twitter.  I can admit when I am wrong and I was wrong about Twitter.  John Reid described Twitter as a cocktail party.  You can join in conversations when you feel like it, meet new people, and move along.  You can step away for a while and step back in at will.  It's impossible to keep up with everything on Twitter, so you just jump in when you want to and walk away when you are done.  I love that!  (you can also join #WineParty on Friday nights with @BlogDangerously, if you really want Twitter to be a cocktail party)

I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when Lent is over.  I do know that blogging will remain a priority over Facebook, BabyCenter, & other social networking sites.  I don't even know how involved I am going to be in Facebook & BabyCenter once this is all over.  I haven't missed much about it.  I've missed connecting with people all over the place, but I've had more time to connect more fully with people in my day to day life.  Hopefully, over the next few weeks the balance I need to find will become more obvious.

Have you ever felt the need to cut back on social networking?  How have you dealt with it?  Were you able to find balance?  I'd love to hear your perspective.

Today, I linked Chris's post about our continuing cross-country epic adventure for Sunday Funday.  Check it out & check out some of other great posts!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Dish on Diapers, Part Deux

Since my last post on cloth diapers, our routine has changed a bit after some trial & error.  We have also had a few trips to give us some perspective on using cloth diapers while traveling.  Please feel free to share The Dish on Diapers, where I go into greater detail about the ins & outs of cloth diapering, & this cloth diaper post to anyone who might enjoy it or find it useful.

I was recently featured as Diaper Junction's first Mom in Focus on their Cloth Diaper Blog! Check it out!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Photobomb: Klaw's First Birthday!!!

I know, I know.  I'm a bit late in posting these pictures...

Klaw's new kitchen! His favorite activities are taking the shelf out of the fridge & eating puffs out of the sink.

Klaw's cake!  I used the Golden Yellow Cake Mix from Trader Joe's.  Instead of oil, I used applesauce & baked according to the directions on the box.  I made a simple glaze with powdered sugar & lime juice, poked holes in the top of the cake with a fork, & poured the glaze over it while everything was still hot so the lime-goodness would soak through.  The only fat was from the 3 eggs in the recipe, which put 13.5g of fat in the whole cake.  Great for a kid with an FaOD!

The birthday boy! (The t-shirt was made by our friend, Arynn!)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finally, after many years.

Our epic cross country adventure starts here.

Idaho was indeed beautiful but what I really wanted to see was Glacier National Park and Montana. My great buddy, Dollar, worked at GNP over the summer one year while we were in college and all of the stories he told made me wish I could go right then. Well it only took 10 more years before I had the opportunity to go. I'll admit that I was a bit sad leaving Salmon River country but the drive north to Montana was extremely scenic.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Updates

Just a quick note to let my subscribers know that I have recently updated our feed, so it would behoove you to update your feed subscription!

You can either click on the RSS sunflower in the sidebar or you can subscribe through this link.

You can also subscribe via email.  See that little envelope?

If you are feeling particularly bold, you can click the little blue bird and follow me on Twitter.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Idaho is AWESOME (in the likeness of DJ Lance)

Our epic cross country adventure starts here.

Yeah. So after driving through the misleadingly wide state of Nevada, our journeys turned a bit North; actually a lot North. Neither of us had been through Idaho at all and it happened to sit in between California and Glacier National Park, the first place we planned to spend two nights. There aren't too many campgrounds open this time of year in the Northwest so I had to take what I could find.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Funday & a Confession

 Today I'm linking up to TWO bloggers I enjoy: Carri at Adventures in Mommyhood for her Sunday Funday and Diana at Hormonal Imbalances for her Sunday Confessions.  Klaw's Birth Story made the cut for my favorite post of the week for Sunday Funday, just in case you missed it.  Take a few minutes to check out some of the other entries - this week has everything from hilarious "kids say the darnedest things" posts to tasty recipes.

Now for my confession.  My secret shame.  Something I hate to admit, but I'm going to.  I need to get this burden off of my shoulders.

I love Walmart.

I really do.  I know.  I know.  I'm supposed to hate the evil that is Walmart.  It goes against everything I stand for in life. I've tried but I just can't bring myself to do it.  I had, at one point, convinced myself that Walmart was the devil.  Then, they started carrying organic products.  Organic products that I was already using & purchasing elsewhere.  Organic products that were now available to the masses instead of in a special section in a random grocery store.

The justifications began.
I need to purchase this organic yogurt from Walmart because I'll be voting with my dollars and telling Walmart that organic is good.
This Sam's Choice coffee is Rainforest Certified.  I need to buy it to show Walmart that they need more eco-conscious products on their shelves.
OOOH!  This squash is from a farm within thirty miles of this Walmart.  I need to purchase it so that Walmart understands that locally grown food is desired by local residents.
Nice!  They have the organic baby food & snacks I feed Klaw.  I need to buy it so that they will continue to keep it on their shelves and maybe some other parents will choose it for their babies, too!
I could go on.

I understand that every time I swipe my debit card at Walmart a tree in a rainforest falls, an endangered species becomes extinct, a child eats processed sugar for breakfast, Nestle purchases more chocolate harvested by children, an historical monument is defiled, and a local business closes.

I still can't stop myself.  I hate that I love you, Walmart.

Friday, April 1, 2011

On the Road Again!

Ok. So we really aren't about to be on the road again unless I can see into the future and the Navy is planning something they're not telling me. This series of entries are in honor of the three year anniversary of our trip cross country from California to Connecticut. Why the three year anniversary? No good reason except that lately I've been reminiscing about all the places I've enjoyed living and many of the fun excursions I've, sorry we've, been able to take. So, appropriately, three years ago, we began that 21 day camping journey that, to me, was one of the best times of my life. I'd like to share that with you.

This trip was made in our 2000 Coleman Niagara Elite pop-up camper, thanks Wade and Karen. She's fully equipped with two king size beds, small fridge, small stove, toilet, shower, and dining room table. Oh yeah, she's got central heating and air, the latter of which we certainly didn't need on this trip.

Dana cautioned me not to get too lengthy and don't recreate every minute of every day of that trip because boredom would quickly set in to the reader. As much as I hate to say it, she's right. So I'll just pick out the highlights and every few days or so post a new entry. Enjoy!

Reno, NV

This was the first city we stayed in after we left Pacific Grove. Dana and I made an arrangement not to drive any more than 8 hours a day and Reno met that criteria. I had done a little bit of planning before we left so we had reservations for the first week or so. This night was spent at the Reno KOA at Boomtown. There honestly wasn't anything special about this particular day but I do want to mention that this was day one of seeing either snow on the ground or falling to the ground. Oh yeah, and it was here that we purchased our KOA Membership which saved us plenty of money along the way.

The epic adventure continues...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...