Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Wool Coat

How exciting is my life that I am blogging about my coat???

Well, today I broke down and finally bought a "dress coat". I have a ton of coats, in fact I have a pile of them in a goodwill box on their way out the door. Coats are very hard for me to give up but reality is that when it comes to actually wearing a coat, there are only a couple that I really wear and the rest are just there for reserve.

I am trying to be better about not hoarding things and moving into a simpler life but it is hard for me....I am by nature a pack rat and keeping things for "just in case" is a motto of my life.

So, you are probably wondering, how buying a new coat is working on simplifying things...well, I haven't had a coat that I could wear with nice clothes or dresses, since I don't know...highschool, when I would wear recycled black trenchcoats? So I needed to get a nice wool coat with the idea, that this would free me up to get rid of three others that I have just had in reserve.

It seemed like I was in Burlington Coat Factory forever but I ended up with a 275 dollar Anne Klein wool/cashmere coat for about 100 bucks and I am happy with the purchase. I don't know that I will wear this coat all the time, but it will definitely fit the bill for the long term dressy needs, and now I can hand off the "wannabe" letterman's jacket, the 80's fleece, and the ugly OD green coat I used to wear in the 90's with big sweaters and leggings....(yes, I wore them too). I am sure someone else will find these coats very useful in the cold days we have left this winter, and I will feel a bit free-er.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Taxes Are Coming

Well, the season is upon us again. I have not actually started dealing with it full scale but it is on the back of my mind. I have purchased my software, mostly I am waiting for tax paperwork to come in the mail and for the motivation to the year end filing to locate all the necessary components.....haha.

I am usually a Turbotax user but in the last few years have gotten very irritated with their new methods. The basic version (which is the only version I have ever used) has progressively started to offer less and less for those that need to do more than a 1040EZ. Since we own a house that we live in and own one we rent one out in another state, our taxes can be slightly confusing (not as confusing as they would be if we had a business or something). I have recently found that Turbotax has not been helping me as much as it should and that pisses me off. I mean to offer something for a price and then to slowly reduce what you are offering but not lowering the price any is just plain deceitful.

So I looked into my options and decided to go with Taxcut this year. Their prices differences are not based on what they offer me regarding my federal taxes but based on whether you want to e-file (which I don't) or if you have state taxes to do (which I don't). I read a review/comparison on the two and Taxcut won out. I am hoping that I will get all questions asked that I need to do my taxes correctly this year and will feel justified in my decision to dump Turbotax.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pinging Issues

Well, as you all know (at least those of you that use Blogrolling) there has been a problem lately with their "recently updated" feature not working. In reality, it works fine, the problem seems to be either that Blogger is no longer sending out pings that they can read (I think this might be a New Blogger issue), or they are being bombarded with spam pings and legit ones are being dropped. I have tested the system by pinging the manually for all of my updates (as well as blogs that I read) and those go through fine and the "recently updated" feature seems to function fine.

I started noticing that recently my RSS feeds (this turns out to be partly because the RSS address on New Blogger is different than on Old Blogger) of my blog weren't updating on My Yahoo much and I am trying to get more traffic (even put my main blog on FuelMyBlog). I listed my blog with Yahoo and Google, and have been proactive in trying to get this "recently updated" issue fixed. I have become even more convinced that there is a New Blogger pinging problem. I don't think that their pings to even Weblogs or Technorati are working either. That is why I went to Autopinger yesterday.

I signed up for a free account and put all my blogs into their automated system where I could pick and choose which services would be pinged (and they ping EVERYBODY). I also ping manually through them each time I update one of my blogs just to be as current as I can. It has become part of my blogging routine. I turn off the services that are of the lowest percentages (usually indicates a problem with their system), and a lot of the non-english services (I keep at least two of the Japanese ones but turn off most of the others).

Anyhow, I thought I would share news of this service because it seems that my pings from them are getting through to Blogrolling with no problem and my blogs are reflecting the correct "recently updated" information. I figured that some of you might want to sign your blogs up for this service so that your blogs would show as "recently updated" as well since Blogger doesn't seem to be doing it for us right now.

Note: There is another service called Pingomatic that you can use for manual pings but I like the fact that if I forget to do it manually with Autopinger, they will eventually do it for me (I think it is at least once an hour).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

South Park Rules!!!!

Got this from Mindsprite...had to do one of my own. Looks like me too....although I hope I am not this stocky in real life...haha.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Finally....New Floor

It's about time I got this post up...sorry for the delay.

Here are some pics of our kitchen flooring project and the final look with the new countertops and new floor both.

Old kitchen with old counters and old floor This is what our kitchen basically looked like when we moved into our house. Old faux butcherblock countertops and a tan and cream plaid floor. This was a shot I took before we removed the countertops a while back, so that is why there is nothing on the counters really.

Old floor looking towards the pantry This is more of a close up of the floor (which wasn't in terrible condition but was very outdated looking). This is looking from near the kitchen sink towards our pantry. The doors are already off the pantry and everything that is normally on the floor in there is gone to another room.

We had to move the fridge, washer and dryer all into the family room, and then the stove and dishwasher into our dining room in order to do this flooring project.

During rollout and cutting to fit This shot is during the rollout of the new floor. We had to take this 12x16 roll of linoleum and try to fit it and cut it while not tearing was quite the feat and not something I would like to repeat anytime soon. Fortunately, we had done the floor in our little guest bathroom first so we kind of had an idea of how to proceed. Obviously, we didn't eat out of this kitchen for a few days, but we did have the fridge, the microwave and coffee maker plugged in, so we could do snacks and drinks.

New floor looking towards pantry This is just a comparison shot from the same location as the old floor shot above. This is looking towards the pantry from the kitchen sink after the floor was finished and all molding and doors had been replaced. I think the patter is much more modern looking and now all the linoleum in the house matches.

New kitchen with new counters and new floor This is the finished kitchen with new floor and new countertops. All appliances and extras are back in place. It looks so much more updated and that is what we were going for. The floor only took us the New Year weekend. Hooking the fridge's icemaker back up ended up being the hardest part of the whole thing....haha.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

We Are Going To The Superbowl!!!!!

Finally, my Bears pulled off the season I have been looking for. The last couple of years, they have gotten close but not quite there. Today they put the Saints away. I am so thrilled to be watching them in the Superbowl this year!!! The socks and sweatshirt I put on during the first quarter must have been just the extra kick they needed to get past the playoff hump (haha).
I hope the Superbowl ends up being an exciting game.....GOOOOOOO Bears!!!!!

The Lion Kitty

Finally, I got a couple of decent pics of the lion kitty living in my house. Her fur is so fluffy right now it is ridiculous. I hope it is keeping her warm, because as soon as it warms up a bit, it is gone (otherwise she sheds more than any cat I have ever seen). So here you go, enjoy it while you can....

Chase, the Lion Kitty

Close shot of the Lion Kitty

Friday, January 19, 2007

New Pets

I finally got a few new fish (4 to be exact) the other day. I ended up with 3 Dalmation Lyretail Mollies and 1 black Mollie. One of the Dalmations is male and the black Mollie is I have balanced out the gender issue (there are still more girls than boys but that is the way it should be). Only issue right now is that there is only one Red Wag Platy in there but I don't want to get more of them, so she will just have to suck it up unfortunately.

So anyhow, here are two pictures of the Dalmations...I couldn't get a good shot of the black one. These Lyretails don't have the really fancy dorsal fin like some of my others have had but they still look pretty nice.

Dalmation Lyretail Mollie

Dalmation Lyretail Mollie

Another Blogrolling Note

Seems that if you manually ping blog rolling in their ping form on their website, it will update your links in your blogroll.

I have been checking out their forums today after all my links when "new" and it seems that what has happened to cause most of their problems is spamblogs that ping as updated and have over worked the system. They are currently working on a cure, but if you want your blogs to show as updated, the work around is to do the manual ping on blogrolling's site. I tried to the ping at Technorati and Webblog but it didn't update blogrolling. I have tested pinging at blogrolling itself and it does work.

Update: I have been manually updating all the blogs in my blogroll with I just figure that if you updated today, you deserve to be at the top...don't know if I will do it all day, but it is fun to see them move around a has been so long.

This also means that you will look updated to anyone else that has you on their if you think that Blogrolling is working's is just me!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Towel Animals

I thought these were too cute and we had a new one each night in our room....I just had to photograph them before I took them apart. Now I just need to learn how to make would be fun when we have guests. The ones with sunglasses are wearing my sunglasses.







Monday, January 15, 2007

No Skin

I managed to twist off the skin on my thumb today doing quarterly maintenance on the hottub.

I was trying to remove all 39 jets from the hot tub shell so I could clean and do maintenance on them as well and two of them would not come off. I even put on rubber gloves to try to get some better grip.

It didn't start to hurt until later when I was doing dishes and trying to make dinner. Somehow, no matter how I hurt myself, it ends up being the one thing I use the is that possible?

It seems that each day I am being able to get a few things done off my list since school has been over, and that has been gratifying even if a bit painful...

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fish Tank

I wanted to post a picture of the fish tank with the new it is...and I think the fish like it. Now I just need to get some more fish...the ones in there look a bit lonely.

Tank on new fish cabinet that J built.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sometimes I Wonder

Okay, we went to NY City this summer and I have had pictures and souveniors ready to put in an album for ages but I couldn't do it because I couldn't find the postcards I purchased to keep for the book...I figured I would find them eventually but had honestly looked every where that I thought they would be.

I had just about resolved myself to the fact that I was going to have to do the book without them, when today, while looking for a pen in the glove box of our truck, J stumbled upon them. I am such a dork....guess that means getting that travel book done is now on my list of things to do. I really need to get pictures from our trip and the holidays uploaded to York because they are having a sale on prints until the 16th and I don't want to pay more for prints than I have to...

How Do They Do It?

Until recently, I haven't had my nails painted by anyone but me (or my mom when I was little). While we were on our trip, I lost all the polish on one foot while rafting in Costa Rica...and we had a formal occasion to attend a few days later. Even though I am Ms Prepared, and did think of just about everything to bring with us on the trip, I didn't bring polish or remover, so I was left to pay for it.

Since I wasn't have a complete pedicure, just a repolish, I made sure things were cleaned up and nice before going to the appointment. Basically the entire process entailed removal of old polish, a little buffing of dry skin, base coat, two coats of polish, and top coat. I think the entire thing took only 10 minutes. The technician was very quick and did a great job, and I am amazed at how well this polish stands up.

It is like having a clear coat car finish on my it the top coat, or the type of polish that causes it to be so tough? Whatever it is, I need to buy some of this stuff for myself. I love it.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's Official

I got word yesterday....I am officially a graduate. I should be getting my diploma from my graduate school in a few weeks. Whew!!!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Started Ian's book "Hard Word of Life"...pretty interesting so far...definitely a fun read. I would provide a link but I can't seem to find one even on which is where it was published....perhaps "someone" could point interested parties in the right direction?

My gym is affiliated with a local medical center, so it has a lot of older members that are in physical is strange to me to see old lady knees. I haven't seen a grandma like person in shorts in my family in ages...I have to say, it is pretty cute...especially when they wear pink socks with their little white Keds.

Since we are talking about the gym...when I am there, I usually have my shuffle with anything from Disturbed, to Favela Chic playing. Every once in a while I take my earphones off when I am in the locker room. I am always surprised to hear Glenn Miller playing softly over the main they think people (even old people) can get their work out on to that music? I makes me want to read or contemplate but not work out...

I put out the new Diabetes travel bug in one of my caches the other day. I went with J to see if he could find it (the cache, not the travel bug)...he did, he is good that way. We ended up running along a new trail that I had only seen 1/2 of. It was a good thing, and I ran farther and longer than I have in a long time (without a soccer ball in front of me).

Speaking of J, the other day, I went with him and another friend on a hike in the national forest near here. The friend and I each had a GPS in our hands as we were also finding a couple of caches while we were out. J had a topomap of the area and a WWII compass that he had borrowed from the friend. I was amazed, let me say again, amazed at how well J can navigate in the woods. He would find a bearing on the map, put the map and compass away, and we would all start hiking to it (we weren't on a trail and had to cross creeks, and get under and through all sorts of bushes and trees). Everytime I would think we were a tiny bit off course, I would look at the bearing on my GPS and J would be right on does he do that?

Put the fish tank on the new fish tank cabinet last night. Had to move a few things around in the family room. I might end up moving some more things around. The tank looks really awesome on the cabinet and the fish seem to like it as well. I'll post a pic later if I remember.

Got 4 packages yesterday from family for Christmas. J got this awesome workout toning bar that I think we can both use for exercise and golf swings...we'll see. It is definitely a nice addition to our home gym equipment. We got this fun game from his mom (that we even played last night) along with a few other things. Then we got this cool piece of art from my dad and his wife. I have a lot of my dad's artwork in my house (not that I couldn't use more...hint, hint) but I never had any of his wife's and this piece is one of hers. It is really great and I am so thrilled to have it.

Well, I need to get in I will have to do some more "observing" later...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Comment Text Editing

I am posting this link as a reference to myself because it tells me how to make my comment text grammatically correct and I had to search everywhere to find it. I figure if I make it a post, at least I will have it later if I want and can do a search on my own blog for it.

Comment Text Editing Directions...the help forum couldn't be bothered to answer my questions but in posting a third time, this link came up in their cool search window and it is set up for new Blogger (which is what I needed). Yeah!!! Now if I could only get a few other tweaks going my way...I'll be good.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Cabinet

J made me this cool cabinet for our fish tank to sit on since our current fish tank stand is not looking so hot and has no place to hide the stuff.

Upperside view, raw and clamped

Problem is, this cabinet is so cool looking (and it matches, in style, our buffet in our dining room) that I don't want to ruin it by putting the fish tank on it. I am afraid that the little bit of water, condensation or salt that gets out of the tank will ruin the wood. I need to find something to put between the wood and the tank to try to protect it some.

Upperside view finished

Anyhow, here are three pics of as it was being made and glued and two of it finished (we had even ironed on the paper to the sliding screens). Isn't it nice?

Front view finished

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Got Lucky

Okay, I know, enough about new blogger, but I have one more thing to say for now and then I will shut up about it. When I converted, it was pretty much painless, all three of my blogs have been upgraded to the new templates and besides a little glitch on where the email and pencil show up on this blog, I can't complain. Pictures upload faster, the layouts are easier to tweak (once you get comfortable with them), and the publishing is a million times faster. I also like the new spell checker, and the labels an awful lot. I have not been locked out, or completely deleted like some have.

I have been scoping out the scene on the Google Blogger Group. Some people have been completely hosed in their transfer. Yes, there are those like me, that are just trying to find out how to do some of the tweaking we did before and that is no big deal. Others have lost their entire blogs, are locked out of their blogs, have their blogs stuck between the new version and the old...all sorts of nightmares. It makes me glad that I have backed up my most important posts in case I were to lose everything.

The point of my post I guess is that there are those that do business via their blogs. Sounds like a good idea, until it goes down. Thing I don't understand is that they are getting irate at Blogger. As a free service they can't really get mad if it is not available or needs tweaking. I mean, I would hope that you would not have your entire business relying on a free service, right? This person in particular is mad because her RSS feeds are not working....her blog is functioning fine otherwise.

I guess I am just thankful that my blogs are working well, and that I am not watching dollars go out the window because I put my business in the hands of a free service with no guarantees.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Christmas Has Arrived

One of my MILs makes this awesome fudge every year for Christmas. It is to die for. I was excited to see the package in the mail because as soon as I saw the handwriting I knew it was in the box.

She sent ours late this year because we were out of town so it arrived is so good. We will have to spread it out over time so we don't end up eating a billion calories in the next few days. I am not complaining though because it is just not Christmas until the fudge gets here.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reading Update

Got the 3rd blog upgraded and updated today. Check out Mishka's Reading for a list of the books I read in 2006 and my rating and reviews of them.

Playing Around

Have actually had some time today to do some of the things that I have wanted to do during the semester, holidays and travel.

I have backed up most of my posts from last year (at least the ones that I want to keep). I have tweaked my blog a bit, and have added labels to my last 50 posts.

I still need to tweak my other blogs and post our travel stuff to my travelblog as well as post pics from our recent kitchen floor work.

Now I am going to get some lunch going, and maybe even watch a movie I know J won't want to see while I work on a project for a friend.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year Activities

We went to our friends house last night to celebrate the New Year's countdown. We watched Pay per View Pride fights until the midnight hour. It was a nice time and some great food. The only thing that wasn't great was the hour long drive home at 1am in the morning.

Needless to say, we slept in today but managed to get lots done. The kitchen in complete (I'll post pictures soon), and that was no small feat. The laundry room is up and running again, and we even got the ice maker on the refridge hooked up again.

I managed to get a B in my class so unless I have seriously miscalculated, I should be graduating soon. I will check in with the school next week and hopefully that will be confirmed.

Last but not least, I updated my blog to beta (or not beta, whichever it is now). It wasn't as bad as I thought and it publishes a lot faster but I still want to change my template but not back to the classic settings so I guess I will be stuck with this one for a while longer until some of the free templates out there start working with widgets....

Anyhow, just wanted to get this post up....Happy New Year everyone.