Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Windows Live Writer

I compose most all of my posts in Windows Live Writer.  I have used this program for a couple of years.  It is extremely easy to set up and has a TON of great features.  I am going to share a few of my favorites today so you can see how the program could help you in your blog writing.

The main thing I adore about it is it will pull in your current theme so you can see how your post will actually look on your site.  You can change to a ton of different fonts and be able to see exactly what your post will appear like. 

Here is what live writer looks like as I am composing this post.


See at the bottom the tabs.  I am on the EDIT tab.  If I click to Preview tab you will see this:


See how my adds on the side show (and if I had scrolled up you would see my banner) this lets me see that my photos are set correctly.  I know for my blog a photo should be 495/265 pixels and I can custom set that in live writer so it doesn’t bleed over to my adds.  Smile 

Here is what the picture edit toolbar will look like.


Other great features:

  • I can add videos and pictures.
  • I can use the same live writer for several blog account and just click the drop down menu for which blog I want to post to.
  • I can hi-light a list I have made to add cute bullets

I can insert a map easily:

Map picture


This happens to be of where I grew up and took less than 10 seconds to stick in here. Smile

There are plugins you can add for facebook, mp3’s etc.

Trust me.  You will LOVE this program for your blogging!  I probably haven’t even hit the tip of the iceburg for all it’s great features. (I know I haven’t I forgot the insert table feature)

So, go ahead and download Window Live Writer you will love it and it’s FREE!

Let me know what you think.



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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Site Sharing…

Here is a website I adore.  You will find recipes, photography tips and tricks, Photoshop tutorials, a love story, you can get lost here for hours. Literally.
Pioneer Woman ok, this is not exactly how is sounds.  Ree Drummond is a city girl turned ranchers wife who started a “little” blog and has now become a very busy woman.  Her blog is amazing, her photography extraordinary and her cook book… fantastic.  The photography inside will make you drool.  

I will share another site or ten in a day or three.  Are there any sites that you love to visit?  That brighten your day?

I should also mention that she has absolutely amazing giveaways!  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

12 Days till College

I was thinking of the 12 days of Christmas song when I realized I only have 12 days left until I start classes again.  The last time I started classes, two years ago, I wasn’t at all nervous.  Now, I am a wee bit worried. 
Instead of going for the generic ‘business administration’ degree I had started to pursue I am going to school for a degree in Health Information Technology and Management.  I will learn a ton of stuff all medical related and that is what scares me.  All those medical terms flying at me. 
I also found out that I have to take two more college math classes even though they are not towards my degree.  They are required if you are on financial aid.  So, government, thanks for that.  I have to take EXTRA classes that you have to pay for… make a WHOOOOOLLLLLEEEE lotta sense. 
I am also nervous because, of all the time to have issues, my van is having issues now.  We have two vehicles we have to have fixed by the 23rd and zilch in the form of money to fix them. --- Deep breath. 
I have been taking many deep breaths the last week.  I keep reciting my husband’s favorite mantra “it’ll be a’ight'”  (ya, he’s a little bit southern).
I think I have finally gotten my schedule set up fairly well.  I will only need a sitter two days a week and that will be for only about an hour and a half until hubby gets home from work.  If they let him switch to hourly I will only need a sitter 1 day a week.  Next semester, if my wonderful, lovely, beautiful, caring daughter (yup..I know she’s reading this and that kind of thing works on us parents so I’m going to try it) is not working maybe I will be able to pile all my classes into one long day and she can babysit her brother since she doesn’t live far from the college.  I had thought I might be able to do that this semester since my husband doesn’t work Friday’s and the school offers Saturday classes but the program I am going for offers NO classes on Fridays OR Saturdays!  (I do have one Saturday class and it’s algebra…yikes.  I knew better than to think I could teach myself that stuff!)
So, for the next 12 days I am going to be doing things around here to try and get my house and my mind in study mode.  I have set up an area for Emily and I to study.  Here are some pics.  Generally Emily’s laptop is at the other end of the table but she is visiting her dad for a few days. 

(yes, I’m addicted to lamps.  I like a lot of light)

This area in our house in the realtors mind is a “dining room”.  Uh no… there is just too much carpet under my feet for that to be an area for dining.  We eat in the breakfast area on our other table.  This has become our ‘study’.  It will work wonderful for me as I can be out here studying and keeping an eye on my wonderful son who can climb anywhere now.
Other goals:
  • Have my menu plan and shopping lists ready for the next month.
  • Have laundry done and put up.  A load a day keeps mount washmore away.
  • Take out all Aiden’s clothes and sort and put back in by outfits (this is for daddy’s benefit) – I need to do this anyways, the child has grown 1 3/4 inches in a month!!
  • Get a daily schedule figured out.
I’m sure there will be more I need to get done before then but those are the main ones.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



Finally, my lil guy is sleeping.  After his big brother and his girlfriend left at 2:45 he laid right down and went to sleep.


If my mother were down here (she lives in New York state) she would be shaking her head and tsk tsking me and under her breath be muttering “that boy ain’t gonna sleep tonight”.

Just the thought of that makes me chuckle.

I’m so glad he is getting much needed rest.  He was up at five this a.m. and pretty much miserable until around noon.  Then he took a quick nap and got up and ate.

Check out this handsome blue-eyed boy that visited me the other day:


That is my grandson Jax for those of you that haven’t “met” him yet. 

Emily is off to her dad’s for a few days.  I think it’s the first time in years, at least it seems like it.  She is going to go to the beach and relax a bit before the craziness of her senior year starts.

It’s hard not to think of her as my baby because she has been my ‘baby’ for so long.  I still catch myself saying “my baby is going to be a senior” but with Aiden’s arrival I have a few years before that happens.  (unless, of couse, he turns out to be some brilliant child prodigy and graduates at 10 years old)

Sorry, no clever title today…


My lil guy isn’t feeling all that great.  He has his first ear infection.  We caught it early but that hasn’t really helped him feel better yet.  His temp is still up and he just feels yucky.  He is loving being held and cuddled to help him feel better and even though I did nothing yesterday other than take him to the doc and hold and cuddle him it was a good day.

When daddy got home he got some cuddle time with him too.  If I had something I had to do during the day his bubba or sissy cuddled with him. 

I have to admit I love all the extra snuggles from my very busy little boy but I truly can’t wait until I get this back:

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I don’t particularly care for lemonade!


They say when life give you lemons to make lemonade.  I don’t like lemonade so what to hell good is that going to do me?

Can you tell I’m having a bad day,ok week..ok month.

My van is now acting up.  Finally got classes settled and now my only wheels to get there might not be drivable!  What in the world!  Our little car has been broke for a year.  Finally found someone to fix it at a reasonable price but have to have money for parts to get it fixed. Once I’m in class I’ll have a financial aid refund but that is two weeks past the start of school.   Lew’s car is broke down so I am his transportation.  Em’s truck blew the radiator AND the head gasket yesterday.

Life is about to get very very very crazy.

Nuff said….

Any one have any chocolate?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Southwestern Shepherd's Pie

I like shepherd's pie once in awhile.  Hubby isn't a great big fan of it.  I had been wanting some for awhile now and had been toying with the idea of making it with taco seasoning in the meat.  I mentioned this to my son, who has gotten pretty good and concocting dishes like his mother and he said "you know, it might be good with fajita seasoning."

First I peeled and boiled about 3 lbs of potatoes and made mashed tatters.  I used some sour cream when I whipped them up. (I also add a chunk of onion to the potatoes when I boil them, adds a nice subtle flavor)

1 1/2 lbs of ground london broil (it was on sale a couple weeks ago bogo and I had some ground..super lean ground beef for 2.49 a lb.   heck yes).
2 Medium Sweet Onions
1 Lg. green pepper and or red pepper (I generally use both)

I browned the ground beef and then added chopped onions and peppers.  The meat was so lean I didn't even have to drain it.

I put the fajita seasoning pack (we prefer Old El paso brand) into 1/2 c. of water and stirred then poured over the meat and let it simmer for awhile.  (I also added 3 tbs of taco sauce... )

Grease a 13x9 pan.  Put meat in bottom.  Top meat with your fav cheese.  (I use Monterrey jack ) then I added two cans of whole corn drained.
Add another layer of cheese (my layers of cheese weren't all that thick)
Then layer on your potatoes.
You can spray the top with your fav. butter spray or just top with some dabs of butter.

I baked for about 10 min and then turned the broiler on for about 5.

This was a HUGE hit even with hubby.  There is none left.  The kids had some when they got home from work and the rest was eaten for lunch today.

This will definitely be added to our menu plan.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

College is givin' me gray hair... & Office 2010

Spent LITERALLY all day trying to get registered. So frustrated with College of Central FL that I am going to use my other option and go to Santa Fe in Gainesville. I think it will be a much better option any way. So, I went on Santa Fe online and tried to register and it says I need prerequisites which are not at all listed on the print outs I have. So, Friday I will be taking a trip there to get things straight with them.

Talked with a wonderful lady today from Microsoft (more on that later in a few weeks...maybe) but she gave me a great tip which I am going to share with you. I was telling her that I edit my photos in Picnik (I'm addicted) she recommend trying to edit them in Microsoft Office Powerpoint. Powerpoint!!!!! Seriously?? So she tells me all the things I can do and as soon as I can kick my son off my laptop (2010 is on my laptop) I am going to try it. If it turns out as great as she tells me.... you will see the results posted here.

My daughter came for a visit this afternoon with my wonderful grandsons. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the grow! In just the last few weeks Colby has taken off with his verbal skills and had us all laughing at some of the things he said tonight and Jaxson... well I can't say too much about those great big blue eyes of his and that huge grin. It will be hard to tell him no. Ever. So, all I can say is I am thankful I am his nanny because I don't HAVE to tell him no!

Here are a couple of pictures to prove to you that I have a legitimate reason to not say no to these precious boys:

See, I'd win the arguement in any court of law.   It doesn't show in Jax's picture but he has one little curl right on top of his head, which makes my arguement even stronger!

Don't forget to check out the new blog at: we need more people willing to have some fun so our story can go some where.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Blog and College Update

Today I took my CPT (College Placement Test) which was requried for me to register for classes. I only had to take the Reading Comprehension and Sentence Structure. I scored a 99 and a 89. No worries there. Now after a 24 hour wait for them to go into the computer I can then register for classes. If they aren't all full!

The process of getting into college is much more difficult that the classes once you finally get to that point!

I started another blog last week that some of my readers might be interested in. It's called Chapter Tag. It's basically a game of tag played with the written word.

I wrote chapter one and posted it. From the commentors a random person will be chosen to write chapter two...and take the story and characters where he or she wants. The rules are listed on the site. Chapter Tag under the rules tag. Since we are just getting started and commenting is slow b/c people are being SHY out there I am going to leave the comments open for more than 24 hours. Also to those I talked to before I changed 24 hour turn around for writing to 48. I am open to suggestions and would love to hear your comments about my new blog! Please do not be afraid to comment with ideas on the story either. If you read the rules you will see there is an "out" if your hands are truly shaking to hard to type the next chapter!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pancakes Like IHOP


I have tried many different recipes from online that claim to be like IHOP having several misses and finally with a bit of tweaking a hit!


The recipe calls for buttermilk.  This is IMPORTANT.  Since I do not regularly keep buttermilk on hand (I probably should I make pancakes now a couple times a week) I do know the old trick for when you are out.

Before you begin your recipe if you have no buttermilk put 1 1/4 c. of WHOLE milk into a cup.  Add 2 tsp. of white vinegar to the milk and let set for at least 10 minutes.  Don’t worry you will not taste the vinegar at all in the pancakes.

One batch makes enough for about four people.  Unless you have teenage sons.  If you have teenagers I suggest you double it. I have also made large batches of these during the school year and froze. To freeze them you want to freeze in a single layer first for about and hour then it’s safe to throw them all in a freezer bag.  My kids will pull them out in the morning and pop in the micro or toaster or I’ll use them as the bread to make my super fast Less than Three Minute breakfast Sandwich.


1 1/4 c. all purpose flour – sifted 1 egg
1/4 c. sugar 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
1/8 tsp. salt (aka a pinch) 1/4 c. cooking oil
1 heaping tsp baking powder  
1 tsp baking soda      

Put all dry ingredients together and whisk.  Add wet ingredients and whisk until semi-smooth.  This batter should be thinner than you are normally used to for pancake batter.  I find I may have to add a couple more splashes of milk to get it the right consistency. Cook on a hot griddle and enjoy!

My hubby and kids eat their pancakes covered w/peanut butter and maple syrup, how do you enjoy pancakes in your neck of the woods?

Gone Far Too Long

Why did I ever get away from my blog? Oh yeah... life. My "baby" will be 9 next week.  My husband has faced kidney failure and...