Happy Halloween!

Halloween flashback:

This was taken in 2003. He was 7 months old and pretty much the cutest baby on the planet. 😉

His cheeks aren’t quite that pinchable anymore!

Silly old bear!

So. The consensus is I should participate in NaBloPoMo – you’ll see the badge on my sidebar now that I’ve officially joined. You can expect an entire month’s worth of photos, and bullet posts, and other miscellaneous crap! If I bore you – just remember it’s your own fault. Hee hee.

I’m here.

I’m sort of back. I’m here, but not here, ya know? I’ve been reading your blogs, and getting back to commenting, but I’m mostly staying off twitter and all of the other social places. I honestly can’t deal with the time suck right now! I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work the last few days, which is really a good thing as it distracts me. As hard as this weekend was, I did appreciate seeing family that I haven’t seen in many many years. When I lived “away” I missed many family events and I don’t want that to happen anymore.

I have to say, I love you all, my bloggy, tweety friends. Even though I closed comments on my last post, so that no one would feel obligated to say anything, soooo many of you emailed me, dm’ed me and @ed me anyway. I can’t thank you enough for your kind words and virtual hugs.

So, since I truly believe blogging is good for my psyche, I’m considering joining NaBloPoMo in November. Considering. For those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, November is National Blog Posting Month, when you post something every single day. Generally I post about 4-5 days a week anyway so it’s not a huge stretch for me to do it. However. I’m worried the obligation will make me despise my own blog. (And the crap I might post could make you hate it too.)

I want to know – are you joining in too? Have you done it before? Loved it or hated it?

I might just go with the consensus in comments…should I do it, yes or no?

rest in peace

My aunt passed away this morning after a very long and valiant battle with cancer. Even though it was expected, it’s not easy to believe it has actually happened. I can only think about my cousins, and how they’ve lost their mom, and their children have lost their grandmother. That’s the pain that takes my breath away.

I probably won’t be around much for the next few days. I have to bail out on a few obligations I had this weekend, and I’m sorry for that.

my fear, in focus

There aren’t many things in this world I’m actually afraid of. Spiders don’t bother me, small spaces are cozy, storms are exciting, the dark just puts me to sleep, and flying is fun. Public speaking is, well, okay, I don’t really like public speaking. I don’t fear mice, or dogs, or insects, frogs, elevators, heights, being alone or being in a crowd. You get the idea. The things that scare many people don’t scare me. Except one thing.

Black snake in Virginia, LOC

Image credit: Library of Congress

When I was a little kid I would lay in bed with my arms tucked in as tight as could be. I was afraid that if my hand hung over the bed that snakes would get me. Seriously. I was convinced there were snakes living under the bed, in the toilet, the the trees, in the basement, in the garage, under the shed, etc. I lived in Maine people. There are barely any snakes in Maine, and certainly no poisonous ones.

Even as a grown-up I still hate snakes. I don’t have nightmares anymore but there is no way on earth I would ever willingly touch one, or even be in a room with one. When we lived in Virgina there was a nasty big black snake that lived under our front steps. I found out when I found a freshly shed skin on the walk one morning. I freaked. The neighbor said that there was one under every porch on the block and to leave it alone – it was good because it ate mice. I said that’s why I have a cat. I desperately wanted to move. And we did just a few months later. Heh, if you ask my husband we moved for a job, if you ask me, we moved to get away from the snake.

Anyway. All this just to say, guess what I’m working on right now? Yeah. A book about snakes. You know what my job is by now right? I’m a photo editor. I get the photos for the book. Yeah. Lots and lots of pictures of snakes. Images of snakes hissing, and slithering, and birthing, showing fangs, and hatching, and eating, and squeezing and…oh my god. Images that are now burned into my brain. Let me tell you something right now, me looking for pictures of ‘pythons constricting large animals’ right before bed, is not a good idea.

PS. I need a slap on the hand for not keep you all up to date on the goings on at ChapterBytes. We have two new chapters up, Chapter 17 written by Karen, and Chapter 18 by B. This story is really moving along and I’m so impressed with the writers! Would you like to write a chapter but you’re being shy about it? Send me an email, let’s talk! catnip35 at gmail dot com.

yes, it’s a stuffed cow

Why do I have a picture of a stuffed cow on my blog?

You have to go over to my guest post at GNM Parents to find out!

weekend craziness

I just spent a lovely weekend living my life in reality instead of online.

First was the boy and I spent Friday evening at a friend’s house making Christmas cards. I’m terrible at it but it was such fun! I had some of those $0.25 wooden cutouts from the craft store on hand to keep the boy busy – he loves to color them. This is not a zebra (as we assumed):

Apparently it’s a horse wearing a Christmas sweater! I don’t wear Christmas sweaters so I have no idea where he got the idea!

Saturday morning my sister and her boy came for a visit. It’s become sort of an annual thing for us to spend a Saturday each Autumn going through a corn maze and picking out some pumpkins. The boys love it, and we love creating a new tradition and making memories.

We let them make most of the decisions – needless say we were in there for a looong time, and didn’t exactly come out where we were supposed to!

They loved the fact they had almost the same gloves, and of course, coordinating Red Sox caps:

After lunch it was time for the boy’s soccer game:

Wow, I actually managed to get a decent action shot!

Then the cousins had a sleepover, which is never all that much sleep! For any of us.

Whew, I’m tired. And I still need a shower. And I don’t think I’ve brushed me teeth yet. But this? This was a perfect weekend.

friday blah

It’s Friday, blah blah blah. I’m trying to pull another post out of my butt thin air, blah blah blah.

Blah.

Why the blahs? Cause every single day I do the same things:

Get up,

take a shower,

trip over the cat,

make coffee,

pack snacks for the boy,

put the boy on the bus,

avoid cleaning,

work frantically,

drop everything to pick the boy up,

feed him lunch,

forget to make my lunch,

work frantically,

realize I never drank my coffee,

realize am dehydrated,

work frantically,

avoid cleaning,

blog,

throw snacks at boy,

twitter,

realize it’s time to defrost something,

anything,

work frantically,

oops – can’t cook until I clean kitchen,

trip over the cat,

cook dinner,

twitter,

realize I never finished my coffee,

am dehydrated again,

throw snacks at the boy,

read to boy,

boy goes to bed,

twitter,

look at stats,

want a drink,

only have water,

avoid cleaning,

watch tv,

read blogs,

try not to snack,

twitter,

realize twitter only gets good after my bedtime,

go to bed too late,

pee three times before I can sleep since I drank all that water at the end of the day.

Blah.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

The regular variations are the occasional load of laundry, cleaning up cat puke/poop, and forking over wads of cash at the dang grocery store/target/wal-mart.

Seriously, yesterday at 4:30pm I went to defrost turkey sausage to make a quick spaghetti sauce with, and in the microwave I found the water I had boiled for the stupid cup o’ ramen I was going to have for lunch because I didn’t have time for anything else. Apparently I didn’t have time for that either.

Blah.

I need a life. I need a cure for my twitter addiction. And I’m not nearly as funny as the voices in my head think I am.

tree frog

I did a little yard work on Sunday, cleaning up the dead tomato and cucumber plants, and putting all my gardening tools and pots away in the shed. I cursed the trees as I watched tons of leaves rain down in the few hours I was outside. Fall is my favorite time of year, and this is when you’ll find me outside most often.

The best part of the day was finding a couple of visitors – no – not the dead chipmunk George left for me. We have a lot of little frogs around, and two made an appearance as I moved their hiding places. I insisted we get a picture of one, because his gray and black markings were so cool.

Wanna see him close up?

What a cute little bugger. I’m pretty sure this on is a gray tree frog – see his sticky toes?

I love frogs and toads. When we first moved here we didn’t have any because the previous owner’s dogs had killed them all. (George completely ignores them.) We’ve watched the population grow over the last 2 years, and now we have a good healthy mix of them. I think it’s part of reason we didn’t have quite as many mosquitoes this summer as last year.

My frogs are definitely wanted visitors.

We also have some unwanted visitors – mice love our shed. Last year we made the mistake of leaving a bag of grass seed in there, and unbeknownst to us, it kept them will fed all winter long. (We don’t go in the shed in the winter, it’s only used for storing summer stuff.) We, meaning DH, cleaned out the scattered seed and the mice nests, but we’d like them to stay away. I thought about putting some moth balls in there but I’m not sure it would work. I don’t want to put traps or poison out. Going back in the spring to a bunch of decaying carcasses isn’t my idea of a good time! Any ideas how to just keep them out?

Blog Action Day

Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything planned but I’d like to reprint one of the first posts I ever wrote. The topic of Blog Action Day is poverty, and my post fits pretty well with that – and how you can help without even spending any money.

Free Rice – originally posted on March 25, 2008

Charitable causes. There are ever so many aren’t there? Everyone has in their mind what they prefer in a “good cause.” For me it almost always comes down to children. I also tend to gravitate toward local charities like soup kitchens. It’s a hard thing to look at your own happy, healthy, energetic child and know there are kids just like him in your own community who go to school, or to sleep without any food in their bellies.

Now, look beyond your neighborhood and the bigger picture is such a harsh, overwhelming reality it’s difficult to comprehend. USAtoday ran an article this morning about the rising cost of food around the world this year and the terrible consequences for the World Food Programme.

I heart the World Food Programme. I have for some time now. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of extra cash to send them. I do, however, have downtime in the evenings when I like to blog surf and play computer games. My favorite games are solitaire majong, solitaire scrabble, and freecell. Exciting? Not. Well, they aren’t supposed to be, they’re supposed to relax me and work my brain a bit, you know, to help with my little memory problem…

Enter Free Rice. My newest online addiction. It’s a little word game, and for every word you get right you’re giving grains of rice to the World Food Programme. How cool is that? And seriously, once you start you can’t stop. Go on, learn a few new words and you be surprised how fast the rice grains grow.

This was a good reminder for me to put the Free Rice button back in my sidebar – it was lost in the move and I’m glad to have it again. There’s lots of choices of banners and buttons if you want to get one for your own blog!

Help end world hunger

BlogHer is what happens in the hallways

I promise this is my last post about BlogHer Boston, but I really wanted to give a shout out to everyone I met and/or got a business card from. Some people I spent lots of time with, and others only briefly, but everyone I met was completely amazing! I think I lost some business cards so I am winging it a bit. If I missed your name, please (!) leave me a comment so I can visit your site.

Kristy – This chick rocks the conference planning!

Megin – I’m so glad she decided to come at the last minute!

Velma – We are way too much alike!

Tempting Mama – I adore her, and her sweet baby too.

Double Agent Girl – We’re stalking each other now.

Karen Sugarpants – Dude. She makes me laugh, and I love to laugh.

Elisa Camahort – She’s a sweetheart, and gave me some great advice.

Chicky Chicky Baby – she’s a pro with the baby wearing, and as sweet as can be.

Motherbumper – Oh, the funny! And so cute I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home.

Her Bad Mother – I didn’t think this was possible, but I admire her even more now that I’ve met her.

Dawniemom – She was hurt and she still came!

Jane Porricelli – Why yes I did get to meet all three Moms Generations women!

Sharon Couto – I was lucky enough to have breakfast with her and we really hit it off.

Audrey McClelland – Omg Henry! I loved meeting these ladies.

Sherry Pardy – I found her on twitter the day before and I’m so glad I did!

Liz Henry – I wish I could have spent more time picking her brain!

Beth Kanter

Susan Getgood

Sassy Monkey

Jill Notkin

Lydia Walshin

Candelaria Silva

Angela

Wendi Aarons

Betsy

Christine Koh

The MomCentral ladies, Kara and Abbey

Susan Forshner

Sarah Fraser

Jenna Martin

Allison Greco

Christy!

Of course the sponsors were awesome too, GM, Yahoo, Leapfrog, Life’s Good, Springpadit, Hooked on Phonics, Playtex Baby, and more that I can’t think of!

I really had a great time, and I would highly recommend going to one if you’re at all thinking about it. I can’t wait for BlogHer 09, wherever it is!

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