Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wordless Wednesday...our TWINS!!!

Gotcha! ;) These twins, with their mommy, usually make a morning & evening round from the front to the back of our property. They love the wild crab apple trees that run along the north border of the tree line. Until this weekend, we had always spooked them when we tried to get a picture of them. Mr. Mouse finally snapped this last Saturday.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

FAR too much time on your hands – Giveaway Bullies

I’ve really loved discovering the world of Mommy Blog giveaways. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, I’ve had to spend SOOOO much time these last seven months hooked up to a breast pump that entering giveaways and discovering blogs has really helped me focus away from how down I felt about my son never being able to latch properly. That said, I’ve recently happened upon a very weird phenomena…. Giveaway OCD stalker/bullies.

This may be rant-like but so feel free to hit the back button now. No really, it’s ok! Back button…

People who know me IRL, know that I am an extremely trustworthy person. My word means something. Mix that with my job which involves hands one oversight of hundreds of thousands of dollars, I think it’s safe to say I’m an honest person. But do I make mistakes? ABSOLUTELY! But to call one a “cheater” or “dishonest” about a SINGLE mistake? C’mon here…what’s really going on?

I’m aware of 4 mistakes I’ve made in giveaway entries. Allow me to explain, I keep a spreadsheet of open giveaways I’m entering on to help me keep track. I have a marking/coloring system which tells me what the daily/weekly/hourly entries are allowed on that specific event. It’s not as elaborate as it sounds, but helpful in keeping track of entries, wins, etc. For three of my known mistakes, I had miscolored something in the spreadsheet causing me to do daily entries for something, One mistake was that I got a time wrong on an entry and did a second entry too soon.

Now the interesting, and moderately scary part of this matter, is that for one of the mistakes, I caught but was unable to delete the entries because only the Blog Owner could delete the entries. So I emailed the blogger, apologized for my mistake and told them to delete the entries. While waiting for an email back from the blogger I received a RANTING email from someone who had also entered calling me a cheater demanding I delete ALL entries (not just the few that were in error) accusing me of being a scammer. Well I heard back from the blog owner the next day who said it was not problem and that she would just redraw if one of my incorrect entries was pulled. I deleted the email from the other person, blocked them and just moved on. No need to flame the fire of a lunatic.

For the other two errors my spreadsheet caused, I caught one and was able to delete the incorrect entries. But I did send an email apology to the Blog Owner who was very cool about the whole thing. For the third error, I found out about it because another crazy giveaway enterer sent me a series of really mean and successively demanding tweets over the course of four hours. The final tweets even included vulgarity because I didn’t respond to their earlier tweets quick enough for them. (Hello….wasn’t even NEAR a computer!)

Then just a day or 2 after that I get a cryptic tweet from someone who again is calling me a cheat because I made an error on the time of ONE tweet. ONE. Out of many many tweets. I responded to this creature because if I didn’t who knows if they would have gone deep end like the other twitter meanie! Really to no avail because I guess no one makes mistakes but me. I emailed the Blog Owner with an apology and asked him to please remove the ONE post in which I made a timing mistake. Regardless, not wanted to add flame to the fire of yet another troll, I just walked away from entering that giveaway because real life is stressful enough, I don’t need a Giveaway Nazi making it more so.

Recently, I happened upon one of three who had approached me with such vitriol in a post. And the creature is STILL alluding to a post as being a cheater; even though I haven't posted a single entry on the giveaway in question since. I’ve also noticed them trolling after me in other giveaways I’ve entered. Given this I really think there is a Giveaway MO which has a really mean Bully aspect to it. Meaning if someone is mean enough a stranger on the net, maybe they can just scare them away from giveaways to increase the odds for themselves. I don’t know. But it feels creepy and icky when I see someone still obsessing over MY post(s).

Here’s ultimately what I don’t understand. What in the world ever happened to common courtesy? Email addresses are readily available on giveaways and many of my entry posts even tie back to this blog. So how about a nice email introducing yourself and saying “Hey, just an FYI I think you may have made a mistake…..” It’s really truly a sad state of affairs when people are so quick to think the worst of you without even communicating with you personally, rationally and reasonably. And it even saddens me more to know that these people are raising children and grandchildren. I only hope they teach manners better than they practice them.

Bottom line is this, if you are concerned about fair entries; only enter contests on site with Blog Owner Moderation. That way, you know that the entries being posted are 100% validated by the person in charge. And guess what! That person in charge isn’t you. ;)

And the final irony in this that I've notice at least 2 entry errors made by one of these creatures. Do I care?'s just makes me chuckle.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Bane of a Completion-ist: Jean M Auel's The Land of the Painted Caves

The Land of Painted Caves (Earth's Children, #6)The Land of Painted Caves by Jean M. Auel

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Being a completion-ist can sometimes be painful. Take the final chapter (thankfully) in this long running Auel series for example. I clearly recall when the first installment, Clan of the Cave Bear, found it's way into my adolescent hands. I was simply in awe. Titillating and unique, I devoured the book. So as the years slowly ticked by, in respect to Auel's original impact on me, I kept plugging through her increasingly bad installments. For a final hurrah, I spent the last few months rereading all the preceding books in this series in preparation to read The Land of Painted Caves. Folks who know me well, know that it's not the least uncommon for me to reread books several times through the years; sort of like revisiting old friends. I have to say though, the last (and final) turn through Auel's series took an interesting turn. I kept plugging away for the sheer comedic value. But dear Lori, this was not as comedy! Au contraire I say! I finally realized that there could be some amazingly good drinking games derived from the reading of these books. There are so many phrases, ideas and descriptions that were flat out copy/pastes of previous ones that it was hilarious. Had I taken a gulp of wine every time she recycled these phrases, I'd be a raging alcoholic!

As always, Auel, to her credit, was masterful at describing/creating details of every day life which I continued to find fascinating. Her characters were painfully laughable though; as was story arc. But I've been known to love bad movies for their badness and I guess in many ways, I feel the same way about this series. Had it been condensed down into 3 books (which it reasonably could have been), my feelings may be different. But that was not to be the case.

So dear friends, if you've wondered where I've been for the last 2 you know. Thank heavens I'm a relatively fast reader else I could still be slogging through cave after cave with the wunderkind Ayla (she did after all invent everything from flint fire starting to monogamy). However I'm back in this millennium now and will forgive Auel her story telling short comings because in the end, we all know I'm a sucker for a series and every time I open a book for the first time, I'm always hoping for the best.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great Deal today at Zulily!

We are big fans of Halo sleep sacks!  So I was tickled chartreuse to see this great 1/2 off (actually a bit more than 1/2 off!) sale hit Zulily today.

Check it out because I'm sure they'll go fast fast fast!!!  I see some are already sold out.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Mouse was baptized last Sunday!  Although typically he "talks back" to our minister through many services, he was very quiet during the whole ceremony.  We are so blessed to have such a wonderful church family. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Parked Pony

My favorite memories of my Dad involve road trips.  He really was the master of finding the road less traveled and thankfully, I was often along for the ride.  My Mom died when I was nine and Dad and I really developed a very close bond over the years.  I was his side kick, his partner in antique hunting, train spotting, museum touring and seeing the sites of America one road mile at a time.  I learned to read a map at a very early age and he encouraged me to always find the routes that would take us off the interstate.  So it's really no surprise that when he earned his angel wings and went back to his Lord's side that the way I chose to use a chunk of the money from his estate to buy a car.  Not just any car mind you; the car I'd dreamed about since I was 8 years old.  A convertible Mustang.  

To say I love that car, is a bit of an understatement.  I really really love that car.  I love the heat of the sun on my head as I cruise back country roads.  I love the feel of the pipes rattling as I push her standard five speed transmission to the red line when I drag race a cocky boy off the line of a red light.  No, I really, really love that car.  

Thankfully, I married a man who loves the road as much as I do.  Given the choice to drive or fly somewhere, guess which we'll choose? We've put a lot of miles on my beloved Pony, but perhaps my favorite are the ones we've put on Friday nights. 

I'm always the last one home, and I used to peal into the driveway and just LAY on the horn to get him out of the house and into the car so we could go go go!  We've driven many many of the back roads of western Michigan on hot Friday summer nights.  With never a real destination in mind, some we'd try to find the smell of fresh cut hay, or a working windmill, or we'd just periodically shout out a direction and turn that way to see what we could see.   Nothing could help us shake off the stress of a long work week like a long top down drive.

It's summer of course, but things are quite different now.  This afternoon when I raced home from the office (I admit that I still have a bit of a lead to hear those horses runnin' under the hood!) it wasn't to get back on the road ASAP.  Nope.  Tonight I was just needing spitty kisses from my beloved Mouse.  He and Daddy were out for a walk when I got home, but seeing his blessed face light up when I caught up to them made my heart soar!

It may look a bit silly but there is a car seat base in the back of my Pony now.  And the top is up more often that it ever was in summers past because there's WAY to much wind back there for Mouse to enjoy a top down ride.  And though part of me is kind of mourning my Friday night escape rides with Mr. Mouse, another part of me knows that someday, when he's old enough, I'll hand Mouse the map and tell him to find me a back road to explore.  And when that happens, his Grandpa will be smiling down from heaven, whispering in my memory his "Rules of a Roadtrip."  And  that's how my Mouse, will get to know his Grandpa.  

Till then, my Pony is parked in the garage beside my winter beater; just biding her time. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Time for breakfast yet?  Still trying to figure out this new "cereal" thingy!

I like it!