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Table for Five Has Moved! September 9, 2011

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.
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If you got to this site by searching for “Table for Five” or “table4five”, please join me at my domain, http://table4five.net. Thanks for looking for me, come find me on Table for Five!

Me and Jennster October 19, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.
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Me and Jennster

Originally uploaded by Tableforfive.

Follow me… August 30, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.
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You are cordially invited to join me at my brand-new blog, still called Table for Five, but with the new URL http://table4five.net ! No, WordPress.com WON’T let me put in a redirect, which I think really sucks.

Feast your eyes upon the kick-ass modifications to the K2 theme done by Izzy. Seriously, if you or anyone you know is looking for a fresh, hot blog design, you want Izzy. And, check out the sweet Table graphic drawn for me by Nancy! With the coffee cups, juice boxes and bottle-how cool is that?

I have a new email address too: table4five@table4five.net. I’ll be changing my comment forms as I visit everyone. Please change your blogrolls and Feed Readers! I promise this will be the LAST TIME I ever ask you to change my domain URL. Really truly. See you there!

Where do we go from here? Part 2 August 28, 2006

Posted by table4five in BlogHer, I like me some people, personal thoughts.
11 comments

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?(Dawn)        Where do we go from here?
(Buffy & Spike)
 Where do we go from here?
(Giles)
          The battle’s done, and we kind of won,
(& Tara)
      So we sound our victory che -er.
                    Where do we go from here?

(Xander & Anya) Why is the path unclear?
                    When we know home is near?
(All)            
Understand we’ll go hand-in-hand
                    But we’ll walk alone in fear.
(Giles)
                 – Tell me!
(All)             Where do we go from here?
                    When does the end appear?
                    When do the trumpets cheer?
                    The curtains close on a kiss, God knows
                    We can tell the end is ne – ar ….fades
   
                      Where do we go from here?

Who knew so many songs had those words in them? But this is the song I meant.

Also, I feel I should add that my 2011 “A-list” didn’t include Karen, Grace, Jenn, Jenny, Meghan, Carmen or Chris, because duh-everyone knows who they are already!

But I did forget Miss Once More With Feeling herself, JENNSTER!, Fancypants Jess (who needs to come to BlogHer next year!), Amy, Christina , Elizabeth, and…oh crap, just EVERYBODY, okay? EVERYBODY is the “A-list” as far as I’m concerned. If you’re putting some words onto some kind of blog, then you’re important to me.

And if it ever seems like I’m getting too big for my britches, you all have permission to smack me hard for it. Now please make sure to read the post below this one, and leave your own thoughts in a comment. Let’s all give each other a nice big blog hug, mmmkay?

Where do we go from here? August 27, 2006

Posted by table4five in BlogHer, personal thoughts.
24 comments

warning: extremely long post full of name-dropping ahead. Also, bonus points if you know the song I’m referencing in the post title.
Tuesday is my one year Bloggiversary. I know it is SO cliche, but if you had told me a year ago that I would still be doing this, that it would impact my life the way it has, I would have said I doubt it. I’m getting a new blog ready, and once I do I will probably rerun a few of my favorite posts from the last year. In the meantime, I’d like to share some post-BlogHer thoughts with you, brought on by this post from Very Mom. Enjoy.

A month ago, I got on an airplane and flew to California to attend BlogHer. I had absolutely no idea what was waiting for me when I got there. I had never attended any kind of conference, so I imagined something like the training sessions I went to when I worked at the credit union. A large boring room with a huge table and metal chairs, a person standing in front of a pull-down screen, and lots of note-taking.

I knew there would be “poolside cocktail parties”, and so I made an image in my head of a small hotel pool with people standing around awkwardly holding drinks and making small talk.

I had no idea what was ahead.

And now, looking back, it’s like I went to Blog Disneyland and rode all the rides and spent too long out in the sun until I couldn’t possibly go another minute. Like others, I came home riding a wave of empowerment and validation that lasted weeks, weeks during which all I wanted to do was read about BlogHer and look at BlogHer photos and talk about BlogHer until my family wished I would just shut up about BlogHer already and cook them some damn dinner.

The biggest “scandal” at BlogHer wasn’t the showing of boobs, the molesting of statues or the pole-dancing, it was the Friday morning blog post of a fellow attendee who wrote about how sitting near a group of Mommybloggers made her want to do unmentionable things to their unmentionable body parts. I have since seen this blogger in Flickr photos, sitting with Heather and Leah and all I can think is, obviously she likes some Mommybloggers, just not all of them.

The whole “A-List” blogger thing really ticks me off (not the bloggers themselves, the bitching about them). I have something of a theory about it, and it goes something like this: Once upon a time, very few people were blogging. It started out with LiveJournal, and message boards, and people wanting to have more space to write in than just a small comment box. There is a group of bloggers who have been at this for years, and who have come to know each other. I imagine they have learned each other’s fears and secrets, have helped each other through difficult times and celebrated successes together. When they get together, they form a natural group who share a common bond.

They are also generally good at blogging, have spent years honing their writing skills and finding their voice, and because of that, they get a lot of hits and can now make money selling ad space. Advertisers seek them out because of the very simple advertising formula that lots of readers=lots of people seeing the ads=lots of people potentially buying the goods or services.

So if it’s that simple, then why all the grumbling about how the “popular” bloggers only wanted to talk to each other, how they partied in their hotel rooms instead of by the pool, how they went out to dinner together instead of eating cold taquitos with the rest of us? Why the complaining about how only they get asked to run ads and how it’s not fair for everyone else? I just don’t see it that way.

Here’s what else I think, and I’m going to use as examples the bloggers that I knew when I went to BlogHer, but I am not specifically excluding anyone who wasn’t there-If, in five years, Nancy, Tammie, Dawn, Roo, Liz, Julie, Izzy, Suebob, Catherine, Kristen and I (did I forget anyone?) are still blogging, we might just be the “A-list”. We might go to BlogHer 2011 (God, I just felt a chill down my spine) and feel just like Heather, Eden, Alice, Maggie, Jen, Melissa, Leah and Angela do. We might want to just sit together, just party together or just eat together because we have had five years of friendship. Five years of sharing, supporting, and encouraging each other that will bond us together. Will we act bored when new bloggers excitedly squeal when they meet us? Will we chat politely while looking off in the distance for someone else? I sincerely hope not. Does it even matter if we are the “A-list” or if there even IS a list? Absolutely not.

My point is that like the saying goes, you have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Imagine being Heather Armstrong for a minute. Whether you like it or not, you are probably the most popular blogger anywhere. Everyone wants to look at you, try to meet you, talk to you. You want to see your friends and have a good time just like everyone else. But there’s always the knowledge that wherever you go, people are looking at you like you are an exotic zoo animal. Wouldn’t you prefer to go out to dinner with your friends and party in your room too?

The other point I want to make is that another thing the “A-list” has in common, and has in common with me and many of my friends too, is that they are all Mommybloggers. There was plenty of complaining at BlogHer about that, too. I say if there is another group of bloggers that wants to band together, stand up and be noticed, then let’s see them. If next year’s BlogHer is all about food bloggers or craft bloggers or political bloggers, that’s fine with me. I know who I am, I know what my place is in the Blogosphere, and I know who my friends are.

So I say let’s stick together, share and support and encourage, and let’s remember to help new bloggers, too.

Oh, and next year, if I happen to be sitting right in front of Heather Armstrong at a session like I was this year? I’m going to say “excuse me, hi, I’m Elizabeth” instead of gawking at her over my shoulder. She’s not a zoo animal after all.

Where there’s smoke… August 22, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, personal thoughts.
27 comments

This is how this morning was supposed to go:

I wake up around 6:15 am. My Dad’s girlfriend Jean drops him off at the hospital at 6:45 am. She then drives the five minutes to my house to spend the day watching my kids. I am showered, dressed, have my bag packed and am ready to go. I kiss my husband and kids goodbye, and leave.

This is how today actually went:

6:40 am “Shit! Chris! We overslept, Jean will be here in 20 minutes! Shit!”

6:45 am “Shit, I forgot to make formula last night and the pitcher is empty. I’m putting water on to boil and hopping in the shower.”

7:00 am “Shit, is Jean here already? I’m not even dressed. Why is the dog barking like that?”

7:00.1 am “ELIZABETH!! ELIZABETH!! OH MY GOD!!!”

7:00.2 am “WHAT? WHAT’S WRONG? OH MY GOD IS THAT SMOKE???”

7:00.3 am

kitchenfire.JPG

Apparently I have not given myself enough reasons to believe that I might need a new antidepressant this week.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t hear the smoke detector going off. Just don’t.

It wasn’t the saucepan boiling dry, it was the coffeemaker which was sitting on the stove next to the pan. The glass cooktop surface gets very hot, and the plastic started melting and then whooooosh. Chris said there were flames shooting up around the coffeemaker. FLAMES. Edited to add: As if I don’t already feel like enough of a dumbass, it turns out that what I actually did is turn the BACK burner on, the one the coffeemaker was sitting on, and not the FRONT burner under the saucepan. And I turned it on High to get the water boiling. I still can’t wrap my head around just how lucky I was that the kitchen curtains or cabinets didn’t ignite.

Not wishing to subject my loved ones to spending the day in a house that smelled like burned plastic, we had to quickly throw together everything three children would need to spend the day at a different house, including:

A fully stocked diaper bag, a can of formula, four clean bottles, a bib, a baby spoon, two jars of food, the Pack-n-Play, a change of clothes, toys, more toys, books and DVDs, snacks, toys, toys, and toys. Jean and the kids spent the day hanging out at my Dad’s house (more room than Jean’s), and the dog spent the day hanging out in our backyard with access to the garage if needed for shade. According to the neighbor kid, he whined a lot.

The dog, who I have been bitching about for weeks because he barks all the damn time? SAVED OUR FUCKING LIVES TODAY. He can bark all he wants, and have cooked chicken breast for dinner tomorrow night. And sleep on my bed.

You can never have too many conversations with your children and loved ones about what to do if there is a fire in your house. You must discuss all possibilities-what to do if the fire is right outside their bedroom, what to do if they are up watching cartoons and smell smoke and Mom and Dad are still sleeping, whether or not to worry about saving the dog, cat, XBox or Bionicles (NO), whether or not to go back into the house because they can’t find Mom or Dad (NO), whether or not to try to carry the baby out of the house (NO, unless Mom and Dad are obviously unconscious). Man, there is just no way that is not going to be a hell of a conversation to have during dinner.

Please, for the love of God or whomever you find holy, check every smoke detector in your house RIGHT NOW. Drive to Home Depot and buy a small fire extinguisher for your kitchen. And whatever you do, do NOT, I repeat NOT, store your plastic coffeemaker on your glass cooktop stove, just because you’re too lazy to find another place to store the toaster.

This morning could have been a very, very, VERY bad day for me and my family, in more ways than one. Tomorrow, I’m refilling the Wellbutrin XL.

edited to add: Javajabber’s comment reminded me of something else that you need to discuss during the what to do in a fire conversation-HOW to get out. We live in a Ranch-style house, so we told the boys to climb on the dresser and kick out the screen in the window if they can’t get out of their room. If you live in a two-story house, you can buy fire ladders that hook on to the windows to climb down. Practice doing this.

Liveblogging from the Surgical Waiting Lounge August 22, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, personal thoughts.
16 comments

Hey guys, just wanted to update you all o my Dad’s surgery today. I’ve been sitting here for six hours, and then in come these two guys with wireless monitors and keyboards and now I’ve got an Internet connection. Because being unplugged was going to kill me, you know.

My Dad is out of surgery, we are waiting for the surgeon to get a pathology report back and for my Dad to be taken up to the ICU. The surgeon was able to remove the entire esophageal tumor without having to remove any stomach. He did, however, find a piece of small intestine that looked and felt abnormal, so he removed that as well. i don’t know yet what “abnormal” means exactly, but whatever it was it is out now.

Because his lungs had to be deflated during the surgery, the plan is to keep him sedated and on a breathing machine, I assume at least until tomorrow. Five hours in surgery is a lot of trauma for a person’s body, and they want him to rest without having to struggle to breathe. So I am bracing myself for the sight of him covered in tubes and wires, but I’ll take that over the alternative any day.

Thank you all for your suportive comments and emails. Just knowing that you are all out there thinking about me and my family today helps so much. I love you guys.

In a separate post, I have a story to tell you. You are NOT going to believe what I did this morning.

Becky’s Book Meme August 19, 2006

Posted by table4five in I like me some people.
16 comments

i was tagged by Becky of MissPriss to do a book meme, so here it is:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.
Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest, then tag three people.

I grabbed the nearest book, which is “Confessions of a Super Mom”, by Melanie Lynne Hauser. Speaking of Melanie, she wrote a post about her stop at Schuler’s Books in Lansing the other night, and she recalled something I did when I first saw her which makes me feel like a complete dork, but which she thought was funny, so I’m not as embarassed any more. Go here, to her blog, and read about it. Then come back and read the meme!

Okay, so I go to page 123 of the book, and I find the fifth sentence. And whaddya know, the fifth sentence is the last sentence on the page, at the end of Chapter Seven! So here’s the first three lines of the next page, Chapter Eight:

“Contrary to popular belief (Kelly’s and Martin’s, that is), I did not come out of the womb brandishing antibacterial disposable hand wipes (which are, after Swiffer, the single greatest invention know to man).

I was, in fact, a little reckless when I was a teen. Once I had both beer and wine-just one glass each, but still-at a party. And my senior year I refused to cover my books with those horrible sticky book covers; when I turned it in before graduation my science book had been decorated with a smiley face drawn in permanent marker.”

I had to restrain myself from continuing on and copying the rest of that paragraph. Okay, three people. Hmmm…how about I have Dawn pick something from the “pretty paper pyramids” stack next to her bed, and I’d like to know what Izzy is reading, and also I’ll tag Karl, and tell you all that you really need to go to Karl’s blog and click on his YouTube video of him singing “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield, and then you’ll know why I would very much like him to be my new bestest friend.

There I go, meeting people again. August 16, 2006

Posted by table4five in I like me some people.
9 comments

supermombook_.jpg

Tonight I went to Schuler’s Books and met Melanie Lynne Hauser, author of “Confessions of a Super Mom”. You might also know Melanie from her blog, her website, and/or her MySpace page. She does all that, plus she’s the Mother of two teenage boys!

Here’s Melanie telling us how she came up with the plot and characters, and about her writing process. She told us it took her a month of going about her daily activities but writing the book in her head before she started actually writing it.

melanie.JPG
She’s very excited about the paperback, because they are more affordable and “they fit in your purse”. The book has also been optioned, so it might be made into a movie or something. And there’s a sequel coming out next year!

melanie2.JPG

After passing a plate of fudge-striped shortbread cookies, she read us a passage from the book. If you haven’t read it, you can find it in any bookstore, on Amazon.com and also in the library. It has a little of everything-a divorced Mom with kids trying to balance work, parenting and romance, a mystery, a sub-plot about videogames and subliminal messages and why kids shouldn’t eat too much sugar, and a funny inside look at the PTA.

melanie3.JPG

One of my favorite parts of the evening was when Melanie talked about her MySpace page, and about blogging in general. She said something about Mommybloggers and a lady in the audience exclaimed “what? There are MOMMYBLOGGERS?” Whoo-hoo! Represent! After the talk was over, I gave my blog card to that lady, and on the back I had written the URLs for Mommybloggers, BlogHer, and ClubMom. She said she hadn’t started a blog, and I encouraged her to start one, and to come here and feel free to click through my blogroll. I told her that blogging was how women were meeting, supporting and sharing their common interests with each other. I felt like a Blog Ambassador.
I got Melanie’s autograph (“From one Super Mom and blogger to another!”), and asked someone to take our photo. No fair wearing those high platform sandals, Melanie!

memelanie.JPG

Check out Melanie’s sites to see if she’s coming to a bookstore near you. Her next stops are in Illinois and Indiana. I promise you’ll enjoy meeting her as much as I did!

By the way, I just uploaded a bunch of new photos to Flickr. Check ‘em out here!

The one with all the books. August 14, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, Parenting, personal thoughts.
16 comments

Today marks the 37th season of Sesame Street. And while I’m still reeling from the fact that I am older than Sesame Street, I’m also joining Mrs. Davis from The Lovely Mrs. Davis Tells You What To Think in commemorating the occasion by posting about my favorite childhood books and TV shows.

How old am I? I am SO OLD, when I was a kid there were only four channels on TV. FOUR. ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. We also had this huge box that sat on top of the TV with a giant dial that turned the antenna on the roof (remember those?), and on really clear days we could pull in CKLW, a Windsor, Ontario station that showed “Bill Kennedy at the Movies.” My parents dictated everything we watched, except on Saturday morning when my brother and sister and I watched cartoons. I know Sesame Street was on, but I honestly don’t remember watching it. When I was a pre-schooler, I have no memory of watching TV at all.

I do, however, have a crystal-clear memory of being in the second grade, during a rainy day when outside recess was cancelled, and we sat on the floor in our classroom and watched “The Electric Company” on a TV that was wheeled in on a cart. I’ve looked at the DVD of the show, and none of it rings any bells, except for one thing. There was a song, used to teach kids how to pronounce “tion” at the end of a word. The only part of the song I remember is the chorus, which went “t i o n shun shun shun shun!” So I would like to buy that DVD, and share that little bit of my childhood memory with them.

Books, however, are an entirely different story. I started reading when I was three. I progressed from Golden Books to chapter books by first grade. The first book series I read was “Little House on the Prairie”. My Mother had to write a note to my first grade teacher giving permission for me to check out those books from the “older readers” section of the school library, and I had to read a page out loud to my teacher to prove I could read all the words. This, I remember doing.

My boys have shown no interest in the “Little House” books, not even the “boy” ones like “Farmer Boy“. I’m hoping Kaitlyn will want to read them, and will be careful with my first edition paperbacks. My Mother saved every book she ever bought me, and I now have them in carefully packed boxes in the basement. I’m hoping Kaitlyn will want to read “Harriet the Spy“, “The Moffats“, “All-of-a-Kind Family“, and “Understood Betsy“. I want her to read “B is for Betsy“, “Papa Pellerin’s Daughter” (out of print), and “Laura’s Luck“.

There’s “The Good Master“, and “The Singing Tree“, “A Wrinkle in Time“, and “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”.
And then there are my Raggedy Ann and Andy books. I have first edition hardcovers of every book in the series. These are extra-carefully packed away. I got them out once to show Nathan, hoping he would share my excitement at the wonder and magic of the stories. But he didn’t, because the stories are about dolls and stuffed animals. If Kaitlyn doesn’t want to read them either, then I will just keep them for myself. Because there is NOTHING that will make me part with those books.

Even though I have much stronger and fonder memories of the books I read as a kid, I still have great respect for Sesame Street. We’ll be tuning in to see the new season and meet the new Muppet Abby Cadabby. In fact, my husband, who I never think is paying attention to things like kids’ TV shows, told me about it today, and said “they have a new cute little Muppet this season.” Awwww! He is such a Dad.

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