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A few small problems June 13, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging, Uncategorized.

I think of myself as being fairly intelligent, but I can NOT figure out how to put a SiteMeter button on this page! I can get a SM text link to show up in the blogroll, but the WordPress forums and the SiteMeter website both say I should be able to have an actual, visible button like I did on my Blogger blog. But even then, SiteMeter won't be able to track Referrals anymore, which means no more Friday Fun With Stats! WAAAH!!

Does anyone know how the sidebar widget thing works? I understand dragging the different links from the menu on the left into one of the two blank sidebar boxes, but all there are is "Links", "Categories", "Archives", etc. How do I make one of my own?

Not being able to get my hands on the HTML is driving me crazy! Even I could usually figure out where a piece of code went and what it should look like. But this is just not cooperating with me! Also, WordPress has a Forum, but I can't figure out how to post a question to it! There doesn't seem to be a box anywhere that says "Ask a new question". There's a Feedback tab, but I don't even know where that goes.

Suffice it say I have gone from feeling somewhat competent to feeling like the answers are right there in front of me if I just opened my eyes! If anybody knows anything about this at all, I could sure use some help. Thanks! 


WordPress is my BFF!! June 12, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.

Check it out, WordPress imported everything from Blogger including photos and archives and comments! This totally fucking rocks!!!!! I thought I was going to have to do something crazy like copy each post individually and move it over or something.

Since I can't edit the template right now, does anyone know how I get the photo captions to line up under the photos? Other than that, I am one happy blogger today.  Woo and HOO!!!

Making the move June 12, 2006

Posted by table4five in Blogging.

My "Dear Blogger, fuck you" letter: 

I tried, Blogger, I really did. I remembered that you were giving me and a whole lot of other people a free blog, and that sometimes the server just couldn't keep up. I dealt with connection failures and photos that just wouldn't upload no matter how hard I tried. I rewrote more than one post after it just disappeared. But Blogger, I just have had enough.

I don't know if I'll like it here or not. The free blog is the only thing I can afford right now, but the template is awfully plain, and WordPress isn't letting me switch back and forth between the WYSIWYG editor and the HTML like Blogger did. I don't know how to change the fonts if I want to, or put anything at all in the sidebar yet. But I hope to learn.

I will probably keep my other two blogs, Blogger. But Table for Five is just too important to me to not try to improve it. I want people to be able to come and read what I have to say and leave a comment if they want. I don't want my readers to lose patience and give up and go read someone else's blog instead.

I was hoping to make at least a teeny bit of money with Google AdSense, but despite my readers'  best efforts, it just wasn't happening. So that's no excuse not to leave. I'm sorry Blogger. Thank you for letting me write 198 posts on you. It would have been nice to stay, but I won't be. Hope you understand.

June 12, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.
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The adorable children who make this crappy blog worthwhile June 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in Family, Photos, Uncategorized.

Kaitlyn can finally sit up well enough to take a bath in the sink! She loved it.

Doesn't my nephew have the face of an angel? He's such a cutie!

Three of my four favorite people in the whole world.

A good photo of Nathan smiling. Kate looks worried!

I'll write a real post tomorrow while the kids are playing. Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Childhood Memories June 11, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I got tagged by Fraulein N to do a “6 Weird Things About My Childhood” meme, except my parents were far too strict to allow me to do anything that might at all be construed as weird. Instead, I’m going to take a look back at my 3 Best Childhood Memories.

1. The Detroit Institute of Art’s Brunch With Bach series: My parents took my sister and I to several of these when I was in the first and second grade. I don’t remember much about the performances, but I do remember two things very vividly. First, the Brunch included a chilled fresh fruit cup with grapefruit and orange segments. I can close my eyes and see the pretty glass bowl with the carefully sectioned fruit in it. I have no recollection of what else was served.

Second, the gift shop at the D.I.A. sold books of paper dolls, and one Sunday my Mom bought me one that featured the wives of Henry the Eighth. I never punched out any of the clothes, I just spent hours staring at the long gowns with the high ruffled collars, and the strange jeweled head coverings they wore. I read the biographies of each Queen and Consort, not really understanding what any of it meant, but fascinated nevertheless.

2.Lunch with my Grandparents at Big Boy: My paternal Grandpa and I had a very special relationship. Of all of my siblings and cousins I was his favorite, which he did not keep a secret from anyone. He had silver hair, and blue eyes, and smoked a pipe. After he retired from his lifelong job at Detroit Edison, he joined a local group of people who loved growing Violets. He set up a greenhouse in the basement where he experimented with breeding new types of Violets. Unfortunately he passed away when I was in the fifth grade, so I never really got to know him as a person. But he did leave me with lasting memories, one of which was the lunches we would have at the local Big Boy restaurant.

My Mom taught private school in another city, so our vacation schedules didn’t always match. On days that I was off and she wasn’t, I would go to stay with Gramps and Gram at their house. Lunch was always at Big Boy. I would start by ordering the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce. I don’t know what they put in that sauce, but to this day it is still one of my favorite places to eat spaghetti. When I had finished that, it was time for dessert-Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake. Two thick slabs of moist chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream in the middle, covered with Hot Fudge and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Even though there is a Big Boy in the town where my Dad lives and we have eaten there many times, I never order that dessert. I think the memory of those afternoons with my Grandparents is so connected to that cake that I don’t want to eat it again and have it disappoint me and ruin the memory.

3. Fort Walton Beach, Florida: In second, third and fourth grades my family spent Spring Break in a condo right on the beach. We had a large Rico van, which was so different from today’s vans and so perfect for transporting a family of four (later, five) from Michigan to Florida. Imagine the driver’s seat and passenger seat as large Captain’s chairs that could swivel all the way around to face the back. Next, two more Captain’s chairs, and then a small middle area with cabinets on either side. In the middle of that area was a hole into which went a large metal stand, on top of that went a round tabletop that was stored under the seats in the back. In the back on either side were cushioned benches. This was where my sister and I could spread out and not have to actually sit next to each other. The coolest thing about that van was that you lifted up those cushions and unfolded the benches until they joined in the middle with a support underneath, then put the cushions back down so it made a bed. Like a futon, sort of. So there we would be, driving down I-75 with my Dad listening to WJR for as long as possible, stretched out on a cushioned bed in the back. No seat belts at all. One year my Dad got a CB radio. That was the year that the song “Convoy” was playing continuously. I don’t remember what his handle was, but I do remember him calling “Breaker 1-9” and then asking truckers up ahead if there were any traffic jams or road construction that might slow us down.

The condo apartment was comfortable and clean, decorated simply, with a large sliding glass door leading to a balcony. Early in the morning I would look out that door at the ocean and see the dolphins jumping up out of the water. We would spend the day at the beach, coming inside only to use the bathroom and eat a quick sandwich for lunch, then get dressed up and go out for a fresh seafood dinner. I would always make a friend with someone close to my age, and for those few days be blissfully happy.

These are three of my best memories of childhood. I’ll add more in another post. I’m tagging Radioactive Girl, Undercover Angel, Self-Proclaimed SuperMom, Suebob, SweatpantsMom, and Meg. And anyone else who wants to share!


Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Even Elvis wouldn’t eat a blog post, would you boy?

SiteMeter says people are still coming here, which is a miracle considering the crap I’ve been putting up with from Blogger over the last week. Starting last Saturday night when I tried to post photos from our Family Reunion, continuing on to the two posts that disappeared during a connection failure, and then right up to yesterday, when once again a post disappeared.

You’d think by now that I would have figured out to write the post in NotePad or even Word and then copy and paste it into a blank Blog post, but…nope. I like to create my posts right here where I can edit the HTML and put the photos in as I go.

So thank you, people who are coming here to see if I’ve written anything new lately. I’m trying, believe me. I’m trying.

Not much going on with site referrals this week. People are still finding me by searching for some derivation of the Bohemian Rhapsody lyric “thunderbolts of lightening, very very frightening”. Maybe they caught a fragment of the song on the radio and want to know the artist?

Check out this one: tiny poops diaper rash -everyone This had better be a mother wondering if frequent tiny poops are more likely to cause diaper rash because the “everyone” at the end? Makes me a little nervous.

I also got UPN wake up news kaitlyn. Does UPN have it’s own morning news show with a host named Kaitlyn? I’ve really got to start watching something other than “Buffy” reruns in the morning, because that is news to me.

And finally waytocute for pictures. I will forgive this person for running the first three words together and spelling “too” incorrectly as long as they stayed and looked at the post they linked to with the cute pictures of my baby!

() () () ()

If I may ask a general question now, how does everyone really feel about the Google AdSense banner I’m running up at the top? It doesn’t feel too intrusive to me, but I look at it all the time. Because I often just sign in to my blog to gaze fondly at it, don’t you?? I’m joking!

Anyway, the reason I ask is because last week I had FOUR HUNDRED NINETY visits to the blog, and not one single click. Even more shocking is that for the month of May I had 1,426 page impressions for a grand total of four clicks, which made me THIRTY-SIX Cents. Can you imagine if everyone who came here clicked? That would be a lot of money! And I’m only planning to keep it up until after BlogHer, because the whole point was to make some money so that I can EAT and DRINK THINGS while I am there.

But if those banners have become “invisible”, then I will take it down. And ask my kids to sell lemonade on the corner instead. I’m joking!

Sort of.

Coming up next: What we learned about Nathan and how it will affect both us and him. AND, fun tales of me losing my mind over summer vacation!

What I’m writing about now! June 7, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

I’m sure many of you know that Blogger has been having server problems and has been down most of the day. It already ate two of my posts today. So in the interest of just getting this writing published, I’m going to combine two posts that I had planned. And possibly consider a move to WordPress.

POST #1:

I have written a post for the website 5 Minutes for Mom about the BlogHer conference. If you would like to read it, please click this link. Mine is the third post down under June 6, 2006. It is very cool for me to see myself referred to as a “Guest Contributor”. If you like it, please leave me a comment. I welcome feedback!

Post #2

Novelist Joshilyn Jackson runs a contest on her blog called Blogging for Books. It’s a very cool premise. Last month’s winner reads essays submitted on a chosen topic (this month is “Magic”), and selects seven finalists. Then, author Shanna Swendson will choose first, second and third place and send the winner a signed copy of her new book Once Upon Stilettos. If you’d like to enter the contest, write a post on the topic of Magic and then link to your entry in the comments on Joshilyn’s site. Here’s the essay I am submitting:


Just the word ‘magic’ conjures up (no pun intended) different meanings for me. There’s the fantasy magic of Merlin, of Gandalf, even of Dumbledore. Men with white hair and beards with pointy hats who gaze over half-moon spectacles at cloudy crystal balls or peer into bubbling cauldrons, intoning magical incantations or making dire predictions. Magical characters like them make up a shared literary history, representing the forces of good versus evil, the kindly father figure who shows up and saves the day in the nick of time.

Then there is professional magic. Doug Henning, David Copperfield and Penn and Teller create lavish stage shows that go far beyond pulling rabbits out of hats. These magicians make elephants or buildings disappear, free themselves from handcuffs and strait jackets while tied up and suspended upside-down, or while locked in boxes and thrown into pools or oceans. David Blaine produced several “Street Magician” TV specials where he would walk up to people sitting at outdoor cafes, ask them to pick a card, and then have them open a beer bottle. Inside the bottle would be, you guessed it, their card.
Is that not also magic? Or is it sleight-of-hand with better production value?

Beyond that, there is the magic believed in by children. What is the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, even Santa Claus if not a belief in something magical that can’t quite be explained? Ask a child how Santa gets into an apartment building with no chimney or how he visits every child in the world in one night, and the answer you’ll get usually involves some kind of magic. Most families I know perpetuate those beliefs in magic, at least in young children. Well, except for my best friend, who doesn’t believe in lying to her kids, which I didn’t really think about until my son was visiting her son and was shown the stash of “Tooth Fairy” silver dollars in her jewelry box. It was a little awkward explaining that one.

I don’t believe that we as parents are lying to our children when we tell them that yes, Santa did bring those presents or yes, the Tooth Fairy did take your tooth and leave a dollar. I think it is part of our common cultural history. I don’t know what happens in other countries when a child loses a tooth, but I know here in America, something magical happens. I know that Easter morning when my seven year old son saw the plastic candy-filled eggs scattered around the back yard, he came running up to me exclaiming “the Easter Bunny was here!” Who am I to shatter his belief in something magical by telling him it was really me stepping through the cold, wet grass to carefully cover the lawn with an even layer of eggs?

I always figured when my children got older a classmate would tell them the truth. But no, for my nine year old it was the Judy Blume book “Superfudge” that gave away the truth about Santa. I wish she hadn’t done that. I wish she had allowed my son to hang on to the magic for just a little longer. Also, I wish David Blaine would tell me how the heck he got that card into the beer bottle.

Posting with the devil… June 6, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Oh come on, you know I had to make up a post just so it could have the date 6-6-6!! I feel like I should have some heavy metal head-banging music on. Except I don't own any.

I think this made the national news, but if not, there is a town in Michigan called "Hell". Today, they are having the biggest party in the town's history, the "Once in a Lifetime" party.

I learned from the Absolute Michigan website (that's the best name they could come up with? Really?) that Hell, MI celebrates Halloween all year round. Who knew? Today they are selling ice cream cones at Scream's Ice Cream Shop for-what else?-66 cents. Gift shops will be carrying merchandise like t-shirts and mugs for $6.66. It almost makes me want to drive there just to get in on the kitschiness of it. Except I don't even know where it is. I don't know where Hell is!

Oh, would you look at that? Hell is halfway between Flint and Ann Arbor. There's a joke in there somewhere. Something to do with Flint's failed auto industry and the U of M Wolverines.

They both suck.

Actually, I take that back. I don't think Flint sucks.

++++++++++++++++ See? A row of crosses. Take THAT, Beelzebub!

I have yet to write the post I've been working on in my head for a while about how I had a huge crisis of faith shortly before Kaitlyn was born, how I'm not sure what I believe in anymore and don't know what to do about it. Today isn't the right day for that post.

I would go see "The Omen" today, because I LOVE scary movies, but I would have to go alone. Which might not work out too well for the person sitting next to me whose shoulder I would be grabbing the whole time. Chris, who will ride any roller coaster and squish any size bug, does not like scary movies. I think "Stir of Echoes" was the last horror movie he went to with me.

Don't even ask him about "Thirteen Ghosts". Or "The Grudge".

Happy 6/6/6 day, everybody! I'm off to Wal-Mart and lunch with my Mom friend.

Family Reunion June 4, 2006

Posted by table4five in Uncategorized.

Saturday was a very special day for our family. My husband’s half-sister, who he hasn’t seen since he was twelve years old, came to visit us with her husband and son. My sister-in-law and her family also came, so Chris got to spend the day with both of his sisters.

Before that, we had brunch with Chris’ Dad, Stepmother, Grandparents and his Sister and her family. We took up an entire row at Bob Evans. It was fun to talk and eat and fuss over the babies. Left to right: Steve, Sue, Grandma E., Grandpa E.

Kaitlyn loves her Grandpa Steve:

That afternoon, Chris’ sisters and their families came to the house. They are a fine looking bunch of people I have to say. Left to right: Java Junkie, Chris, Niki:

The boys had a great time with their cousins. They all got along really well. Kaitlyn loved having so many different people around to hold her!

Back: Monkey and Chris Front: Niki, Java Junkie holding Parker, Mike holding Kaitlyn

We managed to get the kids to stop moving long enough to take a picture of all of them together. Back: Lou with Parker, Ryan holding Kaitlyn Front: Desmond, Nathan

We finished the day at a Chinese restaurant (thumbs up to Fine China for making a table for 12!) before everyone reluctantly said goodbye. It was a great day that I hope we can do again soon.