Monday, August 30, 2010

Perfectly Pancakes

As I've been writing recently, I've been covering a lot of different festivals. Whether the festival is for the local business association or big ships, they have a common occurrance - the pancake breakfast.

Mmmmm...pancakes. I'm craving some now. In fact, I found this fun recipes for Protein Pancakes, but the batter turned out like milk, so I modified it. Not a great move. I have six VERY DENSE pancakes now. I bet I can get Matt to eat them...

I'll try following the recipe next time, and if it's any good, I'll share it. In the meantime, just enjoy the picture and think perfectly pancake thoughts...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who's in Charge??

While I usually post writing-related blogs to my writing blog (check it out here if you haven't yet), I need to vent, so I'm over here today. Here goes:

Every day I learn more about the world of freelance writing and the newspaper business. One thing that I've recently learned is that contact information on press releases means nothing. Just because a name is on the press release, doesn't mean that person knows anything (or that they want to talk to you).

Here's how my naive brain worked: I thought Marketing and Public Relations departments sent out press releases to inform the media of certain events. I assumed that people within these departments not only had the information on said event (after all, they had to summarize it and publish it), but I also assumed these people were Marketing/PR professionals who spent their time, and establishing public relationships.

Such is not the case. I've recently had two situations where I received press releases. Each one had the name, phone number, and email address of someone to contact for more information. Silly me - I contacted them and asked them for more information. I was then referred to contact someone else. No problem. But THEN...they referred me to ANOTHER person.

In one situation, I was sent to so many people (none of whom were available) that after two days of not being able to get any information, I finally ended up with the original contact just hours before my deadline. In another case, the contact eventually referred me to everyone else on the board because they had each handled one part of the event planning, he was only the contact person. But...isn't that the point of being the contact person? One stop shopping?

If I'm going to tell you that my sister is getting married, and you want to know how she got engaged, you don't HAVE to talk to her - I can tell you the basics of how it happened. You don't need to know what she was wearing, how cold it was, or how the dinner tasted. It's enough to say, "He proposed during dessert. The ring was with her cheesecake, and she almost didn't order it!" You don't need a first-hand account - you get the point.

That's all I want - the main point. I don't need to talk to the person who founded the company, the person who had the idea, the person who implimented the idea, and the person who brought coffee to the people who were working with the idea - I just need the main points.

When I write an article, I don't put my contact info at the end - I put names, numbers, and websites where you can get more info about the story topic. I can't tell you any more about pet memorials than I wrote in the article. You need to go to the source for that...I'll tell you how to get to the source.

So please, press release writers, tell me how to get to the source of the information. It's great that you wrote the release - I'm proud of you! But I don't need to know who wrote it, I need to know who can help me. That's all I want. Anything that you can do to point me in the right direction is very, very appreciated. Thank you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Compassion International - Helping Out

Last week I received an unexpected email. A representative from Compassion International stumbled upon my writing blog because I had shared an interview with a woman who advocates for the group (you can read the interview here).

The writer asked me if I would consider putting a Compassion International banner on my blog. Since I try to keep my writing blog strictly writing related, I vascilated. In the end, however, I added a small banner toward the bottom of the pages. I wanted to do more, though, so here I am!

There's absolutely no reason I can't put a banner on this blog. It is, after all, a blog about everything and nothing as it happens in my life. Well, this email happened to me, so now it's happening to you.

From now on you will have the option of viewing/clicking a Compassion International banner when you visit my ramblings. Please feel free to click away as many times as you need to do so. I won't stop you. Who knows - it may be the best thing you do all week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hard at Work

I love working from home. My boss is great, you can't beat the dress code, and the schedule is sublime.

Just want to put that out there. I'll be thinking of the rest of you, in your dress clothes, driving tired while you dump hot caffeine down your gullet, pasting on a smile while you start tracking the minutes to your first break.

I'll be thinking of you when I roll out of bed whenever I feel like it, stay in my jammies all day, sit where ever suits my mood. You'll be on my mind.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


That's me, checking my Stat Counter account. Stat Counter is the little ticker on my blog that tells me how many people have visited it. It's been really surprising - I have one follower on this blog and over 70 on my writing blog, but the difference in hits is only about 50%. That's been the trend, anyway. August is a whole new animal.

As of 10:20 am on Thursday, August 12 I have NO HITS on this blog!! I hope y'all are reading me via Facebook, or I've got problems!

I didn't realize how lazy I've gotten about this blog. I've been focusing so much on my other writing that I neglected you. I don't remember the last time I vented to you (or cried at you, or just had a slap happy, sleep deprived brainstorm).

I'm sorry. I've failed you. I know that you count on me for your regular dose of radomness and barbs (that is soooo sad...), and it hasn't been here. Sure, my garden is nice, and my nieces and nephew are cuter than anything, but they just don't scratch the sarcastic itch.

I promise to try harder. I WILL blog at least once a week! I might not have much to talk about, but that's never stopped me before!!

Thank you for your understanding, and for your continued support. If you'd like to contribute financially, I won't complain.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Garden Update (Long Overdue)

Here's an update on our gardening attempts. Though Matt has the experience, he doesn't have the time, so most of the maintenance is my responsibility. These pictures were actually taken in early July...I'm a little behind schedule. Oops!
My new thermometer. Our digital one was eating up batteries, and the temps online are NEVER accurate. I had to get this big one so I could see it from inside (we don't have anyplace else in the shade where I could hang it and still see it).
Hasta and lamb's ear(?). The lamb's ear took a while on the transplant...we'll see next year if it makes it.

Our ferns. According to Matt these are very tempermental plants - he says they'll continue to pout until next year, but then they'll grow in tall and green. Until then, we have these stupid looking things in the front yard.

My herbs! These are now WAY out of control. I need to read up on drying them, because these plants desperately need to be trimmed (my basil is about 3X bigger now!). I did lose both of my cilantro plants :( Note: when they start to flower, cut the flowers off IMMEDIATELY! We didn't get to them quick enough and ended up with LOTS of flowers, but no more yummy cilantro leaves. Oh well. Live and learn.
Hastas? I'm pretty sure...
The veggies! Three tomato plants, two green pepper plants, and four zucchinis.
Here's one zucchini. We're not sure what's going on with these. They're big, and they have pretty, pretty flowers, but NO zucchinis. Hmm....
This was in July. They weren't doing well, so we bought organic fertilizer. Turns out it wasn't really fertilizer - it was step three of a four step lawn care system, so there was no fertilizer in it. Since the dude at the store was the one who pointed it out, we took it back and asked for a refund. They were very nice about it. Go Ace!
Our first bounty!!! Most of the cherry/grape tomatoes didn't make it into anything other than our mouths. The larger ones (I can't remember what the yellow ones are - I'll have to check) became some very yummy salsa!!