Friday, July 30, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Mermaid toe nails:

 And sorry for my freakishly narrow and long-toed feet..     :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Purple Blanket? Really???

It's intriguing to me to get a glimpse into who is reading my blog.  I blame it on being in media - and the ever-increasing time I spend with learning the ins and outs of online advertising. 

I post on here for many reasons, mostly as an outlet, a place to write, also to share our lives/home with family and friends.  I don't post to get traffic to my blog (thank goodness, or I would be screwed!).  But nonetheless, it's so interesting to discover who is reading my words, in the ambiguous sense you can "know" someone on the internet.

I've had SiteMeter on the blog for a while, but now that Google Analytics is easily accessible on Blogger, it paints an even more interesting story.

  • More people read that I thought... but still not many :)
  • People in Germany love me!  Well, read me at least... that and Latvia and Bahrain (hi!)
  • Most interesting - and equally inexplicable - my post "Purple Blanket" is, by leaps and bounds, my most read post.  Not just all time either, every week.  Even most days.  Traffic is coming from Google images of that hideous wall I painted purple in the days of yore..  but why are so many people searching for this??  Mystery.  Also slightly embarrassing, since that's one of my most infamous issues with paint colors...

  • Not to be forgotten, a big shout out to all of my "friends" out here in blogland who include a link to my little slice of the internet, on their little slice.  I love the community and inspiration gained from blogging, and the sweet and motivating words each of you take the time to leave on my rambling posts.  Thanks.
 To everyone searching for Purple Blanket - please don't judge me.  Read this instead.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sand and Surf

Our beach vacation, in photos.  Lots and lots of photos.  

Sunday, July 25, 2010

We Took a Break

Last week was spent lazing on the beach, eating and drinking too much, swimming in the pool, and all around relaxing.  Tony and I went with my family (10 of us in all, including a baby) to Anna Maria island.  We stayed in the same place as last year, and it was just as relaxing and fun as I had hoped it would be.  Since we just got back, I'm busy cropping my bathing suit clad thighs out of photos soaking up my last day of vacation before back to work on Monday.  

In the meantime, I wanted to write about this:

I decided that I would take a technology break while I was down there. 

I have a Blackberry, and luckily I just have my personal email on there - so I'm definitely not one of those who can't resist "working" all of the time.  However, I do have Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, THE WHOLE INTERNET, etc on there.  And it's turned me into an obsessive freak.  I feel like I have the attention span of a five year old during down time.

I am constantly checking all of these different things multiple times during the day.  Stopped at a redlight?  Check Facebook.  Waiting for the check to come at dinner?  Check Twitter.  

And when that little red light is blinking - it's most likely spam email, but I've gotta check anyway... right away.

Don't get me wrong - I like being able to be connected and it's just for entertainment that I look at all of these.  There's no stress involved at all.  But when it starts to feel like you're chained to your phone... then that's not a good thing.  "Life" isn't happening on my phone.  It's happening all around me - and sometimes, I'm losing sight of that. 

So I took a break.  I didn't check ANYTHING while on vacation (except for a few "hope you're having fun" texts).  And it was GLORIOUS.

I didn't think - oh, I should go make sure no one's emailed me something important (seriously, no one ever does, but I still feel the need to check).  I even turned my phone off completely for a few days.  When we went out, I didn't take it.  I didn't even THINK of it.

On our way back to Georgia, part of me didn't even want to check it at all, ever again.  Is it really so important that I know who posted pictures or who had lunch with so and so?  Nope.

There was something so freeing about not feeling the need to be up-to-the-second updated on everything.  And that should be a sign right there - I felt relief by not checking my phone.  Definitely shows out of whack priorities right there.  I have trouble just relaxing, and always feel the need to be doing something - and my phone addiction plays into this.  

This isn't a post about me quitting all social networking sites or something.  And yes, I get the irony of my blogging about this.. 

I do enjoy being able to stay connected with far away friends, and making new friends altogether through reading other blogs.  It's a great source of entertainment and inspiration.  However, sometimes a break is nice.  And I'm going to make a conscious effort to limit my phone usage to times when I really want/need to look something up - or if I'm super bored.  No more bb while I'm spending time with Tony on the couch, no more while I'm out with friends.  I spend all day at work on the computer - I don't need to extend that to every waking moment via my phone.  

Moderation is key.

That little red light can't control me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Simple Pleasures

Roxy making herself at home:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lost Cause?

Our backyard is sorry sight.

No way around it, it just is. 

I've detailed our hassles with it here in my reverse makeover post, but I hate to admit - it's gotten worse.  Worse I tell you!

Here's what it started as:

Here's what it became after some hard work:

Here's what it became a few months later:

Reason:  A waterflow problem leads to a crazy dog problem which leads to a lack of funds problem which is exacerbated by a laziness problem.  I made a chart.

And yes, my PowerPoint skills are amazing.  Smart Art is my life.

Now that you have a firm grasp of the situation, here's the photographic proof of the current disaster:

There are a slight few redeeming qualities:

My Lady Banks Rose vine has been growing steadily, especially with all the rain we've been having.  I will train a shoot onto my line, and then it stops growing, and another random shoot will spring up on the plant elsewhere.  So, it probably hates me, but at least it's sorta growing.

Cucumber!  I know this is not the appropriate way to plant a veggie plant, but whatev.

Hostas, born again from the dead of last year.  Only problem, they think they are in an AT&T commercial and have decided to grow in descending bars.

You can't even see the poor little one.  It's seriously one leaf struggling to live.
This dead hanging plant, complete with huge weed, and an American flag. We're nothing if not patriotic...

So, needless to say... there's A LOT of work needed back here to make it livable.  Not sure when that's gonna happen (doesn't exactly fit in the savings plan...)

We need to fix our irrigation issue (which, for many reasons, will be a huge hassle/investment) before we can really expect grass to grow properly, considering our backyard is a riverbed when it storms. 

I would love to build a nice low-profile deck deck with built-in seating, like these:

Since traditional grass is probably a no-go, I think it would be fun to have big landscape beds and hardscapes of flagstone and peagravel or something... but that's pricey too....

So for now, we will settle for a crummy backyard.  Hey, the dogs still like it.

Who knows, I might break the cycle of laziness and pick up some of those never-ending sticks.  Or paint the shed.  Or kill those rampant weeds in the corner.  You never know.
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