Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Procrastinator's Guide to Holiday Greetings

Is it just me or are the Christmas cards coming out later this year?  Christmas seems to have snuck up on us, the number of Christmas cards received lower than the same time last year.  We're down to the wire, folks, and if you haven't sent out your holiday greetings yet, despair not! There is still time!

Bottom line -  Just like any other type of writing, consider your audience. (Please.) Instead of writing about what you ought to share - which invariably amounts to a chronological litany of every member of your household written in a "cheerful", yet fine-print type font squeezed into a single-spaced, two-sided sheet of paper trimmed with holly and berries or snowmen and snowflakes - consider what your audience (i.e. family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc.) really wants to hear. Besides, we're down to the wire, remember?

Here are some tips any savvy procrastinator can appreciate:

  • Stick with the highlights -What is the single greatest thing you did or that happened to you in the past year? Were there any births, graduations? A new job, retirement, travel? Try to write only one sentence per family member. If you're the sneaky run-on sentence type, then 25 words or less.
  • Photos - I personally never tire of seeing how the kiddies have grown, and you don't have to write anything!  In past years, I have used the local photo shop and typed one line of text across the bottom of the photo. I use pics of places we've been to in that year. 
  • Go paperless - These days an emailed holiday greeting is not tacky, it's appreciated! Send your Christmas wishes on December 25th and instead of being a procrastinator, you'll be right on time.
  • Um...Happy New Year?! - You know how you look through the mail for something other than bills and advertisements?  We love to get fun mail any time of year! Send your "Christmas" card at any season; we're just happy to hear from you!
  • Don't sweat it - Your friends and family are still going to love you if you don't send a Christmas card.  You can always make a New Year's resolution to do it next year!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2012

I can learn to like hockey

All you hockey fans out there will cringe when I say this, but despite living in the "original Hockey Town, USA," I am just not that much of a fan. I know, it's like someone living in Hershey and not liking chocolate. Or living in Orlando and not giving a rip about Disney.

I have turned down hockey writing assignments, preferring to "LinkIn' and cue up other, far more knowledgeable writers than me.  What I do love, though, is the team spirit and cheering for the hometown. So when the local Chamber of Commerce wanted to submit an article to a hockey magazine on the newly, renovated hockey arena, I thought, I am all over that.

And, admittedly, what a fun experience it was.  I really do adore this little town and the new arena really is very exciting. And where else can you call up a professional player's mom to do a quick fact check? Exactly.

I like it more already.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

You Rock my Wordle!

Wordle: Red Shoes playingWordle is a groovy place to create "word clouds."  All you do is paste some text in the box, click "Go," and - voila! - Insta-Art.

Cool, eh?

Here's one my daughter created. Guess what she likes? We typed "meow" several times, earning points in font size.

Wordle: I love cats

Unfortunately, here's a list of a few things you can't do on Wordle.  However, my positivity and just plain enjoyment of the site, give me enough oomph to overlook these points.
  • You can't rearrange the words the way you want. You have to accept what the cloud gives you.
  • You can't keep a group of words together unless they're hyphenated. For example, you can't type "No Dogs" and expect it to stay together.
  • To customize color, you need to know the #0000000 code.  Um...yeah...
  • Saving images is a little tricky. Maybe there are smarter folks out there than me (undoubtedly), but to save an image, you must commit to publishing on the great WWW, then, since I'm a PC gal, I right-click and "Save image as" to pull it off the great WWW.  
  • To go back to your images in the gallery is like finding a needle in a haystack. 

TIP: Save your creations with a unique creator name like Alpha Tuna Rocks.  When you want to find your previously created Wordle images, simply make a new one and click on it (or your unique creator name) in the gallery and all of your images should come up.

ANOTHER TIP: Do not save your Wordle Art under the creator name "Anonymous."

There is an "Advanced" page to help with some of the aforementioned issues, unfortunately I'm not advanced enough to utilize it.

And best of's FREEEEEE!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A big "WOOT!" for Marvin

Now I know how moms feel when their offspring shout, “Hi, Mom!” on national television.

During his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, President Obama referenced,  “the family business in Warroad, Minnesota, that didn't lay off a single one of their 4,000 employees during this recession, even when their competitors shut down dozens of plants, even when it meant the owners gave up some perks and pay -- because they understood their biggest asset was the community and the workers who helped build that business -- they give me hope.”

That family business is Marvin Windows and Doors which is based in my community.  Indeed the stability and care of this company has helped us endure these economically challenging times.  Check them out if you're interested in buying a good product that is not only made in the U.S.A., but has a positive, local impact as well. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy New Year

The kids are off to school marking another “new” year.  Just like January 1st, the start of a new school year prompts me to recommit to old resolutions or to make new ones. Here are a few:

·         Get back to pre-pregnancy weight by doing Jillian’s 30-day Shred
·         Structure my day while the kids are away to do a little bit of each of the following: “work” work, house work, “home” work, and playtime with baby
·         Go to bed early
·         Write every day

What’s on your list?

Last day of summer vacay