Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Are you a member of (Writing Forums dot com / WF) and can’t get on the site?

You aren’t alone.

Quotes from two different sources (I hope they don’t mind). Source one:

I don't understand how anyone is getting in. Four versions of IE, 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0, Firefox 2 and 3, Google Chrome, Avant and Opera are unable to get in. I tried the AOL browser and even tried a vintage Nutscape browser for grins and no dice. The only thing I have left is an ancient copy of Mosaic but I don't think that'll resolve the protocols.


I've tried getting in with every browser at my disposal (quite a few) and no go. I got a pm yesterday, so someone is able to get in...but not me. Haven't been able to access since @4 am Sunday morning.

Source two:

WF is not working for me either. It's not loading in Firefox or IE, so I'm guessing the server crashed or something; I recall Adrian talking about server problems earlier.

As for myself…

Here's a little sumpin sumpin. Currently, I can't get on WF. Well, I suppose I can, if you want to be technical about it, but all I get is a white screen. So I called my Shaw cable tech guy today, and he said it sounds like the site is blocking me for some reason rather than my computer blocking it. (My firewall, cookies and all are fine/gone/disabled/whatever he had me do.) In fact, WF is the only site on the web I can't get into.

I can only imagine the amount of people who are having the same problem getting on WF ( / writing forums dot com) as we three.  For those who are and are looking for a port to ride out this latest storm, or for those who are just plain fed up with and are looking elsewhere, might I suggest Writing Discussions.

Writing Discussions is Selorian and valeca’s baby. It has tons of workshops and an owner who genuinely cares and stays on top of things. I know! Incredible, isn’t it?

So if you’re like we three and need a port or second home, check out Writing Discussions.

Friday, April 03, 2009

What do you mean “Adding some Tuscan to your kitchen is a lot like writing”?

The more I work at getting the house ready to paint, the more I’m convinced that the main thing you really need to do to refresh your home is to “edit” it as harshly as you do your writing.

Do you really need a picture (or groups of pictures) on every wall? Of course not. You also don’t need to line every wall with furniture, either, even if your hubby will gripe and whine that you’ve moved his favorite chair. (No worries. As long as he can still see his big screen TV and reach his remote, he’ll live.)

And to make matters worse, a Tuscan kitchen is all the rage. But honestly, no, you don’t have to blow the bank to go a little Tuscan, especially in these hard financial times. A coat of paint on the old cupboards and island (I had to go with white because my kitchen is a tad dim, though I'll likely repaint them antique white before I'm finished), new cabinet handles (black wrought iron) and, if you have low cupboards like I do, stuff on top.

Speaking of stuff. Obviously my loved ones decided I needed to collect barnyard fowl. (Who knew?) Luckily, I didn't get many — only four roosters and one duck, to be exact. Ah, but apparently bringing the outside in is the key to Tuscan, so up they went, along with a small white vase with a grape motif and complete with fake leafy vines, two wooden wine presentation boxes, several unique bottles, one ceramic strawberry pie plate posed upright in a plate holder. When grouped in threes and fours, and with some space between each grouping, it worked!

Adding a braided rope strung with realistic looking papier-mâché vegetables and garlic cloves (bought at Value Village thrift store for fifty cents), a black wrought iron four-bottle wine rack (bought at VV for a whole seven dollars; a wine rack is a must in a Tuscan kitchen, don'cha know), a burgundy kitchen mat and whimsical burgundy potholders and oven mitt, worked too. So did a trio of black wrought iron candle holders (to match the black wrought iron chandelier that came with the house) on the old worn maple table, along with using a predominantly burgundy and red tapestry-look Pashmina as a table runner. (Since Pashminas at the Liquidation Center were five dollars each, and since I couldn’t decide which color or pattern to choose, and since I was in a hurry, I bought four of them). Oh, and I also tilted a large and lidded ceramic blueberry pie plate on the buffet and stood a Tuscan-look pie plate in a black wrought iron stand beside it. Lastly (for now), I put my nicest cutting board on the island and placed on it a Peace Lily in a bright red ceramic plant pot, a small apple basket filled with my favorite Red delicious apples, a cute ceramic strawberry figurine. TA DA! The start of some Tuscan, which is just what my shoestring budget ordered. Okay, so it helped that I already had stainless steel and black appliances because my old ones were ancient and dangerous. But any color appliance would likely work just as well.

Crazy, isn‘t it?

I think so, too. But hey, the house needed the help and I needed something to do. Besides, it's best to decide on a theme before dashing off to the paint store, right? Think of it as writing. You need a plot or at least a vague idea before you can get down to work.

Tip: For under and above cabinet lighting, I went to the Liquidation Center and bought a basket-load of wireless battery powered puck lights. They were a whole one dollar each plus the batteries — can’t beat that with a stick.

Hint: Stickup puck lights tend to fall off when hung upside down, so what I did was remove the back from the rest of the puck light, carefully tapped a small nail hole into the back’s middle, removed the nail and pushed a thumbtack through the hole facing out, removed the sticky backing paper and pressed the puck light’s back into place via the thumbtack, then I attached the puck light to its back. Sure it‘s time-consuming, but it's far less than stringing wires, boring holes and likely electrocuting myself. Cheaper, too. And hey, I don’t mind pressing buttons — I type, remember?

Is it the best kitchen in the world? Not even close. But it’s simple, inexpensive, is a huge improvement from what it was, will certainly do until I can do more, and, like writing a story, is a work in progress.

A bit at a time, that’s the ticket; I’ll get there... eventually.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

About that rain...

The results of the ultrasound are in, and the answer is: it's a solid mass, bigger than a golf ball and smaller than a baseball.

So, it’s a referral to the gynecologist (specialist), have a little surgery, and then they’ll see.

Que Sera, Sera.

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