Today did have a bright side...

This afternoon we had parent/teacher conference with Dane's teacher. Last Fall his "scores" were fairly mediocre, but that was pre-ADHD assessment and medication. Oh the difference a few months make. NOW he is scoring pretty much 5/5 on every factor, instead of mostly 3s. His teacher was positively thrilled with his progress and raved over what a fantastic student and little Human Being he is. And she said that she's having a tough time preparing new "works" for him fast enough for his bugeoning abilities and interests. The rapid increase in his language and reading abilities have her particularly astounded as he speeds right through each new exercise she presents him with.

If there is any proof that we did the right thing in not accepting the local kindergarten teachers' recommendation to hold him back TODAY's meeting was IT! I shudder to think of what a disaster that could have been. I really think we would have created a very miserable, angry child with crushed self-esteem. Dane is SO proud of his new and growing abilities and we are, too!

She was also bummed that he ended up wait-listed for the Montessori school near my hubby's work and joked that maybe she should put a call in to the director to make a special admission for Dane--I think she was really only half kidding, though. I think she really would pull strings for us if she could.

Thurs: worse than Weds.

I am so bummed. For the past year our son has been in a Montessori school for his kindergarten year. He loves it...we love it. The combination of this style of learning/education + his low dose ritalin have made him such a happy kid with a love for learning...he has come SO far since Fall. For the 2 years prior he had been in a more traditional preschool and I know it was so frustrating for him (and I didn't particularly care for his teachers, either...his main teacher kept telling us that he didn't have ADHD since he could focus so well on activities he liked--duh, well, that IS a major symptom of the disorder. We took her word as a teacher instead of following our instincts).

So we applied for an amazing charter (free, public) Montessori school near my hubby's work that goes through 8th grade. They are super popular, produce the highest standardized test scores of any school in the area, and do enrollments on a lottery system. Yesterday we found out that our son is #1 on the WAITING LIST for first grade. So unless someone drops out or moves or something he won't be able to attend this year.

Our backup plan was to then try another almost equally respected charter school literally down the street from the Montessori school that has a real emphasis on fine and performing Arts--things that my son enjoys, so even though it wouldn't be a Montessori school he would have some wonderful creative outlets and a more relaxed, independent study learning environment than what would be found in a "traditional" public school. A month ago I was looking at their website and it said they did open enrollments in late March to early April, so my plan was to call them if the Montessori option fell through.

This AM I called and it turns out that they finished open enrollments in mid-March and he'd be put on another waiting list--they had also changed their website (now it shows no enrollment time frame).

Our only other option, aside from the local public school that we are NOT thrilled with (last year they wanted to place him in pre-k, even though he is already at the older end of the age range and is in no way behind academically, intellectually, or socially...but when he was screened last year we had not yet had him assessed for ADHD, so he was distracted and silly during the kindergarten screening. During parent orientation one of the teachers also said that they had NEVER been wrong in their assessments--that sort of arrogance from a teacher REALLY turned us off) or an expensive tuition Montessori program that we aren't real excited about (we toured there last month and didn't feel all that impressed by what we saw, though it would still likely be a better fit for our son than the traditional desk-bound school environment). We're not sure we could afford the tuition, either.

Anyhow, I just really needed to vent. I'm so frustrated. I hate feeling like we have so little choice in where our son goes to school...especially when I know he would do so well at the charter Montessori school and I am terrified that putting him in a confining desk environment will make him dislike school again. I'm so frightened that he's going to end up hating school, hating learning, and will have his self-esteem damaged so early in his school career.




Not-so-happy Humpday

Poo. Dane didn't get into the Montessori Charter school that we applied to recently. They operate on a lottery system, so it's not first come, first served. Fortunately he is #1 on the waiting list for 1st grade, but if no one moves or drops out we'll have to have him go elsewhere. There is another charter school very nearby (literally down the road, so still very close to DH's work) that also has a fantastic reputation, so we are going to look into that. They specialize in fine and performing arts as part of their curriculum, so I am all over that.

Eek, I think I made a mistake!

I never should have bookmarked the RSS feed for this blog. I'm not sure I can handle this much cuteness every day!




Wow, it's gorgeous!

Outside!!! I ran today in long pants, but wished I had worn a running skirt! I was overheated...not used to temps ~60º when I run! It was amazing...I haven't seen that many people out on the paved rail trail in months, either. So I have a bunch of tanning minutes left from last year that I need to use up. I'm gonna go do that to see if I can get my bratwurst-colored legs to look a little bit more like hot dogs in color, LOL!





I should be cleaning house--it desperately needs it and it's a beautiful, perfect day for "Spring cleaning." Instead I sit here...wasting time.


Butterflies are blooming!

Today we finally did something we should have done years ago...bought a one-year family membership to the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, MI. This is my very favorite place to visit in all of West MI. 3 visits and we will more than have paid for this membership, and we almost always go at least 2x/year. Now we can go whenever we want for free. It is amazing. We could easily spend an entire day there and it's a great place for nature and art lovers of all ages...and every time we go there is something new and fantastic. I HIGHLY recommend a visit to the place to anyone visiting this area.

Last Summer we took my mom and nephew (he was about 5 at the time) and were there for most of the day. We spent at least an hour in the childrens' garden, alone. As it was we had to drag my son and nephew away when we got hungry for dinner. Today we spent at least an hour in the live butterfly exhibit (have never seen them so active, or so many at once, including clearwinged butterflies--way cool). Now that we have the membership I plan to take my son back next week, as the spring break crowds will not yet have descended (Andrea...Nicole...wanna join us?).



Give me a shout!

Tell me what you think of the neato little shoutbox I added over to the right. It's pretty customizable...I think I will soon add some fun smilies. If you have any faves, post links!




Man, I am SO sleepy. I think in the last 2-3 weeks I have had only one or two nights of truly deep, restful sleep. Seems that my sleep got so interrupted when the shingles first hit and my sleep cycles have been sorta whack ever since. I'm sure the time change didn't help and I have a tendency to not sleep as well during any weather shifts, too. I LOVE this warmer, sunnier weather, but I'd not be surprised if Mother Nature's turn-about had a bit to do with my crummy sleep of late.

But, anyhow, Happy Spring! Looks like moderately decent weather is in the forecast for the coming week. And by decent I mean no snow. We'll still have some wind, rain, and chilly temps, but Winter really seems to be in the past, for the most part. I LOVE this time of year!

I finally got around to registering for my first two races of '07--the Striders' Classic 10 mile next month and the Riverbank Run 25k in May. Now I just need to get my fundraising registration for Girls On The Run done. I'm planning to do fundraising for that organization again. I didn't do so well when I attempted to do so as part of my half marathon last Fall...ended up paying about $200 out-of-pocket to meet the minimum. This time I want to do more to get friends and family to help support my efforts.



Pedestrians have the right of way, gol dangit!

My running career and possibly my life just about ended this AM. Just as I was nearing the end of my run a careless (and possibly drunk/drugged) woman who should have her license revoked came thisclose to hitting me. I was running on a primary road in our residential neighborhood and she came to a T with a stop sign. She stopped well behind the sign, and then went (turning right onto the main street)...looked right at me and can't have not seen me...it's sunny, clear, and I was wearing a BRIGHT YELLOW windbreaker--and I don't run fast, so it's not as if I was suddenly there.

I think the asshat figured that since she was in a car that her rights trumped mine, even though SHE is the one who had the stop sign, not I. *I* had to swerve into the middle of the street with my arm outstretched towards her car (both in a 'stop' gesture as well as a way to shield the rest of my body from impact) to avoid being hit and only THEN did she stop suddenly after she nearly plowed into me. I yelled at her to watch where she's going, but I'm sure she didn't hear with the windows rolled-up.

I talked to my hubby on the phone once I caught my breath...he has had similar issues while on his bike. He suggested that I should have jumped on her hood. Had my wits been more about me I think I would have. If this should ever happen again I will. I hope I leave a big-ass dent, too. They wouldn't have much of a case against me if I were to damage their car. People really suck.

I think we're too litigious a society, but I honestly would sue the pants off of anyone who caused me even minor injuries by driving like an idiot when they are sharing the roads with runners, bicyclists, walkers and others who don't have the protection of sheet metal and airbags--if for no other reason than to prove a point and serve as a reminder to them and all those that they associate with that their driver's license is a priviledge and that they need to be more conscious of everyone else on the roadways.


*sniffs, wipes tear* Ahhh...my little carnivore!

Tonite we had steak for dinner. About midway through his my son gestured towards a piece and asked "hey, mom...what's this pink part? I like it the best." I replied that some of the meat is pink because it's cooked a little bit less, but that that makes it juicier and taste better. He replied by smiling and taking another big bite! I think it's time I try my hand at a standing rib roast (ie prime rib).

In other random things...it rained a little this afternoon. You can blame me for the precipitation, as I had my car washed yesterday.

Tomorrow I'm taking Dane out for lunch after school. I think we will try to hit Quizno's, which is Dane's new favorite restaurant. We also need to pick up prescriptions from his pediatrician's office, get them filled, do a little shopping while we wait for the scripts, and head to swimming lessons at 4pm. One of the scripts is for a shorter-acting form of Ritalin for Dane's swimming days. Last Spring we did swimming lessons and I don't know how much Dane got out of it, other than becoming more comfortable in the water. Though he did get to know his friend Trent better, as he happened to be in Dane's class, too.




Stump My Friends

I made this quiz about me for some mom friends of mine on a parenting board. So far most of them are totally bombing. Let me know how you do!



Another Silly Meme...

One outta three...ONLY pick ONE:

Corona, Heineken or Budweiser:
Ick...I love beer, but none of these. Heineken, I guess.

Flowers, Candy, or Cards:
Flowers--but only potted that won't be dead in a week. Otherwise candy.

Beer, Wine, or Mixed drink?
Suprise me--I generally like all 3.

Early to bed, Early to rise, Late to Rise:
Late to Rise (at least on the weekends)

Football, basketball or baseball?

Internet, Radio, or TV:

Ford, Chevy, or Dodge:
Ford (I have a Mazda and my last car was Ford)

Cheese Burger, Pizza, or Salad?

Car, SUV, or Mini-Van?
CAR!!! I like to drive fast and still get good MPG.

Email, Telephone, or Letter?

California, New York, or Florida?

Cheater, Straight Shooter, or Rule Bender:
Rule Bender

Private, Public, or Semi-Private:

Morning, Afternoon, or Night:

Animal House, American Pie, or Old School:
Old School...let's go streaking!!!

Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, or Mandy Moore:
Britney for entertainment value alone...and I don't mean her music.

Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Halloween:

Coke, Pepsi, or Sprite:

Dogs, Cats, or Hamsters:

Friends, Lovers, or Enemies:

Jr. High, High School, or College:

Beach, Mountains, or Desert:
Mountains if they are snow-covered and have chair-lifts.

Cookies, Cake, or Brownies:
Brownies...chewy on the outside, a little gooey in the middle.

March, July, or October:

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner:

Giver, Sharer, or Keeper:

Eyes, Nose, or Mouth:

Friends that lie, Enemies that pretend to be your friend, or Alone:


Swiped from MySpace

1.How do you take your steak?
medium rare

2. When was the last time you took a nap?
A couple of weeks ago when I had a cold. Gave up when there was a squirrel in the house. Why do I even try?

3. Do you only drink bottled water?
Sometimes. I don't buy it to drink at home, only when running errands. Our tap water (well) is awesome!

4. What will be the most exciting thing to happen to you in the next month??
Uh...I will run a 10 mile race--first race of '07.

5. Who was the last person to call you?
My folks

Where did #6 go??

7. To send you a Myspace message?
can't remember

8. Do you still talk to your ex?
Heh, he's in prison...and I have no clue where the other one is.

9. Last person you rode in a car with?
While driving: Dane. As a passenger...Derek?

10. Have you ever been to Oregon?

12. Do you have cingular?
I have Verizon...but if Verizon someday gets better coverage here and those iPhones come down in price I will likely get Cingular.

13. What's your favorite thing to do?
Uhh...eat. My ass shows it.

14. How old will you be on your next birthday?

15. Do you wear makeup?
Rarely. I'm too lazy and don't really give a damn.

16. Are you catholic?
FAR from it. I'm closer to an atheist.

17. Do you like to ski?
Yes. Unfortunately downhill costs too much and isn't real practical here and my cross-country boots are too small post-kid.

18. Ever meet anyone famous?

19. What instant messaging service do you use?
I rarely IM, but I have AIM, MSN, Yahoo...

20. Have you ever been out of the country?
Yep. Now I can't give blood because of the mad cow scare. *rolls eyes*

21. Who is your 5th contact in your cell's phonebook?
No clue and I'm too lazy to go check.

22. What is your favorite number?
2. Funny, and this is question 22...coincidence...?

23. Most hated food?
Lima beans.

24. How many animals did you pet today?

25. Who was your favorite teacher when you were in high school?
Mr. Jones!

26. What are you worried about?
Getting a good night's sleep. Haven't slept all that well in weeks.

27. Have you ever had a panic attack?
I think I probably have, but maybe mistook it for an asthma attack, since I have those from time to time.

29. What color is your hair?
blonde with silver/gray.

30. What do you smell like right now?
Lanacane...damned shingles!

31. How old are your siblings?
Almost 31 and 26.

32. What names do you go by?
Stinker (rearrange the letters of my name...what do you get?), Mooooommmm!!!!, meow!, my oldest friends call me Kirk.

34. What is something you want very badly at the moment?
World peace, wealth...and to shave at least a minute off of my average running pace. I think the $$ and world peace are more likely...

35. What is a major pet peeve of yours?
People who *still* stubbornly/blindly support GWB.

36. Last thing you ate today:

37. What are you doing today?
Thinking about going to bed, soon.

38. Is your myspace display name from a song?
Here...zoom-zoom. No, it's in reference to my Mazda...and the fact that my running is anything but zoom-zoomy, LOL!

39. Do you have over 100 friends on myspace?
I did at one time, but cut most of the people whom I don't know personally.

40. Do you know them all?
Most of them.

41. Would you ever sneak into a rated R movie?
Snuck into "Less Than Zero" when I was 14 or so. Now I'm 2x the legal age to watch R films...god, that makes me feel SO old!

42. Do you have a wood floor or carpet in your bedroom?
Real pine planks, baby!

43. Do you have a hidden stash of candy somewhere?
Sometimes I do, but not currently.

44. Do you have over 100 CDs?
Yes...but who listens to CDs, anymore...? It's all about the iTunes, now!

45. ?

46. Is your phone right beside you?

47. Are you cold?
It's March...I've been cold for like 6 months, now.

48. What is your fav sex position?
Nunya...nunya damned bidness!

49. Recently done anything you regret?
Hmmm...nothing that stands out.

50. Ever trip over your own feet?
Yeah...all the time!

51. Favorite color pen ink to use?
Blue, I guess...


More on Shingles...

Found this link last night:
FDA info.

Pretty clear information. I have a feeling that I got the anti-virals too late, as they really need to be started within the first 48 hours after the tingly symptoms start. I didn't start until 3-4 days after I first had that weird belly skin tingle. But if there's any chance of cutting the duration of symptoms down by even a day or two it will be worth my week's course of Valtrex.

I feel kind of bad about attending a playgroup lunch at McDonald's yesterday with a bunch of moms and kids that we are friends with. Shingles is not contagious to anyone who has already had chicken pox, but there's a risk that I could have transmitted the virus to any kids or adults why are not vaccinated for Varicella or who have not had the pox (which would cause such a person to come down with chicken pox). Although I think the risk is really only present once the sores open, like chicken pox sores do as the virus progresses. I'm still at a very early phase of the virus.

I haven't been sleeping particularly well the last few nights (and not just because our cats have been total asshats in the morning trying to wake us to feed them). The skin that is being affected is super sensitive and the itching is giving way to soreness. I read one recommendation to wear very snug-fitting clothes that don't rub, so I might think about wearing a compression top. I am also going to look for a hand-held water bottle for hydration during my upcoming long runs (at least until this has run its course), as the thought of wearing my Camelbak™ which straps to my waist right where my skin is most sensitive gives me major heebs!



I have HERPES!!! (sorta)

No...not THAT kind of herpes...I'm a good girl. Git yer heads outta the gutter, already!

A few days ago I started getting this intense tingling on one side of my stomach. By the following day the tingling was joined by itching and weird, painful twinges. Not long after this the area (only a couple of square inches and a much smaller area over further to the side) became covered with small pink bumps. At first I simply thought it was bug bites or hives or something, as I tend to get pretty severe reactions to both. But hives and bug bites improve or disappear after a few days--this thing is getting worse...like OMFG this is the itchiest thing EVER! Extra strength Cortaid and Benadryl spray don't touch it.

So I started to do some online research and most of what my symptoms kept leading me to was a diagnosis of shingles--basically chicken pox in people who have already had chicken pox. I had the pox, but a very mild case. And shingles tend to strike people with suppressed immune systems...I have endometriosis (auto-immune disorder) and in the past week have been recovering from a cold AND an intestinal bug. Bingo.

I had read that getting on anti-viral meds ASAP can help a bit, so at 4:30 I decided to run down to the nearest med-center and have it looked at, rather than wait until tomorrow and suffer through another night of not sleeping well from the itching.

The doctor was really nice...had me lift my shirt, looked at it for only a second and verified my self-diagnosis. She also said that my recent viral illnesses almost certainly opened me up for this. Right away gave me a couple of samples of Valtrex and a script for a week's course of the anti-viral.

Funny thing...for years my hubby and I have joked about the Valtrex ads and how attractive and fit the actors in them look...yeah, right, like people with herpes are all so pretty and athletic.

And now I am one of them!



Bridge to Terabithia

What a fantastic film! Even though I hadn't read the book (I really want to, now) I was aware of the tragic twist the story takes and my MIL didn't think I should take Dane to see it (she thought the theme of death would be upsetting to him...which is somewhat ludicrous, considering that in the past year he has lost a pet kitty and his grandfather, so fictional death shouldn't be so haunting for him). As usual, I ignored her and I'm really glad I did.

Dane and I both loved it (I know he did because he sat still and hardly made a peep for over 90 minutes. He also talked about details of the film that he liked in the car afterwards). He was not really upset by Leslie's death (at least not as much as I was). Early in the film he whispered to me that the kids teasing Jess were mean...and even though these kids were significantly older than him he understood that their behavior towards Jess was cruel. His perception of their nastiness towards a nice kid is something that pleased me immensely. I don't imagine that he would ever be intentionally vicious towards another person.

It's really a beautiful film. Perfectly cast...I can't believe that Leslie was that gum-smacking brat in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." And from beginning to end I kept thinking how proud and happy I would be if Dane were to be even half as gentle a soul as Jess. As it is his closest friends are very often his female peers (like father, like son).

I will be purchasing this movie as soon as it is released on DVD. I have a feeling that this will become a real classic.


Know any "jiggly joggers?"

On my favorite running support board (Running AHEAD) we are planning to start a Spring weight-loss challenge. At the moment it looks like we're probably going to do 5% body weight for everyone, that way it levels the playing field. This would likely put me at about 7#s over the course of 3 months to bring me down to 129#s--just 6 above my ultimate goal weight. I'm a super slow loser, so this will still be a major struggle for me--particularly as it's hard to "diet" when I am training for and running races (I have a 10 miler and 25k planned before Summer and a 15k at the end of June).

If you or anyone you know would be interested, come check out our Jiggly Joggers group.




Happy Pulaski Day!

In honor of Casimir Pulaski we are Polish for a day. On the dinner menu for tonite is polska kielbasa. Actually, it's pretty coincidental that we will be having that. Derek bought a couple the other day and Dane has been BEGGING for kielbasa. We were going to have beer brats for supper, but then I discovered it was Pulaski day, so it only seems right to have the polish sausage, instead. I boiled the brats and we will eat those later in the week.

Yesterday I had a positively glorious run. Longest one since my half-marathon way back in late Oct. It was a little windy, but not terribly cold and the sky was brilliant blue with full sun. Even the slushy spots were bearable, although my feet were pretty wet and cold by the time I returned home almost 11 miles later. I was feeling nervous that I wouldn't possibly be ready for my big 25k in a couple of months, but now I am pretty certain that I will be--assuming I don't become injured or anything. And I think all the running I have done on snow and ice has really made me stronger...yesterday's pace was fairly quick, yet I felt quite comfortable, even in my somewhat weakened, post-illness state.


Me me me!


My tummy troubles finally seem to have passed. Yesterday I was still not feeling 100% and had some residual gurgling going on, but today I feel pretty great. And the sun is shining, so I will definitely be doing a long run in a little while. Now, if only the snow would all be gone. That's probably a bit too much to ask, huh...?

Yesterday Dane and I power-shopped with my best friend who is going back to work tomorrow (she got 90% of what she needed at TJ Maxx...god, I love that store!). She will be starting at a bank near her. From the sound of things she will have good opportunity for advancement to management, which is great. She's still taking nursing classes part time and hopes to eventually get into the BSN program at my alma mater (GVSU), but they have a LONG waiting list, so in the meantime she wants to get some more management experience (she has already been an office manager of a surgical practice...unfortunately her boss decided to move his practice to Wyoming and at that time she chose to stay home with her kids and manage their small farm more).

After shopping we ate at Quiznos. How in the heck did I avoid this place for so long? I had that new prime rib on garlic bread sub...OMG--heaven in my mouth! Then we had dessert at a Grand Traverse Pie Co. location near the mall area. That was yummy, too. So basically I HAVE to run, today!




Bubble Guts...aka more TMI...

My yogurt turned out great and I've eaten an entire measuring cup worth of it (half with granola for breakfast, the other half with a couple of packets of Splenda and a little vanilla extract) over the course of the day. Good stuff. Unfortunately it has done nothing to help my intestinal issues. Today things are the worst, yet. I wish I knew what was causing my issues. An hour or so ago I took 2 Gas-X, but things have not improved. So I broke down and took a dose of Pepto. If this doesn't work I am tempted to get a hold of one of those long needles they use for amniocentesis...maybe that would release some of this damned pressure. My belly is so distended.

This is day 5. The first few days things were more of a mild irritation, than anything. Kind of like minor indigestion. But this is really starting to wear on me. If I'm not feeling better by Monday I might go in to see my doctor--though I feel like such a hypochondriac, since I always seem to be in there for something...allergies, sinus infections (from the allergies), thyroid test (to figure out why my metabolism sucks so bad--thyroid turned out to be just fine)....



Heating Pad Yogurt

...what the heck, thought I might as well post this...

Heating Pad Yogurt

I have made my own yogurt using a gallon of whole milk, it's very simple and so much better than store bought yogurt.

I divide the gallon (or you could do a half-gallon into 2 quarts or even a single quart--depends upon how many yogurt-eaters you have in your house) into 4 1qt. containers and nuke the milk until it is at 180-185° (checking every few minutes with a meat thermometer), then cool it (covered) to 110-115° at room temperature (it takes about 90 minutes in a seventyish degree home with few drafts), then add 2TB of Dannon plain full fat (though non fat and fat free work just as well), set containers in a medium-sized cooler under a heating pad set to low, close the lid, and allow to "incubate" UNDISTURBED for 8-24 hours (the longer the incubation, the stronger the yogurt flavor).

Note: it is VERY important that all containers and utensils be VERY clean, as the only bacteria you want in your yogurt is the beneficial yogurt bacteria. Other contaminants can cause the yogurt to not set-up properly.


for creamier, richer yogurt -
3C Whole milk
6oz. Heavy Cream
2oz. plain yogurt starter

Draining for yogurt cheese (Yocheese/Greek-style yogurt):

Either use a yogurt cheese funnel or line a colander with cheesecloth, large coffee filter or layers of white paper towels. Set the colander over a large bowl. Spoon in the yogurt and put in the fridge. Cover and allow to drain for 2 to 10 hours, depending on the consistency desired. Discard the drained-off whey. Store in fridge. Pour off any liquid that drains from the cheese before using. Can be used as a substitute for cream cheese, sour cream, or even mayo. It is also wonderful with DaVinci sugar-free syrup or other flavored syrups, fruit compotes, or jam stirred-in.

TMI Alert!

I bought a half gallon of whole milk and some plain yogurt. I think I need to make my own yogurt (I have a recipe that uses a cooler and a heating pad to incubate--I'll pass it along if anyone is interested). For several days my lower GI has been "off." Today's lunch at McDumpster didn't help (though, OMG, did it ever taste divine!). I also bought a little 4 pack of those yogurts to help digestion. Hmmm...maybe I should use a spoon of that stuff as my starter, rather than the plain yogurt, since it has more than 1 healthy bacteria/bacterium...damn, which is the plural?

I probably should have bought vanilla, though...my plain homemade yogurt might have a slight purple cast from the mixed-berry yogurt. Oh, well, I'm sure that won't be an issue once I've made a few batches.... I haven't had drained, "Greek-style" yogurt in so long. I'm really looking forward to that!


Crappy weather will not keep me from my fix!

Off to McDonald's for my Shamrock "crack-in-a-cup" shake! We've had high winds, freezing rain, snow...just generally gross weather, so the drive down to meet Derek at work was cancelled. But we have a McDonald's less than 10 minutes away, so Dane and I will brave the elements for lunch. He needs to burn off some energy in the play area, anyhow.


Bye-bye, The Body Shop @ Home

As of today my TBSAH biz is no more. I'm kinda bummed, but it was just too much work to keep up my minimum sales ($400 in a "rolling quarter"). Things were starting to look up, but then one of my best customers decided to become a consultant herself...which sounds good, but she was also closely connected to pretty much ALL of my customers in this area, so there went my best clients. It's hard to compete with a local person who has connections when one's a transplant in a small, insular community.

I got tired of following-up on leads from people who found my site and were interested in having parties, then never would book, even when I spent $$ sending them info, samples, etc. I often was spending more on marketing and advertising than I was making, which isn't good business.

But all is not lost. TBS has an affiliate program. I'd only earn 8% of any sales through an affiliate site, but it would cost me nothing to set it up, nor would I need to maintain any sort of minimum sales to retain the site. It would be a good way for me to get discounted product for myself, especially if I were to buy their $10 "Love Your Body" card, which (I believe) entitles the user to 10% off any order for a year.