Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How Google and Social Media Saved My Dogs Life


My blogging has been almost non-existent since November...shame on me. Well tonight I am hot to trot about some topics...here goes topic 1~!


My day from hell ended on a very important call about a very high profile client...during which my kids (who have been puking their guts up all week) were screaming for me repeatedly. I rushed downstairs to see what was the matter and of course our new puppy had helped herself to an ornament snack. See the munching monster above, left unattended by the kids, who you cannot completely blame for not watching her. (Even though part of me wants to be unfair and do it.)
I call the vet who wants me to come in...won't tell me how much it will cost...what they'll be doing...etc. The must have some idea. Gidget can't be the only puppy to ever eat an ornament. I would cave...Robert wouldn't. I gave my baby lots of bread to hopefully coat her stomach and provide a sticky substance for the glass. (Info provided by a friend earlier this week who encountered a similar scenario - coincidence - I think not.) Then I turned to the ever faithfull knowledge repository of links...Google...which serves up the following link - the second remedy I immediately took action on. So in case you have similar issues...here you go...
Here's to hoping for a less eventful evening.





Friday, November 14, 2008

Today I will...

My five-minute blog of the day...

Life will never be perfect. And just because the country is falling apart doesn't mean I have to be (at least not yet anyhow). Lately, there's been a slight cultural shift/awakening in my organization of which I'm proud to be a part of. While I didn't officially start the fire, my mantra has received some recognition, and I've found that it means something to others besides me. I've been honored to have friends stop at my desk to copy it and keep for themselves or send to others. So hopefully sharing it with the world doesn't lessen its value, but rather increases it, because let's face it - we all need a gentle reminder of a healthy perspective once in a while.

Here's my daily verse (a combination of some of my core fundamental values)...

Today - I will:

1.) Remember all the things I should be thankful for
2.) Put things in perspective and remember the Four Agreements (these and the ones from the book the Four Agreements)
3.) Positively visualize the things I want to happen
4.) Be patient and kind in all the things I do and say

Of course I could make it more robust, but that's enough to get me back in a healthy state of mind when I'm off track. (Along with my other expert rationalizer phrases of - no one is dying on the operating table, it won't matter a year from now, it's only one hour out of my life, etc.

Feel free to use it, abuse it, or ignore it if you so choose. If you try it and don't buy it, you can always go back to what you were doing before, because there is little value in something you don't believe in. All I know is it works for me and the friends that use it.

So here's me...signing off....wishing any and all of you the good things in life that aren't even things. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My OCD works for me...

There is a continuous debate in my home over who is OCD, what are they OCD about, who in the house is the least dysfunctional. This war has waged for years! And I am comfortably happy that it will continue to do so until the day I become a part of the Earth.

When I think about OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), I think of...the inconveniences that come with it, the bickering, the anxiety over doing or not doing something in particular. Suffice it to say, the unpleasantries have typically reigned as the sole focus. Recently, I've realized that my OCD has an upside. A major one in fact. One that makes an inconvenience not feel inconvenient at all. What could be good about OCD, you ask?

Let's put this into perspective of tonight's events when my realization came to be. I was at the store picking up my much needed things when I arrived at the checkout. I then realized that I had forgotten my fabric bags (my damn memory and ADD). What do I do with all this stuff they want to shove into plastic bags. It's not rocket science of course. I say, no plastic bags, thank you. I elected to put everything in the cart just like it was when I approached the counter. Was it convenient? Not really, but I don't want to use plastic bags anymore. I also insist on recycling, even if I have to (gulp) dig my hands into the nasty garbage to do so, even if I'm doing it at work after others. I will always consider myself and my family a work in progress - knowing there is always more that can or should be done - it's just yet to be discovered. The bottom line is that I've become obsessive, and finally my OCD is worth something.
It's so important to realize these things are things we HAVE to do, even if no one is watching. As always share links below if you want.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is that really me?

I recently discovered that I have officially become...my mom (to the right) or dad (in certain ways). I sometimes hear myself and think, wow, is that really me? Am I really saying that? Omg, what happened to me?
I don't know when it happened...but one day the words just flew out of my mouth...and before I knew it, I couldn't stop. It went something like this:
"Tyler, please pull your pants up."
"Tyler, can you turn your iPod down? It's too loud, and that's not good for your ears."
"No. I don't want you watching my Beavis and Butthead DVD's, The 40-year-old Virgin, Wedding Crashers or anything else like that. What made you think I'd say yes?"
"You're not staying up that late, even if it is the weekend."
"What kind of music are you listening to??"
"No. You are not getting a tongue ring."
And oh how the list goes on. I used to pride of myself as a parent that could keep a decent balance between my coolness and my Mom-hood. I knew how to pick and choose my battles...yes to longer hair, no video games all day long.
In my defense, saggy pants are one thing...and showing the fully booty of boxers is another. I don't want to be a nag, but I've realized that my recurring requests are the necessary evil of surviving these teen years for both our sakes. Mind you I am tremendously thankful for the fact that drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol are not a problem (I pray this continues.), but it doesn't eliminate all the other things that have to be curbed and all the guidance that is yet to be given (desired or not). I imagine me continuing to say no to many other things...in addition to this recent tongue ring request that apparently Tyler's girlfriend's parents were cool with. I suppose I am conservative in ways I hadn't realized. I guess I'm looking out for my 30 year-old son (17 years from now) who wished he never got the tongue ring.
I often wish I had more friends that had children my son's age so we could share stories or swap ideas. It'd be nice to talk about how I'm being eaten out of house and home, how he's struggling with dependence and independence, and as you know the list goes on. Maybe it's time to join Mom's Cafe. The joy of community...reaching out and connecting with others when you lack the connections you need in your immediate surroundings. Until then, I suppose I'll continue to consult with my elders on their teenage rearing wisdom.
Here's to hoping that his long locks are enough for now!
I suppose for now, I will continue to enjoy the other side of puberty...just like my parents probably did.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First come, First sold

I always strive to be fair, kind, generous, and supportive to others and their needs regardless if I know you or not. Unfortunately, I've found this to be a negative when it comes to selling things. Case in point, I had a yard sale once and I was selling a pretty decent high chair or similar item for $20. One could argue that was too much to ask at a yard sale, but honestly, I keep my stuff in primo condition and it was reasonable in my opinion. So a prospective buyer appears, and marvels at my goods, widdles me down a bit prior to realizing they have no cash on them...and therein lies my problem. The goodness in me shines as I agree to place the item on hold til they return.

I'm sure you know what's coming next. They don't return. And what I've learned is that I don't want to extend the kindness to others now because I fear it will be at my own expense. My internal debate continues to this day as far as whether or not I should be doing this for others, because surely there are some deserving people that would follow through on their promise and be considerate.

So that brings me to the online dilemma, my husband and I are active craiglisters (he's a borderline addict which I find incredibly funny) and what I've noticed is that people that call first expect first dibs, even if someone wants stop by sooner to see and maybe buy what we're selling.
And the reality is that I feel bad that even when someone says, "Look, I'll pay, consider it sold." I have to say, sorry, we'd love you to have it but we have to sell to the first buyer that comes by. All that said, I'm really curious what other seller's takes are. Do you have a first come, first sold approach? Have you been burned too? (I don't mean by the Craigslist scammers.)

Comments are encouraged and welcomed!

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Art Envy in the Hands of a Sharpie Expert...

I often wonder when I will find or make the time to do things I love, like paint, draw, and be my artsy fartsy self...I wanna be more like this guy...

$10, some sharpies, and lots of talent...i am full of art envy...

http://www.kentucky.com/147/story/532854.html\

My resolution before the year's end...find time to be more like me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pumpkin carving - no mess!

For kids or adults feeling youthful...

Go to the Pumpkin Simulator web page below. When pumpkin comes up press reset so that the cutter comes up. Hold your left button down on your mouse key and you can carve your pumpkin.

Have Fun.

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/timages/page/pumpkin_sim.html

Pumpkin carving and no mess!!! Happy Halloweenie!

Don't Hate Me Because I'm Green

This will be an evolving blog where I add things as I can...

Reuse:

Some new sites that promote reuse and recycling in great ways that almost anyone can benefit from!Trade books, movies, music, and games here:
http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3LnN3YXB0cmVlLmNvbS8=

I am an active user on swaptree and it's one of my favorite sites.

Goodwill gets Trendy:

Article – http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2007/12/04/goodwill_vintage/

Site: http://www.goodwill.org/

Internet auction site: http://www.shopgoodwill.com/

Freecycle - give and receive freely
http://www.msplinks.com/MDFodHRwOi8vd3d3LkZyZWVjeWNsZS5vcmc=.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FreecycleYorkPA/

The How to Wiki - I love this fun site!
http://www.wikihow.com/

Being environmentally conscious:
http://www.nature.org/activities/everydayenv.html

Reduce waste:
I send a bazillion (not literally, but you get the idea) emails a day, and have decided to add this to my signature line for all emails for two reasons - 1) in hopes that people will stop and think before they needlessly waste paper, 2) maybe others will copy and add it to their emails so that they can spread the quick intervention this tag might enable.
P Please consider the environment before printing this message

Recycling cans:

Check out http://www.aluminum.org/AMTemplate.cfm?Section=CansForHabitat_org&Template=/ACBHHome.cfm

aka http://www.cansforhabitat.org/

Great way to recycle and benefit the community at the same time - and a nice way to help our companies go Green. :)

Home reuse/recycle:

If I forget my fabric bags (not paper not plastic), I also like to save my grocery bags and reuse them at the next trip to the store, as garbage bags, as packing for things I'm sending, etc.

Donate your old blankets and such to the ASPCA

Donate old clothes to local churches, Access York, or at receptacles on virtually every corner for PlanetAid

I often give good used clothes to friends or family with younger kids...but consigning is cool too if you have the time.

I have an ongoing yardsale/donate pile in my basement.

I donate my unused art supplies and toys that I probably won't use to daycare, along with old letterhead my company was going to throw out. Kids don't care about the letterhead if there's white space to color and draw on.

Donate unused binders to local schools - Tyler's middle school gave them out to kids that needed them because binders can get expensive.

Sell your stuff on eBay or Craigslist (beware of scammers asking for your phone and address) - I have several friends that do this and are quite successful at it. I would if I had time to hit the post office...maybe I'll try it out soon. :)

Taking care of you and being informed...
http://www.naturalnews.com/

For dyers...(Like my HUSBAND)
http://www.naturalnews.com/023218.html

Feel free to add to my list!!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Show me the money!

So a few years back (or less maybe), my accountant sent out her normal annual letter of happenings, updates, and accounting information. This time she included a note advising her clients to check out the PA Treasury online to see if you had any unclaimed funds...so I did and low and behold, I was owed over $350 from a company I apparently overpaid at some point. Oh what a nice surprise that was! Take the feeling of finding a $20 bill in your jeans or winter jacket, multiply it by 12 and that's how happy I was.

At some point, I saw my Dad had some unclaimed funds. So I printed his information out and thought, gee why not let everyone know about this because who couldn't use some extra money that's owed to them anyway??? So I'm showing you (if you have any unclaimed funds) the money.

Here's the link for Pennsylvania....
http://www.patreasury.org/Unclaimed/Search.html

Here's the link for the U.S...
http://www.missingmoney.com/

It's good to check every so often. Seems updates often occur around tax time when these kind of things need to be reported. (I just found another unclaimed fund for me. And yes, it's REALLY mine!) It's also nice to see how companies don't send you your money even when they have your correct address. Oh well...happy claiming!

Do It Yourself Radio

It's no secret to anyone that knows me that I absolutely LOVE music. I cannot clean, drive, pay bills, work, or get dressed in the morning without it.

So for anyone missing out on the fun of creating your own radio station with all the music YOU love...check it out: www.pandora.com

They also have an iphone app, which I plan to use when I get mine. Nice article here above how great it is: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/07/15/pandora-usage-stats-prove-its-iphones-killer-app/

If you create a station (or have one already) and are interested in sharing. Shoot me an email. I'd love to check it out or share my station with you.

There are other sites out there too (please feel free to share ratings and reviews as well via comments).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The No Paper, No Plastic Phenomenon...

Warning: It's late. I'm tired. You will forgive any grammatical shortcomings in the following bloggage.

It's all the craze these days to see the reusable cloth shopping bags at the checkout in [insert your local store name here]. Ooh, don't they look nice and inviting...green and environmentally friendly...and so many other feel-good descriptive terms. But why? Why in the world would I want to inconvenience myself with having one more thing to worry about before I head to the store? Really. It's bad enough that I have had to give up coupon clipping because by the time I remember to bring them, they have already expired. I cannot remember my half-baked lists unless I make them right before I head out to the store - and that's not even a guarantee that I won't leave it on the counter and drive away. So why pressure myself with one more thing? Why would I want to participate and trouble myself with this "No paper, no plastic" phenomenon?

I would be a hypocrite to say I have gone totally green (despite my inspired efforts), but seeing the impact of our environmentally irresponsible behaviors certainly raises the level of awareness and can change some of the conscious decisions we (or I) make. Change doesn't not have to come in the form of an extreme makeover. Small changes add up - whether they happen in the life of one person or family, or whether they happen in small changes among the masses of our population. Speaking of change...

The changes we make and being environmentally responsible should not be a fad we subscribe to, but a choice we make every day with our actions. It should consist of behaviors we instill in our children and share with those around us about respect for the environment and Mother Nature. Our actions need not be monumental, but rather they can be small compilations of not littering, recycling, choosing to bring your own reusable fabric bags to the grocery store, and a million other little things. I'm certainly not saying we wouldn't all LOVE and advocate monumental changes to be environmentally friendly and "green". I'm just saying if that's a stretch and enthusiasm must be curbed with "realistic" expectations, small incremental changes are still progress.

Here are a few reasons (via the link below) to participate in the "No paper, no plastic" phenomenon...and it extends beyond all the feel-good labels we all love to subscribe to.

http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080506/MULTIMEDIA02/80505016

On that note...I'm going to catch some zzz's before the sun comes up. Until then, I leave you with the quote of the day - courtesy of the kid behind the counter at a rest stop I visited today...

"The day is only as long as you make it."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I needed a hug, and all I got was Sick Puppies!

So today was a stressful day to say the least, let's just say I didn't eat lunch or...

***Warning: I have decided not to censor myself in today's "episode", please proceed at your own risk.***

...pee until 4.30. I think I held "it" (my pee that is) for at least 5 hours. That is, hands down, my all time record, considering I pee more than the average pregnant woman, and the truth is...I hate to pee. It's such an inconvenience, but alas when Mother Nature calls you must adhere to the request eventually!!! And then wash your hands, of course. Anywho...back to my stressful day. So there I was stressing out trying to get it all done, and I then I thought the obvious. Man I need a hug. But here I am, all alone in my office with no one around, not even my Lily-kins (aka Boxer).

Oh yes I could hug myself, and it would probably even feel good (I've read studies confirming this.) because I happen to be a damn good hugger. But, I don't want to hug myself. I want human interaction, and today I'm willing to settle for a virtual hug. How will I get one? I give them out all the time so I figured what the heck why not just throw caution to the wind and ask. So...

I tweeted (On Twitter.com, @asquillace, if you join.) and low and behold, my tweeps came through. I had all the virtual hugs I needed to get through the day and then some...here was the "and then some" that included Sick Puppies...


Moral of the story: If you need a hug, just ask. And try not to be stingy on your virtual hugs - people love them, trust me! (Well at least the people I know do - I wouldn't go around virtually hugging strangers.)

On that note, I'm bouncing to make dinner. Good evening to all...and to all a good night! Tomorrow, I will blog about the amazingness of Sara Bareilles and Maroon 5 and Counting Crows (Adam Duritz) and share some wonderful pics!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Are you a Leaver or a Taker?

If you liked An Inconvenient Truth...then you just might like this too!

I recently read the book Ishmael, which contained a very enlightening perspective of how people should live, why we may get confused over right/wrong and ethical/unethical, and so much more. The story itself was written pretty well (imo) and allowed the reader to see understanding play out in the form of a story that included mentoring, research, and self-discovery. So to my reader friends (you know who you are) and even non-reader friends, I highly recommend Ishmael if you haven't read it yet...and below is a real-life article that may make you more interested in picking up the book and finding out how we can stop destroying the world.

To read the article and excerpt may take about 15 minutes of your day. A minor investment to make to raise a level of consciousness.

An article that points to how we negatively impact the world and other species:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/africa/08/05/congo.gorillas/index.html

The link to wikipedia's overview of the book:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_(novel)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Social considerations for social media

Recently, some encounters have prompted me to write about something I've been thinking about for a while. Rewind to earlier today...my girlfriend messages me on our social site and says, "Hey, my ex is snooping around and finding out information about me and my family on [insert community site name here]." And so the conversation begins about making sure all her friends profiles are set to private because this is the third time she's had to create her profile. Ugh!

Of course individuals can (usually) set their privacy settings to manage their desired level of security, but what about their friends. On some sites, there are a certain amount of things you can always see. It's unfortunate, but when situations like my friend's happen, you realize that the Internet is another place where we have to be our brother or sister's keeper. It becomes a time when you have to look out for your friend (or whoever) by locking your social spaces up and watching what you say and do more carefully.

A year ago, if I looked myself up online, I would see me listed under my webinar and that would be the end of it...now I see the list of all my social media activities. Whether you are a SMJ (social media junkie) or have joined just a few social media sites (or communities), google yourself...find out how accessible you really are. When I did this recently, I felt like I had spread over the web like a virus, but the truth is that I am such small (barely there) potatoes compared to some of my friends and colleagues. Being on multiple sites for their varying reasons and values certainly has its advantages, but I still exercise caution and good judgement. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of wiggle room to still be as transparent as I want to be, mostly. Looking out for my friend on the one site she belongs to is hardly an inconvenience to my SMJness, but nevertheless, I still make sure I practice safe socialness on the Internet!

Another blog I found on the topic that was interesting:
Do we really need privacy controls in Social Media? by Alexandar van Elsa

http://vanelsas.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/do-we-really-need-privacy-controls-in-social-media/

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Is a personal trainer really worth the investment?

It's no secret that I'm getting older. Not that I'm old, mind you. I'm only in my early 30's - aka the "new 20's". While this has been my best decade ever, the truth is that I can't eat all the crap I used to and go on about my usual business without adding a pound here or there. I'm not unique. This happens to everyone in my age bracket - expect the rare few (like my brother) that never seem to gain an ounce because they have a superhero metabolism or have an IV of Rockstar or Monster hooked up to them.

So, in an effort to retain my youthfulness, I did what most people do - I joined the gym. Yes - I have hit that stage in my life. I suppose it could be worse - normally I call this the "watch infomercials and buy exercise equipment you'll never use except to sell at a garage sale" stage. I suppose I could also refer to this as the buy a gym membership and never go stage for some people to. But I am going to go! Why? Because I commited to running the Harrisburg Mile and I am not ready in any way, shape or form.

So when you join the gym, you get one visit with a professional trainer. (insert workout session, exhaustion, and sales pitch here) Then they show you the price tag to continue to endure their hardcore workouts - which honestly, were pretty rock solid awesome. That said, awesome or not, I'm a cheap ass. It's $149 to say yes I want a personal trainer and then $40-$60 for half hour sessions with them and regular report cards to ensure you are meeting your goals. I wonder if it's worth it? Is it? Please spare me the - can you put a price on your health? Realistically, though, I'm wondering if I can just find some programs online...tonight at Boston airport, I'll be looking into that. If anyone knows any good sites - please drop them off in a comment!

Until next time, have a great morning and wonderful day - me!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Finding Good Food!

So I recently started a blog and then deleted it...because I didn't think I'd have the time to dedicate to making it of real value. However, I've been lucky to have some good info fall into my lap and supplement my lonely link. Plus something is better than nothing...onto my blog...
Recently I read an amazing book called The Omnivore's Dilemma. It really clarified some things for me related to the food we eat and the confusion around it. Reading it does not make you a radical. It merely educates you on a multitude of perspectives relative to food (things I've questioned for a long time) and enlightens you on where food comes from, why it's important to know that, and how to deal with the confusing issues about what to eat. It was on the NY Times Best Sellers list for a reason. I am happy to lend it to anyone wanting to read it. Chapter One can be accessed from the link below. I am hoping that my tree hugger personality does not negate the value of the information my blog contains.

To the matter at hand. Upon reading a recent article on USA Today and other places about the FDA declaring that cloned meat is safe to eat and fine to sell in grocery stores probably without any differentiating labels, I decided that I wanted to find ways to ensure my family is eating good food. The purpose of my blog is to solicit the wisdom of the crowds (to use my work-speak) to make the information I learn or that others want to contribute available to my friends. This is the beginning of that. There will continue to be more come. Any contributions are welcome.

Sites of interest (more info to come)
www.goldfinchfarm.com - a very cool farm with some really neat programs (and recipes for that matter)

www.pasafarming.org - website for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)

www.localharvest.org - website for finding a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) near you (or anyone else in the country)

www.organicconsumers.org - good site with all kinds of good info

http://www.apppa.org/for_our_customers.htm- Pastured Poultry and lots of other cool information

http://www.eatwild.com/products/pennsylvania.html - I've been looking for this site for a while. Grassfed beef, pasture-raised poultry, and more. One steak at Bricco's in Harrisburg will help you understand how great Grassfed beef tastes compared to the alternatives. This site has great restaurants, markets, etc. Some are far, but there's a few near by.

http://slowfoodharrisburg.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/buying-local-beef/ - a great article with links to farms with Grassfed beef.

Grassfed farms:

This is the guide to buying local, grass-fed beef that was supposed to run with Sue's story on PennLive.

Chapel-Ridge Farm, 680 Barlow-Greenmount Road, Gettysburg, 334-4222or 334-5684, www.chapel-ridge.com. All-natural beef raised, sold atChapel Ridge Meat & Mercantile store 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays or byappointment.

Landisdale Farm, 838 Ono Road, Jonestown, Lebanon County, 865-6220:Grass-fed beef available at the farm by appointment.

Lil' Ponderosa Enterprises, 44 Ponderosa Road, Carlisle, 245-2820.Purebred Black Angus cattle raised on all-grass diet availablefrozen on farm by appointment.

Natural Acres Farm, 175 Maple Drive, Millersburg, 692-1000. Certified organic since 1999, selling Black Angus organic beef and all-natural beef from farm store open 9:30a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Tuscarora Lowlines, 409 Mountain Road, Millerstown, 589-7483. Grass-fed beef available by appointment.

Wil AR Farms, 76 Parker Road, Newville, 776-6552. Grass-fed beef
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Omnivore's Dilemma - Overview and link to Chapter One
http://www.michaelpollan.com/omnivore.php

How to Grow Your Own Food (Make sure you check out the related WikiHows):
http://www.wikihow.com/Grow-Your-Own-Food

Wiser Earth: serves the people who are transforming the world. It is a community directory and networking forum that maps and connects non-governmental organizations and individuals addressing the central issues of our day: climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more.
http://wiserearth.org/

Please feel free to add your comments or links below. Or you can certainly shoot me an email and I will update my blog.