Thursday, February 28, 2008

8:00 pm Heaven Part II

I was posting about my love LOVE for 8pm each evening. And how I got started taking piano lessons again.

Ok, so where was I...

So we started lessons. I brought all my books-Bach Inventions, the Chopin Nocturne, and much much more. And we picked some pieces together to work on. I noticed from the start, how helpful the input I was getting was. Just the descriptive way and tools that she used to describe how things should sound, should feel, was great. For example: "this should sound soft, foggy." "make this like a nudge, you are pushing someone, it's a little louder"

Oh and then to hear her play a portion of the piece-Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata or whatever-ooh nice. I would think why can't I play it that way? Ok-mainly because I am not the teacher!

And through it all, I am having so much fun. We just started 2 pieces which I just love. She picked them out, and I couldn't decide which one so I picked both! Grieg Notturno, and a Schubert Impromptu.

So all this makes me it 8 pm yet?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

8:00 pm Heaven Part 1

8pm is my very very favorite time of the day. I cannot wait until 8pm. I look forward to 8pm with great anticipation. I have been known to get a bit short and rushed with kids asking questions about homework or generally needing help close to this time. (or worse yet, beyond this time)

No, it's not because I want to watch House or Grey's Anatomy or whatever on TV.

No, I'm not looking forward to it because I am leaving the house to go somewhere.

It is my special time. To, well... -- to practice piano. Yup, that's right.

I started piano in 2nd grade and played through high school. I remember really wanting to start playing. When I was 7, everyone in my family, dad, mom, brother, played piano except me. And once I started lessons, I liked it OK, as a kid does. You know-being compliant as Mom said: "J-time to play piano!" "Ohh, alright." Or pushing back, getting chided some more, then *sigh* OK sitting down to play. I did pretty much enjoy it once I got going.

Quit lessons during college, sat down at the piano almost never, until a couple years ago, I tried some lessons. But I'm just too busy and can't justify weekly lessons taking the time to practice, drive back and forth, what with work, kids, and generally just our full family life. And without lessons, even if you are motivated to play, progress just isn't made very easily. I started a Chopin Nocturne, was pretty, but really, how do I know if I'm playing it that well? I need help with technique, fingering, dynamics, style, tempo, etc. etc.

So last summer I'm thinking, hm-maybe I could try lessons, and at our church music school you can be really flexible in the summer. There was a teacher there who somehow I knew I wanted to study with. I recall a newsletter that came home from the MOSOM for daughter S's clarinet lessons, and they had some quotes from different teachers in there. This particular teacher was talking about *yawn* theory. I read what she said and it was interesting, insightful even. I just thought to myself: If I ever take up piano again this is the teacher that I'd like to guide me.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

French Braids

We tried French braids again yesterday. G's hair isn't super long, so I don't have much to work with.

This time we did it when it was wet which helped a lot. Those little short curls are tough to tame and contain!!

I used to braid the 2 older girls hair pretty often when they were this age...doing this reminded me of those days...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Cup Stacking!

This is the new rage, especially in elementary schools. The kids really love this and actually do it in gymn class! So after G expressed interested in it -- we thought, oh maybe. But probably a passing fad. (no offense)

Then she took little paper cups (you know the ones you use for rinsing after you brush your teeth etc.), and she was practicing the 3-6-3 and the cycle.

So then we thought OK-this is really something that she enjoys. And we bought her the proper cups.

Here she is-working it out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Google AdSense Part II

In a previous post I talked about the disturbing Google AdSense ads in my blog after I wrote of supporting a cancer survivor. Funeral plots, bereavement counseling-yes, sad but true.

So I wrote about Google AdSense, speculating that either these types of advertisers are bidding on words related to cancer, or the Google algorithm is matching my cancer-related content to funeral and bereavement related terms. The first case is disturbing, the second is really inaccurate...

Then I thought-will my AdSense ads change to be related to Google AdWords? (since I was talking about it)

And yes! Seems that it takes a couple posts for the Google ad system to catch up. But here's what it looks like today.

I thought this was kind of interesting.

Ah-I will now get some more Google Ads on my blog about Google AdWords/AdSense, since I am writing about this subject again.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ice Cream Cake

I should have posted this earlier. Here is S's DQ ice cream cake. It was a Blizzard Cake, Triple Chocolate. It was very very delicious!!

What could be better when you are turning 13!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Farewell-not Goodbye

I work at home with a virtual ad agency. This means there is no building where our company lives - we work "virtually" in our home offices. Yet still we are a team & a company. Doing this effectively requires some adjustments to a "normal" work environment. For example, working alone in a home office can be a little lonely, as you don't have that personal interaction that you have in an office environment. For example, there is no water cooler chat (no water cooler even). Yet one thing I love about this is that work is pure-no staff meetings, performance reviews, boss looking over your shoulder, etc. etc.

So there are 4-5 people that I work with mostly. There's The Boss, The Programmer, The Ski Bum Partner (I mean that in a nice way of course), and then AE-Makes Things Happen, and Asst-Learning New Things. And the last two, now are leaving. Yesterday was officially their last day, although one may hang on a little while longer to wrap things up.

A is the AE
- Makes everything happen on a very busy food-recipe Web site
- She is going to simplify now and "be a mom". Lucky
- Loves to play tennis. Is quite good
- A great supporter. Thanks
- "You know how I feel" :)
- My Athletic Friend. I live vicariously through her athletic endeavors/successes

R is the Asst
- Although she is quite a bit younger than me, it was a pleasant surprise to find out that we have quite a bit in common, like love of music, books, wine, Packers fan (ok-not really for me)
- Helps to guide me through the world of Facebook
- Tolerates my frequent random rantings about the classical piano pieces that I am playing
- Generally is a good sport and has a great outlook on life

We slipped away on Friday for lunch! Photo taken by A's adorable daughter M, 6 years old.

At the risk of sounding cliche, I am richer for knowing these guys.

And it will be quiet, very quiet, without them.

Farewell!! But definitely not goodbye.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Heart

This is for my sweetheart.

Happy Valentine's Day.

First, a limerick.

Happy VDay My Hero
This Valentine poem's for you,
I love you & all that you do,
Vday’s about sweets,
Here’s some things you can eat,
From my heart to yours, here's to you!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Shrimp Cocktail

The Little Kid was requesting this for several days. We didn't have any cocktail sauce, but she assembled this "fancy" dish for Sunday lunch, with lemon for the flavoring.

I certainly didn't have a taste for fresh shrimp when I was her age...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Water Freezes in Mid Air

So we tried the experiment again.

Take a look-

Friday, February 8, 2008

A Little Laugh-Maybe?

My friend is sad today-so I am sad too.

Here's a little something to cheer you up. You don't have to "be happy" (like the song says) if you're really not, but this is just a little something to maybe bring a smile.

Hey-I think I'll come back to this one when I need a little lift...

For you-my athletic friend.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Odd Marketing Tactics on Google?

OK-I'm in advertising. And I buy Google AdWords (pay-per-click) for several clients, including Land O'Lakes, which has a site with great recipes. So if you are on Google and are searching for, say, a Thanksgiving turkey recipe, our ad would come up, like this one from

Then as the advertiser, you pay by click. You can do this also for content, so if for example you are reading about turkey recipes on, then also the little ad appears.

So I thought-well, I'll put this Google AdSense ad block on my blog site. So this way, those that come to the site may see ads with relevant content. For this site, stuff like cookie recipes, butterfly hatching, sunflowers, family fun, school days, you know, things that are related to posts & content on the site.

So last week I put up a post about the teens raising money for the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.

Now today I see ads for Memorials in Glass, Grief Counseling, and so forth.


This particular content doesn't have anything to do with memorials, grief, or anything related to -- death. It is absolutely 100% about life -- about survival, about hope, about making a difference.

So are there really advertisers that want those types of products promoted for content related to cancer, raising money for cancer, cancer survivors, etc.? Or is it the Google algorithm, branching out to these extreme and inaccurate topics?

Either way, this occurrence is sad, and disturbing.

Now-will I get ads about Google AdWords after this post goes live?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Talking Stain Super Bowl Ad

This one is funny.

Go here to make your own.
My Talking Stain