Toto- I don't think we are in Kansas anymore!

Lazy bum!

Nosey Kitty!

Martina found another homeless shelter. She just loves those boxes.

What's happening - No, you did not come here by mistake. This is the correct blog. I have done some major remodeling. And... I love it! I love my new look! I had been thinking about switching to a 3 column layout for about a year now. I did a lot of research, it is not as easy as it seems. Oh sure you can go to a website and download an already made layout complete with beautiful pictures (which you either can't change or would be difficult to change) or you can pay someone to make a layout for you. I didn't want to do either of these. I wanted a layout that allowed me to use my own header picture so I could change it with the seasons. I wanted something simple, so that my pictures and posting stood out instead of being gobbled up by design. I finally found one! Please let me know what you think.

My Thanksgiving was great! I was going to take my camera, but... I forgot! It was at my mom-in-law's this year (next year it will be at my house). Everything was great! I just love a whole day focused on family, food, and relaxing! My husband did get that day off! but he had to work over the weekend. I went shopping on BLACK FRIDAY!!!!! This day is scarier than Halloween! I took my mom-in-law. She bought more than I did!

I had a "run in" with Norton over the weekend. My computer was telling me I needed to renew my subscription to Norton anti virus. So I did. I got an email giving me the Key code to activate. OF COURSE... it didn't work. I tried again and again. I even tried older key codes of the past. nothing. Sooooo I emailed the tech help, which... OF COURSE... in somewhere in India! My husband said I should just call them. I said "No, I do not want to talk to someone I can't understand!" I did get a lovely email back from a man in India. Telling me I need to do "this". So I did "this". Which downloaded a totally different version and lots more expensive! It also took off my previous version. It didn't even ask me, how rude! So then I put in the key code and, OF COURSE... it didn't work! I emailed them back. I told them I didn't want Norton 2010, I wanted my old version back. and that the key code still didn't work. I got another lovely email from a second man in India telling me my subscription has been extended and they wouldn't charge me the extra for the newer version. They also gave me a new key code. I emailed them back and said... again... I DO NOT WANT THE NEW VERSION, I WANT MY OLD VERSION BACK! I got another lovely email from a third man from India. Apologizing for the other 2 idiots, extended my subscription even more, Gave me step by step instructions on how to delete the new version, install the old version, and a new key code... IT WORKED! Thank you - "man from India".

I have signed up to do book reviews for two different companies - "Litfuse" (which I already told you about) and "Thomas Nelson, book reviewing Bloggers" My first book is in the mail from them. I am excited! What is nice about this is you only review books that you want, you get to choose. So, I think I will only do about one per month. and you get free books!!!!! I can keep them, give them away, donate them to the library, etc. When I do my book review posts, I will do it as a separate post on a different day than my usual post. I will always do my usual post on Mon. or Tues. But please check out my review posts as well. If anybody else is interested in reviewing for these companies, click on the "buttons" in the right sidebar. You do need to have a blog.

Knitting - Whew, Christmas knitting is somewhat winding down. I finishing things up. Probably by next week I should be finished with most of my knitting projects.

Books I have read - The Shape of Mercy, by - Susan Meissner. This book was GREAT, 5 stars! A young college student (Lauren) gets a job transcribing a diary written by a girl (Mercy) who was tried as a witch in the Salem witch trials. The book goes back and forth between Lauren and Mercy's diary. I is very well written. I fell in love with the characters. And... I did cry! When I was a teenager I was really interested in the Salem witch trials. So this book was great for me to read, and it also renewed my interest. It is so amazing to me that this really happened! That people could be so stupid to listen to a group of girls accusing women of witchcraft, for revenge? Over 100 were jailed and 19 (I think) were hung! This is classic example of mass hysteria.

The second book about the Salem witch trials was - The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. This book was totally historical fiction although the Author's ancestors were the main focus of the book, she makes it clear that it is a work of fiction. I was really torn with this book, this first half I would give only 3 stars, it was really slow and I know that she was doing history and character building, but it seemed very long to me. The last half of this book I give 5 stars, ti was very sad, real, exciting, depressing actually. It is about a family during 1690 - 1692. The Mother (Martha) was accused of being a witch. Then almost her whole family is jailed also, 3 sons and the oldest daughter. I will not go any further so as not to give it away.

In both books there are a lot of true facts about the Salem witch trials. Both Authors did a lot of research, and both were very well written. I would like to now go back and re-read The Crucible and Tituba, which I read as a teenager. I also have another book on order, but I don't think I will be getting it for a while.

Top 5 - Things you hate about the telephone.
1. ummm... the ringing! Seriously, every time the phone rings I moan, uuuuuuhhhhhhh and stomp to the phone. Its not a pretty site.
2. Answering, especially if I have to get up just after I got comfortable and the phone is on the other end of the house, why oh why didn't I grab it and put it next to me???
3. Finding the phone, I seem to have a problem with leaving it in unusual places, bathroom, laundry basket, bed, coat pocket, outside!
4. Talking on the phone,really! I am not a phone talker. There are very few people I actually enjoy talking to on the phone. Usually only people I never get to see. I HATE idol chit chat on the phone. If you don't have something to tell me... don't call!
5. Telemarketers!!!! The worst. I really have no tolerance for them, and I know I have been rude on more than one occasion, OK OK more than 100 occasions. But really these people have to under stand that when they sign up to be telemarketers they are going to get grief from people and they are going to be despised! It should be in the job description.


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  2. mental note: never call mom on the phone.

    I enjoy answering the phone, even at work. Actually I probably enjoy answering the work phone more because I put on a fake "super happy" customer service smile and talk in a high pitched valley girl voice. "thank you for calling Kinney Drugs, this is Ashley, how may I help you?" and then I proceed to roll my eyes at the stupid questions that get asked. For example, 'do you sell pharmaceutical supplies.' "Why yes we do [stupid customer] we carry all your pharmaceutical needs here at Kinney [freakin] Drugs!"

  3. I love the new layout! I have a three column one too, it looks like we got ours from the same website!

  4. Blog looks great. Congrats on the review job! Sounds like a readers dream. :) I know you'll be a great reviewer with a fair voice. (Some reviewers feel like they have to trash everything in order to be taken seriously--book reviewers and movie reviewers alike. Not sure why honesty is so underrated in that profession, ha ha.)

    Anyway, I know you'll be grand! Happy holidays!

  5. I do like your new layout.
    Chloe looked into a bag and got her head caught in the handles and ran all through the house with it around her neck. After several min. it ripped off her and her little heart was pounding so hard.
    You would think she would learn but NO! be careful....
    Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving.
    Are you knitting anything for me for Christmas? (hard typing with a cat on your lap and half on your laptop).
    top 5:
    1] telemarkers, need I say more!
    2] people that call and ask "who is this?" I ask them "who are you calling?"
    3] People who call late at night{i go to bed early and don't like phone calls after 9 PM}
    4) hangups the moment you say "hello"
    5] telemarketers!!!!!

  6. The blog remodel looks great. You've inspired me to think about a change. Now I have a new project for 2010. Good luck with the book reviews. I think you will do a great job with the reviews you already give us mini book reviews all the time.

  7. Yeah I started the rating thing a few books ago, I wanted something to show my overall feeling for the book! I think I may have missed it for the last one I reviewed though.

  8. Your new layout looks great! Martina is adorable as usual. Buddy loves to investigate inside bags as well.

    I had a run in with McAfee a while ago. I have to agree, I have no prejudices whatsoever but I do not like talking to someone on the phone who is supposed to be helping that i can't understand in the slightest. Very frustrating!

    The phone-I simply hate it! Everything about it.

  9. What a great layout.

    Martina is a dolly!

    I am in customer service. I do my utmost to speak super clear, or more slowly for those that need it. I understand the need for them to understand me. I am extremely good with understanding accents. I get annoyed when someone in customer service does not make an effort to slow down or speak clearly. It is their job for ME to understand them, likewise for me. What a frustrating experience you had.

    The phone... ugh... not a fan of the phone.

    Number one reason is that everyone thinks that just because I have a cell phone that I should have it on me at all times. "hello, I am doing yard work!! Sorry the phone is in my purse...deal with it. " LOL..

    2. reason.....since I don't talk on it a lot... people seem to know that.. when it rings.. I panic..mostly because someone needs or wants something or it is bad news... ugh.. I hate that feeeling.

    3. It rings and disturbs me..
    4. It rings and disturbs me..
    5. It rings and disturbs me..

  10. Wendy,
    Did you get my e-mail? I sent you an e-mail telling you I would love to have your review my children's books. The only problem is the e-mail I wrote you came back. If you send me your mailing address, I'll get my books right out to you.

    My e-mail is Phillips4Him@hotmail.com

    Writing for little ones,
    Dixie Phillips

  11. Martina looks so cute in those boxes! marvin is always looking for paper bags! That is so fun that you get to review books and keep them - perfect for you!
    Things I hate about the telephone:
    1. When someone is calling that I don't want to talk to. (Ha,ha!)
    2. When someone calls either too early or too late in the day and wakes me up.
    3. The cost of using the phone - my cell phone bills are outrageous!
    4. Always losing it due to its size.
    And I can't think of a 5th one. ha!