Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I love this website!!

Many of you know that I love to write, and to be perfectly honest, I think I'm pretty good at it. However, there are times (many times) when I'm not sure just how to say something, or whether I'm formatting something correctly, etc.

I have my trusty writing manuals and style guides for just these occasions; I keep two at work (Franklin Covey Writing Style Guidelines and The Gregg Reference Manual) and I have several at home. But in the past year or so, I've found myself using an online site more often than my handy reference materials.

What site is this, you ask?

The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue...it is the MOST amazing website!! (Click here to visit the OWL.) I love that they make it a public site, not something strictly for Purdue students. Need help beginning the writing process? Visit the OWL. Don't know how to format that citation in MLA style? Visit the OWL. Not sure how to write that memo at work? Visit the OWL.

I'm telling you, every question you have about writing, they have the answer. And it's very easy to use...not like some style guides or websites where the information may be there, but you sure can't find it.

Check it out - I think you'll enjoy it!!

No? What, am I the only one who enjoys reading about writing style guidelines? Are you...are you sure?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Random thought of the day

Healthy eating is not hard if you're prepared, but being prepared is hard.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Ah, memories

Ooh, I found some old pictures! I LOVE pictures - taking them, looking through them the first time (I almost miss 35mm cameras because of the excitement of getting your pictures back...though not enough to give up my digital!), and discovering them again months, even years later.

I found these pictures today from Yosemite 2006. Every year we go to Yosemite with the extended family on Mom's side. I think we've been doing it since I was four years old. I loved it as a kid, hated it as a teenager, and look forward to it every year now. I am big on traditions - I look forward to family stuff and holidays because we have great traditions.

Anyway, the pictures. How cute are these???



I love this one because there's multiple signs that say "Do not touch" and yet here's Aunt Mar, encouraging Ad to stick her hand through. Now there's an alarm that goes off when you put your hand through the fence thing...wonder why...



Aw, look at that face!


For you H, since you said there are no pictures of you


I love pictures!!

Let's talk turkey

Well, not really turkey. But, turkey makes you sleepy, and what do I feel like talking about? Sleep. Why, you ask?

Because I'm freaking tired.

I got five hours of sleep last night, which would have been more than enough just four or five years ago. Lately, though, I seem to need exactly nine hours of sleep...any more or less and I'm sleepy, grumpy, and sluggish.

I've been trying to keep my sleep pretty even; I get up no later than 8:30 on the weekends, and I get up about 6:00 during the week. This weekend I got up at 8:00 on Saturday and unpacked all day. I went to bed about 11:30, and got up at 7:00 on Sunday. Sunday was filled with breakfast, then visiting Grandpa, doing a few chores at his house, then errands. I was pooped, and thought I'd fall asleep right away. But, I cleaned the kitchen, and ended up going to bed at...12:35 a.m.

Why, even after a full day of working hard, do I stay up late, thereby having trouble getting out of bed the next day? I often get tired in the evening - can't get off the couch, eyelids heavy, can't imagine getting up to get into bed tired - but once 7:30 passes, I get a second wind and I'm up until 11:00. WHY!?! I used to work all day, drive straight to school, stay at school for three to five hours, come home, do homework, and go to bed about 12:00 or 1:00. And I'd wake up the next morning and be fine. Granted, I haven't been able to get myself out of bed without a struggle since I was 17, but I wouldn't feel an overwhelming desire to call in sick and stay in bed.

Here are some interesting facts about sleep, according to the Australian National Sleep Research Project:

1. Anything less than five minutes to fall asleep at night means you're sleep deprived. Great - it takes me at LEAST fifteen to thirty minutes (sometimes more) to fall asleep every night. Grant, on the other hand, can fall asleep in the middle of a conversation. Lucky bum.

2. Elephants sleep standing up during non-REM sleep, but lay down for REM sleep.

3. REM sleep may help developing brains mature.

4. 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05%.

5. The "natural alarm clock" which enables some people to wake up more or less when they want to is caused by a burst of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin. Researchers say this reflects an unconscious anticipation of the stress of waking up.

6. In insomnia following bereavement, sleeping pills can disrupt grieving.

7. Tiny luminous rays from a digital alarm clock can be enough to disrupt the sleep cycle even if you do not fully wake. The light turns off a "neural switch" in the brain, causing levels of a key sleep chemical to decline within minutes.

8. Humans sleep on average around three hours less than other primates like chimps, rhesus monkeys, squirrel monkeys and baboons, all of whom sleep for 10 hours.

9. Snoring occurs only in non-REM sleep.

10. Teenagers need as much sleep as small children (about 10 hrs) while those over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.

11. Some studies suggest women need up to an hour's extra sleep a night compared to men, and not getting it may be one reason women are much more susceptible to depression than men.

12. Experts say one of the most alluring sleep distractions is the 24-hour accessibility of the internet.

Now, I'm off to bed.

You're right, I'm lying. First I have to make lunches, do the dishes, fold laundry, end world hunger, and discover a cure for cancer.

No wonder I'm tired.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm back!

Yes, it's been a month since I've written anything. Okay, over a month. Here's the reason why: I sit at a computer all day long, and I can't really blog at work. When I get home, there is nothing I'd like to do less than sit at my home computer. So, blogging loses out.

However, Heather and I were talking last night about how much we both like to write, and she said she commits to at least one blog post each night. So, now I am doing the same thing. I can't guarantee one a night, but I can certainly guarantee a few a week.

Today I was on Google trying to find a recipe for organic whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (yes, really) and somehow, I came across a new blog about a woman who lives on a 240-acre farm in Missouri and raises sheep. You should read it, so I've provided the link here. I've also added it to my "Links" section on the right side of my blog.

Anyway, just reading a short amount of her blog made me realize how much I miss living in the country. I miss all the lambs, I miss how much exercise I got without realizing it (if I tried to pick up a bale of hay today, I'd probably die). I miss being a cowgirl (yes, I really was one for all of you who didn't know me back then; I still am, at heart). We just bought our first house, and it's in a housing development, but in a few years (hopefully), we'll move on to our house in the country.

In the meantime, I just about have my office unpacked, so I'll find some pictures from the good old days.

More tomorrow...it's nice to be back!