The Lightbulb Hits

I had stalled on adding a couple of sidebar options simply because I wasn’t sure what to put the coding. In randomly needing to add some coding to my theme, I realized I had been an absolute fool. The file “sidebar.php” jumped out at me — Look at me, you silly woman! I realized this entire time I was merely being lazy and ignorant by not even looking at that one, simple file that would’ve clearly shown me where to put the coding. So, I’ve added some buttons finally. I’m not necessarily proud of myself for just now realizing it, but I’m happy to at least have gotten that handled. Now, if I could just stop being lazy about AdSense….

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PPP Sponsored: Renewable Energy

In the mist of economic struggles, climate change, and growing concerns with our oil dependency, the renewable energy field has flourished. Universities and research groups have spent countless hours searching for viable alternatives for fuel. In fact, the department I work for is home to the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy (FISE) lab. I enjoy hearing about the innovated research and technology right here in the department. You can either check out UF MSE or Renewable Energy Future for more information regarding renewable energy.

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PPP Sponsored: Modern Family

As you well know – if you’ve been reading my blog – I’m most certainly not part of a traditional family. Of course, the “traditional” family has essentially passed into history as more parents raise their children singly, parents remarried, both parents go to work, or mothers head to work while fathers stay home. These once taboo situations are now common. We are part of the modern family dynamics. A site aptly called Modern Family offers information for those of us not of the working dad/ SAHM/ 2 kids/ 1 dog/ a white picket fence genre. Check them out to see what you think.

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PPP Sponsored: Orlando Fun Tickets

When my grandparents moved to Florida back in 1995, my sister and I spent the summer visiting them. Of course, we went to Disney World because we had never been there before. This was the first of several visits to Disney World. I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom (the main park in Orlando) and Epcot Center. Of the two, the Magic Kingdom is absolutely my favorite because they have so many rides and fun attractions. I love the Thunder Mountain roller coaster, which doesn’t go too fast or drop too much. Each time I’ve been to Disney, I make a point to go on Thunder Mountain. Of course, I usually find myself getting dragged onto the more terrifying rides like Space Mountain (a roller coaster in the dark) and Splash Mountain (think water flume crossed with a roller coaster with an enormous drop at the very end).

I think my favorite experience it Disney has to have been for “Grad Nite.” Grad Nite is an event where high school seniors go to Disney World at night after they’ve closed the park to the general public. First, we stopped off at Pleasure Island, a little night club section of Disney World. They have several genres of music to choose from. We stayed up all night to go on rides, see some musical performances, and try our best at staying lively. I admit I got fairly cranky towards the end of the night, but it was absolutely worth every minute of foot-throbbing fun. I also think there’s something to be said about riding the rides at night – the Haunted Mansion feels a bit spookier, you watch the stars while you coast on Thunder Mountain, and you still scream in terror when you drop down from Splash Mountain. Of course, you don’t really notice the difference in Space Mountain, but I usually duck down, hold on tight, and scream my lungs raw.

I highly recommend going to Disney World in Orlando, FL. You can buy Disney Tickets from orlandofuntickets.com, which has some of the best deals on Disney Tickets. It’s a lot better to buy in advance because tickets can be extremely expensive at the park on the day of entry, so plan ahead.

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Audacity

My husband and I live a lifestyle of role reversal — I go to work full-time while he stays at home with the kids. Most people balk at this. “But HE should be going to work and letting YOU stay home!” Each time I craftily change the subject, avoiding confrontation for the benefit of both parties. Yet I find myself lately resenting how other people seem to perceive our arrangement. Who are you to tell me how to live my life?! I find myself thinking. This is between my husband and me, and you’re not a part of the arrangment!

We have chosen this lifestyle for many reasons, although specifically because I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree. Who do you think is going to earn more money going out to work? Should he get a job so I can put the kids in daycare and/ or after-school care to let a perfect stranger watch my children? Should I let him get a lower paying job than I have so I can stay home and figure out what expenses to cut from our budget? So many more questions present themselves. I have spent far too much time accumulating job experience to increase my net worth to back out on it now. I am forging a career in the field of writing. This is what I choose to do. My husband is waiting out the poor economy until people are willing to pay for his graphical and designing talents. In the mean time, my children have something very critical at home — their father. He keeps the house together while I bring home the money. What’s so horrible about the man doing “woman’s work” while the woman does “the man’s job?” Honestly? This is the year 2009. This is not 1959. I refuse to become June Cleaver.

Now, if you want me to stay home so desperately, you’re going to have to offer me a good chunk of change in exchange for my writing talents. I strive to obtain that lovely lifestyle where I can walk to my laptop and call that my “morning commute.” For the moment though, I am not quite far along enough in my career to establish such a wonderful lifestyle. If you don’t like how I live my life, I have a great recommendation for you — don’t choose to follow my path.

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Disgustingly Hot

Each year, I dread the beginning of the Floridian summer. The days of ninety degree weather seem to sneak up on you, slapping you to the ground as if to push you into an oven. For months, you bake daily. The air conditioner never seems to stop running, and the electric company eyes the meter greedily. My energy costs go up by about 50% each time, and each time I cringe upon viewing the damage. I much prefer the sort of weather that allows you to freely open your windows and enjoy the fresh air in your lungs. In Florida, I don’t think I get enough of that.

So settle in with your lemonade, watermelon, ice cream, and bathing suits — it’s summer in Gainesville.

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Revisiting the Past

A little over three years ago, I came to the gut-wrenching conclusion that I would not be making it on to vet school. I began my final year working towards a Bachelors degree in English and left behind a fifteen-year-old dream. I knew the day would come when I would have to think about the future that could’ve been — the prospective vet school graduation date. On May 23rd, I could have become Dr. Meredith. I could have been in the same job hunting boat as one of my friends (who I have chosen to live vicariously through). I could have been on my way to living and realizing the dream that started within a seven-year-old girl’s cheerful mind.

I found myself wondering, “what would I have to do in order to go back and try again?” Foolishly, I caved to that whim today. 22 classes. 60-61 credit hours. The probability that UF no longer offers second degrees to postbaccalaureates. I scour the list, trying to determine when and how I could manage to complete this. I quickly remember why I tucked my tail, reviewed my strengths and weaknesses, and took shelter within Internet Literature. But this small part of me still wishes I hadn’t given up on the dream. It was grueling. It was like running into a brick wall head-on repeatedly. But I couldn’t let go of the past. I had something to prove. I wanted to save all the sick and injured animals. Even after three years of giving that up, it’s still a painful scar lingering.

Of course, one cannot look to the past for the future. If something isn’t working, you don’t go back and beat yourself to death running into the same brick wall again.

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PPP Sponsored: My Kids Feet

I’m very pleased to share with you that Morgan and Milo shoes and Dinosole shoes are working to put shoes on children’s feet. The 21-year-old entrepreneur who started out as a sales associate decided to set a goal to donate 1000 shoes to impoverished children in third world countries after visiting the Dominican Republic (more information can be found in the press release). As a mother of two children, it brings me joy to see this young woman giving back to those who need help the most. We take for granted the fact that we have shoes to protect our feet and our children’s feet from injury and diseases that can so easily occur when outside barefoot. These poor children could live much more comfortable lives with something to protect and cover their feet – not to mention the plethora of health benefits that comes along with it. I encourage you to check them out. The shoes are adorable and definitely worth the cause.

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PPP Sponsored: The Parenting Brigade

If you’re like me, you’re a very inquisitive individual by nature. You have questions, and you expect answers. Living in the age of technology and Google, you often search for the very answers you need. Sometimes even search engines don’t measure up to your needs. When it comes to parenting, I tend to have a lot of questions, usually the sorts that aren’t something to make the pediatrician drop everything and cater to your current whim. I’m also of the informed consent movement, so I tend to search for personal enlightenment on a regular basis. As a mother, I definitely like the idea of having a hub to pull all the information I could want with just a few clicks of a button.

Enter the parenting Brigade, a website affiliated with Nickelodeon. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Nick and readily pass on the Nick Jr. tradition to my own children. The website boasts several selects to feed your questions. Want to know how other women coped with nausea during pregnancy or a unique name for your special little bundle? Check out the pregnancy boards. Want to talk about adjusting to life with a new baby or get tips on how to juggle everything? Check out the baby boards. Haven’t got a clue what to make for dinner? They have a recipe database – something I personally would love to use. Check out the Parenting Brigade and decide for yourself.

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