Pond-Hopper.com

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I have finally published the first draft of my site! pond-hopper.com I'd love for you to take a look at it and give me feed back on what you think. Good or bad it's always nice to get opinions on how I can improve the design.
It's far from finished, but I'm working on it and will keep you informed of changes.



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If you don't like spiders - don't move to England!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

This morning, the mailman came to the door to deliver a package and as I closed the door, I noticed a very large spider was walking through the entry way. I hate spiders and the spiders in this country are a lot bigger than I'm used to!! I instantly screamed and my first thought was to throw the package onto it and run! I hesitated a bit too long and it got away under the door of the bathroom. I panicked and called Wayne at work having a complete meltdown. Wayne just laughed and said he'd look for it when he got home. I asked him - 'If I suck it up with the carpet sweeper - will it die? He said, 'probably' I then asked, 'If it doesn't die, will it be able to get out?' he said, 'probably' I asked 'will it bite the cats?? Can it poison them?? Are there poisonous spiders here??' He laughed again and said, 'don't be silly' I realized he wasn't helping and decided I would have to hunt for it because I would never breathe easy not knowing where it went!
I knew I wouldn't relax until I found it. I thought 'shoes, put on some shoes so you can step on it if you see it!' so I ran for some shoes, put them on and started my search again. Then I thought, 'You need a weapon! find a magazine to hit it with just in case you lose your nerve trying to step on it' I found a magazine I didn't care to keep, rolled it up and quickly realized it wasn't thick enough and thought 'the phone book! That will do!' and ran for the phone book.
Armed with my shoes on (which look great with my pajamas) and the yellow pages, I began my hunt. I peaked my head around into the bathroom (as if it would jump out at me if it saw me coming) and when I didn't see it, went in. Intrigued, the cats followed me and I yelled at them to get back. With my heart pounding, I moved everything around that could be moved jumping back each time, but never found it. It somehow got away (probably when I was running around for my shoes and the phone-book!). Horrified, I looked around the house, but it was nowhere to be found.
I'm now completely freaked out and I don't know when I will sleep again with the knowledge that it's somewhere in my house! As I sit here and type, I still have my shoes on with my pajamas and the yellow-pages are in arms reach!

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If you don't like spiders - don't move to England!

YellowPagesWalkingFingersMed.jpg


This morning, the mailman came to the door to deliver a package and as I closed the door, I noticed a very large spider was walking through the entry way. I hate spiders and the spiders in this country are a lot bigger than I'm used to!! I instantly screamed and my first thought was to throw the package onto it and run! I hesitated a bit too long and it got away under the door of the bathroom. I panicked and called Wayne at work having a complete meltdown. Wayne just laughed and said he'd look for it when he got home. I asked him - 'If I suck it up with the carpet sweeper - will it die? He said, 'probably' I then asked, 'If it doesn't die, will it be able to get out?' he said, 'probably' I asked 'will it bite the cats?? Can it poison them?? Are there poisonous spiders here??' He laughed again and said, 'don't be silly' I realized he wasn't helping and decided I would have to hunt for it because I would never breath easy not knowing where it went!
I knew I wouldn't relax until I found it. I thought 'shoes, put on some shoes so you can step on it if you see it!' so I ran for some shoes, put them on and started my search again. Then I thought, 'You need a weapon! find a magazine to hit it with just in case you lose your nerve trying to step on it' I found a magazine I didn't care to keep, rolled it up and quickly realized it wasn't thick enough and thought 'the phone book! That will do!' and ran for the phone book.
Armed with my shoes on (which look great with my pajamas) and the yellow pages, I began my hunt. I peaked my head around into the bathroom (as if it would jump out at me if it saw me coming) and when I didn't see it, went in. Intrigued, the cats followed me and I yelled at them to get back. With my heart pounding, I moved everything around that could be moved jumping back each time, but never found it. It somehow got away (probably when I was running around for my shoes and the phone-book!). Horrified, I looked around the house, but it was nowhere to be found.
I'm now completely freaked out and I don't know when I will sleep again with the knowledge that it's somewhere in my house! As I sit here and type, I still have my shoes on with my pajamas and the yellow-pages are in arms reach!



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Out of site, out of mind (and the family)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Over the weekend, Wayne and I went out to celebrate my one year smoke free. I have to admit I got pretty drunk. I guess I needed a drink because I didn't have a very good week leading up to our night out. It was enough going through my step father being rushed to the hospital and having to sit here helpless for hours before I got an update (being s far from home when there is a crisis is really tough), but the day after, I had a 'discussion' with my Mother that was enough to drive anyone to drink!
I didn't like waiting so long for an update. I hated it. It was just awful. After waiting nearly four hours, I started calling every family member's home and cell phones. I finally got in touch with my sister-in-law who told me she had been getting regular updates and let me know what was going on. This infuriated me! They were calling her, but not me!
Before you get ahead of yourselves and think - How could they call you in England until they go home? You see, I have a Skype (www.skpe.com) phone number that allows anyone to call me on a New Jersey phone number and it rings here in England. They can call me any time of any day and never pay an international rate. It costs me money, but I can't make it easier for people to call. Although, I still don't get too many calls at all.
Anyway, like I said - I was furious and hurt. Why didn't it occur to them to call me when they called my sister-in-law with updates? I may be far away, but I'm still part of the family! They don't appear to agree because things have changed since I moved here.
My mother calls once a week (most of the time anyway), but for the first 6 months - she never called even once (She only calls now because I confronted her on it). I hear from my step father, sister and brother very infrequently. Nobody sent me a Christmas gift (except my best friend) and I only got two cards from back home (why I continue to spend hundreds of $$s to ship gifts to them is beyond me). My birthday is Monday and I haven't seen even a hint of a card arriving. After living here for nearly a year and a half, there hasn't even been a whisper suggesting I will ever get a visit from anyone. All of this hurts and the longer it goes on, the less I see myself making an effort because honestly, I don't see the point in setting myself up for disappointment...





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Out of site, out of mind (and the family)


Over the weekend, Wayne and I went out to celebrate my one year smoke free. I have to admit I got pretty drunk. I guess I needed a drink because I didn't have a very good week leading up to our night out. It was enough going through my step father being rushed to the hospital and having to sit here helpless for hours before I got an update (being s far from home when there is a crisis is really tough), but the day after, I had a 'discussion' with my Mother that was enough to drive anyone to drink!
I didn't like waiting so long for an update. I hated it. It was just awful. After waiting nearly four hours, I started calling every family member's home and cell phones. I finally got in touch with my sister-in-law who told me she had been getting regular updates and let me know what was going on. This infuriated me! They were calling her, but not me!
Before you get ahead of yourselves and think - How could they call you in England until they go home? You see, I have a Skype (www.skpe.com) phone number that allows anyone to call me on a New Jersey phone number and it rings here in England. They can call me any time of any day and never pay an international rate. It costs me money, but I can't make it easier for people to call. Although, I still don't get too many calls at all.
Anyway, like I said - I was furious and hurt. Why didn't it occur to them to call me when they called my sister-in-law with updates? I may be far away, but I'm still part of the family! They don't appear to agree because things have changed since I moved here.
My mother calls once a week (most of the time anyway), but for the first 6 months - she never called even once (She only calls now because I confronted her on it). I hear from my step father, sister and brother very infrequently. Nobody sent me a Christmas gift (except my best friend) and I only got two cards from back home (why I continue to spend hundreds of $$s to ship gifts to them is beyond me). My birthday is Monday and I haven't seen even a hint of a card arriving. After living here for nearly a year and a half, there hasn't even been a whisper suggesting I will ever get a visit from anyone. All of this hurts and the longer it goes on, the less I see myself making an effort because honestly, I don't see the point in setting myself up for disappointment...





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Wow what a response!

Yesterday, I posted a few messages on expat sites I use about the American Expat blog list I'm working on. I got such a great response from it and I just want to thank everyone for all the great feedback. I got wonderful messages, emails, replies on the message boards and yesterday, I had nearly 100 visitors to my blog (only 5 requests to be added to the list, but hey, you can't have everything)! It was really nice to see how many people could relate to what I had to say.


Thanks again for all your wonderful feedback!



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More American food cravings..

Tuesday, January 24, 2006




The longer I'm on this diet, the more craving I get! Luckily, usually they are cravings I can't fulfill because I want American foods. Lately, I miss American pizzerias. Here, pizzerias don't have menus like they do back home. No pasta, no Chicken Parm, no subs (mmmm subs), and worst of all - no real pizza. The pizza here is worse than Dominos which to me is bogus pizza and nothing like the pizza I grew up with in Jersey. If you like Dominos and Pizza Hut though, you'd be fine here, but don't expect to find a decent submarine sandwich anywhere (even the supermarkets don't carry cold cuts like we're used to back home - no provolone, American cheese or boarshead type brands. It's hard to describe what it's like, but to me it's just no what it should be! And if you're a fan of anything Parmesan (which is anything breaded, fried, and topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese), you'll have to come to my house, because they have no idea what it is here in restaurants - sad but true!
Even bread here isn't as good. As long as I'm here I have never seen a crusty loaf of Italian bread (just soft stuff they call Italian bread), rye bread, pumpernickel, sourdough or even a nice soft white (like wonder bread). They seem to have three varieties here - white, brown or multigrain. maybe this weekend, I'll look for a good bakery that might carry some good varieties. Oh wait - I'm on a diet! No bread for me!


More later on my night out over the weekend... Oh the hangover!



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American Expat Blog List

During the hardest part of my transition to living in the UK, I started my blog and I have to say it was very therapeutic. When you're in a strange place and don't know anyone, it's easy to feel invisible. There were days that I thought if I stopped in the middle of a crowed street and screamed at the top of my lungs - no-one would hear me. This blog, gave me my voice and I can't say enough how helpful that was.
At that time, I thought it would be great to be able to read other blogs to see how others in the same situation were dealing with life here. I belong to forums where you can leave posts, but it's not the same as a personal blog entry. On a blog you can express yourself in a much more meaningful way. I thought - wouldn't it be nice if there was a list compiled of people going through the same thing, so I have decided to compile just that and publish it on the web so that others can benefit from it.
I have quite a few sites already and if this sounds like something you'd like to participate in - click the comments link below and fill out the form with as much of the following information you are comfortable with or you can e-mail the information to Erren@pond-hopper.com


Blog Name:


Blog Description:


Blog Address:


Where in the US you're from:


Where you're living in the UK:


What brought you here:



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One Year Smoke Free!

Friday, January 20, 2006



One year ago today, I had my last cigarette and tomorrow night, we're going out to celebrate. After 15 years of smoking, I quit cold turkey and never touched another cigarette again.
I didn't want to quit. I had promised Wayne when we 1st got together (as a grand gesture of love) that I would quit for him, but kept finding reasons why I didn't. I told him things like - I had to do it because I wanted to and it would have to wait until I was ready.
When we moved to England, cigarettes prices soured from $5 (for a pack of 20) to nearly $11 (

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Far from home

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I just got a tearful call from my sister telling me that Cyrus (my step father since the age of 14) was just rushed to the hospital. She didn't know much detail because it was second hand information, but she said something about a viral infection keeping him from being able to walk.
This is the first time that something has happened and I'm too far from home to be able to do anything about it. I can't rush to the hospital to be with my family like I want to. I can't even call my Mom (who's probably a fucken mess) to offer support or get an update because they don't allow cell phones in the hospital. All I can do now is just wait. It's an awful helpless feeling to be so far from home at times like this.


Update: Cyrus is okay, but in the hospital. They are not sure what's wrong just yet, but he seems to be in good spirits. They are concerned because his kidneys are not functioning properly and he is very weak. they are keeping him for observation while they wait for test results.
It was a tough day for me. I hated not being able to be there and waiting around for almost 4 hours before I got my first update. before then, I had no idea what was wrong and how bad it was. I'm still finding it hard to relax; I just don't feel at ease and have to admit I've been a bit depressed over it. Maybe it's time to schedule a trip back.



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-Revelation - I'm a horrible person!

Grab your coffee (or other caffeinated beverage) because I think this might be a long one (Note: some names have been omitted to protect the innocent or the guilty - depending how you look at it!)...
Hmmm Where do I start? I guess I'll tell it as it happened. Last night, my husband and I were doing some research on CWI training programs (Certificate in Web-Based Instruction) because I need more structured and streamlined training materials for web design. I'm just not cutting it learning bits and pieces from this source or that one. These programs are still self study programs, but they provide all the materials you need as well as prep for the certification tests. When finished, you're supposed to have everything you need to become certified as a web professional.
The courses are very expensive and there is a lot out there. The thing is that there are quite a few programs and after reading and researching for far too long, I became very overwhelmed and confused with it all not knowing what program would be right for me. In my frustration, I said to Wayne, 'It's times like this when I really wish I could go to M--- (I don't like using names unless I know people wouldn't mind) because I need his guidance right now' (for those of you who don't know who that is - In short - he's the man that was the love of my life before my husband and just happens to be a webmaster. I have always trusted him and respected his opinion). I continued (being intentionally over-dramatic), 'I don't know why he hates me' Wayne laughed and yelled in from the kitchen - 'Maybe it's because he gave up his whole life, moved 1/2 way across the country to be with you, only to be told when he arrived - sorry, I change my mind. I think I'll marry this guy instead' I cringed and said (not very convincingly to myself or Wayne) 'but he forgave me for that years ago' and that's when I had my revelation and yelled out 'Oh my God, I'm a horrible person! I can't believe I did that to him!' Again, Wayne laughed (as he does when I have such revelations). I continued with a few more minutes of beating myself up and ended with - 'Am I supposed to apologize again? Say something like - It's been another five years since I've apologized, and after carefully considering it, I've come to realize that I Suck??'...
It's not a straight forward as all of that. When I did what I did, I really thought I was justified because after all, he hurt me just as bad in the past (I know now, it's no excuse). The real truth is, that I was scared and went with what was safe. I realized the error of my ways a couple of years later, and tried to track him down to confess my undying love. When I discovered where he was, I found out he was married and it was too late. In the end, I did marry someone else and left him a year later knowing it was never right between us.
My story with M--- goes on and on. I'd be sitting here all day if I tried to explain our history and our demise (that through it all was both ugly and beautiful, but always laced with love.) Our history spans most of my adult life in one form or another, although I haven't seen him face to face in probably 10+ years (but know in my heart that if I had, I wouldn't have done what I did).
Regret is a horrible thing. To say I regret not choosing him, would infer I regret a decision led me to Wayne, so I can't say that. But, what I do regret is being such a coward and hurting him the way I did. No-one deserves that. So I guess this entry is more of an open letter of apology for being horrible and such a coward.
I've been told by many that I should forget the past and live for today. I don't live life that way. My past a part of me and good, bad or indifferent - it's who I am. I don't know why people would rather forget people or love from their past just because they found love with someone else. Shouldn't we consider ourselves lucky to have had love more than once in our lives? Some people don't ever find it. I have not only found love, but I have had great love more than once and I celebrate it. I would never want to forget a minute of it - even the painful parts. I do live for today, but I wouldn't dare forget what's made me who I am.

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To be a size four again...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I have been on a diet for what seems like forever now (hence the eggo cravings below) and I'm finally starting to see some results! About two years ago, I had a bad flare up of my arthritis and had to go on disability. As a treatment, the doctor put me on some pretty strong steroids and I blew up in record time. I gained about 25 pounds and for the first time in my life, I was really over weight.
It happened really fast as it does with steroids. My bra size went up from a B to a D in a matter of months and all of a sudden, I started hitting into things with them (not being used to the size of them and how much farther they were from the rest of my body than they were before). While shopping, a few people even got a feel they didn't expect (nor did I) because I brushed up against them while trying to get by! It was definitely the breasts that was hardest to get used to. Which wouldn't have been a bad thing if the rest of me didn't also get bigger. Now, I just wish I could keep them as I lose weight because I'm already down to a small C.
Since my blow up, I have lost a good ten pounds, but because of other medications, I haven't lost a pound in more than a year and had to get get married 15 pounds heavier than I ever wanted to be (without at least giving birth first!). Despite almost constant dieting for the last year and a 1/2 I haven't lost any weight until now.
Right before the Holidays, as a act of desperation, I started a 1000 calorie a day diet and last week, I started working out regularly (which is really hard to do with my arthritis, but I'm driving on and taking it slow). This week, I had to replace a pair of jeans I bought right before Christmas with a size smaller! It was wonderful. Finally, some results!
It's such a struggle because I still want to lose another 15 lbs (to give some room for the weight gain when I start eating normally again). being over weight has been awful for me. I don't feel like myself anymore. I don't have the confidence I once had, and I certainly don't feel pretty any more. At the risk of sounding conceited (I swear I never have been), but for the first time in my life I feel really quite average. Here's the thing - all my life people never paid much attention to anything about me except how I looked. They never paid much attention to my accomplishments - like a 4.0 for every semester when I went back to school or a high paying job and career. When I was married to Troy, I was a computer tech, but when people had a problem with their systems, they called him for help (an architect who liked to play with computers) because they just didn't take me seriously. But people sure noticed when I looked good. I've even had employers admit that I got the job because of how I looked (although it was my skill that kept me employed).
Because of examples like this, I've always felt like my looks were all I really had going for me (that being said, I don't think I walked around like some cocky girl that thought they were all that). Now, things are different (I guess that's why I didn't take to kindly to the 'fan club' that was started on my last blog) I'm not that girl anymore. Maybe that's why it means so much to me to learn web design and do well with it. I guess I want to prove to myself that I I'm more than a girl that used to be pretty.
This doesn't mean I don't want to be that girl again - I wish I could be, but I have to be realistic. I'm no girl. I'm turning 34 at the end of the month and I know it's a pipe dream to think I could ever maintain a size 4 (US) again, but I'm determined to be a size six again and to stay that way. Unfortunately Wayne and I plan on trying for a baby when I turn 35. I'll lose the weight and get really fit - just in time to get pregnant and fat again! God, I wish I was younger...
Since the weight gain, I went from this which was about two years ago (sorry about the quality - click the images to view a larger photo) To this
to this

Albeit, I am a jeans size smaller now than in the last picture, I still want to be is something a lot closer to what I was when I was thin.


By the way - this is not some sort of way to seek praise so, all you fan flub boys - please don't start again. It makes me pretty uncomfortable. Thanks guys =)



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What I wouldn't do for an Eggo!

Monday, January 16, 2006

I woke up this morning dying for a waffle with butter and syrup. The problem is - you can't get waffles in England. Not American waffles anyway. They sell them here in a package that's decorated with an American flag advertising them as American waffles, but who ever manufactures these things obviously never tasted an American Waffle! They are cake like, sweet and dry. In short - they're NOT waffles.
When I was home last, I bought a big bottle of pancake syrup and smuggled it back thinking I could make some pancakes from Bisquick mix I saw in the store, but once again they're nothing like our pancakes and I was very disappointed.
Believe it or not, even the English muffins aren't the same or even very good. I bought them and when I cut it open (no they don't have fork split like Thomas'), I was shocked - All I could think was - where are the nooks? Where are the crannies? I thought they can't you go wrong with English muffins, but no nooks or crannies - terribly disappointing!
I've also been craving a salt bagel with butter, but as I'm sure you guessed, they don't do bagels very well either. I'm breakfast challenged here. No Lucky Charms, no original Cheerios and no Apple Jacks either! I miss the egos the most though. What I wouldn't do for an Eggo. Maybe for my birthday, Wayne will get me a waffle maker (if they even sell them here!).




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Congratulations Aniela

Congratulations to my friend (and fellow American expat) Aniela and her husband Herman on the birth of their new baby girl, Ruby!
I'm so happy for you guys and wish you the best!


Baby



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Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm probably taking the weekend off before my husband desides to divorce me for giving the computer more attention than him...



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Fried...

I spent a good part of my day trying to customize my blog to be my own design. I'm getting there and have to admit that I threw my hands up in celebration when I achieved the desired effect so far. Unfortunately, I do have a few limitations using a Movable Type blog as far as design goes (but as far as content, it's nearly fully customizable and goes leaps and bounds further than MSN). I don't think I'll be able to make it look exactly like my website will, but I don't know for sure because I'm really just learning as I go. To be honest, I am completely fried and a bit frustrated. So, I guess this might be a good time to walk away and go workout...
Stationary Bike



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Crazy Dream

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I had the craziest dream last night. I dreamed I was someone else. I mean I think I was me but nothing like me. I know that doesn't make much sense, but isn't that typically how dreams work? In my dream I was a cop (this alone is strange because it's never been a career I've ever considered & nor would I). Not only was I a cop, but I was a detective of some sort. My boss was Vince Vaughn (of course he was a cop too not a celebrity). I wasn't married, I didn't know my husband and during my dream, I started sleeping with my boss (Vince Vaughn - not a horrible concept, but strange because I've never been terribly keen on him). Also, I was apparently a drinker in this dream (I don't remember the last time I had a drink). In my dream, while off duty, I went to a party (I don't think I've been to a party since 1989 and even then didn't drink in excess). I got pretty drunk and decided to walk home from the party. My home was not here in England or in New Jersey. I apparently lived somewhere in California. Not only that, but I was quite thin and wore very small clothing. My skirt was way too short and my heels were a bit too high. I digress... Anyway, on my drunken way home, I ran into my boss (Vince Vaughn) and his partner (who was the tall brother on Everybody Loves Raymond - REALLY weird). They were just getting off duty and pulled up next to me for some flirtatious banter (that's a lot like me - minus the tiny skirt, drunken state and cop/celebrity thing). They found my purse at the party (which oddly, was pink and satin - I'm starting to sound like I dress like some sort of prostitute aren't I?...) and brought it to me. At which point, Vince Vaughn got out of his car and I took him home (I am such a slut). The next day, I had to call out of work because my back was killing me (must have been some night). At some point after calling out of work, I went to the liquor store (drinking yet again) and on my way back up to my California apartment, I ran into my boss who said in a tongue in cheek kind of way that he'd be over after work to see how 'my back' was doing (as if there was nothing wrong with me and I stayed home just to apparently get drunk) to which I replied 'My back really is killing me, but you can come over anyway (I have to admit this is a bit like me because I've been known to fight through the pain in the name of a little fun).
That's when I woke up. The funny thing is that I woke up with my back actually really killing me. I woke Wayne up to tell him about my dream and asked him 'what do you think it means'? He sleepily said - 'you don't love me anymore' (apparently being sarcastic) turned over, and went back to sleep.The funniest part about it all is that my husband has become so used to my crazy dreams that he's just no phased anymore.



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Teaching yourself web development - not for the faint hearted...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I really wanted to wait to publish this site until I finished it, but I've come to realize that I miss blogging. It helps me get my head straight and it feels good to feel like I'm being heard on days when I'm feeling invisible to the outside world (other than my husband). So today, as I fried my brain trying to figure out how to create a custom blog - I decided - Fuck it - who cares if people see my work in progress. Plus, if I wait until the whole site is done, it may never be published!
When I decided to teach myself web design, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it might be a good distraction/hobby that maybe one day could turn into a work from home career. I've never been afraid of a challenge and when it comes to computers, I've always been able to figure things out. Hell, I had a career that was mainly comprised of baptism by fire and I always came out on top. The thing is back then, I had a boss that would help me if I really needed help and if he wasn't around, there was a whole staff of programmers and other technical people that I could discuss things with. Even though they didn't always know enough to help when I was struggling, it was always good to bounce things off of people that had a basic knowledge of what I was doing.
These days, I don't have anyone to go to when I reach a road block. I'm not taking classes so, I don't have a teacher to go to and since my husband is a builder by trade, when I talk about anything technical - I may as well be speaking french because he doesn't have a clue (any more than I do about his field).
Like I said, when I decided to teach myself web design I had no idea how difficult it would be. I thought I knew what I was doing until I I decided to do my own custom blog and now I know that I've come a long way, but I'm far from being any good thus far.
For the last few weeks, I've been down with the flu and haven't gone near the computer since before the holidays. Coming back to it now, has been daunting. Yesterday, after adding a photo gallery to my blog, I went to create a new album and got an error that said 'Internal error- Please contact the administrator for Pond-Hopper.com, and inform them of the time the error occurred. Considering I am the administrator for Pond-Hopper.com, and I had no idea what to do - I was beginning to feel defeated. But l this morning, I was able to figure out how to add the calendar to my blog (without errors) so I'm feeling encouraged again. Baby steps...
With any luck, you'll start to see small changes on my blog and when my site is up and running I'll let you know, but for now - At least I've gotten far enough that I can actually post a blog that shows up. woo-hoo! I was able to import my blog entries from my old blog but unfortunately, was not able to include the comments with it, but at this point beggars can't be choosers and I'm just happy I've gotten this far.
This blog is public so feel free to comment without having to identify yourself (God knows everyone likes it a whole lot better that way since my last blog went down in flames as soon as I made it private). Also, I have not made it known to my family so on this blog, I will have the freedom to be myself without having to censor every little thing I say...




FYI - I added the photo because I'm still testing functionality. It should be a clickable pop-up pic (fingers crossed)...



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