Family of N

Enjoying Being Where I Am

Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on March 26, 2009

Prompted by a similar post today at Life in a Shoe, here’s a look at where I am right now.

The rhythmic breaths of a baby recently fallen asleep after a meal.
The ticking of our dining room clock.
The sound of a mouse wheel scrolling at the Professor’s computer.
The hum of my computer fan.

Nothing, but I just got done tasting delicious Greek chicken pitas with tzatziki. Yum. We’ll be making those again.

A tube of hand lotion I desperately need to use.
The face of a sweet sleeping baby.
Two cookbooks closed after a long day of cooking.
A bag of gaming dice.
Dr. Seuss’s ABC Book
A package for my sister with her shower gift, which I still haven’t mailed. I think I’ll be sending that with Mom when she visits…
Two library books gotten yesterday when I picked up my library card. (Yes, I’ve lived here for almost two years and just got a library card…)

Hints of Greek chicken and freshly-cooked pita.

Tired, full (that perfect amount that you get when eat just enough). A little overwarm from the baby (a.k.a. space heater) in my lap.

How about you?


Menu Plan Monday

Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on March 23, 2009

Maybe I’m easing back into blogging, or maybe this is one of the last sputters as this car runs out of gas. I like blogging, but I’m increasingly short on time and ideas. Case and point: all I can muster right now is this a post about this week’s menu. What I *should* do is let you know how last week’s menu went. But I can’t remember what we made.

Monday: Chicken Fingers (marinate in olive oil, garlic, paprika; coat in bread or cracker crumbs; bake) with mashed potatoes and broccoli
Tuesday: Fried Rice with Mandoo (Korean dumplings)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Greek Chicken Pita Sandwiches (marinade from here) with oven-fried potatoes. (I might even make tzatziki if I have time. But that might be a teeny bit ambitious. Because I’m making my own pita, too.)
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Leftovers, maybe Beef Stew if we need something

Enjoy! (I know I will — especially Greek night… yum….)

More menu plans at I’m an Organizing Junkie.


Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on March 2, 2009

I promise I’ll have some actual posts soon, but I felt like I needed to inform our loyal audience that The Professor is playing poker with Baby Savannah. They’re tied 1-1, and the Professor is dealing the third hand. Who will win this exciting tie-breaker?

How Do You Save Web Content for Later?

Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on February 17, 2009

I have this unreasonable fear that all the good articles on the Internet are going to disappear one day. I think I’ve been burned by one too many sites that retired content, or that failed to back up and subsequently lost everything. So if I can, I save the most useful, inspiring, and beautiful web content locally, just. in. case. As a result, my bookmarks list is small, but I think I have half the internet saved on my hard drive. (What, the Internet has more than 200GB of information? Maybe I’m using a really good compression algorithm….)

I’ve been refining my “clipping” techniques for years and finally feel like I have a solution that works for me. I’ve come a long way from my primitive days of web browsing, when I would copy and paste favorite articles into Open Office and export them as PDF files.

After to many years of that, I started using Google Reader to read blogs, and it was much easier to capture articles by starring blog posts in Reader. (Most things I find these days are at least referenced in a blog, so that covered nearly everything.)

But as time went on, I got paranoid again about all of that content disappearing, so for a while I copied and pasted this kind of thing in BasKet Note Pads, a Linux-only tool for managing notes. I like that it will export any subset of your notes into a neat HTML document. Unfortunately, it does not export to another BasKet Note Pads application, and development has seemed to dwindle off.

I was really happy when I found a Firefox extension called Scrapbook. As I browsed the web, I could select text or pictures in Firefox to save it locally, and any time I wanted to, I could export the content to another computer.

But when Google Chrome came out, I knew I needed to switch browsers. I open and close a ridiculous number of tabs (I have thirteen open now), and Chrome has an innovative way of managing tabs in memory. And Scrapbook was not available as a Chrome plug-in.

Fortunately, by that time, a web-based tool called Snipd had come out of invitation-only alpha testing. Snipd seemed a nice compromise for me. I still wished I had a true local copy of all my favorite web content, but I at least got some measure of assurance having a duplicate of all of my favorite stuff at Snipd. But I couldn’t get over its limited organization capability.

Then I discovered Evernote. Like Snipd and Scrapbook, it saves a link to the original site, so I can return to check out comments later on. It stores the content on a server so I can access it from anywhere via the web interface, but I can also download everything locally just. in. case. It doesn’t have the most robust organization system, but it lets you store articles in separate notebooks and give them hierarchical tags. Plus you can search very easily and export the data in a variety of formats.

I save articles on homeschooling, parenting, and finances, tutorials for money-saving projects, pictures of tastefully decorated (and organized!) homes, and recipes, to name a few. These are things that will be useful to me years from now, when the original content might have been taken down.

What do you do when you see something online that you think you’ll want to come back to in five years?

Music Appreciation Monday: Ravel

Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on February 16, 2009

This video being in black-and-white, its opening really reminds me of an old horror flick. I keep expecting to hear shrill screams as the camera pans out to show Frankenstein’s monster attacking a beautiful blonde as our hero (obviously, the violinist) rushes to her side to defend her.

But I can assure you that none of this happens. I hope enjoy this monster-free performance of Ravel’s Tzigane by Polish violinist Henryk Szeryng.

Was für ein blog?

Posted in Uncategorized by Laura on November 16, 2008
Image by Laura

I’d be lying if I said that the little one whose tiny feet are pictured above (a baby girl hereafter designated “Savannah”) wasn’t the impetus for my starting this blog. But I’ve been wanting to write one for years; I’ve even started one or two, but all of them fizzled out after one or two posts.

The problem is that I can’t decide what I want my blog will be.  Is it an outlet for therapeutic journaling?  An archive for preserving family memories?  A tool for keeping in touch with friends and family who live too far away?  A pundit for sharing my values and beliefs with the world?

Oh, well.  Give it a few months and you can tell me what it’s developed into.  Probably some of all of these at different times.