Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where or Where is Fatand40?

I know, I know, I have not blogged over here in forever! But, I have a very good excuse because I've turned my personal blogging attention primarily to my web site, now turned weblog, which I call the Crafty Princess Diaries.

This will be my second stab at trying out an indie blog, and so far, after making the switch in April 08 from static web site to weblog, it's been going pretty well. Pageviews are building, I even have my first advertiser, and I have more ideas in the works, such as a new personalized template that should be up in a month or so.

I may pop over here now and then, but if anyone is interested in crafts, then come by and sign up for my RSS over there. Along with covering my own personal crafting experiences, I include how-to information, crafting as a career, contest news, designing, craft business ideas, and well, you get the idea. If it's about arts and crafts, then I'm talking about it.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The New Baby is Home!

Yeah! We picked up my new Element yesterday right before the dealership closed. The color is amazing, much better than I had imagined. She is now parked next to my DH's truck, and as you can see, they are about the same as far as height.

I need to get used to the clutch, which seems tighter than my old Civic, but otherwise, it was a pretty easy drive home. Since it's a Honda, most of the controls are in the same spot as my old car, so it shouldn't take much of an adjustment.

I may have to drive around the block a little today. My next big "road trip" isn't until Monday when it's back to the books and rush hour traffic.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

New Car on the Horizon?

I'm exhausted, but we may have a car deal tomorrow. We went to a Honda dealership just north of here, then the Toyota/Scion dealer, and then to a closer local Honda dealership.

I drove the Element, then the Scion, and then the Element again. It was a tough decision, but if all goes well tomorrow, I'll be getting an Element at the local dealership. I really liked the Scion, and my DH was also very impressed, but considering the Element isn't going to cost that much more (maybe at most a few thousand), the gas mileage is not a big difference (10%), and the Toyota people were the most obnoxious *holes I've ever met in my life and I'd as soon get a root canal then ever go back there again, the Honda won out. It is a much larger car, and I liked the fact that the interior is rubber versus carpeting.

It's really too bad that Toyota/Scion has to be so horrible because that's a great little car for the price. Interesting too how different the dealerships are. At the first Honda dealership, it is a brand new facility. You go inside and they have a little kitchenette with bar stools where they bake cookies and offer you free gourmet coffee. They also have flat screen TVs and comfy chairs all over the place, and a small basket ball court inside.
The Scion people get you inside and trick you into sitting in a tiny little office. Then any time you ask a question, the sales person (and you have at least 2 or 3 different people "helping" you) has to run out and ask someone. Then they may or may not have an answer for you, but they tried to get us to sign something saying we'd buy a car right then. We kept telling them that you know where would freeze over before we did that, but they just wouldn't give it up. Finally, the junior sales guy was keeping us busy, and I asked him, "So, do people really come in here off the street and buy a car right away without even thinking about it?" He said, "Yes, all the time." I replied, "Well, we don't do that and never will. We have to go home and talk it over." I think he understood, but as the *hole in training, he wasn't in charge. So, we ended up walking out. Boy, they were freaked.
Finally, we stopped by the local dealership on the way home, and again, it was so much more relaxing. We didn't get any cookies, but the pressure was totally off. I drove the Element again, so I could get a better comparison, and it was a lot more comfortable to me than the first time I drove it. The biggest issue is waiting for them to get me a standard because I only drive cars with a stick shift, not an automatic.
We were running low on time and had to get home for the doggies to do their business, so we are going back some time tomorrow to find out how much they'll give us for my old Honda as a trade in, but we are hoping they will give us a good deal and by the next day, I may have my spiffy new Element to jet about town in. I've been saving up for over a year for this, and as my current Honda Civic has 95,000 miles on it now, it's time to cash it in while it still has some decent trade in value.
I'll be dreaming of my Element tonight!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Joined Good Reads

I joined Good Reads as a way to promote my new books, and I have to admit, I find this social network kind of addicting!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pushing Cars...Extending a Hand

Yesterday, I was coming home from school, a little giddy because spring break had started, and I stopped to gas up my car. As I pulled into the station, I saw a young man (I'm guessing 18 years old, maybe) pushing his car into the parking lot, and I had to swerve a little to miss him since he was right next to the entrance.

I got out and started pumping my gas, and as I did so, he was pushing his car back and forth by himself. He'd open his car door, turn the steering wheel a bunch, then push, then mess with the wheels again, then push. Back and forth, back and forth, his car kept moving and he kept adjusting it.

While I continued to pump my gas, I watched as other patrons - all men - came and went as this kid kept up his car maneuvering. Then I realized - no one was going to help him. Not one person even looked his way. I'm standing there pump in hand, looking around, thinking, "Hello, people, help this kid already, geez! I am so not buying that you don't see he needs help."

Luckily, I wasn't wearing a skirt and heels, so when I finished, I went over to him, and said, "Hold on," and put both my hands up to stop him from whatever the heck he was trying to do. "What are you trying to do here?"

He told me then that the gas tank was on the other side of his car, so he needed to get the car up as close as possible to the pumps. So, yes, me....the fat, 40++ old lady, helped the kid push his car. Believe it or not, this was the first time I'd ever pushed a car in my life. I was always the one inside the car turning the wheel....Hey, girls to do not push cars in my world. But, I'm glad I stepped into this other world for a little while because he was very grateful, and it made me feel very good, even a little strong, ha.

And to those men who ignored him, shame on you!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Metal Clay Book Fini

I just finished taking one more look at the last chapter for my metal clay book, so it looks like I'm finished. The DVD went out last week to the publisher's DVD guy, and my editor actually said she really liked it, so that is a huge relief. Here's a little clip I pulled off my new myspace page. It's very fuzzy because the file was condensed, but you can get an idea of what I'm doing on the DVD.

Metal Clay Excerpt

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Pretty Rose


Picture Text

I am just doing a test of uploading an image in this post.
I think this picture is so pretty, so I decided to add this one today.
Notice how the text is wrapping to the side.
How about adding a link? This is a site where you can get free images.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Tom, You are NOT My Friend!

For awhile now, I dismissed social networking. I knew it was powerful, but I just didn't have time to figure it all out, and I confess, I still don't have time. However, more and more people keeping telling me how great it is, so I finally took the Myspace plunge today.

I was stumbling around, setting up my site (myspace.com/tammypowley), and I discovered I had some weirdo guy listed as a "friend" already and I was only two minutes into my set up. Panicked, I ripped off an email to a beady list I'm a member of, and then went back over to figure out how to remove this would-be-stalker from my friends' list.

Of course, once I started looking around more, I realized [[blush!]] that this guy "Tom" was the creator/owner of Myspace, so he is immediately added to your friends list when you sign up. Oy!

Do I have a learning curve here or what!?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Help a Girl or Two Out

My bead bud, Margot Potter, writes about more than just beads at her blog, The Impatient Beader. Recently she has a post, entitled "This Is Important Period," about a group of young women that really could use some help from other women.

I don't think I can explain it as well as Margot, who is a wonderful and inspiring writer, so I'm not even going to try.

Go, read, help...

P.S. A BIG thank you to Margot who is gutsy enough to write about this sort of thing.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Good Grammar Day

In my comp I class, part of the curriculum requires that I teach grammar. Now, supposedly at this level, I'm really providing more of a review, but of course, the average person, let alone the average student, generally has a very limited grammar background. So, while I don't spend a huge amount of time on grammar (it is primarily a writing class), I still try to cover most of the basics.

And, grammar is, well...not so fun for most folks. Unless I'm up there doing a tab dance and juggling electric saws, most students get that glazed over look, that "shoot me now!" expression on their faces. Therefore, in an effort to keep them awake, I try to get them as involved as possible. I do my quick and dirty coverage of the rules, but then I try to turn it back on them with handouts or group work.

Today, I tried something a little different. I had group handouts for them, but then instead of just telling them to mark corrections on the handouts, I also required that they find the rules in their grammar book (The Bedford Handbook) and marked those down next to their corrections.

I swear; I got all tingly as I watched them flipping the pages of the book. Yes, they actually had a grammar book open, and they were reading it! They were really getting into it, talking over the rules with each other and on occasion arguing a little when one student didn't agree with another. Now, how could any English teacher's heart not go "pitter patter" when watching that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

At the End of One Tunnel

Ahhh....I'm starting to envision the end of one of my book projects! I can almost see it if I squint hard enough.

I was doing some major stressing for awhile. One night last week, I had this weird dream where huge wooden boxes where falling from the sky. I mean BIG, as in the size of semi-trucks. Bam! Bam! And, as with most weird dreams like this, I woke up as I was running for my life! So, yes, to say that I've been stressed...

But, I really have made progress over the past few weeks. I just got down and dirty and wrote and wrote and made jewelry and wrote some more, and the hard work as paid off because I'm "this close" to being done! In fact, insane person that I can sometimes become when doing this sort of work, I started playing with the idea of adding more projects to the book, but I had to snap myself out of my delirium. There just isn't time, and as it is, I'm delivering more than what the contract requires any way. It's just that once I get going I find it hard to stop. One idea leads to another, and while not all the ideas are great or even good or can even work, at least I get them.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Long Awaited Update

See, this is why I cut back on my pro-blogging jobs. I just don't have the time to blog like I used to :(

Though, that's not necessarily a bad thing; it just means I'm busy doing a lot of stuff, and most of it is work that I enjoy doing. So, here's a quick update.

Writing: I've got one more chapter to finish for my metal clay book. Of course, this is the projects chapter, so that is no small task I'm talking about. The biggest issue with this book is getting photographs taken. My DH has been great about helping, but when I design jewelry projects, I don't always know exactly what the project will be. I have ideas, and I start there, but the creative process can move me around in unexpected areas. Thus, it's difficult to be able to communicate this to someone else who is trying to photograph this craziness. I'm also still working on the bead book too, so I'm teaching during the day and writing like a mad woman every night when I get home. I have one more meeting for the DVD as well where I'll try to do the intro again and actually manage to get three cohesive sentences out of my mouth, and I'm going to do some voice over stuff for it too. Ugh.

School: Loving it still! As a part-time turned full-time teacher, other than the increased pay check, it is really a lot of little things that make me happy. For example, I have an office, so when students need to talk with me, they can come there during my office hours. I have a phone too, so I don't have to worry about trying to call a student who has left a message with the dept. chair. With caller ID these days, it just isn't safe to use your home phone for this kind of thing. When I need to make copies of a handout, I just have to jot over to the print shop and zip, bam, boom, I've got them done. These logisitcal issues were always a royal pain as a part-timer.

Weight: I'm finally back down to my pre-holiday weight. Some of that is due to being very sick for about a week and a half. Though I ate weird and fattening food (like a zillion fish crackers), I didn't have much of an appetite. Of course, now that I'm almost 100% better (got a little ick in the throat still), my appetite is back in full force, so I'm going to have to really watch it. So much writing and also being sick has limited my exercise time.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Do It for the Dogs (and Cats)

I read over on The Naughty Secretary Club's weblog about an animal shelter called A Place to Bark that is run by a fellow crafter, Bernie Berlin. She has been running the place solo for a long while but is now competing for $50,000 as part of America's Giving Challenge sponsored by Parade.

Along with sending in donations via a special badge, you can also host the badge on your blog - unless you have a cheesy freebie blog here at blogger.com because every time I tried to load up the code, I got an evil IE message and my browser crashed. But, if you have a decent blog, I'm sure they would really appreciate more badges as well as more donations.

So, I'm off to donate on the badge over at The Naughty Secretary Club, so pop by there to find out all the details and to drop a little cash down or pick up the code for your own A Place to Bark donation badge.

Monday, January 14, 2008

More Consumption

Part of my web shopping lately has included some new walking DVDs, and I'm amazed to be able to say that I've actually been able to keep up my exercising to a certain extent, even with the new job. In fact, I even managed to get rid of 1/2 lb of the 4 1/2 that I took on during the holidays.

The DVDs are part of a package I got off of QVC: Leslie Sansone "Walk Slim" 5 DVD System with Firming Band. They had a New Year's Day special. For about $25, I got 5 DVDs, some weird elastic band thing, and a little diet booklet. So far, I've done the DVD pictured above. It says it has 1, 2, and 3 mile routines, but really the 1 and 2 are combined to be really 2 miles. They tell you when you've hit a mile, and I guess you can stop at that point if you want. Any way, if you are a Sansone fan already, this is a good DVD. The music is a little more contemporary then some of her previous DVDs, and the tempo is pretty fast, so you get an excellent workout. I started with this DVD since the longest routine is 3 miles but hope to work up to the 4 mile ones soon.

The band DVD I'm not sure about. I guess it would be good for firming, but I'm not big into gimmicky stuff, so we'll see. The diet book includes a10-day menu where you eat three 600 calorie meals a day, and you do the 3 or 4 mile routine every day. She claims in the booklet that you end up almost burning off one of those meals a day. I'm not sure if I buy into that. I could see burning maybe half of that, but more than 300 calories, hmmm...not so sure about that.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New School Duds

One of the rituals about returning to school is getting new school clothes. Starting with the fact that I've only had to look professional a few days a week for a couple of years now and then add to that my small amount of weight loss and then put my new dream job in the mix and you have a totally valid reason for doing lots of Internet shopping for clothes and shoes. I do have a few Burks I can wear on casual days that aren't too Burkie-looking, but that's pretty rare. Otherwise, it's back to the pantyhose, skirts, and heels. But, these days as a fat and 40 year old, I can't wear heels like I could when I was a skinny 20 year old. Luckily, I discovered some of the "kitten heel" designs from Me Too (amazingly comfy). And I also discovered Zappos!

Truthfully, I have seen them on the net before, but never thought to buy anything from them until I saw that they carried Me Too shoes. I've been looking for some navy low heels, and the only place I could find them was Zappos! So, I took a chance. I literally ordered them last night about 10pm. Today when I got home from school, they were magically at my door. Wow! Plus, shipping was zippo, nada, zilch! They even have a 365 day return policy as long as you don't wear the shoes out and you return them in the same packaging. Holy Cow!