Bible in 90 Days: Day 34 – More Than 1/3 Completed!

Whew!  Still on track after 34 days on the Bible in 90 Days Challenge! And exactly half of those days we were vacationing and/or traveling, including a 2-night side trip to get my eye lasered in San Diego!  Other than carrying it with me (via iPad) everywhere I go, one of the keys to my success so far has been to READ THIS BOOK FIRST before I pick up any other.  This essentially has meant that I have not been reading any other books for the last 34 days simply because my day doesn’t allow for anything extra.  I’m not complaining, though.  To the contrary: I’m THRILLED to have gotten this far and continue to feel that reading the bible in 90 days is absolutely 100% achieveable.  In fact, for the past few weeks I’ve actually been looking forward to the following day’s reading; a first for me where bible reading is concerned!

The only personal disappointment I’ve had during the past few weeks is not being  able to participate in the weekly tweet-ups with my fellow B90-ers because of our vacation/travel schedule.  All that should normalize in about another week, however.

Keep lifting us up, oh, faithful B90 Prayer Warriors!

T-minus 56 days…and counting!

Posted in Bible in 90 Days | 1 Comment

Bible in 90 Days: Day 22 – The VBS Challenge

I was feeling all pretty good about myself at the beginning of last week when I was a full 5 days ahead of schedule in order to prepare for upcoming vacation schedules. That was short-lived.   Turns out it wasn’t vacation that set me back the rest of last week…Vacation Bible School did! Who knew that part-time volunteer work at 5 days of VBS could zap every last bit of energy I had? I had been suspecting for some time now on how pathetically unfit I was but that week resolutely confirmed it for me.

Anyway, I’m back on schedule as of today. Phew. And just in time…our family vacation starts tomorrow <biting my nails>.  I am secretly hoping to get some reading time in on the 7-hour flight but, then again, I could also be spiraling into delusion since we are towing 5 kids between the ages of 5 & 10.  Soooo…I need those B90 prayer warriors to keep sending up those prayers, please!

See y’all on the other side,

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Bible in 90 Days: Day 11 (16) – Ahead of the Game

Officially, I’m on Day 11 of the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. Unofficially, I’m really on Day 16 (yay me!).  I’ve been reading ahead whenever and wherever possible (have trusty iPad, will travel). The reason I have never been successful in previous (year-long) bible reading plans is because I inevitably get behind in my reading during periods of travel, of which our family takes many each year, then quickly become overwhelmed and discouraged by the backlog. Ultimately, I give up from such pathetic discipline.

Not this time. This time I’m ahead of the game. And staying there. I wonder if my B90 facilitator and assigned B90 mentor praying for me all the time has anything to do with it???  Thank you, Amy and Jennifer!

T-minus 74 days…and counting!

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Bible in 90 Days: Day 3 – iPad-ding My Way Through

3 days down, 87 to go!  I’m feeling good, confident and not at all daunted at the 12-page a day approach.  I’m feeling especially giddy in using my iPad to read through the 90 day challenge.  I have two e-reader apps downloaded so far: Apple’s iBooks and Amazon’s Kindle.  I’m using Kindle to read the B90 Bible because Apple didn’t sell it on the iTunes store (their loss).

How do I love the iPad as an e-reader?  Let me count the ways:

  1. The iPad is so thin and portable that I can take it with me everywhere (by purse, by tote, by handled neoprene case).  And I do.
  2. I can highlight, bookmark and make as many notes as I want.
  3. I can carry hundreds of books with me at a time, although on average I only read 2-3 at a time.
  4. Like most e-readers, I can adjust the font to a comfortable size which decreases eye fatigue.
  5. I no longer need to dedicate precious bookshelf space to my favorite books because I can keep them on my e-reader app forever and ever.
  6. The Pièce de Résistance: unlike the Amazon Kindle or other e-readers, the iPad has gorgeous back light for reading in the dark.  My husband can happily sleep uninterrupted in total darkness  while I happily read in bed with my awesome back light.

These are just a few bennies to owning an iPad but there are many others all of which will have to wait for a future blog posting.

Looking forward to Day4 of 90!

Posted in Bible in 90 Days, Kewl Stuff | 2 Comments

Bible in 90 Days – Day 1: Am I Crazy?

I need more fingers and toes to  count how many times I’ve begun and never finished a year-long daily bible reading plan.   I’m not sure if it’s the plan or me.  Since I’m loathe to find fault with anything I do <snort>, it must be the plan.  So when I stumbled across the Bible in 90 Days Challenge, I signed up with renewed hope that I could actually do this.  And to do it as part of an online group effort via MomsToolBox to keep me accountable is right up my alley.  And so it begins…twelve pages at a time.  I can do this!

So, am I crazy?

P.S. Faultlessness notwithstanding, I do covet your prayers to be successful in this endeavor!

Posted in Bible in 90 Days | 3 Comments

2-Minute Fix for HP’s “Print Cartridge Error”

NOTE: Please do not email me or leave a comment requesting me to send you this fix.  The fix is NOT mine so I cannot send it to you.  This post simply links you to the developer where you can email him directly and request him to send you his fix.

Another clever fellow was recently added to my hero list. He wrote some code to fix the annoying “Print Cartridge Error” that HP printers display whenever the ink cartridges have met their expiration date. This happens to those individuals who prefer to use the same ink cartridge to refill their ink supply for pennies rather than drop a bundle of cash on new cartridges, and it also happens to those individuals who use their printer infrequently and/or buys a lot of cartridges on eBay and stockpiles them.

I spent days Googling and trying all the convoluted attempts to “fake” the printer into thinking it’s an earlier point in time to no avail. I was ready to tear the darn box apart to find that elusive battery when I stumbled upon said hero on some now-forgotten forum. I emailed the chap and he promptly mailed me his fix. It literally took 2 minutes to install and he graciously provided much needed comic relief with his installation commentary during the process. It worked like a charm on my HP Officejet 5510!

So if you are as fed up as I and countless others have been, drop a line to said hero and ask him to email you his fix.   Thanks a million, Dan!

UPDATE 2/26/2011:  Please don’t ask me to send you this fix.  It’s not mine to give out.  Contact the developer of the fix instead.

Posted in The Tool Box | 32 Comments

Rebounding My Jiggly Parts

My naturopath is on a mission to get me to exercise on a consistent basis.  The nerve.   Actually, I do respect her tenacity and wish there was a homeopathic remedy for her to give me that would produce some of that same tenacity in me.  In the absence of said remedy, I am forced to be ever increasingly mindful of the condition of my body or, as the inspirational Neicy Nash puts it, my jiggly parts.

I hate working out.  Not just hate but DETEST.  I can’t think of anything less appealing to do with my time and my body.  I don’t CARE that Michelle Obama wakes up every morning at 4am to work out as a “gift to herself”.  The greatest gift to myself at 4am is to SLEEP.  And the thought of incorporating into my day some horrid joint-jarring, profusely-sweating form of physical activity that will only re-emphasize how much more jiggly my body parts have become just makes me cringe.  I rank it up there with having to do our (back) taxes and would rather have my fingernails removed one by one.

Having said all that, earlier this week I learned of a form of exercise that might…just might…NOT make me nauseous just thinking about it:  REBOUNDING.

Rebounding uses a mini-trampoline to perform a variety of workouts from low-level stretching to high-impact aerobics and everything inbetween (including yoga, core work, kick-boxing, hip-hop, latin, you get the idea).  Jumping on a tramp sounds fun, right?


So I ordered me that beginner’s DVD and got started today.  Things to note from this rebounding first-timer:

  1. Rebounding is, as I suspected, easy on the joints.
  2. Rebounding is, in fact, fun.
  3. Rebounding is no sissy workout.  To the contrary, it is one heck of a challenge.  My jiggly parts only lasted 10 minutes on the 20 minute-beginner workout.
  4. My $2 yard sale find mini-trampoline is insufficient.  It uses wide nylon straps, instead of springs, to secure the tarp to the frame.  I started to hear nylon-ripping noises within the first 5 minutes so I ordered the official rebounder today.
  5. Contrary to my initial preconception, the premise of rebounding is NOT jumping up and down but rather PUSHING down onto the trampoline with your legs and inner core.    As a result of this technique, my legs were screaming with pain within seconds.  I trust this unpleasantry will improve over time. After all, the participants on the workout DVD all look delirously happy.  Could happen to me…right?
  6. After my 10 minutes, my morning tension headache, which was a leftover from the night before, was gone.  This is more of a testimony, I think,to the positive effects of exercise in general rather than the method used.

There is an abundance of positive personal testimony about the benefits of the rebounding workout and I’m looking forward to extoling some of my own testimony soon.  In the meantime, my jiggly parts and I will continue to rebound. Ga-boing, ga-boing!

Posted in To Our Health | 3 Comments

Martha’s Sycamore Farms vs. Taschek’s Casa de Fallingaparta

I feel sorry for Martha.  I mean, really.  The upkeep of her New England farm simply can’t compete against our NJ farm. Oh no siree. To understand what I mean, you must first visit Martha’s photo blog of her farm from this spring:

Now compare her photos of her farm with that of MY farm in the springtime.    There, there, Martha…it’s alright.  If you want to trade farm hands, I will glady oblige.  ANYTIME.

[vodpod id=Video.3387796&w=425&h=350&]

more about “Casa de Fallingaparta“, posted with vodpod


Posted in Down on the Farm | 5 Comments

The 60-Second Fix to “Can’t Connect to iTunes Store” Issue

Suddenly and without warning I was unable to connect to the iTunes Store from my Vista home computer. It just hung there in the “Loading…” phase. I could access the iTunes Store from each of the other computers in my house but that didn’t help me any. How utterly annoying to lose access to the iTunes Store, podcasts, album artwork, etc. from the only computer in my house on which I keep my iTunes library…and for no apparent reason.

For DAYS I tried every conceivable internet suggestion to resolve the problem including: modifying router settings, anti-virus settings, firewall settings, iTunes settings, browser settings, uninstalling, re-installing, rebooting, doing a system restore…to no avail. And Apple’s website was pathetically useless.

Then some tech-head, aka “My Hero”, offered this 60-second solution from an online forum: delete the iTunes preferences file in two places. Here’s how:

1. Close iTunes.

2. Delete the iTunesPrefs.xml file from C:Users+user name+AppDataRoamingApple ComputeriTunes.

3. Delete the iTunesPrefs.xml file from C:Users+user name+AppDataLocalApple ComputeriTunes.

4. Launch iTunes & follow the setup prompts.

Voilà! I be iTunes happy again!

Posted in The Tool Box | Tagged | 117 Comments

A Tribute to Baba


Yesterday my mom, affectionately referred to by her grandchildren as “Baba” – the abbreviated Russian word for “grandmother”, turned 70 years old. And you know what she did on her birthday? She showed up at my doorstep with a 9″x13″ cherry cheesecake that she made for ME. On HER birthday.

I should be used to her selfless acts of kindness but I’m not. She continually astounds me with them. Throughout my life, I have never known anyone else to be so completely and genuinely selfless, freely giving of her time, love and resources, and having an unwavering servant attitude toward others. In this regard, she is as close to emulating Christ’s serving heart toward others as I have ever witnessed.

What makes her even that much more amazing is that she is the way she is despite the multiple hardships and challenges she has endured throughout her entire life: born and raised in the poorest of conditions in Soviet Russia during World War II, uprooted with her family to a Displaced Persons Camp in Germany; being separated from her mother who suffered from tuberculosis while in the DP camp, experiencing the death of her 9-month-old brother who died of neglect while in the same camp; being malnourished (along with her 3 sisters) all of the time. At the age of 11, her family was finally able to make the unpleasant passage by boat to the U.S. eventually settling in NJ. Not speaking a word of English she was placed two grades behind her peers. She lived the rest of her youth (and her adult life) in this country of freedom, safety and opportunity yet lived under the oppression of an abusive, alcoholic father and continued to witness the physical sufferings endured by her ill yet hard-working seamstress mother.

A few years after graduating high school she married a fellow Russian who, amazingly, provided for the basic needs of his family as a blue collar worker despite become a raging alcoholic, and she subsequently had three children with him. She was a stay-at-home mom but also took us little ones with her to her part-time house cleaning jobs. When we started school she got a full-time job while always maintaining a meticulously clean house, preparing home-cooked meals every night, doing the shopping, laundry, ironing, sewing, canning, and sharing with the caring for her aging mother all the while constantly nurturing and lavishing love, affection and adoration on her 3 children.

Later in life, she eventually lost her beloved mother, then her father who she also helped cared for in his declining health, and was herself diagnosed with and battled with cancer (with which she victoriously went into remission).

I have never heard her utter a single complaint about her life. Not ever. And she asks for nothing. Yet somehow, she incredulously gives of herself like no other. I cringe, in sharp contrast, in how selfish I am with my time, my love, my resources, how spoiled I am with the easy life I have, and how I pale in comparison to her exemplary performance as wife and mother.

Today, parts of our family are geographically separated so not everyone was able to participate in Baba’s 70th birthday celebration although, no doubt, they were there in spirit. It was a lovely dinner and it was a treat to see Baba get treated on her special day (even though she did bake me a cheesecake). I pray that God blesses her abundantly for the next 70 years and that I may, by His grace, be as selfless, giving, humble, content and amazing as she is. How I love you, Mom!

From one awestruck and blessed daughter,

Posted in Blessing Box, On Motherhood, Teachable Moments | 1 Comment