Thursday Thirteen – Smiles

I have six or seven drafts ready for Thursday thirteen but each Wednesday when I’m deciding which one to use, none of them seem to grab me. So, today I thought we’d talk about thirteen things that make me smile.

1. When dropping Stevie off at school this morning, the gym teacher commented that he wished all kids “were as good as this one is.” Oh sweet Moses, my heart swelled. I often wonder what I ever did to deserve such a sweet blessing.

2. Mike and Molly – If you haven’t seen this show, YOU NEED TO. It comes on Tuesday nights on CBS. In last week’s episode I laughed because Mike’s mom - as she was preparing for surgery – sat down to discuss her final wishes with her son. Low and behold she pulled out a casket brochure and explained to Mike that she wished to have a solid mahogany casket. I laughed out loud because she is my people. As you may recall that is the casket I’ve picked out too. I cracked the heck up and wondered to myself if the Mike and Molly writers read my blog.

3. My new kitchen rugs. My new rugs are from K-mart and they make me smile because they remind me of spring and becuase they match my kitchen beautifully. AND because they are not soiled with spaghetti sauce or syrup. YET.

4. ‘Words With Friends’ friends – I can’t remember what I ever did with all my free time before there was such a thing as Words With Friends in my life. Most of the ‘friends’ I play are IRL (in real life) friends. The others are URL friends consisting of blog readers or blog friends. One opponent is a person I ‘met’ through twitter. I am thankful for these folks, especially the ones I can count on to make plays in a timely manner. I smile even bigger when I make a 161 point play – the word jeez in case you’re wondering - against a player who admittedly wants to mule kick anyone beating him by 100 points or more.

Yes, I said mule kick.

5. My chair.

I know y’all are so tired of hearing about the chair, but I must tell you I smile each and every time I look at it, sit in it, or move it. My favorite thing about the chair is that it can easily be turned to face the television or turned to face the couch and love seat. It makes me all kinds of happy and was worth every bit of trouble I went through to get it. (Oh, and see that door back there? The yellow door? It is now blue and you can read all about that, here.)

6. Homemade Valentines – I saw this cute Valentine project several years ago and forgot all about it until my URL friend Becca posted them again on her blog. I daresay I am officially in the running for mother of the year.

7. The Gym – It takes all I can muster to hit the gym but once I get there I give it 110% until my foot falls asleep and starts burning. Still, I know my heart thanks me and I know that I’ll be smiling when I start seeing major results.

8. My three special fellas – Sometimes I feel like I’m the luckiest girl alive. I am blessed beyond measure.

9. American Idol – I have been a fan since the very first season. I loved the Simon, Paula and Randy tenure, but I’m loving this new family just as well. I’m excited for another great season.

10. 80 degrees – OH MY GOSH it has been so long since we’ve seen an 80 degree day here in WV. I PINKY SWEAR PROMISE I WILL smile at the first sign of it. I’ve heard all I want to hear about the cold and the snow and the ice and the winter storm advisory and the wind chill and the slick roads and the blah blah blah…

11. Facebook – I know it sounds lame but Facebook makes me smile daily. The information that people choose to share on a public forum fascinates me and I am just nosy enough to check it all out.

12. Breakfast with the girls – Once every couple of weeks I get together with girlfriends for breakfast. Some days there are just two of us, but some weeks the stars align and all five of us get together. We most generally ALWAYS go to iHop where I have the pancake platter with eggs over medium and buttermilk pancakes. I also request that they don’t burn my hash browns because I hate burnt stuff.

13. Is there any question about this one?

No I didn’t think so.

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My favorite things giveaway ends today. Have you signed up yet?

Mostly Because I’m Nosy

Happy New Year, friends!

I hope you enjoyed a wonderful New Year’s celebration with your favorite people. Me? I ate my weight in the white chocolate heavenly crunch stuff and threw my neck out dancing to “A Little Less Conversation” while playing Just Dance on the Wii.

As it turns out, the song “A Little Less Conversation” is aptly named because it is difficult to talk when one is hyperventilating.

And having a heart attack.

As a result I have made a renewed commitment to the gym. It will be a fierce battle between my will, the Dr. Pepper, late night eating binges and my social calendar. I MUST. STICK. TO. IT.

Hear me! I MUST!

There is no better time to begin a new workout regimen than the start of a new year.

That’s part of what I love about a new year. A New Year brings a clean slate to the party, along with a brand spankin’ new calendar (which excites me by the way!) with endless possibilities. The past year was a one here at FITP, Inc. and I’m happy to report that my blog is still alive and well which is surprising when you consider the fact that I have a short attention span and that I get bored very easily. As I always do this time of year, I have been reflecting on life in general – which kinda sounds like I’m gonna go and get all philosophical, but alas, I am not. I just mean that no one is more surprised than me that I’m still at this bloggy thing.

I thought it might be fun to share some of my Twenty Ten (which I never say, by the way because I am a Two Thousand Ten kinda girl) bloggy statistics with you. But first, I’d like to thank those of you who have a Direct Link to From Inmates To Playdates. If you stop by here each and every day for a daily dose of crazy – which just happens to be enough of you to keep me going - I appreciate you!

And before you get it in your head that I was up all night pulling my hair out calculating a few statistics for the benefit of my readers (not that you wouldn’t be worth it mind you) you should know there is a site that does the work for me. Google Analytics is full of statistical blog information that matters to no one on the face of the planet, except me.

And maybe you over there and you back in the corner.

I find the information fascinating, mostly because I’m nosy, but also because it allows me to know a little bit about my readers and visitors.

And because I’m nosy.

But enough about me.  

My Top 5 Referrers for 2010:

1. We Are THAT Family
2. My Charming Kids
3. I Should Be Folding Laundry
4. Musings of a Housewife
5. Boo Mama

Top 10 Search Engine topics that sent people to my little corner of the blogosphere:

1. From Inmates To Playdates (duh!)
2. Bus Trip Games
3. Letters To Crazy People
4. Exciting Questions
5. inmates to playdates
6. what i learned this week carnival
7. cute Christmas letters
8. Games to play on a bus trip
9. wet t-shirt contest
10. from inmates to playdates blog

Other interesting facts about my 2010 visitors:

1. 453 people showed up on my blog by searching for “broken jaws” and their average stay on my site was 1 minute 47 seconds.
2. 49,423 visits were made to From Inmates To Playdates in 2010
3. 54.61% of my visitors use Internet Explorer to get here.
4. Monday, July 12, 2010 was my record traffic day with 538 visitors popping in.
5. Sunday, July 4, 2010 was my lowest traffic day with 25 visitors

Here’s to another great year at From Inmates To Playdates!

Come back tomorrow for a thought provoking What I Learned This Week post and I’d LOVE it if you’d link up!

Inmates, Embalming, and Minding Your Own Business

Over in my side-bar I have a Feedjit box that tells me who’s visiting, where they came from, and how they arrived.

I often chuckle at the things that people search for on Google. Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those people. I Google frequently and have no problem admitting that I look for lots of things over there. My favorite thing to Google is myself. My last trip to Google Lane revealed a federal lawsuit where I was named as a defendant and a jail inmate was named as the plaintiff.

I had a good laugh about it, especially since the suit was dropped by the court system. I was sued several times during my five years in jail, so it wasn’t a big surprise.

I thought it would be fun to share the things people are searching for at Google when they show up here at my doorstep.

London, England arrived from google.co.uk on “Ghetto Martha Stewart” by searching for martha stewart of the ghetto.

  • What’s up, London? First, I’d like to say welcome. Second I’d just like to point out that Martha Stewart spent some time in a federal prison in Alderson, West Virginia, though I can’t imagine that’s anything like the ghetto. Not sure if you hit pay dirt with your search, but I’m sorry to say I don’t have any knowledge of Martha being in the ghetto.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin arrived from google.com on “What I Learned At The Funeral Home” by searching for watch a person being embalmed

  • Hello Milwaukee, I once visited your fine state when McDaddy took me to The Mall Of America for our 10th Anniversary. We enjoyed a beautiful weekend in Minneapolis and took a drive into Wisconsin just to say we had been there. It’s a sad shame y’all couldn’t have gotten the MOA gig. I’m sure that joint brings quite a few visitors to Minnesota annually. I had a big-eyed time there and will never forget the weekend we spent together, or the beautiful Sunday afternoon drive we took in Wisconsin while we were there. But enough about the Mega Mall. As far as the ‘watching a person being embalmed’ thing, I must point out that not everyone is cut out for the ‘watching an embalming gig’. It is disturbing, to put it mildly. First of all, you must get past the inital shock of seeing a dead body. I must admit I hadn’t fully prepared myself for that part upon arrival. Next, there’s the blood. Lots and lots of blood. If you are the least bit squeamish about weird smells and blood, you might want to consider doing something else. After that there is the whole trocar needle thing which you can read about in detail here. If after reading that mess, you think you’d like to watch an embalming, have at it. And if you DO end up watching, I’d love to hear what you think.

Perris, California arrived from google.com on “Bloggity Fun – From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for funny items to send inmates.

  • Hi there, Perris. How are things in Cali? I remember a song from back in the day that says, “I’m going back to Cali, Cali, Cali, I’m going back to Cali, no I don’t think so.” Do you ever sing that song? I’ve been to Cali and I’d love to get back there some time, so we’ll see. Where was I? Oh, the funny items to send to inmates thing, the first thing you should know is that most items you send to inmates will not be given to your inmate because people have a tendency to send things like, oh, I don’t know shanks, and drugs, and escape tools, oh my. So, your best bet is to send a money order so that your inmate can buy some things from the commissary. Thanks for stopping by FITP, Inc.

Henderson, Texas arrived from google.com on “Wet T-Shirt Contest” by searching for wet tshirt post.

  • Henderson, Henderson, Henderson, I’m sure you were disappointed when you discovered that my wet t-shirt post isn’t at all what you were looking for. We’re just a group of Christian girls at a Ladies retreat who played a game that included thawing a wet t-shirt that had been frozen solid and putting it on faster than the other team. I must say though the words wet and t-shirt have sent many a nosey pervert person my way. Just kidding, just kidding. Kinda.

Dothan, Alabama arrived from google.com on “From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for cute inmate blog.

  • Hi Dothan. I’m so glad you stopped by. Cute inmate blog, huh? Well, that’s flattering, if in fact you were looking for my cute little inmate blog, From Inmates To Playdates, only it’s not so much an inmate blog. Still, I’ll take the traffic regardless.. I hope it was me you were looking for because I can’t hardly imagine there is another crazy person out there some other person that has a ’cute inmate blog’. Thanks for looking me up.

Carrollton, Texas arrived from google.com on “Nosiness” by searching for what does the bible say about nosiness?

  • Oh Carrollton, if there is one thing I know, it’s that God never meant for us to be nosey. In fact, you need only to look at 1 Thessalonians 4:11 – “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you”  Ahem! That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Feedjit works for me! Check out other things that might work for you over at THAT family.

Feeding Me A Line!

I am nosy by nature.

So, that might explain why it is that I love to know stuff. No matter how silly the stuff, I want to know it. As you might imagine, I was tickled to find out I could place a widget within my side-bar that would track who visits my blog and how they found my blog.

Y’all.

Some of the things people google are off the hook.

See for yourself….

  • Dubai arrived from Google.ae on “Top Then Things I Learned at Santa’s Worshop” by searching for three things I learnt from a school workshop.

Welcome, Dubai! If I’ve “learnt” anything at all, it would be to spell correctly in my google searches or else my spelling mistake might show up on a blog in West Virginia. Just sayin’.

  • Washington, Pennsylvania arrived from google.com on Thursday Thirteen – 13 things that “D”elight Me by searching for donut connection; chocolate iced rings.

What’s up, Washington? Not real sure why you’d be googling the donut connection or their chocolate iced rings, but I can already tell we are kindred spirits. While I love the donut connection like nobody’s business, I can assure you that I haven’t darkened their door for months. It makes no sense for me to go there because there’s this weight that I need to lose. When I go to the Donut Connection, the weight just follows me around and I can’t lose it. So, Washington P-A, enjoy one for me, would ya? Thanks!

  • Mountian Home, Arkansas arrived from google.com on “Unleashing My Inner Latin Freak” by searching for how do you say freak in latin?

Would y’all give Mountain Home, Arkansas a big WV welcome. Um, I should start by saying that I took German in high school. I didn’t see a reason to take Latin. Or French. Or Spanish. You know, because Spanish wouldn’t be the least bit helpful to me in my adult life. Nosiree. It was German for me. Because that’s how I roll. So sorry to break the news to you, but I have no idea how to say freak in Latin. Or German for that matter. But I am so happy that you stopped by and do hope you’ll pop in from time to time.

  • Oakley, California arrived from google.com on “Making Things Happen” by searching for make things happen or say what just happened.

Oakley, California, I’m so glad you’re here! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are three types of people in the world. Those who make things happen, those that watch things happen, and those who stand by and say, “What Just Happened?” I tend to think I am a one of those people who make things happen. And Oakley, I sure hope you are too. Nobody likes a slacker. So keep your head up and keep making things happen.

  • San Diego, California arrived from google.com on “Oh Yes, It’s Almost Time!” by searching for “Apolo Anton Ohno stupid headband.”

Hello, San Diego! Welcome to my humble abode! If you’ve spent anytime here at From Inmates To Playdates, you would know that Apolo Anton Ohno is my boyfriend. And when you’re a hottie, like my boyfriend, you can wear a stupid headband and look good while wearing it. So there.

  • Bangor, Pennsylvania arrived from search.yahoo.com on “my funeral” by searching for gynecologist, coopersburg, pa.

Howdy, Bangor, P-A! If you’re looking for anything to do with a gynecologist, or a funeral, you just might find it here. Because for one, I have serious opinions about my funeral, and for two, I have written about my visits to the gynecologist on more than one occasion. What can I say? That’s just how we roll around here. Thanks for stopping in and I do hope you found the answers to your questions here at From Inmates To Playdates.

  • Allendale, Michigan arrived from google.com on “A Little Bit Of Gross!” by searching for removing milia from the lips.

Oh Snap, Allendale! I’m not so sure I’d attempt to remove milia from my lip. The little tool to remove the milia doesn’t look at all pleasant and so I’m not sure I’d attempt that if I were you. I had (a ?) milia on my face and I have to admit that I did briefly consider removing milia myself, however, I thought it best that I leave the milia removal to the professionals. If you did attempt the extraction though, I’d love to hear all about it. You know, because I’m nosy and all.

  • Macomb, Michigan arrived from google.com on “Nosiness” by searching for “saturn sky red line collectability.”

Macomb, Michigan, ahem, first let me say that if you have a Saturn Sky Red-line and you’re looking for a home, or a babysitter, look no friggin’ further. I would be more than happy to assist you. On the other hand, if you are someone looking for a Saturn Sky red-line, I’m afraid I can’t help you. I write about the Saturn Sky Red-line frequently in the hopes that someone from Saturn will get a whiff of this here blog and send one of the suckers my way! Unfortunately, I could be waiting awhile. Especially since Saturn put the smack-down on the Sky after the unfortunate automotive collapse on 2009. Double dang. I’m still crossing my fingers.

  • Seattle, Washington arrived from google.com on “From Inmates to Playdates” by searching for Apollo Ono, headband, ears.

Seattle. What is it with you jokers who constantly attempt to bring a good man down just because he wears a headband? Seriously, have you nothing better to do? And what’s the deal googling Apollo’s ears? He’s cute. And so are his ears. Get off of it already. Oh, and thanks for stopping by.

I think it’s safe to say I really enjoy feedjit.

It feeds me a line at a time and I read every. last. one. of. them.

Feedjit works for me!

Find out other things that may work for you over at We Are THAT family.

A Nosey Gene

Y’all know I was born with a nosey gene or ten.

Not sure why I was blessed with one, but I was.

Perhaps that’s why Facebook appeals to me.

The stinkin’ status updates keep bringing me back for more.

Where else could I find out that a friend ordered a new computer, or that my friend Becky needs a nap before watching Lost, or that my neighbor is getting a new kitchen floor, or that another friend wastes her time begging for supplies for her stupid imaginary farm, or that my ex just ate an awesome slow roasted turkey sandwich.

I mean, seriously.

Just today, I discovered that my bloggy buddy had a successful first day of potty training, a junior high school friend had a first date with her hubby 19 years ago on THIS DAY, another friend is at a Padres game, and Stevie’s 1st grade teacher just posted that they’d be doubling classes up tomorrow due to flooding.

Facebook is a great way to nose in people’s business stay connected.

And THAT works for me!

Check out other things that might Work For You over at We Are THAT Family.

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Oh, but first head over to my giveaway page and get entered to win an 18×24 poster print of your favorite photograph.

Pretty please. With sugar on top.