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Monday, January 11, 2016


Updates: I am closing in on my new web site. I know it must seem like I'm moving in slow motion, but there've been obstacles that keep smacking me in the head. My face is starting to look like a frying pan.

First, it was my domain name. Someone is squatting on it. Rather than wait for its renewal, I've decided to change it just enough to make it my own.

Then it was the host provider. Holy moley! How many of them are there out there? I've been systematically reading their reviews and narrowing the field. For the top contenders, I've even gone so far as to go into their chat rooms and ask a couple of simple questions to see how they answer the same question.

I think I've decided on the winner. I've got to email them a couple more questions to make sure.

Finally, it's been Wordpress. It's a big step to move away from the comfort of a blog I know well, and potentially lose all the readers I have now. Using means I'll have to start completely from scratch and select which plug ins I'll need to make it look professional.

I'm hoping to create a very clean page. I'll post only a couple of times a week at first. As I get the hang of it, postings will increase. 

--I promise. All good stuff!

Lottery: Of course if I hit that billion dollar lottery this Wednesday, you won't hear from me ever again. LOL!

I don't gamble, but I plan to make an exception just this once. It's always that odd duck that ends up winning, right? I could be that duck!

The Homestead: We're battening down the hatches for the next month and a half. This is our winter. Too cold to work outside, but I can start indoor activities like starting seeds, incubating eggs, and cleaning out the clutter in my file cabinet.

Greg hates me during this part of the year. I start bouncing off the walls when I'm cooped up too long. Maybe I'm a free-range human. Yeah, that's it. Free-range.

Yoga: Sadly, I have to give up my yoga class. Man, I'll miss that place. Their prices have gotten too high for me. It's been extraordinarily helpful for my pinched nerve and bad knees, but from now on all my stretches will have to be in front of my tv. Hopefully, I'll have the fortitude to practice on my own. Pretty sure Greg won't be joining me. Wuss!

January is the month when all the big bills come in. We've paid off the property taxes, and a big chunk of the new solar array Greg is building. He might be a wuss on the mat, but he does come in handy when it comes to building things. 

By the end of the month we'll be doing taxes. Not looking forward to that. No matter how prepared we are, by the time we finish filing, it feels like we'd been run over by a cement truck. Why is that? It's not like we'll owe them money.

So, US folks, will you be playing that humongous lottery this week? The last I heard it was 1.3 BILLION dollars. Insane! What would you do if you won even a piece of it?

Do you get stir-crazy when you're cooped up for too long, or is Greg right in thinking he married a border collie on a sugar high? I go through this every year. Surely I'm not the only one.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

We don't usually play the lottery either but we did this past weekend, and will this week, too. Hey, you never know! :)

I would much rather stay in than go out - we ran just a couple of errands this weekend, and I was ready to come home in minutes - so much traffic! So many people! Outside is fine, as long as it's relatively empty and open.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I go stir crazy though I've been forcing myself to at least go for a walk outside. My husband always buys a few lottery tickets. We hate tax season too. Because my husband and I are self-employed, ours are really complicated and we always have to pay some in despite all we've already paid.

Lynn Viehl said...

My guy and I were discussing Powerball the other night and asked each other the same thing. I said I'd give the money to him because I don't want or need the enormous headaches that go along with it. He said he'd probably bank it, retire us both, and use the interest to help our family and people in need. We never play the lottery, but maybe I'll buy a ticket this week for him. I'd love to see him retire. :)

I spend waaay too much time indoors, and in winter I really can't take long walks with the dogs without getting chilled. There's a mall in a town near us that is exactly 1 mile around, so on cold days I go there and walk it for fitness. I also visit the library a lot more often during cold weather months.

betty said...

My mother used to say "someone has to win, it could be me" when she entered any contest (and she entered a lot; didn't really win much though). We will probably buy a ticket or two for the Powerball. I mentioned on someone else's blog today that if I won, I would take the equivalent of 20 years of our salaries and put it in savings, then I would give away the rest, either start a foundation to help people or give away the money the various churches we have attended over the years.

I don't mind being cooped up when it is cold; I don't like the cold so I rather be inside than outside, but I do notice I tend to eat a bit more when it is cold, so maybe I should force myself out there to at least get a bit of exercise.

Wise for you to continue your yoga through DVDs or whatever. Just maybe schedule it for when you were taking your classes so it is part of a routine.


Maria Zannini said...

Madeline: If going out meant the city, I'd stay in too. My idea of being outside is working in the garden and woods. At the end of the day I always feel like I accomplished a lot.

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: This is our first year without a 9-5 job so it'll be interesting if it makes it harder or easier. Taxes give me a headache either way. I always worry I might've missed something though the new tax preparation software is pretty good about catching everything.

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: Retirement has been weird, at least for me. I still feel I have to be somewhere.

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: My mother is the same way. Always a dreamer. If I won, she'd be the first person I'd help.

Mike Keyton said...

Maria Zannini --- border collie on a sugar high. I'll not get that image from my mind fora time : )

Sandra Almazan said...

If I won, after providing for my family, I would invest in science research.

I don't think I owe you a 1099, but I need to check.

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: Greg is convinced I picked a dog exactly like me. I don't know. I think Nana's tail is way cuter than mine. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Sandra: We have a huge extended family so I know I'll be sharing with them along with countless pet rescues.

Re: 1099
I don't think you do, but I'll double check too.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I was just thinking about the lottery this morning. I think I'd give most of it away. I'd buy houses for everyone I know who doesn't have one and set up trust funds for all my friends' kids.

It's too cold to go for walks! R and I have had to join a gym to keep our fitness going.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I'm PRETTY sure I'm winning the lottery Wednesday. It's my turn.

Jackie Burris said...

We do not gamble although think my husband is seriously thinking about buying lottery tickets for the pot if it keeps going up, even a small portion of the money would be substantial.

Your new blog is one I look forward to Maria but am still loving this one have to tell you, as far as the border collie on a sugar high that is something unfortunately I can relate too very well as my husband is like that on weekends when weather does not allow him outside to burn off some of his nervous energy. never mind that there are plenty of inside chores that could be worked on he is not geared to be a "housewife" like me.

I on the other hand have no energy anymore for the most part but when I did you and myself could have driven everyone within a hundred mile radius nuts because yes there were times when I bounced off the walls too, wish that was still possible as miss having the ability more and more as time goes by.

Tax time, let's not go there!

Diane Carlisle said...

Yeah, my Yoga classes have changed on me! I went yesterday at my usual time to find they are not having Yoga on Sundays any longer. From now on they will have them on Saturdays. :(

Oh well!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Am I playing the lottery? I believe my hubby is in a pool at work. Might be tempted to buy a few for ourselves, though.

What would I do with the winnings (if I win)? Buy the condo we saw last summer. Stay in the suites on the cruises we took. Take more cruises. Not worry about book sales. :)

I do not get stir crazy being cooped up. I'd rather stay in than go out in that miserable weather. But I managed to kick myself out of the house this morning to go to the fitness center. It was 7 degrees outside, too! Yeah, it was a MAJOR kick. But I did it. :)

Jenny Schwartz said...

Dear Free Range Odd Duck,

I hope you win the lottery. Then in mid-winter you can come and visit ME!!!

And good luck with the website. A new one is so exciting :)


Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: That was my goal too. I'd like all my relatives to be fully solvent and all their kids have college funds, courtesy of their (now) favorite aunt. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: You're probably right. I never win at games of chance. Fortunately, I'm lucky at love. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jackie: As more of my body parts decide to "retire" I'm relying more and more on my stamina. Eventually, I'll be like everyone else. LOL!

re: lottery
Much as I hate to waste money, every once in a while there's no harm in being foolish.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: Mine has been changing too. Aside from price they were going into more aerobics and less strength training. They still had the classes I liked, but weren't held as often as before. :(

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: If I can't win, I hope one of my friends do. And if they don't win, I hope a big work pool will hit it. It would be nice to spread the wealth.

Maria Zannini said...

Re: Dear Free Range Odd Duck,

I might have to change my avatar. :)

If I ever came into some serious money, you bet I'd come visit you. You're on my bucket list!

Rula Sinara said...

'Free range human'. Love it! I get stir crazy too, especially if it's too cold to garden or go for walks.

Good luck with all the website changes! I know that kind of stuff is time consuming. It looks like you really did your research though!

Maria Zannini said...

Rula: I probably did too much research but I know so little about web hosts I wanted to at least give myself a fighting chance to weed out the worst ones.

Shelley Munro said...

The big lottery has even made our news, and we've seen the people queing up tp buy a ticket. Good luck. I hear that the chances of winning are bad - you're more likely to get struck by lightning in a place that doesn't have lightning!

I totally get cabin fever and need to go out in the fresh air each day - no matter what the weather.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: The amount of money truly is bizarre. I hope whoever wins will do some good with it.

Rebekah Loper said...

Glad to hear new website plans are coming along! And I feel you on the 'geez how many hosts are there' issue. Self-hosting is probably 4-6 months down the road for me, but there are so many options.

Hope you have a good, restful 'winter'!

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: I'd been doing a lot of research. Not everyone wants the same thing in a host, but security is very important for me. I also need a good help desk to help me disseminate what happens (or doesn't happen) on my blog.

Joss said...

I don't mind being stuck in for the most part, as long as I have coffee, a warm fire crackling away a good book and a warm blanket, I'm happy. I think you are so brave moving to a website, especially with how many people you seem to have commenting on your blog. I'm not sure I could ever move from my blog it feels like a brilliant old friend. lol I hope you got lucky with the lottery, I currently have about 6 tickets I need to check that the hubby keeps bringing home. I always hope that if I wait, I will see they are chasing an unclaimed ticket and that it will be one of mine. No such luck so far though lol. Good luck with the new website, I would like to say I will follow you there, but if it's not on blogger I always struggle to keep up to date with it. Still if I can subscribe to a list, you never know. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Joss: I've always liked Blogger. I know some people find it frustrating, but I know how it works and it's comfy. The only reason I'm moving is because Wordpress gives me more freedom to make it look like a real web site. That and I don't have to worry if I talk about a product no one will cite me for abusing the terms of service for the blog.

I'd like to enter the bigger realm of blogging. I enjoy it and I want to share what I've learned along the way.

re: lottery
As usual, we didn't win, but it was nice to dream of all the things we'd do for friends, family and a lot of homeless pets.