Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anne's DVD Give-away

My cyber-friend Anne is doing a contest AT HER BLOG and giving away a FREE Compact DVD Player, shipping included in the free-ness.

Here are the details:

Anyone want to win a brand new, still-in-box, RjTECH UNO-02DVD compact slim DVD player? And since it's the Christmas season when it's nice to give more, SHIPPING by Priority Mail is FREE!

Closing date--DECEMBER 18th 2007.
  • Full DVD function
  • DVD format compatibility: DVD/DVD-R/DVD-RW/VCD/SVCD/CD/CD-R/CD-RW/JPEG
  • Audio Outputs: 2.1 CH RCA/Coaxial
  • Video Outputs: Video/S-Video/YCbCr
  • Multi-TV System NTSC/PAL
  • Dimensions: 10 x 9 x 1.5 inches ; 4 pounds
Two simple rules:

1) Post information about the contest on your blog with a link back to mine (ANNE'S, not Karlene's).

2) Leave ONE comment back at this post (ANNE'S post, not this one) telling me you've completed #1.

Winner will be chosen by random number generator on Tuesday December 18th, and announced the same day.

Spread the word about this nifty give-away.

I'd say good luck and I hope you win, but that would be a lie. I hope I win. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More baby pics

Baby and Mom are doing great. Here are a few more photos.

These photos were taken by my daughter with her Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi. I'm totally jealous. Unfortunately, that model is not in the running for my personal ownership.

I have my camera narrowed down to four models but have been so involved with baby that I haven't made a final decision. I'm hoping to do that soon. Since tomorrow is my birthday, my husband is taking me out to dinner. If I've made my selection by then we may be getting a camera while we're out as well. I'll report back here as soon as it's a done deal.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The grandbaby has landed

I was just about to sit down and write my NaBloPoMo post yesterday (and it was going to be a spectacular one, I'm sure) when I got THE PHONE CALL.

I rushed off to the hospital to be with my daughter during labor. They have some really cool things now that weren't available when I was having babies. Like a ginormous room that was combo labor, delivery and after care room, with a comfortable fold out couch and sleeper chair for dad and/or visitors.

They had videos, food and drinks for Momma and Dad in an easy accessible, serve-yourself room. Not that Momma was eating anything more than ice chips, but still.

The best new invention, however, was the drugs-on-demand pump. They gave her a big dose of epidural then she had a button she could push to deliver more whenever she wanted it. This would have been a perfect situation—IF THE ANESTHETIST HAD REMEMBERED TO PRESS THE START BUTTON! But other than the two hours between when her epidural wore off and they finally figured out what the problem was and remedied it, she did great.

Baby was born November 21 at 3:49 a.m. 7 lbs 10 oz, 20 ins.

Grandpa Jim asked how hard the whole experience had been. Momma said, "Not as bad as everyone said it would be..."

Hope she's still feeling that way today.

Now playing on my iPod:
Miracle by Celine Dion
(I felt this way about each of my babies. I know Melanie feels it too.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

The ticker lies

Take a moment to look at the baby ticker at the top of my blog. Do you notice anything unusual?

It's done. But the baby is not.

Today was the official due date for grandson #2. We are all just too excited to see this baby and to play with him and we're driving Momma absolutely nuts with our e-mails and texting and phone calling to see if there's any progress.

Now playing on my iPod: It's Too Late to Turn Back Now by Cornelius Bros & Sister Rose

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Found: Two Childhood Favorites

Been doing some online Christmas shopping. I was browsing I like them because they have a flat rate $2.95 shipping charge, no matter what you order. I did comparison shopping and even though I could find some of the items I wanted for less money, by the time you add on the shipping charges, I saved lotsa money at Overstock.

While I was browsing through the book section at Overstock, I found two old favorites that I thought were out of print. These two books are ones I loved as a child and read them over and over. I wanted to share them with my own children but have been unable to find them.

Swimmy by Leo Leoni
is the story of a little black fish whose friends are all eaten by a big tuna. As he searches the ocean for a new place, he finally meets a school of red fish. They aren't too friendly at first, until Swimmy uses his incredible imagination to save himself and his new friends from the bigger fish.

Fortunately by Remy Charlip
is the wacky adventure of Ned's attempt to get to a party. It starts with, "Fortunately, Ned was invited to a surprise party. Unfortunately, the party was a thousand miles away..." and continues with the fortunately/unfortunately pattern until he finally arrives at the party.

Now, if only I could find Know What? No, What? —another book that I really, really loved as a child. I don't even know the author/illustrator of that one. The story is a conversation between two friends, with one asking, "Know what?" and the other answering, "No, what?" Then the next page would be some silly ridiculous story—like a fairy on their shoulder, or something about cows in the barn... I can't remember except that I loved it.

Anybody know where I could find that one?

Now playing on my iPod: Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy on a glass armonica (this is amazing!)

Friday, November 16, 2007

I want to be an organization junkie too

I just found the coolest blog: I'm an Organization Junkie. I've been on a dejunk, unclutter and get organized kick the past several months. I am making progress but it's really slow going. Sometimes I get discouraged because it's sooooo overwhelming and time consuming. But this blog is just the thing I needed to get me back on track.

The 30 Day Organizational Challenge started Nov. 1st, so it's halfway done. But still, there's lots of motivational stuff there. She has ideas for cubbies, an organized way to do your Christmas cards, and (I had to laugh because I do this too) containers for containers.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

So close but still so far away

We're still waiting for grandson #2 to make his entrance into this world.

I watch my daughter and how difficult these last few weeks have been on her.

I remember well how hard and how miserable those last days of pregnancy were for me.

My heart just breaks as one more day comes and goes without relief for her.

I wish I could make it easier, take away the aches and pains, bear the burden, carry the weight. I can't.

But I would if I could.

Now playing on my iPod: If I Could by Celine Dion

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Did somebody clone something new recently?

I'd hate to have missed an important announcement on the progress of cloning, especially since, according to the radio conversation I heard yesterday, cloning has the entire civilization of mankind tottering on the brink of either destruction or transcendence.

Most of those that called in to the show fell into two camps: scientists and religionists.

Those in the science camp seem to believe that it's our duty as good citizens to push the limits of technology. We must shoulder the onus of discovering vast new frontiers in medicine and genetics, simply because those frontiers exist. There is no God, they say, therefore, there is no miracle to creation. It's only science and we can figure it out. Eventually. And because we can, we should.

The religionists, those who believe in God, seemed to be worried to the point of apoplexy that someone might create a human clone. The creation of life is God's provenance and His alone. Only He has the power to create a human life. If a scientist were to successfully clone a human, then somehow that would either destroy or deny the existence of God, or it would doom mankind to destruction. If we go against the will of God and create a human clone, then He in His anger may decide to wipe us all out in one big cosmic fireball.


As far as science is concerned, I don't believe that just because we can do something we should. I can do any number of reprehensible activities, but I don't because I shouldn't. However, I have no problem with the attempts at cloning and I don't see any conflict between that and my religion. The God I believe in is all powerful and He is in charge of this world. To say that we might be able to clone a human against God's will is kind of ridiculous and denies the power of that God we supposedly believe in. If He wants us to be able to create bodies through cloning to house His spirit children, then someday, we'll be able to do it. If He doesn't want that to happen, then it won't.

In the meantime, even if the attempts at cloning are not completely successful, hopefully the scientific community is learning from them. Maybe they'll discover a cure for some of the horrific diseases that plague us. Maybe they'll find ways to prevent the heartbreak of genetic defects. Maybe they'll uncover ways to heal us from injury. In the process of attempting to create life, maybe they'll learn how to enrich it.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Out like a trout

Grandma gets to tend Baby Shrek today. He has two teeth now. I think he's working on more because he's not his usual cheerful self. He fussed and fussed so I gave him his bottle an hour early and after only two verses of my favorite lullaby he was sound asleep.

My favorite lullaby sung by the world's favorite nanny:

It's a good thing he liked that lullaby because it was the only one I could remember. Been a long time since I've sung to a baby. So what's your favorite lullaby? I need to build up my repertoire.

Now playing on my iPod: Stay Awake by Mary Poppins

Monday, November 12, 2007

You probably have a very easy job

I went to ten different places today to find boxes to ship some contest prizes. (Don't feel bad, contest winners, I needed the boxes to ship orders in as well.) Could not find what I wanted. Didn't really matter. Turns out, it's only 10¢ more to ship everything Priority Mail—and you can use their box for free. So, since when does Priority Mail cost the same as Parcel Post???

While I was at Office Max I looked at several of the digital camera models that have been suggested by you wonderful people (another contest). I only set their shoplifting alarm off twice. The guy was really nice and said, "Some of these alarms are so sensitive..." but I noticed he stayed right there by me while I looked at more models. Then he discreetly followed me around until I left the store.

On my way out the door, I had to stop and LOL at a display of mugs. (This apparently did not do anything to discourage the guy who was following me.) My favorite mug had this on it:

That's my type of affirmation! I had to buy it. Now I just need to decide whether to keep it for myself or give it to someone for Christmas...

Click here to see more from Despair, Inc.

Now playing on my iPod: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton

Sunday, November 11, 2007

When the family gets together

My family is in transition. We're moving from the nuclear family of parents with children into the extended family phase, with grandchildren and in-laws. The upside is there are more people to love. The downside is trying to schedule times when all of us can get together.

We do a family dinner once a month where we celebrate all the birthdays of that month. Most of the time, all of us are able to be there. Sometimes a few of us are missing due to illness or work or in-law commitments. It always makes me sad when some of us can't make it because I'm basically selfish and I don't like to share my children with anyone.

I know that it's unrealistic of me to hope that my children will all continue to live within a 15 mile radius of me, as they do now. I moved 2,000 miles away from my parents and only get to participate in family dinner every couple of years. Even then, it's not the entire family. I can't remember when the last time all my siblings were in the same place at the same time. The left side of my brain knows that at some point, I'll be looking at the same thing—having my family spread out and doing our dinners piecemeal. But the right side of my brain keeps believing in the fantasy that they'll stick close by. For now, I'm very grateful that we can all still get together most of the time.

Tristi asked about my daughter. Yes, that ticker is still ticking. We've got to get that baby out of there soon or her poor feet are going to explode. She had one contraction after dinner tonight, so I've got my fingers crossed and am sleeping with my cell phone.

Now playing on my iPod: We Are Family by Sister Sledge

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Where did I put that brain implant?

I am really looking forward to the day when we have digital brain implants that will record our thoughts.

While I was out shopping today, I had a great idea for a blog topic. I also had a great idea for a magazine article. They were both so fantastic that I was sure I would remember them.

Then I started thinking about Christmas. I spent about an hour in the children's toy section at Wal-Mart. It's been a long time since I shopped for infants and there are such cool, new toys out.

From there, my brain jumped to my grown children and what I should get them for Christmas. Money is so impersonal. I like to give a gift of some sort. But money is also tight, so I want to give a gift that they'll enjoy, not one that will end up in the D.I. box next summer. I browsed the aisles for ideas for another hour.

I finally made it over to the food section (I love these new-fangled super stores) to get what I need for tomorrow's big family dinner and birthday celebration. I am not a cook so although I could come up with the main dish and a salad, I struggled with what else to put with it. That was another hour well spent. (Not.)

I usually do the self-checkout but people tend to get cranky when you have 89 items in your cart. So I bowed to peer pressure and went through a regular line. Have I mentioned that I have a real knack for picking the s-l-o-w-e-s-t line at the store?

A little over three hours later, I get home and put the groceries away and come turn on my computer to do my daily NaBloPoMo post. And guess what? My brain was totally empty!

So when they get those implants ready, I'm going to be first in line for mine.

Unless, of course, I forget that I thought that would be a cool idea.

Now playing on my iPod: Memory (from CATS) by Elaine Page

Friday, November 09, 2007

Compliment a Camera Contest!

As much as I've complained about it, it should be no surprise to anyone that I'm in the market for a digital camera. I can't afford one but, you know, miracles happen.

I don't know how this one will materialize, but somehow, I will intend a new digital camera into my life by January 15, 2008. I'm thinking Black Friday. I want to have a camera (or two) picked out so if it goes on sale somewhere the day after Thanksgiving, I'll know which line to go stand in. (A new camera is the only thing that will get me to stand in one of those Black Friday lines.)

While I would love an SLR, I'll probably go for a point and shoot with extra goodies. My eyes are not quite good enough to focus an SLR anymore.

Right now, I'm leaning toward this one. Possibly. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W55—which also comes in black, blue or pink.

It has killer specifications. Much better than the minimums I've listed below. Anyone have it? Do you like it? Please tell me the pros and cons of this model in the comments section.

I'm willing to consider other models. These are some of the minimum specifications I want need, listed in order of importance:
  • 4+ Megapixels—I do a lot of cropping and resizing.

  • Big LCD—I have a vision problem, so the bigger the better. (The one above has a 2.5" LCD)

  • Fast shots—1 second or less from the time you push the button until the shot is taken. This is important when you're photographing grandchildren and sports events.

  • Optical zoom—minimum 3X, but 10X would be nice.

  • Scene modes—action, portrait, snow, inside, low light, etc.

  • Long battery life—alkaline would be nice, but rechargeable is okay; as long as it lasts for more than 15 minutes.

  • Video—Won't use this as much as I will the photos, but I need some way to catch those grandkid giggles.

  • Memory card—256 MB minimum.

  • Color—color, black & white, sepia; intense would be nice too.

  • Manual setting options—this lets me pretend I have an SLR

If you have a digital camera you love that meets all or most of these specs, please tell me what you have and what you love about it.

As a thank you for helping me out here, when I pick the model and make the purchase (before January 15th), I will put everyone's name who suggested that model into a hat and draw out a winner! What will the prize be? A UB Home Collection with three oils of your choice ($50 value).

Leave your comment by November 21, 2007 to be entered in the contest!

(*Winners must be within the US or be willing to help pay for shipping.)

Now playing on my iPod: Kodachrome by Paul Simon

Thursday, November 08, 2007

You should always have a nice bathroom

It's the end of week one for NaBloPoMo. I realize I've had a couple of shorties but I think they're long enough to qualify for prizes (please pick me, please, please). I've been sick, as well as busy. It's hard to blog when you're spending your days in the bathroom.

And speaking of bathrooms, you should always have a nice one. In fact, if you're building a house right now, put any extra budget you may have into the bathroom because you never know when you're going to be passing a lot of time in there. (Intended.)

I was at a friend's house a few weeks ago, and she has a lovely bathroom. The walls were a very soothing, cooling light sage—soothing and cooling are important when you're feverish. The carpet was a lovely light taupe and had EXTRA thick padding under it. Thick padding can be good for the knees when you're praying to the porcelain god. She had a very LONG, CLEAN counter top with just a basket of hand towels and a soap dispenser on it. I love that minimalist look. Also makes for less cleaning in the middle of the night when you, well, you know. Unfortunately, I didn't think fast enough to snap a few photos while I was there, so here's the closest I could get:

It's not the same in coloring or decor, but it has that dejunked feeling to it. (Dejunk is my new favorite word.)

And while I was googling photos of bathrooms to find one I liked, I came across this gem. Maybe it's the fever, but I'm thinking this is a great design statement.

Now playing on my iPod: Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu by Funky Fritters (Could not find the original version.)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

At least I wasn't the turkey

Because I'm still in recovery from election day (both the 15 hour work day and having my preferences shot down by other voters), I decided to do a quiz today.

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Go Vote!

Do I really need to say anything more?

P.S. The reason I'm posting early is because I'm an election judge. That means I'll be at the polls from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. helping voters just like you.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Twilight Fragrances

I've been working on a series of fragrances based on the characters in the Twilight books, similar to what I did for Grey's Anatomy.

I've finally done it—and I absolutely love them!

There are a total of five fragrances: Bella by Daylight, Bella by Moonlight, Edward, Jacob and Alice.

My two favorites are Bella by Daylight and Jacob. (In fact, I'm making Jacob up for my husband to wear—ALL THE TIME.)

I'll be spotlighting each of the Twilight fragrances over the next couple of days, over on my Signature Scents blog.

You can order product in each of these scents, or a sampler package, at CustomScentsOnline.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

No, really. What time is it?

I don't easily adapt to change. It sort of freaks me out. I like my schedule to be set, reliable, dependable, PREDICTABLE. So you can imagine how I react when the time changes. Suddenly my inner time sense is out of phase with my reality and that really trips me up. Doesn't matter whether we gain an hour or lose it, it totally discombobulates me for a couple of weeks until my body and my mind catch up.

So in honor of today's time change, and how overwhelmed that makes me feel , I'm posting a poem I wrote for one of my writing class assignments.

To Do

Wake up.
Phone rings.
Quick bath.
E-mail sings.
Write this.
Edit that.
Box the books.
Vacuum the mat.
Make lunch.
Eat fast.
Me time—
Always last.

Find shoes.
Pay bills.
Fix car.
Refill pills.
Call Mom.
Send mail.
Pick up kid.
Pound nail.
Order food.
Check list.
Sometimes I wonder…
Do I exist?

God answers.
I breathe a sigh.
I am loved.
Tell the list goodbye.

Get this image as a screen saver here.

Content ©2007 Karlene Browning.

Exercise: Free associate a list, then turn that list into a poem.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Utah Women's Show

This weekend, you'll find me at the Utah Women's Show, South Towne Expo Center, Sandy, UT, in booth #615. If you're up there, drop by the booth and say hi. I'll have some free parfum samplers with me and if you mention you heard about it on my blog, you get one of each fragrance.

We will have all six of the Signature Fragrance Collections there for sale at the booth, plus the UB Home Collections. You can smell the oils and pick any three for your Home Collection. This makes a great Christmas gift for family and friends, or for yourself.

Show specials:

Buy the Signature Fragrance Collection, get a free warming plate (last chance to get this special)


Buy the Home Collection, get a 4th oil free!

Here's a link to a coupon for $1 off the entry fee to the show.

Friday, November 02, 2007

7 Things About Me

I was tagged by Candace. So 7 things about me that are interesting, and that I don't mind if my parents or children know about them...hmmmm, mutually exclusive.

1. I grew up in Lexington, KY. No, I didn't live on a farm and I didn't own a horse. Yes, I did have flush toilets and running water in my home for my entire life.

2. When I was little, the only things I would eat were tuna, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate.

3. I refuse to watch scary movies. They creep me out too much. Even something as tame as Ghostbusters gives me nightmares. However, Buffy the Vampire Slayer never bothered me (except "Hush" and the episode with the hyenas...).

4. I hate to cook. After my divorce, my ex got the kids every Thanksgiving. People thought that was terrible. I was actually relieved because it meant I didn't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Jim and I go to Golden Corral for dinner on Thanksgiving day. We both think that is cool. We laugh at all the poor slobs who are forced to slave over the hot stove for days on end preparing a feast for their family, only to have it over and done in 15 minutes, and then spend the next 10 hours cleaning it up, while we sit there in the pleasant enjoyment of an endless buffet with no work and no clean up. Hah!

5. I am almost always cold--especially my feet.

6. I like pigs. Not real pigs; decorative pigs. I have stuffed pigs and ceramic pigs, piggy slippers and piggy socks, piggy pens, piggy spoon rests, piggy...

7. My two favorite artists are: James Christensen and Mary Englebreit. I get ME's calendar every year.

I tag: Kenna, Melanie, Megan, Suan, Sandra.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NaBloPoMo Starts Today

I mentioned this here when I first heard about it. Here are a few more details.

First, you have to sign up for yet another social networking site*. If I'd known that, I probably wouldn't have done it. But I did join and will be participating for the length of this contest. Then I'll decide whether or not to stay part of it.

You don't have to post to the NaBloPoMo blog area if you don't want to. You can just post on your regular blog site. BUT to be eligible for prizes, you need to add yourself to their blogroll. After you've created your "page," click the tab at the top that says "Blogroll" then just follow the directions. It's pretty easy.

I'm still trying to decide whether to add my Signature Scents blog and my UB Scentsations blog to this contest or not. That would be a lot of work...

*And speaking of social networking sites, I hate MySpace. Facebook is okay, but too frenetic for my tastes. I am loving Cre8buzz. (If you want an invite to that, let me know.)

Halloween Photos

Thanks to Sandra, I have this photo of me as the Urban Botanic fairy.
I'm so UN-photogenic I can hardly stand it. But whatever.

This is my cute little Carter as a lobster.

Carter's dad, Stephen, as Ursula the Sea Witch.

My son, Christopher, and his girlfriend, Ashley, as devils.
Ashley's daughter, Destiny, is the cute little lady bug.

Megan with friends. On the left, Laney, as a pirate.
Sam, middle, didn't have a costume so they raided my Halloween
box and threw this together for him. Megan, right, is a fairy.

Here's another of Megan. It's much nicer because it was taken with a
real camera and not my cell phone.

My husband, Jim, and my other kids did not dress up.
They are in the process of being disowned.

But here's a cute photo of Melanie and Kris.
We're down to 18 more days until baby, but the doctor said
to expect it a week after that and to just be happy if it comes earlier.

This is one of my fav pics of McKenna. It's her "founder" photo on the UB blog.

And Jim? Well, he never stands still long enough for me to take a photo.
I need a new digital camera with lighting fast shutter speeds to capture one of him.

BTW, my entry won a 4-way tie for the Reader's Choice Honorable Mention in the Scare Your Pants Off Opening Paragraph contest over on LDS Publisher. Cool.