The Debut of Snailbird Themes.

I guess you could say this is my way of celebrating Halloween. We did get some trick or treaters, my favorite being the kid dressed up as a box of Puffs Kleenex. It was pretty elaborate, though I have no idea what would possess a kid to dress up as tissues. It had to be his mother’s idea. He probably just wanted to be a box, she thought it was boring. Thus Puffs Kleenex.

Anyway, free WordPress themes! I finished my first three and they’re up for personal use only, guys, nothing more. No commercial use. Please leave the credits in tact (you can move it, but I want to be able to find my link back here fairly easily). That’s really all. If you like these, let me know, and I’ll start making more. Want a personalized one? Commission me! If I get any interest, I’ll post some commission rates and we’ll go from there.

Purple Prose

A very purple 3 column theme with some flowery brushes and pretty curls. A true reflection of the idea behind Purple Prose – also known as horribly written cliche fiction.

Live Demo | Download

Purple Prose
Evening Stars

A 3 column theme featuring the night sky as the main source of inspiration. Sea grass, stars, and a cool color palette make up the serene feelings behind this theme.

Live Demo | Download

Evening Stars
Paper Trail

A simple 2 column theme created especially for that girly girl in all of us. Cute, grungy, and fun, this theme is made with my own brushes and own handwriting.

This theme has been removed. You may purchase it at here.

If you have any problems with any of the designs, or need to ask some other question, feel free to contact me through comment here or email. I’ll try and help out in any way I can. I might make a page purely for my themes, but I won’t do that until I make enough of them to really deserve a full page. If you download or use any of these, let me know! I’d like to see my work in action. Any suggestions? I’d like to hear them!

Maybe not now though. Now, I’m tired, and tomorrow is going to be a big day. We’re going to Duluth (the closest city with a Cold Stone Creamery) for some shopping, hiking, and fun times. It’s been a hectic week, and this weekend is going to be one of ease and relaxation. Good luck to that.

And good night all. Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween.

I feel strange today. Not in the “Oh it’s Halloween, spooky spooky!” strange, but more of a “I don’t exactly feel like myself” strange. I suppose that does have to do with what day it is though. Halloween is my favorite holiday. There is no other holiday that allows you to dress up as something ridiculous, fantastical, or otherwise completely out of character, and not have people on the street judge you for being insane (well, to be practical about it, you will be judged, but more for what kind of costume you have on, not for simply wearing one – and, in all honesty, you might still be seen as insane). And for dressing up, instead of embarrassed looks from strangers who happen to have the misfortune of being on the same street as you, you get candy! Chocolate bars, jolly ranchers, sweet, sticky, gooey, yummy, unhealthy, rot-your-teeth candy! And all you have to do is put on a mask or a cape or a paper bag and you’re set (though I hope you all put more thought into it than that).

I love Halloween. Maybe it’s that child in us, or that need to be more than we appear. Halloween gives us the freedom to be exactly what we want, regardless of reality, expectations, or morals. Be a princess, a vampire, Sarah Palin with an Obama button pinned to your vest (“She’s a true Maverick.”) There are endless opportunities and choices and it all happens on one day.

I digress.

I feel strange today. Why? For the first time in I don’t know how long (quite possibly this is the first time this has happened), I have not dressed up. Did I think about it? Of course. But the problem isn’t a costume or lack of one, this year I seem to lack the spirit. And on a deeper level, it might have to do with the problems I’ve been having in defining myself. How can I be expected to be excited in being something else when I don’t even know who I am on a normal day. Maybe that should make it easier, but I can’t help but focus on who I really want to be everyday, not just for one holiday. I want to have a set identity for my day to day life before I continue to go all out for my favorite day of the year.

I don’t know if that makes sense to some people. Regardless, I’ll still probably find something to wear to hand out candy. I have a set of wings… Maybe I’ll figure something out. The flaw of Halloween? In an aisle of a thousand faerie wings, not a single pair really work.

Happy Halloween.

My Hero. We have a Harddrive!

For the past few months, Ash and I had been talking about getting an external hard drive. My laptop isn’t exactly reliable, and I’m paranoid about only having two copies of our pictures and videos of the kids. Plus, we have tons of movies and programs on our computers that we’d really like to back up too. But mostly, I’ve just been worried about our pictures and videos.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that Ash surprised me and yesterday we received from Amazon.com the Western Digital My book, Essential Edition.

Western Digital My Book, Essential Edition

It’s 750 GB, small, and 30% more energy efficient than other external hard drives. The thing is only 6 pounds and sleek, and absolutely beautiful. I nearly started crying when I opened it (yeah, I’m a very geeky girl). I have the sweetest girlfriend. Ash is currently organizing all the photos on her computer so we can put them on the hard drive and they’re already organized. She’s so smart.

In other news, keep your eyes peeled. I’m working on some free wordpress themes and they’ll be up in the near future. Got one more to make and then I’ll put them up. Soon soon!

Knitting, work, and blood.

Not much time to blog, as expected, though I have been getting a lot of knitting accomplished and I hope to finish my first knitted bag by the end of next week, at least the knitting part anyway. I’m, sadly, very slow at this. My ADD kicks in after two rows and then I have to find something else to do. I’ll try and post pictures of my progress.

At the moment, I’m at work trying to get to work on our upcoming Newsletter. I hated the last format, so I’m working on a new one. Unfortunately, every time I try to open Photoshop, everything slows down to a crawl. Let’s see what happens when I uninstall some things, shall we?

This is a boring entry, but it’s been a very hectic day. Trust me.

I just cut my finger. It’s bleeding. Lovely.

Scarcity, mummies, and dogs.

I was made to sit down and watch The Mummy tonight because it was apparently imperative to my very existence that I see it. However, about two minutes before the actual ending of the movie I realized that I have, in fact, seen the whole thing. So I guess my life wasn’t at stake to begin with.

My legs hurt and blogging will be scarce this week on account of the fact that we have a friend staying with us and crashing on our floor. Good times will be had and I’m not sure how much internet time I’ll have (but it’s well worth it, and I’m sure you understand).

I shall leave you with an interesting story about man’s best friend.

According to the Palais de Justice in Paris, a recent preliminary hearing marked the first time in France, and perhaps in the world, in which a dog had been called as a formal witness in a murder case. “Scooby Doo” was brought into the courtroom so that a judge could watch how he reacted when he approached the defendant, who was accused of killing Scooby’s master, and according to a dispatch in London’s Daily Telegraph, the dog “barked furiously,” helping convince the judge to set the case for trial. [Daily Telegraph, 9-10-08]

Dogs are amazing. Moreso than people, in many many cases. Our dog? Spoiled rotten. But we love him. Even when he is a lazy-butt (but he’s a cute lazy-butt).

Spunky says it’s time for bed. Night all.

Woke up to this.

Woke up to let the dog out. What did I see? THIS.

Snow

It’s October. I’m really not ready for this. And it’s still snowing. Mother Nature, did you really have to send the snow this early? Why?

I want to go south now.

Weird works for me.

Recently, Ash and I have been watching House M.D. daily (almost sacredly at times). Over and over again, the philosophy on this show just strikes me.

I’m going to base this moment on who I’m stuck in a room with. It’s what life is. It’s a series of rooms and who we get stuck in those rooms with adds up to what our lives are.

A girl, a rape victim, said that to House. This show muddles the black and white that people see as Ethics and what’s Right and Wrong. The show itself is gray. Everybody lies. Sometimes it seems to me that this show is more real than any reality show. People are proved wrong and they’re either forgiven or not. It’s not always clear as to what people think and why people do things. And sometimes they do something wrong and they’re either caught or they’re let go or everyone goes about and pretends nothing happened. This show questions eternity, faith, and more or less it tells the Hippocratic oath to go to to hell. This is real. They lose people. It’s not happy. It is happy. It’s life.

I like this show. It’s over now. Now? History Channel for more reality TV! They’re talking about the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Can you imagine if we still made things like that? Imagine how much we would know now if we hadn’t lost it all in the dark ages and burned all the great libraries and destroyed so much knowledge!

Everybody lies and people are ignorant. C’est la vie.

Increase of productivity.

It has been a productive day! Woke up this morning, had a breakfast of biscuits and honey (yum!), and then started cleaning like mad. I shut myself up in our bedroom and folded all the laundry, hung it all up, and organized the dirty stuff. I then went through what boxes could be packed, organized boxes that already had stuff in them, and cleaned the shelves and side table. Then I went to go clean Kendi’s cage which is in our room (to keep her warmer) and look what I found:

shed

Kendi’s first shed! Yeah, I was really happy because it means she’s healthy. So now she’s eating right and on schedule and she’s shedding. I was worried about her eye caps because I had that problem with other snakes, but she did fine and they came off with the skin. She’s really pretty and bright now but I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of her before she curled up in her macaroni box. What a good snake.

After that excitement, we got the hallway, the bathroom, and the kitchen done. We’re working on the living room now (well actually, I’m blogging, and Ash is working on the living room – she does the vacuuming and when she’s done I’m gonna clean the ferret cage). It’s been a really good cleaning day and our room is probably the cleanest it’s been in a long time. I’m proud of us for actually getting so much done. I even re-did my blog info since it was pretty outdated. If I have time after dinner, I’ll work some more on the free wordpress themes I’ll be putting up. Anyone interested in them? I’m also thinking about holding a contest – anyone be interested? And if so, any ideas for the winner?

Okay, back to cleaning. (Don’t forget to vote for Snailbird.com!)

Dreaming of Mountains and Stars.

Yesterday I finished my first free wordpress theme, and I started on my second last night. I’m gonna wait to put it up though until later because this morning, Ash and I are going to clean house. We’ll be moving in two months and today we’re going to start cleaning up and packing some things away.

Ashland is beautiful in the fall, but we’ll be going to Tennessee in December where it will be warmer and I love the mountains. MOUNTAINS. It’s temporary until we end up in Austin, Texas where we want to make our home permanently. That won’t happen until late 2009 I believe, but I really can’t wait. There are so many more options down there for us, and so many more opportunities. We’ve even started dreaming (and slightly getting ahead of ourselves) and looking up real estate in Austin. Some of the homes even on the lower end of our estimated budget are really nice. I’m crossing my fingers that it will all work out. It will.

But right now, in this moment, our house is filthy and we need to clean.

Early Morning Meditations

I spent the morning in a basement cleaning cobwebs, spiders, and dust out of a large shelving unit. A woman at my work needed help and offered to pay me $10 an hour to help her get organized. I really like her and she’s definitely one of my favorite co-workers so I was quick to say yes. It was a nice way to spend the morning, despite being slightly hungover from last night’s endeavor. The shelving unit was something she found at a garage sale and wanted to use it for paper for her scrapbooking (which is a really cool idea – I think the unit was originally used for mailings). The first hour I was by myself, systematically cleaning each slot, but the second hour she came downstairs to keep me company and we talked politics, scrapbooking, and childrens books.

I guess the main point of telling you about my morning isn’t to rub it into your face that I got $30 for two hours of minor work (Hey, you know what? I got $30 this morning for only two hours of minor work!), but to share with you that I got to re-meet someone today. The only time I ever got to talk to her was at work, and that’s really all I knew about her. It’s interesting, isn’t it? The many faces people have. I learned today that my co-worker wants to write books for kids and that she keeps a large notepad in her truck for when she gets ideas while driving. I learned that she loves to make her own paper and make books. I learned that while she loves Ashland, she wishes that she were in a more liberal city. These are things I would never have learned about her just at work.

It got me thinking, you know. What do I really know about people I see every day? For that matter, what do I really know about myself? What do I want people to know about me? How am I portraying myself to people, both here, on my blog, and in real life? We can’t honestly know what people think of ourselves because 1) people lie, and 2) perception is everything.

“The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change. ” – Richard Bach

What do you know about yourself? Just some food for thought. (Hey, and off topic, but have some shameless self promotion as well – take the time out of your busy schedule to vote for Snailbird.com. We need all the help we can get. Please?)