Technology


I guess you could say I am sentimental. Ha! Understatement of the year!

We lost our microwave this past February.

vintage microwave

It was good to us.

(Sorry about the messy kitchen in the reflection. Yikes! I guess I was too grief-stricken to notice at the time.)

This Hotpoint had been my mother’s first microwave.

hotpoint

It was passed on to me and my husband as we started our home as newlyweds in 1992.

This baby was with us and as our babies grew into teenagers, residing in three different states!

The microwave was always an unexpected conversation piece.

controls

The analog dial charmed all of our friends.

The size was much larger than modern microwaves.

inside microwave

Of course, by the looks of it, I am surprised we don’t glow from excess microwaves!

But, alas, life goes on, and microwaves must be replaced.

new microwave

The new one is sleek and fancy.

The buttons aren’t nearly as charming as the dial. The beeping, that never stops when your food is finished cooking, is annoying. Our old microwave had a lovely, one time “ding”.  You could forget your reheated coffee for hours.

replacement

Well, I learned one important bit of information at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged Conference. Everyone is on Twitter! The bloggers at the conference were in “hashtag heaven”!

hashtag

Every time a new speaker came to the front of the room, that person’s Twitter handle was announced. All the bloggers were encouraged to use a certain # for tweets about the conference.

Wow! Was I feeling behind the times.  As I looked around the room, I seemed to be in the minority as a non-tweeter.

No, I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t have my ears pierced either. No tattoos. And I drive a sedan, not an SUV. I guess I march to the beat of my own drum.

The whole social media monster is much bigger than I realized. It’s not that I didn’t realize it. I just had never seen it in action like I did at the blog conference.

It took me a long time to get on Facebook. Since I got my Facebook page, I have enjoyed keeping up with people form the past.  I really like the first day of school when everyone posts pictures of their kids. I eventually even got a Facebook page for Pork Chop Tuesday.

I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I love it because it is like getting hundreds of magazines on my computer every day. I hate it because it is like getting hundreds of magazines on my computer every day. It is really more of an addiction than anything–visual addiction.

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So, Twitter. I had no clue how to “do” Twitter. Saturday night I chatted with my new room mates about all things Twitter.

They were all such sweet ladies who had just gone through a spider crisis when we met. (Something about a nest of baby brown recluse spiders hatching and scattering all over the cabin! We got a new cabin.)

Here we are just after breakfast. I was trying to show off my cool new tee shirt! l-to-r me, Alicia, Jeanetta, Cyndi, and Katie.

Here we are just after breakfast. I was trying to show off my cool new tee shirt!
l-to-r me, Alicia, Jeanetta, Cyndi, and Katie.

They were all “tweeters”. I started asking questions and they tried to answer. Finally, I said, will one of y’all SHOW me what it looks like?! So Jeanetta and I sat down and surfed around her feed.

After encouraging words from my new friends, I decided to give it a try. They suggested I just “follow” for a while.

I came home and signed up for my Twitter account. My camp buddies immediately showed support by following me.

Twitter moves really fast! Today I saw a friend giving a “tweet-cast” while she was at a cooking demonstration!

I’m not sure how I like it just yet. You know, the common thread of the conference was to “be authentic” “be yourself”. Did I cave to peer pressure or am I exploring who “I might be”? The jury’s still out on that one. (Boy, I have used a lot of quotation marks in this post.)

If you would like to see my tweets, you can follow me @PorkChopTuesday. Don’t expect a lot of awe-inspiring tweets just yet.

I’d be happy to hear any suggestions you might have. Are you constantly plugged in or do you check your feed only a couple of times a day? Do I add #s to my blog posts? Do you follow just people you know or celebrities?

twitter-follow-me-icon copy

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I have tried for two days to figure out exactly how to recap all the greatness from the Arkansas Women Bloggers Unplugged conference this past weekend.  There is just so much information rolling around in my brain! I suppose I’ll have to break it into multiple posts.

First, let me tell you how I even found Arkansas Women Bloggers. A little over a year ago, as I would surf from blog to blog, I noticed many of my favorites were from Indiana, where we used to live! I saw that these bloggers were not just virtual friends but friends in real life as well.  I thought, “I wish there were some bloggers in ARKANSAS!” That day I did a search for Arkansas Women Bloggers not really expecting much. I thought I might hit on a couple of blogs where folks talked about Arkansas. I was pleasantly surprised to discover a whole network of women!

It was free, so I joined. I had just missed the group’s “Unplugged” conference in Mountain Home, AR. They were, however, going to have a blogger meet-up in Little Rock. I went to that and met some nice folks. I even blogged about it here.

Over the next year, I participated in link-up parties sponsored by ARWB as well as some of the blogging challenges. I was getting to know some of these ladies-virtually. This past weekend was the time to get to know them in real-life!

Pennant

I have to admit I was a bit nervous. I was going to a conference with 100 women and I knew zero. Once I arrived, I realized I did know some people after all. I saw some of my virtual friends and some of the ladies I had met at the Little Rock meet-up! They were all so nice and genuinely glad to see me. I even ran into some gals I had known for a minute in college as well as a lady from the church where I grew up.

Our conference was at the lovely Ferncliff Camp & Conference Center. Just being there with the trees and lake was calming in itself.

Ferncliff cross by the lake

The sessions were great. Our keynote speaker was Sophie Hudson from Boo Mama. She was a hoot! Thank you Petit Jean Meats for bringing her to the conference for us!

Boo Mama

There were lots of practical tips and advice on blogging. However, the overriding message was BE AUTHENTIC. “Don’t settle for being an imitation of someone else, ” Sophie told us.

Too often we compare our “insides” with the “outsides” of what we see on the internet.

I couldn’t help by think of a verse my friend Ginger W. had our Sunday School ladies’ group memorize more than 20 years ago.

2 Corinthians 10-12

I was very happy to get to know some of these ladies in real-life. This is truly an AUTHENTIC group of women. It starts with the leadership, though. Stephanie Buckley, the founder of ARWB, is the real deal.

Stephanie

Thank you Stephanie, and all her helpers, for a fantastic weekend.

Stay tuned for more posts about the conference.

I am a member of a group called Arkansas Women Bloggers. This week the group is hosting a challenge called BLOGtober Fest. Each day this week there is a different topic to blog about. I’ve never been part of one of these challenges, so I thought I’d give it a try. Click on the BLOGtober Fest picture to see who else is participating this week.

Today’s challenge is Fall Fashion and Decor. Well, we all know how my fashion posts turn out, so I opted for the Fall Decor.

We haven’t had the chance to go to a pumpkin patch this year. I haven’t bought any mums either. I started to get some at Lowe’s the other day, but they didn’t have the color I wanted in the size I wanted. Guess I’ll get them another day.

One of my favorite fall “pretties” is bittersweet! I don’t think I have ever seen the real deal, but I sure like the artificial.

I picked up these shutters curb-side one day. There are two more just like these on either side of my bathroom mirror. The planter was a freebie, too.

Yes, this is a fake pumpkin. I LOVE pumpkins-fake or real.

I like this little plaque. I think I like it because “y’all” is punctuated correctly!

The metal scarecrow and pumpkin are quite happy on the porch this year.

Wow! That is an ORANGE picture!

The Indian corn is actually my wreath that has gotten quite lopsided. I think it works just fine with a candle in the middle.

I love my leaf placemats–Walmart special!

On top of the entertainment cabinet is a favorite place for decorations. I went a little country this year.

Isn’t the blue tin great! My in-laws brought it back for us from one of their trips to Germany. It was full of yummy cookies!

A quilt top, covering a small accent table in the den,  hides DVDs and Wii games. Now you know.

I actually made the maple leaf quilt top. One of these days maybe I’ll actually QUILT it!  Every leaf is different. I especially like the border made from all the leaf fabrics.

This was an inexpensive decoration. The “runner” is actually two 10¢ placemats from Goodwill. The bowl is from Goodwill too. I think it was $1. Several years ago, we had a blast opening buckeyes from a nearby buckeye tree. I think they look pretty in the bowl. They are fun to play with, too.

Here is a sad little story. I bought four of these acorn plates a couple of years ago in a sale bin. Last year, I was excited to set them out with my china and crystal–kind of a country life meets city life look, I suppose. I was so happy with how they looked in the china hutch. I just wasn’t happy with how they sounded. The sweet little acorn plates toppled over, careening into the china and crystal. There was a large CRASH!  followed by the tinkling of the wedding crystal as it made its way to the floor. I had no one to blame but myself. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with these little plates this year. Maybe we should just eat off of them!

Wheat in a decorative bucket.

I had an old punch bowl base sitting around. It worked great to give my wheat a boost.

This, however, is my FAVORITE fall decoration…

Okay, it is actually an anytime decoration. Me and my hubby on our wedding day–the weekend after Thanksgiving!

Tune in daily this week to see if I make it through the blogging challenge! Haha!

Be sure you visit the others who have taken on the challenge as well!

What is a girl to do?! Be a good blogger and go the event for bloggers she signed up to attend? or Be a good blogger and go to get some GREAT blog material?

Yes, I chose the former.

I recently signed up to be part of a blogger network called Arkansas Women Bloggers.

It turns out, shortly after I signed up, I read that the annual meet-up was going to be in Little Rock soon. I was super excited! The whole reason I signed up on the network was so I could get to know some other local bloggers.

I committed to go.

Come to find out, the meet up was going to be on the same day that Chip had to work. He wasn’t just working working. He was covering the Salsa Party his company was sponsoring with P. Allen Smith, one of our local celebrities. You may have seen him when he was on the Today Show.

So, Chip and the girls went to the Salsa party and I went to blogger party.

The blogger party was held at the Historic Arkansas Museum. The museum even gave us all a 20% discount card to use in the gift shop–which, sadly, I forgot about until later that night when I was emptying my pockets.

These are the folks who came to the event. You know that first one!

Gina Knuppenburg – http://isogina.blogspot.com
Lindsay Irvin – http://arkansasbride.com
Kelcie Huffstickler – http://thisbeautifulinheritance.com
Blair Tidwell – http://littlerockfamily.com
It was a good time, and I got to meet some really nice folks.
These ladies were our hostesses for the day. They are the ones who run Arkansas Women Bloggers. Left to right you have Fawn from Instead of the Dishes, Natalie Ghidotti from Ghidotti Communications (she was actually our guest speaker not one of the blog ladies), Stephanie from The Park Wife, and Julie from Eggs & Herbs.
I learned some great blogging tips. I hope to have time to test these out soon. Biggest tip, for blog life AND real life, be yourself! Don’t do things on your blog because you see some big-time blogger do them. Make your own footprint.
It was a fun time. I even scored some jam from The Park Wife. That will be in another post.
While I was at the meet up, the rest of the gang was at the Salsa Party. Fortunately, Chip was there to take pictures for the company.
Here are some of the highlights from their event.

You gotta have a piñata at a Salsa party!

Salsa dance instructors, Jeremiah and Mallory form Arthur Murray Dance Studio, were incredible to watch!

They even gave lessons.

Do you recognize the students?

There was even a Mariachi band! Oh, wait, maybe not.

Of course the whole reason for the party was to drum up interest in the company store. What better way than to bring in a celebrity!

P. Allen Smith talked about container gardening first.

The girls really enjoyed this part. They have their own container garden they are trying out this year. They had lots of questions.

I bet my friend, Cathy, had something to do with those Bonnie Plants! You may remember Cathy from my tomato basil soup post.

I had to put this picture in there because I liked the little flags in the background. Kristy and her crew did a great job with the decorations!

Now that everyone knows how to GROW the ingredients for salsa, they can all MAKE the salsa!

Yummy!

The recipe says to grill or roast  the tomatoes first. Interesting.

This is the recipe card that went with the salsa.

Blue Cross passed out these handy cutting mats as well.

Ah, yes, my family loves me. They know I do not care for cilantro. So, what did they do? They took a picture of it for me!

Yes, they do love me! They got me a signed copy of P. Allen Smith’s book, Seasonal Recipes from the Garden, for Mother’s Day. They are sneaky!

Mr. Smith was kind enough to pose with the company mascot, Blue Ann Ewe.

I did make it to the Salsa Party in time to see the dancers and do a little dancin’ myself.
It sure looked like a good time was had there.
We all had a great day!

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I was so excited the other day to get a comment from Leslie at Leslie’s Art and Sew. Leslie and I met last year at the Craft Gossip Fork and Talk event.

(I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. She is there again this year, today in fact. I just couldn’t work it into my schedule this time.)

Leslie chose ME to be the recipient of the “Liebster Blog Award”! I was/am so honored!  This is my very first award as a blogger. I’m grinnin’ from ear to ear!

So, a great big THANK YOU to Leslie!

What is this award? Liebster in German means “favorite”. My impression is that is it just a fun way for bloggers to draw attention to small blogs (under 200 followers) that they enjoy reading. There are some “strings” attached–the blogger who accepts this award must do the following:

1. Thank the person who have you the award.
2. Link back to their blog.
3. Copy and paste the Liebster award to your profile.
4. Pick 5 blogs that you feel deserve to be in the spotlight (they must have 200 followers or under).
5. Blog about it and leave a comment for your nominations to let them know that you have chosen their blog.

Now, to pass the award on to some other deserving blogs. I have given this a lot of thought and found it difficult. A lot of the blogs I read are much larger than 200 followers. Very few of my friends blog. I’m working on them though! I’m working on me, too. I have recently joined a group called Arkansas Women Bloggers. The group is having a meet up next weekend. I am looking forward to meeting some new folks there. Do you live in Arkansas? Are you a woman? Are you a blogger? Check out their website.

Thideology is an insightful blog on all things theological. I really think a lot of the guy who writes this blog. ; )

CC’s Cheap Chic is a fashion blog written by my dear friend, Carolyn. She and I always seemed to end up at Savers at the same time. I miss her terribly since she moved away. She has inspired me to write a couple of fashion posts of my own.

Tales from Goshen is a “Mommy” blog. I have known Ashley since she was a little girl, and I was in her parents’ kid’s choir at church. It is amazing to see the fabulous mother and woman she has become. I don’t really know Ashley that well. I have, however, bumped in to her in town a few times recently. We both got to see the Pioneer Woman when she came to town.

Little Rock Love is written by Ashli, a friend from college. She is a gal about town for sure. She is also a bit of a foodie.

Susan’s Doodle Pad is where my friend Susan shows off her adorable stationary creations and more.

I realize the blog sized is supposed to be 200 or fewer. Not all of these blogs list the number of subscribers they have. Hopefully, I didn’t offend anyone. Yikes!

I hope you will show some love to these 5 blogs. Leave a comment on one of their posts. Tell ’em I sent ya!

Thanks, again, Leslie!

Dad and I both got the “holy grail’ of Christmas presents…

the iPad 2!

Now, every time I take the girls to their house for piano lessons, Dad and I pull out the iPads and compare apps. What a great bonding tool!

Dad and I are both cheep thrifty. The only apps either of us has are the FREE apps. There are so many cool ones that cost 99¢ but nooooooo! I’m not payin’ 99¢!

Dad had a birthday recently. I decided he needed a gift card to the App Store.

Since that was all he was getting, I made a cute little card to go with it.

I used just plain black construction paper. I knew I wanted an apple on the front, so I tried tracing the apple on the back of my iPad, but it was too small. The apple on the desktop didn’t work either. The apple on the laptop was perfect! Plus it lit up, which made it easier to trace. (Yes, we are Mac people.)

Wanting the card to look a little more iPadish, I rounded the corners. One of these days I’m going to buy myself one of those fancy corner-rounders.

I thought the lettering on the inside should look like computer keys. If we have a font that looks like computer keys, I didn’t know about it. So I made some up myself.

Yes, I am a procrastinator. I was hustling to get this card done. I waited until just before I was headed to his house to make the card! Yikes! It was almost time to get the kids from school, so I set myself an alarm. Look at that mess! I lost a couple of letters in my haste. My message ended up being shorter than I had planned.

I think it turned out pretty cute! Dad liked it, too! I can’t wait ’til next piano lesson to see what new apps he has.

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