• The 2006 Weblog Awards

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I Am Blogging Again!

Hi everyone!

Yes, I’m alive and doing well…hard to believe given the dust has gotten thick around this place! Nancy, thanks for posting and dusting everything off a bit!

I’ve been recently given the great opportunity to post over at The Jawa Report so if you have been missing me, you can find me over there. I’m posting under “Merri” and have been putting up a post a day on average. It’s been pretty fun and I’m thrilled to be surrounded by such amazing, large-brained people! Please stop by - I’d love to see you over there!

Oh, and it’s pretty certain there won’t be any Rachael Ray posts over there! I have my reasons and would be happy to share them if you want to know.

Anyway - thanks for stopping by periodically to see if I actually am alive. I appreciate it more than you know!

A Force to be Reckoned With (…and she wears a tiara!)

We always hear about superheroes - Superman, Spiderman, Iron Man….but there are every-day heroes out there, and I know one! I’m also happy to say that the world knows one, too as Jane’s mission has made the NYT:

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Jane Novak, a 46-year-old stay-at-home mother of two in New Jersey, has never been to Yemen. She speaks no Arabic, and freely admits that until a few years ago, she knew nothing about that strife-torn south Arabian country.

And yet Ms. Novak has become so well known in Yemen that newspaper editors say they sell more copies if her photograph — blond and smiling — is on the cover. Her blog, an outspoken news bulletin on Yemeni affairs, is banned there. The government’s allies routinely vilify her in print as an American agent, a Shiite monarchist, a member of Al Qaeda, or “the Zionist Novak.”

The worst of her many offenses is her dogged campaign on behalf of a Yemeni journalist, Abdul Karim al-Khaiwani, who incurred his government’s wrath by writing about a bloody rebellion in the far north of the country. He is on trial on sedition charges that could bring the death penalty, with a verdict expected Wednesday.

Ms. Novak, working from a laptop in her Monmouth County living room “while the kids are at school,” has started an Internet petition to free Mr. Khaiwani. She has enlisted Yemeni politicians, journalists, human rights activists and others around the globe. Her blog goes well beyond the Khaiwani case and has become a crucial outlet for opposition journalists and political figures, who feed her tips on Yemeni political intrigue by e-mail or text message.

She says her campaign is a matter of basic principle. “This is a country that lets Al Qaeda people go free, and they’re putting a journalist on trial for doing his job?” she said. “It’s just completely crazy.”

You simply should go read the story in The New York Times…it is only one glimpse into Jane’s heart-felt passion and her diligence. You should also read her blog: Armies of Liberation

I am so very proud to know Jane and her focus and dedication to the Yemeni people who have been treated unfairly and cruelly for simply speaking the truth.

While you are at it, please Support Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani by signing a letter to the Yemeni government. You can do that here.

The Birthplace of the Process of Illogical Logic linked with A Tiara makes the NYT

My DEAR friend Beth [ahem….a MEME?] got me out of laziness to respond to her meme tag. How could I refuse such a task? I mean, after all, it’s heavy-hitting, serious journalism such as this that makes me so famous, right? BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Here’s the meme: Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

1. I have texture issues with food. Generally I’m not a picky eater, but I draw the line when people put nuts into food. Cookies, cakes, brownies, fudge, ice cream….they all have to be nut free. I can’t stand having nuts left in my mouth when the rest has melted away! EWWWWWWWWW!

2. I have a completely ridiculous fear of bugs and spiders. More so spiders, but if something has a shell and hairy looking appendages, well, forget about it. Vacuums do wonders…a motto I live by!

3. Quite the opposite of Beth, I could go to a movie theater every weekend. I LOVE the theater, the popcorn and all that. I go out of my way to check for when movies are being released…I have “movies.com” bookmarked. I have the same freakishness about when movies come out on DVD. I’m usually going to a store over lunch on Tuesdays to pick up the next new release.

4. I can remember stupid stuff like full lines from obscure songs and from movies. I know some entire segments from “Good Morning, Vietnam” as one example. But ask me what I’m doing tomorrow, and I have to look at my day planner.

5. I have to have COLD pillows in order to fall asleep. I flip my pillows at least four times a night before I fall asleep. I love summer when the A/C is on because it blows onto my pillows if I position them just right.

6. I love fresh tomatoes! In the summer, I can eat them until I have sores in my mouth and my lips become chapped from all of the acid. Salt, pepper and tomatoes….YUMMMMMY!

Okay, so I think I met the requirements of this meme. I don’t think you could get any more non-important than that, huh?

Quick Check-in, the “I’m Still Alive Edition”

I’m sure I’ve chased everyone away by not posting for so long, but wanted to send a shout out for those of you who might peek in every once in awhile. I am most definitely still alive, and have needed the time away from my blog to focus on the “real life” stuff going on. Nothing overly significant, but school, remodeling in our home, the holidays, and an extremely crazy work load have taken a priority as of late.

I’ll be honest with you as well. It’s been a bit refreshing not trying to “come up” with something to post. The whole presidential campaign has soured me a bit, there have been far too many murders, child abuse cases, and other disgusting human acts that I don’t even know where to begin. …and I don’t think the world really wants to read about the ups and downs of my bathroom remodel.

I’m sure I’ll be back to blogging at some point. I just don’t think the time is right for me just yet. Please don’t forget about me…I’ll come back, I promise!

In the mean time, those of you searching for Rachael Ray stuff seem to be quite happy…you have sustained my traffic to this site and I thank you for it! :)

“The Hidden War” (Not So Hidden!)

My man is now published!

Please check out his published column over at KFAB’s website (not because I told you to, but because it is a must read and it is GOOD!!!)!

Update: ptg is at it again! But really, Scott, listen to him…he knows what he is talking about…you need “linkability!!!”

Ten Things That Make Me Happy….

Chris was tagged and he was SO NICE to not tag anyone specifically….so I can’t help but respond to his question “So….what makes you happy? Here’s my ten….

1. My hubby! There is no one in life I’d rather be side-by-side with, sharing everything!

2. My children. Having a boy and a girl have been such an adventure. Seeing life through the eyes of a child with cartoon glasses on is always the best. They are so innocent, but they are learning at a rate I can’t even imagine anymore!

3. The smallest moments of life. How to describe this is a challenge! I’ll describe it this way….on our vacation in the Black Hills this summer, there was one of these moments. I was sitting on a horse watching my husband and kids ride their horses in front of me. We were stopped, waiting for my son’s horse to quit eating grass (again!). Just then, I looked up and could see the sky poking out between the trees. Some clouds were moving in and I heard this noise…it was the wind! It was sooo quiet in those mountains, away from everything, that I could hear the wind coming before it arrived!!!!! It was one of those “close to heaven” moments that I think back to whenever the stress or disappoint of the moment starts to overwhelm. THAT is what I mean by the smallest moments of life. It’s also my kids’ smiles, even petting one of our dogs. It makes me think how real life is, and what a gift it truly is to be a part of it!

4. Traveling. I want to do more! My number one place to go outside the US? Australia! But I want to see all 50 states in my lifetime.

5. Seeing movies in the theater. Nothing like popcorn and a new release. Not to say I want to watch *all* of the movies that come out, but I love a good flick, the atmosphere, and the popcorn!

6. Cooking. I enjoy making up new stuff, putting together new ingredients. I also like to can veggies from the garden. That way I can cook with fresh food all winter! I do admit, though, I’ve been looking at cooking more as a chore lately (don’t ask me why), but I think it’s because I’ve been working later hours at work due to how busy it has been and I don’t have time to unwind when I get home. But cooking for the family is fun - cooking for others is also great fun!

7. DVR. One of the GREATEST inventions EVAH!!!

8. Moving things from “to do” to “done.” Oh, and I haven’t been doing as much of this as I’d like lately! GAH!

9. Justice being served. I am admittedly stealing Chris’s number 10. I like seeing justice served. There’s a consequence to every action taken - whether that consequence be good or bad. I love seeing good things happen to good people and equally, if someone has done something terrible, having it come bite them in the butt is simply justified.

10. Learning. I really do like learning new things. I’m inundated at work with learning new stuff, and haven’t been appreciating it much until I went back to school in August. I’ve rediscovered how fun it can be to interact with other people on topics that are compelling. I also crave that instant feedback and am getting good grades so far. I think it’s a boost to my self-esteem, which is something I can use at times.

Anyway, that’s my ten. …and I’ll ask you the Chris question: “What makes you happy?”

Real Life & Reality on my DVR

As you can tell, real life has obviously taken over again! I haven’t posted since August 22 because so much has been going on!

1) The kids are back in school. It is amazing to me how hard one has to work just to get the kids ready! School clothes, supplies, meet the teacher, kids saying “Only 1 day, 2 hours, 18 minutes and, 12 seconds until school starts” (multiplied by 5000 times!).

2) I am back in school! I started attending classes online last week. I needed to focus as much as possible since this old dog hasn’t been in college since the late 80s. I like learning online…fits my very hectic lifestyle. Interestingly enough, some portions of online classes are almost like blogging!

3) The garden! OH MY GAWD. I am amazed at how many tomatoes can actually come from one plant. The fact that I have 8 tomato plants all standing as tall as me (if not taller!) means I’ve been busy. I’ve canned hot sauce, salsa, spaghetti sauce, and tomatoes. I had to get extra canning jars! Believe it or not, some of the plants have blossoms on them! Crazy stuff. It should die down toward the end of September, I hope!

4) Husker football began…..52-10 this Saturday…WOOT!

5) I’m just enjoying real life so much, it is hard to sit down and spend time putting up a post about things that everyone has already blogged about. I’m getting just a bit cynical about blogging, if you couldn’t tell…I almost feel it’s a waste of time most days! I may end up closing up shop one of these days, but don’t know for sure. I think about looking for partners in crime, but even my hubby’s blogging somewhere else these days. No one (except my buddy Nancy) has the time or a desire to blog over at my little place…I’m just a tiny corner of the blogosphere, not anything special, really.


My DVR is going to be getting full very soon as the “Fall Lineup” of what I call “mindless” television is starting up. Why do I like this stuff? I do enough thinking in a day I like a way to escape! Here are the ones coming in September that I have the Tivo ready for:

Rachael Ray

She starts on September 10, 2007. I DO like her show as much as “30 Minute Meals.”

The Biggest Loser

I have watched this show every year. Given I have a few pounds of my own to lose I always hope it will get me more inspired. It will be interesting with a new host this year! They have a special on tomorrow, September 4, following up with some contestants to see if they kept the weight off. The season premieres on September 11.

Dancing With The Stars

Okay, so I’m somewhat skeptical about the show this year. I don’t know many of the “stars” and those I *do* know are not what I would call, um, dancers. Can you say Marie Osmond?!?!? I also think the makeup of the cast is somewhat worn. Didn’t we have a boxer last year? A beauty queen? …and there’s always a couple of “older” stars, too. Maybe the viewers should vote on who should be on? Or maybe not. I picture a show with Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brit-Brit and Kevin Federline or something like that. This one may be axed unless they can really “wow” me. It starts on September 24!

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

By far, one of my favorites. I cry every time, but it’s a good cry! They start their new season on September 30.

So as you can see, between school, football, real life (including canning), reality television and a general apathy that anyone actually READS what I write, I’ll probably be posting more like once or twice a week, and only if I have anything I want to say. I appreciate those of you who may be reading me regularly (and please let me know if you do). And I even appreciate those of you Rachael Ray fans who bring my numbers up by looking at her wedding pictures (and the guys who are looking at her FHM spread!).

Take care and see you soon!

I Can Follow Where Others Lead….

Yanno, I’ve been spending the week thinking about how I might write a post to describe what our weekend adventure to Nashville was like. But why should I when others do such a good job?!?!? Go check out this stunning piece over at 6MB!

Random Thoughts…

Real life has a way of catching my attention lately! I just have a few random thoughts I wanted to get down…

Rachael Ray. Why did you go there? Why did you have to have Bubba on your show? Okay, so you want to help improve the health of children through healthy eating and all that, so you’re partnering with his organization. But you could have STILL done that and not subjected me to his presence on your talk show. I still have bad nightmares about that. But then I watched your show yesterday, covering the prom you delivered to the seniors at Enterprise, AL’s high school. You have a very big heart and did fabulous things to help these kids have a memorable prom that will hopefully ease some of the pain they’ve had losing eight of their friends and siblings. But we still need to talk about that whole Clinton thing, really. I’m just happy you had Laura Bush on your show FIRST!

Hubby has just celebrated his 3-year blogiversary! Stop over at his digs to wish him well!

Leave Brit Spears alone, okay? Mostly because I’m SICK OF HEARING ABOUT IT. For that matter, the same thing applies to Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, Demi and Ashton, Prince William and Kate whatsername and all of the other people that seem to have every day things going on, they just pay 10 times more than you and I do for their weddings, their honeymoons, their divorces, their mascara. Oh, and WHO CARES ABOUT ROSIE O’DONNELL? It all happened the way it did for pure publicity and she will now have her pick of shows should she choose to go that route. I can’t STAND her, so I ignore her. I just hate seeing her nasty, snarly face pasted over all of the mags I read every week. There should be a WARNING on the magazine cover when she’s in it. Really!

…and that’s all for now!

Slacker Blog Hostess Returns

Well, I kinda return.

Things have been crazy in the House of Musings, so I apologize for my time away. Unfortunately, I do have a “day job” so it has taken much of my time.

I promise I’ll be around more. I did get to watch ‘24′ tonight, plus the Super Bowl (way to go COLTS!) and American Idol is on tomorrow night. Whee…..I have plenty to write about, huh? Don’t even get me started on kidnapping child abusers or murderers or the ACLU.

In the meantime, please stop by Beth’s and read this post. While her angst is much more pronounced than mine, I do share in her sentiment about blogging. Not that I’m saying that this is good-bye. Just that I’m a bit bored with it currently and the media and the politics are pissing me off as of late, so I’m at a loss of what to really say (I should post a picture of me throwing my hands up in disgust, but eh…I’m too lazy to drag out the damn camera to do it at this point!). But there will always be something that pulls me back. …and that’s not a threat! Heh.


Dear Blog (and my even dearer blog friends),

I’m very sorry I’ve neglected you! That whole *real life* thing, warts and all, has taken me away. I promise I’ll be back very soon, with bells on (of course!).


We Didn’t Win But….

Hubby came in 3rd. He says what is mine is mine and what is his is mine, but this is an honor he earned all on his own. I can *never* take that away from him.

Now, those other Cotillion ladies….they don’t have to live with him every day, so I can’t wait to see what happens. ;-)

Thanks to those of you who voted for me. We are a small but mighty group! :-)

Tough Competition!

So, the finalists of the 2006 Weblog Awards have been announced and I’m proud to say that Merri Musings is a finalist on one of the categories. Check it out here!


This fella got nominated, too. In the same category. Who gets to sleep on the couch each night may actually be a regular conversation once the voting begins. Heh.

I’ll let you know when voting begins, if ya think my blog is worthy of your vote. :-)

…to be continued!


In all fairness, I feel a need to confess. While Hubby and I are in the same category competing, he DID nominate me, so THANK YOU my darling for nominating me for this category! [insert much smooching and hugging here…are you still watching? Perverts! Heh!]

So here’s the official badge (soon to come to my sidebar!).

The 2006 Weblog Awards

Once the polls open, Now that the polls are open, you’ll be able to click on the image and it will take you to the particular category Merri Musings is in and you can vote, vote, vote (even every day if you’d like!!!).

I would also add that Nancy seems to forget she’s my partner in crime and should be as excited about this nomination as I am. I don’t know what I’d do without her posts - especially when *real life* kicks in!

Hooah Wife and friends linked with Tiara Media Dominates Weblog Awards!
Slacker Blogging and Other Random Thoughts

Sorry for my little absence from the blogging world. Things have been rather crazy at the House of Merri!

We just got back from a road trip to Kansas City to watch our beloved Husker team get handed a sound loss. Was it fun? Absolutely! Was it cold? Oh, boy, it was cold! Was the traffic bad? Well, I’ve never taken almost 3 hours to go 5 miles. Really. It was bad. Guys running from their cars and peeing on the side of the road in front of everyone since they couldn’t hold it any longer. It was insane. I hope it isn’t that way for every Chiefs game because I’d never hold season tickets if that were true. We thought we had it made leaving for the stadium around 3:50 from our hotel (kickoff was at 7pm). Yeowza. We barely got inside before kickoff (and hubby had to go back to the car…a whole OTHER story). I am sad to see the Huskers lose, but their performace was clearly off last night. Cotton Bowl, here they come! I’ll post pics of the little ones once I have the energy to connect camera with computer. I’m WIPED!

We stayed at Harrah’s and the hubby and I decided that we would take turns going down and gambling for a little bit (little ones were sleeping in the hotel room so we both couldn’t go). They required that before you entered the casino that you get one of their reward cards or they wouldn’t let you in. WTF?!?!? Sign up is free and you can go right around the corner was the advise of the Harrah’s employee. So I go around the corner and am faced with a line of no less than 50 drunk people, all wanting to fill out their handy, dandy application before gambling. I threw my hands up in defeat and went back to the hotel room. I think that was the icing on the cake. Hubby tried as well, and got the same thing. I guess Harrah’s would rather do their demographics collection on their gamblers versus letting them in to spend their money. I’m not sure it’s a nationwide policy now of Harrah’s, but we never had that problem at the Harrah’s across the river from us (but it’s been quite a while since we’ve gone). It’s likely I won’t be gambling with them any time soon. Sometimes a person just wants to slide a couple of quarters in a slot machine without being hassled. Oh well, I’m a winner in the end as I didn’t blow the money to start with, right?

So Christmas is coming and I don’t have a thing done. No decorating, no cookies, I have one teeny-tiny bit of shopping done and that’s it. I’m such a slacker this year. I suspect things will start clicking this weekend so we can enjoy the decorations, etc.

It’s been flipping COLD here, but I’m glad we missed the awful weather that hit Missouri and Illinois. I feel for those folks and hope everything gets warmed up and fixed up soon!

Anyway, please don’t think I’m neglecting you all….it’s just been a hectic time for me. I’ll be back in the groove soon!

Intermittent Blogging Alert!

Hi everyone!

Just quick note to let you know that I’ll be away on business tomorrow through Thursday, so it’s likely the blogging will be intermittent (um, what’s new, Merri)? Well, this time it’s intentional. ;-)

It’ll be a crazy few days, but I’ll get a chance to meet a lot of people I’ve only worked with on the phone. Also, San Jose will be in the mid-70s for temps, while dear Nebraska will experience what appears to be the first freeze of the season.

Take care, all, and I will try to pop in to say Hi - if that doesn’t happen I’ll see you on Thursday or Friday!

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