Monday, April 7, 2014

Dear Google - Am I Such a Horrible Person?

Dear Google - It has been about two years since you banned my AdSense account, me, my website, my blog, anything ever associated with me in past, present or future, from using you to monetize my blogs. With 55,673 page views, those tedious little ads could have helped us cover some costs around here - classes for the kids, animal feed, groceries, gas. But, no. Any attempt to use AdSense is impossible.

I'd sure like you to reconsider. I've stopped blogging quite so much. Instead, I'm writing for newspapers and others who pay me for my service, but I do miss writing in my own style on subjects that interest me most. I miss sharing the information in which I'm gained some expertise, but I also have to balance my time between sharing information freely in this time of free information with covering costs here at home. Free information sharing doesn't pay the bills, or even buy a tutu.

I'll never know what caused this ban. You won't tell people. You won't even give us hints, per your website: "Because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection system, we're unable to provide our publishers with any information about their account activity, including any web pages, users, or third-party services that might have been involved." Was it the offensive nature of this blog, which typically features posts about family travel (where we go, how we get there and how other families can hit the road), tips for getting out and about locally (I have a bit of expertise on the Central Coast), pointers for homeschoolers, and the occasional rant about parenting or politics? Funny...When I was banned, I turned off my safe search mode when the kids were sleeping, entered some R-rated terminology and came up with some pretty messed up sites on which AdWords were floating.

At the time, one of the potential reasons I found was "placing ads in iFrames." So I went to my blogger page to read the HTML. And you know what I found? iFrames! Were my ads placed in iFrames? Probably. Because that was what Blogger used at the time, it seems. (I still don't even know what the heck an iFrame is.) So, perhaps we had a coding glitch. But who codes Blogger? Ummm...isn't this a Google property?

I've delayed posting this public letter because I fear repercussion. You do, after all, own the service which has provided me a channel for sharing my voice. Perhaps you'll take the blog down altogether. That would be a shame.

Instead, I hope someday you'll forgive me for whatever my foible was; perhaps even SHARE with me so I don't make the same mistake again.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

E Gets Creative, or Help Send a Kid to Ballet Camp

Our kids have always been pretty creative. V draws, sings, plays a bit of piano, whittles. E does just about anything with fiber - combs, spins, weaves, knits and crochets. Now, E has an abundance of completed projects, and a desire to attend dance camp this summer. She's posting some of her creations in hopes of finding buyers. I tried to talk her into Etsy, but she's not sure she wants to experiment while paying related fees.

If there's something here you'd like, let us know. She also makes covers for cell phones, iPads, iPhones, and Kindles. Just send the dimensions and she may be able to make it just so! She also makes snoods (see the doilies below for a hint at what she can do for your bun), and fingerless mittens.

She's been working with some vintage wool.

Ooops. I rotated it. Can you see the heart in this doily?

Bookbag good for short walks to your favorite spot with your current read and some necessities.

She's a master doily maker.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lessons in Light

It all started out with a simple lesson in light, variable shutter speeds, painting with light, and camera movement. With their 4-H friends, they started with a lesson in panning - moving the camera to catch the action with just the right shutter speed, but with a blurred background. Then they moved on to painting with light - illuminating a car, then a tree, with the only flashlights we could find that evening.

Then the 4-H kids headed home, but the Best girls were still into it. Night owls that they are (not hard to do when it gets dark at 4:30), they took off with the project, playing with shutter speed, blur and light inside before dressing up to head outside where they developed a story in ghostly images. Can you make it out?

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