I'm on a new journey to pay-it-forward & with the support of my Groupies/friends...

I'm writing a LAP BAND BOOK!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

11/22/11 Name Change

Just a quickie...

To gain some consistency with the book title, and for ease of people searching for information, I've updated my blog name...actually, I just flip-flopped the title and description.  I'm now LAP BAND GROUPIE (tried to do the 'Lap' lower case or smaller on the home page, but I'm too tech impaired...I'll leave that to Jen, when she gives me a face lift here) At 'The Sweet Spot'.  Nothing much changes...still Band Groupie...BG here!

Hopefully I didn't screw anything up...didn't touch the URL...yet (I have to read up more on the various repercussions of that one).  You should still be a follower and still have me in your 'reading' list, just under the new title, but I'll now be listed under the "L's" (I joined and checked it).  Let me know though if you had any trouble.

As I planned this, I found this a little funny as I grew up being called something other than my name.  A little confusing but 5 siblings; boy and four girls and all the girls are named Mary 'Something' and we were to all go by the 'Something'...except me...'my Something' is my Mom's name and so they decided to call me a derivative of her name.  All this led to lots of confusion....when signing legal documents and we were confused with a sister and her bank accounts, and especially after I got married and added 'what I'm actually called' to my name...I now have four words in my full name...and I always have to check to see which name they have me listed as before signing anything...thanks Mom and Dad!

Long story your babies a favor and call them what you're naming them (yes, middle names are fine).

Monday, November 21, 2011

11/21/11 Walk Of (Sh)Fame

Busy weekend!  We were away to Columbus with all the kids, the BF and the GF for the game on Saturday.  It turned out to be a beautiful day and they all had a blast!  My family:
DS1 & GF (both attend PSU)...SO glad to have him home all week!

DS2 (acting goofy as usual), and DD's BF
Later, we celebrated 'early Christmas' with my family at my middle Sis' house (she had it all decorated for Christmas for us!).  I loved spending some quality time with the whole gang.  Me posing with a gift (my new Twiggy bag).

On a Band note...I'm thrilled to announce that HERE's the new (old 'SOB') Band Superstars Blog (thanks Sandy and Jen).  I'm so glad it's been resurrected for you to follow and learn different things from all the successful Banders out there!  I'm in the 'Walk Of Fame'..No, I did not say 'Shame'...although I've had to wear the 'LB Cone of Shame' a few times...most recently during my detox from the Halloween Candy.  Get reading folks!  I'm off to start my grocery many turkey' little time..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11/17/11 Under Construction

Put on you hard hats now (yes, over that unfinished bedazzled headband), and take a seat, because stuff is going to fly (here, hand me the nail gun please, so I can get this all nailed down)!

I'm starting my new plan with all the grunt work 'they've'/the experts told me to alrighty then:
- I'm reconstructing my home Blogger page:
  • Copyright: Added to Home Page- Stop stealing my stupidity blonde moments sage advice and doodles priceless artwork.  Ask me first please.
  • Disclaimer: Added to Home Page- I'm not a Dr., I only play one on the Internet.
  • Post Pics: I moved the pics (have a day or so more work to go) that were still active from my original blog here (didn't know how to do it when I moved the blog.  See you can teach an old dog...).  I didn't move all the comments (since I don't have people's permission).
  • Archive: I cut the blogs/portions of blogs that have content/ideas relating to the first I started deleting them...until I realized (blonde, remember?) that I was also deleting all your helpful comments...and I may want to replace these post-book/no-book (I saved the posts if you need any, but you told me you were printing), so I left the shells/parts.  This was tedious (took almost a week) and I don't like the fact that a newbie may want to look back at some of them, but for now, I'll stick to the recommendations and believe that I'll be helping LOTS of newbies....*sigh*
  • Page Updates: I recently updated some of my pages and I've got a few things left to update.
  • New Content: I'm working on some ideas to make this more user friendly and to add some new content/pages. 
  • Product Reviews:  I'm still thinking on this one, and want your thoughts.  I've declined samples/product review requests from the beginning, but I'm considering the possibility of the things I already use or want to actually try (remember, I'll never be anything but honest...I'm the one that turned down the Realize national campaign...AP Brand here).  The companies also usually offer an extra item for giveaways you can offer to a reader/contest.  I know I've been turned off by some sites that I thought were good when I first found them, but I got sick of all the product reviews and haven't been back...pondering.
- New Audiences:
  • Guest Blogging: Once things settle out a little here, if you need a guest blogger, or know someone with a different audience that would, I'm up for it!  And I'll let you know when I start the articles on other WLS sites.
  • Speaking: When this is further along, I'm going to start trying to speak at some support groups/other venues.  Keep this in mind for later.
  • Facebook: I'm just going to put this out there...I'm taking the plunge.  I have no clue how to set this up, but I'll let you know if I figure it out (and DS2 who's here has no interest in this yet, so he's no help)...if I can figure this out, perhaps I'll even be tweeting about my potty habits someday...yay!
  • G? Mail:  I need another email account just for clue what gmail is, but I'm going to find out, since several of you suggested this a long time ago...OK, stop laughing at my tech-illiteracy!
- HELP!:
  • I know you are talented, helpful women (and men) and if you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
  • I have two family members in Marketing jobs (DH, DD) and I intend to use them.
  • I have one family member in IST major (DS1) and I intend to abuse him this summer (Tech for Moms-101).
  • Anyone have editing skills...I have a serious verbiage problem.
And tomorrow, some fun parts...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

11/16/11 Queen Kong

Alrighty then.

I'm back in business. 

I had a minor epiphany...I'm not sure you can call it an epiphany, since I knew was coming, I just didn't know how it would turn out.

I've been up nights with a 'monkey on my back'...yes, it used to be 100+ pounds, so who could complain about a little monkey...well, me.  You see, that 'lil monkey has turned into a gorilla...a big old greyback...only a girl one (OK, yes, you're right, I used to have a baboon as$$...the first thing anyone noticed when looking my way...take a peek at those 'befores' again, but you're off subject...).

Anyway, when you all finally talked me into the book, I was a bit naive.  I moved over to Blogger hoping to reach more Banders needing help, I decided the book might be a great way to pay-it-forward in a bigger way, I announced my intentions (thus committing me, and a proven way to keep me accountable, thank you), I started writing, and then I started research...

O. M. G....yes, I'm an 'almost OCD' researcher (I got my Dr's. license on the took me's framed), but O. M. G...If I told you all how involved and confusing the publishing piece of this is right now, I'd have to kill you...because your head would explode (maybe that explains the ramp up of migraines I've had this year).  You know I'm no sloucher, I'm not afraid of hard work...but if I got to eat one M&M for each hour I've spent on this, I'd still be severely obese...just ask my family how much time I've given this.  I thought I'd write a few sample chapters, send them off with a well written cover letter to an agent or some publishers and sit back and see what happened...I'd write and they'd handle the rest...naive.  

Sometimes 'naive' is a good when I didn't know what 'sliming' really was until I had to figure out what to do with the endless unbroken gooey strands of it hanging from my chin to the toilet bowl 3' below...but in this case...naive = O.M.G.  I now have huge lists of possible agent Co's., and then thesis papers figuring out which agent to send directly to (them's the rules), and templates on exactly how to write a query, and then how to write a huge proposal, and how to write the first chapters, the table of contents, and on and on and...OH, did you hear?  The economy is bad...AND...have you heard of ebooks?  Will there be any bookstores in the near future?  Will there be any libraries even?  Apparently the whole publishing industry is in a serious upheaval...most are in their own financial turmoil and most aren't even talking to new authors.  Well I stuck it out and sent off my letters to the top agents...rejections from a few and *crickets*  I just built back up my self-esteem for the past two years only to have it knocked down with this?  I felt like not only was I disappointing all the struggling Banders I was hoping to reach, but also all of you, because this book is as much your story as it is mine.  I no longer really believed this would ever happen...I think I lost faith in my ability...I doubted...Maybe they were just being supportive when they encouraged the book, maybe they think I'm crazy?  Writing was becoming more of a chore than a pleasure.  Should I just let it go (that would certainly be the easy thing), or recommit?
And that would be the gorilla...I know I have choices...I've got mad skills at business process improvement and I know there are always other choices...and there are...the thing's a lot more time and work and probably an investment (maybe one we can't make)...and basically starting over with different approaches (choice 1. ebooks + tech challenged blogger = big learning curve...and choice 2. I'd sell 50 self-published paperback you guys, because I'd be flashing those 'write a book' posts in your face...and then, good thing I've got DIY skills, because I'd be fashioning large furniture out of the 2,500 other books I had to prepay for...Etsy here I come!)...and there's still only a tiny chance that even with all that I'd reach my goal of not just publishing, but my real goal...actually reaching a bigger audience and paying-it-forward (or maybe that''s backward). 

So my epiphany has been coming for a little while now, I put things to the side while the kids were home and we enjoyed the busy summer, but I knew this Fall was coming.  I started getting signals again...I had another article interview for the LB site, and a request to be a featured writer on a big WLS site (thanks Lonicerna for the recommendation), and ongoing I, like most of you, get notes from Banders needing help, or newbies that have read your blog beginning to end (mine's way longer than any book...well, maybe, I seriously need an Editor), and I had a recent flood of those...they always talk about how important it is to hear all the new information from an actual always reinforces that there is a need for this book.  I've also found out that others (not here) are taking my thoughts...hey, if it's good enough to steal, shouldn't I believe it's a good enough message?  So I've decided to recommit.

I'm approaching this like a business plan...I'm taking all the tools I've learned and successes I've had, I'm setting deadlines and goals, and I'm going to continue giving this my best until the end of that plan and then I'll be proud to let it go, if need be.  Most importantly though, the real epiphany is believing in, I'm not the best writer, or the best, I didn't lose the most weight, or follow every, my story is certainly not the best one...but I have to start believing...that it's representative of all of us, it's all our story, I've written about all the choices they can make (what works for me, but also what works for you), and it's an opportunity to get information out there that would help a lot of people...I know I'm doing this for all the right reasons (and LOL, let's face it, I'm not working, I've got some time that you don't have, and I owe this to everyone who ever helped me...yes, that includes you), I need to believe it's an effort that others will truly benefit from...I need to keep the faith...

Thanks for sticking with me.  More about the beginnings of the new plans tomorrow...

Monday, November 7, 2011

11/7/11 My Blogiversary- A Case For Blogging

*Post Deleted for LB Book (Sorry, I'll be back to, not published yet...yes, still working on it)

Friday, November 4, 2011

11/4/11 Happy First Birthday!

It's my grand-kitten's first birthday! 

Well, at least we think so.  They were rescued kittens and we don't have an exact date...our vet narrowed it down to the week of Halloween last year, so DS2 picked a date.

I decided to make them a gift for their birthday!

They've taken to loving my large cabinet/folding counter in the laundry room because it has a window.  I got tired of finding them sitting on clean socks I left to sort (OK, so it's also a gift for almost OCD cleaner/me), so I finally put a beer box with a towel over it on the counter.  Of course they loved that, since they could now lay down and look out the window and bask in the sun...only one problem...two beer box...

...and then there were boxes...and not much folding space left on my counter (and no, I couldn't just close the's where the litter box lives).

So I made my present...from leftovers; a deep shelf and brackets (that came down from DS1's room last year), two pieces of leftover fancy trim (from framing that piece of ceiling tin for DD's room), some leftover 2" cushion foam (from that headboard I made DD), and the excess fleece from the kitten's 'pita-pocket' beds DS2 and I made them last year when we got the brother kittens...remember those (they still use these daily):
 Well, here's the upgrade/second bed for them...Viola...a cushioned kitty sleep shelf (yes, you knew I was nuts)! saw the flaw in my evil plan...I had to add back a box to the counter (but it's a skinny box, to the side, tethered down), as they were having trouble getting up to the deep shelf from the counter without a step (as DS2 explained to me 'It's not high Mom, but they don't have enough angle to jump up there.'...maybe I can get DS2 to build me a nicer looking step?).
Me thinks they like it!  Happy First Birthday babies!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

11/3/11 Charting Maintenance

*Post Deleted For Lap Band Book

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

11/2/11 Scary Sounds

Here's a short clip of Halloween as it ended the rain unfortunately (whoops, forgot to turn back on some of the electronic stuff; shaking ghost, flying bat, and spider that drops and crawls).  I always have the scary sounds going, but the best one was the door opening...LOL, guess we need to grease that up!

But the scariest sound of all?

At the end of the evening...the loud crinkling as I was picking up the giant pile of wrappers from all the candy I ate!   Five for for me...

In case we haven't met yet...Hello, I'm BG, and I'm a chocolate addict!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

11/1/11 What A Difference A Year Makes

No, it's not my Bandiversary...just another landmark in a year.

Here's my littlest one DS2 (15 then) last year going to hang with the other teens on Halloween as an angel (look, he even let me put some face paint on him...HEY, it's a boys-club here, I needed to play).

...and here he is this year (no, that's not even face paint)...

Hug your little boys now.
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