Saturday, 10 May 2008

Let them eat rice!

The wonderful Denise Rossetti posted this on her blog a little while back. I've been playing it ever since and I think I've now managed to feed a third world country LOL! It's nice to know that I can make a difference while having a bit of fun. Just click on the banner below.

Help end world hunger

How does the FreeRice vocabulary program work?

For every word you get right, FreeRice donates 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger. Here are some facts from their FAQ.

FreeRice has a custom database containing thousands of words at varying degrees of difficulty. There are words appropriate for people just learning English and words that will challenge the most scholarly professors. In between are thousands of words for students, business people, homemakers, doctors, truck drivers, retired people… everyone!

FreeRice automatically adjusts to your level of vocabulary. It starts by giving you words at different levels of difficulty and then, based on how you do, assigns you an approximate starting level. You then determine a more exact level for yourself as you play. When you get a word wrong, you go to an easier level. When you get three words in a row right, you go to a harder level. This one-to-three ratio is best for keeping you at the “outer fringe” of your vocabulary, where learning can take place.

There are 60 levels in all, but it is rare for people to get above level 50.

Who pays for the donated rice?

The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice.

If FreeRice has the rice to give, why not give it all away right now?

FreeRice is not sitting on a pile of rice―you are earning it 20 grains at a time. Here is how it works. When you play the game, advertisements appear on the bottom of your screen. The money generated by these advertisements is then used to buy the rice. So by playing, you generate the money that pays for the rice donated to hungry people.

Does FreeRice make any money from this?

No, it does not. FreeRice runs the site at no profit.

Who distributes the donated rice?

The rice is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The World Food Program is the world’s largest food aid agency, working with over 1,000 other organizations in over 75 countries. In addition to providing food, the World Food Program helps hungry people to become self-reliant so that they escape hunger for good. Wherever possible, the World Food Program buys food locally to support local farmers and the local economy. We encourage you to visit the United Nations World Food Program to learn more about their successful approach to ending hunger.

Will the rice I donate make a difference?

The rice you donate makes a huge difference to the person who receives it. According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die each day from hunger or hunger-related causes, most of them children. To a mother or father watching a loved child die in their arms from hunger, the rice you donate is more precious than anything in the world.

So it's Mothers Day tomorrow. The kids are quite excited and have a bounty of home made pressies lined up for me. No doubt I'll be getting the book that I bought myself the other week or one of the cracked coffee cups from the cupboard. All nicely wrapped of course ;)

We have ANOTHER appointment with the dentist this Wednesday. This time, hopefully with the gas. The poor kid has had a horrible week, pretty much stuck in her room the moment she get's home from school. I've been using her homework as an excuse to get her out of her room, but you know what? She's been an absolute ANGEL despite the punishment LOL! Might have to send her to her room a bit more often.

She has a bit of a cold atm so no doubt that will herald the beginning of the 'sick' season in our home. Yee-bloody-har. NOT!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Miranda & the Prince

Coming soon to Total-E-Bound: Miranda and the Prince by Wendy Stone.

Isn't she pretty *sigh*. Something a little bit different this time. I must say, it was a nice sidestep away from the man-titties and perky breasts LOL! I wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen standing in the check-out line at Big W with this one, is all I'm saying ;)

Okay. So where do I start. The girl was pretty straight forward except for her shawl. It had little silver spangles on it which didn't suit the theme of the 'Pauper' girl so I overlayed it with a tartan texture which gave it a more earthy, hand woven feel. The background is the beautiful Lake Bled in Slovenia. My husband's best mate married a Slovenian girl and he had the pleasure of going over there to the wedding to be best man. I stayed at home and looked after our baby daughter. He owes me big time.

But I digress. The ring was possibly the most fiddly part of the cover. The original ring was a yellow topaz so I tracked down a nice image of amber and cut out a chunk and stuck it over the top. A bit of blending and touching up and I think it came out pretty well ;)

All together there were four stock images used in this cover. There was a bit of trial and error with the font and font colours but other than that this was a relatively easy cover to do. There was talk about having the prince in the background but I'm glad we went with this one.

The plans are coming along for our Melbourne trip. Oh, and my camera died yesterday. Damn! Now I'll need to get myself another one to take down to Melbourne with me. I'm not going to miss that photo opportunity LOL! I had wanted to save up for a really good camera but I may just have to go for another 'aim and shoot' for the time being.

Um. I burned the back of my finger the other day. Got a lovely two inch blister running down the back of it. Funny the stupid things you do, isn't it? Who in their right mind would test a pot on the stove with the back of their finger? I do it all the time though. I flick the back of the steamer pot with my finger to see if it's on (only because I can't see the contents). Usually it just feels hot and I know things have started. But this time my damn finger stuck to the pot! Eeeeouuuch! Turns out that I'd had a blond moment and forgotten to put water in the pot so I burned myself with steel that was on the verge of meltdown.

Anyway, I think I've learned my lesson ;) The blister finally popped yesterday. Ick! I'm not quite sure what to do with it now. I'm just keeping it covered so I don't have to think about it LOL.

I'm so hard on my hands. I stubbed my middle finger on my right hand the week before so now it swollen and I can't bend it very well. Add that to the 2 inch burn AND the nice scar from the Vanity incident and there goes any visions of being a hand model *snort*.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Dentists Suck!

I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do.

My daughter has a hole in her lower back molar. Actually she also has a smaller hole in her top molar. Same side. I took her to the dentist. He asked her 'Would you like me to fix it' and she said 'No', so he said 'Okay. Here's the number to a dentist who uses the gas'. What the? Since when does a 6 year old call the shots?

So I make an appointment with the Dentist with the Gas (har de har). When we get there it appears that they didn't book me into the room with the gas. Grrr! This time she got as far as having had the needle. Yes folks. She Had the needle but then refused to let the Dentist drill. *sigh*

So our third attempt was today. The above dentist palmed us off to the local Dental Clinic at the Hospital. 'Oh she'll be fine' says the receptionist, 'Our staff are very experienced with young, problematic children'. Hmmm, yeah right I think to myself. You haven't experienced MY daughter. So I give them the benefit of the doubt. As expected they re-emerge 15 minutes later. My daughter crying and my husband shooting daggers. Honestly, I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.

Once more nothing got done. We have one more appointment with Dentist #2. The one with the Gas. Hopefully they'll use it this time. If that doesn't go to plan then we have to put her under a general anesthetic.

Meanwhile my husband is so damn cranky with her she's been grounded for the week. Poor kid. While I don't totally agree with her punishment, I really am at a loss as to what to do next.

Now. I have a mouth full of fillings. I don't EVER recall going to the dentist and coming away without having had a procedure that I'd been booked in for. I can't EVER recall refusing to have something done and getting away with it. I do recall doing that at the local GP's when I had to get a needle. But I still ended up getting it. I think they sat on me LOL!

The thing is she's now had three positive results from her carry-on. How on earth are we ever going to get her the proper treatment she requires if everyone throws up their hands at the first sign of tears?

I'm on the verge of saying 'Stuff it. Let the tooth rot out of your head'. But I know I won't do that. I'll keep plugging away. Taking her out of school, wasting our time and the Dentists...

Lord knows how much money this is going to cost me.

Keep writing ladies. I'm going to need the covers.