Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Special ladies who lunch at BlogHer...plus, contest alerts

So, for those of you who are going to BlogHer, here's something you should know: lunch will not look anything like the above. But I am organizing a "Birds of a Feather" lunch on Friday (which goes from 11:45 to 1:15 p.m.). This will follow the 10:30-11:45 panel "Blogging Autism: Shattering Myths, Opening Eyes and Finding Your Tribe" moderated by Shannon Des Roches Rosa of Squidalicious and featuring Jean from Stimeyland, among others.

Here's how to sign up for the lunch: At registration, I'll put the topic on a clipboard—"A lunch for parents who blog about kids with special powers"—and then you guys can just sign up and show up. The wonderful Julia from Support for Special Needs thought of doing a giveaway, so we're pairing up to offer AmEx gift cards, and a couple of Starbucks ones. Or you might win your very own personal blogger (PB)! So, you know, you no longer have to waste your time writing posts; your PB will do it for you! Just think of the possibilities! And if your PB makes jokes about your MIL, YOU are not to blame!

I would love to meet those of you who are going to BlogHer. And if you're not coming, we will be there representing the special needs community, and we promise not to embarrass you. More or less. We will also have a drink for you at the parties. Or ten.

Now, FYI on some cool contests/giveaways:

This week, Paula Deen and Kraft kicked off a Real Women of Philadelphia recipe contest: they're giving away $40,000 in prize money ($500 a day). You just have to submit your fave recipe made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese. The contest is open to both women and men, so perhaps this is a ripe opportunity to get your husband cooking. Or you could make your own Personal Blogger whip up something, if you win one.

Janet "Grammy" Harold, grandma to the adorable Hailey, is having a "How Does YOUR Garden Grow?" contest. She owns Cedar Grove Gardens in Boston, and she'll be giving away $500 in flowers to the winner (you can enter from any state). Just send up to four images of your beautiful garden. Given that I posted pictures of lilies last week and called them irises, and those are about the only flowers that look good, I will have to skip this one. Heads up, Janet is also a beautiful painter, and is offering special pricing on oil portraits of children to help raise money for therapy for Hailey, who like Max has cp.

Oh, and you know I am giving away a $100 shopping spree from Fun and Function, which offers toys, games and clothes for kids with special needs. It ends tonight—why haven't you entered yet? There is also a Kleenex tissue giveaway, couldn't ya use some Kleenex?

Also, that big Parents Connect Best Parenting Blog Award I am up for? If you vote, and you can vote daily till August 31, you will be entered to win $1000. Not that you need financial incentive, right? RIGHT?

I know there are a million blogs out there that list contests or giveaways, but you are doing one, or know of any great ones—especially ones relevant to kids with special needs—e-mail or tweet me and I'll mention them.

Apologies for the shameless self promotion, it's not my fault. I am testing out a Personal Blogger and she wrote this post.


P.S. Update on that birds-kicking-the-bucket situation: At work today, I got an e-mail from Dave with a picture of an ailing bird sitting on our deck. I am not completely sure what Dave wanted me to do, given that I was in an office tower, and in a different state. The bird eventually managed to fly away. Bird mystery continues. Maybe my PB will be able to help.


  1. Is there any way I can blame the bird thing on the oil spill?

    Lunch sounds fabulous--wish I could be there.

  2. I'm so happy I will be able to "do" lunch and by God YES, get me one of those PBs...STAT!

  3. Hey Ellen, tell Dave to call the USDA about those birds, the town isn't going to do anything because they don't know what to do. It could be a form of flu the birds are suffering from, per the USDA. From the USDA site:

    There are many instances every year when birds, mainly waterfowl and shorebirds, become sick or die from a variety of causes, such as trauma, predation, avian botulism or avian cholera. USDA along with the U.S. Department of the Interior and state wildlife agencies routinely investigate these events if large numbers of birds are impacted. Investigating sick or dead wild bird events serves as an effective tool for the early detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza.

    If you notice sick or dead birds, please contact your local USDA Wildlife Services office at 1-866-4-USDA-WS.

    Click on your State for more detailed information regarding reporting sick or dead birds

    Here is the link where you can click on your state to get the phone number and address of the appropriate wildlife services director for your area (actually, I think they all use the same toll free number): http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/hot_issues/avian_influenza/avian_influenza_report-birds.shtml

    You should probably be ready to tell them how many sick/dead birds you've seen and be able to describe the behavior of the sick ones. I meant to suggest this to you when I first read about your dead birds but I got all wrapped up in some BS about a playdate and forgot. Also, you're probably better off (I know, ugh) FREEZING or at least refrigerating any freshly dead carcasses you find as they'll be more forensically viable that way. Use gloves! If USDA blows you off, go to your state agricultural agency--you should be able to get a few answers there or at least be able to report a cluster of illness/death events in your area.

    Have fun at your convention! It sounds like so much fun!

  4. I will very happily join you for lunch. Just forwarded the invitation to our posse.


  5. See!? This lunch is just another reason why I wish I was able to go to BlogHer.
    *Sigh* Maybe next year.

    Also...The Paula Deen Real Women of Philadelphia contest...my sister, Caryn Ross, was one of the winners! Never has a sister been prouder than I am!

  6. Would LOVE to join your Birds of a Feather luncheon. I can relate how it is to shepherd an Aspy through JH and HS and into college. Not easy, not easy....but it can be done.

  7. So jealous...so wish I could be there. Maybe next year. So happy to have you and the others representing us special needs peeps!

  8. I wish there was a way to get more of us there! I tweeted the other day that these conferences should have more sponsorships.

    Felicia, YOU are my Personal Blogger! That is great advice. The head of the health department came to the house while I was at work today, so kudos to him for that. He spotted a dead bird by a bird bath we have in the back yard. He spotted mosquito larvae in there. Oh, and he said he spotted a bunch of poison ivy by the kids' swings. OMG. He still has NO idea what is up with the dead birds. But I've got to get out the poison ivy spray (YES, I WILL BE WEARING LONG SLEEVES) and deal with that. My backyard is scaring me.

  9. Hee hee....Ellen, based on your last interaction with the poison ivy, if I were you, I'd just call a landscaper and have them do it for you. Less stress! Be the BOSS! Stimulate the local economy, too--see, it's a good deed. That way, you know it's done for good and if it comes back you can gripe at the guy who did the work! If you have any other little things you want done, like edging, fertilizing, putting in a purple flower bed, what have you, make them do that, too, while they're at it. I wish my cousin lived near you, he has a lawnmowing business and he puts in flower beds and grades lawns for swings, patios and so forth. He'd have you hooked up in no time. You think I have the time or energy to do my own damn lawn? If not for the extreme family discount I get (which consists of totally FREE lawn service in exchange for use of my garage for equipment storage) my grass would be high as an elephant's eye and I'd have the health department up my behind!

    And that bird bath with the mosquito larvae? Girl, get one of those solar fountain things that makes the water bubble (make sure you're putting water in the thing faithfully), or one of those high end Humakah-Schulumakah-Whatever battery operated do-hickeys that float in the water and "shake" every so often. You gotta break the tension on the water so that those little skeeters can't lay their eggs! One thing I am good at is running around the yard looking for places where rainwater collects and dumping it out....I HATE skeeters!

    You are a busy young lady. You DESERVE to have someone come and do this poison ivy "fix" for you....hire a pro! The backyard will scare you less, and you'll be happier!

  10. Looking forward to meeting you at the lunch! Great idea!

  11. Really wish I was going this year. Would love to meet all of you! Next time...


Thanks for sharing!

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