Hispanicize 2015

Here’s my presentation for those of you who missed it. Feel free to stop by the booth and ask any questions if you’re at Hispanicize. We’re here today and tomorrow.

Top 10 Secret WordPress.com Features: And why you won’t want to live without them.

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1988: Never Say Goodbye

“Mom, how old were you in eighth grade?”


“Do you have pictures of you in eighth grade?”

Do I have pictures? Why, I never thought you’d ask.

I hauled out my yearbook from that year, I got my husband to do the same, and the kids spent the next few hours pouring over them.

They found me:

My daughter, who is currently in eighth grade, read all the comments in my book and giggled and giggled. As a homeschooler she finds a certain fascination in the shenanigans of non-homeschoolers and the whole yearbook thing is, of course, ultra fascinating for her. Of all the comments, she pointed this one out as particularly amazing:

I remember the first day of school you were so nice to me yet I didn’t know who you were. But through it all, we’ve become friends. which is good because you’re a nice person. Just keep smiling – keep your chin up and stay out of trouble. Most of all, make the most out of your life – because you only life once. Don’t dwell too much on guys, they’ll always be there – just be happy and when things get you down, remember the good times – they’ll always be there – no one can take away memories. Best of luck to you.

Love, name-redacted-for-their-own-good

And a classic:

I am very glad I met you. I hope we’re better friends next year. Have a great summer.

Love, name-redacted-for-their-own-good

If you went to a school where they did the whole yearbook thing you may recall the ritual signing of the yearbooks. I remember dying to have this or that boy sign my yearbook, then being disappointed by the obligatory “Stay cool” message. I remember pouring all sorts of sentiment into my message for this or that best friend and eagerly reading the equally sentimental message written back to me by this or that best friend. Those were the days. Oh, wait, they weren’t. Eighth grade, remember? Thank goodness there’s no do-overs. But if we’re looking for truth in the old yearbook, I think it’s safe to say, nobody can take away memories and it is great to pull those yearbooks out to remember the good times, they will always be there.

I Went to Hawaii for Work

I had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii for work. Really.

Aurora, the support team at Automattic that handles Jetpack and Guided Transfer, invited me to spend a few days with them talking about workflows, team goals, and more.

For workflows each person Chromecasted how they work through their daily tasks, including any helpful tools, snippets, todo list, and apps that make their job easier. It was really neat to watch the ways two people can attack the same work in distinct ways. I walked away with several ideas for better ways to do my own work.


We also worked on a Plus/Delta/Next gamestorming workshop which clarified a lot about what the team is doing well, thinks they should be working on and/or doing better. Besides being an enlightening team exercise it required sticky notes. Who doesn’t love sticky notes and sharpies? I mean, really.

Sticky note fun (+t+d fab pics courtesy of Jen Hooks):

While we were there, we took the opportunity to see a few sites and had a couple team-building activities. Here we are on a trip tubing down irrigation ditches. While that sounds a bit odd, it was really fun.


And well, of course we saw the ocean a bit too, visited a coffee plantation, took a hike to a waterfall, and I dyed my hair a little bit pink.

Aliens in Albuquerque

We were driving along, minding our own business, when we saw this truck. Wait, we thought, what on earth is sticking out of the bed of the truck?


We got a little closer.


Yup, yup, it is. As if you’d expect anything else in Albuquerque.


Snowfall for the Record Books

According to Weather Underground, Albuquerque set a record snowfall of 4.3 inches yesterday which breaks an old record of 1.0 from 1967. One of our local news stations says we got 8 inches over the last two days. And it’s the most snow since a big storm that blew through shortly after we moved here.

If you read my posts here at all you’ll know that I am not too pleased. That said, I’m an adult, I can set aside my distaste of snow for the kids. And are they ever excited. They’ve been outside since about 7am and it’s nearing noon.

My youngest has seen pictures of our days in Minnesota and South Dakota and he says things like, “Let’s go to South Dakota for Christmas.”

To which my husband and I reply, “Why ever would we do that?”

“It would be so much fun to play in the snow.”

What he doesn’t realize is that he has the best of both worlds here in New Mexico. You can go somewhere with enough snow to ski and by dinnertime be home in Albuquerque with sweatshirt weather or on a good day, t-shirt weather. Heck, I bet you could even ski in a sweatshirt in some places.

We have some well-known ski spots here. Some of my (crazy) friends travel a mere hour to get to a decent ski slope. And for more winter fun, people head to Santa Fe, Taos, and Angelfire. Then they come home to  Instead of black ice, constant slush, ugly snow, piles and piles of snow in shopping mall marking lots, subzero temps for months on end. Let’s face it, fresh snow is pretty. Snow that has been gradually piled up since September is less than great.

What makes the youngest kiddo sad is that he feels he is missing out on the whole backyard piled high with snow experience. Well, no longer. We have enough snow in our backyard to make a respectable snow angel.

Not only that, but they made an igloo.

Even the chickens are enjoying it :)

I’m not so sure about the cats, but they sure are pretty in the snow.

Also, I will admit it, I put on boots, gloves, hat, and coat on this morning to go out and take pics. But it was only because the kids are having so much fun with it. I hear that it’s going to be 50 degrees later today and that means that by tomorrow the snow will be gone and our grass, trees, and perennials will be sooooo happy with the moisture. In fact, as I write this, the sun is burning through the clouds and shining off the snow, so I am hopeful that my beautiful high desert will once again be snow free.

In the meantime, we get to take shots like these: