Web Ways to Cover Mother's Day

SAN FRANCISCO (05/12/2000) - Mother's Day can creep up on you like a bad cold.

You know it's coming; you think about it, but you just don't do anything until it's too late.

Web Sites like Yahoo Greetings and 1-800-Flowers.com can help. On Friday, Yahoo Inc. added voice messages to its greetings service. You can even send a photo with a voice message through Yahoo Photos.

And if your mom loves flowers, 1-800-Flowers Inc. can deliver a Mother's Day bouquet to her door; with any luck, it will appear on time.

Virtual Cards That Talk

I decided to try Yahoo Greetings' new voice message service. First, I picked a card from the Mother's Day selection at Yahoo Greetings. I entered my mother's name, her e-mail address, and my message. Then I clicked on "add a voice greeting."

To my surprise, the voice service works with a phone, so you don't need to have a microphone. Your mom needs to have a sound card and speakers on her PC to hear you, though.

I dialed the Yahoo Greetings toll-free number, entered an eight-digit password, and began gushing. Yahoo lets you talk for 60 seconds, but my message lasted only 10: "Happy Mother's Day. I love you."

Next, I decided my mom should see my face, too. Yahoo photo lets you send any image as a greeting this Mother Day, but you must upload it to Yahoo Photo first.

I found a silly picture of myself from a trip to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and uploaded it. Then I clicked on the photo. Among options like Order Prints, E-mail, and Edit is a new button: Send Greeting.

That sent me to Yahoo Greetings, where I re-entered my mother's name and e-mail address. You can also record a voice message with your photo, but I decided my mom was hearing enough from me.

Yahoo sends you a copy of your greetings. When I checked my first card, I heard my own voice as the greeting card window opened. Although slightly quiet and certainly unsettling, I could clearly hear my message.

Yahoo Greetings is not the only Mother's Day aid. Amazon.com Inc. also has voice greetings, and card experts like Hallmark and AmericanGreetings offer an array of attractive, animated virtual cards for your mom.

Last-Minute Flowers

My mom doesn't check her e-mail every day. For good measure, I decided to send flowers, too. I went to 1-800-Flowers.com, but you can choose from a myriad of other sites, like FTD, where you can order bouquets.

I ordered the "Fields of Europe" bouquet. 1-800-Flowers requested I provide a range of days for my delivery time. I chose the Saturday/Sunday time frame. I entered the date and address of delivery, and got a response that the flowers could be delivered from a local florist to my mother on Sunday.

Mother's Day is second only to Valentine's Day for flower orders. For Web sites, it may be the most popular, as many Net-savvy adult children find it a handy shopping tool for mothers, no matter how distant.

My mother is forever on my case for forgetting Mother's day. Let's hope the flowers arrive on time and she checks her e-mail.

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