Monday, January 31, 2011

Plug me in


I woke up feeling like a cyborg today. A cyborg that needs a tune up...
  • gloved hand with prescription goop to mend fraying, artificial skin
  • brace on wrist from putting together too many lego sets, needs replacement soon
  • lubricate eye sockets, nostrils
  • need coffee to reboot brain
  • kids order breakfast and push my buttons
  • autopilot kicks in...
I wish I had a robot to boss around...some day...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

APAYS


Ever heard of this contagious disease? I believe it's been around for centuries. It seems to affect men more than women. And it plagues the people most who don't have it as severely.

Now that I've perked your curiosity...APAYS
Averson to
Picking up
After
Yourself
Syndrome

I was too tired from putting things away to think of anything better. Know anyone who has it?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

yet another Quick Prompt Contest 1/29/11

words: sushi, heater, squibs – mini explosives or enemies of muggle wizards, tingo – foreign crazy words or borrow things until there’s nothing left, firefly

I had to choose between two. I chose this one after reading the other entries. It wasn't like the others.

“I make sushi out of you!” old Mr. Yamoto yelled, shaking his fist. His wrinkled face was contorted in rage. He looked like one of his rutabagas.

I threw another heater into his territory. The squibs were going off like fireworks. It was hilarious to watch him duck and dodge.

“Look at that fire fly!” I yelled and lobbed another cherry bomb.

“Where did tat tingo?” He scurried, searching his garden for the dud that didn’t go off.

Me and my buddies were laughing our… uh oh! “Incoming!”

Blammo!

He took out my little bro!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Recycling anyone?

Does anyone else have trouble getting their family to recycle?
I think my family has had the cards stacked against us from the beginning.
  • We used to live in Michigan where they force you to recycle by charging you a deposit on cans and bottles - then you have to collect them and take them in and put them into the machine to get your money back. We did not enjoy that so we rebelled and enjoyed throwing away recyclables for a while.
  • Another thing is that when we moved we never got a recycle bin. Not that we cared at the time. But not having one was a good excuse to keep us from getting motivated.
  • I finally got one. But now I seem to be the only one in the family who attempts it. Rinsing out trash, not knowing what they will take, collecting it, etc - it's a big pain in the booty! Not to mention, sometimes when it gets piled up by the sink I get lazy and just throw it in when I take out the rest of the garbage. I don't have three hands!
I feel like I'm fighting a losing battle...any suggestions?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Strangely familiar

So I'm back on facebook and have had a great time building up my friends again. I did have one person question who I was (can you imagine? the nerve! just kidding!)

In my rediscovery I learned a couple of things about FB:
  1. You find out that more people remember you than you might have thought. I am daring to ask more and more people (like from high school and even elementary school) and they are accepting me. Either they remember me or they just like to have more friends. I'm hoping they remember me, because I remember them!
  2. This probably doesn't surprise you, but I have found that the majority of us (people on the planet, or people in my little world, take your pick) go through the same stuff - sickness, not wanting to exercise, hating the dinner humdrums, trouble with kids, loving their families, supporting each other, etc. It's comforting to know I'm not alone.
  3. One revelation that shook me bittersweet - a ton of my friends, old and new, now live in the Atlanta area. I wish I was one of them! I miss that town! Some day? We'll see what's in the cards on that one. At least I can visit a bunch, since my parents still live there.
  4. I even have a famous friend who seems to be an motivational speaker. I need to find out more about what she does but she has like over 5000 friends!
  5. My favorite thing is seeing that my friends haven't changed very much. They all still look great! And their kids are adorable too!
I wish I had more hours in the day to keep up with all this stuff!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Winter blues


I don't mind winter. I like snow and refreshing sweater weather.
But there are a couple of things I'm very over.

Sickness, I can't stand. It never seems to end until the sun creeps back to warm our side of the world.
Two out of three, sick again! At least it was just one day and at the same time. So I only had to sanitize the house once. I'm still working on the mountain of infected linens...

The other thing I hate is STATIC! It's like a living thing. It cries out when you try to separate your hair from your neck or your but from a chair!
Other than that, winter is going pretty well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Critique Central

I recently joined "Critique Central" at Writer's Digest so I could get some feedback, since none (sorry, most) of my sweet viewers and followers are too shy to comment. That's ok, I'm not a commenter myself, except in familiar company.

So after entering "The Test" in a short story contest last weekend, I put it up at Critique Central. My first big brave bold post. And I'm thrilled to say I got some positive feedback. You can look without logging in if you would like =)  critiques of "The Test"

Monday, January 24, 2011

Babies on board

Out at dinner the other night I had a flashback.
I saw a mom with three young children come in to eat. That is one of the hardest things to do. Not the eating part, but the "I have to go to the bathroom" part. You have to drag all three kids with you. I came back one time and our food had been cleared!
I felt for that mom. She carted all three of those little ones back and forth at least twice. I wanted to tell her, "It gets better!"

They were precious younger but I'm glad I'm past it. (Side note: It's sad that this is one of the only pictures I have of me and all 3 of the boys - guess I'm the one taking the pics all the time...)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

These are great!

I entered the "Three Minute Fiction" contest at NPR with "The Test" in my SHORT STORIES + section on the right...

I needed a joke for it and in my research I found these funny Honest Bumper Stickers

--All men are idiots, and I married their king.
-- Your kid may be an honors student, but you're still an idiot.
-- I brake for no apparent reason.
-- Time is what keeps everything from happening all at once.
-- Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
-- I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
-- Women who seek to be equal to men lack ambition.
-- I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
-- Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off NOW.
-- Give me ambiguity or give me something else.
-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else.
-- Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be happy.
-- Consciousness cuts into my napping.
-- There are 3 kinds of people: those who can count and those who can't.
-- Keep honking. I'm reloading.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Created Unequal

We, as humans, are created equal with a mind and a body - no matter the capacity or appearance.
But we are not equals. We are different.

We have the same rights and should be treated fairly, no favoritism.
But we are not equals. Each individual has different strengths, weaknesses, preferences, methods, opinions, backgrounds, etc.

You have talent. Everyone is good at something.
Use your strengths for good. Be productive to the best of your ability - whatever that may be!
And give respect, not disdain, when someone else does it better than you.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Results - Quick Prompt Contest Entry 1/15/11

Well, as predicted, I didn't get picked. There were too many entries that were more "literary" than mine. Tho the runner up didn't seem very worthy. On a good note, the ladies at Fine Print were impressed with all the entries and raved about everyone. I'll take that.

Here are the results, if you're interested winners-of-second-divergent-contest

Ode to Frank and Rose

Frank and Rose

Frank and Rose
Sweet repose
No one knows
Their love.

Frank so strong
Fix the wrong
Don’t belong
He preached.

Rose’s soul
Heart of gold
Hand to hold
She taught.

Two as one
Without son
Race is run
They won.

Home with God
Worthy of
Lives applaud
Sore missed.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What is the next great invention?

What would you like to see invented? I believe I have every modern convenience that I could ever want and many that I don't. I feel blessed to live in this age and can't imagine life getting better. The area I would like help with is cleaning - I hate cleaning the house! And it's so futile! It feels like such a waste of time. Sure it's nice to have a clean house but it gets dirty again so quickly. And I have so many other things to do! Unfortunately the problem I see in our future is laziness taking over. People used to say "Necessity is the Mother of Invention" - well say, "Laziness is the Father of Invention!" You think obesity is a problem now? Wait until these beauties come out:
  • A combination washer/dryer - you don't have to move the laundry from one machine to the other. Either they are combined or take care of the switch for you.
  • Speaking of laundry - how about an auto-folder, I can see it as a possibility for towels and sheets anyway.
  • A waterless dish cleaner/sanitizer - after dinner, put your dishes in and bammo, they're clean! Like a microwave, in seconds. No water, no dish pan hands.
  • A refrigerator calorie counter - the fridge scans what goes in and can tell you by weight what you have eaten and how many calories it was.
But the two greatest inventions I see a need for (besides a cure for cancer and alternatives to gasoline) are:
  • a way to take care of all the garbage!!!
  • a better way to get through airport security!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

American Idol 2011


I have a very positive outlook on this season! I love the judges and the contestants.

I had withdrawal after boycotting last season - I refused to watch Ellen. She was not qualified. They turned the show into a circus.

This year it's like they started over. I'm so happy to be back watching it! =0

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mark Twain say WHAT?

I believe in free speech. Even when I don't like what others may say, as long as it's legal. That is one of the founding principles that makes us a great nation.

Today, it seems like you can't say anything without offending someone. People are way too soft, taking everything personally, getting their wittle feewings hurt (was that insensitive?). I know some people are just mean and want to hurt and that ain't right. But that isn't what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about nit picking and revising to make things sound nicer.
And rewriting history is not going to help.

I call it Extreme Politically Correctness. If you haven't heard, there is a new edition of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn being published with the "N" word being removed, which he used about 200 times. Apparently someone thinks the schools shouldn't expose students to it. "That word doesn't exist, children." Why don't we just remove all the offensive and disgusting things that have happened?

Once again the extremists are leading the apathetic masses. Reality is unpleasant. Life is messy. There is evil in this world!

It is our job to teach children how to deal with it, not sweep it under the rug!
Part of growing up is admitting past mistakes and learning from them - in history and personally. We need to stop trying to make everything nice and pleasant and perfect - LIFE ISN'T PERFECT!

I love Stephen Colbert, I don't always agree with him, but he takes the extremes and shows people how ridiculous they are. Here is Colbert on the revised Huck Finn, the rest of the article is the proponent of the revision.

Monday, January 17, 2011

baby toys

It's hard to believe babies are real when you first have one. They seem more like dolls. The oversized heads and eyes, the supple skin and wispy hair. They're so precious, you just want to cuddle them all day. Until the cute and sweet gives way to the stinky, weepy, needy (and happy and sneezey- no no no!) stuff.

I remember the baby phases - finally he can eat baby food, finally he can feed himself, finally he can sit up, finally he can crawl - oh no he can crawl! etc. But most of what I remember is on the changing table - endless diapers. Or the letting them cry and put themselves to sleep - so hard, and what a relief when you make it through. The cute moments, though fleeting, help us get through the exhausting, difficult times.

And then all of a sudden they are little people. The chubby, innocent babies disappeared.

How do they know?

I do not like computers to think for me. Sometimes it can be helpful, like facebook suggesting names of people I might know if I start to write part of the first name or MS Word underlining misspelled words (so I don't look like an idiot for my sister to correctify me).

What I don't like is when a program automatically corrects me. Computers don't know no slang! They ain't programmed for funny abbrevs. They git on my nerves! Then I have to go back and rewrite the dumb computer's correction - I wanted to spell it that way! (And I have to yell at the computer, even though it doesn't hear me, it's therapeutic!) The worst "helper" I've come across so far is on my crazy ipad. When I type it offered words it thought I might want to use and if I just kept typing it put the words it suggested instead of what I wanted! I turned that "help" off real quick! STOP HELPING ME!

Just another useless invention to dumb people down and make them lazier. Go look it up! They're making it harder and harder to explain to kids why they have to go to school - my computer does everything for me - what else is there to learn? and what else is there to invent?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Quick Prompt Contest Entry 1/15/11 (another try)

My favorite agent, Janet Reid, put another contest out to give us a second chance...The prize is DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth. I don't think I'm good enough to win one yet, but I love the challenge!
Words to use:
mildew
scandal
snooze
flair
jasper

Bonus points if you correctly identify what links these words.


Ahh, the scent of mildew in the morning. Jasper woke from his brief snooze. He had a cup of coffee while he read the scandal sheets.

“Looks like the Fleas are splitting up,” he mentioned to Vera.

“Can’t you see I’m busy?” she said, laying her third egg of the day.

He had a flair for interrupting her. “Oh. Sorry. Well, I’d better go eat. It’s been a few days and Johnny will be up soon.”

“Bye, dear.”

Jasper journeyed from the warmth of the sour sock under the bed. He reached Johnny’s cheek and latched on. Mmm. Succulent blood.

for the bonus I found flair & scandal mentioned in this jabbing yet complimentary review of Ghost Country …that’s all I got.
 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dear Lucky Agent Contest

I'm entering the
8th "Dear Lucky Agent" contest

It is for literary fiction - I call that fancy fiction. I'm not so sure my women's fiction novel is quite fancy enough, but I'm still polishing it up. I gave them the most recent editing of my first 185 or so words for them to judge from the first book I wrote. It's now called "Save Yourself" and you can find my entry under short stories + to the right. Wish me luck!

resutls - quick prompt contest entry 1/10/11

There were 100 entries! And as I read them, I knew I fell short, but I believe I was top 10-15%. Some were really good and I picked two out of the top three...I will put more effort into it next time. Here is my favorite, the runner up...

by Marie Rearden
Lil and Margie lived on a cobbled cul-de-sac, homes and hearts separated only by a glowering A-frame. The eighty-somethings baked muffins, shared memories, and showed no abnegation at the library’s book giveaways. But amity turned to enmity when Mr. Pawpaw, the erudite librarian, moved into the A-frame. Cotton balls of hair fanned his ears, and his bespectacled eyes twinkled. He was a granny’s wickedest fantasy.

Margie concocted a lovely pie. A dauntless Lil whipped up an irresistible quiche. They hobbled to Mr. Pawpaw’s door with their seductive gifts.

With candor, he smooched Margie and honked Lil’s bottom. “I love cougars!”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm not touching you...

My boys found this...it's so appropriate for them!

I did not hit you...

what the?

This is a friend of a friend's facebook profile pic. I had to post it. It's like a car wreck - hard to look away.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Welcome to the Learning Place

This precious little school house is where my three boys went to preschool. I also taught there during the last year of my youngest's attendance. I still sub there once in a while. It's a quaint, historic place and I love it - the wonderful teachers make it great!

They are having an open house and I told them I would let people know...pass it on!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

public speaking

I teach math. I substitute in all subject areas, but I know math and I like to teach it. I enjoyed a geometry class today. I helped a few of them. But during my planning period I had to cover an english class. They were reading The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot.

It was an honors english class and they took it upon themselves to discuss it as a class to answer questions about it. I was only there to take attendance and pass out papers. I listened and they got most of the symbolism. Now, I am not an English major. But I believed I knew what the interpretation of the last section meant and they were missing it. Being the teacher, I got up and proposed my idea to them - and felt like I was hyperventillating! My heart raced, I couldn't catch my breath. I had stage fright! I don't know what came over me - I teach almost every day! The only other time that happened was when I was auditioning for Disney's American Idol. That was much more nerve wracking than I thought!

Maybe I have a fear of being judged? It won't stop me from doing it again. I will overcome my fears!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Quick Prompt Contest Entry 1/10/11

I don't know why, but I like to take the humorous route to these contests. The winners are usually very serious. I can't take so much drama and seriousness. Show me the funny!

Words for this contest (for 100 word story):
dauntless
amity
erudite
abnegation
candor

Dauntless Sir Gerald, gauntlet raised shielding his eyes from the sun, searched for a turret, home. It had been arduous defeating the dragon and rescuing the damsel.

There was no amity between he and Alisandra. She was the wizard’s daughter, erudite and arrogant. He was a simple knight, of which she constantly reminded him.

She reposed behind him. He could have had his way with her. Rather he chose abnegation and chivalry.

They rode in silence until she woke.

“This horse offendeth my nose. Or is it you?” she asked with candor.

He wished to dumpeth her butt right there.

just when you thought it couldn't get worse

At least I didn't think it could get worse. I'm talking about the dress code in high school. The short shorts have always been a problem. Especially with that first glimpse of warm weather. But I'm not even talking about skin displays, it's winter!

Leggings and jeggings with backsides sticking out - blech! Even on the skinny girls - it's NOT ATTRACTIVE!!! They look like they're headed for the bunny slopes with the furry boots (which are cute). I much preferred the sweatpants and pajama bottoms lazy look. I mean, everything is clothed, but it is still indecent. I did some on line research and most sites agree - do not wear leggings with short shirts! Cover up that butt! (I was going to put a picture, but you don't want to see that.)

Mothers? Fathers? Does this not bother you? Put your foot down! It is probably best I don't have girls...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Look younger!

Not drastic measures, not botox. Just makeup tips (from my favorite magazine, Prevention)
  • give your brows a lift with a brow pencil a shade lighter than your chosen hair color.
  • don't put cover up in "crows feet" and "parenthesis" (the lines from nose to mouth), it emphasizes them. Use concealer below the lines or where a shadow falls.
  • lessen the droop of your mouth with highlighter and concealer, again minimizing shadows.
  • hide a double chin using a darker shade or bronzer under there.
  • on a side note, try some red lipstick - it's supposed to brighten your complexion and distract from flaws. If your skin tone is towards the yellow end of the spectrum, use warmer reds with orangy or brown tones, if it's bluer or pinker use cooler colors like rose, scarlet and berry.
I like to try things on a day I'm not going anywhere...experiment and see if any of it works.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

gas prices go up, gas prices go down?

My sister-in-law is predicting the gas prices in Michigan will be $5.00 soon.
AAAHH!

I do mostly local driving - part time work, church, shopping, games, etc. So I don't have to fill up too often. Here are a few strategies I use to get the most value for my gas money:
  • When I'm driving around I notice who has the best price.
  • If I'm really low and the prices are too high ($3 lately!) I only fill up half way, hoping by the time I need it again, they will come back down.
  • If I see the price is low I usually fill up if I have half a tank or less.
  • Rumor has it prices go up for the weekends and holidays. This seems to be true as I keep tabs on my stations - they like to hike it up on Wed or Thurs!
  • Another trend is that gas stations near the highway are usually a few cents more, for the lucky travelers who have to stop at an exit to fill up.
  • Carpooling is great, if you know anyone going the same place at the same time (not good for my crazy schedule)
  • When I can, I try to plan a shopping event - park in the middle of a shopping center and walk around to the stores. Plus, it's good exercise.
Usually the difference in the prices is only a few cents. But it adds up!
If I ever get back in the classroom, I will encourage my students to solve the problem of transportation - How do we make electric cars cool?

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's All I Know

It's All I Know...

Live in your bubble.
Safe. Limited. Afraid?
Small problems, small mind.

Get out!
Go places!
Leave your comfort zone!

Point to the globe,
Any point.
Methods differ, life is the same.

We search for happiness.
Live, love, die.
The core holds true.

Appearances deceive.
Embrace difference.
Not like you.

Never judge.
What gives you the right?
Why is your way best?

Go find out.

I wrote this poem, talking to myself. I watched a video of National Geographic photographers and it reminded me of some missionaries I used to know from college. I really admire their courage to reach out to the world. (I don't even like to go camping.) And now I would like to travel but I don't want to deal with the darn airport security!!! I'm such a woose!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Time to exercise


They say it takes 21 days to get into the habit of something.
Well, here goes. I began my exercise habit today (one day down).
3 Good Reasons to Exercise (per Prevention Jan/2011):
  1. you eat less - something to do with signals to the brain to keep you from wanting to eat after exercising.
  2. you get smarter - exercise helps your brain absorb new information, so I guess it depends on what you do while you're running on the treadmill (they should have added a disclaimer: Do not attempt to read and run down the street at the same time)
  3. you get organized - apparently connections in your brain improve to help with strategizing
So exercising your body also exercises your brain - who knew?

I'm a winner!

Well, I feel like a winner.
I entered a flash fiction contest and made it through the first round!
I don't remember which story I submitted, I'll look it up when I get home.

It was Swan Dive - flash fiction for Fall at WOW - Women on Writing

I'm so excited I had to shout it!
Even if I don't win, I feel validated.

facebook...

I am now back on facebook =)

be my friend?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Craftiti

It's pronounced, "craft-eaty" - a combination of craft and graffiti.

My middle son got a couple of books for Christmas, two volumes of "The Encyclopedia of Immaturity." A how-to-never-grow-up list of things to do. Now, first of all, I know men do not need a guide for this. Second of all, they wouldn't read it and have someone else tell them how to be immature. But it's perfect for my son because most of it he does already and it's harmless, somewhat educational fun. Just don't tell him.

Here is an example. I named it craftiti,

Gives new meaning to "Mom, can I have a quarter?"

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

comparison - doctors and God


The Great Physician...

I don't believe doctors are like God - tho they may think they are.
I believe we treat them similarly:
  • We should be visiting on a regular basis,
  • But many only go when they are sick
  • We want a quick fix for as little work as possible
  • They tell us things we should do to stay healthy
  • We usually do the things for a while, then go back to our old routine
  • It's for your own good - goes in one ear and out the other
  • Bad habits are hard to break and good ones harder to start
  • Eventually our lack of effort will lead us to serisous complications...
I want to be healthier in mind, body and soul in 2011!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Pop Travel, preview

I am feverishly working on my book, Pop Travel. I may have to change the name to something more catchy. I'm having a great time writing it and it's about halfway done. I put the first chapter under Short Stories +.

I'd love to hear any comments...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

the Ball Game

My mom and dad came up with a fun way to entertain the kiddies when they were much smaller. Every time we get together, everyone joins in "the ball game."

Now that most of them are older, they still love it. The only rule is No Throwing! And there isn't a winner - you just keep going until too many people drop out. Then you try to make baskets in the bucket putting the balls away. The fun doesn't stop!

Here is a sample from our latest game: ball game video

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wait!

Is 2010 over? I forgot to recap all my best and worst moments! Who broke up with who? What was the best song? What important stuff happened? (In case you didn't realize, I'm being sarcastic)

I am usually late. My husband says, "We can leave when you finish what you need to do." He doesn't know that we would never leave if that was the case. I use every second to work on things, right up until I absolutely need to quit and get everyone out the door. I don't leave myself much leeway for finding my keys...but we make it!

Use your time wisely - it moves on with or without you!