Friday, September 28, 2012

butt in chair syndrome

Keeping in Shape with Shallee!

Shallee has a great new program I'm joining, The Healthy Writers Club.

We write, therefore, we sit. Shallee is encouraging us to get our butts out of our chairs and get some exercise. A healthy body enhances a healthy mind! So on Fridays we share what activities we are doing in addition to meeting our writing goals. I love the encouragement of the blogosphere and now we can help each other with the biggest problem we face - weight gain! (get it, biggest?)

And in keeping with my Friday 4 U theme, I am sharing a LHW tip.

Knowing I am holding myself accountable to write about my exercise each week has inspired me to actually get some exercise! So I return to my multi-tasking, reward-motivating activity:

Treadmill blogging!

If I had to guess the number one excuse for not exercising, I'd say it was "I don't have time," (said in whiny voice). To save time, some people text and walk (no text while driving!!!) cycle and read or exercise with the tv on. Exercising in a class is very motivating. Walking and talking with a friend is the best, time flies by. Unfortunately, with the hectic schedule I have (you too, right?), fitting in an exercise class on a regular basis would be the final flaming sword thrown in to take down my juggling act. And finding 30 minutes of overlapping free time with a person I'd like to walk with - near impossible! That's why blogging has become such a wonderful part my life. I connect with you guys and get and give encouragement and feedback. Perfect timing for me cause it's whenever I have a few minutes!

And instead of just sitting, I thought I would put my legs to use while I blog. Waiting for those things to load is such a waste of time, why not put value into it on a treadmill! There's handles if I lose my balance, I can adjust difficulty levels of speed and inclination (ha!) and I get to listen to my music. It's such a stress reliever!

This week I was able to squeeze in 30 minutes of treadmill blogging 3X! I'm very proud of myself. And hope to continue. I have to, or I'll be spending a fortune buying the next size up! NO WAY!!! (next week: SHOWERCIZE)

*** FYI, I am hosting part of GUTGAA next week ***
*** So Monday I will have a flood of 25 posts for the SMALL PRESS PITCH ***
Enter if you are so inclined! It's been a totally awesome event!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

It starts with the first chapter

If you are just starting a new first draft, Chuck Wendig has 25 harsh realities for you to consider. I am also writing another first draft, but it started as a short story. We'll see where it goes...

So having Sensational Haiku Wednesday be about Chapters seemed to fit right in!

Chapter One: We're born
Chapter Five: We go to school
and learn how to write

Chapters Thirteen thru
Thirties are tumultuous,
dating and mating.

Some books continue
with many Chapters, others
may end abruptly.

What e'er your story,
fill Chapters with love, leave the
drama for fiction.

Monday, September 24, 2012

cool weather writing

I made a couple of updates in red!
source
H A P P Y   F A L L !

It's been a busy weekend! The highlight was that my son's baseball team had a get together to socialize with new teammates and their families at the Reds game Saturday night - when they clinched the NL Central division championship! Even though I live in Ohio, I'm a Braves fan at heart and a Tiger fan by marriage - but it was awesome to be there for such a big win! Way to go, Reds!

We had three different sports represented this weekend too - a football game, a baseball game, and basketball tryouts. I've barely been home! Ah well. I enjoy being busy!

And now for the writing/blogging news...WBN!

Tomorrow (9/25) kicks off! Miss Snark's biggest annual event - Baker's Dozen Agent Auction! Check it out if you're shopping your MS around!

Christine is having a birthday give away! Go stop by and wish her a happy birthday and you might win the present!

Angie at Notes From the Writing Chair wants to read some short stories and give feedback! She's holding a contest through Oct 31

The Muse Online Writers Conference! You should register because it closes Tues 9/25! or at least check it out! Registration has been extended to 9/30!


So how was your weekend? And do you have a wild hair to write a great short story? Going to the online conference? Have a great week, whatever you're up to!

Friday, September 21, 2012

cartoon you!


Making a cartoon you!
Believe it or not, I made this from shapes in powerpoint. The art of shape and clipart manipulation is just a matter of patience and practice – like all worthy endeavors!
Now I am going to break down my picture, to show you some ways to get creative with clipart!

Start with a head! And it doesn’t have to be perfectly round. Next are the features. Zooming in helps with the smaller features,
**tip, choose an object before zooming or it zooms into the center
or you can enlarge the shapes to see them better.
**tip, if you want to make a bunch of separate shapes bigger or smaller, group them so they stay put (under "Arrange").
For the eyes, I use white circles or ovals, colored circle irises to match my eyes, and black pupils – **tip, when choosing a color, play with the spectrum of custom colors.
The eyelids are chords and the eyebrows are arcs, outlined in a little darker shade.
**tip, the yellow squares help you choose the length of the curve.
The lashes are tiny arcs.
**tip, once you make one eye, group it and copy it and  flip it (under "Arrange").

The nose is a scribble, the mouth another arc. The neck is a rectangle, or a pentagon if your shirt will be a v-neck.
**tip, group after completing a step to make the next step easier.
The hair is the hardest…
I used the chord for the larger piece behind the head and lots of moon shapes for wisps and accents - I highlighted the shapes to show you...
**tip, you may have to play with the "bring to front" or "send to back" to get stubborn pieces to lay right, just like in real life!
And finally, the accessories.
My glasses are rounded rectangles, lines and an arc. The shirt is the “flowchart delay” shape.
**tip, to get a fancy fill, right click on the object, format picture, fill, click on clipart and type in what you are looking for, denim, pattern, flowers, etc.
To make any clipart into a blog-ready picture,
make sure it is grouped
right click, choose “Save as Picture”
if you have a photoshop program, you can check it out and crop as needed.

These are basic, basic instructions - so if you have any questions you can leave them in the comments or email me. Or you could just ask for one =) taratylertalks at g mail dot com.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

take me away

Cleaning stinks! "Wouldn't it be easier if it all just blew away?" (Name the movie) Moms would sure be happier! And if Mom is happy, the whole family is happy, right? Ah, well. Since we do have to clean, today's Sensational Haiku Wednesday is dedicated to those hard working Moms (& Dads) who have to clean up after everyone else - and some work outside the house in addition! Single people have no idea how exasperating it is to be the last line of defense* - Mom will do it because no one else will. Let's ESCAPE Mundania!

How to Escape Reality

Perfect getaway
A chair, a bright light, no kids,
and a great story



Who needs to travel
when books take you everywhere,
sans security 


Imagination
no limitations, fly as
far as you can dream

And don't forget, if
you push the wrong button, you
can always escape!

Just for a little while, escape from your chores. You will come back refreshed and finish quicker!


*There are always exceptions! Like a puppy or a sloppy roommate, but still...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

a little about meme...

Thanks for the tag, Candilynn!

I've seen lots of you guys doing this MEME. I love reading about what you are writing! I was going to talk about my current WIP, but Candilynn suggested I use POP TRAVEL. I have been so focused on my new story, it will be nice to talk about the one I'm querying.

What is the working title of your book?
Pop Travel

Where did the idea come from?
All the intensified airport security – the exposing, humiliating procedures. Pop Travel doesn’t eliminate them, but I use a less invasive method and dogs, not frisking.

What genre does your book fall under?
It really doesn’t seem to have a main genre. I say sci fi thriller, but I’ve had writing professionals tell me different things. It’s an action adventure, near future, noir thriller…any help there would be great. In queries I just call it a thriller and add that it's an action/adventure, comparing it to a mixture of Romancing the Stone and I, Robot.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie?
I love this question and did a blog hop on it. Leonardo di Caprio, Reese Witherspoon, and Aziz Ansari

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? 
While millions of people pop travel to teleport every day, ignorant that abusers disintegrate, J.L. Cooper must elude the cunning executives at Pop Travel International to expose the flaw or his brother could be next.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
Hoping for representation. Got first request for full and waiting on that. Self-publication takes too much time and money that I don’t have!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? 
A few months? I’ve been editing so long, I forget!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I love Michael Crichton. I originally wrote this idea to send to him. After he passed, I was sorely sad, but thought why not write it myself.

What else about your book would pique the reader's interest? 
Besides the action, the technology is plausible – we writers write the future of technology! And the characters are funny and quirky, very likable.

I pass this on to these extraordinary people to tell us about their WIPs!

Vikki     Morgan     Tyrean     Jessie     Kim

And my lovely friend, Chandara (Elizabeth Arroyo) gave me the adorable Daisy Award. Thanks, girl!

I'm supposed to list 7 weird things about myself. I'm not weird! Well, I guess I am...
  1. I love dragonflies. When I was a kid I dreamt of being their queen. Worship me, dragonflies =)
  2. Dogs and kids are drawn to me. I think I relate to them better than other adults, we're so judgy.
  3. I have vitiligo. White patches where my skin pigment dies. I hate it, but there's not much to be done about it...could be worse.
  4. I showercize - a Lazy Housewife thing to do. More on that later.
  5. I never have all the ingredients when I cook. I'm terrible at taking inventory - phooey! I thought I had more of that! So I improvise. The results are usually good and I don't tell until I get reviewed.
  6. I can't stand being the same as everyone else. I have to be different, give things my own twist. I cut up t-shirts, add a splash of color, come up with my own hairstyles, etc. Nothing crazy, but enough to identify me as an individual.
  7. Besides singing my heart out in the car, I mouth the words listening to my ipod when I'm grocery shopping. I like to make people smile with my weirdness =)
I am giving the Crazy Daisy to...
Dana     Gwen     Emily S.     Sherry     Livia

Thanks again and wear a smile today!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Genre party and more!

Today is the Genre Favorites Blogfest! Hosted by your friendly Ninja Captain Alex!

My Music style of choice is ALTERNATIVE. Bands like - Cake, Foo Fighters, Neon Trees, Offspring, and Weezer. The only trouble with alternative rock is the radio stations come and go. In my 20s I listened to 99X, a station in Atlanta. When I moved, there was nothing like it anywhere. I suffered. Until I tried to find it online years later here in Ohio. You want to talk about coincidence. 99X went off the air soon after I left and while I searched for it, facebook fans started a 99X page for them and the station was resurrected with an online feed!!! I was ecstatic! Been listening to it for 8 years! But guess what. About a week ago, they pulled the plug again. I think alternative music listeners must not spend enough money to keep our station afloat...

As for Books and Movies, I like action/adventure, fantasy, sci fi, humor, and a little chick lit (my guilty pleasure). Some favorites that I could watch/read over and over:
  • all Disney/Pixar - Incredibles is the best of all time
  • the Matrix
  • Star Wars
  • Indiana Jones
  • Harry Potter
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Game of Thrones
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Hunger Games
  • the Holiday
  • French Kiss
  • Xanth Series by Piers Anthony
  • Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
  • Michael Crichton books & movies
That's enough. What's your favorite genre? book? movie? music?

But don't leave! I have a few announcements -

Two friends signed contracts for publication!!
and
CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Still going on, RIGHT NOW! (click the badges for details)

    image.jpeg  GUTGAAYay, Marcy!  Write a knock out!  

And coming up...

Baker's Dozen Agent Auction - starting Sept 25 at Miss Snark's!

Tell me something good with you!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday 4 U

Welcome to Friday 4 U!

I love Fall! I think I might have mentioned that. But it's so refreshing after a hot, hot Summer. September (in the US) brings back the school groove, relieving cooler weather, and football! It's also the season where some folks start to decorate their yards. Do you put out a fall wreath? a scarecrow? hay bale? corn stalks? They are so fun! I love the huge pumpkins! And my scarecrows - 2 regular, one pumpkin head and one crow head. Decorating for seasons and holidays is something the Lazy Housewife here likes to do. And it doesn't take a lot of time!

So here are some LAZY HOUSEWIFE tips for September:
  • OUTSIDE: for putting stakes into the ground is easier after it rains, you can also soften the ground with a hose. 
  • And if your scarecrows are faded, like mine were, spray paint brings new life to them. just be sure to cover/tape parts you don't want colored.
  • INSIDE: I decorate inside too - I <3 Michaels. A little fake Fall foliage goes a long way to Autumn up the main areas of the house. It makes me happy to see it!
  • The easiest decorations are kid creations. I keep most of their artwork, storing it with other seasonal decor - it's fun for them to see what they did too.
  • The Lazy Housewife is also the Thrifty Housewife - buy decorations for next year after the holiday/season, it's cheap!
  • Owls are the rage this Fall! Here's a little pumpkin owl design for you =) I would just use felt or construction paper and pipe cleaners - fun little project for the kids - and make your own designs, monsters, cat, spider, etc 
  • KIDS: And finally, do your kids have that adjustment period when school starts? Best thing for us to have is organization and patience. Mine struggle with homework, especially after a long day of school and sports. We distribute it if we can so they aren't overloaded. And we have supplies at the ready - homework folders for each kid, pencils, erasers, paper, etc. I just leave it all on our counter in a neat stack since we have to use it daily. And to make it easier in the morning, we try to get those backpacks ready to go the night before, notice I said try!
Well, that was fun! Do you have any tips for fall decor? Things you like to do in September? Homework motivation? Please share!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

fully functional

Glad to be back for Sensational Haiku Wednesday!
Each word Jenn chooses for us has so many connotations. I love the possibilities!
Today's is function.
this is a function!



To put it simply
a function does not repeat
values in domain
The robot is not
performing properly, a
minor malfunction


Magic morning brew
Without it cannot function
Good after first cup

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall is my favorite season

Fall brings cooler weather, changing leaves, and the greatest holidays! Including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my bday =)

And speaking of Halloween makes me think of my favorite candy - chocolate!
Yummy!

Which brings me to the delicious, delectable, delightful, chocolate covered bloghop, What's Your Chocolate?  Hosted by M. PaxLaura EnoBrinda Berry, and Ciara KnightThe only unbelievable story I have to share about chocolate is that my oldest son doesn't like it! In recent years, he has come around and now likes a few chocolaty items, but it's not something he craves. And don't ask me where it came from, it sure wasn't me! I need my chocolate.

I also compiled a few chocolaty lists...

Forms of chocolate I love:
  • brownies (my #1 weakness)
  • donuts
  • cookies
  • cake
  • on strawberries
  • fondue
  • fudge
  • truffles
  • pudding
  • hot cocoa
Chocolate bars I love:
  • Mounds
  • Heath
  • M n Ms - ever been to a store? be careful! it's tempting to get too much! all those colors add up!
  • Three Musketeers
  • Hershey
  • Special dark
  • Kit Kat
  • Crunch
  • Krackle
  • Kisses
  • Reeces
  • Whoppers
  • Raisinettes
  • Butterfinger
  • boxed chocolates - creme filled
And yet, there are forms of chocolate I do not care for...
  • chocolate flavored pop or coffee
  • ice cream, unless it's mixed with cookies or caramel, mmm
  • no nuts in my chocolate, please!
  • no sprinkles
  • chocolate covered cherries
  • off brand chocolate bunnies, etc - not the same!
  • white chocolate is okay but best on pretzels
What's your favorite or least favorite chocolate?

Another great thing about Fall and Halloween is blogfests - like this one I found:

Spooktoberfest! is brought to you by Jackie and Dani. Isn't that a cute, spooky button! Looking forward to some good ghost stories! And sweet prizes of course.

And don't forget, next Monday is Alex's Genre Party blogfest. There's so many to choose from!

What else is coming up?

Friday, September 7, 2012

As you like it

Today I am announcing the winners of my 2 year blogaversary giveaway and revealing which was the true story from the "What I did last summer" blog hop. But to keep you in suspense, I first want to tell you about my New Blog Year Resolution!

Reviewing my posts of late, I see I talk a lot about me. I want to do a little more for others. One of my strongest characteristics is that I like to help, to a fault even. But I only like to help with stuff I am confident about. So! Starting next Friday, I will be presenting posts of helpfulness every Friday. Kick Start Mondays will stay the same and I will keep participating in Sensational Haiku Wednesdays, but Fridays are for you guys! Hey - great title! Fridays 4 U! Here are some of the topics I would talk about:
  • power point and picture manipulation
  • lazy housewife tips
  • continuing my writing a book entries
  • book reviews
  • guest posts and interviews for blog tours
  • and any requests?
Okay, I will get on with the winners of my giveaway...

Sheena won "The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer" by Michelle Hodkin

Samantha won "Full Dark, No Stars" by Stephen King

Two bloggy friends were chosen to win a personalized graphic design
Cassie Mae      and       Elizabeth Arroyo

AND
I awarded a SURPRISE prize to a randomly drawn name of all the commentors who didn't pick a prize,
Annalisa Crawford chose the ebook Past Due by Elizabeth Seckman

Thanks again to everyone for making these two years of blogging so wonderful!


And finally, time to reveal which Summer Essay was true...
drum roll

The true story was...
What a Trip!
Dale, Ginger, Nicki (me), and Kat and some random guy with Cigar Store Indians in Myrtle Beach, SC!

I have had so many fun adventures with my buddy "Ginger." And the first story could very well have happened, as the characters are based on my friends and stuff we did, but the events in the story I wrote are totally fictional. Looking forward to finding out the results of the rest of the stories! Thanks again Erin & Melodie for the fun hop!

Have an exciting weekend - make it something to write about! (or just make something up!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

summer essay #2

Here, my dears, is the second wild tale for the "What I did last summer" blog hop.

Hope you enjoy!

What a Trip!

A couple of cute guys sat across the aisle from Nicki and Ginger. Chatting about their spur of the moment flight, they found out the guys were staying just down the beach from them. Maybe they would see each other.
After checking in, the girls waited for Ginger’s two stewardess friends, Kat and Dale. As soon as they were settled, they walked down the street to a beach bar and right away some young, blond surfer dudes bought them drinks. One said he was a lifeguard but the girls didn't believe him. Dale was hilarious and even funnier drunk. But she almost caused a fight between some bikers and the surfer dudes. To fix it, she dragged one of the surfers into the ocean with her with their clothes on.
Having enough of that place, the surfer dudes invited the girls to an amusement park and they had fun on the rides. Dale and Kat were tired so called it a night, but Nicki and Ginger went dancing with the boys. At the club, the music wasn’t very good so they left and told the boys they would see them at the beach the next day.
Surprisingly, the one boy really was a lifeguard and he posed for some pictures. While the girls played Frisbee, they met some more boys, visiting from New York with dark hair and thick accents. The girls turned them down for dinner. For one thing, they were too young and for another, the girls had plans to go see their friends’ band that night, the whole reason for the trip.
Though the dive where the band played was dead, the girls had a great time dancing anyway and silly Dale even jumped up on stage with them. When it was over, the guys gave the girls a ride back to their hotel in the back of a pickup truck. Nicki felt sick so she went to the room while Ginger, Kat, and Dale found some other guys at the hotel to play with, stealing a cot and cramming it into the elevator. Meanwhile, one of the New Yorker boys got the girls' room number and went to keep Nicki company. 
Hard to wake up the next day, they checked out and said their good byes. With time to kill before their flight, Nicki and Ginger walked the beach and ran into the guys from the plane. They took the girls to dinner and flew home with them on the same flight back. Getting their numbers, they said they’d call.
What a weekend!

So, that's two fun stories. Which is true, which is false and it should be easier to figure out who I am now. Reveal and a picture of the true story on Friday. Thanks for reading! And thanks to 
 Emily King and Melodie Wright for the bloghop!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

two for one

GUTGAA
by Ninja Captain Alex








Happy September!

August was productive for my writing with Camp Nano, but not with the blog. So I am jumping right back into it, doing some hops and helping Deana Barnhart with GUTGAA.

Of course I can't do just one thing! Since the "What I did last summer" blog hop is this week (M-W-F), I am bumping my IWSG post to today as well as my meet and greet bio for GUTGAA. (btw, I love seeing the buttons I made for it! =)

First a quick lament for IWSG -
I'm a terribly slow reader, especially compared to some of you guys! Reading challenges of 100 books in the year, reading and reviewing three or four books a month. You guys are amazing! I'm lucky to finish six or seven a year! Yes, I'm a poke. Amazing books I can finish quickly, that's why I have to set the so-so ones aside after a while of face-making at them because I don't want to read them. I am proud to say I just finished Storm of Swords (3rd in the Game of Thrones series) and at over 1000 pages, it went pretty quick. Love those books and the series. Anyway, I want to read my friends' newly published stuff, but I have such a long and growing TBR list, it seems impossible!

Okay, techies, instead of upgrading the gadgets we have, how bout inventing that new thingie that makes time stand still for an extra hour a day?

How fast do you read?


And here are the answers to Deana's great get to know each other questions and a little bit about me:

Where do you write?
at my writing desk, of course! It was exciting to get!

Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
a pile of “to do” stuff and three notebooks with ideas, ready to be filled with pens and pencils in varying shades depending on my mood =)

Favorite time to write?
morning – after getting kids on the bus; night – after kids go to bed. these are my only quiet times! (oh, and waiting on kids when picking up from practice!)

Drink of choice while writing?
coffee, what else? 

When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
silence please. I need one of those "Sh!" signs from golf tournaments

What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
sitting in my car, watching my boys’ football practices and subbing at high school – i decided to write a barrier breaking ya/mg novel about fantasy creatures in high school

What's your most valuable writing tip?
don’t quit is a given, so I will say to get many people to read your MS. you need many opinions because you will want many different people to buy it, but don't try to please them all! Compromise. Polishing it means making sure your story, voice, and best foot get across!

My quick bio - I'm pretty boring now, but my stories are exciting and I live vicariously through them. A math teacher by trade, subbing until my kids are a little bit older, I have become more serious with my writing in recent years. Always liked reading, but never thought about writing until my adventures and friends inspired me. Now writing is what keeps me going with new ideas hitting me all the time! It's awesome!

Monday, September 3, 2012

summer essay - fact or fiction

Once upon a time two crazy girls in their twenties... Or is it two girls in their crazy twenties... Either way, they loved to go out and have a good time and had many an adventure at home and abroad.

This week, I am participating in the "What I did last summer" blog hop, hosted by the splendid duo, Emily King and Melodie Wright. I offer you two of my stories. One today, one on Wednesday. Try to pick the one that actually happened. (my GUTGAA post is going up Tues)

One is false, one is true,
which is which is up to you!


A Night to Remember

Erika stole the show. In a cute white mini dress dotted with sequins and a petite veil, she drew all the attention. And hated it.
At dinner, the gorgeous Italian hunk of a waiter lavished Erika with compliments. Even offering to take the groom’s place. Overconfident Brenda's flirtations were flatly rejected, though she denied her interest. 
After dinner, the five friends surprised Erika, taking her to a pool hall. They got a kick out of being all dressed up at such a low brow establishment. Until two muscle heads swore they recognized Erika. When they grabbed her by the arm, the bouncer and a couple of sweet guys rescued her. Erika was ready to call it a night but they hadn’t gone dancing yet, so she gave in and went.
On their way out, the girls ran into friends that played in a band. The guys invited the girls to an out of town show. Nicki and Ginger said they would be happy to take a road trip and play the groupies.
At the dance club, they knew the bouncer so the girls waltzed ahead of the line outside, passing one of Erika’s old boyfriends who told her to save him a dance. She wished she had gone home. Her fianc√© was insanely jealous and probably sent one of his cousins to spy on her.
Inside, Erika spotted a coworker dressed in a skintight, leopard-skin mini skirt and fluorescent orange halter top. She kept her job a secret from everyone and hated running into her stripper friends in public. So embarrassing. 
Erika steered away from them but Brenda taunted them and almost caused a cat fight. The strippers backed off for Erika's sake. Escaping catastrophe, the girls got the DJ to play Erika's favorite song and they had fun dancing for a while.
Until Erika had to fend off her ex-boyfriend's attempts to kiss her and Brenda stole a kiss from the guy her roommate Jamie liked and ditched them.
Consoling Jamie, the remaining girls enjoyed a hardy breakfast in the wee hours before the sun came up. Crashing at Nicki and Ginger's house, Erika slept happy, relieved that her bar hopping days were over, but would miss going out with her crazy friends.

Did that bring back some memories of your crazy twenties? Just wait! There's more to come on Wednesday! Hope you'll join me for the next installment! (ps - names changed to protect the mischievious! for more fun - guess who I am!)
*** And don't forget to enter my blogaversary contest! Going on thru 9/6 ***
And happy Labor Day!