Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunch Date

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

Now, write a first-person piece - as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you.

This can be completely fictional or you can base it on a real-life person.

Word limit is 600.

I whipped out my compact, tucked a few uncooperative hairs back into place, deftly applied my crimson lipstick, and made sure none had strayed to my freshly bleached teeth.  Perfect.

After working my magic, I had finally secured a lunch date with Steve.  He earned top scores down my list:  six figure salary, check;  tall, dark, and handsome, check;  comes from a well known family, check;  and so on.  He was going to be mine and he didn't even know it yet.

"Alright, Liz. I'm off. I'll be back in an hour."

"What?" I wasn't sure what my coworker, Suzanne, was talking about.

"I'm leaving for an hour.  You promised to cover for me, remember?"

"I did?"  I couldn't have.  "I'm not available today, Suz.  Can you just move it to tomorrow?  I can cover for you then."

"Tomorrow?  Liz?"

She looked confused.  What was she doing again?  Ugh.

"Suz, I'm leaving for lunch in fifteen minutes.  I can't cover for you today.  But, tomorrow would be fine for me."  Putting my makeup back into my purse, I began tidying my desk, getting ready to meet Steve.

"Liz.  I can't go tomorrow.  The elections are today.  I have a full schedule tonight and this is my only opportunity to go vote."

"Oh."  I wasn't sure what to say.  There was no way I was going to miss seeing Steve.

"Maybe Carol or Lynn can cover you."  I slid the heels that I had kicked off under my desk back on, continuing to get ready.

"No, Liz.  They can't.  I already asked them."

"Well, I'm sure you'll figure something out."  I stood up, slid my arms through my coat's lined sleeves, and grabbed my bag.

Suzanne opened her mouth.  I assumed it was to say something, but she looked like she was catching flies.

"Good luck, Suz!"

I glanced back just once, to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything and saw Suzanne's face.  It was the same shade as my lipstick.  I turned my head away and rolled my eyes, irritated with her.

While waiting for a cab, my irritation faded as I thought about Steve.  I could see this developing into something quickly.  We'd have to get through the holidays that are always awkward in any new relationship, but then I saw us dancing on New Years, skiing the slopes in January, a romantic Valentine's weekend on the coast, and on into an event filled spring.

I was so lost in my envisioned life with Steve that I almost didn't hear my phone ring.


"Hello, Liz.  I need to cancel.  My day has filled up fast and now is the only chance I'll have to go vote."


“Yes, it’s a pain to hit the polls. But, the absentee deadline slipped my mind while out of the country last month.  I'll call you next week to reschedule, if you'd like."

If I'd like?  I tried to pull myself together.  "Yes, Steve.  I would very much like to reschedule next week."

"I'll give you a ring."

I was about to say my farewells when he hung up.  He has to vote?  The elections?  Seriously, what's all the fuss?

I didn't get it and was more than a little irritated.  Somewhere in the back of my head, I could sort of hear Suz's voice telling me that she needed to go vote.  But, that only made me more annoyed.

I would deal with her later.  I was in serious need of retail therapy.  Just then, a cab pulled up.  And I hopped in.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
I thought this was kind of tricky.  I kept wanting to interject the other person's emotions, thoughts, and perspectives.  For me, it was hard to write first person about someone who is so completely unaware, someone who is consumed by her appearance, someone who is working down a superficial checklist for the perfect man (particularly as a Mama raising a wee girl!), someone who is oblivious to others' needs, and someone who is completely self absorbed.

I wrote several different variations of fiction for this prompt.  And every time, I wanted the other character(s) to shout out and even proverbially bonk this first person character on the head!  So, this was definitely a challenge!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Little Word meets The Sketchbook Challenge

Yesterday, one of my kidlets said, "Mom, I want to see you get more crafty again." It was out of the blue, as they sat down for breakfast, before I was even really awake.

But, he had a point and I want that too!

A couple weeks ago, inspiration struck for The Sketchbook Challenge's March theme: Spilling Over and last night, I took my kidlet's advice and got to it.

It's the end of the first quarter of 2011 and a great time to check in with my One Little Word: ~Grow~.  And even better, combine it for an art journal page for The Sketchbook Challenge.


Last month, I updated my camera to a DSLR and I'm learning to ~Grow~ in photography.  And while that's a long happy process, I'm having fun clicking.  To include a bit of this growth, I upped the contrast on the photo I took of our now removed ash trees, to make it easier to trace the silhouette onto transparency with a fine tipped Sharpie.

Spilling Over ~ Grow in Layers
While the simple printout of the pic isn't good quality, I went ahead and included it.

Under the transparency, I included the Her Face piece I wrote for a Red Writing Hood assignment at The Red Dress Club.  Outside of blogging, it has been quite some time since I've written creatively.  Writing along with prompts from The Red Dress Club and Microfiction Monday this year has allowed me to ~Grow~ here as well.


And on top is some simple acrylic paint, topped with my One Little Word: ~Grow~ and the synonyms that I've included in my One Little Word album that I'm working on for Ali Edward's class over at Big Picture more area for me to ~Grow~!

One Little Word meets The Sketchbook Challenge

Do you have One Little Word for 2011?  How have you incorporated it into your life so far?


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday Evening Fun {at home}

List the menu for your last meal.

Well, I wouldn't necessarily call what we eat on Friday night a meal, but it's dinner!

Friday nights are movie nights for the kidlets.  So, I made them their GFCF pizza (with the appropriate mozzarella Daiya 'cheese' shreds this time) and while Finding Nemo graced our screen, Hubby threw some toppings on a cheese pizza that he picked up at Safeway on his way home.

And I hopped on to Twitter to go where all fun people go on a Friday night, #wineparty! (And no, wine is not required. I don't generally drink it, despite living surrounded by vineyards!)  It's a fabulously fun place to hang on a Friday night when you're home and feel like chatting.


Pizza's done.  I pardoned myself from #wineparty for a few minutes to eat with the family (I *might* have snuck a few tweets in there! Shhh....) and watch a little Finding Nemo (love the jelly fish & sea turtles...Dude!).

Hubby had thrown red onion, bacon, red bell pepper, olives, and chopped artichoke hearts on top of the plain cheese pizza.  (Everything goes better with bacon, artichoke hearts & red onion, don't ya know?! :>)

And yes, after dinner, I went back to #wineparty.  But, my computer is in the living room, mere feet from the kidlets.  When they select a new movie to watch, I'll watch with them, but when they've watched the same movie three weeks in a row, like they did with the uber cute How to Train Your Dragon, a gal's gotta have somewhere to turn!

What does a Friday night look like for you?

Writing along with my friend, Lizz of Am I a Funny Girl? for Saturday Seven again this week!  Stop by and say hello!  :>

Disclosure:  I might break a few "rules" in life, but I follow the FTC's! The movie links are affiliate links.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reasons why Moms don't get Labor Day off ~ Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop

Mama’s Losin’ It 

Writing along with Mama Kat and gang today!  Prompt #5: Share an old journal entry, had me perusing my scrapbook journaling folder (saved notes, emails, ideas & sometimes the full journal entry so that I'll have the memory of the moment to share when I eventually scrap it......years later).

I came across something I wrote and saved a few years ago, on Labor Day, when my wee girl, my li'l Princess, was just three and a half months old (and I was a more than a wee bit sleep deprived!).

Reasons why Moms don't get Labor Day off:

1) Because when Mom is eating her breakfast, one kidlet is in her arms and bouncing on her knee while the other one is climbing up her back and dangling his arms around her head.

2) Because even though its boys day out and Dad and son are off "riding in Daddy's truck" and going to the hobby shop, Mom is at home with sick baby girl who only wants to sleep in Mommy's arms because every time she lays down her snotty nose clogs up so much she can't breathe through her nose and wakes her up.

3) Because while eating her breakfast with both kids physically on her body, her husband was taking a hot shower and then her son got a nice warm bath and she is still in her jammies trying to figure out when she can schedule a shower in for herself after the boys return.....this afternoon!

4) Because she'll be giving up her 'quiet time' this afternoon when one kidlet sleeps and the other is having his daily 'down time' in order to take that shower.

5) And because this evening, like most evenings, she'll be putting children to bed from 7:45pm until after 10pm and shortly thereafter have to go to bed herself in order to get up tomorrow and start again.

And believe it or not, I'm actually not ranting here, I write this with a smile and kinda think its funny. Now if it were a Friday, this would be a list of complaints, but since I got a chance to sleep in over the weekend and catch up on the sleep that I loose at night getting up with one or both kids, it just makes me smile and laugh at my a Mom.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Years later, while the kidlets are in bed, with lights out, promptly at 8pm, I still have to schedule in time to shower & wash my hair, struggle to make time to have breakfast in the morning race to school, and loose sleep to bad dreams or a virus passing through. 

And years later (with far more sleep under my belt than when I wrote this with a newborn in my arms and her energetic brother movin' about), it still makes me smile and laugh at my a Mom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Down Came the Trees

Drip, drop. Splatter, splash. Pitter pat of raindrops on the path. Sploosh. Gush. Dowwwwwwn comes the rain.

It's been like that off and on for a bit now.

Recently, we finally went ahead and had our two towering ash trees removed.  Even though we loved the trees, they were absolutely huge.  Ash trees are known for splitting and though we'd had several limbs pruned in the past, the cost of pruning them way back was about the same to have them completely taken out.

And over the weekend, I was at once very glad we made that decision.  It was not only pouring rain, but incredibly windy.  (Like funnel cloud formation and tornado touchdown in a nearby town...though hard to believe because this is so not tornado country!)  I would have spent the night worrying that the trees would come down on either our house or our neighbors!

Though, even when you know you made the right decision, it's still possible to miss the before picture.  You can tell how tall they were...the bit of house showing at the bottom, between the trees, is the gas vent/chimney that comes up above the roof line (and I still struggled to get that in frame!).

Bye-bye beautiful trees, we miss you, but definitely feel a lot safer!

We're thinking about what to plant in their place.  Maybe a fruit tree or two?  What would you plant?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'll Bet You're on My List!

List mentors, dead or alive, you wish you could have access to.

Hmmmm...not sure I've used the word "mentors" before.  Most people who know me, know that I'm a pretty independent gal who does and thinks her own thing.

However, with that said, there have been many people, dead and alive, from the past and present who have shaped me, guided me, led me when I needed to be led, followed me when I needed to be followed, and overall, made me a better person.  I'm grateful for them all!  (And as I wrote this, I realized there are a few overlaps from my first Saturday Seven post, so I've intentionally left the obvious Family off this list to help with that!)

Listed in no particular order:

* From the 'Dead, but Oh So Impactful' List:  Susan B. Anthony

* From my teen years and into adulthoodThe Four Musketeers

* Speaking of those teen years, my time with my #667 Girl Scout troop, where I met so many wonderful girls, now women, made lasting friendships, and continue to have contact with so many today.

* Having gone to three elementary schools, two junior highs, and one high school in three states, on two coasts, I've had quite a few wonderful teachers that shaped me, inspired me, and not only taught me reading, writing, and arithmetic, but about who I am and who I can be.

* And from the 'Oh What a Wondrous Surprise' List:  YOU! All of You who stop in and visit with me, all of You who take time from Your day to leave comments, all of You who are blogging Your hearts out, all of You who are sharing Your stories, all of You who ooze with so much creativity that we are fortunate you've elected to spill just some of it onto and into your blogs and websites, all of You who are humorous and snarky and laugh-out-loud worthy, all of You who inspire me have made my world a better place, made me want to stretch my creativity from paper and ink to paint and canvas to camera lens and click to words and wit and I THANK YOU for All of it!! :>

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Writing along with Lizz of Am I a Funny Girl? for this Saturday Seven (albeit late into the's been dark and rainy and a very pleasant cozy day with my family and yes, I'm indulging in all of it and running late! :>).

And once again, I'm such a rule breaker (LOL!) and have listed, um...well, if you really added up all the people within those five bullets, there are hundreds (wait...that means I'm still breaking the Seven rule)!  Okay, so nobody said math was a strict requirement of blogging and writing, right?! ;>

Who has shaped you into who you are today?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Her Wind, Her Move ~ Red Writing Hood

A wiley wind whooshes in.  Crinkled, crackled leaves scoop up from the ground, spiraling in its frenzied turbine.  Brilliant fire filled hues chase each other, before crash landing as the wind floats the air current upwards.

She follows.  She found this wiley wind and is moved by it.  It mirrors the chaos she walked away from, but is unable to truly leave behind.  Being pulled in every different direction was almost her undoing.  And now, their voices still clamor in her head, battling each other, daring her to return.

The wiley wind rushes up and into a towering tree’s canopy of leaves, rustling leaf upon leaf upon branch upon leaf creating a symphony.  She listens.  She waits.  She looks to see where it will go next.  It’s pulled from the trees, surfs the open space, blows through a rickety old fence.  She follows.  She wonders where it will take her next.

It gets larger, louder, more frenzied.  Her head, swollen, full of voices competing for center stage, for control, matches this wiley wind’s frantic fevered pace.  She moves.  She checks.  She follows.

Abruptly, the wiley wind drops out of the sky, releasing the leaves, dirt, and dust it had picked up during its dance.  The voices quiet for a moment, looking to see what she will do with no more wiley wind to follow. 

She’s not sure of her next move.  She no longer has a partner to dance with.  She’s alone. 

With a rapid intake of air, she realizes just that, she is alone.  She made the heart wrenching decision to leave, to remove herself physically.  She left her job, her home, her neighborhood.  But she had held on tightly to those voices, the ones begging her to stay, the ones telling her to run, the ones screaming that she would never survive on her own.

She picks her crumpled body up off the ground, where that wiley wind had ended its dance and left her to make her next move.  Plucking a dry, crimson leaf from her wind whipped hair, she decides. 

She closes the door on all those voices, locks it tight, and listens to the silence.

She breathes.

She puts one foot forward, pushing off on her new path.

This piece is fiction for the Red Writing Hood from The Red Dress Club.  We were asked to write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, about a time that our character took a detour.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I thought nothing could ruin dinner faster...

Brussels sprouts, blech.  As far as I was concerned, the only thing worse than those little nasty cabbage like sprouts were lima beans.  Actually, lima beans still rank at the bottom of my list!
As a kid, Dad loved them.  I don’t think anyone else was much of a fan.  Though, my distaste for those gruesome balls of green was far greater, I think.
And what’s worse?  They were usually from the freezer. 
Oh wait, it gets worse still.  If they were served on my plate, I had to eat them, all of them.  My taste buds cried out in horror.
It’s not as if I was a kid with a limited palette.  While most kids’ favorite food item was from the more standard fair of pizza, tacos, or spaghetti, I loved seafood, a mean stir fry, and even shucked oysters on the rare occasion I visited family in Virginia.
But, brussels sprouts?  No. Thank. You.
Brussels sprouts were on my hit list back then and continued to reside there well into my thirties.
I was madly shopping for our 2010 Thanksgiving dinner and by my fourth grocery store, I still had not picked up a vegetable when I saw this gorgeous baseball bat sized stalk with dozens of green bulbs climbing it.  So struck by its beauty, it took me a few minutes to realize what it was.
I’d come upon those dreaded brussels sprouts, presented in its organic state and suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off of them.  As much as the flaming orange, red, and yellow bell peppers sang out to me, or the comforting cry of our favorite friend, zucchini, called, or the green bean Thanksgiving standard whispered my name, I was deaf to all of them.  My eyes were locked on my target and would not deviate until I gave in.
I left wondering what on earth I was doing. Had I lost my mind?  Seriously, had I just ruined our Thanksgiving meal?  And my goodness, what would my husband think?  He couldn’t stand brussels sprouts just as much, if not more.  Considering he was cooking, I thought I was crazy not to factor his distaste for them into the equation!
To my surprise, he started laughing when I pulled out that big green, bulbous stick…I mean, stalk.  He quickly had the kids giggling as well.  And suddenly, he was game to give brussels sprouts one more try.
We opted to roast them as we had yet to miss with that method.  And just in case they were as hideous as we remembered, he fried up a couple strips of bacon to crumble on top.  He rationalized that everything is better with bacon.
Thanksgiving day, everyone watched the sprouts come off the stalk, one by one, as if it was a grand new spectator sport.  Those of us in the peanut gallery had many a how-to opinion to offer.  And then they were off the stalk, halved, misted with olive oil, sprinkled with a wee bit of salt, and into the oven they went.
Sitting down to the dining table for dinner with a beautiful turkey, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, the most scrumptious dressing, and those roasted brussels sprouts.  I was apprehensive, to say the least.
We grownups, having been tainted by nasty balls of green on our plates as kids, had to put on brave faces to try our first bites.  But, the kids, who had been so excited by our new brussels sprout adventure, they dove straight in.
Eyes widened.  Could this really be?  Our surprise was palpable.  And our conclusion was drawn with that first cautious bite.
Move over artichoke!  Move over zucchini!  Move over bell peppers, cauliflower, Japanese eggplant, spinach, crooked neck squash, and all varieties of tomato!
Move on over and make room for another favorite vegetable to join the ranks!
Brussels sprouts.  No bacon needed.  Who knew?!

Thanksgiving 2010 Brussels Sprouts
Roasting them was the key for us and bacon never again necessary!

This tale o' brussels sprout was in response to the RemembeRED prompt to write about our favorite fresh fruit or vegetable, from The Red Dress Club.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Her Face

Through a thick fog she reached out her hand, looking for her brother.  She knew she was in bed, that she wasn’t home, and that she wanted to wrap her hand around her brother’s five digits.
Every other detail was lost in that thick hazy fog.
And she was too tired to find her way through it.  Sleep took her again.
For the next few days, she continued to enter and retreat from the haze.  Meanwhile, she’d been cut open, put back together, stitched and stapled up.  Sleep continued to take her frequently.
Eventually, she began to emerge from the fog for longer periods of time.  And what seemed like randomly scattered pieces, began connecting, creating pictures for her….of what brought her there, why the fog had been so heavy, and where she needed to go.
There was one picture she didn’t want to see.  So many visitors had come to see her, while she lay on that institutional hospital bed, and she saw their faces when they first entered her room.  They all had the same smile, while their eyes sang a different tune.  And upon their arrival and departure, they all kissed her on the same spot on the left side of her forehead. 
She can’t remember when or who first told her that her face hit the windshield, but she knew she was avoiding a mirror.
And then the first time she was able to leave her bed, she hobbled by something reflective on the wall and automatically glanced up.  She didn’t know what she saw.
Working her way back into the hospital bed, she realized what that was.
A week after an eighteen wheeler, two trailer big rig had gobbled her little car up for breakfast, she saw her face for the first time and like a waterfall, her salted tears broke the banks and gushed down her cheeks.
A nurse comforted her.  The nurse thought she was upset about what her face looked like, the scars that would inevitably remain.
But, that’s not what upset her.  She had seen the red, swollen, stitched up face in the mirror and she didn’t recognize it.
Her flash of a glance in the mirror had only revealed the right side of her face, the part of her face that had gone through the windshield.
With a relief filled gasp, she looked at her new face again in a mirror, this time seeing the cut and uncut pieces and portions.  She saw her twenty-one year old self again.  She breathed.
A social worker at the hospital had suggested a makeup artist to learn how to cover her healing face and new scars.  But, she wasn’t interested.  She rarely wore makeup before this; she didn’t understand why she should have to wear makeup after.
While attempting to pay for toilet paper, shampoo, and Kleenex one day a couple months later, she was reminded why.
The clerk asked her, “What the hell happened to your face?!”
Years later, she’s kicked herself that she wasn’t more quick witted to ask him, “What the hell happened to your mouth?!”
But, immediately she realized why she was urged to use makeup to cover her scars.  She realized it wasn’t about making herself look ‘good’ for herself; it was about making other people comfortable.
After that, it was rather easy for her to be comfortable with her choice to simply accept her scars as part of her new face.
And that anyone who had a problem with a face marked with a few of her challenges, need not look.

At The Red Dress Club we were prompted to write a short piece, either fiction or non-fiction, about something ugly - and find the beauty in it, with a 600 word limit.  The link up was on Friday, but exhaustion won against inspiration, until today. So I'm slipping this in before the link up closes.

Oh yea, and in case you are wondering, this piece is a true story; it's a piece of my story. :>

The Random Approach to Memory Lane ~ Saturday Seven

List the foods that are always left in the fridge when everything else has been eaten.

I'm writing along with friend Lizz of Am I a Funny Girl? again this Saturday and she's pulling prompts from a book of lists randomly.  And yes, this certainly looks random!

Though, random can get a gal thinking.  I don't think our fridge is ever really empty.  We might be out of essentials or items that will bring complete dishes together, but definitely not empty.  So, for once, I thought I would follow Lizz's rules and list seven guests our fridge always has:

1) Mustard!  Lots and lots of mustard. 

You know what I think is really funny?  Growing up, I couldn't stand mustard!!  I used to tell people that even eating a mere speck of mustard would give a person a fatal disease called, "Mustardania" (I used immense creativity in naming that, don't ya know! ;>) and so I just couldn't eat it.....I didn't want to die of such a horrible disease!  And now?  I {heart} mustard!  Yes, I know, I'm easily amused, but it does make me laugh.

2)  Sauerkraut.  I wasn't too fond of this either growing up, but now pork chops are just not the same without it.  My boy wants sauerkraut on almost any sandwich that's made with almost any kind of left over meat these days.  Ask him what he wants on his sandwich and the answer is almost always, "{Insert whatever kind of meat or hot dog here}, mustard, sauerkraut, and lettuce" and sometimes he adds ketchup and slices of tomato to that list.  And after his first bite, he tells his Dad (maker of said sandwiches), "That sandwich is DA BOMB!"  Cracks me up!

3)  Pickles.  Now, I love a good dill pickle.  But, my kidlets are pickle junkies, I kid you not!  Until we started removing things from our boy's diet  (gluten, casein, soy, and as many preservatives and dyes as we can), I had no idea how much *junk* is in pickles!  Go into your standard, run of the mill grocery store and look at the five shelves stocked full of a zillion different kind of pickles and read the labels.  They are mostly filled with ingredients that I cannot pronounce, aka preservatives, and dyes.  It absolutely amazed me!

4)  Horseradish.  Fresh, grated, and/or creamed.  I'm not a fan of uber spicy foods from either peppercorns or chili peppers, but I do love some horseradish kick!  Try adding some to your next meatloaf.  Horseradish looses its pungency when heated, so it's not spicy at all, but definitely flavorful.  I also love to add it to mayonnaise and/or mustard when making a sandwich.

5)  Milk alternatives.  Our boy likes rice milk, and that's what he usually drinks, but I'm not so much a fan of the stuff.  I keep coconut milk and the delish almond milk for smoothies and some baking.  Almond milk is offered in several varieties and our favorite is the unsweetened vanilla.  If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out!

6)  Lemon juice.  I almost always have lemons on hand, but I keep some lemon juice as well for when I run out of the fruit itself.

7)  Cheese.  I know.  Cheese?  After the casein free milk alternatives?  What I lump into the cheese category, also includes his cheese alternatives!  And while we often run out of one kind or another, there usually is some kind of cheese in there.

They (you know, those "they"s out there) always say we have strong memories tied to food.  But, never would I have thought that the prompt, "List the foods that are always left in the fridge when everything else has been eaten." would take me down memory lane.  Yet, it did just that.  And I'm glad I followed!

What food memories do you have?  What foods did you grow up not liking that are a staple for you now? 

I'm still smiling thinking about my son's "DA BOMB" sandwich and since we're approaching the lunch hour here, I think I'll go make him one now.  Hope your weekend is a great one!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mama Kat wants me to name just one?!

Mama’s Losin’ It

A song with significance?  As in 'a', singular, one solo, little, lonely song?

Oh for goodness sakes!

As a gal who grew up playing piano, violin, and flute (I didn't say I was great at them...but, yes, I did take lessons and play!), singing in choirs in schools, singing many a tune with Girl Scouts, with a cousin as a music teacher, an aunt who can play just about anything on a piano or organ if you hum just a bar for her, a best friend who spent hours writing out lyrics to dozens (hundreds?) of songs, how can I pick just one with significance???  How on earth do I do that?!

Do I pick...

...a Neil Diamond or Olivia Newton-John song that I remember listening and singing to as a kidlet?

...or the one from the first group that I had a thing for, Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go?

...or The Righteous Brother's You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin' that I heard endlessly in grade school (it was Top Gun days, people!)?

...or Kenny Loggin's Footloose or Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out for a Hero from the movie, 'Footloose'?

...or Livin' on a Prayer or You Give Love a Bad Name or Wanted Dead or Alive, all from Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet album and on the first cassette tape that my little brother gave me (think it was music he wanted, but I ended up liking it...a lot and to this day, while that isn't his taste at all anymore, he's still trying to school my taste in music!)?

...or Bill Medley's (I've Had) The Time of My Life(Yea, I watched 'Dirty Dancing' just a few times!)

...or Whitney Houston's Greatest Love of All, which my most wonderful 5th & 6th grade teacher bought the single to play (on a record player!) for us and insisted we hear the words?

...or Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry, Be Happy, UB40's Red Red Wine, Bangle's Eternal Flame, Cyndi Lauper's I Drove All Night, Mike & The Mechanic's The Living Years, The B-52's The Love Shack, Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire (I could go on and on here!), all of which I remember being played at school dances?

...or the next round of singers, artists, and groups that I was drawn to listen to over and over again:  Dead or Alive, Alphaville, The Smiths, Cause and Effect, Big Audio Dynamite, Ace of Base, Erasure, New Order, Blind Melon, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen (and again, I could go on and on!)?

...or one of the only groups/artists that I've seen live (outside of countless band & choir performances), Tears for Fears, Counting Crows, or Meatloaf?

...or the first song Hubby & I danced together to at our wedding, The Righteous Brother's ballad, Unchained Melody?

...or the songs on the CDs in my car right now, the Fox & The Hound 2 soundtrack, the Jungle Book 2 soundtrack, Nelly Furtado (oh wait, that one's just for me when I'm in the car without young ones!), the soundtrack to Cars, the Inspiration Everywhere playlist burned to CD, and the Mama Mia soundtrack that my kidlets' sweet voices sing to every day (especially wee girl...she likes to get her song on!)?

One song with significance? 

Again, how do I pick just one? 

The answer is, I can't.  And that's just fine with me!

What music do you roll, sing, tap your toes, groove to?

Bethenny's Mock-A-Mole

Oh wow, Wednesday snuck up on me!  Scooting back a couple of days...

We had a wonderful weekend here! Jenn (that great friend who sews and has given me & wee girl several of her fantatsic tote bags) was up here visiting.

It was a chill weekend, but we played lots of Toy Story Mania! on the wii....I think us grownups had just as much fun, laughing until tears fell, playing at night as the kidlets did during the day!

Bethenny's Mock-A-Mole Dip copy

And I introduced Jenn to one of my favorite guilty pleasures, Bethenny Frankel. I think she's hilarious! We toasted with her Skinnygirl Margaritas and tried out Bethenny's Mock-A-Mole recipe. It came out really tasty, though Jenn said she'd like to kick up the heat the next time she makes it. (I'm sure she kept it tame for my taste buds...not a huge fan of the super spicy. :>)  The best part?  Another delish dish that is already GFCF & needs no converting.  Win!

Can't wait 'til she can come visit us all again!

Sweet Lashes B&WDo you remember this photo of my sweet girl's sweet lashes I took last month?  I submitted it at i Heart Faces for their February People's Choice Favorite Photo Challenge.

It's my first time clicking along with them and would LOVE it if you would be willing to click over there and vote for us!  We're (my pic, her face) #174 and all you have to do is follow the link over there and click on the little word "Vote" under pic #174.

That's it!  Easy peasy, no signing in or up or anything else. Thank YOU sooooooooo much! :>

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gravity or Instinct, I Just Knew

Tuesday’s dinner was done and it was time to head out for a favorite weekly destination.  I still didn’t have my license, so I climbed into Mom’s black Integra and she drove me to the local elementary school for my Girl Scout meeting in the library.

The glowing sun was still up, but lowering in the sky, casting long light shadows across the campus.  I always felt peaceful walking towards the library from the parking lot.  Having moved many times, this was my third troop in two states and full of great girls. 

While I only joined this particular Cadette troop in the eighth grade, they had been together for several years already.  And most of us had bridged up to Seniors, when we graduated from junior high to high school.

It wasn’t like another gathering of school friends, later in the day.  Several of the girls, did go to the public high school with me, but there were also girls from the private Catholic school’s all girl campus in a neighboring town, girls from the other public high school in town, and more girls who attended the boarding school at the base of the mountain nearby as local day students.  We were quite a mix and yet, schools didn’t separate us, rather our Girl Scout troop united us.

This particular Tuesday evening, one of the girls from one of those other schools brought her best friend to a meeting, just to show and share what Girl Scouts was all about.  I couldn’t tell you what she was wearing or what she was doing, other than smiling while her eyes darted around as she took all of us in, when this new girl walked into her first Girl Scout meeting.  But I can tell you this, I knew we would be friends. 

Every neuron in my head, every molecule in my heart knew we would connect.  I could feel the strong tug of an unseen force propelling me towards her, like the ocean’s tide, compelled by the moon’s gravity.  And a split second after our introduction, I put my arm through hers, knowing she must have thought I was a total loon, and started marching her across the institutional carpet, through the small library, introducing her to everyone else.

My response was purely instinctual when I linked my arm through hers.  Twenty years later, she’s like a sister to me.

I am writing along with RemembeRED, from The Red Dress Club for this first time.  We were prompted to:  "Imagine you are meeting someone for the first time. You want to tell them about yourself.  Instead of reciting a laundry list of what you do or where you're from, please give us a scene from your life that best illustrates your true self."

If you are a regular here, you might be able to guess that this girl, now woman, is one of my Four Musketeers, who responds to the camp name, Snoopy!  And don't worry, I didn't steal her from her best friend, who responds to the camp name Woodstock, because she's also a Four Musketeer! :>

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Portal ~ Microfiction Monday

{{  If you are visiting, looking for my submission for this week's i heart faces challenge, you can find my favorite February face that I've linked up here:  Sweet Lashes}}

It's time for Microfiction Monday with Susan, of Stony River! Write the shortest of short fiction, 140 characters or less (including spaces & punctuation) inspired by a picture Susan provides. Hope you'll come write along!

An experiment gone wildly wrong brought me to this time when folks text & tweet, rather than talk. My Love's photo is my only portal home.

(138 characters, including spaces & punctuation)

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Our Spot

It was Our Spot, this cove we laid claim to.

We often arrived before the billowing fog had rolled back.  Content to pass cooler morning hours, our bodies formed a human pretzel, salted by the ocean’s spray.  Warmth radiated from every cell.

When the cloudless sky opened up, we picnicked, painted stories in the sand, scoured and scavenged hidden gems along the shore.  A retreating tide created even more adventures to be shared.  Hands stretched out to help each other scale the slippery, water-logged boulders.  Teeming with sea critters, there was so much vibrant life to explore.  Excitement, sheer giddiness captured us every time, each of us racing to show the other our next discovery.

Somehow, in the mere moments we weren’t absorbed by one another, I took pleasure breathing in the kaleidoscope before me.  Sure, it was absurd to try to name and number every shade Our Spot’s surroundings offered.  Though while being cradled by the sand, toasted by the sun, it was a trite little game I liked to play in my mind.  Easily distracted from my counting, I was always mesmerized by the varied palette of greens, blues, and grays that paraded across the sky, descending to prance upon the ocean’s skin, playfully reflected back in my mate’s eyes…where I always got lost.  I never did grasp a final count.

For three short years, we returned to our cove as often as the chaos of everyday life would allow, always wishing we could stay longer…one more breath of salty air to drag deeply in, one more chance to wriggle our toes in the toasty warm sand, one more treasure hunt, one more wave of water washing up the wet sand, swirling madly around our ankles.

We must have missed the riptide warning that Sunday.  How we could have missed a blazing red sign, I’m still not quite sure.

We never did want to leave our cove, Our Spot.  And now, we never will.

This post is Fiction, a part of the Red Writing Hood, and though I've read fantastic fiction from The Red Dress Club's members before, this is my first time writing along!  This week's prompt:

Water gives life. It also takes it away.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pink Pretties & Debate Delight ~ Wordful Wednesday

Last month (seriously?! February's already over?!) Hubby brought home a pot of pink tulips for our little Princess & I for Valentine's. I've loved waking up to them every morning in the kitchen window.


And silly me, didn't think to pull them down to take a quick, pic.  Rather, I climbed up and balanced o'er the top of them and clicked with my ol' trusty point & shoot camera that I've used for the last five years.

Remember that camera that I said I was looking to retire to back up status??

Well, now it officially is!  {{SQUEAL}}  The Next Great Camera Debate is over and this beautiful Nikon D3100 arrived on my doorstep just a few days ago!

While I've shot with film SLRs before, it has been a long time, so for now, I've got this baby set on Auto until I learn how to use it in Manual mode.  And I picked up a couple of books to help me out along the way, Nikon D3100 Digital Field Guide and Nikon D3100: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

I'm having a blast clicking away, playing around and checking her out.  Captured my boy's blue mohawk'd hair for Crazy Hair Day at school, Princess chasing the cat around & giving scratches until said cat was purring nonstop & a puddle of drool, and I can't wait til I have a moment to take this new sweet thing out on one of our country drives!

Okay, now who can recommend the perfect chic bag to carry it in???  Please do tell! :>

Linking up for Wordful Wednesday!

Live and Love...Out LoudDear Crissy

Disclosure:  Camera image credit: Amazon. I'm loving my new camera & thankful for the help of the two books that are keeping my noggin' from turning to mush from information overload. One more piece of honest information for you, the camera & book links are affiliate links.
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