Thursday, June 30, 2011


The pain shrieking from her heart made her think she should be dialing 911, but she had just spoken with the lab, confirming what that damn little white stick told her two days ago.  The vice grip she had on the phone wouldn’t allow her to dial the doctor to set up an appointment, let alone...him.

Once vibrant visions of their life together streaked by, the ones she had created when she thought he was hers.  She had mapped out a future with him by her side; a future full of travel to exotic destinations, adventures to journey on together, and though she wasn’t sold on the idea, his idea, even a family…down the road, later.

Her girlfriends told her not to.  They told her so many times, in so many ways that eventually, she stopped sharing her plans.  She told herself not sharing with the women she called sisters, was the only piece of the puzzle that didn’t fit.

It didn’t take long before her girlfriends were all proven right and she knew what she had created weren’t plans for the future, but simply fantasies.  Why hadn’t she seen this coming?  Where exactly did she leave her common sense behind?  It was as if inhaling one fantastically soul penetrating breath of him sent every bit of what made her who she was flying off a jagged cliff.

She didn’t recognize who she had become and is completely unsure of what she is now.  Stripped bare, she had nothing left inside - nothing - except some small being growing that was to forever remind her of when she completely took leave of herself.

Will this little being remind her of him?  Every day?  Will it remind her of herself?  How can that even be a possibility.  She has no idea who she is, barely remembers who she was before.

As fast as she had breathed him in, she saw herself at the lake with her girlfriends.  Fifteen years old and unabashed, fearless, completely free, jumping off the rocky cliffs into the water below, smiles never leaving their faces.

With whatever strength her cells still harbored, she grasped and held on.

Extricating herself from the crumpled mess she had become on the floor, she pries the phone from her clenched hand, grabs the paper she had scribbled the recommended obstetrician’s number on, and a pen.

A few deep, ragged breaths drawn in and she boldly marks Decline with Regret.  Regret doesn’t begin to cover it, but there’s no way she’s going to finish sacrificing herself by watching him walk down the aisle to marry her.

She shoves the R.S.V.P. card from the scathing invitation into its stamped envelope.  Carrying it out to the nearest mail drop, she pulls out her cell and dials the obstetrician, taking the first step of this next journey in this unfamiliar new life.

I haven't posted any fiction in a couple months and decided to dive back in with The Red Dress Club this week.  One of my favorite writers, Mandy and new to me, Elena are guest hosting this week and prompted us with:  "You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life--whether good or bad.  What does it say?  How does it affect you or your character?  What is done with it?"

600 words or less, I came in at 477.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Stone Sculpture Surprise

Noise had penetrated every nook and cranny in the house and in my head;  this Mama needed a break.  Grabbing my keys and my excuse to escape, the latest Netflix dvd that needed to be dropped in the mail, I headed out for just a bit.

Sliding the red envelope into the large blue box at the Post Office, I knew the five minutes that took was not nearly enough to clear my head.  I steered the car in the direction of the nearest country drive, took my foot off the brake and hit the gas.

Los Olmos - Edwin Hamilton
Hot air whipped my wet hair (wet from my first attempt at silencing those noises that had seeped from sweet kidlets' summer fun to the inside of my brain...though a shower had not worked well enough) as I drove country roads.  And then my slowly unwinding brain was jolted.

There was something on the corner that had not been there the last time I made the drive.  Something that snapped me to attention.  I couldn't stop looking.  I pulled over and took a second to snap a pic with my old camera that I had in my purse.

Admittedly, the picture doesn't do this sculpture of Los Olmos, created by artist Edwin Hamilton justice.  You can see a better photograph of his installation at the Petaluma Arts Center by Scott Hess here.

A country drive, some solo time, and the stark surprise of stone sculpture created from granite, Basalt, Limestone, and Travertine in the middle of an open, wild space was exactly the fresh air the inside of my head needed.

What snaps you to attention?  What clears your head?  What's your go-to method for capturing a bit of peace?

Angry Julie Monday

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Fruit to Beat the Heat

After starting the month of June out with rain, Summer has come screaming in with some serious heat!  I like the sun, I can handle it warm, but when the temps climb to near triple digits, I melt into a puddle o' goo!

But, before I melted, I put all the fruit I had picked up at Whole Foods & Costco (can I just say how much I love that Costco is carrying more organic & even gluten free options these days?!) to work.

Summer Fruit Salad

I love fruit salad in the summer!  An apple, watermelon, cantaloupe, blackberries, blueberries, and red grapes.  It's just missing strawberries & pineapple.  And, while I'm out of the former, I do have a pineapple just waiting to be cut into, but I'm holding on to that to throw on the barbeque on Saturday.

Fruit Salad for dinner

Everything, except the watermelon, is organic and tastes delish!  Did you see the new Dirty Dozen & Clean 15 for 2011?  It's the produce that sucks up the most pesticides, making it easier to decide where it's most important to invest your pennies in organic fruits and veggies.

What summer foods have been on your menus?  Is it hot where you live?  How are you beating the heat?

I'm off to pour myself an iced coffee and go blow bubbles with my little Princess (who is getting sooo big!).  Hope your day is a smile worthy one! :>

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Worth the Click: Link with Love

Have you heard of the uber cool new movement, Link with Love?

Artist Kal Barteski began this after discovering a piece of hers had been not only taken, shared all over the internet without credit, but also sold for profit, someone else's with no credit or dimes back to her.  I absolutely love this positive and proactive approach that Kal's taking to benefit all of us!

Link with Love is a way to show respect towards art, photography, design, music, video, written word, recipes, crafts, illustration, ideas, intellectual property and their creators.

Link with Love is new and growing fast!  Let's all help spread the word.  Head to Linkwith Love and pick up a badge for your own site or blog (I picked the pink one & it's in my left sidebar!), Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Follow on Pinterest.

Do you Link With Love?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Exciting { Exposure }

Opening my email today was uber exciting!  You wanna know why?  I got great news!

Andrea, of Great Thoughts, emailed to let me know that this SITSta won one of the twenty-five copies Random House gave away of the SITS Girls July read, Exposure by Therese Fowler!!!  I literally squealed out loud when I read the uber awesome news!

Andrea called Exposure a "21st century Romeo and Juliet" and says this is her favorite book of 2011.  It's a story of what happens when teens text messages and (inappropriate) photos while dating and the trouble that can follow.  This is such a modern topic and I can't wait to read it.  Definitely swing by her place to read her review!

Books to Read 
Over the Spring we read The Dressmaker of Khair Khana (which I most definitely recommend reading!) by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon and it was such an insightful experience to participate in the #SITSBooks Twitter Party with Gayle herself. To be able to ask the author questions and discuss what we gained from the book was amazing. So, I am very much looking forward to the Twitter Party for Exposure with Therese Fowler, Andrea, and all those great SITStas reading on July 14th!

I hope you'll join us reading and tweeting! I'll be looking for you! :>

What books are on your Summer 2011 reading list? I'm always looking for another great read and hope you'll share!

Disclosure: I play by the FTC's rules;  all book links are affiliate links.  The links to the other great sites are informational and definitely worth the click! :>

Monday, June 6, 2011


Time can be marked by the songs that beat in my heart.  And while there are oodles of Christmas songs that pass my lips throughout the year, as well as at the most obvious time and music that used to play on vinyl or cassette tape, now on CD or through a digital device, the songs that have etched themselves upon my soul, making them unforgettable, are Girl Scout songs.

The Brownie Smile Song will always remind me that “I’ve got something in my pocket” that’s a whole lot better than lint, lip balm, my cell, or a couple of coins.  It’s a smile “that belongs across my face.”

Gackgoom Went the Little Green Frog (some people call it Barrump), transports me back to a camping trip with my troop in upstate New York, where we all nearly froze at night until we layered on every single piece of clothing in our packs and put two girls to a sleeping bag.

Make New Friends travelled with me, across the country to the three different troops I was lucky enough to belong to.  Troop 667 was my final destination, where we went by camp names; I was Gizmo!  I sang more songs than I can count with this treasured troop.

Rise Up O’ Flame, Piece of Tin, Alice the Camel, send me soaring back…standing on a wooden stage, deeply inhaling campfire smoke, singing with my Senior troop, leading the Juniors in song.

Little Bunny Fu-Fu was great at campfire and it also made for wonderful animated fun with Fishey during the lunch hour at school.  It was funny how free a silly little Girl Scout song sung in school can make you feel;  aware that you are completely enjoying yourselves without a care as to how ‘cool’ or ‘uncool’ you look.

It’s important to sing Perty Daisy with a real strong twang, “It’s just a tattoo of a flower, so I look neat when I’m taking a shower.  It’s on the second toe of my left foot, stem and flower, but there’s no root (‘cause that wouldn’t look good)…” Perty Daisy is a favorite of both Fishey and I, though she has the tattoo to prove it.  Me?  I sang it till my voice was almost gone while potty training a kidlet a few years back!

Singing Girl Scout songs continued on with my kidlets from the moment they came home with us from the hospital.  On My Honor, sang over and over to calm or send a kidlet off to dreamland with.  And Little Birds sang with exuberance to elicit a giggle in the morning, while getting a wriggling munchkin dressed.

It didn’t matter if I was singing these songs to my son or my daughter.  The songs had become a piece of me to share and give to two beautiful pieces of my heart.

The songs are my past, my present, and still friends with many from Girl Scout troop days, will hopefully continue to be my future.

The Red Dress Club prompted us to write about what we know by heart from childhood.

I immediately thought of Girl Scout songs. While I tried flirting with other memories, those songs just kept singing louder and louder, until I gave in to them.

With a 500 words limit, I came in just under the wire with 499!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Six Word Memoir & Mama Kat challenge this chatty one!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1:  Six Word Memoir: Write about a significant time in your life in just six words.

Oh heck, there's no way I can only use six words?! I'm way too chatty for that!  Okay, okay, I'll try.

California. Oregon. Washington. New York. California. Stay.
California. Oregon. Washington. New York. California.

Fifteen moves, twenty-four years, no more.

Lifetime of moving. Loving staying put.

No memory of twisted metal is good.
No twisted metal memory is good.

Found joy in becoming a Mama.

And most recently, with my Princess turning another year older and heading to kinder in two and a half months:

My babies are no longer babies.


Okay, so there.  I stuck to six words each.  That counts, right??!! :>
Play along and I'll stop by to see how your six words play out!

Edited:  Thanks to friend Jenn for pointing out I  missed the six word mark.  The first one, I'm sure I was seeing 'New York' as one word in my head as I was thinking of one location.  Though, don't know what happened to my elementary math skills on the fourth one!  And because the errors are irking me, now that they've been pointed out, I went back and corrected them!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May, you were but a busy blink of an eye!

May. May is a crazy busy month. May tends to hurt my brain and my pockets both. (Anything that hurts our pockets is beyond exasperating!) But, May also brings lots of fun, smiles, and leaves us with oodles of new memories to treasure while we catch our breaths.

Mother's Day Roses

May brings us Mother's Day.  These are the roses that my kidlets picked for me from the backyard.  I'm soaking up the sweetness before we eventually hack them out to put in raised veggie beds.

May Rainbows

May brought us wacky weather.  Actually, today is June 1st and apparently, wacky weather is still on the menu as it has been raining today....pouring just moments ago and now the sun is peeking in through a sucker hole as my fingers click clack across the board.

But, oh the rainbows!!  I'll take rain any day when there's a promise of a rainbow!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been running amuck around here.  I get that it's hilarious to a kidlet, but oh my, can that humor please stay in the books & on the pages?!  Please?!  (Oh yea and please do ignore the weeds.  When it finally stops raining and feeding them, I'll go out & pluck 'em!)
Apple Tree

May has seen our graphed apple tree growing apples for the first time this year.  This little one is a Gala and there are five other varieties on the same tree.  Can't wait 'til fall to eat them!

May also brought us two birthdays.  No, not these gals'!  Hubs & wee girl each turned a year older, just a few days apart.  We celebrated Hubs and then had two parties, two weekends in a row with family and friends who are also family, just not blood related.

These two are two of the Four Musketeers and I love that while I wasn't raised with a sister, I've had three for over twenty years!

Tissue, Presents, oh my!

The Four Musketeers are Aunties to my kidlets and the one on the left above is the gal who got me started scrapbooking.  And since she's a scrapper herself, it rocks that she always takes pics of the silly bits and pieces of events that belong in a scrapbook at my kidlets' birthdays.


And no gathering with this crew is complete without a little Wii time!  Some maniacal Mario Kart driving was in order and after the kidlets went to bed, the 'grown ups' got busy playing Toy Story Mania.  We're wild, I know. {wink}

Tomorrow is the last day of this school year for us and while the weather doesn't seem to be on the same schedule, summer here we come!

What's happening this summer in your neck of the woods?

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