Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Coincidence to Connection

Dating the man who is now my husband was an adventure in my own family history.
In the first few weeks, we learned that we were both came from families with Germanic ancestry.  We are both the oldest children, with only one sibling each.  Our mothers were both one of three sisters.  They were both the middle sister in their families.  Their mothers, our maternal grandmothers, both married men named Henry.  Well, a Henry and a Heinrich.
But, it wasn’t until both our maternal grandmothers passed away - on the same day - that led to us learning some pretty amazing connections between our families that move past coincidences.  (Don’t worry, this isn’t a sad post…stay with me!)
Driving to my grandmother’s viewing at the funeral home, my husband’s arm suddenly flung out as he pointed to a street we passed just a few blocks before arriving at our destination.  “My Opa and Oma lived down that street,” he casually remarked.  He was talking about his paternal grandparents who emigrated here from Russia by way of Germany in the fifties.
Once at my grandmother’s viewing, we mentioned that his paternal grandparents lived nearby when they were still with us.  That prompted a series of questions for the man that my extended family was still getting know, my then fiancĂ©.  We were all surprised when we realized that my aunt and his father both went to the same high school years ago, right after he came to this country.  The revelations weren’t over as we also realized that our maternal grandparents must have belonged to the same Germans from Russia group.
The coincidences had always made us laugh.  Somehow, even though losing our grandmothers on that same day was sad, we not only felt closer, but also meant to be together.  About nine months later, we were married.  And we like to think our grandmothers are up in heaven chatting it up!

This post is inspired by Sarah McCoy's The Baker's Daughter. In a small Texan town, Reba discovers Elsie's German Bakery and falls in love with more than the pastries. Shes drawn to Elsie's life in Germany during the last year of WWII. Join From Left to Write on August 29  as we discuss The Baker's Daughter. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Affiliate links are used.

Monday, August 27, 2012

10 Clues You Are Living in 2012

How do you know you're living in the year 2012?

This is how:

* Pinterest has sucked you in and it's not letting go...thank goodness.

* You're a Droid user and you are finally allowed to play with the cool kids on Instagram.

* Though 365 projects have been around for awhile, finally playing with said cool kids and their snazzy app has you jumping in on the whole photo-a-day thing.

* You open an honest to goodness print book and think Wow, the typeface sure is small... And you're truly not sure if your thinking has skewed you that way because of the number of ebooks you've read this year where you've had the luxury of increasing the font or because you're simply getting older.

It's the ebooks, definitely the ebooks.  No, really it must be those ebooks.

* With the premiere of Breaking Dawn Part Two in November, the Twilight Craze will be coming to an end.

* You have Carly Rae Jepson's Call Me Maybe, Gotye's Somebody that I Used to Know, Kelly Clarkson's Stronger, Maroon Five's Moves Like Jagger or Payphone, Pink's Blow Me One Last Kiss or dozens of others stuck on an endless loop in your head.

* There's some girl named Snooki pregnant and having a baby (or just had a baby) and it breaks into mainstream media...as news.

* You turn on the tv, see a ton of trash talk and when you look at the guide you realize you're not watching reality tv...oh wait, it is reality...it's an election year.

* When commercials for major brands include social media jokes as the vehicle to demonstrate the lifestyle you would have if you bought the car they're selling.

* When instead of consulting your refrigerator for what's for dinner, you post on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, search your food board's pins on Pinterest.

* When you talk about taking yourself, a human being, offline for a day or a weekend and not simply a product, a guitar's amp, a hairdryer, a computer.

Okay, apparently, I got into identifying with this 2012 year since I've got eleven on my list.  Don't tell on me, 'kay? ;>

What about you?  What screams 2012 for you?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WW & #iPPP ~ #photoadayaug ~ Part One

Time to share some #photoadayaug (photo a day August) photos! I'm snapping along with Fat Mum Slim's community.  Here we go...

Bonnie, the cat, suns the tips of her paws every morning.
My girl completed the local library's summer reading program, which gave her a coupon for one personal pizza from Round Table.  And since she doesn't have any gluten restrictions, she was all over it.  (Don't worry, her brother was having a blast at the pool that day!)

Grabbed some pocket change...easy peasy.

Reading time.

Gotta love the irony of snapping a pic of my Nikon camera with my Samsung phone.

Massive writing block meant time to edit until breaking through.

Right then, I got a newish li'l ditty stuck in my head after hearing it for the first time...a mashup of Carly Rae Jepson's 'Call Me Maybe' and Gotye's 'Somebody I Used to Know' by Pomplamoose.  Like many an other, both songs are often dancing through my brain, why not put them together?!

Used my glasses for #photoadayjuly #eyes, so grabbed my clips for #glasses!

While spending an evening out with my boy, we navigated around one messed up parking lot.

It was late & I was short a photo.  Thankfully, there's an app for that!  Thanks Skitch & Pixlr-O-Matic!

Purple cabbage and carrot salad for dinner that night makes me think of the real life fairytale, The Purple Orb.  Happy sighs.

Love this li'l demitasse flatware set!

Simple beauty from an heirloom tomato.  Delicious too!

My girl found the arrow on the mountain bike's tires.  Love that.

The parking garage is ready for flaming catastrophe!  Kidlets and I had just come out of the theater after seeing Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and think my mind drifted to disasters. Oy.

Both kidlets have gotten in on the photo-a-day challenge action around here.  Every morning, they ask me what the theme is for the day.  And I just love the ideas they come up with!  Sometimes I use them, sometimes I go my own way.

And there we have it - #photoadayaug from the 1st through the 15th.  I've been sharing my pics as I take them on Instagram.  You can find me @timecrafted over there.  Come say hello - I'd love to see what snippets are a part of your day!

Angry Julie Monday

Monday, August 20, 2012

Little Things Make Me Smile: Glue Stick Edition

I was all ready to blame good ol' Murphy....

I rarely wear makeup...just a handful of times a year.

And for some unknown reason (probably that Energizer Bunny I was channeling all day today), I actually put a li'l on this morning.  Including waterproof mascara.

So, guess what product I'm without right about now??

I had some eye makeup remover...somewhere...but, it's gone missing.

I was all for blaming Mr.Murphy when I reached for what I thought was a tinted lip balm...and found a glue stick.

Yes.  A glue stick.  Elmer's.

There's only one person in this house who uses glue sticks.

And it's a good thing I already put her to bed.

Mr. Murphy is officially off the hook.

Which is kind of a good thing.  'Cause when Mr. Murphy causes hijinx, I'm usually pretty darn grumpy.

But, a wee girl, curious about Mama's stuff...just makes me smile.

It's the little things, really.

Isn't it?

What's making you smile?

Friday, August 17, 2012

She Knows

She knows she’s being watched.  He’s always there, feigning indifference while fully aware of every twitch her body makes. He stalks her.  He hunts her.  He waits until he’s allowed to kill her.

He’s thirty feet to her two o’clock, but looking would give him reason to act.  That’s the last thing she wants.  So she alternates between reading the book she picked up in the terminal and staring out the large panes of glass at luggage being unloaded from an airplane. She knows the best way to save herself is to appear like everything is normal.

To look normal, she stays on schedule.  The schedule that she keeps on her phone and computers has been hacked into.  She’s sure of it.  Even on the rare occasion she manages to slip her tail, he always shows back up again at her next scheduled location.

By nature, she is a planner; laying everything out in painstaking detail, entering it all into her computer’s calendar.  She can’t just run on a whim with no idea where to go, no money, and worst of all, no plan for this new future.

But, she will run.  She has to.  First, she makes plans, all in her head this time, how to successfully get away, survive or at least not die some horrible death only made worse by her obscenely active imagination.  An imagination that has made her successful in life, she's now sure will kill her before he gets the chance to.

“Flight 1183, San Francisco to Chicago now boarding First Class.  Please present your boarding pass to our attendant at the gate.”

It’s her flight. Sliding her book into her bag, she pulls out her boarding pass, rising from the black padded row of seats.  She casually strolls - counting breaths in her head to help keep her pace steady – making her way towards the gate.

He mirrors her, closing the gap to twenty feet.  She keeps her body angled so she can still see him in her peripheral vision.  Without her book or the planes to stare at, she feels naked.

Normal. Normal! Normally, I would be on my phone before boarding.  With that thought, she pulls her out phone, tapping in a quick text to her friend.

* About to board. Will call u after landing. C u soon! *

Times up.  Business Class is called and she has no choice now.  Walking across institutional charcoal carpet, she hands the attendant her boarding pass.  She inhales as deeply as she can without appearing to need it.  Exhaling, she turns her back, walking towards her plane where she will be trapped for the next four hours, 35,000 feet in the air…with him.

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodIt's been a long time since I shared a piece of fiction here.  I've jumped in with a prompt from Write on Edge...of course.  We had 450 words to write a story that takes place in an airport terminal.  I'm at 450 on the nose with a fiction piece that's a little different for me.  Hope you enjoy it.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to School 2012

One of our Back to School shots always includes the backpacks.

Today is the First Day of School for us.  I've got one kidlet so excited she's bouncing out of her skin (though, she's almost always bouncing, so...) and the other has decided it's going to be a good year (I'll take that!).

Watching her excitement build and his thought process, while he decided if it is indeed going to be a good year got me looking forward to the school year starting up again too.  Here's eight reasons why:

1) Watching them achieve their goals; seeing them so excited as they reach each new milestone; watching their eyes light up when they 'get' something for the first time.

2) Welcoming back Mondays.  For years I thought Mondays were the day to dread, now I look forward to them.  Believe it or not, Mondays are my most productive day.

3) Simple things.  Using a restroom without somebody asking me to referee, solve a problem, or if they can watch Looney Tunes.

4) Being able to play my music uncensored and not worrying if the explicit version of a favorite song is the next one cued up.

5) Kicking this beyond annoying writing block I've been tripping over to the curb.

6) Coffee with a friend.  Yes.

7) Volunteering in the classroom and seeing the kids grow as a whole.

8) The first day of school is the grand kickoff to the fall and holiday season and my favorite time of year, autumn. (Semantics technicality note: I realize fall and autumn encompass the same time span. However, for me, fall is the season linked to the dates on the calendar; while autumn is tied to leaves changing colors, pumpkins, turkeys, and crisp air breathed in while the sun shines through a clear blue sky.)

And what's the one thing I'm not looking forward to the most?

The 5:40 am alarm clock.  I have to set two, just to make sure I'm up in time.  And even then, it's sometimes a gamble!

Mama’s Losin’ It

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WW & #iPPP { Walk the Bridge }

Saturday morning, I got a text from my best friend asking if I could meet her when she comes into town Sunday morning...for a (((hug))).

And of course I said yes!

It gave me an opportunity to finally walk across a bridge I've driven over thousands of times before.


A li'l change in perspective and the mundane & routine become beautiful.

Walking the Bridge

Would you believe I was oh so not a fan of bridges when I was a kid?!  I wasn't.

Thank goodness that changed!

Bridge - Looking Up

Don't forget to look up!

Water Under the Bridge

And a li'l peek at the water under the bridge.

Angry Julie Monday

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WW: #photoadayjuly wrap up

Never thought I would enjoy a photo-a-day challenge, but it turns out I do!  I'm playing along with Fat Mum Slim and shared the first half of July's photos last month.  Here's the second half (July 17th-31st):

Stack o' stoneware in my kitchen cupboard.

Bonnie was most uncooperative for her photo shoot, but when you're a cat and you're eighteen, you kind of get your way...more than usual.

Two of my four eyes!

Movie night for the grownups, a la Netflix.

What's next to me, right now.

Small mirror from my Aunt, on the wall next to the front door.

Son has gotten into watching PBS's Nova with his Dad.  This time "Hunting the Elements" provided cool facts, stranger than fiction!

A family trip to the movies to see Disney-Pixar's 'Brave' was oh so smileworthy!

I asked my girl what we should use for today's sunshine pic - she promptly picked a dandelion and held it to her chin.  The theme might have been #sunshine, but it seems the theme from the day before, #heart, was still running strong.

Learned something new while taking this pic...when you're squatting in the road and neighbors are driving by, they will stop and ask if you're okay...making today's pic with a more appropriate theme of #lookingoddintheneighborhood!

My sweet girl was picking more flowers in the backyard again.  And when she put her rose into her old toddler Seattle Seahawks cup, I knew it was time to click.

Getting ready for school with a new lunch box from Costco for my girl.

A sea of paint colors to play with...yes.

Toothbrush?! It was on the list, a new supply just came home from that Costco trip, so I snapped a pic....did I mention it was on the list?!

That wraps up July. It's been so much fun, I'm continuing on with #photoadayaug this month, sharing on Instagram as @timecrafted, come say hello & let me know if you're playing along!


Angry Julie Monday
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