Friday, February 28, 2014

Finish The Sentence Friday: The Most Unexpected Part Of Being A Grownup

Finish the Sentence Friday

The most unexpected part of being a grownup is...

Who would have thought, back when I couldn't wait to turn 21, that being a grown up would be so tough?  And who would have expected that the toughest part for me was being alone? I mean, I've always been an introvert, and enjoyed my alone time, so wouldn't you think that having more of that, once I moved out on my own, would have been a good thing?

That's not what happened, though. I discovered very quickly, after my college graduation and move into my own apartment, that there is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.  Living alone, in a town where I really didn't know anyone yet, was a very lonely situation. I'd come home from a day spent with five year olds,ready for some adult conversation, and spend the afternoon and evening on my own, watching a lot of television.

Did I mention that I don't make friends easily? I tend to wait for people to approach me, rather than being the one to make the first move. That just added to the loneliness and isolation I was feeling. I couldn't wait for Friday afternoons, when I made the ninety minute drive home to be with my family...and began to dread Sunday afternoons when I headed back "home" to that empty apartment.

The situation got so difficult for me that I wound up leaving my full time position there, moving back to my hometown to work as a substitute teacher for a year before getting married and having my son. Two years later we moved to Germany with the Air Force, and I went through the loneliness and isolation feeling again, along with a difficult pregnancy, as my husband was away for a week or two at a time, almost every month. I honestly believe those 2 1/2 yrs were a contributing factor to the break up of our marriage.

Since then, I have made an effort not to let myself get into that situation again. I have a small core group of friends, people I stay in contact with on a weekly basis, as well as family members I talk to several times a week, and internet friends I talk to almost every day. If I would have had access to the internet back then, I am sure it would have made my life a little better....first world problems of a girl who graduated college in 1980, I suppose.   :)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Little Miss Independent

Originally posted June 5, 2011

Independence, in its most basic form, means freedom. For me, that means that I have the freedom to be ME--to have my own opinions, to do my own things, to follow my passions, to live my own life. Granted, there are times--as a wife and mother--when I have to put my freedom on the back burner in the best interests of someone else, but still, in the end, that is because I had the freedom to CHOOSE to do so, not because I was compelled to do it by someone else.

I used to get teased that, by being born on July 5th, I take the concept of "independence" a little more seriously than most. I'm not sure that's where it comes from, but the fact of the matter is that I have always been, or wanted to be, an independent soul. As a child, that was often a bone of contention, particularly with my mother.

As I moved into the part of my life where I was involved in romantic relationships, I found myself hiding more and more of the "real me," wanting to fit in and wanting people to like me. Eventually, I began to feel as if there was no time when I could honestly be who I wanted to be, and to resent everyone I felt had been part of taking that away from me.

Over the last few years, however, I have come to realize that the only person who took it away, and who could bring it back, was ME. So now I am becoming "TERESA" again, a little more every day.
The strength, the independence, the confidence, the ability to state my opinion even when no one else shares's all coming back, and I feel FREE again!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stories Of Me #1

I've been thinking for a while that I might want to share some random stories from my life on occasion. This morning, I decided it was time to get started, and see what happens. :)

Today's post will be stories from my very early childhood. These are stories that I have been told, not events that I actually remember.

The first thing actually happened before I was born, and has to do with my name. My mother had a friend in cosmetology school named Parthena, and so that was what she wanted to name ME, and call me "Par" for short. I can just imagine the jokes I would have had to endure, so I am forever grateful that my father put his foot down and also that he came up with Teresa.

The next anecdote comes from when my parents were attempting to wean me off the bottle, particularly at night. They would spell out the word bottle, presuming I wouldn't understand what "b-o-t-t-l-e" meant. That theory had to be tossed out, however, when I called out from the crib "I want my B-T, I want my B-T!"

In the summer of 1962, we took our first family vacation, shortly after my first birthday. Mom, Dad, and I, along with my paternal grandparents, drove from Ohio to California, to visit my father's brother and his family. Along the way, we visited Mount Rushmore, The Grand Canyon, The Painted Desert, and The Petrified Forest. While with my uncle and his family, we went to Disneyland and Knotts Berry Farm, the World's Fair in Seattle, Washington, and to Tiajuana, Mexico.

The next story is something that took place the following summer. Mom sent me outside to play in the front yard while she was washing dishes. Our street was a dead end, and usually not traveled by anyone who didn't live on it, so it was always fairly safe to let children play in the yard unsupervised. Shortly after sending me out, Mom noticed that the few cars going by were going even slower than usual, and the drivers appeared to be laughing at something in our yard. When she came outside, she was shocked by what she found. My clothes were folded neatly on the porch, with my shoes sitting next to them, and I was running around the yard naked. She quickly hustled me back inside and re-dressed me.

Somewhere around that same time, I called Mom into my playroom to show her the picture I had drawn for Dad...unfortunately, I had drawn it all over the hardwood floor of the playroom! She allowed the picture to stay there until Dad got home from work, so that he could see it, and then she set me to work scrubbing the crayon off the floor. Needless to say, I never did THAT again!!

(More stories to come soon!)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday Ten: Things That Would Make A Perfect Day

The Golden Spoons

A perfect day for me would include these things:

1) Sleeping in: It's always a good day when I can sleep until I wake up, with no alarm clock and no interruptions.

2) Quality time, as we euphemistically call it on my mommy email loop, with my husband.

3) Brunch out with Barry, probably at Bob Evans.

4) Sunshine so that we could spend some time at the Arboretum, just walking and talking.

5) Alone time for me, which would also include 6) music and 7) reading

8) A nice dinner with Barry and and turf comes to mind.

9) Talking to my grandson on the phone, hearing about his day.

10) Cuddling on the couch with Barry, watching television or movies.

Looking back over my list, I would have to say that most of my days come pretty darned close to being perfect....I am VERY blessed!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Ten Things Of Thankful, February 23, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful

1) I am thankful for warmer weather this week, melting the ice and snow.

2) I am thankful for a husband who is a good cook, and fixes dinner almost every night.

3) I am thankful that Amy is doing well at her job. She's been there seven months, just got a raise, and there is talk of making her a trainer for new employees, which would mean yet another raise.

4) I am thankful once again for the library, where I picked up two more books this week, and will soon be picking up Season Three of "Game Of Thrones" so Barry and I can FINALLY watch it.  :)

5) I am thankful for all the online friends I've met through blog hops like this one.  It's entertaining/educating to read their posts every day.

6) I am thankful to still a have close, loving relationship with my former mother-in-law. She's a wonderful woman, and has always been there for me and my children.

7) I am thankful for my future daughter-in-law, Jennifer, who is much better at keeping me informed about things than my son, Brian, who has never been much of a talker.   :)

8) I am thankful for medications to take away the sinus congestion that I woke up with this morning, making me feel that my entire head was going to explode.

9) I am thankful that we were not in the path of the tornadoes or high winds that struck others in our area this week.

10) I am thankful that we have not lost power at any point this winter, as so many others have.

Sunday Stealing: Fifteen Meme

Fifteen Meme

from Liv Rants  

What was your first job like? 
I spent a summer as a babysitter for twin five year old was a fun job for the most part.

It’s a typical Sunday, how are you spending it? 
Going to church, having lunch, watching NASCAR, family dinner, and movies

What was the happiest day of your life? 
No way to pick just one!!!

What was the best decision you ever made? 
Marrying my husband, Barry.

Tell your go-to “pretend” game as a child (who was your alter-ego?) 
Too long ago to remember.

What email service do you use? 
AOL primarily

What fandoms would you consider yourself a part of? 
Doctor Who,Game Of Thrones

Do you use anything on your lips? (eg. Chapstick, gloss, balm, lipstick) 
Gloss and/or balm

How many devices do you own which can access the internet? 
One (my laptop)

Last strong smell you can remember smelling? 

If you had to move your birthday to another date, which one would you choose and why? 
I wouldn't...quite happy with July 5th.

Inspiration behind your blog title? 
Each post is a small look into my life, like a snapshot.

If you could spend a rainy day with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? 
My husband, because he's my favorite person to spend time with on any sort of day.

Is there a foreign culture that you love? 
German, having lived there for nearly three years.

Do you have a favorite soft drink?
Wild Cherry Pepsi, or Mountain Dew Baja Blast.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What I Love About Me

After my reverse bucket list, I've been in an introspective mood, so I came up with this little list as well.


1. I am beautiful (Personally, I think every woman should start her list with this one!)
2. I am sexy.
3. I am a good mother.
4. I am a loyal friend.
5. I am a good listener.
6. I am very empathetic.
7. I am caring.
8. I am loving.
9. I am sentimental.
10. I am a HUGE romantic.
11. I am emotional and sensitive, although sometimes to extremes...but at least I can express my feelings!
12. I am a giver (sometimes to the point of having nothing left for ME--but I'm working on that part!)
13. I am a talented writer and poet.
14. I am amazing at remembering trivia.
15. I am intelligent.
16. I am good with children.
17. I have a warped sense of humor.
18. I am passionate, about a variety of things.
19. I am a hard worker when it's something I care about.
20. I am persistent.
21. I am forgiving (sometimes too much)
22. I am trusting (again, sometimes too much)
23. I am dependable.
24. I am a good cook.
25. I am an even better baker.
26. I have strong opinions.
27. I am willing to admit when I'm wrong.
28. I will fight for what I want.
29. I am willing to make sacrifices for the good of my children.
30. I am willing to fight for the good of my children.
31. I am stronger than most people think I am, including myself.
32. I am willing to take the occasional step outside my comfort zone.
33. I have an open mind.
34. I am willing to accept new ideas.
35. I refuse to accept failure as an answer.
36. I look for the best in everyone and everything.
37. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
38. I am a planner and list maker.
39. I can still be spontaneous and adventurous.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Saturday 9: Susan

1) In this song, our hero tells Susan that "no other girl could ever take the place of you." Crazy Sam feels that no other earmuffs could ever take the place of the ones she left in restaurant coat room last month. Tell us about something you recently broke, lost or misplaced.
I'm bad about constantly misplacing my watch. I take it off to do something, then forget where I left it, and wind up searching the whole house for it.

2) When this song was first released back in 1968, the name Susan was very popular. According the Social Security Administration, it was one of the top 10 baby girl names of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Today it's not even in the top 100. Do you know anyone named Susan (or Suzanne)?
Yes, I can think of two off the top of my head.

3) The Buckinghams were Chicago's attempt to get in on The British Invasion begun by the Beatles. (Hence the silly suits.) But they took their name from Chicago's famous Buckingham Fountain. If Crazy Sam visited your neighborhood, what local site would you recommend she check out?
Main Street, and all the Halloween stores, if it were October. Otherwise, probably the Air Force Museum.

4) Chicago is known for deep dish pizza. Describe your dream pizza. (Calories, carbs and gluten need not be a factor because it's dream pizza!)
Whole wheat crust, lots of sauce, extra cheese, ham, pineapple, onions and banana peppers.

5) The Buckinghams got their big break by winning a local "battle of the bands." Do you often go to concerts or bars to listen to live music?
Used to go to bars to listen to local groups a lot, when I was younger. Try to go to two or three concerts a year these days.

6) The best-selling book in 1968 (the year "Susan" was released) wasAirport by Arthur Hailey. It was set during a snowstorm at Lincoln International, a fictional airport based on Chicago's O'Hare. What's the most recent airport you flew to? Why were you there?
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to visit my daughter, son in law and grandson.

 7) Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Sox ... Chicago is a big sports town. What's your favorite pro team?
Bengals and Reds

 8) Thinking of sports, did you watch the Olympics? If yes, which events?
Not this time around...but my usual favorites for the winter Olympics are figure skating and ice dancing.

 9) Do you consider yourself an idealist or a pragmatist?
Definitely an idealist....I'm the romantic dreamer type.   :)

Political Correctness Gone Too Far

I'm just going to come right out and say it....I am NOT a fan of political correctness to the extremes it is being seen in the US today.  Here are just a few examples that irritate me:

1) In some schools you can't call the board a "blackboard". 

2) Birthdays cannot be celebrated in some schools anymore because Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate them.

3) Any reference to Christmas in public nowadays is taboo due to the assumption that people of all other religions are offended by it.  (The whole Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas debate comes to mind)

4) Some nursery schools have changed "Baa Baa Black Sheep" to "Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep."  (Have you ever seen a rainbow sheep?)

5) A 7 year old child being called a racist for asking someone if they are brown because they come from Africa.  (Kids ask questions--that's how they learn!!)

6) School policies that say discipline has to be proportionate between can't punish more blacks than whites, or vice versa.  (What if the school has more of one race than the other???)

7) Sports teams that don't keep score, so "everyone wins."

8) Sports teams being compelled to change their nicknames to avoid hurt feelings.  (Why did a team like the Redmen have to change their name, but a team like the Blue Devils is still okay?) 

The original intent of "political correctness"--to encourage tact and sensitivity toward other people's feelings regarding issues like gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, etc.--was a good one. In practice, however, people are going so far that now ANY mention of those issues is seen as politically incorrect.  

How can we talk about our differences, and learn from those different than us, if we're afraid of being labeled a "racist," "sexist," or some other sort of bigot? To me, these extreme examples of political correctness are worsening the divide rather than closing it.

It's time to take another look at political correctness and dial it back a few notches!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday....My Very First Blog Post

Originally posted August 2, 2010

Irresponsible Parents

Some people call them deadbeat dads, but I know that term is offensive to some, so I titled this discussion differently. That does NOT change my personal opinion, however.

When a father doesn't work at all, lets his girlfriend/new wife pay his bills, and refuses to give any money to his CHILDREN, that makes him a DEADBEAT DAD!

When a father chooses not to take advantage of the fact that the mother is willing to let him see his children anytime he wants, and goes for months without seeing or even contacting said child, that makes him a DEADBEAT DAD.

The mother may have decided that she has no further use for him, but that gives him no right to decide he has no further use for or obligation to his child. Many of these DEADBEAT DADS are spending money on beer and cigarettes but can't find a penny to spare for their child.

Furthermore, these DEADBEAT DADS are living with other women,letting her support him, while mom has married someone who is working 60 hours a week and paying for the children of the DEADBEAT DAD, since he's too lazy to get off his butt and fulfill his obligations. It's not about giving "free money" to an former wife, it's about continuing to take part in raising a child that you took part in creating.

If the DEADBEAT DAD were a REAL MAN, he would be paying his support on time, taking every available opportunity to be with his child, and then he wouldn't have to worry about getting tossed in jail, losing his job, his house, his vehicle, etc.

If a man supports and encourages his wife to be a stay at home mother while they are married, then he should be willing to still pull his weight when it comes to the CHILDREN....not the mother, granted, but definitely the CHILDREN.
So get over yourself and put your children ahead of trying to get back at your former wife for a change.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Reverse Bucket List

What, you may ask, is a reverse bucket list?  Good question! I read about it on another blog yesterday, and thought it would be a great idea for a blog post of my own. Instead of writing a list of things you want to do before you die, you make a list of things you've accomplished in your life so far.

So, here's my reverse bucket list, not necessarily in chronological order:

1) Graduated college cum laude (just one lousy A away from magna cum laude...LOL) with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education.

2) Taught kindergarten for several years, and had the time of my life.

3) Gave birth to three healthy children.

4) Raised all three of them to amazing adults.

5) Had an article on teen suicide published in a Christian parenting magazine.

6) Survived two rocky marriages and the ensuing divorces.

7) Got my heart broken by someone who wasn't even close to worth it.

8) Found a man who is DEFINITELY worth it.

9) Published a book of my poetry.

10) Learned to say "no," and put myself first sometimes.

11)   Lived in Germany for two and a half years.

12) Helped my husband recover from pneumonia and lung cancer surgery in the same year.

13) Questioned my faith, "lost" it for a while, and came back to it stronger than ever.

14) Participated in  several 10k volksmarches in Germany.

15) Started not just one, but THREE blogs....this one, one for my poetry, and one to discuss books I've read.

16) Helped all three of my children deal with the deaths of their fathers (in 2012 and 2013)

17) Survived Stage III breast cancer.

18) Went to Florida for spring break during college.

19) Got to see Neil Diamond in concert,as well as many other acts, including Barry Manilow, Boston, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Martina McBride, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan.....

20) Been to both Disneyland and Disney World.

21) Seen a double rainbow

22) Saw Wicked live on stage.

23) Visited Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville and Hard Rock Cafe in Myrtle Beach.

24) Visited Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.

25) Went to the World's Fair in Seattle Washington.

26) Flew from Ohio to Germany with a two year old, and made the return trip with a four year old and six month old,with no other adult to help out.

27) Met a boatload of country music stars over the years, got most of their autographs, and even had actual conversations with a few (most memorable....Reba McIntire asking me where I got my clothes, since I am a "short girl" like her.)

28) Appeared as a guest on the Geraldo show.

29) Met at an airport by a chauffeur holding a sign with my name on it.

30) Ridden in a limo several times.

31) Got to spoil my first grandchild (and I'm still doing it!)

32) After three pregnancies, I have zero stretch marks.

33) Learned to see myself as a strong woman, rather than a victim.

34) Learned to love my life the way it is, rather than looking for something "more" or "better."

35) Forgave my parents for things I blamed them for/held against them for years.

Wow....I started this thinking it was going to be tough, and then once I got started, things just came rushing out. I'm going to cut it off here for now, and maybe do a Part Two at sometime in the future.

Tuesday Ten: Blogs I Love

The Golden Spoons

This was a tough one....trying to narrow down my list to only ten blogs that I enjoy reading.  But, here we go: ten blogs, with a brief description of each one.

1)thriftnerd--written by my dear friend, Erin.  She shares her amazing thrift finds, advice on becoming minimalist, and how to outfit a gorgeous teenage daughter fashionably at ridiculously low prices! She's also contemplating writing a book on thrifting a wardrobe through high go read and support her.

2)Raising My Rainbow--written by Lori Duron, author of the book by the same name. This is the journey of the Duron family as they raise their two sons, the youngest of whom is gender-nonconforming. I love read her stories of the fun times they have, and my heart aches when I read the stories of discrimination/intolerance/ignorance.

3)The Golden Spoons--written by a new blog friend, Lisa. She has introduced me to a couple of fun blog hops, as well as providing me with smiles as I read some of her posts. Like me, she shares the joys, frustrations, etc. of motherhood.

4)"I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all of the difference..."--I found this one through my church.  Holly, the blogger, is originally from Kansas, and is currently in Tanzania, working at Angel House orphanage and school. Our church here in Ohio is one of many which helps to support Angel House, and Holly's blog is a way of keeping up with what goes on there on a regular basis.

5)A Beautiful Exchange--Hayley is a 20 yr old first time mom, and writes about her life as wife, mom, reader, crafter, etc.  Some of her posts take me back to when I was experiencing that stage of life.

6)Anona-mom--Laine writes about her family life, sometimes gets on her soapbox, and is always inspirational.

7)Can I Get Another Bottle Of Whine With My Morning Quiet Time?--Kate has a great sense of humor that shines through in her writing. I can always count on her to put a smile on my face.

8)It's A Bold Life--Kelly is a mom of three, one of whom is gender non-conforming. Like Lori, she is awesome at dealing with the ups and downs, and I'm impressed with her awesomeness.

9)StageIV Her 2 neu breast cancer--I found Lisa's blog while I was in treatment, and have been following her story ever since, with smiles and tears. Every post is a reminder that life goes on!

10)Mommaste--Love her Monday Mantras and Thankful Heart Thursdays!!!

Hope you'll stop by and visit all these ladies, and tell them I sent you.....have a great Tuesday!!!

Monday, February 17, 2014

I'm Honored To Be Among Such Talented Nominees.......

While I have been blogging for several years, I've never really had a huge fan base, and that's been okay with me. I write mostly for me, to have a place to express my thoughts and feelings, and to share them with my friends and family around the country/world. I've never been looking for internet fame and fortune with this blog.

Regardless, it's always nice to be noticed (just ask my hero, Eeyore), and today I am proud to announce that I have, in fact, been noticed, and nominated for The Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is a made up award that helps promote and show support to up and coming bloggers. (Liebster is also a German word which means beloved,which is nice.) This morning, I awoke to the nice news that Courtney Conover of The Brown Girl With Long Hair had included me in her list of bloggers she has recently nominated. Courtney is a new blogger friend, and I love reading what she has to say, and look forward to getting to know her better. Thank you, Courtney, and I am glad our “bloggy paths” have crossed!

So, in the Liebster tradition of paying it forward, I nominate the following bloggers:

Nominees who accept are to write a blog post which includes the following:
*Thank the person who has nominated you and link back to their blog (by posting a link on yours).
*Copy and display the award in your blog post (save the pink image above and upload it to your own post).
*Answer the 11 questions about yourself, which are given to you by the person who nominated you.
*Write 11 random facts about yourself.
*Nominate 5 – 11 blogs/bloggers that you feel deserve the award. They need to have less than 1000 followers.
*Think of 11 new questions for the bloggers you have nominated and write them in your post.
*Inform the selected bloggers that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and link back to your own post so that they can learn about it (if they don’t already about it) and so that they know what questions to answer.

So without further ado, here are the 11 questions my nominees must answer on their blog:
1. What is your favorite holiday?
2. Who is your favorite musician?
3. Who is your favorite actor/actress?
4. What is your favorite food?
5. What is your favorite vacation spot?
6. What is your favorite way to relax?
7. What is your favorite flower?
8. What is the most recent thing you bought for yourself?
9. What is the most recent thing you bought for someone else?
10. What is your favorite season?
11. Who has been the biggest inspiration in your life?

Lastly, here are Courtney’s 11 questions for me, followed by 11 random facts about me:
1. Beach or mountains? Beach
2. Car of SUV? Car, although I don't drive
3. Back in the day before reality TV took over...MTV or VH-1? MTV
4. Diamonds or pearls? Both :)
5. Bagel or doughnut?  Doughnut
6. Shower or bath? Shower
7. Jean cut-offs or denim skirt?  Depends on the occasion
8. Colonial or ranch? Ranch
9. CDs or radio? Radio
10. Riding boots or ankle boots? Ankle boots
11. Beer or wine? Again, depends on the occasion (and my mood)

My 11 Random Facts

1. I never learned to swim or ride a bike
2. My favorite number is 3.
3. I've been having a string of good luck recently, winning several contests/giveaways.
4. My biggest phobia is snakes.
5. I was a guest on Geraldo in 1993 (that's a whole other post)
6. I was born with crossed eyes.
7. I've had surgery twice to correct my vision (ages 4 & 18)
8. I was an only child for 6 1/2 years, until the birth of my younger brother.
9. I learned to read at 3 1/2, and have been a voracious reader ever since.
10. I've been writing poetry since the age of 10 (most of it is online here)
11. I've been watching Days Of Our Lives pretty much from the beginning, and now I'm addicted, even when it gets TOTALLY ridiculous!    :)

Thanks for the honor, Courtney....this was a fun post to write!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Stealing: Books Meme

Books Meme

from Be Your Own Hero  

Book Survey!
  • 1:Favorite children's book: Love You Forever, Robert Munsch
  • 2:The last book you've read: A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby
  • 3:Books on your "to read" list: First Love, James Patterson; Shadow Kiss, Richelle Mead; and about a dozen others on my nightstand at the moment.
  • 4:Top 5 authors: Stephen King, James Patterson, Faye Kellerman, 
  • 5:Favorite genres: Horror, suspense, murder mysteries, historical fiction
  • 6:A book that has made you extremely mad: Can't think of one off the top of my head.
  • 7:A book that you've cried over: The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks
  • 8:A book that made you laugh out loud: Second Honeymoon, James Patterson (twice last night0
  • 9:Fiction or nonfiction?: Both, but mostly fiction
  • 10:First book you've read by your favorite author: Carrie, Stephen King
  • 11:Best book-to-movie adaption: The Notebook
  • 12:Do you read comics/manga?: Not any more
  • 13:Hardcovers or Paperbacks? Mostly hardcovers
  • 14:Do you buy books as soon as they come out or wait a while? I almost never buy books anymore....borrow them from the library.
  • 15:Do you buy books spontaneously without any prior knowledge of what happens in it? I will sometimes pick one up from the library spontaneously.
  • 16:Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone? No, but I have checked them out of the library on that basis.
  • 17:Where do you usually buy your books? When I buy, either Half Price Books or Amazon
  • 18:Book that had a strong impact on you: The Shack
  • 19:Historical or science fiction?  Both
  • 20:Dystopian or Utopian? Dystopian
  • 21:Worst book-to-move adaption?  Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix (or as we call it here, Harry Potter and The Really Sucky Movie)
  • 22:Book that should have a movie adaption? The Shack
  • 23:The first book you've fallen in love with: Gone With The Wind
  • 24:Humor or angst? Both, just depends on my mood
  • 25:How many books do you own? Too many, which is why I've stopped buying them, and also started donating all but a few favorites.
  • 26:Do you go the library?  About once a week
  • 27:How many books do you read a year? Varies, but I shoot for at least 52
  • 28:Favorite "required reading" book?  Wuthering Heights
  • 29:Favorite quote?  Too many to narrow it down to just one
  • 30:A book you absolutely hate:  The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie  

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday 9: As Time Goes By

 1) This is the theme song of Casablanca, generally acknowledged as one the screen's great love stories. In honor of Valentine's Day weekend, what's your favorite movie romance?
Somewhere In Time

2) Even though he was only 5'8 and had a receding hairline, Humphrey Bogart was a popular leading man. What movie or TV actor or actress makes your heart skip a beat?
Past: Clark Gable
Present: Mark Harmon

3) Sweethearts are those little heart-shaped candies that are printed with messages like, "Be Mine" and "Kiss Me." Do you like how they taste? 
Love favorite Valentine candy

4) Valentine's Day is a big day for florists. When is the last time a floral arrangement adorned your table or desk?
About a year ago....during chemo, I wasn't allowed fresh flowers.

5) Do you think an e-card means as much as a conventional card in an envelope?
It does to's still the thought that counts.

6) Despite what you see on Valentines, the human heart isn't bright red. It's really a brownish shade of red, like a brick. Now it's your turn. Share some trivia that's been rattling around in your head. (It does have to be about Valentines or the human heart. It can be any random fact at all.)
Today is National Hippo's that for random?

7) When is the last time you thought your heart would break?
About four years ago....but I survived and came out better than ever.

8) What is the most recent thing to lift your heart?
Spending time with my husband

9) Who is the most "hard hearted" person you know?
I don't really know anyone who fits that description.

Six Word Saturday

We're one week closer to spring.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Is It February 15th Yet?

I am not a fan of Valentine's Day....never have been, never will be. In my opinion, no one should need a specific day set aside to show people how they feel about them.  That should be something that we are doing on a daily basis.

And the commercials are about to drive me nuts---buy this, that or the other thing to show someone how you feel about them. Apparently, the more money you spend, the more you care, and there are people who actually buy into that idea, literally and figuratively.

Yesterday, I was watching TODAY, and some "expert" was expounding on how even if a woman SAYS she doesn't want anything for Valentine's Day, she's going to wind up disappointed if you don't get her something. Not this woman!  When I say I don't want anything, I mean it...and I'm going to be ticked off if you go ahead and get me something.  And that also means I'm not getting YOU anything!

So, today, while people all over social media are bragging about the gifts they have given or received, I'll be enjoying just one more day of telling and showing my family how much I love them. It won't involve cards, candy, flowers or will involve hugs, kisses, the words "I love you," and making lasting memories together.

Old School Blogging---Valentine's Edition

How do you typically celebrate Valentine’s Day?
I don't, really. When the kids were little, they got cards and a small box of candy, and occasionally a stuffed animal. Barry and I will sometimes exchange cards, but not always.
Do you like to get A)chocolates B) flowers  C) a sweet card or D) ALL OF THE ABOVE?
E) None of the above. I'm one of those rare women who, when I say "Don't get me anything for Valentine's Day," I really mean it. And if you DO get me something, I'm going to be miffed!!

Would you consider yourself a “cuddler”?  If not, would you at least cuddle on Valentine’s Day?
I am very much a cuddler, every day!
What is your favorite movie about love or with a love story? 
That would have to be Somewhere In Time, with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

Do you believe in “love at first sight”?  Did it happen to you?
No, I don't believe in it.  I think that you have to really get to know someone in order to love them. At first sight, you may be attracted to them, or lust after them, but I don't believe you can truly love them.
Do you believe love can conquer all things?
True, deep, committed love can survive pretty much anything, and get you through the bumps in the least that's how it has worked for us!
What is one of the main things you love about your S.O.(significant other)?
Just one? I'd have to say all the little things he does, just because.....not just for me, but for the whole family.
If you could have the perfect Valentine date what would you and your loved one do?
Stay at home and spend the whole day together, doing whatever we want.....oh wait,that's precisely what we WILL be doing!  :)
Tell me about your first crush!
We were in kindergarten, and he lived on my street, just a few houses down. His name was Chris, and I was sure we would grow up and get married. It didn't work out that way.....but I AM still friends with his mother on Facebook.  
Do you have any embarrassing or horror dating stories?
My first date with my first college boyfriend---we were walking to the restaurant, and I found the ONE spot on the sidewalk where there was ice.  I slipped, landed on my rear end, and wanted to cry as he helped me up.  We dated for two years, though, so I guess he wasn't scared off!   
Favorite flower?
Peach roses
What’s the first type of chocolate you hope for when you reach into a box of chocolates?
I can't choose between the coconut and the mint.
Favorite love song?
It changes all the time, as new songs come out.  But one of the most enduring ones is When I Said I Do, by Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black.  It always touches my heart.

What is the best breakup song? 
This one makes me cry every time...... 

Favorite celebrity couple? 
Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, or Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

Overall, are you pro- or anti- Valentine’s Day?
Anti-Valentine's Day.  I think that setting aside one day to show your love for that someone special is disingenuous--I prefer to do it every day.  And Valentine's Day has become so commercial and materialistic, with all the ads showing that if you just buy this, that or the other thing, you'll be loved forever. UGH!!!
If someone did that “Say Anything” boombox thing outside your window, would you be into it, or call the police? 
As long as it was Barry, I'd love it....anyone else, I'd be creeped out and call the police!!
First thing you notice about the objects of your affection?
Eyes, smile, and sense of humor.
What’s the best thing you've ever gotten for Valentine’s Day? 
Tough to answer since I've never been "into" this day and the whole present thing.  I think I've actually blocked out any real presents I may have gotten......

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

It Finally Got Me

I've been very fortunate this winter, as compared to winters past. Previously, I spent more time sick than healthy during the weeks from Christmas to Easter. There were colds, flus, viruses of every sort....if there was a germ out there, it found its way into my body and I had to deal with it for days at a time.

This winter, though, I've been illness free....until Monday night. I was watching television with Barry, and out of nowhere, I was achy all over, my stomach hurt, and I had a headache. I took a dose of Theraflu, went to bed around 10 pm, and slept until 8 am Tuesday morning.

Tuesday was a pretty wasted day.  I spent it stretched out on the sofa, part of the time with a heating pad on my stomach to help the cramps. I tried to eat, but could only force down a few bites at a took all afternoon to eat a peanut butter sandwich.  Liquids weren't going down much better, but I know from experience that I have to keep myself well hydrated, no matter what.

I woke up this morning not feeling a whole lot better. My sinuses are clogged to the point my head feels like it could explode at any minute, my stomach hurts, and my entire body aches. I guess I'll just stay close to the sofa again today, and try to muddle through till whatever this is passes.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Tuesday Ten: Things That Make Me Cry

The Golden Spoons

Today is National Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, which led to this week's ten being about things that make us cry.  Honestly, I could sum that up in one word for me: EVERYTHING.  I'm a very emotional person, who cries at the drop of a hat....but I'll do my best to come up with ten specifics for today.

1) My husband
Barry can make me cry for a variety of reasons:  happiness, anger, worry,etc.  Sometimes it's all of them at the same time! But hey, that's life and marriage, right?

2) My kids and grandkid
These guys can also make me cry for lots of different reasons.  I cry when I'm proud of them. I cry when I'm worried about them.  I cry when I'm disappointed in them. I cry when I miss them.  I cry when we're all together.  Like I said, I cry over EVERYTHING.

3) Grief
This is the one that makes me cry the most, especially when I lose someone very close to me....then there are buckets of tears.  But, after that one really good cry, I usually tend to feel a lot better.

4) Movies
Love stories with happy endings, love stories with sad endings, movies where any animal dies, movies where a small child dies, movies where my favorite character dies (or appears to die, like Carlisle Cullen in the final Twilight movie.  I made some sound at that point that's not been able to be replicated since!)

5) Hallmark commercials
Always, always, always!!  They are so sappy, and so sweet....and I blubber every time.

6) Books
See what I wrote about movies.  Same thing happens with books.

7) Budweiser Clydesdale commercials
Almost as bad as the Hallmark ones.  This year's Super Bowl commercial, with the puppy?  Oh man...tears rolling down my cheeks.

8) Laughing
Sometimes, especially when the whole family is together, and we're all in  rare form, there is so much laughter that the tears start to flow.

9) Music
There are songs that make me think of people I miss, and songs that just tug at my heartstrings because of the words.

10) Nothing at all
In the last year or so, I can just be sitting on the couch, minding my own business, doing nothing really specific, and tears will start falling down my cheeks.  It's a phenomenon I have yet to be able to explain....and I don't like it.  It makes me feel weird!

So, anyhow, there's my ten things that make me cry.  Hope you enjoyed reading it, and learned a little more about how emotional and sentimental I am in the process.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Being Content

You know what I want to do....

These days, there's not really a lot that I want out of life.  Now, before you start thinking how sad that sounds, let me explain. I spent way too much of my life thinking there was something "more" or something "better" that I was missing, and I kept looking for it (in a lot of wrong places), usually at the expense of what I already had.

It took me a lot of years (and a lot of disappointments), but I finally made an important discovery. The only way I was going to be happy with my life was to realize who I was, and be content to be that person, in the life I was given to live.  Since I've made that change, and stopped looking for bigger and better things, my life has been amazing.

I have a husband who has seen me through some of the roughest years of my life: dealing with a rebellious teenage daughter creating turmoil in our house, then dealing with her moving out and moving away....dealing with relationship issues between us, and loving me enough to forgive and move on....dealing with the deaths of both of my former husbands in the last two years....and in between those two deaths, dealing with my breast cancer discovery and treatment.

Through it all, he's been my source of encouragement and strength when I thought I couldn't take one more thing. When all I could see was darkness, he showed me the light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes without even realizing what he was doing. If it weren't for him, I don't know how I would have made it to where I am today.

Along with an amazing husband, I have three wonderful children. Yes, even the one who was a rebellious teen has grown into a pretty good adult---plus, she gets bonus points for being the mom of my adorable grandson!  They have also been a source of strength and support, just as I have been for them.  And seeing each of them grow into adulthood, and continue to be the people I tried to teach them to be growing up....I guess I must have gotten something right along the way!

I have a roof over my head every day, plenty of food on the table, clothes to wear, heat in this cold weather, and air conditioning when it gets too hot in the summer.  We have a car that's dependable....and that gets good gas mileage! that we can go where we need to go, when we need to go.

And beyond those basic things, we have a lot of luxuries as well (although some people tend to look at them as necessities these days,but that's a whole other post!). We have satellite tv, cell phones, multiple computers, a HUGE collection of movies and CDs, and a rather large collection of books.

So, what I want to do this morning is just say that I am grateful for the life I have, and I wouldn't change a thing! I look forward to enjoying it for many years to come....and sharing it will all of you, as well.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Ten Things Of Thankful, February 9, 2014

Ten Things of Thankful

This week's ten:

1) I am thankful for another week of being healthy.

2) I am thankful for doctors who can prescribe medication to alleviate my hot flashes.

3) I am thankful for my library card and the variety of books it allows me to read every year.

4) I am thankful that Amy made it safely to and from work on Thursday, when road conditions were bad and, as she said, it was more of a "controlled slide" than actually driving.

5) I am thankful for the amazing conversations we can have around the dinner table some evenings.....some are a bit crazy, but some are deep and thoughtful things.

6) I am thankful for quiet, peaceful mornings to be alone with my thoughts.

7) I am thankful to have a warm, safe place to be during this week's winter storm.

8) I am thankful that my relationship with my mother has grown stronger over the past year....and that I am able to share my fears with her without feeling judged or pitied.

9) I am thankful for the wonderful neighbor who clears the sidewalk along our street with his snowblower, saving Barry from having to shovel it.

10) I am thankful that our cat, Gandalf, loves us so much...but wish that he would stop sitting at Amy's bedroom door meowing for her to get up, since she worked till 4 am and is TRYING to sleep in today!

Sunday Stealing: Cupid's Questions Meme

Cupid's Questions Meme

from Kodelaine  

1.)Do you like Valentine's Day?  
I'm fairly indifferent to it

2.)Are you going to celebrate it?
Husband and I will probably exchange cards, that's about it.

3.)Celebrate Valentine's Day with Friends or someone Special?  
Someone special

4.)Pink or red?

5.)Candy Hearts OR cards?
Candy hearts....thanks for reminding me to go out and get some!   :)

6.)A short kiss or a big hug?  

7.)What are your plans for V-day?  
Whatever's just another day around here, like I said...we don't "do" Hallmark holidays.

8.)What would be the best gift to receive?
Not to be bombarded with all the societal expectations of Valentines Day!

9.)Would get back with any of your ex's for V-day?  
Not a chance!!!

10.)Is there a food or beverage you associate with V-day?  
Candy hearts, as mentioned above....and red velvet cake.

11.) What are your thoughts on "Love at first sight"? 
Don't believe in it. I think it takes time to really get to know and love someone. You can have physical attraction/lust at first sight, but someone can be really good looking and be a total jerk once you get to know them.

12.)Do you think people who have dated can stay friends?  
Yes, in some cases.

13.) If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice about dating or relationships what would it be? 
Wait.....better things are coming.
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