Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Overview

How has your month been?

Over all, September was a good month. I accomplished most of the goals I had set for myself, which were:

1) To actually post something every day on the blog. (Didn't make every day, but I did manage 29 posts for 30 days, which is not too shabby.)

2) To read at least ten books. (Read more than ten, and have surpassed my goal for the year, which was 150...I've read 177 so far, with three months left to go!)

3) To set a date for my first reconstruction surgery. (Set the date AND already had the surgery)

The Tuesday Ten #27: Goals For October

KinkyCherries: Tuesday 10

My Goals For October 2014

1) To read and review at least ten more books

2) To attend the Yellow Springs Street Fair

3) To continue arm exercises to help with recovery.

4) Publish at least one post per day on this blog.

5) Keep my book blog as current as possible.

6) Finish books and reviews for blog tours.

7) Start planning for Thanksgiving

8) Finish Christmas shopping.



Will add two more if I think of them as the month progresses!

Tuesday Ten--Random Questions

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Sep 30 -  National Ask a Stupid Question Day -Pick ten numbers between 1-100, then go to the link below and answer the questions that correspond with the numbers you chose!  (Or, just choose 10 questions from the list to answer.)

My numbers: 47 13 49 88 25 42 55 77 94 85

Who was the last person you ate dinner with? 
Barry and Amy
What is on the walls of the room you are in?  
A clock and two photos...one of the Vietnam War memorial, and one of a vase of flowers.

What's the farthest-away place you've been?
That would be Germany, where I lived for three years.

Where did you grow up?
Gallipolis, Ohio

What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer?

I'm sure it was a book, but I don't remember the title

Have you ever been in a beauty pageant?


Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school?

Not as a student, but one year as a teacher, yes.

If you could have any job, what would you want to do/be?

These days, I'm happy not working...had my dream job when I was a kindergarten teacher.

Do you have pets?

One gray Maine Coon cat, Gandalf.

What kind of books do you like to read?

Pretty much any I can get my hands on.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Coming Up In October

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1 - What is your favourite fall scent?

2 - Your favourite way to decorate for fall.

3 - Your favourite fall treats. Include recipes if you have them.

4 - Do you rake your leaves or let them lie on the yard?

5 - How does your wardrobe change for fall?

6 - Do you have any crafts you do/start specifically in fall?

7 - What, if any, musical instruments do you or your children play?

8 - It's football season here in the US. Do you watch? If so, what is your favourite team?

9 - Fall means winter is just around the bend. Are you prepared?

10 - Favourite fall holiday - Halloween or Thanksgiving?

11 - What is your favourite local urban legend?

12 - You're caught in a rainstorm - do you run for cover or dance and play in the rain?

13 - We've all managed to injure ourselves. What was your worst injury?

14 - The new TV season has begun - what are your favourite shows to tune into?

15 - Does it bother you that some stores have already started selling Christmas decorations before Halloween?

16 - What is your favourite type of fall weather? Rain? Snow? Sunny?

17 - If your town had a fun activity such as a "Ghost Train" for Halloween, would you buy tickets and go or not?

18 - If you had to choose, would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?

19 - The zombie apocalypse is upon us! Who is your zombie killing partner and what weapon do you use?

20 - You are home alone and someone clearly speaks your name. What do you do?

21 - What is your favourite superstition or old wives' tale?

22 - You wake up and it is October 31, 3014 - 1,000 years in the future. What do you tell them about Halloween from your time?

23 - Halloween - fun filled, candy grabbing holiday or evil day of ghosts and spirits?

24 - Do you believe in ghosts/spirits? If so, do you have any stories to tell?

25 - What will you dress up as for Halloween this year?

26 - Do you like horror films? If so, which is your favourite?

27 - What is your favourite Halloween-themed song?

28 - Would you rather throw a Halloween party or go trick-or-treating?

29 - Halloween Decorating: Creepy or Cute?

30 - What was your favourite Halloween costume as a child?

31 - Trick or Treat? What was your favourite candy to get in your bucket as a kid?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Spending A Million Dollars

 If you were given $1 million in the morning to spend by midnight, what would you buy? Itemize the list if you can. 

1) New cars for Barry and Amy.
2) Buy our own home and new furnishings.
3) Schedule a family cruise.
4) Buy new clothes and shoes.
5) Pay for weddings for Brian, Amy and Lani.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

To Sleep Or Not To Sleep

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If you could be given the option to never sleep again and not be tired would you take it, knowing you could never dream again?

I'm torn on this one. On the one hand, I can see the upside to never having to sleep, so that I could get in more reading time every day.  :)  On the other hand, even though it says I would never be tired, it doesn't say that my body would be able to rejuvenate itself on a daily basis the way it needs to do. Dreaming is no big deal to me, as I don't remember my dreams 99% of the time as it is. Sleep is important to me these days in terms of recovering my health, and I'm not sure this scenario would allow for that.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday Ten--Dinner Party

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You are having a dinner party - Ten people (alive or dead/ real or fictional) that you would invite.

1. Mother Teresa

2. Princess Diana

3. Freda Johnson (my maternal grandmother)

4. Loretta Swain (my youngest maternal aunt)

5. Neil Diamond

6. Pope Francis

7. Stephen Hawking

8. Neil Degrasse Tyson

9. Anne Boleyn

10. Queen Elizabeth I

I know, I know....it's a wide variety of guests. But I do have reasons for all of them: the first two because of all the good they did in their lives; the next two because I miss them so much; Neil is my favorite performer; Pope Francis because I think he's got big plans for the Catholic church and I would love to ask him a few questions; Hawking and Tyson for some science input; and the last two because I'm descended from the Boleyn family, so we're distant cousins--and I'd love to talk to them about how much the lives of women have changed since their time.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Sunday Round-Up #1

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A brand new link up started today, where we share our past week's events.

Monday was a pretty busy day....started working on cleaning the house, for a couple of reasons. #1: My mother will be here this afternoon; and #2: I won't be able to do a lot of cleaning for the next couple of weeks, at least, while I recover from my surgery. Also went to weekly Bible study, which as always was social, as well as educational and thought-provoking.

Tuesday was more cleaning, and that was about it.

Wednesday was cleaning and a trip to the library to pick up some books that I had requested. At least I'll have plenty to read while I'm recuperating from surgery!

Thursday was a day of relaxing for the most part...spent most of it listening to an audiobook.

Friday it was back to cleaning, and then watched two movies with Barry that evening.  Also had to call the hospital to find out what time to go in on Monday--8:30 am, so I don't have to get up ridiculously early, which is good.

Saturday was a totally fun day. Barry and I went to the Ohio Renaissance Festival (I didn't go in costume this year, as I was concerned it would be too painful on my scar). When we left there, we stopped at a little store in the area we like to visit every year, where I got apple cider and a caramel apple. Came home, spent some time with Amy, and then watched Doctor Who.

Sunday has been busy so far. I did two loads of laundry, after stripping and remaking the bed. Did some dishes, vacuumed the whole house, dusted the living room, straightened the dining room, took a shower, and have been watching NASCAR, blogging a bit, and playing Facebook games.

Cosmetic Surgery

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Would you ever consider having plastic surgery to "stop" the signs of aging or just for purely cosmetic? Have you ever has cosmetic surgery?

I love that this is the prompt for today, and that I was able to find this quote. Why? Because tomorrow morning, bright and early, I will be headed to the hospital for reconstructive surgery. After all the time I spent in the hospital LAST year (chemo, miscellanous infections, surgery and radiation), this is a hospital stay that I am actually enthusiastic about.

After this surgery, and whatever recovery time it takes, plus another procedure later in the year, I will FINALLY be finished with this journey, and be able to feel like I'm "normal" again. I've been wearing a prosthetic for most of this year, which has given me the illusion of normal, but wearing it is what made me even more sure that I wanted to go through with the reconstruction. I just couldn't picture myself dealing with the "fake boob" for the rest of my life.

I'll update on my progress when I get home from the hospital and feel up to typing again, hopefully sometime next week. In the meantime, I hope you'll continue to enjoy my already scheduled posts. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

My Favorite Poem

This poem has always spoken to the dark side of me, as does much of Sylvia's poetry.


by Sylvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo. Daddy, I have had to kill you. You died before I had time-- Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic Where it pours bean green over blue In the waters off beautiful Nauset. I used to pray to recover you. Ach, du. In the German tongue, in the Polish town Scraped flat by the roller Of wars, wars, wars. But the name of the town is common. My Polack friend Says there are a dozen or two. So I never could tell where you Put your foot, your root, I never could talk to you. The tongue stuck in my jaw. It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been scared of you, With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo. And your neat mustache And your Aryan eye, bright blue. Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You-- Not God but a swastika So black no sky could squeak through. Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. You stand at the blackboard, daddy, In the picture I have of you, A cleft in your chin instead of your foot But no less a devil for that, no not Any less the black man who Bit my pretty red heart in two. I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die And get back, back, back to you. I thought even the bones would do. But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue. And then I knew what to do. I made a model of you, A man in black with a Meinkampf look And a love of the rack and the screw. And I said I do, I do. So daddy, I'm finally through. The black telephone's off at the root, The voices just can't worm through. If I've killed one man, I've killed two-- The vampire who said he was you And drank my blood for a year, Seven years, if you want to know. Daddy, you can lie back now. There's a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never liked you. They are dancing and stamping on you. They always knew it was you. Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I'm through.
And after the first time I ever read this poem, I wrote the following poem of my own:

Every woman adores a Fascist.
Is that why I was drawn to you rapidly,
why I came back to you repeatedly?
Though my body never suffered under your hand,
my heart was painfully bruised;
My soul nearly died as it was beaten down.
Soon I felt even less than unworthy.
I felt no one could ever love me but you,
which is what you wanted me to believe.
Then, when I met another who was determined to show me how important I could be,
You fell upon me, attempting to quell my rebellion with the turn of a screw.
I was ensnared so heavily by your silver tongue that I threw away my only chance for freedom--
Left him there and came once more to you;
once more I found myself in the pits of Hell.
When I at last gathered the strength to escape and ran to him who had once offered shelter,
I found him gone, tired of watching me destroy myself.
For it was me all along, not you--the life I had was the one I had chosen.
© 1982 TDD

Friday, September 19, 2014

All About Apples

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 September is National Apple Month, create a blog post inspired by apples.

Apple based foods/drinks I like:
Apple pie
Apple dumplings

Apple cider
Caramel and candy apples
Fried apples
Apple turnovers
Apple pie bagels
Apple pie candy corn

My favorite variety of apple: Red Delicious

Phrases that include the word "apple":
Apple of my eye
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
As American as apple pie
Apple polisher
The Big Apple
In apple pie order
Apples and oranges
An apple for the teacher
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bedtime Routine

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What is the last thing you do before bed?

The last thing I do before I go to sleep, most nights, is to read for approximately half an hour. It's a great way for me to relax, take my mind off any problems of the day, and be ready to turn out the light and actually fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time. It's also handy should I wake up in the middle of the night and can't get back to sleep right away.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Are you the oldest, middle or only child? Talk about sibling

I am the oldest of two children, and I am six and a half years older than my brother, Mark. Here is a picture of us when I was 10 (nearly 11) and he was 4.
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And this picture, with our mother and my nephew, was taken earlier this year.
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Like me, my brother has a degree in education, although his is in secondary education while mine is in elementary education. He never held a teaching position, however. He went to work part-time for the local park district while he was in college, then moved to a full time position after graduation, and has been there ever since. He married my sister-in-law, Amy,fifteen years ago, and just a few years ago they adopted Bo from Ethiopia.  We don't see each other as often as I would like, but we both have busy lives, 250 miles apart.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Something I wrote more than thirty years ago:

Love is like a beautiful spring day, filling your entire being with a quiet, peaceful feeling of joy and contentment. Love can be like the fleeting excitement of fireworks exploding in brilliant colors against a darkened sky or the tingling, breathtaking shock of plunging headfirst into the cold water of a sparkling blue lake on a hot August day.

Love is not selfishly expecting another person to change something in his personality just to be the way you feel he should be. Love is not wanting someone who will stay with you twenty-four hours a day, catering to your every whim and need. Love is not holding back the one you love from reaching his full potential simply because you are afraid he will outgrow the relationship you share.

Love is a mother standing watch over her sleeping child who is slowly recovering from an illness. Love is knowing you have found the one special person whom you want to share all your hopes and dreams for the rest of your life. Love is watching a small four year old boy, followed by his even smaller puppy, running through a green grassy field festively adorned with yellow and white daisies. Love is a combination of many emotions and events, something which has no simple definition, but which touches each life in some way, and which must be experienced to be truly understood.

Monday, September 15, 2014


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Do you feel pressured to be perfect?

I used to feel that I had to be the perfect daughter, the perfect wife, the perfect mother. I was convinced that was the only way I would ever be accepted by certain people in my life. I thought I had to be the person they wanted me to be,rather than being the person I actually am. 

I was forty years old before I finally found the strength to let go of the idea of perfection. Now I simply try to be the best ME that I can be. If other people can't accept me that way, then I have to realize they are the ones with the problem, not me. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Childhood Pets

Did you have a special pet when you were a child?

I had three very special pets during my childhood. The first was Pip, who was a miniature rat terrier. He was a tiny little thing, and therefore perfect for a toddler to chase, harass and cuddle.  I remember being told one day that they had given Pip away, that he had gone to live on a farm--several years later, I learned that was their way of avoiding telling me that he had been hit by a car and killed.  :(

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The second pet of my childhood was Thomas J. Cat (the J. didn't stand for anything, it was just there). He was a black cat who followed me everywhere. He even went into my wading pool with me in the summers, swimming circles around me. In the summer between first and second grades, we moved to a new house. We kept Tom in the garage, trying to let him get used to his new environment. One day, he streaked out past my father, and we never saw him again.

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Shortly after that, we got Suzy, our collie/German shepherd mix.  She was part of our family until the summer after my first year of college. At that point, she was arthritic, deaf, and nearly blind. One day she followed me across the road to check the mail, and when I went back across, I forgot that it was going to take Suzy longer than me to get across, and didn't realize the car which was far enough away for me to cross safely was NOT far enough for her.  She was struck, and died instantly.  :*(

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Teen Years

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  Create a list of things you enjoyed as a teenager. Add a photograph of teenage you, the more embarrassing the better.

Listening to music
Writing poetry
Talking on phone with friends
Spending time with family

(And I'm not brave enough to post an embarrassing teen picture!  LOL)

Friday, September 12, 2014

What Would Really Help You Right Now?

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What would really help you right now?

The thing that would really help me right now is a time machine. I'd like to be able to fast forward past my upcoming surgery and recovery, right to the point where I'm back to "normal" again. It's not that the recovery will be all that difficult, if my past experience is any indication. It's just that it frustrates me more than a little to have my movement restricted, to have to rely on the rest of the family to do things I usually do around the house, etc. I've never been good at relying on other people....I much prefer to be independent.  :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where Were You? Memories of 9/11/01

9/11 where or what were you doing when the news broke all those years ago?

I went out early that morning to run some errands after sending all three kids off to school. I came home, turned on my computer, and saw horrible pictures all over the place. I turned on the television just in time to see the first tower collapse.

I called my husband at his job, where they hadn't heard anything about it yet, so he was stunned and yelled for someone to turn on the television there. We spent the rest of the day checking in with each other every time one of us heard something new, to make sure the other person heard it.

As more information came in, including the fact that our schools were on lockdown, I was going nuts being the only one at home, but I was also too afraid to get out and go anywhere. So I sat in front of the television, crying and praying.

Once the kids came home,we watched a bit of the television coverage, but then I turned off the tv and encouraged them to play in their rooms, telling them that we were going to be okay (even though I wasn't sure of that), and that I would answer any questions they had. 

To this day, I still get nervous when a low-flying plane goes over our house, and sometimes still have the nightmare I had a LOT back then, of a plane crashing into our backyard.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Significant World Events In My Lifetime

Create a list of significant world events that have happened in your lifetime. Add a couple of images.

This is just a small sampling of things I remember vividly.

1961: I was born!   :)

1963:  Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
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1969: First man on the moon
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1972: Kidnapping and murder of 11 Israeli athletes during Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany.
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1979: Record blizzard strikes midwestern United States, killing over 100 people
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1984: 6 year old Texan Stormie Jones gets 1st heart & liver transplant
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1986: Space shuttle Challenger explosion
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1989: Berlin Wall comes down
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Ten #24--Cocktails/Alcoholic Drinks

Ten Favorite cocktails/alcoholic drinks

1) Moscato

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2) Riesling

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3) White Russian

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4) Guinness

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5) Lemon shandy
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 6) Peppermint schnapps

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7) Mangorita

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8) Rum and Pepsi
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9) Sloe gin fizz
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10) Vodka collins
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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Knowing When You Will Die

 If someone handed you an envelope containing the exact date and time of your death, would you open it? Why or why not?

No, I would not open it. I wouldn't want to wake up every morning knowing that I had X amount of days left. For me, that would translate into a feeling of "why bother?" with a lot of experiences or situations, and would leave me feeling depressed for whatever time I had. I'd much rather not know, and just go on living my life the way I do now, so that in the end I will know that I lived every day to the fullest extent possible.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

One Year To Live

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What would you do if you had one year exactly to live?

With only a year left to live, I would want to spend as much of my time as possible with my family....Mom, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew, my husband, my three children, their significant others, and my grandson. I would want us to make as many happy memories together as we could, and to take lots of pictures to help them remember those moments.

I would find the time to write letters to all of them---and several to my grandson, to be read at special moments in his life.

I would write down things I wanted for my memorial service, such as music and flowers.

For the most part, I would want life to be normal, I think....I wouldn't want anyone, including me, to spend the entire year dwelling on the end.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Grandparents Day

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 Grandparents Day is Sunday! What is the most important lesson you learned from your grandparents?

From  my maternal grandparents, I learned about living your faith, working for whatever you want, and the joy of growing your own food. From my paternal grandparents, I learned an enjoyment of big band music and law enforcement television shows (FBI, Dragnet, Ironsides, etc.), as well as a love of reading. I also saw a strong work ethic in both of them. 

From all four grandparents, I learned the importance of a close-knit, loving family....of always being there for your family members whenever they need you. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014


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Day 4: Write about what you treasure most in the world.

What I treasure most in the world is my relationship with my family--not only my husband, my children and their significant others and my grandson, but also my mother, my brother and his family, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. 

I grew up surrounded by my mother's family.  We spent most Sunday afternoons, and holidays, with them at my grandparents' house, and summers were when we would spend as much time with the cousins as possible, sleeping over at Granny and Grandpa's house. 

Since I moved away from my hometown in 1996, I haven't seen much of them, except at our yearly family reunion and, unfortunately, at funerals. We're all spread out a lot further than we were when we were kids, and we have our own families, and busy lives, so it's not nearly as easy as it used to be. 

However, when we DO get together, we usually seem to pick up right where we left off the last time around, which is reassuring. And most of us are on Facebook, so it's not like we're totally clueless about each other, either. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Country, Good And Bad

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 Day 3:  Describe the country you are from or that you live in, both the good and the bad.

As you can tell from the map at the top of this post, I live in the United States, in the state of Ohio. Here is my list of the pros and cons of living in this country.

Racial and cultural diversity

More freedoms than a lot of other countries
Diversity in climate and weather

Better standard of living than many countries around the world
Free public education
Amazing national park system

Government is too involved in people's personal business
Economy sucks!

Political ignorance of a lot of citizens
Lack of public transportation in way too many areas
Poor healthcare
Welfare system with rampant fraud

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Family Tree

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  Have you traced your family tree?

I have been working on my family tree for several years, and have made fairly good progress on both my mother's and father's side. On my father's paternal side, I'm currently unable to go any further back than the parents of the first folks who came to America--I would probably have to work with someone in Germany to go back any further, which is something I will look into doing eventually, presuming I ever hit stopping points with the other three families.

I have discovered a few interesting relatives thanks to my research. Actresses Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow are distant cousins (we're all descended from brothers who came to America from Germany).  I'm also descended from George Washington's brother, Lawrence, as well as Anne Boleyn's aunt, also named Anne Boleyn. 

I haven't been spending as much time working on the family tree recently as I should, but will hopefully have the time to get back into it soon. Can't wait to see what else I find out!

Tuesday Ten #23--Guilty Pleasures

KinkyCherries: Tuesday 10

My Guilty Pleasures

1) Chocolate: I'm a sucker for anything chocolate....but most especially M&M's (the dark chocolate ones!)

2) Reading: I've read 149 books so far this year, and have several stacks around the house still to get through, not to mention all the ones on my Kindle cloud, and the pdf documents I've been sent....I probably already have enough to get me through NEXT year!  LOL

3) Days Of Our Lives: I've been watching this since I was a little kid....from the very beginning of the show. These days I think it's more habit than anything else, as it has gotten so predictable--I can watch and say "Oh, that's just like what happened to back in .

4) Barry Manilow: I've been a fan of his from the beginning, as well. Haven't been a real big fan of his "Greatest Hits of the " albums, and prefer to listen to his original stuff, especially when I'm feeling down. His song "I Made It Through The Rain" was my theme song for a lot of years.

5) Disney movies: Yep, I still watch them, especially the Tinkerbelle ones.  Any time a new one comes out on DVD, it goes on our rental list, and Barry has to suffer through it with me. I guess I'll always still be a kid at heart.

6) LOLcats at I Can Has Cheezburger?: And basically, just all cat pics/memes in general. Even though I only have one cat, I am well on my way to becoming a crazy cat lady!

7) Investigation Discovery channel: Or, as my family likes to call it, the murder channel. There are days when I turn it on first thing, and have it on ALL DAY LONG.  I think it's because I enjoy a good mystery...but Barry's worried I'm taking notes and planning things!   :)

8) Horror movies: I prefer really good, really intense ones....but I'll settle for the really cheesy predictable ones that I can laugh at. Given the choice between horror and romance, I'll pick horror every time.

9) My Fair Wedding: I can watch this show all day, too. While I could never imagine spending as much on a wedding as these obviously cost, I love a lot of the themes they use...Gone With The Wind was one of my absolute favorites.

10) NCIS:  Okay, so maybe it's just Mark Harmon....and this fall, Scott Bakula.....

Monday, September 1, 2014

Goals For September

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Day One: It's the start of a new month, what do you hope to achieve by the end of the month?

My goals for September:

1) To actually post something every day on the blog.

2) To read at least ten books.

3) To set a date for my first reconstruction surgery.
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