Saturday, February 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday

These 6 words have been playing in my mind all week and I couldn't wait to write them here. I'm so ready for spring.

At last, February melts into March.

We had highs in the 60s this week. The kids played outside and my oldest son had soccer practice. Unfortunately, now the weather forcast is calling for snow! Two or three inches of snow!

My only hope lies in that age old 6 words about weather:

In like lion, out like lamb

Wishing you sunshine and daffodils.

For more Six Word Saturday fun, visit Cate at Show My Face.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


It died a slow and natural death caused by old age, dust bunnies and the general abuse doled out by four kids and two parents. We had no choice but to spill its guts.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Banned Words

One day while writing "morning pages" in my notebook, I started to notice certain words I used over and over again. Words like maybe, should, might, probably, need to. I made a list in the margin and marked it "banned words" These words appear most often in passages where I'm haggling over a to-do list, trying to motivate myself to accomplish something.

What I need to realize is that there is accomplishment just in the writing. In getting past all those things that tangle up my brain and try to force me out of the chair, try to force the pen out of my hand I am moving myself to a place of really writing. Describing people, scenes, memories. Committing to paper the stories that have been floating in my mind. That is accomplishment.

It doesn't matter if anyone reads it. It only matters that I've put it on paper. It doesn't matter if I write dozens of maybe's and shoulds. If those are bridges to the next line, the next thought, then they have served their purpose.

Still, those words nag at me because they are my own lack of commitment pouring out on the page. Instead of will, doing and work I write probably. Fear of committing to see the work through. I should address that fear.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I have to admit that I'm so surprised and please that anyone even reads this blog, let alone likes it! I started it several years ago so that I would have a way to participate in several other writing blogs. Sadly, I think both of those blogs are now gone (One Deep Breath - a weekly haiku blog and Poetry Thursday. Does anyone remember these?)

I let this blog sit idle for quite a while before deciding to revive it a few months ago. I'm so glad I started writing here again. I've really enjoyed getting to know all of you and I love reading what you write.

Now I've been honored with two awards. The first is from ElfTea. She is living in Japan with her husband who is a Marine, raising their little ones. She also was one of the first participants of my haiku prompts, which means a lot to me.

The rules for this award are to nominate 7 or so other blogs and to share 10 honest things about yourself. I've also been given this award on my other blog, Eat at Home, so I'm going to split it up a bit and nominate 3 blogs here and 3 blogs over there and share 5 things about myself on each blog.

1. My best writing ideas come when I'm in the shower or vacuuming. You would think this would inspire me to spend more time vacuuming, but no. I do however like to take long showers.

2. I took a creative writing class in high school. I was so bad at writing short stories, I stuck to poetry. Most of my ideas for poems came from reading the submissions in Seventeen Magazine and then trying to write them from memory. I never actually copied them and always put my own spin on them, but it was borderline plagerism. However, the teacher liked "my" work and I got good grades. I also think it did help me learn to write poetry. I've loved it ever since and have not stolen anyone's work since high school.

3. My first car was a Honda Civic. I don't even know what year the car was made, probably 70 something (I bought it in 1985). It had a manual choke that I learned to tweak so that the car sputtered a bit less while I was driving it. What I didn't learn was that the oil needed to be changed, or at least added to, on a regular basis. I drove the car to Purdue to visit a friend and on the way back it just quit. Stopped right there on the interstate. My friend and I accepted a ride from two men who stopped to help. They did get us back to where we needed to be - but, what were we thinking??!! It's this kind of judgement that makes me nervous about having a teenage daughter.

4. While I was getting my hair cut yesterday, I looked in the mirror and realized that I look exactly like my sister. This isn't really a revelation - we've always looked alike - but, you know that weird feeling when you look at yourself, but you see your sister or mom? It's nothing like when we were younger and used to be mistaken for each other. Once, we even swapped class schedules in high school. I went to her classes and she went to mine. I don't think we fooled anybody, but it was fun.

5. I was pretty insecure when I was younger. I went to a dance in 9th grade and one of the popular guys asked me to dance. The entire time I danced with Alex, I wondered if he had been put up to asking me to dance. Maybe he'd taken a dare from his friends to dance with the quiet, nerdy girl. I still wonder.

At the same dance, Andy asked me to dance with him. I thought he was the geekiest boy ever. I'm pretty sure I turned him down, or maybe I did dance with him and blocked it from my mind. Turns out that the geeky boy grew up and now lives in Paris, France working for an important company, making big money. He speaks a bunch of European languages fluently. I guess he paid a lot more attention in French class than I did.

Okay, now for the blogs I'm nominating for the Honest Scrap Award:

Jewel at Pink Ink

Cate at Show My Face

Denene at My Brown Baby

Katie Lane of Sunshine and Bubblegum gave me this award. Thanks, Katie! I'm passing this award onto Melissa at The Scholastic Scribe

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday

New stylist, new style, verdict out

This reminded me of a haiku I wrote a long time ago:

New stylish hair-do
Confident, looking pretty
He doesn't notice

Today, he did notice and even says he likes it. I just hope I'll like it.

For more 6-Word Saturday fun, visit Cate at Show My Face

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Bad Writing

Time to play Fun and Games with Jenners. This week - Bad Writing - a take on the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The goal is to write a horrible first sentence for a novel.

She couldn't know that the man who was puckering up to kiss her was the same man who swindled her five years ago because she had amnesia. Remember?

Visit Jenners to play along!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Flowers - Haiku prompt

Thank you for all the well-wishes for health for my family. I think we are finally on the mend. Flu is not fun.

I was playing around with my camera yesterday, taking pictures of the tulips my husband brought home the other day. I like how this shot turned out. It struck me that this would make a good haiku/poetry prompt as well. I am so ready for spring.

I took a 3-5-3 syllable pattern this time:

red petals
cup honey nectar
springtime bliss

If you want to play along, just leave your link in the comments. One of these days I'll give Mr. Linky a second chance, but for today we'll do it the easy way.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Front half February foiled by flu

Five out of six people in this family have Influenza A. I think we're getting to the end of it. Hopefully, my husband can stay healthy.

For more Six Word Saturday visit Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday Photo Finish

Isn't that lovely? I didn't take that picture. My oldest daughter and husband did it in secret. They like to tease me about all the pictures of food I take for my food blog. I found it mixed in with my photos when I uploaded them from my camera. Aren't they funny?

Have you ever found unexpected photos on your camera?

For more Friday Photo Finish Fiesta fun check out Candid Carrie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Five of My Favorite Things

1. The Dick Van Dyke Show - My favorite tv show of all time. What's not to love? Classic black and white, 60s fashions, timeless husband/wife relationship stuff, funny neighbors, the suburbs, those twin beds! My very favorite episode is the one where Laura opens Rob's mail and out pops the inflatable boat. Classic! I think of it every time I open my husband's mail.

2. My chocolate stash - It's a good thing I took a picture of this, because it's now history. I did take quite a while to eat my way through it all. It included two dark chocolate bars with espresso beans, Ghiradelli dark chocolate with raspberry filling squares, Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and Godiva milk and dark chocolate squares. Yum! Makes me remember that movie Chocolat.

3. My new Nikon D40 camera - I'm loving this camera. I'm even learning to change the settings. I can use terms like ISO, aperture, shutter speed and sometimes know what I'm talking about. Sometimes, I know. The rest of the time I just fake it. But my pics are getting better.

Unfortunately, my camera has a problem with the auto focus. It isn't working right so I have to send it in to be fixed. I'll miss my camera while it's gone. But maybe learning on the new camera will improve the pictures I'll have to take on my old point-and-shoot. I can only hope.

4. The Easy Bake Oven - My youngest daughter wanted this for Christmas. I almost didn't buy it for her because I didn't want to have to purchase those expensive and yucky tasting mixes - I'm cheap! But then I found out that you could use real ingredients to bake things in the EBO and a whole new hobby was born. It's fun to cook with my little girl. She loves it. And the treats taste good too. Here's a link to a couple of recipes we made and posted on my cooking blog.

5. My current favorite song - My favorite songs change frequently, but right now it's You Found Me by The Fray. There's just something about that song. Such longing in the lyrics. Love it. I don't know how to put a song on a blog. I rarely ever watch videos on blogs or listen to the music, but I'll include a link to this song. If you want to hear it, click here.
For more Favorite Things or creative responses to her other writing prompts, visit Mama Kat at Mama's Losin It.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Classics and Candy

I admit that I am not a very well-read person. I got through high school English with Cliff Notes. The last few years I've been trying to read some of those classics that I missed in my wayward, misguided youth.

At Christmas break I started reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I enjoy it while I'm reading, but I'm still only half way through. And honestly, it's just not pulling me in the way I would like. It doesn't call me back to it, so I forget that I'm trying to read it. I could leave the story now and never wonder what happens in the end. I would feel a bit guilty about abandoning a classic - but only a little guilty.

Enter the book candy I bought off the Walmart shelf on Saturday while grocery shopping. I was looking for a book for my poor, sick son who has the flu. They didn't have the one I wanted for him, but I did find Sundays at Tiffany's. Oh my, that was the perfect antidote to "too much classic syndrome". I read most of it on Saturday afternoon. Finished it off Sunday evening after running a few errands and tending to my youngest daughter's fever (over 105 degrees!).

I knew Sundays at Tiffany's was going to be good when the main character was eating a hot fudge sundae with coffee ice cream in the first chapter - that's my favorite treat. The book is a fun, easy, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet read. One that you can devour.

Are there classic books that you've abandoned mid-way through? Do you have favorite easy reads? Do you have a well balanced diet of reading or do you binge on the book candy? Or maybe you're the literary equivalent of a vegan, only reading books that require lots of chewing and are packed with good-for-you stuff. Share your book consuming habits!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Temporary Winter cease-fire, Spring teases


Schedule stutters over two sick boys

We're battling the flu over here, hoping that these boys feel better soon and that nobody else get this thing. If you're battling colds and flu, pop over to my food blog, Eat at Home. I've got a recipe for Virus Killing Soup - yummy, healing chicken soup. I sure am ready for Spring!
For more Six Word Saturday fun, go visit Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Interview Meme

Jenners, who is providing me all kinds of inspiration lately posted an interview meme on her blog. She asked another blogger to send her interview questions and then answered them. In turn, she offered to interview other bloggers, so I took her up on that. Here are her questions and my answers:

1. What is your favorite time of day and why? That is a hard question for me, because it varies each day. I'm not a morning person and I'm not a late night person, so my favorite time comes somewhere between those two (obviously).

Lately, I've been trying to get to bed by 9 in order to get enough rest and ward off migraines. I take my notebook and current reads to bed and spend about an hour with them before turning out the lights. I really like that time.

Sometimes, my favorite time is when we all sit down to dinner, especially if it's a night when we're all home together, which is increasingly rare.

Sometimes it's when all the kids (except teen daughter) have gone to bed and my hubby and I can pop in a M*A*S*H dvd and watch together.

Sometimes it's early morning when my littlest climbs in bed with me.

2. Can you tell me about a book that transported you to another time and place?

When I was 8 year old that book was Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prarie.

When I was 12, Julie of the Wolves caught my imagination.

When I was 16, I loved the romance of Gone with the Wind.

I'm having trouble choosing one book from my adult-hood. Every good book should transport the reader to another time and place. I could choose Memoirs of a Geisha or Snowflower and the Secret Fan or The Poisonwood Bible or... Since February is Black History Month, I'll choose The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines. The story is about a woman who was born into slavery and follows her life up to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. It is a fictional story, but sheds light on the stories of so many African Americans who lived during that time.

3. Pretend you had all day to yourself to do anything you wanted to do (money is no object). What would you do? Hmmm... All day by myself? I'm not much of a loner. I really prefer to have company, but if I really had to be by myself I would probably choose a warm, sunny beach, a few books and a notebook.

If I can invite someone along, I would enjoy a day in NYC or a day in Disney World. Or how about something simple like lunch with a friend and trip through a bookstore?

4. What do you think are the five ugliest words in the English language? (You can choose purely by the sound of the word or by meaning.)

- congeal - I don't know why, it just sounds gross

- coagulate - Same reason as congeal

- crepuscular - How this word can have to do with twilight, I don't know. It sounds more like a seeping skin condition to me.

- sh** and the "f" word - These two cuss words really bug me. I think sh** is just ugly. Use a better vocabulary. And the "f" word - in my opinion, there is just no excuse for using this word. It is hateful and vulgar. I won't entirely abandoned a book or blog or other writing for use of these words, but there better be a lot of substance for me to keep reading. If not, I'll move on to other things.

5. How do you feel about the way Disney has handled Winnie-the-Pooh? First of all, I must say that Walt Disney World is one of my favorite places to visit. I also really like Disney movies. I know some folks are highly against all things Disney, but that is not me.

I like Disney's classic Pooh - the artwork, the stories, the animated movies. One of my favorites is The Blustery Day, on which The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh ride in WDW is based. When she was little, my oldest daughter's imaginary friend was Roo. These characters will always have a special place in my heart.

Although I'm not totally against the newer Pooh shows, I don't think they are nearly as good as the classics from the 60s (or the books, of course). And I really don't like any of the children's books that are based on Disney movies, whether they be Winnie-the-Pooh or any other movie. The writing in these books is dreadful. These books have made their way into our house, but I usually refuse to read them to the kids, or I only read the first line on each page. The kids only want to look at the pictures anyway.

Thanks for the interview questions, Jenners. If anyone would like to have interview questions from me, just let me know in the comments.

Found Poems

The topic of found poems came up on Jenners blog the other day. She used several definitions from the dictionary to write found poems. Kitten also wrote a found poem. She used one definition from the dictionary for hers.

I remember reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones where she also talked about found poems. She told about giving a few pages of her journal to writing students and asked them to create poems using some of her phrases and words. Several students took the challenge. Each poem was different, but she was interested to see that they all included one phrase in common - "The hills of New Mexico are everywhere you go".

I decided to go back through my writing practice notebook, looking for phrases that I could use in a found poem. The phrases were scattered throughout the notebook and I combined them in a way I liked. Here's what I ended up with:

When were you going to tell me?
The days have lost their meaning and rhythm
Color variations, swirled patterns
Pass in front of my eyes
Warming and thinning my mood.
When were you going to tell me?

Here is another one from phrases taken from one page of my journal:

He smelled of
dry cleaned clothes and
aftershave and
his favorite brand of cigarette

A compilation of everything
that's gone before and
everything that's to come after

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Butterfly - an Award and Haiku prompt

My bloggy friend, Jenners has bestowed on me an award! I love how Jenners changes the rules on blog awards. It makes it fun and unique each time it's given. This time, she has requested that I write a butterfly poem. So here is my poem:

orange wings in sharp contrast
to azure skies of late September
fragile fluttering against Autumn breezes
rushing as cold weather pursues
how do they know the path to follow
when they've never been before?

I know - that's not much of a poem, but it still counts!

And because I love haiku, I'm turning this into the haiku prompt for this week. If you want to play along and write your own, just leave your link in the comments.

Here's my butterfly haiku:

orange wings marked black
fragile strength defies logic
flight to Mexico

Oh yes, I'm bestowing this lovely Butterfly Award to Cate at Show My Face. She is the host of Six Word Saturday and has a great blog!