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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: A Real Friend

Coolest Shoes Ever!
Can you guess who I'm with? It's Rhonda from Laugh Quotes. Over thirty years ago we roomed together at the University of Missouri.




We took a trip to Boston to visit my sister. Just for kicks we said, "Hello" to everyone we passed on the street . . . or in the ocean. :)


We spent a New Year's Eve in Chicago. Like the shirts we made? So what if the necklines weren't centered.


Here's a picture of Rhonda from the last time we were together. She is with her teenager. Girl! It's been way too long. Come back to Memphis.


Sorry about the white around the pictures. I had a lot of trouble getting these to show on the blog at all. Please click on my Picket Fence Button and hers.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Musical Monday - How SWEET

 "Little Willy" by The Sweet

When I was little, I followed my older siblings everywhere; so I guess this is my song. The music is hip and I really dig the threads!

Here's another fun "Sweet" song from 1973.

Ballroom Blitz

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava's LoungeSTRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice. Please note these links are
Thank you for joining us on Music Monday! Let's get going shall we?

1. Unofficial Chart Blog  14. Mystery Man  
2. Namz  15. Ernhez  
3. LJL - Selamat Hari Raya  16. Dickster's Random Thoughts  
4. bethere2day  17. Classic NYC Story -- Water  
5. Turn-u-Off  18. Mekinudols  
6. ANE  19. Caroline : My Stories  
7. MusicMonday - ♫ I'm nobody's child ♫  20. Dolly's Daily Diary  
8. Dazediva: Chromeo - Bonafide Lovin  21. Stigma No More  
9. Liza (asl)  22. Catch My Words  
10. Maria @ LSS  23. redamethyst  
11. Cafe au lait  24. Lynn  
12. Cafe au lait (time2laugh)  25. Mike Golch  
13. B. F. Dude  









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Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Italian Boy's Confession


Thanks, Rhonda at Laugh Quotes for Silly Sunday. Here is my joke. Not quite Sunday in the states, but since it is for you, I'll go ahead and post.



'Bless me Father, for I have sinned.

I have been with a loose girl'.

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano ?'

'Yes, Father, it is.'


'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father. I don't want to ruin her reputation'.

"Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later

so you may as
well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?'

'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?'

'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?'

'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?'

'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?'

'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'


The priest sighs in frustration.
'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that.
But you've sinned and have to atone.

You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months.

Now you go and behave yourself.'


Joey walks back to his pew,

and his friend Franco slides over and whispers,

'What'd you get?'

'Four months vacation and five good leads.'

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Beyond the Limits of My Fridge

This week's Writer's Post Blog Hop #11 
is 
Beyond the Limits

It's soooo big, it takes a moving van to bring it home.

My mind probably isn't going where Jenn intended, but why should this week be different than any other?

I just got back from Costco's where I was supposed to do two things: (1) Take back the pants in the backseat of my car that are too big and (2) Buy candy for my class. Of course I did neither. I remembered the pants while strolling out the door, but with Memphis' 91* weather, I decided my fudge bars wouldn't appreciate alone time in the trunk.

The infamous "they" say to never shop when hungry, and Mr. They is right! I bought strawberries, blueberries, a massive package of pizza rolls all because I was hungry and it looked good . . . even though these things go "beyond the limits" of what my fridge holds. 

To make room, I could throw out the moldy something in the back, a jar of pickle relish (everyone here hates sweet pickles), or the half-eaten yogurt that's probably reproduced since it contains "Live Cultures." What does live cultures mean anyway? 

The item that really goes beyond our limits is the big a$$ pizza I bought--pesto, tomatoes, chunks of whitish-yellow cheese, and green leafy things. Yum! Never mind the fact that our household is down to two. It looked good, and repeat after me: I was hungry.

This Costco pizza is sooooo huge, it goes beyond the limits of my fridge and must move directly from car to oven; but, Houston we have a problem. When I tried to lift it into the oven, it cracked on the side and rained chunks of cheese, tomatoes, and those leafy green things onto the rack and beyond. So here I was, scooping up sizzling ingredients off the bottom of the oven. No doubt, it will stick, burn, and make a horrid mess. 

Will I buy it again? Probably. 
Why? Because One day I'll be hungry! 

Thanks for stopping by. Please leave a comment, (((hugs))), and a click on the picket fence. And if you're in town, stop by for some pizza . . . unless, burp! Maybe I should keep the pants that are too big. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: It's All Greek to Me

Admit it, you were one.
How does a GDI like me end up with three Greek kids? Must be that fraternity boy I married.





While in college, our son enjoyed the "Animal House" feel of his fraternity at CofC.



 
Our middle child is proud to be a Zeta at Maryland!
ZTA

Last Saturday, our youngest accepted a bid to AEPhi at UCF!
ΑΕΦ

When I was in school I rushed four sororities on an icy evening. Not wanting to kill myself in heals, I wore my hiking boots. The gossip got back to me. "Did you hear? Someone wore hiking boots to rush!" 

"Uh, that would be me." The Greeks don't take no freaks . . . but they take their offspring. ;-)

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θΑΝΚΣ!
Did I get that right?

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Spark Blogfest

This week, I am participating in the The Spark Blogfest over at The Writer Coaster blog. I am to write about special authors who inspired me to become a writer.

As one who writes for kids, I am forever and always reading children's books. Two authors have held a special place on my reading shelf as I've developed into a writer. Each approaches his or her books from a different angle and I've tried to incorporate a little of each of them into my writing style.

Thrilling & Suspenseful
First off, I love Margaret Peterson Haddix because her books continually pump up the action by putting her innocent little characters into high risk situations. For example, in her series "The Shadow Children," third born children were sentenced to die in a world where families were only allowed to birth two offspring. As a result these children would hide or plot to overthrow their government. The stakes never get higher than in a Haddix novel, so this trait has encouraged me to think of riskier ways to abuse my characters.

Funny but Insightful
Another author who I absolutely love is Gordan Korman. While Korman spins delightful stories full of unique and interesting characters, his humor has often had me laughing out loud. One of my favorite characters in any book comes from "Schooled." Korman created an original character in Capricorn Anderson, the flower child sent to C_average Middle School. His naive nature set the book up for great humor. Through Korman, I aim to put humor in many of my scenes while creating fun and unique characters.
    
If I could write with the suspense of Haddix and humor of Korman, I'd be known throughout the kids' book world.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

#GBE2 Growing Wild in a New Dimension

This Sunday I've been offered two bloggy opportunities. Rhonda over at Laugh Quotes is experimenting with her new Silly Sunday and my GBE 2 group has dropped the topic of "Growing Wild." As one who usually writes humor, these topics are made for me, but not today. "Growing Wild" must take on a unique interpretation that fits the definition of "without restraint" because my good friend will soon be free.
My Friend and Me

Dear Swaz,
     I'm sorry for being so selfish yesterday morning. You gave me the message, but I just didn't want to see it. I held onto the hope that things could get better. They're not. The smell of death is all around you. Honey Bear and Millie know it as they sniff and keep their distance. You won't eat, drink, and although you've tried to stand your body has given out. 
     We've been together for almost thirteen years, which is a long time for a golden retriever like you. If you were human, we'd be celebrating your Bar Mitzvah, but you got the fate of a canine and we're preparing for your death instead.
     I remember picking you up from a home in Mississippi where I met your beautiful parents--Precious and Rebel. I'm sure they are waiting for you as are many of your brothers and sisters because baby, you've lived a long life. 
      That day we got you, you were the round puppy with the pretty face. You shook in my arms the entire trip home but soon adjusted to the family where you were loved completely. 
     I will miss you greeting me at the door when I come home, your tail wag, but most of all the special way you used to sing to us when we called our lover dog.
     If you want to go now, I give you permission because I don't want you to suffer anymore. Daddy will be home around two. If you're still breathing, we'll help you to go.
      I love you, Swaz, and eventually I'll find a way to stop crying because now you will find a way to grow wild in a place where you can run free.


Mommy

    

Not great quality, but here are some pictures from his younger days.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Silent Moments: A Guide

This week on Writers' Post we've been asked to blog about silent moments. I'm sure we will read many beautifully heartfelt sentiments about those who are touched beyond words. This is not one of those. Below is advice for the socially challenged.

The Rhetorical Question
Remember when in the heat of a problem your mother or teacher asked you, "Do you think I'm stupid?" Trust me. It's best to provide a silent moment after these questions.

Too Much Information (alias TMI)
"Sorry I'm late but the dog got sick. He blah, blah, blah on the blah, blah, blah. This one was really gross! It looked like blah, blah, yackity, yack." Oh please just shut up. People don't care to know the inner workings of your body or that of your baby's.

To the Policeman
When the arresting officer says, "You have the right to remain silent," take his advice. It will do you no good to say, "I ain't been drinkin' occifer."

And of course I remember my son's freshman year of high school when he spent the night at the next door neighbors house--a boy his age. Although we required our kids to keep a curfew (at least the unfortunate first born child), our neighbor was much looser with the rules.

On several occasions, my husband would point out an older teen who would park his car at the end of the cove yet remain in it. Noting this suspicious activity, hubby would hang by the window and wait. Eventually the car would move forward and the two curfew breakers would step outside. This was my husband's cue to confront the boys right before they slipped into the car . . . at midnight of course. On one occasion the friend turned to my son and said, "I told you we should have waited longer!"

Aaaah, silent moments. They are the safety nets under the trapeze of life.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: She's Gone!

 

I remember sitting in the limousine at my father's funeral procession. While everyone around me wept, I felt a heaviness in my heart and couldn't speak. That's what it felt like when my youngest daughter left for college. "Heavy heart" is not just an expression. It's a real biological response that goes beyond tears.



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Sunday, August 14, 2011

#GBE2: Scorned Blogger Breaks Trust After 40 Years

When I was in fifth grade, my best friend Kate was quite beautiful and as a result, just about every fellow in class had a crush on her. Being her best friend, the boys assumed I knew which lucky guy she liked back. I did. She had indeed trusted me with this secret and I promised I wouldn't tell.

Shortly after that, the boys attacked me on the playground and pinned my arm behind my back in an attempt to get me to reveal her secret. I still did not tell. So imagine the horror I felt when Kate had another secret, but said, "I'm not going to tell you because you'll tell everyone."

I was mortified! How dare her! Although they tortured me, I kept her trust. Now that approximately forty years have gone by, and Kate disappeared never to show up at a high school reunion, I owe it to her to break that trust and tell ALL of you bloggy friends Kate's secret. Ha, ha, ha!

Famous Fish!


Kate liked Fish. If you don't know who Fish is, rent the movie Fargo and watch the airport scene. Our dear classmate grew up to be an actor and he is the fellow working the airport toll booth when the criminal drives through. I was so thankful Fish didn't get shot because that dude in the car was crazy! I understand Fish is in a new movie called Mayor Cupcake. I must rent it. As for who Kate is: I haven't seen her in any movies, but I'll let you know when I do.

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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sea Shells

This week on Writer's Post, we were given a picture prompt and the word "nascent;" so, here is a story to show how I left the place I love and my boring existence began.

Plus "nascent"

From my wooden prison, I remember the day that demon child snatched me off the soft, white sands of the beach. With a tight squeeze, he almost cracked me. “Mommy! Look!” he said. The Coppertone-scented lady barely nodded. She didn’t even notice my bronze color, perfect arch, or straight ridges gently curving to a rounded end. I yearn for the sun, breeze, and massaging ocean waves. Even those pesky seagulls constantly flipping me over in their relentless hunt for scallops were better than being stuck in a drawer with a taciturn Brown Recluse who's as boring as a hermit crab. Nascent means beginning to show signs of future potential. Now I have the potential to make this kid cool when he shows me off. Big whoop!

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

#GBE2 - How We Met

picture prompt - GBE2

Does anyone remember Hands Across America Day? On May 25, 1986, Americans from New York to California held hands in an attempt to form an unbroken human chain across the country. Although the link broke in the desert, my husband and I formed our own bond, and we're still hitched over twenty-five years later.

Here's how we met:

Martin, an Orthodox Jew started a photo dating service and threw extravagant parties complete with farm animals in hotel ballrooms and his wife hanging from a cooking skewer--anything for a laugh.

Singles submitted photographs then chose dates from his dining room table. On my first visit to Martin's home, a cute guy sat across from me, so I boldly slid my picture in front of him.

Shortly after that, Martin spoke to this young man then asked me in private if I wanted to go out with him. When I gave a strong, "Yes," he opened the door and immediately embarrassed me by sharing my answer. But that's okay, Handsome called, we went out, and here we are old but still together.


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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - HOT

Dang it's hot!
Outside for 35 minutes on Monday, and I dripped from head to toe; so, I skipped running practice and went to the movies with my daughter. The popcorn was yummy!

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Seven Wonders

Week #8—What are your 7 Wonders?

This week, the Writer's Post group has asked me to blog about "My Seven Wonders of the World." Long ago I wrote posts on the The Eighth Wonder of My World and Nudity and the Ninth Wonder of My World, since the seven wonders were already known. Please check these out if you get a chance.

Keeping with the assignment, here are my wonders from the serious to the silly.

Far from home. :(
1.) Where has time gone?
 My summer vacation is over, my youngest child leaves for college on Saturday, and I'll be fifty in December. Holy crap! Seems like yesterday I was riding my bike and getting in trouble for talking too much in school.


2.) Why do people allow themselves to be fooled by idiot politicians?
I remember a story from the Onion years back where they interviewed indigent people waiting in line to cast votes. The quote went something like this:

I ain't got no health care nor dental insurance, but it's gonna be alright because we have a God fearing man as president.


Our Lovable Rescue Rat
3.) How can some people not like dogs?
No one in the world gives me the unconditional love of my furry friends. Nor do people try to lick my face, Thank God.

4.) Why do people make fun of nerds?
As I've told my daughters, if you want a good life, marry a nerd. They are smart, kind, and will never let you down. I have a special love for the nerdy little kids in my gifted program, but believe it or not, true nerds are rare.

 In the spirit of Emma Lazarus, 
here is my adaptation of her poem:

"Give me your nerdy, your social inept,
Your huddled dorks yearning to excel,
The social refuse from cool kids.
Send these, the smart, tempest-tost gamers to me,
I lift my arms beside the classroom door!"

Although I posted the link below not long ago, it's a fave so here it goes again for those who missed it the first time.


iris
5.) What's with the irises in my yard?
Last year they didn't bloom at all, while the year before they were splendid. Maybe they're tied to my mood or God-forbid the economy . . . which means I might not see them for thirty years--which bites because I'll be dead by then.

6.) Why do my feet dry out?
I'm forever saturating my piggies with lotions and lubricants, but danggummit, them scales keep comin'.


7.) Why do some people (not to mention names - Mitchell Lansky) put toilet paper rolls in backwards? The paper should come from the top! Enough said.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Integrity

Keys to Learning
This week I've been attending Teacher Inservice inorder to welcome kids back to a new school year on Monday. Part of our training involved Quantum Learning's discussion of Integrity. By definition, integrity means beliefs matching actions.


 
Align your actions with your values.
Live what you value.
If you value honesty, be truthful.
If you value keeping your word, follow through.
If you value being fair, do what you expect others to do.
Your identity is who you are. Your integrity is an expression of who you are.


I agree on a simple level, but life is not simple. What if one holds faulty beliefs? If one's actions match faulty beliefs does one still have integrity? Or, what if one's beliefs differ from society's? Does one place oneself in danger for actions to match beliefs? In other words, what does integrity really mean?

integrity |inˈtegritē|
noun
1 the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness  


I'll buy this, but folks disagree on what constitutes strong morals. For example, without taking sides I'll throw out words for thought:

hunting for sport
religious freedom
circumcision
euthanasia
abortion
white supremacy

I know where I stand, but do I have a right to judge your integrity if we disagree? It depends on the issue and circumstance. In a school, it's easy. We want our children to make good choices that will not harm other people or property. Hopefully, each and everyone of my students know right from wrong, but I can't help thinking about a haunting novel I recently read.
Helmuth Hubener, age 16

"The Boy Who Dared," by Susan Cambell Bartoletti tells the true story of a teenager whose belief system clashed with the Nazis, and he took action to do something about it. During WWII, Helmuth Hubener broke the law by listening to banned BBC broadcasts and secretly distributing pamphlets that alerted German citizens of Hitler's hidden actions. As a result, the Gestapo arrested the boy and he was later tried for treason and put to death at age 17.

Although Hubener's beliefs clashed with those of his countrymen, I imagine we'd all see him as having high integrity. At the same time, if one would ask a Nazi if he has integrity after murdering Jews, most if not all would say, "Yes." They didn't see Jews as people; therefore, they had no guilt in killing innocents. Remember Quantum Learning: actions following beliefs equals integrity.

Although I'd like to think most people follow positive beliefs through their actions, few would risk their lives to do what's right in a corrupt environment. Would you?

Thank you Helmuth Hubener. I believe there is a special place in heaven for rare jewels like you.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The last thing he remembered was...

Here's my response to Courtney Miller-Callihan's prompt over at Agent Courtney. The winner receives a query critique and who knows, maybe representation, so why not?

Clara Barton


The last thing he remembered was...

Captain Amos Card's teeth bore pressure on a wooden stick when a blue-eyed nurse forced a saturated rag into his open abdomen. His pulse hammered his ears as sweat soaked through his brow, back, and the torso that fought pressure and pain strong enough to rip him in two. Damm Confederates! My body is no more together than our blessed country due to their treasonous ways.
 
Not two-hundred yards away, canons boomed as the smell of death penetrated the Union camp site. Card watched trees rotate in a circular arc then jerk back to their original position only to resume dizzying circles. Gray spots blocked his blurry vision and once again he chomped on the sap sweetened stick.
 
"You're going to be peachy." The nurse kept her composure better than any he'd encountered from the Mexican War. As an elder soldier, he'd seen many army hospitals decked with sharpened tools and frantic medics tearing into the lost limbs of soldiers. With black braids secured behind her head, this nurse gave him a kindly expression as she replaced his chewed stick with a cup of strong whiskey.
 
Something unique surrounded this angel of the battlefield and shouted fame. He envisioned her saving multiple live, becoming a powerful suffragist, and even presiding over The American Red Cross. Through these hands, I shalt not die. Not here, nor from the gun of a rat-brained Confederate.

"Miss Barton," a younger doctor addressed Card's nurse, "That soldier's not going to make it. Come, accompany us over yonder." He pointed. "A young private needs a splint."
 
"No. This man's going to live, and I'll make sure of it. Get Mr. Jones to help you, I'm busy."

"There, there, captain. We'll get you sewed up. Do you have any young soldiers back home?" She cradled his head while trying to distract him from the pain of Labarraque's solution dripping over his exposed torso. His back lunged as his body arched upward and wood chipped off the teeth-riddled stick holding in his bitter shrieks. Thought's of Clara Barton fulfilled his last memories and brought him home.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Monday, August 1, 2011

Novel Film Blogfest


Some movies belong here!

I'm participating in the Novel Film Blogfest over at Scribble and Edit. If you'd like to participate, hop on over there and sign up!

Here is a list of books I've read and seen the movies too. Thanks for hopping here!

Water For Elephants (Liked Both)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Both funny)
Harry Potter Series (All books and movies were awesome!)
Lovely Bones (Best book/Worst movie)
Back to the Future (book came after movie, but I read it!)
A Wrinkle in Time (Great Book/Awful movie)
Jumanji (Actually, the movie was better)
Twilight Series (Haven't seen later movies but will--pretty good)
The Lightning Thief (Book was much better than movie)
The Outsiders (Book was much better)
The Indian in the Cupboard (Book was much better)
Holes (I liked the book and the movie)
Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood (I liked the book and the movie)
The Client (Both were good)
The Firm (The book was great/ I liked the movie because it was filmed   in my home town which made it fun)
Le Petit Prince (Reading in French was tough/ movie was in English)
Hideaway (Book was great/movie awful)
Flipped (I liked the book and the movie)
Animal Farm (Great book/ cartoon movies don't do it for me)
The Secret Life of Bees (Book was much better)
The Hobbit (Great book/ once again a cartoon movie)
The Davinci Code (Book was better)
Kite Runner (Book was better)

I can't wait to see the following movies:
The Help, Hunger Games, My Name is Memory, & Savvy but remember tweets, "Never judge a book by its movie." :)

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