Thursday, September 30, 2010

Like, Love, Don't Totally Hate???

Writer's Workshop-

Once again brought to you by the letter 'M' for Mama Kat

Mama's Losin' It

This week's writing assignment : 10 Things You Love About Fall

1) SCHOOL- for the kids.

I just love when they are gone all day and the house actually stays clean for a while- please note that a while is code for until the kids get home with their wet, leafy-soled shoes and backpacks over-burdened with text books and binders and hoodies that smell faintly of wet dog, or teen boy... same difference... that will in mere moments be strewn hither and yon throughout the house as soon as their feet cross the threshold.

2) FOOTBALL- no explanation needed

3) It's NOT Winter

The sun is still shining when I go to work AND when I come home keeping up the appearance of summer days not so long gone by... easing me, nudging me, gently into the coming season.


Jack-o-lanterns, Scarecrows, ghouls and witches... my family fits right in!
And my favorite holiday of the year. No anti-climatic let-downs, grumpy relatives barely tolerating the other's existence, no finger-pointing or misguided clumsy attempts to make the warring factions declare a cease fire long enough for a 'Family' dinner... just kids dressing up, play-acting, laughing and having fun... pure unadulterated JOY shining out for all the world to enjoy.

5) Sweaters-

soft and fluffy, warm and fuzzy, haute couture or rough-n-ready campout gear... they just make everything better.

6) Colorful leaves-

reds, oranges, yellows and browns mingle in a dance as old as time as they flutter silently, wimsically, landing as softly as a hushed breath at my feet.

7) & 8) SmartGirl and SIX's birthdays

October 1st SmartGirl will be 26... with her college degree in hand, part-time student aide position at the local elementary school and a burning desire to find a 'REAL' job. One using her degree, getting paid enough to move out and pay her own way in the world... She wants nothing more than to be a Grown-Up... me too!

November 3rd will see the onset of SIX's 12th year. A year sure to be filled with teen angst and anquish... unless his grades don't improve rapidly... in which case he may find that his 12th year will be the "Year of Incarceration"... one in which he is doomed to spend his spare time staring at the walls of his bedroom, reading books (I know, a fate worse than death!) and doing "Extra Credit" homework...

This list is supposed to be 10 Things I love about Fall... but in actuality, I don't really LIKE Fall...

October is my favorite month, but only because if the warm and sunny days with a hint of freshly mowed grass and over-turned soil wafting thru the trees from the farm around the corner; the deer, with felted mini-antlers that eat the berries off the bushes in the yard; the last of the hummingbirds and butterflies that boldly come right up to me as I sit out back enjoying the sights and scents of the woods, the garden, the world around me that I call HOME.

Seconded by May with it's emerging greens, tender yellows and understated pinks and reds of the newly budded trees, flowers and bushes; the quiet of the mornings broken only by the staccato twittering and chittering of mated birds calling to one another from the nest; the call of tree frogs all day AND all night...

which leads into the months of June, July and August... resplendent in all their Summer Glory of color and sound and scent...

As each month takes it turn on the calendar, so each Season has it's place in our lives... And every Season has something to Love... all you have to do is look.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Turtle and the Hare... minus the Hare

Life lessons should be so easy to learn.

Baby Turtles crawl across the blazing hot sand, scorching their new little flippers, to reach the safety and respite of the ocean's water.

Stop to dilly-dally along the way and...

Lunch for an albatross!

Timing is everything.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NEW TV LINE UP... or maybe it's the firing squad line up... decision pending

Fall's new shows started last week.

I noticed some of the old faves are gone, replaced by things like The Event and Lone Star and $#*! My Dad Saysand oh, you know the one with that guy who does that thing and solves all the crimes in the world....?

Yeah, sometimes that's how I feel about the land of TV.

It's either all funny and fluff.
Or it's serious death and gruesomer death.

Don't get me wrong.
I like crime drama as much as the next gal... but do we need to see cadavers on EVERY channel?

And comedy?
Every one needs some comic relief in their lives. Without it I am sure we'd all implode.

But what's wrong with things that give you some information while entertaining you?

I know, I know. That's what Cable Channels are for.

Come on network TV...
More Extreme Make-Over Home Edition shows would be a welcome change of pace... and think of the lessons the young of the world would learn by watching benevolence and charity and random acts of kindness in progress!

photo courtesy of Seattlepi blogs

Monday, September 27, 2010

Make A Friend Monday... OKay Make As Many As You Want!

1) If you could magically change one thing about your body, what would it be?
one thing??? I would like to be taller please... is my Genie a cheapskate that I only get one magic wish thingy?

2) What is your best physical feature?

Oh that's easy, er, it used to be easy. I loved my shoulders. I know, crazy, but
they were attractive. Now... hmmm? I got it... My eyes! They're blue, except
when they're green or red, but the red never lasts long, really!

3) Do you weigh yourself daily? Hourly? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Never?

If I say I don't have to weigh myself because I'm so utterly perfect, you'll believe me, right?
Really, once a week. Or 2 or 3, but that's it, really. Unless I'm feeling like I
could eat an antelope, then I check to see how much I have lost since I am so
obviously starving,

4) Do you workout regularly? If so, how does if affect you from day to day?

A workout workout? No. But I walk a couple times a week (usually 2-3) for 4-6
miles, again depending on the day and time and planetary alignment. I feel much
better and more energy when I get out and walk or swim or garden ... moving
around outside in the sunshine and fresh air just puts me in a great mood!

5) What is the healthiest thing you do for yourself on a regular basis?

I drink- almost every day- 3-4 quarts of water/crystal light. It makes me feel better and keeps me hydrated which is always a good thing.

6) If you could look like a celebrity, who would you choose to look like?

I don't want to look like her, but I wouldn't turn down her body when she's done
with it- and don't laugh - Cher. I mean she's a hundred and her body is still
holding up, and I do mean up, in all the right places. That's quality workmanship
and I figure since it's already paid for.... One body transplant to go please!

7) What do you do to make yourself feel pretty/handsome?

I get dressed? No, that's not true. I put on moisturizer, mascara and lip tint.
Then I get dressed. If I have time, I use the buffer on my nails with the dead sea
salt lotion-y stuff. Really. That's it.

8) What are you most attracted to in the opposite sex?

Well, I like opposite sex just as much as I like it face to face. It's just
harder when you're turned opposite way around, but it could be interesting, yes?

9) Have you ever avoided situations because you didn't want people to see your body

What a silly question, for a girl that is... a big YES Sirree!

10) How do you feel about your overall appearance?

Not bad. Could stand to lose more weight but if I grew 3 inches I'd be fine. I don't hate my body or my appearance, as long as I don't have to look in a mirror or try on new clothes.

I'm a work in progress and I'm no where near done yet:)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tragedy...When the feelings gone and you can't go on...

title song and lyrics by The BeeGees

Mama Kat's Weekly Writing assignment:

Mama's Losin' It describe a tragedy you didn't expect to be as deeply affect by as you are

First one must identify with what one would consider a TRAGEDY.

Strictly speaking the definition is: an event resulting in great loss and misfortune.

However, another type of TRAGEDY is: a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow

Personal tragedies aside, because they are PERSONAL...

Lyrical or literary tragedies seem to get to me more than the actual physical, IRL (in real life) kind.

I think it is because of my job. I work with special needs children. Many of whom are very ill, and/or have very short life expectancies.

Before that, I worked in LTC (long term care-read Nursing Homes). My patients were the Alzheimer's and the ones with serious health issues like dialysis, coma or near-coma patients requiring hawk-like attention to detail to maintain their health and a quality of life worth having.

I believe that living with the daily occurrences of death and near-death experiences I have grown immune, for lack of a better word, to the personal tragedies one hears of on the news or reads about in the Newspaper - online of course as the newspaper stopped being printed last year!

Speaking of a tragedy!

Perhaps the tragic end of Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, is as emotional as I have gotten over anything in a long time.
Well, the oil spill in the Gulf was a close second...

I started watching The Crocodile Hunter on Animal Planet after the birth of TeenBoy. I would sit in bed with him and watch Steve and his new bride, Terry, head off into the wilds of Australia.

A place I have always been in awe of, and wanted to see for myself.

TeenBoy and I would snuggle together and watch Ole Steve-O 'til one of us, usually ME, fell asleep.
When TeenBoy was 17 months old BratChild was born and into the routine she came.
Then came SIX, and about the same time, Bindy Sue... the Mini-me of the Crocodile Hunter.

My oldest children enjoyed the show, but the younger ones?
They were raised with Steve and Terry. They loved watching him explore jungles and oceans and deserts. They learned more about the animals and reptiles a world away from that entertaining and intelligent man and his equally wonderful wife than any one can imagine!

With SIX being about the same age as The Crocodile Hunter's first child, and Steve and Terry being similar in age to myself and HeMan Hubby... an emotional connection was forged- on my end entirely, but real none the less.

I liken it to the way people watch Soap Operas and BELIEVE the characters are REAL people living their lives on TV...
only I knew these people were really real and were really living at least part of their lives on TV. The other part of their lives was their own, but I felt like I understood some of what that part, the part not shown on TV, was like.

They ran an animal zoo and rescued wildlife all over the world ... I had an aviary full of parrot species and was raising 6 children working full time nights with special needs kids... not too dissimilar, right?
Okay, not the same at all but... I understood being busy and over-extended and exhausted daily.

So, his death took me by surprise. Okay, that's putting it mildly.
It floored me. I thought of his wife and daughter, left to carry on his DREAM. Of his new son, who would never have any real memories or knowledge of the man who was bigger than life to so many creatures great and small.

I was so affected that I wrote an email to the family expressing my sorrow for their loss. And let them know how much the world would miss him.
I doubt The Crocodile Hunter Family read the email... but if perhaps someone did, I hoped that it would bring some measure of comfort, as it did for me to write it.

Kind of the way writing the blog gives me comfort, and sometimes even, little snippets of solitude to cultivate my sanity when it's dangerously close to being all used up.

Tragedy is... the death of a man who saw more than what was in front of his eyes... and had the courage to dream a dream AND make it come true... dying from a silly thing like a freakish stab to the chest from the tail of a stingray.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

If THEY say so... it must be true!

I saw on TV the other night, while flipping the channels, looking for something to watch while I took my nap before work, one of those shows with the Ticker Tape thingy running across the bottom with the stock exchange numbers on it.
I have NO IDEA what channel it was, and only stopped on it because these words were at the top left side of the screen in LARGE BOLD print so I could not miss them...

The Recession is Over!

I saw that and WOWSERS! I thought to myself, good thing they're telling us or else we, the little people, might not have known about it for a while yet!

I had to stop and listen to the analyst who was analyzing the stock market and giving his reasoning for declaring the recession over.

It went something like this:

Obama's stimulus didn't do it.
Financial help for the banking system didn't do it.
Refinancing the National Debt... again... didn't do it.

Corporate America has done it!
By tightening their belts and budgeting.
By re-investing in their companies and their employees.
By increasing productivity while reducing waste and wastefulness.
Corporate America has turned the tide and although Americans are not spending like they were 18 months ago... and the housing market is the worst it's been in 20-30 years... and unemployment is in the double digits nationwide....
Corporate CEO's and head honchos are the reason the recession is over.

We just don't know it.
Or see it.

according to Corporate America.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday ! (echo) tuesday tuesday tuesday....

My Top 10 for today is TV shows.

I came of age in the 80's... so that makes me a child of the 70's and 80's, right?
Most of the TV shows I can remember watching- Saturday morning cartoons NOT included- are from the mid-70's to now so... you may need to google a few, or at least ask your big brother or sister what the heck I'm talking about, but here goes!

10) MASH/ Tru Calling ( it's a tie)
09) MacGyver / Joan of Arcadia (it's another tie)
08) Quincy
07) Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
06) NCIS (and NCIS LA)
05) Ghost Hunters ( and GHI)
04) Bones
03) Masterpiece Mystery/ Mystery ( The PBS series since the 70's)
02) Murder She Wrote
01) Doctor Who ( all of them since the 70's!)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Foto Feature- I know it's Saturday... Pretend Will Ya?

More through the Eyes of BratChild...

National Suicide Prevention Week - SHOW YOU CARE- SUPPORT I'M ALIVE!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back 2 Blogging... Why Do You Blog?

(Friday Foto Feature will be available Saturday Sept 18th- Please come back then to view BratChld's art! But first you gotta check out today's post!)

Today is the final Back 2 Blogging Challenge: Why do I blog?

Sponsored by:

Today's challenge - Sponsored by :our friends at Standards of Excellence,Westar Kitchen and Bath , and Florida Builder Appliances, two very special SITStahs

The question is 'Why do I blog?'

Well, the answer is simple ... yet complex.

I Blog because I enjoy writing. The porcess of writing helps me to put my thoughts together in my head, to sort out feelings and issues to be dealt with, to release some of the frustration and anger that has accumulated over the years.

I started my blog, initially, as a place to showcase the handcrafted items for sale on my website and to have a place to post my original crochet patterns.

Of course, LIFE got in the way, as it tends to do, and I wasn't designing jewelry or crocheting much, if at all.

But, I still had a desire to write.

So I started writing, or I went back to writing, short stories and poems. Then I moved onto tackle the book I have been wanting to write for years and years... and that brought me to Blogging.

As I began putting my past down on paper, I came to realize that I was writing about a stranger, or at the very least, someone I had not known in a very long time. Someone I thought it was about time I get reacquainted with.

To that end I reassessed my Blog and re-thought my style and decided to let myself write what myself wanted as a way to find out who I am, now that I'm all grown up.

I Blog to find me. To let the voice that I kept quiet and hidden for so long free.
To get to know me, the me that I thought I would never be again.

And because it really bugs my kids that I talk about them...

BusyMom's gotta have some fun some how, right?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back 2 Blogging--- Inspiring Women

Today is the Day 4 Challenge : Write about a woman who inspires you....

Well, I did that a week or so ago so here's the link to that post Who Inspires You

But through the years other woman have given me inspiration and encouragement.

Woman like my ex-mother-in-law, Carolyn.
She worked as a night nurse. She volunteered as an EMT for the local fire department where she manned the ambulance 2 nights a week.
She raised 4 chldren while working and volunteering in the community, the schools and at our church.
She helped me when I was in nursing school. She understood the trials of working nights and raising small children, the exhaustion that is omnipresent day and night, the stress of dealing with death and dying on a daily basis and the toll it takes on a marriage.
She stood by me when my marriage to her son crumbled. She helped me to move on with my life.
She helped me to be ME when I wasn't sure that was possible.
She died 11 years ago. After I had remarried and had TeenBoy and BratChild. They were no relation to her, but she made them special blankets and pajamas when they were born and came to see them several times before she died.
Six was born 9 months after she died and had he been a girl?
Karolina would have been his name...

Today's challenge - Sponsored by :our friends at Standards of Excellence,Westar Kitchen and Bath , and Florida Builder Appliances, two very special SITStahs

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back 2 Blogging Challenge...Day 3

Today's challenge - Sponsored by :our friends at Standards of Excellence,Westar Kitchen and Bath , and Florida Builder Appliances, two very special SITStahs

is to re-post an entry with a title I a proud of... and then tell you why.

Well here it is...

Feng-Shui Me!

Ok- so that’s not exactly how it works, but man wouldn’t that be great?

What is Feng (Fung) Shui ( Shway) anyway?

According to one definition found on the web it is " the ancient Chinese philosophy and practice of creating harmonious environments."

With a definition like that you would think the first rule would be to throw out all the kids and then the husband and family dog!

But No... one of the major things in the article stated that you should place your desk so that your chair faces the door to allow the Ch’i to flow...

Oh and for those who are not Chineseology literate... Ch’i ( cheeeee) is basically your life force. And I know you all want a positive Ch’i so turn your desks around... the boss won’t mind!

Another principle of Feng-Shui that I read in a book... yep there’s a whole section just on how to decorate your house in Feng-Shui fashion at the public library ( you did not think I paid for a book with words I can barely pronounce did you?)...
is that you should never place the head of your bed against the wall with the toilet on the other side...
Makes for VERY BAD CH’I .

And rightfully so I say. I never get a good night’s sleep listening to the toilet run on all night and the water dripping from the faucet. Although the book also said that water features in the home helped to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere that lended itself to the Positive Flow of the Ch’i so maybe I just did not appreciate that role of the dripping water faucet...

Nope, on second thought I appreciated it...
I appreciated that hubby needs to check the darn washer and make it stop dripping!!!

By far my favorite Feng-Shui principle is ELIMINATE CLUTTER... so that means that I can get rid of the kids and hubby and the family dog? Oh, no, that means that I have to throw away the junk mail and clean out that bottom drawer in the fridge and sort thru the shoe boxes full of old photos and actually DO something with them?

Yeah, I’ll get right on that as soon as I turn my desk around, move the furniture in my bedroom to the other wall and install a water-wall in my living room for effect...
But then again getting rid of the kids, hubby and the family dog would be easier?
I know, I’ll send the kids to school, hubby to work and let the dog out with a nice bouncy ball he can chase for a few hours...

Voila’- Instant Feng-Shui- the creation of a harmonious environment without all the work.... and those Ancient Chinese thought they had all the answers... I guess this modern American Woman is capable of finding a few of her own!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Oprah and Me

Back 2 Blogging Challenge Day 2Post: Veteran's Day Lesson and Thank You

Thelma & Louise Ride, er, rinse Again!
Thanks to these wonderful sponsors of SITS these bad girls of household chores could be yours!
Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances

Oprah's final season as Talk Show Queen has begun.

My novel, the one SHE inspired me to finally start writing, the one I dreamt of sending to her, imagined she would love and invite me to come talk about it ON HER SHOW!
Yeah, it's not done yet so... guess I won't be sending it to her. She won't love it. She will not be asking me on her show to talk about it.

Since that isn't happening I imagined the interview myself...

Oprah: So you saw a show I did about taking charge of your life?

Me: Well, yeah. I couldn't help it. They're all about that, aren't they?

Oprah: You were so inspired by my life success that you decided to write about yours?

Me: Actually, yes. And no. I had similar experiences in my life. But I didn't get rich and famous. I got kids and a husband... or 3. I'm pretty sure you got the better end of the deal, most of the time. I kept meaning to write a book, and finally I decided to be like you and just get it done.

Oprah: Is everything in your story true? Is it all based on your life?

Me: Is it true? Yes. It absolutely is. But then it's the history of the world according to ME. The way I remember it. Some people don't remember it exactly the same way I do. That's why I wrote it. Because I know what happened, I just can't figure out the how and the why.

Oprah: Have you figured that out yet?

Me: No. But at least it's not important to know that any more.

Oprah: Then what is important?

Me: Getting the story out there so that others can learn from my mistakes. Or at least I hope they do... or else what good were they?

Oprah: Can you sum up what the story is about... why you think it may help others?

Me: It's the story of a girl who falls in love, an abusive relationship, becomes a teen mom and just keeps doing what needs to be done to take care of her family. Teens are having kids all the time now. Back then, not so much. I see the kids being raised by grandparents. See girls dropping out of school. Living on welfare. There is a better way. It can be done. I did it. I survived. That's what I want to get across. Take pride in yourself and your family. Work hard. Go to school. Make goals for yourself then make them happen.

Oprah: Is that what you did?

Me: Ummm... yeah. Did you even read the book?

Oprah: Once again, thanks to our guest and look for her book under your chairs!

Oh well. No interview with Oprah. No trip to Australia. No sitting in her studio audience.

Maybe my cable will have that Oprah Winfrey Network... kind of like watching Oprah, only different.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Anticipation Exhilaration Excitement... Just another Monday for me!

I sit.
I wait.
My stomach heaves.
My nails are ragged, getting shorted by the minute.
My nerves on edge.

The anticipation builds.

Will he come?
Will he be what I want, no, NEED him to be?
Will he be as happy to see me as I will be to see him?

What if he doesn't come?
What if I've waited in vain?
What if...

My internet is never fixed?
The cable connection is lost forever?
I miss ALL the High Def football highlights all season?

I sit.
I wait.
My stomach heaves...

What If?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

To Dream the American Dream... of Hearth and Home and a good credit rating

Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop
This week's prompt is to "Describe your dream, location and grounds.

This is the letter I wrote to tell prospective buyers about our house when it was on the market last year. I was hoping someone would understand how much more than just a building it is, how much living within it's walls meant to us, that it has been our Dream Home for 15 years

Welcome to Our House ...

Fifteen years ago we built this house and have spent those years living and loving within it's walls.

We have celebrated the births of our 3 youngest children, graduations from preschool through to high school and college, engagements and weddings, and the arrival of our 1st grandchild here.

This house has offered sanctuary to family and friends in times of need and has played host for pool parties, baby showers and wedding showers for family and friends, and friends of friends.

The state park that backs to the property supports wild life from white tail deer, red fox and rabbits to red tail hawks, owls and bald eagles.

Often, we sat at the breakfast table and watched deer graze on the clover in the yard before starting our busy day; been delighted by the families of young bunnies and fledgling birds as they learned to run and fly outside our window.

We enjoyed the sweet scent of the honeysuckle and wisteria growing along the fence, the wild magnolia that blooms in our woods from mid-June to mid July giving way to the heady scent from the wild butterfly bushes that bloom through the month of August.

Our gardens and feeders are visited by hummingbirds and butterflies from as far away as the southern tip of South America and the northern most parts of Canada.

Our house is more than a house.
It is a HOME.

Love, laughter, and living have been the heart of our home and we hope it will be the heart of yours for many years to come.

Wishful Wednesday

Based on The Lady Blogger Society Women of Achievement challenge.

This is a list of wishes... these, we'll call them GOALS, are things I want to achieve... in the future- near or distant... or as soon as possible.

1) Move to South Carolina... guess selling my house should come first then, huh?

2) Being a nicer person... but still be able to say NO when I don't want/can't manage to do every thing for every one.

3) Okay - add Say NO to the list... not always say No, but only when I really need to... like... when I'm tired of being THE ONE to do stuff.

4) Guess I better add DELEGATE then... or maybe lower my standards, or not be so picky about HOW others get the job done, just that they DO?

5) I want to be able to work from home... a real job, like writing my stories or blogging, but get paid for it. Or making jewelry and purses and bags...

6) I want to be able to spend time with my family and not feel guilty for not taking that extra shift I could have worked.

7) I want to look in a mirror and feel like I have accomplished something worth doing.

8) I want to have the chance to talk to women about living with abuse, being a pregnant teen, finding a way to make a better life for yourself... I want the things I have lived in my life to be able to help others with theirs.

9) I want to be famous... okay not really, but I want people to remember me.

10) I want to make the time to make my jewelry and purses and bags to sell AND have them sell!!!

I think I am becoming greedy.
If I can have just a few of these things come true then I'll be satisfied.

Which ones mean the most to me?

Number 1 and number 8... after that I'll take them as they come.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday, Monday ... can't stand that day!


It's Monday... again... Already?

School's only been in session for...

What? Two weeks?

God! I dread getting the kids up.

Just waking them is a chore... that can take an eternity.

Then I'll be wide awake... like I NEED to be up and alert at 5:30am?

Lunches? Lunches!

Did they make them last night like I asked?
Or do I need to run down and throw some PB&J together... 4 sandwiches for TeenBoy? 3 for SIX?

BratChild... is she even eating lunch at school any more???
Note to self... check with friends and see WHAT and IF she is eating at school...
Man! I hate teen-age girls...

Time to wake the kids, time to wake the kids, time to wake the kids... I feel like the Dunkin Donuts commercial guy... Time to Make the Donuts... Time to Wake the Kids...

But wait!
It's Monday....
No School! No getting the kids up! No Lunches! No having to be up at... ugh, 5:30am...
But wait!
Too late... I'm already up...

Time to make the coffee...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I may not be big... but neither are they

I have STATS!

No, it's not a new exotic disease.
And no, it's not some new-fangled smart phone/book reader/photo viewer/microwave oven/do your laundry magic gizmo thing-y either.

STATS are the breakdown for the viewers who have come to view MY BLOG!

United States 344
Spain 23
Thailand 22
Netherlands 20
Canada 17
United Kingdom 10
Russia 5
Luxembourg 3
Germany 2
Denmark 2

So, as you can see from the above map and detailed viewer demographics... I have someone in LUXEMBOURG who has read ( I hope they stayed long enough to read) my blog!

For those of you in the general populace who have never heard of LUXEMBOURG, it's okay.
Actually, no, it's really not. You really should have paid more attention in Geography back in the 7th grade. You know, the year you had European History? You most likely learned about MONACO and LIECHTENSTEIN too.

I know. You want to know WHY you would have learned about these remote places and WHY I would expect you to remember them.

Well, because they are some of the SMALLEST COUNTRIES in the world!
That's why.

And because the names sound really cool.
And they still have monarchies with Kings and Queens and Princesses and everything.
Like in The Princess Diaries or The Prince and Me- that's the one with Julia Stiles and that really cute guy with the British accent ...

Or like the REAL LIFE romance of Grace Kelly and Prince Ranier of Monaco.

Okay since I brought up these little countries here are some facts you might find interesting... if not you don't have to remember them now either :0)

Luxembourg: Is approximately 999 square miles which makes it slightly smaller than the State of Rhode Island with about half a million people living there. The language is Luxembourgish (really? they couldn't come up with a better name for the language than one that sounds like it's a fancy salad in a ritzy resort?)Along with German and French- which makes perfect sense since those are their neighbors!

Liechtenstein: Is only about 61.7 square miles in size- about 0.9 times the size of Washington, DC (which is not a state but a TERRITORY of the United States just like Guam and Puerto Rico)It seems that although they are not big, a lot of immigrants have been moving in there lately... like from Serbia and Herzegovina and Bosnia... probably because the Luxembourgers don't try to exterminate them based on their religions.
(Oh, and the correct term I found for them is refugees of the Yugoslav Wars. Some how I don't think Yugoslav Wars sounds awful enough for what was happening, but hey, that's just me.)

Monaco: This little gem, and I do mean little, is only 3 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC... the place with the Washington Monument and the footbal field sized Reflecting Pool-minus the goal posts .
I have checked several sources and the square footage for THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS...0.7 square miles!
And they have about 33,000 people living there! And about 84% of them are rich people who actually aren't even native Monaco-ans, they just come for the gaming and racing in Monte Carlo and to spend time in homes on the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, with all the other rich people.

Now that you see how small these Little Paradise's are - Skiing in the Alps, sunning on the Mediterranean, hob-nobbing at Casinos and Raceways...

Yes they may be small in size, but they make up for it with the WOW! Factor.

Now if I can only find a way to get people from ALL THE SMALL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD to visit my Blog...

How cool would that be?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Foto Feature

Thru the eyes of BratChild...




Please DO NOT FORGET about BratChild's favored cause:

To Write Love On Her Arms

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Embarrassment? ... High School? ... same thing

This post was prompted by this week's writing assignment from Mama Kat's writer's workshop prompt #3 to write about an embarrassing moment as if it were happening in slow motion.

This is my first time doing this so... hope you don't mind if it sucks totally.

Across the room.
Her head comes up, her curls bobbing gently as she turns toward me, tucking an errant strand behind her ear in irritation.

Slowly, she smiles. First one corner of her mouth lifts, then the other. Then her nose crinkles, her eyes sparkle with genuine... warmth and pleasure?

Her chair scrapes across the floor as she deliberately pushes away from the table, and her friends. She stands, and it's as if she has unfolded herself, turning away from the meal before her.
A hand tugs at the waist of her sweater, goes to her neck, then lifts to shoulder height before waving in my direction.

I am surprised she sees me, is waving to me, beckoning me to sit with her.
I feel the tug of what may be a smile pull at my lips, a feathering of breathlessness in my chest. I think to myself, "I am included."

A slight nudge to my back as I begin to raise my hand in response, a murmur of sound in my ear as I list slightly to the left, reaching out to steady myself against the table there.
"You saved me a seat! Thanks!" A voice, moving from my side, toward her table as I right my stance, regain my balance and turn.

She is smiling fully now, all teeth and dimples, as she embraces the voice with warmth and friendship, pulls out a chair for her and they sit, together.

Her head turns my way, as if she senses me there. "Did you want something?" she asks.
I look past her, find a point across the room, pretend there is someone there who is seeking my attention.

As I walk past her table I ignore the frown and slight confusion I see on her face. I ignore someone else at the table saying, "Did she think you were waving to HER?"

I try not to turn red, to die of embarrassment, right there in front of everyone.
And I try not to hear her say, "Why? She's not too bad, just different, that's all."
One step in front of the other, then another and another, until I am free of that table, those girls, her.

She was a friend, once, but no longer. I sit and wait, watching the seconds tick by in agony, until the lunch period is over and I can escape into the crowd of drones shuffling toward their next classes.

A deep breath, my throat hurts from the swallowed tears. I grip my books with whitened knuckles and join the parade, zombie-like, moving forward, never once looking back.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Who Inspires You... I mean Me

Today is Wednesday. But then, you already knew that.
What you didn't know is that I am trying something new, blog-wise, that is, thanks to a wonderful blog I stumbled across in the wee hours of the morning.

Today's topic is one posed by Ron Cooper on his companion page on FaceBook-
Who Inspires U?

I wrote this poem many, many years ago... around the time a lovely person gave me inspiration, among other things. Over the years since, I have lived with these same feelings, always finding that thoughts of her made me feel better and more sure of myself.
Putting myself out there for criticism is hard, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.


Glass Bottle

I'm in a glass bottle
Trying to get out
Nobody hears me
Nobody listens
Please open the bottle
So can get out
And be free
Of my Invisible Prison

Who Inspires U?

Her name was Mamie. But everyone just called her Mama.
She wasn't my mother, but she protected me with the fierceness of a She-Lion protecting a cub when I was endangered by others. Adults. Those who should not have cast judgement or labeled me without attempting to know something about me first.
I was attacked, physically, by a woman whose son had a crush on me. We were in high school. I was older by a year. I was nice to him when he was new to the school, the town. I never intended to anything other than be nice. A friend.

My kindness was turned against me.
I was called Slut. Jezebel. Whore.
I was slapped. Pushed to the ground.
By the new pastor's wife.

Mamie came roaring out of the house. Down the walkway. All her anger and disgust plain for all to see on her beautiful face. All aimed at the other woman. The adult who should have been above such pettiness and cruelty.
She cast the woman from the yard. The street.
She came to me. Cradled me in her arms. She led me into the house. Sat with me until my tears stopped. My throat raw. Exhausted from the shame I felt.
No words were spoken. Instead she tucked me into bed. Laid a hand on my brow. Kissed me. Smiled.
I was worthy of her care. Her kindness. She considered me as much her daughter as the two girls sitting by my side.
I don't have many memories of the next several days. Just of being cared for and accepted for who I was.
I know she spoke up for me, as did other adults, when the topic of my 'bad influence' was brought up to the adults in charge of our school group. I later heard that only 2 of those present spoke against me. The rest in the full room refused to listen. They knew me and did not judge.
Because of Mamie I learned something about myself.
I am important. I am loveable. I deserve to have my dreams come true.

To Mamie... Thank you for a gift greater than you will ever know.

all thoughts, poetry, lyrics and ideas unless otherwise credited are the sole property of DHDesigns/Dawning(2010)