Friday, April 30, 2010

** This 'n That on a Friday Afternoon **

I've decided it's redundant to start any of my blog posts by saying things like, "I've had a couple of really busy days lately", because that's pretty much how it always is!

Here's my "This 'n That" for today.

First: I've been trying to avoid reading all my blog buddies' blogs, since I'm working on my book so much more now, but I decided that I need that connection! I need to leave comments and let my friends know I'm thinking of them. And I need them to do the same for me! I was kind of "blah" yesterday, and couldn't really put my finger on why....although there were a couple of things I was aware of.....but this morning, I knew it was about my blog friends! Thank you all for being who you are. You're all wonderful people, or else I wouldn't like you! 

Second: Somehow, somewhere, I recently came across a fantastic site for writers. It is jam packed with "Open Submissions" and a lot of it is for Christian writers, which I know some of you are. There are also other genres, too. When you're there, be sure to click on "Home" and "Submission Deadlines".  You'll be amazed at the variety and quantity.

ThirdPatchwork Path Books has a Call Out for "Mom" stories. Deadline June 30 and is a paying anthology. Click on link to learn more.

Fourth:  For any teachers, scrapbookers, moms, etc. who like fun, educational toys, school supplies, stickers, can find it all at Best Teacher Supply in O'Fallon, Missouri. Since this store isn't very far from my home, I was fortunate enough to visit it and go "Ga-Ga". (and I don't mean that strange girl singer!) I discovered the store has been there for YEARS and somehow it hasn't been very well known, least by us "general public" kind of people! I found it by Googling award certificates that I needed to purchase for the Saturday Writers 3rd & 4th Grade Writers Contest. (Remember the 42 million certificates I had to write on?? Well, that's where I got them. The certificates were very good quality, the customer service was excellent....all in all a great store!

Fifth: Wednesday was an absolutely perfect day! Perfect weather, perfect driving conditions, and I had perfectly wonderful visits with two perfectly wonderful people! (My apologies. I just couldn't think of any better word than "perfect"!) My first stop was at Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology.....part of St. Louis University, in St. Louis. I stopped by to visit Susan B. and pick up some photos of my dad she had borrowed last year. (If you're new to my blog, and would like to know more about this, go to my 2009 blogs: Parks College, Part of SLU 4/8/09, Update on Parks & NASA 4/29/09, Sentimental Journey 9/26/09)

After our visit, I drove to University City (right next to St. Louis) to have dinner with my son, Mark. I got there a little early, so I sat outside the Bread Co. which is near his apartment building. I drank iced tea, watched the people and cars go by, wrote a few notes, checked my e-mail and blogged a little on my Blackberry! He and I went to the Pasta House for of his favorite places. That poor guy ate like he hadn't eaten in days! He said he's been living on PBJ's, Cheezits and frozen pizzas, which didn't surprise me one bit! We had a great time talking about a variety of things. Next stop: a shoe store where I bought him a pair of flip-flops and a pair of Sketchers. (He could practically pull his shoe apart, by the huge tear in it!) Final stop: grocery store and only bought enough items to use the Self Check Out!
See? Didn't I tell ya it was a perfect day??!!

Sixth: The Weather Channel is predicting quite a wacky weekend for a large part of the Midwest, my area included. I hope they are all wrong, because I certainly do not want to climb out of my basement and say to my beloved dog,....."Tiger, I don't think we're in Missouri anymore." If I do have to run downstairs, I'm taking my laptop, some Diet Pepsi and Tiger! And, if Ron, my hubby, is home...I'll have to drag him down with us, because he doesn't seem to believe in Tornado Warnings!

Guess that's it for now! I hope I haven't bored y'all to death. If you started to nod off, though, I'm sure you just went on to a different blog.....that's what I would do!!  (Even after all this, I feel as if I've forgotten something I wanted to "say"....Oh well....I can always add it later!)

"Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams." -- Ashley Smith

*footnote: But not too much wind, please!*

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

** Bliss = Spiritual Joy **

Sometimes it takes a while for things to sink in, ya know?! In my previous post, I went on and on about the "Twilight Zone" moments I've been having. Daisy left a comment and referred to them as "cosmic encouragement", which is a fabulous name, don't ya think?! Thank you, Daisy! So, after reading her words, it hit me! I'm FOLLOWING MY BLISS AND THINGS ARE HAPPENING TO (AND FOR) ME!
(image courtesy:
Duh! I even put that at the top of my blog: Writer-Humorist-Bliss Follower.

What can I say? Sometimes I wonder about that crowbar incident. You'll have to read my book to find out what that means!


* I posted the following poem on April 21st, but I think it's well worth posting again. Have a wonderful, blissful day, everyone! *

"Follow Your Bliss.

If you do follow your bliss,

you put yourself on a kind of track

that has been there all the while waiting for you,

and the life you ought to be living

is the one you are living.

When you can see that,

you begin to meet people

who are in the field of your bliss,

and they open the doors to you.

I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,

and doors will open

where you didn't know they were going to be.

If you follow your bliss,

doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else."

-- Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

* ♫♪ Pieces of April ♫♪ *

In honor of tonight's post, I have one song on my Play List: Pieces of April, by Three Dog Night. I really loved this band when I was in high school. (yeah, I'm pretty darn old!) It's kind of a departure from their more rock 'n roll songs, which I also love. Hope you enjoy listening to it!

Ron and I went to Barnes & Noble this past weekend. We hadn't been there in quite some time, so it was great to be back "home"! I headed straight to the Really Great Bargain Table near the customer service desk. I spotted one of the signs I love to see: 75% Off, Already Marked Down Price. Oh yeah! There wasn't much left, mostly children's Easter books, & some odds and ends. I've learned to not judge a book by its cover, and also don't give up on a bargain table too quickly! I proudly skipped up to the check-out counter a while later with four novels in my little green basket and my total bill was $5.05  Oh Happy Day!!

Those of you who've been reading my blog for some time, know that I like to use "The Twilight Zone" term when those ESP-like, strange, weird, psychic kind of things happen to me...... WELL, in just the past 24 Hours, I've been getting so many of those Twilight Zone signals, that it's amazing, fascinating, and surreal. And it surrounds me with a feeling of Yes, I couldn't be more sure that now is the time to write this book.

Example One: Last night I was upstaris in my office, writing a chapter about my dad, when I went downstairs to get a drink. Ron was watching TV and before I even saw the screen, I knew what he was watching, just by hearing some of the dialogue. It was the movie: "Max Dugan Returns", which I wrote about in a Chicken Soup for the Soul story, that was about my dad and me. (I hadn't seen that movie in years!) *OMG*

Example Two: This morning, I got an e-mail from Amazon stating that a new CD is coming out next month by Bing Crosby. (Yes, I bought his Christmas CD! It is the "Soundtrack of My Christmas". And the song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas" is also mentioned in my Chicken Soup story about my dad and me.) The title of Der Bingle's "new" release mentions the year I was born. *OMG*

Example Three: I had a doctor appointment today (after I'd read the Amazon e-mail). I took one of  my newly purchased books along to read while sitting in the waiting room. Before I'd even gotten to page ten, I was shocked to read descriptions and phrases that are so similar to ones I've already written! *OMG*

Okay! I get it! I'm hearing it loud and clear! I was already motivated and excited about working on, and completing my book! But, these happenings have made me stop and do some deeper thinking, than I was already engaged in!

So, I'd like to ask.....What's your take on all this?? Can you come up with a better name for it other than "The Twilight Zone"??

"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." ~Sylvia Plath

Sunday, April 25, 2010

* The Countdown is On *

Have you noticed my new Countdown gadget?!  It's kind of hard to miss, isn't it?

I wish I could say I thought of it all by myself, but I did not. I saw a countdown gadget at a new blogger-friend's site. Her name is: June Freaking Cleaver!  (I mean, how could I not check out a blog with a name like that!!) Actually, her blog's name is: The Ratio of Failures, but she lists the "June" name as hers!

Going along with my new determination to get my book completely written, and imposing a deadline on myself, I thought what better way than to have a visual countdown, right here on my blog. Because, after all, I do look at it from time to time!

My publisher told me I need to give her about 2 months from the time I complete my book, until it can finally be published, due to edits, re-writes, etc. I decided I'd like to have it published in time for The Big Read, which is every October in St. Louis. The date I've chosen does have significance in my life. It's the birthday of my late sister, Jo Ann, who died in 1984 from a brain tumor. I would like to honor her, by having accomplished my dream: (of which she never even knew) finishing my first book....part memoir and part current thoughts and observations.

Please send me lots of encouragement and support! I'll definitely need it!

"When you have a great and difficult task, something perhaps almost impossible, if you only work a little at a time, every day a little, suddenly the work will finish itself." -- Isak Dinesen

Friday, April 23, 2010

** Time For A New Look - A New Beginning **

I've really had the urge to get a new template for my blog, especially after seeing so many really cool and unique ones .... But, I also feared trying to get technical and then totally screwing up what I already had, and I certainly didn't want to do that! So, I've chosen a relatively simple and safe one to go with, plus it seems to suit my style. What d'ya think?

It's a New Dawn (not really), a New Day (almost) and time for a New Look! On my blog, that is. I could also use a new look for "me", but one thing at a time!

I've also decided that this coming Sunday, April 25th, the beginning of a new week, will be My New Day, to get totally focused and stay totally focused on the writing of and completion of my book. I've allowed way too many things to get in the way of succeeding and That Stops Now! This is my New Look and my New Beginning!

"Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts." ~ Unknown

* Hallelujah - Celebrate - I'm Finished! *

In honor of completing my 42 million, hand written certificates, for the children's writing contest.....

I have changed my Play List to play just a snippet of the only song that I feel is appropriate....

You may join in the Sing-a-Long, if you'd like!

* quote on this post. I'm too tired to find one on being too tired.*

** If It's Friday, I Know Where I Am **

I was up rather late again last night, hand writing all the necessary info on the certificates I've been working on for a couple of days. I'm so very happy to announce that I am now on the downhill slope and will have everything completed early today. Knowing that it's for 3rd & 4th Graders who entered a writing contest, made it much more fun than say, for... something adults participated in! And it was a great assignment to help improve my penmanship! Boy, there's a word you don't hear anymore. I proved to myself that I can still write, without it looking like a doctor's prescription for meds.

Okay. Much to do today, so this will be short and sweet! Ah yes....just like me!

"For many children, joy comes as the result of mining something unique and wondrous about themselves from some inner shaft." -- Thomas J. Cottle 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

** What? .... It Isn't Still Tuesday?! **

Due to the necessary evils of opening junk mail and bills (no, not a single handwritten note or letter!), and then deciding which bill was urgent enough to pay today.... I don't have much time to blog right now.

PLUS, the fact that I still have 42 million "Participation Awards" to fill out and 10 "Congratulations Awards" to fill out...all in my pretty-as-possible handwriting, which I absolutely must have completed by tomorrow night! Aacckkkk!!

Just wanted to mention two new books that are coming out next month, by two of my favorite authors.
"The Family Man" by Elinor Lipman
"The Red Thread" by Ann Hood

I learned a long time ago, NOT to read the front jackets or much of ANY information about a book. They used to just give enough information for the reader to decide if they might want to read it or not. Then the day came where the jacket gave me the entire plot, AND ruined the story for me!

So, all I can tell you about both books is this:
Elinor's is humorous, while Ann's is (as one review said) a tearjerker!

One more thing. I've read a book or two by both authors, that weren't exactly my favorites and/or didn't quite live up to my expectations, but all in all, I'm really glad I read them all.

P.S. If you have your volume turned off because you don't like hearing music while you read blogs, please give mine a listen. I've changed it again, back to some incredibly beautiful songs.

"Real luxury is time and opportunity to read for pleasure." -- Jane Brody

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

** I'm Following My Bliss **

Instead of ending with a quote like I usually do, this post itself will be almost entirely a quote. Robin Theiss enlightened me about Joseph Campbell and this quote when we had lunch last week. (Thank you, Robin!)

I'm feeling especially happy tonight, for a variety of reasons.

One, I just found out that my pal, Daisy, at Dancing With Daisy, received the job she recently interviewed for and really wanted! Congrats, Daisy! Y'all must visit her blog and watch/listen to the video she posted! : D

I'm also happy..... and blissful......just because! Just because I have wonderful writer friends, blogger friends, "normal" opposed to "abnormal" friends....a wonderful husband and family...AND, because I am "following my bliss"! I am a writer! I am writing my first book and I have a publisher! And, I truly believe every single word of the following quote:

"Follow your bliss.

If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else."
-- Joseph Campbell

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

** If It's Tuesday, I'm All Messed Up **

(photo: mormonwomensupportingeachother)
In the past few months, maybe even the past year, my Mondays have been so busy that by the time Monday evening rolls around, I truly believe it is Tuesday evening! Does that ever happen to any of you? It's then a huge relief, knowing I have another entire day in the week to accomplish things. Well, tonight, I have no idea what day I think it is. I would say it feels more like Wednesday, which once again, is a huge relief that it is not!

I've decided I'm a little tired right now...probably too tired would be the correct word. I'm starting to get punchy, and no telling what my flying fingers of fate will type, because I've really lost all control over them. I guess I better call it a night, or my blog may not be able to keep its G and/or PG Ratings!

Good night y'all. Hope to hear from all you dear blogger buddies of mine!

"There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep." -- Homer

Monday, April 19, 2010

** Back Home Again **

(photo courtesy
It was a wonderful weekend!!

Just the right amount of shopping!

Way too much food!

NEVER too much fun & laughter with girl friends!

* P.S. I got tons of writing material, too. Where can I go for "Stand-Up" around here?! 

"We have been friends together. In sunshine and in shade." -- Lady Caroline Sheridan Norton

Saturday, April 17, 2010

** Girls' Weekend Get-Away **

Don't forget..... I won't be blogging this weekend. (Ron and Tiger will be holding down the fort, though.)

I will have my Blackberry with me, so I can read and send e-mails, if anyone has any urgent news!

"By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class." ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

** So Much To Say...♪ ♫...The Final Part **

Hopefully, I can make this short and sweet tonight ....kind of like me! :D

Carnegie Libraries  I didn't know any of the history about the library donations of businessman and  philanthropist Andrew Carnegie until just a few years ago. I certainly knew of him, but nothing about his generosity. The following is taken directly from the link at Wikipedia: More than 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built, including some belonging to public and university library systems. Of the 2,509 such libraries funded between 1883 and 1929, 1,689 were built in the United States.
A few years ago, I was in one of these beautiful old buildings that still stands in Greenfield, Iowa. A large section of it was being (I assume) rented, by a married couple who owned a fabulous gift shop with the name, The Old Carnegie. That's when I asked questions about the name and discovered the library's history. Since that time, the couple divorced and the shop was closed. About a year ago, I heard The Old Carnegie might be getting some new inhabitants. It may become the new site for the Greenfield Chamber of Commerce. I hope so, because that charming old building deserves to be filled again with people, books, desks....the business of life.

ALA (American Library Association)  It's National Library Week, that's why!

Spencer Road Library; St. Charles County, Missouri: Still nothing online to post about the magnificent renovation that is due to begin just about any day. I did receive a very informative reply to my e-mail, part of which stated there should be something online very soon. Yippee!

Lastly, I can't say enough about this wonderful book.
"The Help", by Kathryn Stockett

I had heard nothing but rave reviews about it, and I finally got around to reading it. It is a stunning debut novel that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it. It's about how black maids (the help) were treated by their white employers in The South, in the very early 1960's. And, it's not only about those maids, but the segregation, in general, between whites and blacks at that time....especially in The South. A remarkable book!

Well, this didn't end up being very short and sweet afterall, but I felt obligated to finish it, and not rush through it. My faithful blogger buddies deserve the best!

"We are family...♪ ♫  I got all my sisters with me..♪♫..
We are family. ♫...Get up ev'rybody and sing...♪ ♫ " -- Sung by The Pointer Sisters (and also Sister Sledge)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

** So Much To Say...♪♫.....Part 2 **

Okay. Let's see if I have time to share some information.

StLBOOKS:  Owned and operated since 2005, by Robin Theiss. I've known Robin for a few years, but only through e-mails, concerning various happenings with the St. Louis Writers' Guild (SLWG), of which we both belong. Robin and I finally met in person yesterday, April 14th, when we had lunch at Kaldi's Coffee in Kirkwood, Mo. She and I hit it off immediately. Don't you just love it when that happens? I do!
Anyway, you don't have to live in St. Louis to shop at STL Books. It is also an online store, which buys your used books, too. Be sure and check it out. Robin is a multi talented person and I highly recommend her!

ST. LOUIS WALK OF FAME:  I've certainly been familiar with this for years, but never realized the extent of famous people that are/were from here! Next time I'm on Delmar Street, in The Loop, I'll have to walk the entire "Walk". Because it's Library Week, I'll mention a few writers, poets, journalists and one cartoonist. Maya Angelou, William S. Burroughs, T.S. Eliot, A.E. Hotchner, William Inge, Marianne Moore, Mike Peters, Joseph Pulitzer, Irma Rombauer, Sara Teasdale, Kay Thompson, Mona Van Duyn, and Tennessee Williams. Impressive, huh?!

That's all I've got time for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow for sure to finish, because I'll be off the internet from early Saturday morning until late Sunday night.

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." -- Jorge Luis Borges

** So Much To Say...So Much To Say...♪♫♪ **

In honor of Library Week.....

I have so much information to share about books, writers, libraries.... but not enough time at the moment, to do them any justice.

So, Here's some teasers for you:

STL Books

St. Louis Walk of Fame

Carnegie Libraries

ALA (American Library Association)

Spencer Road Library; St. Charles County, Mo.

"The Help", by Kathryn Stockett

More to come later.....

"A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life." -- Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

** No Time for Sergeants **

I chose this title because I don't have much time to blog this morning, and it just popped into my head! How many of you have seen the 1958 comedy starring Andy Griffith? From a partial review on Amazon: "Griffith plays a hillbilly who is drafted into the army where, among other things, he has to wear shoes regularly for the first time. Griffith brings an engaging glee to the role of this likable bumpkin, whose happy-go-lucky demeanor is impervious to insult. Ask him to clean the latrines and he rigs the toilet seats to stand up and salute." Don Knotts had a supporting role and two years later, he and Andy starred in The Andy Griffith Show. (I think it's pretty obvious where the idea for Gomer Pyle, USMC came from!)

Ah....but I digress......Here's my brief morning bulletin of Writer Stuff :

The latest newsletter from Poets & Writers Literary Magazine has tons of cool information in it, but I particularly liked what I found about submitting to various magazines....495 various magazines, that is! If you can't find a venue there to submit your writing to....then....I got no time for ya!!

"Be yourself. No one can ever tell you you're doing it wrong." -- James Leo Herlihy

Monday, April 12, 2010


This is my first attempt to participate in Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday! She graciously invited me to do this a month or so ago when I posted the picture of my wall plates in my dining room. I feel kind of silly because I know how to upload my photos and do all the correct things, but Mr. Linky scares me!! I'm unsure of myself because I've never been in Mr. Linky's company before. You could even say that when it comes to Mr. Linky.....I'm quite virginal.
 This photo is of the plates, teapot clock, and "half" tea cup & saucer, that I hung in a random way on a wall in my dining room. Two of the larger plates were my grandma's. The other plates were single purchases at various consignment stores. The "half" tea cup set is a one-of-a-kind I found at a gift shop in old St. Charles, Mo. I've never seen another one like it. The teapot clock was purchased at Dillard's quite a few years ago. It's the Royal Albert, Old Country Roses pattern. (These all look like miniatures in the photo, but they are "regular" size!)

This is a close up of the teapot clock.

This is a teapot I purchased at Dillard's about the same time as the teapot clock.
The tea cup and saucer were bought at one of the local consignment shops.

This cup and saucer is not a set. The cup was my deceased sister's cup when she was a little girl. It's smaller than regular, but it's also not miniature. It's just kind of "child-sized". It has a little chip at the top on the right, which is visible. (I can't imagine giving a young child a CHINA cup!) I don't know exactly how it came into my possesion, but I'm so glad I have it, and I really do cherish it.

This is a darling sugar bowl and creamer set I bought at Home Goods a couple of years ago. It's so cheery and spring-like, and just makes me smile to look at it.

Okay. That's all I've got. I'm not even sure if these pictures qualify for Lady Katherine's Tea Time Tuesday. They weren't taken in the best of light, and I don't have a professional camera. Hopefully, everyone will still enjoy looking at them.
Thanks for stopping by. Now it's time to morph back into my other self, which is Writer Gal 53!

"The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose." --George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft


Is anyone else having problems with the Layout section of their blog? Ever since this morning, I can't do any editing of my Layout. When I click on it, only the top 1/3 or so of the page shows, and there is no way to scroll down any farther.

Please check yours and let me know. Thanks!
                                                      (photo courtesy of:
"Hardware: the parts of a computer that can be kicked." ~Jeff Pesis

Sunday, April 11, 2010

** Random Thoughts on a Sunday Night **

Here's a few things of interest:

1) I visited Bylines Calendar this evening and noticed what appeared to be a new page, at least to me. Click on the tab that says Writers' Resources, and you will find an abundant list of websites that pertain to many different areas of writing. I didn't count them, but at a glance I'd say it's near one hundred sites! I didn't even begin to start clicking away on any of them. I plan to get to bed before midnight tonight!

2) I love reading all my friends' blogs, obviously, but even more so when they have good news to share about their writing. One such person tonight is: Janel of Janel's Jumble. Click on the link and read about her exciting publishing news, posted on April 11th and 12th. Congrats, Janel!

3) I also love reading hilarious blogs, which many of my friends also write. A recent one is at Tammy's. Click on the link and read her post from Saturday, April 10th. Make sure you read the quote at the end of the post! If you don't laugh out loud, then come back and let me know......(and I don't expect to hear back from anyone!)

4) Tiny Lights has posted the Essay Contest winners and runner-uppers. I didn't recognize any names, but maybe some of you will know of someone, who knows someone, etc. Don't forget you can always submit something for various online publications there.

5) Another "find" of mine, and I must've seen this blog on someone's blog roll, is The Slush Pile. It is the blog of a flash magazine, appropriately named:  Flash Me Magazine. I don't know that much about it....have never submitted anything to it, but it looks pretty cool. It says: "FLASH ME MAGAZINE is a quarterly publication brought to you by Winged Halo Productions. We are a paying market, accepting all genres of fiction under 1,000 words. We are one of the few markets that offer editorial feedback with rejection letters."  I think it would be worth looking into further, for all you fiction writers!

 ** Please know that just because I highlighted Janel's and Tammy's blogs tonight, doesn't mean I don't love all y'alls!  (Hey, I'm starting to sound like my Southern blog buddies!)

"No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you." -- Homer Simpson

Friday, April 9, 2010

* I'm Definitely NOT a Poet, and I KNOW IT! *

Fun information found at Cathy C.'s Hall of Fame Blog:  April is National Poetry Month and using book spines to write a poem is a fun way for anyone to get in on the action.

So, below you will find my attempt at a "book spine poem" - just read the titles (not the authors' names) from top to bottom. Fun, huh? Give it a try!

I managed to quickly put two of them together this afternoon, but couldn't take photos until I charged up the old battery.....the camera's, not mine. Although, mine is still dragging a bit. I've got to get out tomorrow and start my walking regimen again. That usually helps.

Anyway, here they are. (These are two separate "poems", but I couldn't get the two photos very far apart.)

How did I do, Oh Wondrous Miss Cathy C.?
I now challenge other blog buddies to do the same!

"Roses are red. Violets are purple. I never thought him funny. That goofy Steve Urkel." -- Becky Povich

"Roses are red. But the thorns are a bear. The guy who is funny. Was the Prince of Bel-Air." -- Becky Povich

* Wasted Days & Wasted Nights *

Why am I still awake at 1:30 am again? A title of an old song by the late, great Freddy Fender comes to mind: "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights".

Although, I don't ever purposely waste any time, it's days like this that really bother me. I didn't sleep well Wednesday night, mostly because dear old Tiger woke me up twice to go outside. Once was around midnight, and again around 3:30am. Both times I was deep in sleep, in the midst of weird, wacky dreams. I was so "out of it" I barely remember getting up, and both times, I easily fell back asleep.

All I can say is, when I DID wake up at 6:30 Thursday morning, I felt like I'd been run over by a Mac truck, as the saying goes. I got up for a few minutes, had a headache, went back to bed, and slept most of the day....waking up with the same or a new headache in the late afternoon. I even had to cancel my dinner plans with two gal pals. And when THAT happens, you know I'm not feeling good.

And how strange that my last blog post was about needing and having spare minutes!

So, did I get anything accomplished today?  I slept. I ordered pizza delivery for dinner. I answered some much-needed-to-be-answered e-mails. I read many blogs. And I'm now going to read until I fall asleep. Well, any day that includes reading, writing, and pizza can't be all bad!

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." -- Oscar Wilde

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

* Everyone Needs a Spare Minute *

Blog buddy Jenny and I e-mailed each other a time or two this morning. She suggested something she thought I'd be interested in and I said, "I'll check it out, when I get a spare minute." And she, with her witty sense of humor, replied, "Let me know how you find those rare animals, wouldja?"

Okay, Jenny! Ask, and you shall receive! I bestow upon you, this:

And, really, I'm happy to share this much needed gift to all my blog buddies!! Feel free to copy and paste it and use that spare minute whenever you need it. It automatically recharges itself, too, so it can be used over and over! 

"I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once." -- Jennifer Yane

** Turn Up Your Volume in Life **

Many of you may have your volume turned down ...both on your computer and in life itself....
Shortly after I wrote about Susan Boyle and going for your dreams in life, I hunted up some "Dream" songs for my playlist. So, if you haven't realized what's playing, scroll down to the bottom and listen to one or two. I ended this short playlist with "Oh Happy Day", which is one of my absolute favorites. Every day is a happy day, if you just look around, turn up the volume in your mind, LISTEN, LEARN & LIVE!

Here's a couple of Happy Things I found on friends' blogs recently:

Janel at  Janel's Jumble has a new template and it is totally awesome!! Go check it out!

Ann at My Reading Corner had a Teaser Tuesday yesterday. It's a very cool idea. Go check it out and leave a comment of your own!

"If you search the world for happiness, you may find it in the end, for the world is round and will lead you back to your door." -- Robert Brault

Monday, April 5, 2010


Sometime over the weekend, Susan Boyle popped into my mind. She's the singer that astonished the judges (and the world) last year on the tv show, Britain's Got Talent. I guess I've always kind of identified with her.

Not that I have a wonderous singing voice.....although the way I sing around the house, a person might indeed wonder about my talent....or lack of.....

I love what the world loves about Susan Boyle. At a relatively late stage in her life, her beautiful singing voice was discovered and she is living her dream . I glanced at her official website last night and read a portion of her blog which said, "Dreams don't expire". I love that! And I absolutely agree with that. Because, at my relatively late stage in life, I am living my dream. I'm writing. I'm having some success with it. I'm getting my book finished and published this year!

I dreamed a dream.....

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined." -- Thoreau

Saturday, April 3, 2010

** In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning....**

Happy Easter Weekend! Not sure when I'll be back on my blog, but knowing me, it could be in just a few short hours!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

** Evening Thoughts on the 1st of April **

Note: None of the following is an April Fool's Joke.
If you have your volume turned down when reading my blog tonight, you're missing a beautiful song by "Three Dog Night". It's called Pieces of April and it's one of my favorite songs. And, for obvious reasons, it's the only song on this particular Play List! I'm not sure when I'll change back to one of my other lists, or make another new one, but enjoy it while you can!

Speaking of April and Beautiful.....we have had the most extraordinary weather the past couple of days. High temperatures in the 80 + degrees both days. The flowering trees and bushes are popping their buds like popcorn! It looks like we'll have pleasant weather on Easter, which hasn't happened in years! I can't even remember the last Easter when people weren't wearing their winter coats over their new Easter outfits! We're having our family Easter get-together this Saturday, which is the ONLY day where rain is predicted. Oh well....we all know how these weather people are, right?!

I heard from Michael Lee West today and the book she is sending for our prize winner, Alice, is a copy of her debut novel: "Crazy Ladies". I've read that one and loved it, so I'm sure Alice will, too!! Congrats again, Alice!

As of today, I'll be on hiatus from my job at the Adair County Free Press. I've been writing a weekly column there for 2 years, and just asked if I could take some time off to get my book completed. Fortunately, Linda, the owner totally understands and said, "of course". I think that will help a lot to stay focused on my book and have one less distraction. The majority of you have never read my column because the Free Press is not online. It's a small Iowa newspaper that still lives on in Greenfield, Iowa.....home of my parents and maternal grandparents. Greenfield is so special to me and I've written about it many times. It's my own personal Mayberry!

I'm feeling especially emotional this evening. I think it has to do with two things. One is the very serious illness my friend, Angelo, has and his upcoming surgery. (Many of you already know about this because of my prayer request e-mails.) The other one is that April 1st holds joyous memories for me. Twenty three years ago today, April 1st - 1987, I phoned all my family, long distance, and said these words: "This is NOT an April Fool's Joke. I am pregnant!" My son, Mark was born about 7 months later, in October. When my husband, Ron, and I were married four years earlier, we'd both been previously married. He had two sons, and I had one. We hadn't planned on having a "Yours, Mine & Ours" family, especially since the three boys were all teenagers! Ah, but there was a different plan....somewhere....somehow. And Mark has always been such a joy. One of my stories accepted by Chicken Soup for the Soul, is about my surprise pregnancy and the health problems Mark had when he was born. The title of it is: A Joyous Journey. It's in the New Mom book that came out in 2007. He's always been a great guy, from baby to toddler to teenager to man! He graduates next month from Washington University in St. Louis, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. Am I a proud mom....or what?! Oh, one more thing. How appropriate that I received an e-mail this evening stating his commencement annoucements shipped today! * Note:  After re-reading this the morning of the 2nd, I realized the way I worded Mark's health problems when he was born, made it sound like it was something permanent, which it was not. It was definitely a scary time for Ron and me, though. We had to leave Mark at the hospital for a couple of days when I was discharged, and that was so difficult to do!

* Also, since Susan asked about reading my story, I googled it and found it online. You can read it here, if you are interested. Chicken Soup story: A Joyous Journey.

                                                     (photo courtesy of Susan's blog!)

"I've got pieces of April, I keep them in a memory bouquet." -- lryics from Pieces of April

** AND THE WINNER IS..... **

Happy April 1st! Since my mama didn't raise any fools....well, that's debatable.....Don't let anyone play any tricks on you today.

For those of you that are waiting with bated breath........the winner of my latest blog contest is.....Alice! Thanks so much to the 10 people who entered! If you didn't win this time, never fear, there will be more contests all year long.

Alice is the lucky recipient of an autographed book by Miss Michael Lee West! Congratulations! As soon as I know which book it will be, I'll let you know. And this is Not An April Fool's Joke! Alice, you are the winner!                                                                                             

                                              (photo courtesy of

I thought the above diagram was a riot! It's on a "How to" site...and how to wrap presents. Who doesn't know how to wrap a book??!!

"Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons." -- Ruth Ann Schabacker