Monday, May 31, 2010

* Memorial Day - Vox Magazine - Math Skills? *

Due to the very unorganized way I've been handling things lately, I have not been able to find the photos I wanted to post today. (They weren't taken on a digital camera, and are soundly sleeping in one of my many photo boxes.) Maybe by the 4th of July, I will have located them and can share them then. Until then, I just wanted to say that every Memorial Day I honestly remember why we celebrate this day, which used to be known as Decoration Day, back in The Old Days.

"Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong?" -- Holly Near

While going through my various little piles of papers, notes, doodles, etc....looking for photos.... something pretty cool did happen. I came across my note about Vox Magazine, which interviewed me by telephone a few months ago. I had written "sometime in mid June" on my note, but thought What the heck, I'll go online and see what I can find out. WELL, the interview is posted right there, dated May 27th!

Taken directly from their website: "Vox Magazine is published by the Columbia Missourian and produced by magazine students at the world's oldest (and we'd like to think best) journalism school." (that school is the University of Missouri, in Columbia, known as "Mizzou".)

The article can be found here. It will also be in the print edition, which I intend to get a "few" of!

My math skills....or lack there of. Anyone who's known me very long, knows that I joke about my math abilities. My dad was a brilliant man with "The Math Brain". I am NOT brilliant, nor do I have "The Math Brain". I have "The Literary Brain". I can do basic math, of course. (I'm reminded of Jethro Bodine from The Beverly Hillbillies. He could cipher up a storm!)

ANYWAY....I was looking over my list of birthday cards I need to make for the months of June and July. I didn't have a calculator handy, but I knew I could add up a few little numbers without the help of a machine!

Well, I added them up two times, just to make sure of the total. The first time I came up with 95 cards. The second time I came up with 74 cards. Now I ask you....HOW THE HECK DID THAT HAPPEN?!

So, I got out my trusty calculator and the correct answer is: 72 cards! Ta-Dahhhhh!

I may have to round up some helpers to get all these babies made! They have to be at the location by the 3rd Wednesday of each month, which means I have about 2 weeks to make and send 29 cards...that's how many there are for June. (Most months have been 10 or less cards.)

If you haven't been a follower very long, you are probably scratching your head, saying, "What cards? And who are they for?" Long story short: I found out about some St. Louis inner city kids that sometimes do not receive a birthday card at home, due to financial or other reasons.

I know the phrase "it is so rewarding" can be overused sometimes or seem pretentious....but that's how I truly feel.

I just do some "fancy" printing and use birthday stickers, plus some motivational sayings. I've heard the kids love receiving them, from the youngest to the oldest teens. I have a stamper for the backs of all the cards I make. On theirs, instead of saying it was made by Becky, I write: Made by Someone Who Cares.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

* Thoughts on a Sunday Night...uh Monday a.m. *

(photo courtesy: creative writing degree abroad jpg)

Yesterday I attended the monthly meeting of Saturday Writers. We had a bit of an "Open Mic" session and I read one of my short newspaper columns from a couple of years ago. It was well received which obviously made me happy.

I also belong to Coffee & Critique, which meets every Tuesday morning. Most times, we stick around and have lunch, thus more "writer talk".

Being around other writers is a big piece of the pie that makes up my life. Listening to them read their writing...listening to others read my writing, receiving helpful suggestions and wonderful compliments.....Just talking about everything in the writing and publishing world... That's what helps motivate me to keep at it. I come away from these get-togethers all charged up and ready to take on the world.....ready to finish my Best Seller!! Hey, it's MY dream.....and I'm reaching for the stars!

I've wondered off and on....what the heck did I used to think about....before my passion for writing presented itself and took over? Well, one big thing person, was Mark, my youngest son! Now that he is a grown, that can't be child-rearing days are gone, and I can focus on other things.

Ah...I'm beginning to ramble. Anyway, I just want to say how much all my writer friends mean to me, whether near or far. The wonderful people I've met through my blog this past year, also mean the world to me. It's fun and heartwarming knowing you're "out there" and we're sharing our thoughts and dreams, talents and treasures.

"Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance." - Sir Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, May 30, 2010

** Saturday Centus - Week 4 **

Welcome to the fourth week of Saturday Centus. ** Although this is the 4th Week, this is my first time to participate. **

This is a themed writing meme.

Each Saturday Jenny Matlock will be giving a new "prompt" for the week and you have the entire week to link your work to the meme and you can link more than one story if you like.

Each linked essay must be 100 words or less, not including the "prompt" words. No pictures should be used. No profanity. The prompt words can be used in any place within your story but must be left intact.

Please display link button or just a hyper-link back to Saturday Centus. Be careful to link your SC URL to the Linky and not just link to your main blog.

Jenny would suggest that since these are so short, if you can't think of a title just use your blog name as the title in the Linky.

Jenny also says it would be great if you would try and visit the rest of the links. Actually, it will be fun for you because they were wonderful last week for sure!

“May I help you, miss? You look puzzled.”
“Mmmm… thank you, I’m just looking for my father. We came in together a moment ago, but he seems to have wandered off.”

This link will be live until next Saturday morning around 7 am. And please, remember to link to your SC URL...not your main blog.'s my attempt at this, coming in at 99 words!

“May I help you, miss? You look puzzled.”

“Mmmm… thank you, I’m just looking for my father. We came in together a moment ago, but he seems to have wandered off.”

Darn that father of mine! How was I supposed to know it wasn't safe taking him anywhere. How did I get myself into this? We'd barely spoken in decades and then, out of nowhere, he wants to come and visit?!

I stroll up and down the aisles, my eyes darting in all directions. As minutes tick by, my anger changes to uneasiness, then to alarm. Where is he?

I hear commotion in the biography and memoir aisle. My heart breaks as I see my father slumped on the floor, grasping my memoir, with pride in his tearful, dying eyes.

Friday, May 28, 2010

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

It's  been a busy, but productive week. I'd have to say that yesterday was THE busiest and THE productiviest! <<  is that even a word?! I do like to make up words sometimes!

Yesterday, I got up early and decided I really needed and wanted to walk on one of "my trails". There are a couple near my home that I rather drive to, and walk along the path, than to just stay home and walk in the neighborhood. So...whatever works, right? I usually never remember to take my camera, but I made sure I took that, too. It's just very beautiful and peaceful. I love to walk alone, and be in my own thoughts, etc.
One of these days, as soon as possible, I really have to get a better camera. Mine is fine for "normal" pictures, but not for distance or really close-up shots.'s two.

This is a rather large pond and pretty waterfall in the back. And right behind it, just on the other side of the tiny bushes, is a fairly busy street. There is also a cute gazebo, where many weddings are held. I couldn't get close enough to take a picture of it, though.

(I should send a shout-out to Daisy at Dancing With Daisy, because she always posts pretty photos from her walks, too. I was just thinking about all those snowy and icy pictures we all posted this past winter. How far away that all seems now, but we thought spring and summer would never arrive!)

Before I left the house, I called and made an appointment for Tiger to get groomed. She was shedding really badly and also needed her nails "done"! They were able to take her right away, so I dropped her off on the way to the trail.

After my walk, I decided I really needed the inside of my car cleaned, since it was full of old dog on to the car wash...inside and out. They did a fantastic job.

I came home and did some vacuuming......old dog hairs! I also washed the 2 little quilts that are used for Tiger's bed.....and her pillow cover...because they guessed it: dog hairs.

I slightly edited and submitted a story to Guideposts that I'd worked on a year or so ago, and had even submitted elsewhere. I feel really good about it, although, I always feel very optimistic about my writing!! Their guidelines said it can take two months to hear from them, which is quite normal. I'm not going to divulge what it's about at this time. I'm kind of funny sometimes about that!

Somewhere in there, I stopped by my chiropractor's to get an adjustment!

AND, somewhere in there, I had lunch, worked some in my office, watched a little TV, etc.

Here's Tiger's "after" photo! She actually looked a lot thinner with so much hair brushed and washed out!
I love it, too, that Kennelwood always puts an appropriate bandana on her when she's all finished. This one is red, white and blue and says USA on it....obviously for Memorial Day.

This weekend, let's all remember what Memorial Day is really all about.
Have a safe and happy one.....looks like Tiger definitely will.

"For in acceptance lieth peace". -- Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

** Patchwork Path Books **

Hey Everyone! I am SO excited to share the news that I received a story acceptance yesterday evening! I was reading my incoming e-mails on my Blackberry, and noticed an e-mail address I didn't immediately recognize. I wondered who it might be as I clicked to open it. The first words were, "Congratulations! Your work has been selected for inclusion in...." 

I think it was at that point that I literally leapt off the couch, yelled to my husband, Ron, and started the Happy Dance.  "My story got accepted! My story got accepted!"

(Ron took this picture of me eight years ago, on my birthday. I was already doing The Happy Dance then, but I don't remember why. Probably just celebrating another day of living...♪♫...♪♫
I also intend on being this goofy when I'm well into my 90's!)

Isn't it funny how life works? Not too long ago, I wrote about receiving a rejection and then this comes along.

I almost didn't even submit the story, because I wasn't sure if it "fit" what they were looking for, but at the same time, it seemed like it might. So, I sent it, because what's the worst that could happen?!

*Note: I discovered that my blogging buddy, Bookie/Claudia, also had a story accepted in the exact same book! Yay! Congrats to Claudia!!*

All you "newer" writers, who've never submitted anything yet.....go for it! Send something, somewhere! There are so many good anthologies, contests, magazines, etc...just waiting for your unique writing!

This one is for a newer anthology; one of the Patchwork Path books. This one is titled: Patchwork Path: Treasure Box. Publication date is November 2010. Check out their website because they have other Calls for Submissions going on, too. One in particular is Patchwork Path: Mother's Life. They're looking for favorite mom memories. Deadline is June 30, 2010. Also, they do pay $50.00 per story!

"If you don't like what's happening in your life, change your mind." -- Dalai Lama

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

** Tea Time Tuesday at Lady Katherine's **

I don't have an entire table setting, nor do I even have any food to go along with my tea set. But Lady Katherine was kind enough in past months to invite me to join along, so I'm doing that again today.

This is an adorable little set I bought years ago from one of those "Home Decorator" parties that women hosted in their homes. I don't remember the name of it, at the moment, but this was not their typical item, and must've been available for a certain period of time.

They are miniature in size. The cups and saucers are attached and are approximately one inch high, and the cup is one and a half inches wide (at the top). The tea pot is about 3-1/2 inches high and the tiny lid actually comes off.

They appear to be crocheted out of heavy white thread and are highly starched....thus keeping their shapes!
I especially fell in love with them, because in addition to my love of tea pots and tea cup sets, they reminded me so much of some starched knick-knacks my grandma used to have in her curio being, in particular, of a crocheted high heel shoe!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

** Microfiction Monday **

Welcome to Microfiction Monday, from Stony River where a picture paints 140 characters, or even fewer. This is my 2nd Microfiction Monday. It's fun and challenging. Go to Stony River and join the crowd!

Here's this week's picture, followed by my story for it:

This is so embarrassing. Just keep your head down, pretending to read from your prayer book, and maybe he'll get up and go away.

Monday, May 24, 2010

** Winners of Book Give-Away Contest **

Good morning everyone! Drum roll please.....
The three winners of the book contest are:

1st    Chatty Crone  -- set of Magic School Bus books

2nd   Sarah Whitney -- set of Judy Blume books

3rd    Mizz Mollye -- set of various titles

I tallied up all the comments and doubled the ones that met the requirements, etc....put the number into Random.Org and voile'......We Have The Winners!

Then I read through the comments again, as to who requested what set of books, and that's how I arrived at the above conclusions.

I've already heard back from a very excited Mizz Mollye!

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to EVERYONE who participated. I'll surely have another contest next month.....and I already have some good ideas for the prize(s).

"Oh, magic hour, when a child first knows she can read printed words!" -- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, 1943

Contest Winners To Be Announced Later Today

Hey Everyone! It's been a busy weekend and I've been away from my computer most of the time. And, since it is 12:45 am, I'm a bit tired.

Later today, after I hopefully sleep soundly for a few hours....I'll tally up all the comments from the book contest, and announce the winners! Thanks, and nighty night! Zzzzzzzzzz

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." -- Leo J. Burke

   (or, in my own words.....a sweet old dog who wakes you up at least once, almost every night, to either go outside (thank you very much!)....or just seems to want some company!)

"No wonder I'm tired all the time! I'm too old to have a baby in the house!" -- Becky Povich

Friday, May 21, 2010

** You've Got a Friend **

I heard a while back that Carole King and James Taylor are touring together, and I thought What a scathingly brilliant idea is that?! She's a fabulous song writer and singer, and he's a pretty good singer and had some hits with songs which Carole wrote!☺  (St. Louis is one of the cities on their tour and I really hope to get tickets!)

Whenever there's a conversation with or about Carole King, her album "Tapestry" is always discussed. It came out the year I graduated from high school.....1971. (yeah, I'm that old!) I bought that album, (one of a few I actually purchased, because I usually just bought 45's). I think all my girl friends and millions of others, bought that album that summer. We played it over and over and over. It was the soundtrack of our lives.

And so, in honor of Carole King, her album "Tapestry", the summer of 1971, AND... my high school graduation, I share this picture with you. (Hey...notice my goofy face! It's the same look in my Profile Picture...only 39 years ago...and different glasses!! Guess I haven't really changed that much, huh?!)

"....ain't it good to know, you've got a friend." -- Carole King

P.S. Don't forget to scroll down and leave a comment for my Book Give-Away!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

* Ray Sorensen, Maria Sorensen, and Me Part 2 *

I was digging through some of my various boxes of old photos last night....(I am not at all organized when it comes to my photos!)....when I found these. I spent a couple of weeks in Iowa in September of 2008. I visited my brother and sister-in-law first in northern Iowa, and then my cousins in Greenfield. This is when I actually met Ray and his wife, Maria. (I had heard of him for years, and about his painting of The Rock, and other murals in the town.)

I'm the one on the right, in case you can't tell....the one having a very bad hair day and looking as if I'm wearing a maternity top!! Acckkk!! Believe me, if I had a better picture of myself with them, this one would not be posted on my blog!

Aren't they just the cutest couple? They look like they're 16 years old!! This was taken inside their newly opened studio.

This is what The Freedom Rock looked like in 2008. Every Memorial Day, Ray repaints it with different patriotic images and sayings...honoring the military, both past and present.
So, in little over a week, there will be new images, on both sides, and actually all around the rock. It really is impressive.

** Ray was interviewed on the Fox Channel yesterday morning, and you can watch the video on the Sorensen's blog.   He was intervied via satellite from the TV station in Ames, Iowa. BUT, they left out the best part....that The Freedom Rock is right outside of Greenfield, Iowa!! It seemed to me as if they implied it's near Ames, which is about 100 miles away.

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him". -- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

** Hey, I Know This Guy!! I Know This Guy!! **

(photo: courtesy of Redbook Magazine)

This good looking young man just won Redbook Magazine's "Hottest Husband" Contest!

Ray (Bubba) Sorensen and his wife, Maria, live in Greenfield, Iowa. If you've known me or read my blog for very long, you know that the very small town of Greenfield holds a special place in my heart. My parents and grandparents were from there, and although they are all deceased now, I still love going back to visit. I wrote a weekly column for the newspaper there (Adair County Free Press), for the past two years, until I just recently went on hiatus to complete my book.

I met Ray and his lovely wife, Maria, the last time I was in Greenfield. They had recently opened their photography and art studio and proudly showed me around.

I knew of Ray's painting, though, for a few years. He is famous for painting The Freedom Rock outside of Greenfield on a two-lane country highway.

You can learn all about Ray and Maria Sorensen on the three links above.
Oh...and his prize for being the winner??...a trip which will finally be their honeymoon!

“It's not true that nice guys finish last. Nice guys are winners before the game even starts.” -- Addison Walker

(P.S. Please don't forget to scroll down and leave comments for my book give-away!)

** Ouch!....A Rejection E-mail This Morning **

Gee....I haven't seen one of those in a long time, and it's NOT because I'm constantly receiving acceptance e-mails. It's because I haven't been in the habit of submitting my writing lately. Partly because I'm working on my book, partly because even though I see tons of Calls for Submissions and Contests, I rarely send anything in, and partly because I'm just too busy blogging! (That's a whole other story, for another day!)

The rejection I received today was from Silver Boomer Books for a Grandparents anthology.

(I have no idea where I got this drawing! I remember cutting it from a newsletter or something, years ago.)

Oh well......I had my moment of disappointment, but then immediately got over it, because that particular story will be included in my book!

“I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to run around like Dennis Rodman and head-butt somebody.” -- Greg Norman

(Is that quote hilarious, or what?!)
Please scroll on down and don't forget to enter my book(s) give-away!

** My New Contest -- Win Some Books! **

Welcome to my newest contest! This will be a little different from my previous contests. I have quite a few kids' books that I "won" at a silent auction last year, and I would like to give some of them away. Today's contest consists of three groups & each group has three books.

The first group (above) has: Cam Jansen and the Mystery of the Babe Ruth Baseball.
A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author
Junie B., First Grader, Cheater Pants

This second group (above) are all Magic School Bus books.
The Magic School Bus Gets Caught in a Web.
The Magic School Bus; Field Trip Facts, Notes From Ms. Frizzle's Kids.
The Magic School Bus; Chapter Book, The Truth about Bats.

The first two groups consist of chapter books: for ages 7 to 10, and they are all Scholastic Books.

The final group of three are all middle grade novels by Judy Bloom: for ages 9 to 12.
These three are Dell Yearling Books.
Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself.
Iggie's House

(All of these books are new. I've tried not to even open them, so they won't look used!)

** Contest Rules & Fine Print *
1) To be eligible, please leave at least one comment, per set of books. (ie: If you'd only like to win one set of books: leave one comment.....two sets: two comments....all three sets: three comments.)
2)  If you are not already a follower and you become one, your comment(s) will count twice.
3)  If you send over a friend or more and they leave a comment(s), you both will have your comments counted twice.
4)  The contest will end at midnight on Saturday, May 22nd, and I'll annouce the winners on Sunday, the 23rd.

I hope to receive many comments. In fact, I'd like to see at least 20 (not counting any doubles or triples!)
Please round up your writer/reader/blogger friends and send them over!

"There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all." -- Jacqueline Kennedy

Monday, May 17, 2010

** Microfiction Monday **

I decided to give this a try, after seeing it on Janel's Jumble for a few weeks now. Hope I did it correctly! (Hey, Janel, give me a critique, ok??)

Susan at Stony River hosts Microfiction Monday. Susan posts pictures every week and writers take on the challenge to write 140 characters or fewer. (Twitter-sized) stories about the picture.

"Oh dear! What if my husband comes home early and sees his new bride receiving these jars from a delivery service? I told him I could can!"

** Another Manic Monday **

The weekend was a busy and fun one, and this week will be more of the same. It's the week of THE GRADUATION!! Yes, my "baby" graduates from college this week......sniff, sniff..... Where did the years go?

I think I've had about 2 hours of sleep since yesterday. Between Tiger and my new friend, "Arthur", it's getting more and more difficult to get a good night's sleep. Who is Arthur you ask? Why, he's the new pain in my neck....Arthur-Itis! ( seemed funny at 3:00 am)

I'll be back later today with news of my May Contest Give-Away.

“Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong.” -- George Carlin

Sunday, May 16, 2010

** Yikes! It's Sunday Already! **

I had the best intentions to write on my blog sometime Saturday, but obviously that didn't happen. It's just past midnight and I think I'll hit the old hay in a few minutes.

Later today, I hope to post my new contest for the month of May. I think it's a good one and will have slightly different rules than the other ones.

*Note: I wasn't able to send any e-mails most of Saturday. Every time I tried, they would get "stuck" and then I'd receive a message saying "try again later". So, if you've been expecting one from me, it may be in my "Mail Waiting to be Sent" folder.

“If you can read this, thank a teacher.” -- Unknown

Friday, May 14, 2010

** Alive & Well on a Friday Night **

As the title above states: I am alive and well and it's Friday evening.

I'm in the midst of another one of my many "projects".......which does not include writing my book. Never fear, though, the book is only getting temporarily pushed slightly aside, NOT going all the way to the back burner!

For those who asked and/or are curious: I'm still waiting for my lab results, but did receive my x-ray results. I have....and to quote my doctor, "a fair amount of arthritis in [my] neck, and a loss of disc height." (Hey! I can't afford to lose any more height!!) She also said she "was surprised [I] wasn't in any more pain than [I] described." (Well, I actually was happy to hear all that! It proved I wasn't complaining for no reason. And also, I've always thought I had a very low pain level, so I must be quite a tough broad, after all!)

I'm blaming my husband! He's a foot taller than me... and I've had to look waaaaay up... all these years!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

** Awesome Book Stuff **

(photo courtesy of Out of Print press page)
My "Real Simple" magazine arrived in the mail yesterday, and for the first time in months, I actually took time in the evening to flip through the entire thing! I clipped out some awesome looking recipes and a couple other interesting little tidbits to look up online. One of those was: Out of Print Clothing

To best explain it, I've copied and pasted the following paragraph directly from their site:

Out of Print celebrates the world’s great stories through fashion. Our shirts feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art.

Back to my own words: For every T-Shirt sold, the company donates a book to a community in need! How great is that?? How scathingly brilliant?? (sorry Miss Cathy C....but I must borrow your phrase here!)

They also have a blog:  Out of Print Blog  and the blog has a fascinating story of  The Book Bike.

It all just keeps getting better and better!!

Please get your fingers clicking on those links!! I know of a couple graduates who will be getting an Out of Print T-Shirt for a gift this month!!

“Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.” - Bell Hooks

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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

I've been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new US Postal Service stamps of dogs and cats, and I finally bought a sheet a couple of days ago. The photos feature animals that were adopted from shelters, and are they adorable or what?? The dog with the large head, and black & brown hair, looks similar to my Tiger and also our previous "mutt", Rocky! (We got Tiger at a local shelter when she was 6 months old.)

(Photo I took last night with my cell phone camera)
Awwwww....that's my Tiger!!

Also, pertaining to adorable photos of animals, I came across a really neat blog: Farm Girl Susan.  Susan moved from her native California to Missouri, to live out "in the middle of nowhere"! She also loves to cook and bake and shares tons of recipes. AND, on top of all that,,,,,she also loves Judith Ryan Hendricks' books! Hey, I think I've discovered another kindred spirit!!  Go visit Susan's blog and tell her "Becky sent me!"

Speaking of farms and farm-life, I spent most of today getting poked and prodded. I saw 2 different doctors; one a yearly check-up, one a follow-up. Then got lab work and x-rays. Sheesh...I'm worn out and I didn't do anything except drive my car, and sit around for hours. I took a book to read, but that even made me sleepy! I think I feel a late afternoon nap coming on......Zzzzzzz.

One last thing: Has anyone heard back from Bylines Calendar about their submissions? I keep checking the website, but nothing is posted about it yet. Any other good news about acceptances, or contest winnings??

"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans" ~ James Herriot

Monday, May 10, 2010

** Now, That's Just Not Funny! **

It is now 9:00 pm, Central Daylight Time, and I am editing this post. I understand now what happened to cause one of my followers to disappear, and I want to apologize to A., although, I truly was kidding around about the number dropping from 50 to 49.
(photo courtesy: heartimages.jpg)

Well.....What's in a number anyway?  Nothing!  So, I'm still celebrating all my wonderful blog friends!! You all mean a great deal to me! .....Whether you are "official followers" or not!

" Oh you got to have friends......♪♫ "  -- Bette Midler

** Celebration, Information, & Appreciation **

Hey! I'm so excited! My followers have reached  "50".  I'm sure that number is laughable to bloggers with hundreds and thousands of followers, but to me it is really special. It makes me feel validated, knowing that people are "out there" who enjoy reading my blog. Thank you all so much!

This past January when I attended the writer/spiritual retreat in Des Moines, Iowa, I met some fabulous women. I keep in contact with a few of them, but not very often. One, though, I hear from every morning. Her name is Linda Schmidt. She sends poetry every morning, the main theme being nature, thus naming it: Morning Muse. I've told her over and over that she needs to submit some of her beautiful work somewhere!! I doubt if she has yet, so I decided I'd start to post some of them here. The following one is shorter than usual, and she wrote it yesterday, Mother's Day, which seemed so appropriate:

"One by one, fuzzy goslings slip out
from under the safe cover of mother’s wing.
They greet the dawn, eager to explore
a world of water, wind and sod.
She lets them go,
and whispers prayers to God." -- Linda Schmidt

Isn't that lovely? If enough of you enjoyed it,  I'll add Linda's poetry often. And, if after awhile, you too think she should submit her writing to some places...we'll begin a campaign to send her the confidence she needs!

The picture below is in an area of my tiny formal living room. I took it yesterday in the late afternoon because I loved the way the sunlight, the shadows of the tree outside, and the shadows of the window blinds created such a lovely design on the wall.

One more Mother's Day blog.....Please go to Karrie McAllister is another one of my writer friends whom I've never met in person. I contacted her first, I think!!...after reading something of hers online. That's been a couple of years ago, or more. She pretty much singlehandedly convinced me that, yes I needed a blog, AND, helped me set it up, all through e-mails!! She's quite a gal, writer, mom, adventurer, etc..etc.. Please click on the link above and read her post from yesterday, about being a mom.

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." -- Robert Southey

Sunday, May 9, 2010

** In Honor of Mother's Day **

In honor of Mother's Day, I had breakfast on this lovely glass plate and cup set. (which I whipped up myself, and no, my husband did not serve me breakfast in bed! I much rather have coffee or iced tea, later, on our deck!) I have a set of 8 of these, which were my mom's.

When I was very young, she used these when she was the host of her Bridge Club. Two or three card tables and chairs completely filled our tiny living room. I remember hearing strange phrases like, "Three No Trump", "One Diamond", "Pass", or "No Bid", etc. The funniest of all, of course, was the player that was The Dummy!

I loved seeing my mom get all dressed up and have women friends over to our house. Another happy the book!

Oh, by the way. My breakfast is my absolute favorite: a slice of any kind of pound cake, topped with vanilla flavored low fat yogurt, topped with fresh strawberries, topped with granola cereal! YUM!

And, I drink my coffee black. I make it really weak at home, which is what I prefer, but I can drink just about any kind when I'm out!

"You're not fat. You're just pleasingly plump". -- Rubyism

P.S. I only have one song on my Play List today: "Ruby Baby" by Dion, in tribute to my mother: Ruby!

 This song was really popular in the mid to late 60's (after my parents' divorce). My brother Mike, older sister Jo Ann, and I all loved this song and would jitterbug to it in our living room. (Jo Ann had a 45 record of it and our hi-fi just about wore the grooves off of it.....hey, do you think that's where the phrase "Get Your Groove On" came from??...) Mother was more of the Glenn Miller-type, and we got our kicks out of calling her "Ruby baby"! She would laugh and said, "Oh you kids!"  Ahhh, another sweet memory!

** Happy Mother's Day **

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Although some of our own mothers are deceased, they are still a part of us, aren't they?

This is one of my favorite pictures. It's my mom, my dad, brother Mike and me. It was taken around 1957-1958 in Fort Morgan, Colorado. We were on one of our summer vacation trips visiting relatives.  My two much-older sisters were both in college at that time, so they didn't come along with us.

My mother and I are wearing the ever-so-popular "Mother/Daughter Dresses" which were very "in" at that time. My mother sewed them herself and I thought they were quite special.

We look like the All American Happy Family, don't we? It's hard to believe that just about five years later, my parents divorced. Dad pretty much abandoned us. Mom did the best she could, being thrown into an entirely different life than she wanted, or ever envisioned.

There's so much more to the story, and a great deal will be included in  my book.

"You don't always get everything you want in this life." -- Rubyism

Saturday, May 8, 2010

** My Contest For The Month of May **

I'll be having another contest sometime soon, but I haven't made a decision about the rules or the prize(s).

I have a few different ideas, all quite scathingly brilliant, to once again borrow Ms. Cathy C.'s favorite expression! (The first time I read that on Cathy's blog, I was in shock! I thought I was most likely the only living person who loved that movie, "The Trouble With Angels" and still remembered those lines. They were uttered quite often by Hayley Mills' character: Mary Clancy.)

Okay...since it's almost 1:30 am, I think I'm getting a little loopy, don't you agree?
More to follow tomorrow!

"Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation." ~ Author Unknown

Friday, May 7, 2010

** Colossal News About Tiny Lights **

I've mentioned Tiny Lights several times. It's a "Journal of Personal Narrative";  an online and print publication that I write for. I received their newsletter today, "Sparks" and was so surprised (and thrilled) to see that my fabulous friend, Tammy, is the featureed writer this month on Searchlights and Signal Flares! Way to go, Tammy!! The question for this month was, "What is the difference between lying and pretending?" Please head on over to Tiny Lights and read a little bit about Tammy and her response to the question. After reading it, you'll see why she was the chosen one! Tammy's writing never ceases to amaze me. I always envision myself bowing down to her, like Wayne and Garth, in "Wayne's World"....."I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" 

Each answer is short, so please pop on over there and check them out. Another name you may recognize is one of my newer blog friends: Jenny Matlock! Good to see you on there again, Jenny!

There's also questions for upcoming months, calls for submissions, and a place to sign up for the Sparks newsletter. Anyone can submit an answer to the monthly questions. Just send 'em in, and as long as they're quality writing and not of "unprintable" nature, they will be published!

Tell Susan Bono "hello" and tell her Becky sent ya!!

“A great attitude does much more than turn on the lights in our worlds; it seems to magically connect us to all sorts of serendipitous opportunities that were somehow absent before the change.” -- Unknown

Thursday, May 6, 2010

** Talkin' About My Book & Changin' My Music"

Tonight I decided I'd like to share some tidbits about my book, beginning again with the title, for those of you that are new to my blog. It's part memoir and part current thoughts & observations.
The title is: That Crowbar Changed Everything!

(Yes, I did, indeed, have an "episode" involving a crowbar that may have altered the course of my life.)

Here are just a few chapter names:

Year of the Grasshopper Plague
Armpit of the USA
I Was NOT a Hippie!
He Called Me "The Tank"
Riding the Rails Alone
My Very Own Mayberry
Frostbite From a Turkey Neck

I also plan to include some old B/W photos from my childhood.

And I plan to include some of my mother's favorite sayings. You've seen those before referred to as: "Momisms". But, since my mother's name was Ruby, mine will be called "Rubyisms".

Just writing about it and posting it on my blog, makes me happier & more excited about working away at it!

** I also decided it was time to change the old Play List again. I needed some lively, rockin' songs! **

"We all have our 'good old days' tucked away inside our hearts, and we return to them in daydreams like cats to favorite armchairs." -- Brian Carter

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

** My Beloved Canine Companion **

I can't believe I was able to snap a picture of Tiger, sleeping like this! And, with my cell phone camera! I had to sneak up very close to take it. Neither the sound or the bright flash woke her up! Doesn't she look adorable???    ** I forgot to mention that I particularly wanted a picture of this, because her tongue is sticking out a little bit! I wonder why? Maybe she was giving me "the raspberries"! **

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

** It's a Tea Cup Tuesday **

I'm joining Martha's Favorites Tea Cup Tuesday, via Susan at Writing Straight from the Heart. I hope I'm doing all this correctly!

A couple of weekends ago, when my friends Sherry and Rita and I went on a Girls Weekend Getaway, we stopped at a couple of antique shops and flea markets. I searched  immense areas to find some pretty tea cup and saucer sets that were priced "just right"! This is one of my precious "finds"!
This is a demitasse size set and I just fell in love with it because of it's size and color of flowers, but also because of the fluted edges on the rim of the cup. Kind of petal-like, I think! 
The top of the cup measures about 2 inches, and the plate about 4 inches.
I forgot to take pictures of the bottoms, but it just says: Hand Painted. Made in Japan.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you like my tea cup set!

* Another Crazy Day in Paradise (?) *

The question mark in the title is because Monday had been a somewhat aggravating and somewhat pleasant day. And, it's really a carry-over from the weekend. Hey, I just had that perfect day last Wednesday, so what more can I really expect or hope for? Sometimes, it's those minor irritations, that when they keep repeating themselves (or his-self..) that a person just wants to shut her-self in her office and play on her blog all day! (What was the most pleasant part of my day, you may ask?...Hearing my beautiful chimes tinkling, and being with Tiger....and my son, Scott....or, and my son, Mark, stopped by for a couple of minutes...and..and....Well, I guess it was a pretty good day after all.)'s some "THIS 'N THAT" stuff.

My friend, The Turtle Lady has a page on facebook. She offers daily tips on "relaxing, breathing, generally keeping your cool"...AND because I read her tips, talk to her in person and on the phone sometimes (yes, I did say "my friend"!)...I manage to not blow my top, when I might think  I'd really like to! Please go visit The Turtle Lady and tell her that "Becky" sent ya!

I just found this writer, Kelly O'Connor McNees. She is highlighted on Judith Ryan Hendricks' blog, which is called The Kitchen Table. Click on the link to learn more about Kelly. She helped me discover another writer I wasn't familiar with: Laurie Colvin. I plan on adding both Kelly and Laurie to my list of authors whose books I want to read! That list just keeps on growing!

* Oh, I wanted to mention that whenever I write about any person, or any "product" I am NOT receiving any kind of compensation, whatsoever, from any person or place. I just like to share information about some of my favorite people and things!*

Since it's almost 1:00 am on Tuesday morning, I think I'll just say, Ta - Ta!

"Some days are diamonds, some days are stones." ♪♫♪ -- John Denver

Sunday, May 2, 2010

** Mysterious Minds Work in Mysterious Ways **

(photo courtesy

My mind works in mysterious ways. For the past couple of months, I've thought about how great it would be to make my own custom DVD of just certain scenes from my favorite movies. There would be a great variety, too.....comedies, dramas, musicals, love stories.

Two scenes come immediately to my mind:

1) The movie: The Odd Couple (1968).
     The scene: Felix (Jack Lemmon) & Oscar (Walter Matthau) sitting in the restaurant. Felix's ears keep plugging up because of his sinuses, so he starts making outrageous, honking noises. I laugh myself silly every time I see it. As hilarious as Jack Lemmon is, the droll look on Walter Matthau's face also gets me. As he looks around the restaurant and makes eye contact with customers, his embarrassent is priceless!

2)  The movie: The Sound of Music (1965)
      The scene: When Maria (Julie Andrews) walks down the long aisle in church, wearing her beautiful wedding gown, with the long train, trailing behind her. The music playing is "How Do You Solve a  Problem Like Maria?"  Don't ask me why....It just used to make me cry every single time!

Okay, you get the picture! (Ha! Get it??...the picture?)
What would be some of the movie scenes you'd like to have on your DVD?

"Stupid is as stupid does." -- Forrest Gump