Monday, May 30, 2011

* Tuesday's Tidbits *

As some of you know, I like to participate in different blog memes. At times, they're about table settings (tablescapes), or tea cup collections, which of course require photos. And as some of you also know, I've been lamenting for a LONG time about the pictures my camera takes. Very Poor Quality. Yet I still love to play around with it and take photos, especially when sunlight and shadows are involved. Below are some I took in my dining room, as the sun was going down Sunday evening. (if you click on each photo, you'll be able to view a really BIG picture!)

The one above was taken at table level. I love both the light and shadows.

I like the way the sun shown on the goblet and napkin in this one.

This one has nice sunlight and shadows, as the sun came through the blinds.

I had a great weekend, just doing the usual things around the house. I also attended our Saturday Writers meeting and had lunch afterwards, with writer friends of course! Anything relating to writing is fabulous, you know

I truly hope all of you had a wonderful weekend, no matter where you are or what you did. 

Hello & Welcome to The Thumber, my newest follower! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." ~ Ansel Adams

"Writing is my time machine, takes me to the precise time and place I belong."  ~Jeb Dickerson

* Memorial Day 2011 *

Quick post for today: I just wanted to say that every Memorial Day I honestly remember why we "celebrate." It used to be known as Decoration Day years ago. That's because it was the day families and friends laid wreaths and other patriotic decorations on loved ones graves....those who died in wars.

During our barbecues, picnics, and parties celebrating the beginning of summer, let's remember why it's possible that we're here today. And although I think it's necessary to remember and thank those who have died (and those hundreds/thousands who have been maimed in wars), I also believe in the quote below:

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

* I Wonder *


This is my 3rd "I Wonder" posts, which I'll try to do on Fridays. (Yes, unfortunately that is me on the right....without any makeup, and my glasses are on top of my head. Not one of my better photos I must say, but hey....I've shown bad photos of myself before.....and at least some of you keep returning!)

I Wonder : What would I be doing at this stage of my life if I hadn't discovered that I could actually write, and that I wanted to be a writer?? ...... It was ten years ago this month when my estranged dad was very ill and not expected to live another 24 hours. After it was obvious it wasn't his time yet, we came back home from Iowa and I sat down at my computer, feeling compelled to write. The story just flowed out of my fingertips.....And that story is what landed me my first writing "job"....a non-paying position as a guest columnist in our local newspaper! A few years later, an updated version of it was accepted by Chicken Soup for the Soul; Divorce & Recovery. Some of you have read it. It's the story about my parents' divorce when I was a young girl, some of the effects it had on me, and the resulting estrangement from my dad.

I've said that when my memoir is finished, I'm going to dedicate it to him in this way: "For my dad, because if it wasn't for him, both literally and figuratively, I wouldn't be a writer."

"If you look for and discover the meaning in the random events that happen in your life, everything will change. You will be empowered in a new way, feel a greater connection to the Universe and will step forward with confidence and clarity to live the life of your dreams, knowing that everything does indeed happen for a reason." -- Gail Lynne Goodwin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

* Blogger Observations *

* And I see that we all seem to have "lost" our followers for a couple of days now. Hoping to see all your lovely faces or icons again very soon!

* I've read on several blogs that some of you are still having difficulty trying to leave comments, even on your own blogs. I think I know what is happening, because I noticed it, too....and I figured it least for me.

If you sign-in immediately at the top right corner of your blog, and then go blogging and commenting, everything works fine. If you wait until you're in the comment box and try to sign usually takes me 3 Times to click on "Publish Your Comment", until the sign-in box pops up! I don't know why, but it's as if the Magic Number is 3! 

I'll be interested to find out if any of you try that, and if it also works for you!

"Never let a computer know you're in a hurry." ~ Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

* The 200th Follower Winner Is.....*

Thanks again to everyone who entered my 200th Follower Contest! It was great fun reading all the different comments and knowing that there are people out there who enjoy reading my blog.

And so without further ado....the winner, according to is....."Mo" of Rose Petals from Heaven!!

(courtesy google)

Congratulations, Mo!! Please e-mail your mailing address and I'll send the goodies asap!

** Added Wednesday, May 25th: I committed a big faux paus! I forgot to acknowledge my newest followers: Dayle & Lazarus! Thank you so much. I hope you will stop by often and enjoy what you see and read. **

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

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Blissfully "Normal" 24 Hours!

If you read my post of Friday, May 20th, you'll understand the "normal" I'm referring to. And yes, I'll write about it later. I just wanted to mention the joy I experienced yesterday....enjoying the beautiful sunny, summery day....sometimes out on my deck, but mostly looking out through the windows as I did the cleaning, organizing, rearranging...listening to music or the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. I know that many of you will think I've truly lost my mind this time, but don't you ever take delight in those kinds of days? Believe me, it probably won't last very long, but my mood has already continued on today!

OK...the other thing is this: Please don't forget about my "200th Follower Contest." You have until midnight  (CDT) tomorrow night the 23rd of May. I'll announce the winner sometime on May 24th. ALSO, if you think you already commented on the link to enter, please go back and check. I know of at least one of those comments that got Lost in Outer Blogger Space. Fortunately, Lisa went back and checked!

Until later....Please remember:

"I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor." -- D.H. Lawrence

Friday, May 20, 2011

* Back to Normal....Maybe? *

What is normal, anyway? These days I don't know. Or if there even is a "normal" anymore. My blog buddy, Toby Speed, wrote an excellent post yesterday called "Things I miss about the low-tech life." I felt as if she read a part of my mind, a part that I hadn't even listened to yet. Ahhh, so that's what's wrong with me! I'm a semi-techno-junkie. I love my blog friends and being able to find fast answers to earth shattering questions on what was the actor's name in that bit part in that little known movie from 1946?

I'm not on Twitter yet, and I barely log in to Facebook anymore. I just never got the whole point of Facebook, I guess, especially since I have a blog and much rather spend time in blogland. And, I have a Blackberry which I'm kinda, sorta addicted to. ☺

So, thank you, Toby! This weekend, I am taking a semi-vacation from Techno-Land. If you happen to stop by, you just might see me doing one or more of the household chores below....AND with a smile on my face!

 I also plan on putting pen to paper and mailing some handwritten notes.

 AND, I plan to do a little journaling in addition to my "normal" writing on my laptop.

What about you? Do you feel stressed, flying through cyberspace at excessive speeds? Do you try to keep a happy medium of old versus new? And if

“Slow down and enjoy life. It's not only the scenery you miss by going too fast - you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” -- Eddie Cantor

* I Wonder *

This is my 2nd attempt at my new "I Wonder" posts, which I'll try to do on Fridays. (Yes, unfortunately that is me on the right....without any makeup, and my glasses are on top of my head. Not one of my better photos I must say, but hey....I've shown bad photos of myself before.....and at least some of you keep returning!)

I Wonder: If it will ever quit raining here.

I Wonder: Why most of the foods I love aren't good for me.

I WonderIf I'll ever witness a total eclipse of the sun, in person. (this is one of my most desired wishes!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

* Some Comments Still Missing *

I just discovered that some of the comments I thought were only temporarily missing, appear to be completely Lost in Blogger Space. While this is annoying in know...all those grand compliments I receive from time to time ☺.... I'm worried that some might be missing from the 200th Follower Contest comments.

Which means, I hope everyone goes back to here  to double check and make sure your comment is there! I don't want anyone to be left out. So, please check it and if you don't see yours, go ahead and leave a new one!!

"If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let'em go, because, man, they're gone."-- Jack Handey

Monday, May 16, 2011

Books Like You've Never Seen Before

I watched the most amazing story last night on the CBS Sunday Evening News. It was about an artist who is so extremely talented, I can't possibly come up with enough words to describe him. I would say he is also a sculptor. A sculptor of books

His name is Brian Dettmer, he lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and he makes magnificent art out of old books. (Actually, I'd describe his work "inside" old books.) I contacted Mr. Dettmer last night via e-mail, requesting permission to share some of his beautiful creations on my blog. He replied and graciously agreed, as long as I credit it properly.

Get ready for some jaw-dropping moments!

(The above three photos were borrowed, with permission, from Brian Dettmer's web site.)

Toward the beginning of his interview, Brian stated that he understands some book lovers will only see mutilated books, but he only uses vintage non-fiction: old medical books, old encyclopedias, old history books. Books that would otherwise be headed to trash dumps.

Click on Brian's link to learn more about him and see many more of these fabulous works of art. You can also see the entire interview on CBS News.

Thank you again, Brian, for allowing me to showcase a minuscule amount of your heart-filled work.

And, Hello & Welcome to Anita, Sophie Li, M, and Mdkline, my newest followers! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see! Thank you!

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” -- Thomas Merton

Saturday, May 14, 2011

* This 'n That on a Saturday Night *

I posted a gadget on the top right side bar, to remind everyone of my contest celebrating 200 Followers! Don't forget to enter and tell all your blog buddies, because there are No Rules! Just leave a comment on the May 9th post. That's it. Contest ends at midnight on May 23rd.
Someone left a comment the other day that one of the things she likes about my blog is the music in my Play List. That made me so happy, because I really love all kinds of music! I've had a lot of fun putting together my play lists, too. Since it doesn't automatically start anymore, I'd like to point out how diverse the songs are. When you're in the mood to listen, just click on a song. It's set on Shuffle, so you could experience many genres in just a few short minutes. Here are just a few: Perry Como, Cold Play, Ray Charles, Led Zeppelin, Jackie Wilson, Super Tramp, Glenn Miller, Patsy Cline, and The Temptations!

Have you ever cleaned out an old purse and found a few loose coins in the bottom? Well...I cleaned out one the other day and found a Five Dollar Bill. It was inside an old beat up envelope and was almost tossed in the trash! Just a reminder....look really well before you throw things away! 
"Wonderful friends, all kinds of music, and a few dollars in my purse.....what more could I possibly want?" --  Becky Povich 
P.S. Doh! After posting my newest post on May 16, I realized I forgot to add BOOKS!! I also need and want books!!

Friday, May 13, 2011


Well, hasn't the past 24 hours been unusual, strange and just plain aggravating?! How many of us are just a little addicted to our blog(s) and those of our friends? After my initial panic, I found some information about Blogger's problem and shared it with everyone I have e-mail addresses for. Enough about that.

At the end of Wednesday's post, I announced my idea about having a weekly post called "I Wonder."  I'm not totally sure what I'll post on those days, but for now I'll try to have it on Fridays.

I Wonder: If our country has the man-power and knowledge to build a massive space program, wouldn't you think they could figure out a way to transfer flood waters to the drought areas?

I Wonder : I can't imagine what the execs on Two and a Half Men were thinking when they chose Ashton Kutcher to "replace" Charlie Sheen. Say it ain't so!

"Wonder is the beginning of wisdom." -- Greek Proverb


I just read this online. Their entire statement is below.  Hopefully, they will have everything fixed soon!!

Blogger is Back!!

What a frustrating day. We’re very sorry that you’ve been unable to publish to Blogger for the past 20.5 hours. We’re nearly back to normal — you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored. Thank you for your patience while we fix this situation. We use Blogger for our own blogs, so we’ve also felt your pain.

Here’s what happened: during scheduled maintenance work Wednesday night, we experienced some data corruption that impacted Blogger’s behavior. Since then, bloggers and readers may have experienced a variety of anomalies including intermittent outages, disappearing posts, and arriving at unintended blogs or error pages. A small subset of Blogger users (we estimate 0.16%) may have encountered additional problems specific to their accounts. Yesterday we returned Blogger to a pre-maintenance state and placed the service in read-only mode while we worked on restoring all content: that’s why you haven’t been able to publish. We rolled back to a version of Blogger as of Wednesday May 11th, so your posts since then were temporarily removed. Those are the posts that we’re in the progress of restoring.

Again, we are very sorry for the impact to our authors and readers. We try hard to ensure Blogger is always available for you to share your thoughts and opinions with the world, and we’ll do our best to prevent this from happening again.

Posted by Eddie Kessler, Tech Lead/Manager, Blogger

* Blogger is Finally Working...BUT

Quick Post! I just checked again to see if Blogger was working....and it appears to be....BUT, it is not up-to-date!! No new posts!! Eeeeek!

Monday, May 9, 2011

* Thank You Give-Away *

In honor of reaching a couple of personal blog milestones: over 500 Posts and 200 Followers, (which I just noticed is 201 Followers) I'm having a give-away. I'd like to thank everyone who reads my blog, whether you're a follower or not, and whether you leave comments or not. It's an honor and pleasure just having visitors, especially the ones that come back from time to time. That means I'm doing something right, I guess!
(200!! art courtesy of:

In order to be entered in this give-away, I ask that you just leave a comment, stating what you like about my blog....not about me personally...but about my blog. It would be really nice if you'd also be a follower, but that's not a requirement this time. You may certainly mention it on your blog, but again, not a requirement.

 Mary Engelbreit tote bag approx 9" x 9" - THANK A TEACHER.
Behind the bookmark is a striped 4" x 3" note pad with pen (not a ME product)
 Chicken Soup for the Soul; Love Stories (I have a story in it)
one pair of soft and warm Chicken Soup for the Soul socks
 a set of 3 decorative pens, and a set of 2 matchbook style note pads
 Wall Word Kit that spells FAMILY
 information about kit
showing the finished product
Thin Threads; More Real Stories of Life Changing Moments (I have a story in it)
And a Mary Engelbreit journal, 5" x 7"

Yes, YOU could be the winner of all these goodies, (I apologize for the inferior photos. One of these days, I'm going to get a new camera. How many months have I been saying that!?) if you just leave a comment between tonight, May 9th and May 23rd at midnight CDT. I'll announce the winner sometime on May 24th. I hope many of you will leave a comment to help me celebrate!  Thanks again!

*Added note 5/10/11: I inadvertantly forgot to welcome my newest followers! Duh! Boy, do I feel bad!  Hello Kristine, Marydon & Buttercup! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see!

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." ~Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, May 8, 2011

* Happy Mother's Day *

This is a Rerun from last year's Mother's Day post. I decided to share it again today.

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. Holidays were dismal, though, and life in general was gloomy.

There's much more to the story, and some of it will be included in my book.

(Mother's name was Ruby. Below is one of her much spouted quotes, which I despised and swore I would never say to MY kids! The meaning of it was: You have to suffer in life and the only time you get what you really want is when you get to Heaven! I don't think I have to tell you that I didn't buy that one bit. I believe life is about happiness and joy and love and laughter....and going out there and finding your bliss!!

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

* And The Winner Is......*

So, did you jump out of bed this lovely Sunday, Mother's Day....because you couldn't wait to see who won my book give-away?? Well, wait no longer.....but first.....I truly wish I had books to give away to every single participant.....but alas, I do not.

Okay....the winner of Gone With a Handsomer Man is.......Joyce Lansky!!

Congratulations, Joyce!!! Please send your mailing address to me:

I'll be back later today with other postings, but wanted to announce the winner now.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!! And Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there!

♫♪ "Oh what a beautiful morning.....Oh what a beautiful day..." ♫♪ -- lyric by Oscar Hammerstein II

Saturday, May 7, 2011

* Books, Contests, and 200 Followers! *

* Yesterday I received an e-mail from Angela Mackintosh of WOW! Women on Writing  telling me I'd won a copy of Mari McCarthy's new workbook, Peace of Mind and Body: 27 Days of Journaling to Health and Happiness.  I am so excited! This book definitely sounds like something I need. Maybe it will help me conquer writer's block and self-sabotage....and....?  The possibilities are endless!

* Remember my small collection of different characters holding books? I posted some photos last November of small statues of a Santa, a duck, and an angel, all holding books? Well...I have a new addition to my collection! I found it at a dollar store....yep, it cost $1.00! And it is adorable!! The only difference with this new statue is the book is closed instead of open. Isn't she sweet, holding her book to her heart and looking so happy? She must've just finished reading something wonderful. What book could it be? So many to dream about.
I love the way her dress hangs, as if the wind is gently blowing.

And look at that straw hat with the sweet flower on the side.

Pink purse, black shoes and white socks!
And look at that beautiful hair!

* In addition to this little girl, I bought another little statue or two since Christmas, plus I received an adorable one as a gift from a dear writer friend. I don't think I ever posted photos of them, so I'll try to do that next week sometime.

* Tonight at midnight, I'll let choose the winner of Gone With a Handsomer Man. I'd like to say thank you to everyone who participated in my give-away....and particularly JOLENE who just became my 200th Follower about 9:30 pm this evening! Thank you and welcome, Jolene! I hope you always enjoy stopping at my blog and will come back often.
* When I announce the winner tomorrow of GWAHM, I'll also announce whatever I come up with, to celebrate reaching the 200 Follower Milestone! I remember how thrilled I was when I reached 50 followers, 75, and then 100, and on. It really amazes me and I thank each and every one of you, no matter how or why you found me.....I'm so very happy you did! ♥

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” -- Mark Twain

Friday, May 6, 2011

* Book Give-Away Deadline Nearing *

If you haven't entered my contest yet to win an autographed copy of Michael Lee West's newest novel, Gone With a Handsomer Man, you still have a little more time! Entries end tomorrow night, Saturday May 7th, at midnight Central Daylight Time.

Please read the rules here.

Thanks so much to everyone who has already entered. Good Luck!

"Luck is believing you're lucky." -- Tennessee Williams

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

* Milestones, Readings & Writings *

I just realized my number of followers is approaching 200! So, I decided to check the number of posts I've made since I began my blog. I've seen people celebrate when they reach 500 posts, and I thought I might be nearing that number, too.

Well, guess what?? I now have 505 posts! SO....when I do reach 200 Followers, I'll have some kind of celebration. What kind, you may ask? I don't know yet! But I'll let everyone in on it, as soon as I know!

On a different subject, I attended my Coffee & Critique group this morning and read one of the chapters from my book. I was so pleased with everyone's reactions and their suggestions. When I write something that I think is funny, it's obvious that I also want others to think the same thing....and they did!

For those of you who have just begun reading my blog, I'm writing what I've referred to as my memoir, but it also has current happenings, thoughts &'s a Memoir + More!

The other day when I posted about books' first sentences....I considered sharing the opening sentences of MY book, but it just didn't seem right at that time. Tonight, though, I'd like to post them and ask what you think. Would the following open lines pique your interest??

My mother told me in so many words she thought I was nuts. She convinced herself that my bizarre accident involving a) my head, and b) a crowbar, caused brain damage, triggering my erratic and uncharacteristic behavior. At least in her opinion.

And finally: Thanks and welcome to my three newest followers: Nonna Beach, Summer Ross, and Ames! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see!

** Note: added Monday, May 4th, at 10:00 am CDT:  To clarify Donna's statement and respond to JFC's in the Comments below....I did NOT have a savory past or a misspent youth! Last year, when a few of us writer gals got together during the Christmas holiday, we talked about our critique group and how we were going over our alloted time, sometimes. SO, Donna said she was going to bring a timer, or a miniture asian gong. I knew exactly what she was talking about :   
BUT, in my usual mixed up, dyxlexia of the mouth way, I told her, "Don't forget to bring your bong!"

Monday, May 2, 2011

* It's Only Monday and I Still Think It's Tuesday *

Thanks to Dianna at Write in the Midwest for this lovely blog award:
"Stylish Blogger Award"

I'm going to post Musical Things that some of you may already know about me, but some also may not.

1) I love to dance, anywhere, anytime; even if it's only to the music in my head!

2) I really think that I can sing! ☺

3) When I was "40-something", I took flute lessons. I quit after a few months because my teacher, who was probably 10 years younger than me, yelled at me when I played the wrong notes, and treated me like a child-student.

4) I desperately wanted to take piano lessons when I was young, but we didn't have a piano. I told my mom and the school principal that I'd just practice at school, on their piano. Nobody thought that was a good idea, except me.

5) I played First Clarinet in my grade school band. I really liked it and wished I would've continued on with that for years and years.

6) I tap-danced on The Admiral, a St.Louis excursion boat, in the 1950's. I was only 5 years old, but I still remember it so well. I wore a little satin outfit and my shiny, black tap shoes. It was really exciting!

7) When I was a sophmore in high school, I taught myself how to play chords on my cheapie acoustic guitar, and I sang "folk songs"! I got blisters and callouses on my fingers from playing so often.

Anyone who would like to receive the above award, please help yourself! I'm not sticking to any certain rules, and I don't expect anyone else to, either.

Thanks and welcome to my newest followers! JL, Kathy, Lavender Dreamer, and Once We Were Faeries-Judy! I hope you'll stop by often and always enjoy what you read and see!

"I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music." --  George Eliot