Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Road!

We are somewhere in Indiana surrounded by golden corn fields on either side of the great concrete trail West. We had planned on leaving early this morning, but somehow the final house cleaning took longer than expected. I think it is the cleanest it's been since we moved in! Funny how we put off so many little chores because we didn't have time. We only finally get to those projects as we are about to sell it, but we never get to enjoy it. I hope in Seattle, we mak a priority to take care of those items as soon as they arise. I guess being forced out of my routine will give me the chance to reassess my priorities. For the next few days on our travels West, I will keep you posted on our progress but I'm going to try to concentrate on visiting all of your blogs. Yeah!

Monday, September 26, 2011

On the Move

Five and a half years ago my husband promised we had moved our last time, but I somehow knew we were not finished yet and now we are on the cusp of a great new adventure to the West. I feel like an American pioneer back in the early 1800s.  They packed up all their belongings and traveled across the country in a covered wagon.  They were in search of a better life and the chance to pursue their dreams.  The promise of what lay ahead was worth any perils which might come their way. So they left their families and friends knowing they may never see them again.

On Friday, we will be packing up our covered wagon, a Dodge Grand Caravan, and driving 2400 miles West to Seattle, Washington.  It will be our 8th  home state. Like the pioneer families, I'm excited for the adventures our Westward journey will bring, but the thrill is mellowed by the people I'm leaving behind.
In only 5 years I've become far too attached to the new friends and students who surround me here in Ohio. They made going to work everyday seem more like hanging out with my best buddies.

My students hold a special place in my heart.  In the years I have worked with them, they have grown as skaters but more importantly as people and I hope I influenced them for the better.  I'm honored that I was able to direct them through lessons of dedication, hard work, and overcoming failure which they can use the rest of their lives.  I've watched them grow up and now I must say "good bye".  I realize this sounds a little overly dramatic in a era when everyone is only a Skype call, Facebook notification, or plane flight away but the point is after seeing them almost every day for 5 years, I will miss being in their presence.

I know they will continue to grow and thrive after I leave and I will meet wonderful new friends and students in Seattle who could never replace my Ohio family but only create a new space in my heart.  I dream of the day when my husband wants to stay in one place, but until then I am content meeting more best buddies around the country.

It also makes it easier having all of you blogger best buddies no matter where I live!  Thanks for all the great support and all the new followers!


Monday, September 19, 2011

Worst Movies Ever Blogfest

Happy Monday!

Today I'm participating in Alex J Cavanaugh's the Worst Movies Ever Blogfest!  It was fun to think of all the movies I'd seen.  It was actually hard to come up with 10 though.  I think my brain selectively forgot most of the bad ones I'd seen.  I had to look up our old Netflix ratings to see which movies I had given 1 star to.

Runners Up:

 Cedar Rapids, Dinner for Schmucks, Underdog, X-Men, Road Trip, Marmaduke,  Brother Bear, Mystery Men,

Here are my 10 worst movies:

10.  House of Flying Daggers- I think the writers of this one forgot they were supposed to write a story.  The scenery was beautiful but that's all it had.

9.  Avatar- I'm sorry I know lots of people loved this, but I expected more than fancy graphics.

8.  The Little Shop of Horrors-  A giant human eating plant and  musical?!

7.  Mega Mind- Just because Will Ferrell is in  a movie doesn't mean it will be funny.

6.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Parents have enough troubles, do we really want movies to advocate bad behavior in kids?

5.  2 Fast 2 Furious- I didn't really think the first one was that great, but the sequel crashed and burned.

4.  Knocked Up- Embarrassing to watch, not even funny

3.  Date Night- I love Tina Fey and Steve Carell so I assumed I was going to be crying with laughter. But, instead of being clever it tried to get cheap laughs with far too many sexual references.  It could have been a good movie but it was simply disappointing.

2.  Sweeny Todd- I guess I'm just not a fan of chopping people up and turning them into pies.  I actually had to stop watching because I thought I was going to be sick.

And the  Number 1 worst movie goes to.....

  Johnny Mnemonic- There isn't even anything that needs to be said about this one!

Check out Alex's blog to find all the other entries.

What are the worst movies you've ever seen?  Is there a pattern to movies you don't like?


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Awards Yeah!

Wow, I can't believe I got two awards this week!  Yeah!  Thanks to Mary at Waibel World and Pk-Hrezo for bestowing the Leibster Award on me!

This is awarded to bloggers with less than 200 followers and then passed on to 5 other blogger friends.
Here is the list of my awesome buddies:

Angela from Cheerios and Pearls Stories
Stacy from Stacy S Jensen
Abby from Something to Write About
Laila from Untroubled Kingdom of Laila Knight
Alyssa from Life Is Good

I also was given the Versatile Blogger Award by Carla over at Carla's Writing World.  Woo Hoo!
I'm supposed to tell you 7 facts about me.

1. I love trying to cook new and exotic ethnic dishes (no they don't always work out)
2. I cry in almost every movie I see, even in animated ones
3. I got married on the ice.
4. I've lived in 7 different states of America and we're about to add #8
5. I have an overly aggressive fear of sharks (saw Jaws as a kid and I imagined fins in every body of water even pools!)
6. My son says I'm terrible at video games
7. I eat the same thing for breakfast every day:  oatmeal, blueberries and pecans and a cup of hot tea- sounds boring I know but I love it that way! :)

I'm passing this one to :

M Pax  over at Wistful Nebulae
Shallee at Shallee McArthur
Lynda at W.I. P It


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Jess!

Jess at 3 months
After 26 hours of labor, 15 years ago today, I became a mom for the first time.  I stared at the tiny little bundle in my arms and wondered what our future would hold.  I was instantly in love with her. Her dark almost black eyes stared up at me, trusting my every move. I felt too young to be responsible for this tiny human.  My husband and I still felt like kids. Did we really know enough about life to guide her?
I had no idea how proud I would be of her 15 years later!  I think now I'm learning more from her than she is from me.  She is always helping me with computer stuff and encouraging me to accomplish my goals.  Yesterday she advised me to stop cleaning and just sit down and write.
Lately I have cherished our early morning writing/editing sessions.  We sit with a cup of tea and laugh while we examine the silly sentences we have committed to the page.  I'm still in awe that she has finished her first novel before me!

And then there is two passions other than family are writing and skating.  When she and her sister finally decided they loved it, I was thrilled.  I could now share my love of the sport with them and it has been an incredible journey.

I can't wait to see what the next 15 years bring for her!

Stop by her blog over at Write Skate Dream and give her a big Happy Birthday! She would love to get 2 more followers to bring her to 100 today!

Jess doing a back spiral :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Watching Willow Watts Launch Party

Today I'm participating in the Watching Willow Watts Launch Party over at Talli Roland's blog.  It's her second novel and I can't wait to read it. In the book, Willow gets thrust into instant fame because of her You-Tube video in which she impersonates Marilyn Monroe.

 It's available on Amazon as an e-book for only 2.99 so head on over and check it out.

Queen Elizabeth's coronation from Wikipedia
If I could be anyone, I'd be... This was a difficult question for me to answer because I honestly am happy just being little old me.  Everyone has their own problems that they have to live with and so far I've been pretty lucky with mine.  That being said, if I had to choose, I would choose someone who lived an extraordinary life and therefore I pick....  Queen Elizabeth I.

Yes, she was locked in the Tower by her sister and her mother was beheaded by her father the King, but this woman was a leader.  She had the guts to believe in her own ideas and to not be swayed by anyone.  Many advised her to marry and produce an heir. But she decided if she couldn't marry the man she desired, she wanted only to be married to England.  Wow that's courage!    

If I had to be a man... I would choose Benjamin Franklin, because he got to travel around the world and I love all his cool experiments!

I also thought if I were to choose a fictional character, I think I would be Princess Leia.  I mean who wouldn't want to marry Han Solo?

So who would you be?


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do Not Remove

First of all I want to thank all my wonderful new followers!  I'm excited to get to know all of you through your blogs as well!

My husband loves to read.  He's read so many books from our local library that he only finds the New Book section interesting. So he decided to order books from different libraries across the state in order to find enough to read.

When his ordered books came in he was like my son at Christmas.  He quickly ripped off the wrapping and threw it away.  He totally ignored the big bold letters that said, "Do Not Remove."  I found it in the trash the next day.

I showed it to him and he admitted tossing it out, he still didn't see why it was bad.  I had to point it out to him.  I thought, "Do you even have eyes?!" (That's my son's favorite line.)  He read the message and finally understood the problem.
He felt a little silly handing the book back in to the librarian telling her he didn't know he wasn't supposed to remove the sleeve.

It makes me wonder what things I have missed that are right in front of my face.

I also want to say how much fun I've had being a part of the Campaign!  I can't believe how many talented writers are out there posting there works.  It's been great to read all the wonderful flash fiction.  It amazes me how those few beginning words can conjure up so many different situations!



Friday, September 9, 2011

Greedy squirrel

Greedy Squirrel eating all the bird seed.

I had a nice lunch with the kids at Panera Bread. They were on their way out the door. My left hand balanced Alyssa's left-over bread and my cup of water. My right hand held keys and Ryan's iced tea.
Everything was going well.

Then, I sensed a free sample of icing drizzeled bread approaching. Must try free bread, my inner animal brain thought.  I rebalanced the items, reached for the bread and put into mouth. Hmmmmmmm. A server moved in front of me and I altered my course.  The water cup shifted.....Ooooooh nooooooooo can ....not...catch
Water spills onto floor. Server gives me evil eye. My mouth, filled with free bread, attempts to say "Sorry". She mutters curses under her breath as she sees me walk out. I call the kids back for assistance and rush back in. I grab napkins and wipe it up but the server never sees.

She sees me only as the greedy squirrel I am.


Have a great weekend!
We're going to competition this weekend.  Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Campaign Challenge

Okay here is the first challenge for all you Platform Builder Campaigners.  The assignment is to write a piece of flash fiction of 200 words or less.  It must begin with the words "The door swung open" and for an extra challenge end with the words, "the door swung shut" and keep it to 200 words exactly.   Hop on over to Rachael Harrie to get more info.  Here's my entry.  Hope you like it.

The door swung open before I was ready.  I had to calm down, had to focus.  I was shaking not from the cold, from my nerves.  I'd been waiting for this all my life.  Here and now I could prove who I was, show the world what I was made of.  Time slowed.  A million thoughts raced through my head as my coach pushed me to the ice.  All those hours of training came down to these 4 minutes.  My stomach twisted.    
     I glided to my starting pose, inhaled and waited for my music.  It seemed like forever.  Then the silky smooth strains of the violin began.  I was no longer afraid.  I felt strong as I skated over the glass-like surface of the ice.  I felt free.  I loved the feeling of the cool breeze tugging at my hair and the smell of the ice... it's cold and moist... and inexplicable.  It's the smell of freedom.  As I soared into the air my mind was clear and happy.  I didn't care what the world thought of me.  I knew who I was.  That's what mattered.  My music stopped.  I bowed and skated off and the rink door swung shut.  


Check out all the great entries over at Rach Writes and don't forget to vote for your favorites. If you like mine, I'm number 236.  :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthday Fun

Gramps with the family
Hope everyone had a fun weekend!

We had a wonderful time celebrating my Grandpa's 90th birthday. He loved having everyone together. Here's how the weekend went:
The 5 cousins swam, ran around and played games together.

The grown-ups spent time sitting on the porch looking out at the water and chatting.

Gramps reflected on his long and full life and entertained us with crazy stories from his past.

Ryan taught him how to use the i-pad.

He took Ryan fishing.          

Jessica and I got some writing done, though I didn't come close to finishing my first 5 chapters.  Oh well I was really there to spend time with people anyway.

Birthday cake, candles, presents and lots of pictures and laughing!

All in all.... great memories made.

Now it's time to get back to work and back to checking all your great blogs.  I'll leave you with some more pictures of our weekend.  :)


My brother, my mom, me and Gramps
Ryan and Gramps fishin

The cousins swimming

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Weekend!

 I had a great time with all of the awesome blogfests this past week.  Thanks to Tara Tyler for her fun Blogoversary party and Christine Tyler for her Sparkfest.  I also want to thank Alyssa over at Life is Good for giving me some super cool awards!  Thanks Alyssa!

I'm also excited to be part of the Campaigners over at Rachael Harrie's blog. But today, I'm looking forward to a long weekend of some R&R up in Northern Michigan.  We are going to celebrate my Grandpa's 90th birthday!  We will be staying at his cottage on a lake.  I love waking up early and watching the sun rise over the mirror-like surface.  It has always been a great place for me to clear my thoughts and write.  Yeah!  Maybe I'll come back with my first 5 chapters done! Hope you all have a great weekend.

I'll pass these awards on when I return on Tuesday and I will also check out all my fellow campaigner's blogs as well.