Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Found this on Stray Thoughts and thought it would be interesting. Thanks, Barbara!

The rules: post the first line of the first post for each month from your blog.

Here I go:


It's time to get back to work and to start on those goals.

Ouch... that stings. I didn't do a good job AT ALL at keeping the goals I had set for myself. Hopefully 2007 will be better.


DH and I drove to Florida over the weekend and met a charming couple.

Wow, the time flies. We bought our place in Florida from these people... I hope they are having a great life. I've lost their address, but hope one day to catch back up with them.


The Green Sister, aka Janna Thomaston, sat crosslegged at the coffee table eating her favorite snack with her faithful hedgehog, Clarence, sitting beside the plate.

Ah... I remember this. The Green Sister-- a character created for a writing prompt from my friend, Marianne, using Find your secret superhero identity. It turned into a full-fledged fun story with, eventually, its own blogsite. One of my goals for this year is to continue it... I had a lot of fun with it.


Mark looked at her a minute longer and then shrugged. "The last I heard from her she was in Falstaff, working with Dr. Defoe out there."

The Green Sister continues.


As they followed the man out of the building and into a van idling beside the curb, Janna kept looking for anything out of the ordinary...anything that might give her a clue as to what was going on.

And continues.


Janna pretended she didn't see the looks Mark and Lee were giving her and, thankfully, they went back to discussing what they knew of Nancy the Black and her activities from before.

And continues.


The men shook their heads, trying to clear the fuzziness that was threatening to overtake them.

And continues.


Good afternoon, all. I've not been home long.

At least it's not The Green Sister! lol Thankfully, Marianne suggested The Green Sister be given a blog of her own. As she so gently pointed out, anyone who stumbled across my blog for the first time the past couple of months would be completely loss. So... again... a big hug of gratitude, M!


Several weeks ago, Marianne told our writing group about a contest at The Story Starter.

Yep... the grand announcement. I have to admit, I was SO excited!!


Play Monday Madness.

Those of you who have been around awhile know I'm addicted to memes. This is one I really enjoy.


It's been a very busy couple of weeks.

That could be the story of my entire year! I thought when I quit work and Bob retired, we'd have MORE time to do things. HA!!!


For your feasting enjoyment, courtesy of Friday's Feast, I present:

Feast One Hundred & Twenty

And, there you have it... a year at a glance, sort of :-)

This will be my last post of the year. I want to thank everyone who takes the time to read my blog. I feel very fortunate to have met so many wonderful people. Here's hoping that 2007 will find all of us happy, healthy, and hope-filled. I love you all!

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Bit of Everything

I know that tomorrow will be a busy day, so I'm cheating and posting tonight. And... it's packed full of fun things. Thanks, blogfriends :-)

Borrowed this (borrowed? Nah... I stole the heck out of from Jenshina401. Thanks!!!

You Are A Hazelnut Tree

You're a charmer with a killer sense of humor.
You are very demanding, but you can also be very understanding.
No matter what, you always make a lasting impression - you're quite popular.
Passionate, you are an active fighter for social causes and politics.
In general, you are moody, honest, a perfectionist, and very sexual.

And, it turns out I'm NOT an art expert. Took this quiz from Bonnie's site and got 8 out of 16. Sorry, looks like something that needs to be cleaned out of the refrigerator.

But... even if I don't know art.... I did find out that

My blog is worth $241,623.12.
How much is your blog worth?

Thanks, Shawnee!

This is a day for "borrowing".... here's one from Tammy:

Twas the Month After Christmas

Twas the month after Christmas and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste.
All the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt~

I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So~away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie~not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore~
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

~Author Unknown

Feast One Hundred & Twenty Four

Sorry for not posting this week, but I've been recovering from a wonderful Christmas. All the kids were here.

It was a blast. Of course, it's also tiring, so Tuesday and Wednesday I spent recovering (it's funny how it takes longer to recover from things when you are older, isn't it?) and yesterday I started to take down Christmas. I know, I's "way too early." I LOVE Christmas... I want to start decorating the Friday after (we spend Thanksgiving weekend in Charleston, SC, every year, though, so it doesn't get started 'til Monday normally). On the flipside, though, once Christmas is over... it's over and I want my house back. So... I'm nearly finished with that. And, I remembered today was Friday, so... with no further ado, here's the latest installment of Friday's Feast.

How do you usually celebrate on New Year's Eve? We don't have a "usually." Sometimes we'll go down to a friend's... he always has a cookout New Year's Eve. Other times we'll go to the club and celebrate there. This year we're thinking about doing one of those "hotel deals" where you get the party, dinner, and a room. I'll let you know when we know :-)

Name one thing unexpected that happened to you in 2006. I won first place in a writing contest. It was very exciting.

Where was your favorite place that you visited in 2006? Our place in Eastpoint. We don't get down there nearly as often as we would like to, but it's a wonderful get-away.

Main Course
What resolution is your top priority for 2007? My writing. DH gave me several writing books I'd been wanting (thank heavens for Amazon and their wish list!) and is encouraging me to finish what I've started. I have two short stories I am planning on getting off before the end of the year and then buckling down to one of the novels. Not sure which one, though.

Using just three words, describe 2006. friend-filled, fun, fulfilling

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Almost Done -- a message from Her Most Serene Highness Judy

I really, truly meant to post Friday's Feast yesterday, but we were frantically rushing to get everything done before Bekah and Anthony got here. We managed to get the cleaning done, the "condo" ready, and SOME of the stocking stuffers bought. I still have two more items for the stockings and then we're good to go. I dread getting back to town today, but... oh, well.

Anyway, I'm stealing today's column from Marianne, who always manages to come up with some of the neatest "fun things" for blogs. Stop by and say "hello"... tell her Judy sent you ;-)

From my Yahoo horoscope:

If you have too many ambitions, you may also soon have too many disappointments!

Changes at work are afoot. You may get a promotion or an offer you can't refuse from a rival firm. Actually, what's most appealing is an opportunity to strike out on your own. Weigh all your options carefully.

The quickie: I might get too many disappointments, but I'd just as soon have the disappointments as live without the dream that makes up the ambitions. So, it's a trade-off. The second one? Pffft.... we're already out on our own... silly Yahoo.

And, from Humorscope:

Aries (March 21 - April 19)
You will begin a spiritual journey. The karmic chaos which has surrounded you begins to settle into a new pattern. Also, you will become strangely fascinated by electric juicers.

I like the idea of the karmic chaos settling... maybe I can find the time to write and send out all the short stories I want to (note: the many ambitions mentioned in the Yahoo horoscope.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas (in case I don't get the chance to post again before Monday), I am:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Most Serene Highness Lady Judy the Herbaceous of Lower Hellswicke
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Threesome


Onesome: Plenty-- of time, take a deep breath. Overnight/Saturday delivery could work for you... So could a trip a few hundred miles away if you're into shopping on Sunday! How are you doing? Do you have it together? I'm through with my shopping, except for one thing for my mom. Unfortunately, it's her big present. I was all set... knew just what I wanted... got to the store and..... they were sold out. So, I've had to regroup and decide on something different. Now we know and just have to run to the store this morning and get it.

Twosome: of-- all the states, I'm hearing the worst reports from Ohio! It has no snow! No snow, no Christmas! What's to be done? Is it looking like the normal Christmas weather there for you? Down here in south Georgia, it's VERY rare we have ice or snow. The temperature is a little warmer than usual (I think), but it's supposed to be a bit cooler Christmas day.

Threesome: Time--Time? Good grief, the 24th is days away, and most men haven't even awakened a sense of urgency as yet . Is anyone done, finished, wrapped and resting? See the answer to the onesome. I still have a little wrapping to do, haven't even STARTED my Christmas baking yet, and have some more cleaning to do. AND, the cleaning and wrapping have to be finished today, along with some of the baking. Sigh... I should be doing all that instead of bloghopping... and, as soon as I post this (and let Dan know I have) I'm going to get dressed and get busy.

How about you? When you're ready, post your answers in your own space, and leave a comment here so we can find you! But... before you do that....

I found something fun on Shawnee's site. Make sure you wait until you see "the end." It's so much fun.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Couple of Quizzes (okay, I'm cheating)

I've been frantically wrapping presents ALL DAY... I'm all done except for one more for my mom and then food shopping for the weekend. Oh, and I have to put all the boxes the Christmas decorations were in back in the storage room. And I have to dust (we sanded drywall earlier in the week). And I have to do laundry. Other than that, I'm all done! And, since I'm too wiped out to do anything coherent....I stole the following from Jessica. Thanks, Jess!!

Bob always said I was hot :-)

Your Elf Name Is...

Holly Hot Chocolate

Hmmmm... well, I do like giving presents!

You Are a Bow

You don't think of it as the holiday season - you think of it as the present season!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This is a fun game, courtesy of Bonnie and IconNicholson. Merry Christmas!!! Posted by Picasa


Yesterday was a wild and crazy day, so I didn't get the chance to post. And, today we're going to TRY to finish our Christmas shopping... sigh. Next year, I'm starting in January!!!

Now, here from Dee, this week's Tuesday Twosome.

1. Do you celebrate a religious meaning to this season and if so, what (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.)? If not, why? Yes, Christmas... because when all is said and done, Jesus really IS the reason for the season... no matter what day He was actually born.

2. What does this holiday season mean to you and why? Besides the answer to #1, to me it's a time for family and friends to get together. BTW, have I mentioned lately that all the kids will be home this year??? ;-) Bekah and Anthony will be here in the wee hours of Friday morning and Beth will be here sometime Saturday. Aaron and Ashley are, of course, already here.

3. Which do you enjoy the most: giving presents or receiving presents and why? Giving presents. There is something immensely satisfying about looking for just the right gift... I guess that's why I only do gift cards for stocking stuffers.

4. Name two holiday movies that best describes the season for you: The Christmas Story-- that's one movie that makes me laugh everytime I see it. I'm going to buy Bob one of those leg lamps one day... just wait and see. (shhhh.. that's a secret); It's a Wonderful Life -- just reinforces the idea that we are all here for a purpose, even if that purpose isn't evident to us all the time. There IS a reason for our existence and, if we weren't here, it WOULD make a difference.

5. Name two holiday songs that best describes the season for you: I'll Be Home for Christmas; Mary, Did You Know?

Looking forward to hearing from you.

PS... BTW, any computer experts out there... my IE has suddenly decided it doesn't like two windows open at the same time. I did a search and they said to fix the registry... which I did. Still no help. Any ideas???

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I Really Like Bulletin Boards

.... and I got this idea from Rachel. It's a virtual pinboard. Hop over and post your picture or whatever. Have a great day.


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

This is oh-so-true...especially the part about grammatical mistakes (and spelling mistakes, right, M?)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Feast One Hundred and Twenty Two

I completely forgot today is Friday! We woke up to a phone crisis (no dial tone), then had to work on the motorhome/guest cottage... it's where some of our kids will be staying when they get here next week (have I mentioned all the kids will be here for Christmas??? woo-hoo!)

Anyway... I'm now on hold for "the next available operator"... and I'm returning THEIR call. At least I have a dial tone now to do so. And, I was bloghopping as I waited (might as well get some enjoyment) and somebody said "Friday" on their post and I was like.."OMG.. it's Friday!

So... without further rambling, here's the latest edition of Friday's Feast.

What was your very first job with a paycheck? I did babysitting from the time I was twelve, but my first regular paycheck was the summer I graduated high school. I worked with the Board of Education and was a teacher's aide for summer school. It was so neat. I was working with a little girl on her math (probably about second or third grade... I don't remember now. It was AGES ago!) Anyway, she was having trouble learning to tell time (this was way before digital clocks... when you actually had to look at hands to figure out the time). She kept messing up "a quarter after_____." Invariably, "a quarter after two" was 2:25. I was talking to her about it and her logic was impeccable. She KNEW a quarter was 25 cents, so it made sense that a quarter after two, or three, or eight, was 2:25, or 3:25, or 8:25. We had a quick lesson on fractions.

Did you ever lose something really important to you? When I was six, I lost a doll I'd gotten for my third birthday. Her name was Cathy (after the teenage girl who gave her to me) and she was a soft doll with a plastic face. Pink... looked like she was dressed all in bunting... and I slept with her EVERY night. I think she must've fallen out of the car or something. I think I cried myself to sleep every night for a month.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received? I've received so many great presents over the years, but I think the best Christmas present is going to be this year's... all the kids are going to be home for Christmas. I couldn't wish for anything better than that.

Main Course
Tell about a favorite "hang out" place for you and your friends when you were in high school. It would have to be The Varsity (no, not the one in Atlanta... we had our OWN version of it down here.) They had the coolest drink: sour ice. It wasn't really a drink, but shaved ice with salt and lemon. MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm

Name something that always brings a smile to your face. My husband and the way he "helps" me up into the truck... lol

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Aaron's home.

We've just gotten back from picking up our Marine son, Aaron... he's home for Christmas. Next week, the girls will be down from North Carolina, so we'll have a houseful (I know, I know.. I've told y'all that already!)

Anyway... here's a picture of the boy and his mom, taken with Aaron's picture phone:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If someone who will remain nameless, but whose initials are AR, would send me the pictures HE took with HIS picture phone over Thanksgiving... then I could post photos of the REST of the family.... Bekah, if you're reading this... go and "remind" Anthony again!!!!

Hope y'all have a great day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog Fodder 3

Today's post comes courtesy of Blog Fodder- Fighing writer's block, one day at a time. I really like the subtitle!

I'm excited about this week's question... cause it's mine!

Do you have any memories of a childhood illness?

Boy, do I ever! Two as a matter of fact. And, they are both Christmas memories as well... that's very sad, isn't it?

When I was in the third grade, I went to school... all excited about our Christmas party. It was going to be right after lunch. However, about halfway through the morning, Mrs. Conger looked closely at me... then took me back to the bathroom (we had two bathrooms in the rear of our classroom... one for the boys and the other for the girls.) She lifted my dress (yes, I'm from the era when girls had to wear dresses to school), looked at my tummy and made the horrible announcement, "Judy, I'm taking you to the office. You have the measles and you have to go home." I cried and cried... after all, the party was in a couple of hours. To no avail... sigh. Then, several years later, I found out that once the measles "come out"... you are no longer contagious! Botheration!

The second Christmas/childhood illness was the mumps... all I remember about that is lying on the sofa bed in our living room while everyone else got to decorate the tree. I was not a happy camper that Christmas either.

How about you? What childhood illnesses do you remember?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A new game---you get to eat pie and there are NO calories! My top score (so far) is 7390. And, yes... this is a challenge.... :-) Posted by Picasa

From our house to yours....

an early Christmas present.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Google Game

Another Google game from The Write Coast.

1. Google for Christmas (or the December holiday of your choice) plus your year of birth.
2. Post the most charming picture you can find.
3. Get misty with nostalgia over hot cocoa and peppermint cookies.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I don't know how "charming" it is... but DH smokes a pipe and so did my grandfather (when he wasn't smoking nasty, smelly cigars... ugh!)... and I like the smell of pipe tobacco. I know it's not PC to admit it, but when have I ever been accusesd of being PC??

Play along with us. It's fun to see what comes up.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New High Score Posted by Picasa

Come join the game... no penguins were harmed in the playing of "Penguin Arcade." Let me know what YOUR high score is. Posted by Picasa

I've elfed myself.... thanks for the help, Bonnie. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christmas Quizzes...

... that I stole from Marianne, 'cause they looked like fun and because I have to go work in a bit and because it's cold!!!

So... I think Marianne and I must be twins separated at birth or something....(no, of course it doesn't matter that she's a brunette and I'm a blonde or that I'm AGES older than she is!!)

You Are Dancer

Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.

Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.

Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

And here I always thought of myself as more of a Vixen ;-)

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas

For you, it's all about sharing times with family.
Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

And, if we're the Brady Bunch, I just want to know where Alice is when I need her???

Oh, well... at least I got my very own card:

Friday, December 08, 2006

Make an Elf of Yourself

I stole this from Becky. She has a really neat picture on hers, but it's too late to try to figure out how to do it :-)

So.... check it out.

Good night.

Fridays Feast 121

I'm sorry this is so late. My server has been down ALL DAY!! Grrrrrrr.....

Which language would you like to learn and why? I took Spanish in high school and French in college (my French teacher said I did fine on vocabulary and written stuff, but I couldn't stop speaking French with a Spanish accent!) and I learned a little Portuguese when I lived in Brazil. I would like to brush up on my Spanish, though, because I think it's the most useful foreign language to know. Alternatively, sometimes I'd like to speak animal... because it would be really interesting to see what animals are thinking when they look at us humans.

What's the funniest thing you've heard or read so far this week? I don't know... I read so many blogs where the authors have such a great sense of humor, that I often find myself laughing out loud and calling DH to come and listen to "_____" this time. There are some funny, funny people out there.

Which movie was so bad you couldn't watch the whole thing? I don't go out to the movies much, but with cable I'm forever turning on movies and flipping the channel cause I just can't watch them. There are a lot of bad movies out there... and not bad in a good way like Plan Nine from Outer Space or The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Main Course
If there were a holiday in your honor that didn't use your actual name, what would the day be called? I think there already is one... it's called National Procrastinator's Day. Okay... you wanted a new one, huh? What about "I WILL finish writing Fiona's Dream" day?

Name one movie which is coming out soon that you would like to see. See the Salad Answer. We just don't go out to the movies. There WAS a preview on the other day that sounded interesting, but not interesting enough for me to remember, obviously. How sad is that?

Come and join the calorie-free dining at Friday's Feast.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thursday Threesome

But first, I want to whine a bit. Have you ever wanted to throw your computer through the wall? Well, to give it its due, it MAY be a blogger problem, but it's probably my computer. Every so often, I'll sign in and get "Sorry, you need to enable cookies and/or javascript." I'll patiently tell it... "They are both enabled... try again." This can go on for minutes... them telling me they can't find my cookies, me insisting they really are there. Then suddenly it's like... well, there they what were you complaining about, lady??? I just want to scream. But instead, I'll answer the following questions from The Front Porch.

::Christmas is Coming::
Onesome: Christmas-- shopping: done deal? Haven't started? "Oh, man! Yeah, I need to make a list!" (I'm thinking this one may sort out by gender...) Probably about half way done... and even the half that's NOT done, for the most part I know what I'm getting. It's just a matter of finding the time to go and get the stuff.

Twosome: is-- it time to decorate yet? ...or do you still have another week or two to go? I NORMALLY have everything up within a few days of getting home from Thanksgiving at my aunt and cousins' in Charleston, SC, but this's taking a little longer. I have most of the decorations up, but we still haven't found time (see the answer in Onesome) to go buy the tree. Have I mentioned we've been very busy this month???

Threesome: Coming-- or going? ...or staying home? Are you visiting or hosting this Christmas? ...or both? We are staying home for Christmas and ALL the kids will be here this year. I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again, because I am SO excited. It should be a fun and exciting time for all... at least, I hope it will be.

Hop on over to The Front Porch and enjoy Thursday Threesome.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Well, At Least It's Not the D-List...

B-List Blogger

A Tribute to my Husband

Today's question comes courtesy of Blog Fodder.

Tell us about somebody who has changed your life, even if just a little bit.

This special somebody would have to be my husband. He changed my life completely. He made me hope again, showed me it was possible to have an relationship that didn't include fighting, or giving in so there wouldn't be a fight. He makes me feel beautiful, even when I don't have on any make-up! With him, I'm an equal partner, not a second-class citizen. He's truly the love of my life... I just wish I hadn't waited so long to find him. I know, though, that things happen when they are supposed to... so, even if sometimes I wish Bob had been my first love, I'm very thankful he is my last love.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Monday Madness

Today's Monday Madness is a fill-in-the-blank. But, first, a brief word:

Check out Snowdays, make your own snowflake and help out the Salvation Army (Popular Front will donate $$ depending on how many snowflakes are created). And, while you're there... check out my snowflake. It's #3,181,579. Now... on to this week's Monday Madness.

1. I wish people would just be nice to each other. What ever happened to just plain old-fashioned manners?

2. My biggest pet peeve where other drivers are concerned, ispeople turning in front of me, then slowing down.

3. I will probably spend aboutway too much money on holidays this season.

4. I really hope tohave "Overdue Love" submitted to Womans World by the end of this calendar year.

5. I make abouta jillion resolutions each year, and keepmaybe one or two of them.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dehumanize Me

Happy Sunday. I found this on The Write Coast and stole it from her (I don't think she'll mind... but I'm sure I'll hear about it if she does!) So... here are the rules.
1. Go to Google Images.
2. Do a search for your first name.
3. Post the first image that comes up that is NOT a human.
And, with no further ado... here is the dehumanized Judy:

Give it a try and see what you come up with!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Feast

For your feasting enjoyment, courtesy of Friday's Feast, I present:

Feast One Hundred & Twenty

Have you ever flown in a helicopter? No, but I think I would really enjoy it. I've flown several times and thoroughly enjoyed each and every experience. I'd also like to fly in a hot air balloon... I know, I watched Wizard of Oz way too many times in my life!

What color is your warmest coat or jacket? For Christmas a couple of years ago, my hubby bought me the most beautiful black wool dress coat. It gets really cold here so seldom, it doesn't get a whole lot of wear. I don't think I wore it even one time last winter. Looks like this winter might be a little more "wintery," though. They are predicting below freezing temperatures here for Monday night... and it snowed before Thanksgiving this year for the first time ever in Charleston, SC. Those sound like omens, right?

What is your favorite rainy day activity? It depends on if I'm home alone or if Bob is home. If Bob is home, I enjoy working out in the shop with him... we always have a project or two going on out there. If I'm home alone.... give me a good book, a cup of tea or hot chocolate, and I'm good to go.

Main Course
Describe your hands. I have very small hands... when I put one of them up to Bob's, it looks like a little kid's hand... and he doesn't have specially large hands for a man! Right now, most of the nails are broken, because I've managed to lose the gloves I normally wear in our business and I haven't had the time to go replace them. There's only one place in town I've found that sell gloves that fit me.

If you could eat only one nut for the rest of your life, what nut
would you pick?
I would probably pick the pecan... it's so versatile and tastes good prepared in so many different ways. Of course... I don't know if I could do with boiled peanuts... hmmmm.... hard choice here. Now that I think of it, peanuts would be the way to go. So... I vote for the lowly goober.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's all Bonnie's Fault!

Bonnie had this game and challenge on her blog. I'm not up there with the champs on Birchsprite's blog yet... but I'm trying! And... if anyone else gets hooked on this thing... blame Bonnie and Birchsprite!!!

Stuck for Something to Write About?

Hop on over to a brand new site--- Blog Fodder, dedicated to fighting writer's block. Each week there will be a different question... and the best thing is, you can do it any day during the week. Come and join the fun.

The first question comes from Jean Luc Picard. Make it so.

“What are some of your memorable experiences at school? ”

Two times in my elementary school career (TWO... count them) I had to miss my school Christmas party because of illness. I had the mumps one year. The next year I broke out with measles the morning of the party and was sent home. When I found out that by the time you break out in measles, you're no longer contagious, I was royally ticked. I'm still not happy about it... can you tell???

I have always had a bad habit of "talking with my hands." I was giving an oral book report one day and my teacher made me hold my hands behind my back. I couldn't do it.... could absolutely not give the report.

The same teacher caught me eating an apple in class (OK, I know I shouldn't have... I knew it then...that's why I was hiding it ;-), but I had forgotten to take it out to the playground during recess). Anyway, she made me get up in front of the class and eat the blamed thing. I blame her for the problems I still have today talking in front of people. Heaven help me if I ever do publish a book and schedule talks at library groups, etc.

I was glad to get out of elementary school. Junior High and High School were relatively uneventful!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A New Way to Procrastinate

Check out your reaction time in the Sheep Game.... I'm not so good, unfortunately. Just call me "bobbin' bobcat"!
OR you can play Lite Brite.
OR check this out:
Trippy Optical Illusion Woah, about as trippy as you can get without taking drugs.
Can you tell I've not gotten a lot of real work done... at least not writing. We have been working on decorating the outside of the house. I do love Christmas (even if we ARE having a heat wave... sheesh!)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Monday Madness

I hope you will come join us at Monday Madness and play along with us.

Let's talk about holidays... Depending on where you live and what religion you are, you may celebrate different holidays and at different times of the year than others. But most of us do celebrate at least one holiday a year. Let's share! =)

1. Which of the holidays that you celebrate, do you feel is the most important?
Each holiday is its own way. After all, that's why we celebrate them. That said, as far as religion goes, I believe Easter is the most important. Yes, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth, but without what went on at Easter, I doubt anyone would be celebrating the birthday. Halloween is important, just because it's fun and it gives me the chance to start my decorations. Thanksgiving is important because we all need to give thanks... more than once a year, but once a year is a good start. Am I babbling? Maybe... none of the holidays are "most" important to me. I guess you could say the most important is the one I'm celebrating (or fixing to celebrate) at the time.

2. Which holiday do you most enjoy?
I have to say that Christmas is "my most favorite time of the year." I like the colors and the hustle and bustle. I start decorating for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving.

3. Is there one holiday that your family tries to get together every year? If so, which one?We (my family and my mom) normally try to get together at Thanksgiving at my aunt's home in Charleston. The majority of my cousins and their kids live there as well. One cousin can rarely get there... he's a paramedic and normally just gets one day off. My sister and her husband make it every other year. My kids make it when they can make it.

4. Share one special memory from a past holiday. I don't know how special this is... but it's one that always makes me laugh. Years ago (early 60s, I guess) LipSlicker lipsticks were all the rage... think Twiggy and Yardley. My sister had bought my present and I was feeling it, trying to guess what it is. I'd guessed several things...she just kept shaking her head, going "nope." Well, after about a dozen or so guesses, I guessed right. She started crying and ran to Mama, wailing, "She GUESSED it!"

5. Name one holiday coming up, that you're really looking forward to, and why. I'm probably more excited about this Christmas coming up than I have been in my life. This will be the first time all my kids have been home for Christmas at the same time since 1998. And, since my son is scheduled to be deployed to Iraq in March, it makes it even more special.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Off for the Holiday

We are leaving early in the morning to go to my aunt and cousins' for the holiday. I doubt if I get any writing done and I know I'll overeat. Our plans right now are to come back on Friday (we normally stay until Sunday). But, we have loads to do to get ready for Christmas this year... more than normally! So... I should be back here on Saturday (and plan on doing Friday's Feast... just a bit late!)

I hope all my friends in the US have a great holiday... and all my friends worldwide have a great day. Keep safe 'til I get back!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday .... Sanity???

Monday Madness isn't up yet, so (horror of horrors) this writer has to actually THINK of something to write. Let's see... what can I write about?

-- We'll be leaving Wednesday morning to go to Charleston for our family/Thanksgiving reunion. We've spent every Thanksgiving there (except for the years I spent in Brazil) since '92. Last year was very bittersweet... some of you may remember we had gone up just a couple of weeks earlier than Thanksgiving to bury my uncle. He's the only uncle I ever knew (my mother's sister's husband), given that my mom and dad divorced when I was young and I don't know my father's people. I have been in sporadic contact with my first cousin on the paternal side of the family and, from what he told me, it's not a close family. I was hoping to meet him and his family this month, because they were thinking about coming down this way on vacation, but apparently something came up. So, cuz, if you read this (and I know you have the link... it's on the bottom of all my letters!) WRITE ME!!!

-- Not only are we having a fun filled Thanksgiving, we are having a wonderful Christmas. All the kids will be here for Christmas. Beth and Bekah are both up in NC, Aaron is in the Marines and in Hawaii, and Ashley is still at home. Aaron will be going to Iraq in March, so I'm especially glad everyone will be home. I don't know how much blogging I'll get done :-) but I'll try!!

-- When we get back from Thanksgiving (we're coming back on Friday instead of Sunday this year) we have to get busy. I'll start decorating for Christmas and we'll be getting the "condo" (translated = motorhome) ready for occupation. I LOVE Christmas!!!... it truly is (in my opinion) "the most wonderful time of the year"!

-- Something I forgot! In addition to working on a couple of short stories (see, M, I really AM working), running our our business, and trying to keep one step ahead of the health department when it comes to cleaning my house... I'm also restoring an old desk that was my grandparents'. Mama can't remember for sure, but she thinks Granddaddy may have had it made. It's well-built... not a "fine" piece of furniture, but with a very pretty grain. When I was in high school, I remember "antiquing" it. Does anyone remember that faux finish? It consisted of painting a light color on the wood and then putting a stain on the paint and wiping it off. I wish I had taken photos of the desk before I started (why do I always remember pictures when I'm halfway through the project??) But, I do have pictures of the chair I antiqued at the same time... so hopefully I will get out there, take some pictures of the chair and have the pictures for when (and if) I ever finish the project! :-)

Anyway... that's my life today. Bob has gone to get our help for the day. Before we start making money, some work around here needs done (the trailer emptied from the last job we did, mostly!) Then, off to work. We have a four-stump job to do (grind and clean-up), a job we need to go check (when we were finishing up on it, we got caught in that storm that swept through ... Friday?), and some billing I need to do. I also have to work on getting the downstairs living room in some semblance of order (it's where Ashley comes in and dumps stuff), do some laundry, and get busy packing for Wednesday ('cause I have the feeling we'll be busy tomorrow as well). Anyone want to come help???

Have a great day!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Surprise, surprise! No meme today. We're leaving in just a little bit to go to The Mighty Mullet Festival in Panacea, Florida... then, on to our place in EastpointEastpoint to spend the night. We'll be back late tomorrow. Everyone have a great weekend!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday's Feast 118

Today's post comes courtesy of Friday's Feast. Come on over and join in the fun. But first... something I feel is important to share. A warning for all my friends doing NaNo.

Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets? I wouldn't be surprised if there were. Given the large numbers of other planets in the universe, I think it would be logical to think there might be other intelligent life around. I also think that we will probably never know.

What is one thing you said you'd never do, but you eventually did? I can't think of anything right off the bat. I've always tried to keep an open mind about things... oh, wait. I DID say I would never (like my mother) tell my kids "because I told you so" as a reason for them to do something. I have to admit that sometimes, when you're dealing with kids, the best answer to "why do I have to...?" is "because I said so." And... now my middle daughter (who is a nanny) has learned the same lesson. lol

Who is the teacher that influenced you the most in school? Judi Davis, my eleventh grade English teacher. She really encouraged me in my writing... so, Mrs. Davis, if you are out there reading this... thank you.

Main Course
If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be and why? I have to say... nobody. I love my life and can't think of anyone else's I would like to live... even for a day. I'm sure everyone else has problems we don't see... and why would I want to live their problems?

What is your favorite dish to prepare? I don't know that I have a favorite to prepare (or to eat, for that matter). I enjoy cooking and finding new recipes. I have a whole basketful of recipes I intend to try "someday". And, periodically, I sit down and read one of my many recipe books until I find something that sounds interesting. I also enjoy dreaming things up... most of my experiments are a success, thankfully! The only problem is... once I've created something it's really hard to remember exactly what I did. :: big sigh:: Oh, well.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thursday Threesome

Thanks to Dan and The Back Porch for today's Thursday Threesome.

::A Day in the Rain::

Onesome: A Day--or so ago? Oops, wrong meme. Wait, that might be cool... "A Day or So Ago, I saw ......" You fill it in ! A day or so ago, I saw some exciting news on my cell phone. I got a text message from my oldest daughter saying she would be home for Christmas. She lives in North Carolina and this will be the first Christmas we've been able to spend together since 1998.... how cool is that????

Twosome: in-- case of rain, do you carry an umbrella? ...or do you just hoof it in a hat? No umbrella... I seem to get just as wet getting in and out of the car with one. No hat, either, normally. A mad dash to the car, if it's pouring. Either that or I wait til it calms down and then just enjoy the feeling of "raindrops falling on my head."

Threesome: the Rain-- in Spain? Nah, how about locally: has the rainy season kicked in for you yet? Snow? Nothing? Come on, it's almost Thanksgiving here in the States!
We were SUPPOSED to get major storms last night... but nada. I was really hoping for a nice storm. We DID get some rain, which was nice.... all the ponds around us are drying up, so we definitely need the water. Anyway... it's cooling off a bit here. This week, the highs are supposed to be in the 60's with lows in the 40's (I think... not sure about the lows).

Anyway, hop over to The Back Porch and have fun.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Question of the Day

Thanks to Indigo and Question of the Day for today's post.

Wonder Twin powers, Activate

Wonder Twin powers, Activate! What are power are you activating?

Today and everyday, I would activate the power of splitting myself in two. I know the world my not be ready for two Judy's.... but one would stay here, write and clean the house while the other would go out to work with her husband in their business every day. Works for me! How 'bout y'all? I wonder though... which one of us would get to sleep with hubby ;-)... I'm sure neither one of us would want to share. Hmmmm.... it's a puzzlement.

Come along and play.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tuesday Twosome

It’s all about location…
November 14th, 2006 Dee

1. Name two things you love about the city/town you live in: Tifton is a not-so-small town with a small town feel. The people are friendly and, well, it's home. To read more about my town, check out an article I wrote here.

2. Name two things you dislike about the city/town you live in: Tifton has a lot of restaurants, but there's not a lot of variety, i.e. ethnic cooking. We just got our first Italian restaurant (we have several pizza joints). Also, there's not much to do here in town besides visit the local WalMart, but Tifton is working on that. There are two or three plays a year at the theater and the college, ABAC, puts on a concert series.

3. Name two cities/towns you would live in if you couldn’t live where you are now: Apalachicola, Florida is the first place that pops to mind. We're talking about retiring there one day... if we ever really retire! We really enjoy that city. The other... maybe around Savannah or Charleston... but not in the cities.

4. Are you a “true local” (born and raised) or a transplant of the city/town you live in? I consider myself a "true local" since I moved here when I was five and went all the way through school here. I was away for a few years, but I'm back again.

5. Do you like to leave your city/town when you have a long weekend or do you like to stay home? We have a place down at the Gulf shore (just outside of Apalachicola, to be exact) and we go there every chance we get.

Hop over to Tuesday Twosome and play with us.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Today's post courtesy of Monday Madness where, once again, Otto posts questions from readers for our answering enjoyment. Hop over and join me in the game.
1. From ch'i:
If you could only read one blog every day- which one blog would be on your daily list?
No matter how busy I am, I always check out my friend, Marianne's blog to catch up on what she is doing with her writing. Second on my list would be Miss Snark.
2. From kat:
What do you do to de-stress from a hectic day?
a long hot shower normally does the trick. Actually, though, my life is pretty stress free. Busy as all get out, but once the work is done, it's done... no stress involved (of course, when my hubby is forty-feet in the air in a bucket truck taking down a ninety-foot pinetree, he might disagree!!!
3. From paxil princess:
What is your favorite piece of clothing to wear in the winter?
Anything warm... I get "cold to the bone," as my grandmother would have said... so I try not to get cold. Sweats work for me to hang around the house in.
4. From sherle:
Do you prefer discussing problems with a sibling, a parent, a significant other, a psychologist, or a total stranger?
I tend not to talk too much about problems with anyone... if I have a problem, I "talk" about it in my writing.
5. From trista:
How long have you been blogging?
Just over a year. I enjoy it... just need to remember to make time for it!
6. From lisa e:
Which side of the bed?
7. From elton:
How often do you pig out when you eat?
Not very often...I always feel so miserable when I do. Thanksgiving, for sure, though ;-)
8. From karen:
Do you watch the space shuttle launches?
I used to, but not any more. The Challenger was the last one I remember watching
9. From dawn:
What's your favorite leisure-time activity?
Reading or boating/fishing with my hubby
10. From sherle:
When is the last time you said, 'I love you' and to whom?
What about hugs? Who is the last person you hugged?
My hubby on both counts... and this morning when we woke up

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Randomness... a new meme

It's been a very busy couple of weeks. I had jury duty and loads of work. But, hopefully things are coming together and I'm back...keep your fingers crossed (or your toes, if you have trouble typing with crossed fingers!)

randomness...feed your mind and your blog

week of nov12: favorites

list your favorite....
1. food-- chocolate, of course
2. person-- my hubby. He's the greatest!
3. pastime-- reading... books, blogs, it doesn't matter
4. movie-- hmmm. I guess my all-time favorite is Casablanca. Not the colorized version... the original, black-and-white one. Colorizing it just damaged it, imho
5. season-- summer, for the weather; fall, for the beautiful colors; winter, for my favorite holiday; spring, because it's starting to warm up... I guess my favorite is whichever I'm in at the time
6. book-- I don't know that I have a favorite... although I do try to read The Chronicles of Narnia, Gone With the Wind, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy every couple of years
7. quote-- "God's favorite people is children"
8. color-- blue (black or red is my favorite to wear, however)

Join me this Sunday if you feel like it. Have a great week.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Thursday Threesome

Today's post comes to you (with limited commercial interruption) from Dan and .

::"Sasquatch" and "Haunted Homeland"::

Onesome: Sasquatch-- Big Foot? Yeti? "Harry and the Hendersons"? Maybe? No way? Sure, we have the entire family over for dinner every Thanksgiving? Whaddaya' think?
I'm keeping my mind open. I think "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." There are parts of the earth and ocean that have never been explored, so who really knows? I like to think we don't know everything there is to know about our world.

Twosome: and Haunted-- It's All Hallow's Eve next week; are you haunted by little creatures in your neighborhood extorting goodies from you? ...and do you do your part to provide an entertaining experience for them? ...or do you lock the doors, kill the lights and hide from the horde?
We have to be out of town this Halloween...but I normally have goodies to give away. There are so few kids in our neighborhood though and the ones that are normally go into town to church festivals/the mall/etc.

Threesome: Homeland-- ghosts and spectres: do you have any local stories of 'haunted' places. ...or are there roads you grandmother told you to never travel alone, especially when the moon is full? Just askin'...A long time ago, on I-75, as you passed under an overpass, there was a "screaming" noise. The story went that a newlywed couple had an accident there on the morning after their wedding and the girl died... it was her screaming we heard. The story... it was true. At Least We Were Married tells the story of the accident. I was in school when it happened and remember the news reports in the paper. It was very sad. The screaming? Probably a fault in the asphalt, but who knows?

And, for your procrastination pleasure, stolen from Miss Snark, who stole it from BookDaddy, a way to waste time and still be productive. Make your own Jackson Pollock. I did and I might even frame it! Unfortunately, I accidentally closed the page before saving it (but not before printing it!!!). Maybe I'll scan it for you... or maybe not. Who knows?!?! Anyway... have fun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cliffs of Moher

Today's post comes courtesy of Question of the Day. Thanks, Indigo!

If you could stand at the pinnacle of any natural object or man-made structure, what would it be?

The beautiful Cliffs of Moher Posted by Picasa

Without a doubt, I would go back to the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. I first experienced the wonder of these when I was in Ireland researching "Kathleen" with Lianne. I found the cliffs to be one of the most awe-inspiring locations I've been. One day, DH and I will make that trip together. And, I can hardly wait.

Also, thanks to Wystfull1 for the following Halloween quiz.

"A spooky hallowe'en quiz!"

You're a cat - the sexiest halloween symbol. You're very laid back about the whole thing but you feel most comfortable at this time of year. you'll do anything for a treat!
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

And, thanks to Sheri for the following quiz.
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

And, for further information: DH- 257.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tuesday Twosome

I just found a new "meme,"... new to me that is. Play Tuesday Twosome with me.

1. Two things you procrastinate the most about: my writing (as all my writing friends know and cringe about) and laundry. I don't mind the washing and drying, but sometimes I put off folding. I've found putting the clean clothes on my bed helps some with that!!!

2. Two things that take priority in your time management: my family and our business.

3. Do you usually arrive on time or late?ON TIME... I can't stand going in anyplace late... it really bothers me.

4. Do you get annoyed when other people arrive late or you really don’t care?It depends on what they are late for... if it's a dinner at my house, I care... because I try to make sure everything is done at the right time. Now, when we have a party I normally do an open house so then it doesn't matter.

5. What two things would you change/delete about your daily schedule in order for you to have more “down” time?Sleeping??? Seriously, I don't know of anything I would change or delete. Everything I do now, I do because I want to. I would like more time for my writing... and I just need to grab the moments I can.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Friday Feast One Hundred & Fourteen

It's late today... but at least it's still Friday. Click here to play Friday's Feast.

Name a song you know by heart. I was a preschool teacher for years and homeschooled before that, so I know a LOT of kids' songs. One that comes to mind right off the top of my head was "There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly." Yeah, I know it's a book, but there's a song as well.

What will you absolutely not do in front of another person? Well, I can think of one thing that (since I was old enough to know better, anyway) I've never done in front of anyone else... but I'm not sure we want to discuss it!!!

How often do you use mouthwash and what kind do you like? every day... normally the blue scope.

Main Course
Finish this sentence: I am embarrassed when... I do stupid things.

What was the last food you craved? salt and cracked black pepper Cape Cod potato chips.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday Madness

Play Monday Madness. The questions today come from Monday Madness participants. Hop over there and check their sites out.

1. From amanda f:
What do you do when somebody complements you?

a. Smile and say Thanks

2. From shelly:
What color are your eyes?


3. From kia:
What do you like most about yourself?
I'm a nurterer and compassionate. I think those are the things I like most about myself. Of course, I have great eyes and hair (I sound like a horse, don't I?)

4. From julie:
How do you spend Christmas?

With as much as my family that can come down here. My mom normally comes over and all the kids that can come home for Christmas. We have a big feast... but first we open presents (when the kids were little, stockings could be opened first thing, but they had to wait until after Christmas to get the wrapped presents). Then we usually watch a Christmas movie in the afternoon.

5. From wide imagination:
When do you normally blog? Day or night?
It usually works out that I blog in the morning, but I grab whatever time I can. I need to do better on that, cause I'm falling down on my job!

6. From rach:
What song can you relate to your personal life? Share a line or two of that song.
Hmmmm... "Everything is Beautiful"..."Everything is beautiful
In its' own way
Like a starry summer night
Or a snow covered winter's day
Everybody's beautiful
In their own way
Under God's heaven
The world's gonna find a way"

7. From sherle:
What is your favorite color for a sleeping environment?
Our bedroom had cream-colored walls and dark green carpet. I don't like vibrant colors in a bedroom, but as tired as I normally am when I get to bed, the colors don't worry me too much.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Feast 113

We have to leave in a few minutes to drive to Virginia (600+ hours). We have a funeral we need to go to. But, before I leave, here's this week's rendition of Friday's Feast.

What is your favorite herb or spice? Garlic... beyond a doubt.

Name a song you like but haven't heard in a long time. Joey Powers: Meet Me at Midnight, Mary, 1963. I remember lying in bed listening to that song on a transistor radio my grandmother gave me for Christmas.

If you were to take just one minute to write down as many things as you can think of that you need (not want) to do, approximately how many things would there be? I would run out of time before I ran out of things to list! There's an old bumper sticker I saw: "God put us on this earth to accomplish a certain amount of tasks. I'm so far behind now, I'll never die."

Main Course
Tell something interesting about one of your family members (nothing scandalous, please, just something unique). We have a cousin who used to be a TV show host and a rodeo announcer in Texas.

What's the latest you've ever stayed awake? I've been known to have nights where I don't go to bed until the next night... not as common any more, but still I'll occasionally have a sleepless night. Now, while I was in college.... but that's another story.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Fortune Cookie Advice

DH and I stopped for Chinese yesterday at lunchtime. We have had a killer few days and an even longer weekend upcoming (we have to drive to Roanoke, VA (about 600 or so miles away for a funeral... leave Friday, be back Sunday). Anyway, my fortune was so-so, but I really liked what was in DH's cookie and thought it particularly appropriate to a writer: "A man who trims himself to suit everybody will soon whittle himself away." I started thinking about that in terms of my writing.

As you all know, I've been having trouble with the two longer works, "Lizzie" and "Fiona's Dream." I even have toyed with giving them up completely and working on polishing another novella I've actually finished. I don't know if there's a market for it or not, though. And, it is a novella, not a novel. So... am I wasting my time as well as my critique group's time?

I'm doing research and one publisher who DOES publish in this genre doesn't accept books without an agent. So... herein lies the rub. I'm in a quandary. Do I (as one of my friends suggested) write other novellas along the same lines and try to pitch them as a group to an agent? Do I finish Lizzie and Fiona if they kill me (and I'm telling you now, I'm rethinking their entire premises... not the basics, but the how-to's)? Do I stick with the Green Sister and get her out of the new mess she's gotten herself into and forget about "real" writing?

One thing I have done is print out a copy of these 'shalts' for writers. Now... if I can just remember to read and implement!!!

You know... I think I got away from what I originally planned to write about regarding that fortune cookie. Hmmm... I think I will change the name of my blog to Judy's Babblings.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday Feast 112

Thank heaven for Friday's Feast. I'm usually brain dead by this time of the week. And, this week is no exception. Click on the link and play along.

Measured in minutes or hours, how much exercise have you had in the last week? Organized exercise? Like treadmill, crunches, etc.? None. DH and I work outside very actively with our business... cutting trees, running stump grinders, raking, cleaning, etc. LOTS!!!

If you had to change your blog title to something else, what would it be? Hmmm... "The Babblings of Judy"... with a picture of a babbling brook.

Name one television show you watched when you were 9-12 years old. Let me count back on my fingers and toes and fingers again... what years were those? What does Google say was on television during those years? Oh, yes... I remember a lot of these shows, but you only want one. Okay.... The Man from UNCLE I just loved Ilya Kuryakin... sigh.

Main Course
If someone gave you $50 to spend with the one condition that it had to be educational, what would you purchase? I would probably use it for (a)partial payment for my yearly Writers Village University dues or (b)take a creative writing course at the local college.

Do you tend to prefer dark colors, neutral shades, or lighter/pastel hues? It depends on where the colors are. My walls and furniture.... normally neutral, so I can change the color scheme by just changing out curtains, pillows, etc. I have a couple of neutral outfits, but I look better in black or red. My favorite color is blue and I wear that a lot as well. I guess my answer is... "yes."

Monday, September 18, 2006

Will It Matter if People Can't Read in the Future?

I saw the above headline on MSN's home page this morning. In fact, it was the first thing I saw after my computer loading...even before I had my first sip of coffee! My gut reaction was immediately... "well... yeah!" The question was asked by Michael Rogers in today's was to Practical Futurist. He quotes a study that shows that Americans are becoming less able to read long stretches of text and extrapolate from it. And, that this is the way things should be.

Fortunately, he goes on to say that complete illiteracy would be a bad thing. Whew! He had me worried for a moment. Then he said that reading was an artificial invention relatively young. Out of curiousity, I googled "invention of reading" and found this. It has nothing to do with what I was looking for, but wanted to share it with you anyway. But... I digress.

Rogers' final statement, "[reading]is a luxury, not a necessity," sent shivers up my spine. In his opinion (which he's entitled to) is that "young people today ...have plenty of literacy for everyday activities such as reading signs and package labels, and writing brief e-mails and text messages that don’t require accurate spelling or grammar."

E.D. Hirsch, Jr. would agree with Rogers that there is indeed a decline in reading skills, but unlike Rogers, he does not see the decline as a good or even inevitable thing. I find myself more on the side of Hirsch's thoughts.

What of the great texts of the past that make up part of our civilization? IMHO, just not being illiterate is not enough. There is a high correlation between reading ability and learning ability. The better a reader, the more able he is to learn in other areas.

Hirsch says, "Language arts are...knowledge arts. We have now taken a first step in understanding the correlation between reading ability and learning ability. We have established that high reading ability is a multiplex skill that requires knowledge in a wide range of subjects. It turns out that the same is true of learning ability. A basic axiom of learning is that the easiest way to learn something new is to associate it with something we already know. Much of the art of teaching is the art of associating what kids need to learn with what they already know. The process of learning often works as metaphor does, yoking old ideas together to make something new. In the nineteenth century, when people wanted to describe the new transportation technology that went chug-chug-chug, they called the engine an “iron horse” and the rail system “track way” (if they were Dutch) or “rail way” (if they were English) or “iron way” (if they were French, German, or Italian) or “narrow iron lane” (if they were Greek). All of these metaphors successfully conveyed a new concept by combining old concepts. As a consequence of the fact that we learn most easily when we attach the new to the old, people who already know a lot tend to learn new things faster and more easily than people who do not know very much."

I agree with Rogers: not everyone will love to read nor will they all read for pleasure and enjoyment. I don't love to do math, however I recognize the necessity for basic math skills. And, I'm afraid the schools are also doing a poor job of teaching those... teaching children, instead, to rely more and more on calculators. But... that's an issue for another blog. This one is already long enough!

Reading touches every area of our life. It saddens me and makes me feel sorry for future generations who, if Mr. Rogers is accurate, will miss out on experiences they can gain through reading that enriches their lives and makes them part of a greater civilization.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday Feast 111

Brought to you, as usual, through the kindness of Friday's Feast. Play along; you'll like it.

What was the very last song you listened to? The last song that I heard was something by Jerry Garcia on the classic rock music station on my cable. I had put it on before I left so the bird wouldn't get spooked by the silence. The last song I listnened to was some song I don't know the name of from the musical, Rent. It's Ashley's new favorite song. I don't remember the name (can you tell how impressed I was by it?)

What is one company/store/corporation you would recommend that people stay away from? I'm not one to recommend people stay away from anything, esp. if someone hasn't asked my opinion. Now, if someone asks me about a specific question, what I will do is tell them what experiences I have had with that company. I tend to be more vocal about places I've had good experiences. I figure anyone can have a bad day and that maybe the day I had a bad experience was just an "off" day.... for either them or me!

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy having your picture made? Probably about 5. I don't try to stay away from the camera or hide from it, but I don't go out of my way to have pictures made. (Unless, of course, I happen to look drop-dead gorgeous... then take all the pictures you can so it can be proved that I don't always look like a stump monkey!)

Main Course
Besides a bookmark, what is something you've used to keep your place in a book? Just about everything and anything... a piece of tissue (unused, let me hasten to add!), an emory board, money, paper clips... whatever happens to be handy. Right now in the book I'm reading, Memory of a Mystery, by my friend Earl Staggs, I'm using a flattened box that something or other came in.

Name a food that you like that most people don't. Spinach.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

After all... a quiz can't be wrong.

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Fun Quizzes

Thanks to Marianne for today's quizzes.

You Are Sunshine

Soothing and calm
You are often held up by others as the ideal
But too much of you, and they'll get burned

You are best known for: your warmth

Your dominant state: connecting

Held up to others as the ideal,huh? News to me... esp. when it comes to my writing! I'm far from the ideal for that... unless it's the ideal in procrastination. I'll buy that.

You Are From Mars

You're energetic, althletic, and totally hyperactive.
You love playing sports and being in the middle of all of the action.
You're independent, courageous, and brave. Unafraid to do things your way.
Mars can be reckless, quick tempered, and a little too spontaneous.
So think before you act - and resist your natural urges to dominate others.

Energetic? Sometimes. Athletic? Don't make me laugh. I was always picked last for sports games in school. Hyperactive? Only late at night when I've been up WAY too long. I don't enjoy playing sports. I do like playing board games, but I don't think that's what they mean. Independent, courageous, and brave. I hope so. Think before you act. Well, that's good advice for everyone, I would think.

Your Lucky Underwear is Purple

Dreamy and idealistic, you envision great things for your life. Your lucky purple underwear can make those dreams come true!
You're a busy little butterfly. You have the most projects, interests, and friends of anyone you know.

You also have a flair for the dramatic. Sometimes too much drama comes in to your life and brings things to a stop.
If you want to focus more, and flutter less, put on your purple underpants. They'll help you get the important things done.

I'm with Marianne. I'll always wear purple knickers from now on!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A New Goal

Yes, I knew what I was doing when I posted on Monday's entry that I had a quote I wanted to use for my blog Tuesday. I knew that Marianne would hold me accountable, and I wasn't disappointed.

Here's the quote:

"That was the moment I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of the profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you are writing, and aren't writing particularly well." -Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

I had that quote as my signature for a long time, but over the last several years, I'd about forgotten it. Now, I need to make up my mind whether I'm a hobbyist or a professional writer (whether I make enough to live on or not). As a hobbyist, I'm free to write whenever I want to and to go days if I don't want to write. To write "when the spirit moves me." To write only when I'm not suffering writer's block. To write only when I can find the time to write in an already hectic life.

Or... I can be a professional and do what a writer does: write. I can make the time to write... even if it's fifteen minutes here, or a half hour there. After all, I don't have any trouble killing thirty or forty minutes a day bloghopping! I can make sure I have notecards with me and, when waiting is necessary, use the time to jot ideas or scenes down, rather than reading my time away. If I am "dry" and can't come up with something on my WIPs, I can use prompts to work on short stories or contests.

My biggest enemy when it comes to my writing is myself and my procrastination. I'm setting myself a new goal. I WILL write every day...something. It might be on this blog. It might be an episode of The Green Sister. It might be a short story or a response to a prompt (any suggestions on good sites for daily prompts would be appreciated.) And, I'm setting this goal here, publicly, knowing that my blogfriends will help hold me accountable.

Thanks, my friends.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday Madness

Thanks a lot to Otto for today's post. We are busy stripping the wallpaper off our bathroom walls and the hall bathroom walls... so, Monday Madness is a lifesaver for this procrastinating blonde!

1. How long have you been blogging? I had to go check. My first blog entry was October 18, 2005... so nearly a year. Here's the link: First post. Yawn! I do hope I've gotten better. lol Does it count if the first day I posted four times????

2. How many times have you taken a break from blogging? Marianne would say WAY TOO OFTEN! I've never actually taken a real "break"... except for when I went on vacation. I do admit, though, I'm not as committed to it as I know I should be. That goes hand-in-hand with my writing. There's a quote from Agatha Christie I'm planning on blogging about tomorrow that talks about this. Of course, tomorrow we are screening in my mom's front porch for a birthday surprise for her. Ssssh... don't tell her. Anyway, she'll be 74 tomorrow and has always wanted a screened-in front porch... now she will have one! I'm telling you that to let you know my blogging plans MAY fall by the wayside.

3. How long is the longest you've gone, so far, without posting on your blog?
Heavens... let me go back and check..... OK... probably about two weeks... (Nov. 15-Dec. 2). Now, in my own defense... I was doing NaNo and was out of town for Thanksgiving... does that help any?

4. How many fellow bloggers do you keep in touch with, through your blogs, on a regular basis? I don't know... several.

5. Have you ever met, in person, a blogger on your blogroll? not yet.

6. How often do you update/change the 'extra' stuff on your blog? Only when something new comes up... such as when I gave Green Sister her own blog and moved her story there (or here).

7. Do you think you'll be blogging for years to come? I don't see any reason why not.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Bad Poem

I was going through a file of some of my old writing the other day and found this entry to a "bad poem contest." So... for your amusement, here it is.

"My Love"

My love is like a red, red rose
That came to life in May.
I think of him and curl my toes.
Can't wait to hear his "hey."

His face is handsome as can be;
It makes my heart aflutter.
I yearn to perch upon his knee.
My heart will melt like butter.

I'll love him all the livelong day
And also still the night.
I'll love him till I hear him say,
"Just please put out the light."