Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen – Question and Answers #1

I thought I would take this opportunity to answer some questions from my Monday Morning Meme. Don’t forget to check back Sunday afternoon for fresh questions!

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1. Have you ever played hooky (from school or work)? If so, what excuse did you use to get out of school/work? What did you do instead of going to school/work? How often do you play hooky? If you’ve never played hooky, why not? What one thing HAS to happen before you would consider playing hooky (again)? Has your significant other every played hooky? If so, tell us about it. If not, why not? Has anyone you known ever gotten caught playing hooky?

When I had jobs outside of the home, I showed up everyday I was supposed to. I think there might have been ONE time (possibly two) when I was a manager at Wendy’s that I called in sick and really wasn’t. However, when I found out how much of an inconvenience it had turned out to be for my replacment, I felt so guilty that I never did it again.

When I worked at Wal-Mart, I was trapped inside the cash office – which was a windowless office with video cameras for eight hours. And when I was working by myself, there wasn’t anyone to take my place – I was it, baby. I remember one time being so sick that I threw up in a Wal-Mart bag, walked the bag to the restroom, threw it away and worked the rest of my shift. I felt better after throwing up but … well, I couldn’t help but be mortified by the fact that my being sick was most likely caught on camera.

I can’t decide which is worse – throwing up in a Wal-Mart bag or doing it on tape.

Now the husband? Will most likely be one of those people who drop dead at work because he goes to work REGARDLESS of how he feels – always. I admire his determination and loyalty but geez, sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and stay home and rest, you know?

2. If you could be guaranteed an honest answer to three questions, what questions would you ask, and who would you ask them of?

A. I’d ask a presidential candidate – Do you REALLY think you can change our country for the better? (And of course, I’d have someone taping the encounter so we could all over-analyze his/her answer).

B. I’d ask God – Will I ever win the lottery? (Mainly because if I was ever talking to God, I would be so flustered because it’s GOD we’re talking about here, that I would totally screw it up and ask something lame like this. *grin*)

C. I’d ask my husband – Why do you love me? (Because I seriously want to know why he puts up with me).

3. If you could give a single piece of advice to the film industry in Hollywood, what would you say? If you were a powerful film producer, what sorts of films would you produce? Why?

Dude, seriously, choose your scripts more carefully. Most movies nowadays are so LAME. I’d produce movies that actually had PLOTS and decent CHARACTERS and then I’d make sure that the actors chosen for the job could, you know, actually DO the job.

4. What is your blog about? How long have you been blogging? Why did you begin blogging? Is it the same reason that you continue to blog today? How has your blog changed over the time you’ve had it? In six words, sum up your blog.

My blog is about my life. Wow, what a boring answer. But it’s true. I blog to journal my life, my thoughts and what I had for breakfast every day – oh wait, I don’t eat breakfast. I blog mainly because I have a terrible memory and it helps me to recall my past (that’s such a sad excuse, but its true). I can honestly say that my blogging has changed in that I no longer blog to try and gain readers/hits. I mean readers and hits are great, wonderful in fact, but I think when you start blogging largely to gain readers, you lose a bit of yourself in the process. And I don’t want to do that. So now, I’m only trying to post substantial and interesting (though that’s debatable) things about me and my thoughts.

I’ve been blogging since January 1st, 2005. I started on Blogger, discovered WordPress, moved to my own self-hosted site in the summer of 2005 and only recently (May of this year), moved my blog to wordpress.com because I was tired of dealing with all of the bugs and CPU drainage on my web host.

I do not plan on moving again – ever. I LOVE wordpress.com. Booyah!

5. When you go for a haircut, do you do something drastic? Or are you more of a ‘just a trim’ sort of person? Do you color your hair? If so, how often? Tell us about your best, and worst, hairstyle. What sort of hairstyle do you think looks good on you now?

A trim, mainly. My hair is pretty long now, just past my shoulder blades and though I like it long, and I think I look better with long hair, it drives me crazy because I keep finding long hairs stuck to my shirt and I HATE that. I plan on going in the day after Labor Day and having it colored, when I do, I think I’m going to have about two inches cut off simply because it’s driving me nuts.

I color my hair about every three months. I go in for a bang trim about every six weeks. I’m pretty low maintenance. 😉

6. If you only had enough time each day to read one section of the newspaper, which section would you read? Why this particular section?

I don’t read the paper – I mean why? When the same information PLUS some is on the Internet. But if I did, then it would definitely be the funnies. Why? Because life’s too short not to laugh, that’s why. Laugh every day. That’s an order.

7. What does the hand-soap in your bathroom smell of? What color are your bathroom walls? What color are your guest towels? What sort of decor, or theme, do you have in your bathroom? (Post a picture if you dare!)

We don’t have hand soap in our bathroom (unless we have guests over). I know, that sounds gross, doesn’t it. We usually walk to the kitchen and wash our hands. Our bathroom walls are a mushroom color. My mom HATES it, my mother-in-law loves it (they have very different tastes). Me? Eh, I’m not too crazy about it but I can live with it until we paint again. Our overall theme is tropical. We have palm tree pictures, a huge basket with palm fronds and other crap (can you tell I’m not big into home decor?) and our towels are a tannish/brown and tan colors. Oh, we also have a bamboo vase with bamboo in one corner of the bathroom. Here’s a picture if you’re interested.

8. What is the last thing you bought from a vending machine? Where were you? How much did you spend? Do you use vending machines very often?

Oh wow, I have no idea. It was probably at Wal-Mart to buy GD some soda. There’s this new “hot” thing going around with the kids here where they think they have some magic code they can punch into a soda machine and it supposedly by-passes the whole put your coins here thing and they can get free soda. Though the code definitely does something (judging by the weird message that comes up), he’s yet to get a free soda.

When I worked at Wal-Mart, the break room had several vending machines and I would stuff my face with chips and pastries. Hence the reason I was about twenty pounds heavier when I worked at Wal-Mart – it was too tempting NOT to.

9. What are your children doing right now? If you don’t have children, what is your significant other/roommate/friend, etc. doing right now?

Well, right now it’s 7:02 a.m. and the boys are dressed and ready for school and are killing time – MK is on his computer, GD is playing Mario Kart Racing. The husband just stepped into the shower and I’m thinking I need to stop this meme and make the boys lunch or we’re going to be late.

Back in a few …

10. Have you ever counted up all the pills and/or vitamin capsules that you take every day? How many are there? What do you take on a daily basis? Do you give your children vitamins? If so, what kind?

I do not take any prescription pills, nor do I ever intend to take prescription pills (unless it’s temporary, like antibiotics) ever. EVER. I will remain healthy throughout my old age and I will retain my mental capabilities – period. I believe it to be so and I trust God to help me make it so.

Now over the counter drugs? I take Aleve once in a while for sinuses. Excedrin migraine once in a while for, well, migraines. I also use nose spray (those pesky sinuses again). But other than that? I rarely even take Tylenol.

I do give the kids vitamins once in a while – especially when I see they are feeling run down and need a boost. I still give MK a children’s vitamin because he’s just so freaking skinny and underweight for regular vitamins. But GD, he gets a “man” vitamin – one of those daily vitamins designed for men.

The husband doesn’t pop pills, either. He does have to take Tylenol PM sometimes though to help him sleep.

11. Do you think that gift cards are suitable gifts to give? Do you find them to be impersonal? Do you like receiving gift cards? If so, from where and do you cash them in right away, or do you wait for the right item/price to come along?

I love, love, LOVE gift cards (hint hint!). ESPECIALLY to Barnes & Noble. In fact, I still have the gift card to B&N my parents gave me for my last birthday. It’s not that I haven’t found anything I want to spend it on, but rather, I prefer to hoard it, take it out and gaze upon its plastic goodness once in a while and think “I have a backup plan for that book I really, really want.” I love that.

I think they can be impersonal if the giver hasn’t given it much thought. For example, if I ever got a Lowe’s gift card I would be hard pressed not to look the giver in the eye and say, “Why?” But to get a gift certificate to your favorite store? Ahh, heaven.

12. Who have you needed to say thank you to lately? Who is this person and what did he/she do to prompt a thank you?

This is going to sound cliché but I can’t help it – my husband. I hate to brag on the man, but I quite possibly have the best husband in the world. He’s thoughtful, he pulls (more than!) his weight around the house, he is incredibly smart and is an amazing problem solver. And he puts up with me.

That, my dear husband, deserves a HUGE, HUGE thank you in and of itself. I’ve been really busy these past two weeks and he’s been fantastic – understanding and patient. Thank you honey, I love you more than I tell you.

13. How many candles will be on your birthday cake this next birthday? What do you think about the age you are now? Are you comfortable with what you’ve accomplished in life so far? Or do you wish you could have achieved more? You’re being granted one birthday wish – what is it?

Gads, I can’t believe I’m telling you guys this, but I’ll be 38 in November.

…………..

Oh alright! 39.

………….

Fine, 43. Happy now? 😦

Have I accomplished everything I’ve set out to? Not quite. I have just three major life goals:

1. To see my kids grow up and be responsible and successful adults.
2. To graduate from college.
3. To be published.

One, I’m still working on but I think we have a pretty good start.

Two, I graduated from college in 2003 and it was an AMAZING experience (I miss college!!).

Three, well, that’s the one I need to work on. I have a feeling 2009 might be the year it happens. (Of course, I said that last year too, but … whatever).

My birthday wish? To continue living a happy and fulfilling life. God has blessed me, he truly has.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!
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It’s fun!

Work Stuff

Catching My Breath

Karen is very tired. She has been working, nonstop, for the past five days on her newest project. It was a large project. A whopper, in fact.

(Karen hopes that her readers do not think she means the edible kind of whopper).

Karen has spent a lot of time and effort tweaking and perfecting this high school website.

Kickapoo High School

And it’s still not done. But actually, she wonders, are websites EVER really done?

She thinks not.

But it’s a good tired. It’s a she-built-something-really-attractive-and-it’s-helping-people-out-sort of tired – and she is satisfied.

And she has received many thanks from many different people. And even though the gratitude embarrasses Karen, she would be lying if she didn’t admit – she sort of likes people gushing all over her.

Verbally, that is.

And she has had lots of fun. Lots and lots of fun building the high school website.

For you see, high schools are challenging. There is SO much information that needs to be shared that sorting all of that information into cohesive, digestible chunks is quite challenging to display in an organized electronic manner. Karen’s websites are simple. She does not, nor has any interest, in building fancy-smancy websites that require crazy graphics or flash movies. She prefers her websites to be functional, yet attractive. She would rather build a website that informs it’s visitors as opposed to burning the retinas of it’s visitors.

She knows that people’s time? Is valuable. And most people do not have time to wait for cutesy, sophisticated graphics to load before they get to the meat of their search – the information the website contains.

And so, Karen’s websites are straight forward, yet elegant. Informative, yet entertaining – on a more subtle level, you see.

*pause*

*another long pause*

Alright, enough with the third-person talk. Is that not annoying or what?! I have a blog in my Google reader that reads like the above. It’s all in third person and I have to tell you, I’m on the verge of deleting the blog from my reader because it annoys the ever-loving shit out of me. (Sorry, but I’m quite cranky).

I mean, what is up with the third-person journal? Not only is it EXTREMELY annoying to read, but it automatically distances your readers from you. It’s like your living your life, on the outskirts – not really participating but rather an observer.

How lame is that? If you write your blog this way, I’m sorry, but I don’t get it. Why? Can anyone tell me how writing in third person, in a journal, about YOUR LIFE, is a good thing? Because I’m seriously curious to hear your answers.

But anyway…

Getting back to the website design thing. Yes. I’ve been really busy these past days. Things are settling down now and I can breathe for the first time … in a while. I’m seriously excited about this website because I truly think it’s going to help the school, overall, improve it’s public image. I also think it may stir up some school spirit with the students and teachers, too. After all, the more information that is made available, the more people know about it and the more people want to get involved.

Right?

I also gave my Write From Karen blog a face lift. (Did you notice?) This is my fall template. I plan on changing it to a Christmas template at the end of November and then I’m going to try and put a template together that I can live with all year long so I can concentrate my energies on designing things for other people and my writing.

I’m seriously thinking about hiring a cartoonist to make me a customized header. I have one in mind, thanks to my good pal Dale (thanks Dale!). He’s very reasonable (the cartoonist that is, though I’m sure Dale is reasonable, too) and I like his work. I’ll link to him soon – I don’t want to jinx anything at this point.

My brother-in-law is also an artist. And I’ve thought about asking him to do a caricature of me, but I haven’t worked up the nerve to ask him yet. AND, I’m sort of afraid of what he might come up with. My big nose? Pretty much a given, but I can only imagine what other characteristics he might exaggerate. 🙂

I’m splitting my websites in half. I plan on having one website devoted strictly to school and small business websites and one strictly for blog templates and blog components (buttons, banners, etc). I think it will be easier for me to keep track of project requests that way.

Of course, I’ve been talking about doing something like this for like, forever, so who knows when it’ll actually happen.

In the meantime, I’m accepting more website clients if you’re looking for a designer. I’m REALLY easy to get along with and I’m pretty cheap – much cheaper then you probably think. So, if your parent/teacher organization needs a website, I’ve got four years experience in designing, AND maintaining school websites. Again, I like to keep things simple, so if you’re looking for a lot of flashy stuff, then I’m probably not the designer for you.

In case you’re curious, here are some other websites I’ve done:

Disney Elementary
Cherokee Middle School
Pershing Middle School
Wilder Elementary
Wanda Gray Elementary School
Glendale High School
Kickapoo High School (most recent)
Ozarks Regional YMCA (the YMCA people did the flash stuff)
Freedom Financial Inc.
Midnite Thunder (rock band)

If you’re interested in a website, contact me! I don’t bite (normally – *grin* – I’m kidding! I’m actually very nice!)

Argh, I need a nap. It’s HARD WORK being creative.

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday – Praying Mantis

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Want to play?

Praying Mantis

Look closely. See that huge praying mantis perched on the edge of our rain gauge? Yeah. That thing was in our backyard. Near our bedroom window.

EEK!

The guys discovered him while they were mowing the grass. You can see GD back there (on the left) looking curious, in a horrified way. And MK looking like he’s about to bolt if the thing moves one inch.

The husband took an 11 second video of the thing moving it’s head in a robotic fashion if you’re interested.

Creepy bug. *shudder*

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Writing Stuff

A Race To Finish Before November

Race car drivers are sexy.

And if you don’t agree, then your X chromosome is asleep. 😀

They’re so sexy, in fact, that I’m going to base my NaNoWriMo project on them – well, one of them at least. Well, it won’t actually BE one of them, but based on one …. oh heck, you know what I mean.

In case you’re just tuning into the Internet and you’re wondering what in the world NaNoWriMo is – it stands for National Novel Writing Month and it happens every November. In essence, writers are asked to participate in a writing challenge by writing 50,000 words in 30 days.

And believe it or not, it’s doable. In fact, it’s VERY doable IF you commit to the challenge and write at least 1,667 words every day in November.

And don’t tell me you’re too busy – bah humbug. EVERYONE uses that excuse and if you WANT to do something, then you’ll find the time to do it, period. Get up an hour earlier or stay up an hour later. Write on your lunch hour. Write while little Joey plays t-ball. Tape your favorite TV shows then watch them later. (Think how much time THAT will save you alone!) Or take your laptop and write in your car while waiting for your youngest son to finish his saxophone lesson. (Yeah, that would be me).

I’ve participated in the challenge since 2005 – so this makes my fourth year to do the challenge.

The first year I did this, my novel was pure and utter garbage. But that didn’t bother me because what I took away from the experience was INVALUABLE. It taught me to just release my inner critic – ignore it really – and JUST WRITE. It gave me permission, if you will, to simply write and not worry about whether it made sense, or if I was using proper semantics, etc. I finished the challenge feeling freer than I EVER have as a writer.

I have no idea what I wrote the second year. In fact, I can’t seem to locate the binder (I print off the pages and put them in a binder because it’s SO SATISFYING to see the pages build up). But I’m not overly worried because it must not have been that big of a deal to me if I can’t even find it now.

Last year … I really liked my story idea. In fact, I still think it’s worthy of digging out and pursuing. And that’s saying a lot for me because I’m usually the first to discard anything I write as nonsense but this particular story … I think it has potential. So, I’m definitely keeping that one and may pull it out after this NaNoWriMo and work on it. I haven’t looked at it since last year and I think enough time has gone by now that I’ll be able to read it with an impartial eye.

This year … I had toyed around with the idea of writing a series of short stories, which I’d still like to try some NaNoWriMo, but not this year, I think. I’ve decided to write a fast-paced story around NASCAR racing.

And it’s going to be a romance story. Because I’m DONE trying to deny the fact that I enjoy romance stories – both reading them and writing them. And I’m GOOD at it. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I’m more of a “literary” writer when in fact, I think my writing is strongest when I write romance. So … why fight it. That’s what I’m going with this year.

Why NASCAR? Well, it’s my husband’s fault really. He’s converted me.

Though I wouldn’t say I’m a big-time race fan, I do enjoy watching races. Especially with my husband because he tapes the races and then fast forwards through them until someone wrecks because let’s face it, wrecks are exciting. I feel a wee bit guilty for watching racing simply for the wrecks, but, there you have it.

In the process of watching races, I’ve been paying attention to the kinds of characters these race car drivers are. They are arrogant, self-assured, and cocky, but they are also supremely vulnerable, passionate and completely flawed.

I think those qualities make up a sexy man. Hence the reason I plan on modeling my next hero after a race car driver.

The problem with writing a racing story is that I don’t really know a lot about racing, not really. I mean, I know the basics, but I know nothing about the inside “track”, so to speak. So, I went to Barnes and Noble yesterday after I dropped the boys off at school (and after I took a shower and picked up a coffee from Starbucks – hey, the kids are IN SCHOOL. Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate? *grin*).

I have to tell ya, I felt a TAD guilty indulging in one of my guilty pleasures (book shopping) while the boys were trapped inside new classrooms and having fresh syllabi shoved down their throats.

But then I got over it so … *evil grin*

At first, I picked up “NASCAR for Dummies” because let’s face it – I am a NASCAR dummy. But then “The Girl’s Guide to NASCAR” caught my eye. And when I read that Liz Allison, the author of this book, “has been a veteran of the speedway as a fan, girlfriend, wife, mother and reporter,” I knew this was the perspective I wanted to capture in my story. (And after doing a little research on Ms. Allison, it looks like she’s actually written quite a few NASCAR romance stories herself – JACKPOT!)

I can’t exactly TELL you the plot of the story, I mean, what if I go on to sell this book and make loads of money? Talk about a spoiler. *grin* But I will say that I’m excited about learning more about the sport and about writing this particular story and when you’re a writer? Being excited about a project is always a good thing.

So, I have some research to do. My goal is to have a tentative outline and character sketches drawn up before November 1st so I’ll have a general idea where I want to take this story. And I’m QUITE looking forward to the research part of it so I can impress my husband with all my new-found NASCAR knowledge. hehe

Is anyone else out there thinking about participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, do you have any idea what you might like to write? You’ll be hearing about NaNo A LOT on my blog in the coming months, so brace yourself. 🙂

By the way, here’s an amusing time killer: Have an issue? Let a race car driver help you.

Oh, one more thing – here are four race car drivers that I’m thinking about basing my hero on – can you guess which one of the four I have a huge crush on?

Favorite Racecar Drivers

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It’s fun!

Life

The First Day of School – Years Later

My husband spent the entire weekend going through old home videos. In the process, he uploaded this one so that I could share it with you.

This video was shot in our screened-in back porch. We (well, the husband) has since enclosed it and it is now his office/music studio. I had no idea he even TOOK this video until this past weekend when he played it. (Talk about a nice surprise!!) I was working nights at Wal-Mart back then and missed a lot of the sweet, evening stuff that went on between father and sons. 😦 However, I’m SO THANKFUL that the husband had the foresight to “interview” the boys like this. What a precious moment in time!

And thank God for video cameras, eh?

Side note: I have NO IDEA why there were wild squirrels trapped in our porch. I guess they had somehow gotten in through a hole in the screen and made a home behind our lawn chairs. I’m surprised the boys could even form coherent sentences given that distraction, but there you go. Neither the husband, nor the boys, remember this moment in time which is really weird because how can you forget about wild squirrels chirping to be let out? It’s not like that happens every day.

But I digress …

Every time I hear the boys’ sweet voices on this video, my heart melts and I feel such an overwhelming feeling of tenderness toward them, I almost feel nauseous.

I’m thinking that’s a good thing? 🙂

My God, they were both so honest and full of boyish charm, weren’t they? I mean, they are full of charm now, but it’s a different sort of MANLY charm now – back then, they were simply scrumptious with their wide-eyed innocence and high-pitched little boy voices.

And I MISS their overall enthusiasm and optimism for school. They enjoyed it back then. They came home excited to tell me stories, or what so-and-so did that was so funny or how such-and-such chased them at recess or the new tricks they learned on the monkey bars. They were eager to learn and were so proud of their efforts.

And what is up with the cute adjectives my boys used in the video to describe their first days of school? Words like “perfect” and “super.” AARGH! Are they TRYING to kill me with their cuteness!! And when MK tells daddy about what he did that day, “We talk about the ruuuules. And we played outside … and we watched TV and uh … it was lunch time. And then it was lunch time again …”

HAHAHA! Sounds like MY day! 😉

Okay, not really. (I wish though).

Now? I’m lucky if I get more than a grunt of acknowledgement when I ask how their day went. And I consider myself fortunate if I happen to learn about anything school related. (Perhaps that’s why I so eagerly got involved with designing and maintaining school websites – to keep in the loop? To be a part of my boys’ lives whether I was invited or not? Hhmm… I smell an ulterior motive here.)

And forget about smiles. They ain’t happening. It’s “cooler” to frown nowadays. (I should know. Heh).

*sigh* Yes, I miss those sweet, innocent years. But instead of getting depressed about it, I’m now choosing to appreciate them in different ways. The fact that they can feed/bathe/entertain themselves. Their senses of humor and impeccable timing when they make off-the-wall comments that cause me to snort water up my nose. Their struggle for independence. Their surprising intellect and the fact that they “get” so much more than I give them credit for. The fact that they are really good, honest, fun kids and that the husband and I? We made some pretty awesome people, if I say so myself.

I used to cry on the first day of school. No scratch that, I used to BAWL my eyes out the first day of school. Would they be all right without me? Would they make friends? Would other kids be mean to them? Would they be able to keep up with their studies? Would they stay safe on the playground? Would they just stop growing up so fast!?

And then the rest of the day, I’d walk around like a zombie. Not sure what to do with myself because so much of myself was wrapped up in those two little boys. Around noon, I would jostle myself out of my numbness and proceed to finally take a shower and get my day started. And I would then purposefully stay busy so I wouldn’t think about them too much.

Things haven’t changed much over time. Though I didn’t cry this year (which is the first time, actually and I think that’s mainly due to the fact that both kids are going to the same schools as last year so there wasn’t really any “surprises” to deal with), I’m still in my PJ’s and sort of “in a zone.” I’ve had these boys close to my heart strings for the past three months and now … nothing. Silence.

Dead, dead silence.

*sigh* I need to pull myself together and get this day started. I think I’ll treat myself to a few Krispy Kreme cinnamon buns and some Starbucks coffee and “The Girl’s Guide to NASCAR.” (Heh! Curious? Check back later and I’ll tell you why I wanted to buy this book).

Hey, it’s HARD WORK letting your children grow up.

And just think, in three short years, GD will graduate from high school and then I’ll REALLY have something to cry about!!

EDIT: I just finished signing about ten million syllabi and it sounds like the boys are going to be QUITE busy this year. However, I was PLEASANTLY surprised to find them in good spirits when I picked them up after their first day of school and I think (hope/pray) this is a good year for them. GD has his best buddy in a few classes and seems a lot more comfortable with school this year. He acts like he’s looking forward to learning about PhotoShop and studying Japanese.

MK is mentally preparing himself to play in band, jazz band and has already said he’s trying out for pep band (which requires 80% attendance at the school games!!) AND honors band. This is IN ADDITION to his other, regular classes.

Whew. I have a feeling I’m going to be putting quite a few miles on my car this year.

Here’s to a successful, and FUN, school year! *cheers!*


writefromkaren.com

Monday Morning Meme

Monday Morning Meme – August 25th

All you have to do is answer the questions below either in the comment section, or on your blog. And elaborate! Make these questions show your unique and special personalities. This meme entry will post at 12:01 every Monday morning and will be the first postentry listed on WFK all day Monday morning. (This is an all-day Monday meme, so please, play all day!)

Did you read the Carnival of Family Life post? No? Well, after you post your Monday morning link, hop on over and take a gander!

Monday Morning Meme at writefromkaren.com

August 25th Questions:

1. What are you up to today? Be specific. We’ve talked about your morning routine before, now walk us through a typical Monday for you after breakfast is over. How do you feel about Mondays? A fresh start to your week? Or do you dread the drudge of getting back to the same old routine?

2. Earworms – we all get them from time-to-time. What tune do you have stuck in your head at the moment? How important is music to your life? List some of your favorite songs – and I’m talking about songs that evoke a strong emotion in you; joy, anger, sadness, etc. Do you have one particular song that brings back a certain time period in your life? What is the song and what is the time period?

3. Who have you needed to say thank you to lately? Who is this person and what did he/she do to prompt a thank you?

4. How many candles will be on your birthday cake this next birthday? What do you think about the age you are now? Are you comfortable with what you’ve accomplished in life so far? Or do you wish you could have achieved more? You’re being granted one birthday wish – what is it?

Monday Morning Meme Participants

1. Marianne
2. Sue
3. Dawn\’s Daily Life
4. Jodi
5. Jen at mommablogsalot
6. Susan
7. Kailani
8. Jennifer

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

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General

Carnival of Family Life – August 25th Edition

COFL

Oops! I didn’t write an introduction! My bad – blame it on the fact that my kids started back to school today. I feel like a robot today – everything is in automatic mode and I’m trying not to think too much or I’ll break down and cry (like I always do the first day of school).

I volunteered to host the Carnival of Family Life today on purpose – I knew I would need some distractions from releasing my kids out into the wild once again. So, if you find yourself suddenly kid-less, please consider clicking on the links below. Have you clicked outside your blogroll lately? 🙂

Education

Cindy presents To Copy Is To Cheat; Or Is It? posted at Life Without School.

Family Crafts and Activities

Joanne presents Make A Back To School Gift Basket posted at Homemade Gift Baskets. Joanne says, “I did this for my kids, even though they are homeschooled, and they loved it. It’s a cute way of presenting their school supplies.”

Joanne presents Easy Summer Craft For Kids posted at Summer And Kids!, discussing a very simple craft her daughter enjoyed at Girl Scout camp.

Family Fiction

Jenn presents In the Morning Light (Part One), a fictional story about a man diagnosed with terminal cancer who, facing the end of his life, also faces regret. Based on a writing prompt from A Thousand Words.

Patricia Twitchell presents The Adventures of Penny Pincher: Penny Pincher Learns A Secret posted at Just Bears and Stuff, inviting readers to “join Penny Pincher teddy bear as he learns a secret about ants in winter.” Patricia tells us that it’s a great story for children.

Family Finance

Super Saver presents Sorting a Lifetime of Accumulation posted at My Wealth Builder.

Debt Freedom Fighter presents Watch Out For These 5 Retail Rip-offs posted at Discover Debt Freedom!.

Money Answer Guy presents How Do I Keep From Getting Hit With Credit Card Charges? posted at The Money Answer Guy.

GrrlScientist presents High Wire: The Precarious Financial Lives of American Families posted at Living the Scientific Life, a review of what GrrlScientist calls “a nonfiction masterpiece that will keep you awake at night planning how to safeguard your economic future — all on your own!” She says that the book focuses upon the “most important and long-term relationship in your life: your relationship with your work, and how that has changed substantially since the 1970’s. It also discusses the myth that the average American can become a wise enough financial planner and investor to ‘beat the odds’ and become financially comfortable.”

Silicon Valley Blogger presents Upromise Survey: Saving For College, Getting Tougher? posted at The Digerati Life, a discussion of backo-to-school expenditures, focusing upon saving for college.

Matthew Paulson presents 3 Proven Tips To Start Organizing Your Home Easily posted at American Consumer News.

Debt Freedom Fighter presents 5 Ways A Good Credit Report Can Enhance Your Quality Of Life posted at Discover Debt Freedom!.

Money Answer Guy presents Why Don’t We Save More Than We Do? posted at The Money Answer Guy.

Family Health and Wellness

Matthew Paulson presents Love Your Kids With These Healthy Lunches posted at American Consumer News.

Lovelyn presents Recycle Your Compact Fluorescent Bulbs posted at The Art of Balanced Living.

Kathleen Gage presents Never enough time – or is there? posted at Daily Awareness. Kathleen opines that “There is not enough time to do all we think we must do, want to do or dream of doing. One of the few things we truly possess is time. How we choose to use the ‘here and now’ is a personal and a powerful choice.”

Toni presents When TLC is more healing than medicine posted at Wifely Steps, telling us that “the care of a husband is even more healing than medicine.”

Alvaro Fernandez presents Exercising the body is exercising the mind posted at SharpBrains: Your Window into the Brain Fitness Revolution. Alvaro asks, “Want to generate a few extra neurons?”

Family Humor

Denise Swank presents Goodbye Lazy Summer Days posted at There’s always room for one more. Denise tells us, “I have six kids — three 3 biological and three internationally adopted — aged 21 – 13 months. I try to find the humor in everything.”

Gabriel Almada presents Se habla español posted at Live from Waterloo.

Family Relationships and Self-Improvemen

Ishan presents A letter to Father posted at Life of an Unorthodox Loyalist, a heart-wrenching message from a teen-aged son to a father who is not paying attention.

Kathryn presents How Many Tears Does A Mom Have? posted at knittsings, saying, “Letting go of a loved one is never easy, even when you know she will be home at Christmas.”

Laura Scarborough presents forever ‘fected posted at Adventures in Juggling.

Family Travel

Matthew Paulson presents Travelers Who Wait Might Have a Disappointing Christmas: Nearly 60 Million Airline Seats will not be offered posted at The Travel Advocate.

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Thank you all for participating in the Carnival this week!

Submit a blog article for the September 1, 2008, End of Summer Edition of the Carnival, hosted at Almost Frugal by clicking here!

The Carnival archive can be viewed here.

Interested in hosting a future edition? Review the schedule here and then drop a line indicating the week you would like to have the Carnival visit your site!