Blogger's Best

Blogger’s Best Carnival – January 2009

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Stop. Where are you going? Just because you see all of these links on this page doesn’t mean you should just quietly back out and disappear out of the blog door. These links are GREAT! They’re yummy and quite satisfying and this is about sharing some wonderful bloggie goodness with you because I love you guys and I know, if you will just take a load off this fine Saturday, with your favorite beverage close at hand, and click through these links, it will make your day and you’ll leave your computer with a smile on your face.

Won’t that make your significant other wonder what you’ve been up to. *wink*

Seriously, welcome to the first Blogger’s Best Carnival. This is ALL about you guys so sit down and browse – it’s Saturday, it’s okay to be lazy. *grin*

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ø Vanessa Wolf presents At least I’m not that guy posted at Wide Awake in Wonderland.

ø Praveen presents “See, Santa Also Likes Coke!” posted at My Simple Trading System.

ø Rational Anarchist presents Ordeal in Space posted at The Rational Anarchist, saying, “To paraphrase FDR, the only thing we have to fear is not understanding the fear we have.”

ø Morgan Weihing presents Revving Back Up posted at And Then One Day.

ø Devon Coles presents How I became an axe murderess . . . posted at Pen, Ink. Life’s little vicissitudes . . ., saying, “I blog about the forces of change beyond our control – and managing these little vicissitudes in positive ways. This piece is about renewing a driver’s license, and how changes in the process resulted in some surprising outcomes.”

ø Kathryn presents On Being a Straight Girl in San Francisco posted at San Francisco is Sexy, saying, “Thoughts on how the way I define myself as a resident of San Francisco differs from how I defined myself when living other places.”

ø Anita Bern presents This year everything is going to be different… really! posted at Social anxiety disorder.

ø PennyLane presents Pouring Your Heart Out To A Stranger posted at Marmalade Skies.

ø JHS presents I Heard the “D” Word on Christmas Day (Part One) posted at Colloquium, saying, “A two-part essay about the loss of a place and potential for reclaiming it — with the knowledge that it has changed dramatically during the time that you were away”

ø Amanda presents The Best Stranded-By-The-Airlines Experience Ever posted at Yield To Pedestrian: All the Cool, All the Time, saying, “Thanks for putting this together. I hope this story is entertaining for you!”.

ø Luci Weston presents Not Today…A Quote For All Seasons and All Women posted at Here We Are…with Luci, saying, “I placed this entry under “life” instead of “children” because it is a lesson for women.” (Editor’s note: Thanks Luci!)

ø Scott Moore presents My First Cycle Class posted at That’s my job, that’s what I do…., saying, “This submission actually isn’t about my daughter, but I am sticking with your rules and only submitting from this past month. My workplace held a Biggest Loser type contest where the winner took home $675. I took a cycle class in effort to pull out the win. The link is my thoughts on that class.”
(Editor’s note: Scott, you can use any blog entry you choose, recent, or in your archives.)

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ø Josanne Anthony presents Sweet Revenge!!! posted at A Chocolate Bouquet, saying, “country life at it’s best!” (Editor’s Note: LOL)

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ø don reding presents Back To The Future posted at Red Dog’s Personals.

ø Oregon Sunshine presents Alaska Stories, Moose Droppings Alaskan Style « Oregon Sunshine posted at Oregon Sunshine.

ø Broderick Allen presents One Day I’ll posted at Broderick Allen – Personal Growth and Enjoying Life’s Journey.

ø Lazy Housewife presents So Not Domestic: Letter to Santa posted at So Not Domestic.

ø Jenn presents An Unexpected Independence Day Celebration posted at Mixed Metaphor.net, saying, “My best short story of 2008.”

ø Nandita presents Defined by Blood posted at Cold SnapDragon. (Editor’s note: Profound and disturbing, but wow).

ø Ms. Cheevious presents Brand Spanking New … Year posted at Ms. Cheevious, saying, “Think about it. If someone had intervened – and made a statement of protest – when a little Serbian company (called Zastava) decided it wanted to make cars, and then chose the name Yugo, perhaps they would have come up with an altogether better name – something really cool like Autobahn, or Millennium Cars.”

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ø Kakie presents What’s the best thing that happened to you today? posted at Bur Bur & Friends: Community Park, saying, “Sometimes the best parts of life come in the smallest moments and give us appreciation beyond our expectations.”

ø Lisa presents My Baby: These Legs Are Made For Walking… posted at Let’s Talk Babies.

ø Roxane a.k.a Momo-Mama presents Mom, what’s a Sex Shop? posted at Momo-Mama, saying, “Reader beware…if you are against sex education, don’t believe in talking openly with your children or are sexually repressed in any way…read no further!”

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ø Shawnee Rivers presents Spare Me posted at Kinsanity – Real Life Family Dysfunction, saying, “Hi I just found your carnival, but I wanted to share my favorite post from November.”

ø The Investor presents Money can’t buy me love posted at Monevator.com, saying, “Three months ago I left London in a hurry on a weekday afternoon. I’d bought the Financial Times to take my mind off what I’d heard an hour before: my father had suffered a massive cardiac arrest. He was in an ambulance. My mother was in shock, having initially mistaken dad’s heart attack for one of his practical jokes.”

ø Kate presents Cherish the Time posted at Advice on Love, Life, and Everything Between, saying, “A story about cherishing the time with your loved ones and making lasting memories.”

ø Tara R. presents Guess who’s coming to dinner ~ old friends and enemies posted at If Mom Says OK, saying, “An imaginary dinner party where I finally come to terms with all of my different “me’s.””

ø One Family presents Ireland Trip Report posted at One Family’s Blog.

ø Modern Parent presents We are Going to Disney World! posted at Modernparent.org.

Here are some posts I ran across this past month that really stuck with me for a variety of reasons.

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Problem Girl: Will Poop for Painkillers

June Cleaver Nirvana: It is Jeanetic


Mommy’s Martini: It Can’t Have Been Five Years Ago, Can It?

It’s My Life … Wanna Come Play?: The Dirty Truths No One Likes to Share with New Moms.

The Jonniker: The Luckiest

Miss Britt: I Need a Girlfriend.

Rough Draft: My Kids Will Never Leave Home

Suburban Turmoil: The Curious Case of Beanie Bill

The Imperfect Parent: Didn’t We Almost Have It All?

Mothergoosemouse: If You Say So

Summer’s Nook: Edward and Bella: True Love or True Lust?

Conversion Diary: The Power of Humility

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This concludes the January 2009 edition of the Blogger’s Best Carnival. THANK YOU for submitting your links! If you would like to see your work showcased in the February 2009 edition, please submit your links here. (Please, one link per blog. If you submit more than one link per blog, I will only use the first link submitted.)

If you submitted your link and don’t see it here, that probably means I received it after the deadline or you didn’t follow the guidelines.

If you’ve read an outstanding article on another blog and would like to add it to the “Reader’s Choice” section of the next carnival, please let me know by using my contact form.

Thanks for visiting the carnival participants and don’t forget to check back February 28th for the next Blogger’s Best Carnival!

Giveaway/Contests

Bloggy Giveaway – SanDisk 2GB Sansa Clip MP3 Player!

AND THE WINNER IS … *drum roll please*

Comment #71!!
Sansa Winner!

CONGRATULATIONS SARAH LEWIS!!!!

Sansa Winning Comment!

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In the event I can’t reach Sarah by 5:00 CST February 3rd, I will attempt to notify the second runner up.

THANK YOU to everyone who visited and commented!!!! WOW! This was the most exciting giveaway I’ve EVER had!! I hope you’ll stick around and keep me company – the next Bloggy giveaway will be in April so stay tuned!

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Want to keep track of future giveaways? Then please add me to your RSS readers!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival Button

Did you know the Winter round of Bloggy Giveaways has started? And OF COURSE, I must get involved because HELLO?! I love you guys and I love to give things away. 🙂

This go-around, I’m opting to give one SanDisk 2GB Sansa Clip MP3 Player away! (Color is winner’s choice! Black, Red, Pink, Blue) Click here to read product description. Please keep in mind, that the Sansa MP3 player will only run on Microsoft Windows XP SP2, or Microsoft Windows Vista.

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Here’s how you can win one:

1. Leave one comment per day, please – each comment counts toward one ticket.

2. Subscribe to my feed. Each feed subscription counts as one ticket. If you already subscribe (thank you!!), then please leave me a separate comment so I can add another ticket for you. If you just subscribed, please leave me a separate comment so I can add another ticket for you. If you’d like to see what I normally blog about before subscribing me, please check this page out.

And that’s it! I’ll tally up the number of tickets for everyone and then run the number through random.org at 5:00 p.m. U.S. central time Friday, January 30th. The winner will be announced on my blog, as well as emailed.

I’m sorry, but this giveaway is only open to U.S. addresses at this time. International shipping just isn’t in the budget right now. 😦

So, what are you waiting for? Leave a comment and have fun browsing the rest of the giveaways! I know I will!!

If you’re new here and have the time, you can read more about me here. Or, you can read more about my life here.

Comments have been closed to avoid confusion.

Friday Fun

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. 4)

7_quick_takes_sm Seven Quick Takes Friday is hosted at Conversion Diary.

Let’s get started …

—1—

God is amazing, isn’t he?

I’ve been having digestive problems on and off (mostly on) for about two years now. I won’t go into details – that would classify as too much information, but suffice it to say, it’s been bad enough that it’s disrupted my day-to-day life. And I’ve stubbornly refused to go the doctor because I KNOW it’s my diet – I just know it is. I’ve always read/heard that your body changes as you get older and considering I’m a hair’s breadth away from being pre-menopausal, I had sort of mentally braced myself for whatever my body threw at me.

I just hadn’t expected the ball to curve quite this much.

I’ve altered my diet drastically in the past year alone. I now know that I can no longer tolerate beans (goodbye peanut butter *SNIFF SNIFF*), broccoli, bananas (though I’ve always sort of had a problem with those anyway), apples, ice cream (it took me a long time to accept that one because I just couldn’t let go of ice cream!!), bran, and whole wheat products (I ate two whole wheat tortilla shells last week and about died for three days afterwards). Of course, it’s taken me months to narrow this list down but now that I know and I’ve been avoiding these foods, my body is rewarding me by acting more normally.

This past week has been terrible, horrible, actually. I’ve been in tremendous pain – bloating, very painful gas. I’ve felt like a walking balloon all week (this is how I figured out that eating whole wheat tortillas AND an apple in the same day is a huge no-no for me). So, I started researching …

And praying. Not necessarily in that order. *grin*

I bought Charcocaps and the husband suggested I drink some hot tea. Which I did. And now, two days later? Everything seems to be coming out normal for a change. *ahem*

My husband told me last night that he prayed for me. And suggesting tea just sort of “came” to him. I firmly believe God spoke to him and He healed me. I feel 100% better and I’m better educated, and prepared, to keep myself out of that awful gas bubble in the future.

—2—

The kids are finally back to school. Talk about a strange week – only going to school Monday and Friday.

They weren’t happy. But I can’t say that I blame them. That’s the biggest reason I sort of hated vacation/snow days when I was in school/working because it’s so hard to get back into the swing of things afterward.

We didn’t do much. The kids did not get out in the snow, they stayed in the entire time and goofed off; I was a little disappointed. I had visions of snowmen and hot chocolate dancing through my head these past three days but I just need to accept the fact that these boys are no longer little and are in fact, becoming young men and that sort of thing just doesn’t seem to appeal to them anymore.

*sigh*

Aside from the day the husband came home at lunchtime and took us out to eat, I didn’t get out, either. I was sort of glad they had school today just so I had an excuse to leave the house. I know people who don’t stay home all the time must think I’m nuts for thinking this and though it IS nice to stay home, it’s honestly not all it’s cracked up to be. I miss adult interaction and just breathing fresh air, or heck, just putting my shoes on for a change!

—3—

Since we have snow on the ground and I can see every little critter that walks through our yard, I was quite fascinated by one set of tracks. This one set, in particular, really puzzled and amused me. They looked like deer tracks and at one point, it looked like the deer turned in a complete circle, as if it were lost and trying to decide which direction to take. It’s really bizarre. The hoof prints are close together and sort of smudged which to me means it wasn’t in any hurry to get anywhere. But what do I know, it’s not like I track for a living or anything. *chuckle*

I also noticed human footprints. And they were cutting a diagonal path across our front yard. We live on a corner lot, so it looks like this person, instead of staying on the street (we don’t have sidewalks) and walking around our yard, simply cut across our yard to save what, a few extra seconds?

This annoyed me and I thought it was quite rude. I would never walk into someone’s yard, ever. How presumptuous. Now if the person would like to ask me if they could cut across my yard, I would have no problem giving them permission, but the fact that they just did it anyway without any respect for our property/boundary/personal space annoys me. And it’s not like cutting across our yard would have been easier anyway – the snow on the streets was packed and easier to walk on as opposed to our yard where your feet sink with every step.

Would having someone walk through your yard annoy you? Or am I just being too sensitive here?

—4—

My nephew tweeted the link to this video and I really must share it with you:

That has got to be one of the coolest (and refreshingly clean and fun) music videos I’ve seen in quite some time. And I really dig the song, too. It’s called “Her Morning Elegance” by Oren Lavie. You find his MySpace page here.

—5—

It looks like we have all of our passport paperwork in order. I talked to our post office yesterday and they don’t require appointments anymore, we just have to be there before 4:00. Which is a stretch to make during a normal school day because I’m really not free to go anywhere until after I drop a boy I carpool off and the post office is all the way across town -we’d never make it. So, we plan on making a trip up there on Tuesday, after the kids get out of school two hours early for some sort of teacher workday thing (which is silly to me because they had three whole days to get caught up because of snow days – they were required to report to work – and I would have assumed they would cancel the early day but it looks like it’s still on and really, I’m not a teacher so I don’t really know what’s going on with that anyway).

I’ll be glad when this is over simply so we can start the ball rolling. It’s supposed take 8+ weeks to get them back and I really don’t want to stress about not getting our passports back before we take off for our cruise in June.

—6—

I’m feeling terribly guilty. I really MUST get my professional website back up and running. I also need to make more of an effort to drum up some business. I have had a few bites and need to follow through with those but I’m like the world’s worst self-employed person – I have no discipline to speak of, none. Pair that with the fact that I’m terribly shy and uncomfortable about tooting my own horn and doing what I do (website designer who specializes in schools) is quite painful and hopeless.

WHEN, and notice I said when, I get that back up and running, I’ll grit my teeth and toot my horn so loudly that you’ll have to cover your ears. *grin*

—7—

I’m on a Twitter high. I accidentally stumbled across a few articles about how to build your Twitter traffic and that got my wheels turning. Though I’m tickled pink about the 128 people who are currently following me on Twitter now, and would LOVE to have more, I’m not really doing this to increase traffic, per se, but rather, because I just have so much fun with Twitter. It’s really challenging for me to keep what I have to say to 140 characters because if you’ve been around my blog for any length of time you know, I just don’t know when to shut up. 😀

I made a private, Twitter-followers-only, page. You can find it here, but you’ll need a password in order to access it. And I will give my Twitter followers that password later on today, so stay tuned.

If you’re not currently following me on Twitter and would like to, you can find me over here or click on the cute bird button below:


On Twitter!

This private page will also be where I post special giveaways, just for my Twitter followers; these giveaways will not be announced on my blog. The giveaways will only be announced via Twitter; it’s like a private party for Tweets. I also plan on commenting on some of my Twitters because I plan on providing more links to interesting articles/videos, etc. and I don’t really have the space to tell you what I think about said links.

Anyway, join! It’ll be fun. And check your Twitter – I’ll give the password out later today.

Friday Fun

Friday Craft: Other Mother Box

So I’m haunting the Instructables site when I stumble across this cute little box.

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And when I read the description:

There are all kinds of strange and wonderful boxes showing up across the Internet to promote the new Coraline movie.

I thought, Coraline whadda? Never heard of it. So, I followed the link to the Coraline website, watched the trailer and now I must see it because it looks totally cool and creepy (and probably not suitable for small children). If you don’t feel like clicking over, then watch the below:

Spooky, right?

Upon further investigation, I discovered that this movie is based on Neil Gaiman’s book. I’m thinking this book, and the DVD of this movie, would be a perfect giveaway prize in October *insert scary, creepy laugh here*.

Anyway, I’m intrigued. And if you’re digging the box above, you can find how to make one of these boxes, for your very own, here.

Have fun!

Prompt Fiction

Fiction: Little Respect

Originally published on my self-hosted blog May 27, 2007.

Little Respect

“You’ll never guess what I’m doing right now,” the twenty-something woman with the long reddish-blonde hair sitting across from Lela said.

Lela shifted uncomfortably in her bus seat and directed a casual look out the window. She wasn’t eavesdropping, exactly; eavesdropping was rude, wasn’t it? But how could she not listen to the young woman’s conversation when the rest of the bus riders were relatively minding their own business and being quiet for a change.

“No, guess again,” cell-phone girl said with a smile.

Her friend, Joanne, sitting on her left, poked her in the arm. She gave Lela a sideways glance and then nodded toward the girl.

Lela answered with an imperceptive nod and tried to relay a silent message with her expression to stop bringing attention to them and not listen to the girl’s conversation.

Joanne didn’t take the hint and openly stared at the girl.

Cell-phone girl laughed. “No dope, not that … I’m on the bus for Christ sakes. Get your filthy mind out of the gutter.” The girl noted Joanne’s stare and with a grimace, twisted away from the two older women.

Lela noticed small spots of cherry red appear on the girl’s cheeks. She again glanced away and sighed. Young people nowadays … did they have no shame? Though she didn’t know what the person on the other end of the phone had suggested, she could imagine it wasn’t what a good Christian person would have said. She hated cell phones. No one bothered with privacy anymore. Cell phone users no longer cared about tact and diplomacy and treated any public venue like their own personal phone booth.

“So .. Friday night,” the girl said. “What exactly is the plan? Hang out at Brees? Or is Autumn having a party at her house? Oh, and what about Slade? He’s not hanging with us this weekend, is he?”

Lela couldn’t help but wrinkle her nose in distaste. Those names. How silly. What ever happened to good old fashion names like Mary, and Sally or even John? She issued a long-suffering sigh and leaned her head against the glass of the window. John. She missed her John.

“Hang on a sec, Trent,” the girl placed the tiny phone against her chest. Lela looked toward the girl and noticed she was glaring at Joanne. “What’s up, grandma? Hear anything exciting?” She snorted in the most rude way and continued, “A little privacy, please?”

Lela couldn’t help herself; she snickered at the girl’s words. She stiffened when she saw the girl shift her unnaturally bright blue eyes toward her.

“What’s your problem, you old hag,” the girl snarled.

Lela glanced down at her gloved hands and felt tears gather in the corners of her eyes. What happened to common decency? She couldn’t imagine any of her four girls talking like that to an elder. No one had any respect anymore. It was all about them and their needs and wants.

“Yeah I thought so, bitch.” The girl brought the phone back up to her ear and said in loud and icy tones. “Sorry. I’ve got two old biddies giving me the evil eye.” She shot Joanne and Lela a hateful look before bursting out laughing. “Yeah, I should. I really should. That’d really give ‘em something to write home to the grandkids about.”

The bus suddenly lurched to a stop and the girl stood up. “Wait. Hold that thought. This is my stop. Let me get off this bus of losers so I can hear you.” The girl pushed her way through the five people in front of her and stumbled awkwardly off the bus. As she hopped down the last stair, she tripped and nearly fell flat on her face. A woman, probably in her mid-thirties, witnessed the whole thing and laughed out loud.

The girl on the sidewalk saw the woman laugh at her and flipped her off. The woman promptly returned the favor and continued to hold the gesture long after the bus pulled away from the curb.

Lela couldn’t help but smile a bit at the woman’s boldness. Joanne again nudged her and giggled under her breath.

The woman turned back around in her seat and addressed Lela and Joanne. “Don’t you hate modern conveniences?” she said with a friendly smile.

Lela returned the smile and nodded shyly. Indeed she did.

Thursday Stuff

A Thousand Words Thursday

Cheaper Than Therapy

I saw this photo and it reminded me of this photo that my mom took during GD’s 16th birthday party in November:


birthday money, originally uploaded by PaceGuy.

November, 2008.

Since he turned 16, my mom hid one $2.00 bill in 16 various items (inside a candy bar, etc.). GD had an absolute blast finding the bills and he really got a kick out of having so many $2.00 bills – a unique bill for a unique kid.

Thanks for going to all of the trouble, mom. That will be yet another birthday that he’ll always remember.

You know, this picture was taken only a few months ago and yet, he looks so different now. My oldest son doesn’t even look like a boy anymore he looks more like a … like a … *gulp* MAN.! *gasp*

Wha?? When did that happen??

For more fun pictures, visit Cheaper Than Therapy.

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bloggersbest2 Okay, picture this – you’re trying to entice new readers to your blog. But they only have time to read one of your blog posts. Which blog post would you direct them to? Which of your blog posts really shines and says something about your life? Which blog post are you most proud of? Now take that blog post and submit it to the Blogger’s Best Carnival so everyone else can appreciate your greatness. 🙂

To learn more about the carnival, read this page.

The next Blogger’s Best Carnival: January 31st.

Project 365

Project 365: January 29th

Project 365

And here we go, another week of random photos. If you want to keep track of my photos, you can subscribe to the Project 365 RSS feed.

Mosaic 23 - 25

1. Here is the husband playing some sort of vision focus game on one of the boys’ old Gameboy DS’s. He’s wasting time while waiting for us to join him for Bible study. Which we do, in our home, every Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. In case you’re curious, we use the teachings at the Truth or Tradition website in our studies. (Please look into it – it’ll really bless you and your family!)

2. GD, doing what he loves to do the most – goofing off with his online buddies. (That poor kid’s nose has really gotten big. He takes after me, poor guy. Hopefully, he’ll grow into that nose. In the meantime, I tell him to be proud of his crooked Cherokee Indian nose).

3. My husband was very proud of this pizza (made from scratch – except the crust). And I’ll be the first to admit that my husband? Was most likely a chef in a previous life (if I believed in previous lives) because he can seriously cook. He’s one of those naturals that can eyeball ingredients, throw something together and it’s fabulous. It’s gotten to the point that we all dread when I cook so in order to enjoy our meals, I prepare the ingredients and then he comes home and makes it while I stand by and “assist” him. Works for me!

Mosaic 26 - 29

4. Here is GD, standing outside the night we had the beautiful snowfall. As you can see, the flakes were quite big and quite lovely.

5. The husband, on the phone with a Carnival Cruise line representative because in case you’re just tuning in, we’re going on a cruise this summer!!! His goofy smile kills me. And look at his glassy eyes and his slightly flushed cheeks … wait a minute, does he look? No, couldn’t be. Wait, maybe …? Does he look like he’s got a good buzz going on to anyone? Probably because he does! He had a couple of beers after dinner so he was feeling QUITE good about the whole cruise thing. (That’s the only way I can get the man to agree to spend money – beer and good times. *winkwink*)

6. The day before our pretty snowfall, we had a full day of sleet and general ugliness. It always fascinates me how fast water freezes. Here you can see it literally froze as it was draining off our house.

7. And the obligatory weekly picture of me. I sort of like this picture though (even though it’s of me – bleh) because I don’t know what I did, but the lighting is flattering. Was it the back light from the window? Whatever it was, I want to do it again!

Blogger's Best

Hey Look! I’m Literate!

What Kind of Reader Are You?

Your Result: Literate Good Citizen
 

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you’re not nerdy about it. You’ve read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader
 
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
 
Book Snob
 
Fad Reader
 
Non-Reader
 
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I’m so re-lieved to know this! I would be so bummed if I couldn’t read all of these wonderful blog entries that I’ve been compiling for this Saturday’s Blogger’s Best Carnival.

Aaaand speaking of that … The 1st (monthly) Blogger’s Best Carnival is THIS Saturday. I’ve had OVER 200 entries -unfortunately, I can’t use most of them because they didn’t follow guidelines.

But anyway – if you have read any blog posts over this past month (or ever, really), that have moved you, or you admired that blogger’s honesty, or you could relate in some way, or you thought the writing was outstanding, or it made it you think/cry/laugh, etc., then please put that link in the comment section so I can add it to the carnival.

And YES! Please feel free to submit links to your own posts because DUDE! It’s all about expanding this wonderful blog community so toot your own horn!

Life

Enjoying Winter Wonderland, While It Lasts

It is really hard to blog when the kids are home.

It’s not that they are loud or anything (in fact, they’re so quiet that I forget they’re here a lot of times) or constantly tapping me on the shoulder to ask me questions (I miss those days), it’s me. I have to be completely isolated in order to write – okay fine, to think.

When the kids are home, I’m in “mom” mode. My instincts go into overdrive and every little squeak of their chairs or the tap of their keyboards distract me. It’s especially hard to concentrate when they have their headsets on (like now) and I can hear their conversations with their friends – they sound so grown up and I’m a little jealous that they’ve created worlds where I’m not welcome.

So if this post doesn’t make sense, you’ll know why. Because my focus is being constantly punctured by “kid presence.”

It snowed last night.

Snowy Backyard
(Looking into our backyard)

In fact, it snowed quite a bit.

Snow Level
(See the snow level under our camper?)

And it was a gorgeous sight.

I know this, because I was out in it.

The husband came home early last night so he could drive me around. I had to go to Blockbusters in order to return some movies, Walgreens (for some Charcocaps – remember I talked about those yesterday?) and Harter House to pick up some arm roast for our BBQ sandwiches we plan on having Thursday night for dinner. (Yes, I’m one of those anal people who plan their menus ahead of time). He had to drive me because I was too much of a wuss to get out on my own.

Well, that was part of the reason, the other part was because I wasn’t sure if my Vibe, which sits pretty low to the ground, wouldn’t get stuck. And considering the husband drives an F150 truck and he loves to drive in this stuff anyhow, I figured I’d play the helpless female card and sweet talk him into playing my knight in shining armor.

There wasn’t much resistance on his end. ::wink::

So we’re out. And the streets are dead because they’re a mixture of slushy and slick and no one wants to be out in this mess. We pull into Walgreen’s when the snow starts. Big, fat, beautiful flakes began to gently descend from the heavens and it’s absolutely breath-taking. It’s the kind of snow that instantly covers your hair and shoulders the moment you step outside; the kind of flakes that drop softly, end-over-end until they land ever so gently on the ground – the crystals intact and shimmering in the soft glow of the street lights.

I felt like I was stuck in a snow globe. The world around us had been forced to slow down, even stop in some places. It was a magical moment.

We hurried home and opened the windows to show the boys. They were mesmerized and quickly stepped into their slippers to go outside and stand in the falling flakes. It was such a peaceful, happy, quiet moment because there was enough snow by this time to muffle the world around us. We felt isolated, yet together. It was a special family moment.

It’s now 10:57 a.m. and the sun is trying really hard to break through the clouds. Temperatures are expected to reach above freezing tomorrow and climb all the way to the 40’s by this weekend.

Our winter wonderland will soon disappear.

The husband is on his way home to pick us up for lunch. I have no idea where we will go, but it will be nice, regardless, because we’ll be together.

Tuesday Stuff

Turn It Down a Notch, Won’t You?

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Heads or Tails is hosted by Barb a.k.a. Skittles. Thanks Barb!

This week’s prompt: Heads – Loud

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We are not loud people.

In fact, it’s safe to say, we really can’t stand to be AROUND loud people.

I remember being shushed a lot when I was a kid. My dad got cranky when we were loud so I sort of grew up being quiet. It wasn’t until later that I really began to appreciate the art of silence.

Loud people make me nervous. Why do loud people feel so compelled to be loud? Insecurity? Attention? Why the theatrics? Loud people are obnoxious, irritating and definitely not cute, funny or even appealing when they’re loud. And don’t these loud people know that by being loud they are actually being counterproductive because no one really wants to be around a loud person?

Knowing when to shut up is a sign of maturity and a respect for those around you, quite frankly.

GD was a pretty quiet kid, MK? Not so much. He was a SCREAMER when he was little and his SCREAMS would make your ears bleed; they were loud and shrill and the tone was just one octave below your sanity level. When he got into one of his screaming fits (there were times NOTHING calmed that boy down), I actually went and sat in my car in the garage just to get my head screwed back on right before I felt calm enough to deal with him again.

lou35 I’m not a loud talker, though MK is. In fact, I had to constantly remind him when he was little (and occasionally still do now that he’s a teenager) to use his inside voice. He had a tendency to forget that the people he was talking to? Were standing right next to him.

I used to try and analyze why he felt the need to talk so loudly. Could he not hear himself? Was he just excited about something and couldn’t keep it inside? Was he trying to blow people’s eardrums? It was a mystery to me.

Loud people make me cringe. They physically hurt my ears. And loud shrill voices are the worst. In fact, its a pretty safe bet that if I find myself around that sort of person, I will politely, but quickly, exit the premises. There’s something so … uncomfortable about being around a loud person. Aside from the obvious irritating noise factor, there’s the fact that by being loud, that person is displaying his/her insecurities for all the world to see and I feel embarrassed for them.

The only time I’m ever loud with my children is when I’m scolding them. I talk in a pretty neutral voice most of the time so when I raise my voice, it really gets my kids’ attention (there’s a little tip for you new mothers – don’t raise your voice very often. Then when you do, not only will your kids sit up and take notice, they will know you mean business).

My kids do not like it when I raise my voice. I have a very harsh, even cruel, voice when I raise it and I’ve caught them actually cringing several times when I use it. Needless to say, they will pretty much do anything I ask them in order to prevent me from raising my voice.

*SCORE!*

I don’t like loud music UNLESS I’m really ticked off. Then I love to crank it up. When I get angry, it’s like my body puts off these intense heat waves and the music helps to absorb those nasty thoughts and anger vibes somehow.

My husband likes to play his guitar pretty loud. In fact, we have to shut him off in his office when he gets in one of his “moods” because it’s so loud it actually vibrates the windows and yes, our neighbors can hear it.

The only person who can not STAND loud noise, of any kind, is GD. And I think he might have sensitive ears partly because he was a preemie. Another reason I think he doesn’t like loud noises is because he’s just a sensitive kid. He has never handled strife very well in his life – he’s more of a smooth sailing, easy-going personality and doesn’t really “do” drama, of any sort or from anyone.

I think loud people, in general, are selfish and self-centered. I tend to get very impatient with people who don’t have enough sense to be quiet – especially when the situation demands it, like in a library, or during a movie.

“There are times when silence has the loudest voice”

How true, how true.