Monday, July 30, 2007

The big Dip

Unless you live under a giant rock, you know that the stock market shed 800 points recently. Basically it is over credit worries. Hello! I have been worried about banking and lending practices for a while, so frankly this was all old news.

From my time at a financial services company, I have learned the following. It is not called "New" it is "News" it is what happened. As much as CNBC and CNN want you to believe that it is what is happening, I have news for you - it is past tense, it has happened. By the time they report it, the newness is over.

Furthermore, it should be noted, the only money that one should have in the market is money they do not need in the immediate future. It should be "mad money" or money that you will need years from now. Next month's car payment, house payment, tuition payment, rainy day savings, and so forth - need to be in a savings account. Yeah you get next to no interest or rate of return, but then there is no risk. This is not money you can afford to risk, it has been allocated already, you are just holding it - in a safe place.

So those ground rules established, I would encourage everyone to think about the 8oo point dip in the market of late as a REALLY BIG SALE. If there is a stock you liked 800 points ago and all factors remaining equal - then you should love that stock now to pieces.

Another way to look at it:

When your favorite department store marks down jeans by over 50% how many of you freak out? None, you go stock up. The stock market is just a mall for stocks - nothing more and nothing less. So if you got money burning a whole in your pocket, mad money, NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY. Not once we have climbed 800 points. Act now, this sale will not last forever - it never does - at least not until next time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Crisis of Confidence

Ok, Toasty One - You are the winner of my 100th Blog entry contest. I am just tickled. Wow 100 entries in less than a year. While I have a number of lurkers - not too many folks entered my contest. So Toasty check your email later and I have sent you some pics and tomorrow I will send more after L's party.

A Crisis of Confidence

This is actually a hybrid of Toasty One's suggestions. I am combining why I became a writer with something most of you may not know about me.

So, I think that a few of you, at least those of you that are in my inner circle, might be surprised to know that I am not all that confident in myself. By that I mean, I tend to have to summon up huge amounts of courage to take risks. Why this is I am not really sure. Every time I have taken a big risk, I have in fact gotten the big reward. I often tell myself that nothing ventured - nothing gained. I mean that. I know in my heart, in my soul that it is true. That said, every time I have taken that leap of faith, stick my neck out, boldly go - where I have never gone before - I have had to talk myself into. Sometime H has had to put up with me for weeks while I talk myself into it.

These defining moments have been punctuated by moments of great personal evaluation, often sleepless nights, and long sessions of me talking out loud to my self. I will replay the possible outcomes in my head. I will talk it thru - the problem is I talk to myself - OUT LOUD - for days, as I fold laundry, wash dished, shower, get dressed - you name it - the conversation is on going. (In the car!)

But this works for me. It helps me summon up my courage and to chart a course that makes me feel the best. I have not nor have I ever been one of the people - who is 100% self assured and just feels like I will make the right choice always. I am not sure that those folks really exist, but I know I am not one of them. I am not by nature a risk taker.

The big moments of my life have all worked this way with the exception of one. When H asked me to marry him, I knew without a doubt that marrying him would be the single best decision I made. I did not have to discuss this one with myself at all. I just tearfully told him yes.... (or I squealed and then cried - I am not sure. It was so exciting. Also I was overcome with a feeling of rightness, that I am not even sure I thought about my answer. I just said Yes.) I still feel this way today.

Let me explain my process a bit. So when I switched job within my company, I went from working with a grouping of 7 folks to working on a team of 4. The head of the team had a bad rep in the office. He had gone through associates like most of of us go through tissues. I mean it was bad. He was known for his temper, his potential womanizing, he perfectionist tendencies. An all around difficult guy to get along with. He was also ranked number 2 in production and was offering to pay me alot more money and offering me the opportunity to grow in ways that were exciting and career enhancing.

To top it off, from a getting along with former co workers standpoint, I would have to see the guys I was leaving (in the lurch a bit) everyday. We were in the same area. Yikes.

So I meet with Y after hours the first time to discuss this and tell him I want to think it over. He is fine with this. Now I am looking at it from every angle. Myself and I are talking about it all the time. In the car, my walk to and from the bus stop. It is on my mind. I run thru the possible outcomes in my head. I think it thru. I have little "role plays" in my mind. I finally decide that the positives so outweigh the negatives for me in this and that I must give it a try. I had planned to leave the company before this opportunity presented itself, so what the hell?

So Y and I have lunch. He goes over the job description again and we talk. He asks me what I thought. Well I told him. Very clearly what I thought, with confidence and conviction. I gave him some ground rules. (Yeah, my conversations and I usually come up with bravado that is not normally there on the fly. I can be tough, after some serious chatting.) I had practiced my little speech not less that 12 times. I told him there would be no funny business. If he broke the rules (I had outlined), I walked. No notice no nothing. They were rules not meant to be broken. I also asked for a bit more money than the original figure on the table and enumerated in great detail why I wanted that.

End of story. I got what I wanted: the money and six years of great experiences and support. Why did I leave? Well, L and my life goals had shifted and he broke rules # 2. He knew it when it happened. I did not even stew too much. I knew our time together was over.

My point is I could not have done this one the fly, I would not have had the courage. But my conversations - some how give me the inner strength to ask for what I want and get it. They allow me to take big risks. I only wish I could take the big risks without the conversation time. It is exhausting. But somehow, my verbal "walk throughs" work.

So it has been the same with writing. This blog is my time to practice, to work thru thoughts and ideas. To keep the words flowing. My conversation of sorts. This has not been an easy decision. My writing is intensely personal. In fact, my novel is pure fantasy and my short fiction thus far has been romantic in nature, but I have a serious story in the works, which is painful and very moving. I have a nonfiction project in mind, which would be very personal if I move forward with it. I know that some of the readers here some of my friends may not approve or like some of my stories, my work, my poems. Coming to terms with this has been tough.

I also write poetry, which can be very personal and sometimes dark - always emotional. Putting this out there is no small step, but I have found no more reasons or at least reasons compelling enough to prevent me from opening my thoughts up to the world. I have something to say. Some of you (S & J especially) have called it a gift. The time feels right and I have reached a point, where I want to be confident in myself. i want to use the gift I have been given to the fullest.

I realize that not everyone will like what I write. I realize that what matters most is that I like what I write. It is less about making the right choice and more about making the the choice which is right for me. (Yeah, reaching that conclusion took hours of conversation. My hears were ringing.)

So it really is about turning over a new leaf. My blog has been about that. In 2007, I am revamping myself and trying to move forward confidently and trusting that I can do this. I want to do this. It is worth doing.

Only good can come from that.

Sven and I needed to talk....

So I am a bit late with Wednesday's check in post and early with Sundays, but that is just the way it is. I have to say that while the challenge has been very inspirational and helpful, that I am finding it very hard to keep up with it daily. Now I am not alone. So in that I am very grateful.

This week, I have managed 3000 or so and some revision. I have also blogged a bit and written in my journal alot. (And no "Sven" you cannot read my journal... I do have some private thoughts.)

So last night with the best of intentions I had planned to write some more and instead I ended up revising my outline and making some plot changes. (I can change my mind, I am the author of this story.) Then I was feeling really creative - actually a bit tipsy from the glass of wine - and I wrote a bit of poetry. Not bad, but not good.

So there you have it. If all goes well, I am planning to write about 1500 word today and another 3000 at some point over the weekend. If all goes well.

So on balance the week has been so-so. I am thinking again, that it is not so much what project I actually work on, but that I am writing everyday. Maybe the focus will come with time or maybe I will be one of those writers with many projects going at the same time. I have also noticed, that I sometimes I write better with a break. Like I have to give my story the chance to stew a bit. So having two stories might actually be good for me. Then switching back and forth. It might take a bit longer, but then having days where one stares at the screen is not exactly great for speed either.

Yeah, some writers are likes wok's - creative very fast and at high temperatures. While other authors are like slow cookers, low heat and a long time to stew. Oh, I hope I can end up somewhere in between.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Motherhood is not the end of the road, merely a stop along the way

Normally I run at the gym, but today my hip was giving me a bit of trouble and my trainer decided today was the day we would up the weights. So I opted for a brisk walk instead of my normal all out run. I figure the faster I run, the soon I can be done. I know slow and steady will win the race, but I gotta tell ya - I am a sprinter, lets hurry up and be done kind of girl.

But I am way off my topic. So instead of running like a bat out of hell, I strolled and read this People Magazine.

(I normally am not a fan of People, but trust me when I say there was not alot to choose from.)

There was a reasonable well done article on Katie Holmes-Cruise. Also, some very fashionable photos of Katie and some great shots of her with baby Suri. Judging by the big smiles - motherhood is suiting her. She looked really happy. The kinda happy that comes from the inside, money does not buy this. All the make up and fancy clothes does not give you this happiness.

I have to say hats off to you Katie. For a while she was being hounded and the press has said some really terrible things about her. (Couch jumping lovers will do that for you girlfriend, but hey, at least he communicates his emotions - right?)

What I am really driving at is that motherhood does not spell the end of your life. Sure it changes your life, but it is not the end. While the challenges morph and change as time passes and you may never again sleep the sleep of the dead, like when you were 20 something - your life does not end when you birth a child. The choices get tougher, you have to be more creative, and you may be shocked that things that were so important to your pre-Mom self fade away, only to be replaced by bigger and better challenges.

I honestly spent about 8 years doing a job that brought me little personal fulfillment. Nice well rounded paycheck, but very little personal satisfaction. It was not something that feed my soul. It actually took it toll on me, mentally, socially, creatively. It frankly exhausted me. The money was seductive and the personal challenge was sometimes a rush, but frankly the money did not in the end make up for the fact that I was tired and irritable and frustrated.

I also felt really pulled apart, leaving L home and going to work.

Again, I have digressed. Today, 3 years after leaving that job and having a second child, I feel that I am once again going in the right direction on life's highway. I am in the passing lane even. I feel great, my creative spirit is once again alive and well. I am pursuing goals, I had set aside, for no reason other than mental exhaustion.

Sure, I cannot write 8 hours a day, but then I am not sure I would want to, even if I could. Sometimes, I am pulled in 8 directions and find myself too unfocused to write, well ok. But the bottom line is, I am once again feeling like pursuing my goal and working on my craft. If I had not had L & E, I am pretty sure, I would not have found the courage, to give this a try. It takes trying to coach the apple of eye on her bike, to teach you that you too have to sometimes let go and trust that everything will be ok, but only of you try.

Motherhood is many things, but for me it has been a new beginning, a second chance to live the life I want to live. A chance to be the woman, I have always longed to be. It has given me the courage to just be me!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Love in a Pint...

Ok, so I had the crushing revelation recently, that most sorbet and sherbet has corn syrup in it. Corn syrup is a no no.... you know, corn. In the begininng of this scary food issue thing, I had not cut out corn syrup - now I am.....

Grrr. Can I eat nothing cold and creamy? I gotta say while there is some reasonably tasty soy based ice cream out there, it is not that easy to find and I worry about eating too much soy.

So I had resigned myself to being freezer dessert free. Not so! Hello, Woo City! I just tried their Peach Amaretto Sorbet. Oh was that heaven on a spoon. Very peachy and with the hit old almond. Yummy! I had never heard of Woo City before, but I picked this up at the new Sun Flower Market. As much as I love Whole Foods - their selection of sorbet and non dairy ice cream is a bit lacking, thank you very much....

So, I am going to go enjoy my peachy spoonful of heaven!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Love maybe, money defiantly

I had to shake my head when I read this story.

It seems that P&G has paid to use the Beatles' song Love is all you Need in a LUVs diaper commercial. Emphasis on the word paid.

"Jester wouldn't say how much P&G paid to use the song, recorded by a studio group in New York. P&G boosted Luvs' marketing budget by 20 percent — dollar figures weren't released — for the multimedia campaign."

Notice the story says a studio group, so while P & G has paid to use the song - the Fab 5 will not actually be singing the song. P & G will be running a multimedia campaign so I am sure we will be seeing commercials and web based ads as well. The radio even.

So many fans are up in arms. Diapers? Who wants their favorite song associated with diapers? Well, mmmmm. (Would these same fans be surprised to know that Carters has a line of baby clothes - onesies included that feature some of John's artwork. So that is ok, but diapers not? Onesies cover diapers and believe me they are not immune form leaks.)

I might be mistaken and if I am I will offer a full apology in another post, but it seems to me that White Cloud Diapers (Walmart Brand - which I almost never use) also featured Lennon's artwork on the front Velcro strip.

I know I am missing the point, that the fans want the music to remain pure - and their point about the song being a serious one and part of the anti War movement is well taken. But the bottom line is - the Beatles and more correctly Paul and John (well his estate) can use these songs for any purpose they like. As much as certain songs define moments of our lives - the songs themselves - belong to who wrote them.

On the other hand - what is wrong with a commercial reminding us that all our children need is love. Seems to me that is a message missing from time to time.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Coffee & Eggs

I happen to like coffee. I also like tea. At one point in my life I liked tea more. Now I have to say, it depends on my mood. Typically we drink decaf in the morning at breakfast. (H to keep the blood pressure down and me, well I kicked caffeine while with child and decided not to go back.) H likes it with lots of cream and I do to. I would like to drink it black and I have to limited the cream. It is about the only time allow myself any dairy. I have tried the fake cream, but it is vile. So I go for the real think every few days.

The rest of the day I drink tea - either hot or iced.

Now that said, I can make tea no problem. But coffee, yeah I am terrible at brewing coffee. Every time I try it is a mess. I either use too much or not enough. H always makes the coffee and when he is not around I do without. I am not sure what it is. When I was working, they made a point of keeping me as far away from the coffee maker as possible.

The same thing with boiled eggs. With my eating plan, eggs are a great option. I can eat eggs. I, until recently, could not boil eggs to save my life. In fact this is a funny story. The first time I ever made boiled eggs, H and I were living together. I wanted to make Deviled Eggs and to do so, you have to start with boiled eggs, so I put a pot of water on to boil, once it was boiling, using a large spoon, I lowered the eggs in one by one. Ouch, the hot water splashes up and the eggs all cracked. I had egg white floating in the water everywhere. It was a mess. I was so upset.

H comes home and asked me what I was up to. I tearfully explained what I was trying to do and once he settled down and stopped laughing his ass off, he explained ever so sweetly that one starts the process with cool water and eggs in the same pot. Huh. I was so embarrassed.

Now that said, I have far from perfected this. I tend to boil them too long. H, well his are always perfect. Just right. Not even a hint of grayness. He does not even time them. Me I set the timer and hover around. Yeah, gray city!

So, the moral here. If you want coffee and a boiled egg, plan on coming round when H is in town - otherwise how about some herbal tea and an omelet.....

Not a word...

So I have been feeling all proud of myself, for writing and staying focused and keeping up with the 1500 words a day. I was a writing machine. Until yesterday. Yep! Not one word. Could not write a word on the novel I have in the works, not a word on the short story which I am very excited about. Not a word for this blog. (Heck I could not even manage the thank you notes I wanted to write.)

Now, lest you think I had somehow managed to bind and gag my "little voice" - I will debunk that myth right now. My little voice had a lot to say yesterday, only it chose to whisper. The words were floating around my head alright, but instead of staying in my consciousness, they would bump up against the back of my forehead and then go hide. I played hide and seek with the word fairy and my little voice all day and again for a bit in the evening. Then I decided it was a complete waste of time to stare at the computer, so I watched a movie instead.

Now today I am once again feeling the love, my "little voice" is ready to shout it out to anyone who will listen, so I am hoping to make some real progress and make up for the day I lost yesterday.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

100th entry contest

So, I am closing in on my 100th entry. Yeah me! So I have decided that I would like one of my readers, to pick the topic for my 100th post. Now, I know you are all out there because:

  1. You tell me privately via email or otherwise that you love my blog, a particular post has spoken to you, and so forth. (Ok, some of you tell me in person or on the phone also!)
  2. I have installed a counter, I know you are out there, cuz I am counting you. Just to see what is up mind you :)
So here is the deal:

1. Post a comment to this entry and tell me what you would like me to write about. It can be anything, something you want to know about me, an issue you would like me to address. Whatever. Readers' choice.

2. Do not want to post? Not feeling like an exhibitionist? That is fine by me, shoot me an email - with the same info and I will be happy to add you into the running for the prize.

And just what is the prize you are wondering? Well I am not sure. It will be small - maybe a poem or something equally creative and a token of my appreciation, like a drink (with me) or coffee (with me), or gift card. (Like for the Toasty one - I do not see myself flying down under any time soon. Bummer, really.) I am not sure.... but it will be from me and it really does mean that I appreciate you taking the time to visit with me and read what I have to say.

Deadline for your suggestion submission is July 21, 2007 at 10:00 pm EDT/EST. I will more than likely post this entry, around the beginning of August at the pace I am writing.

Monday, July 16, 2007

70 days and counting

Ok, so I have been writing my finger off! I posted this on Alison Kent's blog for my weekly check in. (Think weigh in, if you will.)

"Wow, this contest is just what I needed. It has helped me with focus. I wrote a total of 10,910 words. (7910 for this novel & 3000 in a short story I have been working on…. : ) Thanks for the encouragement."

That was last night. I am ever so pleased. I have also noticed the following:

  1. I am writing faster
  2. I am less worried about mistakes, I am writing and writing until I hit my word goal and then I go back and fix the mistakes. It is making me flow better. I can focus on the story.
  3. I am just plain more focused. This is important. I have no lack of imagination, but sometimes I cannot see the forest for the trees. Having a word goal, helps me stay on task.
  4. I like knowing there are about 170 other people struggling to get their novels written as well. That is nice to know!
So I will update you again next week.

BTW - I wrote about 1600 words today.... so I am off to a good start for next weeks check in!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Living the life you were meant to live...

Ok so tomorrow is my birthday. I think alot of people use this time to celebrate a little or alot. I have always liked to celebrate my birthday. It is my special day! I also like to take stock of my life, do a little reflecting on things. Turning 25, as I recall was a tough one. I did not feel as if I was living up to my full potential at that point in my life. I was very torn then. I felt I had sold out and joined up with the corporate machine (I have mentioned my leftist leanings...... the roots are deep.) I just remember it being a hard one to swallow, that birthday. Otherwise I have marched along with the birthdays. Being very happy to be another year older and just a bit wiser.

Honestly the first couple of my 30s, flew by - having very little children will do that to you I think. This year I will be 34. I joke this is going to be my last one, but in all honesty - I am loving the woman I am today, so much more than my 24 year self. Motherhood has made me smarter, wiser, more patient and all around a better person I think.

I am as fit as I have every been. I am healthy and strong and so very happy. I have been reflecting on the roots of those feeling over the last few weeks. I am not going to share the reasons with you, other than to say I feel I am living the life I was meant to live.

I think we all have a purpose. We are all meant to do something. We are all meant to be certain people. Whether we realize that or not is largely up to us. If we are quiet, listen to our inner voice and embrace our call, then I think we will realize that purpose. If we do not listen, then I think we will fine less satisfaction and happiness in our lives than we had hoped for.

It is about making mistakes and being willing to learn from them. It is about trying new things and not thinking about possible failure but rather the possible gain. It is about being true to ourselves first and foremost, embracing our own personal truth - facing the painful ones and reveling in the wonderful ones.

It is about living an honest and authentic life.

So, instead of blowing out my candles and wishing for something for just myself, this year I am wishing that everyone will be still for a moment and embrace their personal truths, embrace their inner beauty and not be afraid to share it with others.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It is not honorable its cruel

Ok I gotta tell ya, I am a culturally sensitive gal. I respect every culture and its rights to rituals and customs that I might not understand. But this has to stop.

There is no reason that a young girl or woman should have her clitoris or other parts of her genitalia removed - by a physician or otherwise. NO REASON. NONE. It serves no earthly purpose. Frankly, it is not honorable, that parents would subject their daughters to this kind of lifelong pain and suffereing. Let's just call it what it is. Child abuse.

Family honor and all that aside, this is vicious. This is cruel to deny women and girls the pleasure their bodies were designed to have.

I am glad to see that Britain is taking a harsh stand. I am glad that women are speaking out about this horrible practice.

I also have this to say, no matter who you call God, what you call God, and what you hold to be honorable. I believe that a just God, will punish those who abuse young children. Who hurt those who cannot defend themselves.

So my question to those that advocate and practice FGM - "Is you your God just? Will your cruelty go unpunished? Is it not your job to protect from harm and love your daughters and your sisters ." FGM is harm my friends. Big Time! It is not loving, it will not protect them, and you are doing them a disservice.

Book Review: The Hindi-Bindi Club

I decided to read this book based on a recommendation by Nalini Singh. See her post for her thoughts on the book.

The Hindi-Bindi Club

by Monica Pradhan

ISBN 978-0-553-38452-9


This book follows the lives of three thirty something first generation Indian- American women and their immigrant mothers. The book is broken into chapters, each told by a different woman's perspective. It traces their struggles and their truiphments. It actually covers the events between Christmas and the following early spring. Each woman is trying to find her way and trying to manage adult mother-daughter interaction.

What Worked for Me

Well, this one made me cry on more than one occasion. I mean really cry. It also made me laugh and while I am not Indian, the themes and family dynamics are really very germain to all mothers and daughters. Maybe with a slightly different flavor, but the heart of the matter is the same.

The book also includes some great Indian recipies and food and cooking are a central theme to this story.

I love the way this book makes you really face the tough issues, in a gentle and loving way.

What did not work for me

I had a hard time starting this novel. The way each woman tells the story takes a bit to get used to. It is important to note, that Pradhan does not have each woman describe the same scene from a different viewpoint, but they actually each more or less, take up where the other left off. Sometimes on the same road, but more likely taking a slightly different path. At first I did not get that and the story seemed a bit choppy. Once I got with the program, the book was a fast read and I like the way she crafted the narrative. Imaginative and unique.

While I liked the history and the Indian/Hindu perspectives, at times I felt it took away from the story. I felt a bit bogged down. I did learn a good bit and think I might check out some of her reference material, but at times, I am not sure all the info was all that helpful to the story.


This is a great read and well worth the time. I really loved Kiran and was so very happy, seing her grow. Even though this is a story of 6 Indian women, it very well could be the story of 6 Italian women. Change the food and some of the history and bam, you could have the Lasagna Club. (You get the idea.) The themes and struggles discussed here are not culturally isolated.

Plus I cried. I am not a huge crier. This one made me cry a good bit. In fact I had to stop reading at one point and then go back later.

Plus I got some great recipes out of the deal too!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

70 days....

Yeah, well we are off to a good start. 2018 words, 4 pages, an hour and half.

Word choice...

It has been duly established that I do not eat certain things. I have decided I need to say do not instead of can't. I can eat anything I want. I live in a part of the world, where food is plentiful and I can go and buy just about anything my heart desires. I can eat wheat bread. It is easy, you open the package, take out a slice and chew. My doctor has advised me I should not do so - because my body does not react well to wheat, dairy, corn and rye. That said, I choose to follow my doctors suggestion. I feel better, it has resolved for me so many issue - be they gastro intestinal, skin rashes, hives, a feeling of general malaise, and so forth.

You may wonder why I bring this up. Well because I have decided that word choice matters in this case. At church today, while talking with some folks, it was brought up that I observe a special diet. (People always say that with a mix of either awe and dismay or with a sneer, like I am somehow a sacrifice to the food cause or something.) They pity me because I cannot/do not eat donuts.

So today, I was asked why. So I explained what my doctor has said and then I added, "I follow this advice, because I am honoring my body. I have dedicated myself to giving it what it needs." I guess in some ways this does require a bit of willpower (nah, I feel so good now why would I affirmatively choose to make myself feel bad.)

Honestly, I do it to honor my body. I think in Western culture we no longer deal with honor, as much as we should. In my practice of Yoga, it is all about honoring your body, being present in the poses, moving your body in a flow. It is about honoring your breathing, working with you body and maintaining your breathing. It is about working on the poses that bring you and inner peace.

Since I have started down this path of not eating things that are harmful to my body, I have been richly rewarded. I feel really good. I think I look very healthy. I can do things I never felt I could before. I am biking alot, running, lifting better. My Yoga practice has improved 10 fold.

I knew my body was strong, I birthed two babies the old fashioned way. My body did as it was intended. I worked with it, breathed thru the pain - just as I had learned in Yoga. I focused on mentally supporting my body, with positive thoughts. I let it do what it needed to do. In the end I was richly rewarded with beautiful babies and an endorphian high that rivals anything I have ever accomplished chemically. Think a runners high times 10. I mean I was flying.....

When I am still and really listen to my body, it tells me what it needs. It needs me to not eat certain things and in return, for honoring this request - it will let me exceed my expectations, it will allow me to keep up a frantic pace in day to day life, it will give me great joy.

So, it is not so much that I cannot - but more that I do not - I choose not.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Some days just suck!

Right. So alot has been made over the fact that today is 07-07-2007. Yeah, well for all I care those folks can take their lucky sevens and flush them.

E had me up last night in the middle of the night. He was hungry and cranky - because he opted not to eat his dinner nor his before bed snack. Then he refused to settle back down - so of course he had L up too! Great.

Then at 5:30 am L wakes me up to discuss why rain comes out of clouds. Like I know. Frankly I could care and certainly not at that hour. I got her back into her room, but the rest of my sleep was shot.

Then they both screamed thru breakfast. Finally I had them dressed and ready to head out. She went out to swing and E was playing with his toys. I went to brush my teeth and grab diapers.

In the 5 minutes I was not in the same room with E. He pushed a kitchen chair to the sink (H had the rugs in the wash) and proceeded to hose down the kitchen with the sink sprayer. Nice.

So I got that cleaned up - now off the the gym.

But alas no, my morning actually did get worse - prior to 9 am! (Is that allowed. I mean there should really be rules about this....)

As we left our driveway headed to the gym, one of them, while they both are screaming at the tops of their lungs, hullers something at me, I duck - in the process of ducking I swerve and take out our neighbors brand new mailbox. The box is toast and my car has some major issues....

My run at the gym sucked. I have been running 4 miles. I gutted out the 5K today - but had to walk the last 3/4 mile. Dammit!

The we made a pit stop by my pro bono job - only to find the stuff I wanted to work on AWOL and the kids kept screaming........ had an email which further rained on my parade.

Could it honestly get worse you say? YES!

So we all took naps( or at least rested) and had a snack and hit the mall for a gift. All without a problem. I thought I had turned a corner.

Then we get home, I gather dinner together. Only to have E dump black beans over his head. Nice.

And the grand topper for the day. I am drinking a glass of wine - which I so deserve. A bee lands it the full glass of wine while I am drinking it and I swallow the bee. I hope I am not allergic to digested bees!

So I am going to take a bath and then watch a DVD. I am done for the day and hoping that I:
a.) do not drown in the bath tub


b.) I do not blow up anything trying to use the DVD player. We have a rocky history. Furthermore the DVD had better actually work and not be damaged.

So I hope that all those 7-7-7 people had a better day than I did. Cuz this one was close to being the day from hell.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ok here is another kick in the pants.....

Alison Kent and Co is running a contest - 70 Days of Sweat. You have to agree to write 4-6 pages a day on your novel and at the end of the 70 days, your rough draft will be done.

Well on the heals of my 1st rejection ever - I am prepared to take this on. I need some focus and I have a good start on this story - I have a rough outline and the characters worked up.

So in the vein of nothing ventured nothing gained - I am going to go for it. Wanna know what my story is about? Go check out her post for yourself.... I made a comment, so you can browse and see what my book is about....

As a bit of a tease, this is what I think my heroine looks like.

What's in a name?

Names are a very personal subject. Ask any expectant couple and you can expect to hear all about their name list, to a family history of a given name choice, to a mums the word we will not tell. H and I gladly shared our names with people. Sometimes you get a crazy look or the ever polite, "Oh, that is a nice name."

Some people have very firm opinions about certain names. In fact this is a funny story.

H's cousin passed away and I took my MIL and the children to the calling hours. I had not met his Aunt and Uncle before so it was interesting all ways around. My MIL and Tante L were seated on the couch and E and I sat in front of them playing on the floor. L was running around with some other youngsters. Now it is important to note that I speak German really well. Well enough to follow their conversation.

So Tante L starts out asking my MIL "Was Fuer ein Name ist E?" (What kind of name is E...)

My MIL hedges and says that well they liked that name.

Tante L pushes on.

My MIL hedges some more.

Finally I turn around and said, "Mein Kind, Mein Wahl." (My child, my choice.)

Well that stopped her. She had assumed I could not follow the conversation. I would also like to note that none of her 4 kids have German names really. So what her deal was is beyond me.

L has a small zoo of stuffed animals. Each one has a name and she knows them all. She never changes their names. She has her own way of naming things. She has "Big Bear" and "Big Big Bear." A bunny named EG. A little bear named Kohlrabi. (after the veggie)

E has his best friend, a little bear, who I had started out calling Bear, Bear, but at a certain point it shifted to Stinky. The bear has a aroma all its own - so L and I referred to it as stinky. E calls him "Tinky" and it has stuck.

When I am writing, I find it easy to pick a character's name and they stick. I am loathe to change them. I am not sure why, but I cannot build up the character traits, if I do not have a solid name.

Which brings me to my name. I like my name. It suits me I think, but for writing, I wanted to pick something else - not only because I thought it sounded better, but it also to keep my real life a bit separate from my professional life. Not that I am convinced I will be famous - but one never knows and I think one should start off as one wants to go..... so I have renamed myself - - and I might tell you it if you post a comment. Some of you know it already.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My first rejection

Ok, so my friend JS gave me this kick in the pants awhile back. So I write the story that popped into my head and submitted it. I did not win - nor did I make the list of honorable mentions. MMMM, I am remaining optimistic. It was a good story. Many of you have already read it.

So, I think I am going to revise it a bit and submit it somewhere else..... I am not going to lose heart. I can do this. My stories are good.... I would post it on the blog - but I am not sure of the copywrite issues. Someone could steal it..... I need to do some research there first.

So you win some and you lose some, right. And as L says - "you will never know if you do not try!"

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy 4th of July

Well today is Independence Day - the birth of our nation. It is really something spectacular. I thought I would talk about something really important to me. Freedom of Speech. I happen to like all kinds of freedom, but I especially like this one. I have always valued that I live in a country where I am free to express my ideas, thoughts and feeling - without fear that my government can throw me in jail because they do not agree with what I have said or written. In many many places around the world that is not the case. Now, our system is not perfect. We are not without flaws, but for the most part we are free to express ourselves, in a variety of media, without fear. In places like, China, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea - freedom of speech is just not an option.

So as a for instance, I was thinking today, that in the afore mentioned places, I could not get away with this but in the USA I can. So I am going to......

I think you can tell alot about a guy based on his underwear preference. Boxers, for one, offer a wide range of expression - be it plaid (a Scotsman perhaps), cute little bears and log cabins (a nature lover perhaps) and so on you get the point. I think it takes a certain kind of man to pull off a Spedo. (Oh no my eyes my eyes - ahhhhhh.) So I was thinking this morning, just what kind of underwear does our gutless (oops did I actually type that - I meant fearless - bad fingers very bad fingers.....) leader wear? MMMM. Well GW is seriously lacking in imagination, so I am thinking themed boxers would be out of the question. Well, then I am fairly certain that a Spedo is not really his thing either. (Thank God!) While he does jog, I am going to have to say that the sporty boxer brief is not a likely choice either. (Forget about a low rise boxer brief. Yikes not going there.) So after much more thought on the matter than truly necessary I am going to have to say that our largely unimaginative and totally inept leader, more than likely goes with your run of the mill, tighty whitey - plain old briefs.

So you see, in this country I am totally entitled to my opinion. The thought police cannot come to my house, with their shorts in a knot. I am allowed to express my opinions. There are groups in the US who have dedicated their life's work to making sure that we are allowed to express ourselves. (the ACLU as an example) Dissension is patriotic. We must never rest on our laurels. Discussion and debate is a good thing. It keeps the Constitution alive. It honors those, who have given their lives in the pursuit of securing those ideals for all Americans and people around the global.

Freedom of Speech ensures that we are free to exchange ideas, even ideas unpopular with many. It means that we can read what want, write what we want, say what we feels needs to be said. It means that we can watch what we choose in the privacy of our own homes.

But it does have its limits. We cannot outright lie about people. (So if I knew for a fact that GW does in fact wear a Spedo - I really need to own up to that fact.... WHICH I SO HAVE NO WAY OF KNOWING.....) It also means that I should offer a fair and balanced explanation for my thoughts. (Yeah ok it is my blog, so I get to say what I want. In a news article, I should be fair and balanced.) I think it is helpful in the pursuit of an honest debate - to avoid personal attacks and the like. But on a whole freedom of speech ensures that we can question and we comment without fear that we could lose of lives, homes, jobs. It ensures that we are free to think and explore.

So I raise my glass to every Dissident who is currently away from their families because they made the choice to speak up and out. I raise my glass to every active duty service man and woman - who is away from friends and family - serving our nation. I raise my glass to every veteran - who has served with honor and pride. I raise my glass to every American who feels passionate about something and who uses their voice to speak out, act up and stand proud.

It really is a reason to celebrate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Single Digits!

Ok, so I have shared the downside to my scary food issues.....

But today I have to share the upside.... pants sizes in the single digits.

Yeah buddy, chicken, brown rice and veggie rock!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Hives really ought to just be for BEES...

But alas they are not. I broke out yesterday with a case of the hives after lunch. I am normally very good about what I am eating and today and the balance of yesterday I racked my brain, as to what I could have eaten that would have given me the hives and the acute headache.

I have no answer. I had eaten seared tuna, some homemade pickles (made by me....), some fruit and a wheat free cookie. Yeah..... so what oh what caused the scary food reaction????

Before we had isolated what was causing my mystery maladies, I had had an outbreak similar to yesterdays a few times before..... and this one was mild, it only lasted a few hours and by dinner time and our dinner party, I was right as rain. It is scary however..... for it to come out of nowhere like that. (I turned beat red all over, as if I had had too much sun. Get a hot feeling on my skin, followed by feeling really cold. Then as fast as it happened - it went away.)

At least H was home. It is most scary to have a reaction like that and be all alone. Not a good feeling. At all.

So now I am back to being super extra vigilant and calling my doctor....... because seriously, I check and double check and when in doubt - I do not eat!

Here's to fruits, veggies, brown rice and chicken. I guess I cannot go wrong with that menu alone!