Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

wonderful-readership-award

Last week, Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen nominated me for the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!”  I was ecstatic!

Unfortunately I wasn’t quite sure what that meant, nor how I should respond.  This was the second person that nominated me for something; I apologize that I did not act on the first.  My excuse is I was new and naïve…until now! 

I sincerely appreciate Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen for nominating me for this award.  I am extremely grateful to all of my “fans” who make awards like this possible.  If it were not for the “Likes” or “Comments” I’ve received on my pages, I’d feel like a virtual blogger in a haystack!

To all of you who have taken the time to read my posts, I offer a great big, warm

THANK YOU! 

wonderful-readership-award

So now, here are the rules for the award, which are fairly simple to follow:

Nominate 14 other blogs to receive the award.

Here are my 14 recommendations (in no particular order):

Keeping it Real Mom – Life of a Real mom with Real challenges

Bucket List Publications – Lesley Carter is Adventurer Extraordinaire

Rebecca 2000 – For those who go where no one dares

Dianne Gray – Acclaimed Australian author

The Jenny Mac Book Blog – Artful Young Adult writer

All Seasons Cyclist – Any and all things Cycling

Fiammisday – Fabulous fashions for mom and baby

To Be Aware – Self Awareness and Fulfillment

i Game Mom – Educational applications for kids

Watch Out World – Food, crafts and fun in the blogosphere

Patrick Latter – Wondrous Canadian Hiking Photography and more

A Lot On Your Plate -Ccreative & practical tips, recipes, and more

The Better Man Projects –  One man’s heartwarming motivational journey

Mix It Up and Make It Nice – Great baking and hosting blog

THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU!!!

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“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Faulkner

You never know what you’ll find when you dig through drawers you haven’t searched in a long time.  Today, I relocated my diary…from 1969.  Talk about a time warp!   Was I really that obedient, naïve and typically pubescent back in the day?  How refreshing to remember…all hope is not lost!

Although I didn’t write in it daily, some of the postings brought me back to a time when life was much simpler…or so I thought.  The first entry was on New Years Eve, January 1, 1969.  I recall being with my two cousins and my brother while our parents were out reveling.  How many people actually have a mini-description of that date?

I’ve noticed through my diary, how often I wrote about doing the dishes, peeling potatoes, vacuuming, watching TV, playing piano, doing a crossword, playing or even being tired.  I also noticed on days we were at my brother/sister-in-laws, or sister/brother-in-laws, we came home very late (or early morning…5 am?)

Another thing that amuses me is my handwriting which was so very sloppy compared to that of high school.  Some later spelling entries are almost unforgivable!  I received an “A” in both Penmanship and Spelling in grammar school but the writings in this diary are atrocious! Guess there’s no pardon by an aging perfectionist!

Oh, yes.  January 16 I was an innocent young girl having a dream about “Owen.”  I vaguely remember a boy with that name…hmmm.

Okay, I was in 7th grade when I penned these entries; still very young.  As a matter of fact, TOO YOUNG, but then again, in today’s society, my dreams and fantasies are realities to some children nowadays…how sad. 

Childhood seems to be waning: adulthood seems to begin at 12, with the ignorance of an infant.

 Even back then, I was concerned about my report card.  A 75 would never do.  I’m sure the teacher made a mistake and the correct grade was  85.3. 

 It’s sad that today, it’s acceptable not to strongly encourage children to study hard and do better in school…it seems everyone gets an award for “trying.”  But how hard do children really try?  Distractions such as TV, Xbox, Wii, Internet, etc., are everywhere.  How often do children pick up a book on their own just to “read?”  Seems to be a foreign concept unless you own a Kindle.  Then again, Smartphones take priority. 

I remembered the “Blizzard of ’69” after reading my diary.  School was closed for two weeks.  I’m sure that made my parents very happy.  However, since we were still amused and occupied with recently acquired Christmas presents, snow days weren’t qute as bad as they could have been.

Notice the note on February 11 as “Diane’s Birthday.”  Diane was then and still is my BFF.  We remember and celebrate each other’s birthdays every year, to this day.  How wonderful is that!

March 7 was actually one of several clippings I pasted from the TV news about a “great” movie; this one was the 1961 “All Hands on Deck” I saw featuring Pat Boone and Barbara Eden.  It seems we were always over my sister Kathy’s house.  NOW I REMEMBER WHY…My sister was the first to have children in our family; I used to babysit for them ALL THE TIME, lovingly I might add, while my sister, brother-in-law and parents used to play cards!  Damn, I never even got paid! LOL

 Oh, this one was a gem.  Visiting my brother and sister-in-law’s house and writing about the “celebrities” I liked very much (at such a tender age)…  Bobby Sherman, Robert Wagner, James Conrad, David Hedison, Dom DeLouise.  My favorite female was Carol Burnett!   I still love Carol!

I eliminated a few more personal entries that only “girls” should discuss…but yeah, they were recorded in my diary and are beautiful to remember.  Could you imagine what I’d be writing online if the internet were available back then?

Just think…this was the stuff I used to think was important enough for me to write about back then.  Today, it’s finances, food costs, gas prices, mortgages, healthcare, taxes, exercise, tuition…and more. 

Oh, how I sometimes long for the younger, softer, innocent years of my youth! 

“Keep a diary, and someday it’ll keep you.” ~ Mae West

Young at Heart; A Celebration of a Life Well-Lived

It was a sunny, brisk autumn day yesterday.  Limited resources due to complications created by last week’s storm did not prevent us from celebrating the 92nd birthday of a woman who is like a second mother to me.  Having the opportunity to visit with Mrs. M., as she sat proudly in her living room, all dressed up and genuinely proud to be honored on such an occasion, was a blessing.  The festivities brought back fond memories of my childhood, as it included lots of music, food, laughter and wonderful conversation in a warm, loving environment.

Mrs. M., ever the lady, did not hold back while thanking her guests for helping her celebrate another milestone.  Her articulated vision of us kneeling on the carpet in front of her in admiration had everyone chuckling.   Don’t let her size fool you either.  Petite, soft-spoken and rather fragile, Esty M. can still catch one off guard with her quick wit and humorous wisecracks.

A highlight of the evening was when the guest pianist performed a couple of Mrs. M’s musical compositions on the piano.  A music lover since childhood, Esty delighted in hearing her pieces frolic along the ivories.   One of her favorite arrangements “My Dance for You” was tenderly played as a tribute to her late husband with whom she would have celebrated her 70th anniversary the day before.

One of the lines of my favorite Jim Croce song, “Time in a Bottle” reminds me that “there never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them.”  Last night gave me the incentive to renew my interest in playing the piano.  It also encouraged me to discover some classic literary works I’ve thought about but never read, in particular Anna Karenina, The Sun Also Rises, Sister Carrie or A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

As I listened to Mrs. M.’s CD this afternoon, I realized how quickly time passes us by.  If we don’t take advantage of the precious moments we have, they’ll be lost forever.  I hope I’m fortunate enough to celebrate my 92nd birthday with family and friends.  That day seems so far off but may be here sooner than I think.  In the words of Jack Dawson (of Titanic movie fame), “here’s to making each day count.” 

“Any sage will tell you the secret to longevity is to outlive your predictions and see them to fruition. You cannot gloat from the grave.” ~ L. Vincent Majestic

Writing Challenges

One of the most disturbing challenges a writer faces is interruption; even a burgeoning one like me.  There were three topics I was inspired to write about today, yet all of them fell to the wayside when I answered a telephone call.  Upon spotting the number on my phone, I could easily have let it descend into the hellhole of voicemail.  However, my parents didn’t bring me up that way.  At that moment, I realized my intense thoughts would have to be put on the back burner, searing in the recesses of my mind, until I accepted my position as a loving, caring family member and answered the ring.

There is a funny thing about being disrupted though.  You never know what to expect.  Granted, many times the talk is frivolous and painfully time-consuming but sometimes, when you least expect it, you can actually learn something. 

As the youngest of a large family, I am used to and expect interruptions.  I cannot gauge which ones will be morbidly agonizing at the time or quality of context or those which will illuminate me.  Often I expect calls from one of my siblings to be an ordinary, friendly conversation.  When another calls, who is often more remote, I fear the call bears bad news.  Nevertheless, in the midst of writing, any call can be an agonizing distraction.

What do you do when a friend calls when they “should know better” than to distract me during specific hours of the day.  I’ve been a salesperson and know that all calls are important.  Are writers so self-absorbed that they should eliminate all contact when they are in “their element”?  Maybe so, but how could anyone expect others to live their lives that way?

I don’t have an answer.  I’m still testing the waters in the realm of writing.  Most of my deepest, most dynamic thoughts come from when I’m alone, even if it’s only for a few minutes before I get a chance to record them.  I’m trying to find a balance between doing what I’m expected to do as a woman, wife and mother and writing and to be honest, it isn’t easy.  So many others I’ve read about have had similar difficulties but they seem to excel.  I’m latching onto their coattails for confidence and know somewhere, there is a reason to continue writing.

“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.”  ~ Edgar Allan Poe