Beware of Books that Creep in the Night

“I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.”   Anna Quindlen

“Fiction reveals truths that reality obscures.”   Jessamyn West

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.”  Henry Ward Beecher

 

Recently in talking with friends we discovered a serious problem, in that our books had mysteriously overrun our homes.  We realized an unknown fact…that our books were procreating … like bunny rabbits.  In leaving our books alone in the bookcases at night, soon we discovered extra stacks of books on shelves, our desks, the floor, and any empty space available… overnight.  So how did this happen?

To begin with, I am an avid reader of a variety of genres, so memoir, fiction, nonfiction, business, medical, religious, family history, and a little magic sit quietly in my bookcase… or so I thought.  Now what I realize is that I have made a serious mistake as to where I place my books.  I should keep the books separated by category and not mixed up on my shelves.  You see my fiction books consist of historical and modern day romance, mysteries, true crime, and detective stories.  However, I also have an interest in mystical subjects and magic as Houdini sits on my shelf too.

So due to this radical expansion of books around my house, I set-about finding the reason, as Sherlock Holmes was always my hero and favorite book.  First, I set-up a surveillance camera near my bookcases so I could watch to see what hanky-panky was taking place in the evening when I was sound asleep.  First, Reporting Technical Information started to take note of the happenings as Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal was only interested in getting his Sleep till Noon.

Then suddenly, in the Blink of an eye I saw The Boys in the Boat, being young men, decide that Getting Personal with The Lady Risks All created Naked Heat and before I knew it I had A Season for Scandal on my hands.  At the same time, I noticed Tightwads on the Loose battling Against the Storm while Writing Life Stories, so they didn’t notice The Pirate and the Pagan creeping up on them even though the pirates were heartily singing Departmental Ditties and Barrack Room Ballads.

Wouldn’t you know but The Dark Earl spotted The Innocent, so Against the Odds and The Games People Play she found herself In the Bed of a DukeTarzan the Terrible Seduced The Otter Spirit in the Hot Rain during A Walk in the Woods and discovered that the Innocent was Insatiable.

On the other side of my room Don Quixote was busy singing Songs of the Soul while Enchanting Lily with Pearls of Wisdom when sitting on Folly Beach. But Don didn’t see King and Maxwell sneaking up with The Black Box with the intent to Kill Alex Cross. However, The Three Musketeers brought in 179 Ways to Save a Novel and during the Cross Fire while Doing Work You Love changed Alex Against the Odds into the Reluctant Suitor pursuing An Old Fashioned Girl through Temptation and Surrender.  But being an old fashioned girl she said, “When I say No, I Feel Guilty.”  Now being In the Arms of a Stranger Lord Vanity wickedly purrs, “I Believe You’re Mine!”  The old fashioned girl never believed she would Desire a Wicked Duke while wandering around in The Museum of Innocence.

So here I thought that when I turned out the lights in my house and peacefully trudged up to bed at night that the books would rest peacefully in their place on my shelves.  Little did I know how the various genres would interact with one another while alone in my bookcase.  I now understand how my books managed to multiply so quickly.  Be warned as to the shenanigans that happen when you leave your books alone at night, as the quiet Abraham Lincoln, A History could turn into A Rogue by Any Other Name!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments

OMG… I’m Blogging!!

“Breathe.  Know that the Internet has no eraser.”   Liz Strauss

“Only on the Internet can a person be lonely and popular at the same time.”  Allison Burnett, Undiscovered Gyrl

“WHY do I do this to myself?”  Gwynn Rogers

Recently, a family member asked me to write about my feelings about blogging.  So first I need to let you know that, my writing friends convinced me to give blogging a try as I was terrified of making myself known to the public.  I don’t have a great deal of confidence in me or my writing, so if I told you I feel like I’m standing out in Times Square naked with millions of people staring and laughing at me, does that give you a clue of how I feel about blogging?  But my writing friends have been very supportive and encouraged me to continue writing as they have left me lovely comments on my blog.  So gradually I’m gaining confidence.  I no longer feel that I’m replicating my worst nightmare of being exposed to thousands of strangers.

However, now as people are busy; or maybe it is because I’m a techno-idiot and don’t know how to set my blog up so people can follow me, I’m not hearing from as many people.  Suddenly I feel like I have fallen into a black chasm of isolation… a huge void known as the “black hole of the internet.”  I miss receiving comments… any comments.  Also, I’m social. I love chatting with people, but more importantly you, my readers, give me valuable feedback, insight, and comments.  You open my brain to ideas, angles, and food for thought.  I crave your opinion and constructive remarks. Additionally, I enjoy meeting new people and learning what they write or do in life.  Because of my blog, I have developed new friendships with other bloggers, and I love the camaraderie.

So suddenly I am craving people and life instead of fearing it.  Now, the question remains… how do I convince you to read AND comment… not just sneak in and then creep back out of my blog?

You also need to understand my reasoning for writing the “grit” part of my stories… besides the assumption that I’m whining about life.  I volunteer to help organizations that serve a variety of kids… homeless, incarcerated, as well as your happy and well-adjusted kids.  As most of you know, life can throw a pretty good right-hook at us sometimes.  I too have had my share of set-backs… I want to show that we CAN pick ourselves up after being knocked out, to be successful and happy in our lives.  We can step beyond the pain. All we have to do is take that gigantic step into an unfamiliar direction, with support, to make our lives happy.  Not all of us have had dramatically violent or unhappy lives, but subtle abuse can be just as devastating to a child.  Because subtle abuse is more difficult to identify, then it takes more time to figure out what the real problem is that affects the child.

Writing has helped me identify my own issues and cleared the fog from my window so that I can get past the bumps and move on smoothly in my own life.  I truly wish I had started writing years ago though.  I honestly hope that maybe someone else will see the value in my writing, to encourage them to change or to help others.  If nothing else… please leave a comment so we can discuss our points-of-view.

Oh, before I forget.  WordPress has upgraded my software for my blog.  Now you can go into the comment section and check a box that should notify you for further comments and posts.  I hope.  If nothing else, this will give you an excuse to reply to me as I would love to know that my blog is working correctly now.

I have gone from being shy to looking for more attention.  I look forward to your valuable comments.  How do you like blogging?  Has it been effective for you personally or professionally?

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 23 Comments

Warning: Beware of what you see in your visor mirror… or Denial Works!

“How confusing the beams from memory’s lamp are;

One day a bachelor, the next a grampa.

What is the secret of the trick?

How did I get so old so quick?”   Ogden Nash

 

 “Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.”  Mark Twain

“Nothing is more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face.”  Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

 “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”  American Saying

 

A long-time friend and I recently experienced similar horrific experiences while driving.  Please learn from our near tragedies.  You may have noticed the warnings on your car’s mirrors that state that “items may be closer than they appear.”  When you look in the side mirrors or the rear-view mirror on your car you never can tell how close or far away the objects in the mirror really are.  Reality is tricky.

First, have you noticed that when you look in your bathroom mirror while brushing your hair or applying make-up that your skin appears flawless… no wrinkles, pores seem barely discernable, and you barely notice the hair on your upper-lip or on your chin?  Plus, we live life using our memory camera — remembering how we looked when we were younger.  You do realize that we manage to never age in our mind’s eye.

So the other day, after walking my laps down at the waterfront in Poulsbo I returned to my car all hot and sweaty.  Plus, the humidity had frizzed my naturally, curly hair up to look like a Brillo-pad.  I needed to do something to repair the havoc nature had created as I wanted to run some errands at the grocery store.  My rear-view mirror was positioned too high and too narrow to see my entire image so of course I decided to pull down my visor and open up the mirror on the back of my visor.  BIG MISTAKE!

Reality smacked me right between the eyes and I’m convinced my head spun from the shock.  YEE-GADS my facial pores looked like vast sink-holes and the lines on my face challenged the Grand Canyon.  The worst part of my shock is that somehow I had grown a white beard between the time I had put my make-up on in the morning to the time that I had been crazy enough to pull down my visor.

I was wondering if someone had pulled one of those crazy candid-camera jokes on me.  Someplace outside my car, someone had to be hiding and laughing their head off as surely they had replaced my visor mirror with some clown’s face.  Surely I don’t look THAT bad… do I?

So in talking to friends, I learned that they had experienced the same situation with their visor mirrors.  We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  One friend did suggest that “We could make a fortune if we could develop a pore-filler with a consistency just this side of wood putty.”  However, ultimately we remembered the printed warning on the mirrors “objects may appear closer than they appear.”  BEWARE of visor mirrors… they don’t tell the truth. Ok, in my case, denial works!

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments

Community of the Past

 “To create organs for neighborly help and initiative, to meet face to face for personal assessment and vivid discussion, to take part in communal celebrations, not in vast anonymous masses, but in a circle of identifiable faces and persons, all these survivals of aboriginal village life are still necessary.  They keep intact the close chain of sympathetic responses in which man first securely established himself as irrevocably human:  these friendly eyes are the indispensable mirror in which the self beholds its own image.”   Lewis Mumford

Looking back from my current window of life, I remember growing up in a rural community on nearly an acre of woods and fields.  Most of the homes were built in the early 1900s, as once these homes were considered beach cabins of the early Seattle settlers, so there was distance between neighbors’ homes. What I remember best about my childhood is that the neighbors supported one another and helped out when someone needed assistance. Plus, at Christmas, the neighbors would all come by to celebrate at our home.  Or as a small child when I ended up outside alone in the middle of the night, a neighbor heard my cries and screams, only to dress to come rescue me and put me back to bed.  Our elderly neighbor we called, Aunt Lyda and Uncle Jim, even though they were of no relation… they just were dear people we loved and treated as family.

One neighbor was a nurse so she came down to our house to give my brother and me our shots.  Ok, so I didn’t appreciate the shots, as she kept saying, “Relax Gwynn, I can’t shoot the needle into your bottom.”  However, my mom appreciated not having to cart my brother and me the long way to the doctor’s office for our check-ups.  Heck, in “those days” our doctor even came to our house.  We all looked out for one another.

Now-a-days with the growth of towns and the attempt to stop suburban growth, more and more developments of homes have mushroomed up all over the United States replacing many of the “beach communities” from the “old days” when we had room to romp around between homes.  To quantify profit, builders learned to maximize the use of the land.  Plus, again to simplify life and increase profit they built only two or three different plans of homes, with similar colors.  Now the homes look like a giant came along with a cookie-cutter making identical homes.  I’m surprised people don’t absent-mindedly walk into the wrong home like accidentally climbing into the wrong car.  “Hi, Honey, I’m home!  Oh, you aren’t my wife… oops!”

Of course now, people can practically hear the conversations in the home next door as the homes are lined up like a row of dominos.  The views of nature that we once enjoyed now consist of looking into your neighbor’s house, so they have to draw their blinds. Once I remember coming downstairs in my bathrobe as I had just awakened early one morning.  My husband had left for his walk, but had opened all our blinds.  As I walked through the living room toward the kitchen for my cup of tea, another neighbor out for his morning walk could see clear through my house, witnessed me in my bathrobe, so he quickly changed directions and headed back toward his home.  Towns that once had a “community feel” no longer enjoy that familiar feeling because of this overbearing closeness.  We look for privacy in our lives. We no longer look at ways to work together to help one another.  Instead there is the constant animosity in developments.  People are more than likely to “flip-off” their neighbor when they walk out the front door rather than to wave at them to say “hi” or stop to chat.

For convenience sake we dramatically have changed the style of our lives and with that we have cut ourselves off from the support and love of our neighbors. I truly hope that we can change our way of life and thinking, but as I see more apartments and condos appear I fear that we will become less willing to create a cooperative environment.

A few years ago I moved out to a slightly rural area, very similar to the style of neighborhood where I grew up.  Here, neighbors watch out for one another and help one another.  My neighbors even bring us gifts of garden vegetables, pumpkin bread, and cookies.  I feel like I have come home!

 

Posted in Family stories, Uncategorized | 17 Comments

The Days of the Wild, Wild West… Returned

“A lot of the people who keep a gun at home for safety are the same ones who refuse to wear a seat belt.”  George Carlin

 “Bullets cannot be recalled.  They cannot be uninvented.  But they can be taken out of the gun.”  Martin Amis

 I would LOVE to know if Charlton Heston, when playing with his grandchild, was ever shot at while playing near their swing set?  Since when does the right to bear arms “offer the absolute capacity to live without fear” when you are playing in your yard and narrowly missed by a stray bullet?

Often, as a child, I would wonder what it was like to live in the days of Annie Oakley, the Lone Ranger, the Wild, Wild West, McCloud or even the Little House on the Prairie.  What was it like to be a ‘quick-draw’?  Was it safe to walk down the street with people shooting at one another?  Heck, what happens if a bullet came flying through your window?

Recently I learned how exciting living in the wild-west could be when a stray bullet missed hitting my four year old granddaughter or me by roughly 15 feet while we were playing on her swing-set.  Needless to say, my son-in-law went tearing up to his neighbor’s home to let them know of the near miss.  It turns out that the neighbors have a problem with groundhogs on their 100 acre farm, as if the cattle step in the groundhog’s hole, they might break a leg.  The neighbors, an elderly couple, invited a friend to bring some friends to come on over and hunt the groundhogs.  So we had heard several shots prior to the one that missed us. Supposedly the friends knew how to hunt.

The problem is that the neighbor’s farm is up on rolling hills across the street from and above my daughter’s and son-in-law’s home on 10 acres.  The range, where the cattle graze, rolls up the hill into a wooded area where elk, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys roam.  The men shooting were at the top of the hill shooting down the hill.  The problem with this is that further down the hill and across the road my granddaughters and I were playing. A stray bullet could have hit a vehicle traveling down the road or it could have hit one of us.  Fortunately it didn’t as the bullet hit my son-in-law’s shed instead!  I can still hear the “ping” as the bullet hit the shed.

The University of California at Davis did a study regarding “Victims of Stray Bullets.”  In the study, Garen Wintemute, Professor of Emergency Medicine and the Director of the Violence Prevention Research Program, said “Victims of stray bullets are essentially ‘collateral damage’ as they are usually disconnected from the events that lead to their injury or death.  They are innocent bystanders, who typically have no opportunity to flee or take any other preventative measures.”

In 2009, the study team identified 284 stray-bullet shooting events, in which 317 people were killed or injured.  The study also stated that nearly one-third of the victims were children and nearly half of those were female.  Additionally, a bullet can travel many miles if shot into the air, and the distance varies depending on the caliber of the gun.  In the case of my granddaughter and me, we were approximately a half mile or less from the men shooting. Sadly, typical of ignorant people, they didn’t bother to ask if the neighbors were home or if they had children.  They also probably had no idea of how far a bullet can travel especially when they are shooting down a hill.  Instead, they should have been facing the hill and shooting so that the bullets hit the ground on the farmer’s property.

I so truly would love to see people lock away their guns or stop manufacturing guns.  However, if they have to hunt it would be a wise idea to find out if there are other people in their area.  I did tease my son-in-law that if he had to hire a “hit man” to take out his mother-in-law that he at least hire a better shot.  Fortunately, my son-in-law and I are friends!  Plus, the problem with the groundhogs has been solved as my son-in-law and a friend of his, who know how to hunt safely, will be hunting the groundhogs from now on, so that no one’s life will be at stake in the future.

Since weapons evidently are here to stay and since people carrying weapons are not always very smart, I truly would love to see “smart guns” invented.  Technology has brought so many changes to the world, like “smart cars, “ cars that can drive themselves, or cars that automatically stop if you are about to hit something.  Why can’t “smart” guns be invented so that the gun turns off when it is in the hands of a person who doesn’t know what they are doing… like a child or an ignorant person not familiar with guns?

Today, at Seattle Pacific University, one student shot and killed another student, and wounded several other students with a gun.  Why can’t we program guns to be smarter than their handler?  If a car can drive without the driver, let’s fix the guns so they can’t hurt innocent people.

 

 

Posted in Family stories, Uncategorized | 21 Comments

The Dangers of Logging in the Northwest

“You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night. “                 ~Denise Levertov

 

Across the street, behind my neighbor’s yellow two-story house sits this humungous old Maple tree.  It alone stares in my bathroom window at me when I’m showering, dressing, and putting my make-up on in the morning.  Fortunately, for my neighbors across the street, my bathroom window is high off the ground, so despite the fact the window extends the full length of my master bathroom my neighbors cannot see in… except for maybe the top of my head.  Only their Maple tree shares my private secrets.  I won’t tell, if you won’t.

Usually, my day starts as usual with me quietly climbing into my hot, steamy shower.  I casually shower, dry myself off, do whatever else needs to be dealt with, dress, then put my make-up on, and dry my hair.  Since my window is so high, I never worry about anyone looking in to see me running around naked. But, maybe I should worry as I am quite tall.

However, I did learn that due to our winter storms that this massive Maple tree was dying and some of the neighbors near it were worried about the tree breaking apart to possibly squish their homes. Consequently, it was time to cut the tree down before it did any damage.

Now, on the one side of my house I have a young next-door neighbor, who is quite talented in numerous ways. One of his talents is taking down dangerous trees.  So the owner of the large dying Maple tree requested that our neighbor take down the old Maple tree before it fell on anyone.  But to my knowledge there had been no date set for the tree to be taken down.

One morning I was happily enjoying my nice warm shower. Finally, it came time for me to turn off the shower, dry off and conduct my morning rituals.  I was about to climb out of the shower when I happened to look up into the Maple tree.  What should I see but my next door neighbor slowly and safely climbing near the top of the depths of the tall Maple Tree with his chain saw attached to his belt.  Fortunately, he had his back to my window at that point, but I could tell he was about to turn in my direction at any second.  From the position my neighbor was in the tree, as he turned he would be looking straight into my bathroom window with an unobscured view of me standing their buck naked in front of my mirror, like a deer frozen in the headlights of the truck about to run it over!

My fear being, that if my neighbor saw me naked, he would either fall out of the tree laughing OR fall out of the tree from shock and scare.  Then how would I live with myself!  Somehow I had to escape my bathroom without my neighbor seeing me… but HOW?  I had to devise a plan of escape.

From his height in the tree, there was going to be nothing left to my neighbor’s imagination as he would be able to see nearly the entire inside of my bathroom.  Now I had to think carefully about my options for escape.  Option 1:  I could dive into my soaking tub, grab a towel and stay hidden in the bottom of the tub all day as my neighbor climbed around in the mighty Maple tree.  However, I would freeze to the bottom of the tub.  Option 2: I could jump into the soaking tub, slide along the edge of the tub under the window as a thief would do as they hid from the law.  But, I had a slight problem as there is a half wall at the end of the tub, which would prevent me from falling into the toilet.  I would not be able to climb over the wall to step on the toilet seat as it is rather wiggly.  I’d bet I’d fall into the toilet.  Besides THEN my body would be fully exposed in front of the window and I know I would shock my neighbor out of the tree at that point.   Hmmm, Option 3:  Hit the floor, drape my towel over me like a turtle in its shell, and crawl across the floor to open the bathroom door to escape into my bedroom to safety.

As I had to think fast, to me, Option 3 seemed like my best bet.  One catch… I had to grab my clothes off the bathroom counter and risk my neighbor seeing me.

So in the blink of an eye, I dropped to the floor, reached up to whisk my clothes off the bathroom counter, and did a Marine combat arm-over-arm crawl out of my bathroom to the safety of my bedroom. Or at least I thought I was safe.  Our outside stairwell wall has a big window that I suddenly realized is aligned with my bedroom door.  There in the tree, my neighbor could see through the stairway window into my bedroom, with me crawling across my floor toward the door.  I inched along the edge of the wall and prayed my neighbor could not see me as I grabbed the door and slammed it shut so that I could safely dress.

The good news… I didn’t hear any screams outside other than the saw cutting through the branches of the magnificent old Maple as it crumbled to the ground.  My neighbor was intact in the tree without knowing the life threatening hazard he nearly experienced, if he had turned around in the tree, to accidently look into my window to see me walk naked out of the shower.   Hmmm, maybe if he had seen me, I could lie to say that I had a naked Roman statue in my bathroom.  I wonder if he would believe me?  All I could do is pray that he didn’t ask to get a closer look at the statue!  Then what would I do?

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

Reflections…

a-to-z-reflection-2014

survivor-atoz_[2014]_-_SMALL

“Reflection is the beginning of reform.”     Mark Twain

 

 The fact that I completed and survived the 2014 A to Z Bloggers’ Challenge absolutely stuns me.  Under normal circumstances I probably would not have attempted the challenge; after all WHAT in God’s name do I have to write about… right?  But due to the support and encouragement of some of my writer friends I stepped up to the plate.  Hey, I even licked it clean.

Attacking this challenge has been very good for me as it forced me to write.  Reading other’s blogs also made me think and contemplate.  For me, it is like plugging in an old percolating coffee pot as it takes a while for the process to work through my system and kick in.

The major issue for me is that I have perfectionistic tendencies and compare my works to every other excellent writer out there.  Since I’m a beginner, I nearly threw the towel in as I could not imagine anyone reading my writing let alone liking it.  However, amazingly, along the way I managed to make a few new friends, who actually chuckled with me.  I wish these people were much closer to me in location as I would LOVE to hug them and thank them for believing in me.

I am totally exhausted and celebrating the break from writing every day.  I suspect I’m not the only writer who feels this way… please tell me, I’m not alone here!  My venture into this challenge started early as I prepared writing stories for the challenge.  The problem I ran into is that I couldn’t decide which word to write about and sometimes I actually wrote three different stories before I decided which one to actually use.  Then, each day that I published a story I had to edit.  Sometimes I caught my mistakes or decided I needed to clarify or add to the story so I did.  By “Z” I actually wrote that story, “Zany,” the night before I published it on my blog as I had run out of steam.

Looking back, I’m so glad that I took on this Challenge.  Hopefully, it will help make me a better writer, but most importantly… I discovered me.  Thank you for your support!

Posted in A to Z 2014 Bloggers' Challenge | 12 Comments

Liebster Nominations

LIebster Award

I wish to thank my friend and inspiring author, Tammy Banks, (http://tjbanks927.blogspot.com/ ) for nominating Gwynn’s Grit and Grin for the Liebster Award.

I am pleased to announce that we have won an award for this blog.  After receiving the award, Tammy Banks, the author of Sketch People passed it on to us.  This award is normally given to bloggers by other bloggers, and we are honored to be part of this tradition.

The Rules

  1.  Link back and thank the blogger who nominated you in your post.
  2. List 11 facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Pick 5 – 10 new bloggers (must have less than 300 followers) to nominate and ask them 11 new questions.  Do not re-nominate the blogger who nominated you.
  5. Go to each blogger’s site and inform them of their nomination.

 

11 Random Facts about Myself

  1. I loved to tease my brother.
  2. I was exceedingly quiet and shy in school, BUT look at me now!
  3. German Shepherds are my favorite dog, as I have owned four.
  4. I love to dance: square dancing, ballroom (cha-cha, rhumba, swing, waltz), country 2-step, and just plain funky!
  5. I HATE hardboiled eggs to this day, as they made me vomit when I was a kid.
  6. My first job, at nine years of age, was babysitting four kids.  I earned a whole $0.25 per hour!
  7. I loved swimming and body-surfing.  As a teenager, I nearly completely lost my two-piece swimsuit top, when it snapped, in teaching a boy to body surf.  I lucked out as I caught it before it floated off.
  8. A high school friend created false I.D.’s for four of us, so that we could go dancing at the Hullabaloo Club in Hollywood.  In those days, you had to be 18 and we were 16 nearly 17 at the time.
  9. I LOVE to read, all genres, but especially romance and mystery.  I am a romantic!
  10. The type of music I play depends on my mood!
  11. Supposedly, I was named after a Welsh town… I just can’t find that town

Questions Asked by Marie Lavender

Name three secrets you never told anyone.

 

  1.  Hmmm, I just told you about my dancing at the Hullabaloo Club.
  2. I received an A+ on a high school social studies paper, but the teacher wouldn’t give the paper back to me for fear someone would cheat and use it.
  3. My brother had a suicidal tendency, but I’m the only one who knew and watched out for him.

If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would do.

Breathe a huge sigh of relief, pay bills, bank the money, and share some with each of my children.

Looking over the last ten years, what is one goal you have achieved and one that you have not achieved? 

 

I am just figuring out who I am as a writer and what I want to write.  I have published a few small articles.  Then I have realized some big mistakes I have made in my life due to my passivity.  I am working at changing that about me.

What are your plans for retirement?  And will you travel, if so where and why. 

 

In essence, I am retired, but I’m working at changing that situation.  I have traveled in my life to Europe.  If I travel now, it probably will only be around the Northwest.  I would like to travel to California to see the museum about my family that I didn’t know existed, until recently.

Favorite drink on a Friday night? 

 

Geez, it has been so long since I have had a drink on a Friday night, I couldn’t tell you.  However, periodically I do like a glass of wine.

What do you think the secret is to a good marriage or relationship with a significant other is? 

 

It helps to have some common interests and good communication skills.  Oh yes, understanding and humor… the ability to play and have fun together, as well as work toward mutual goals.

Name three words that describe your personality. 

 

Respectful, humorous, and persistent… I would sneak in spiritual too.

Home-cooked meal or take-out? 

 

Definitely home-cooked… BUT, what about GOING OUT?  ;-)

When was the last time you blogged and what was the topic? 

 

Yesterday I finished the 2014 A- Z Bloggers’ Challenge.  I can’t believe I succeeded in completing it!

What do you think the key is to happiness? 

 

Learning to be Proactive in life and looking for love, respect, and humor.  Humor can get one through some really tough times.

Who is your favorite poet and why?   

Sadly, I’m not a huge poetry fan. Therefore, since I love humor, I would say my favorite poet is Dr. Suess.

 

In keeping with our theme, I have decided to nominate these blogs.

My Liebster Nominations

  1. Patricia Garcia                   http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/
  2. Kimberly Kay                   http://amomspointofview.com/
  3. CJ Schwartz                      http://cjswriting.wordpress.com/
  4. Charlotte Comley              http://aimingforapublishingdeal.blogspot.co.uk/
  5. Cecilia Clark                     http://ceciliaaclark.blogspot.com.au/
  6. Bridgina Molloy                http://the40plusteenager.blogspot.ie/
  7. Michelle Stanley               http://writer-way.blogspot.com
  8. TaMara Sloan                    http://www.talesofapeedeemama.com/
  9. Debi O’Neille                    http://debioneille.blogspot.com/
  10. Glenda Cates              http://mommiesreviews.com/
Posted in A to Z 2014 Bloggers' Challenge | 13 Comments

Z – Zany

Z

“Dare to ask for what you want.  Believe in your dreams.  Count your blessings.  Do the right thing. Enjoy the moment.  Fail, and dare to succeed.  Give more then you receive.  Have no regrets.  Inspire kindness.  Join in more.  Never settle for less.  Overcome Adversity.  Practice moderation.  Take personal responsibility.  Shoot for the moon.  Veto hate and negativity.  Understand more, judge less.  Exercise body and mind.  Yodel more, yawn less.  Walk your talk.  Be ZANY!”   Unknown

“There is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, and humor and hurt.”               Erma Bombeck

“When humor goes, there goes civilization.”  Erma Bombeck

 

Zany can be defined in many ways:  absurd, comic, eccentric, peculiar, funny, screwy and much more.  To me, Erma Bombeck espouses zany as she writes about ordinary daily life, yet somehow manages to make us chuckle.  As a housewife and mother of three children she could take the happiness and sorrow of life and poke fun at it.  Erma had a gift for words.

Erma Bombeck, the author of 15 books and many newspaper articles, was born in 1927 and passed away due to cancer in 1996.  But to me she was famous for her humor. She would take everyday life and make us smile.  Her gift for being zany is what I am drawn towards, thus the reason for my attempt at humor in my family stories.

Years ago, one of my employers said, “What we appreciate about Gwynn is she defuses stress through humor.”  Life can be serious, sad, boring, and stressful so it is crucial to see the fun and laughter in life too.  I can growl through life or I can smile… what do you choose to do?

I laugh about the zany conversation I had with tourists down at the marina the other day.  As I walked my fourth lap past the marina, a man from a family came up to me and said, “Mame, if you are lost, your yacht is out at the end of the marina.”  My laughing reply was, “Yeaaa, MY boat FINALLY came in!” This thinking is what entertains me as I walk.

Or my friends have been teasing me about the nuclear substance that the doctors injected into my body last week.  I laughed and wondered if it was safe to sit on my monstrous yoga ball.  I feared the nuclear substance would ignite my ball and I would be blown sky high up  into the Osprey nest behind my home.  I would have a dynamite view of the bay from up there.  I wonder if the mother Osprey would notice my intrusion into her family?

Thank you for visiting my Blog and chuckling at life with me.

 

 

Posted in A to Z 2014 Bloggers' Challenge | 12 Comments

Y – Yellow Yoga Ball

Y

“Yoga is the fountain of youth.

You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.”

Bob Harper

 

“Yoga is excellent for un-kinking the muscles and the spine.  It is great if you’re really kinky.”

Terri Guillemets

 

In the town where I was born,
Lived a man who sailed to sea,
And he told us of his life,
In the land of submarines,

So we sailed on to the sun,
Till we found the sea green,
And we lived beneath the waves,
In our yellow submarine,

We all live in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine,
We all live in a yellow submarine,
yellow submarine, yellow submarine.

Lyrics to the Beatles’ song: The Yellow Submarine

 

When people talk of yoga balls what immediately comes to your mind?  Well, as I sit here on my own version of the yellow submarine, my yellow (65 cm. in diameter), yoga ball I drift above the waves.  I bounce as if I am out to sea.  I drift from side to side.  As on a sailboat sailing on a windy day I change directions frequently. I even rock out in stormy weather as I listen to my music. The sun shines through my window and I see the sparkles that reflect off the bay.  I’m even surrounded by the green vegetation that grows up from the bay just as if I am below the deck of a sailboat or submarine.

Evidently, as being out to sea, my spine becomes more flexible with the motion of my self-made waves. Because I’m trying to stabilize myself and not fall overboard I hear that I’ll develop those six-pack abs that I keep hearing about.  The motion definitely is a stretch for my body, as is trying NOT to slide off my yellow yoga ball.  One word of warning… don’t sit on your yoga ball in your nightgown and slippers on a slippery floor.  Then you might succeed in falling overboard as I nearly did.

The consistent moving around keeps the blood flowing through my body and improves my circulation.  However, when I stop moving with the waves, it takes me a while to regain my land-legs so I grab for the nearest stable object and hold on for dear life!

What I’m really looking forward to is the increased energy all of this drifting around will provide me.  It is even rumored that I will lose approximately one pound every ten days.  Hopefully, it means the extra weight will drift off to sea and never find me again.  I won’t leave a return address.

Since I absolutely love the water, I’m learning that this drifting around on my yellow yoga ball benefits me emotionally too, as I sit here with a smile glued to my face.

Posted in A to Z 2014 Bloggers' Challenge | 8 Comments