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Showing posts from 2007

New Year's Blogging Resolution

I've been thinking. I know I need to get this blog going for real. So I've made a New Year's resolution a few days early to try to be more faithful to this blog. And how timely that I came across this from simpleology. I don't know yet what they'll teach me, but I can sure use some help. Anyway, here's a blurb about what they're offering:


I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.It covers:The best blogging techniques.How to get traffic to your blog.How to turn your blog into money.I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Middle School Contraception...HUH?

I'm angry, so here I am to stew a little and let off some steam. My husband just sent me a link to an article on CNN about a Maine middle school that is now going to be passing out oral contraceptives to its students. Too many middle school pregnancies, they're complaining. The school's health center has been handing out condoms since 2000, but that didn't seem to help much. Well, duh!

Oh, and the best part. These kids can get this stuff without telling their parents. Wait, addendum: kids must have parental permission to even go to the health center. Yeah, but once in there, everything is confidential. So 11, 12, and 13 year old kids, who barely even know how to keep their own noses clean yet, are being allowed to make a decision about wether or not they should go on the pill??? What is wrong with these school officials??? Parents need to be informed.

Yeah, I know the reasoning behind this secrecy. Kids won't speak to their doctors etc., who are SUPPOSED to be resp…

Monsters are People Too

So woops! It's been weeks. I know, I know. I have not blogged in ages. I don't know if I'm even going to keep this blog thing going. It's just too much work! lol. So I'm lazy. Or then there's just alot going on in my life. Or maybe it's a little of both. But today I did have something to say, so here I am.

I was looking at some photos online that were taken at Auschwitz back during World War 2. These aren't the usual pictures, of tortured and emaciated prisoners. Nope. These were pictures of the people who worked at the camp. And what struck me so fiercely is how human they looked. People just like me, laughing, having fun, lazing around in the sun, playing with a pet dog, having a picnic, even singing in a choir and lighting the candles on a Christmas tree. And I thought, how could those monsters look so normal?

And then the words...just like me...ran through my mind again. People just like me. No, I never enslaved a particular group of people just beca…

And the Winner is.....

Drum Roll..............


Well, I don't know. *G* You'll have to go over to the Long and Short Reviews site to find out. And there's a new contest going on now, so hurry on over and check it out. :)

Thanks, y'all, for participating.

A Contest for You

A contests! What fun! Ok, so I've used up my quota of exclamation marks for the decade. Don't sue me, but do go check out the pre-Grand Opening contest for the new Long and Short Reviews site at The Long and Short Reviews Contest Page. This really is an offer you can't refuse. If you like free books, that is. I won't hold you up here, so just go to The Long and Short Reviews contest page and check it out. Oh, this is a sticky note, btw, so if you are reading this on any day other than Monday, August 13, 2007, you'll have to scroll down for any more recent posts I might have up here. :)

Surviving

Well, we survived the first two days of school. I wasn't so sure Monday morning. I put my two "babies" on their respective busses and walked home from the bus stop feeling very empty. Then I walked into the house. And IT was very empty. I had a glimpse into what empty nesters go through, I guess, with the exception that I knew the kids would be home in the afternoon. But I made it, and so did the girls. Day two was just a little easier to let them go when the bus came. I got alot done around the house, and didn't have any lights left on in the bedrooms to be turning off every five minutes. *g* Hey, I might just get to the point where I enjoy this new phase of my life. And once the girls find their place and make friends, I know they'll be glad they aren't having to put up with Mom teaching them any more. :) I don't regret a single day of homeschooling, but I suppose it was time to let them go.

Thanks to all of you who have left comments. You guys are grea…

Thank you!

**Note: This should have been posted on Friday, August 17, 2007. I'm a day and a half late, but here goes...

Hey folks. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks to all you wonderful people who took time to comment. Made my day. Several times in a row. :)

So it looks like we've survived this week. Well, the week's not done yet, but it's almost. Still have some last minute school stuff to take care of. Daughter number 2 has everything but a gym t-shirt and a back pack. Daughter number 1 needs those, plus a bus schedule! School starts on Monday, and we still don't have her bus schedule. How utterly trying. Plus, DH goes out of town today for two weeks. **sigh** I'll miss him. That means, of course, that anything that goes wrong the first week of school I'll have to deal with alone. (But that's not the reason I'm sighing and complaining that I'll miss him. I'll just miss HIM.) So the five am wake-ups will probably begin all over again.

On a positive not…

I'm a Swan!

Image
So does that mean I was an ugly duckling?? ::giggle:: I know I felt like one often enough growing up.

I don't do these things often, but I really like birds so I thought I'd try it. I first saw this on Marianne's blog. (By the way, head on over to her site and check out the cool contest she's running to win one of her books.)

So here's what the bird quiz said about me:


Your Power Bird is a Swan
You are a truly graceful and gorgeous creature.
You easily see beauty in yourself and others.
Intuitive and in touch, you can often guess what the future will bring.
And you're flexible enough to accept the changes that life has in store for you.What's Your Power Bird?

I think I can live with that. Don't know that it's particularly true, but I still like it. :)

Have a great day.

Chauffeur Mom

We survived the second registration yesterday. Woo-hoo! But I'm not sure how the rest of the year is going to go. School hasn't even started yet, and already they've got me running ragged! Two kids, two different schools, two different school districts. Well, not quite. But that's a different story altogether. So that means two different parent orientations. On the same night. At the same time. On opposite sides of town. Two separate kid orientations. On the same day. At the same time. On opposite sides of town. Two parents, granted, but only one car.

The girls want to try sports, and choir, and drama, and...Hold it! I'm only one, and I may soon be getting a job. How will I do it all? And I thought homeschooling them was hard. Different challenges, of course, (and all of them worth the effort) but at least I didn't have to be in two different places at the same time. I may turn in to supermom yet. :)

Registration--Take Two

So I posted yesterday. Twice! ::g:: Which means you know I survived Friday's registration. We get to go through it again today with my second child. Friday's went so well--we all survived, and we still have all our limbs--that I think I'm at peace. I guess if we get through this one, we'll be set. At least for a year. And next year it should be a piece of cake. Live and learn, huh? I guess I can sleep past 5 AM the rest of the week. Until Monday, Agust 20. First day of school. (gulp) Then the early morning jitters will start all over again.

My WIP

So I garnered a comment from a new person the other day. Yippee! I'm pretty new to blogging, and every new person who comments makes me do the Snoopy Dance. Hey, it even inspires me to try to do more posts. (hint, hint! Please comment if you've read my blog and liked it.) One commenter (the single comment on my post on the feelings of futility in writing) asked what I'm writing. So I thought I'd go ahead and give a little blurb here. Tentative title: The Face in the Mirror. It's historical women's fiction (which only means the main character is a woman, but men are certainly more than welcome to read the book...WHEN it's published). It is set in 1867, during the period of Reconstruction after the American Civil War. But to put a new twist on an old story, I decided to send my pioneering American characters...not to the western wilderness of the United States of America, but to the untamed wilderness of southern Brazil.

Fact: At the end of the Civil War in 1…

Registration Day

Does that not sound like the title of a horror novel or movie? No? Ah, well maybe you're a veteran at this thing. Today is registration day for my 9th grader, and I woke up at 5 am and couldn't go back to sleep because of it. What's the big deal, you're probably asking. See, we've been homeschooling up til now and this will be the first in many years that she's gone to regular school. Did it for a year in 2nd grade, but for some reason, it wasn't as scary for me when she was that age. Now I'm sending my first baby off to high school! **gasp!** So this next year will be full of new things for all of us. I'm trusting it'll be a good year, but that trust doesn't keep the knots from forming in my gut. Ah...the joys of having teens. :)

Hello Kitty as a Crime Stopper?

Ok, so not exactly a crime stopper, but a tardy policeman stopper, maybe. Here, take a look at this article from the New York Times: To Punish Thai Police...

So if you don't want to actually read the article (at least go and take a look at the picture) or then if you can't access it, in brief, the Thai police might soon be required to wear a pink Hello Kitty armband if they commit some minor infraction such as arriving late to work or parking in the wrong place. It's a cute armband, if I must say so myself, and my twelve year old would love it. But I guess it's not so cute for a macho policeman to have to wear around. Hey, it might actually be a good idea. A non-violent form of punishment? Or maybe not. The ridicule the officers would likely receive might lead to violence. We'll just have to wait and see how it works out.

Dulaman

I don't have anything important to say today. I've got a nasty allergy attack going on. You know, the runny nose, watery eyes...ugh! As you can see, the brain isn't in very good working order today. So I'll just leave you with a video of one of my current favorite Celtic Woman songs. Enjoy. :)

Futility

Gah! This blogging thing is hard. Or then I'm simply the world's worst blogger. I feel very strongly about things, and every day I get an idea for something to blog about. But when I open up the new post page, my mind draws a blank. Some writer I am, huh? lol.

So all that aside, I do have something to say today, and I even remember what it is. :) As you might know if you've been reading any of my posts, or if you know me personally, I am a writer. I've had one book published, but it seems the muse left me after that. Well, not really. Life got in the way and I got lazy. But now I'm back to taking writing seriously. I cannot cry the woes of most writers, of having lots of rejections plastering my walls. You've got to send out proposals to get rejections! I have three stories that are almost finished and that I would love to try to pitch to some publisher out there. I want to finish all of them, but I feel this block when it comes to trying to finish any one of t…

I Can Relate

Last week, my family followed the horror story of the plane crash in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The media here has forgotten it, of course, but in Brazil they are still playing it up.

My heart goes out to all of those people who lost loved ones in this accident. The incident strikes close to home, for me, in many ways. I grew up in Sao Paulo, and in fact lived practically next door to that very airport for awhile. Every time the planes took off or came in, they would cause interference with our TV. I flew in and out of that airport many times with my parents. Picked up friends and family at that airport.

Then my husband tells the story of one of the victims. Heart wrenching as all of these stories would be, this one really got to me. The interview was done with a father, 41 years old (DH just turned 41 on the 18th) who lost his 14 year old daughter on that plane. (Our oldest daughter is 14.) An over protective father (like my DH), he finally consented to letting the girl take this trip on her …

Real Life or Entertainment?

Yesterday my husband brought home a newspaper article that he wanted me to read. I just looked it up and, yippee! The article is online as well. Click here. So if you haven't read the article yet, maybe you'd like to do so first. Or maybe not. Either way, I have a few things to say about this article in the Daily Iowan, written by Mr. Paul Sorenson.

While I do agree with him that, speaking of youngsters, it's "hard to list all the crap they consume these days..." I cannot completely agree with him in his attack on Disney. I've seen alot of Disney movies where I've rolled my eyes, shaken my head and cried, "Why???" Ok, melodrama aside, I have been pleased with some of what I've been seeing on Disney. Hey, each person has a right to his own opinion, and I understand what Mr. Sorenson is saying. But I think he has missed one vital point. Entertainment. We live in a world where kids deal with harsh reality every day. But for half an hour at least…

Writer's Woes

Have you ever been working fast and furious on a WIP (work in progress) and suddenly you lost your inspiration? Or then maybe you just lost your enthusiam for it?

That happened to me recently. Getting words on the page was like pulling teeth. I was happy if I got 200 words written. Then suddenly, in one single afternoon, I got over 6000 words done. I was thrilled. You know, doing the Snoopy Dance and all that. So the next day, I sat down at my computer. Cracked my knuckles over the keyboard. Rolled my shoulders. Sat back in my chair. Placed my fingers on the keyboard...

Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

I forced it. Got maybe 250 words written, hoping the creativity would start to flow. But it didn't, and I finally gave up and read a book instead.

So I have no answers, only questions. If you're a writer, has this ever happened to you? Do you know how to get out of this floundering in a pool of unenthusiasm? I've heard "just write." It didn't work for me. Maybe I didn&#…

I've Been Tagged

So I've been tagged. :) What fun! I know this post should have gone up last Friday, or even Monday. Well, yesterday...um...and then today my computer's electrical cord bit the dust. So I'm only now getting to it.

I'm supposed to list eight fabulous things about my husband and me. Ok, so here goes.

1. We're both July babies. His birthday is 12 days after mine. Same year. (So for 12 days he tortures me because I'm so much OLDER.)

2. He plays the piano. I sing. We do well together. :)

3. We may be from the same month and year, but we are like day and night. Even out tastes in some things (like music, for example) are directly opposite to each other. But it doesn't bring about much conflict. It's like the saying, opposites attract. That's us. :)

4. We were both born in Brazil, making us both Brazilian citizens, but we are both American citizens as well.

5. I'm a natural born American, because my parents are both American. DH is a naturalized American.

6. W…

Books That Grab

I thought I'd switch gears today and discuss something that I originally intended this blog for. Books and writing.

I've been reading a series that has gripped me so thoroughly, that even though I'm into the third book and I'm hating it, I can't stop reading. I LOVED the first two books, but this one--it--I--grr! I was so angry the other day because of the things that happened in the book, that my family asked ME what was wrong. I guess it showed. :)


Without going in to why I was angry--I'm not here to do a review of this particular book--I wanted to explore another thought, one more meaningful to me as an author. Yes, I said up above that I'm hating the book. I really am. I don't at all like what is happening to the characters, but I'm still reading. I couldn't fall asleep the other night, I was so angry, and kept telling myself, it's just a book, for crying out loud! But my extreme anger tells me something else. Any book that would evoke tha…

Movie Review -- Ratatouille

On the 4th of July holiday, my husband and I took our kids to see Ratatouille. What a perfectly good way to spend our money and our time. The movie is a must see. My husband doesn't usually like cartoons, and he was a little skeptical about going to see this one. But we ALL enjoyed it and hope that when it comes out on DVD that we'll be able to purchase it. It really is a keeper.

The graphics are good, and the storyline is cute. I won't go into alot of explaining about the story line for I'm sure most people have seen the trailers for it. But it's about a rat who has a talent for cooking, who ends up in Paris with a young man who wants to cook but has no talent whatsoever. Together, they make quite a pair, finding success, but also getting into alot of trouble along the way.

The one thing that really stood out for me was the rat's attitude toward humans. One of my complaints about alot of recent movies, especially movies made for children, is the fact they put do…

Your Parents are Married?

A couple days ago my kids were telling my husband and me about some neighbor children they were playing basketball with. They were asking all the usual questions...and then some not so usual ones. These two neighbor kids live with their mother, who lives with her boyfriend who is not the kid's father. So ok, that's not at all uncommon in this day and age. Sad, but it's actually pretty common. What really freaked me out was the question these two kids asked my girls.

"So your parents are married?"

My kids automatically and emphatically nodded and said "Uh-huh!"

But then I really freaked out at the reaction to that answer. The other two children looked at each other, their features creased with surprise, and said, "That's really weird."

HUH? What is weird about a family where Mom and Dad are married?

So I asked my kids, "Did you tell them that your parents are married, and have been for over 17 years? And that they were both (gasp) VIRGINS (…

America the Buytiful

So happy Fourth of July. :) We had a nice enough day. But I couldn't help but feel a little sad at what I saw on this Independence Day. For the past eight Fourths I was living in a foreign country. There were no fireworks. Everything was open as usual. No families in the park cooking hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill. Just an ordinary day. I woke with a bit of excitement today, thinking of this my first Fourth back in the USA.

I am reminded of a song by Rascal Flatts called Mayberry. Maybe you know it. It's one of my favorites. "I miss Mayberry..." it says. And one line in particular, "Where Sunday was a day of rest. Now it's one more day for progress." Well, today was a Wednesday, not a Sunday, but I had the same feeling. Oh sure. The post office was closed. The library. Certain other places that would otherwise be open. But the mall was in full gear as were other places of commerce. What a disappointment. Used to be the Fourth of July was sacred. An…

Stop and Smell the–er–Take the Pictures

A few weeks ago we took a little trip to Kentucky. A rushed trip, because we rented a car and had to have it back at a certain time or pay an extra day. We passed through some beautiful country, worthy of being photographed. I even had the camera, just no time to stop. As each would-be photograph zoomed by outside my window, I couldn’t help but think of all the missed opportunities.

Life is a lot like that. We get so caught up in our busy lives and don’t make time to stop and take advantage of opportunities. They may be seemingly small, such as keeping our mouths shut to maintain peace. Or then to speak up for a good cause. Or maybe it’s the opportunity to help someone out, even if just with an encouraging word or a friendly smile. Then there are the big opportunities. Like taking time with family and friends to have a little wholesome fun. We never know how long we have on this earth. Or going that extra mile that could win a promotion at work. Most people, myself included, probably d…