Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Key for me is reading

I had a really awful day yesterday. 

Wasn't any one thing.  Or it could just be the fact that I am female and hormonal.  Who knows.  

Plus it has been raining for five days straight.  Not raining a little bit but a steady rain that at first was cleansing and rejuvenating but has since become annoying and tiresome.

Anyway, after a long day where I didn't get any one thing accomplished but a lot of things started, I ended up wandering home later than my normal time.  Since I was tired of looking at the computer screen I decided to read and since most of my reading today is done either on my kindle or my iPad (Karla, you should know by now any chance I get to rub that in, I am taking it) and I was over the computer thing, I decided to go old school.  

I know a real honest to goodness book

Which means I was reading something that I had already read.  Actually I got that idea from my buddy Elizabeth Ryann from an email she sent where she had mentioned she was going back and rereading some of her favorite books.  

So last night I snuggled into my book room to read.  I decided to go with Nora Roberts because her books are some of my favorites.  I picked up Key of Valor which is the final installment in her Key trilogy.  

Can I just say this is some serious chicken soup for me.

Her stories take me completely out of myself.  I was lost in the tale of the Gods and Goddess relying on these three mortal women to help them unlock the box of souls and the romance between Zoe and Brad.  Her characters always ring so true for me.  I finished the book last night and although I had read it before I was still sucker punched by the ending where Zoe asks in a very unselfish act that Rowena and Pitte be allowed to return home.  

Thank you Nora Roberts.   It took me about three hours to rush through it, but I swear I felt better, lighter and more relaxed when I finished that book.  Even a reread can help put you in the right frame of mind.  Plus I really like when I learn something about myself from a character in a book.

Anyway, the point of today's post is this.  If you are having a bad day, read.  Leave it behind.  Take a moment to step out of it, even if only for a moment.  Because when you do and you come back to it, those things that seemed so big,  look at little less so.

By the way have you guys read the Key Trilogy?  If so what did you think?  If not, read it.  But if you haven't tell me what is your favorite Nora Roberts book or if you even have one.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pea Green is not a good color for me

Today I got some good news.  Our really awesome friends Terry and Valerie just bought up on their next boat.  They went from a 25 foot ski boat to a 32 foot cruiser.

I am really happy for them.

No. Really.

Okay, I am trying to be really happy for them.  See, they just bought the dream boat me and the hubs want.  A 320 SeaRay Cruiser with all the amenities.  Generator, heat, A/C, full galley, loaded deck.  And they went and got it this weekend.  Which means they have just extended their boating season to year around.

I am so green with envy I can taste the lime on my tongue. 

I know I need to look on the bright side.  For them going to the Marina is a two hour event because of where they live.  For me and the hubs we are there in seven minutes flat.  Plus, I would feel guilty for leaving the kids (cats) for the whole weekend.  Wouldn't I?
Yes, see, its much better that we don't have a cruiser because we would be gone from home way too much.  No phones, no computers, no nothing...oh wait, I am trying to convince myself that not having a bigger boat is a good thing. 

Okay, I am going to keep working on that one.  In the meantime I am off to buy some champagne.  We have to christen the boat with something after all.  Although, we don't break the bottle over the bow until after all of the champagne has been drunk.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Marriage: It's all about the teamwork

This week my posts have centered around my wonderful other half.  I thought I should just finish out the week discussing him, since I have a theme going here.

We make a pretty good team.  Not like Starsky and Hutch more like Lucy and Ethel (you thought I was gonna say Turner and Hootch, didn't you?)  We balance each other out pretty well.  And for 95% of the time this harmonious relationship grounds the other areas in my life that can seem a little out of control.

But sometimes, sometimes I wish he would use that brilliant mind of his for deductive reasoning when it comes to me and how we do things at home.

Okay I see you need an example.  Here is one of my favorites.  He will call me in the middle of the day and ask "What's for dinner?"  Now he only calls on the days when I don't take anything out for dinner because on the days I do I always ask him what he feels like.  I will reply with something like "I forgot to take something out, did you remember?"  And he always, ALWAYS answer the same way, "Yeah, but I didn't because I didn't know what you would want to have."

Really?  Seriously?  Why are you calling me? (You can go ahead and laugh, this has happened so many times that even if I had made my point and drilled that lesson home he still wouldn't take anything out for dinner because that would upset our routine when he calls to ask.  I am okay with that.  Weird but true.)

I have told him over and over again it is okay for him to make that executive decision on dinner choices but for whatever reason he just does not seem to be able to do it. He reminds me he is not a mind reader-which by the way I should mention he stole from me thank you very much-and we decide that dinner will either be steak-ums or we are going out.

Hm, I wonder if I don't sometimes purposely not take things out just so we can have that conversation and then get a dinner out?  Now I have something to ponder for the rest of the day.  Or at least until lunch time when he calls to ask whats for dinner. 

I am more devious than I thought and I wasn't even aware of it?  Are there moments like that in your relationships?  If so you need to share.  I would appreciate not feeling so alone. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I am not upset: should I be?

For whatever reason, as I blog I seem to stumble on to a topic and beat use it until I wear it out week after week.  This week that topic seems to be about my husband.

In June he had a mishap and hurt himself while trikkeing.  Even now, a few months later, I cannot write that without laughing.  Especially since he was cloaked in cockiness as he explained to me that yes, eventually I too would get the hang of it.

Since that mishap he has been, what is the word I am looking for here?  Yes, I know.  Scared.  He has been a little leery of getting back on the trikke and starting over again.  In his defense he did tear a ligament in his ankle that still bothers him a little bit every once in a while. 

Instead, we have been walking in the evenings.  It helps us both wind down after a trying day and lately they seem to be more so.  I just happen to have too many irons in the fire right now and I am really afraid one of them is going roll out and start a blaze that may be too big for me to control.  (Hey I told you guys I was a drama queen, don't worry it comes naturally as I am a decendant of the true line of drama queens.  Gram would be so proud.)

Anyway, last night I innocently asked if he had been reading my blogs.  Turns out he hasn't.  Quite honestly I don't know how I feel about that.  Should I be upset that he does not take the time to stop at some point in his day and read these words that I labor over day after day? (Little bit of drama queen action right there.)  Or should I be relieved and take that to mean that as long as he isn't reading I can pretty much use anything I want for fodder for my daily dose of Kellytime (when you say kellytime is should kind of ring of hammertime with the music and everything)?

As you all know I adore him, but he has struggled with dyslexia his whole life before being diagnosed as a an adult at the age of 22.  So I decided that I would cut him a little slack in the reading of the blog department but it did get me to thinking.  For you faithful readers out there do your significant others read your blogs?  Do they read your works-in-progress?  And if so how does that work out for you? 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The more things change the more they stay the same

You know the old saying about opposites attracting?

Well no truer words have even been spoken when describing my husband and myself. 

Time was I was an evening person and he was a morning person.  Somehow over the past twenty years we seemed to have swapped those roles.  

In the beginning he was the money man.  He took care of the bills and the check book and I was fine with that.  During an interesting two years where he lived on the road for his job that responsibility fell to me.  After he was back home, and no longer wandering for work I kept the job.  Why?  I really have no idea.

Our roles have always been pretty clearly defined in our relationship and I don't mean he gets to wear the pants, as long as I get to pick them out.  Even though he does and I do.  But it dawned on me today that this really is a great example of the more things change the more they stay the same.

We have a great harmony in our lives that we have cultivated over a twenty year period.  On the days that his temper spikes I am right there to be little Miss Sunshine and on the days that I feel my head about ready to pop nobody and I mean nobody can bring me down faster. 

When I think of how I have spent the last almost quarter of a century and how different my life would have been if I had made even one different choice I find myself getting a little romantic and waxing poetic about destiny.  So many things could have turned out differently.  

While my life may be small in comparison to others, I find that I am okay with that.  Am I where I want to be right now in the life I had planned for myself all those years ago when I was a kid growing up in the inner city of Baltimore? Oddly enough, it wasn't the life I saw for myself but exactly the one I want.  I find that I wouldn't trade it or him for anything.  No, he's not perfect, but he is perfect for me and for some reason I just wanted to share that with you guys today.

So.  Married?  In a long term relationship?  What is it about you and your significant other that had kept it going.  I find that I really do want to know.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Celebrating a Milestone

In September my husband and I will celebrate the anniversary of the first time we met twenty years ago.  Six months later in March we will celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary.

Recently we were invited to go with some friends to Hawaii on an all expense paid trip.  Unfortunately we had to turn the opportunity down because I am in the middle of building a new business.  While the building is exciting and demanding and draining and exhilarating I knew going off on vacation only days after we opened our doors was just not feasible.

We were both pretty bummed out.  Me, more so.  My guy is pretty great and understood that I needed to be here during these first few trying weeks.  Not me, even as I was saying no there was a little devil sitting on my shoulder screaming at me, "WHAT?  Are you crazy?  It's Hawaii!"  

This, of course, got us talking about how we will celebrate our twentieth anniversary.  Since we wanted to go to Hawaii we talked about maybe giving ourselves a trip then.  And then since we were playing "where would you want to go" we started to throw out some pretty wild ideas.

Skydiving in New Zealand.  Snorkeling at the Galapagos.  Beach lazing in Bora Bora.  Cruising in the Bahamas.  The problem.  Now we can't decide.  All of this sounds really good and we have only just started researching cost and what not.  I am thinking for more bang for our dollar we should take a cruise, but my guy is thinking we should just say screw it and do what we want to do.  No matter the cost.  

We still haven't decided.  We have time.  Who knows where things will be in March.  Used to be a time when I was the spender and he was the saver.  Seems we have switched places when I wasn't looking.  

So here is my question to you guys today, if you could go on that dream vacation with your spouse or significant other, where would you go?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Happily Ever After

Tomorrow was supposed to be the day I would become an Aunt for, oh, the eighth time.  But for some reason which I am sure has nothing to do with the fact that men in my husbands family are impatient it happened Friday night.

Ryan Jeffrey Breakey came in to the world at 7:45 EST weighing in at 6lbs. 12ozs.

Friday night I found myself sitting somewhere between euphoria and melancholy after we heard the great news.  Finally after all the months of planning and preparation he was here.  And everyone was so happy for the new parents.  

But we live quite a distance away from our loved ones and it did get me to thinking that I wished we lived closer.  It also got me going down the road of what ifs, which is always a dead end road that I am forever lured to turn down every once in a while.

Saturday morning dawned bright and the text messaging and phone calls were flying fast and furious.  It is times like this that technology is something I would not want to be without.  

Because through this technology we new within moments of his arrival that he was here and even though we weren't physically there to welcome him to the world we got to see pictures of him and send vocal welcomes to him that his parents played.

Through technology we built a website with a blog so the Mommy to be could keep everyone apprised of what was going on in day of a life of a pregnant lady.  It was a big hit with family and friends alike.  

Now I have the task of turning that website into a hardback book for a keepsake that one day he will read.  Writers seem to sit on the fence when it comes to self publication.  I have used this tool very well for personal books and work publications but I have never thought about it for marketing and selling my own stories.

I am just curious, what do you guys think?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hunger Games left hungry for more...

The book review below was a Book Hungry Club read.  All of the Book Hungry Members are posting a book review today on their blogs.  They are all listed in my blog roll to the left here, so after you read mine, go check them out too!

Hunger Games by Susan Collins was one of the most not anticipated books I have ever had the pleasure to read.  

Ms. Collins portrayal of a post Apocalyptic America with one capitol and its twelve districts takes us on a journey that is trying and brutal as well as altruistic and humane.  Her innate mastery of the art of suspense pulls you from the very first chapter. 

As the story unfolds we are introduced to Katniss Everdeen, our sixteen year old heroine who volunteers to take her younger sisters place at the yearly Hunger Games.  The Hunger Games were created by the Capitol to remind the districts of their powerless existence and dependence on the Capitol.  The games themselves play out in a reality TV sort of way, with the winner emerging only at the cost of every other players life.

Every year two children, called tributes, from each district are chosen to participate.  The pomp and circumstance that surrounds these games is reminiscent of the Olympics with the excess and grotesque overindulgence of the Capitol shining through dramatically, especially when juxtaposed to the poor and dismal existence of the districts.  

The other tribute selected from District 12 is a young man named Peeta whose character shines so brightly through out this book for a number of reasons.  His desire to not become less than who he is once he enters the arena gives us a glimpse of the man he would become should he leave the arena a winner.  

His dedication to Katniss, is truly a knight in shining armor sort that does not lose its sparkle even when they are pitted against one another inside of the arena. 

There were moments in this story that swept me away so completely I forgot I was reading a story.  I became so engrossed in Katniss' struggle to emerge victorious for reasons other than fame and fortune that I found myself routing for a better ending than what I knew was coming.  Her courage in the face of such overwhelming odds was absolutely heartbreaking and Susan Collins really delivers with this wonderful breakout book.

Have you been lucky enough to read this book.  If so, tell me what you thought of it?  If not tell me if this review has now compelled you to want to read it.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Whole Truth and Nothing But...

Okay so this week has been all about Book Hungry, the on line book club that was established with a couple of my fellow tweeters.  You can catch up on all their blogs if you peruse my blog roll to the left.

We are on the countdown to the big reveal tomorrow!  Yay us!  I know.  We are all pretty excited too. 

As I was working on my post for the first novel which is in the young adult genre I realized that I should probably come clean about a couple of things.  I would not normally choose a YA novel for reading, but this was a book club.  So when I read the back of the first book, and I am ashamed...ASHAMED...to admit this but I almost, almost didn't read it.

I was positive I would not like it and this was only confirmed as I started the first chapter.  I did not want to spend hours reading a book I would have no enjoyment in.  I had already done that with New Moon and promised myself I would never read another book that didn't capture my attention from the very start.

To be honest a big part of the turn off was the description of the book. 

There were moments I could see myself paying my niece to read the book and give me her version in order to write up a posting.  Once I realized that would not necessarily be pushing her toward a life of crime but was in no way contributing to instilling good values I abandoned that route.  What was I going to do?  Than, Shazzam, lighting strike.  I would go to wikipedia.  I could get the Campbell's condensed version right there, write my posting with no one being the wiser.

Fingers hovering over the key that would give me my answer, it dawned on me.  That's right my very own epiphany about reading.  There was no way I was ever going to grow as a person or a reader if I didn't embrace things that I may not necessarily want to do.  So the book didn't sound so great.  I could get through it, and I might actually learn something on the other side.  Besides, isn't that the whole point of the book club to begin with.  Read selections from the other members and have wonderful intellectual conversations about them.

So yes ladies and gentlemen at the end of the day I honored my commitment and read the book.  Which one you ask.  Well, now, you will just have to come back tomorrow to find out but in the meantime tell me about the last book that you read and absolutely loved.  Loved it so much you wanted everyone to read it.  I need some inspiration, after all eventually I will have to pick a book for all of us to read.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's in a name: Everything.

Our book club has finally found a name.  

Book Hungry!

Pretty cool huh?  I think the vote was pretty much unanimous on the selection.  We tossed around a couple of different names but everyone kept coming back to this one. I believe it did have something to with our first book choice.  But atlas, I cannot divulge the name until Thursday.  In case you missed it, there was a hint buried in that sentence.

Now early on we decided their should be a couple of guidelines.  Not rules per say, because we are a gaggle of gals who do not particularly care for rules or rules that pertain to how we conduct ourselves when it comes to the discussions of our book choices.  But in this case since we are so scattered all over the country (how cool it that?) guidelines help us do this better.  

Pretty simple rules really.  Oops, did I say rules.  

1.  We will select one book per month to read and review.  
2.  We will take turns picking out the book of the month.  (Next up the great Cynthia Reese will be selecting.)
3.  We will have a very spirited debate/discussion/love fest via email for a couple of days.
4.  Each one of us will post a book review on our blog.
5.  The posts go up the third Thursday of the month. 
6.  Since our posts can be about whatever we want, we will be linking back to each others posts in order to encourage what we hope to be an even broader discussion of our book choices.

The ladies of my fiction faction are pretty cool and you can find direct links to their blogs on my blog roll right here to the left, so if you haven't already, check them out.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

Our book club is not closed and un-joinable so if you have a desire to join this band of bookateers all you have to do is say so.  The more the merrier.  And if your not that's okay too, just stop by on the third Thursday and tell me what you think about whatever book it was that we read.

Are you in a bookclub?  Have you ever been?  Tell me about it?  Do you have any recommendations that will help us make our book club better?  Please share.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

Last month I mixed it up with some tweeters while on line.  After a discussion on our love of reading and how much books meant to us we decided to assemble a book club.

I was so excited about the possibility of this.  I have always wanted to belong to a book club but have never found one that would work around my erratic, crazy schedule.  You can go here to read my original post on this awesome bunch of gals.  In fact since I love these gals so much I am only going to feature their blogs this week on my blog roll right here to the left.  Check them out.

The first book was suggested by Abby Mumford.  I think out of the six of us &yes there are seven now, but on the day we started this A. Peterson was not on line with us but joined our club a couple of days later) Patty, Cynthia and myself were the only ones that had not already read this first book.

At this time I was not too worried about the selection.  Abby and Elizabeth were going on about how much they loved it.  Karla piped up and said we would not be disappointed.  For clarification, I should mention that all of us are writers.  Well the rest of them are, I am still a wannabe.  Karla, Elizabeth, Patty and Abby are all young adult writers, Alyson writes fantasy and Cynthia is a published category romance writer, so I felt pretty sure they would not lead me astray.

But then I went to amazon to down load the selection for my kindle.  I read the blurb on the book and found myself thinking, "Oh no."  I was now officially worried.  This book sounded like nothing I would have ever intentionally read on my own.

I don't like to think I am a book snob, but I prefer chick-lit and I am not ashamed of it.  Some of the authors I enjoy are Nora Roberts, Jill Shalvis and Susan Elizabeth Philips.  The book that was recommended was a young adult novel, which by that very definition made me take pause.  

What I found was very surprising.  I am a book snob, but like any other elitist snob once those braggart glasses were ripped off I found myself enjoying this read.  Was I surprised?  I sure was.  Which begs the question, have you ever found yourself set on one course only to have your mind changed so completely?  I really can't be the only one, can I?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Notorious Gets a Retro Look

Yesterday I did a post on my Gram.  It brought back tons of memories and reminded me of the lost little girl I was when I went to live with her.  To say she was just my Grandmother is such an understatement.  At that point in my life she was my savior.  As time went by she became my mom and my dad, my spiritual adviser, my counselor and my friend all rolled into one.

My Gram was a pioneer among women before it was fashionable. Let's just say she was a little bit Notorious.  Okay, back in the day she was more than a little bit.

She grew up in the back hills of West Virginia.  She graduated from high school at the age of sixteen.  After, she went to work at a local grocery store in order to help with the large family she was from.  As the oldest of seven hard work was not new to her but she did have dreams.  

At nineteen when she left home for Baltimore she was considered an old maid.  She was not married and had no desire to be.  Later she would say it was because she hadn't met the right man yet, but I think her desire to see the world was her focus for so long that anything else would have just gotten in the way.

She was one of the original Rosie Riveters for WWII.  She moved to Baltimore to work in the war plants.  It was her get of jail free card and she never looked back. 

When my Gram finally did settle down she was in her late twenties. *Gasp* and she didn't have her first child until almost thirty.  She had to take two years off of work while she had her children but then she went right back to building a career that spanned the next thirty five years, until her retirement.

As I contemplated on what this posting should be about it dawned on me that I come from some pretty hardy stock and I have a heritage to be proud of.  And sometimes a little notoriety can be a good thing.  I just wish I had thought of that when I got caught sneaking out to go to a party at the age of sixteen after she had expressly forbidden me to go.  I think that argument would have worked.

Okay, maybe not, but she would have gotten a kick out of it after.  Probably.

Tell me about the most notorious character in your family?  Crazy Aunt, Creepy Uncle.  Don't hold back.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Song Remembers When

Me and Grandma circa a long time ago
Monday marked the two year anniversary of my Grandmother's death.

It has been a hard week.  But a week spent with me doing a lot of reflecting on my life and where it is going.  
You would think that would have been sad right.  Nope.  Instead I have been filled with a light this week that I can only assume came from her.  Her memories.  Her watching over me.  Corny?  Okay, I can live with that.

While she was alive she lived everyday based on an ethical code that was unbendable.  My Gram, was the best lady I ever knew.  She was emphatic in her beliefs.  God was good.  Or, I should say, God IS good.  Period.  She was devout in her faith and never apologized for it.  

She believed that all women were made to be unbreakable.  There are life lessons, too many for me to share with you today, that I will never forget.  She taught me through her actions, not her words.  Words, well she taught me to love those too, but wanted me to always understand their power.

Say what you mean and mean what you say.  It kind of speaks for itself.  

When I told her I had joined the Navy she was numb with shock.  Not because she didn't think it was a good idea, but because she never expected it of me.  I had never talked about the Navy with her.  I never hinted that it was something that I wanted to do.  I never eluded to the fact that I worried what would happen to me since college was only an option if I worked two jobs and put myself through school at night.

After I enlisted my grandmother told me that she had wanted to join the Army and become a Wave and the only reason she didn't was because her mother begged her not to.  In later years after my service in the Navy was over she would tell me how proud she was and how she wished she had the courage I did when she was younger to follow her dreams.  She displayed my service portrait proudly, even after my Navy days. 

I had decided originally I was not going to do a post on her and how much I miss her because it seemed wrong somehow.  But how can I not?  This lady who made such a big impression on me.  I wish you all could have known her.  There is sadness in her no longer being here, but I still hear her voice in my head when faced with a choice, or when a certain song comes on the radio, and with that, there is always joy.

Tell me about the person in your life who has had that lingering effect on you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Where I give OCD a whole new meaning...

As you know, a while back I announced that I was taking on the project of becoming a beta reader.  Man, I had no idea of the pressure I was about to unleash on myself. 

This happened totally by accident.  One evening while on twitter a fellow tweeter of mine made a comment that she was through with her WIP (work in progress) and wanted to desperately hit the delete key on the whole thing.  Being the cheer leading kind of gal I am I immediately came to her rescue and offered to read it and give her feedback.  I should be clear here.  Never, and I mean NEVER in a million years did I think she would take me up on it. 

Not because she is OCD like me, but because I am OCD and there is no way I could let anyone beta read anything I have done, let alone someone I am not sure would tell me how awesome I am.  Now normally OCD means obsessive compulsive disorder, but in this case it means one cowardly dudette.  Don't judge me.

The same night she sent it to me with a synopsis of what the story was about.  Uh-oh.  I was in trouble.  This story sounded like nothing I would ever read.  It was young adult, I am chick-lit.  It was about sexting (I had no idea what that was at the time) and internet bullying and high school. 

I went to bed that night so afraid that I wouldn't get into the story.  Never mind not like the writing.  How was I going to give feedback to this great friend I had made if I couldn't even bring myself to read the story.  Was I a...(gasp) book snob?  I didn't think so, but how could I know?

The story was...wait for it...AMAZING.  She had me from the very first line.  I was trying hard to stay in the moment of being a beta reader but I kept getting pulled into the story.  I had to read every chapter two and three times so I could point out where I found inconsistencies with plot or character development and after a while found myself resenting the intrusion of being a beta reader because I just wanted to get lost in the story.

What I learned here is that sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone to improve yourself as a person.  I got to read a great story and now I have a job as a beta reader for one of my newest friends.  

If only I could find a way to make a living of this.  So have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately?  Tell me!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Fetish by any other name...

I have a shoe fetish.  It's a psychological one.  To me they really are a little bit orgasmic.  I can remember my first time in a shoe store.  Standing there looking at all those choices, rack after rack of shoes.  I know my eyes glazed over.  

They came in so many styles.  Flats, heels, stilettos, open toe, Mary Jane's, wedge heels, sneakers, t-straps, flip flops, sandals, slides, boots, etc.  The possibilities were endless.  I was in Nirvana and I didn't even know what Nirvana was.

My collection started that very day.  Currently I have over 100 pairs of shoes, actually it's probably more than that, I am just too afraid to count them again.  In the grand scheme of things I don't really believe that is a lot of shoes, although my husband vehemently disagrees.  

The reason I mention this is because my shoe size is one of those things my husband tolerates.  When we built our current home one of the requirements was I got my own closet.  Not my requirement, his.  

He didn't make this decision because I am not neat, because I am.  In fact organization is an obsession with me from how my shoes are arranged to alphabetizing my spice cabinet. 

When I write I try to give my main character a trait I understand, one that can be annoying.  Because lets face it, when you fall in love with someone you don't always love everything that makes them who they are. We, each one of us have flaws, that without them would make us just a little bit different than who we are.  

Does Captain Kid understand my love of shoes?  No, but he accepts.  Why? Because he gets me and he loves me.  And in the grand scheme of things shoes aren't the worse habit I could have.  Besides, there is just something about do-me shoes that gets him every time.

So tell me, what's your thing?  That one thing that you do that may or may not irritate your significant other?  I promise I won't tell.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Random Facts I needed to share

So yesterday over at @Candylandgang blog where she dissed her cat in her musings about random things.  It got me to thinking.  Yes, I do that sometimes.  So today I decided to share some random facts with you guys about me.  Which is convenient, as I am an expert on the subject.  I am sure she won't mind, in fact isn't imitation the biggest form of flattery?  That sounds a lot better than saying I stole her idea.  Which I DID NOT do.  *wink wink*

Random Fact #1.  Daisy's are my favorite flower.  Because they are such happy flowers and they always, ALWAYS make me smile. 

Random Fact #2.  I am actually pretty fluent in a second language.  You are shocked.  I can tell.  What? No, it's not French.  I actually speak geek pretty well.  Yes, that is spelled correctly and no I didn't mean greek.  I eat greek, but I don't speak it.

Random Fact #3.  I love reading how-to books.  Seriously. 

Random Fact #4.  I have a huge cook-book collection that doubled in size after my Grandmother passed away. My oldest cookbook came from her and was published in 1942.

Random Fact #5.  I got an iPad two weeks ago.  (I can't believe it's only been two weeks) And now I wonder how I ever lived without it.  It hasn't made my kindle obsolete.  Yet.  Mainly because the screen is hard to read in direct sunlight and that is where I do alot of my reading.  On the beach.  Don't hate, I didn't tell the rest of the world to live anywhere else, now did I?

Random Fact #6.  I met my husband and married him exactly six months later.  Everyone made book on how long we would last.  I am talking about our friends here people.  Exactly one year later I won almost five hundred dollars when we were still together.  Betting on myself has always been a sure thing.

Random Fact #7.  When I was younger I always laughed when my older female relatives would get "ma'am'ed" and moan about it.  It never bothered me when a younger person (a kid) would say it to me because I would always think to myself..."You're Momma is raising you right."  The first time an adult male said m'am to me I looked behind me to see who he was talking to.  My husband fell over laughing at the comical expression on my face.  He pointed out to me that even though he was an adult male he was only in his twenties and I probably did seem like a ma'am to him.  Yes, my husband is still walking without the aid of cane, but it was close.  I remember it like it was last weekend.  Oh, snap, it was last weekend.

Aren't you glad I shared all of that with you guys today?

So give me a random fact about you.  I love to hear from you guys.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I always have sunshine on a cloudy day

My third and final tattoo I got the week after my Grandmother died.  After my first tattoo I came home to visit and she admired my rose and admitted that she wished she had the nerve to do something so daring.  Back in the day women with tattoos were considered to be of loose moral character.  But secretly she always thought they were cool and really, really wanted one. 

After she passed I found myself once again wanting to script something on my body in her honor.  One of my good friends went with me and this is the one I ended up getting.  It was not planned, rather more spur of the moment, but in later reflection I could not have picked a better symbol to honor her memory or her legacy.

The eye of Ra.  Ra was the universally worshipped king of the Egyptian gods.  A sun god, he was said to command the chariot that rode across the sky during the day.  He is the only god apart from Osiris who is said to be not on the earth.  As an aging god, to old to deal with his children, he went off to the heavens to watch over the world.

She used to call me "Sunshine".  She was being sarcastic since I hated being woken up before noon.  I was a teenager.  None of us liked getting up before noon.  She would stand at the door to my room and poke me with a broom stick while chanting, "Wakie, wakie Sunshine."

Plus I like the idea of her driving a chariot across the sky during the day and watching over me.  It fits with who she was when she was alive.   Ra lived in the heavens and I know for a fact that is where she is too.

Besides, this way wherever I am, there is always sunshine.  

For Patty, just because she asked:
Rose: right ankle
Butterfly: left ankle
Sun: Right foot (hurt more to get this one then other two combined.) 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lions and Tigers and Butterfly's...Oh My!

It was ten years later before I got up the nerve to get my second tattoo.

We were in Florida for four years when Captain Kid left the Navy.  The job he took after kept him on the road more than he was home.  

Before we knew it our roles in the household had changed.  No longer was I solely responsible for just maintaining the interior of the house.  Now I was responsible for everything. 

It was hard, and sometimes discouraging, but during this time I never let on how overwhelmed I really felt.  He was doing what he was doing for our family and I was proud of him.

Besides, during this time I learned not only how to change the oil in my car, balance a checkbook and mow the lawn, I learned that I was a pretty tough chick.  It just took this major change in our lives for me to figure out that I was way more resilient than I had ever given myself credit for. 
Getting the butterfly was my way of embracing the new roles I found myself faced with.  Not only that but the new role fit me pretty well too.

Remember yesterday when I said the first one hurt.  Well I forgot that in the time it took me to decide I needed a second one.  

This one I actually designed myself.  Pretty good huh?   

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Rose by any other name

One of my favorite twitter pals is @Candylandgang.  She posted a blog update at the end of last month about a recent tattoo she just got.  You can find it here.

After reading her blog posting I was inspired to share the stories of how I came to be inked.

I got my first tattoo when I was in the Navy.  To be completely honest, when you are in the Navy getting a tattoo is a right of passage.  I am not saying everyone who is in the Navy has one...but...well a lot of them do.

I was living in a foreign county.  I was away from home and it was a truly exhilerating experience.  In my infinite wisdom I thought getting a tattoo would be a great way to celebrate this, my new found independence.  Plus I knew it would really bug my Grandmother and there was nothing she could do about it, so you can see the appeal.
I would like to tell you that I spent hours deciding on what it would be, but I did not.  I knew I wanted a rose.  I know that is very cliched, but it was so romantic to me.  

The thing is, no body told me how freaking much it was going to hurt. I mean "OW!" I was probably the worse customer that tattoo artist had ever seen.  Laying on that table panting and breathing and carrying on like I was in a labor, squeezing Captain Kid's hand like my life depended on it.  

When it was all said and done I had a beautiful piece of art work that I could carry with me for the rest of my life and the knowledge that I would never again do this to myself.  Sounds familiar right?  The bigger question is did it end there? 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Aqua Palooza or Bust

AquaPalooza is the name given to a series of on-water celebrations held during the last two weekends in July at more than 100 locations around the world. Created by Sea Ray Boats, AquaPalooza is free and open to all boaters and non-boaters. Each gathering features fun activities for family and friends of all ages, such as live entertainment, games, giveaways and much more. 

Saturday was the local event scheduled in our area.  We were both so excited about going.  By boat we had a two hour round trip. 

We arrived early, and since boats were all ready arriving we thought this was a good sign.  We registered so we could get our t-shirts and goody bag stuff.  Lunch was being served at 11:30 and by that time only a couple more boats showed up.  It was a disappointing turn out to say the least.

Lunch was served.  Man it was bad.  They called it BBQ but it was like no BBQ I have ever had before and I live in the south where BBQ is a religion.  During the registration we were asked if we wanted to participate in the Beach Olympics.  Seriously? 

It was 1000 degrees out there and no sporting events that called for lazing on my float in the water doing no more than identifying crazy cloud formations.  I would have so been on top of that event and have taken the gold.  We politely declined.

We stayed for about an hour, but than decided to head back to our beach.  We know everyone who hang here and we have our spot where we are very comfortable.  Plus it puts us closer to home.  

In retrospect I am glad it worked out the way it did.  Since the oil spill our beaches have been deserted by the normal boaters we are used to seeing out there.  Not this weekend.  It was fantastic.  We saw more boats docked in our normal area than we have seen all season combined.  

We were able to salvage the day even though the AquaPalooza event was bust.  But anytime I get to spend time with Captain Kid and be on the water is a good day.  

Also, the pictures should explain with out words why where we live is called the Emerald Coast.  Seriously, we live in Paradise.  Wish you all could have been there.