"IT IS POSSIBLE AT ANY AGE TO DISCOVER A LIFELONG DESIRE YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD." - Robert Brault

"THAT THERE ARE NO RANDOM ACTS. THAT WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. THAT YOU CAN NO MORE SEPARATE ONE LIFE FROM ANOTHER THAN YOU CAN SEPARATE A BREEZE FROM THE WIND." - Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Monday, May 25, 2015

* A MEMORIAL DAY RE-POST *

Every Memorial Day I take time to remember what this day is really about. Many years ago, it was known as Decoration Day. That's because it was the day families and friends laid wreaths and other patriotic decorations on the graves of loved ones....those who died in wars.

Some men come home from wars, but many others do not. I am alive today because of one man that did not come home....my mother's first husband. He was killed during WWII, and that was heartbreaking for her and her two young daughters. A few years later, though, she met and married my dad, and so when my brother Mike and I were born, we already had an instant family....one that consisted of two teenage sisters for us!
 
During our barbecues, picnics, and parties that celebrate the unofficial beginning of summer, let's remember that in spite of our country's problems, we are free, and we owe so much to all our veterans of wars....deceased or still living.





photo taken by Becky Sept 2011 at our friends' lake house
 

I don't write a political blog, but I will say this, if you've never been to Washington, DC and seen Arlington Cemetery and/or the Vietnam Wall, you've missed out on a couple of extremely powerful sights. You will surely have chills......

 ~~~
 
"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, 'Mother, what was war?' " ~ Eve Merriam


"Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong?" -- Holly Near

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

* YOGI BERRA IS 90 YEARS OLD! *

Yesterday was Yogi Berra's 90th birthday! What an amazing man he was and still is. Although I never really saw him play baseball, (partly because of the years he played, but mostly because my family always watched the St. Louis Cardinals' games), I know he was extremely talented. And he IS from St. Louis, ya know! The Hill.

 
Below are some of the "Yogi-isms" I came across that aren't all that well known...at least to me, and you know what's the funniest thing about them? They all make absolute sense to me!
 
“Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.”  
 
“I usually take a two hour nap from one to four”
 
“Cut my pie into four pieces, I don’t think I could eat eight.”  
 
“Never answer an anonymous letter”
 
“We made too many wrong mistakes”
 
“The future ain’t what it used to be”
 
“If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be”
 
“If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them”
 
“If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”  
 
“You can observe a lot just by watching.” 
 
“Nobody comes here anymore, its too crowded”  
 
“90% of the game is half mental.”  
 
“I wish I had an answer to that because I'm tired of answering that question.”  
 
“Half the lies they tell about me aren't true.”  
 
“I never said most of the things I said.”  
 
“Okay you guys, pair up in threes!”  
 
“I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.”
 
“You wouldn't have won if we'd beaten you.”
 
“We're lost, but we're making good time.”  
 
“A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.”  
 
“It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”  
 
“I'm not going to buy my kids an encyclopedia. Let them walk to school like I did.”
 
“If you ask me anything I don't know, I'm not going to answer.”  
 
“You have to give 100 percent in the first half of the game. If that isn't enough, in the second half, you have to give what's left.”
  
“It ain't the heat, it's the humility.”
 
~~~~~
 
And I'll end with the following:  “If you can't imitate him, don't copy him.”
 
AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH!  
 
 
Thanks for all the memories, Yogi. You're a class act. Always have been. Always will be.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

* NOSTALGIC SUNDAYS *

It's Time Again for Another Nostalgic Sunday!
 
 
 

Hello wonderful people who take the time to stop and see what I've posted! I'm working at the shop today which I volunteered to do since my family gets together on different days to celebrate different occasions. Happy Mother's Day to all the fabulous moms out there!

I've written blog posts about my mother quite a few times and particularly on Mother's Day each year. (She died in 1989.) Although we loved each other, we never had that closeness that some mothers and daughters are so fortunate to share. It makes me think of the marvelous review Theresa Sanders wrote about my memoir, and posted on Amazon. Here is part of what she said "... her bumpy relationship with her sometimes distant mother..." Thanks again, Theresa (Sistah Teri!) I couldn't have said it better myself.

And also, I'm reminded of something my dear friend, Rita (now deceased) said during one of our thousand conversations. It made such an impact on me that I included it in my memoir. The chapter title is "Thoughts on Love & Forgiveness," and is primarily about my feelings toward my estranged dad. Here is what I wrote: "A wise friend once told me she believes part of our journey here on earth is to forgive our parents."

Ah...so true. I miss Rita every day because she was genuine. She was thoughtful and caring and spiritual and absolutely hilarious. (I sometimes referred to her as "crazy Rita" because of the funny things that would happen to her and the way she described them.)I know, too, that she would LOVE our little condo. Below are four of the newest photos I've taken. I hope they make you smile.


A close-up of a large bowl of petunias I bought.

A close-up of the gorgeous irises the previous occupant planted.


The bird feeder I bought and filled.

Shelves and cabinets above the kitchen sink.
I've had fun changing things around, trying to decide what to put where.
The fish is a one-of-a-kind piece of art created by our friend, Bob.
It's lightweight wood, covered with floral fabric. I just love it and think I found the perfect place to hang it.


"Sharing tales of those we've lost is how we keep from really losing them." - Mitch Albom, For One More Day

Sunday, April 26, 2015

* WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS *

Tonight I'm feeling silly, probably due to the fact that I'm really tired. Got a variety of things accomplished on this beautiful, sunshiny day! More unpacking and finding the right place for things, shopping which included groceries, a stop at Petsmart for Vern food, and another stop at Kohls for a special sale on men's jeans, and visited my friend, Sherry, who just had knee surgery. A very good day!

So, tonight I'm feeling exhausted and goofier than ever and as I was internet searching, I came across some of my favorite quotes/jokes from the old game show, Hollywood Squares. All those who remember this show, raise your hand! It was on during the day and I loved watching it when I was "sick" and stayed home from school or work!

Below are just a few of those crazy questions and answers:


Q - According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?  
A - Paul Lynde: Point and laugh. 

 
Q - Back in the old days, when Great Grandpa put horseradish on his head, what was he trying to do?  
A - George Gobel: Get it in his mouth.


Q - If you're going to make a parachute jump, at least how high should you be?  
A - Charley Weaver: Three days of steady drinking should do it.


Q - According to The People's Handbook of Medical Care, it's the single-most important factor in letting you know that something is wrong with you. What is it?
A- George Gobel: It's when people pass you on the street, and go "YECCH!"  

Q - What are 'Do It,' 'I Can Help,' and 'I Can't Get Enough'?  
A - George Gobel: I don't know, but it's coming from the next apartment. 
~ ~ ~
 
 
I wish all of you a beautiful, blissful week. Remember to breathe deeply, laugh often, and be good to everyone.




 
 
 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

* A CONDO, A LAKE, AND WRITING OPPORTUNITIES *

Over the past few months, I've been on a blog dry spell, in fact it's been so dry, it's been more like a desert, or White Sands, New Mexico!

I haven't been posting, replying to comments, or commenting on other blogs the way I used to, while feeling terribly guilty at the same time. I kept telling myself that I didn't have the time, didn't have the energy, etc. But I've come to realize those were not the problems. I just didn't feel motivated.

This evening, though, I have the desire to share some writing information, plus some photos. I took the four pictures below just the other day and wrote about them on Facebook. If we're "Friends" on Facebook, I'm sure you can read it there, too, if you'd like.

Custom clay chimes made about 40 years ago
 by my deceased sister, Jo Ann.
 

 
Vern checking out the scenery!
 

 
Vern and I walking on the boardwalk next to the lake.
 

 
I love this photo! We were walking and I called his name so that he might stop and look at me.....which he obviously did! J

 
 
This is where we've moved! It's a beautiful area not far from our previous house, and we just can't get over the fact that we LIVE here! We still feel as if we've been on a working vacation....helping friends move into this condo, and then we remember...WE LIVE HERE! J

~~~
 

Hey, all you writers out there! Here are some great Calls for Submissions and other info.
 
Monkey Star Press http://monkeystarpressbooks.com/call-for-submissions/ is looking for stories for two upcoming "Mom" anthologies. I don't know anything about this press, but I think it looks like a good place to submit your stories.
 
Chicken Soup for the Soul http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/possible-book-topics is also looking for stories for eight upcoming anthologies. We all know that Chicken Soup for the Soul has a fantastic reputation. Give it a try! What's holding you back?
 
Are you aware of the site Winning Writershttps://winningwriters.com/ It is one of THE best sources for just about everything concerning writing: Good, reliable contests to enter, contests and services to avoid, tons of resources to help you find what you're looking for, etc.etc. I just love this site. Every year they host the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest with a deadline date of April 1st.....which I totally forgot about this year. Hmm, guess I had too much to remember, therefore lots of things were forgotten! J
 
~~~
 
Oh, how true!!
 
 
 
Hmm, if I read this one paragraph one more time
I think I'll scream!
 
 
Isn't it funny that I've mentioned Chicken Soup for the Soul books in my past few posts?? Even if you've NEVER submitted anything before, give it a try! Leave a comment about it, too, please! 




Thursday, April 9, 2015

* CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL *

 
Chicken Soup for the Soul is now offering these "Contributor Badges" for anyone who has had a story published in one of their many anthologies. They begin at 1+ and go all the way to 20+ (as in how many books your stories are in!) So, since I have stories in four books, I was able to choose the 3+ badge.
 
I only know a handful of writers who can proudly display the 20+ badge, and I'm happy to say that one of them is my friend, Linda O'Connell. AND Linda and I became friends because of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Linda and I both had stories in the 2007, Chicken Soup for the New Mom's Soul. When she read the authors' bios in the back of the book, she saw my name and that I too lived in the St. Louis area. She e-mailed me and a wonderful friendship began.....Linda was also my first writing mentor and I know with all certainty that I would not be the writer I am today if Linda had not reached out to me. She introduced me to other writers at St. Louis Writers Guild functions...and the rest is history!


 
Regrettably, I forgot to thank Linda in my memoir's Acknowledgements. Acckkkk! (As you can see, this has obviously bothered me for quite some time!) Linda, please remind me when I begin talking about publishing my next book, ok??


One more thing...if you've ever thought about writing and sending your story to Chicken Soup for the Soul, what is stopping you? Go ahead! Write it. Submit it. They're looking for quite a few stories right now, too. Go here to see the upcoming books.



"When nothing is sure, everything is possible." - Margaret Drabble

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

* 28 YEARS AGO TODAY AND..... LAUGH WEEK *

Twenty eight years ago on this date, I called all my relatives (no internet then!) and began each conversation with these words: "This is NOT an April Fool's Joke....I am pregnant!"

I was 34 years old, had one son who was 14 years old, and I had not intended on having any more children. But, The Ronald and I received the greatest surprise gift, our son, Mark, in October 1987!

A story I wrote about that experience is in Chicken Soup for the New Mom's Soul (2007), and also included in my memoir (2013).

 
~~~
 
 
According to http://www.123greetings.com all this week (4/1 - 4/7) is Laugh Week! So, here's one of the many Aunty Acid jokes that I like.
 


 
 


Friday, March 20, 2015

* FOLLOWING MY BLISS *

The past few days have been stressful and tiring, and yet also joyful and exhilarating. I guess that's "normal" when moving to a new home, especially when downsizing. 



How much can I throw away? What can be given to Goodwill? What do I absolutely have to take with me? Within a week, though, The Ronald and I (and Vern, of course!) will be living in our delightful, little condo, beginning a new adventure. Life never fails to surprise me.
~~~
 
As Vern and I strolled along during one of our walks yesterday, he with his nose down, sniffing and zig-zagging,
 
 
I thought about the direction my writing is headed. Although I'm definitely working on the sequel to my memoir, it's been slow going, and I'll be putting it on the back burner for a while. I want to focus on a different idea that keeps coming back to me:
 
 
a humorous and hopefully laugh-out-loud funny book about men: how they drive us crazy, the idiotic things they sometimes say and/or do, etc. The title will be Men Ought to Be a Four-Letter Word. (which is also one of the chapters in my memoir, inspired by The Ronald!)
 
I'm not sure where this particular road will take me, but my writing is about the journey, and I have to follow my bliss. (The following words are extremely meaningful to me. Thank you again, Robin Theiss.)
 
one of my favorite walking trails (2009)
 
"Follow your bliss.
If you do follow your bliss,
you put yourself on a kind of track
that has been there all the while waiting for you,
and the life you ought to be living
is the one you are living.
When you can see that,
you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss,
and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid,
and doors will open
where you didn't know they were going to be.
If you follow your bliss,
doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else." - Joseph Campbell
 
 
 
* I would love to know everyone's thoughts and/or advice. Please leave comments! *
 
 


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