Tag Archives: fun

Thanks for Calling Me Out

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Do you remember the last time you were “the new kid on the block”?  Maybe you started a new job, moved into a new neighborhood or joined a new club or organization.  Even as an adult, you experience that weird combination of feeling like everyone knows who you are because you are NEW, but feeling invisible (and lonely) at the same time.

Starting a blog and joining the blogging community is a little like this.  You create this presence in cyberspace and pour yourself into it, feeling very NEW and awkward at what you are doing; wondering if anyone knows you’re there or cares.

I’ve only been writing here for seven months.  A variety of readers have stopped by and some have been repeat visitors, which is so encouraging!  But I felt like the new girl at school being invited to join a group eating together in the lunchroom when I was recognized by a fellow blogger, Maddie Cochere, of Breezy Books.  Maddie nominated me for one of her blogging awards, The Versatile Blogger.

versatileblogger

I’ve learned a lot about blogging by reading her blog as well as some others.  One of the nicest things about the bloggers I’ve come across on WordPress is that they “call each other out”, but in a complimentary way.  They link to other bloggers, which encourages the reader to go check out that person as well.  They help each other, encourage each other and basically treat each other the way we should treat anyone who is new to our community.

So I want to thank Maddie for “calling me out” on her blog!   It made my day.  Now my job is to share 7 things about myself, so here they are:

I love to laugh and am the first to admit my sense of humor is a little “off”.

I like to sing.  My car is my studio.

I am an avid reader – four eyes would be so helpful!

I like to bake sweet things and then share them with others so I don’t eat them all myself.

I enjoy watching college basketball (which I am doing as I write this).

Those terrible commercials with the pets behind bars, unadopted, about to be put down, make me cry.

I love a who-done-it, action packed, murder mystery movie.

In addition, I’m supposed to nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.  I have to ask forgiveness on this one because I don’t have enough time to read 15 other bloggers!

I think that will be my goal for this year – work on getting to know 15 new people through their writing and making a point to “call them out” here – doing my part to help build the community.

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The Sunny Side of Darkness

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Halloween has taken such a beating it’s barely recognizable these days.

I have great childhood memories of Halloween.  I was one of four children and mom helped us make our costumes every year.  We were ghosts, cats, superman, whatever we could dream up and put together with a minimal amount of sewing.  One year my brother begged and begged to go as a gorilla.  Of course, he wanted to use mom’s fur coat as his costume.  That didn’t happen.

As teenagers, he and I rigged up a great scare experience for trick-or-treaters.  We lived in a two story house.  My parents’ bathroom window was right over the front porch steps.  There was a small roof ledge there.  So we made a ghost and tied a rope around its neck, long enough for the ghost to hang almost to the top of the front steps.  Then we brought the portable record player into the bathroom.  We hooked up a small speaker and put that on the roof ledge just outside the window.  Mom had a great Halloween sound effects album – creaking door noises, moans, screams, etc.

With the lights out, record player on, and the window open we waited for our prey.  As little children would come up the front walkway, we’d put the needle on the album, turn up the volume and then, just as they got to the first step, we’d throw the ghost out the window and it would land right in front of them.  They’d scream and turn and run back to their parents waiting at the curb (nursing their mixed drinks).  We had a blast!  I think we had candy left in the bowl that year.

I have a co-worker who loves Halloween and she has gone all out this year decorating her office.  As she explained to me when I asked her, “Why?” – her home is in the woods and she has a long dark driveway.  Her children are grown and out of the house and no one comes for trick or treating anymore.  So she is celebrating at work.

There are spiders, 18 skulls of various shapes and sizes, gravestones, bats, ravens, a hanging lady, webbing, and scary people pictures on the walls.  Best of all, there are 3 cauldrons of candy – one with candy corn, one with mints and one with mini candy bars.  Staff love it!  They have brought their children and grandchildren by to see the decorations.  Coworkers who never poked their heads in her doorway come by to say “hello’ and get a piece of candy.  It has been a much needed morale booster.

Do you do something fun or crazy for Halloween?  Share!  We still have time left for fun before November 1.

Friendship and Food

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Sullivan's Island 2012

Marfe, Melanie, Amy, me and Carol

Every year I get together with four of my dearest friends from college for a long weekend of catching up.  Scattered from Chicago to Vermont, and Alexandria to North and South Carolina,  we’ve managed to carve out 4 days a year for over 25 years.  We descend on the Sullivan’s Island, SC home of one of our group in late spring.  Sunny but not-too-hot days are perfect for whatever we may want to do; this year it was kayaking and a palm tree painting adventure.  The warm, slow evenings are our favorite, because this is when we drink wine, talk a lot and cook together.

Historically a bunch of planner types (we have lightened up over time), we usually pick a theme for the food fest before we arrive.  However, this year we decided on a smorgasbord approach – bring a recipe or two you haven’t made and we’ll experiment on each other.  With enough variety on hand you can toss out the losers.  Drink enough wine and it all tastes good!

Dinner is served on the second floor piazza as darkness settles over the marsh.  Music, laughter and the noises of insect nightlife can go on for hours.  Old memories are summoned and new ones are made.  The still waters of long standing friendships get deeper.

One of our all time favorites was the coconut cake, delicious on a warm summer evening (or any time of year).  Invite someone over and enjoy!

Coconut Cake

3   12-ounce packages of frozen coconut

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of sour cream

Mix well and chill overnight.

1 box yellow butter cake mix (a bit better if you add about ½ tsp. almond flavoring to batter)

Bake the cake according to the directions in two 9” layer pans.  Split the layers.  Cover with icing made day before.  Gently wrap and put back in the frig for 3 days before cutting.

If you can’t wait 3 days, that’s ok!  Just give it a little more time in the frig so the icing really soaks in.

Yard Art

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I have a penchant for yard art and it has grown over the last few years.  Now, a little class in selection is important and it should not be overdone.  While remembering the gnomes in the movie The Full Monty still makes me laugh, I don’t want creatures peering at me from every natural area.

One of my neighbors has some cool, life size metal art in the backyard that blends in well.  I like those tools  (shovels, saws, etc.) that talented people have turned into garden animals.  And I will admit to having a plastic pink flamingo that comes out for special occasions or as needed to bring sunshine (annoy) those who have a limited sense of humor and clearly need some help.

But my favorite is this fella who I have named Trex (the husband has named it Dina).  I pass him every week.  He’s perched on the corner of the roof of a business that makes coatings for iron products.  I have no idea how long he has reigned in this spot, but I noticed him a couple of years ago.  His strong purple color pops against a beautiful blue sky.  I look for him almost every time I pass that building.

And for whatever reason, every time I see him up there, I hear the refrain from George Gershwin’s Someone To Watch over Me.

“There’s a somebody I’m longing to see
I hope that she/he turns out to be
Someone to watch over me”

If the company ever decides to get rid of him, I hope I can bring him home to my yard.  I know I can find just the right spot.