Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Writing Challenge - Circus of the Illiterate

My mother always hated the circus and I never knew why. As a child, I would beg and beg to be allowed to go see the wonder that all my classmates were able to go to. But all she ever did was scowl and tell me that the circus was filled with hobos and illiterate freaks.

Because it was something denied to me as a child, I had always been fascinated by the circus. When I was 18, I realized that school wasn't something I was interested in continuing. The circus happened to be in town when I came to this conclusion so I had the great idea to run away with the circus.

I remember been so excited and nervous as I walked into the clearing where the circus had set up. I asked around and found myself in a tent with the ring master. He was an older man with graying hair and a long moustache that curled at the end.

"How old are you, girl?" he asked, as he looked me up and down. I told him I was 18 and gave him my driver's license as proof. He looked at for a long moment and then handed it back to me.

"It seems legit," he said as he rustled around his desk for some papers, "Now what skills can you offer my poor circus?"

I blinked trying to gather my thoughts because I hadn't actually thought the circus would take me. "I can sing and I'm a fairly good dancer," I said, quickly, "I'm a fast learner and I'm willing to do anything to become a part of the circus."

He looked up from his papers, a slow grin forming on his face. "Well then, Miss. I think we can find a spot for you."

I was whisked from the tent and taken to the clowns. They were, for the most part, a group of dirty, old men. They didn't seem to be able to read or write, but they were very good at falling down for laughs. As a young girl, it was a bit uncomfortable being around them. I think the ringmaster had meant to run me off but my resolve to make in the circus was still very strong.

Over the years, I learned nearly all the jobs in the circus. Much of the shine wore off over time, but I didn't know what else I could do. The work was interesting and for once in my life, I was the smartest person around as I had just about finished high school when I had joined. Most of the circus performers had joined the circus early, even being born into the life. So most did not have much of an education, many of the performers unable to read their names that were up in lights.

It wasn't the best career choice but it's not one that I regret. To this day, I live at the circus now as the ringmaster. The circus is a different kind of school and the roar of the crowds are the only incentive that the performers need.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Lilu challenged me with "Circus of the illiterate" and I challenged Carrie with "Do what you can to survive".

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Trimming the Tree

Emily has been really excited about Christmas this year. On Monday night, I decorated the house for the holidays but all Emily wanted to do was decorate the tree.

So we did that yesterday since I wanted Todd to be home for that. We got the lights and the garland on the tree while Emily just wanted to put the ornaments on. She was so excited when we let her have at it.

Like most kids her age, she tended to put all the ornaments on the same branches. But she had so much fun that we didn't stop her. I did move a few of them after she had gone to bed since they were all in one spot.

This year is turning out to be awesome because she is really understanding what Christmas is about. She keeps wishing everyone a "Merry Christmas" which is too cute. So now our tree is trimmed and we can bask in its glow.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Why I Say "Merry Christmas"

As the holiday season is upon us again, I have been seeing the age-old debate on social media on what to wish people when you see them.

Many people think that "Happy Holidays" is the way to go because that is the catch-all for all the winter holidays. I personally have no problem with "Happy Holidays" and I will say it, especially if someone says it first.

But if I'm going to give a holiday greeting to anyone, I'm apt to say "Merry Christmas". While I'm not insensitive to other people's feelings, I do think it should be okay to use the holiday that you celebrate. I'm a Christian so I celebrate Christmas.

If I were to say "Merry Christmas" and I got a greeting of "Happy Hanukkah" or "Happy Kwanzaa" or "Happy Yule" or anything else, I wouldn't feel offended. I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas and they should be able to use the greeting that works for their winter holiday

So Merry Christmas everyone! Try and not get caught up in semantics if you can and just enjoy this holiday season no matter what holiday (if any) that you celebrate.

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The Cat, The Toddler and The Tree

Emily with our tree last year
It's that time of year again that we get our tree. I prefer real trees so we have a great Christmas tree stand that we go to every year that it at the Biltmore Square Mall. They hadn't even put up our tree yet, to show it off. Todd saw how blue it was and we asked to see it standing up. It was lovely so that was the one we bought.

So we brought it home and Todd got it into the stand. Now there is a naked tree in our living room. Normally, I would want to decorate it right away, but we are waiting a couple of days to do so. The reason - Mr. Sam.

Sam is only a kitten so he's never seen a Christmas tree. So we wanted to give it a few days to make sure that our tree wouldn't be taking a dive as soon as Sam tried to climb up it. This is one of the reasons we get a real tree - they are much more sturdy and can take the abuse of a kitten or a toddler.

I inherited a large amount of ornaments from my mom that my dad gave me several years back. The majority of those ornaments stay safe in their wrapping every year because I don't want them to get broken. Thankfully I also have a lot of wooden and plastic ornaments that can withstand the abuse.

Already today, Sam has tried to climb up the tree. An act I discouraged by using a spray bottle of water on him. I'm sure he'll be more interested once the tree is all lit up, but hopefully it won't cause the death of any ornaments.

Hopefully someday we will be able to put our lovely but fragile ornaments on the tree again. But for now, our Christmas tree will be as kitty and toddler proofed as possible.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thoughts On Thanksgiving

I was pretty sick a couple of days ago. I thought it might be just food poisoning but we decided not to take any chances in infecting any relatives and just stay home.

Staying home for Thanksgiving is actually something that is very familiar to me. After my family moved to Holland (the city in Michigan, not the country), we would spend Thanksgiving at home and would go to Bay City, where most of our extended family lived, for Christmas.

After Todd and I moved to North Carolina, we usually still spend Thanksgiving at home. We also spent Christmas at home because we usually went home during the summer to avoid the snow. But after we had Emily, we started driving down to GA for the day to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at my aunt and uncle's house with them and my cousins along with their kids, several of whom are Emily's age. That was where we were suppose to be today but I didn't want to spread germs.

This year we are having the holidays of my childhood. We are spending Thanksgiving at home and we are going home to Michigan for Christmas. It will be interesting to have Christmas up there instead of the really low key holidays we've had since we moved down here.

Since it's Thanksgiving, I should probably say what I'm thankful for. My husband, my daughter, my best friend Dolli, my family, my friends both online and off, GeekMom and my fellow GeekMom writers, my cats, my house and more I'm probably forgetting.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Writing Challenge - When She Looked Up

My evening walks with my dog, Lucky, were one of my favorite parts of  the day. After being cramped in an office all day, listening to angry customers yell at me because there is something wrong with their order, it was nice to reconnect with nature.

I let me mind wander as we walked the familiar roads in my subdivision. My eyes looked down at my feet as I thought about buying a new pair of sneakers. But suddenly the leash tightened in my hand as Lucky tried to run away.

I tugged on the leash to keep hold of it and then I looked up. I dropped Lucky's leash as I took in the sight before me. In my very normal neighborhood there was a huge animal. It was ten feet tall, covered in green scales and there was smoke coming out of its scaly nose.

The only word that came to mind was dragon, but I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around that as it stomped on a car that was sitting on the road. I found that I couldn't move and my eyes just widened as the dragon moved closer, a spurt of flame coming from its open mouth catching my neighbor's detached garage on fire.

I thought this scene couldn't get any weirder, but it did as a man dressed in armor rode into the neighborhood on a horse. He came charging towards me and lifted up his visor. He looked at me with bright blue eyes and said, "Come with me if you want to live."

I reached up and took his extended hand. I clamored up behind him and we rode away. I looked back, feeling badly about Lucky and my neighbors but feeling like this was my best hope to survive.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Bewildered Bug challenged me with "When she looked up, a sight that she would never have imagined greeted her" and I challenged Dafeenah with "When to choose between family and friends".

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

R.I.P Anne McCaffrey and Why I Never Got Into the Pern Books

The news has come out that author Anne McCaffrey has passed away. I know many people who are big fans of hers and adored the Dragons of Pern books. For a tribute from one of her fans, you can read this post at GeekMom.

Me, I wasn't ever a big fan of Anne McCaffrey. I like exactly one of her books, Dragonsdawn, which I do admit is one of my favorites. I just re-read it a few months ago. The whole reason I didn't get into the Pern books because they don't seem to go in any order and that annoyed the crap out of me.

When I was younger, I would read books from my dad's extensive library of sci-fi / fantasy books. Some of these books, I love to this day. Most notably of these are the books by David Eddings. I love the vast world that Eddings created and the fact that he numbered his books so I would know what order to read them in.

I picked up one of the Dragons of Pern books (I don't remember which one right now), read it and liked. I wanted to read the next one which is when I realized that there wasn't a specific order that these books went and that caused me to give up on them.

This was in a time when the internet wasn't in every home - I didn't get on the internet until I was in college. So I couldn't just go onto the wikipedia page to find out what the chronological order of the books were. Yes, it's very anal of me, but I don't like reading things that aren't in order.

Now that I can find the chronological order, I had been considering giving the Dragons of Pern another try. I love Dragonsdawn because it's the origin story so it's first in my mind. But I don't think I will ever love these books as much as other people because I didn't grow up with them.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Well-Needed Break

I love being a mommy, but being a work at home / stay at home mom can be wearing after a while. Emily has been a holy terror this week and I really needed a break away from her.

Last time Todd had gone to the movies he had gotten a free ticket through the movie theater's rewards program. I used that ticket to spend a few hours away from home to watch Tower Heist, which was very funny.

I felt so much better when I got home. I really needed that break after the week I had just had. Even a few hours was just what I needed to cheer up and feel better.

Now it's Thanksgiving week and Todd only has to work three days before having a four day weekend. It should be a good one!

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Emily and the Kitty

I love my cats and when we brought Emily home we were careful to make sure she was gentle with them. Even though Willow wanted nothing to do with her, Star was willing to be the guinea pig who helped us teach to pet nice.

Star kept trying to get out of the house this summer, being successful several times which involved us trying to lure him back. He's back now, but Willow really missed him when he was gone so we had been talking about getting another kitty in case Star took off for good.

So we adopted Sam a couple of weeks ago. He's a sweet boy who is only 6 months old. At first, Emily was just happy to pet him, but then she started wanting to pick him up and carry him around the house.

I've been yelling myself hoarse to get her to stop. Sam still likes her and has only swiped at her a couple of times - and never hurt her. It's just been a hell of a learning curve trying to get her to realize that even though Sam is her kitty, it is also a living animal who doesn't want to be her living toy. I keep having to put her in kitty time out where she can't be by the kitty for a set amount of time.

Today was a little better. Emily would toss her little bouncy ball and Sam would chase after it. Emily would also chase after the ball and then they would repeat. Sam also snuggled with her on the chair, so I'm hoping things will get better.

The glamorous life of a mom - keeping your toddler from abusing your new kitty!

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Writing Challenge - Two Roads Diverged...

My feet crunched on the fallen leaves as I ran through the wood. I kept looking back to see if there was anyone back there, but so far, I had been lucky. I ran my hand through my curly, blonde hair as I slowed my pace a little.

Moving my hand over my eyes, I choked back a sob. I had always tried to be a good person and did all the right things. I obeyed my father and married a man whom was chosen for me. I took it when he beat me, thinking it was a good wife's duty to submit to her husband.

I remembered how angry he was when I birthed daughter after daughter and how he blamed me for the lack of sons I produced. I continued to take the beatings but when he raised his hand to hit my oldest daughter, something in me snapped.

The blow his head met from my frying pan was lethal. I was glad to be rid of him but I knew that I would be brought up on charges and killed. I had made sure my daughters were well taken care of and I ran before the King's men could find me.

Now I was standing in a cold wood as the tears began to stream down my face. My girls were out of my hands now but I wasn't sure what to do with my life. I looked at my feet seeing the two paths that were in front of me.

The one that was more well traveled lead to the capital city, a place of hustle and bustle. There I would probably have to beg for a living and may have to resort to other, unsavory professions. The other road was barely viable and I didn't know where it went to.

After weighing my options, I decided on the less traveled road. I didn't know where it lead, but it was better than the more traveled road or going back. I sighed, looking back and sending good thoughts back to my daughters. Then I began my journey to my new life.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Britania challenged me with "Two Roads Diverged in a Yellow Wood" and I challenged Cedar with "1% of Elves".

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's Looking A Lot Like Christmas

I always had this rule that I couldn't watch any Christmas show until I saw it snow or until it was after Thanksgiving. That worked out great when I lived in Michigan since it often snowed before Thanksgiving. But NC is a lot more devoid of snow - sometimes it doesn't snow until after Christmas. This year it did snow a few weeks ago but I didn't see any of it.

Even though I haven't seen a snowflake this season, I turned on the Phineas and Ferb Christmas special this afternoon. We just got this thing called a Roku and it lets you stream stuff to your TV. We also got Netflix so we now have access to all of Phineas and Ferb (with a lot of other shiny stuff). Emily wanted to watch Phineas and Ferb and that is the episode I picked.

I'm feeling a little uneasy about the holiday season but I'm also ready to get into the spirit. I'm going to be doing a ton of cleaning this weekend so the house will be all ready so we can bring home our Christmas tree over the weekend.

So it's beginning to look at lot like Christmas for me!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Cochran, Survivor and Bullying

I've been a Survivor fan for several years now, though I have skipped a few seasons here and there since I started watching it. I have rarely picked a favorite at the beginning but this season I did. I'm rooting for Cochran for a variety of reasons.

He is a nerd and geek, plus he is the smallest man on either tribe. I didn't think he would last long, but thankfully he is still alive in the game.

But he has had to endure all kinds of bullying because he is small and geeky. He's been on the chopping block several times and gotten nothing but disdain and abuse from his tribe. So last episode he had the chance to change the game and not throw things into the hand's of chance. And now he is being painted as someone who is without honor and integrity.

GeekMom Jules wrote a post that went up this morning that expresses how I feel about this situation pretty well. I was bullied a lot when I was in middle school and even younger. I was bullied because I was a geek, because I was short and because I had a funny sounding last name. It wasn't just name calling either. I was physically bullied by a girl who decided she didn't like me so she would bash my head with brushes in shop class and pushed me into doors. It got to the point that the only place I felt safe was band class because she couldn't hurt me in front of so many people. So as Cochran was bullied by Ozzy and the other members of his tribe, I felt more and more empathy for him.

So when he made his big move, I thought it was brilliant. I can understand his reasoning for not wanting the vote to go to rocks. I wouldn't want to leave my fate up to chance either and honestly his tribe hadn't given him a lot of incentive to stay loyal.

Now he is getting a lot of heat from this on the internet and as a Cochran supporter I got a little bit of that heat myself. I was told that Cochran was giving geeks a bad name and that he lacked integrity and honor. So apparently, he should have just taken the abuse, been voted off and just kept his head down?

As someone who was bullied, I'm so proud that Cochran stood up for himself. And he's playing a game that the goal is to stay in the game. If he hadn't made his big move, he could have gone to Redemption Island if the Rocks deemed so. And even if he had survived through the rocks, things weren't looking good for him.

While I doubt he'll make it to the end, I think he made the only choice that made sense in his situation. And after been so mistreated by his old tribe, I can understand the desire to want to change. So I'm still firmly Team Cochran. I hope that he'll make it to the end and I feel badly that he is having to endure so much flak for a great Survivor move.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Writing Challenge - The Best Revenge is Living Hell

John groaned as he opened his eyes and tried to sit up. He poked gently at his ribs and winced, feeling the pain shooting through his body. He gave a little cry as he got to his feet and looked around him, a feeling of horror cascading over him.

He was standing on a beach and it looked to be just around dawn. He had no idea where he was because there were no beaches near where he lived. He looked around wildly for a boat or something, but there was nothing.

When he looked down, he did see a suitcase near his feet. He quickly bent down and opened it up. There was a fishing line, flint and tinder as well as an iPad. He fired up the last one up to find a video saved on it.

John started the video up and a growl came out of his throat as he saw the bully who had been making his life a living hell for the past two years. "Hello John," the bully said, his voice full of laughter, "I hope you are enjoying your island getaway. I'm sure you will be rescued since there has to be someone who cares about you. For now, this is what you get when you try to get revenge on me. If you fight back again, the punishment will be worse."

He just stared at the video that had finished playing but still had the image of the bully lingering on the screen. John had tried to stand up to the bully by fighting back. Even though he was thin and gangly, he found that he had a certain skill with karate as he trained several times a week at a local dojo.

So when the bully had dragged him to the back of the school, John was able to fight back and win. He had been walking home, feeling high with his victory when he had been jumped from behind. He had taken a blow to the head, and must have been taken to this place while he was out.

Looking around, he decided that he was going to use this time to get even stronger. He knew that his parents would be looking for him and he had told them all about the bully, so he hoped that questioning him would be the first thing they would try to do.

When he got back, he would make that bully's life a living hell just like he had done to John. That would be the best revenge of all.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Lance challenged me with "The Best Revenge is Living Hell" and I challenged alyssagoesbang with "The Candy Will Kill You".

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

NaNoWriMo And Finishing My First Novel

NaNoWriMo Logo
I've been an avid writer since I was in middle school. My first story was a blatant Star Wars rip-off. Since then I've written thousands of pages of stories, but I've never actually written a novel with a solid beginning, middle and end. That is, I hadn't until this weekend.

I started the novel that I had started years ago for NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea is that you try to write a 50k word novel in the month of November. If you get to 50k, you win. I've only won one year, my first in 2005.

After Emily was born, it was harder to try and write a novel in November. But I still gave it a try every year. The novel I just finished was different in a lot of ways. The biggest is that I outlined what was going to happen before I wrote it. Before then, I was firmly a pantser - a writer who just writes from the seat of his or her pants. I had wondered if my pantsing was hindering me finishing a novel, since even the year I won NaNo I didn't actually finish the book.

The story has been sitting there for years with me working on it some as time goes by. I've always wanted to be a published author, but I wasn't too serious about doing anything about it. Then last Christmas, as you know if you are an avid reader of my blog, I got very sick. I think that was the kick in the pants I needed to actually get serious about becoming published.

So, I've been working on finishing the first book in a trilogy which I finished last Friday. I admit that I cried after I had written those last few words, but they were happy tears. I took a couple days off from writing and outlined the next book since that method seems to work well for me.

I had hoped to finish the first book before November started, but I didn't manage it. So I'm a NaNoWriMo cheater since I'm counting the words I wrote in the first book and the outline for the 2nd book towards my NaNo goal. Even with cheating, I'm behind on my word counts.

While I hope to get caught up and win at NaNo, it's just important to keep writing. I'm not going to stop writing after November ends. Though I will probably put the 2nd novel aside so I can start editing the first.

I feel that finishing my first novel is a huge achievement and the first step to becoming a published author. I still have a far way to go since the book is going to need a lot of work as well as being edited at least twice before I start querying for an agent.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thoughts On Christmas

I know it's not even Thanksgiving, but I've been thinking a lot about Thanksgiving ever since Halloween was over.

Christmas used to be my favorite holiday, until my mom passed away. Christmas was her favorite as well, so it was rough those first few years. Even though being able to experience the magic of Christmas through Emily's eyes has increased my enjoyment of Christmas, I still like Halloween better.

This year we are going home to Michigan for Christmas. Usually we don't because of the snow, but there are a variety of reasons we decided to go home. I'm excited to have Emily be able to spend Christmas with her cousins as well as a snowy, Michigan Christmas.

But I'm starting to feel uneasy as the calender inches towards December. This is because it will have been a year since I got so sick. I think I want this Christmas to be the best ever to make up for the fact that I didn't get a Christmas last year. Thinking about last Christmas makes me feel weepy and sad.

So, here is hoping I have the best Christmas ever!

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Not To Reserve The Pavilion at Avery's Little Corner Park

We love Avery's Little Corner Park in Woodfin so much that it was the site of Emily's birthday party for the last two years. Though we had an incident that we will never have her birthday party there again.

Last year the cost to rent the pavilion at the park was free, which I thought was a great deal since all the other parks I had called charged varying amounts. When I called to reserve the pavilion this year, I was told that there was now a charge of $25. I happily paid it since it was the best park in the area and Emily loved it.

The trouble started when we got to the park for her party because there was another party in full swing. I pointed told the other people that I had reserved the pavilion and they were shocked to hear that you had to pay to use the pavilion.

It took them over a half hour to move their party as they continued to do presents while I muttered angrily as Emily played happily. The people were rude, with my husband overhearing that the reason I was being bitchy was because I was jealous that their party had so many more people.

While hardly anyone I invited showed up for Emily's party, I was more angry that I had paid $25 for a pavilion that I didn't get to use for 1/4 of the time that I had paid for. I tried to make the best of it and we had a decent party.

I was still irked, so I called up the Town of Woodfin office the Monday after the party. I was asking for at least a partial refund and it to be better marked that the pavilion was reserved. The woman I talked to was rude from the beginning, telling me that my name had bee on the pavilion showing I had reserved it. It must have been in a very small space since I didn't see it, and when I asked my best friend, she said she hadn't see it either.

And when I brought up a refund, she was even ruder to me saying I would have to come to a town meeting to ask for one. And those were in the evenings, which is impossible for me to attend because my husband works 2nd shift. She ended up hanging up on me, which is the height of bad customer service.

So I emailed the Town Administrator, Jason Young, to complain about the entire situation but especially because I had been so rudely treated by the lady on the phone. I've been waiting to write this blog post because I wanted to give him time to get back to me, but he never did.

I will not be having Emily's birthday party at the best park in the Asheville area again because of the way I was treated. I didn't really expect a refund, but I also didn't expect to be treated so rudely. This is why I would discourage anyone from paying the pavilion fee because there is no guarantee that you will get to use that space you have paid for.

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Sam I Am

I've always been a cat person whereas Todd claims he is a dog person. We had two cats, Star and Willow, but we kept talking about getting a third. This was partly because Willow was so upset and lonely when Star went on walkabout and partly because Emily has never gotten to pick out a kitty.

So we have been talking about this for a while, and we ended up in PetSmart after we had gone out to lunch to celebrate the fact that I had finished my novel. Brother Wolf was there and we sat with several of the kitties. The one that we liked the best was named Pineapple.

We decided that Pineapple would be a good addition to our family so we got the paperwork filled out, got a carrier (since we hadn't had the foresight to bring one of the ones we already have), paid the adoption fee and took him home.

He stayed in Emily's room a good portion of the evening and we made sure he had food and water in there. Emily kept wanting to pet him but we told her that he was trying to get used to his new home. We also changed his name to Sam, since I've always wanted an orange kitty named Sam-Wise. Though Emily still keeps calling him Pinny-Apple.

Star sniffed Sam and had no issues. But Willow keeps hissing at him when he gets close to try and sniff her. She's temperamental at the best of times, so we weren't terribly surprised. We've been loving on her and so far she has only hissed at Sam. I think they will get used to each other eventually.

Sam started exploring the rest of the house that night and has integrated pretty well into our family. He loves hiding under blankets, he loves being petted (even by Emily who is fairly gentle for a 3 year old) and seems pretty content to be our kitty.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Writing Challenge - Wow! What A Ride!

The engine of the old VW Bug was chugging along but Suzie tried to ignore the fact that her car was dying. She increased her speed a little, but that caused her car to make a rattling noise that didn't sound good at all.

Suzie looked down at the directions she printed out and saw that she was only an hour away from her destination. She had been dreaming about attending this gathering for years and now she just had to will her car into making the last few miles and she would be there.

As if her car had been able to read her thoughts, it began to sputter and make a grinding noise. "No, no, no!" Suzie cried as her car began to slow down. She steered her car to the shoulder of the highway just as it shuddered to a halt.

Suzie had tears in her eyes as she grabbed her backpack out of the trunk. She looked at the highway for a moment and then came to a decision. She grabbed her directions, put on her backpack and started walking while putting her thumb out to try and hitch a ride.

She walked for about an hour when a car slowed down. The driver was a blonde man who looked to be college aged, like she was. "Where are you headed?" he asked her, a grin on his suntanned face.

"Downtown Atlanta," Suzie said, her heart jumping at the hope of getting a ride, "I'm trying to get to Dragon*Con."

The man stopped the car and opened the passenger side door. "Hop in," he said, still grinning, "It just so happens that I'm headed down to the con as well."

Suzie didn't even think, just climbed into the car. It may end up being a bad decision but she had to try to make it to the con. It had already been quite a journey so far, but she was determined to make it to the end and her goal.


For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, Tara Roberts challenged me with "“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving
safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in
a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly
proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
Hunter S. Thompson" and I challenged femmefauxpas with "The snow was softly falling on the body".

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Candy Conundrum

Now that it is several days after Halloween, I keep seeing posts on various social media sites on what to do with the candy. This seems to be an easy question to answer to me, that being: Eat It.

But apparently that is not the answer that many people seem to be wanting to decide on. Now, everyone can make their own choices for their kids, but I'm wondering why even let your kids go trick or treating if you aren't going to let them eat some of the candy.

Granted, Emily's Halloween candy haul was not big at all. And I'm okay with that since she would be eating it until it was Christmas if she had actually filled her bucket. But I think letting her have two pieces of candy a day (one after lunch / naptime and one after dinner) is just fine.

She has to eat her good food first and she isn't allowed to pig out on candy. She only got one piece on Halloween, and that was a bit of a bribe to let her give up her turn in the push car because Kaylee was melting down just a little bit.

It's her candy that I let her collect. So she gets to eat it. But seemingly I may be in the minority when it comes to this. I think with a lot of other things, candy is okay in moderation.

What is your take on this? Are you letting your kids eat their Halloween candy?

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Potty Training Update

Potty training is actually going quite well for us. The 'sit on the potty every hour' method is working for getting her to pee and poop on the potty quite well.

I was a little worried that we were going to have issues when Emily and I spent the night at my best friend, Dolli's house on Halloween, but she actually did pee more in the potty there than in her diaper.

Tonight, I was sitting watching TV and I heard her door open. She tearfully told me that she had pooped and proceeded to want to go right into the bathroom to finish pooping. I think this is a really good milestone since before she was just pooping in her diaper and not wanting to go to the potty.

She has also gotten to the point where she doesn't want to use her little potty anymore. With the help of her stool, she is able to sit on the big potty like mommy and daddy. So we are done with the training potty too, which thrills me since that thing is a pain in the butt to keep clean.

We aren't there yet, but she is making big strides in being potty trained. She even peed in a public toilet for the first time over the weekend after telling us that she needed to go!

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Trick or Treat!

Emily and Kaylee ready to go trick or treating
Since Todd had to work on Halloween, and since my best friend, Dolli's husband also was working, we decided that Emily and I would go to their house for Halloween.

That way Emily and I could go trick or treating with Dolli and her daughter, Kaylee. Kaylee is a year younger than Emily but they are best friends and love playing together.

We went to a local mall and it was really cool. They had a full size carousel in the  food court and it was a two story mall. We got some candy but then we heard the sounds of loud music so we went to see what was going on.

Emily waiting for the carousel to start up
They had a DJ at one end of the mall playing tunes for the kids to dance to. Kaylee loved it but Emily wasn't quite sure about the dancing. I think she really just wanted to get back to trick or treating.

This year was great because she really got it. She knew that if she said 'trick or treat', she would get candy. Kaylee was really more interested in looking around so we got one of those car things you can rent and push around the mall. Kaylee rode in it most of the night but Emily did get a turn.

We ended the evening with a ride on the carousel. It was Emily's first time and she really loved it. I found it a little dizzying as I stood next to her making sure she wouldn't fall off. It was a great end of the evening for the girls.

After we got them to sleep (which happened very fast), Dolli dyed my hair red. Then we played a game of Settlers of Catan where she won (she actually kind of kicked my butt at it). It was a really great night.

I think we'll be doing the same thing next year - it was a great way to spend my favorite holiday!

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