February 28, 2011

Monday Mash: A Twisted Wishing Well

"In a world of extreme beauty, a twisted wishing well becomes the next dragon rider."

Wanna know where that blurb came from?   Bethany at Aspirations showed me how to mash stories and now I'm addicted!  Here's how it's done: Think of three favorite books.  Sum them up in one sentence (or use the blurb).

1. Uglies -"In a world of extreme beauty, anyone normal is ugly."
2. Well-Wished - A well that grants wishes, with a twist.
3. Eragon - A boy discovers a dragon's egg and becomes the next dragon rider.
Then mash them all together. 

What do you think?  Bestseller or to the cellar?

February 27, 2011

The Scrumptiousness of Cloth Folds

I love cloth folds.

I like to squish the little folded mountain into oblivion; which pushes up more mountains to squish. Be it a pillow, curtain, or blanket, they're all savory to me.

I once thought I hated rituals.  They seemed cumbersome and limiting. I figured people who observed them just needed methods to make sense of their madness.

Then one day as I sat beside my husband crushing tiny mountains in his shirt, he said, "Why do you do that?"


"That."  He pointed to my hand.

I stopped mid-crushing.  "Um..."  I hadn't realized I was doing it.

From that point on, I took notice of my quirks. My odd rituals happened when I was stressed or sleepy; they acted as calming mechanisms.

I found I have writing rituals too.  I don't like writing until after I have a hot drink--usually coffee and a sniff from my pillow (yes, I sniff things like books and pillows; not the bad stuff).

Rituals help us shift our thoughts onto what we're doing next.  Like the five minute warning our mom gave to put our toys up.  It allows us to disengage and move on to another activity.  It's the embers to a new fire.

What about you?  Do you have rituals?

February 25, 2011

Dance Like You're in a Swarm of Bees

Friday Fun:
  • Wear something sunny.
  • Put this note with your tip: "Follow your dreams."
  • Dance like you're in a swarm of bees.
  • Buy a rose and give it to the cashier.
  • Stargaze at midnight in your car.

What fun do you have planned this weekend?

February 24, 2011

Truth Thursday

I had so much fun reading Jennifer's confessions over at Unedited that I decided to join in her Truth Thursdays.

1.  Last week I didn't stop my car to help a skunk on the road with its head stuck in a soup can.  I still feel a little guilty...

2.  Songs from High School Musical(s) pop into my head and I, gulp, sing them. (Don't hate)

3.  I have the tiniest closet in the house because I tend to wear few things often (Washed, of course!  Please don't report me to What Not to Wear)

4.  I count my crossing guard duties as part of my exercise routine.

5.  When I help my son with fourth grade math, I have to look up the problems online.

Any confessions you need to get off your chest?

February 23, 2011

Wing Tip #11: From Tragedy to Comedy?

"My mother wanted us to understand that the tragedies of your life one day have the potential to be comic stories the next." -- Nora Ephron

I have certainly had those moments when something dire turned to hilarious after time had lapsed.  I remember losing my temper once in the college dorm because no one was helping me clean.  In a fit of frustration I threw all the books off our bookshelf and stormed out of the room slamming the door behind me.  Our room full of girls silenced.  

Not knowing where I should go and feeling immediately ashamed, I sat down in the hallway.  After awhile, my friend rapped on the door.

"Is it safe to come out?" she asked.  

That was all it took to get me laughing. 

What about you?  Has anything that seemed important in the moment become comical in time?

February 22, 2011

Tuesday Talkabout: Mostly Monsterly

Description on Simon and Schuster page:

"Bernadette might seem like an ordinary monster, but sometimes she likes to do some very unmonsterlike things, like pick flowers. And pet kittens. And bake.

When the time comes for Bernadette to go to Monster Academy, she's just a teensy bit nervous. Her classmates just don't understand her. They'd rather uproot trees than sing friendship songs. And they prefer fried snail goo to Bernadette's homemade cupcakes with sprinkles. Can Bernadette find a way to make friends at school and still be herself?"

I read this book.  I bought this book.  It's adorable and funny.  You can't help but root for Bernadette as she stands outside the norm.  But no one enjoys being the outcast and I hoped Bernadette would find a way in without having to change who she was.  (You'll have to read it to find out what happens.  No spoilers here!)

What's your latest read?

February 20, 2011

Sunday Scribblings: Food

I saw a documentary following a little boy in Cambodia. With a small bucket, he searched all day to find ants for dinner.  Ants.  His mother wanted to add them to the rice for protein.  Their only meal of the day was in the evening when his father arrived home from working the fields.  They each had one bowl of watered down rice with ants.

As I sat there staring at the television, my western eyes fell off and I saw further into the world.  I saw a family like mine struggling with more than "What movie should we see?" or "What school shoes should we buy?".  Their livelihood hung on all of them.  And I imagined what it must be like to work in fields for the entire day without food until nighttime.  Or to scavenge for ants for dinner.  Or to barter for the only meal we would have.

Those thoughts still rattle me.  My greedy indulgence haunts me.  I eat for more than survival.  I eat for comfort, celebration, and entertainment.  It's considered normal here.  But I can't help feeling guilty when I overindulge myself.  I want to lose weight, so wouldn't eating less food help that and give me more funds for helping the less fortunate?

I want to identify with my brothers and sisters in distant lands; I want to understand hunger.  This year is my quest to find it.

February 17, 2011

Thursday Letters: Child

My niece was the recipient of this week's letter. She's eleven and full of creativity.  Her art form is beading at the moment.  But she also loves to draw, journal, and countless other things.  So in the letter was a how-to diagram drawing of a girl.  I hope she enjoys it.

For me children provide some of the best inspiration.  They haven't learned to hold in their passion or to be pretentious and hide their true selves.  They are free.

Is there a child who inspires creativity for you?

Next Week's Prompt: Grandparent (or older friend)

February 14, 2011

Weirdest vs Romantic Proposals

What's the weirdest or most romantic proposal you've heard of?  Perhaps it was yours, maybe someone in your family, or even something you heard of on the news or in a book. Please share!

At the end of the day I will tally romantic versus weird and see what we come up with.

Happy Valentine's Day!

OR as my daughter (who hates this day) says, Happy Single Awareness Day!

February 13, 2011

A Thousand Years

I had friends in my home non-stop for twelve days.

Twelve blizzard snow-days.

That went on for a thousand years.

And I realized once again, I am not a people person.

Don't get me wrong, I love people.  And I thoroughly enjoyed visiting my friends.  But I am not one of those who is energized by crowds.  After a while, I begin to wane.  I can't focus on the conversation.  I feel antsy and nervous. I find reasons to go to bed early or take long baths.  I slink away by myself to write or paint like my life depends on it.

I don't know if it's a failure to understand being with others or if it's just the way I'm made, but eventually I have to remove myself.  I have to have a break from people.  I find myself looking forward to being completely alone.  To being able to think once again.  Everything comes back into focus once I have some solitude.

I used to chide myself about this side of me.  But now I embrace it.  It's as much a part of me as the characters in my head.  And my family has learned to give me space between gatherings to recoup my hostess-y self.

For the record, we haven't had company for four days.  **Happy sigh**  I feel restored and ready for life.  My energy's back and my step has a skip in it.  It's a good thing too, because my daughter just slumped down in front of me with her face scrunched in misery.

"Mom," she said, "I need people.  It's been a thousand years since we had anyone over."

February 10, 2011

Thursday Letters

If you haven't read about my Letter Project, check it out here.

The friend I chose for this week's letter is vivacious, tall, beautiful, full of laughter and a giving heart.  Always quick to entertain, she loves people.

Unfortunately, the recent effects of cancer keep her from being able to do many of those things now.  We talk and see each other often.  But I figured a letter in the mail could be an unexpected connection.

I shared what my family's been doing while being snowed in the last two weeks.  My son built an igloo for the first time (since it's the biggest snowfall we've ever had).  My youngest daughter organized countless drawers and closets.  My eldest daughter baked more cakes (Reeses Buttercup Cake, YUM!).  And I was able to paint five more pictures (one of them above).  I hope my friend enjoys an imaginary tour of our adventures.

Next Week's Prompt: A Child

February 3, 2011

Thursday Letters

So as my letter project for this week, I wrote my brother who's six years younger than me.  Before he was born, I hoped for a boy and my sister hoped for a girl.  I won. :D

Why write to my brother?  He just moved to a faraway place leaving behind his wife to sell their house.  Due to the slow market, the house isn't selling.  He's been gone since December and has only been able to make a few trips back home.

I couldn't help thinking of him when I was deciding who to write.  I know nothing feels as cozy as a letter from home when you're secluded in a place where you know no one and you're being trained on a new job.

Unfortunately, I can't sent it.  We are snowed in.  Literally.  The whole town is practically shut down.  So hopefully I'll get it off by the weekend.  If anyone would like me to link to their letter project, let me know.  Below is a prompt for next week but feel free to write whomever you chose.

Next Week Prompt: Someone struggling with their health.