Another Blonde Moment...

April 29, 2010

Blond Meet Snake

For a year I lived in a small (and I do mean small) mountain town called Anza. Being in the mountains, Anza was home to LOTS of dirt (you could bury a body & no one would know) and animals from bunnies (aah) to bobcats (not so aah). Counted among these animals were snakes. Every resident has their encounter stories with the commonly seen coyote and the less than commonly seen bobcat. I'm happy to say my encounters with both of these animals was in the safety of my own car as they ran across the road I was driving on. Every resident also has plenty of snake encounter stories. For the majority of the time I lived in Anza I was happy to be among the few who had not come face to face with the slithery kind. However, my luck ran out and here is my snake "encounter" story.

I had been packing things up in our bedroom since we were getting ready to move. As I did countless times every day I looked out the window. This particular window gave you a view of our front yard. Any bunnies? No. Any squirrels? No. Any quails? No. Any.... SNAKE! SHIT!!

There is was making it's way from behind one of my rear tires towards the house!! HOLY CRAP!! This much I knew: it was little, it was a fleshy color, and it was moving closer to my house!! Oh yeah, and it was a snake! I immediately called my husband who's a teacher at the local school.

Me: There's a snake in front of the house.
Him: What kind of snake?
Me: I don't know. One that moves.
Him: Is it a poisonous snake?
Me: I don't know.
Him: What color was it?
Me: A fleshy color
Him: Is it a big snake?
Me: No, it looked little.
Him: Did it have a rattle at the end?
Me: I don't know. I don't think so.
Him: Where is it now?
Me: I don't know. I lost it when it crossed the garden border.
Him: It probably went under the house. (We lived in a modular house) Just don't go outside if
you don't know where it is and I'll take care of it when I get home.

Okay, like me leaving the house with a snake on the move and on the lose was going to be an issue!! The bookstore wouldn't have been able to get me to come of the house. And what did he mean it's under the house??!!
I took a few deep breaths and tried to calm down. Then I did what any one who was not calm, cool, or collected with a fear of snakes would do. I shut and locked all the windows and doors. Then I closed all the floor vents in the house. For good measure I put a couple of books on top of each one to ensure Mr. Snake would stay outside.

Just as I breathed a sigh of relief, I remember seeing on the news that people have found snakes and other animals coming up through their toilets. OK, I know these instances were in Florida but my imagination was in over drive. Besides, my rationality was that if it happened in Florida it COULD happen. Therefore, it COULD happen anywhere. So, I put all the toilet lids down and stacked several towels on top so they would stay shut.

While I waited for my knight in shining armor to rescue me from the evil snake. I called my Mom. It got strangely quiet when I told her I saw a snake. Apparently she already knew how I was going to react. WHen I told her about turning the house into a fortress it took awhile for her to stop laughing. A long while. Then she commended me on putting the house on lock down so the snake couldn't come inside for tea. Ha ha, very funny. By the time my husband came home, reported he couldn't find the snake, I had paced a whole in our carpet and was probably getting a bladder infection. He had a good laugh over it all, as has everyone who has heard the story.

From My Writing Desk...

April 27, 2010

Everything In Me

I'm aware of my faults.
Believe me, I know them all.
I have more than one flaw.
And sometimes they rub me raw.
Hard as I try, I still get things wrong.
And I've been the devoted heart who stayed too long.
But I always loved with everything in me

I've been the reason behind someone else's tears.
Everyday I do battle with my fears.
I've tried too hard.
Watched things fall apart.
But my eyes were always open to see.
And I always gave everything in me.

There were times when you couldn't stop me if you tried.
Even when I chose to hide.
Reality wasn't always a friend of mine.
Nor was she always kind.
But whatever I chose to do,
No matter if I'd win or lose,
I lived and loved with everything in me.

I could take me or leave me some days.
That I've been blessed witha life full of love has often left me amazed.
Maybe my best is yet to come.
Or maybe when the going gets tough I'll run.
But I can say this much honestly,
Everything I did I did with everything in me.

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking
By: Astrid Lindgren
160 pages

I am Pippi Longstocking,
If you say it fast it's funny.
Pippi, Pippi Longstocking.
How I love my happy name.....

I should say now that my introduction to this remarkable character was not through a book. It wasn't until I was older that I even knew she originated in a book. No, I met her through her movies that would play on tv during the weekends. Yup, I fell in love with Pippi, and her entire zany world through a badly dubbed movie- and I wouldn't have had it any other way!

When I finally decided to read the book, I did so with a lot of concern. I feared, as with a lot of movies based on books, it wouldn't be as good- or even come close. Happily, all was well and I fell in love with Pippi all over again. Her own way of doing things was as enchanting and funny in the book that started it all as they were in the movies I cherished as a child.

What's not to love about a girl who cleans her floors with scrub brushes on her shoes?! Or flies her own zeppelin (I couldn't do justice to it if I tried to describe what her version was made of) to rescue her "Papa" from pirates? And let me tell you, Pippi a completely different menu when it comes to having a picnic. The words "her own way of doing things" got a whole new meaning when Pippi moved into her father's house.

Some favorite Pippi moments for me:

  • cleaning her floors with brushes on her feet
  • her unique way of dealing with burglars who try to steal her gold
  • the food she serves at a picnic
  • her first tea party... it doesn't go well

If you haven't read Pippi Longstocking, do so! I think I just might have to spend a day or two visiting my old friend very soon!!

Alice I Have Been

April 24, 2010

Alice I Have Been
BY:Melanie Benjamin
pages: 345

We all know about Alice, from Alice In Wonderland. But have you ever wondered about the girl who inspired the famous character? Well, through Melanie Benjamin you can not only meet her, but also read about her life before and after the classic book is released.

I really wanted to love this book. I couldn't wait to read it! I thought the idea of bringing the inspiration for the beloved character was genious!! I tip my hat to Melanie Benjamin because it could not have been an easy task to undertake!

My excitement stayed with me for just under 200 pages. But, as with a lot of stories surrounding a significant event, I grew tired of waiting for the big reveal. I loved reading about Alice as a child. I couldn't help but smile while reading her thoughts & views on things. So many times I remembered feeling the same way throughout my life. I enjoyed reading of the relationship between Alice and Mr. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll's real name). I found myself rooting for them. However, I am sorry to say all of this was not enough to keep me going.

Sadly, I just couldn't keep that interest for the whole book. My biggest complaint is that I grew tired of reading hints about the big split that permanently seperated Alice and Mr. Dodgson. I hope if any of you read this book that you have better luck with it than I did. Maybe someday I'll read this book again with the success I wanted to have this time.

Rating: borrow from the library

The 1st Book I Loved

April 23, 2010

Anne of Green Gables

By: L.M. Montgomery
308 pages

"When Marilla & Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables send for a boy orphan to help then out at their farm, they mistakenly get Anne Shirley,a feisty, independent but warm-hearted 11 year old girl. Fortunately her sunny nature & quirky imagination win the hearts of her reluctant foster parents & everyone in the community. But not a day goes by without some memorable adventure or prank int he tragicomedy of her life." - Barnes &

I was introduced to Anne of Green Gables in junior high. We read it as a class and I fell in love with it immediately. I couldn't get enough of Anne and all her mishaps. It was one of the few books I've read that still has a special place in my reading heart no matter how old I get.

I loved everything about Anne Shirley! From the red hair she despised to all the many, many "scrapes" she found herself in (and me laughing at). She was the first character I related to and couldn't get enough of. The book was magical for me- never losing it's touch no matter how many times I read it again. I laughed every time she got herself into trouble, despite her good intentions at the start.

Anne of Green Gables left such an imprint on me I thought I should share it. I donated my books to my library thinking someone else would find it and loved it as much as I did. I regretted it and even went back to get them. I thought I could part with Anne, but I couldn't. Sadly, the only one that was left was the first book, so I had to buy it back.

Some of my favorite scenes:

  • Anne breaks her school slate over Gilbert's head when he calls her carrots
  • Accidentally getting her "Bosom Buddy" Diane drun
  • Falling off a roof of a building she's dared to walk
  • Dying her red hair black only to have it come out green

I'm hoping my own daughters love it as much as I did. I'm thinking of re-reading the series again. May the magic of Anne of Green Gables live on forever.

Songwriting Memories

April 21, 2010

Today I wrote my first song in A LONG time. I still remember when I wrote my first song. I had been trying for awhile prior to doing it, but just couldn't seem to pull it off. I don't know what made this attempt different, but it surely was. I was a freshman in high school and a couple of my friends decided we were gonna form a band. Everyone had a part, but we didn't have any songs to sing. So, we decided to each write a song to see who would get that job. As soon as I hung up the phone that's exactly what I did. It goes without saying that the band didn't last long. But the passion it kick started did.

To this day, I still remember the way the melody and words went in my head. In fact, it's pretty much the only one I have that with. I still have at first song on the same trace paper it was written on. My early songs were horrible. Honestly, I don't know what made me keep going, but I'm glad I did. Gradually they got better- less embarrassing.

For the next 10 years I only wrote songs. Nothing was safe from ending up in a song! I found inspiration EVERYWHERE! Boyfriends were subjects for countless songs. The Golf War got a a few songs written about it. I loved everything about songwriting. It was my emotion release. My first ones were kept in a notebook- til that notebook got too full. One notebook turned into two. Before I knew it two turned into many, many more. My bookshelf was running out of space. I eventually had enough to start putting them in a storage bin. Now I am working on my second storage bin to hold all the notebooks.

The last time I counted I had written over 1,000 songs. I'm proud of this accomplishment. Some are far better than others, but all of them were from me. I loved being that creative. I don't write them as often as I used to- I usually don't when my life is quiet. Maybe I should do another counting again to see what my number is now. Those bins hold my "Life's Work"-- an important part of my life & I cherish them deeply.

Bringing Home The Birkin

April 20, 2010

Bringing Home The Birkin
By: Michael Tonello
254 pages

The legend of the Hermes Birkin bag is that there's supposedly a 2-3 year waiting list to get one. They also supposedly only make 100 of them every year. The operative word here being "supposedly". Michael Tonello took this as a challenge and turn getting & reselling Birkins into a career.

"Oh, how this book sucked. Let me count the ways..."

For starters, I think this book would have been a great expose article. It could even make a better movie- something along the lines of Confessions of a Shopaholic. This book has a classic case of too many pages with not enough substance to fill them. There just wasn't enough subject matter to keep me interested. It didn't help that it was a slow starter, which I, personally, don't like in books. This book is only 254 pages, but things didn't start happening until page 60. I'm all for getting the background information, but this seemed excessive to me. I felt the author could have set the stage in far less time.

I also didn't care to read about how the author met his soul mate and their romance. Nor did I have any interest in their vacation, or hotel stay, or the food they ate. I'm a fan of people finding and falling in love, but that wasn't what the book was about. I only wanted to read about how easy it was for him get as many Birkins as he did.

Sadly, I did a lot of skimming while reading this book and I'm not a skimmer when I read a book. There were several times I came close to putting the book down for good, but I wanted to read how the author had to get back a $22,000 Birkin one of his associates was holding ransom. I was disappointed when that turned out to be like the whole book... sounded more exciting than it really was. Once I got past that point I threw in the towel.

I couldn't tell you how the book ended, becuase I don't know. I just couldn't stay interested, though I tried in vain to. It's sad when you don't finish a book because you don't care how it ends. That was me with this book.

I must say that I learned some interesting things while reading the book. I didn't know that Hermes makes their own tissue paper for wrapping their crocodile handbags. Nor did I know that when you buy a crocodile Birkin you have to fill out special paperwork having to do with the fact that it's made of crocodile. I also learned a person can only buy 1 Birkin a day; Hermes has it's own museum; and it's own auction once a year. However, the buyers for their museum refuse to pay a lot of money for things.

There were several interesting things in the book, but just not enough to keep you going for 254 pages.

Rating: Borrow from the library. If you do buy it, RETURN IT

My Latest "Blonde" Moment

April 19, 2010

Once upon a time I was computer literate. In fact, I almost majored in the field. Believe it or not I had little to no difficulty in dealing with most aspects of computers. However, I'm beginning to realize those days were many, many moons ago.

I was trying to make a list of other blog sites I wanted to put on my blog. Well, in trying to accomplish that I somehow became a follower of my own blog. That's right. I'm all for standing behind your product & believing in yourself, but not like this. And the worst part of it all is that I cannot figure out how to unfollow my own blog!! Good job Jen!!

I'm slowly becoming as technologically challenged as my Mom. This situation reminds me of the time my husband & I spent a couple hours on the phone with her trying to make the movie she wanted to watch play. In the end it turned out that she was trying to play a DVD in her VCR. This is going to be me soon. Yup, my technological future doesn't look very bright.

A Child's Imagination

April 16, 2010

I've heard that an imagination is a terrible thing to waste. Well, this is true. Since having children I have also learned that a child's imagination can be an exhausting thing to keep up with. At any given moment I go from being "Mommy" to being a character in whatever skit Alyssa happens to be acting out. I have been the mean Queen in Snow White. I give her the bad apple, she takes her bite, falls to the floor "asleep". (I have also been the Prince who's magic hug woke Snow White up.) I have been turned into one (sometimes both) of the mean step-sisters in Cinderella. We've acted out so many "Olivia" episodes. I won't even start describing her "Lizard of Boz" phase. The list goes on and on...

When we go for walks, it's rarely just a walk. We've been running from the Wicked Witch of the West. On more than one time we've had to stop for "red lights" that pop up out of no where. She and I have taken turns being the "Big Bad Wolf" from "Little Red Riding Hood."

It's fun to watch and participate in, but sometimes my energy gives out before she does.

"The Girl Who Chased the Moon"

The Girl Who Chased the Moon-- BY: Sarah Addison Allen 265 pages

Welcome to Mullaby, North Carolina. Never heard of it? Neither has Emily Benedict, but she's about to. Emily is about to meet the maternal Grandfather she never knew she had, who also happens to be the town's beloved gentle giant. She's going to learn why her room's wallpaper is unlike any other; what her connection is to the "Mullaby Lights" &, mostly, why her mother left without ever looking back. Not to mention the reason why one must never underestimate the power of cake. Cut yourself a big slice of cake curl up with "The Girl Who Chased the Moon".

I LOVED this book!!!! From beginning to end it was a thoroughly enchanting read!! It was well worth the long wait I had for it's release date and then the long wait to get it from the library. I felt like I wasn't just a reader of the story, but right there among it all. The characters were fun to read about. Every time I had to put it down I couldn't wait to puick it back up. Sarah Addison Allen writes one heck of a magical story. I will absolutely read this book more than once!!! I would definitely buy this book.

My Rating: I'd buy it!!!!

The Little Project That Can... (Hopefully)

April 15, 2010

I wrote my first book in 6th or 7th grade. As cheesy as it was (and believe me, it was CHEESY) I loved doing it and still have it to this day. I didn't realize it then, but I had found my other life-long passions. Since then I have continued to write off and on.

In 2002 or 2003 and idea came to me. I didn't put much into it and didn't pay much attention to it. But instead of the idea going away it grew. Before I knew it I had the idea of a historical novel. I threw myself into researching my time periods that were going to be used and had a blast doing it. I was making notes on scenes, character development, outlines... everything. I even began writing the first section.

Then I stopped...

When I got pregnant with my first daughter everything came to a halt. Suddenly there was no time to immerse myself in research and writing. The birth of my second daughter was no different. However,the desire to write this book never left me. So I have decided that I need to get back to it. It may mean going at a snail's pace, but I don't care. I have decided that I am going to unpack it all and finish what I started. Here goes nothing...

Books & Me

I've been a book lover for as long as I can remember. In junior high I was introduced to Anne of Green Gables, and quickly related to Anne Shirley. From then on my love of reading became a passion that has now progressed to a full-blown obsession. According to my husband, if I don't have a book to read I get antsy.

I could NOT live without books!! The classics, fiction, mysteries, biographies & autobiographies have all been my saving grace. Barnes & Noble is my happy place. I often say, "screw Disneyland. It's never done a thing for me."

Nothing beats a good book. I LOVE getting lost in a good book. I love feeling like I'm really in the story and the people aren't just characters made up by the author. I love living vicariously through the different characters I read about. Through books I get to travel to places I know I'll never really see; I get to interact with all kinds of different personalities; and I get to do things I normally wouldn't get to do otherwise.

Now that I have children my reading time is a fraction of what it used to be. I find myself counting down the minutes until nap time & bed time because that's when I get to curl up somewhere and get lost in a world other than my own. There are many times I say to myself, "Barnes & Noble take me away." At the end of the day, a good book is often like a little slice of Heaven for me.


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