Monday, March 26, 2012

What's outside your door?

One of the amazing things about the internet is the worldwide aspect.  My stats show people from all over the world viewing my posts- and I love that!  I'm communicating with people in Europe, Australia, and Asia!

I though it would be fun to talk about what it's like to live where I am, and have other bloggers share their locations as well.
This post is inspired by Elise Fallson's blog, a new blogger living in France, who was kind enough to give me another award!  Check out her blog and add her to your list.  I especially enjoyed here post on driving in Paris:)

Thanks for the award Elise!  (Since I just recently received this, I'm not going to follow the rules to pass it on and post facts on myself, especially since I'm running out of interesting things to say!)

Anyway, back to my idea on describing where I live:

I live in a small city in South Carolina, USA.  There's not a whole lot of things going on here, but it's only an hour from the beach, and other bigger cities that are fun to visit, like Charleston or Columbia.  I love the spring because there are explosions of flowers everywhere, like azaleas, wisteria, dogwood trees, and many other kinds I don't even know the names of.

The climate is fantasic too.  Mostly sunny and warm, but not unbearably hot like Miami.

That's an azalea from our bush out front.

We are also only a few hours from the Appalachian mountain range, which is beautiful to visit.  The people are sweet and well mannered, not ruined by big city mentality yet.  They still say, ma'am and sir, and hold the door open for you.  They like vinegar based barbeque pork (fabulous, by the way- with a little bit of heat), fried okra, grits, and seafood.

So what's your location like?  Feel free to leave long comments here or to post on it on your own blog.  I'll be sure and make a visit!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A laugh for the day

One of the fun things about being married to someone who's first language is not English, is enlightening them on some of our little sayings.

Awhile back my youngest daughter had gotten sick, as in throwing up sick.  As my husband and I were fussing over her in the bathroom, I taught my husband the  alternative phrase of "tossing your cookies".  At that my daughter perked up and said, "I wanna a cookie".  So I reminded her that no, she had just tossed them.
We all had a good chuckle about that one, minus my then 3 year old daughter, who still wanted a cookie.

My sister has been bugging me about sharing some of the aquarium stories I've told her, also good for a laugh.  My husband's hobby/obsession is his saltwater aquarium, and honestly, I never imagined how entertaining it could be.

Once I walked in and said to my husband, "Oh look the shrimp is bugging your anemone."

My husband jumped up muttering, "Why that *#@ . . ."  grabbed a stick, and poked him off of the anemone.

Surprised, I asked him what the problem was and he told me he had just fed the anemone, and the shrimp was plucking the food out!  Another thing about anemone's is that, however much they look like a plant, they are an animal, and they are supposed to have a good relationship with clown fish (Nemo anyone!).  However, our anemone, did NOT like our clown fish snuggling up to him, so he picked up and moved to a corner where he would not be bothered.
The most recent discovery was the crab with a hole in his shell.  My husband found that he was poking an eye up through the hole like a periscope to watch what was going on. 

Who knew under the surface all that was going on!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just an experiment- blogging in Spanish/Espanol

I'm interrupting my regular blogging to post in Spanish.  I just wanted to see if the stats went up if I did.

Hoy estoy escribiendo en Espanol para ver si hay gente que tienen blogs tambien.  Aprendi espanol en Ecuador, donde vivi por tres anos.  (Lo siento, no se como anadir los marcos de asento!)  Estoy empezando a escribir un libro, y lo que escribo son cosas que tiene que ver con la cultura hispana (menos Espana).  Me da mucha pena que la gente aqui en los estados unidos estan tan en contra con los latinos.  Creo que si superan que dificil es la vida en los paises menos avansados tendrian mas compasion.

Normalmente, escribo en ingles, pero quise hacerlo en espanol para ver si se encuentran mi blog.  Si tiene un cuento interesante, o quiere decir algo, menos algo desagradable o con malas palabras por favor, yo puedo traducirlo.  La proxima vez, vuelvo a ingles!

So that's it!  Next time I'll be back to English.  By the way, I learned Spanish when I was 21 and living in Ecuador!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sunshine award!

So excited to receive yet another award from blogger Siv Maria!  Thank you so much for the award!

  • Thank the person who gave you the award and provide a link.
  • Write a post about it
  • Answer the questions below.
  • Pass it on to 10 bloggers who you think really deserve it and let them know
Favorite color: Yellow- because it's sunny and cheerful.

Favorite animal:  Tiger- I think they are so beautiful.

Favorite number:  4- When I was a kid I liked being 4 years old  because my dad would still carry me.  Now as a mom, I still like 4 because my girls were small enough for ME to carry!

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Coffee for sure!  I need it.

Facebook or Twitter: I have a twitter account, but I don't really use it.

My passions are: My family, animals, downhill skiing

Getting or giving presents: Giving

Favorite patterns: anything bright and colorful

Favorite day of the week:  Monday, oddly enough, because everyone is gone for a little while and I have time for myself, time to recharge, and time to write.

Favorite flower: Rose

Now to pass it on to 10 deserving bloggers who have encouraged me with their support and kind words.

S.P. Bowers

Morgan Shamy

Lynda Young

Ashley Nixon

Jolene Perry


Medeia Sharif

Mom to 8


David Powers King

Thanks to all of you for either following me, leaving positive comments, or both!  I know it's the second time I've tagged some of you, and it's just because you have been particularly positive and I felt especially inclined to give you this award. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cats and Dogs

When I started this blog, I wanted to do two things, build a platform as a writer, and write about my volunteer work at the local animal shelter.  I've obviously diverted from blogging about the shelter, but I still go almost every week to spend time with the cats and dogs out there.  Since I started going a year and a half ago, we've acquired three additional new pets, two dogs and a cat.  The latest addition was the cat, whom I had no intention of adopting when we went into the cat room.  But he was very insistent, and charmed me and my two daughters with his purring and cuddliness, so when my husband gave the stamp of approval, I brought him home under foster care.  I was hesitant to adopt because one of our three dogs in particular has shown aggression towards cats in the past, but gradually, this happened. . .

So we made him officially ours, and renamed him Willow.  It used to be Chance because he survived two bouts of pneumonia at the shelter.  (The conditions in the old shelter were deplorable, and many cats died of upper resp. infections)

He's the coolest, most laid back cat you'll ever meet.  We call him a dog cat, because he acts more like a dog than a moody cat.

Lilly was our first adoption, and who couldn't love that sweet face?

With a little crazy side.

We spent a couple hours recently at the beautiful new shelter, where we took some dogs out to their dog park for exercise.  This beautiful girl looks like the puppy version of our Lilly, and she's the sweetest thing!  She's up for adoption, of course, and we hope she gets a great home:)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogger Awards!

I've won some blogger awards from fellow blogger Cynthia, 

Thank you for thinking of me!  I'm excited to accept my first awards.  The rules were to post 7 facts about myself and then pass on the awards to 7 other bloggers.  Now I just have to figure out some non-boring things about myself!

Let's see:

1.  I took a year of German in school, learned to speak fluent Spanish, but I really wish it was French!

2.  I wanted to live in Africa, but it was too expensive to fly there, so I ended up in South America.

3.  I've died and been resuscitated.  (Yeah it's true)

4.  I love to go camping, especially at the beach.

5.  I'm constantly rescuing animals, including a baby Canadian goose, two baby raccoons, a baby squirrel, and of course the usual dogs and cats.  (The goose was cool because it followed me around our apartment and rested on my foot every time I stopped.  We turned it in the next day to a wildlife rescue.)

6.  I don't really like chocolate.  (Weird huh?)  But I do love ice cream, mostly strawberry.

7.  I love to cook and bake, but not everyday.

Now to pass on the awards to 7 fellow bloggers:

Emily Rose

Lola Sharp

Living a Dream


Write tuit



So I pass on these awards to these fellow bloggers whom I've chosen for your lovely blogs and encouraging comments on mine.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tagged again- WIP excerpt

I was tagged back by this fellow blogger/writer, Ashley Nixon, and I'm really excited about it because I get to expose my WIP!  Thanks for the tag:)

The rules are:
1.  Go to page 77 of your WIP

2.  Go to line 7

3.  Copy the first 7 sentences or paragraphs exactly as they are written, no cheating.

4.  Tag 7 authors and let them know.

So here's my excerpt, and I went with the 7 paragraphs otherwise it wouldn't have made much sense:

....have the education to know to seek it for them, and we are not always aware of the need.”
Grabbing his stethoscope, we left the clinic together and walked to Anita's house.  I called out “Buenas tardes” to the open door, and to my surprise, a woman appeared with Anita close behind.  She was smiling, and welcomed us into the dark room.  I introduced myself and the doctor, but she already knew who I was from Anita.  She thanked me for helping with the baby.
“Gracias senorita,”  She said smiling self-consciously.  “It's difficult.  I have to work on the farm, and I can't take them with me.  The walk is difficult, very difficult.”
It was obvious she was uneducated, probably illiterate, as most of the farmers were.  It wasn't that she chose to be a bad mother, she just didn't know any other way to be.
Doctor Felipe looked the baby over and encouraged the mother to nurse her when she could, and I added that I had bought a special milk in powder that could be mixed with boiled or filtered water and given in a bottle.  Felipe decided that I should be in charge of giving the vitamins, to ensure the correct amount was given, and the mother agreed.  She seemed embarrassed but grateful that we were concerned about her children.  I asked her permission to take care of them in the afternoon when I was finished at the clinic, and she agreed without hesitation, thanking me profusely.
Over the next few weeks I watched Luisa begin to fatten up and become more lively.  When she would catch sight of me, she would begin to wave her arms and legs and babble at me.  We were filling a void in each other's life of love and affection.  I hadn't realized how much I was missing until Anita and Luisa came into my life.  My days were filled at the clinic with the same cold shoulder from Marta, but my nights came alive with the town's children.  But things were about to improve at the clinic for me as well.
Doctor Felipe had been approached by some men from a neighboring, remote village back off the main road by about forty-five minutes.  They requested that he come to see the people there once a week, and provided him with an old moped to make the trip a little easier.  Felipe had agreed, and decided that I would accompany him while Marta stayed behind to run the main clinic.  It was the best arrangement I could have hoped for, having the chance to assist him all on my own.    I had been trying hard to keep the peace, but I had to bite my tongue frequently with Marta ordering me around like I was a nursing assistant with less knowledge and experience than herself.  The truth was, she had never even gone to school for nursing, she had merely been placed in the position by her uncle, who was a government official.


So that's my WIP, raw and unedited.  I still have about half of the novel left to write, and since I'm a procrastinator, who knows when I'll be done!

Finally, I have to tag 7 authors:

Elise Fallson

Living a Dream

Medeia Sharif

Yvie Gonya

A Chronicle of Dreams

Charissa Weaks

Cassie Mae

And that's my post for the day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Campaign challenge

So I'm back on the campaign trail, and I'm NOT removing my post this time.  The challenge is to use a prompt and there were additional challenges that were optional, but since I'm new to this kind of thing, I'm keeping it simple and using only one prompt.
I'm using the picture below and doing a 200 word short story based on it.

Mackenzie was the nine year old daughter of a high-ranking executive at a large tech company.  She lived in a gated community and attended private school, where no one ever said a harsh word to her, despite her sometimes appalling behavior.

On this particular occasion, the executive had traveled to India on business, bringing Mackenzie with him.  As he talked on his Blackberry and typed on his laptop, Mackenzie pressed her nose against the window of the black limo that had picked them up from the airport.  It was a strange world that she saw passing by.  As the limo paused in traffic, she saw a large area of garbage with children her age picking through it.  Grabbing her father's sleeve, she yanked insistently on it until he looked up.

"Papa, Papa, what are they doing."

After a quick glance, he turned his attention back to his computer.  "Just playing, now don't interrupt again, okay?"

Mackenzie gazed after them as the limo pulled away.  They didn't look like they were playing to her, but Papa knew everything.

The shirtless boy looked up in time to see the car with a girl staring after him.  His haunted eyes stared back.

There you have it!  200 words exactly.  AND, I am open to critiques.  I would love to have your honest feedback!

Monday, March 5, 2012


So, about journaling.  Do you journal?  Because I don't, but I wish I did.  I REALLY wish I had kept a journal while I was living in Ecuador, because I've been back in the States for 15 years now and a lot of things are hard to recall.
I've tried to keep a journal many times but then just kind of lost interest, but when I've come across those entries years later I love looking back and reading them.  It's almost like being able to travel back in time and listening to yourself express your thoughts on the daily things happening in your life.  It's just that daily life can be so mundane, even living in the rainforest.  You just get up, and go about life, and in the moment it doesn't seem very special.
How do you keep your journal fresh and interesting?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Been tagged

So I've been tagged over here by Emily Rose.  I think it's kind of a fun way to learn about people so these are the rules.  Give 11 facts about myself, then answer 11 questions.  Make up questions and then tag 11 other people.

11 facts about myself.  Hmm!

1.  I used to play the harp when I was a kid.
2.  I'm insanely crazy about animals, any kind.  My favorite place to be in the whole world is the zoo.
3.  I love the outdoors.
4.  I'm addicted to CNN.
5.  I love ice cream and pizza.
6.  I wish I could downhill ski for a profession.  Okay and maybe write professionally too.
7.  I have a lot of dreams about what I want to do when I'm grown up.  Oh wait!  I am a grown up!  Well, I still dream.
8.  I kiss my kids all the time, even in public:)
9.  I procrastinate and I'd be late for everything if my husband wasn't shoving me out the door.
10.  I hate seeing anyone or anything suffer.
11.  I'm not a very good driver.

There!  That was harder than I thought it would be.

Ok now for the 11 questions I'll be answering.

1.  Would I give my life for someone (outside of family/friends)?  Yes.  I hope I have the courage if the need arises.
2.  Gone With the Wind.  I hate the ending.  (And all the prejudiced parts!)
3.  Have I done things I wish I could change?  Let me see, where do I start.
4.  Would I rather have skunks or termites?  Hmm, neither I guess.
5.  A book that made me happy?  Anne of Green Gables or Pride and Prejudice.
6.  A Movie that made me sad?  Schindler's List.
7.  Would I rather be rich and alone or poor and with company?  That's hard because if I had money I could be a philanthropist, but I wouldn't trade my family for riches.
8.  No I don't journal, but I wish I did.
9.  Yes I have pets, too many in fact.
10.  Favorite part of the house?  In front of the fireplace.
11.  I prefer country over city, but I've always lived in the city!

Next-  questions from me, but I don't think I'll do so many.

1.  If money were no object, where would you go?
2.  Cats?  or Dogs?
3.  Which would you rather read- science fiction, romance, mystery, or action?
4.  Where would you rather be- at the mall, or at the beach?
5.  If someone gave you $1000 dollars- what would you do with it?

Okay-  If anyone wants to participate, feel free to join in at the comment section.  I'm going to tag the following bloggers, so please check out their blogs and follow them!

Kanna Glass Studios

Morgan Shamy

S. P. Bowers

 Ashley Nixon

The Golden Eagle

Have a great weekend!