Sunday, December 27, 2009


There are a whole schwack of books on my reading list. They include:
  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  • Angel Time by Anne Rice
  • The Saint, The Surfer, and the CEO by Robin Sharma
  • Hell by Kathryn Davis
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Other People's Weddings by Noah Hawley
  • Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell

And those are just the ones that are sitting on my bedside table. I think I might try to list more that I hope to read through.
Dear 2010, please allow me some time to entertain my reading delight.

Where my mind is now.

It's not enough to dream unless I'm willing to pursue it.
It's not enough to know what's right unless I"m strong enough to do it.
It's not enough to join the crowd to be acknowledged and accepted. I must be true to my ideals even if I'm rejected.
It's not enough to learn the truth unless I also learn to live it.
I want to live the best life I can!

~Source of quote unknown.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Big fluffy white flakes are falling outside the window. Mother Nature is sending us a soft Christmas of white. The snow is gently meandering to the ground where it will stay until spring.
This morning I woke to a simple silence. The trees were engulfed with hoar frost. It looked like winter fairies were at work all night for us to enjoy the beauty they left behind. The day slowly opened itself up.
What mysteries are there still for me to find?

Oh Tuesday, how beautiful you are.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Let's Play #155.

I'm at it for another week. I'm calling this coffee break entertainment. Janet's got a list up over at her Friday Fill-In's. You're playing, right?

1. No, we will NOT __surrendor without a fight___.
2. __Conversations aplenty__ at the old kitchen table.
3. I watched the steam rising from the hot cup of coffee (or tea) and thought: ___how many mysteries there are in life that i want the chance to explore__.
4. __My bathroom is__ going to be okay.
5. I'll take __two__.
6. __That's my perspective__ at least from my point of view.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight i'm looking forward to __a nice evening with my kiddies__, tomorrow my plans include __a christmas party__ and Sunday, I want to __enjoy the concert__!

Happy weekend!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Let's Play #154.

Play along over at Friday Fill-ins. C'mon!

1. Good times: __a wee bit of wine and great convo around a blazing fire___.
2. __Clean will be __ my home.
3. Sleigh bells ring __I can hear them___.
4. __She just isn't so__ little.
5. Once more __another year is passing__.
6.__Are you sure it's the__ end?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __tree set up__, tomorrow my plans include __not freaking out over the dinner we are hosting__ and Sunday, I want to __catch a plane to somewhere warmed with love___!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Operation: Going to.

I'm going to get a lot done in the next few days.
I'm going to have a working sink and toilet.
I'm going to have a plumbed tub.
I'm going to install the new vanity light.
I'm going to have an amazing cleaning crew brew me some magic.
I'm going to have some Christmas decor added around.
I'm going to pull off an awesome dinner.
I'm going now to layout the flooring in the bathroom.
I'm also going to be back before the end of the week.
Where are you going?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Recap: Mission - November 2009

So, how'd I do?

  • Keep November simple...meh. It was a little of this and little of that.

  • Put up the Christmas Tree...we did not. there was a reason.

  • Purge, prepare or put away...50/50 here.

  • Study!...KABLAMO. I most certainly have been.

  • Pick up the camera and click away...there is the flunk. i've been clicking away but not as much as my heart wants to.

  • Resist spontaneous urges...YES! YES! and YES YES YES! I made it through the month without pouncing on the spontaneous urge that sparked this item. Super job for me.

  • Drink tea...Cornelia Bean is where it is at! I have been drinking tea regularly.

  • Polar Express...Owned. This is on the list of must watch movies for December.

  • Bathroom Reno...This went from a face lift thought to an all out gut the room and start from square one. We are in the process of reassembling the walls now. Sigh. It has had it's hiccups. It has run into it's stalls. It will be completed.

Not bad if you ask me. December's Missions are being baked. Do come and read again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Just for today...

I will focus on what matters and ignore what doesn't.
I will think before I speak.
I will consider the consequences of my actions.
I will internalize and absorb calmness.
I will not succumb to chaos.
I will try to remember why I've made some of the choices I have.
I will reiterate to myself my values.
I will be gentle on myself.
I will search for silence.

Just for today...I will try and maybe I will try again for tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2009

T Minus One Week.

Just a week to go and it's all over by now. The exam that I have half-hearted been preparing for has come up so quickly. I'm proud that I've stayed relatively focused this go round. I am making a list of what to do different for my next course. It includes tips I think might work to keep me more on track when I feel myself slipping away. It also includes scheduling specific time just for textbooks and tea.
What have you accomplished lately that makes you proud?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Let's Play #152.

Happy study breaks are made by great blogs. Janet has one. You can play too, you know!

1. Wait! Wait, don't forget _____to kiss me goodbye_____.
2. ___You will stop now___ followed at once by ____a one way trip to a time-out!!____.
3. The trouble is ___people think they are entitled to things rather than having to earn things___.
4. ____My sister lives____ many miles away.
5. With a faint pop __she listened to her bubble burst____.
6. ___Two words i rarely use are___ shadowy and ominous.
7. And as for the weekend, friday i'm looking forward to __the one week mark to my exam, saturday my plans include __housecleaning__and Sunday, I want to __make some serious progress on this bathroom reno___!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Let's Play #151.

Janet's done it for another week, Friday Fill-in Fun. You're playing, right?

1. We need ______to think of humanity_______.
2. ____I thought of you_____ and it made me smile.
3. If you want ____to hear the answer, ask the right question of the right person_____.
4. ______It's the way it is_______ because ______it is_______.
5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think _____the people that made this proposal need to understand more about why some may elect to have the surgery in the first place. They stand to learn a thing or two_________.
6. ____Great conversation____ makes for a happy holiday.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __a fun night with my family___, tomorrow my plans include __a textbook twist__ and Sunday, I want to __pretend like my bathroom reno is finished___!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dear Day Planner,

Please don't leave me again. I am lost without you. You give me structure. You keep my in the know. You prevent me from showing up at places without appointments, on wrong days, or just because I thought I would remember.
Let's call a truce, ok? I need you.

me ..... xo

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let's Play #150.

Janet takes time every week to put together Friday Fill-Ins. Won't you play?

1. The last band I saw live was ___Default (i think!)__________.
2. What I look forward to most on Thanksgiving is ____the conversations with family_____. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is _____simple_____.
4. Thoughts of _____you________ fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear ________a red hat______.
6. Bagpipes ___are the sounds i remember from my grandpa's funeral all those years ago_____.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __shopping for reno stuff___, tomorrow my plans include __cracking the whip and begging my bathroom to be put back together___ and Sunday, I want to __wave my magic wand and will all the dust away___!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

TravelinOma's Exam Week Catch Up

I'm three exams behind. Here we go:

Book Shelf Seminar: Quiz Time

Do you own more than 100 books?
Hands down. I probably could add a zero and then some...
Do you read any book or magazine that is handy?
Sometimes I do. Sometimes I'm choosy.
Have you ever read the cereal box?
Do you have a membership with the local library?
I do, though I haven't been in a very long tim.
Do you go to the library more than once a week?
Would you rather read a book than go out with friends?
Some days.
Do you visit the bookstore more often than you do your mother?
I visit the bookstore with my mom.
Do you wear glasses? If so, was reading the reason you got them?
When asked your favorite hobbies, do you reply with a single word "reading?"
I reply with a few words, one of which is "reading".
Have you ever stayed in bed all day reading?
Not in a long time but, yes. Flowers in the Attic was the book I devoured.

Travel Studies Seminar: Quiz Time

1. What is your traveling style?
~ Going on a super luxury cruise, relaxing and eating well for a week.
~ Going with friends on a history bus tour with a guide.
~ Going on a wildlife safari or a mountaineering expedition.

2. How many clothes do you usually take along on a holiday?
~ At least 2 new sets of clothes for every day of the vacation.
~ One set per day is usually enough.
~ I can easily manage in 3-4 sets, no matter how long the vacation.

3. How many pieces of luggage did you carry on the last vacation?
~ Including the sleeping bags and the tent?
~ Two suitcases, carry-on, shopping bag, purse, tote, diaper bag, laptop, pillow, coat.
~ A backpack, that's all.

4. Given the following choices, where would you prefer traveling to?
~ Alaska or Tahiti
~ India Or China
~ Kenya Or Greenland

5. What is your preference regarding hotels, while on vacation?
~ A luxurious five star, with a room service 24 hours duty.
~ A medium priced hotel, with just the necessities.
~ A Tent rules.

6. What are your food preferences on a holiday?
~ A six course meal at the best restaurant in town.
~ A decent meal at a good place for $12.
~ Whatever you can carry in your cooler.

7. How do you travel while on a holiday?
~ A rented car.
~ Public transport.
~ By foot, wherever possible.

8. What's your dream vacation?
~ Biking down the California coast.
~ Eurailing around Europe for three months.
~ Two weeks at a beach resort.

9. You and your friends are hiking. You
~ Take the most difficult route; it's no fun otherwise.
~ Take the route everyone else takes.
~ You take the simplest route, after all reaching the destination is important.

10. While on a beach
~ You prefer to go surfing or scuba-diving.
~ You are content with swimming in water.
~ You would rather stay on the beach and build sand castles.

11. In an amusement park, you will be seen
~ On the new gigantic roller-coaster.
~ Taking the scenic train ride.
~ Watching the kids while reading a book.

12. Someone says they're taking you bungee jumping.
~ You are totally game for it. Wow!
~ You express your doubts, but are persuaded.
~ You throw up.

13. When you are on a camping trip
~ You cook and eat whatever you can catch.
~ You bring fried chicken for dinner, and muffins for breakfast.
~ You hire a dutch oven chef.

14. You're planning a long road trip with the kids. You
~ Buy a new car with a built in DVD player.
~ Take plenty of benedryl.
~ Buy several copies of Harry Potter, and read it out loud together.

15. You're in Washington DC for a long weekend. You can't wait to
~ Visit all the Smithsonian museums.
~ Take a city tour to see the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments.
~ Sleep in every morning, take in a movie, and see a live ballet that night.

Write Away Seminar: Quiz Time

1. The power in your house goes out, and you are stuck with candles and nothing to do but think. How long could you entertain yourself just sitting?
~Ten seconds. I'd get out my cell phone and call a friend.
~Ten minutes. Then I'd fall asleep.
~Hours. I'd reconstruct my last conversation; think through a presentation I might give someday; imagine my life in ten years; remember my high school gym class.

2. You're writing and the phone rings. You:
~Answer it.
~Finish your sentence, then answer it.
~Let the answering machine get it.

3. The person calling is one of your dearest friends, who wants to get together for brunch and a good long chat about her ex. Unfortunately, this juicy brunch will take place during your scheduled writing time. You:
~Decide to go. You haven't heard the latest dirt on her evil ex in ages.
~Say you can't go, but sit on the phone dishing for another hour.
~Reschedule for a non-writing day.

4. You're at the restaurant with your friend when you have a fantastic idea for a novel. You:
~Hope you'll remember it—you have nothing to write with and nothing to write on.
~ Will manage. You use the waiter's pen and the back of your receipt.
~ Carry a special notebook, an organizer, or even a laptop with you everywhere—you're completely prepared.

5. You imagine yourself as a successful writer. What is the image that is clearest in your mind?~The rounds of publishers' parties, autographings, and talk shows where you are lionized for your work of immortal literary genius?
~Your name on the spines of a shelf full of beautiful books?
~Your backside glued to the chair, your cramped fingers on the keyboard, and your blurred eyes on the monitor.

5. If money was no issue, what would you do with your spare time?
~Shop til you drop;
~Prepare for a maraton;
~Sit alone in a room full of books and type.

6. Do you have . . .
~An idea for the Great American Novel -- a certain best-seller,
~A few ideas for different stories,
~Background and development for a number of related books, a time-line, and a whole bunch of files.

7. You figure the biggest benefit of becoming a writer is:
~Money and fame;
~Flexible hours and being your own boss;
~The writing.

8. You read:
~The occasional newspaper, magazines at the hair salon, and headlines in the grocery store check-out line.
~In your free time if you don't have something better to do.
~You invented the term multi-tasking because reading IS your "something better to do". You usually have a book in hand no matter what else you're doing at the time.

9. You have some strong opinions about a political issue. You
~Yell at the car radio.
~Debate it with your bookclub.
~You write a letter to the editor.

10. You realize you have an experience that would benefit others. You
~Call around, and let people know you're anxious to talk with them;
~Ask if you could speak about your topic at a luncheon;
~Write an article and submit it for publication.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ava's Rule.

Sheye Rosemeyer has some very serious, very important words for you to read. She lost her Super Princess. Go educate yourself.
While you're there, read her story.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Shelf Seminar: Class Presenations

TravelinOma grabbed my heart today. She's talking bookstores in heaven. The one that she will own. The one that I want to enjoy. I can hear the crackling logs flickering embers up just so that you can't help but stop and smile. I can image the conversations that freely flow. I can feel the no pressure carefree non-sales because this is, after all, heaven.

As for the assignments today, I have a pass on #1 and #3. #2 is a near fail though. I am attached to them. I breathe their stories. I connect with the characters. I believe that someday I will devour the pages of each again.
#1 - Rearrange books and eat donut. Book inventory is done often around this place. It does not mean that I know where all my books are nor does it mean that I have read all of them. It does mean that I visit with the different stacks in the different areas. They know I mean well. I genuinely mean well and will someday absorb their stories. ... off to get a donut.
#3 - My children and I read regularly. Presently we are all about the Mr. books. You know the ones, small, square, usually funny, sometimes serious, always a nice read. We are also liking Robert Munsch and Dr. Seuss. I'm searching for the perfect copy of The Gift of the Magi. Any suggestions?

Over and out!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mission: November 2009

  • Keep November simple
  • Put up the Christmas Tree
  • Purge, prepare or put away
  • Study! It's the home stretch now. The end of this course is in sight.
  • Pick up the camera and click away
  • Resist spontaneous urges
  • Drink tea
  • Find The Polar Express movie. It is essential holiday viewing for me. A cuppa jo. YES PLEASE!
  • Think about a bathroom reno

That's is for now. November, let's hold hands.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

So long...

See you again, October! You were definitely pack full of adventure.

This is how you ended. The day was exciting. The evening was fun. Three cheers for October!
November will see the reinstatement of a Missions list. Mark you calendars and for those of us on the time change hoopla, set your clocks back tonight!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Let's Play #148

You're playing too.........right?

1. It was a dark and stormy night, __we were alone___.
2. _____No one wanted to volunteer______ so I offered to take the books myself.
3. Rushing out, ______i just knew i was forgetting something_____.
4. ____No jokes!_______...I think I heard a howl!
5. Shhhh... ____i've got a secret_______.
6. _____Trick or Treat______ give me something good to eat!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __gearing up___, tomorrow my plans include __a photoshoot___ and Sunday, I want to __chill___!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Write Away Seminar: Post Card from Philly

TravelinOma is off on an adventure this week. Are you doing your homework?
Being that I've been a part of the blogging world for a while, I do have a few things that I wish everyone would agree to entrench in the Blogger's Book of Etiquette:
  1. Spell check your posts. Spelling is a pet peeve of mine.
  2. Comment on blogs you visit. I love reading comments. They make me all warm and fuzzy.
  3. Do LinkLove posts where you show people things or people you are talking about. I don't know how many times I've googled things people have referred to in posts.
  4. Have fun with your blog. It's a new kinda weird but cool way of meeting people, making friends, and enjoying life.
  5. Show pictures. They are as enticing as words. I know I slip in this section.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Let's Play #146.

Show Janet some love. Play along. Let loose.
1. So are we going __to start that rock and roll band___?
2. ____Success, my way,_______ is what's up ahead.
3. I love to _____dream big______.
4. _____I'm not sure how to end a sentance with______ of some sort.
5. I walk a ____dog_____.
6. _____Happiness______ is the true elixir of life!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __prep___, tomorrow my plans include __my first ever trade show___ and Sunday, I want to __have four children that cooperate and produce one fine picture___!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Matters Seminar: Ghost Stories

She's making me dig deep into me. TravelinOma is going for heart. She is asking about things today that are very meaningful to me. Grands and Greats. Family is my absolute most important value. Every family has its skeletons and its ghosts. Do you know yours?

While pictures of them are few, each one that exists tells a story of the person it portrays. The names are very alive for me. I am very lucky to still have two grands alive and even luckier to have met my three of my greats. I can still hear the way some of them laugh or the melancholy song breathed out when they spoke.
Willard Solomon 1914 - 199X
Grace Adelaide
Gennaro 1935 -
Ilde 1938 -
Rosa April 20
Mose Feb 13

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall Photo Blitz!

Let's rock this house!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The weather is less than what we would wish for. The days are shorter than we would hope. Life is busy as can be but let's not let that stop us.

I am running a FALL PHOTO BLITZ! Take a chance on me. Let's get together, dance around a bit, smile some, laugh a whole lot.

$75 gets you an hour and a disc of 20+ editted images with printing rights. *

Hurry fast! We need to roll this out soon. Contact me at kmswoodATliveDOTca.

*Offer valid in Winnipeg only.
**Photo taken by my son (age 5).

Book Shelf Seminar: Scary Tales

TravelinOma has been here. She comments. Why don't you?
Today, in TravelinOma's School Days seminar, we're talking about scary stories. While there are a number of them that perk up in my mind - the childhood recount from Germany, the smokey roses, the white lady, the burial ground that lays under the cold house that bay, the heebies from Savona, the open mausoleum plot...oh the list is long for me - there is only one statement that resonates loud in my ears.
My Nonna respects the dead. It is something that she has taught me, frightened into me. As part of this Life Lesson from Nonna, she also maintains that it is not the dead that we need to fear but rather the living. In her words, "Kristina, The Dead, they are dead. The Living can still kill."
case (or perhaps casket) closed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Write Away Seminar: Happy Trails

TravelinOma is still going. School Days are rolling around. You are doing the homework, aren't you? Are you at least thinking about it?

All I have here is time. I've decided that I will absorb the air deep into me. I will return to the five basic senses and let them guide me along. My eyes see through the glass of my lens. My fingers capture the moments as they digitally transfer to my card. My ears hear Nature calling. She wants us to hear her songs. I smell the cleansing of my soul. I taste the salt of my tears as they silently slip off my cheeks to the ground. I am united. I am whole. I am humbled.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's Play #145.

You just know rolling out the weekend includes Friday Fill In's for me. Play, too. It's fun.

1. Sweet dreams __my precious child. ___.
2. _____Memories are beautiful______ especially for me.
3. Silliness ____is essential every so often. _______.
4. _____I have a super fun safe give away plan for______ this Halloween.
5. Outstanding or not _____it is what it is______.
6. ____A pumpkin spice latte_______ is what I want right now!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __dinner with the ladies___, tomorrow my plans include __pedis___ and Sunday, I want to __get my cabbage rolls made___!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Run away with me.
Missions have slipped. Is is not because they aren't here but rather because there are so many that the available hours are spent trying to catch up with a month that is otherwise running away.
A bit of a rundown between now and the end of it:
  • A very warm welcome back home to my gpa. Praying is working. Don't stop now.
  • Skating and swimming lessons with my #1.
  • A super awesome visit from my sister, future bro-in-law, and dogphew, Rookaroni!
  • Thanksgiving and whatever dinner indulgences it will lead us to.
  • A Trade Fair. = watch for details =
  • A half way mark for my course which I am staying mostly on top of. It is twice as hard to find the time but squished somewhere in most days I find a few stolen moments to give it.
  • A retreat with these ladies and more. I've never done anything like this. Me + 15ish relative strangers in a cabin for a whole weekend. I can feel the power within the walls of the cabin I've never set foot in. I can hear the formulations of conversations yet to unfold. I am already absorbing the energy and am shocked to learn it is my own. I can't wait!
  • I'm pushing myself - hard. I'm digging deep. I'm internalizing. I need to think more, this much I know.
  • Where this sidewalk ends, Halloween is waiting. It's a dark ghoulish party wanting to be lit. It will be just me, my #1, and our fearless pooch. Baby K (while not so baby anymore) won't be out and about with us. Neither will my super sister, whom has trekked through this every year since #1 came to be.

Let's get out there. Feel the season change. Absorb the transition. Live in the now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Write Away Seminar: Personal History.

TravelinOma is at it again. She declared a break last week. There was some stuff happening for her. I hope she's better. Oma, are you?

First child, grandchild

What are you twelve words?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Let's Play #144.

Let's go. Let's do this. You can play, too. Go here.

1. I have a history of ___being neurotic with my thoughts____.
2. ___The secret to best parenting___ is something I wish I knew.
3. I'm eating (or recently ate) __grapes__.
4. ___The chicken is___on the road.
5. So that's it, that's ___all___.
6.___Something isn't always___ better than nothing!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __the bookstore___, tomorrow my plans include ___a photo shoot___ and Sunday, I want to ___sleep in___.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Riddle me this.

A CF card.
A camera body.
A few lenses.
Fully charged batteries.
An afternoon to try something new.

Guess what I'm planning for tomorrow?

Those two.

I had a meeting one evening and, as luck would have it, it was an evening where Hubby was working. No problem. I pulled out my supermom cape, saddled up, and got down to it. I had a sitter who was ready. Everything was smooth sailing.
The meeting got under way. Introductions all around. Quick tour to acquaint everyone with the surround - RING RING -. Oooops. That was my cell phone. I quickly excused myself to answer. Kamila was not enjoying herself so much. In fact, she was near melt down. OK. Ummm...Sitter offers up that things should be OK. I assure them that I will be along in half an hour. The meeting was progressing quite quickly. Sitter is OK. Kamila had settled. Great. Where was I? Oh yes, on the tour, heading back to our meeting room. Just a few steps from the door - RING RING -. This time, the sitter is barely audible of the shrill screams of my inconsolable child. In an instant, I excused myself from the meeting, was at the car, and on my way to the rescue.
The drive was perfect. Green lights, no idiots, smooth sailing.
I spin into the driveway, pop it into park, hop out, and sprint for the door.
On the inside, there is silence. The confused look on my face could not have done justice for what was running through my mind. The sitter pointed to the over sized leather recliner. I tiptoed over to where I could see, thinking that I would find my sweet girl asleep. Instead, what I was melted my heart. Words just aren't enough to describe the image. My camera was at home.
There, on that chair, was my girl nestled into the shoulder of her brother, safe, secure, silent. My boy was her console. He calmed her. He was her comfort.
It is an image I hope to see many times over again and one that I want never to forget.
Be still my heart. I am doing everything I know to be a good mom. Seeing moments among them like this one make me believe I am doing something right.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Let's Play #143.

Play along. Just please come and play along.

1. One week ago __I was a little less ___.
2. _____Oh, the dreams I had______ when I was young.
3. Mama told me ______dream big_____.
4. _____Let's hold hands,______ you and me.
5. Take your time ______to smile lots, laugh often, and love always_____.
6. _____BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! That city bus_____ will pass!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __a textbook twist and some sweet time with my kidlets___, tomorrow my plans include __a nice visit, serious housework and a few surprise___ and Sunday, I want to __walk in the park___!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Let's paint the picture:
Monday morning, office coffee room, I am preparing to pour my cup as someone walks in and the following conversation ensues.
Me: G'morning.
Her: How are you?
Me: Fantastic.
At this point she completely stops what she is doing, looks at me like I am from some other planet and says, "I want your life."
Me: Fantastic is the way I make it.
Her: Wish I could do that, too.
Me: You can.

If only she really meant that, she would see there is so much in this world just waiting to be found by each of us, seen differently by each of us. Take the challenge. Push yourself. Reach out to people that can help. Do things. Make a difference.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Write Away Seminar: Surprise!

TravelinOma is at it again. Her posts prompt my brain to think. Not just think but really think. Sometimes, I have to stew on what I'd like to pick from her options. Sometimes, the words just unleash, my fingers fiercely typing to capture them all. Today, it is the latter.
My pick today is to list 8 ways that I have surprised myself lately.
  1. I've returned to work with ease. I am smart. I know what I know and know when to ask for help.
  2. I have stayed with my studies. I need to reinforce my diligence slightly but in the past, by now, I've thrown in the towel.
  3. I have been packed and ready to go every evening rather than scrambling in panic in the morning.
  4. I completely my life coaching with this coach. The entire coaching experience was so entirely fulfilling. Drop Kathryn a line. Tell her you came from me.
  5. I filed paperwork that has been sitting for so long I'd given up on it.
  6. I soak every drip of time out of each day that I can while being aware of my needs. I know when I can't go anymore and am learning to say no when I just know that I can't.
  7. I've put my foot down and said Enough in an area of my life that was causing grief.
  8. I have made a conscious choice to focus on the positive despite the gremlins that threaten.
  9. I haven't picked up my camera in over a week. This isn't a celebratory item. It is the very opposite, in fact. I am still surprised by this.
  10. I am two baskets away from being caught up on laundry. This is major awesomeness around here. I can't remember the last time I was this close to having it all together.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Go time.

Go time is just about to happen. I can't wait!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Write Away Seminar: Just Musing.

TravelinOma's School Days are in full force. How long has it been since you were in school? Check out hers. It's so different. It's so much more fun. Today's post, as with every other day, has a series of options for the assignments. Choose one or do all or make up your own. Go on. Give it a try.
My choice today is option 3: Every day for a week, write down and file three random thoughts, just to get you in the habit of using your notebooks and files.
I have many notebooks on the go. In fact, I have so many that some are frustratingly lost only to reappear at some future forward moment. It is usually right when I need to read what it was that I wrote "back then". On top of this, there are a few people who would concur that throughout any given day I am likely to progress through many moments of random thoughts. Let's see what will come of this week. I'll post the results in a lump.

Friday, September 11, 2009

School of Thought: What Was She Thinking?

I try to follow instructions. It doesn't always work. TravelinOma, the mastermind behind a School Days post series on her blog, posted a thought challenge today. While each of her prompts sparked something in me, nothing could get this out of my head.
All I could hear was this song. It echoes in my mind at some of the most random moments. It would not be silenced as I read through TravelinOma's post today. All those faces tell stories. All those eyes see into my soul. Every one hides a love story. Every one has endured pain. Every one houses a secret place in her heart that only she knows. Every single one of them will take stories with them when they leave this earth. And so will you. And I will, too. Not because we have secrets. It is because we don't have the ability to describe every feeling, every thought, every wish we create.
While I don't wish to age quickly, I do wish to age gracefully. I wish that some day when I chance upon the image of my reflection, I can be thankful for everything I have endured in my life. It is, after all, my life.

Let's Play #141.

Get over here. Play along. When was the last time you wrote and didn't care what it was you were writing? Try filling these in.

1. That's a __great place___ to be.
2. ___You there, yeah, you________; I'm over here!
3. The possibilities include: ____understanding what love really is all about_______.
4. _____Taco pie______ is one of my favorite cool day recipes.
5. How will you know _____if the risk is worth taking______.
6. _____A bright smile______ and a stormy sky.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __textbook tlc___, tomorrow my plans include __the boot scootin' boogie___ and Sunday, I want to __just hang out___!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Discussion Time.

TravelinOma is hosting a discussion about family matters - discipline today. Head on over there and see how the convo is shaping up.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This evening was a kindergarten two-on-one meeting. My boy and I met with his teacher, visited the stations in the classroom, did an activity, got bombarded with more information than either of us could retain, had fun.
I haven't been bothered by my oldest, my son, my #1 starting school officially this year. I am absolutely aware of how fast he is growing and how much faster my years tick by but, nonetheless, have not been overly disturbed by any of it.
While touring the stations that he will play in, learn in, grow, question, wonder and discover in, that moment hit me. You know the moment. It's that one where you catch your heart in your throat and struggle to swallow. That very moment where tears threaten to stream down your cheeks. The one that catches you off guard though you thought you were so well prepared. All I could think was breathe. Just breathe. And breathe deep I did.
I have been moved by that moment; changed by it; better because of it.
We're jumping in with two very excited feet.
What have you been changed by lately?

Travel Studies: Europe on a Shoestring.

TravelinOma has my brain wheel spinning. Today's School Days prompt that I've chosen is the postcard bit. Go on and see what everyone else has to say over there.

Dear Nonna,
Athens is beautiful. It smells of tranquillity and peace. The clean lines meshed with beautiful curves of architecture spiced with a white so bright the stars reflect at night is mesmerizing. There is so much here. I am blessed.
Sending my love,

Monday, September 7, 2009

Write Away: Labour Day.

TravelinOma posted an awesome post today. Read it here.
If money were no object, I'd like to be a photographer, and work around to ordinary places - that back lane I've walked down everyday of my life, the cobblestone road that leads to my great-grandparents' house, the big basin where women would stand and scrub their clothes clean during days gone by. I'd travel to places the World itself seems to have forgot to appreciate the beauty. I'd visit with and encourage children who are saddled with tasks far beyond their tender years. I'd show women that there is beauty in them at every stage of their lives. I want people to know there is extraordinary in the most ordinary things. I thrive to have humans understand that the very things some do as though it is a right are the same things that others struggle to earn. I love looking backwards and forwards in the same moment. I love showing people with my lens the amazement of what they do, what they are. Money really is no object.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

School of Thought: Be Real.

Check out TravelinOma. She is mentoring my kind of school. Do what you can, when you can, and however you want to. A few days late but c'est la vie. This is what I came up with from her prompts.
Dear Friend,
I know you're worried about your grandfather right now. Knowing you like I do, I'm sure you feel afraid and filled with trepidation unsure of how the next moment will unfold, but I trust your instincts. Understand that this is the very essence of life. Be changed by this. Be reminded that nothing is for sure beyond this moment you are in - this moment is yours to live and love. You seem so sure and so strong and so real.
Love deep, live fierce.
Yours truly.

So much.

That seems to be what's going on lately. The lack of posting isn't because I haven't had things to post, it is because I haven't been able to put into words all the things that have been swirling around in my brain.
What do you do when there is more on your mind than you have words to express?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Book Shelf: Soulmates.

Today's school prompt reaches my heart. Read it here at TravelinOma.

I am currently reading Other People's Weddings by Noah Hawley. As with many of my books, I've had this one quite some time but never picked it up off the shelf. In search of a light read I scooped it up just about a week ago and have been picking away at it since. It's not at all what I expected. Then again, my expectations were formed purely by the cover art and title. I didn't bother reading the back. It wouldn't have mattered. I felt the need to read it however good or not it would be. I'm enjoying it. It's fun. It's real. It's written by a male author with a female main character. That alone interests me.

What's on your night side table?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Get Serious.

My son is addicted to Teletoon Retro. More specifically, he loves The Bugs Bunny & Tweety Show and Merrie Melodies. I also happen to enjoy these cartoons (along with Fraggle Rock and The Raccoons) so I don't oppose much to us watching them.
This evening I was bustling in the kitchen making a stir fry when out of nowhere, he comes in and asks if I have a Slap Chop. I said I have the EuroChopper which is sort of the same. He seemed happy to know that we have one and left. I stood wondering where he would come up with such a thing but you know 5 year olds these days...
Just before bed, we were sitting watching Bugs and a commercial for the Smooth Away comes on. I wasn't paying much attention to the TV when the following conversation came to be.
"Mom, you should stop waxing your legs."
"Son, I enjoy waxing."
"Yeah, but Mom, it hurts."
"Now how would you know this?"
"Well Mom, you should get Smooth Away. It takes all the hair out with no pain. It doesn't hurt at all. Waxing does. The lady on TV said so."
"Son, I'm going to keep waxing but thanks for looking out for me."
The very next commercial was guessed it...Slap Chop.

Mission: September

This month there is only one. It's a big one. I could use all the help I can get with it.

Please pray with me for my grandfather's health.

Traveling To.

Ten places I'd like to travel to, in no specific order, are:

  1. Angel Falls, Venezuela
  2. Bora Bora
  3. Athens, Greece
  4. Milano, Italia
  5. Ponte in Valtellina, Italia
  6. Paris, France
  7. Texas, USA
  8. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  9. Somewhere in England (Bath, Liverpool, Cambridge...)
  10. Bunol, Spain for La Tomatina

I don't like to worry when I'm on vacation. I go away so I can taste what others live. I try to take something away from each place I get to see. I like culture. I wonder about people. How do they live each day, each moment? What is important to them? How do they fit everything in? Somedays I believe that I could be like Elizabeth Gilbert of the novel Eat, Pray, Love. In another life or time...


TravelinOma is hosting School Days. Check out her blog. Join us on the journey.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sucker Punched.

August, see you next year!
You were going great. You were rounding out awesome. You threw me a gut punch right at the end that has left me winded.
I'm going to be ok. I will shape up. I will survive.
But, oh, how I wish it wasn't this way.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Let's Play #139.

1. He was a __tiny little one set in my arms so many years ago___.
2. ____The cool chill in the air_______ is what I look forward to most this time of year.
3. My best friend _____finishes my sentences and knows my thoughts______.
4. _____I have______ to be honest with you.
5. Appearances can be ___very deceiving________.
6. The last person I gave a hug to was ___my sister and my children________.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __studying___, tomorrow my plans include __an incredible photo opportunity___ and Sunday, I want to __soak up some serious family time___!

Play, too...please :)


  • for a return to regular scheduled programming. (Who am I kidding? This house thrives on flying by the seat of our pants!)
  • for me to smash the course I've enrolled in. (Yes I will. Oh, yes I will.)
  • for the summer to drift away and the cool chill of fall to raise its glass in a toast with me.
  • to unleash my photographic abilities on an unknown world.
  • for some of my ideas to materialize.
  • for a laundry fairy to sweep through my house.
  • to reconnect with Life.
  • to work my ass off.

What are you preparing for?

Monday, August 24, 2009

The End.

I will no longer offer any photographic services for free. to bang my head against the wall some more.


Days like today make me wonder. It's dreary. It's wet. It's stormy. It's just the kind of weather that makes you snuggle into the covers for a little longer. The kind that makes you hope you don't have to go out.
It's also the kind the make me think of this song. It makes me appreciate all I have.
Listen to it, won't you?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pretty Little Lovely Bug.

Pretty little lovely bug,
landed on my window.
Pretty little lovely bug,
with no where better to go.
Pretty little lovely bug,
if only you could see.
Pretty little lovely bug,
squashed by the likes of me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Let's Play #138

It's Friday and that means Fill-Ins Time. Play along, won't you?

1. I remember, I remember __the way the life is in the Alps. I miss it___.
2. Dear ____Diary_____ I want you to know ___i'm still off my rocker___.
3. Is that my ______sanity making a run for it_____!!???
4. I'm trying to resist the temptation of _____moving somewhere with a nicer climate than here______.
5. I'm saving a ____kiss_______ just for you!
6. If I made a birthday list ____some time in Italy _______ would definitely be on it!!!
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __being out with my hubby___, tomorrow my plans include __house work and textbooks___ and Sunday, I want to __be footloose and fancy free___!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Today the sky is dusted with large white/grey clouds. The air has a chill that kisses my cheeks. There is a breeze that rustles the leaves just so they look like they are dancing.
I am looking for something today. I am not sure what it is that I'm trying to find but an adventure is surely in store. I know that there is going to be a mini-session by a harpist this evening. I'm envisioning it as a private concert. It is going to be great.
Thursday, where are we going to end up? What plans are laid out for me to find? What adventures are up your sleeve?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sweet Baby.

She grows.
She changes.
She is stretching out into this amazing person.
Charged with passion.
Infused with love.
So sure of what she wants.
Yet still so willing to hold onto my hand.
Sweet Baby.

Kamila May, little ducky, you are beautiful just the way you are.
Happy first birthday.

Monday, August 17, 2009




There seems to be a lack of pictures being posted around here lately.
I will try to get this fixed asap.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Play Along.

All right. Let's get everyone on board the Friday Fill-in's boat. As the name suggests, we sail together once a week.
Every Friday (or late Thursday) a wonderful blogger named Janet posts random statements with blanks. All you do is fill in the blanks with whatever comes to your mind. I run with it. Sometimes my statements don't make the most sense. Sometimes I get stumped.
Janet's blog is
Now please play along. It is liberating.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Let's Play #136.

1. __Marble Slab ice cream____ is my favorite summertime __treat___.
2. My favorite John Hughes movies is __The Great Outdoors. Hands Down. Although there aren't many of his movies that I don't like.
3. __My children's hands, so tender and small,___ are something I love to touch.
4. The full moon __in August is also called the corn moon___.
5. __I should be asleep___ right now.
6. When daylight fades __the sky starts to sparkle with a new kind of magic___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __some thinking___, tomorrow my plans include __some planning___ and Sunday, I want to __walk to the moon___!

C'mon now, go show Janet some love.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Arise and Inspire.

There is inspiration all around me. I am breathing it all in.
I look into the soft blue of my son's eyes and see a whole new world. I reflect in the sparkle that is nestled within my daughter's. I listen to my sister's voice and hear her growing.
There is so much more.
Where is your inspiration right now?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Buzz, Beep, Ring.

Read this post by Keri Smith.
I am a big fan of her stuff. This latest post is about the very things that have been on my mind lately. Check out any of her stuff. One day I will find the bravery to embark on the adventure of her Wreck This Journal*****. Her How To Be An Explorer Of The World is amazing. I have it. Run out and scoop them up. Dance through the pages. See the world with different eyes.
Anyone that knows me knows that I am a 50/50 draw at having my cell on me, charged, available for use. More and more these last few days I've been feeling more restrained by the phone than convenienced by it. Keri's techno post makes me happy to know that I am not alone in my thoughts.

*****Super side note: if anyone loves me so much that they are looking for a random gift to give me, I DO NOT have this yet and would really like it. Kisses!

Mission: August

Let's tie up the loose ends this month. Gear up for the coming fall.
That's all.
I'm keeping it ultra simple.
What about you?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It has begun.

The peak of summer complete with its lack lustre weather did not stop us from giving it all we had. We laughed, played, relaxed, loved.
In this weekend gone by, the beginning of the end of summer rolls out. We aren't dwelling on its ending. We are smothering ourselves in the moments that remain. Life is slowly returning to normal. I am starting to plan for September and all the changes it holds in store.
For today, let's throw everything in a pot to simmer on the back burner. We are heading out for some backyard fun.
C'mon Coffee Maker, brew me some magic!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Caught me.

"What will matter is not your success but your significance."


Friday, July 31, 2009


Denial does not change facts. It simply prolongs the acknowledgement of truths. This is my admission or perhaps, submission of sorts. This post has been a week in the works. It has been brewing in my mind, eating at the very core of my brain. I kept making myself excuses as to why I could delay it. The time has come.
My Life Coach* laid out a challenge for me regarding my photography. I told her about a session I booked with people that I didn't know; strangers of a virtual kind. I was nervous and Coach picked up on it immediately. She called my bluff and my pathetic attempt to fake confidence. She pushed me to work through what was making me squeamish. She lighted the path that I was walking alone. Coach's challenge was to pick one of the images I captured at the session and list five things that I rocked at. I agreed this would be challenging but doable. So many times after entering into this challenge my demons tried to talk me out of it. Coach won't know. yes she will. she said she's watching. You could come up with some reason that you couldn't do it. i'm a lot of things but liar isn't one of them. Be busy with something else. I want to be busy with what is important to me and this is. Are you sure you took one image that is good enough to write about? of course I am...Of Course, I AM. Are you really living this or are you just playing dress up? This is me. These are my wants. I will not break. This is who I am.
Fast forwarding a bit, this challenge now existed and the session had not happened. I knew there had to be someone on the other side of a screen typing at another keyboard as our emails went back and forth arranging details. I didn't see faces. I didn't know their voices. I knew only their names and when and where we were meeting. I knew what I could offer. I knew I had something to share with them. I knew they trusted me enough to take a chance on me.
I was in control of my self-inflicted lack of confidence. The only way for me to overcome my fear was to kick it in the ass. Since the demons didn't seem to want to turn their backs on me, I took mine and jumped off the proverbial cliff. Two feet together. Arms stretched way up to the sky. I dared my demons to follow. I told them to try it. They would not win.
What the world saw happening was me showing up at the spot early and walking around. I looked for pretty things, natural things, light things, different things, new things, and on and on. What I was really looking for was some mystical wizard to pop up and magically transform everything. The demons seemed to have jumped. They lingered in the shadows. About 10 minutes before the meeting time, the demons burst through my palms. Sweat started beading and I was getting jittery. What had I gone and gotten myself into - on so many different levels? Then, FutureSelf Me** stepped up. She screamed at the demons. She took control of me. She pushed me forward. Reminded me that I could do this, that I was worth the risk.
They drove up; these people that didn't know me either. It was happening. It was real. I could not run and I could not hide. I blinked and it was over. I knew the treasures I held. I was accomplishing my goal. They were awaiting a glimpse through my eyes of their beauty. They left with my promise of a speedy delivery. I walked away yearning for more, ready to complete Coach's challenge.

Without further ado, here is what I saw through my lens:

  1. Innocence kisses her cheeks with perfection.
  2. Her eyes gaze at a world, eager to taste, yearning to learn.
  3. She is curious and cautious equally.
  4. The wind played with her curls and laid them just so to add flavour.
  5. The black and white removes the distractions that colour can sometimes add.

  1. Here I present you with a Gypsy Princess in a Secret Garden.
  2. She listens to the stories the fairies whisper in her ear. They call her to come along.
  3. She dances to the beat of her own drum or perhaps tiptoes along the strings of a harp.
  4. She soaks up the sun as though it will never set.
  5. She is beauty.
*Kathryn is an absolutely phenomenal Life Coach. Drop her a line and inquire about how she can help you get focused or moving forward again.
**Talk to Coach to find your future self, too.

Stones, Philosophers, Wizards and The Like.

I finished it - Harry Potter and the Philosepher's Stone, that is. It was delicious. It was so good that I no sooner finished the book that I finally was able to watch the movie and not cover my eyes at the scary parts.
There is a thrift store or garage sale with the rest of this series just waiting for me to encounter. I know it. Are you getting rid of them? If you are, do let me know.


Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
Read this book.
Read anything by this author.
Read everything by this author.

Recap: Mission - July did I do?

Paint the kitchen. It's half painted. The eye-sore purple is gone. I'm calling this a semi-success.
Read 10 books. I'm not sure if I got a full 10 in. I know that I came very close. Some read ones didn't even make the blog. At least I'm avidly reading again. That was the point of this one.
Scrapbook 4 layouts. Half way. Two. The other ones just aren't lining up. Creatively, I'm stalled. It will come. I know not to rush this.
Fish 4 times. Meatloaf said two outta three ain't bad. I say one in four is pretty good considering the crap weather.
Visit the cabin 2 times. YOU KNOW IT! Not only did I get out two times, I got out for a few days and nights. As a plus, we have another day trip planned. Ah...the sweet life.
Move the craft stuff back to the craft station. (Oops!) I have. It also seems that other inhabitants of my household seem to be trying to overtake my craft station. Be Gone You Fools!
Start the Christmas planning. Started the planning and the shopping. KaCHOW.
Drop off clothing that needs to move along. Flunk. Flunk. and another flunk. Soon. I have to.
Think about my course strategy. I've conjured up a few ideas.
Get back on the photo taking train. Have I ever!

Off to August we go. You are going to be a big month. I can feel it.

Let's Play #135

1. It's time for __some solid rest___.
2. ___Home__; it's not a bad place for __some adventure___.
3. I must be __out of my mind. You do not want to know!___
4. __My sister's unconditional love___ is the best thing I have ever known.
5. My __kids___ are simply __incredible___.
6. The last time I laughed really loudly was __when my sister almost peed her pants watching the M&M commercial...Guest list! NO - Menu___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __sleeping dogs___, tomorrow my plans include __sunshine and house cleaning___ and Sunday, I want to __rip up the highway to the lake___!

Play, too!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oh, Ms. Rowling,

I believe it has begun. I am enamoured in the first few pages of your brilliant Potter Boy series. I shan't be rushing to devour the stories but rather will sip them slowly like a nice Merlot. Perhaps I will read while doing just so.
I feel an adventure arising.
Signed, Kristina

Let's Play #134.

I know you want to play, too.

1. __This___ is not the end of the world.

2. Sitting here, listening to the sound of rain falling, I __feel a cleansing in my soul___.

3. __Lasagna___ tastes so good!

4. Sometimes, putting others first is __is exactly what we need to do to give a piece of ourselves to this world___.

5. __The relationship I have with my sister___ is breathtaking, really.

6. Well, maybe there is __more to life after all___.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __chillin'___, tomorrow my plans include __packing___ and Sunday, I want to __skip town for a while___!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Book Worm.

Sometimes I click so many links I can't remember where I started or what virtual road led me there. This is one of those things that I've come awesome blog for a bookworm like me.

Which do you prefer? (Quick answers–we’ll do more detail at some later date)
Reading something frivolous? Or something serious? This summer, both in moderation.
Paperbacks? Or hardcovers? Paperbacks ALL THE WAY, though I have a number of hardcovers.
Fiction? Or Nonfiction? Fiction.
Poetry? Or Prose? Prose.
Biographies? Or Autobiographies? Biographies. I like hearing how others see things.
History? Or Historical Fiction? Historical Fiction.
Series? Or Stand-alones? Hard one...a 60/40 for Stand-alones.
Classics? Or best-sellers? Best-sellers.
Lurid, fruity prose? Or straight-forward, basic prose? Straight-forward.
Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness? I'll try some of column A. Try all of column B. (Lisa, name that movie!!)
Long books? Or Short? Shortish.
Illustrated? Or Non-illustrated? Non-illustrated.
Borrowed? Or Owned? Owned.
New? Or Used? Either, providing a used condition meets my standards.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

100 Truths.

This is one of those Facebook crunks that is swirling around. Rather than do it there, I've taken it to my blog. These are bits of me, by me, and for me.
1. last drink: white zinfandel
2. last phone call: Nonna
3. last text message: Marcheta
4. last song you listened to: Monday, Monday
5. last time you cried: a few days ago
6. dated someone twice: yes
7. been cheated on: yes
8. kissed someone & regretted it: Not that I can remember
9. lost someone special: yes
10. been depressed: yes
11. been drunk and threw up: oh yes
12. teal blue
13. purple
14. black
15. Made a new friend: yes
16. Fallen out of love: no
17. Laughed until you cried: yes
18. Met someone who changed you: absolutely
19. Found out who your true friends were: yes
20. Found out someone was talking about you: Yes.
21. Kissed anyone on your FB friend's list: Yes
22. How many people on your FB friends list do you know in real life: most of them
24. Do you have any pets?: a crazy cat and a divine dog
25. Do you want to change your name: No, I love my name.
26. What did you do for your last birthday: pedi and some serious sister time
27. What time did you wake up today: 6:00
28. What were you doing at midnight last night: reading Tuesdays with Morrie
29. Name something you CANNOT wait for: financial freedom!
30. Last time you saw your Mother: Sunday
31. What is one thing you wish you could change about your life: I love my life.
32. What are you listening to right now: The thoughts in my head.
33. Have you ever talked to a person named Tom: yes I have. A few of them.
34. What's getting on your nerves right now: people who pretend
35. Most visited webpage: google
37. Nicknames: Tina
38. Relationship Status: married
39. Zodiac sign: Taurus
40. He or She: hmmm....
41. Elementary: Collicutt
42. Middle School: Jefferson
43. High school/College: UofW
44. Hair color: Brown
45. Long or short: Short
46. Height: 5'8"
47. Do you have a crush on someone?: yes, i married him, too.
48. What do you like about yourself?: my confidence
49. Piercings: ears
50. Tattoos: you bet
51. Righty or lefty: Righty
52. First surgery: adenoid removal
53. First piercing: ears
54. First best friend: Janet
55. First sport you joined: soccer
56. First vacation: Italy
58. First pair of trainers: Nike's
59. Eating: nothing
60. Drinking: nothing
61. I'm about to: cook dinner
62. Listening to: didn't this already come up?
63. Waiting for: I don't wait for much.
64. Want kids? I'd take some more
65. Get Married? I am.
66. Career? I have one, thanks.
67. Lips or eyes? Eyes
68. Hugs or kisses? Both
69. Shorter or taller: Taller.
70. Older or Younger: Older.
71. Romantic or spontaneous: Both.
72. Nice stomach or nice arms: Both.
73: Sensitive or loud? sensitive
74. Hook-up or relationship: relationship
75. Trouble maker or hesitant: a bit of A and a bit of B
76. Kissed a stranger: define stranger
77. Gotten in a car crash: yes
78. Lost glasses/contacts: sunglasses
79. Sex on first date: no
80. Broken someone's heart: yes
81. Had your own heart broken: oh yes
82. Been arrested: not formally
83. Turned someone down: yes
84. Cried when someone died: yes
85. Fallen for a friend: yes
86. Yourself: almost always
87. Miracles? yes I do
88. Love at first sight: sometimes
89. Heaven: without a doubt
90. Santa Claus: no
91. Kiss on the first date: sure
92. Angels: YES.
93. Had more than one gf at the same time? Never had a GF
94. What's your favorite food? Italian
95. Did you sing today? Yes...Down by the BAYYYYY, Where the watermelons GROOOOWW
96. Ever cheated on someone: No
97. If you could go back in time, how far would you go, and why? i think i'd stay right where i am
98. If you could pick a day from last year and relive it, what would it be? The day Kamila was born.
99. Are you afraid of falling in love: not at a;;
100. Posting this as 100 truths: well, there aren't quite 100 as some of the numbers were missing but sure.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Under My Skin.

I'm sustaining a moment where I feel weak.

I'm not perfect.
I will not pretend to be.
If there is one thing I know for sure it is that I do not know everything.
Don't make me an offer and when I take you up on it, withdraw.
Don't ignore me pretending you didn't offer.
Tell me straight.
I'll take it better.
I'll walk away thankful for your honesty, respecting you that much more.
Don't hide.
I know it bothers you, too.
Be straight.
Keep it simple.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I put it...

somewhere. I need to add it to the Done pile but can't quite recall where it became done. There are a few inconspicuous locations that I'm going to scan through today. Let's see what I find.
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff was OK. It is Teen Literature about The Occupation. Perhaps I would have liked this one a little more if I hadn't have read this amazing book this summer. It isn't anything I'd rush out to get. I'm not sure I'd highly recommend it either.
Keep on keepin' on.

Half and Half.

The month is half done and then some. Where is it running to? Today includes some Mission Check. I'm slipping on a few. There may be a few surprises in store.
Let's see where we sail today, Saturday. Keep things simple and we're going to be just fine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let's Play #133.

C'mon! I know you want to play along.

1. __Something on the BBQ___ and __potatoes or salad___ make a quick and easy dinner.
2. __Tuesdays with Morrie___ is the book I'm reading right now.
3. July brings back memories of __you___
4. __Sincerity___ was obvious.
5. They say if you tell your dreams __you are opening yourself up to a whole new world___.
6. __Take time___ to think it over.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __whoa! the night is almost over. where has it gone?___, tomorrow my plans include __housework___ and Sunday, I want to __party___!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Down with Another.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is an absolute wonderful read. For the first time in a very long time, I am excited for the movie. I want to know that the two stories parallel. I want to know that the images in my head from reading can be transformed onto the screen seamlessly. I've watched the trailer and I can't wait to see it all!
My total pages read since June 20 is over 2100! That is awesome. I'm already into my next book. I'm fighting to get through it. I've set it aside a number of times already. I'll talk about it again some other day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Let's Play #132.

Won't you play, too?

1. The last thing I ate was __a cherry strudel___ and __a gulp of nothing___.
2. ___Bananas__ is something I recently bought.
3. When it rains, it __is entertainment for my neighbors. In this evenings thunderstorm, I was the nut running around the neighbourhood chasing my recycling down!___
4. __Steven___ was the first person I talked to today.
5. Hugs are __extra important all the time___.
6. __Be greedy when you need___ extra comfort.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __hip hop Bailey bug visiting___, tomorrow my plans include __a blank page___ and Sunday, I want to __fly like an eagle___!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


One of my all-time favorite jokes is this one:
Why was 6 scared of 7?............................because 7 eight 9!
My hubby has heard this one so many times that he laughs because I'm such a geek that each time I say it, I think it gets funnier.
Today happens to be 7-8-9!
What are your favorite jokes? You know, the ones you pull out in utter desperation.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Books and More Books.

I'm reconnecting with my reading self again. It's been no secret around here that I love to read. I don't always do enough of it. This translates into me doing as much of it as I can when I can. My imagination is very vivid. Ask anyone that knows me or anyone who has listened to me rant about some description or other. There are bizarre ideas that swirl around in this mind of mine many of which are odd combinations or concoctions of various literature that has nourished me.
War of the Roses by Warren Adler and Notes from the Universe by Mike Dooley are in the DONE pile now. The both of them were cool books. Warren Adler's story of a rancid divorce and the psychosis that can surround them was hilarious. Much more appreciated in print than in film for me. He has also wrote a follow up titled The Children of the Roses. From the few reviews I skimmed, it's not looking like anything I'm going to rush out to get.
I have the other two books in Mike Dooley's Notes series although I'm resting on them for a while. Notes was deep. There were pages that made me dig down into my soul and think. There were also ones that had me paying attention to the little whisper in the shadows of me. It was an adventure.
In addition to these, I'm in the last few pages of The Barefoot Girl by Catherine Munroe. This one has been a one-day read for me. At first I wasn't sure about this book. Something about it made me want to read it but also made me want to leave it for some other day. I'm liking the story. It's about a peasant girl who is married away to a wealthy merchant. While her father believed he was marrying her up, the truth about what happens behind closed doors is supposed to stay there. She is but property purchased for a purpose. It's an interesting read.
For now, it's off to finish reading this book.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mission: July

Here we go again.
  1. Paint the kitchen.
  2. Read 10 books.
  3. Scrapbook 4 layouts.
  4. Fish 4 times.
  5. Visit the cabin 2 times.
  6. Move the craft stuff back to the craft station. (Oops!)
  7. Start the Christmas planning.
  8. Drop off clothing that needs to move along.
  9. Think about my course strategy.
  10. Get back on the photo taking train.

That's all for now. Let's see how I do ...
Simple enough.

Let's Play #131.

You can play, too! Go here.

1. When I heard __the news___ I __picked my jaw up off the floor___.
2. __Positive thoughts and prayers make up the___ best medicine.
3. It's late, but __there is always time for one more kiss___
4. __Laugh often; Love___ always.
5. My eyes have seen __beauty___.
6. ___My heart beats__ strongly.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ___my book__, tomorrow my plans include __a meeting with nice ladies___ and Sunday, I want to __hit the highway to the cabin___!

Gone Fishin'.

We spent yesterday afternoon on the banks of the river with our rods in the water and the fish dining on our bait. It turns out I don't give fish as much credit as they deserve. I used to think when they bite the bait, you (I) got to catch the fish. Done deal. Reel them them, Sparky. Turns out these fish have gotten smarter. The ones yesterday had a technique. Nibble once to taste. Nibble twice to get my attention. Nibble a third time to tease me. Bite the bait and swim like mad to get away. Smart little suckers. I am happy to say that I did catch one big enough that it will make a meal.
My grandfather is my fishing hero, though. He is pro. Hand that man a fishing rod and watch his patience level increase to the sky. He calmly perches in his seat, intensely staring at the tip of the rod, waiting for the game to start. Suddenly in a flurry of activity his rod would be up and reeling in. He caught the most. Three that came home. Three that stayed. There is no "one that got away" story from this trip.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Another one done.

Another book, that is. The Fiction Class by Susan Breen was good. It's one that I'm going to keep for reference. If you aren't a reader, this one might not be your thing. That's about all I have to say.
I've moved on. I'm combo reading this week. War of the Roses by Warren Adler and Notes from the Universe by Mike Dooley. I know one of these is a movie and I have seen it but very few movies are ever the same as the books*. So far, I'm enjoying both of these. I'm also hoping neither of these books has dying or dead people in them. The last four that I've read have left me a bit weirded out. Of the stack of 20 some books I want to read, there is a bizarre trend. They seem to have someone that dies, is dying, or is dead. My mother might attribute this to me being morbid but THIS IS NOT THE CASE! Many of these books were recommended to me or random bargain finds. There is just a weird thread pulled through most of them.

*Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews was identical in book and movie form. Perhaps one of my all-time favorites always!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


The literature I have been devouring lately has me completely entertained. It returns some calmness to an otherwise busy life.
Half this year has past. I have accomplished so much. I have so many things yet to do. Where are you it?
I'm pushing to stay simple.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I fought through to the end of Before I Die by Jenny Downham. It was excellent. Real. Knowing the whole way that the main character was terminal, I kept thinking that by some miracle a cure would fix things. The last 100 pages of this one were hard. They sparked me to look within, deep within. I started wondering how I would act. What would I do. How much would I allow. Then, I started thinking about what would be on my list. That was it. This is where my musings ended.
I cried hard reading the story. I cried harder in my thinking. I cried more understanding that many people live in this reality.
This book is right up my sister's reading alley. Lisa, it's coming your way.
I'm into The Fiction Class by Susan Breen. The introduction has been thought provoking. I think this book is going to be a story as well as a personal writing adventure. The prompts so far have been fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Read me.

I can't say enough good things about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The book was delicious. The pages were pure sugar. The story reached deep into my soul. The control, the spontaneity, the determination, the dedication, so many more elements to list. All of what made up this novel is exquisite. A perfect tale to lay awake reading or laze about with or curl up and just devour. Very well done.
Now I'm into Before I Die by Jenny Downham. With each new turned page, I'm not sure I can believe how raw what I'm reading is and want to read more to know that the words really are there. It delivers many teenage taboos - sex, drugs, cancer - openly and honestly. It's the things that are whispered among so-called friends. It is one girl's list of missions to complete before her terminal illness takes her (or at least I think that's the way it may go). Perhaps this adds to it being right up my alley.
Let's see where it goes. What are you reading or what is on your list of want-to reads?

Let's Play #130.

You know you want to play along. Go here.

1. She had a great __smile___.

2. __My angel___ is by my side, always.

3. I know this: __memories matter most___.

4. __Be___ still.

5. These words apply to me: __stubborn, solid, swizzled___.

6. __Through the rain___ the sun was shining.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __finishing this weird book___, tomorrow my plans include __visiting family___ and Sunday, I want to ___dance in the rain__!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Reading Machine.

With Summer's official arrival, I compiled a list of books I hope to have read by the end of it. Dark Summer by Iris Johansen was at the top. Corny, yes, but how much more fitting than to kick off a summer reading marathon than with a book that contains the very season in its title.
This novel was not the author's finest work. I found it to be a bit lack lustre. There were intense moments but none quite as climactic as many of her others. Being one of my favorite authors, I anticipate her next book with higher hopes.
Very quickly, I dove into The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. I have read half the book and can't wait to swallow the rest. It certainly isn't every reader's style. The tales are told in a post-WWII era through a series of letters penned by various characters. Thus far, this novel is an absolute afternoon delight. I would definitely recommend it for readers wanting to step just a touch away from regular reading into a world of delicious reminiscing.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Square up.

All right my blog. Let's know that I haven't forgotten about you. You haven't been abandoned. You are dear to my heart. This month is running away from most people I've talked to including me. Why is it that through the bitter cold that bites our asses in February the days don't seem to end but as soon as the sunshine kisses our cheeks with warmth - ok, fine, swealtery-balming-sweat-drenched-heat - the days fly by?
I am slurping up every last moment I can with my sister before she flies back to Never Never Land.
Regular scheduled programming is on the horizon. July might even start with a list of missions. If I'm lucky the kitchen painting will be done before then and it WON'T be on the list!

Let's Play #129.

Are you playing along yet? Go here for details.

1. All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting__Linkjust what it is they don't do___.
2. Show me a good loser and I will show you a __a person at peace___.
3. __Just one convo over coffee with my sister___ is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one time.
4. Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy __trying to run other ones___ and __not listening to the people that put them in the power___.
5. I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine __watching tv___ and __listening to his wife___.
6. It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without __great company___ or __love mixed___ in it.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __family time___, tomorrow my plans include __a long over due visit ___ and Sunday, I want to __celebrate at the awesome bbq___!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Let's Play # 128

Won't you play along, too? Go see Janet who creates these fabulous fill ins.

1. I grew up thinking __that I could do anything___.
2. __Ebay___ was the last website I was at before coming here.
3. Why don't you __laugh out loud right from way down in your belly___?
4. __A warm cup of delicious tea___ helps me relax.
5. Thanks for the __memories___.
6. __Arrogance is___ very off-putting.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __a movie (which one???)___, tomorrow my plans include __a long date with a new book___ and Sunday, I want to __be outside before the green gremlin worms start flying off every tree___!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Let's Play #127.

Details here.

1. __My heart is my___ home.
2. My favorite thing for dinner lately has been __anything I can manage to surgery hinders abitilities___.
3. __ Complain complain___ bark! bark! bark!
4. A nice long walk __is a refresher to the soul___.
5. __Take a moment and remember ___ some good news.
6. When all is said and done, __it matters that you can rest easy and honestly___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ___some quiet time__, tomorrow my plans include __a seminar ___ and Sunday, I want to __not feel the hurt in my mouth anymore___!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


You made it! Hi. Hello. Welcome.
Yesterday was awesome.
Today, I go in for some surgery on my mouth. It might keep me quiet for a few days. I might blog more to keep the voices in my mind from driving me crazy. I am nervous. I am trying to be strong. I am trying to trust the strangers who will be doing the procedure. I am struggling. I am scared. I said it.
Moving right along, missions are coming. This is back-on-track month. I'm bootin' it in the butt. I feel it's going to be right.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Let's Play #126

1. It's cold and __it doesn't matter because love doesn't freeze___.
2. __Cucumbers and___ tomatoes.
3. My favorite health and beauty product is __tiber river anything___.
4. __To clear my head I try to take ___ a nice long ride.
5. Well, first of all __let's remember what matters most___.
6. __A swinging bridge, a deep canyon, a voice, and me___; those were the cast of characters in a recent dream and it was __bizarre___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to __family time___, tomorrow my plans include __a soccer jamboree___ and Sunday, I want to __relax - please!!!___!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soccer Convos.

This evening sitting at soccer, there was a little girl on the other team that everyone kept calling Kristina. Being that her name was stitched across the back of her jersey, I know it was her name and I know it was spelled with a K.
Steven climbs up on my lap during one of his off shifts and asks me, "Mommy, why is everyone calling that girl Kristina?"
"That's her name. It's one of the awesomest names you know." I am biased. I know this.
"Oh. So, Mommy, it's the same as your middle name, right?"
"No, Silly. Kristina is my first name."
"No it's not. You first name is Mommy."

What could I say? I love him!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Fast 5.

  1. Tupperware is an essential addition to every kitchen.
  2. Garage sale treasures are some of the best.
  3. Cell phones DO come home!
  4. Self-discipline is the best kind of discipline you can have.
  5. Embracing a child is as empowering as it is frightening. While I do good most days, sometimes I feel that tremble in my heart knowing everything I have been entrusted with.

Let's be friends, Wednesday. Raise your glass with me!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ahoy Monday!

What a nice start to this week. A lazy morning sprinkled with raindrops and an overall wetness outside. A happy baby and a beautiful boy who is still sleeping are just icing. I'm going to do some boring things (read: housekeeping) and I'm going to try to study. The clouds usually help me do that.
One of the trees in our backyard is soaking up the droplets and growing. I can see it happening. Ever so silently it is preparing for an explosion of white flowers that will themselves rain to the ground only days after they appear. They leave behind buds that become berries. The berries hang around long after the leaves fall. Those berries end up being nutrition for birds, squirrels, and other brave beasts that stick around for our winters. And so the cycle goes...
There is a tea cup that needs filling and laundry that begs to be started. I'm lucky today. I'm lucky every day.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Negligent - (neg-li-juh nt) adjective; guilty of or characterized by neglect.

This is what I've been to my dear blog. SORRY. The last little while has run away on me. Between birthday parties, check ups, strep throat (AGAIN!), studying, catching up a few things, and a plague of dreams that leave my mind racing and unsettled I feel like I'm falling behind on a bit of everything. I couldn't even find the strength to play along with Friday Fill In's this week. Sigh.
I have managed in the whole shebang of things to lose my cell phone and this time feels like a doozey. I can't recall the last time we two spent so much time apart. I'm beginning to get concerned. Panicked even. So, Sweet Cell Phone of my Universe, please come home.
I have also separated from the remote that controls my TV. No DVD watching. No Wii Fitting. No Mario Karting. Just plain old cable TV. I'm going to need some luck finding this one. It may have been stashed somewhere that I thought was a good idea at the time.
I need to establish missions again. Solid ones. Ones that will see me through each day of this new week.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I have developed a new found love for shoes. All kinds of them - flats, heels, platforms, runners, boots, flip flops, the list goes on and on. Through my teen years, shoes were always too girly for me. I wore heals. I owned sexy boots. I had runners. I don't remember which were my favorites or which I wore most often unless you count the ones I wore to work. I wore that cute black pair so much I wore the heel out. To avoid going out shoe shopping, I took them to a shoemaker and had the heel rebuilt. They were comfortable. All in all, though, they just weren't important enough to me.
I now keep an eye on shoes. I look for ones that call me. Last fall's clearance sales had a pair that found me - a simple black sandal. That pair came home and sat in the closet all winter waiting to see the sun. Today was the first day that I had them out to wear. Really wear them rather than just slip them on to take out the garbage (yes, I sometimes wear heels to do that). I've learned a bit more about shoes after today.
My idea for these shoes was completely wrong. This one-time-great purchase is not for everyday wear. It is for special occasions only. The tip of the heel is slippery. Every step I take in them makes me wonder if they are going to hold for me to take another. Errand shopping, spontaneous retail therapy, running out to pick up groceries, a casual stroll with the kidlets are all tasks that will not entertain these shoes.

Friday, May 15, 2009


1. If we had no winter __we may take for granted the other seasons___.
2. __Watching children as they grow is___ a perpetual astonishment.
3. If I had my life to live over __I would live it the exact same way___.
4. ___The possibilities are endless__ inside of four and twenty hours.
5. If you've never been thrilled __look at things differently___.
6. To be interested in the changing seasons __listen to what your heart whispers___.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to ___date night with hubby__, tomorrow my plans include __perhaps a visit to the snake pits___ and Sunday, I want to __enjoy brunch___!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


My mother said to me, "If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope." Instead, I became a painter and wound up Picasso.
~Pablo Picasso

My mother believes in me. She has always known that anything I want to do, I can do. It is this belief in me that inspires my soul to become everything I want to be.
Thanks Mom, for always knowing I can do it long before I ever know what it is I want to do.
With love, me.