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Rated: 13+ · Book · Other · #1836624
January 2016 (30 Day Blogging Challenge)
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December 29, 2015 at 8:36am
December 29, 2015 at 8:36am
Will be starting up again for the the January 2016 30 Day Blogging Challenge. Looking forward to it!

January 23, 2013 at 6:42am
January 23, 2013 at 6:42am
Take a look at the linked image of the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Recount a trip you took to a l monument/memorial/historical site of significance, and relive your emotions. How did you feel, and why? If you have never been to a national monument/memorial/historical site of significance, which would you most like to visit and why?
January 22, 2013 at 8:29am
January 22, 2013 at 8:29am
Do you think people are inherently good or bad and why?

I simply must believe that people are inherently good; that there is something worthwhile, kind and loving in every human being. However I am challenged on this thought daily. Take for example my trip to Dallas.

On the way to the airport, I had a crazed women in a Charger cut me off, nearly send me flying off the road and then presented me with her universally foul hand gesture. Although at that moment, I believe her to be the spawn of satan, I am choosing to believe that she is a good person who was rushing to serve soup at a food kitchen and therefore needed to drive erratically.

I choose the wrong line at airport security. In front of me was a gentleman (and I use the term lightly) with his 10 year old son. He did not have a boarding pass and did not have the right pass from the airlines to escort his son. The security guard detained him (and therefore me because I was behind him)so she could check with her supervisor. Rather than patiently wait for resolution or even engage his son prior to the separation, he proceeded to berate the security guard questioning her intelligence, her professionalism and her intentions. It was terrible for the boy to see his dad like that. Instead of believe that he was born with a black heart and mouth to match, I choose to believe that he is a good person who is sad to see his son leave and not sure how to express his feelings so he verbal attacks this stranger, the security guard.

The first leg of my flight was filled with middle school hockey players and their overly anxious dads. Regardless of their derogatory conversation, inability to discipline their boys and complete lack of social etiquette, you know they are good deep inside as they are providing their boys with a terrific sporting opportunity.

On the delayed second leg of my flight, I sat next to a very large man who apparently was opposed to soap and personal hygiene. He carried an oversized melon shell - seriously the size of fire pit bowl. For two hours he insisted on bumping me with the item, smooshing me with his overflowing body and ...wait for it...coughing!! Yes I could easily characterize him as dog of the underworld, instead I will believe him to be a good person who has no concept of flight manners and etiquette.

Finally I land in Dallas, call my reserved car and am told it will be another 30 minutes. A car from the same company arrives and the driver stated he is not for me - I must wait longer. It is 11:30 CST and I am on an EST brain. I consider the payment a bust and take a shuttle. That driver circles the airport only to have me move to another shuttle who again circles the airport. After picking up and dropping off 3 other passengers, the driver informs me that the other driver did not give him the correct hotel for me and now we have to drive yet another 1/2 hour to the Westin. Arriving after 1am, I could easily consider all 3 drivers as Shakespeare's witches, instead I choose to believe they are good people just not all that bright.

I am hopeful that the inherently good people will be more forthcoming tomorrow *Smile*
January 21, 2013 at 9:06am
January 21, 2013 at 9:06am
Convince me why you appreciate either preparing or eating a home-cooked meal. Describe the preparation or the consumption of a homemade food you enjoy.

It usually happens once my copy of Bon Appetit arrives, or when I download that Food Network app update, or even when I get that Williams Sonoma email. The urge to create a culinary masterpiece overwhelms me and I am off to market.

Choosing the recipe is like shopping. You try on different meals and consider the accessories like wine and table settings. I can choose a recipe I want to try within a second of seeing a photo or reading the ingredients and at other times it can take me days to find that perfect recipe for that friend or dinner party or event. Next I am off to the market or co-op to gather my building blocks. I can choose only what I feel is freshest and most appropriate. There is a co-op within walking distance from me and they have incredible locally grown vegetables. There is also an Italian grocery and Asian market that I frequent for those ethnic essentials.

Once in the kitchen, my countertops and cookware become blank pieces of white paper. I love my sharp knives and beautiful pans. Starting from nothing and creating a dish that brings comfort or elation....always looking for umami. I enjoy the control of eliminating that less than perfect garlic clove or meticulously dicing those onions and searing the meat to perfection. The smells encourage me. Even the tiredness in my hands, the strain on my back and the heat from the oven beckon me to continue.

Bringing my dish to the table and watching the expressions on friends and family is the cherry on top of my sundae. The care and effort is nothing but a show of love.

Lest I forgot the joy of eating a homemade meal. To know that someone cares enough about you to spend the time, energy and creative effort to produce something that will excite your eyes, nose and taste buds is just a perfect gift.

So cook for yourself and cook for others. Nothing beats that sense of accomplishment and nothing satiates more.
January 20, 2013 at 8:23am
January 20, 2013 at 8:23am
Tell us about your week, include your favorite blog entry from your fellow challengers from the preceding week, and, most importantly, why.

First things first. My favorite blog this week has to be SapphireRains's talent entry in which she choose her desired talent from a musician's hat. It was creative, well written, carefully thought out, and so entertaining. Her talent was dripping from that post and I must have mentioned three different times to different people during the week. Awesome job.

As for my week, I cannot say it was very exciting although I would say it was a good week. You know how sometimes you need calm and the comfort of normal and the feeling of being content? This week was the closest I have been to that in a while. Still busy with work, spanish classes, house issues, family health and other social responsibilities. But this week I sold a small contract which made work satisfying. My son was in a good mood and the three of use were able to spend some quality time together. Max made dinner and movie plans for the three of us Friday. During the week we had time together most every evening and were able to discuss current events and personal triumphs (however small), we went for walks together in the evening and researched some college options. We even have a three person book club where my husband and I convinced our teenager to read and discuss Wuthering Heights with us. It is terrific. We finished the week yesterday with a trip to the scuba shop to schedule some indoor dives, dinner at a new steak place and then a pleasant evening of laughs with my parents. Not terribly exciting but so comforting. A good week.

This week is going to be much different. I leave for a work trip to Dallas tomorrow and will not be back until very late Friday night. Wednesday my son turns 17 and for the first time I will not be around for his birthday. I am so disappointed but he is fine. That night is a huge college process session at his school and he and my husband will be able to have dinner together. Next week I have planned to have the entire family over for a brunch of his most desired foods. I will make his favorite red velvet cake and decorate it all day Saturday. His gifts are wrapped and I will be sure to send him an email and call on his bday. He is really not all that interested in his bday this year. Not sure if it is because he is down about the accident still or if he is just getting older and has other interested. I am still very excited about his day and always will be!

I hope you all have a comforting week *Smile*
January 19, 2013 at 6:28am
January 19, 2013 at 6:28am
Write a poem utilizing the phrase, "I remember when..."
(If I can write a poem, so can you, but for those less daring, feel free to write a piece of prose instead.)

I remember when
I did not have to write poems
That was yesterday

So much for my poetic prowess.
January 19, 2013 at 5:53am
January 19, 2013 at 5:53am
What does humor mean to YOU? What tickles YOUR funny bone? Is there anything you laugh at that others don't?

I have a pretty simple definition of humor: Anything that makes you laugh. That throws a wide net over what I think is funny.

Situational, political, observational comedy hits me the most. I enjoy sarcasm, wit, and quick banter. Not much of a fan for physical comedy or "bathroom" humor.

Can't say I laugh at anything most people do not laugh at. I am more of the person who doesn't laugh at things others laugh at.

Would not say humor is my strong point - much too serious for that but I do wish I could tell the occasional joke *Smile*

Friday posts are difficult for me.
January 17, 2013 at 12:15pm
January 17, 2013 at 12:15pm
Are social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc ...) an evolving form of communication and allow us to be more connected to those around us, or do they decrease communication skills, and distance us from "real" connections?

This is a topic that I am very interested in, actually focused on it in my masters program and even spent time working in the field. So I definitely have an opinion.

The prompt gives us an "either or" choice and I do not think the options are mutually exclusive. Clearly stated, I believe social media allows us to be more connected however I also believe that many of our communication skills are decreasing lulling us into a false sense of connection that could be distancing us from traditionally defined connections. I view social media as the impetus and vehicle for redefining communication and connections.

I am a fan of most types of social media, believing that this technology has increased our ability to connect to more people, more frequently. However this type of communication creates a different level of connection. Similar to varying strengths of friendships, connections can be defined in degrees. Through Facebook, Zuckerberg redefined the word "friend". Because of social media, my "friends" include the recruit I interviewed for a job, the exchange student my son hosted, the owner of my gym, the forgotten girl who sat next to me in freshman History, and on and on. These "friends" or followers have the ability to see what I am presenting in terms of image, video, update or opinion without the need for geographical proximity or the responsibility of reciprocity. Hell they do not even need to really know me. Therefore social media is making me more connected but again at what level of connection?

As for communication skills, I do believe those skills (traditionally defined) are decreasing. To me the essence of communication is an exchange where both parties are involved. To many, social media becomes more of a platform for exhibitionists and voyeurs. Many people forgot how visible they are and share beyond normal limits. Others watch and read and rarely respond. It's almost Communication Lite; you post a bunch of photos to whoever wants to see them, tweet a random thought or you wish a "friend" Happy Birthday. There is no real depth and limited effort. In my mind, a real connection takes effort and is more personal than a group post to my closest 500 friends/followers. However, non traditional communication skills such as uploading photos, statusing on minut life details and blasting opinions take some ability and those are helped by this mode of communication.

To improve or better your communication skills, you have to use them. Are our written skills getting better by abbreviating everything? IDK. Social media at this technology level, basically ignores verbal skills. Facial expressions and body language cannot be duplicated with emoticons. Most disturbing is the complete lack of opportunity to develop situational awareness.

By itself, social media is just not enough. However, as a supplement or vehicle for our social interactions I would say it is the best use of the internet since mapping.

I could go on and on with this topic as I did not even hit the dangers, legal issues or permanence, but I feel I may lose my audience.

January 16, 2013 at 4:44am
January 16, 2013 at 4:44am
Is there anyone in your life that you would take a bullet for?

I am fortunate enough to say yes to this question. There are several people in my life who are more important and precious to me than even my own existence.

Of course topping that list is my son Max. He is an amazing young man whom I love and adore with all my heart. He is the person who lights up a room upon entry. With an uncanny ability to understand people and a strong situational awareness, Max is the person other people gravitate to and follow. Not only would I take a bullet for him, I would shoot a bullet to protect him. He causes me so much stress and I worry constantly but he is going to do amazing things one day and I would not want to deprive the rest of the world from his future successes!

Next would be my husband...the most incredible man I have ever known. He is brilliant, funny, and incredibly compassionate. Although my husband is not very social, he is the person who listens to the people he cares about. The man always picks the most appropriate present because he really does know the people he loves. While my son's impact is yet to come, my husband positively impacts people daily - whether it is his patients, his family, or just the poor on the street whom he never passes without giving a "bit of help". I would have to take the bullet because I am only half a person without him.

My sister Tammy is needed by her little girls far more than I am needed ...my nieces and nephews have the entire world ahead of them and I am on the down swing...I suppose in the heat of the moment I may even take a bullet for a stranger...I'd like to think I am that selfless.

January 15, 2013 at 9:34am
January 15, 2013 at 9:34am
What one talent do you wish you had, but don't (non-writing related)?

I tend to confuse talents with traits. There are so many traits I wish I had and I find it more challenging to develop new traits, so I will focus on talents as the prompt suggests. It is extremely difficult for me to pick just one talent that I wish I possessed. At this point in my life I am constantly trying to develop various new talents. Maybe that's my way of "preventing" old age.

There was a time when I desperately wanted to be an artist. Although I was completely immersed in my career after college, I spent most of my free time taking art classes. I took sketching, watercolors, oils and various bizarre creativity classes. I enjoyed the time I spent drawing and painting but frankly I just do not have the talent nor do I have the time to work enough on developing that talent. it's odd but both my husband and I desire this talent. He actually went to college as an art major but switched midway through to pre-med. Thank God he is a surgeon because if we had to rely on our artistic talents to make any income, we would both be living on the streets right now!

Since then, I have tried to develop, with some success, talents in cooking, piano playing, and way too many to name. So to the point, I guess I wish I had a more obscure talent. The talent to remain calm and in control. Or is that a trait? I tend to fly off the handle or freak out as it has been said. If I could diffuse a situation or keep myself in check, I am sure I would be more successful in my interpersonal dealing both at work and in my personal life. I like to pretend it is simply that I am a very passionate person, but we all know that is just an excuse.

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