Here you will find my daily journal of small stones and inspiration!
|Changin' things up today. It's St. Patrick's Day, so let's talk about your shenanigans. Tell us a story...best one gets the equivalent of a green beer merit badge (ooohhh! Temptations!). Flog your shillelagh!
Well, today was NOT the day for shenanigans! It started out bad and ended up worse, it's a good thing I am not Irish. A month ago I had crocheted myself a Leprechaun hat. It was quite lovely, a hunter green color with a black band and a gold buckle. A friend of mine went to a Green Dress Run on Saturday and I let her borrow my hat. I told her I just needed it back by today. You know what happened? SHE LOST MY HAT! There wasn't enough time to make a new one, so I went hatless!
Then, I get to work and plan on working my 9-5 shift and then heading over to my Cancer Relay for Life committee meeting. Guess what? The girl who was working 1-9:30 called in. SO I HAD TO WORK A TWELVE AND A HALF HOUR SHIFT! Yup, no luck of the Irish for me! Nothing but trouble today, I certainly hope tomorrow is better! I won't be dumb enough to say it can't get any worse...because I know it can!
|What does March Madness mean to you?
It is that propensity to roll down your car windows and blast Beach Boys songs when the temperature reaches forty. When you wear shorts because it is finally above freezing. It's grilling hot dogs even though you can still see your breath. March Madness is when you can finally go to the mailbox without putting on five layers of clothes. It's listening to the birds sing and making sure the sump pump still runs.
Of course there is a down side to March Madness and it is called April sniffles!
|The Sunday News!: Pick a random article from the headlines and talk about it. Share your opinions and feelings about it. Encourage a conversation.
When you first read this article it makes you chuckle a bit, or at least it made me chuckle. What a bunch of dumb-asses driving down the road arguing, she wants out of the car, then she gets back in and they continue down the road. This is when something happens and they hit the back end of a car hauler and flip their vehicle. Now, this is all supposition but stick with me...
They continue down the road and continue their argument. Things heat up and somehow they end up flipped over and off the road. What would have happened if they had argued and hit the back of a minivan full of kids? We wouldn't be chuckling then? People need to pay attention when they are driving. I know we have all been here, where emotions have taken over and we have narrowly missed doing something bad. I hope by reading this everyone will take a moment and breathe and pay more attention while driving.
Make a "Top 10" list...on any topic of your choosing. Why is #1 your #1?
PandaPaws Top Ten NASCAR Drivers
10) Darrell Waltrip
9) Michael Waltrip
8) Dale Earnhardt Sr
7) Terry Labonte
6) Bobby Labonte
5) Rusty Wallace
4) Ryan Newman
3) Kevin Harvick
2) Dale Earnhardt Jr
and topping the List at #1
Tony Stewart tops my list because he is one bad-ass driver. He has a short fuse and will do pretty much anything to maintain the lead and win a race. He has had a few setbacks the last two seasons but I think he will turn it around about mid-season this year. He also tops my list because he is a cutie-patootie and I like cutie-patooties!
|In honor of Friday The 13th, tell us about a time when something went so horribly wrong that all you could do about it was laugh.
Oh boy, do I have a story for you! This one still makes me laugh and it happened about four years ago. In December, 2010 my mom passed way after a battle with Multiple Myeloma cancer. She had been sick for roughly five years and in the last three months she got pretty sick. During those months she knew what was happening and fought like a trooper, but she knew what was inevitable. One day she sat me down and discussed how she wanted the headstone designed. She wanted one headstone for both my father's and her graves. She wanted a double heart form with their last name across the top and their individual names underneath. On the back of the headstone she wanted my father's Veteran plate. She also wanted the letters TOYALYF engraved in it. Those letters appeared on every card my parents ever sent each other. They stand for "Thinking of you always, Loving you forever".
My brother, the executor of the estate, contacted me and the two of us and his wife drove to Buffalo, where my parents are buried. We found a headstone company right down the road from the cemetery. Actually, we found many. This area of Buffalo is known for having multiple cemeteries located in a small area. Anyways, I described exactly what my mother described to me and the salesman/owner went over all the details. We picked the headstone and then the material, it was a rose colored granite, and then he went about diagramming the headstone on the order sheet. He gave us the estimate and let me tell you, headstones are not cheap! I reiterated the idea of having my dad's Vet plaque placed on the back of the headstone and we were informed that in this particular cemetery, nothing can be placed on the back of the stone. I thought this was rather weird but whatever, rules are rules.
We decided that the Veterans headstone that already adorned my father's grave would be moved to the foot of his grave. At this point the gentleman called the cemetery to obtain an estimate for the cost of moving it. That is when it all unraveled! The plots in which my parents are buried can not have upright stones! What? Yup, due to snow removal and lawn mowing my parents are buried in a spot where the stones need to be flat! I burst into tears at that point. I only had one job and I felt I blew it. I hadn't but the emotions were strong. It was suggested that we could re-inter my parents in a different plot that would allow for the headstone. I turned around and said "We are not digging them up and replanting them" That is when the laughter began and has continued ever since!
By the way, they each have a flat stone and TOYALYF is on my Mom's.
According to this article (http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/america-war-93-time-222-239-years-since-1...), the United States has been "at war" approximately 93% of its entire existence. Does war solve anything?
I believe this has two answers- yes and no. (Nothing like sitting on the fence, eh?) I can think of many cases where war did solve things. The American Revolution solved the colonists feud with England and formed the United States of America. The American Civil War solved the issue of States' Rights and ended Slavery. World War II ended the tyranny of Adolph Hitler. So, yes something was solved.
However, take these very same events and ask yourself was everything solved? The American Revolution created the United States however, the conflict with England still remained and the War of 1812 proved this. The American Civil War ended slavery but the suffering of African-Americans continues well into the 21st century. World War II did indeed end the tyranny of Adolph Hitler, however, the Neo-Nazi movement still exists.
So, was anything solved? Yes. Is war necessary? Yes. Does war solve everything? Unfortunately, no.
|War Chest Wednesday!
Do you have a lucky number, and if so, why is it special to you? If you don't have a lucky number, is there a trinket or similar object that carries a special lucky significance for you?
My lucky number, since I was a little girl, is TWELVE! It was the number worn by my favorite football player, my hero, who was the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills for twelve seasons. Now before you all start guessing that my hero is Jim Kelly guess again! My hero is Joe Ferguson! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Ferguson
I just loved to watch him quarterback and listening to his Southern drawl when he would do interviews, plus he has really nice blue eyes. In 1984, his last season as a Bill, he was having a rough year (understatement) The coaching staff was benching him and his days as a Bill were numbered. In December of that year, I wrote him a fan letter. I was 12. He got benched from starting and he left Buffalo in a huff. A week later I got an envelope from One Bills Drive, the home of the Bills! When I opened it I could not believe my eyes! It was an 8x10 of Ferguson, signed by him. It reads "To Sharon, Thanks for your letter. From, Joe Ferguson" My hero read my letter, MY HERO took time out of his day to acknowledge me. No wonder Twelve is my favorite number.
|Two-fer Tuesdays: Share an item or blog entry from any of the eligible competitors this month. Include a review link for bonus points (if you choose to share an item).
I read and reviewed Julie D - PUBLISHED! 's wonderful Acrostic Poem : "Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor . I recommend everyone to check out her portfolio, I am certain you will find more than one item that you will love!
Great job Julie D - PUBLISHED! !
Review of "Coral Reef"
Saturday night parts of the world had to set their clocks ahead one hour to account for Daylight Savings Time. Did you have to, and if so, did it affect you at all? According to this link (http://www.weather.com/health/news/daylight-saving-time-spring-forward-health-ef...) researchers think the switch to DST every year impacts our health. What do you think?
I enjoy Daylight savings time. I don't know how badly it upsets my routines but I love the fact that it stays lighter later in the evening. I usually give myself the day after the clock change off but this year I had to work. I must have been up five times in the middle of the night wondering whether I set the clocks right. Now, I feel as if I have recovered. My only hope now is that the temperatures warm up and the snow melts. Hopefully, the daffodils and tulips are ready to pop up and Spring is around the corner.
|The Sunday News!: Pick a random article from the headlines and talk about it. Share your opinions and feelings about it. Encourage a conversation.
Warning- this is not a happy story
This news story shatters my heart. We used to board our dog, Tex, at this kennel when we went on vacation. I would be concerned for his welfare the whole time we were gone. This was not because they were a bad kennel. these people cared very deeply for the dogs in their care. They were absolutely wonderful with Tex. They would take him outside and play with him twice a day and just in general were wonderful. My concern was always the "what if". I can not even imagine the horror felt in the hearts of the pet owners. Here they are out enjoying their vacation, knowing they have left their pet in the best care possible. (I feel Add-en-on is one of the best kennels in the area) Then they are alerted that one of the family is no longer with them. What a terrible thing to try to reconcile.
I have two things to offer up for conversation with this story. First, because my dog has seizures and has never been kenneled I refuse to take a vacation away from him. My question to you - am I being overly cautious? Second, the firefighters responding to the fire had to spend valuable time digging fire hydrants out of the snow. Whose responsibility is it to dig fire hydrants out of the snow? To this point I do not know where on our street the hydrants are even located. I guess I felt if they weren't in our yard it wasn't my responsibility, thinking on this if the hydrant two houses up is covered in snow but the fire is here, who cares who SHOULD have dug out the hydrant?
|30d Blogging Challenge
When I inherited the "30-Day Blogging Challenge" , I was also given a few other items...the one I use the most obviously is the War Chest, which holds a majority of the prompts I send out. The people who have owned it before me put some effort into organizing it; prompts are loosely categorized into the days they should likely be used on. As I was scrolling through the lists looking for an appropriate 'Creation Saturday' prompt, I came across the very last 'Funny Friday' suggestion, and I've decided to put it in play for Saturday instead. So without further ado, answer the following question in any manner you wish (poem, drama, humor, essay, lyrics, bullet points, etc...any way you'd like): Where is Waldo?
I can't remember
if it was September
when Waldo told me
he was headed to sea.
Or if it was a boat
on which he would float,
or if a raft
would be his craft.
He left in a car
but didn't get far.
I seem to recall
the thing liked to stall.
It seems he went by way
or was it Uruguay,
it may not matter, anyway!
As to his whereabouts
many a friend has his doubts.
Perhaps we should have a look
In a Where's Waldo book!
and if that don't make you smile...
The "How To" article is a staple of popular magazines. We don't always need informative-yet-boring "How To" articles...what we sometimes need is "How NOT To" advice. Try to make us laugh and tell us a good way of not doing something.
How Not to Win the Heart of Any Guy
- Whatever you do, act like yourself.
- Express your own opinions and argue for what you think is right
- Wear comfortable clothes, who needs to dress to impress?
- If you like NASCAR take a Sunday off and tell him you are staying home to watch the race
- Tell him if he isn't a Buffalo Bills fan then he better take a hike
- Make food you like to eat
- Go a Buffet and eat as much as you want
- Offer to pay for dinner or the movies
- Let him kiss you on the first date
- Eat broccoli whether it gives you gas or not
- Burp if you have to
- Do whatever your Mother has told you not to do
- Don't listen to ALL of your Mom's advice- ie "Eat like a bird"
This advice might keep you from getting ANY guy but it just might get you THE GUY, the one who loves you for all your faults
|30d Blogging Challenge Prompt
Again...from the War Chest...
Do you believe in miracles? Why, or why not?
Yes, I do believe in miracles. They occur everyday when I wake up. As I just wrote this my husband, dog and I just experienced a miracle. THe dog was on the bed and my husband went to lift him off of it. As he did this the dog jumped out of his arms and landed on the floor in a heap. He yelped and continued to yelp for a while and would not get off his hindquarters. I grabbed my keys and my husband grabbed the dog and we drove to the Emergency Vet clinic. I thought for sure the dog was hurt bad. When we got to the hospital they told us it would be $100 just to see the vet, no xrays or anything...
The vet tech told us to try to let him walk and lo and behold .... the dog is fine. No limping, no yelping, no nothing! They told us he did not break anything but he may be sore in the morning. They did not charge the $100.
Miracles? oh yeah!
|From the War Chest...
Name a time when you broke a rule or law. Did you get caught, or did you get away with it?
Well, you see, I am a complete and total angel and I have NEVER, NEVER EVER broken any rules or laws (and gotten caught). I do however recall an instance at my Alma Mater, dear old Cornell University where I caused an awful lot of trouble and didn't get in trouble for it. (Wait, what is the statute of limitations on snowball fights and broken windows?) Anyways, I was headed back to my dorm after dinner with a few of my friends and I decided to throw a snowball or two at the window of the guy who lived on the floor below me. I had a crush on him and he didn't feel the same way so I thought it would be a great idea to piss him off. As my friends and I were throwing the snowballs, this guy decided to open the window and use his vast vocabulary to call me every name in the book, and then some.
As this jerk was name-calling the members of the freshman football team, who lived on the same floor as me, walked by. They were not impressed with this guy's lack of respect for me, (little did they know I started it). They told us to keep him occupied. The football players went back into the dorm and filled a trashcan with cold water. As we kept him distracted, they knocked on the door and he told them to come on in! The jocks then dumped the water on him! Right in front of the window so that my friends and I could watch.
The next thing I remember is about sixty people out in the courtyard in a knockdown, drag out snowball fight. The third floor ganged up against the second floor. When we tired of this we all joined forces and attacked the neighboring dorm. Then we heard it. Above the din of over one hundred students we could hear the shattering glass. A window had been broken. The next thing I heard was the sirens of Campus Safety. Now, there were anywhere from sixty to eighty college students running across the courtyard and up into the stairwells of our dorm. Why we all ran for the same stairwell is beyond me, but there we all were, jammed up into the corridor. The only relief was when students got off on their floor. Somehow, my friends and I avoided the long arm of the law.
|30d Blogging Prompt:
Seeing as how it's only the 3rd, I don't think it's fair to do an actual "Two-Fer Tuesday" prompt. Instead, pump your own tires...share with us an item of yours that you're especially proud of.
I wrote this as part of the assignments for the Poetic Explorations Group, the assignment given; write a free-form poem. Recently, I read Stephen King's 11/22/63 and the Kennedy assassination was on my mind. I am hoping to receive a few reviews for it. Please, if you review it be completely honest and let me know what works and what doesn't with this piece.
"A Nation Orphaned"
Check out my new signature from my friend Hanna and check out her shop, too. "Invalid Item" by A Guest Visitor
|30d Blogging Prompt:
WILDCARD MONDAY!! March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb (or vice/versa). What are you most looking forward to this spring?
I am looking forward to...
-not wearing several layers just to get the mail
-being able to breathe outside without freezing my nostrils shut (btw- that really hurts)
-planning my garden
-planting my garden
-taking the cinder blocks out of the bed of my truck (they give me traction)
-not having to wear gloves IN THE HOUSE!
-not paying $300+ utility bills
-seeing GREEN GRASS not endless snowbanks
-being able to read outside
-listening to Jimmy Buffett songs and The Beach Boys!
I have included a link to show the actual temperatures in Rochester versus the average temperatures...Maybe now people will understand why even winter-hardy folks are bitchin' 'bout the weather...
These are links to two of my favorite places to visit in the Spring... Lamberton Conservatory houses many plants within it's greenhouses, it is wonderful to go through there just after winter has ended but before the Spring flowers begin to bloom.
This is a link to my favorite garden center, they close between Christmas and the middle of March. They open soon and it takes every ounce of strength I have to not buy tender vegetation before Memorial Day, when it is finally safe to plant annuals here.
I love to purchase bulbs and plants from this company...
The plants are not the biggest and healthiest but they are inexpensive and with a green thumb they usually grow pretty well!
Hope it is Spring soon, for everybody...except those in the Southern Hemisphere. I say Happy Autumn to you!
|30Day Bloggers Group: The Sunday News: Pick a random article from the headlines and talk about it. Share your opinions and feelings about it. Encourage a conversation.
Canandaigua High School senior, Courtney Wagner has been in the news several times in the last month. She has been diagnosed with a stage four brain tumor and from the last report I heard on her prognosis the doctors removed her from chemotherapy because of the adverse effects it has on her body. I can only hope that this prognosis does not mean what I think it does. In February, she suited up and play in her high school basketball team's senior game. She scored the first points of the game. She is what I would consider a 'spitfire', so full of energy and delight; relishing in every minute that she lives. Yesterday, she played a game for the Rochester Razorsharks, a professional (not NBA) team. She signed on to the team for a day and again scored the first points of the game, with a bit of help from her new teammates. I can not imagine what she and her family are going through but they seem to gather strength from one another and her parents really seem to support her in every way. Now, they are trying to gain the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, and perhaps get Courtney on to the Ellen DeGeneres Show. My favorite quote from the article is highlighted below, I feel it especially poignant because of her mother's ability to see beyond her daughter's disease and her hope that it will help other children.
"She was mostly excited today. I think she felt welcomed by the team and knew it was going to be a fun day," said Jamie Wagner, Courtney's mother. "We're so grateful."
"There are a lot of kids that need some help and hopefully this can be a platform to raise awareness to brain cancer, childhood cancer and some of the wonderful organizations that have helped us along the way."
I am hoping, by posting this here, that we can get more support for Courtney (perhaps someone will post this or spread it around and maybe(fingers crossed) Ellen will see it and react) and for the organizations that provide help and encouragement for Cancer Survivors- yes, survivors, because as soon as a patient hears the words "You have cancer" they are surviving that disease! Please spread the word if you are so inclined. I am also posting a link to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. If you have the opportunity to participate in one of these events I encourage you to. They are excellent fundraisers for ACS and they are a great activity in themselves. If you can not participate in one, please consider donating to a team in your area. No one can say they have not been touched by cancer's ugly fingers, please take the time to help eradicate it!
One final word- RIP Leonard Nimoy- may will all learn to "LIVE LONG AND PROSPER"
|Write about the little girl centered in the photo...
I am that child in the middle. The youngest of four, the youngest by twelve years. In my case it would be two older brothers and an older sister. It would be the Great Depression when I was born to second generation American citizens of German descent. Their parents, my grandparents immigrated from German in the late 1800's and struggled to make a living in this country. Because my father worked in the automotive industry, he was able to maintain a job even during the worst years.
When World War II began, my grandfather still supported the Fatherland and there were many instances when he needed to be restrained from expressing his opinions on the war. I used to watch the German POW's be bussed past our house in Buffalo, they were on their way to pick peas and beans on the south side of Buffalo. The POW camp was located in Niagara Falls at Old Fort Niagara.
When I was in my twenties my mother passed away due to complications of Diabetes, I met my husband several years after that and started my own family. Within the first four years I had given birth to three children of my own; two boys and a girl. In the late sixties, I lost three babies to miscarriages. Then, through a miracle of God, I gave birth to a wonderful baby girl on Valentines Day, Sharon; you know her better as PandaPaws!
You are an ant. You look like an ant. You live in an ant colony with other ants. You think like an ant, and you do whatever it is that ants do everyday. There is one difference though... You will have to write a blog entry like an ant. The prompt is...What do I like/hate about being an ant.
A glass ceiling exists, along with glass sides. I have no idea how to escape this and neither do my friends. I have seen what the boy who tends us does, under the magnifying glass, with the tweezers...
That is how I live, no where to go and nothing to do but dig myself out of holes, only to wind up in them again!
Everyone around me doing the same things, day in day out. Then the top opens and the boy grabs some of us out and dissects us, how do we work, how do we breathe, do our legs regrow if he pulls them off? Under the microscope and under the magnifying glass.
The magnifying glass is worse, the hot sun brilliantly brighter, hotter, burning. Burning through our exoskeletons, right to the center of us. Killing most, injuring others. Why? What do you gain from the torture? Searing heat, but this is the only escape. No way out, never has been, never will be...
This is how I live my life, under the magnifying glass, observed, observing.
|Day 24 Prompt for the "30-Day Blogging Challenge" : Open mic night prompt. Write about whatever you want. All I ask is that you have fun with it. Enjoy!
I sit in my 'writing room' thinking back over the last twenty-four days and my participation in "30-Day Blogging Challenge" by Fivesixer . Was this challenge what I thought it would be? Did I participate the way I thought I would? Did I perform as team captain to my satisfaction, to the team's satisfaction?Will our team win, will I? Am I going to participate in the Official month of "30-Day Blogging Challenge" by Fivesixer ? This blog will address these issues.
First, was this challenge what I thought it would be. In one word- no. Is this a huge problem? In one word - no. I have discussed in a previous blog how I thought the challenge would go down. However, Brother Nature had other ideas about how it was going to be run and well, it is his game. I think the game went well in terms of fundraising which was the main point. This last elimination event seems to be going well as well. It will be interesting to see how the eliminations play out and who is left at the end. Last on e in front of a keyboard wins!
Did I participate the way I thought I would? No, I thought there were be more fundraising among the teams, but not the 'bounty' system that was instituted. I thought we would be raising funds outside the teams. I was prepared to 'reward' donors by giving them raffle tickets to my raffle. I had planned to give one ticket for every 5k donated. This never came through, but I had a plan.
How about my participation as a team captain? I would say yes, my team might disagree. The first team challenge was to form the team, come up with a mission and find a leader. I jumped in right away and within the first day we had a team name, mission, song and leader. I created the forum and a group. The forum has been used off and on by the team. We discussed how we would handle the first challenge and even created a poll to vote on it. We were a bit late with our answer to the challenge because before we could strike, we had huge bounties placed on three players, including myself. At this point I did not have the gift points to pay the bounty and I was resolved to end my participation when the bounty challenge ended. Luckily, Brother Nature saved a few monkey butts. Whether I performed to the teams expectation is an opinion left to them.
Will The Blogging Bunch pull off the win? Your guess is as good as mine. I have only seen the results of the first day of competive blogs and it looks like the team is getting quite a few stars. I don't know whether I can pull off the win over Elle she is a greatly talented blogger and I just dabble in blogging. Which leads to the final question; Will I participate in the official month of "30-Day Blogging Challenge" by Fivesixer ? I think I will sign up for the challenge, if for no other reason but to compel myself to write everyday.
This has been an interesting month and I can't wait for the results...