Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

I Am a List Addict

Yes, I freely admit it. I am a list addict. I make up all sorts of lists. Grocery lists, lists of interesting websites, lists of books I want to read, lists for gifts, even lists of lists! I just love lists. They help me remember things. I’m not really forgetful, it’s just that I usually have so much going through my mind that if I don’t write a lot of things down they get lost in transition.

list book 5
list book 5 (Photo credit: Amy T Schubert)

I have a stack of notes under my computer screen, those are my lists. I go through them every now and then and cross  things off, or add things on. Right at this moment I have six pieces of paper with some kind of list on them! Six! Sometimes its more, sometimes its less. But, I can guarantee you there is always some kind of list in my pile, at all times.

I don’t believe my addiction is a “bad” addiction. It’s not like I make lists just for the sake of making them. They are useful to me. I need them to get things done, or bought, or emailed, or….well you get the idea.

Then I began thinking of other lists I could do, not just grocery lists or Christmas card list. But life lists. As I grow older my thoughts turn to past events, or people who have meant so much to me. I don’t have children to pass down my thoughts and lessons I’ve learned in life. But if I make a list of things maybe one day it will be helpful in a nieces, or nephews life. Maybe in some small way with my lists I can make a difference in someone’s life or in their life choices

Reading list
Reading list (Photo credit: jakebouma)

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Then again, maybe it’s just another excuse to make a new list! I want to think I have a higher goal in mind. So with that, here is my list of lists. They are always going to be changing. After all I’m not done with my life and new adventures.

1.) 10 best friends I ever had……I never had a lot of friends at one time. The ones I do (or did) have I consider life long friends. Maybe it’s time to remember those friends and if I can find them again tell them Thank You for being there when I needed them.

2.) 5 best books/movies/TV series in my lifetime……This one may not be as simple as I think. I have read lots of great books. There are many really good movies. As for TV series, I don’t watch much TV so that one might be harder.

3.) 10 people who most helped me in my life…..I’ve met any number of people. Some I was glad to leave. Others I was sorry to leave. There are some who knowingly or not have helped me through this journey of life so far. This one is easy to predict that the list will either change or grow longer.

4.) 5 best things I’ve ever made…….I’ve always been “crafty”, so I think I could come up with a pretty good list for this one. Of course later on down the road I want to be able to add “novel” to this list!

5.) 10 most memorable places I visited……I’m thinking this list does not have to be elaborate. It can be a neighbors living room. Or another state or country. This list will be pretty flexible.

6.) 5 best days in my life…..Now this list might not be as easy as I hope. If I had kids, sure that would definitely be a day for the books. Think I will really have to ponder on this one.

7.) 10 things that gave me most pleasure……Oh now, this could get interesting! (snicker)

8.) 5 best gifts anyone ever gave me……I haven’t had many tangible gifts given to me. So this one should include the intangible also.

9.) 5 best posts on my blogs……..I think I snuck this one in just because I wanted to pat myself on the back! 🙂 Now this one will most definitely change with time, because I plan to keep getting better.

10.) 10 Things I wish I had done but didn’t……..we all have some regrets. I’m hoping it takes me a long time to think of 10 things for this list. I have a feeling it might not.

Those are my 10 lists of lists. What do you think? Have any ideas on a list? I would love to hear them! Maybe you would like to make these lists for yourself, please do! Let me know when you get them done!

 

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

The What If’s of Life

Have you ever played the “what if’s”. You know,  someone asks you what if questions, and you try to answer them. They can be humorous, serious or just strange. A friend and I used to play the game when I was younger.  We would both come up with 10 “what if” questions and we had a day to answer them.

 

 

Question Mark Graffiti
Question Mark Graffiti (Photo credit: Bilal Kamoon)

 

We would write them down on a piece  of paper or later on in an email and have a fun time answering them. It was also a way to get to know each other even better. It was a fun game, a thought-provoking game. So I decided I would like to play the game with you my dear readers. Now I know 10 questions would probably be too many to answer. So instead I’m going to change the rules just a little. I will post below 10 “What If” questions. You answer just one. Any one you wish. Write your answer in the comment box. You can also come up with a What If question to ask me!

 

1. What if……..you could be invisible for one day? What would you do?

 

2. What if…….you could live anywhere. Where would you live and why?

 

3. What if…..you could travel back in time, where would you go?

 

4. What if…. you were at home at night alone and you heard a noise in your flat/house that seemed to be footsteps? Would you stay calm or would you panic?

 

5. What if…… you could be famous (a household name), what would you like to be famous for?

 

6. What if…… only one book existed (a true nightmare!), which book would you like it to be?

 

7. What if……. you could change one thing that you did that was bad, perhaps a crime or some wrong you did to another person, what would it be?

 

8. What if…..you were given a choice to live as long as you want, how long would you like to live?

 

9. What if…..you were down on your luck, would you seek the advice of a palm reader?

 

10. What if……you received lottery tickets as a gift at the office party, and you won $30,000.00, would you share the winnings with the person that gave you the gift?

 

There you have it. Answer just one question! I’m would love for you to play along. 🙂

 

 

 

  • English: logo the answer Português: logo the a...
    English: logo the answer Português: logo the answer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

The State of my Blog

I  was sitting here reading the blog’s I  follow and the Freshly  Pressed blogs and enjoying each one. Everyone seems like they know what they are doing, where they want their blog to go and what they want to say. Then  I began thinking of my blog(s) and where I was going with them. I’m pretty new at blogging. I’ve heard about it for years, of course. But am an utter newbie at doing the blog thing myself.

My first blog I had strong views on what I wanted from it. I wanted a blog  that dealt with food, and how eating healthier was  beneficial. I had just found out I had a wheat intolerance. It’s not as bad as Celiac’s disease, but close. I could not tolerate food made with wheat. I had been sick for a long time and the doctor couldn’t figure out what was causing it. So I did a lot of research and came away with “wheat intolerance”.

I’ve since changed my diet drastically and within a month my health has improved significantly. I  wanted to help other people who wanted to go gluten-free like myself, thus my blog was born. I have enjoyed the challenge of trying to find  gluten-free recipes while traveling the world via the internet. I  believe my readers have enjoyed the recipes also. I also  believe my  blog Change is Good….Right?? has gone on the route I wanted it to go on.

Wheat?
Wheat? (Photo credit: « Jonny Boy »)

Upon re-reading my posts on this blog I find myself all over the map so to speak. I have some original short stories, a bunch of stories on my life, Daily Press challenges and just some “off the cuff” writings. Ack! I’m all over the place! With this blog it’s like I don’t settle for just one type of blog, I’ve got a whole damn smorgasbord going on here! And I’m just not sure that’s a good thing.

Way, way in the back of my mind I have a glimmer of what I want this blog to eventually be.  Because when I look back at  the posts I seem to be heading in the direction of memorist writing. I do have a lot of stories to tell, but do I really want to limit myself? Is it okay to have a blog that jumps around in its writing? Would people even care?? Should I care if people care?? See, even my mind is going ping, ping….pong!

I’ve read different online articles and blogs dealing with this issue, but even they aren’t all in agreement. Some say just be yourself and blog  what you want. Some say find a niche and fill it.

I started this blog because  I have  always had a love of the written word. I love to write! And when I named  this blog “To Breath is to Write”, I meant every word. Also, I started this blog to see IF I could write things interesting enough that people wanted to read what I was saying.  I am even working on a novel  which is my current WIP. And this blog is a way of winding up or down in my writing depending on my mood.

So in the end I guess this blog is my test site and (forgive  me), you dear readers are my guinea pigs. But I say this in love only. One thing I have found on my journey in the world of blog  is that it’s subjects are friendly, welcoming and always helpful. They want each other to succeed in whatever they set out to do with their blog. And I need that in my writing, I need your support and forgiveness in my stumbling ways.  You have all given me that and more and I thank you.

Now I just have to figure out what the heck I’m doing!

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

Sounds That Move Me

The weekly Daily Press challenge is to write about sounds. What sounds are your favorite.       What sounds  stir you. What memories do these sounds conjure up. I had  to really sit and think about this. Sounds are usually taken for granted. Sounds of the city, the country, the weather. There are all sorts of sounds coming from every direction.

 

 

Sometimes I have to concentrate to listen to my favorite sounds. Like the birds outside chirping and singing. Those are one of my favorite sounds. To me it’s very relaxing. Or it can be very lively and uplifting. I remember when I was living in Texas, every morning I had a male mockingbird sit right outside my bedroom window. He would go through his whole repertoire of songs for  me each morning. I just loved it.

 

Thunderstorm

 

Then there is the Thunderstorm! Ah, it has got to be one of my top 2 sounds. I love a good thunderstorm. From the beginning rumbles from far away. The rain gently beating a tattoo on the roof. The wind whipping the rain against the windows. And the smell, it was like my little piece  of the world was washed clean. The smell of wet earth, wet wood, of fresh green grass. A few bright flashes of lightning. Then the sharp clap of thunder right over the house! The feeling of excitement as it rumbled on for what seemed like forever. Then the silence as it ended, deep and dark.

 

 

My most favorite sound has got to be when I walk through the forest. The breeze playing through the leaves in the trees, as they talk to each other gently. The sound of crickets and grasshoppers as their back legs rub out a tune. The birds chirping and singing a song of beauty and peace. The bees buzzing as they fly past me heading to some unknown flower.

 

The leaves underfoot rustling with a dusty sound as my feet shuffle down a barely seen path.  The air fresh and new. The smell of grass and sunshine  floating gently, surrounding me  in a fragrance that call their own. With a hawk’s cry overhead, piercing in its intensity. Letting all who hear it know that it’s on the hunt for  some small furry creature. The loud “CAW, CAW, CAW!” of a crow or black bird as it sits in a nearby tree watching my every step.

As I walk I hear the stream, water rushing over gleaming wet rocks. The sound of small waves hitting the shoreline. Rushing in and out. I can almost hear the coldness of the water as it splashes down its watery way. It greets me like a long lost friend, gurgling it’s hello! This to me is peace,  love and  the hope that my world will be all right. For me, these sounds are home, security and where I will always want to be.

 

Bird - Blue Jay
Bird – Blue Jay (Photo credit: blmiers2)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, writing

A Challenge!

I received an email from a good friend  yesterday. She issued me a challenge, and not one to  turn down a challenge, I of course accepted. (Which she knew I would!) I also thought it would be fun. So, here’s the challenge.

Go to google.com  and type in “royalty free pictures” for the search. Choose a picture from that search and write a story about it. Simple, right? Well yes and no. Some of the pictures that came up in that search were quite good. Some,  terrible. So below is the picture I choose. The story took a few more grey cells to produce.

As I am a great believer in sharing, I’d like to share this challenge with my dear readers. So, I am challenging YOU to do the same as I did. Choose the same picture or choose a different one. Using the “royalty free pictures” search makes it an even playing ground for us all, plus no one gets in trouble using royalty free photos. Write a story or poem about the picture. Then challenge your friends and readers!

Let me know what you thought about my little story. I’m always interested in what you have to say! And if you accept this challenge let me know, I would love to read what you wrote about the picture you chose!

Here’s the photo I choose.

courtesy of http://www.squidoo.com/royalty-free-bird-photos

Mr. Red was always on the hunt for great feeders. He flew around all day just stopping by feeders to see what was in them, how fresh they were, and to take a little taste. That was his job. He took great pride in his job. For his flock it was of great importance. Because of Mr. Red the flock always knew where the best feeders were and they never went hungry. This was especially important in winter time, when food was scarce.

Today he found a wonderful feeder. There was even suet!  “This human knows how to treat his feathered friends”, thought Mr. Red.

Mr. Red hopped around keeping an eye out for danger. Just like his daddy Big Mr. Red taught him. He came from a long line of Mr. Reds’. It was a family tradition to become the Feed Finder of the flock.  Mr. Red’s daddy always taught him to hop around the feeder for a while, to make sure there were no cats around!  Cats were the natural enemies of his flock and unless the cat had a bell on it was hard to spot them till it was too late.

Hopping around seeking out danger was hard work! So Mr. Red tasted some more of that delicious suet. Looking around the yard  he didn’t see anything that looked like danger. But, a red bird couldn’t be too careful. It’s not like they blended in to the environment thought Mr. Red. They  stood out like little red beacons.

Mr. Red felt safe. He didn’t sense any danger. All though he kept hearing these strange clicking sounds. He knew the human was standing off to the side watching him. He also had a strange little box like thing he kept putting to his face. But, he didn’t feel like he was in danger from the human or his strange little clicking box. Humans  liked Mr. Red and his flock. They smiled whenever Mr Red showed up. Sometimes he couldn’t help but hop around and show off for the humans. They seemed to like this a lot when he did.

He heard his flock off in the distance. It was time to  go and find them, so he could show them the way to this feeder. Mr. Red just knew this was going to be a special feeder this winter.  It would always be full of fresh seed, and there would always be a yummy suet hanging not far away.  So off he went. When he came to his flock he told them all about the feeder and suet. He also  told them about the human and his clicking box, but told them there was nothing to fear. The flock was excited to see this wonderful feeder and taste the fresh seed!

So off they all flew towards the yard with the feeder. Mr. Red proudly leading the way. Knowing tomorrow he would be on another adventure to find more seed, because a red bird could never have too much seed.

Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

The Summers of My Youth

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer….
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A perfect summer day

 

From the age of twelve till the age of sixteen, summers were magical and free. My parents owned a summer cottage in upper Wisconsin. Near the forest, on the water. They would send me, my younger brother and my older sister away from the big city, and there we were to spend the summer by ourselves!

It was a time of freedom. A time to be able to read all day if I wanted. Which many times I did. My sister is only 2 years older than me but she was always a very responsible young lady. Not to say we always got along, because as all siblings do, we fought sometimes. But, we always forgave each other quickly and stayed the best of friends.

Those summers were paradise. There weren’t many people around at that time. There were lots of places to explore. Large oak, beech, aspen and pine trees  to lay under and dream of worlds of long ago or far away. My imaginary friends and  foes were gallant and strong, or cowardly and villainous. They were all what I wanted them to be.

That first year we spent alone at the cottage was a little  frightening as it was the first time  being so much on our own. Of course at the time we never knew  that everyone that lived up there were watching over us. That was my parents little secret. Even  the owner of the tiny grocery store quarter of a mile away was watching over us. My parents gave my sister money so we could buy groceries and snacks. The store owner would suggest things for us to buy and tell us how to fix it. Thinking back, I suppose that was to make sure we didn’t live on  ice cream and cookies, or Spaghetti O’s!  We all felt so grown up.

At the time none of us thought about the fact that our parents put so much trust in us. They trusted us to do what needed to be done, like washing the dishes every day to keeping the cottage clean and orderly. And they trusted us not to hurt each  other. For two months we had only ourselves to rely on. (Or so we thought)

I loved those summers. The first one I remember being at first scared, then excited about having the freedom of traipsing all over the country side. Being able to stay up for as long as I wanted. Which we did the first week, then I got into the habit of going to bed at a reasonable time so I could be up at the crack of dawn. I loved those mornings the best. When I would get up and dressed  then go down to the pier  and watch the mist float over the water. The quiet would only be broken by the call of the Loon. It’s eerie and beautiful wail would echo across the water. It was the most magical time of the day. My imagination would make floating dancers, stalking Indians, gossamer winged fairies out of that mist.

My brother and I would catch harmless grass snakes, frogs and interesting bugs by the waters edge. I was such a tomboy that snakes and bugs didn’t bother me. I always made sure my brother let them go at the end of the day. I never wanted to feel responsible for the death of one of these creatures. I always had a soft heart for them.

My parents would come up every other weekend. They both worked and so unless they had vacation that was the only time they got. They would ask us how things were going and we would tell them of our adventures. It wasn’t until much later in life that we learned that out parents were quite proud of us and our independence.

I will never forget those few summers of freedom. I always  had a grand time and felt sad at going home  and back to another year of school. After my sister got married when she was 19 those summers stopped. There was too much chaos and trouble for a few years for me to go back. And my parents didn’t feel safe in letting me stay by myself for that length of time.

I have my memories. Of times of freedom and joy. Of times that I could just be who I was. Of times that I could dream and imagine. That I could just be a child of nature.

Day Dreams

 

What we remember from childhood we remember forever – permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.  ~Cynthia Ozick

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

Wow! 3 Awards in a Week!

I’ve been nominated for another award!!! I am just so overwhelmed! I never expected  to win anything. Never thought about it. Then bam! Three this week!

I want to thank tiny lessons blog for nominating me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. She has a wonderful blog. She writes about a little of everything and everything she writes is well worth reading. Please go and visit her site. You’ll enjoy it!

Now, I’m supposed to say 7 new things about my self. Geez I did that on the other awards!    I am just not that interesting! 😉  But I will be a good sport and try to do it. I’m also suppose to nominate 7 other blogs for the award. There are just so many wonderful blogs out there. I will have to put my noggin to work. Ok, here we go again!

1. I love storms. The more violent the better! I’ve been in at least 4 or 5 tornadoes and thought they were more exciting than scary. Crazy me!

2. I hate spiders. Yuck! They are creepy with all those legs and stuff.

3. I’m allergic to dust. And yet my house need dusting. Go figure 🙂

4. I love to dance. I dance all over the house. When no one is looking of course!

5. I have worked at various jobs through out my adult life. I’ve been a secretary, retail clerk, personal assistant, worked in an Antique Mall and have been self-employed.  I have always learned new things with each job.

6. My favorite flower is  the Iris. I love the color purple and the shape of the flower is so different than other flowers.

7. Since I was young I have wanted a pet dragon!

Now I nominate the following blogs:

1. http://candaceknoebel.wordpress.com/ she has a great book ready to be published. A very talented writer.

2. http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/ this blog will blow  your mind on all the places to  visit and all the things to  do. Lesley is so  helpful also. Go  visit and get ready to travel!

3. http://bakerbettie.com/ Bettie has the most beautiful food blog. The pictures alone will make you drool. Her recipes are easy to follow and always delish!

4. http://madeforvictory.com/ Victoria  will inspire  and impress you with her passion and her writings.

5. http://photonatureblog.com/ Jeffrey’s photos will take your breath away!  I am always wanting to paint something of his. Take a look at beautiful photography!

6. http://novicejournal.wordpress.com/ Ray is a wonderful writer and photo taker. Visit her blog  and enjoy!

http://texanaskitchen.com/ Christine is a real Foodie. Take a look, and you will come away with some great recipes and Texas attitude.

These are all great  blogs. Hope you visit them.

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

Imagination Has No Age

When I was young I had all sorts of friends. Big friends, little friends, furry friends, ones with wings and feathers, tails and claws. They were all so different, yet they all loved me as I loved them.  Made of wisps of winds, dewdrops and rainbows. They were the best friends a young girl could have.

adolescence
adolescence (Photo credit: imago)

A little older I had other friends. Dragons, witches,  warlocks, elves. Also wolves, tigers, unicorns and fairies. They were mythical friends from lands that were magical and wonderous. They lived in trees and flowers, under bushes of green. In great caves filled with crystals  and light. They talked and laughed and told me stories of great delight.

Then my teen years came and with them I  had other friends. Ones that made me think and ponder. They filled me with hopes and dreams of lands far away. Made  me want to learn new languages and dream  bigger dreams. They asked me questions which I had to deeply think of answers to. They wanted me to seek more and more of things I did not know.

Then came later friends. Friends who were mysterious and full of secrets. Friends who made me question myself, yet made me stronger. Friends who gave me life riddles to find answers to.  Friends who helped shape me into a person who always finds the answers to questions  she didn’t even know existed. They were friends that kept me whole and sane when my world was insane and full of chaos.

Now, all my friends have converged into a ring of familiarity.  One of love and acceptance. They have all played a part in shaping  how I think and what I do. They all have shown me that my mind is made of great things. They have taught me that my imagination is my greatest friend of all. Even though all my friends were born out of  that imagination does not make them less. It makes them more.

When I put words in my writings. When I have ideas and create  worlds that are new and different, I give silent thanks to ALL my friends. My imaginary friends. The ones that are with me still,  because Imagination has no age.

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

Listening to the Rain

It was raining when I got up this morning. Outside was dark, the clouds rolling in with distant thunder, heard faintly. I fixed my first cup of coffee and settled in my favorite chair in front of the patio doors. The big old apple tree was drinking up the  rain drops thirstily. The leaves fluttered slightly in the breeze. The red and green apples washed of dust in the dim morning light.

 

I sat back and took a sip of hot fragrant coffee. Sam, my little Shih Tzu buddy laying at my feet. The cats hiding under the couch because of the rumbling in the  distance. They have always hated the thunder. The morning quiet, except for the plop- plop of fat rain drops landing on  the patio doors. It was peaceful.

Then the hail came, small pea sized pellets bouncing off the wood planks of the patio floor. Not a lot.  But enough to make me worry about  my cucumber patch in the garden. I gave a  little sigh, disliking the tiny disturbance in my perfect morning. I took another sip of coffee, settled more firmly in my chair and  let the small worry pass.

Lost in thought I watched a small raindrop travel down the glass pane of the door. Slowly it zig zagged its way to the bottom.  My thoughts jumped here and there and never settled on one thing.  I had a lot to do, but was enjoying the rain  and the peace too much to move. I was re-charging. Letting the silence settle into my soul.  It felt good, sitting there and listening to  the rain.

 

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

For The Love of Stationery

I suppose some people  might think it’s strange to write  about stationery.  Not me. I  love stationery. The really fancy stuff. The kind that you almost don’t want to write on because it’s like little pieces of art. I  have always loved these bits  of paper. Not only because I love the written word and writing them, but the artistic side of me loves the art printed on them.

 

(via wikipedia) Originally the term stationery referred to all products sold by a stationer, whose name indicates that his book shop was on a fixed spot, usually near a university, and permanent, while medieval trading was mainly peddlers (including chapmen, who sold books) and others (such as farmers and craftsmen) at non-permanent markets such as fairs. It was a special term used between the 13th and 15th centuries in the manuscript culture. The Stationers’ Company formerly held a monopoly over the publishing industry in England and was responsible for copyright regulations.

 

The usage and marketing of stationery is a niche industry that is increasingly threatened by electronic media. Like paper printed books, stationary is in danger of becoming something  of the past. Which makes me sad. Writing thank you notes, or letters are becoming a lost art due to the emails and electronic media where you can write a note and send it off via the internet.

 

I personally believe there should be a revival of these lost arts. I still think people get a thrill when they receive a note or letter in the mail box. Addressed to them, for their personal pleasure. I know I do. And I very rarely get anything in the mail box but bills.

 

Stationery can come in so many styles. The most familiar of these techniques are letterpress printing, embossing, engraving, and thermographic printing (often confused with thermography). Flat printing and offset printing are regularly used, particularly for low cost or informal needs.

Letterpress is a printing method that requires characters being impressed upon the page. The print may be inked or blind but is typically done in a single color. Motifs or designs may be added as many letterpress machines use movable plates that must be hand-set.

Embossing is a printing technique used to create raised surfaces in the converted paper stock. The process relies upon mated dies that press the paper into a shape that can be observed on both the front and back surfaces.

Example of an embossed design
Example of an embossed design (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Engraving is a process that requires a design to be cut into a plate made of a relatively hard material. It is a technology with a long history and requires significant skill and experience. The finished plate is usually covered in ink, and then the ink is removed from all of the un-etched portions of the plate. The plate is then pressed into paper under substantial pressure. The result is a design that is slightly raised on the surface of the paper and covered in ink. Due to the cost of the process and expertise required, many consumers opt for thermographic printing, a process that results in a similarly raised print surface, but through different means at less cost.

Thermographic printing is a process that involves several stages but can be implemented in a low-cost manufacturing process. The process involves printing the desired designs or text with an ink that remains wet, rather than drying on contact with the paper. The paper is then dusted with a powdered polymer that adheres to the ink. The paper is vacuumed or agitated, mechanically or by hand, to remove excess powder, and then heated to near combustion. The wet ink and polymer bond and dry, resulting in a raised print surface similar to the result of an embossing process.

Maybe we can start a new trend. Writing notes to send through snail mail again. I will be the first to sign up! Who wants to join with me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, Stories of my life, writing

Elvira the Car

Ahhh, my first car. I remember it well. It was baby blue.  A mustang. Year 1974? The year I’m not sure of. It was a used car. I bought it from someone for $200 because it was an insurance write off from a hail storm. The body looked like hell, but boy could that car run! I loved that car.

I named her Elvira,  because I thought the name was cool, and truth be known I liked the character Elvira that would come on late at night. I have named every car since with the same name. I’m up  to Elvira #4. Unfortunately Elvira #4 is not as cool as the original. As #1 was a Mustang and #4 is a Mini Van. When did getting older translate into boring?

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was living in south Texas at the time of Elvira #1. In Victoria, close to the Gulf. Back then it was pretty open country with long stretches of road. Elvira loved going down those long stretches. She could hit 110 with no problem.

 

There was this one particular road that was long, but it was hilly. Like a  roller coaster ride. Now that was fun! My traveling companion was Max, a German Shepherd whose 140 pounds filled up the back  seat. He loved going on trips with me. He would bark at each and every electric pole. Believe me no one messed with me and Elvira with Max on the job.

One day I decided to take a country drive down that roller coaster. It was a beautiful spring day. Max was filling up the back seat as usual and I was jamming with the radio. Victoria at that time was a bit of a rough and tumble place to live. A lot of oil rigs, truckers and migrant  workers. So I was always on alert when traveling alone.

English: A German Shepherd dog Polski: Owczare...
English: A German Shepherd dog Polski: Owczarek niemiecki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On that day I just wanted a nice roller coaster run with Max. To get to that stretch of road I had to go through town and stop at a couple of stop lights. A big rig was behind me almost the whole way. Now, most truckers are nice,  friendly and polite. This particular trucker was an asshole.  He thought it would be fun to scare me. He saw a young woman alone in a ragtag vehicle and thought it would be fun to scare the crap out of  her. He would drive that big 18 wheeler as tight on the back end of Elvira as he could get without actually hitting  her. At the stops he would get so close a piece of paper wouldn’t fit between his front bumper and my back bumper.

Through the rear view mirror I could see him laughing! He thought he was scaring me. He wasn’t scaring me, he was just pissing me off. To him Elvira looked like she was ready for the junk heap. I knew what was under her dented and rusted hood. Pure power. I also knew that 18 wheeler would have to shift gears to get up that hilly road. It was a two lane highway. No passing zone all the way.

So I played along with this trucker’s sick  humor. Until I got to that hilly road. The first hill I zoomed up pretty fast, it was just a small one. That trucker would let me pull ahead a bit before he closed in again. The next hill was even bigger. So I slowed down, just enough to make him shift gears. He wasn’t smiling so much then. I let him catch up again. And once again he got as  close to my bumper as he could get. For good measure he let loose his air horn. I guess he thought that was intimidating. It wasn’t.

We closed in on the next hill and once again I slowed way down. I knew he had to shift gears to get up that hill. I stayed just enough in front of that big truck that he couldn’t catch up. A few more times  of this he was good and mad. I had traveled that road many times and I knew we were coming up to a stretch of road that had no hills. I was also sure that he was aware of that fact too.  I suspected  he was going to try to scare me really good on that stretch. I also was pretty sure that he wasn’t going to get the chance. I knew what Elvira could do. That trucker didn’t.

Sure enough, on that straight stretch that trucker got his rig up and going and he was coming on fast! I let him get about 6 feet behind me, and from the rear view mirror his face was one of anger and meanness. I stepped on the gas and Elvira didn’t let me down! We were doing 100 in no time at  all. Zoooommmm!!!! We left that trucker eating our dust!

I turned onto a side road as soon as I knew that trucker could no longer see us. I sat and waited till I saw him pass. Wow,  the look on his face was priceless! I was laughing and Max was barking. Elvira, well she was purring. I turned her towards home and gave her a good wash and shine later that day. She may not have looked like a fine, fast lady. But she  proved she was class all the way!

Posted in nonfiction, Uncategorized, writing

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

I’m sure that you have seen that saying floating around cyber space lately. I know I have. But it’s true. Think about it. Through out history, the women who made history was not  considered “properly behaved” women for the times.

I for one don’t want to be a properly behaved woman. I want to make history. But I’m thinking I won’t be one of those women you read about in history books. I will be one of those that changed things quietly on the sidelines. Just doing what I love doing. Stirring up shit  Writing, and doing my very best to live life to the fullest.

Now, we have all heard about Amelia Earhart,  Cleopatra,  Hillary Clinton or Condoleezza Rice to name a few. Women who have made the history books. But, what about those women who have extraordinary talents and are little known? I  decided they needed to be mentioned and applauded for what they have contributed to our society  and history.

I found some fascinating women in history. The first one has become close to my heart because she was Native American. I am half Native American. Her name was:

Lozen. According to my research Lozen was born into the Chihenne band of the Chiricahua Apache in the early 1800’s. From the 1840s through the 1870s, Lozen fought alongside Geronimo and her brother Victorio, participating in war councils, ambushes of Mexican soldiers, and territorial battles with American settlers and soldiers such as the Battle of Apache Pass, the massacre at Cibecue and countless other struggles. Lozen’s older brother Victorio is quoted as saying, “Lozen is my right hand . . . strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy, Lozen is a shield to her people.”

Geronimo, Chiricahua Apache leader. Photograph...
Geronimo, Chiricahua Apache leader. Photograph by Frank A. Rinehart, 1898. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She had what the Apaches called “Power,” supernatural abilities on the battlefield and in spiritual communication. Lozen also fought beside Geronimo after his breakout from the San Carlos reservation in 1885, in the last campaign of the Apache wars. With the band pursued relentlessly, she used her Power to locate the enemies, the U. S. and Mexican calvaries. According to Alexander B. Adams in his book Geronimo, “She would stand with her arms outstretched, chant a prayer [to Ussen, the Apaches’ supreme deity], and slowly turn around.”

Upon this earth
On which we live
Ussen has Power
This Power is mine
For locating the enemy.
I search for that Enemy
Which only Ussen the Great
Can show to me.

(From Eve Ball’s In the Days of Victorio)

“By the sensation she felt in her arms, she could tell where the enemy was and how many they numbered,” according to Adams.

Taken into U. S. military custody after Geronimo’s final surrender, Lozen traveled as a prisoner of war to confinement at the Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama. Like many other Apache warriors, she died there of tuberculosis sometime after 1887, her life a validation of the respected place women held among the Apaches.

GERTRUDE BELL, RENAISSANCE WOMAN (1868-1926)

Bell was born in Washington Hall, County DurhamEngland – now known as Dame Margaret Hall – to a family whose wealth enabled her travels. She is described as having “reddish hair and piercing blue-green eyes, with her mother’s bow-shaped lips and rounded chin, her father’s oval face and pointed nose”.

She was an archaeologist, a linguist and the greatest woman mountaineer of her age. And in Baghdad in 1921 she drew the boundaries of the country that became Iraq.  “I had a well-spent morning at the office making out the southern desert frontier of the Iraq,” she wrote to her father on December 4 1921.

Despite being a brilliant scholar, archaeologist, mountaineer and linguist, she also found time to be a leading figure for the anti Suffragette Movement (perhaps bizarrely saying if women were still interested in housework, why should they get the vote). In a Victorian era that stifled Women’s role in society, she proved a fearless traveller spending many years crossing the deserts of Arabia and befriending the Arab people. Even though the Arabic princes were unaccustomed to a women playing such a pivotal role in politics they generally warmly accepted her and she in turn felt part of their culture.

Bell briefly returned to Britain in 1925, and found herself facing family problems and ill-health. Her family’s fortune had begun to decline due to the onset of post-World War I worker strikes in Britain and economic depression in Europe. She returned to Baghdad and soon developed pleurisy. When she recovered, she heard that her younger brother Hugo had died of typhoid. On 12 July 1926, Bell was discovered dead, of an apparent overdose of sleeping pills. There is much debate on her death, but it is unknown whether the overdose was an intentional suicide or accidental since she had asked her maid to wake her.

Molly Elliot Seawell (October 23, 1860, Gloucester, Virginia – November 15, 1916, Washington, D. C.) was an American writer.

English: Molly Elliot Seawell 1860-1916
English: Molly Elliot Seawell 1860-1916 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She was born as Mary Elliot Seawell into one of the older families of English language-speaking North America and one of the first families of Virginia. Her father was John Tyler Seawell, a lawyer and orator and a nephew of President of the United States John Tyler. Her mother (Tyler’s second wife), Frances Elizabeth Jackson Seawell, was a native of Baltimore whose father, Major William Jackson, had fought in the War of 1812.

Molly Elliot Seawell was the author of forty books, including regional fiction, romances, books for boys (primarily nautical stories), and nonfiction. She also penned political columns for newspapers in Washington, D.C., and New York.

The death of her father when she was twenty prompted Seawell, her mother, and her younger sister, Henrietta, to move from Gloucester to Norfolk and later to Washington, D.C. Either in Norfolk or in Washington Seawell began her literary career in earnest. She wrote first under pen names, including the patrician “Foxcroft Davis”—for her novels Mrs. Darrell and The Whirl—and the Russian “Vera Sapoukhyn.” She first used her real name for the publication of her short story “Maid Marian” in 1886, a tale she later dramatized for actress Rosina Vokes. Her first novel, Hale-Weston, published in 1889, was widely read and translated into German.

With the publication in 1890 of the prize-winning Little Jarvis, Seawell began a commercially successful series of popular books for boys, often sea stories, influenced by her uncle, Joseph Seawell. Typical of the period in which they were written, the books are not patronizing in tone or diction. Moreover, Twelve Naval Captains (1897) is said to have been used as a text at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

Seawell, whose health had been precarious for many years, died of cancer on November 15, 1916, a few weeks after her fifty-sixth birthday. She was a popular and widely read writer in her time, included at the beginning of the twentieth century in standard reference works on American writers and among the authors interviewed by the New York Times‘s Otis Notman, along with such notables as William Dean Howells, Jack London, and Theodore Dreiser. Her work was adapted for the stage and for three silent films: The Heart of Cerise (1915), The Sixteenth Wife (1916), and The Fortunes of Fifi (1917).

Seawell represents the end of one generation of independent and self-reliant, though socially and politically conservative, southern women, and her story provides the background for the emergence of modern women.

That’s just 3 of the fascinating women I found during my research. There are many more that have done great things  for their  times but are largely forgotten or overshadowed by others. I believe these women need to be brought fourth into the light as examples on how “Well behaved women rarely make history”.