Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Saturday, December 28, 2013
Many of you may have noticed that I have been missing in action over the holidays. My husband and children are all home enjoying the time together. Because of that, finding time to write or even get online is usually practically impossible. Either my son is playing computer games or my husband is on Google searching for something.
I had thought of waiting to post until my brood goes back to school and work after the New Year and then was surprised by the publication of this E book as a Christmas present to all associated with the project and group. A big thank you to Vidya Sury for her dedication and hard work to make this volume possible.
It is simply to cool to not share now and any writer knows being published is a cause for celebration and excitement and deserves to be acknowledged. I am so proud to have one of my stories published in this exquisite collection. So without further ado, I invite you to click on the cover of the book in the side bar to be taken to the publication “The Write Tribe Anthology Book 1”. Enjoy!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This was written for this week’s Trifextra prompt. Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol, wrote “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” You have exactly 33 words to make us laugh out loud and spread some festive cheer.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Friday, December 13, 2013
Thursday, December 12, 2013
It hasn’t always been that way. While I have never been out of the country except for a rare excursion inside the Canadian borders to simply say I had been there, all of my trips have been inside the United States. While growing up my family took trips to Disney World in Florida a total of 3 times. We took a trip to the mountains of Colorado when I was about 13 and another trip to explore the Wisconsin Dells. We explored all the hot spots along the way because we always went by car. I have never traveled any other way.
From the time I was about 11 until my mother’s death when I was 24, my mom and I went on the road a lot to see the Oak Ridge Boys. It was a load of fun and I got to see a lot of the country following their bus. My mom was simply addicted to them. If they were within a 24 hour drive away from the house we went…happily. Most weekends and every school vacation were devoted to road trips, concerts, and visits to the beach if the weather cooperated. If they were anywhere close, and even sometimes if they weren’t we went. The Oak Ridge Boys, Band, and Crew became like family to me. It was nice having that many “big brother” types about. We traveled along the east coast, in the south, up north, and all over the Midwest with them. It was a lot of fun and I have amazing memories from those years that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thanks to Face Book, I still stay connected with them all as they continue to tour and I take care of my family.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
When I was little I remember loving my records and record player. I could spend hours listening to music. One song played right after another. I would dance. I would sing along. If I wasn’t playing music, my mother was and lots of it. Growing up my mom and I went to lots of concerts becoming great friends of many who made their life in the music industry. I even fancied at one point wanting more than anything to be part of that industry heading straight to Nashville, Tennessee to study music business at Belmont University following high school. I didn’t plan on becoming homesick or disillusioned, but I was and came home.
When I was about 10 I made up my mind that I wanted to play the piano that stood in the living room. My mom bought me music books and I began teaching myself. I learned to read music in class at school and applied that knowledge to my efforts at home. I would sit at the piano for hours playing every single song in every songbook one right after another. By the time I was in my 20’s I had mastered the classics and preferred playing them because they provided a challenge.
All through school I sang in the choir and loved it. When I left school I sang in the choir at church. Around that time I decided I wanted to take my music to the next level and decided to take piano lessons. I remember that first lesson. I took one of my favorite songbooks containing pieces composed by Bach and to my tutor’s amazement played almost perfectly the “Canon in D”. She taught me which fingers to use where and my playing was perfected. With her at my side I explored all the classical composers.
While growing up one of my main musical influences were the tight harmonies of the Oak Ridge Boys. From the age of about 11 years old on, my family spent almost every weekend and school holiday on the road with the Oak Ridge Boys. They became dear friends and like family. They were a significant part of my childhood and through them I met many other illustrious performers across genres in the music industry, attended music award shows, and had some amazing experiences making memories that I cherish to this day.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Food is a major part of any celebration. Whoever coined the phrase eat, drink, and be merry knew what they were talking about! With the gluttony of Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas just around the corner I am eagerly anticipating another big holiday meal. Since I am the cook, the extra work associated with preparing a huge feast is largely up to me.
Christmas is full of time honored traditions and rituals and what’s on the menu is no exception. Every year I bake a ham for dinner. There are an assortment of sides and usually a special dessert. One dish that has become a tradition is cheesy hash brown casserole. It is a dish I prepare every year which the whole family looks forward to with eager anticipation. It is that good! It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without it. No more than it would be New Year’s Eve without steaks on the grill with baked potatoes drizzled with cheese sauce. Holidays bring the plate of deviled eggs to the table and dessert. I rarely make dessert for the every day. Holiday meals demand it!! What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream?
So while food is a basic necessity needed to survive, it also plays a major role in our holiday celebrations because we like to eat, drink, and be merry. Where people gather there will always be food. Lots and lots of food!!
1 bag of frozen hash browns thawed
½ C butter melted
1 C sour cream
1 C French onion dip
2 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
½ C chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 C cornflakes
1/4 C butter melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix ½ cup butter, sour cream, French onion dip, cheese, soup, and onion in large baking dish. Add potatoes and toss to coat.
Melt ¼ cup of butter then add cornflakes. Toss to coat. Top potato mixture with the cornflake mixture.
Bake for 1 hour.
Sunday, December 8, 2013
There was a time period in my life when I chose to live in the past. As some of the most important people I had known passed from this world I wanted nothing more than to live in my memories where they still resided. I didn’t want to live in the now where they no longer were or think about a future where they would never be again. I clung to their earthly possessions and photographs as if they could somehow become the person I lost. I thought of them constantly and continually mourned.
Many writing prompts call for a person to delve into their pasts for inspiration. Countless times I have looked back into my memories of those long ago days to a time period where I experienced a depression so all-consuming it is a wonder that I lived to tell the tale at all. For years I went with the flow, drawing from those painful memories and reliving the past through those blog posts over and over again. It was depressing and I wondered who truly wanted to hear my sob story. Still it helped to write it because I was able to finally let the past go once and for all. Believe me when I say, I know about loss and pain. I know them both too well. While there are also many happy memories to sort through over the course of my life, I rarely take them out and dust them off and reminisce any more.
Still one of the best triggers for nostalgia is photographs and I have many. It is funny how simply looking at a photograph will trigger an onslaught of memories. Instantly you are transported back to that time when the picture was initially captured. You remember the circumstances. Past conversations and laughter echo and my heart strings are tugged. A tear of nostalgia wells in my eye. They make me smile. As my children get older occasionally I will see a glimmer of the babies they once were in their facial expressions and mannerisms and I pull out the old photos and reminisce about those days. Time marches on and the memories live in in a deep place in my heart. Every now and then, I take them out and dust them off and remember.
While most of the time I hate to dwell in the past, it is so important to remember the past to be able to understand the present and give direction to the future. It is important to know what got us to where we are today. No matter how much pain occurred, it happened for a reason so that wisdom and strength could be gained. Without it a person would never be able to move forward in life. I don’t think there would be anything worse than to be struck with Alzheimer’s like my Grandma was in later life and robbed of those precious memories with no earthly idea how you got to the place where you are. Memories make us who we are and shape our identity. Without them we become a lost soul wandering the world in a darkness that can only be imagined.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
This fictional story was written for the Write Tribe Wednesday writing prompt : Imagine you are digging in the ground in the backyard of your new home to create a vegetable patch and found a treasure chest.
The sun beat down on their backs as she watched her husband fire up the rototiller. “Can you remind me again why we are doing this?” she asked wanting more than anything to retreat indoors in the air conditioning with an ice cold Coca Cola and a good book. Anywhere cool would be preferable. It had to be almost 90 degrees. Okay, she was exaggerating to herself, but damn it was hot. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to buy vegetables than the planting, weeding, and picking that lay ahead with this method? Still her husband was determined to have a garden. Wonderful for him, he was on the road most of the time. It would be up to HER to do all the work after the planting. Still she would have the benefit of eating most of the produce this little adventure would yield.
Before long he was steadily making headway, the tines digging deeply into the freshly turned over soil as she looked on. He hadn’t progressed far when the rototiller came to an abrupt halt with a bang. “What the hell?” he cursed. He shut the engine down and moved the tiller to investigate. “Probably hit a damn rock. Go get a shovel…NOW!” He directed in frustration. Her mind went blank and her face must have registered her confusion. “It is in the barn!” He barked. She hurried off to do his bidding. He backed up the tiller and with shovel in hand attempted to remove what had halted his progress. They both bent down to investigate. It seemed to be the corner of something. He dug deeper, unearthing more, thoughts of flourishing tomato and pepper plants forgotten. Only unearthing the metal box mattered now. When the box was extracted, he pulled it out and opened it.
Inside they found stacks of hundred dollar bills. They glanced at each other, their shock evident on both their faces. “HOLY SHIT, this is huge! Hurry, let’s get it in the house before anyone sees!!!” They raced for the house carrying the heavy box between them like two excited little kids who just discovered Santa had been there. After counting the money three times, they still were in shock. After a while a smug look came across his face. “What?” she asked. “And you didn’t want to be bothered with a garden!” “I didn’t know it would grow 100 dollar bills, did I? I stand corrected. I guess gardening can be a good thing after all!”
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Sarah sifted through her mail pausing at one from an attorney. Curious, she tore it open quickly scanning the contents. Her dearly departed Aunt Millie had left her a small fortune, hooray! She mentally began spending the windfall as she read on. She must marry before her 25th birthday…tomorrow. Evil old bat!