Daily Blogging

What has been the hardest part about blogging daily?

I can honestly say that blogging daily has not been much of a challenge, but that’s because I have enjoyed the “excuse” to write every day. I also like having daily prompts to have a subject in which to write. Not knowing what to write was my biggest struggle in blogging, and since I have found several sites that offer daily prompts the biggest challenge has been overcome.

This is my second month of blogging daily, and I am considering the challenge again for the month of December. I had more of a challenge in October due to an unplanned trip out of town when David’s grandma passed away, but I was still able to work around that thanks to laptops and wireless internet. November had Thanksgiving, but I knew that was coming, so I wrote some of those posts early in case we were busy with family and friends. We were on the go most of the time, so it was handy to have those written.

I have enjoyed practicing my writing skills and getting my thoughts out in words. I have always enjoyed writing, especially my thoughts. I seem to be able to express my feelings much easier in writing than verbally. I’ve heard that’s an introvert thing because writing allows us to think about what we want to say, as well as editing before it’s official.

These last two months have also presented me with a few more writing ideas. January is National Mentoring Month, and I am a firm believer that mentoring relationships are incredibly important. I plan to write a series for the month of January on mentoring and how it has affected my lives and the lives of others. If your life has been shaped by mentoring (either as a mentor or the one being mentored), I’d love to hear your story! I’m also looking for other writers and bloggers to write a guest post that month, as well.

I’ve also considered other writing styles, like writing a short story and possibly ideas for a book. I have put these aside in the past for several reasons, but I’m beginning to feel the desire to seek them again. I have a few ideas in my head that I am working through but nothing is officially planned yet. I’m constantly inspired by the writing of others around me.

So the last day of the month brings me with so many writing ideas and plans that I don’t know what I’m going to do next. NaBloPoMo has suggested writing prompts again for the month of December, and I also found a pretty awesome blog called The Daily Post that offers a daily writing prompt, a weekly photo challenge for writing, as well as ways to expand and grow your writing. I’m pretty sure that I am going to participate in one or both of these and continue to write daily, as it’s very therapeutic for me to get the words out of my head and into some format, whether it be blogging on the internet or writing in my journal.

Would writing every day for a month be a challenge for you? What do you get out of writing? 

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

No Room in the Inns, Part II

Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.

Yesterday I started the story about the worst trip that I ever took. If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, then go read it now and come back.

Yesterday’s cliff hanger was left with my brother and me going from hotel to hotel in Chicago looking for a room. I can’t even remember how many places we checked, but I know we were nearing ten, if not more. We did find a Super 8 who had a room for $125! Seriously? A Super 8 for that much? Ah, we kept looking.

We finally found a small motel a fair bit away from the convention center that had available rooms. YAY! The lobby smelled like curry, appeared to be run by a family and the place needed some updating, but at least the room was under $100. We were tired, and we settled. This is where is all started going wrong.

Typically unless you request a room with a King-sized bed, you get a room with two Double beds, right? Not at the Garden Inn and Suites on Mannheim Road in Franklin Park, IL (no, not the HILTON Garden Inn). My brother and I got to the room to find a single King-sized bed and a dumpy sofa across the room. I went back downstairs to ask if we could be moved to another room and was told it would cost me $20 more a night. What?!?! Ugh! I figured they just didn’t want to deal with me, and I really didn’t want to give them $40 more for the two nights we were planning to stay there. Besides, Matthew is my brother. We slept in the same bed plenty of times when we were young kids, right? Also, I was not about to have Matthew sleep on the horrible sofa in the room. I didn’t even want to sit on it!

Little did I know that when I returned to the room, I would find out that we also needed another pillow since there was only one in the room. Seriously? I went back downstairs and 15 minutes later they finally found another pillow for me. I don’t even want to know why it took so long for the guy to find one while I waited in the lobby for him to return.

Once settled into the room, Matthew was flipping through the channels while I was reading. I look up, and the TV was on a porn channel! Matthew?!?! The remote was one of those cheapo universal replacement remotes that only had Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down, Mute and Power. So yes, our TV had a porn channel that we had to flip past to channel surf.  I’m so glad that Matthew wasn’t a 4-year old.

The next day, we returned from a very long day of Chicago sightseeing to find that our room had not even been cleaned the whole day that we were gone. Why I was surprised is beyond me. I went back to the lobby to complain, and they said they would see if they could find someone to clean it in the next hour…or so. It was late, we were tired, and I was picturing them waking their grandma to go clean my room. I sighed and declined the offer. I did ask for more towels and toilet paper, which again took 15 minutes to get to me and once again I didn’t want to know why it took so long.

The room was dumpy, oddly shaped and in desperate need of some updates, but it served its purpose of providing us a place to sleep for two nights. It may have been the worst motel experience I’ve ever encountered, but it was BY FAR the most interesting experience, too.

I’m actually kind of surprised that they didn’t rent the room to us by the hour.

Have you had an “interesting” lodging experience? What’s your story?  

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

No Room in the Inns, Part I

Tell us about the worst trip you ever took.

One of the best trips that I have ever been on also contained the worst motel experience I have ever encountered. The year was 2008, and my divorce had been final for a little more than a month. I went in to work one day and decided that I needed some time off, so I scheduled vacation for the following week. I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go, but I knew I wanted to get out for a few days.

I’m not sure how it all came about, but I decided to go to Chicago. I had been to Chicago one other time in the summer of 2001 for a Pampered Chef convention when I was a consultant. I spent a few days in the Windy City being bused back and forth between the hotel and the convention center, but I never saw anything beyond the bus and hotel windows. My mom thought it was a terrible idea for me to go on this trip alone (despite me telling her that after my divorce, I just wanted to be free), so she made my brother go with me. In hindsight, it was a good idea, but you know how that goes.

We made several stops to and from Chicago and made a huge trip out of it that included Louisville, Dayton, Sikeston and Martin, but I’ll talk about those another time because those were the good parts. We’re here to talk about the worst part, right?

I made no/zero/zilch/nada reservations for this trip. I was going to be FREE, remember? We drove into Chicago in the evening, and headed toward the O’Hare area. My dad had suggested that we stay in that area and to avoid the Cicero/Midway area like the plague because he said it wasn’t the safest area in town.

I also knew I wanted to stay in an area near the train so that we wouldn’t have to drive into Chicago for tourist stuff and sightseeing, so we ended up in the Rosemont area. If you’re not familiar with the area (and I’m still not), there’s a convention center nearby that apparently drew in billions of people to the area who booked up all of the rooms in the nearby hotels.

What happened next? Read Part II of the story!

Have you ever been faced the possibility of having nowhere to stay when going out of town? 

Has your life been shaped by a mentor or have you been a mentor to someone else? Tell me about your experiences!

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Bravery When Ending a Relationship

What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

This question has been the most difficult for me this month, so far. I saw it in my list getting closer and closer, and I dreaded it. I actually considered finding another prompt for today, because the only thing that I could come up with felt…well, lame. I thought of all of the other things that others have done that is far beyond anything brave that I have done. Soldiers in war, police officers in a stand off, firefighters saving inhabitants, hostages, world leaders, cancer patients, and it goes on and on. I couldn’t help comparing myself to all of these other acts of bravery that are far beyond anything I can ever imagine encountering.

But this is my life. I can’t fault myself for situations I’ve never been in, chances I’ve never been faced with or careers that I didn’t attempt. I am often so guilty with comparing myself to others, and I let it get to me again with this prompt.

The bravest thing I have never done is telling my first husband that I wanted a divorce. It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Not brave at all! The fact is, it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my life. My ex husband and I got along well, but we weren’t meant to be married. We dated all through college, and it seemed like the most natural next step in our relationship. We rarely fought and arguments were more on the surface. But that was the problem. We DIDN’T fight and argue. We just pushed aside the issues and never dealt with them. We stopped being married and started being house mates for the last few years of our ten year marriage.

Five years ago this month, I made the decision that I couldn’t do it any more. It still took us six months to file for divorce, which we did together by printing out the documents and taking them to the clerk’s office together. No lawyers were involved, and we didn’t even go to court. Two months after filing, we got the official documents in the mail, and it was done. We sold our house and parted ways. Despite being amicable and knowing that I had made the right decision, it still wasn’t easy. Some days it’s still not easy.

I grew up in a conservative Christian home. Divorce was something that “other people” did. My ex husband’s parents split when he was young, but he didn’t believe that divorce was the easy way out. The fact remains that if we had continued with the relationship that we had for the last few years, we would have broken people. The facade of a happy, healthy, normal relationship had crumbled.

While my bravery that day five years ago might not compare to experiences others have faced, the decision was still something that took me several years to come to terms with before I finally concluded that we both needed to move on. I didn’t take the decision lightly but know that it was the best for both of us.

What brave experience have you encountered in your life? Have you ever made the difficult decision to end a relationship? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Multilingual

Do you speak more than one language?  How did you learn the additional languages?

While I can’t say that I SPEAK more than one language, I do know some Spanish. I took Spanish in high school and college. I know just enough to be able to understand most words on menus at Mexican restaurants and pick up words here and there on TV. I am NOT fluent enough to carry on a conversation with anyone who speaks Spanish on a regular basis. I’ve also never gone to a Spanish-speaking country to see just how well (or not well) I could get around with what little I understand.

I’ve thought about taking a Rosetta Stone course in Spanish to brush up on my skills, but holy cow have you seen the prices for those courses?!?! I’m sure they are well worth the cost if they work as well as I’ve heard, but I don’t have the disposable income to warrant such a purchase.

So for now, I’ll keep with the broken words that I understand and speak. Maybe one day what little knowledge I have will be handy.

What languages can you speak? Do you know them well enough to be fluent?

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Sunday Scribblings: Flood


On Sundays, I participate in Sunday Scribblings, a weekly writing prompt challenge. There are no rules within the challenge, however I am imposing the same rules that I follow for Five Minute Friday: Write for five minutes (or so). No editing, revising, or over thinking. Just write.

Today’s Topic: Flood

I have called Nashville home my entire life and have lived in or around Nashville all that time, with the exception of my 4 years spent in West Tennessee for college. I’m proud to be from Nashville and call it home, but a couple of years ago those feelings of pride increased ten fold.

Nashville experienced a huge flood in May 2010. I’ve heard it called a Hundred Year Flood and also a Five Hundred Year Flood. Whatever you call it, it’s one of those natural disasters that don’t occur often. Everyone in Middle Tennessee was affected in one way or another by the flood, whether it was your home or workplace flooded or even if it was just the roads that you take to get around were flooded and closed. I am thankful that no one really close to me had problems with their home being destroyed by the rising waters, but I am rare.

What makes me proud to be from Nashville now is how everyone in Nashville came together to help others out. We helped people we didn’t know and went well out of our way to make sure everyone was taken care of and received the help they need. The flood occurred around the same time as the huge oil spill in the Gulf, so the oil spill got more new coverage than the flood, but we were okay with that. We took care of our own.

The phrase, “We Are Nashville,” was born of the disaster that touched our lives in May 2010, and it speaks volumes of being a Nashvillian.

Read other Sunday Scribblings posts on the topic of ‘Flood’.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

What is the hardest word for you to say?

Elton John couldn’t have said it better in that line of his song: Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word.

It’s not easy to admit when we’re wrong, especially when the other person is right. It’s like we’ve lost a battle if we admit we’re wrong.

It’s not easy to admit when we’ve wronged someone. It’s embarrassing that we’ve done something to hurt another person.

However, when the tables were turned, don’t we feel better when someone admits to us that they were wrong, and they apologize? Saying I’m Sorry are the hardest most challenging words, but they are also the words that lead to a better road for everyone involved.

Pastor Pete wrote about this recently,

Why are these two words so problematic? One word… Pride.
There are few words that can change the bearing of a conversation, defuse anger, and convey the kind of healing power those two words can.

He nailed it! Pride keeps us from admitting when we’re wrong. We might not have been wrong on purpose, thinking all along that we were right. Being wrong isn’t always vengeful or mean-spirited. In fact, those times are probably more difficult to admit. Have you ever been so sure that something you’ve said was right only to find out that it wasn’t? Yeah, those times. However, admitting you’re wrong builds character and confidence that other people have in you. They will know that you take your words seriously and aren’t so arrogant that you always think you’re right. You know those people.

Think about this the next time pride takes over, and you fear saying you’re sorry. Most of all, see the situation from the other person’s perspective and think about how you would want to be treated if you were the one who was wronged.

What do you have difficulty saying? Have you ever needed to say you’re sorry but pride took over? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

30 Days of Thanksgiving

Originally today’s recommended blogging topic from BlogHer was When was the last time that you cried?  Why?

Maybe they didn’t think about it being Thanksgiving in the US or maybe they did think about it but didn’t want to exclude non-US bloggers. Either way, I didn’t feel that it was a good topic for Thanksgiving.

I’ll keep it simple today, as I am spending this day with my husband’s family in Detroit. Starting the first of November, I began posting on Twitter and Facebook something that I am thankful for every day. I hadn’t posted them here because that would be triplicating the same post. However, in keeping with simplicity, I am going to list them here in this post. I’ll continue to update this post the remaining days of the month, as well.

30 Days of Thanksgiving

  1. I am thankful for a loving, caring, patient, providing, funny, interesting and wonderful husband.
  2. I am thankful to have parents who are always there for me & raised me with good values & responsibility.
  3. I am thankful for an awesome brother. He’s the only person in the world who truly gets my sense of humor.
  4. I am thankful for Cross Point Church, the church I attend that teaches us to love recklessly & not judge others.
  5. I am thankful for a great job & awesome co-workers who make Mondays much easier.
  6. I am thankful I live in a country where I am free to vote for the person I think is the best candidate.
  7. I am thankful the elections are over & hopefully we can go back to being nice to others with opposing opinions.
  8. I am thankful for my sweet dogs Shelton, Copper and Penny, who all can brighten even the darkest days.
  9. I am thankful to have a job where I can work from home on Fridays!
  10. I am thankful that my mom likes spending time with me & goes along with me on last minute Christmas Village excursions.
  11. I am thankful for a quiet weekend to spend time reading, relaxing and watching TV with My David.
  12. I am thankful to live in a free country filled with brave men and women who have fought for that freedom.
  13. I am thankful for great friends all over in several areas of my life.
  14. I am thankful for the opportunity to hear Neil deGrasse Tyson speak last night. What an amazing evening!
  15. I am thankful my brother is 28 years old today! My mom almost miscarried him early on and he was born 6 weeks early.
  16. I am thankful for free access to exercise equipment and classes through my employer, like water aerobics!
  17. I am thankful for good food and good company with my family for birthday celebrations.
  18. I am thankful for mentoring groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters who connected me to the best Little Sister ever!
  19. I am thankful for short work weeks and upcoming holiday trips.
  20. I am thankful that my mom is blessed to have saved well enough to retire. Today is her last day working!
  21. I am thankful for fast airplanes that get me from Nashville to Detroit in just 1.5 hours (hopefully with no delays).
  22. I am thankful that I get to spend Thanksgiving with my wonderful Detroit family.

Tell me what makes you thankful. 

Thanksgiving 2011

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

 

Favorite Place To Read

Where is your favorite place to read?

My favorite place to read is also the worst place for me to read – in bed. Why is it the worst? Because I can usually only read for about 15-30 minutes before I am snug and comfy in my bed that I start drifting off to sleep no matter what time of the day it is.

I’ve tried reading in other places in the house, but I usually get distracted by something else. This is also why I have never been able to read in a library or coffee shop.

Ideally, I would love a cushioned window seat to sit in while reading, but so far I’ve never had a house with one. I tried putting a comfy chair in front of a bay window in my bedroom where I used to live, but it soon became the end-of-the-day clothes catcher.

Without a doubt the best scenario to read is when it’s cold, rainy or gloomy outside.

 Where do you go to get comfortable with a book? Are you easily distracted? 

This photo was taken inside a tiny Victorian cottage in the Catskills. This cottage is what started my dream of building a tiny Victorian cottage, and I keep a printout of the photos on my desk at work to remind me of that dream. Wouldn’t this be an awesome place to hang out and read?
Click on the photo to see others.

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I‘m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012

To See You Again

Who is someone you wish you could see again?

There are two people from my life that I would equally like to see again, both of my grandmothers.

Nanny

Yesterday, I posted about a possible ghost experience with my Nanny, who died when I was just 6 months old. She was my mom’s mother. She was a single mother of five children who outlived two husbands and one divorce. She was only 45 when she had a massive heart attack that took her life. She lived a hard life but went way too soon. My mom was only 22 when her mother died and her siblings were 23, 17, 16 and 12.

I never knew my Nanny, but I have heard lots of stories about her. She and my mom were very close, and from what I understand, she was a very lively and fun person to be around. I was her first grandchild and have been told that she adored me. When I was a kid, I sometimes daydreamed about what it would have been like to grow up with her in my life. I always pictured her as the type who would take me on adventures and introduce me to new experiences. I still wonder the same thing today and like to think that maybe my interest in trying new things came from her. I know my mom says that she still misses her every day, even 35 years later.

Granny

My dad’s mother was called Granny by my brother and me. I feel blessed to have a memory of her. She died in 1991 when I was 14. She, too, lived a very hard life but in a different way. She grew up poor, worked hard and had 7 children. She was known for her Granny Biscuits that she made every Sunday morning for anyone and everyone who came to her house for breakfast. Her biscuits were made by hand, then kneaded and cut on the floured surface of her kitchen table. She didn’t like having a telephone in the house, so she never knew who all would show up and would cook more if the food ran out. She also cooked her bacon slow, so it was long and flat, not curly.

In my earlier memories of my Granny, she worked at the Dollar General on Charlotte Pike (that’s now a thrift store), and I remember going there to visit her. When she retired, she mostly stopped driving and stayed home most of the time. She walked down to the corner market every day to buy The Tennessean paper, and I remember thinking that was a long way for her to walk at her age and wondered why she didn’t drive to the store or get a subscription. Now I see that it was only a block away, and that the exercise was probably important to her. In the summer time, my brother and I would stay with her about once a week to spend time with her. While she wasn’t frail or had a long term illness, my mom often reminded me that we might not have too many days left with Granny, so I treasured that time with her.

Granny told me that she had to quit school after the 8th grade because it was too expensive for her to continue going to school. At the time, I didn’t understand this because school is free, right? I later learned that it was expensive to keep good shoes and clothes, as well as how helpful it was for her to stay at home to help out on the farm. She always stressed to me how important it was to stay in school and learn as much as I could, because she wished that she would have been able to finish school. She taught me the value of education and reading.

I’ve been told that I look a lot like her in her younger days, though there aren’t too terribly many photos of her in that time. If she wasn’t reading the paper, she was reading a book and would read when she went to bed (again, much like me). One Saturday night in August, she went to bed as usual, and I have been told that she either had a heart attack while she was reading or she fell asleep while reading and had a heart attack. On Sunday morning, one of my uncles came for breakfast to find the doors locked and no smell of biscuits and bacon coming from the kitchen. My Granny had died with a book on her chest. That’s got to be the absolute best way to leave this world, if you ask me.

If I could see my grandmothers again, I would fill the time with all sorts of questions for them and ask them to tell me stories of their lives. There’s so much I would love to know about them!

 Who would you want to spend a day with again (it doesn’t have to be someone who is deceased)? What would you do? 

During the month of November, I am participating in the National Blog Posting Month, also known as NaBloPoMo, hosted by BlogHer. Most likely I am following these suggested prompts, but I might just get crazy and change things up every once in a while. I’m one wild and crazy gal! 

NaBloPoMo November 2012