Category Archives: Blogging

Wednesday’s Wonderful Word

According to this handy dandy publication, the word “fodder” used as a noun means:

  • Feed for livestock, especially coarsely chopped hay or straw.
  • Raw material, as for artistic creation.
  • A consumable, often inferior item or resource that is in demand and usually abundant supply: romantic novels intended as fodder for the pulp fiction market.

Read more at http://www.yourdictionary.com/fodder#C0Bde5M1aeOGk27x.99

Since I don’t happen to own any livestock, this word has a different meaning for me.

Fodder is indeed raw material for my creative writing. 

It’s kind of like Kettle corn, hot and fresh, right out of that big black pot, for me anyway.  I can’t ever have enough of it. 

My goal every day is to keep my fodder radar at the highest level possible. This requires me to be present, in the moment which is a gift unto itself.  Sometimes the fodder is crap, when I start thinking about how I can use it to pen a great post. Other times it will spark a new idea, something unexpected. That’s when writing is especially enjoyable.

 

 

 

The music of a melancholy Monday

Yes, unlike my usual upbeat self, today, Monday, I am feeling blase, minimally motivated, and melancholy-ish. There’s no good reason for it I’m healthy, Hubs and I have a nice home to live in, the spawn are fully functional adults, busy with their own lives far away from here. Maybe that’s it.

September is a month I have always loved. And here I am, smack dab in the middle of it, and I just don’t have the same enthusiasm I used to at this time of year. I see all the pictures on Facebook of those friends and family of mine with their kids sporting their new duds on the front stoops of their family’s home for the first day of school. Some of those kids are smiling (not surprisingly, the younger they are, the bigger the smiles), some have that look on their faces that communicate they are cooperating with this photo shoot under great duress.

Weird thing is, it turns out as much as I was pining for the “empty nester” years whilst my spawn were spewing hateful insults at each other and gifting Hubs and I with gray hair, I do terribly miss those days. Funny how that is.

On those odd days in which I’m not feeling so perky, I rely on my music. Not only am I drawn to a great melody, solid drum beats and guitar riffs; I am a sucker for a great lyric. Some just stick with you. You know what I mean, right? They resonate with you at your core. They make you think of someone you love or have loved. They make you feel less alone in the world. They make you feel better.  Sometimes they even inspire you.

d1e2aa70c8b48ee74c727eda8f7d5a06

This is the part of this post where I am going to do a little sharing.

Here’s just a few song lyrics that resonate with me right now, today. Monday.

“We can never know about the days to come, but we think of them anyway”-Anticipation by Carly Simon.

Honestly, I probably do this too much.

“Some people are just meant to be a memory, to be called upon to remind us how we’ve changed”-Coming Back to a Man by Dawes

Sad, but true. Relationships we have throughout our lives provide some good lessons. 

“We are the lucky ones, some people never get to do all we got to do”- Now and Forever by Carole King

How I feel about my marriage to Hubs. We most definitely are the lucky ones. 

“If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad, if it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?”-If It Makes You Happy, by Sheryl Crow

Good question. The answer often alludes me.

“You can build a mansion, you just can’t live in it. You’re the fastest runner but you’re not allowed to win. Some break the rules, and let you cut the cost. The insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost”-No one is to Blame, by Howard Jones

My way of expressing the frustration I have with myself as a writer. 

“When the road gets dark and you can no longer see, Just let my love throw a spark and have a little faith in me”-Have a Little Faith in Me, by John Hiatt

My way of saying, stick with me people. I am part hot mess and part optimist. But my determination to be light in the darkness will never wane.

“Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow, don’t stop, it’ll soon be here. It’ll be here, better than before. Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone”-Don’t Stop, by Fleetwood Mac.

I’d love to add the line “and don’t forget about today” but I’ve no clue where it would go. Guess I just think while it’s important to put some focus on tomorrow, the future that holds so much promise, not living in the present prevents you from finding peace in your soul. 

That said, I will leave you with this video. Because underneath the melancholy of today, I’m still an optimist.

Don’t Stop

 

 

Secret Confessions: 2 Truths and 1 Lie

I really dig party games. Ice breakers. Those little games played amongst a group of willing participants which often yields surprising revelations about each other. Some of you may recall a previous post I penned related to this.

Years ago, when Hubs and I would go on our annual camping trip with a group of about 12 friends, our beer-infused revelry often led to a rollicking game of “I never”. This is a simple game, which is a good thing when you are amidst friends from “back in the day” and alcohol is involved. Have you ever played this game? If not, it starts with one person proclaiming something that they have never ever done in their whole life. Then those who have done said thing are required to take a sip of whatever they are currently imbibing. 

Suffice it to say, within a very short period of time, things could get very silly. 

Today I’d like to present to you, my fun loving readers, with my version of a similarly simple yet playful game.

Responding in the comments with your very own 2 Truths and 1 lie or whatever sarcastic anecdote you wish to share is not mandatory but would make it so much more fun for us all, amiright?

Without any further ado, I present Two Truths and One Lie.

On Movies:

  • Being John Malkovich is one of my favorite movies.
  • I seriously loved the latest Mad Max movie.
  • Christmas vacation cracks me up every time I watch it.

On Careers:

  • I think I’d be an excellent music producer.
  • My ultimate goal is to write a fiction novel.
  • I would consider going to culinary school to become a chef.

I’m still married to Hubs because:

  • He knows his way around a grill.
  • He has the best one liners.
  • Unlike me, he’s not at all picky about what movies he will watch.

Random stuff I used to believe:

  • That New England was a state.
  • That I was going to become a high school English teacher.
  • That I would always live in Minnesota.

Wacky things I have done in my life:

  • I once won a radio contest where I had to sing part of a line of the song “Tush”. I won a free sub sandwich. Yay me!
  • Once when I was in college, I successfully convinced a guy I was flirting with at a bar that I was from England.
  • One of my friends at Girl Scout camp chose to not heed our scout leader’s plea to not bring candy because bears, duh. Upon being tattled on, the scout leader led us to the fire pit where my friend’s cherished bag of candy was set ablaze. Oh, the humiliation!

On Fear:

  • I am deathly afraid of heights.
  • I am freaked out by clowns.
  • I sometimes fear my blog has already peaked.

Speaking about blogging:

  • The first title I came up with for this blog was “Subject to Change”
  • I have a buttload of technical stuff to learn.
  • I’m not scared to post about things that could make me appear to be a doofus.

Things I wish I could do successfully:

  • Ride a bike.
  • Draw pictures.
  • Plan great parties.

 

Scroll Down to see the answers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The lies….

Movies: I hated the most recent Mad Max movie. It was beyond weird, ridiculously violent, and utterly pointless. I only went because Hubs wanted to see it. More on me+Hubs+movies later.

Careers: I cannot imagine myself ever having the talent not to mention gumption to write a fiction novel. Non-fiction, with a twist of imagination suits me best.

Why I am still married to Hubs: It’s not because he and I share the same taste in movies. He will only see action movies and sometimes thrillers in the actual movie theater with me. Whereas, if I had my way, we’d go to see anything from rom-coms to westerns every weekend.

Things I used to believe: That I would always live in Minnesota. I have always pictured myself living in more varied parts of the country. When I was younger, it was New York City or California. And Hubs and I have moved quite a bit over the years, due to his job transfers: we’ve lived in Wisconsin, Kansas, and now Colorado.

Wacky stuff I have done: I was the girl who brought the candy to Girl Scout camp. I didn’t get my childhhod nickname of “Candy Queen” for nothing! This was one of my first experiences with true, deep shame. And our cranky scout leader scared the bejeezus out of me!

Fears: I actually do not fear clowns. In fact, I used to have quite a collection of them displayed in my bedroom. That said, you will not see me at a screening of the movie “It”. I’m not into creepy, scary movies like that.

Speaking of blogging: I am frequently in fear that my blog posts will make me look doofusy. Yet, my passion for it always supercedes this fear.

Things I wish I could do successfully: Plan great parties. Because I already possess that talent. Examples: two high school graduation parties one year apart with plenty of (mostly) homemade food, beverages, and festive decorations. That supercool party I put on when I was 16 where everyone had to dress up as their favorite pop star. I went as Moon Unit Zappa aka “Valley Girl”. It was so RAD!

 

Work in progress

So, for the last several months, I’ve been randomly coming up with ideas for blog posts. I keep them in my draft folder under the title “Great Big Writing Ideas”.  It has come in handy for me when I am plumb out of ideas of what to write about.

Today is one of those days. I’ve got bupkis. Just fleeting thoughts about songs or artists I want to share my appreciation of. Or op-eds I’ve read that I have my own take on. But nothing that feels really right. Nothing that flips my switch, so to speak.

So instead of picking one topic, artist, or political opinion (I suspect my readers may be getting tired of me and my political opinions and frankly I might be too), I’m going to share with you snippets of ideas and in some cases just thoughts, feelings, or personal affirmations which I’ve jotted down in my draft folder.

Lily T

6/27:

Write from the heart.

Pixar’s next blockbuster: How the body is the clean up crew. The bad guy is the disease. The heros are the doctors, scientists, and some politicians.

 

7/6/17:

My purpose is to inspire and empower!

The path is fraught with unknown obstacles and dangers.

Follow your curiosity for Pete’s sake…

8/4/17

New mantra : You are not in a hurry.

8/8:

Next blog post: The entertainment I would consume if it existed.

Spitball first. Thanks Liz Lemon. gif of her here.

A variety show that serves to educate the adult public about important issues of our time. With puppets and music. And comedy.

8/26:

Another post could be about alternate meanings for K.I.S.S. that I  may or may not expound on.

Like: salacious, serendipitous, spiritual, scandalous, shocking. 

Words: RESPECT. PERSERVERANCE..HUMILITY.KINDNESS #bigimportantwords. GIVE EXAMPLES.

8/29:

For the love of God, edit everything above this line! Done as of 8/31.

Ok next post: DC. Then couple friends. Then Pinterest. Then Polly’s preview, potentially.

-Polly needs to get political again. ASAP!

-Write about Colorado

-Food. Zucchini lasagna. Trempeleau County and the damn cookbook.

As you can see, I’m all over the place. Thanks for indulging me once again, folks.

I think I know what my next blog post is going to be now…

Key word here is “think”.

download (3)

Solo in D.C.

Recently, I had the good fortune of visiting one of my favorite cities, Washington, D.C. I tagged along with Hubs, who had to be there for several days for work.

Whilst Hubs was occupied with giving presentations, attending meetings, and working his IT magic to serve his agency’s mission of saving American lives from weather calamities, I took the opportunity to explore the D.C. area solo despite my anxiety about getting lost in the city or getting mugged or kidnapped.

I was inspired to embark on sightseeing in D.C. solo in part through reading Caitlin Kelly’s blog, Broadside.  Caitlin is far more worldly than I, to say the least.  She inspired me to get out into D.C. all by my lonesome, instead of staying in the safety of our hotel room in Silver Spring, MD, where I would no doubt be reading, writing, taking a dip or two in the pool, and watching movies on cable. All things I can do at home. I figured, if she could travel solo outside the U.S., I could certainly manage a couple of days on my own in D.C. And…YOLO, right?

I, of course, took a number of pictures on my D.C. adventure. So here’s my little “show and tell” of my time spent in our nation’s capital:

This is a picture of a picture in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I happened upon it in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice exhibit. It appears this lovely sea otter is praying. Or perhaps simply meditating?  Either way, this picture speaks to me spiritually. It’s very Zen, don’t you think?

 

 

20170814_122615

 

This one is from the American Democracy exhibit found in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. As a proud feminist and firm believer that women should play a much larger role in American politics, I couldn’t not share this picture.

 

20170814_134223
Let’s please put a woman in the white house in my lifetime mkay?

 

This is the first regal looking building I laid my eyes on after stepping off the metro. When I realized what it was, I wished with all my heart that I had a dozen eggs on hand.

 

20170814_113726 (2)
Trump International Hotel

Anyone recognize this staircase I’m about to climb? I was told on good authority (our friend John with whom we were dining in Georgetown that evening) that this was the staircase from which the priest was thrown at the end of the movie “The Exorcist”. It’s safe to say that I was more than happy to be climbing up it as opposed to down.

20170816_182841
My backside as I approached the famous staircase

This picture was taken from my perch at a nearby table in Martin’s Tavern. It has a rich history and is known to be the oldest dining establishment in the D.C. area. JFK proposed to Jackie here. The host, Mike, mingles around the tables of diners telling tales of the place. Dining here was indeed one of the highlights of our trip.

20170816_204344
Martin’s Tavern, Georgetown. Standing is Mike, the host with the most

This one was taken as I, covered in sweat due to the ridiculous heat and high humidity (not to mention having just reached 11,000 steps on my fitbit by 3 p.m.), leaned against a cement block and delighted in watching the youngins playing in the water feature without any cares in the world. A delightful break at that moment in time. I was thisclose to jumping in and frolicking around with those kiddos. But I figured it was weird enough for the parents of these children that I was all by myself taking this picture. 

20170816_160519
Georgetown Waterfront Park

And then there are those pics I only took in my mind. Like the one I saw through the window on the metro of graffiti framing the foliage on the other side of the track. To me it represented the beauty of nature and the grit of the city living in harmony. Or the one of my fabulous meal of lump crabmeat, fresh mushrooms, and squash in hollandaise sauce atop english muffins (known as the “Tavern Treat”) at Martin’s Tavern. Or the one of the beautiful mahogany bar housed at J.Paul’s in Georgetown. The bartender shared that the bar itself was formerly housed in the Chicago stockyards and rumor has it that Al Capone himself had enjoyed a beverage or two at it back in the day. J.Paul’s also features antique brass elevator doors brought over from New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Simply gorgeous.

Me & my Songbrain

I have what can only be described as a “songbrain”. How it works:  a certain word or phrase will be used in my presence, or a mood will strike me and a song starts up between my ears. It’s like a have some kind of jukebox that clicks on just the right song to match what’s going on with me emotionally in the moment. I don’t have to will the song to play, it just does. 

Now, readers who are familiar with my blog surely understand my deep and abiding love for music. I have been known to wax nostalgic about music from my growing up years  like I did here: Song Stories

I’ve also shared my love of making Google playlists for myself, like I did here: Music Therapy

Suffice it to say:

images
Bottom line

 

This is the song that runs through my head on days when my 50 year old body is crack ‘a lacking and I forget what I came down to the kitchen pantry to get. Today, truth be told, is kinda one of those days. Thank the good lord I have a massage scheduled later.

 

This is the song in my head when I’m feeling sassy, playful, and I’m having a particularly good hair day.

This is the song Hubs and I could very much relate to when our spawn were, at 14 months apart, in the throes of those oh so fun teenage years. It allowed us to daydream for a bit. Thanks, Fastball.

This is a song I recently discovered while listening to The Current, a MPR station out of the twin cities, which has a show on Sunday mornings entitled “United States of Americana”. This is a song that really makes me think and feel. Now when I am reading or watching news reports about young black youth being harassed, beaten, or killed (as in the case of Trayvon Martin in Florida), I hear this song in my head. “With a pocketful of Skittles”. That line, to me, is the essence of the entire song. He was just a kid.

“My Sweet Lord” by the late, great George Harrison is so beautiful to me. It comes to mind for me when I’m feeling present, aware, and grateful for all of the blessings I have in this life of mine. It’s both comforting and worshipful to me.

Wednesday’s weird-ish wisdom

In honor of it being Wednesday, and on account of having a head full of snot (I hab a heb code at the bobent) along with a shit-ton of half baked blog post ideas in there as well, I write this post today. True focus is eluding me.

There. I have successfully lowered your expectations. Now things have nowhere to go but up, right?

Like all of us, I am a work in progress. I am also subject to change. Call me flaky. Whatever. In my 50 years on planet earth, I have nonetheless developed some amount of wisdom.

I always enjoyed Oprah’s column “What I know for sure”, which was planted at the end of each monthly magazine her empire churned out. It may still be a feature, but for whatever reason, I no longer subscribe. Anyhoo, here’s my own personal take on it:

What I think  I know for sure:

That we all need something to look forward to. It helps motivate you to get out of bed every morning, put one foot in front of the other, and navigate the ups and downs of daily existence.  Even if that “something” is  just a cupcake you’re going to enjoy on your afternoon break at work. Or a dinner out with friends. Or a family barbeque. Or a church picnic. Okay, secrets out. Food is indeed my biggest personal motivator. 

That not all my blog posts are as good as I think they are as I hit that “Publish” button.  Which sucks. But it also pushes me to pen a better post tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

That regular exercise, even my moderately paced 25 minute walks around my neighborhood, makes me feel better and more capable, both mentally and physically.

That children in preschool and elementary school should be taught compassion in schools. As an actual part of the curriculum. We need more of that wonderful shit if we are going to have the good future we all want for this world.

That it is of extreme importance to me as a creative writer and human being on planet Earth to maintain my sense of curiosity about all things, big and little. My feeling is that if I lose this essential part of myself, I will cease to exist. Because I would die of boredom, of course.

That I will never regret starting this blog. I figure at the very least, it will be considered a legacy for my spawn and any spawn that have spawned or will spawn from my spawn. And if I made anyone laugh, that’s just the frosting on the brownie.

brownie

That the most depressing phrase that seems to be trending is the following: “It is what it is”. The only upside, according to me, is if you allow it to turn into this one: “Let it Be”. Because sometimes that is the best and most simple thing you can do in a situation in which you feel you have little to no control.

That the concept of a “Gap Year” for 50 year olds, of course should most certainly become a thing. I speak from experience. Nothing could have been better for me, upon moving to Colorado one year ago, than pressing the pause button on my career. I’ve had time to work on improving myself through reading, volunteering, and creative writing via this blog. I can see much more clearly now.

Okay, my song brain has kicked in, so I will just leave you lovely folks with this…and you can sing along because the lyrics are attached!