Friday, May 25, 2012

My "favorites" day

Today is my birthday. However, we are not celebrating it today; we are celebrating it tomorrow. Still, to mark the occasion, I decided to make today a “favorites day” for me. Pretty much including some of my favorite things in my birthday.

So for today I ....

Ate one of my favorite breakfast foods for breakfast: French toast.

Wore my favorite color: Blue.

Had one of my favorite lunch foods for lunch: A BLT.

Watched one of my favorite movies: A Beautiful Mind.

Enjoyed one of my favorite treats: CHOCOLATE.

Enjoyed one of my favorite kinds of instant coffees: Hills Bros. Cappuccino Double Mocha.

Played one of my favorite songs on YouTube: “We Built This City” by Starship.

Had one of my favorite meals for dinner: Fresh chicken tacos. (The homemade kind, not fast food.)

It was a nice birthday and looking forward to doing more “birthday stuff” tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Yesterday, I started reading the book Dreaming of the Dead by Marilou Trask-Curtin. It is a nonfiction book. The author shares her experiences of how she has had dreams where her loved ones have visited her. She also talks about how she even has dreams where her beloved pets she has lost have visited her in her dreams. These dreams always made her happy because it was such a joy to her to see her pets so happy and healthy, even young.

As I read that part of the book yesterday, I started to reflect on how I have had the same experiences. I have seen pets in my dreams. My dog, Lukas, an Australian Shepherd, has been in a lot of my dreams. I have also seen family pets, such as my sister’s dog, Baby Bop, a chihuahua, in my dreams. I was thinking of how I cherished these dreams, especially the ones with Lukas because he was such an awesome dog. (And so was Rascal, an Australian Queensland.) But at the same time, I was a little sad because I have not had such dreams for a long time. And I miss my animal friends so much.

Well, it seems that one of them may have picked up on that, because I dreamed about her last night.

My mom used to have a dog, a chihuahua, named Rosie. Well, her name was Rosarita, but we all called her “Rosie.” Sometimes I called her “Rosie girl.” She was an amazing dog and we all loved her so much. (She is the mother of Baby Bop and my dog, Chewbacca.) Sometimes, we almost lost Rosie – to heat exhaustion (since we lived in the desert), dehydration or starvation (when someone in the family neglected her when she was at his house). But she always beat the odds and came back kicking. And because my mom moved a lot, it was very confusing for Rosie. She’d often leave a new home and end up at the old house. Many times this happened and, fortunately, we were able to find her.

Unfortunately, her luck did not hold out. One day she wandered off after a recent move and we never saw her again. We never found her. We searched for days and asked around for her, but nobody saw her and she just didn’t turn up.

This was very hard for all of us. I was no longer living at home at this time, so I don’t know how my mother coped with this. But on the times I visited her, I knew she was sad about it and asking if anybody had seen Rosie.

Then, I guess, we pretty much accepted she was gone. She never came back. My parents moved out of state and those who stayed in the desert never said anything since about seeing Rosie.

Well, last night, I did get to see our sweet Rosie again. Last night, she was in my dream.

I dreamed I was walking through one of the houses my mom lived in and I was calling for Rosie. I came to a room that had a lot of bedding on the floor. After I called Rosie’s name, a tiny figure emerged from under a white sheet. There came Rosie happily charging up to me. I laughed and got to my knees as I took her into my arms. She was so happy, so healthy and a little younger, too. She just licked my face a lot and I started to cry tears of joy and happiness as I hugged her. (I wasn’t surprised she was under a sheet; she often curled up under blankets and sheets on my mom’s bed.)

I still had tears in my eyes as I woke up from that dream. I kept crying because I missed Rosie so much. I was a little sad because of what had happened to her and the questions unanswered – was she ok? Did someone take care of her? – were still lingering with me. I was sad but happy, too.

And at the same time, I knew one thing: There is a very strong possibility that Rosie is no longer among the living. Thinking bout it, it would be a huge miracle if she was. I mean, Chewie is over 120 years old in dog years! So I don’t think chances are good his mom is still alive.

I am just glad I got to see her again, if only in a dream. And if only it was the final time I would see her again, until we all get to be reunited with her one day at the Rainbow Bridge.

God bless you, Rosie girl. I still miss you and love you. I’ll never forget you. You will always have a special place in my heart.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Reading Writer Mama

The other day, we were all at the Eugene Public Library (it was “library day” for us). While I was browsing through the many writing books on the shelves, I came across a book with a title I recognized: Writer Mama: How to Raise a Writing Career Alongside Your Kids. I used to be on MySpace and I had “met” the author, Christina Katz, on there. Though we never really forged much of a connection, we did chat briefly, and I made it a point to check out her book someday. I never forgot the title – or the cover, for that matter – so I was pleased to see it in the library. Of course, I grabbed the book to check it out.

Today, I finally had the chance to look over the book some more. Nope, I didn’t do this at the library. I just saw the book and checked it out right then and there. Now, however, I went through this book to see what it was all about. Was it similar to my own book for writing parents?

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. It turns out that it is a book for freelance writers, something that I am not anymore. (I am way too busy with multiple book projects and book reviews to take on freelance writing, or any other writing work.) So I figured the book probably won’t be of much help to me. Might as well return it to the library, then.

Well, that’s what I thought.

After I got Jennifer off to school, I started driving to the library with the intention of returning the book. However, on my way there, I got a feeling that I should not return the book!

I looked at this little book sitting on my passenger seat. There was something about it that had me rethinking its usefulness. Maybe it still had something good to offer. Something helpful, something inspiring.

Maybe I should try reading it instead.

I changed direction and drove back home. Yes, I would give this book a try. I’ll read it just to see for myself if it could still be helpful or not. It was a book for writing parents, after all. And that’s me! I’m a writing parent!

So as Jesse sat eating his breakfast this morning, I sat at the table with him and started reading. And you know what? I had a hard time trying to STOP reading that book! Sure, I occasionally looked up to make sure Jesse was okay and didn’t choke on his food, but for the most part, my eyes were glued to the book. I even carried it around with me and stole occasional glances at the pages as I helped Jesse get ready to go to preschool. I was able to read two chapters by the time he was ready to leave for preschool – and I plan on reading a lot more of this book tomorrow.

It IS a good book. It’s not just a book for freelance writers or writing parents. It’s a book every writer could benefit from. It talks about how to get ideas, how to find your audience and taking the leap to get started with the writing. It was definitely helpful stuff to read, GOOD stuff to read, and I’m glad I gave this book a second chance. It’s definitely a book I am going to keep reading.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Stand up and sing

Today was a talent show at Jennifer’s school. She attended one of these before and had sang a song that she had learned in class. This year, however, she has been flexing her writing muscles. She has started writing songs. And one song she wrote is a song she sang at the talent show tonight.

We received a flyer long before the event. Since Jennifer told me she wanted to sing, I made sure she would be ready. That meant making sure she got her sleep, ate right and got some extra exercise to strengthen her lungs. I also went over what she would wear. Even though she wore a dress the last time she sang, she insisted on NOT wearing a dress this time. To be honest, I wasn’t surprised! (Like me, she is very anti-dress!)

I also had to figure out what kind of arrangements to make with Jesse (age 4 ½). The last time we’d gone to a talent show, Jesse got bored and I ended up chasing after him a lot. It was REALLY frustrating!! So I was not planning on taking him with me this time. I really wanted to see Jennifer sing.

Thankfully, my friend, Martine, said she’d watch Jesse for us (actually, she and her husband both did). Even though she’d had dental work earlier in the week, she said she would do it. This was SO AWESOME of her!! (Thank you, Martine!) It worked well because her son is one of Jesse’s buddies, so they were both excited about visiting with each other.

Even though we ended up running late, Jennifer and I got to the talent show in good time. I tried to talk her out of wearing her beloved KidSports cap during the performance but there was no way she was going to take her cap off! (She wears it ALL the time and if she leaves it anywhere, it is the Worst. Crisis. Ever.) I let it go. After all, she’s only 10 ½! It’s not like she would be on TV.

Jennifer got in line to perform and I found a seat to sit in. But I ended up moving after I caught sight of some friends and went to sit with them. It was cute watching all the children perform. They sang, danced, did a skit, swung around the hula hoops, played the violin, the piano and one boy even played the xylophone. Some of them were dressed up REALLY nice! One little girl even wore a long white dress and a white headband, making her look like an angel. One of the older students, an African-American girl, had her hair back and she was wearing the same kind of jacket that Michael Jackson wore in the Thriller video. Really! I couldn’t stop staring at it. It looked exactly like that jacket. It made me smile but it made me kinda sad, too. I wondered if she was going to do that famous zombie dance in the video but I didn’t get to stay long enough to find out. It woulda been neat, though, if she did.

Anyway! Jennifer was finally called on the stage to sing. I was really excited about this and snapped a bunch of pictures. A lot of them were dark, even though the flash was on. I moved closer and was able to get a better pic:

After her song, the principal allowed Jennifer the chance to say into the microphone her dedication. She’d dedicated the song to her three BFFs and I was glad they were there to hear her song. They all stood to cheer and dance around when their name was called out. Everybody laughed and clapped. The four of them hugged. It was such a cute display of real friendship. The song Jen wrote is about being best friends forever. 

We had to leave before the whole show was over, but we had a great time. A lot of people told me that Jennifer did a great job singing and they liked her song. (She got an encore performance when we went to Martine’s house to pick up Jesse.) 

It was a great time and I am very grateful Jennifer got to sing her song and we got to see some familiar faces again. Those are happy moments that are just perfect to end our week with.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Random post: Stuff I saw today

New phone book on my porch.

Fire truck barreling down the street, with lights flashing.

Plastic shopping bag on the street.

Black stray cat creeping through my backyard.

A picture of hummingbird chicks in the local newspaper.

A picture on a book of a train covered with chocolate sauce.

A picture of a police officer chasing after a car driven by a dog on an illustrator's web site.

A child's bicycle left on the ground near a driveway.

A child's pink chair turned upside down in a front yard.

Hoola-hoop left on another front lawn.

Wrapped sandwich on a tray for lunch.

Quote by John F. Kennedy on a wall.

Construction workers busy on a city street.

My full name spelled so very, very wrong.

Cupcakes with plastic flower decorations sticking out of the top of each one.

A black horse on the cover of a new book for kids.

A man who looked like my brother at the store.

Flowery gifts put out on display for Mother's Day.

A chocolate bunny from Easter marked down to 50 cents.

Scented candles that smelled of the ocean.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Lots to celebrate in May

Happy May!

Yes, I realize today is May 2nd. I was going to post this yesterday but too much was going on yesterday and I was exhausted by day's end. I was rehired for an old writing gig yesterday (yay!) so I got started on my assignments ASAP! I also got an acceptance on another book for kids yesterday (yay again!) so I was VERY excited about that! And, finally, I was running a bunch of errands yesterday. The first day of the month is ALWAYS hectic!


I happened to notice A LOT of people posting things about "May is National (Whatever) Month" on their blogs, web sites and newsletters. That got me wondering just what all the month of May is known for! So I put together this list, which I was able to do thanks to various sources.

Apparently, we have a lot to celebrate during the month of May! We will also celebrate hubby's birthday this month, my birthday and, if we’re lucky, the release of a new book!

Here are all the special things and days associated with the month of May. (Note: Some dates are year-specific, such as Mother's Day and Memorial Day.)

May is....


American Bike Month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Asparagus Month

Asthma & Allergy Awareness Month

Better Hearing and Speech Month

Flower Month

Motorcycle Safety Month

National Bar-B-Que Month

National Chocolate Custard Month

National Egg Month

National Duckling Month

National Hamburger Month

National Mental Health Month

National Military Appreciation Month

National Photo Month

National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

National Salad Month

National Salsa Month

National Senior Travel Month

National Strawberry Month

National Stroke Awareness Month

National Teaching and Joy Month

National Tourism Month

Personal Note Writing Month

Project Safe Baby Month 

Revise Your Work Schedule Month

Senior Citizens Month 

Social Science Book Month

Texas Writers Month 

Transportation Month

USA Tennis Month 

Victorious Woman Month

Week Long Observances

1st Week:

National Postcard Week

Teacher Appreciation Week

National Raisin Week

2nd Week:

National Pet Week

National Police Week

Stuttering Awareness Week

Deaf Awareness Week

Last Week:

National Backyard Games Week

May 1st

Hawaiian Lei Day

Mother Goose Day

May Day

Worthy Wage Day

May 2nd

Holocaust Remembrance Day

(Note: Later, I double-checked this one while I was working on something else. An official site said this day is usually celebrated in April. In fact, it was on April 13th this year.)

May 3rd

National Day of Prayer 

Constitution Memorial Day in Japan

May 4th

National Weather Observers' Day

National Candied Orange Peel Day

Space Day

May 5th

Children's Day in Japan

Cinco De Mayo

National Hoagie Day

National Scrapbook Day

May 6th

International No Diet Day

National Beverage Day

Nurses Day


May 7th

National Roast Leg of Lamb Day

May 8th

National Teacher Day

National Train Day

No Socks Day

Have a Coke Day

May 9th

Lost Sock Memorial Day

Peter Pan Day

May 10th

Clean Up Your Room Day

May 11th

National Family Child Care Provider's Day

Twilight Zone Day

May 12th

International Nurses Day

Kite Day

Limerick Day

May 13th

Mother's Day

Tulip Day

May 14th

National Dance Like a Chicken Day

May 15th

National Chocolate Chip Day

May 16th

Wear Purple for Peace Day

May 17th

Pack Rat Day

Brown vs Board of Education Anniversary

Emergency Medical Services for Children Day 

Mufflers Day

New York Stock Exchange Birthday

World Telecommunications Day

Rubber Band Birthday

May 18th

International Museum Day

Visit Your Relatives Day

May 19th

Armed Forces Day

Circus Day

National Devil's Food Cake Day

May 20th

Peace Day

Strawberry Picking Day

May 21st

Lindbergh Flight Day

Victoria Day in Canada

May 22nd

Buy-A-Musical Instrument Day 

Herbal Plant Day

Mysteries Are Marvelous Day

National Maritime Day

National Prom Night

May 23rd

Penny Day

National Taffy Day

May 24th

National Escargot Day

May 25th

National Missing Children's Day

National Tap Dance Day

May 26th

Blueberry Cheesecake Day

May 28th

Amnesty International Day

Memorial Day

National Hamburger Day

May 29th

Paper Clip Day

May 30th

Hole in My Bucket Day

May 31st

World No Tobacco Day

National Macaroon Day