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I’m posting this today since tomorrow’s my Five Question Friday. I recently became aware of “Read Across America Day” which is held on the school day closest to March 2nd, so this year it’s Friday, March 1st! This is a Day built on the National Education Association’s program, Read Across America, is promoted year round to motivating children and teens to read. This is their 16th year and they always have fun events planned. This year, for instance, they have a special Cat in the Hat themed event at the New York Public Library. They will have Uma Thurman and an actor from the Disney show, “Wizards of Waverly Place”, Jake Austin there as well as Thing 1 and Thing 2, as well as Cat in the Hat, all popular Dr. Seuss characters. They are teaming up with Renaissance Dental to promote oral health AND literacy this year. Even if you don’t live close to New York or just aren’t able to go, they will be showing a live stream from the event. You can find more information and the link here. 

As a lover of books, anything that gets kids and teens into reading is wonderful to me. While looking at the information on this day, I also found out about a great website called First Book Marketplace. What this site provides is discounted books for people in schools and areas where they may not be able to afford a lot. If you are a teacher or know someone that serves children of low income families, I definitely recommend you go there and sign up. Just from the first page, I can tell you they have books at 50% to 94% off the retail price and if you qualify, you could also be a recipient of completely FREE books. I think that’s an amazing service to the community and I am glad to hear there’s things like this company available.

And even if you’re not a kid, a parent, a teacher or around kids much, I suggest you check out the NEA page and recommend it to everyone you know! As the tagline on their page states: “You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

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To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? “The Borrower” by Rebecca Makkai

What did you recently finish reading? “A Grown-up Kind of Pretty” by Joshilyn Jackson

“Forgotten English” by Jeffrey Kacirk

“Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) getting by in America” by Barbara Ehrenreich

“Games of Fate(Fate~Fire~Shifter~Dragon #1) by Kris Austen Radcliffe

What do you think you’ll read next? “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t stop talking” by Susan Cain (checked this out from Booksfree as soon as it become available on there and I am so excited to read this! I have been wanting to read this for a LONG time!)



{February 26, 2013}   In Regards to Bosom Serpents

I expect a huge majority of people to be curious about the title of this post, as I would surely be myself, especially before I read a book called, “Forgotten English” by Jeffrey Kacirck. Among the many words forgotten and no longer used, I found a word that I felt SHOULD still be used because it is to me, a wonderful description for what it is. Now you’re probably wondering, what IS a Bosom Serpent? Well, it is NOT a snake that sits on your chest. A Bosom Serpent is a person treated with kindness and affection who in return inflicts an emotionally venomous wound. Unfortunately, I and many others have come across many such people, but this is the first time I have had a word for them that fits so well!

The first ever recorded reference of a “Bosom Serpent” was in the text, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream” by William Shakespeare. The line: “Help me, Lysander, help me; do thy best
To pluck this crawling serpent from my breast.”  Forgive me if I get this wrong, because I have never read this play(I know, for shame, right?!) but in skimming there notes on the play, it seems as the bearer of this line, Hermia, says this in response to feeling mocked by these two men who are after her but weren’t originally in love with her while she has no clue why her true lover, Lysander, has abandoned her(he has been accidently put under a sleeping spell by the fairy Puck). I should really read this play…sounds like an ancient version of a soap opera already!

But back to the point. Throughout my life, I have met many people that I have been very kind to, to the best of my ability, that have turned around and been nothing but mean right back or been nice at first but it seemed only to hide a hidden agenda. At the time, all I knew was that this hurt my heart and felt like I had been betrayed by someone when I didn’t deserve it. The only words I had for this type of person was hateful, a betrayer, choice curse words, etc. I never had a specific word that really got to the heart of how it felt to be treated so differently than how you treated them. I mean the Golden Rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, right? So in giving out good vibes and being really nice, you pretty much expect that others will do the same back, right? I don’t want people to be mean or rude to me so I try as much as possible to not act that way towards them. But the word Bosom Serpent really stands for something far worse than someone who just acts mean back to you. After all, it’s someone who turns around and inflicts an “emotionally venomous wound”. Powerful words! It’s not only something done in return that hurts your feelings. Venomous stands for poisonous and poison tends to have horrible, sometimes fatal results. In the case of this wound, it will probably not physically kill you, but it can feel almost as bad emotionally.

Imagine the love of your life suddenly went from loving you to calling you names and saying he didn’t love you anymore and wanted nothing to do with you. Imagine a family member who you have been close to suddenly ignoring you and seemingly going out of their way to let you know they don’t care. Imagine a friend who over the summer has gained new friends and acts like he or she is too good for you. All examples of Bosom Serpents and I have definitely met my share. Here’s to healing the old venomous wounds and saying good riddance to these serpents and hope I never deal with you again!



{February 25, 2013}   Out with the Old, In with the New!

You MAY notice my old goal missing from the right side of the page and a new one in its place. Well…this is because my old goal has been completed! In fact, it’s actually been surpassed so I have now added my new goal. I am at 298, which means in 7 months I have lost 71 pounds! 🙂

My new goal is to get to 250, which is 50 pounds below that evil 300 number! Why 250? The last time I was at a place where I felt really healthy and in the best shape since I was a kid was when I got down to 250. Now, I of course, want to eventually get below even that, but for now, my next goal is to get THERE first. I’m putting down 50 by 2014, although I feel like I can get there BEFORE then, just because I’ve already lost 71 and it MAY realistically take a bit longer. Who knows? It may not, but I just really want to lose the 50 in the best way, slow and steady, and not put a tough time constraint on it. So this goal is more about just losing the 50 and not worrying about the length of time it takes. I have already seen such a chance in my body and how I feel emotionally that as long as I just don’t see 300 or above ever again, I am fine with the weight coming off in its own time. Physically, my body honestly feels worse than it did in some ways. Mainly just my bad ankle and my knees, which my doctor has said IS probably cause of the weight and hopefully will get better as I continue to lose. So, I am extremely happy AND proud of myself for my journey so far and I’m going to continue living healthy and hopefully seeing more positive changes! 🙂



{February 24, 2013}   Sixth Spotlight Sunday of 2013

spotlight

Welcome to my Spotlight Sunday! Every Sunday I put someONE or someTHING I love IN the Spotlight!

Anyone is welcome to use the idea on their own blog and spotlight whoever or whatever THEY choose, but if you do, please use my lovely graphic that my friend made somewhere in your post to show that the idea came from here! And I would love it if you left the link in my comments, so I could go check out what YOU spotlighted!

I know it’s February and NOT October, but today I have decided to spotlight Horror Movies!

My love from horror movies started when I was a baby. My mom didn’t exactly “allow” me to watch them but my brother watched them a lot so I would sneak peeks at them and then wind up having nightmares. Having nightmares didn’t keep me from wanting more, though! I remember a distinct fear for Freddy Krueger and those long nails of his, in particular. As the years went on, the nightmares ceased but my love for the movies grew. Instead of screaming and having nightmares, I would watch the movies like others watch comedies or romance. I got so used to the scares that I could predict them coming and it STILL is rare for me to find a movie that scares me so much that I look around in fear of a monster coming after me.

The BEST Horror Movies to me are the ones that are unpredictable(which also means no suspenseful music right before the jump scenes!) and the ones that have a twist. For this reason, I have a love for M. Night Shymalan films. I know a lot of people who hate his moves and that’s their opinion, but I just LOVE how his movies always have a twist that you didn’t see coming. You can always rewatch and see clues that you missed that would have helped you put it together. Another movie, other than one of his, that has a really unique twist is “The Others”. I’m not going to tell you the twist because if you know the twist already, what’s the point? The twist is what makes the movie. Another example that freaked me out NOT only for the twist aspect but because of the realistic was “Orphan”.

Movies that have a real life serial killer or say a disease are more terrifying for me than the supernatural ones because part of the fascination with horror is you get the scares but you talk yourself out of it by saying, “It’s just a movie”. Well, sometimes, it’s NOT just a movie. Real Life Horror does give me chills!

As a part of my spotlight, I have decided to list 10 of my favorite horror movies of all time, in no particular order! 🙂

If you love Horror Movies and haven’t seen any of these, I highly recommend them!

1. “The Exorcist”- I honestly can NOT imagine a horror list WITHOUT this movie. Who didn’t get nightmares from that head twist or the backwards walk down the stairs? People who originally watched this movie in the theaters fainted and went into hysterics!

2. “Village of the Damned”(Remake)-I have seen the original, too, but I just couldn’t get into it. A whole town of women being mysteriously impregnanted with alien children who kill? Creepy!

3. “Nightmare on Elm Street”(1984)- Seen the remake…no one can do Freddy like Robert Englund. This movie used to give me nightmares, now it’s nothing for me to watch it! The character of “Fred Krueger” was partly based on a kid who bullied Wes Craven…way to use the bullying as inspiration!

4. “The Birds”-I’ve heard talk of a remake and I hope it lives up to its predecessor! This movie is Hitchcock at his best! I’ve never been scared of birds before but wow…after watching this movie, you look at big flocks of birds differently! Just realized this fact, BUT “The Birds” is based on the novel of the same name by Daphne Du Maurier, the author of “Rebecca”, one of my favorite books of all time!

5. “Rosemary’s Baby”-This is just a disturbing movie….The year after this movie was made, the Director’s wife, Sharon Tate was murdered by Charles Manson’s followers. The followers were supposedly inspired by the Beatle’s song “Helter Skelter”….what’s more eerie? In 1980, John Lennon of the Beatles is murdered in the apartment building where this movie was filmed

6. “Jaws”-I blame this movie for my fear of swimming in the ocean! …Ok, so I don’t know how to swim anyways, but still! Watching this movie NOW, the shark looks obviously fake, but back as a kid, scary! The first shark shown dead in this movie IS a real one, though…shipped from Florida and said to be already decomposing! yuck!

7. “The Tingler”-This is a 1959 movie that I watched a few years ago and I admit it’s pretty comical because of the effects but I love it because of all the added effects they used in the theater. I really wish movies did something like this now! The idea of the Tingler is it lives inside you and grows when you are scared and is controlled by screams. They hid buzzers in the seats to make you scream for your lives!

8. “Return of the Living Dead III”- Yea, I guess it’s weird I picked the 3rd one but this movie scared me to death the first few times I watched it!

9. “Carrie”-My favorite Stephen King movie, partly because I related to the poor girl who was bullied and while I KNEW it was bad what she does, I also rooted for her. I ALSO love the fact that this was the first big hit Stephen King wrote and he thought it sucked! He actually threw it in the trash and his wife found it and told him to try to publish it!

10. “The People under the stairs”-Very under rated movie by Wes Craven about a boy who burglarizes a house and finds the consequences very disturbing! Wes Craven was inspired to write this film after seeing a real-life news story about parents who locked their children up inside their house, never allowing them outside.

There’s 10 of my favorites, but by no means, ALL of them! See you next week to find out what I will be spotlighting next! 🙂



{February 23, 2013}   Life isn’t a Fairy Tale

The first definition of a “Fairytale” is just what it sounds like, a story about fairies told to amuse children. The other definition given is an interesting but highly implausible story, often told as an excuse; as in when someone makes up a story to get out of something, for example. The very definition of the word tells you that it’s something fictional and not real yet from the time we are little girls we believe in a day where we can run off, get married and live like in a fairytale. The whole idea sounds lovely, but if you look at the examples from most fairy tales, are they really that ideal? Something horrible usually happens before the supposed happily ever after which seems to be the key thing we dream of. We all want our “Happily ever after”, never considering that this lovely ending in fairy tales could just be a clever way to say “The End” while making you feel all happy inside.

Now let me first clarify that this is NOT coming from a scorned woman who feels like she missed out on her fairy tale. I am happily married and I love my husband very much. I believe in the power of love and I believe that two people can stay in love throughout their marriage, go through the bad and come out better and grow old together. I simply disagree with the notion that life can be a great big fairy tale.

Let’s look at the elements OF a fairy tale. They always start with “Once upon a time”. Well, in that way, I guess we can agree. All our lives started once at some time or the other. Secondly, you always have a hero/heroine and a villain. Well, in real life, there are many villains all around you. Some people have more villains in their paths than others; some get conquered by a hero or heroine, even if just metaphorically speaking; others aren’t so lucky and lose out. Good doesn’t always win over evil in real life.

Third, we have magic. I believe a little in the supernatural and that we have a type of magic or power within ourselves, but I don’t believe people can turn an actual pumpkin into a carriage or that mice I encounter will talk to me and then sew me a dress. If there are mice that can do this and I am unaware, PLEASE let me know! Then…we have royalty usually in some way. We definitely still have kings, queens and princesses around as shown by the royal wedding, BUT the royalty of 2013 is very different from what it was when fairy tales were first told. In fact, WHEN they were first told, it wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies then! A queen was more liable to get her head cut off than be happy with her king, who was probably bedding several mistresses right in front of her!

Next, fairy tales always have some kind of problem and solution. In this case, I can relate but real life seems to have never ending problems and the solution doesn’t come from magic. Real life is tough and while it’s nice to believe you can just be happy forever and never be sad, angry or hurt again, it’s not true. You DON’T get married and then everything be sunshine from then on. Things are going to happen, LIFE happens. You can’t avoid that fact.

Lastly, fairy tales always have some kind of lesson, with the main one usually that good conquers evil. Ah, fairy tales, how I envy that good always wins out in you! If only in real life good could always win. If only sickness would always lose, if people wouldn’t ever hurt you, and you wouldn’t have to face death. But life isn’t a fairy tale.

Having said what I don’t agree with, I will now say that I still appreciate fairy tales also for what they are. Fairy tales give people hope, which is something hard to always keep in this day and age. Hope is important to have regardless of the situation. It’s good to believe the best of mankind and hope that in the end, good WILL win out, even when it doesn’t.

Life ISN’T a fairy tale but it IS a story. A story that YOU fill out by every step you take, every word you say and everything you do each day. You have the power (or magic) to decide how you’re going to deal with what life throws you and what people will say when they read YOUR story. So while your life may not read as a fairy tale, you can still let your life read as a GOOD life well lived. A life of someone who tried to do what was right, who loved whole heartedly, and tried hard to make this world the type where good DOES win out in the end.



Welcome!

As always, you may answer these questions in your own post or in the comments section!

This 5 Question Friday was brought to you by:

On to the questions!

1. What is a hobby you would love to learn and why?  I would love to learn different styles of dances. I’ve danced for fun before and I was in a singing/dancing group but I think it would be fun to learn all the specifics of certain styles. Not that I would be able to execute them very well, but it would be fun cause I love to dance. 🙂

2. What do you wish you could have delivered to your house but does not deliver? Well, normally I would say Books, but you can deliver them! Both through Kindle and through Booksfree, so…hmmm…Even though I don’t eat unhealthy food very much, it would be nice if all the restaurants, both fast food AND fancy ones delivered on the days where you are really sick and don’t want to make something to eat!

3. What’s your favorite snow day activity? Inside and out? We don’t really have snow days…if we did, I would probably take photos because it would be very rare! As far as inside activity, it would just give me another excuse to read and I don’t need many excuses for that!

4. Would you meet a stranger from an Internet dating site? Well, I am married so I think that would be an issue with my husband LOL…..before I was married, I didn’t really frequent things that often because the ones that don’t cost money, I tried to stay away from. I think I equated a lot of these with guys just looking for….uh….sex instead of love. Doesn’t mean they all are, just the way I saw it at the time. I met my husband through Myspace though, so yes, I WOULD have met a stranger through a web site, just not a dating one. And yes, I realize that it’s mainly a difference in wording.

5. If you had to spend 35 hours in a car with 4 other people, who would you choose? Sorry to my husband, but if it was 35 hours straight with no breaks(other than bathroom ones, I hope), I would NOT pick him! Simply because he smokes and I’m allergic to it, I would not be able to be stuck close to smoke for that long. BUT I would miss him! Honestly, I would pick my best friend Rebekah, because I haven’t seen her in awhile and it would be fun….my best friend Tara, my niece Lydia (because I also haven’t seen her in awhile and I think her and Tara would get along well), and a private chauffeur cause I am making this a limo with the back part private, dang it! LOL……And inviting any more of my nieces might cause problems because being stuck together for 35 hours(as sisters for most of them) would probably cause arguments and I would want it to just be fun!

 

 





{February 21, 2013}   Ignorance Inherited

I am fully expecting to possibly hear a negative response from parents out there as I sit and write this and I apologize in advance if any of you take this in the wrong way, but I feel like this is something that needs to be said.

Parents…..if your kid is misbehaving in public in a way that is destructive or dangerous, PLEASE do something about it!

Ok, I recognize there are exceptions to every rule, but this is a rant that comes from an experience I had the other day while waiting to see the doctor and I hope you get where I’m coming from. This lady comes in with two kids and sits down. One little boy, I would say about 4 or 5 and one little girl, maybe 2. The lady sits down and the kids scatter about playing around while the mother sits waiting. No problem there YET. These children have a few of what looks to be covered straws with them or at least something that looks like this but I can’t tell for sure because I obviously don’t go and look at them. The mother is at first seated quite a bit away from me so I can’t really see what she or the kids are doing at first but they aren’t being overly loud. Then the mother comes and sits a little closer where I can clearly see her and the kids. I see a security guard go by and briefly ask her if her kid threw something over the balcony.

The office I am at is on the 3rd floor of a side part inside a hospital with about 5 foot sides that look out onto the main thoroughfare of the hospital so throwing something over the balcony, even something small could be dangerous. I figured the guard must have seen the boy look like he was GOING to throw something to have asked her. She shook her head no and he left. It wasn’t even five minutes past then that the mother was sitting and filling out paperwork while her kids were playing beside the walls of the balcony(this time on the side where I could see). The little boy was laughing and holding the straw or whatever item it was and acting like he was trying to throw it up and over. I kind of started in a bit in my chair and whispered over to my mom that the little boy was trying to throw things over the balcony. I think the Mom sensed something in the air and she glanced over to her kids for a moment, saw what they were doing and went back to her paperwork as if she could care less. The little boy then went on to throw not one but two of these straws? over the balcony. While I realized that the straws probably didn’t cause any serious problems, it really bothered me that the mother didn’t stop her child. In fact, the little girl tried, but thankfully failed, to climb the side! If she had been successful, I would have definitely screamed out something then! Since I did not stay the whole time the children were out there, what started as a straw might have ended up with throwing books, toys, who knows?! The issue was that by allowing the children to throw anything over the balcony, it is teaching them that it is fine to do that. All I could do was sit there and shake my head at the ignorance of the mother. I realize she was busy but she looked up and saw and didn’t reprimand her children THEN or when they were playing with a plant and tearing it up! This is just ignorance to me and I felt for what those kids were going to grow up to be like with a mother who just seemed to care less what her kids did.

During the same wait, I also noticed an adult male who was looking to return back into the doctor’s office after going out for a bit and you have to get the nurses to open the doors. Well, to talk to the nurses, there’s a bell you can ring or you just wait politely until the nurse acknowledges you and opens the glass screen. Clearly written on the outside of the screen, it says: “No tapping, knocking or opening the glass”. What did this guy do? He went right over and opened the screen to ask her to open the door. Again, I had to shake my head. I found it funny that the nurse made him wait a bit to actually open the door. Served him right!

It wasn’t until later as I thought of both situations that I realized what I was seeing. The older male reminded me of the younger boy and how he will probably act as an adult. True, opening the glass screen wasn’t dangerous at all, but it was disrespectful and totally ignorant of the rules. I am thankful that as a child, my mom would have NEVER allowed me to act in the way that little boy did. Which is why I NOW shake my head at the mother of that child AND the adult male who was ignorant as well. My mom taught me that rules are put in place for important reasons and we must follow them whether we understand it or not. My mom might have missed me misbehaving at times but you can bet if she looked up and noticed me doing wrong, it would be stopped as soon as possible. When I have kids, I plan to do the same.



To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading? “A Grown-up Kind of Pretty” by Joshilyn Jackson

What did you recently finish reading? “The Story of Ain’t: America, Its Language, and the most controversial dictionary ever published” by David Skinner

“Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult’s Attempt to UnArrest her Arrested Development; Or, Why It’s Never Too Late For Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not For Dinner” by Jennifer Lancaster

“Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” by Anna Quindlen

“Seduced by Pain”(Seduced Saga, Book Two, Rose’s Story) by Kimberly Kinrade

“Only Forever”(Short story) by Kimberly Kinrade

“On a Pale Horse”(Incarnations of Immortality, #1) by Piers Anthony (Thanks to Dayle for recommending this book, I loved it! 🙂 Now I wonder if the other 4 are as good!

What do you think you’ll read next? “Forgotten English” by Jeffrey Kacirk

*Yes, I have read ALOT this past week! Mainly because I’ve been sick and am still sick. 😦 When I’m sick, I read a lot more than I usually do!*



The title of this post is a line from the Papa Roach song, “Scars”. Every time I’ve heard that song, I feel like I can relate. I guess I inherited it from my mother because everyone tells her that she wears her heart on her sleeve. If someone cries around her, she feels the sorrow and cries herself. I am JUST like her in that way and it really does leave scars when you care so much about things.

When someone I deeply care about hurts me in any way, I don’t just temporarily feel hurt and move on. The pain sticks with me well beyond the point it should. I let things people do and say tear me completely apart and I over analyze and just become so depressed by it that I can’t focus on anything else. I try to just get over things and move on, but little grievances instead become like a bullet shot straight through my heart that I just can’t seem to fully heal. There’s things from my past that I still can’t get over. I have nightmares to this day about how people have used me and things people said to me that dug deep and it’s like they are on auto repeat in my head. It’s a tough thing to deal with wearing my heart on my sleeve and I dread how much my emotions could possibly increase one day when I get pregnant. If there’s such a thing as being any more emotional than I already am, then wow….It’s going to be hard to deal with me, I’m not going to lie!

There’s positives, though. I never use the words “I love you” unless I truly mean them. I’ve NEVER been able to use them flippantly. I take the words very seriously so if I tell someone that I love you, you can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I mean it. And I might care too much for the people I love, but isn’t that better than not caring at all or not caring enough?

I guess another side of wearing my emotions close to me is that I’m very honest…too honest at times. If someone close to me hurts my feelings, I will let them know. I try to let them know in the most nicest way I can, but I let them know. Sometimes I worry by letting others know that they may think I am crazy for getting so worked up over something they might think isn’t as big of a deal as I do and then I second guess myself and wonder why I said what I said and didn’t just let it go. But from past experience, I have held things in before and not let people know that things bothered me, and what happened THEN was being so depressed from keeping it inside that the depression took over my life. When that happens, I cry in public randomly for no exact reason. I lash out in anger over something that I really DON’T care about because the truth is, I’m still hurting over something from a long time ago that would be crazy to bring up this late in the game. The things I love to do stop meaning as much to me and I spend my days in a deep sadness that leaves me feeling like I’m drowning.

So this is why I know speak up and let people know as nicely as I can…..they MAY think I am overobsessed with trivial matters or crazy but the alternative is so much worse for me. I care, I care too much, but I care and because I care, I HAVE to let people know when I think something isn’t fair, when something has hurt me deeply or just when I miss them so much that they are on my mind every second of every day. At this moment in my life, the people I love the most are growing up and going their separate ways and I am feeling a great loss. I know people have to move on but that doesn’t lessen what I feel when they do. I feel like some of the people I love are moving on without me and are leaving me behind and I find myself in tears over that loss. I can’t even imagine how I’m going to feel one day when I have kids and they move on. That thought is unbearable when just the idea of other family members not seeing me as often feels like my heart is breaking. Is that feeling normal? I don’t know……but it’s tearing me apart and I just wish I didn’t care so much.



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