Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday returns

Happy Black Friday!

As much as I love Thanksgiving, part of the excitement is Black Friday...and what better slot to put it in than my Friday Favorite Things column!

The mass hordes of people will run rampant through the malls, today. And more retailers online will have a great weekend. Hoping for better than last year!

And I will be one of them. Probably after gifts for myself again, like I was last year. I've had many of my gifts for my family since...after last Christmas. I start my shopping early!

If you're one of the hordes, good luck...otherwise, see you online next week. I'm going to rest!

Peace, good will, and bargain shopping to you all. :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello, one and all.

So, Christmas has been in the air, of late. At least, here it has been. And as much as it annoys some people (read: my brother) to hear Christmas music before Thanksgiving, my parents and I have been enjoying the musical selections of the holiday season on one station of the radio. Every song, 24/7, is a Christmas song, and has been since Halloween. I heard it may be in protest of some group trying to ban Christmas music from the radio till after Thanksgiving. I don't really care--I love Christmas music. I love Christmas!

But I also love Thanksgiving, and all of its thousands of calories dishes. And I refuse to skip over it, even if I am in the Christmas spirit. Because really, I'm just in the holiday-let's-celebrate spirit. Besides, it's not the day's fault that there aren't any really catchy Thanksgiving songs out there. What would they even be? I'm Dreaming of a Chocolate Dinner Mint? How about Oh, Turkey-Bird instead of Oh, Tannenbaum? (Oh, Turkey-bird, oh, Turkey-bird--your legs and thighs are tasty. Oh, Turkey-bird, Oh, Turkey-bird--especially with gravy.) Or "Let us eat, let us eat, let us eat": Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the pie is so delightful--so since we've got snow and sleet--let us eat, let us eat, let us eat!

OK. See? This is why we don't have Thanksgiving songs.

But rest assured, I'm having a lovely, hearty, veggie-influenced (yum!) Thanksgiving this year--and I hope you are also enjoying the day, and giving thanks--I am, for friends, family, health, happiness, blessings, luck, and all that great food.

So, to put you into the Thanksgiving spirit, let me leave you with a few parting Thanksgiving thoughts.

Forever on Thanksgiving Day, The heart will find the pathway home. ~Wilbur D. Nesbit

You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown.~Marcie in the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special

Family and friends
Give thanks and break bread.
Please pass the pumpkin pie.
~ Just Another Sarah :)

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Favorite Things Fridays!

Another favorite color for this week: Sea Foam Green. What a gorgeous color this is!

I use to search this crayon, and periwinkle, out of my brother's and my big crayon box. Grab a silver, and you have the perfect colors for the ocean--which I was somewhat obsessed with. It's just so different--I think that's part of its charm. Soft and gentle, and yet full of least, that's what I feel building, when I see it.

FYI, I did a search on Google images for the color, and found about a million sea foam green guitars. Apparently, it's a popular color!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Blog Year!!!! + blogfest

Hello, all! Today, three years after I started my blog, abandoned it, then rediscovered it, I have hit post 100! Today! With this post! Woo-hoo! And what better way to celebrate than to host a blogfest?

If you're new or not, come join the Blogfest: Retold! Even if it's just reading the entrants. Mr. Linky widget thing can be found below here, as well. Read everyone's...and enjoy!

Retellings are so interesting--even just a different POV can make things make more sense, or can put a different twist on things. I can think of so many awesome examples... like this poem, Penelope, by Dorothy Parker:

In the pathways of the sun,
In the footsteps of the breeze,
Where the world and sky are one,
He shall ride the silver seas,
He shall cut the glittering wave.
I shall sit at home, and rock;
Rise, to heed a neighbor's knock;
Brew my tea, and snip my thread;
Bleach the linen for my bed.
They will call him brave.

My dad used to tell me bedtime stories like this: we'd pick the story, then we'd pick the POV. I loved them. So, I decided to go with a fairy tale because of that reason. I think I want to take it and add more story and more details and more length, but I wanted to give you this much, at least. So here it is. And don't forget to check out the other participants below!

The courts had warned Rose's family long ago about the dangers of annoying the Magic Ones. But of course, you couldn't really talk to her parents. She didn't know what they had done to deserve it--no one really talked about that. But she knew they did deserve the curse they had earned for her. Because they did so many things to deserve just that sort of mistrust. And they knew it, too.

The curse had hung over her head from the first step she ever took. Her nanny told her how the maids all gasped when she took her first step, and immediately, the ruling came down from the throne: Remove all spindles. Even remove all spinning wheels. Looms. Anything. Just in case.

Rose kept looking around the castle for the strange things--they were foreign to her, anyway. Of course, the faerie who chose that as her curse knew what she was doing. In a land that had won its riches from textile exportation, spindles were part of daily life. Necessary. For everyone but Rose. Even before she totally understood the concept of it, she often thought it was justice--that her parents were forced to choose between her and between money.

The thread still had to be turned out, though. And she should have known her parents would not choose her, a girl, for long. Especially after Sam was born. Rose loved Sam, how rosy he was. Her parents were much more cautious, this time--and all the Magic Ones brought only kind gifts and boons. A sweet disposition, a strong leader, a healthy boy. Rose helped to care for him. Even his skin was silken.

But soon, it was not enough. She went looking for Nanny, and overheard the discussion from the hallway. "Hide the girl," her father's best adviser cautioned. "Keep her hidden away."

"You can't hide her forever," Nanny argued.

"It wouldn't be forever, would it?" Her mother asked. "The curse must end at some time."

"Curses can go on until they are filled," Nanny said. "You never know what might happen."

"Sire." The adviser sniffed. "We lose money everyday, sire."

So at age ten, she was hidden away from her family. Her brother, only four then, cried when she went away, and she wanted to run back and tell him not to cry, but she had to face her expulsion like the princess she was. Like a sacrificial beast sent to the altar. Kept away from the rest of the world.

She lived with her nanny for the next six years in the woods near the palace. She grew used to Nanny's murmurs and blandishments against her family. She muttered them herself, when Nanny wasn't there--Nanny would still box her ears for her complaints.

When she turned sixteen, though, she felt like that was should be the end of it. And she told Nanny so.

"Well, I've been thinking that you ought to return to the castle every day since we came to this loathsome cottage," Nanny said.

Rose smiled indulgently. Their home was a dear one, to her, and she knew Nanny loved it as much as she did. But she missed Sam, her sweet-faced brother, and she missed her parents--even their coldness.

She decided to sneak back the first night, so it wouldn't be so much of a shock. A lot could change in six years, after all. And it had--the buildings were much closer to forest than she remembered, and ran up against the walls surrounding the palace. They crept up and down the streets, traveling the same route they had used when they left, years ago.

They slipped through the gate, some ways away from a sleepy guard, and then they were home. Rose breathed in and let out a slow breath, pleased with their progress forward.

But not Nanny. "Oh, my stars," she said, and then she cursed a bluer streak than Rose had ever heard.

Rose blinked at this reaction, but then she looked around, too. And in the yard, in front of the doors, stood two large statues. She could see two more near another door, far off into the night. They looked the same--sort of wavy, and pointed six feet up in the air, gleaming in the moonlight.

"That, my dear, is your parents' homage to a spindle." Rose could hear Nanny's teeth grinding at her agitation. "Obviously, they are doing well. Blessings upon us."

Rose nodded in agreement, but she couldn't keep her eyes off the strange gold structures, gleaming blue in the night. And she found herself wanting--hoping--stretching.

"Come, Princess." Nanny obviously hadn't noticed, and Rose didn't want to bring it to her attention. "Let's go inside."

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Hey, all! Don't forget about the Blogfest I'm hosting on Nov. 16--post a retelling of a scene. Pick a scene, any scene. Read more and sign up here!

I hope the excitement is bubbling up within you! And the creative juices too, of course!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Favorite Things Fridays!

I've mentioned it before; I have a list of favorite colors. I'm not even joking. And I think there is a shade or tint of nearly every basic color you can think of.

I really like almost all colors, even ones not on my list. And I find that I'm hesitant now to add some colors I totally dig. For example, I wear reds and blacks all the time...and yet neither are on the list. Perhaps because it's so long? Perhaps because part of me still doesn't believe that I really love those colors? I'm such a pink girl, after all. I don't know. But in any case, I guess I'll feature each color on its own--that's only fair, right?

Today's favorite color: gold. The color of fall, the color of fields of wheat. It's rich and yet sort of understated.I think every color sort of indicates a mood, and gold feels sort of comfortable, not quite cold, not quite warm, simple and yet showy. It's gold.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

I don't feel like we really do enough to celebrate Veterans Day. It's not like it's Christmas or Thanksgiving, after all...but it's just as important. Spare a thought for our veterans, in every country. They do what I could not, and I am thankful for them all.

Here's a bit of history, which we sometimes forget about: this day marks the celebration of the ceasefire during "The Great War," World War I. That was back when there was only one "world" war. That was some time ago.

For more history, check this link out. Or catch a slice of the culture with this famous poem, written during WWI.

              In Flanders Field
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
      Between the crosses, row on row,
   That mark our place; and in the sky
   The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
   Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
         In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
   The torch; be yours to hold it high.
   If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
         In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Children's Books

I was on a crusade supporting children's picture books, but life and blogfests got in the way. So we'll just pick up where we left off for this week.

One of my favorite picture books of all times is a Sesame Street book. Maybe you've heard of it? It's so, so, so amazing. Grover warns readers that there is a *monster* at the end of the book. He cautions them not to read on, because he is afraid! He tries to tie the pages shut--he tries to put up a brick wall. Yet the reader continues to go forward through it all, pushing and pulling apart what he or she could never do on their own, simply by turning a page.

I can't sing the praises of this book enough. It's sort of meta, for a children's book. And it's funny. I suspect that it is cleverly enough done that it might help children who are afraid of monsters, get over it. L-O-V-E it!

This is a great read--if you have kids, go and get it, but if you don't, seriously. Find it. You will love it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Favorite Things Fridays!

I love butterflies. One year, when I was in college, my roommate had to "grow" monarch butterflies in our dorm room. We named them Lucy, Charlie and Pepe. Pepe was a girl, but you know, we named them when they were cocoons, so we did the best we could.

Having these darlings float around our room was pretty fantastic. One landed on my foot while I was studying, and hung out with me for about an hour--even when I got up to walk around.

We both missed them when we set them free.


Don't forget to sign up for my Nov. 16 Blogfest: Retold! If you're interested. Sign up today!