Monday, December 29, 2014

The Next 1000

A funny thing happened during my time writing this blog: I wrote a 1000 posts.

I mentioned it a time or two last year. I think. I think I might have even been excited about it at one time. I remember being really close to 1000, I think it was 992 or something and the next time I looked was today and now we are all the way up to 1018.

How did that happen?

Like a lot of other things in my life lately, I simply forgot. I don't know if it is age-related, a deficiency of some kind or simply that I have no clue what I am doing or what I am supposed to be doing. Or it could be a combination of all three? Who knows, or for that matter, who can remember what I was just referring to? Time to move on--I'm sure I'll remember it at some point.

Over the last couple of years, many of the bloggers that I knew have left the blogging world for one reason or another. Life can sometimes get in the way. People decide they want to do different things. And still others get bored with it--the routine of finding something interesting to write about.

For me, the process of publishing two books has taken a lot of the fun away from writing on this blog. Also, since I spend a lot of time on Facebook, it's easier to write three or four lines about something funny and get immediate feedback such as "likes" or comments than it is to write a 400-500 word blog post that you have no idea whether someone will ever actually read. Plus, I'm still trying to figure out what kind of writing I want to do.

A writer friend of mine you may have heard of, Gina Barreca, PhD, told me that it doesn't matter what you write as long as you write something. Every day if you can. Another friend of mine told me to stop worrying about writing the next bestseller and just write the best book that you can. Both are excellent suggestions and I hope to do just that.

I have found that I really missed posting regular updates on my blog. Mom and I have had all sorts of adventures and I continue to see the humor in the most unexpected places. Having said that, in 2015, my goal is to have three new blog posts a week while I continue working on my 4-part novel series. I believe by doing so that I will be able to keep you, the reader engaged, while keeping myself engaged as well. One of my shortcomings is I like to be a "one hit wonder"; write it once and move on to the next thing. I'm not a big fan of editing or rewriting. By writing fresh material for this blog, I will be able to do just that: keep it short, light and funny. (Not much editing to do there.) I can then focus on the more intricate and complicated plot lines that are occurring within my novels and really feel like I'm getting something accomplished.

It's really good to have a plan and I think this is a good start. For those of you that have read my blog since 2008, I offer a BIG THANK YOU and for those that have just stumbled across this site by accident, I say "thanks" to you as well.

Happy New Year!

And here's to the next 1000...



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Rudd's Christmas Farm...A Southern Ohio Christmas Memory


***Enjoy this classic holiday post***

A holiday tradition that many people in southern Ohio enjoyed throughout the years was a visit to see the lights. Actually, it was called Rudd's Christmas Farm and it featured almost a million lights by the time it closed in 1999. The light display was nestled in the hills of southern Ohio near the Shawnee National Forest in a town called Blue Creek.

I knew Blue Creek because that's where my Granny and Uncle Tommy lived. Each year after Thanksgiving Mr. Rudd would flip the switch and the twinkling lights would fill the nighttime sky with a dazzling display of electric sunshine. If you were looking for plastic Santa Clauses or mechanized Frosty the Snowmans then this light display wasn't for you. Rudd's Christmas Farm celebrated the true meaning of Christmas, which was the birth of Jesus. Some years he would have live animals on display and a manger scene was usually set up in the barn.

We usually went to see the lights on Christmas night. We had spent the day at Granny's house--eating and running down all of the batteries in our new toys. As darkness began to close in it was time to load up in her truck and drive over to see this year's display. I don't know how we managed but we always seemed to fit 23 people in Granny's truck, plus a wheelchair.

The drive to see the lights was an adventure by itself. It was a couple miles back a curvy road with a large stream on one side and a big drop off down into a gully on the other. Throw in some icy weather and a couple tour buses and you got yourself a happening situation.

Once we unloaded and made our way through the display it was time to meet Mr. Rudd. Both Mr. Rudd and my Granny had extremely large families. He didn't know who you specifically belonged to, but he knew you were one of Margaret's kids' kids. Greetings were exchanged and Christmas carols were sang with full-bellied gusto. It was a good time.

I guess the event that stands out the most about my visits to Rudd's Christmas Farm was the year he did something special for my family. Due to horrible weather and a death in the family we were unable to view the lights on Christmas night. We had several family members that didn't make it to Granny's house until well up into January. Granny placed a phone call and asked if Mr. Rudd might turn on the lights for a few minutes so we could witness the majesty of his display. Not a problem, he told my grandmother, come on over.

Now, that's the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Gianetta

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Traditions

Some of my fondest memories around the holidays occurred on Christmas Eve. It wasn’t the actual event that was so much fun but the preparations up to that special day.

My Dad would always help in the decorating of the living room. There are certain decorations that had to go in a specific spot each year. We always had red and green crepe paper chains that ran across the ceiling of the living room. We would take branches from the bottom of the Christmas tree and place them on the mantel above the fireplace. We had a fabulously colored gold and shiny tinsel looking thing that hung from one of the doorways.

My job on Christmas Eve was to always set out the different food-laden bowls in the living room. We always had a bowl with various nuts, mainly walnuts. We had a specific bowl for the fruit, mainly navel oranges that we ordered from the FFA each year. And you can’t forget about the cheese plate. (Which was my favorite.)

Both sets of my grandparents would come to my house each year for Christmas Eve dinner. My dad’s mom and my step-grandfather, both affectionately known as Mamaw and Papaw, as well as my mom’s mother and her brother, also known affectionately as Granny and Uncle Tommy. You needed to make sure you called Mamaw “mamaw” and Granny “granny”, or they’d let you know about it.

We would have a very big meal and then get to open our presents from our grandparents. I always knew what I was getting. Mamaw gave up buying us presents when we were really young. Instead, we were given money to go buy ourselves a present, which you had to wrap and then open in front of Mamaw.

Granny had so many grandchildren that all she could afford was usually a dollar bill and a pair of socks. I didn’t mind because I always knew that I would get a new pair of dress socks for Christmas.

Christmas Eve also meant something else too. That night the furnace got turned up to almost 80. Both grandparents were extremely cold-natured and we would have the fireplace going full blast and the furnace wide open. I loved it! I swear that was the coldest house I have ever lived in. The furnace had two vents—one into the living room and the other into mom and dad’s bedroom. There was an exhaust pipe that ran up through the ceiling and on out to the outside. The pipe was right beside my bed and I would hug it (it was warm) before I burrowed into my bed covered with about 15 quilts and blankets.

It seemed we were in bed relatively early and we tried to stay awake so we could monitor the comings and goings of the busy bees downstairs as they readied the living room for Christmas morning. I’m not sure what time they got to bed but everything was always perfect.

Our Christmas Eve dinners were always a lot of fun and something that we looked forward to. Sadly, several of the key players are no longer with us and they are deeply missed. We have a new tradition for Christmas Eve that we started after we lost Dad. I’m not sure why, but now we always go out for Chinese food.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

video



From my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

Enjoy!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 12


On my twelfth day of dieting my body said to me:

12 disappointing weigh-ins

11 times the kitties have told me to pick up her book

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar-free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Thank goodness, that's over! There's always next year!

Now, let's eat!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 11

On my eleventh day of dieting my body said to me:

11 times the kitties have told you to buy the book


10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 10



Hey! This thing is almost over.  Have you picked up my book yet? If you have, then I say, "way to go." If not, I say, "What are you waiting for?"


On my tenth day of dieting my body said to me:

10 minutes of walking

9 times I've cheated

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 9




On my ninth day of dieting my body said to me:

9 times I've cheated (ate at Red Lobster)

8 glasses of water

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 8



Have you picked up a copy of my book yet? It makes a great gift!

On my eighth day of dieting my body said to me:

8 glasses of water

7 slimey salads

6 sugarfree Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 7



It's less than three weeks until Christmas and the goodies are everywhere. But stay strong, you're over halfway there.

On my seventh day of dieting my body said to me:

7 slimy salads

6 sugar free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 6


On my sixth day of dieting my body said to me:

6 sugar-free Jello cups

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

HEY! It's Christmastime! Don't you need an extra gift for Uncle Fred or "the take the present and pass it game?" Give a copy of my latest book.  It makes a great gift.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 5




On my fifth day of dieting my body said to me:

YOU LOST 5 POUNDS (all water weight)

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 4



Looking for a unique gift? Check out my latest book. You'll be laughing for days!

On my fourth day of dieting my body said to me:

4 protein shakes

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

Boy, howdy! You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 3


My crazy neighbor, Miss Merlethem Shatz, caught me outside today as I was putting up my Christmas lights. She said she had been watching me through the window and I looked like I could use a snack. Now, I'm always up for a snack, but she brought me one of those yucky tasting low-carb bars that usually results in a mad dash to the bathroom upon consumption.

I'm nothing if not neighborly, so I ate it and...well...it works great in my song.

Don't forget to buy a copy of my book. It makes a great gift!


On my third day of dieting my body said to me:

3 low-carb bars

2 hunger pains...

...and a

You can do it! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 2


I did really well on my first day of dieting. I finished off the no-bake cookies. Now on to day 2...

Don't forget to pick up my latest book. It makes a great gift!

On the second day of dieting my body said to me:


2 hunger pains...

...and

You're gonna do great! Just think how much better you'll feel.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Twelve Days Of Dieting...Year V...Day 1


It's December once again and you know what that means: It's time for the Twelve Days of Dieting!

Please join me as I continue my quest to become the MA not so Fat Woman. I'm sure you've heard the holiday classic The Twelve days of Christmas. Well, my version is The Twelve Days of Dieting.

Check back for added days and don't hesitate to sing along!

Don't forget to pick up my book; it makes a great gift.

On my first day of dieting my body said to me, "You can do it, just think how much better you'll feel..."

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