Sunday, December 19, 2010

Time To Decorate

My dad would have loved this video so just had to post it here.

I wish all my readers a very Merry and Blessed Christmas! Hope you will celebrate our Savior's birth in a big way!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Going Back In Time--56 Years Ago

Today is my birthday and I am so thankful for the lovely present my dad gave me by taking so many movies.

I feel like I'm in a time machine when I watch these old movies.  My dad took pictures of my first 11 birthdays, skipped my 12th and got my 13th.  That was a pretty fancy cake spinner that played "Happy Birthday" as it turned the cake around.  My mom used to come up with some cut cakes even though she wasn't big on cooking or baking. 

My mom never liked her picture taken so this video is pretty funny of her holding me telling my dad to stop taking her picture. I'm glad he didn't listen to her though because I think it's funny and love watching her.

I finally decided to go ahead and get them transferred to DVD's. Some I did through CVS but now I found that I can get them transferred and stored online at iMemories. The CVS ones cost $30-$55 each.  I had 13 movies converted to digital at iMemories for $391 and ordered two DVD's at $9.99 each.  The cost depends on the length of the movies.

Unlimited storage at iMemories is just $5/month but I can upload pictures, edit film clips and order DVD's or just download them to my computer.  Now I can store all the videos I make with movie maker on iMemories and free up space on my computer.  I can set up galleries with just certain things and share them with others by giving out the URL.  For example, here is the link to my pet video gallery there.  In the upper left corner you can click on the all gallery tab and see I have some password protected that you cannot view unless I give you the password.  The "How To Video" gallery is available for you to watch if you wish.  I can cancel at any time.

Just thought you may like to make a DVD for someone.  It's probably too late to do it for this Christmas, but it's something you may want to look into.  You can also have them convert slides and photographs to digital.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

What To Get Dad For His Birthday Is No Longer A Problem

My dad's birthday would be Thursday if he were still alive. I think about how hard it was to know what to get him and wish I still had that problem.

Growing up, I thought it would be so much easier if he liked sports because then I could by him sport equipment or team apparel. I did manage to come up with a few really good things for him that he wore even though he always said he didn't need any new clothes. A lumberjack jacket was one of the best gifts I gave him. He liked the fleece pullover I got him too.

In his later years, I used to buy him things for his cats.  This is a picture of Sylvester in the bed we got him which he loved!  He liked that even though it wasn't actually something he used himself. I sure wish he was still alive! I haven't a clue what I would get him this year if he were, but I'd find something. 

In cleaning out his house after he died, I came across a pile of birthday cards I had given to him over the years. I was surprised he saved them because I didn't think men cared about cards, but they must have meant something to him.

If you still have parents to shop for, you may find it hard to know what to get them, but that's one problem you should be glad you have!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Manny Picks A Winner

Spunky Doodle was busy looking out the window so Manny volunteered to chose the winner of our Fabulous Followers Giveaway.  The winner will receive an autographed copy of my book, "My Funny Dad, Harry" and a DVD with clips of him in action!  Thanks to all who expressed an interest.  The book is available on Amazon and Barnes Noble.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Catalog Shopping vs. Hitting The Stores On Black Friday

I'm the one on the right in the brown plaid flannel shirt.
Back in 1965 when we were growing up, my parents were never big on taking us four kids all shopping very often but we always looked forward to when the catalogs from Sears, Penney's and Montgomery Ward arrived in the mail.  We would each be able to go through them and check up to a certain number of things we would like in each one.  I think it was somewhere like five to ten items but I really don't remember the exact number.  I know we had a limit so it was a very serious task, but one we all enjoyed.  I wonder if we grew up in these times with the Internet if my mom would have gone online and requested catalogs so we could mark the things we would like.

Today, I shop by catalog too.  We get them from L.L. Bean, Whales and Friends, Brookstone and a bunch of others but I like to actually get out and go to stores too.  When I was a teenager, I went for the first time on Black Friday.  We went early in the morning and it was so much fun!  As an adult, I always look forward to getting my Christmas shopping mostly done that day and when I married Gerard, we both go now about 7 a.m. and get home around 2:00 or so.  In my younger years, I used to go all day long but then I had more shopping to do and more energy.  I do remember being wiped out though by the end of the day.  We like seeing all the holiday shoppers, hearing the Christmas music in the stores and finding some good bargains.  The only part I don't like is hunting for a seat at the food court to eat lunch.

What about you?  Do you love to shop on Black Friday?  What shopping traditions do you have?  Do you still order from catalogs?

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day Memory (Writer's Workshop)

When I saw one of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompts this week was to "Describe a memorable Thanksgiving," this immediately came to mind. It is an excerpt from the book I wrote in memory of my dad.

Cooking Thanksgiving Day Dinner (November 25, 1999)

            My mom had been quite ill that month.  She was in and out of the hospital but was having a good day.  We all knew it meant a lot to her to have a nice Thanksgiving so my dad, me and Gerard all decided to pitch in and make it a good day.  Mom had made waldorf salad and the turkey roll was in the oven when Gerard and I arrived.  (I thought about bringing the camcorder, but didn’t because I knew mom wouldn’t want me to take her picture.  She was always camera shy, especially when she didn‘t think she looked good enough.  This was the last time Harry‘s oven was used--as an oven, that is.) 

            Mom supervised the dinner preparations from her favorite comfortable chair in the living room, telling dad and me what to do next.  (I am deficient in cooking unless it’s heating up frozen dinners.)  We were going to put the stuffing in the oven next to the turkey roll and the rolls on top, but dad had the cookie sheet with the turkey roll turned the wrong way so he had to spin it around.  Then the lid on the stuffing was too high, so dad had to make the rack lower.  Mom’s wondering what’s going on because I am laughing by now.  Instead of taking the turkey out, dad tried doing it leaving it in and just lifting the rack.  The turkey started sliding into the oven!  Gerard was back from CVS by then, so he was laughing too.  I caught it with the potholders in time before it fell into the oven.  Dinner was good. 

            Mom was feeling good and seemed back to normal like before she went to the hospital, recovering nicely.  She ate good too.  It was a nice Thanksgiving and, as it turned out, was a very good last memory of our time with mom.  I really wish I had brought my camcorder that day!

We wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fabulous Followers Gratitude Giveaway

Gratitude Giveaway for My Fabulous Followers
Nov. 17-Nov. 28 For “My Funny Dad, Harry”

I have read quite a few books about dysfunctional families so thought it was time for one that is heartwarming and uplifting.  The short funny stories in this book about my dad, our family, his cats and the strange things he did are all true.  Many of us deal with aging parents so can relate to me as I try to help and care for my dad.  If you are an elderly parent, you will probably identify with my dad.  I suspect you will smile, chuckle and may even laugh out loud but also will find parts very touching that may bring a tear to your eye.  This is an emotional read that will hopefully inspire you to cherish the people in your day-to-day life and may even get some useful tips. 
In appreciation to my fabulous followers of this blog, I am giving away an autographed copy of my book, “My Funny Dad, Harry” and a DVD featuring him to a follower who leaves a comment stating they would like to have it along with their email or blog URL so I can let them know if they win. All those who express a desire to have it by November 28 will be eligible. I will put each entry on a piece of paper and let my cat Spunky Doodle choose the winner since I got Spunky from my dad’s yard. (This giveaway is limited to the U.S.)  If I do not hear from the winner with their address by the end of November, another winner will be selected.

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

November Is Adopt A Senior Pet Month! Wouldn't You Like One?

My Dad Petting My Cat, Moe
Since my dad loved cats so much, I thought it appropriate to write about "Adopt A Senior Pet Month" here.  My husband and I adopted two senior pets, our cat, Moe, in 200 when the shelter estimated his age at eight and our dog, Abby, in 2009 through at an estimated age of five.  Both turned out to be great pets. Over at the Conscious Cat, is a post listing The Top 7 Things About Older Cats.  They are all so true.

Speaking from personal experience, cats are less work than dogs simply because you do not have to walk them at least twice a day and also are cheaper because dogs eat more and their vet care is more frequent.  My dad didn't walk his dog though.  (He just put down litter in a section of the basement and then shoveled it out when the dog went down there.  It still stunk!  I don't know why he did that!  I don't recommend it.)  When we got Moe, I was looking for a cat that would basically lay around and not wreck things.  Moe was perfect.  There are so many nice cats and dogs just waiting for a loving home.  They have so much love to give and are wonderful companions!

If you like, read about Moe's adoption story and Abby's adoption story:  Disappointment Turned To Joy and My New Home by Abby.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My First Halloween Costume--NOT

I think parents of young children really look forward to Halloween with their kids. They love dressing up the little ones in costumes and visiting the grandparents to show them. I remember lots of fun times at Halloween and do not feel guilty at all participating in the fun. Here is a picture of me in my clown costume with my dad, one of my early Halloweens going to visit Grandma Arlettaz.
I remember my parents having a Halloween party one year with a cardboard skeleton hung that we could make jump by pulling the string. I thought it was fantastic! As kids we always liked trick-or-treating and trading our candy when we got back. Mine usually lasted until almost Easter. I was good at self-discipline and saving some for later. I do believe mine outlasted the others.

Now as an adult, I like passing out the candy and seeing all the cute costumes the children wear. We do not get many on our street so this year I decided to fill little baggies with more goodies than just one piece of candy. Our pets enjoy seeing the kids in their costumes come to our house too. Last year Abby was outside helping Gerard welcome them and our cats watched from our dining room window.

I know some Christians believe it’s not good to participate and that’s up to them. I would never try to change someone’s conviction about that; however, I have not yet been convicted by the Holy Spirit that I should refrain so until I am, I will continue to enjoy the celebration. This is one time where the neighbors come out and we as Christians can make the most of this opportunity by giving out good candy and perhaps a kids salvation tract with it. I plan on doing that this for the first time this year.

OOPS, CORRECTION: I originally posted this was my FIRST Halloween costume, but when I opened up an account on iMemories and viewed my old movies, I discovered this wasn't my first after all. Take a guess what you think it was and then go to 5 Things I Learned This Week to see if you are right. (It's worth the click to see the cute video--notice all the black hair my dad used to have!  I loved his hair!).

How about you? How are you going to have fun this Halloween? What was your first Halloween costume? Have a happy and safe Halloween!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing Dress Up and Learning To Skate-An Old Time Movie

Growing up our dad always liked taking movies of us.  Back in 1961 it was much harder to do than it is today.  We didn't have video cameras then and no digital.  It was on film and for indoors, big flood lights were needed to make it bright enough.  There was no sound back then either, but he did have a title set that he used.  I remember him spending hours splicing film together to make larger reels. 

This is a short clip of us kids playing dress-up.  I thought it was pretty funny and my readers may enjoy seeing it.  I had this movie transferred to a DVD at CVS and it allows you to save and edit clips to the computer.  My dad told us to put some action into it so I am the one who pulled out the Kleenex and pretended to blow my nose at the beginning.  My brother was always self conscious about his ears.  As you can see, they are pretty big.  This clip of us playing dress up reminds me of "The Golden Girls." 

After the dress up is a short clip of Pam and I learning to skate in our driveway. We have big clunky coats on which was good because we fell often. I never did get to like skating. It just seemed like a lot of work to me and I was always afraid of falling. Pam's fall at the end got cut off on this video clip. I'm still trying to get the hang of editing these things.

Do you take video of your children at play? Sorry for the quality but hope you can see it well enough to enjoy it.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

What Makes You Mad, And What Are You Going To Do About It? (Writer’s Workshop)

The short answer is spam on my blog by Anonymous makes me mad.  I’m going to change the comments to not allow anonymous ones anymore.  That’s what I’m going to do about it besides confronting Anonymous here.

The long answer is:

Anonymous is my top commenter.

I don’t know why but someone must hate me.  EVERY SINGLE DAY I get spam comments from Anonymous on this blog.  Actually, I don’t think they are all from the same person because they vary.  Yes, I admit it.  This makes me mad.  Even though my comments are moderated, Anonymous still spams me every day on old posts that don’t even remotely relate to the comment.  It’s not as though they actually get on the blog.

I don’t know if this person likes wasting their time doing this or has devised some way to have it done automatically.  I do not like taking the time to have to mark it as spam and delete them every day.  My time is very precious to me and I like to be productive and use it effectively.  Some comments aren’t even in English so I have no idea what they even say. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dad and I Differ On This--Do Vets Really Care Or Do They Just Want Our Money?

I have a cat, Manny, who dose not like being picked up, is afraid of going into a carrier, and of course, hates going to the vet. We do take our cats once a year for their annual checkups which my dad never did with his cats. I believe it's a good idea to do but dad didn't for the following reasons:

(1) He felt unless they were sick, it wasn't necessary.
(2) He was afraid they would outlive them anyway and didn't know what would happen to them when he died.
(3) Vet care is not cheap and he was a bit worried about running out of money.

When I was told Manny's teeth should be cleaned and they would put him out to do it, I knew if dad was still alive he would advise me against it. I believe the vets care about our pets and are not just out to get our money. I went along with this and scheduled Manny to have it done. I was doing well getting him to the vet twice in three weeks! But then they called and said his back molars are rotting and should come out. I said, okay, do whatever is best for Manny hoping dad was wrong about vets. We brought him home later that day, had to give him soft food for two weeks and pain medicine for one week which I was very pleased that I could do it! Cost = $500!

We couldn't get Manny back a third time for them to check to make sure everything was okay, but he seems normal and is even more affectionate than ever so we blew off the follow-up visit. Manny absolutely refused to go back. We tried to get him into the carrier for four hours unsuccessfully.

What do you think? Is it worth putting the cats through all this vet care or was my dad right?

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Title I Am Proud Of: " Why Wash Your Car?" (Back2Blogging Day 3)

For the SITS Back2Blogging challenge, today's is to re-post a post with a title you are particularly proud of and explain why. I chose "Why Wash Your Car?" because it's a question that prompts people to wonder if they know or not. Also, doesn't that peak your curiosity a little bit to come and look to find out? Then, when you read the post, you will find a funny surprise about my dad. I hope you enjoy this one:

Why Wash Your Car?

Harry never washed his cars. I remember when I was a kid, we used to write things with our finger in the dirt on the car sometimes. He didn't care. For one Father's Day, my husband offered to wash my dad's car for him and he didn't even want Gerard to do it. He just said, "I don't need to wash it, I just wait for the rain to wash it off." He didn't want Gerard "wasting" his time washing it either.

I really cannot recall one time when my dad washed his own car or even went to a car wash. Although I only remember washing my car once myself, I did go to the car wash now and then. My husband loves a clean car and likes to wash it himself every week. In the winter though, he'll run it through a car wash. He does mine for me too.

How often does your car get washed?  

Related Posts:
Challenge Day 1: First Blog Post I Ever Wrote
Challenge Day 2: Important Post To Me That I Wish More People Had Read
Challenge Day 4: Inspired by Marva Collins
Challenge Day 5: Why Do I Blog? Good Question!

This post originally posted June 21, 2009 is in connection with a giveaway going on in connection with "Back To Blogging." The giveaway is a washer and dryer from sponsors, Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lenore--The Love Of His Life (Back2Bloging Day 2)

Day 2 of Back2Blogging is to re-post a post you wish more people read and tell why it is important to you. Well, this was originally posted December 2, 2009 and is about both my parents and reminds me of how blessed I was to have had such loving parents.

On this 10th anniversary of my mom's death, I thought it appropriate to write a bit about how important she was to us. Lenore and Harry met at a church function and my dad was attracted to her because she was funny and fun. They both served in the church together for many years.

They both were very loving, caring and generous. With me being an only child, they took in three foster children even though they had only intended on taking in two so the three could stay together. I was thrilled with the idea of sharing my wonderful parents with other kids who needed a good home. It was fun having two sisters and a brother all at once and we grew up together.

Although my dad was the "head of the house" and when he said something, that was it, mom really handled all matters concerning us kids. Often she would convince my dad to let us do things that he felt wasn't a good idea. They discussed all decisions and dad appreciated her input. They were married I believe for 52 years! They had a good balance between them. Dad was reserved, mom more outgoing; dad was handy around the house, mom was nurturing and intuitive.

When mom got very weak and had to go into the hospital, dad stayed with her all day. He was 80 at the time and insisted on caring for her instead of having her go to a nursing home. He had nurses come by the house and he took care of her and even built a special step that she used for therapy. The nurses were amazed that dad could take such good care of her and said she was they're best patient and doing so well with her therapy.

Her last Thanksgiving with us was very encouraging to me. She seemed normal and was enjoying the holiday. I really thought she would be okay but she died a week later. One of the last things she said to me was that dad was a good man and I should take care of him. I tried to do just that.

Poor dad seemed so alone, but not for long. He soon let in some of the stray cats that he had been feeding outside because mom did not like cats and did not want them in the house. They were good company for him. The first week or so, my dad slept upstairs with his cats instead of in his own bed. It was just too hard without her by his side. I had a closer relationship with my mom but after she died, my dad and I became much closer and our relationship improved.

He was so cute though. He shared with me that he would often dream of her so it was like she was still with him and that he had two lives now--the one during the day and the one in his dreams at night. It's hard to believe mom's been gone now ten years. I'll never forget her or my dad. I loved them very much and miss them both.

Related Posts: A Letter To Mom (insight into our relationship)
A Thanksgiving to Remember

(I re-posted this to participate in a giveaway going on in connection with "Back To Blogging." The giveaway is a washer and dryer from sponsors, Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances.)

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fun Times At Memphis Kiddie Park (Parent Tip)

Although I do not have children, I suggest that parents take their children on surprise fun outings once in awhile.  I remember going to a tiny amusement park that just had rides for little kids.  Sometimes I remember my parents just surprising us and saying “We’re going to Memphis Kiddie Park today.”   It first opened in 1952, a year before I was born and is still going strong today! 

I remember liking to ride in the Ferris wheel cages, the carousel, the cars, the boats that went in a circle and how hard the one ride was that you had to keep turning a wheel to make it go along the track.  Here is a picture of all of us four kids by the trolley car ride.  (I am the one farthest on the right--I don't remember those awful peddle pushers though and don't know why we are wearing tennis shoes!)  It even had a small roller coaster that at first was kind of scary, but that I got to like a lot!  I believe by going to the Memphis Kiddie Park and being able to experience the fun of going on different rides when I was very little sparked my love for amusements parks when I got older.   They even had a miniature golf course with fun obstacles where I often played when I was older.

I remember thinking as a kid that working at Memphis Kiddie Park would be a fun job.  The ones running the rides get to make kids happy and collecting the tickets,  turning the rides on and off looked like an easy job to me.  I never did apply for a job there though.

Years later, when I was youth director at our church, we went there with 5th-8th graders for a miniature golf outing which my dad helped me with. 

When I was commander of our AWANA Club at church, one year I organized an outing for all the Sparks (boys and girls in K-3rd grade) who had finished their handbooks.  They had a great time and so did I.  I could even still fit on the Little Dipper roller coaster and still enjoyed it!  I’m the one right in the front!

I have many pleasant memories of this little fun place.  If you live in the Cleveland area or visit with young children, I highly recommend to take them here.  It’s very family friendly!  

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.

Stop by Saturday Samplings for highlighted posts of the week.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Who Are Cat People?

This is a video about an amazing cat sanctuary I wish I had known about when I was trying to find homes for my dad's three cats after he died. Two of them had FIV (Feline aids) and the other was a small thing with parasites. They were all nice cats, the two males just didn't get along and neither were neutered. Judie and her husband are real cat people. They used their retirement savings to get this no-kill cat sanctuary going and it costs $15,000 a month to keep it running. They've been going for eight years now!

My dad would have loved to volunteer at a place like this and I'm sure if he had known about it, would have been sending them money to help support it. That is why I send a monthly donation. I felt so bad I couldn't save his cats, but by supporting this sanctuary, I am able to have a small part at saving others. Perhaps you could help too?

Because my dad had such a soft spot for cats, I included some stories about them in the book I wrote in memory of my dad, My Funny Dad, Harry.  He was by no means the perfect cat owner, but he did love them very, very much and always let them rule in his house--scratching up anything they wanted and napping anywhere they wished.  They loved him very much too!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here.

Stop by Saturday Samplings for highlighted posts of the week at Half-Past Kissin' Time.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

It May Be Grubby But It Saves Time!

As my dad aged and got up into his 80s, he became very slow about doing things. Getting dressed would take him at least an hour if not more! It takes me just 10 minutes and that includes the time I take deciding what to wear. His solution for this was to just sleep in his clothes and wear the same clothes all week. I was actually doing well if I got him to change his clothes after just a week!

I understood why he did this, but I thought it was grubby. When I did camp counseling at Beulah Beach, one of the things we were told to do as counselors was to make sure the campers changed their clothes each day. It's so true that the elderly become like kids again in so many ways.

I come home and remove my bra when I change into my shorts and t-shirt and then don't even bother changing for bed. Just jump right on top of the covers still dressed and go to sleep. I do change in the morning into fresh clothes at least!

Do you ever sleep in your clothes . . . and wear them the next day? Do you have any time saving tips?

Inspiration for this post came from One Hat, Two Hat, Wife Hat, Mom Hat--Not Mom of the Year. Check out the post, it's pretty funny.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Sunday, August 1, 2010

How Nutritious Is The Cereal Your Family Eats?

When we used to shop for my dad after he couldn't drive anymore, he would make out his grocery list with what we thought were goofy brands of cereal. Nothing sounded good to us. He ate Fiber One Bran, some Smart Start kind, Kashi Heart to Heart 7 Whole Grain Flakes and Kellogg's Corn Flakes. In my way of thinking, the Corn Flakes was the only one that sounded normal to me.

I quit eating the sugary kids' cereals a long time ago when I was trying to lose weight, realizing they were packed full of sugar and weren't very healthy. I kept Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies, Rice Chex, Special K and Raisin Bran. Just this year I added Cheerios Multi-Bran to my cereal list. However, when I went on, I was shocked to find that NONE of the cereals I eat are very healthy and that dad's were way higher up on the list!  

I spent about a half hour plugging in different cereals to make a list of which were more nutritious that we could start eating. (Even Gorilla Munch (organic) is listed as being more nutritious than the ones I currently eat!)

What kind of cereal to you like? Do you think it's nutritious? I bet you will be surprised at what you find if you check that site. Here is a screen shot I took of the top 10 most nutritious:
Who likes Shredded Wheat?????  Not us!  I don't even like the Frosted Mini-Wheats!

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Find Out What Famous Author You Write Like

At Joann's Best I discovered a fun little site that analyzes your writing samples and then tells you what famous author you write like based on your word choice and writing style. Since I was curious, I used several random samples from the book I wrote in memory of my dad, "My Funny Dad, Harry."

At first, I just picked a couple to see if the results would match. They did not. So then I chose more random samples (20 total) from my book to see what authors came up most often. I questioned if it was just a rotation automatically that came up, but there were repeats and once I got the same result twice in a row. I repeated a section I did earlier to see if I would get the same result, and I did! You can use lengthy samples for better results. Here's what came up for me:

Kurt Vonnegut 1 time

I write like
Kurt Vonnegut
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Corey Doctorow 10 times

I write like
Cory Doctorow
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Stephenie Meyer 3 times

I write like
Stephenie Meyer
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Stephen King 5 times

I write like
Stephen King
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Chuck Palahniuk 1 time

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

This was pretty fun.  It also shows you some of the books written by these famous authors.  Go ahead and try it at I Write Like.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

One Memory I Wish Would Disappear (Writer’s Workshop)

I went to dad’s one February Friday,
Just like any other work day.
This horrible day the door was still locked.
The lights were off and the paper was still on the porch.

Why, oh why?

I used my key to go in the upstairs door.
The downstairs lock was broke so the key wouldn’t work.
That’s why dad always opened it for me from the inside with his letter opener.
I noticed the cats were laying quietly, no greeting from them today.

Why, oh why?

Uh oh, something is wrong, did dad over sleep?
I hope he’s okay and did not die yet, he is 89.
I hurry downstairs and call out to him. . . . silence.

Why, oh why?

He’s not in the kitchen, or the dining room or the living room either.
I look some more and find him in the bathroom,
On the floor against the tub,
Naked. His legs are dark purple!

Why, oh why?

He’s not waking up, I’m scared he’s dead.
I try to find a pulse but can’t, his chest isn’t moving!
I call 9-1-1.
They tell me to get him flat on the floor to do CPR.
I can’t, he will not budge.

Why, oh why couldn’t he just die in his sleep in the chair?

Related Post: The Day Dad Died God Gave Me Special Cat Time

This is in response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop prompt: Write a poem about a memory you sometimes wish would disappear.

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

What To Do BEFORE Rearranging Furniture

When my parents decided to rearrange furniture in our house growing up, Harry would pull out some graph paper and make a scale drawing of our room and then cut out pieces to scale of the furniture they would have in that room. I think the scale he used was one square on the paper equaled one foot in reality.

I remember my dad made a scale drawing of the rooms in my house and all our furniture to scale on little pieces of paper so I could try different arrangements before moving in. It really is a great way to make sure things fit without having to keep re-measuring and without wasting a lot of time and effort moving things back and forth. It was fun trying different arrangements on paper without any effort.

One thing to keep in mind when doing this though is to measure furniture with drawers open and mark on your room drawing where the windows, doors and outlets are located so you can see if your furniture pieces will cover them up or not. This also helps you get an idea of the walk space you will have between the pieces which especially comes into play for small rooms with lots of big pieces, like our bedroom.

I was reminded of this when I came across Housewife Eclectic: Rearrange Your House Virtually. It never ceases to amaze me what things one can find on the Internet. Somehow, I think dad would still get out his graph paper and make his own scaled drawing and furniture pieces. He just enjoyed doing that sort of thing. For me though, I think I’ll bookmark that site and use it the next time I do major furniture rearranging.

(I told you he was smart even though he did not graduate!)

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

You May Be Surprised (writer’s workshop)

People would be surprised to learn that my dad did not graduate high school even though he was one to follow the rules and wasn’t lazy or stupid. Harry was never a follower or a leader. He was his own person with just a couple close friends. Harry minded his own business and had strong convictions and a strong will which could be seen as stubbornness. On more than one occasion I called him a “stubborn old man” usually under my breath so he couldn’t hear me. He did not just become stubborn in his old age though; he had a lot of practice. Harry never graduated high school because he refused to give an oral book report. Apparently, his English teacher also had a stubborn streak and did not give him an alternative. Granted, you could argue that he was stupid then but Harry loved to learn things, just not fiction. He had no use for it and in his mind, it was a waste of time. Nor was he an outgoing person so getting in front of a class and talking was probably just too scary for him. I’ll never know for sure because it was my mom who told me this, not him.

This post is in response to Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop prompt: People would be surprised to learn that . . . .

To find out more about my book and why I wrote it, read the Foreword here. Tweet This
Tweet Me from My Funny Dad, Harry

"My Funny Dad, Harry" Book Giveaway

Congratulations to all the winners of the giveaway for "My Funny Dad, Harry" at Red Pine Mountain. I am so happy that four of my regular commenters won! Read what Tim thought of it at Everyday Living.