Thursday, May 31, 2012

Candy For The Feet

It's no secret that I have a thing for shoes.  I even confessed to how much I love them here.  I feel it only appropriate that I share with your some shoes I have found on Pinterest.  Some may call it eye candy. I call them candy for the feet.  Enjoy!
Nice and Sparkly! I think I have a reader (cough cough Sarah) that will like these
Take a walk on the wild side with these!
Nice and lacy!
These have a great retro feel. I can see Grandma Mizell rocking these
So Steampunk!
How CUTE are these?
*Sigh* I wish I had small enough calves to pull off boots as cute as these...
I actually own these.  They are from the Justin Ladies Square Toe Gypsy Collection
 If you have some candy for the feet, please feel free to share.  As much as I love shoes, pictures of cute shoes are cheaper (and take up less closet space).

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's A Small World Afterall

We live on the third rock from the sun.  It is estimated that there are seven billion people inhabiting said rock.  It never ceases to amaze me how small the world has become because of the internet and social media.

Consider this: It used to take four weeks (best case scenario) to cross the Atlantic from Europe to the American colonies during colonial times.  The journey was by no means a snap.  Transatlantic crossings were a dangerous enterprise.  There was no guarantee that you would survive journey either because of disease or ship wreck.  While I watched the HBO John Adams miniseries a few months ago, I marveled at the courage Abigail Adams possessed when she let her eldest son travel with John to Europe during the Revolutionary War.  Can you imagine having to wait for eight weeks or more to receive word that your husband and son had arrived safely?

In the summer of 1994 I spent a month in Spain.  At that time it took 10 days to get a letter from upstate New York to Spain.  My mother started to write me letters before I even left the States!  We were to immerse ourselves in the culture and not call home.  When we arrived safely in Madrid my Spanish teacher placed a call home to the designated person (who was in charge of the parental phone tree) to let them know we had made it safely.  We spent three days touring Madrid before we were sent to our host families.  I was in country four days before I had a chance to write a letter home and let my family know how my trip was going.  Add to that the 10 day air mail (considerably faster than the majority of the alternatives at that point) time, and it was two weeks before my mother heard from me.

Here we are in 2012 and social media is not new.  However, I still marvel at the people I am instantly in touch with daily around the world.  I have tweeps (people I communicate with on Twitter) in England, Australia, and most recently Denmark.  Instant communication (140 characters or less in the case of Twitter) with people around the globe!  This is not to mention all the tweeps I tweet with from New York to California, plus a few Canadian neighbors to the north.  We tend to take this instant communication technology for granted.

Today as I was tweeting with my latest tweep from Denmark, I stopped to think about how incredible that feat truly is.  My mind was blown.  What we communicated in a matter of seconds would have taken at least eight weeks 250 years ago.  In the course of human history, 250 years is not a lot of time.  It makes me wonder where we will go in the next 250.

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Good Ol' Days

I don't know about you, but I miss being a kid.  Life was so simple then. No bills to pay, no job to work (you had school but you got summers off), and playing with toys was okay.  In fact, playing with toys and using your imagination was encouraged!

When I was a kid, this was a dream house.  Okay, it was techincally Barbie's, but I still wanted one.

As a kid, I had cool books to read that taught us great life lessons. Books like

Lets not forget who our role models were. I looked up to
And got to hang out with
TV "Stars" could see me

Fashion was a snap. Do you remember
You didn't have to worry about being politically correct.  As long as you shared your toys, it was all good.  Life was full of wonder and discovery.  Who didn't love capturing a lighting bug or two in a jar (with air holes punches in the lid of course). Yes, I miss being a kid.

What do you miss most from your childhood?

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Superhero: Julia

Earlier this week I lamented on how our society rewards bad behavior with publicity while people who do good things go unrecognized (Catch up here).  At the end of that blog I challenged my readers to become the change they wanted to see.  I later realized I had a venue (this blog) to recognize people who do good things for others.  Therefore, going forward I am going to feature a "Superhero" each Sunday.  If you know someone who does good things for others, please let me know so I can feature him or her.

This week I decided to pick a "Superhero" from my own life.  This week's "Superhero" is named Julia.  I've known Julia for about 30 years now (and I'm 34).  Julia and my mother worked for the same factory many years ago.  As fate would have it, Julia and my mother had their boys on the same day.  Having boys that share a birthday has kept Julia and my mom connected over the years.  Even after we moved from Nebraska, I remember my mom checking in with Julia when we went back for visits.

In 2003, my Grandma Mizell was diagnosed with cancer.  While this diagnosis was hard for the entire family, it was really hard on my mother (Mary).  Mom was in New York and Grandma was in Nebraska.  Initially, Mom spent some time in Nebraska.  Then she got Grandma talked into going to New York.  Grandma spent the winter in New York, but wanted to return home in the spring.

During a visit to Nebraska, my mother and Julia had lunch.  Julia looked at my mom and asked if there was anything she could do to help with Grandma.  Julia volunteered to pick up grocery items and run them right over if Grandma ran out. She made Thursday night popcorn & movie night (Julia popped the corn and brought some movie selections; she also brought her DVD player and hooked it up to Grandma's TV. This was after she had already put in a full day at the office.)  This gave Grandma something to look forward to each week.  Julia also knew my grandma's fondness for sparkly objects and would bring her a pen or a decorative item that sparkled.

Julia drove Grandma to doctors' appointments and stayed with her during visits. Grandma needed more help getting around (she had a cane) so this meant extra work for Julia, as she would get a wheelchair for Grandma.  Julia never asked for a dime. She encouraged Grandma to have her cataracts removed. Grandma was very concerned, as she had experienced a hip surgery that did not go well.  Julia was with Grandma every step of the way and Grandma could see much better after the surgery.

Julia was so much help to my grandmother that it was a running joke in the family that she was Grandma's "other Mary".  In fact, it was with Julia's help we were able to pull off a surprise 88th birthday party for my grandmother.  Julia told Grandma that she was going to take her out to eat for her birthday.  Julia just didn't tell her it was out to the common room in her apartments.  It was the best surprise ever!  We could hear Grandma tell Julia there must be something going on out in the common room.  Grandma kept walking by until she realized that all the people sitting there were people she knew!  She had the best look on her face!  Julia also arranged to have the surprise party filmed so we could enjoy the party again and again!

Grandma's Surprised Look with Julia by Her Side

During Grandma's last week on earth, it was Julia that stayed with Mom.  Julia slept in the small room with my mom a night or two.  Julia didn't want Mom to be alone in case Grandma went home (Heaven for those of you who may not use that term) during the night. Julia slept in a recliner which was no easy task when you consider it was after a full day's work.  Julia was standing by my grandma's bed, with the family, as Grandma went home.

Julia, Grandma, and Mary (Mom)

My family can never repay the kindness Julia showed my grandmother during her last few years on earth.  Julia adopted Grandma and treated her like she was her own mother.  Julia is one of our country's unsung "Superheros".  Julia, thank you for being the change we want to see!

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Friday, May 25, 2012


Today was not my typical day.  It started with a doctor appointment (which went well and I will tell you more about it in a future blog).  On my way home, I planned on stopping at my favorite antique store in downtown Garland.  It's my favorite because the owner, Karen, find the best antiques.  Karen and I are kindred spirits and our relationship has evolved a small business owner and client relationship to friends.

As I walked in the front door, I heard Karen yell from the back of the store "Hey Melissa, I need your help!"  I quickly stashed my purse and headed her direction.  This was shortly after 12:00.  Thursday is typically a slow day for Karen.  However, this was not the case today.  I'm not sure if there was something in the water or if everyone in the Metroplex decided they needed antiques today.  Karen was slammed (which yea for her, I like seeing a small business do well).  Before we knew it, it was 5:00 and time to close.

I don't know about you, but my small business depends on word of mouth and social media (insert shameless plug click here for AWESOME Jewelry ).  This means I spend a lot of my day checking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites.  By the time I had dinner and discussed the day with my husband, it was 7:30.  Horror of horrors! I hadn't been on social media since 9:00 AM. And that is when the panic set in.

10 hours had passed!  That's like 1000 years in social media time.  What had I missed?  I could have gone from obscurity to "It Girl" and back to obscurity without even knowing it (okay, that's a wee bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point).  Think of all the awesome pins I had missed in those 10 hours (please, contain your gasps of shock and horror).

In my "panic" I realized I just may spend to much time on the internet.  This will require more thought and further investigation.  I may need to run an experiment in the near future and see if I can stay off Twitter and Facebook for a full 24 hours. Will my world come crashing down on me or will I survive to blog about it?  This could prove to be interesting...

While I ponder my experiment, let me share with you the coolest pin I've seen today:
I just KNEW Texas was God's country! Even the clouds agree!

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

PS - If you are a social media addict like me, feel free to follow me on Facebook
or on Pinterest or on Twitter @melissacreamer

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Think On These Things...

I received a text tonight from my mother who was flipping through channels and ran across a story of a 32 year old young "man" (and I use the term loosely. dog and/or man whore I think is more apt) who had already fathered 30 children with 11 different women.  A number of thoughts came to mind based on this information.  I have to wonder how this "man" is still alive.  You know with 11 women, there has to be some lying and or cheating going on, which I would be lead to believe at least one woman has been wronged.  You know the saying "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned".

After one thinks through the freak show nature of this "news", I think about the current state of TV and the so called "news".  Admittedly, I don't watch a lot of TV.  I find most of it is not worth watching and therefore does no deserve my precious time (and time is precious, you can never make more).  I am disgusted by the train wrecks known as reality TV.  I don't know about you, but I live in reality.  I don't need to watch it on TV.  If I want reality, I live my life.  If I watch TV, I need it to be entertaining.  Entertainment to me is something funny (Big Bang Theory), something fantastic ( Star Trek) or a good drama (NCIS, Downton Abbey).  I will also watch if the show is uplifting (Undercover Boss).  You don't even want to get me started on the sad state of affairs the "news" is.

I don't understand why we give our time to the freak shows, to trash , to people behaving badly (the proceeding statement is rhetorical, I know it's about ratings).  We don't get time back, why are we squandering it on the lowest common denominator?  Why do we allow network executives to convince us this is entertaining?  You have control over what's on TV.  If no one watches, the network executives will put something else on.

Why isn't the hard working mom or dad who works all day and then comes home to actually parent (spend time with, read to, etc.) their children on TV?  Why isn't the young neighbor who helps the elderly neighbor on TV?  Why isn't the person who aids a stranger in a moment of distress on TV?  I will tell you why.  These activities are "boring" and "normal" (although I'm not so sure about the normal anymore).  I wonder what would happen if our society started to give attention to every day heroes instead of societal fringe.  Why do we reward bad behavior with attention?

Let me share with you piece of information I learned as a child.  "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." That is Philippians 4:8 (NLT)  Regardless of you religious stance, I do not believe Philippians 4:8 is anything but good advice.  What would this world be like if everyone of us focused on the positive?  What would happen if we encouraged each other and praised the every day heroes?  I believe this world would be a much better place.  

Mahatma Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  Gandhi is right, I have to be the change I want to see.  Will you join me?  Think on these things...

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Good Life

Dearest Reader, I must confess I am home sick.  Do not get me wrong, I love my adopted state of Texas. I've lived in Texas for over 12 years and I can't imagine living anywhere else.  Despite my love for Texas, my heart yearns for The Good Life, life in Nebraska.  Before you think I'm crazy, Nebraska is indeed the good life, it says so right on the sign.

In all seriousness, I do miss it.  No matter where life takes me, in my heart and soul, Nebraska is home. I miss the people.  Do you know what the finger wave is?  If you travel the back roads of Nebraska you do.  Imagine yourself on a two lane country road, much like the picture below.

When you come upon another vehicle, you life one of your index fingers at the other driver (index, not middle, we are talking about Nebraska, not New York).  This lifting of your index finger tells the other driver hello.  How nice is that?  Telling a complete stranger hello as you pass each other.

When you think of Nebraska, you may think of long boring stretches of road, maybe with a field of corn on either side.  If you have passed through Nebraska on I-80, yeah, it's pretty boring.  Nebraska can be breath taking, you just have to look for the beauty.

Nebraska Landscape
Scottbluff, NE
Chimney Rock
Another great thing about Nebraska is they aren't afraid to be different, to be pioneers. Did you know they are the only state in the Unicameral?  No need for two houses for this state, they can get legislation done with just one.  Did you know that Car-henge is in Nebraska?
Alliance, Nebraska
 In addition to Nebraska independent spirit, it is also home to amazing things like:

The Runza Sandwihch

Dorthy Lynch Salad dressing
Invented in Hastings, Nebraska by Edwin Perkins in 1927.
Now that you know a few awesome things about Nebraska, I know you can hardly wait to get there!  In all seriousness, it is a great place with wonderful museums (Like Pioneer Village in Minden and Stuhr Museum in Grand Island).  If you do go, make sure to also check out the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. You can see breath taking exhibits like

Until tomorrow  - Melissa

So that's what my heart looks like!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Friday Craft Update

Happy Friday dear reader!  This has been an exciting week.  In the middle of this week I survived another revolution around the sun (I had a birthday).  I also took some time to work on some projects for me, which I will share with you today.  If you recall, I mentioned a couple of weeks ago (Catch up here) the need for me to get back to being creative.

I really haven't worked on any jewelry this week (which I hope to be back out in the studio this weekend). Instead I worked on doing creative projects for myself.  The three projects I worked on this week had an antique/Victorian feel to them (since that is how my house is decorated).  The first thing I worked on was a little jar.  I had some older bottles on display, but I needed a "centerpiece" or focal point.

I wanted this jar to have a macabre feel to it, as the Victorians could be a little strange.  This jar has various pieces of moss in it with a rose and a coyote tooth.  I thought the rose and the tooth added a touch of the weird opposite each other.  My next challenge was finding a couple of finishing pieces for a space in my bathroom where an ugly yellow plastic medicine cabinet use to reside.  A few weeks ago the space had been upgraded with pretty tile and trim.  It just needed something to finish it off with a pop of color.

Enter some orchids from Hobby Lobby!  Exactly what the space needed, but exotic enough a Victorian would be pleased (notice my macabre jar in the center).  My bathroom is not quite done yet, as I have not figured out what I want for the counter top.  I've been on the hunt for a period looking tile, but I had a suggestion to use copper or stainless for the counter.  I am considering this suggestion.

Lastly, I had purchased some butterflies about 7 months ago.  Victorians were very much about surrounding themselves with nature.  I knew I wanted to do a shadow box with them, I just needed to find the right elements to display with the butterflies (as you can tell, a lot of my projects require hunting for items).  I also found these elements at Hobby Lobby this week and I put this together in the wee hours this morning.

I hope you have enjoyed this weeks projects.  If you are inspired by these with your own project, as always, I'd love to see pictures of the finished project!

Until tomorrow - Melissa

Monday, May 14, 2012

Barbie Had It Right

Back in the 80’s, when I was a child, Barbie’s slogan was “We girls can do anything, right Barbie?” Now Mattel (Barbie’s maker) didn’t need this catchy slogan to reel me in.  Mattel had me with my first Skipper (Barbie’s little sister) doll.  I could write a whole blog on how every birthday, Christmas, Easter, and any spare pocket change went to the acquisition of all things Barbie (hang on, let me make a note of that for my blog topics list…and done).  However, that is not today’s topic.
While searching for cool pins on Pinterest this evening, I ran across a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt which said “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  This is not the first time I’ve seen this quote.  In actuality, it has been a favorite of mine since high school.  However, for the first time, thoughts of Mrs. Roosevelt and Miss Roberts (for those who don’t know, Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts See here) came together in my head.
I’ve always had a strong sense of self-worth.  I had my share of being picked on in school, and while it was sometimes quite hurtful, it never made me feel inferior.  Do I attribute this to playing with Barbies?  No, I attribute this to having a loving family with great examples of strong women (not many people can say their grandmother was in the Navy during WWII).  I also knew that school was a temporary situation and not to let people get under my skin.
In the past decade or so, Barbie has become a controversial figure to some.  Her “unrealistic” proportions have some people up in arms.  To them, Barbie’s ample curves and svelte limbs represent the “perfect female form”, something that will cause little girls to succumb to eating disorders and plastic surgery in their pursuit of this look.  I’ve never quite understood this.  Barbie is a doll, which means she is a toy.  Children use their imaginations to play with said toy.  I don’t recall people being up in arms because Cabbage Patch Dolls have weird noses or signatures on their rear ends.  I don’t remember anyone rallying against He-Man and the Masters of the Universe for promoting rampant steroid abuse in the 6- to 12-year-old male demographic.
So keeping in mind that Barbie is a child’s toy, I believe her “can do anything” attitude is good for little girls.  Sure, most of the time Barbie is a teen-age model (so the original story goes).  However, Barbie has also been a doctor, a nurse, an astronaut, and a teacher.  She’s served in various branches of our military AND she’s been President.  With this feat, Barbie has achieved in make-believe what a real woman has yet to achieve (for a full list of Barbie’s careers see here).
I believe that if every girl or boy on the planet was told Mrs. Roosevelt’s wisdom in conjunction with Barbie’s can-do attitude, the personal heights these children could achieve would be limitless (unless they were studying calculus, where in fact there is a nasty little concept called a limit…but you get my point).  Isn’t that a powerful thought?
Until tomorrow - Melissa

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I’m A Squirrel

Today I came to the realization that I’m a squirrel.  Not in the literal sense, I don’t have a tail and it’s been years since I climbed trees (back in my tomboy days).  I’m a squirrel in the sense that I stash items here and there.  Dear Reader, do you recall the Post-It Note commercial a few years ago where a squirrel makes notes of where all of his nuts are hidden?  I’m kind of like that, but I’m not smart enough to make myself notes.

I like to make things, to craft (which is why Hobby Lobby is one of the BEST stores on the planet).  Over the years I’ve done floral arranging, candle making, stenciling, knitting, crocheting, and most recently, jewelry making.  I have items for these crafts squirreled away, stashed all over my house.  Which is great, except when I actually want to make something and then can’t find what I need.
Believe it or not, organization is not my thing.  It never has been, and at this point, I don’t see that changing.  Projects, when set down, typically stay right where I set them.  Which is all well and good, until I get fed up and put things away.  Unfortunately, “away” is a general term.  “Stashed” would be more descriptive and true.

Case in point:  I wanted to crochet some dishcloths.  For this, I will need my cotton yarn.  The finding of this yarn should be straight forward.  I have four LARGE totes of yarn in my jewelry studio (the totes fit under my bench…don’t ask…it makes sense to me).  That would be the logical place for it.  My cotton yarn wasn’t there.  Mhhh, well, I have a DSW bag in my room with partially done projects in it, surely it’s there.  Nope.  Where else in my house do I have yarn squirreled?  Oh yeah!  My yarn basket (duh) in the living room.  Bingo, that’s where it was.

I keep telling myself I’m going to get better organized and stop stashing items.  It’s nice that I can so convincingly lie to myself.  At this point, I should know better.

Until tomorrow - Melissa

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Upcycle – Retro Style

We’ve all heard the slogan “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.  Another term that is popular right now is “upcycling”, which means you are taking something and making it better/nicer than it was.  You see a lot of “upcycled” items on Pinterest and Etsy.  What you may not know is that upcycling isn’t exactly a new concept.

I was born in Nebraska to a family that understood the importance of using items until there was no more use left in them.  I am told that my great grandmother (my mother’s father’s mother) had an interesting trick to get the most out of sheets.  When the material in the middle would wear thin on the bottom sheet, she would cut the sheet up the middle, rotate what were the edges to the middle and stich them together.  I recall the sheets that were on my grandfather’s bed when he passed were quite thin.  My mother ended up cutting them into cleaning rags.  There was still goodie to be had from those sheets!

My maternal grandfather was very handy.  If you needed something fixed, he could do it.  I recall a number of times where he would find an item discarded and would be able to fix it.  As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  One of my favorite “Grandpa fixed it” stories is when my grandmother’s washing machine kept breaking.  It would break, he’d fix it.  It would break again, he’d fix it again.  The story goes that Grandma finally said, “Riley! If you keep fixing the old one, how am I ever supposed to get a new one?” 

My mother’s side of the family is not the only one that knows how to reuse stuff.  Great Grandma Creamer was the original recycler.  She was the daughter of German immigrants.  In the late 1800’s, Nebraska was still being settled.  If you needed an item, you couldn’t just run to Walmart to obtain said item.  Great Grandma Creamer only knew how to use and reuse.  Waste was unheard of.  In fact, I believe she was one of the original upcyclers.  She would take plastic bread bags and crochet them into items.  I have a purse, a small area rug, and a hat all made out of bread bags.

Bread bag hat as modeled by my childhood friend Suzy

Crocheting bread bags is a little exteme, but they make for great conversation pieces.  I may not crochet bread bags, but I have not forgotten the lessons my ancestors taught me.  In fact, just tonight I have been repurposing items.  My youngest brother is a college student and eats a lot of frozen dinners.  I saw a jewelry article sometime back that talked about how awesome the strainer part of Café Steamers were for your pickle pot (a jewelry maker’s appliance).  I asked Chris to save me one or two when he thought about it.  One thing about Chris, he’s very dependable when you ask him to do stuff.  I’m the proud owner of a large collection of Café Steamer bowls.  It’s okay.  I use them all the time in my craft projects.  Just tonight I needed a container to pour some craft paint into.  Café Steamer bowls are perfect!

Do you have a repurposing and/or recycling tip?  Please share in the comments below.  I’d love to hear them and I’m sure your fellow readers would, too.

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

The Ugly Side Of Pinterest

If you are female, dear reader, you know what I refer to if I say Pinterest.  If you are male and have a wife/girlfriend, you know Pinterest is you new BFF because your other half leaves you alone for HOURS at a time.  If your a single male, well, I don't think explaining what Pinterest will help you, but I digress.

I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Pinterest.  Tons of funny sarcastic photos, plenty of funny cat photos and tons of great ideas.  There are also pins that don't interest me, so I basically ignore them (mainly the wedding ones, I'm already married and the pregnancy/nursery pins.  I already have children, they shed, and say things like woof and meow).  There is also those fitness motivation diet pins that I also ignore. Typically.  Tonight I found one that irked me.

 There it is.  The offending pin.  It's a super skinny chick.  What really ruffled my feather is the first tag on it was #sexy.  Um, compared to what? This?

Okay, first image wins.  But seriously.  Don't our young ladies have enough to contend with?  Heck, even us middle age women have enough to contend with in our society.  I am so sick and tired of advertisers, media, Hollywood and everyone else telling me what is beautiful.  I believe every female on this planet is beautiful, because we are individuals.  There is no one else on the planet like you!

Think about it.  People pay BIG bucks for the rare, the unique.  If people are willing to pay millions of dollars for an object, because there are only four (or whatever) known in existence, why can't we learn the real value of the fellow man around us? I will tell you, because when it comes to real beauty, man is typically blind.

When I think about some of the most beautiful people I have ever known, I realize I find them beautiful for what they are, not what they look like.   These people are kind, smart, courageous, funny, generous, happy, joyful and content.  Think about some of the people that you love to hang out with.  Do they have some of the qualities I just listed? I bet they do.

To steal a page from Captain Kangaroo's book, Susan, you are beautiful, and so are you Jennifer, and you Emma, and you Beth, and you Sara, and you Ann and you (Dear Reader, insert your Name) and in case your neighbor didn't hear me, make sure to tell her to!

Until Tomorrow - Melissa

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reading Is Fun

As I go through another night of not sleeping, I was about to pick up a book to read when I took a moment to ponder the action.  There was a time where you would have not found me reading a book that was not required for a class.  Shocking, I know.

As a child, I was not a big fan of reading (Unless it was Goose Goofs Off in the Sweet Pickles series, which I still have memorized).  In fact, according to my mother, if given the choice, give me math flash cards over a book any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  I actually remember being in the lower reading class in early elementary school.  I also remember (while in second grade, I believe) my mother trying to help me with reading by having me read aloud to her.  I read what I saw, which I was told was incorrect and to try again.  I remember at some point my mother becoming a little exasperated with me, because I continually did not read it correctly.  If I recall, she felt I wasn’t paying close attention to the words.  I remember being confused because I was just reading what I saw.

In the middle of third grade something must have “clicked” because I was moved from the lower reading class to the upper one (mind you, this was back in the day when schools actually taught to the student’s ability level, before we “Left No Child Behind”).  From this point on, with the exception of spelling, I was typically a straight A student (to this day, I am still a horrible speller).
Fast forward to my early 20’s.  At this point I am married to the son of an English teacher (Aaron has many other qualifications, but not relevant to this particular blog).  As the son of an English teacher, he reads books for fun (yes, I know, the horror!).  Aaron cannot understand why I don’t.  I just don’t find it fun or entertaining.  However, I decide to give it a try, in little snippets.  Enter the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.  The stories in this series were short and I found them entertaining, strangely enough.  From there, I moved on to books by Janette Oke.  If you are unfamiliar, she is a Christian historical fiction writer.  I enjoyed reading Ms. Oke because her books were short and typically dealt with the settling of the western frontier.  I continued to branch out from there.

Somewhere along the line I became a rabid reader (I actually read the entire Twilight series in under a week).  I re-read books when I run out of new reading material.  I read every night.  Books have become such an integral part of my life I can’t imagine not reading.  I actually read MORE books than Aaron does now.

I believe reading has helped me become a more well-rounded person (it has certainly helped with my spelling).  It’s definitely made me a more informed person.  So, why am I blogging about this?  For one, it’s the middle of the night and it gives me something to do.  Secondly, I wish to share my reading joy.  If I can transform from a person who shrieks in horror at the thought of reading for pleasure to book worm, you can too!

Until tomorrow – Melissa

PS – I’d love to hear about your favorite books and what you’re reading now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And The Masses Rejoice…

In case you haven’t heard, President Obama announced today that he is for same sex marriage.  And social media exploded.

What this blog is not about is the debate of same sex marriage.  I don’t get political on my blog.  In all the rejoicing, what I didn’t see was anyone questioning motives.  I’m cynical, I’m sarcastic, and I agree with Dr. House (everyone lies).  I don’t trust politicians, Right, Left or Center.  What I don’t understand is how our politicians (liars and cheats) continue to get elected.

When I saw the news of the announcement, here is what I thought:  “Huh.  It’s an election year.  The President’s numbers aren’t the slam dunk they were in 2008.  Admittedly, he got ‘shellacked’ in 2010.  If this was such a conviction of his, why didn’t he announce this when he was inaugurated?  Or at any point in 2009, 2010, or 2011?  Well, they weren’t election years.  But it’s 2012, and he’s up for reelection.  What does that mean?  It’s time for people to hear what they want to hear, until November 7th, when we go back to business as usual.”

It has been my experience that, short of epiphanies, people’s viewpoints don’t radically change, even over time (unless you are running for an office, in which case you flip flop).  I’m in my mid 30’s.  The people in high school that were liberal, well, they’re still liberal.  The people that were conservative are still conservative.  Based on this anecdotal evidence, I’m going to run with this assumption (I know it’s not terribly scientific, but the government hasn’t given me big bucks to study it.  Also, I’m a jeweler; it’s more of an art.  Additionally, my BS is in Sociology, which my husband likes to point out is not a real science).

Here’s what I’d LOVE to see this election year.  I’d love to see the voters hold politicians’ feet to the fire.  Make them accountable. Question them and then question them some more.  The only place I know where you can continue to screw up and keep your job is the government.  Let the politicians know they work for us, the citizen of the United State, not corporations.   I’d love to see journalists DO THEIR JOB and investigate stories, dig into them and report on them, not editorialize.  You want to be a PR guy, go be a PR guy.  Don’t dress yourself up as a journalist.  You only disgrace yourself (wait, I need to modify my ‘you screw up and still keep your job’ list…).

And that, Dear Reader, is my random thought for today.

Until Tomorrow - Melissa