Moving!

I am so excited! Let’s Go on a Picnic! now has its own domain. I am in the process of setting it up and will put all new posts on that site. So, if you are a subscriber, please go to http://headant.com and subscribe there. I will be closing this site once I am done setting it up.

Have a great weekend!

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Wordless Wednesday: Guessing Game

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Visit Wordless Wednesday for more photos.

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Bullied

Dear LaLa:

You have no idea how angry you have made me. All those times you let people make fun of you and take advantage of you–why couldn’t you stand up for yourself? Do you not realize what tolerating all of this will eventually do to you over the years? You will be afraid of everything and will take everything personally–from the high school kid pranking your Craigslist ad to the man in the grocery store threatening you over a parking space. You will agonize for days, weeks, even months over things that are insignificant.

Do you even realize the power that fighting back could give you? You will be in control of your life, instead of the words and actions of others. You won’t be afraid to go out of the house because someone wrote something bad about you online and they might find you, as illogical as that sounds. You won’t cry yourself to sleep thinking, for some insane reason, that it is all your fault.

Standing up for yourself is such a simple solution to preventing a lot of pain. Sure, it may feel painful itself at first. But just think… you will be a much stronger person in the end. You will not be afraid and you will be whole.

Love,

Your Former Self

This is the sixth week I have participated in the Indie Ink Writing Challenge. I was chosen to challenge Mean Girl GarageAmy challenged me to write a letter to my childhood self. We have had such a wonderful group of writers these past few weeks. Please check out their blogs and show them your support.

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Two Kisses for Maddy

I recently went on a downloading spree for my Nook. I was looking for something different. I searched through many parenting books before I decided to look through the memoirs. That is where I found Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin. I could not put this book down.

In early 2008, Matt and Liz Logelin were expecting their first child, a daughter. The time was poignant for them. They had met at the age of eighteen and spent much of their courtship apart. They were finally grounded with a new home and a baby on the way. When complications arose and Madeline Elizabeth Logelin was delivered early, the Logelins took it in stride and counted down the hours until Liz could hold her baby girl. That moment never came. While preparing to go meet her daughter for the first time, Liz collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism. The book details Matt’s experiences as a widower and single father over the first year of Maddy’s life.
Matt’s story speaks to everyone. It is brutally familiar to anyone who has ever lost a loved one. It is also a guide for fathers (and mothers) who become lost in new parenthood. The book teaches a valuable lesson about reaching out to others, even if it is beyond your comfort zone. In that, it also is about the sacrifice of love.
The style of the book feels conversational, right down to the bad words. Those words should not bother you after a while; Matt’s story is more compelling than a few letters arranged in a certain way. Besides, they only demonstrate the genuine grief and frustration that he feels. You will feel as though you know Matt and Liz as you read this book, for he keeps her alive in his words. He begins each section with a poem which beautifully sets the mood for each chapter. This book truly spoke to me, as it could have easily have happened to my family after I gave birth to our son.
I highly recommend Two Kisses for Maddy. I have given it five bookmarks in my newly launched rating system. If you enjoy the book as well, please check out The Liz Logelin Foundation, an organization that was founded in Liz’s memory to assist widows, widowers, and their children.

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Color of Friendship

I think this is my fifth week in the Indie Ink Writing ChallengeThis week, I challenged K. Syrah and was challenged by Kat. The prompt I was given is at the end of the post. I took a slight bit of liberty with it.

Marcus snapped off a yellow mum from one of the flower arrangements in the back of the viewing room.The oversized wreath had come from the rest home; it stood out among a field of lifeless white arrangements. It seemed that the people who had spent Julia’s final days with her knew her favorite color better than her own family. Marcus chuckled to himself, quickly hiding a smile as he placed the flower in her hand. They had dressed her in a yellow silk dress, one of her favorites. He could count on one hand the number of days that he hadn’t seen her in a yellow dress. Julia had lived at the home almost six years, so there had been a lot of yellow dresses.

Marcus had been assigned to sit with Julia the second week of residence. They had taken each other almost immediately. She reminded him of his own grandmother whom he had lost at age eleven. He remembered that first conversation with fondness. Julia had been sitting in her bed, brushing out the long fur of Harry, a gigantic Maine Coon cat.

“There was once a chance I didn’t take. I wonder if it made me the way I am today. I wasn’t always a cat lady, you know,” she said softly as she patted Harry on the head.

Just a few moments earlier, she had told Marcus that she had owned as many as twenty-five cats at one time. She wasn’t a hoarder though; she had taken very good care of every last one of her cats. She had lived on a 15 acre farm that the cats had been able to roam freely. Of course, as the years progressed, the number of cats she had grew smaller. When it was decided that she needed to go into a home, the other three cats she still had were given to a cat rescue organization. Harry came to live with her, as he was her favorite.

Julia finished brushing Harry and continued the conversation.

“It was the first dance of the sixth grade. It was always held at the end of the year to celebrate us moving on to junior high. Being that it was the first dance of my life, my mom wanted me to have a special outfit. The shopping trip was excruciating. I had to try on every possible combination of shirts and pants. Finally, the ensemble was decided on: buttery, yellow parachute pants, a white blouse decorated with paint splotches in primary colors, and a thin, spiked leather belt with leather strips hanging down. I’m sure I looked awesome.” Marcus saw a brief smirk on her face as she talked.

“The night of the dance, my mom dropped me off in front of the school cafeteria. I went inside quickly; the room boomed with Depeche Mode or a similar band. I walked over to my friends. We danced together for a while, then sat in some chairs on the side when we got tired. When friends got up to get some punch, a boy walked over to me. He was a boy I kind of liked, so when he asked me to dance, I stood up. Then immediately sat down,” Julia said quickly, her face turning a bright red. “Every time I think of that night, I am eleven years old again and I feel like such a dork. I made such a fool of myself that I found I couldn’t talk to boys after that. I clammed up and my chest grew heavy. I found it hard to breathe when I was around them. When the boy I crushed on in college married my best friend, I bought my first cat. It just snowballed from there.” She looked down at the yellow housedress she was wearing. “Do you know that yellow is the color for friendship, Marcus? I will always have my friendships, but never love.”

Marcus patted Julia’s hand. She looked up him and smiled.

“Do you know that you are the first boy I’ve talked to in over fifty years?”

Prompt: Begin a story with “There was once a chance I didn’t take….”

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Third Thursday Thoughts-Favorite Recipes

jillsavage.org Today, I am participating in another blog hop. This one is hosted by Jill Savage of Keeping Hearts at Home. She hosts a hop on the third Thursday of the month. This week, she is asking what everyone’s favorite homemade recipes are.  Without further ado, here is mine:

Spicy Roasted Corn

I just came up with this recipe the other day. I had frozen corn and didn’t know what to do with it. My son and husband are particular when it comes to food; but they both asked for seconds of this!



Take some frozen corn. I tend to cook without measurements most times. Thanks, Justin Wilson! Spread the corn out on a cookie sheet and drizzle a little olive oil on it. Put it in the oven at 350 degrees. You want to cook it until the corn starts to brown a little. Don’t let it brown too much, though; it will get too hard. I made that mistake the first time I made this. Crunchy!

While the corn is roasting, melt some butter in a large pan. I suggest 2-3 tablespoons.  Saute about a teaspoon of minced garlic and the equivalent of one chopped jalapeno. When the corn is done, dump it in the pan with the garlic and jalapeno. Sounds fancy, right? Add kosher salt to taste.  That is it. Very simple.

I would have taken a picture of this; but it didn’t last that long.



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50 Book Challenge: Take Two

Last year, I made a list of books I wanted to read in a year. You can find the list here. Well, I got a late start. Make that a very late start. I didn’t come anywhere close to completing the list. So, I have decided to take the remaining books–minus ones that I just can’t read–and start my year over with additional books added.

Please leave in the comments any “must read” books. The year will be starting over on May 25.

Also, what do you think of timing each book? Does anyone know of a site or an application to do that?

1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

3. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

5. 1984 by George Orwell

6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

9. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

10. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

11. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H Lawrence

12. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

13. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

14.House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

15. Darling Jim by Christian Moerk

16. Christmas Jars by Jason Wright

17. The Overton Window by Glenn Beck

18. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier

19. Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, Lynn Vincent (As Told to)

20. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

21. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

22. Foreign Body by Robin Cook

23. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch


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