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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Toy Story 3 - and they lived happily ever after!

Pixar has a long standing of not only capturing the hearts and minds of children and adults alike and they once again haven't disappointed.  We wonder when a sequel comes out, if it will leave us wanting more or simply leave us wanting our time back. 

Toy Story 3 exceeded my expectations.  Not only did it totally captivate my daughter's attention, I found I cried more than I would care to admit.  The audience is taken in by the shortness of childhood.  Andy is headed to college and the toys are waiting to hear their fate.  Will they be headed to college too?  Will they end up separated?  The entire film captures our nostalgia of our own beloved toys and the fates we forced upon them years ago - or maybe that's just me. 

What can I say, this film is fabulous, a must see and a definite addition to any DVD library.  If you have young children this is a must- if you are young at heart- this one need to be on your list - if you have a heart at all this movie will pull at the strings causing you to head to attic and check up on your old friends.  Who knows you may find you need a little play time yourself!

5 out of  5

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Iron Man 2, not so tough- to sit through that is

I have several friends who saw Iron Man 2 in the theater and said it wasn't worth the sticky floors and texting teens to sit through.  So I waited.  I waited , and I waited.  You see, I am a Robert Downy Jr. fan.  I always have been- even when he didn't know his own name, I thought he did a pretty great job pretending to be someone else on screen.  I also have a soft spot (OK a very soft spot) for Comic Book Movies-
I love them- almost all of them, and if I don't love them I can usually find a redeeming quality or two (except maybe Daredevil).
So when my wait was finally over I rented Iron Man 2 the first day it became available-I fired up the stereo, made Carmel popcorn and hit play. 
What did I think?  Not nearly as horrid as everyone else had told me-

HOWEVER not nearly as fabulous as the first- But then again, is the second EVER as good as the first?  Really??? 

Overall, I really liked it- good explosions- great lines, Gwyneth Paltrow looked fabulous again playing her excellent version of Pepper, who of course is the voice of reason to Tony's antics.  Overall, it is worth your time.
Is it an Oscar contender?  Nope
Is it entertaining?  Yep
Rating 2 1/2 out of 4

Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've found movies to be a bit of a challenge lately, trying to find something with a great story line, but still would hold my husbands attention.  I thought I would take a few very over due moments and give my opinions on a few that are most likely available at your local rental store-

My review score will be simple- blond proof if you will, 1 -4,  4 being  outstanding

INCEPTION-  staring Leonardo  DiCaprio is a fabulous tale weaving through the very dreams of people and trying to reach their inner secrets.  Not only did I find the script well written, I honestly didn't find myself once thinking of our darling Leo yelling Rose from the top of a ship. 
Mr. DiCaprio has definitely redeemed himself as a first rate actor who not only delivered  a believable performance, but obviously has great taste in scripts. 
Review: 3

LETTERS TO JULIET- Staring Amanda Seyfried and Vanessa Redgrave is a light hearted film stressing the importance of never giving up on true love.  Vanessa Redgrave gives elegance and style to an otherwise semi-flat film.  In concept, it was good, but in reality it landed on the cooler side.  Chris Egan delivers a believable role as the grand son of Claire, played by Redgrave.  His character echoes hints of the late Heath Ledger, in looks and charisma, but doesn't really move the audience.  Over all this chick flick is simply that- light easy and definitely not too deep.  Don't take your husband, he will never forgive you- 
Review: 2

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Time Flies When you are Traveling!

Oh my, how time moves when travel is on the agenda. This summer I took the opportunity to explore the Pacific Northwest a bit with a couple of girlfriends. Driving along the beautiful coast definitely showcases inspirational forests filled with mystery and enchantment.

We were fortunate enough to have clear skies and see the sun the entire way, watching the reflection of light off the moss covered trees and taking in the mountain views. No, we didn’t see anything sparkle in the forest, although we did look now and again! La Push Beach took our breath away. The awesome strength of the tide, the rainbow of rocks, the mountains of drift wood felt like a warning as well as a challenge to anyone considering taking them on.

We drove on the beach at Ocean Shores and on to Astoria Oregon. For some of you with great memories, you may know that Kindergarten Cop was filmed in Astoria, along with the cult classic The Goonies. The Liberty Theatre and Flavel House are MUST STOPS on the tour. Eat at the Silver Salmon, you won’t be disappointed and finish by taking a trip through the great little shops.

From Astoria we continued down to Portland for the IKEA experience. Overall, I have to say it is a definite must trip for every woman who may have read a book in the last few years. (Yes, you know which one)

Next we took a camping trip in the mountains of Idaho, outside of Council. Leaning into the natural beauty that exists in my very own state makes me thankful I live here. Being one with nature and communing with the area, I found another story itching to come out, so arriving home I started yet another novel. Nature has a way of bringing my voices in my head to life.

My next trip landed me in St. Helens Oregon. Talk about a cute little town! Filled with history, as well as being the filming locations for movies like Halloweentown (Disney) and a little film you may have hear of –Twilight. Now little towns have always been my weakness. The quaint feel the friendly people, the streets teaming with history of the past. Over all the ones I have been to this summer, St. Helens really stood out. They have done an amazing job of keeping the old with the new, emphasizing their plus sides and doing what they could with what was there rather than tearing it all down and starting over. If you have the opportunity, it is only 30 minutes outside of Portland, take the trip, you will be glad you did!

The summer has been filled with excitement and fun, made possible by family and friends. I have really taken the time to keep that focus of loved ones in the forefront of my mind. How lucky I am to have experienced all that I have. I can’t think of a better way to have spent this summer, but alas, all good things must come to an end.

Now we begin the gear up for school, fall projects and squeezing in the last minute summer activities. That means more blogging for me and hopefully more fun reading for you!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Belief of Four Legs

Lessons Learned from a Race Horse

So this weekend was one of the final legs to the Kentucky Derby. Horses must either win one of the “lead in “ races or have enough earnings to even be considered for THE Derby of all Derby’s – The Kentucky Derby.

Only 20 horses actually get the chance to race at famous Churchill Downs on that spring day. The horses start preparing for this event from the moment they are born. Actually, before they were born. Breeding is thought to be incredibly crucial to discovering the next Derby winner and hopefully the next Triple Crown. Horseman (and woman of course) spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on fine tuning their bloodlines to create the best racing prospect the world has ever seen.

Yearlings are sold, many at Keeneland, for hundreds of thousands of dollars, sometimes millions. Owners put time and money into training, just hoping their horse will be the one. Until they have loaded the gates with the competitors, jockeys tense waiting for the gates to open, owners standing at attention rubbing their rabbit’s foot for good luck, most owners are sure they made wise investments. Until the bell sounds and the jolt of the starting gates break open, every owner, trainers, and patron of the betting windows are sure they hold the winning combination to it all.

But then as the race is being ran, things begin to change. Jockeys sometimes allow a horse to run too hard in the beginning, just to find they have no gas at the end. Other times, a horse is pinned out, stuck in traffic as they call it, unable to break free from the pack and race as hard as they could have. Still other times, tragic accidents happen where although the horse maybe ok, it can never race again. In those special instances, we discover why horse racing is called a gamble.

But then there are moments that make everyone believe in Miracles. A long shot comes out of nowhere and wins it all. Some of these horses have become famous. Their stories made into motion pictures, bringing in block buster ticket sales.

Sure those are the ones you know about, Secretariat, Phar Lap, even said to be the greatest horse to ever run the race Man o’ War. But now a’ days, with all of our distractions we have lost our American passion for the sport of horse racing. Day to day things keep us from appreciating the amazing art and talent of trainer, jockey, breeder, animal as well as the God Neptune himself.

It is time we change that. This past weekend a horse race took place in Kentucky, which the winner was guaranteed a seat at the Kentucky Derby’s table. The odds were stacked, commentators made their predictions and then the race was ran. It was a beautiful race, including a horse who was my favorite, Odysseus. The problem was Odysseus, along with most of the horses didn’t live up to the expectations of their trainers or fans. But as they say, someone has to win. He was the little horse that could- a horse that had one only one race prior to becoming the next contender for the most talked about race ran at Churchill. Stately Victor went off at 40-1 odds at the break and was in the back for much of the race. Then when it mattered most, he made his move.

In my opinion, his timing couldn’t have been better. You see, he isn’t one of those high priced horses that sold at Keeneland. He is a horse that won because he had the heart to win. Sure, everyone is already saying it isn’t possible for him to actually be a contender in the derby. A little horse named Eskendereya is the heavy favorite May 1st, winning his last couple of races by over five lengths. True, he could win it, or maybe even take the Triple Crown.

But for me, I believe a horse race is a lot like life, it isn’t over until the finish line- and who knows, anything can happen. Wouldn’t it be great to have a little horse that could win it all? A little horse that decided it was time to win – did? No matter who was worth more, or what his breeding said, a winner because he believed? I love an underdog story, it is true, call me a sucker, but then again, what a great lesson for us all- anything is possible- you just gotta get out of the starting gate.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring is in the Air...

Sometimes this time of year, I decide I should start gardening. You know, put my hands in the dirt, and feel the earth’s life force fall through my fingers. Plant something. Anything.

I usually head to the local farm and garden store, pick out 80 packs of seeds, head home with a hope of an abundant harvest.

About the time the garage door comes to a close, I remember I hate to garden. I want my yard to look like I enjoy it, I want pretty flowers and happy little trees, but I don’t want to actually do the work. I married a Japanese man for that very reason. I don’t want to get into the dirt. I am a water sign, not an earth sign. I prefer cleaning floors to cleaning flower beds.

So this year, I decided to be proactive. I refuse to allow myself to run over the brim with unfiltered enthusiasm. I won’t allow myself to buy into the idea of work that will never be…

I vow to only purchase the plants my husband can handle….and maybe just a couple I could plant…Just a few….

Monday, March 22, 2010

Then again, maybe I was wrong…

In school we are taught writing is an art form. It is an adult form of coloring within the lines. Sometimes, you end up writing the perfect picture, the magic of words outlining every single image. Then again, some days the pen just seems to skip across the page. The crayons won’t stay in the pictures if you will, and you look down to see you colored an arm blue.

These are the days most writers claim writers block, or better yet, they find themselves completely creatively avoiding all forms of work to better their writing. Sometimes they find days turn into weeks and weeks turn into years. Looking up, they can’t remember which page they were working on and all the crayons in the box have melted over time. Sometimes, at this pivotal moment, writers give up. Some put their manuscripts away, only to be read later and some simply throw it to the wind, never to be worked on again.

People often say writers are not like other people. They are eccentric, they are odd, even a bit crazy, none of which I disagree, mind you; however the part I don’t believe is they are not like other people.

They are. They hold rejections personal, they get involved with the people they work with, (no need to point out they live in our heads) and deep down inside, we all think we are the greatest writer in the world.

What? You are a writer and don’t think that? Of course you don’t. That was simply a test- NONE of us think we are the best writer out there- we just think we are better than most.

See, it is that little piece that makes a true writer take the manuscript they put aside and start working again. It is that little element which makes the true teacher start volunteering at her kids school to help on Thursdays. They are the parts that bind us together. We are all the same. All groups of people tend to get into avoidance mode, no matter what their occupation. (Let’s hope brain surgeons stay on task for the most part) I proudly state when people ask what I do that I am a writer. Am I published? Well, not unless this counts, but I am a writer. What are you? What picture did you stop coloring years ago? Did you shove it in a drawer, or did you toss the dream away completely? Whatever you did, ask yourself if it is something you can ever go back to.

I believe it is never too late, however if you wanted to be a pro football player, then maybe we need to re-define pro. If it was something other than a pro athlete, are you ready to pick it up again? Even in a little capacity?


Maybe not

Either way, are you doing something ? Anything at all? If not, why? See, this isn’t a dress rehearsal, it is the now. Start today- again. Make a commitment to yourself to do one thing this week toward your future goal. It doesn’t mean you are going to make it through med school by Friday, but do one little thing to push you closer. Just one tiny step. It will take you forward and that is the yellow brick road to your dream.

Why not? You can do it; you can do anything you put your mind to.

What is that you say? You want to be a racehorse jockey? Then again, maybe I was wrong…

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Night at the Carnival

Have you ever experienced the joy of a school carnival? Really, I am being serious, it is a magical place. Children all getting along, parents not killing children, teachers smiling at their toughest cases, even older brothers and sisters joining in. It is truly an experience that in unlike any other.

I sat watching tonight at such a carnival, held at a local elementary school. They had of all things a Karaoke booth. Now, to some of us, it is impossible to actually catch a note, let alone hit one on key. The idea of singing in public is almost as scary as arriving in North Dakota and finding a wood chipper waiting for you.

None the less, I sat and witnessed as a line formed of the future American Idol contestants. They belted out Taylor Swift song after song and missed the majority of the notes, but were braver than most adults I know, even after a couple of shots of tequila.

They held raw belief of doing something for the sheer fun of doing it, simply singing loud and proud for the joy of singing, children dreaming of what a future on stage would really feel like. I sat wondering where and when most adults lost that voice. Not the singing voice, listen at any stop light in the summer with the windows down and you will know that voice hasn’t gone very far, but the voice of fearlessness.

Another of the Carnival games was simply a jumping house rented from a local party place. Again, not one parent made an attempt to join in the bouncing free-for-all. Why? They even had chairs sat along the wall for parents to wait respectably for their children to finish jumping and playing. When did the idea of jumping up and down become beneath us? Now, for a few of you reading this, you are laughing out loud, because you know the idea went out the window as soon as you hit the age of 13 and were female, but for the rest of you, myself included, that is just a cop out.

So I have a challenge for you, take one day this weekend and do something juvenile. Anything. Find a trampoline and go jump for a while, hit the park and swing as high as you can, or you could even just color a picture, making sure to stay in the lines. So something fun. I know you want to, I can feel you thinking, ya-but this and ya-but that. Your right, ya-butt needs to have a little fun!

After you are done with your juvenile task, take a moment and think about how it felt and vow to do it again. It seems silly I know, but really I believe youth is a state of mind and why not get your mind back there as often as possible? Who knows, maybe you will be belting out Karaoke at the next school Carnival.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I guess it is time to go live....

For the longest time I have been in resistance to telling anyone about my blog. I mean, really, why would anyone want to read about me? Furthermore, why would anyone want to read about my life? I am a boring normal person, with normal problems and normal excitement. What makes me special?

It wasn’t until a dear friend of mine explained to me the normalcy’s MADE me special. (Trust me, I am still not convinced.) But, low and behold, here we are- posting a blog entry that I will be inviting everyone to see, read, and respond to.

Wow, the entire concept of going live is a bit unnerving- so I tried to imagine it as an exercise I did a few years back…

We were doing a ropes course for personal growth. The next obstacle was a tree. Seems harmless enough, can’t chase you. (And if it did think of the story you could write?)

I digress-

So we were standing in front of a harmless tree in the great outdoors, being one with nature, breathing the fresh air, admiring the treetops and small birds that flew in between. But wait- what is that? Why it looks like a trapeze bar- I noted there were no small well dressed people in tights near me, nor an elephant or tiger in sight. So what, pray tell was a trapeze bar doing in the middle of the woods, you ask?

It was at then we were informed the exercise involved trust. Not typically one of my strong points, but I tried to keep an open mind, as well as a small eye on the mystery bar above me.

They explained that we were to climb the tree, stand on the 2”x2” platform then face the trapeze bar. Take a deep breath for this next part, we were instructed to jump into mid air and grab a hold of the bar.

Now, to clarify any and all preconceived notions, I am not, nor will I ever be athletic. I have an issue with gravity. The issue is it is very attached to me, there for sky diving and such activities are not on my bucket list.

The instructor asked if he had any volunteers. I heard someone step forward and immediately say they would go first. I looked around and swallowed rather hard when I discovered it was me. Well, I just volunteered in front of at least thirty people, I had to now actually climb a tree.

Honestly, you don’t want the details, they weren’t pretty, but the moral of the story is I did it. Was it easy? Keeping the thought of plummeting forty feet to my death, or at the very least a broken arm from the fore front of your mind, then yes- it was a cinch.

Today, I find myself on another platform, ready to grab out to the awaiting trapeze bar. My mind is swimming, my heart is racing, but in the end the words are the same as they were that day. My spirit is saying: Just Jump.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The slower we move the faster we die- make no mistake moving is living*

Forgetting about so many things seem to be the trend of today- I haven’t updated in almost a week and here I sit wondering why no one is reading my page…hmmm-it is a mystery-

This week has been filled with ups and downs, in and outs, even overs and unders. Needless to say, I am ready for spring break- of course, aren’t we all? Wouldn’t it be great if we were 10 again and spring break simply meant no school and and outside world filled with endless possibilities?

But then again, why is it we can’t celebrate as adults? WE are in-charge now- no one is telling us when to go to bed, when to turn off the T.V. and most importantly if they are, well then maybe you need to do some internal conversations with yourself.

I am in awe of the number of adults I know that have given up entirely. Don’t we grow up waiting for the time that we are in control of our own lives, only to be bogged down with excuses and regrets? I believe in life liberty and the pursuit of YOUR happiness- that, by definition is whatever you want it to be-

In that pursuit of MY happiness, I find a great form of reflection in my favorite form of art- Movies- Ah yes, the cinema has captured some of the biggest and most touching things we as humans have ever experienced. In some ways a life can be completely defined by movies- look at John Hughes- he defined an entire generation.

So in my love of movies and their true reflections of life, I have two I am going to talk about today. One is currently in the theatres, while the other is out at your local Redbox- (or netflix if you will)

I firmly believe quotes are life changing speeches that stayed in the dryer too long. (Not that there is anything wrong with that)

“Imagine for a second that you're carrying a backpack. I want you to pack it with all the stuff that you have in your life... start with the little things…” *{Up in The Air}

Think about that for a second- how many of us carry extra things in our backpack that are a) not ours to carry, or b) really not needed? Think about it if you would set down the back pack- how would that feel?

Large novels and books have been written about the subject- one of those is something about packing light, but how many of us read these, think they are wonderful- and set them down never to be picked up again? But when George Clooney says it on a 40 foot screne, we tend listen. Sometimes.

Now it takes me to a movie playing in theatres now- Seriously, you have to go see this movie- it is moving amazing and whatever you do- DON’T try and find out what it is about- it will ruin your entire experience-

“Gandhi said that whatever you do in life will be insignificant. But it's very important that you do it… If you could hear me, I would say that our finger prints don't fade from the lives we've touched.” {Remember Me}

Now let’s look at that for a second- how could you possibly not get a few goose bumps when you read those two? Seriously? These are powerful thought provoking ideas-

I guess the moral of this entry today is LIVE- by whatever means you choose- just LIVE-

If you are lucky enough to be doing what you love, celebrate-

If you are lucky enough to be loving who you are with, celebrate-

If you are lucky enough to be living at all, celebrate-

I don’t mean through a Trump sized party, I mean look up at the sky and down at the ground and be THANKFUL that you are here-

And always wear sunscreen-* { Chicago Tribune, written by staff writer Mary Schmich}

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Who knew time could go by so quickly? 
It has been an amazing week (or so) since I wrote last-  I considered putting my daughter in school, I took up biking for health, and thought about taking a full time career, but in the end I decided it was best to simply best to just go shopping. 
It is amazing how shopping for a new skirt can actually provide more stress than just living without it-  at least for me.
As far as my mini life crisis, ( I see to have them regularly) I survived with little more than a bit of buyers remorse over a $20 skirt.  I have to say, I can live with that!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where did the day go?

It is on days like these that I take extra time to do my makeup, fluff my hair and overall make sure I am pretty.  Not that I am not ususally pretty, I have always had a very distorted reality of what I look like- Hello I am Pretty- but on days like today, I know the "feeling" of pretty needs to radiate throughout my being.  It won't be soemthing I need every day.  Most days I will be completely comfortable in knowing who I am, but after yesterday, I must make a turn around and remind myself that I am pretty, I am funny and people like me! (thanks SNL)
Today is one of my favorite days of the week-  I spend a few hours with my dad.  I love this day- I have the oportunity to gleen such amazing things for just being in his presence.  I love Wednesdays.  I believe if you have the oportunity to spend quality time- seriously just being in the same room with him for a few hours- everyone needs to do it.  Ones parents are such a gift- rather they are someone you admire or cringe from many lessons can be learned from sharing a cup of coffe with them.  It matters- trust me. 
Well, it seems we are on day two- I am surviving and so far, I am pretty sure I am still the only one reading this so-  I guess you are surviving too!
Until tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

End of day one...

Ok, so if I were an animal living in the wild, I am pretty sure I would have considered eating another of my species today.  Think of it as Wild America, only not as civil.
On afternoons like today, I find that the best way to describe myself is as a grumpy bunny.  My daughter and I used to read a story with said hare as the main character and the discription has always stuck.  Grumpy Bunnies don't get along with others, they don't much care what other bunnies think and when it comes to the immediate burro issues- well let's just say we have some Watership Down tendencies. 

But Every Bunny, grumpy or not, must pick her ears off the ground, look around and be happy that today was good- be thankful her family is safe- and wish upon a star that her book is in the hands of an agent or publisher who can see what she sees in it.

Well, for now, it is time to crawl back into the rabbit hole- I am pretty sure tomorrow will be a better day- after all - it isn't Rabbit Season yet!

POP and Ink - Who Knew??

I have now been promoting my story on a little website I found for young adult writers called Ink Pop-  really it is fabulous!  I can't believe how much talent is out there-  It is done on a popularity basis-  not exactly my best talent- I have never been the popular one-  but I have learned a ton on it, so I thought I would share- go check it out, or read part of my novel The Guardians-
Maybe you will find a new place to go and play@!!

So you want to write a book? Welcome to the number 9 train leaving Downtown New York

So since I was a young girl I dreamt of writing books for a living.  Not a "JK" type living, mind you, just a small modest living.  I always felt it was simply a dream, like being an Olympic ice skater, or winning a full rise scholarship to Oxford.  (I should mention here I don't ice-skate- at.all.)

It wasn't until a sweet friend of mine and I were talking that the idea even left my sugar plum and fairy land.

She asked if she could read my book-  I agreed.  Of course, I mostly wanted someone else to talk about my characters with.

To my utter surprise she loved it-

In truth it was a mess- it still is-

but it got me headed in the "write" direction!

It was February 6th 2009, when I talked to a physic on the phone-  yeah yeah I know, really?  A phone physic?  But she has been rather accurate in the past, so I listened

I asked if I was supposed to be writing, or if I was going down the wrong path-

She said  I was definitely headed in the right direction and then she said this...

I already had an idea in my head, which would be the book that got published first...

I did indeed have the idea, in fact I had it since 7th grade and began what is now known as The Guardians.

It is a trilogy, (isn't everything anymore?) and is technically young adult fantasy/ paranormal romance.

I barely read young adult before I was engulfed by the wizard and vampire world that we now all live in-

I am not a Treky nor do I really care much for Lord of the Rings (Kind of like Stephen King- beautifully written material, just not my taste)

So fantasy was a stretch for me-  then again, I think it worked out ok-

I finished the book the end of June, worked on editing and started the submission process in late November-

As the title says WOW were my eyes opened  wide-

It literally felt like the scene in Harry Potter where the go to the Ministry of Magic and all of the people are coming in through the flu network-

Yeah, kinda like that-

So, here it is February, I am still not published, but waiting to hear back from agents as well as small publishing houses about the fate of my book-

The infesting piece of this - I started reading A LOT of young adult to familiarize myself with genre-

I continued to feel more confident with the more I read, realizing that many stories out there were not exactly what I would say were quality-

So, I will sign off for now, the train is about to leave the station and If I want to get on, I better see if there is any room left in car 31- Maybe I will see you there-


New here? So am I!

Hello and welcome!
This is not only my first blog entry, but my first blog period.  I am old enough to remember when blog was just bog with an extra letter.  I have decided to venture into the world of blogging simply to share what a crazy blond woman does and thinks about on a regular basis.
So here is a little about me: 

I am a struggling writer- (isn't everyone?)
I am a mom  - (WOW isn't like almost half the population?)
I homeschool a first grader (ok not as many are crazy enough to do that I guess..)
I also sell cosmetics from home to actually earn money and help pay some bills.
I love canning, cooking, baking and even like to sew (only when children are not present...)

Yes, I am married but that is another blog entirely! :)

So Welcome to my blog, sit read or laugh
Hopefully, you will find some kind of interesting information for yourself here!