Monday, December 27, 2010

When's Your Birthday? (The Month and Day Only!!!)

Don't run off yet!!  I know this seems to be a duplicate of a recent post but it's got some new stuff in it.  I've been using my advanced skills with scissors and scotch tape to convert the journal to a date book.  Really!  I did this all by myself.  Amazing, isn't it! 

I'm going to use this journal as next year's date book.
I taped the January sheet from an extra 2011 calendar on this page and added my own calligraphy to identify the upcoming month.

Cutting the calendar up with scissors was a bit scary but I was extremely careful and didn't poke an eye out.  Yay!

I became tangled in the scotch tape momentarily but managed to break loose to go on with my task.

These words are written in Renee Locks' unique calligraphy.  It truly is the moments that are impressed on our memories whereas entire days escape us. 
I'm looking forward to practicing my own calligraphy as each new month arrives.
I can't find the 2011 version of my favorite date book at my usually dependable bargain store.

Now I'm glad because I got a chance to get creative.  Who knows what I'll come up with as the months pass? 
I'm in awe of the beauty of a few simple sumi brush strokes put down by artist, Renee Locks.
When I turn the January journal page, I have two full pages with this small flower at the bottom.  I'll make my monthly entries there.

Turning the page again will bring me to more words of wisdom by Renee.  I'll add a February heading and attach that month's calendar.

I think you'll enjoy Renee Locks' artwork and her collection of powerful words throughout this journal/calendar.

If you'll leave me your birthday in a comment, I'll mention it when I introduce that month.  Please do. :)     

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Merry Christmas to all!

P.S.  Besides being merry, let's be other words, we mustn't do anything stupid!

 breaking things!

Shaddy (Definitely not the brightest bulb on the tree!)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let's Live With Intention

I've searched the shelves in vain at TJMaxx on two separate occasions for a 2011 edition of the Brush Dance date book which I have been using for the past three years.

I could order one online but I've been spoiled in the past by purchasing them for half price at TJMaxx. 

I found this Live With Intention journal at TJMaxx for $4.99 and I'm going to make it work for me.  I'll use it in the same way I used my previous date books.

I'll share Renee Locks' powerful words and artwork here on my blog to introduce each month throughout 2011.

The best way to make your dreams come true is to WAKE UP!  I'd like to add the words "and get out of bed."  Once again, I'm going to make a New Year's resolution to bounce out of bed the minute I wake up.  I have the bad habit of staying under the covers long after I've awakened.

I hope you'll enjoy Renee Locks' creativity as much as I do.  Of course, I've peeked ahead and have been extremely impressed by her sumi brush painting and the phrases she's put down in her unique style of calligraphy.

I mainly use a date book to record my workouts at North Pointe and to welcome the months here.  I can continue to do that in this journal; where there's a will there's a way, right?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Book I Just Finished Reading

I highly recommend this book. 

She's Come Undone is written by Wally Lamb.  The novel is written in the first person point of view of a female.  It's uncanny how the author, a male, wrote such a touching and intimate book from a female's point of view.

The book is described as hilarious by the New York Times.  In my opinion, it has it's hilarious moments yet the overall story is quite tragic.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Christmas Card For You

This one's for you, my friends.

This comes to you with wishes that the Christmas spirit of 2010 sustains and energizes you thoughout the coming year.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Punk "Rockher" Shaddy

I thought my Punk Rockher outfit looked just great minus me, but y'all insisted on seeing it on me.

Since I love y'all so much and I aim to please, here's my outfit plus me, all decked out for the evening.

The party was swell and I'm back home, writing this after two and a half Cosmos.  All Punk Rockhers are big drinkers; y'all know that, don't cha?

(I'm not as short and squatty as I look in this photo.  Really!  Darn cameras and mirrors!)

Check out my previous blog post for more details regarding my most recent purchase.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thank You, Vera!

I intended to shop for my son this past Saturday and I did, but I also bought myself a new outfit.  I'd resisted the week before but couldn't pass it by again.  (It was on display on a main aisle and when I came near, it stopped me in my tracks).  I plan to wear it to a Christmas party tomorrow evening. 

The tags identified this outfit as part of the contemporary separates "Punk Rockher" collection.  I figure at 61, I'm the perfect age to adopt that look!!  (I may leave instructions with my family to be buried in it when I check out at 101!)  

The light colored pattern on the black background is a subdued metallic silver. 

I like the asymmetrical placement of the zipper, don't you? 

Do you like the layers of fabric at the lower edge of the jacket?  I think it adds a nice feminine look.

The metallic design completes the "Punk Rockher" look on the back of the jacket as well. 

These black slacks will complete my outfit.

I hate trying on clothes.  Fortunately, I got lucky.  I didn't try the jacket or pants on in the store and was thrilled when I arrived home to discover they fit perfectly. 

Again, I'm tickled by the unique details.  Notice the unusual shape of the flap that covers the zipper.

I get a big kick out of extraordinary fabric pattern cuts such as this.

Finally, check out the grosgrain ribbon running down the sideseams, giving them a tuxedo look.  How cool is that?

I'll accessorize my "Punk Rockher" look with these heavy metal earrings and necklace.

(I found these in my present collection of jewelry and I think they'll work just fine).

My red boots present a welcome break away color in contrast with the basic black of my jacket and pants and will add a Christmasy touch.  The outfit needs that, don't you agree?

I love the super high heels that are popular now but I'd rather not risk breaking a leg and being wheeled into the party in a wheelchair! 

This is my first shopping encounter with Simply Vera, Vera Wang fashions.  Something tells me it won't be my last.

Do you have Christmas parties on your calendar and new outfits in your closet?

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I don't blame you if you come to the conclusion that I've been drinking too much eggnog when you read the bold print, but the facts are true.

My son, Jared, was two years old in October of 1980.  His grandmother, Grandma Doll, bought him this book in early December of that year.  Mom and I read it to him time and time again during the following weeks and by Christmas, he knew the poem word for word.  When I read the book now, I can still hear his sweet little voice fascinating and entertaining us as he recited the beautiful poem, The Night Before Christmas. 

Please take the time to read this.  It's old and familiar but always a delight.

'Twas the night before Christmas
When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a luster of midday to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick;
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came.
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher!  Now, Dancer!  Now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet!  On, Cupid!  On Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall!
Now, dash away!  Dash away!  Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With a sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddlar just opening his pack.

His eyes how they twinkled!  His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook, when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night."

(This poem was first published anonymously on December 23rd in 1823 by a New York newspaper, the Sentinel.  It was generally attributed to Clement Moore although the claim has also been made that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr.). 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oops! December Is Here.

I challenge you to stand on your head to read this lovely quote.

I'm sorry I'm so late in announcing that December has arrived.  I know all of you count on me to remind you when it's time to turn your calendar pages.  Well, guess what, it's time to start your Christmas shopping and thanks to me, you're already eight days behind.

I suggest you add this to your list of New Year's resolutions:  Stop depending on Shaddy for anything other than a laugh now and then.

In case you're not into gymnastics, the quote reads as follows:  Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make everyday a holiday and celebrate just living.

-Amanda Bradley

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Would You Like A Widget With Your Beer?

My brother, Tom, donated a variety of beers including a case of Guinness beer for our family Thanksgiving weekend festivities.

See that whatchamacallit lying beside the beer bottle?

A plastic thingamajiggy is inside each bottle!


In the old days, beer and nuts were often served together.  Remember those awesome beer nuts?  I think they still make them.

The Irish ventured to step outside of the box to brew a unique beer.  They created a rocket widget and stuck one in each bottle of Guinness Draught.  I hate to be the one to burst their bubble, but Cracker Jack has been putting prizes in their product since 1912 and a variety of prizes at that.

We had to use a pair of pliers to get the widget out.  I guess it's not meant to be an easily accessible prize after all!  

Next year, I'll ask Tom to bring a case of Cracker Jack instead.

(Still curious about the widget?  Check out the fourth comment for an in depth explanation of exactly why they're used and how they work).   

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Excerpt in the Editing Stage

My Winner Certificate

I haven't named my novel yet.  For now, I'm the author of NaNoWriMo 2010.

Below is an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo 2010 novel.  Scene setup:  Rogelio is a mentally challenged man and Maria is his sister.  Their neighbors, Billy and Monica, are unable to have children of their own. 
“What are you doing?” screamed Maria.  “Who is that!”
“Just go, Maria.  Hurry up and go!” yelled Rogelio.
“Who's baby is that?” asked Maria.  “What the hell’s going on?”
“Just get us home,” Rogelio growled through gritted teeth.  Maria cowered.  Rogelio was a big man.  For the first time, she was afraid of him.  She stomped on the accelerator and the tires of her red Pinto squealed as she tore out of the parking lot.
“Mommy, Mommy, I want my mommy,” Cassie sobbed.
Rogelio turned his attention to the little girl on his lap.  He relaxed.  “Don’t cry,” he said softly.  “I won’t hurt you.”  Cassie turned and looked into Rogelio’s face.  His big brown eyes were warm and friendly and his voice calmed her.  She stopped crying.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but we’re gonna be in jail before the day’s over.  The cops will be looking for her, you know,” Maria said.  “I bet they'll think this was my idea, but it damned well wasn’t.”  Three blocks from the grocery store, Maria turned in the driveway and parked in the attached garage.  Rogelio reached up and pushed a button.  The garage door closed.
Maria jerked the car door open.  Her vomit splattered on the cement floor.  “Damn.  This is nuts.”  She pressed her forehead to the steering wheel.  Her body trembled.  She forced her head back and stared at Rogelio.  “Talk to me.  Tell me why this little girl is here in our car.  You went in the store for milk and bread.  I know you’re stupid, but this is crazy.”
Rogelio shrank from Maria’s harsh words.  “She’s pretty, isn’t she?” he said.  “I got her for Billy and Monica.”

(Every single time I take a peek at this excerpt, I change something.  Nothing major, but I delete or change a word or two.  It's hard to know when to stop!  I'll probably keep revising until I don't know how to write it better.  To edit the entire novel, I suspect I'll be at it for a long, long time).   

Sunday, November 28, 2010

That's All She Wrote

Badge #1
Yesterday at 4:13PM, I finished my novel.  I wrapped up my story 880 words beyond the original goal of 50,000 words established by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo.  Wearing a smile of relief and glee, I submitted it to NaNoWriMo for word count verification and was declared a winner. 

I was urged to step forward and receive my share of winner's goodies.  My first recognition came in the form of a video created by the NaNoWriMo organization.  I started it up and sat back in my chair.  Said chair is a mere skeleton of its former self, worn and frayed beyond description.  I never sat back when I wrote during the last 30 days.  I was always poised on the edge of my seat, alert and ready to capture my story as it evolved, a story devoid of preplanning.  Needless to say, the leather seat now wears the residue of countless applications of butt glue.  
Badge #2

The winner's video included a motley crew, some wearing hats with horns (depicting fearless warriors?).  The entire congregation of eight stood all aglow in two rows with a leader who congratulated me, followed by nine seconds of nonstop applause.  I got enthused, psyched up for the celebration, primed for all sorts of praise and glory on a grand scale.  Wrong.  'Twas only a nine second video.
Badge #3

I looked around and hoped for a bit more for my investment of 50,000+ words.  Sure enough, I was bombarded with a grand assortment of badges for unabashed self-promotion on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Now we're getting there, I thought.  This is more like it!  (See 'em along the left side of this page).  I couldn't decide which one was most flattering, so I took one of each.
Badge #4

Throughout the year, I'll use them all to keep my glorious (and not so glorious) memories of November 2010 alive.   

Don't run off quite yet.  My goody bag has one more item deep inside.  Hold on and slide down to the bottom of this post with me.  Watch out for rope burns!

Badge #5

Badge #6
Badge #7
Certificate (suitable for enlarging)
Lastly, The Office of Letters and Lights created a winner's certificate appropriate for framing or presenting in any flambuoyant way I choose.  I scrambled on my fingertips and grabbed one of those too.  I'm considering having four wall-sized enlargements made so I can wallpaper my entire writing room. 

For now, that's all she wrote.