GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #67 “Peace”








GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #67 “Peace”

As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We’ve topped 300 members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE2’s Facebook Page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and people always ask what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (9-1-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Peace

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth





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You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.


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Misty Water-Colored Memories



Mine, playing in the leaves 22 autumns ago.





The question tends to pop up on Facebook (and before that, MySpace, which followed essentially the same deal via endlessly forwarded emails) questionnaires: “If your house was on fire, what would you grab before running out the door?”

Truth? I probably wouldn’t grab a thing. My guess is I’d hightail my hiney outside without thought to anything but staying alive and unsinged.

That’s not the point of the question, I know, so when asked, I’ve usually done what was expected and named a few things that hold sentimental value. Invariably, most people say they’d scoop up albums or boxes of photographs. Old photos really are wonderful things. Snapshots freeze moments so that we can hold onto them—and the people in them—forever.

I’m fortunate to have quite a few pictures from my childhood. I wish there were more of my mom, but she didn’t love being photographed, so I have what amounts to a handful of her from each year. That’s fine, though. I don’t need stacks of Polaroids. I don’t need fancy studio shots or tons of cute candids. I have an overstuffed file of moments organized neatly in my noggin (it’s damn crowded in there), and I fan through the pics frequently. Often, the images pop up unbidden, prompted by a whiff of something in the air, a few notes of music, or a familiar look from one of my children or grands.

It’s not just photos of my mom, of course, that live inside of me. There are a host of images that I’ll hold forever fondly. There’s the obvious stuff. The look in my husband’s eyes the moment he slipped the ring on my finger, first glimpses of my newborns, the kids in caps and gowns and some years later, all dressed up and taking vows of their own. Wonderful stuff, but many of my favorite mental snapshots are of everyday moments that never found their way onto film.


I look down and see my little girl feet in black patent leather Mary Janes. They are standing atop my dad’s freshly polished dress shoes and we are dancing.

We are in a tent in the backyard of my childhood home. My best friend holds a flashlight under her chin in an effort to look scary, but neither of us can stop laughing.

My brother is teaching me to drive, even though I won’t get my permit for another three years and our parents would skin him alive if they knew. I look to my right and see him sitting in the passenger seat. He’s almost as happy as I am.

We haven’t been dating long, but have already perfected the art of understanding one another’s expressions. He cocks his head a little and raises an eyebrow ever so slightly, and I know we’re going to have a very nice night.

She wakes from her nap and I reach in the crib to scoop her up. Her cheeks are pink and her big blue eyes light up when she sees me.

He cuts a huge bite of chocolate cake, opens his little mouth wide, and angles his fork in an effort to jam the whole thing in. It almost works and he smiles. His teeth and one side of his face are covered in frosting.

We’re on vacation and she’s determined to jump into the deep end of the pool, even though she’s afraid. She spreads her arms wide and leaps. When she emerges from the water, she takes a huge breath and grins.

My heart has just been broken and though he lives across town now in his first apartment, he shows up within minutes. He doesn’t say anything, but sits next to me on the couch, puts his arm around my shoulder to draw me close, and holds on while I sob into his tee-shirt clad shoulder, the ash gray turning dark with my tears.

She’s standing in her kitchen and I am seated at her table. She holds her infant son and whispers something to him, then lets her lips rest against his tiny ear.

I’ve been given a manicure by my three-year-old granddaughter. My nails are painted, as are most of my fingers up to each first knuckle. I reach out my hand to admire her work and realize I’ve never enjoyed having them done this much before.

He takes my hand and we wait. The doctor delivers good news and we both exhale, neither of us realizing until then that we’d been holding our breath. The doctor stands and reaches her hands forward. We each take one and I stare for a moment at the six hands, joined in gratitude.


How about you? I’ll bet you’ve got lots of favorite mental snapshots. Care to share a few?




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Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Snapshots.” If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click. All are welcome!

Oh, and you wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #66 “Snapshot”






GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #66 “Snapshot”

As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We’ve topped 300 members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE2’s Facebook Page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and people always ask what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (8-25-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Snapshot

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth




~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Hidden Treasure





My grandkids are beautiful and brilliant. They are also three steps past loony. It’s not their fault. They come from a long line of crazies. The hope is that the crazy gets a little watered down with each new generation, but I’m not so sure that’s happening.

Last week, the above three got it into their heads that there is treasure bricked in behind my fireplace. Well, the two bigger ones cooked that up, but the little guy seemed to like the notion and has been fully on board. They pushed against the brick, using all of their combined weight and strength. Nothing. The bricks refused to budge. The crew went home a little downhearted.





Not easily dissuaded, they returned to give it another go. They pushed, they shoved. They examined the mortar for signs of weakness. Finally, the smallest came up with an idea. “Grammy, you got an axe?” he asked. I shook my head.

Later, I recounted the story to my son, who told his son that his younger cousin had it all wrong. “What you need is a chisel, not an axe,” he said, grinning first at his just-turned-six-year-old and then at me. “Don't worry, buddy. I’ll set you up.”



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You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.


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The Closing Table







Buyer:

Although we’ve done it several times, I’m still amazed at how many papers need to be signed to close on a house. I wonder if buyers ever actually read every word and as I sign and pass the pages to my husband for his signature, I joke with our lawyer. “I could be signing over my firstborn,” I say, and he smiles.

“Nah, I’ve got a brood of my own. There is a clause in there about you coming by to clean my house every Tuesday, though.” We both laugh.

The sellers are quiet, but the wife gives me the stink-eye. We’ve met them on a few occasions over the months leading to the closing and though we don’t know much about them, we’ve learned a few things. He’s a bully and he doesn’t have much respect for his wife. She sees herself through his eyes, and that makes me sad. She leans forward to ask me something.

“So, what changes do you plan to make after you take possession?”

I tell her we want to replace the living room carpeting, but that it’ll have to wait until we update the guest bath. She bristles and informs me that the carpeting is brand new, which it is. She says she loves that carpeting. Says she chose it herself. I don’t say anything, but I think, It’s purple! Officially, it’s plum, but for all practical purposes, the stuff is purple. Who puts purple freaking carpet in their living room, especially when they’re about to put the place on the market?

I picture the kitchen, with its bright blue walls adorned with large, purple, hand-painted flowers. Knowing how proud she is for having decorated with her own artwork, I don’t mention that the very first thing we’ll do—before the carpeting and before the guest bath—is to cover that crap up.

The papers make their way around the table and then we all rise and shake hands. Her husband hands my husband the keys and we head toward the door. Toward home.


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Seller:

I can’t believe these people will be living in my house. I look at them across the table, him in that boring-ass polo shirt and her joking with their lawyer like she owns the place. She’s going to replace the carpeting? What the hell is she thinking? It’s nice stuff. We didn’t go cheap, like a lot of people do when they sell their house. We could’ve put down some low-grade beige stuff and still advertised Newly carpeted!, but we didn’t. She’s a smug jackass, that much I know. Replace the carpeting! It’s brand new! And really nice. Plush. And expensive.

I’ll tell you what I wish. I wish I’d never agreed to move, that’s what I wish. My husband really wanted to sell and I understand. My boys are a handful and he’s right, they’re adults now. Eighteen and nineteen is old enough to be out on their own, but I didn’t have the heart to just kick ‘em out. He said either I would or he would. I begged, but that didn’t work. I don’t know why I thought it would.

Finally, he came up with the idea to sell. We’d buy a small place, he said, just enough rooms for us and our two. "Sorry boys, no room for you. Maybe you could go stay with your dad." That’s what he said to them. To my boys. I just looked away and didn’t say a word. I put my boys out, just the same as he did, only I was worse. They’re my boys.

He slides the last of the papers in front of me and my hand shakes a little as I sign. I look at him and I can’t help it, I start to cry. He gives me a warning look and I breathe in, willing the tears not to fall. They stay put.

We all stand up and shake hands. He asks for my keys and I dig them out of my purse. He hands them to her husband and they smile. Assholes, all three of them.





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Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Two Perspectives.” The instructions for this week’s prompt were: The challenge is to write two separate, but related pieces. Choose a scenario (it can be anything, anywhere) and then write the scene or (VERY short!) story first from the perspective of one character, and then from another. You can write about a real event or create a few pieces of mini-fiction.

This is the true story of the closing at our current house. The previous owner shared her reason for selling when we first saw the house, she really was upset about the carpeting, the kitchen really was bright blue with giant purple flowers painted on one wall, and that husband of hers? He was a real piece of work.

If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click. All are welcome!

Oh, and you wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog. I purchased today’s image from iStockphoto. They have lots of goodies!


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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #65 “Two Perspectives”





GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #65 “Two Perspectives”

This week, we’ll be doing something a little different. The challenge is to write two separate, but related pieces. Choose a scenario (it can be anything, anywhere) and then write the scene or (VERY short!) story first from the perspective of one character, and then from another. You can write about a real event or create a few pieces of mini-fiction.

Please keep each piece short (let’s say no more than about 300 words each) and post them together on one blog. Ready, Freddy? Good! Have at it.

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As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We’ve topped 300 members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE2’s Facebook Page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and people always ask what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (8-18-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Two Perspectives

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Notes from the Grands





When we were off on our road trip, the kids came to the house every day to play with the devil-dog and gather the mail. The grands missed us as much as we missed them, and left us little notes pretty much every day (sometimes more than one a day, since they popped in morning, noon, and night). When we got home, the very first thing I did was to read through the stack on the counter. Many were similar to the one above.



There were quite a few pictures:

I like my I Dream of Jeannie pants in this one.



Pretty fancy dress here, and I love the words at the top. :O)



Good hair day.



Lots of happiness. :O)



There was poetry:





And words that made me tear up a little:





Some were super-quickies:




And finally, there was my favorite:








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You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

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Confessional






There’s been a lot of talk lately about sin. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen the words, “Hate the sin, love the sinner” in a Facebook or blog comment, I could chuck my job and buy that place in the country. With a big red barn. And maybe a pond. Far away from the hate the sin, love the sinner folks.

Here’s the thing (well, a couple of things):
When I see “Hate the sin, love the sinner,” I always want to ask, Do you really love the sinner? Do you? Or did you hear it, thought it sounded real nice or simply liked the way the words flowed, and have repeated it ever since? Kinda like It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. Catchy stuff, right?

I also want to ask whether there are sins the commenter doesn’t hate. “Hate the sin, love the sinner” seems to be applied exclusively to homosexuality. I’ve never heard it used to describe other behaviors. Surely there are lots of sins and lots of lovable sinners, not just gay folks. Do people hate just the sins they personally don’t commit? That’s my guess.

I think it’s important to think about the words we choose and try very hard to speak and write only those that are genuine for us. If the sin/sinner phrase is true for you, then use it. Before you do, though, it’s imperative to consider what it means to you to love someone. What might be required of you and how you would expect to behave toward someone you love. I’m not trying to be snarky, but I believe that love is more than a sweet word to toss around at church and on Valentine’s Day. Love is a call to action and comes with certain responsibilities. It requires follow-up. The connectedness that is at the core of love demands something of the person making the proclamation. What does it mean to you? What does loving someone ask of you?

I have no desire to enter into a discussion about what does and does not constitute sin. I respect that we all see things in our own way and what I find abhorrent may seem desirable to you. I don’t see homosexuality as sinful, but my objective is not to change anyone’s core beliefs. It is simply to ask that we each examine our beliefs and then be willing to live them.

What qualifies as sin varies, depending on who you ask. My Saturday nights might damn me to hell, from your perspective (although you’d have to hold really rigid standards—I live a pretty Mayberryish life). One thing is pretty certain: if you consider the huge list of stuff that different groups of people regard as sinful, we’d all need to claim at least a few of those indiscretions as our own.

Here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to confess my sins. Publicly. Right here, right now. I’ll be doing it in list form because although I’ve yet to really think through what I’m going to write, my guess is that there’ll be a fairly substantial number of entries, so a list should simplify the process.

A few things about my list: the following entries are things I’ve done that, depending on the belief system, may be considered sinful. It’s important to note that I do not believe most of these are are sinful (and I’ve tried to learn from/not repeat those that are in opposition with my moral code), but based on the teachings of assorted religions, everything on my list might be deemed sinful. Some of these things happened long ago, but all were after the age when I was old enough to decide for myself. Oh, and the list will undoubtedly be incomplete. I’m sure I’ve sinned plenty and probably have forgotten a bunch of them, plus I’m not familiar enough with all religions to know everything they might consider to be wrong.

That being said, here goes.

  • I’ve lied.
  • I’ve worked on Sundays. Saturdays, too.
  • I do not give 10% of my income to a religious organization. I rarely give any of my money to religious organizations.
  • I think shellfish makes a very fine meal, especially when served with generous splashes of butter and lemon.
  • I eat meat.
  • Though I love a good burger, I think the pig just might be the most delicious of all the animals.
  • I’ve eaten meat on Fridays, even during Lent.
  • I don’t give up anything for Lent.
  • I was not a virgin when I got married.
  • I’ve engaged in sexual activity that was not for the purpose of procreation.
  • I’ve engaged in sexual behaviors that some might consider immoral and are, in some locations, illegal.
  • I’ve had impure thoughts.
  • I've had unkind thoughts.
  • I’ve consumed alcohol, sometimes to the point of drunkenness.
  • I dance.
  • I’ve been fearful and overwhelmed with anxiety.
  • I’ve read my horoscope.
  • I use profanity.
  • There are people I don’t like.
  • I’ve repeated gossip.
  • I’ve passed judgment on other people.
  • I have more than I need and I don’t give all of my extra to those less fortunate.
  • I did not spank my children.
  • I do not attend church.
  • I do not believe that Jesus is the only way.
  • I do not visit prisoners.
  • I’ve worn clothing belonging to my husband.
  • I’ve dressed immodestly.
  • I’ve complained.
  • I’ve disobeyed my parents.
  • I do not automatically comply with my husband’s wishes.
  • I am not always humble.
  • I have disobeyed man’s laws.
  • I’ve had X-rated dreams.
  • I’ve overeaten.
  • I’ve been envious.
  • I’ve both told and laughed at dirty jokes.
  • I’ve purchased lottery tickets.
  • I’ve held a grudge.
  • I’ve been lazy.
  • I’ve stocked up on things I use regularly when I found them on sale.
  • I’ve been impatient.
  • I’ve chosen the easy path when I knew it wasn’t the right one.
  • I have two tattoos.
  • I’ve spoken badly of others.
  • I wear make-up.
  • I’ve broken my word.
  • I’ve gone to bed angry.
  • I can be stubborn.


Hate the sin, love the sinner? I think we might want to start with the (wo)man in the mirror.


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You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

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GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #64 “Hidden”






GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #64 “Hidden”


As always, the guidelines are simple. Blog on this week’s prompt in any way you see fit. Once you’ve posted to wherever you normally blog, drop the URL to your post into the comment section below.

REMINDER: use the URL to your entry for this week’s specific topic post, NOT to your blog’s home page!

If you haven’t already done so, you are welcome to join GBE 2 at its main headquarters over on Facebook (We’re closing in on 300 members and we’re still growing!). Just visit GBE2’s Facebook Page and request to join the group. Everyone is welcome, so tell your friends! :O)

Oh, and people always ask what GBE stands for. It’s Group Blogging Experience. The original GBE was started over at MySpace by a fabulous woman named Alicia. She headed up the group for close to two years before deciding that she’d run her course with it, so she stepped away.

Last year, Alicia and I, along with a few others who’d been a part of that original group, were talking on Alicia’s Facebook wall about how wonderful that experience had been and before I could stop myself, I announced that I was going to start a blogging group in the same fashion as the GBE. With Alicia’s blessing, I swiped the name, added the 2, and the rest is history.

For those of you who use Twitter, the hashtag for the group's posts is #GBE2, and we can increase readership if we all tweet early and tweet often. ;O)

That’s it! Easy-breezy-lemon-squeezy!

You have until Saturday (8-11-12) to post your blog and leave your link…

Again, this week, our prompt is: Hidden

Ready. Set. Blog!

Happy blogging!
Beth





~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.


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31 Days to Sane








We were floating in the pool, he on his raft, me on mine. “A couple more days,” he said, and I nodded. “Any profound revelations?”

I shook my head. Nope, not a one.

“A computer-free month is huge,” he said. He thought for a minute and added, “Well, for you, anyway.”

My hubby could be happily internet-free forever. He logs on when he needs to for his job. At home, he occasionally looks online for crap to accessorize the already way too blingy Harley. That’s it. Me? I could click, read, and repeat for more hours each week than it takes to earn a very fine living at anything that pays even remotely well. Hence my decision to live in the 80’s for the last four and a half weeks.

I need to straight up confess that I was not completely offline for the whole 31 days. I lived mostly in a Pat Benetar decade, but took a few little excursions into this millennium. I’d planned to be email-free, and I almost was. I deleted my email accounts from my phone for the month so I wouldn’t be tempted to read, and I didn’t falter, at least not regarding personal correspondence. I did read and reply to my work email, though. I thought it’d be best to remain employed, post-July, and my clients tend to be prolific emailers. So I made an exception.

I also went online, beyond email, for two purposes during July. A friend texted me with the URL to a BlogHer post she thought was worthy of me breaking my internet fast. I balked, she pushed, and in the end, I trusted that her insistence deserved to be heeded. I went to read and was glad I did. I commented there and then returned to check for a reply. I followed up and then let it go.

The other time I signed on was after that horrific night in Aurora, Colorado. I logged into my Facebook account and went to exactly two pages—profiles of friends who live very close to that theater. Both were shaken, but safe. I exhaled and said a prayer of gratitude, then left without leaving so much as a word of comfort or long-distance hug. That was a mistake. I should have let them know I came by, even if the only things I had to offer were hopelessly inadequate expressions of care. To you guys: I’m very sorry. I know it’s late and I can’t undo what’s been done, but I sincerely regret not being there for you. I don’t usually excel in jackassery, but that’s pretty much what happened there.

This may sound silly, but a month ago, I thought I’d begin August transformed, somehow. A little wiser. A bit clearer. Fully centered. Thirty-one days to sane. I chose “Unexpected” for this week’s GBE topic because I assumed (Foolishly. Arrogantly, even.) I’d have a host of small, but extraordinary moments to share. Moments that though unexpected in their specificity, served to support my preconceived notion that what stood between me and a perfectly well-balanced existence was the time I spent online.

I guess I did come to one unexpected realization: With or without the internet and for better or worse, I’m still me.

Don’t get me wrong. I had a blast in July. The hubs and I took that road trip and it was all sorts of awesome. I’ll definitely be blogging about some of that. I read a ridiculously fat stack of books, many while floating in the pool. I hosted and attended sleepovers with the grands. I slept a little more than usual, relaxed a whole lot more, and indulged my sweet tooth on vacation and beyond. My clothes no longer fit, but my renewed energy and appreciation for downtime (and butter pecan ice cream) more than make up for that. I don’t regret one lazy minute or one delectable calorie. It was a fabulous month and I can’t wait to fill you in on some of it. Don’t worry, I won’t turn into that person who holds their friends hostage to an evening of watching their vacation videos, but I do have a few good stories to share.

I’m glad I took the time. Like always happens on vacations, I suppose, it was wonderful to get away, but still, I’m grateful to be home. Not transformed, but happy. And happiness, as we all know, is a very, very good thing.

So, enough about me. Tell me, what have YOU been up to? I’ve missed you guys! Catch me up, please. How was your July?



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Written for this week’s GBE topic, “Unexpected.” If you’d like to blog with us, just clickety-click. All are welcome!

You wouldn’t like it if someone stole your words, so please don’t steal the work of photographers and graphic artists to provide images for your blog.

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