Monday, May 30, 2011

Restful Weekend

Here is an adorable photograph of Sakura and Moshi. (Java was most likely sleeping upstairs.) Steve and I enjoyed an uneventful weekend. This was done on purpose. We wanted a quiet and peaceful few days. That is our approach to holidays these days. Calm, quiet, and as normal as possible. Mission accomplished. On Saturday, we scheduled a non-day. We scheduled ourselves to relax. (Relaxing for me is rather difficult.) Saturday night we attended an annual party called "The Big Eat". We've been going every year for years. Over fourteen years, in fact. That was the only event we planned this weekend. On Sunday, I weeded the garden quite a bit. Fortunately, I stopped working in the yard about a half hour before the storm hit us. I'm grateful I didn't have to water the flowers I transplanted. Monday was too warm to garden, so I stayed inside, relaxed, and worked on my classes. I start teaching again tomorrow: World Literature and an Independent Study (Composition II).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Kaijuville: An Inspirational Blog

I have been thinking about blogging lately. I have been thinking about giving my blog a virtual makeover. This blog will turn six in September. Although I have changed the background several times in Marimba and Ice, I feel as if I need to make a change. This blog needs to take a turn in another direction. The question is, where? I look at other blogs for inspiration. I don't have to look far. My husband, Steve, upgraded his blog and it looks amazing. It always looked professional, but he took his blog to a new level. He added a banner ad, inserted a new subheading under his title, and recreated a visual collage of books and movies that adorn the top of the blog. Inscribed over the heading is his longtime blog title, Kaijuville. He linked his blog to an RSS feed aggregator site. In layperson's terms, he linked his blog to a website along with other bloggers in order to increase traffic and visibility. Steve's talents for graphic design, marketing, and professional text inspires me to look at Marimba and Ice through new eyes and new opportunities. Steve's blog is one of many reasons why it is so important to read and view the writings of others. To become a better writer, one must become a better reader. I have read this in all the writing books. It is true. I am fortunate to be married to a humble and talented writer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Nate and Online Coupons

I'm working on grading and my jewelry business and trying to ignore the storms outside. Meanwhile, I turned the tv to Fox 28 for background noise. I surprisingly viewed an interesting show called Nate. It's a decorating show and I picked up a few tips. Actually,there was an excellent segment on coupons and websites. I just checked the URLs on these to make sure the sites are active: 1.)http://www.couponcodestube.com Coupon Codes Tube: Where You Save Money 2.)http://www.retailmenot.com Retail Me Not 3.)http://crutchfield.net Crutchfield.net. This is for electronics 4.)http://www.ebates.com/ Promotional Codes and Coupons Hope these help you save a little cash! :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crazy Seagulls from the Beach

I took photos of the seagulls earlier this month. The seagulls, crazy with delight or hunger, circled around people. I found that the hardest part was making sure I didn't capture humans in the photos. Plus, I was sure not to look up so I wouldn't be splattered with bird poo, although legend has it that it is considered good luck. I'll take my four-leaf clover over me lucky bird droppings, thank you very much.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pirates and Lia Sophia Bling

Steve and I viewed Pirates of the Caribbean on Friday night. We even sat in the back row so we wouldn't experience annoying chair kickers. The movie was fun. Is it going to win Oscar Awards? Probably not, although Johnny Depp did get an Oscar nod for the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in a previous Pirates movie. Did this movie jump the proverbial shark? Yes, probably so, but it's the fourth movie in the series. The point is that it's still fun. I am able to carry the pirate fun forward with a new Lia Sophia hostess. She was referred to me by a friend. I offered up the theme of pirates and she is all for it! So we're going to have a fun show. I am happy to have two shows lined up for June. I believe themes make the soirees eventful. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mole Screenings

As a college instructor, I learn from my students all the time. A presentation from a student may save my life. One of my students discussed skin cancer and how early detection is imperative to survival. Well, that presentation gave me the kick in the proverbial pants to get my moles checked again. I have a plethora of freckles and moles and I have blue eyes and pale skin, so I am considered high-risk. I had my first skin biopsy last year (or so). The prognosis was benign but precancerous. A skin biopsy is not fun, but it's not horrible. The nurse will give you a shot to numb the area. It stings followed by burning sensation. Then the area is numb. The rest is easy. The derm will slice, punch or extract the mole. The mole will then be sent away to pathology. Before I headed into the dermatologist's office this week, I took care to circle all the new and existing spots. I'm sure I looked like a goof with circles all over, but she appreciated it. My derm reassured me that the ones I circled (across my chest and shoulders) were fine. What I did not catch-but she did-was a small dark mole on the back of my right calf, located a couple inches under my knee. She was very calm about it, but I felt there was an urgency and that she wanted to get the mole removed and sent away ASAP. (I read online that if the derm removes the whole mole, it's suspicious. If the derm removes a portion of a mole, it's not as suspicious.) I also read that melanoma is commonly found on the lower legs on women. It's just like when you go to the dentist and they're almost done with the checkup, and then you feel the catch of the instrument on your tooth. Time for another filling. I am hoping to be fortunate again with a benign prognosis this time around. I find out in about two weeks. Please, before you head for the beach, get your moles checked. It could save your life.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Happy May Master in Liberal Studies Musings

J's Tulips 2011 Hello, again! If this blog was a book on one of my bookshelves, I would have had to dust off the cobwebs before I could write again. I am woefully behind on my blogging, but that means a lot of positive things are happening in my non-virtual world. :) The aspect I am most pleased with is the fact that I finished my courses with an A and an A-! I am so relieved and happy. I almost took a class this summer, but that would have drained me both financially and mentally. Sometimes it is better just to wait a little longer to save up resources before diving back into school again. I love the MLS (Master in Liberal Studies) program. It will complement my MLS (Master in Library Science) degree. Yes, when I complete this program I will be able to say I have an MLS squared. MLS2. Totally nerdy but also fun and marketable. This degree is different than my library degree because there is an interdisciplinary aspect. It is also general in scope and I am a true generalist. I like to have my hand and toes in different areas. I am already thinking about my final project. I believe my final project is coming to me. As you know, I love libraries. I also love writing. In past months and years, I have had so many people ask me about writer's groups in the area. I am thinking about creating writing programs including local libraries (academic, public, and school)and other businesses in the community. I want to see what is out there and foster a writing movement in this area. There is SO much talent and so many talented people out there who need places to gather, meet, and publish. It's just an idea, but I believe it would be a positive contribution to our area.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Rocket Boys

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to lead a book discussion with eighth graders. The discussion, held at the River Park Branch Library, was on a book entitled Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickman, Jr.. It is also the book that inspired the film October Sky. The book was the second annual One Book, One Michiana program sponsored by the St. Joseph County Public Library. The book is a memoir by Homer H. Hickman, Jr., which took place in the late 1950's in Coalwood, West Virginia. After Hickman sees the Sputnik fly over the sky in his backyard within a coal-miner's town, he decides he wants to build a rocket. It's a great read. I flew through the book to make sure I had it finished by the time the book discussion started, but I want to go back and leisurely peruse the book to catch the details I may have missed the first time. I highly recommend this book.

Labor Day Weekend: Library, Gaming, Rock Band, and Kayaking

Isn't it interesting how a simple, one-line post on social media can inspire a person to write more about it on a blog? Yes, that is w...