Thursday, May 20, 2010

So Sorry...Will This GIVEAWAY Make It Better?

lease forgive me, for I have been a bad blogger. I have not posted as I should, nor have I responded to your lovely comments the past couple of weeks. To make it up to you, I made a few updates: I finished reading The Help a couple of weeks ago and wrote a bit about it, and I posted a huge enlightenment over on the grammar end of things. Oh yeah and there's a *DOUBLE GIVEAWAY* over in the Book Nook! Plus, I will be responding to each of you soon!

Friday I got my first migraine since the weeks following transplant in October. It lasted half the day and nothing gave me relief! (That was the day I was going to update all my bloggies.) On Saturday, I got up and going at a decent hour. I went to get Finn's first big-boy car seat. =( I knew exactly what I wanted and went straight into Babies R' Us to get it and dragged it to the counter. I had the wedding of a close high school friend to attend at four o'clock about a half hour's drive away, so it was a shuffle to do it all. As I approached the counter, I suddenly broke out into a sweat and felt an excruciating pain in my chest/upper stomach area. I knew this pain and realized it was only going to get worse. The associates at the store were so kind and helpful. They had someone carry my purchase out to my car and were very sympathetic.

I got to my car and called my mom to bring the medicine I needed. We sat there for about thirty minutes until it kicked in. I got home just in time to get ready. Well, it didn't quite work out that way, and my body just couldn't do it. I think it may have been a side effect of what I had taken for the migraine the day before because it is so strong, and it had been so long since I had taken it. That's enough about that icky stuff.

To be honest, I have also been a little sidetracked by three other little things, as well:

I used a combination of the last my rewards points and the perks of an educator discount to snag the first two gadgets; however, this last one has been my true downfall: I am on every single day learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator like a pro. This site is amazing! If you ever wanted to learn how to software like this or others, this site is the answer to your prayers. I learned how to do this in less than an hour! There are training sets instantly available for everything from PowerPoint to Twitter and from iMovie to Dreamweaver, even Blogger. I am not being paid for this, just sharing some good stuff.

Here's the menu for my other updates:

~Book Nook~
Review & Giveaway of The Help

~Grammar for Girls on the Go~
The Mighty Apostrophe



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Scrub-A-Dub-Dub Chooker in a Tub

know that I should be posting more words on here today since I haven't posted in a WEEK, but I just couldn't help but to share these pics of Chooker-Baby before those top teeth come on through. =( Anypic, this week I will have updates on all fronts, I promise: my main page,  book nook, and grammar. The oil hasn't reached our beach yet, so I may sketch out on some writing to go enjoy the last few moments of serenity.

A Little Bit for New Folks from Friday Follow

Howdy, Friday Followers! Welcome to my humble blog-abode. 

1. Home: The commons where I talk about everything, post all my memes, and share what's going on.

2. About Moi: If you LOVE this, FOLLOW ME, and you'll get more of what you love!

3. The Crew: Who's living under my roof + a new puppy coming home tomorrow!

4. Transplant Times: Here's where you can catch up on what led me here: a heart transplant 6 months ago!

5. Book Nook: Bookworms, this is what will make you LOVE me. *wink*

6. Blogellas: a.k.a. my blog-button-roll

7. Grammar-On-the-Go: This is my newest feature, and I am loving it...because I'm a nerd like that. =)

Sound appealing?


If you're not convinced, here are some of my greatest hits:
Click 'em!

- One more thing -
 If you want to know something, just ask...

Friday Follow

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dear Lord, Please Don't Let My Memories Get an Oil Bath

Every time the t.v. is on, it oozes more depressing breaking news of the ever expanding oil spill. I live right on the coast; as a matter of fact, it is only about a twenty-five minute drive from my home to the water. The area of beach that I am talking about is Dauphin Island. It is a much less commercialized spread of beach in our area. I have so many memories there from my early childhood all of the way to last year when we took Finn for the first time at two weeks old. I was adamant that he be taken as soon as I felt good enough to do it.
Finn on his two week birthday

Beginning in kindergarten up to my middle school years my mother's best friend Rhonda had a condo where we always bunked-up. Those are the greatest memories of my life. You always hear the cliche of how as child you don't have a worry in the world and to enjoy every moment of what you think is boredom. Looking back, as an adult, I believe this is the gospel truth, and every time I think of a time of fun, innocence, and no worries I think back to the island summers.

The water tower that greets you...

I have a younger brother and Rhonda had four children. We would fish under the lights until two or three in the morning, play on the beach all day, go swimming at the country club, and munch on sno-cones until all of our teeth were a spectrum of syrup. At night for dinner there were tacos, burgers, spaghetti, and, of course, infinite amounts of redfish, flounder, and mullet. At night and during nap time we would watch videos from our I Love Lucy library of VHS tapes or play on an original Gameboy. Remember the great big one with gray screen? (...and we thought those were small.) I can still feel the sand in the shower and the beds and sand spurs in the carpet.

The door behind which lies the most cherished of memories...

One after noon that Duffie and I scooped baby shrimp from the water and tried to sell them to the neighbors who were huge environmental fanatics and told us to put them back and let them get bigger. Following in our footsteps, our little brothers decided to sell sea shells in the driveway. Of course we teased them relentlessly, but those little buggers made fifteen bucks! I remember when a go cart place finally opened and there was finally something to do after dark. I really do not know how my mom and Rhonda did it: just them and six kids running wild. Those were the summers of which I hope heaven is made.

The gully where Duffie and I caught the baby shrimp...

When I was in middle school, my parents got their own house down the street. It just wasn't the same though. It had a swimming pool, dock, and no beach. I missed staying with our friends and going to the club and the beach to swim.

The boardwalk from the country club to the beach: it's the one we are walking on in the header...

While I was in college, it was the place I would to get away, get space, breathe. It was my place of calm, my sanctuary. I have spent countless hours there just me and the water. Zac and I even had a couple of our first dates there. We walked on the beach and talked, talked, talked. The header photo was taken there as well. If you didn't read the background story on that photo, you can read it here. His sister had a great wedding reception and straight "throw-down" there in 2007. I have spent countless hours there just me and the water.

Island Rainbow: sno-cones, burgers, and hot dogs

When Rhonda died in March 2007 after a four month battle with stomach cancer, my mind and heart were overflowing with all of these beautiful memories of summers together that some people never get to experience in a lifetime. When I left her funeral service, I drove straight to the island and just let the salty air wash over me. With a small stick in my hand I wrote her a thank you note in the sand then drove around and visited all of the old spots. In the Estuarium I purchased a fish key chain made of wood that I always keep with me.

A view from the beach...

I am pouring my heart out about this today because this horrific oil spill is threatening the future memories for our children, not to mention the what it will do the restaurants and businesses. Shrimp and seafood is an enormous business in our area and their crop will be virtually destroyed. I volunteered to help, but the transplant team would probably have a massive coronary themselves if they ever knew I even thought about it.

Please help if you can. When I called to volunteer they said that there were calls coming in from all over the country to help. The damage will probably last a couple of years, not forever, but knowing that it will even be that long until we get the beach back breaks my heart. I have always said that if I ever win a million dollars, the first thing I will do is get my own house down there so that Finn can have the same memories that I did, although it will be tough to compete with mine.

If you are interested in helping with the clean up effort, here are some links:

Do you have something that you would like to pour your heart out about?
Do it and link up at Shell's place.

* With the exception of the photo of Finn, all of these photos were taken by myself about three years ago to use in a collage for my brother's eighteenth birthday.*

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Satisfied Appetite of a Reluctant Reader

Since this week is Teacher Appreciation Week, this week's All About MEme Monday is a teacher tribute. I knew that I had an assignment somewhat similar to this when I was in college. The assignment was to write a literacy history. A literacy history was pretty much your history of reading, self-explanatory. Well, since I was becoming an English teacher, obviously my literacy history was going to end with an English teacher who influenced me. I cut and pasted this assignment from a Word doc, so I hope it cooperates. 

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Also, check out the pics I posted in my Book Nook.

You can also check out what's on my nightstand right now.

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The Appetite of a Reluctant Reader: Sharks & Barbra Streisand

“When you read a book as a child, it becomes part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your life can.” As I think back on the words uttered from the lips of Kathleen Kelly in the quaint little film You’ve Got Mail, I must say that I agree. Therefore, if these books become such part of your identity then that would explain my early vocabulary development and lack of peer group social skills. Sadly enough, I had no favorite books until that day of enlightenment in the tenth grade when my soul was saved. In the tenth grade, I signed up to be part of a group of five students in an experimental writing class under the direction of the same person who would be teaching my English class. I had no idea the dramatic change of heart toward learning that this would set into motion. Even reluctant readers have some point of interest. As a teacher, I will seek to find that niche just as someone once did with me.

As a young child, the only times I remember being read to was from the Bible or morally abundant anthologies like the Book of Virtues. These books were the only necessary reading in the eyes of my tremendously religious and now absent father. I must say that my vocabulary and reading progressed quite rapidly, being that the only reading I was ever required to accomplish was from a King James Version of the good book or a Focus on the Family-regulated girl’s magazine. I remember my father requiring me and my brother to take turns reading the scriptures aloud and interpreting them for chapters at a time. As you could probably understand, reading became more of a task or chore than a good habit. 

Approaching fourth and fifth grades, I began to form more interests outside those that my parents dictated. As my interests and identity began to form so did new reading habits. I began to read about more about marine life. I became exceedingly interested in sharks. I remember reading books entitled The Animal Fact File and Sharks Attacks on Men until the spines were split. In addition to sharks, I was interested in musicians and actresses. The contrast between their real lives and their on-screen personas intrigued me. I remember specifically reading a Barbra Streisand biography cover-to-cover. 

Although the private lives of celebrities and carnivorous eating habits of great white sharks infinitely intrigued me, it was not so cool amongst the rest of my cohorts at my small Baptist middle school. I had resolved to come to terms with my towering statue, but these atypical interests had to be tossed out the window for popularity’s sake. Throughout my latter middle school years and early high school years, my reading habits were virtually non-existent with the exception of the occasional Seventeen magazine, however, when I walked into my tenth grade English class that all changed. This teacher created the most endearing and comfortable environment. Under the inspiration and instruction of the most brilliant teacher I have ever encountered, my enthusiasm and motivation for learning dramatically increased. I found myself journaling and reading anything I could find, on a daily basis.

Because of one amazing person, I could not quit reading or writing every chance I was given. I remember every book we read. I kept every paper and writing assignment from that year. I sometimes look back at those old journal entries. Those pieces of free thought take me back to a time of such inspiration and intellectual energy that I am sometimes jealous of my own tenth-grade-self. I knew that there was a reason I kept all of those assignments. Now, I will use them to drive and inspire those in my own classroom the same as they inspired me.

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Since we are on the subject of high school, I went to a shower for a high school 
buddy last weekend. It was great to see some old faces. Can't wait for the 

P.S. Look how much my steroid face has gone down!
Only a few more inches of cheek to go! LOL.

Best Wishes, Whit!

I am participating in two carnivals today...