Get your Show My Face and 6WS buttons HERE!

If you aren't receiving email replies to your comments, please see this post.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Six Word Saturday


wishing us all joy in 2012

Thank you for joining me for the chaos that was 2011. There was joy, there was disappointment, there was progress, there was regression. Next year at this time, I hope to find myself in a more content state of mind. I wish that for all of you reading as well.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BlogHer Book Club: The Magic Room (Jeffrey Zaslow)

The Magic Room: A Story About the Love We Wish for Our Daughters by Jeffrey Zaslow

Many books feature a short title followed by a longer subtitle that gives a hint to the focus of the book. This book is about a Magic Room. It is not, however, a story about the love we wish for our daughters. I tried to come up with a better statement of focus but failed. Fitting, as I felt the book lacked focus overall. The three pieces of this book never quite come together, though each on its own holds potential.

The main focus is Becker's Bridal and the generations of family who have run the store in small-town Fowler, Michigan. Becker's Bridal is also home to the Magic Room, a special space defined by mirrors and lighting where brides-to-be bring their final selection for tears, family bonding, and eventually fittings. The book also features the stories of eight brides who make their way through the sales process at Becker's Bridal from their first visit to their fitting to their wedding day. Zaslow's final focus is on sharing a lot of research and survey information regarding the changes to marriage, societal norms, and the wedding industry over the years. He tries to intersperse these facts into the stories of the Becker family and the brides but it often feels out of place.

Overall, I thought there was a lot of potential but that the book was poorly organized and executed. I could not pinpoint a clear purpose for this book - was it to tell the story of the shop, the Becker family, the brides, or society? Establishing a clear purpose often helps non-fiction works fall into place organizationally and I feel that this book suffered for lack of that definition. Zaslow has applied a very factual presentatation style to stories that begged for more emotion. The stories of the brides were divided into three parts each and scattered throughout the book. I found myself wishing he had kept these tales whole as I frequently forgot each bride's story by the time he returned to it. The trials of a widow remarrying quickly despite friction with her kids and the triumphs of a newly-engaged woman recovering from a horrible accident would've been more compelling told as a whole. Story flow was decreased by facts and figures about everything from divorce rates to sexual promiscuity to bridal shop failures while not providing enough information to be considered a real examination of societal changes. Perhaps organizing the book into three separarate sections - Becker family/shop, Becker brides, relevant research tied back to the stories - would create a more cohesive experience for the reader.

If you're interested in reading The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow, you can purchase it from a retailer such as Amazon. Or, once I'm finished with my BlogHer Book Club duties, I am willing to forward along my copy to an interested reader. For more discussions about this book, check out the conversations at BlogHer.

This post is part of the BlogHer Book Club. I received a small payment and a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion and discussion participation.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Six Word Saturday


enjoying the holiday after much drama



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Greetings

With everything that's happened in the last month, I had to let go of a few ideas I had for making Christmas gifts and decorations. However, sending warm holiday greetings to my friends is always a priority and I made sure to mail out bunches of cards.

And of course, I had to uphold the tradition of creating a special greeting for my bloggy pals.





Whatever holiday you do or don't celebrate this time of year, I thank you all for the kindness you've shown me. Some of you wave in passing, others have become very dear friends. But I'm thankful for each of you and hope you all feel loved.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How I Gave Christmas the Finger

To catch up on the past month or so of my life, it's involved Joe turning down a job, Joe's rebellious appendix, and my stomach virus. The longer version can be found here in this handy post from last week.

My six words this weekend were "busy making up for lost time" - and we were doing an amazing job. Yesterday morning, while Joe went for a massage (I had mine on Saturday), I was finishing up some Christmas gifts for the family. Beautiful ruffled scarves that are so easy to make - cut the fabric, run them through the sewing machine twice (straight lines), then pull the bottom thread.

Except somehow, on scarf #2, it all went very wrong. Feel free to skip the next paragraph if you are the cringe-y type.

CRINGE WARNING: I managed to stick my left index finger under the sewing needle as it was running. The needle went twice through the nail before it broke and I got the machine stopped. Then there was a lot of bleeding and sobbing and swearing. When Joe returned home from his massage, we decided it was best to go to the urgent care because we couldn't find part of the needle and we were afraid it might still be in my finger.

CRINGING OVER!

They did an x-ray to be sure there was no bone fracture and no needle still in my finger (all clear!) and then cleaned things up for me and sent me on my way. My finger is in what they call a "froggy" - it's a metal and foam splint that wraps around your finger, mostly to keep me from smashing it into things. And they wrapped the tip of the finger in a bandaid.





Yes, that IS Daffy Duck. Jealous? The nurse wanted to use that size and that's the only one she had. I'm totally rocking it. Once the nail regrows (no picture of that - it's kinda gross), everything should be just fine.

And that's the story of how I gave Christmas the finger. Or maybe how Christmas gave ME the finger.

P.S. I was so mad at myself that I came home and finished all four scarves. Screw you, sewing machine!

P.P.S. I'm SO over all of this drama.

P.P.P.S. Typing is hard without that finger. I probably won't be commenting on many 6WS posts again this week.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday


busy making up for lost time



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where's Cate?

I haven't been blogging much lately and while I don't really feel like I owe an explanation (it's MY blog!), I'm going to give one. Mostly because I need to reflect a bit.

The week before Thanksgiving, we were all wrapped up in Joe's possible job offer. Which he ended up turning down.

The week of Thanksgiving, Joe had an emergency appendectomy.

The week after Thanksgiving, Joe was still recuperating and we were slowly returning to normal.

Last week, I got a nasty stomach virus, which put me in the hospital with dehydration, and then afterwards I was (and still sorta am) dealing with the remnants of the stomach virus.

Which brings us to this week.

I'm still having some virus-related issues and I'm exhausted.

I'm completely behind on my holiday plans, which involved making a lot of gifts because that's more thoughtful than placing Amazon orders off wish lists. Not that there's anything wrong with that, just that it's not what I wanted to do this year. Only, since I lost the better part of 4 weeks, I'm running out of time. So last night we went shopping at Ten Thousand Villages and took care of most of the gifts we needed to buy. It seemed like a great compromise between buying plastic crap and just making charitable donations in our families' names since they are selfish bitches who want presents, dammit will not get a gift and we've supported fair trade and people in developing countries.

But mostly what I'm dealing with right now is a ridiculous amount of anxiety relating to medical bills. I'm glad we have access to healthcare. I'm glad we have insurance. I'm glad Joe and I are both recovering from our unrelated ailments. I'm glad he's made smart financial decisions that mean we'll be able to set up a payment plan and be okay. Still, realizing how much we might end up owing with both of us being sick within 2 weeks of each other is causing a big huge mental funk. Add to that the usual depression I feel around the holidays and my mind is a bit of a mess.

So where's Cate? I'm here, but I'm struggling. I'm getting through each day the only way I know how - a mix of working furiously through my to-do lists and hiding under the blankets. I haven't been blogging. I didn't visit any 6WS posts this week. I'm having trouble finding the joy of the season.

That's where Cate is right now. On the edge but hanging on with all her might. And talking about herself in the third person.

Why did I share this? It's not that I want a million comments full of pats on the head and sympathy. I just want to serve as a gentle reminder that there are people out there right now who are fighting. Depression this time of year - between the weather, lack of daylight, and holiday expectations - is a big deal. If you're suffering from it, know you are not alone and we WILL get through it. If you're fortunate enough to not be suffering a down time, you can do two things for me: be grateful for your blessings and be kind to those around you because we may not all be feeling so blessed.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Six Word Saturday


three weeks I'll never get back

For the faithful who may have noticed I didn't post at all this week, it was another (almost) complete loss. I ended up first in urgent care and then in the emergency room being treated for severe dehydration caused by a nasty stomach virus. So between Joe's appendix and my stomach, the last three weeks have been almost completely unproductive. I dare not make any predictions or dreams for the future.

Another six words: One day at a time, folks!


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Saturday, December 03, 2011

Six Word Saturday


starting to prepare for the holidays



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).