LEAP: One Word 2011

An update:


Blue chlorine water, white plastic diving board ten feet in the air(well, I’m not sure of the exact height. Being three years old, numerical height and what I perceive blur at times). Standing on the edge frozen, the swimming instructor pushed me into the pool. Arms flapping about, squealing from fear, water up the nose. Sure, I didn’t drown, but fear took up a permanent residence. Leaping into the pool or anything has never come easily.

Choosing the safest route became my goal.

When I began this year, I chose the word LEAP to guide my year. As an acrophobic, leaping into the unknown does not come easily. I’m an expert at choosing the easy path, but learning to leap, to experience life without certainty, to revise my life’s story—this can only take me through life for brief spurts. Eventually, I can no longer coast down the hill or stand at the top of the high dive waiting for someone else to push me off into the pool.

But, how do I live my word LEAP?

On Saturday, I tweeted about putting the finishing the touches on a short story. I even had the brazen boldness(why thank you wine bravery) to tweet that I would be submitting it for publication. Shocking? Well, it should be shocking since this writer despises rejection and the unknown and waiting. All things, the publishing industry demands. But if I don’t try or LEAP, I will live in that place that Whittier describes: “the saddest words of tongue or pen, are simply theses: it might have been.”


I’m tired of living in the place of “might have been.”


Today, I will revise my short story, compose a cover letter, and send it out.


Question: How are you living your word for 2011?






Short Story: 6 Words

Can a story really be told in 6 words? YES!

Through grand world of Twitter, I learned about an awesome

conference in North Carolina. Let's Be Teddy Bearsphoto © 2008 Sarah Scicluna | more info (via: Wylio)

It’s called She Speaks, and the lovely website She Read is giving away a scholarship to She Speaks.

You can go to She Reads, and learn more about the conference. AND about the scholarship contest.


Now…..my 6 word story…..


Teddy bear cries. Abandoned beneath bed.

For the Only Man I Will Ever Shave My Legs For

Birthday Cake - Candlesphoto © 2008 Jessica Diamond | more info (via: Wylio)



While the rest of the world celebrates Mardi Gras, I’m celebrating something much better—the birthday of the only man I will ever shave my legs for! That’s right my Redneck Romeo turns 35 today! Yes, he robbed the cradle, and of course, I do like to remind him that when he graduated from high school, I had not made it to junior high yet (yeah, I so deserve a nomination for the wife hall of fame for that one).


Happy Birthday to the ONLY MAN I will EVER…..


….Shave my legs for! I would totally go all natural, all winter, but well, I do it for him.

….Ride on the back of a motorcycle with! We took a motorcycle safety course together. The instructor said to those of us on the backseat of the motorcycle that we had to trust this person more than a sexual partner. Redneck Romeo is the ONLY one I trust that much!

….Fry ANYTHING for! Seriously, I love fried foods, but the frying oil is nasty. I was born sans Southern frying gene.

….Watch fish without nagging. I can’t imagine anything more dull than watching someone fish, unless that someone happens to be my Redneck Romeo who looks so darn cute fishing. I do draw the line at watching fishing on TV with him. If it does, I’m not nagging just snoring.



And we could continue this list till kingdom come, but I figure I will need birthday post fodder for next year too!


Happy Birthday!






A Bit of Randomness

Some days, my mind and thoughts have no clear connections. Kinda like the looks I get when I paid for my groceries–who buys canned tomatoes, kids’ cereal, guacamole, and sorbet? Oh wait, I do. When I write, I have trouble making sense of all these random bits.Today is all about giving a bit of air time so I can get on with my writing life.

  • I am obsessed with Febreeze especially in Tide detergent–gets urine smells out which means my laundry does a happy dance.
  • My dogs are the best farters in the whole world.
  • Some of the best wisdom comes from fortune cookies: At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.
  • I think dirt smells good.
  • Guacamole was on sale which made my day awesome.
  • I worked out today so I could justify eating Girl Scout cookies.
  • Eww, I think my dog is throwing up…you didn’t want to know that but I don’t care. Won’t tell who ate , I mean cleaned it up.

As the Pastry Bakes…

Last night, I worked on making my caramel apple crostata on my newest blog THE LIBRARY DINING TABLE…hard work, very hard work…endless tastings and checkings and picture takings…I am worn out just thinking about all of the work…


The question is often raised–what does one do whilst the pastry bakes?


They take pictures of who is waiting in line for the pastry…silly!

Isn’t Ginger just lovely….don’t you want to give a her hug? I do and did and will do forever and a day! But Ginger wasn’t the only one standing in line….

Yes, even Cupcake was trying to cut in line for the baked goods, but still another wanted some of the delicious caramel apple goodness…

Yes, my friends, even the little spunky drama queen Ophelia needed some of the fresh baked goodness…

Of course, being the good puppy mommy…they didn’t get any…

But you can…

Head over to The LIBRARY DINING TABLE…to get the recipe for Caramel Apple Crostata!

I Proudly Introduce….

Leap of Faith

photo © 2008 Nicki Varkevisser | more info (via: Wylio)

My word for 2011 is LEAP…more than the cliché leap of faith, more than leaping fool-hardy into unplanned adventure—to leap means that I stop making excuses for why I can’t try or won’t try or stay fixed in one place. LEAP requires I shut up that nagging voice in the back of head telling me what a fool I am, how I have nothing that I can offer, how worthless my ideas are—lies all of them. To LEAP means that I risk failing, falling down, but it also means I learn more about who God is and what He can do….

So to begin my year living the word LEAP—I am beginning another blog.

The Library Dining Table

My inspiration for this blog began as I was looking for something, anything that would combine my love of food and literature. So, after months of saying this was a stupid idea, creating the blog, working on the blog only to wait until longer because I thought I would fail—this is my first LEAP.

If you are a faithful reader of this blog, head over to The Library Dining Table and SUBSCRIBE! I promise it will be tasty 🙂

One Word 2011

I have kept one New Year’s resolution. In My Entire Life! Yes, I realize this makes me look like a kind of failure, loser, or what not. I have not lost the needed weight, read all of the books that I had planned to read, but this New Year, I am not making a resolution.

I am choosing to arrange the story of my life by one single word.

When I read about the One Word 2011 challenge on the blog Grit and Glory, I loved the whole idea of choosing a word over making resolutions. After reading about choosing a better life story from Donald Miller, this seems like the best way to accomplish a better story in 2011. To begin this venture, I made my word list:







I thought I had found my word “simplify.” I could rid my house and life of the non-essentials—cleaning the closets, reducing my spending, but I realized that if I chose that word I could do it all by myself. I didn’t need God to give away excess stuff piled up in the attic. I didn’t need God to cut way back on my spending. Simplify was in my power to live, but I wanted a God sized word.

A word describing how God did things that I didn’t understand. How God moved my story into new places, new experiences beyond what I can do. I needed a word that would force me to attempt things , to reach for new goals, to branch out from my comfort zone, to be willing to fail.

So, my 2011 word is LEAP.

Swallowing Our Emotions: One Bite at a Time

Junk foodphoto © 2008 Maurice Svay | more info (via: Wylio)

Monday morning…coffee, wake up kids, avoid the usual school morning meltdowns, breakfast, then school. Throughout the course of the day, my children will have a snack and lunch and come home hungry for another snack then finally dinner. Food influences each day’s routine more than anything else. When to eat, when not to eat…food, food, food. With such a cultural focus on food, we have become obese which led to a hyper-sensitivity about food. The grocery stores parade out the low fat versions, low sugar versions, low sodium versions, and my favorite no high-fructose corn syrup versions of various over-processed junk. Yet, many Americans are still obese. Of course, the most obvious answer for this problem is more legislation from the government. Let’s control the amount of sodium, sugar, and fat in the school lunches; let’s control the beverages served with those lunches; let’s control what is included in kid’s fast food meals; let’s control…insert whatever in the blank_____________________.

But is food the enemy?

I believe we demonize food because it is easily controllable. If I limit my junk food consumption, if I eat more leafy green vegetables, if I count my calories, the fight is always: me vs. food. Underneath the food obsession, a cancer of sorts grows and lingers. We substitute food for some sort of emotional support. Since birth, food has been the emotional placating instrument. If the baby is crying, feed it. When PMS annoys me, eat some chocolate. Yes, I joke that chocolate, red wine, and coffee are my chosen forms of therapy, but food is the emotional drug of choice. Too many of us feel displaced from a true community, so we use to food to feel loved. Too many of us want a culturally accepted body image, so we use food to gain acceptance. Too many of us have crashed underneath the weight of despair, so we use food to numb our senses.

How does legislation fix the underlying problem? Can a bill in Congress make us eat for nutrition and not emotional support? I think not.

7 Quick Takes

1.Last Friday, I turned 29! So, I have made it another turn around the sun with just one year of “youth” left. Just kidding…I spent my birthday driving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, walking on the beach, sipping red wine, and loving every minute of it. Not matter how cold and windy, no matter how hard the rain poured, I soaked up the grandness of feeling small in this world. I marveled at the sheer power and beauty of the sea crashing upon the sand. For the first time, I saw the sun set into the water and disappear. To see the rainbow affixed in the sky between the periods of rain, to watch the birds scurry from the waves…yes, my birthday was one of the best.

2.On the same note, I need a hair color change since my age number changed. I chose a lovely dark auburn to color my medium brown locks. I will post pictures no matter the consequences…this could be interesting:) Besides, I have a phobia of choosing the wrong hair color. This means I spend and unusually long time in the hair color aisle at Wal-Mart fretting over the color. The scenario goes like this: I choose a pretty color, fret over color, launch a poll on Facebook and Twitter, choose another color, fret over color, then FINALLY go back to the FIRST color choice.

3.While you may think that my week has been sunshine and beach walks, reality is a bitch. Reality dumped its usual mess in my lap—son who thinks the minimum effort in school is okay, daughter who refuses to go potty and did not have a dry day until Thursday. While I had weekend away from my children, I paid for it in temper tantrums, potty training hell, and school nightmares. I need a hug.

4.After this week, I am all the more thankful for the time when the kids get along, play well together, have interesting things to say. The good days make the horrible, very bad days more bearable. The time spent playing Clue this week was priceless because spending time together is priceless.

5.I have a love affair with fluffy pajama pants—the fleece kind in bright colors. I see these everywhere during the Christmas season which begins in mid-October way before Halloween. This makes me happy because in the beginning of November I have birthday money in my pocket. This weekend, I am so getting the bright purple(FAVORITE color) fleecy pajama pants.

6.I LOVE my virtual village! I love all of you who read this blog and find it amusing all the cool places that you live. You ALL ROCK— I would so bake cupcakes, make mac and cheese and share some awesome times with y’all(yes, y’all is acceptable because I’m in the South).

7.On another note, I don’t think ANY of my real life friends read my blog or the people in my town read my blog. Heck, my mom doesn’t even read my blog. Oh, well, guess I won’t be hearing a sermon preached about what I wrote any time soon OR have to bake any cupcake or make mac and cheese for them.