What’s Your Favorite Holiday? Why?

Since I was a younger, smaller, Chelsea, I’ve loved autumn and winter. Perhaps this is why my favorite holidays have always been the autumn and winter varieties: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

In truth, my affinity for the first and last were likely tied to what I received at each.

Still, that love has persisted into adulthood. When the air outside turns cold enough to nip, a piece inside me stirs awake. I’m a reverse-hibernation animal, stretching and standing -even jumping!- when the first snowflakes fall. I associate the drop in temperature with coloring leaves, jack o’lanterns, and the excitement of trick-or-treating.

Once October passes, my memories turn to the distinct taste of a turkey meal and a thousand side dishes. I remember pies as well: pumpkin, pecan, apple, cherry, banana cream. I love them all! As we gather up the Halloween decorations and prepare to host family, I also look forward to all the loved ones I will talk to and spend time with.

Then, of course, comes Christmas. I hate the commercialism of Christmas, beginning with the first trees the stores put up in July and ending with the children’s over-hypered aftermath late Christmas morning. The spirit and feeling of the holiday, however, are what I love the most. Every year, I try to do something to bring happiness in service -the true meaning of Christmas.

Besides its spirit, I also love seeing everyone think of everyone else. My neighbors give each other presents. Most businesses decorate their fronts. We have tradition, and love, and even more time with family.

Today, Mother Nature finally accepted that it’s October. Wind and chill forewarned of her incoming wrath, followed by a severe temperature drop and even a little snow. I stood in the flurry, barefoot and smiling, as the tiny white particles swirled around me in our porch lights.

Autumn is here. Winter is coming. I’m so excited for what they will bring!

Are you? Is your favorite holiday one of mine, or do you prefer another? What do you love best about your favorite holiday?

thanksgiving-3719247_1920

—————-

Here’s what I wrote this last while:
Wednesday, October 2: Wrote “Have We a Core Personality?

Thursday, October 3: Nothing.

Friday, October 4: Distracted everyone with some funny onesies for babies.

Also, announced the winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse! Again!

Saturday, October 5: Introduced the 46th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a spell, a witch’s brew, an incantation, etc. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, October 6: Shared Carrot Ranch‘s Rodeo contest. Charli will be posting a new contest each week, so enter one of them!

Monday, October 7: An inspirational quote by C.S. Lewis.

Tuesday, October 8: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Seven.” Next week will be the final, final, final, final post for Wil.

Wednesday, October 9: Today.

I also posted all last week at my motherhood site. I wrote “How Do You Dinner?,” “No Kids Allowed: The Death of the Family,” and “The Toilet Seat, a poem.”

 

Photo Credit: Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Have We a Core Personality?

My German grandmother wouldn’t allow a speck of dust to be out of place, let alone her own bedspread. “She puts a pin in the middle,” my father explained, “So the sheets and blankets are even.”

We sat for our Sunday visits in her tiny, tidy front room. I’d look over at my hunchbacked progenitor and wondered how she managed to keep so neat at her age, and in her condition.

“Don’t touch those!” she warned whenever we neared her knickknack shelf.

“Maybe you could play outside,” my mother sighed.

Outside didn’t promise much. The yard held long, thick grass but no swings or slides. The garden was dead; sprayed that way since Great-Grandmother couldn’t pull weeds. The dilapidated, warped-window garage was padlocked; forbidden. At the rear of the property ran a communal watering canal, also forbidden.

My pioneer stock great-aunt, on the other hand, kept a dog. She kept a candy jar. She kept roses.

“Thank you; thank you,” she told us as we pruned her roses. We tried to visit often enough to keep up on the flowers. She couldn’t bend or stoop anymore on account of bad knees, and I could see how it pained her not to kneel beside us in the lush, fragrant garden of bushes.

“Look, Shadow,” she would address her pet, “Some friends to play with you.” As the black poodle wagged his stump of a tail and slid after the old tennis ball we threw, Great-Aunt said, “He just loves it when you come.”

Both ladies aged and moved into care facilities. Both retained their manners and demeanor. “They always serve the same food,” Great-Grandma criticized the staff’s meals. “What a lovely card,” Great-Aunt praised our handmade creations.

I wondered, in my childlike mind, what made for the difference in my elderly relatives. Did my German one behave as she did because of her osteoporosis hunch? Did my rose-loving aunt feel happier because she took a strong dose of medicine for her joints? Or, was there a core personality in each?

What, then, was my core person like?

From what I could see, not good. I related to Mary Lennox of The Secret Garden, described as an odd little thing who did not get along well with people. I had a temper. No one seemed to like me -and that was fine with me! I cried easily, was stubborn about everything, and felt others ought to be forced to do what was ‘right.’

I saw myself in my great-grandmother’s eyes, yet recognized that hers was a repugnant personality.

Still, I seemed unable to change. I still seem unable to change. A counselor told me I could; that mine was a personality of years of learned behavior. My husband thinks I can; that my gloomy outlook is a matter of controllable perspective. I berate myself; saying I ought to be less sarcastic.

Yet, out it comes. Couldn’t dry wit and depressed sarcasm be my core after all?

I’m curious if this is the case with you, my readers. Do you think we have a core personality? What is yours? Have we the ability to change? Have you done so? How?

alex-harvey-y0I85D5QKvs-unsplash.jpg

—————-

I’m not sure my relations would approve of what I wrote last week:
Wednesday, September 25: Helped out the rising, driving generation with “11 Adulting Tips About Cars.”

Thursday, September 26: “The Darn Sock Connection, a parody,” a parody on “The Rainbow Connection.”

Friday, September 27: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to The Abject Muse!

Saturday, September 28: Announced the 45th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a tanka about pumpkin spice. Sniff some cloves and ENTER today!

Sunday, September 29: “Never Forget the Soap,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 30: An inspirational quote by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Tuesday, October 1: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Six.”

Wednesday, October 2: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Make Time for Yourself (A Parenting Myth),” “9 Halloween Movies for Kids (Adults, Too!),” and “The Morning Menagerie.”

Photo Credit: Alex Harvey 🤙🏻

©2019 Chelsea Owens

11 Adulting Tips About Cars

Adulting is hard. Not only do we get kicked out of the nest and sent hurtling toward the ground in nothing but an entry-level job, we’re also expected to do our own laundry and dishes. In fact; we need to responsibly handle many adult tasks like money management, simple repairs, basic plumbing, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and a ton of car-related stuff.

We are even expected to change our own light bulbs!

hosea-georgeson-iF2IHS0RVGM-unsplash

In light of that, I’ve devised a list of car tips to pass on:

  1. Research how to buy a car, be smart when working with dealers, and always get a good mechanic to look at your ‘new’ car.
    Salesmen are shifty in any form. I hope many are honest, but all humans who work at selling for a living are going to want to sell you something.
    I know people who were taken advantage of. Even with our last (dealer) purchase; we were told a guaranteed price over the phone, then told (after signing initial paperwork) that price was only if we went with their finance plan.
    I’d also recommend against falling for The Talking-Up. We very nearly agreed to a sports version of the sedan we wanted. Later we found out they require more expensive fuel, more expensive parts, and are often not covered by insurance companies.
    A final note: you can always, always walk away. For all two of our dealer purchases, we’ve stayed past closing time to complete the sale. They want you to stay because you’ll likely change your mind if they let you leave.
    handshake-4011416_1920
  2. Get a good mechanic.
    Ask around. Encourage that car junkie nephew. Slip a buck to the guy you’re buying your car from and throw in a wink. A good, homegrown, honest car mechanic is worth his weight in gold, and will often charge half what the dealers and car repair chains will.
  3. Don’t fall for shady repair shops or their gimmicks.
    Even with knowing a great guy, I get our oil changed at a Jiffy Lube sort. Every time, they have the same schtick: pull out my filters or wipers, put on a sad face, and tell me they can replace them for X amount.
    Bro, I can replace them for half of X. Honestly, I can do the oil myself (see tip #6).
    neonbrand-2K_-PG95qlI-unsplash.jpg
  4. Research and sign up for a good, honest automobile insurance company that is a fair cost.
    Our first company (*cough* Allstate *cough*) charged twice as much as our current one. We had to use them till we could qualify for the other, otherwise we would not have dumped the extra money where it didn’t need to be dumped.
    Don’t run after the first cheap insurance salesmen standing under a lamp in the bad part of town, but do shop around. Do your research; ask friends.
  5. Learn a few, basic maintenance skills.
    From fluids to windshield wipers to batteries, a lot of basic car repairs are simple. Most vehicle manufacturers know we rarely pop the hood ourselves anymore, but you can still get to the parts that need frequent attention.
    Once, I got a *titch* close to another minivan’s side view mirror. Instead of banking on seven years’ bad luck, I called my mechanic. He recommended ordering a replacement from the dealer. Ignoring the dealer’s dire warnings, I watched a YouTube video and did the repair myself.
    chad-kirchoff-xe-e69j6-Ds-unsplash.jpg
  6. Change the oil when the car says to, and do so correctly.
    If you have the time and body for it, learning to change your own oil can be a money-saver. It is, however, often an inexpensive enough repair to Jiffy Lube it.
    Once upon a time, I convinced my husband to change the oil ourselves. Purely coincidentally, both cars dried out and required new transmissions within a month.
    We don’t talk about it, but now I always take our cars to the shop.
  7. Do not speed over speed bumps.
    Our minivan required new shocks and struts about two years ago. My mechanic scratched his head, telling me they usually didn’t need them so soon.
    “So,” I said in a joking manner, “You mean I shouldn’t speed over speed bumps?”
    He and his assistant laughed, then saw my face. “Wait; you’re serious….”
    Embarrassing Car Lesson #1 for me: hitting bumps and dips is bad for the car. Always take them like a grandma holding a full glass of iced tea.
  8. Use the correct fuel in the gas tank.
    I’ve done this one once, too, but not to my own car. We’ll call it Embarrassing Car Lesson #2. I borrowed a relative’s pickup truck, certain they’d said to use diesel. Yeah; nope. We caught it pretty quick and had to have all the gas pumped out. Now I triple-check.
  9. Don’t drive behind large trucks.
    Seriously. Those things are rock-hurtling, blind-spot-wielding barges. I love truckers and what they bring to America. Still, I’m not going to hug them. They need space.
  10. Get a good windshield repair person.
    Even with learning to back off and away, I went through a rash of rock chips that culminated in replacement. My mechanic gave me a name (without any bribes, even!) and the poor windshield guy probably got sick of seeing my number pop up so often.
  11. Tires!!
    Find a place that sells good quality tires. Rotate your tires. Replace your tires when they need it. For me, I recommend Costco. They even rotate and refill the air for free.
    jairph-G0fQQ2RlvkI-unsplash.jpg

That’s about it for me. What other car advice would you add? Do you have any interesting experiences?

—————-

Check out your car, and what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 18: Observed that people crop up again in life in “Don’t Burn Bridges in Life (Seriously).”

Thursday, September 19: “The Little Things,” a poem about bereavement.

Friday, September 20: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Trent!

Saturday, September 21: Announced the 44th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is an acrostic to a celebrity. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, September 22: “The Sweetest Interlude,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 23: An inspirational quote by Len.

Tuesday, September 24: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Five.”

Wednesday, September 25: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “I Have No Advice,” “I Didn’t Want to Be a Mother,” and “You Just Can’t Win” (a poem).

 

Photo Credits:
Hosea Georgeson
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
NeONBRAND
Chad Kirchoff
Jairph

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Don’t Burn Bridges in Life (Seriously)

I consider myself a nice person. You know, publicly.

I feel that every human deserves to be treated like a human. I talk to every human like a human. I see no point in drawing class distinctions, boundaries of pride, nor ‘necessary’ ostracizations of certain peoples.

Besides this natural bent toward non-jerkiness, I’ve found polite treatment imperative to future conversations and relationships.

What do I mean?

I refer to the old adage to “not burn your bridges.” In my younger and more foolish days I thought I would never see most of the humans around me again. Others’ comments about “high school doesn’t matter,” “everyone makes mistakes,” and my young tendency to not consider the future all contributed to that mindset. Don’t get me wrong -I was and have always been a precocious thing. Even given that, I assumed I wouldn’t have to face the people I met at a future date.

That perspective also had help from there being no Facebook at the time…

Fortunately, I only used my ignorance a handful of times. I slipped up at work, wrote a scathing note to some girls in junior high school, typed up a fiery e-mail to someone I barely knew once, and had an embarrassing exchange with a friend in my twenties.

I do not write about keeping one’s bridges intact because of a big mistake. I write, instead, from times in which I’ve realized the error of my perspective from positive situations.

Two years ago, for example, a teacher at my children’s school asked me if I’d want to do content writing for a relative of hers. I took the job and worked at it for 9 months. That position gave me necessary professional experience for a writer’s resume, plus a relationship with someone still working in writing fields.

Through a love of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I started a blog named A Wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing. I saw others who referenced this trilogy, formed friendships, and was even invited to help judge a contest over at The Carrot Ranch.

A girl I babysat grew up and was babysitter to my own children. The daughter of my husband’s former CEO tended our two-year-old for a few weeks when I had my last C-Section. A good friend, looking for part-time work, ran our dice store for nearly a year. Just last week, I joked about my children with another random mother at Costco; and she called me by name and remembered we’d been college roommates.

No, we don’t “never see” people again. People live a long time. (You know, usually.) People know other people. People are related to someone you might work with, dated a guy you got angry with online, or taught preschool to the person bagging your groceries.

We are all connected, in The Circle of Life. It’s beautiful.

On that note, how have you seen this phenomenon in your life? Did you run into an old flame? Get hired by a former acquaintance’s relative? Accidentally cut off your elementary teacher? What happened?

—————-

Check out what I wrote this week:
Wednesday, September 11: Wrote about what I like about where I live in “Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?.”

Thursday, September 12: Posted “A Tribute to Frank Prem.” Check out his site and his poetry!

Friday, September 13: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Joem18b and Tiredhamster!

Saturday, September 14: Announced the 43rd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a free-verse poem about secondhand sales. PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “The Problem with Being Karen;” a three paragraph story about Karen, a victim of her name.

Sunday, September 15: “The Stupidity of the Sexes,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 16: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Four.”

Tuesday, September 17: An inspirational quote by Hugh Laurie.

Also, “Celebrities with Mental Health Issues: Dwayne Johnson” over at The Bipolar Writer Collaborative Mental Health blog.

Wednesday, September 18: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Kids and Credit Cards (The Magic Money),” “We Don’t Point Guns at People,” and “Happy Hour for Parenting.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Welcome to Utah; Wanna Stay?

I’ve lived in Utah for most of my life. If you don’t know where Utah is: just go West of that big, open, flat area in the middle of The United States of America to the Rocky Mountains; but stop before you can gamble or make it to the beach.

john-mark-smith-gtCWBwbZNpM-unsplash.jpg

Given my druthers, I think I’d prefer somewhere like Boston in the fall. With dogs. And no dishes or laundry. Ever. Those who know me might wonder why I’m living in The West with 4.5 children and housework ’round the clock, but we’re not going to climb aboard that psychologist’s couch right now.

I bring up my location and innermost desires because I often wonder why people come to my little speck of the world. Why do they stay? What do we have to offer here?

For me, the attractions include:

    1. The Mormons. Okay; okay: the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
      When I traveled with our music group in high school, other kids we met in the hotels would always ask two questions: Where are you from? immediately followed by Are you a Mormon?
      We may have stood out for lack of cussing and cut-off jeans, but mostly Utah is just known for its Mormons. I’m not bothered; there are a lot of us here. Mostly I get bothered by those who are bothered by that fact. I mean, it’s a little obvious that LDS people might live in Utah. They kind-of settled it.
      michael-hart-T5rF8IOgC_c-unsplash
      Anywho: being mostly LDS myself and not minding the culture surrounding it, I find the placement comforting more than not.
    2. The people.
      Personally, I feel this ties into Reason #1, but I knew many people would go digging for ‘Mormons’ once I mentioned ‘Utah.’ Whether it’s because of the huge number of LDS and families or not (trust me, it is), the people here are generally friendly and kind.
      I remember watching the American Idol episode they filmed here in 2009. Contestant after contestant on the show responded to the judges’ negative assessment with a smile and a, “Thank you.” The judges were weirded out by the positivity (watch at about 15:37).

  1. The Scenery
    Since I live in the Salt Lake area, I can always see mountains. Mountains, mountains, mountains. They’re beautiful, and I totally take them for granted. It’s not till I’m lost in Oklahoma that I realize how wonderful those natural compasses and rocky beauties are.
    justin-luebke-wJYswijstcE-unsplash.jpg
  2. Destinations
    Utah is also home to plenty of hiking/biking/camping/ATVing areas. There are even a few spots with swimmable water. I’m too lazy to look up what percentage of the state is Federal or State land, but it’s sizable. Utah’s home to Zion’s, Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Goblin Valley….
    I am also not very grateful for how close and easy these destinations are, or the millions of unnamed camping and hiking areas. If we want to go on a quick hike, there are several within half an hour’s drive. There are even nice areas to walk around within walking distance of our house.
    mitch-nielsen-wa2l5tW5ISE-unsplash
    Utah is also known for its skiing. I haven’t had time or money for the sport since high school, but publicists are not lying when they say it’s The Greatest Snow on Earth -though I’d amend that it might be the greatest this side of the globe. I’d love to try the Alps.
  3. My family nearby
    You all aren’t going to enjoy the benefit of this; but having grandparents, siblings, cousins (lots and lots of cousins!) close enough to visit is very nice. Home is where the heart is and all that.

I was born with an odd curiosity for where other people call Home. Specifically, I often want to experience their day-to-day lives. So: what do you like about where you live? What do you see? Visit? Eat?

If you’ve lived several places, what have been your favorite aspects of some of them?

—————-

While you consider and respond, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, September 4: Discussed a bit about the fun and games of selling dice.

Thursday, September 5: “A Thoughtful Poem.”

Friday, September 6: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, September 7: Announced the 42nd Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. Do you know where your towel is? PLEASE ENTER!

Also, “I Give Myself Two Thumbs Down” over at The Bipolar Longname Blog.

Sunday, September 8: “True Grit?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 9: An inspirational quote by Paulo Coelho.

Tuesday, September 10: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Three.” Sorry, Wil.

Wednesday, September 11: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “‘Work at Home,’ They Said,” “Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!,” and “The Boy Mom Poem.”

 

Photo Credit:
John-Mark Smith
Michael Hart
Justin Luebke
Mitch Nielsen

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Fun and Games of Selling Dice

“I’ve bid on a dice store.”

“Huh?” With the children and the house and life, I usually took a few minutes to get on the same thought train as my husband. Or the same station.

Fortunately, his excitement lent him more patience. “Remember when I told you I was going to bid on a business? Well, there’s this dice store, and it shows good numbers, and…”

The rest of his descriptions and explanations fell into some storage bank of my brain. Profits, programs, websites, and future plans tumbled from him for …days. My prevailing thought? We don’t know the first thing about running an online business.

Dice

Fast-forward nearly a decade later, and I still wonder if I know what I’m doing.

I’ve picked up a few things, sure. I know more about tabletop gaming dice than I thought possible. I have a good rapport with our dice suppliers. I even have a vague idea of why one would want to purchase a ten-sided die.

But some of the lessons I learned along the way were not fun ones to acquire. Like, that an acute color perception ability is mandatory for packing loose dice. WHY would one need acute color perception? Maybe, perhaps, if one sells speckled dice from Koplow Games.

20190904_100702

This is my homemade phone camera picture of the little buggers. Specifically, this is a shot of the speckled d8 (8-sided) dice we sell. The varieties pictured are: Hurricane, Blue Stars, Stealth, EarthCobalt, Golden CobaltArcticLotus, Fire, Golden Recon, and Ninja. There are 13 more not pictured, if you can believe it: Space, TwilightUrban, Strawberry, Sea, Air, Granite, Recon, Silver Tetra, Hi Tech, Mercury, Silver Volcano, and Water.

When we purchased the business from a man in Arizona, he generously shipped all the supplies he had. This meant we received large bags of dice. Lots and lots of dice. We set up ‘business’ in our basement. This meant we set up lots and lots of dice in bags all over the shelves and counters in our family room.

This also meant we pawed through said bags -in the basement, in the dark- whenever a customer placed an order.

So… that lovely outside picture I took? Downstairs, it looked more like:

20190904_100950

Would you believe that Hurricane looks just like Golden Cobalt?

 

 

Now would you?

Our setup is much more professional these days. We have shelves with dice drawers. We have a giant desk, a computer and printers, a fancy tape dispenser, and boxes and envelopes. Last Christmas we added gift wrap options.

We have beautiful sets and beautiful pictures.

12mm-antique-silver-metal-dnd-dice-set-square

Most of all, we have lighting. Lots and lots of lighting.

—————-

Now that you know more about dice than you may have wanted to, read what I wrote this past week:
Wednesday, August 28: Ranted about red light rushers in “My Biggest Driving Pet Peeve.”

Thursday, August 29: “The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square,” a book review of Stephen Black‘s cool novel!

Friday, August 30: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations, again, to Gary!

Saturday, August 31: Announced the 41st Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Back to School. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, September 1: “The Distant Future?,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, September 2: An inspirational quote by Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, and Anonymous.

Tuesday, September 3: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred Two.”

Wednesday, September 4: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Kids Can Work!,” “It’s My OCD,” and “Where Are My Shoes?

 

Photo Credit: my crappy phone and my talented husband

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens
Fancy pictures ©2019 Kevin Owens

My Biggest Driving Pet Peeve

During rush hour traffic today, I waited at the head of a line of cars for the signal light. And waited. And waited.

Success! -no, a left turn for the other direction.

Suc- no, a left turn for our turn lanes.

Two lines of cars, trucks, minivans on each side pulled out to the intersection then off to the north- and south-going lanes whilst we idled. Then, finally, we did get our light! -no, the intersection still filled with those drivers bending the Yellow Light Rule. And more drivers. And more.

At about the fifth or sixth car turning in front of me, the minivan with the green light, I drove forward. And yet, two or three more cars came on. I employed a trick I’d learned from driving in California and New York, and laid on the horn as they eked past the oncoming horde.

And was reminded of my main driving pet peeve: red light rushers.

I know driving during rush hour can be tricky. In heavy traffic times, I’ve been a left-turner frustrated by a long wait. I’ve been further frustrated by the traffic light allowing four cars through after a five minute delay. I’ve been further further frustrated by no turn light after two five minute delays.

BUT I do not see any reason to squeeze fifteen cars through a red (YES, it was red!) signal against heavy, oncoming traffic. Do they all have a death wish? Surely they aren’t all selfish idiots.

Right?

On some occasions when I’ve complained about red light rushers, my friends have hinted to lighten up. Two of my friends even admitted to the practice.

I think I draw reasonable lines. What do you think? Do you experience people driving like this, or do you experience more heinous practices? Should I live and let die; or continue my righteous crusade, aided by my trusty horn?

crazy-3607408_1920.jpg

—————-

I’m calm. Really. And I wrote the following:
Wednesday, August 21: Wrote “Why Vacation if You’re a Stick in the Mud?” after a ‘fun’ family vacation.

Thursday, August 22: Nothing

Friday, August 23: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Gary!

Saturday, August 24: Announced the 40th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Shakespearean laments. PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, August 25: “Old World Customs,” in odd response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, August 26: An inspirational thought from the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes.

Tuesday, August 27: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred One.”

Wednesday, August 28: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Picture Imperfect,” “The Beauty of Telling Children, ‘No,’” and “Mother, May I?

 

Photo Credit:
Image by methodshop from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Why Vacation if You’re a Stick in the Mud?

I don’t get out much. Maybe you’ve noticed.

When I do escape the dishes and children and laundry, my vacation destination is …Wal-mart. Ooh! Or Costco! Frankly, I spend enough at those, and the local Smith’s Marketplace, to cover a cruise.

Bu-u-u-ut the hubs and I made a goal to family vacay every summer. Sometimes it’s been camping. Sometimes it’s a cross-country trip. Sometimes we jaunt down to California for our every-five-years-Disneyland extravaganza.

Since I began this summer on bed rest, I had to put any travel plans on hold. Since we learned I was pregnant and needed to pay for removing our sweet, little parasite; we had to put our finances on hold.

I therefore booked a quick weekend away, using some reward points from the credit card.

I therefore picked somewhere not too far away but far enough to count as ‘vacation.’

I therefore booked a really fun hotel with a water slide and planned to eat tuna sandwiches.

I therefore demanded an oath of my husband that he would not point out any practical failings, metaphorically raining on our happy parade.

Problem is, I am an analytical person. I married an analytical person. We are both fairly practical as well. And critical. And, although I’ve been riding the Jaded Coaster since about age 3, my sweet husband got on and has been uncomfortably riding for over a decade now.

We made it to the second day before fighting about how the whole thing made no financial sense and we could be doing everything we were doing if we’d simply stayed home.

Fun times.

Which has since led me to ruminating about people and their vacations. For, of course one could save money, comfort, time, and hassle by staying put. There’s no risk. No bedbugs. No missing toothbrush. No change of climate or circumstance.

I’ve wondered a few specific things:

  1. Are vacations fun?
  2. Are they worth the cost?
  3. Are they worth the work?
  4. Is a vacation a vacation?

What do you think? What has your experience been?

 

—————-

I wrote a few things this past week:
Wednesday, August 14: Shared some of my favorite funny pregnancy t-shirts in “The Funniest Pregnancy Tees.”

Thursday, August 15: Announced I’d be going off the grid for a family vacay. I haven’t really come back yet.

Friday, August 16: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Thank you so so so so so so so so so so much to Bruce for adjudicating. Congratulations to Mathew for winning!

Saturday, August 17: Announced the 39th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is vacations. PLEASE ENTER!

Also shared “Except for the Exceptions,” from a depressed mood during vacation.

Sunday, August 18: Nothing.

Monday, August 19: Enthused about receiving Stephen’s published book, The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles: Skelly’s Square (soon to be reviewed!).

Tuesday, August 20: “A Tick A Kick.”

Wednesday, August 21: Nothing. Tra-la-la.

Thursday, August 22: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Hotel For …Fun?,” “The Best Thing You Can Give Your Child,” and “There’s Nothing to Eat.”

Photo Credits:
Image by tim striker from Pixabay
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay
Image by KRISTEN FOSTER from Pixabay

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

The Funniest Pregnancy Tees

I’ve been a bit …down about my pregnancy. A few readers have suggested I might get over it since, after all, nearly four months of nausea isn’t so bad. Limited breathing’s doable. Constant exhaustion is par for the course.

Yep; they’re right. I need to focus on happier subjects.

As such, today’s thought-provoking post is all about some light-hearted retail therapy. The best part? None of us need get off the couch, bed, chair, or psychiatrist’s sofa to shop!

I give you: my favorite funny pregnancy t-shirts on Amazon.

#1 You’re kickin’ me smalls

kicking me smalls.PNGIf you’re scratching your head, the caption is a pun based off an oft-spoken reprimand from a character in the film Sandlot.

#2 Ice Ice Baby

ice ice babyI hope most know this reference.

#3 Does this Baby make me look fat?

does this babyWell, does it?

#4 Kick me baby one more time

kick me baby.PNGPoor Britney Spears. At least her song makes for another great pun.

#5 The baby made me eat it

baby made me eat it.PNGOver and over and over and over…

#6 That’s no moon

that's no moon.PNGIt’s not even a spaceport. It’s a parasite. We must be cautious.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this side trip down Humorous Pregnancy Tees Lane. If these funny pregnancy t-shirts weren’t up your alley, I’m sure they have plenty more where those came from…

This week’s question? Can you guess which one I purchased?

—————-

Here’s all what I wrote the last little while:
Wednesday, August 7: Recommended a few of my favorite motivational songs in “Five Songs to Kick Your Confidence in the Rear.”

Thursday, August 8: “A Tribute to Masercot,” one of the more interesting bloggers I follow.

Friday, August 9: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Deb!

Saturday, August 10: Announced the 38th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is plot twists, JUDGED BY Bruce Goodman. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. MST Thursday! That’s tomorrow night! PLEASE ENTER!

Sunday, August 11: “Those Who Knew Her,” in response to Kristian‘s quote and photo prompt.

The Apple,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, August 12: An inspirational quote by Robert C. Stroud, from his blog Mere Inklings.

Tuesday, August 13: “Wilhelmina Winters, One Hundred.” I gotta tie that series up.

Wednesday, August 14: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Books Around the House,” “What to Expect When You Tell People You’re Expecting a C-Section,” and “A Bedtime Limerick.”

 

Photo Credit: Amazon

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Five Songs to Kick Your Confidence in the Rear

I love music. Music helps me think, feel, breathe, live. When I need to focus on running, I listen. When I need to tune out distractions and write, I listen. When I need to relax, I listen.

In the past, I wrote about songs that move me and songs that help me create. I therefore wish to delve into songs that kick my motivation in the rear and boost my self-confidence.

I think of them as my Girl Power Songs, Bad-A Ballads, or Power Playlists.

My first pick is songs from The Matrix soundtrack. That is because The Matrix is my power movie. I watched at least a part of it in college, every day that I needed a boost. The music is no less empowering.

Second on my motivational music playlist is Evanescence. Amy Lee is my kind of singer, combining classical powerhouse with near-death metal grunge. This is the sort of song I know the words to and sing/yell along to every time.

Third brings us into the first of my adult choices. I listen to a variety of music, but only like a handful of rap. Maybe a few fingers-worth, actually. I’d be no sort of music-lover without Eminem’s “Mom’s Spaghetti”* making my list.

Not far behind is Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy.” Also not one I can turn up around the kids; it’s still one of my top motivational songs.

Last for this truncated list are dubstep playlists. I particularly love having a fast-paced final number for my last lap or final aerobics set. This remix of “Turn Down for What” is perfect for just that.

Do you listen to music when you need a boost? What are some of your upbeat favorites? Do you turn them up and yell along?

—————-

The following were written without the aid of music, due to the presence of small children:
Wednesday, July 31: Wrote “All We Are is Dollars in a Wallet.”

Thursday, August 1: Answered Mathew’s questions in “Another Liebster Thingie.”

Friday, August 2: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Bruce!

Saturday, August 3: Announced the 37th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is a free verse of whatever subject you choose. PLEASE ENTER! Tell your friends! Tell your enemies!

Sunday, August 4: Shared Norah Colvin’s interview with me about school day reminiscences.

Also, “Song, For One,” in response to Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, August 5: An inspirational quote by Neil Gaiman.

Tuesday, August 6: “Wilhelmina Winters, Ninety-Nine.”

Wednesday, August 7: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “The Dishes and Other Evils,” “The Top Ten Reasons Why Being Pregnant is Awesome,” and “Five Minutes Later.”

 

*Yes, I know its real name is “Lose Yourself.”

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens