Coming Together {Spin Cycle Prompt}

We had TEN entries last week for the Spin Cycle! From 28 Memories to 28 Accomplishments Before 28 Years to 28 Things I Love About My Husband…all the Spins last week were so creative! I love coming up with an open-ended prompt that inspires you as writers. If you haven’t read all the 28 lists from The Spin Cycle, find the links to them HERE!

Are you ready to get those creative juices flowing again?

This week, the prompt is It All Came Together.

Perhaps there’s a recipe you just discovered and the flavors of the ingredients blend together perfectly. Share the recipe!

Maybe a craft project you just finished came together just right. Show us what you did!

Your weekend plans came together and you had a marvelous time! What did you do?

Or something else just came together and you’d like to share it with us here on The Spin Cycle! Link up your posts here any day this week, and hopefully the words for my Spin Cycle will come together by Friday!


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These Are a Few Of My Favorite Things {Spin Cycle}

Why do I feel like bursting into song as I’m writing about my favorite things? I certainly like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, but they are not necessarily my favorite things.

Favorite things
These are a few of MY favorite things, written in no apparent order.

  1. Dinner ready to go at 5:30 because I put it in the crock pot in the morning
  2. An empty dishwasher at the end of dinner time, clean and ready for those dirty dinner dishes
  3. A comfortable couch with a fuzzy, warm blanket
  4. A hot cup of tea
  5. A good book
  6. Short and sweet blog posts (Just the opposite of the post I wrote on Tuesday.)
  7. Open-mouthed, slobbery baby kisses
  8. Puppies that just come to visit
  9. Shiny red orchard apples
  10. Bedtime
  11. Alone time
  12. Getting up early and being alone
  13. Black coffee
  14. Soft, fuzzy slippers
  15. Looking at art
  16. Listening to music
  17. Clean and crisp sheets
  18. A drawer full of clean underwear and socks
  19. An unexpected snow day
  20. The crackle of a fire in the fireplace
  21. A glass with ice and Coke
  22. Pepperoni and onion pizza
  23. Vanilla ice cream
  24. Listening to birds sing outside my window
  25. Hiking in the woods
  26. Walking on the beach
  27. Seeing wildlife
  28. Being with my family and friends

Did you write 28 thing? Link your post up here! Don’t forget to visit our other Spinners!



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What are some of your favorite things?

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My First Ten Blog Posts {Tuesday Ten}

I started blogging almost 7 years ago, and I had no idea what I was doing! At the time, I read a blog on Baby Center called “Blogging Baby.” The blog featured several writers who posted short paragraph-long blogs 3 to 4 times a day about anything they thought was interesting on the internet. It was a great little blog for a stay-at-home mom like me who needed something short to read during the day. I later found out that the bloggers involved nicknamed it “Slogging Baby” because it was very demanding to keep up with the pace of writing relevant blog posts so frequently!

After blogging for a while, I migrated my blog from Blogspot to WordPress. My earliest posts didn’t make it in the transfer, but I can still access them in my Blogger dashboard. I wrote a lot about my babies! Here are my first posts, unearthed from my old blog for your enjoyment.

First Ten Posts

1. May 13, 2008 My first born rarely got sick in her first two years of life, and I always attributed that to staying home with her. When we started attending more and more park district classes and storytelling hours, she caught more colds. Now my second catches everything my first born contracts. This week, the baby has a bad cold, and all the mucus draining from her sinuses makes her gag reflex kick into full gear. Last night, she gagged up all the cereal I had just fed her. On me. “Oh, she spit up,” I said. Ed said, “NO, she booted all over you!” as he handed me a wet rag. I suggested we call it spit up until I could go change. At least she can still breastfeed with no problems, I thought. That way, I don’t need to worry that she’s not getting enough to eat. Have you ever breastfed a snotty baby? EW!

2. May 13, 2008 When my daughter turned two and we started the dreaded potty training, I would grit my teeth every time I heard, “Oh, my daughter practically potty-trained herself!” Now that she’s three, she does great, but it was a lot of hard work and we made plenty of mistakes. We finally realized that if we asked her if she needed to go, the answer would ALWAYS be “NO!” She wanted control. So now, we generally wait for her to tell us that she needs to go potty. Along the way, with every flush she started saying, “Goodbye, I’ll see you later my friend!” I have to say it, too, or she gets very irate. She also always wants company when she goes, which is usually fine unless I’m in the middle of doing something, like changing her baby sister’s poopy diaper. Today I was showering, and she decided she had to go. “Hurray!” I thought. She’s finally becoming independent! When she finished, she yelled “MOM! SAY GOODBYE I’LL SEE YOU LATER MY FRIEND!”

3. May 13, 2008 Lily is really into Richard Scarry’s Storybook Dictionary. We read a letter at a time; a “short letter” at bedtime! J is a good, short letter. W is surprisingly long letter! This book was mine when I was little, so it has quite a bit of tape keeping it together. Tonight we also read Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton. Who doesn’t love hippos? Another one of Boynton’s books we love is But Not the Hippopotamus.

I just finished reading A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. The various freedoms of women changes drastically in the book, depending on the government of Afghanistan. It was a fascinating look at a totally different culture. I’d like to read The Kite Runner next.

4. May 14, 2008 The kitchen is usually a disaster by the time I have dinner in the oven. It takes me three times the prep time that the recipe states. Last night I had out the measuring tape, to measure my pans (it turns out I do not own a 10 x 10 pan), I ripped open a frozen bag of broccoli before I realized it had a ziploc seal, and a bandage fell off my index finger (fortunately into a bowl I was done using). I was making Tater Tot Casserole, one of my favorites. I added chopped green pepper to the beef, used broccoli for my veggie, and used frozen hash browns for the topping. That’s one of the reasons I love casseroles: you can customize them! Did you know they sell chopped onions and green peppers in the frozen veggie section? How did I not know this sooner? Sure, I could chop my own and even freeze them, but that’s hard to do while holding a baby. Part of this post was typed one-handed!

5. May 15, 2008 Two wonderful things happened overnight. Lily woke up with a dry pull-up, and Emmy slept for seven hours straight! Those seven hours were nothing but miraculous; she threw up on me before bedtime from coughing so much, and then she woke up around nine with a coughing fit.

SO, for seven hours straight, I slept on my right side. Jumped up at 5 a.m. to make sure Emmy was still breathing. And realized my shoulder was incredibly sore.

Five hours later, Tylenol, ice packs, and a hot shower have not worked. While I was washing my hair, I had a memory of washing my hair with only one hand, which is harder than it sounds! When was that? Oh, yeah, it was after my mastectomy. I had completely forgotten that after my surgery the mobility in my left arm was affected due to the removal of lypmh nodes under my arm. I had to exercise that arm and work to be able to lift my arm up over my head again. I could only wear button down shirts for a couple of weeks, and brushing my hair was difficult, too. I should have been grateful, as all my hair fell out only a couple of months later!

I had completely forgotten about that immobility. Isn’t it strange how the mind works? A couple of nights ago I saw Diane Sawyer interviewing a woman who remembers everything. She doesn’t just have a good memory, she remembers EVERYTHING. And it has made her pretty miserable. See her story here. Let’s just say there are certain things I’m glad I don’t remember!

6. May 16, 2008 I just came downstairs from nursing Emmy to sleep. Even though I complained in my post on Tuesday about nursing a baby with a cold, I love nursing. I love how her sweaty little head nestles in the crook of my arm, I love cuddling her as she’s ready for bed in her sleep sack, and I love how her little dimpled hand clutches at my shirt. Babyhood is so lovely.

This week I commented to Ed that I probably shouldn’t call Lily a toddler anymore. She’s technically not a preschooler until September, but she turned three last November and is definitely not a baby anymore. She gets taller and leaner every day, it seems, and those dimpled hands are long gone. She hasn’t taken an afternoon nap regularly for months now, and to be honest, I prefer that she doesn’t nap! Once or twice a week, she will fall asleep in the afternoon, but then she stays awake later at night. We are up by six every morning, so we can wave goodbye to Daddy as he leaves for work, so my perfect night is when the girls are in bed and asleep by 7:00, 7:15 tops! I need my adult time, I crave my adult time, and I’m not giving it up! Lily is in bed by 7:00 (O.K., 7:30 at the latest), nap or no nap! I think this will be harder to enforce once the weather gets warmer and the evenings are lighter.

This week, there have been times at the end of the afternoon where Lily is just stir crazy and attention hungry. As I scurry around, trying to figure out what’s for dinner, she gets whiny and hungry (literally) and is underfoot. I think, if I were a good mother, I’d have a fun activity ready for her to do. Before Emmy was born, I would have a fun art project for Lily to do while I was preparing dinner, such as painting or gluing shapes. But now? I’m trying to chop carrots or defrost the chicken in between picking up a fussy baby. I’m not organized enough to get out the art supplies and then clean up in time to set the table. I’ve also thought I should have activities for her while I’m nursing Emmy during the day. However, I don’t think I could be as creative as Lily is on her own. This week, her bed became her house with books, shoes, Dora dolls, and yes, even a box of tissues pilfered from the bathroom. The rocking horse was her car, and the alphabet cards were her pancakes. A pillow served as a stove; and she was as happy as a clam! Tomorrow I’m going to try to remember that Lily is being creative when she is running around the house singing songs about making cakes at the top of her lungs when I’m trying to get Emmy to sleep!

7. May 17, 2008 I have become, as one of my cousins predicted when I was pregnant with Lily, as mean as a snake. When Lily was about 18 months old, we were visiting college friends who were in town. They were staying with their parents, and so there was an air mattress on the bedroom floor for the grandkids to sleep on. I walked into the bedroom and saw Lily jumping on said air mattress. “Lily!” I barked, “Get off that air mattress!” The father of one of the grandkids was in the bedroom, too, with his son, just a few months younger than Lily. In a calm voice, he said, “What could we do on the air mattress instead? Sit on it? Lie down on it?” And with the correct, calming tones praised his son and my daughter for sitting on the air mattress. Leaving me thinking “puh-lease” and yet slightly guilty.

I’m not always mean. Lily can almost always persuade me to go to the park, especially if it’s sunny outside. I usually put aside the paper to read a book to her (but not always). But this morning, I left her in tears on the stairs. Why? Because we were going to Home Depot. Now, this is fairly predictable behavior for a preschooler, wouldn’t you say? She cried on and off for about fifteen minutes as I went about the house ignoring her. When Ed got out the shower and asked why she was crying, she said in the most mournful of voices, “Because I want you to read me a book!” Now, we didn’t tempt fate. Had she just forgotten that she didn’t want to go to Home Depot, or was she using the opportunity to get Daddy to read a book to her? He did read, in the car on our five minute drive.

Where do I get this streak of meanness? My parents. Yes, they were mean. One summer vacation, they wouldn’t let me swim in the lake with my cousins because it was too cold. Too cold! I sulked all day over that one. Mom had the nickname “Dragon Lady.” It was actually not for being mean to her kids, but for yelling at the neighborhood boys. You see, our house was next to a large park with several baseball diamonds, and instead of traipsing all the way to the far side of the park to use the public outhouse, little leaguers decided to use our bushes on the side of the house. Mom scared their pants off when she yelled out the window!

I could always use my parents as scapegoats. In high school, if my friends asked me to do something I didn’t want to, I blamed Mom and Dad. “My parents won’t let me,” I would say in an exasperated voice.

This post really doesn’t make me sound as mean as I sometimes feel. Are you the meanest parent on the block? What have you done that is super mean, and yet you don’t feel at all guilty about?

8. May 20, 2008 Did you know, aunts are mean, too? When I was about 5, my aunt was babysitting. This was before she had children of her own, and she must have been practicing. She made me sit at the table until I had eaten all my peas. All of them. Not just two more bites, or three more bites, every single pea. Oh, lonely peas!

P.S. Did I mention, I may have put a little salt on those peas? Just a tiny bit, to make them taste better. OK, it was practically the whole salt shaker.

9. May 20, 2008 When I started this blog a week ago, I wanted to spend about 15 minutes a day writing. I’ve done a lot more on some days, and a lot less on others! I just read about a writer who is also a mom, and she gets up at 4 in the morning, just to write! That’s amazing.

10. May 21, 2008 There is a peony bush stranded under the magnolia tree on the east side of our house. It never grows very much, so I would like to transplant it to a better place. I love peonies. They remind me of growing up in a small, rural town in the 70’s. The buds are so nice and plump, and I remember little ants crawling all over them. The peonies would always be in bloom on Memorial Day, and my sister and I would go to the neighbor’s yard to cut the full, red blooms, wrap wet paper towels around the stems, and surround the paper towel with a plastic baggie. Then, my family would get in the car and drive out to the cemetery in the country. It was a beautiful cemetery, green and surrounded by trees. We would put the flowers and maybe a small flag on the graves of soldiers. People gathered around for a Memorial Day service. Veterans wore their uniforms. I can still hear the gun salute echoing among the gravestones, as we remembered those who gave their life for our country.

I wonder if there will be a gathering at the cemetery outside of town on Monday. My family moved to the suburbs in the early 80’s, so I doubt my little brother and sister remember how we used to commemorate Memorial Day. Even with high gas prices, we will be visiting my parents this weekend. It will be a good time to ask my parents about this holiday when I was growing up, and add to the details of my childhood memory. My children are too young to understand what Memorial Day means, but maybe on Monday we’ll find a peony bush and a cemetery anyway.

The Golden Spoons

FAST FORWARD to February 24, 2015: Most of the blogging friends I started out with and read constantly have stopped blogging, but I have also “met” many new blogging friends over the years! Blogging has definitely been a wonderful creative outlet for me, and I hope to keep writing for years to come!

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February Is a Short Month {Spin Cycle Prompt}

This is the last week of February! Every year it seems like February flashes by because it only has 28 days. February is a nice, even month. 28 days, exactly 4 weeks, except for every 4 years when it’s 29 days. February is tricky like that.

This week for the Spin Cycle, list 28 things. What things? That’s for you to decide. 28 random facts about yourself. 28 of your favorite movies. Your 28 favorite pins from Pinterest, or 28 fantastic photos that you took yourself. 28 wonderful quotes.

Spin up your 28 things, and link up here any day this week! I’ll be back on Friday to share my 28 things!



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In 2015, I’d like to get the Spin Cycle grow. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Write a Spin Cycle post any day this week and link it up here!
  • Copy the code for the Spin Cycle button on my sidebar and paste it in your Spin or include a link back here in your post so that your readers will be able to find more Spins.
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The 100 and The Martian {Spin Cycle}

Why am I so drawn to a good apocalypse story? Twenty years ago, I adored the mini-series The Stand with Molly Ringwald, which was about life after a deadly virus killed most of the population. A year ago, I became entranced with The Walking Dead, which takes it up a notch and has a deadly virus turn people into zombies.

Now I’m hooked on The 100, another apocalypse story. This time, Earth was ruined by nuclear warfare, and mankind fled to a space station. When the space station starts to fail, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to the surface to see if Earth is survivable. The premise of the story reminds me of the criminals sent to a colony in Australia. I’ve just spent two weeks watching every episode I could!

The100characterposter
The100characterposter” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

This obsession with these kind of stories is puzzling; I also love a good romantic comedy, the exact opposite of shows like The 100. Ed and I watched The Switch with Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman on Valentine’s Day. We both thought it was very cute and funny. We agreed that the lice scene was even funnier since we have lived though our own lice experience at home!

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir was another binge this week. I couldn’t put this book down! I read it when I should have been doing other things, such as feeding my children. An astronaut is accidentally thought dead and left behind on Mars. His struggle to survive on such an inhospitable planet is an amazing read.

What have you been binging on lately? Link up your post here, and be sure to visit our other Spinners!



Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

In 2015, I’d like to get the Spin Cycle grow. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Write a Spin Cycle post any day this week and link it up here!
  • Copy the code for the Spin Cycle button on my sidebar and paste it in your Spin or include a link back here in your post so that your readers will be able to find more Spins.
  • Sign up for my newsletter to get the Spin Cycle Prompt in your inbox.
  • Send me a tweet @lemondroppie when your post is up!

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