Tag Archives: Spin Cycle

Spin Cycle and Ask Away Friday with Tamara

This week the girls have been watching Fetch on Netflix, which is a reality/game show for kids made by PBS. The host, Ruff Ruffman, (he’s a dog) always gives out Bonus Points! This week, I’m giving you a bonus! Tamara and I are exchanging questions and answers for Ask Away Friday, and I asked my readers some travel questions for The Spin Cycle! If you are not familiar with The Spin Cycle, I host a writing prompt every week. The Spin Cycle was started by Jen at Sprite’s Keeper, and was taken over by Gretchen at Second Blooming, and now I’m hosting for a short time until Gretchen finishes her book! I give a writing prompt on Mondays, you put your “spin” on the prompt, and link up any day of the week. Please visit our Spinners and give them some comment love!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming




For Ask Away Friday, two bloggers swap 10 questions with each other and post the answers on Friday. Tamara is one of the hosts, and she is on vacation in sunny Florida this week. We decided to swap travel questions! Stop by Tamara (like) Camera to read her answers to my 10 questions! If you have never read her blog before, you are in for a treat. She is an amazing writer and I’m happy to call her a friend.

1. How many of the 50 states have you visited? (I think driving through counts but not flying over). If you haven’t been to all 50, which is the state you most want to visit that you’ve never visited? Why?

When I was in college, I was fortunate to sing in our university’s Concert Choir, which toured the East Coast two years in a row. I live in the Midwest, and I’ve taken several vacations out West, so I’ve covered a lot of ground! If I’m counting correctly, I’ve been to 30 states. I didn’t include Washington because even though I spent four hours at the airport on my way to Alaska, I never stepped foot on Washington soil.

States I've Visited
States I’ve visited

I’ve also been in 4 states at one time! A couple of years ago, we stopped at the Four Corners where Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado meet. My left foot is in Utah, my left arm is in Colorado, my right foot is in New Mexico, and my right arm is in Arizona!

Four Corners
Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona

Which states would I like to go to next? In college, I wrote a paper about old growth forests in Oregon, and I’ve always wanted to see them. However, I honestly want to go to Hawaii!

2. How many other countries have you visited? What three countries would you most like to visit?

I’ve been to Canada and Mexico, and also Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as part of a cruise. I would love to go to France, and Germany, and I really want to go visit my cousin in the United Kingdom! She has lived there for a long time, and I have yet to go see her.

3. What’s your dream trip to take with the whole family?

This is a tough question because we’ve already taken so many amazing vacations with our kids. We’ve already traveled to Alaska, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. Ed and I have always wanted to drive with the kids from Chicago to Yellowstone, just like we did before we had kids. It’s the great American Road Trip. Along the way we’d stop at the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and Devil’s Tower. Of course we’d also stop at Wall Drug! And Yellowstone itself is amazing! It’s so large, and there are several areas to explore that are completely different from one another.

Ed
Ed and I in Yellowstone National Park

4. What about just with your husband?

When we were dating, Ed told me he’d never go to an opera. One Christmas, he surprised me with tickets to the Lyric Opera! This Christmas,  he gave me tickets to the Chicago Symphony. Now the next step in our cultural adventures; visiting the Louvre! Ed and I have talked about going to Paris for a romantic trip with just the two of us, including a chance to gaze at fine art.

5. What’s a really memorable vacation you’ve had, and what made it so?

When we were on a day-cruise in Alaska, we saw some humpback whales bubble-netting. They work together as a team to make a net of bubbles around krill, and then scoop the krill up in their cavernous mouths. Of course, we only saw their huge, open jaws emerging from the water, and our tour guide told us what they were doing under the water. It was an amazing sight to see!

humpbacks
Humpback Whales bubblenetting

Another memorable vacation was just this past summer. We stopped at Death Valley National Park. Night swimming in the large, outdoor pool which was fed by an underwater spring was very surreal. The water was warm, but the air temperature was much warmer. It was 9:00 at night, and we kept looking at the thermometer, which read 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Death Valley does not cool down much at night because of the mountains surrounding it, making it a bowl of heat! Right now in January, however, it is 62 degrees! We would love to go back in the winter when it isn’t so unbearably hot.

Death Valley Natl Park
Furnace Creek in Death Valley

 

6. When you were a child, did your family take trips? Would you always go to the same place or different places?

When I was little, my family went to the Ozarks and we also visited a grotto in Iowa. When I was a little older, we started having a week-long vacation with my dad’s family at a lake every summer. It started at Lake Huron, then we moved around to a couple of smaller lakes in Michigan, and finally we ended up on Lake Michigan. This family vacation is still going strong, and we usually take our girls there for at least a couple of days. This year we’re planning on staying for the whole week!

Swimming in Lake Michigan
Swimming in Lake Michigan

7. Describe the worst trip you ever took. Where did you go? What made it a bad trip?

We’ve been very lucky, and most of our trips have been fantastic! One summer when I was about 15, however, we stayed in a rented house on a little lake. The house was dirty, the lake was full of duck weed, and even though we had fun with our cousins it was just not a good place to vacation. That was the only time we stayed there.

8. Would you prefer to relax on the beach or tour a big city?

I’m definitely a relaxing on the beach with a book type of gal. I dream of listening to the waves on the shore while napping in the sun during these cold, dreary winter months!

9. Have you ever feared for your life while on vacation?

When Ed and I were on our honeymoon, we took a taxi in Jamaica. As our driver was going up a mountain road and honking his horn as he was going around curves instead of slowing down, I definitely feared for my life!

10. If you could go on a road trip with any person (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you go?

I would want to go on a road trip with my mom. Once, we drove from Chicago to Des Moines, just the two of us, and I learned so much about her as a person and not just as my mom. I loved talking to her, and as a teenager I talked her ear off! She was such a good listener. I don’t think it would matter where we went if I could talk to her again.

Thank you, Tamara, for being my Ask Away Friday partner!

TamaraLikeCamera

In 2015, I’d like to get the Spin Cycle grow. I love you to join us!

  • 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!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Put a Ring On It {Spin Cycle}

The girls and I were just getting home from the movies on one of those cold, cold days we had last week. It was so cold that school was cancelled, and yet we still went out with our warm, reliable minivan to shop at Target and to see Annie. Ed was already home from work when we pulled into the garage, and he was looking around his car with a flashlight. I carelessly thought he must have lost a glove or his hat as the girls tumbled out of the van shouting their hellos to Daddy. As we walked in the house together, I casually asked, “Did you lose something?”

Ed gave me a stricken look and said, “Yes, my wedding ring.”

Oh.

I tried not to panic as he told me all the places it could be. The cold weather made his fingers shrink, and his ring must have just slipped off. He remembered taking off his gloves and twirling it around with his thumb while he was driving home from work. When he got home, he stopped at the curb to get the mail from the mailbox, and then once inside, he did a load of laundry. We concluded his ring was either in the snowbank or in his laundry hamper.

Ed looked through his hamper and shook out the clothes carefully. I took his laundry out of the washing machine and checked his wet clothes and the inside of the washer. Nothing. Ed traipsed outside several times in the snow to look for his ring, but that was hopeless. Even worse, we were getting 2 more inches of snow that evening.

I hugged Ed and told him the ring didn’t matter; either it would turn up or we would get him another one and either way it would be okay. But that night as I lay in bed and listened to the snow plows go by, I kept imagining that they were pushing his wedding ring farther and farther up the street from our house.

The next day, I checked Ed’s hamper again. I looked carefully on the garage floor to see if it possibly could have ended up there. I carefully shoveled the snow by the mailbox, looking for any glint of metal.

Nothing. Ed sent me an email simply titled, “I Need a Ring.” After work, he went to the gym as usual. When he got home, he joked that all the women were busy checking him out without a ring on his finger. Mmm-hmm. He started quoting the Britney Spears song the gym plays all the time: “All eyes on us. All eyes on us.” Yup, one of the reasons I married him is because he makes me laugh.

That evening, Ed decided he should finish doing his laundry. He had been a little distracted the night before, so it didn’t get finished. When one load was in the washer, I thought I heard a clicking noise and saw a flash against the window of the washing machine door. I opened the door and found…a zipper that was making that racket.

Just as I was thinking we’d never find it, Ed came down the stairs, wearing his wedding ring! He had been pulling laundry out of the hamper for the FOURTH time, and his ring fell out onto the bathroom floor!

We went to the jewelry store last Sunday, and had that ring tightened. I’m glad to say that Ed is still a happily married man.

Have you lost something recently? Have you found it?

Link your Spins here; I can’t wait to read your writing!


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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Kicking Off 2015 with 10 Questions {Spin Cycle}

On New Year’s Eve, the girls cheered and clapped and us old folks told each other, “I can’t believe it’s 2015!” as we toasted the old year out and the new year in.

These 10 questions about blogging made me think about where I want to go with my blog in 2015. I’ve been blogging for a long time, and sometimes it feels like I’m repeating myself, or that I don’t have anything new to write about. I remember some writing that was so successful, and wonder if I can ever write like that again. Are there more stories for me to write down? I’ve been thinking about that question, and the answer seems to be that there will always be more stories.

happy_new_year_2015

1. What do you love the most about blogging?

I love writing down my stories and sharing them. Writing can be very therapeutic. Sometimes as I write, I think it’s all crap and go to bed. In the morning, I love to edit and proofread my writing to make it better. Sometimes, my writing evolves even as I’m typing the words, and what comes out of my writing is very satisfying.

Interacting with my readers is another reason why I blog. Sometimes the comments people give add SO MUCH to my writing! I love the conversations that flow around blogging, both on my own blog and on other blogs.

2. How do you find the time to keep up with all the aspects related to blogging (posting, reading, commenting, responding, etc)?

I really don’t manage my blogging time well, and time management is something I struggle with in all aspects of my life! I have times when I do really well, and other times when the most I manage to do is write a post. I do try to return visits to bloggers who comment on my blog, though!

two girls

3. Does your family know about your blog and does this affect what you blog about?

Yes, my family does know about my blog, and it’s beginning to affect how I blog a little more than it used to. When Lily and Emmy were babies, I could write about them all day long without worrying about embarrassing them. Now I’m a little more careful about which stories I share, and I ask them more often if what I write is okay.

4. If you didn’t blog, what would you be doing with that time?

So many things! I should clean my house and do laundry on a more regular basis, but I wouldn’t be doing that! I would be reading more books, learning how to sew better, scrapbooking…I would definitely find something to keep myself occupied.

folding laundry
Lily caught me folding laundry!

 

5. Have you been in a blogging rut and how did you pull yourself out of it?

I have been in a blogging rut before. When I’m in a rut, I’ll try to write for me and not for another linky party or blog hop. I try to write sometimes that really comes from my heart, whether it’s a funny story about the girls or a good memory that I want to share. If I ever do take a short break from blogging, I try to publish a decent post before I start my break.

6. Have you ever considered leaving the blogging world and why? What stopped you?

Not yet! I love blogging! I’ve always thought that if I go back to teaching full time, I will probably not have time for blogging. I can’t imagine giving up my website, but then again, will I still be blogging 20 years from now? I’m sure the internet will evolve in ways we can’t even imagine by then. Either that, or there really will be a zombie apocalypse and there won’t even be electricity, much less the internet.

philosophical zombies

7. Show some blog love: Name another blog that you adore.

There’s too many to choose from! I love you all.

8. What’s your favorite social media outlet for sharing your blog posts?

Facebook is definitely useful, but I wish I could develop more ways to share my posts on Pinterest!

9. What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since you started blogging?

When I started my blog in 2008, I never would have called myself a writer. Now I do. Sometimes.

10. Any new blogging plans or ideas for the new year?

I want to keep building up The Spin Cycle. (Hopefully my co-host Gretchen will come back!)

I want to be inspired and inspire others.

Purple coneflowers in my garden this summer
Purple coneflowers in my garden this summer

What are some of your goals for 2015? Did you answer these 10 questions? Link up your blog posts here, and be sure to visit the other Spinners!



Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code from my sidebar on the right to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! Coming up on The Spin Cycle for the week of January 5: Word of the Year: How did you do with last year’s word? What will you choose for this year? Here’s a link to my Word of the Year for 2014, including the linky to some of your Words of the Year. (Linky Tools lost your images, but the links still work!)

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Dear Blogging Friends {Spin Cycle}

December, 2014

snow cave
Remember last winter’s polar vortex?

Dear Blogging Friends,

It hardly seems possible that another year is almost over! In order to write this letter to you, I’ve been looking back at some of my old writing. There were things that happened back in January that I barely remember, like the time I was sick and had to sleep on the couch. Isn’t it wonderful that the virus that made me so miserable can be forgotten so easily?

Looking back makes the year flash by; last winter I was writing about the polar vortex, and then all of a sudden it was summer and the girls were selling lemonade. It’s true what they say; the years really do go by fast.

Lemonade Stand

In January, I was also vlogging more. I don’t even remember the last time I vlogged; I seem to have given it up. But I still think I could be Molly’s best friend.

In March, I told a story about how each time I rented a car in California, I was rear ended. I wondered what would happen this summer, since we were renting a car! Fortunately, no one rear ended us and we returned the car back to the rental company with no dents. There were probably some extra crumbs under the seats and possibly an escaped crayon or two. Not bad for a two-week vacation.

Remember when I baked cookies with Lily and Emmy? In the end, I had to leave the kitchen and let them finish the job without me! Even worse than that, however, was when the girls gave me a facial and I ended up with banana in my ear! Although I was irritated at the time, I can laugh at myself now!

I’m also laughing at the Word of the Year I chose for myself. I had big plans to have a “schedule” in 2014, but our word of the year seemed to be “crazy” instead!

Roller Coaster
Crazy steep roller coaster!

After our crazy busy summer with swimming lessons, swim meets and vacations, I was ready to settle back into our school routine. Lily started fourth grade, and with fourth grade came orchestra and choir and HOMEWORK–I didn’t think it was possible for life to become more hectic, and yet it did! Emmy started second grade, and fortunately homework is a breeze for her. It took a few weeks to settle into a routine, and now winter break is going to mess it up all over again! Crazy!

However, it will be nice to spend time with Lily and Emmy. They, along with Ed, are my happy place. With them around I feel centered and just a little less crazy.

We have less snow than last year; in fact, we have no snow right now. On Wednesday, I told my preschool class that the next time I saw them, it would be 2015! A brand New Year, all ready to unwrap and see what’s inside.

A Merry Christmas to you, and a Happy New Year!

Love,

Ginny

Did you write a holiday letter to your readers? Link it up here!



Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code from my sidebar on the right to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post!

Here’s what’s coming up on The Spin Cycle:

week of December 22: NO SPIN CYCLE! Merry Christmas!
week of December 29: Blogger Tag! Answer the blogging questions below.
week of January 5: Word of the Year: How did you do with last year’s word? What will you choose for this year?

Blogging Tag questions:
1. What do you love the most about blogging?
2. How do you find the time to keep up with all the aspects related to blogging (posting, reading, commenting, responding, etc)?
3. Does your family know about your blog and does this affect what you blog about?
4. If you didn’t blog, what would you be doing with that time?
5. Have you been in a blogging rut and how did you pull yourself out of it?
6. Have you ever considered leaving the blogging world and why? What stopped you?
7. Show some blog love: Name another blog that you adore.
8. What’s your favorite social media outlet for sharing your blog posts?
9. What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since you started blogging?
10. Any new blogging plans or ideas for the new year?

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Unprepared and Overwhelmed {Spin Cycle}

As I sit at my desk, I can hear the squirrels digging and rustling around in the leaves outside my dining room window. They are getting downright tubby, those little squirrels, as they prepare for winter.

It has been a very strange week, and I wasn’t prepared for most the of the things that happened. Sometimes it is so overwhelming, the things we are unprepared for. Friends of mine have had their lives change suddenly this week, and it makes my little problem seem trivial. We had something unexpected happen that I was completely unprepared for–little visitors in one of my daughter’s hair. After years of having lice in my classroom and not being affected, one of my children finally brought them home. I’m not going to write too much about that, however, because it makes her feel bad. To be honest, I feel bad about it, too. There’s still a stigma attached to having lice. I can’t help but feel that I’m a bad mother and a terrible housekeeper. In my heart, I know that’s not true and several of my friends’ children have also had lice. I’m happy to report that we are all lice-free as of Tuesday afternoon. (The washing machine has been going non-stop since then!)

Yesterday, however, my co-workers and I were completely prepared. I’m talking about more than lesson plans and project supplies. Our license from the state is due for renewal, and the state rep came to visit our preschool. We had prepared by filling out all our paper work, entering our continuing education hours online, and reviewing our CPR and Epi pen skills.

It was about time for preschool to start, and we noticed something strange. A taxi pulled into the parking lot. We wondered; did someone have car trouble and need to take a taxi to preschool? Was it the state rep?

Nope. It was neither of those things. An unshaven man carrying a paper bag stumbled out of the cab and headed across our parking lot to the woods in the property behind us. He wasn’t walking in a straight line, either. In fact, he was a little wobbly. This was unexpected.

Despite our fears, he went on his merry way and we didn’t see him again. Our license renewal went perfectly and our preparations paid off (mostly due to our director’s hard work)!

And now, at last, the week is almost over. Tomorrow, Lily, Emmy and I will prepare to sing in our church’s Bethlehem Walk, which reenacts Christ’s birth. We’ll dress up in white robes and fluffy collars, and maybe I’ll curl the girls hair. After this overwhelming week, we can begin to prepare our hearts for Christmas.

Bethlehem Walk Angels

What are you preparing for?

Link up your Spin Cycle posts here! Next week, we’ll be sharing our favorite holiday recipes on The Spin Cycle!


Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks. Or just grab the Spin Cycle code from my right sidebar.)
 
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