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Showing posts from October, 2012

Inexpensive Christmas Giving

My grown kids have asked that we come up with a less expensive Christmas this year.  Could we exchange names and thereby cut down on spending? I totally agree. This past year’s events reminded us all that family is more important than anything else.  Things can be replaced; time with family can’t. The couples in our extended family will exchange names with each other, and the kids (siblings and cousins) will exchange names.  We are to keep it all secret (we’ll see how long that lasts) until we open presents.  We are placing a spending cap on the gifts as well. The individual families may give to each other, but everyone has been asked not to give outside their own household. This way others will not feel obligated to reciprocate. I am proud of them because I have always objected to the commercialism and greed that accompanies this season.  Christmas is about family and not about trying to outdo each other or going into debt. I like what this teaches the children and grandchildren.  
I …

Work in Progress

I write for a living though I’ve yet to make any money at it.You see, I could not live without writing.It is as much a part of my existence as breathing and eating.That’s not to say I don’t want to one day get paid for my writing. I’m just not there yet; I’m still learning the craft. I finished my first manuscript four years ago, and I immediately sent a query to a literary agency and to the editor of a small publishing house.  The agency answered first requesting the full manuscript.  I sent it within two weeks, but it only took them two days to send back a rejection.  It came accompanied with six pages of revisions and the manuscript dripping in editing marks. Ouch. Next the editor from the publishing house requested the same manuscript but I just packaged it all up into a folder and filed it away. What the literary agency suggested made sense. It stung.  It was painful.  But it was correct. I knew I had a good idea; I just didn’t know enough about the craft to do it justice. I soldi…

The Ten Commandments of What I Will Not Eat

I may not land a cooking show on TV, but I have been to the mountaintop (okay maybe it was just a med clinic) and that should give me some cred. I have been eating since birth which makes me an expert.I have suffered from lactose intolerance all my life, so my body can tell from one smell, one bite, or one look whether a food will agree with me or not. The following are the ten foods I avoid.  You have been warned. 1.Nothing alive, nothing of the insect family, and nothing related to octopuses or frogs can skitter, slide, or skip onto my plate. 2.I will not be pressured into eating processed meats (i.e., bologna) or pressed meats (i.e., Spam). 3.Anything that once looked at me, pulsated, undulated, or strained internal body fluids in a past life can just pass on by. 4.Without a proper and polite introduction, I refuse to gnaw on the feet or hooves, ears, necks, or tails of animals; and I don’t care if they are  disguised with clever names like “calf fries” or “mountain oysters,” I am …

LadyBoomer

I called family and apologized in advance for disgracing the Martinez name and honor.I begged my best friends to stand by me as I prepared to publicly humiliate myself. The weekly newspaper hit the neighborhood Thursday morning as I prepared to leave town for the weekend – not because of the column I had just written but because I was on my way to a teacher’s conference in Dallas. I opened my copy and saw her – LadyBoomer – in her place in the centerfold of the small community paper, every word as I had written it. It was up to the readership to decide if I was a writer or not. *  *  *  *  Three months before (December 2001) I had just survived a divorce that had taken five months to finalize.  I was ready to forge a new future when I opened my weekly Herald and saw an ad looking for an op-ed/personal column writer.  All I had to do was dust off my resume, create a column voice, and submit three, 250-word samples – all in one week’s time.  What did I have to offer?  I was a newly singl…

Ten Things a Lady Should Never Admit

Disclaimer:  People and events mentioned below are fictitious and do not resemble anyone living, dead, or writing this blog.
1. A lady never admits to the size on the tag of her dress unless it is a one-digit number and does not include the letter “X.” 2.Her relationship with the bathroom scale is sacrosanct and will NOT be discussed or debated with anyone. 3.A lady’s hair color is her “true” hair color and should not be disputed.  She paid for it; it’s her true color. Get it? Good. 4.It is not polite to ask a lady who really dragged who first down the church aisle. All anyone needs to know is that it was love at first sight and a marriage proposal quickly ensued. 5.A lady never admits to impetuous or unwise purchases.  Large wraps are making a comeback and can accentuate too-tight or too-short dresses dramatically.  Likewise, really tall strappy heels make quite a statement worn with the right dress, besides why else did God create podiatrists? 6.A lady has no idea what the commotion is…