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Showing posts from April, 2013

Lactose Intolerant

Mom didn’t breastfeed any of us, so we were raised with formula.  She says I was a fussy baby.  My stomach muscles would cramp after each feeding, and I cried constantly. She didn’t know if it was because of the milk substitute or from hunger, so after trying several different formulas, our family doctor suggested evaporated milk. That went okay for a while until someone accidentally fed me a bottle of it undiluted and I went into convulsions. Next, he suggested goat’s milk, but she felt sorry for me and that was that. In between all of these attempts she would feed me rice water or oatmeal water, old remedies suggested by my grandmothers. She started me on cow’s milk early.  I was close to my first birthday and it was a little easier on my stomach than the others. Besides I was old enough to supplement my nourishment through other foods. She continued to foist glasses of milk on me throughout my childhood, and I refused to drink them unless they were camouflaged with chocolate or str…

Rebel Without a Driver’s License

My Dad liked buying second hand cars from his friends at the office.  In 1961, he came home with a used Oldsmobile.  It was to replace the 1950, dark blue Ford he had driven for the last eight years.  He decided to sell the older car since we had no need for two, but Mom asked him for it. Dad nixed the idea because she was pregnant and she didn’t know how to drive.  He didn’t want her behind the wheel.       That was all Mom needed to hear. She called two of our aunts and they made secret plans behind Dad’s back, a secret everyone knew about except for him. The aunts took turns teaching Mom standard shift while Dad was at work during the day, and in a few weeks all she needed was practice. That and courage – courage to pass her driving test and tell Dad what she had done.   One weekend a month, Dad would take all of us to visit his mother in south Texas.  Nothing kept us from making the monthly trek, but Mom was hugely pregnant by now and used it as her excuse to stay back.  She complai…

My Blog - End of Year Two

To celebrate I chose ten of my favorite lines from the fifty-plus blogs I posted this past year. I use them to share some of what I have learned about blogging. 1.What do you have to say that isn’t already being said by the other 200 million bloggers? I am an ordinary woman who sees life in a different way. 2.It was the best piece of advice I ever got. Consistency. I post at 6 am every Monday morning. Once a reader stumbles onto my blog, I want them to know when and where they can find me. I am honored by those who read my weekly ramblings. I truly believe that this consistency (and respect for their time) has been integral to my growing stats. 3.If necessity is the mother of invention, desperation is its grandmother. It is not always easy to come up with blog postings, so I read books, magazines, and newspapers with a pad and pen in hand. I look for stories or ideas everywhere – people, events, opinions. Sometimes I have to resort to TV listings, the Internet, and the innocent. I am con…

The Tazas Book Club, 2nd Book List 2012

We meet every six weeks or so, a group of writers who formed a book club out of friendship and need. Our purpose?  To read currently published works, analyze their composition, and discuss the craft from a writer’s perspective. By studying published authors, one can learn what to do and what not to do. In the last two years, we have reviewed seventeen books, hoping that what we have learned will strengthen our own writing. Instead of offering a rated list, I would like to share my observations on what worked and what didn’t. 1.Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and Room by Emma Donoghue are excellent examples of how to present unpleasant, uncomfortable, and realistic topics through well-written, fascinating exposition.  Both exemplify strong, sympathetic protagonists and continuous, forward action. The Ark by Boyd Morrison is a graphic, fast-paced race against time. None of the main characters muster any sympathy and its title is nothing more than a commercial, red herring. 2. Four lengthy tom…

National Little White Lie Month

We start our month with April 1st – April Fools’ Day.One little white lie and we get to play a joke (thus make a fool) of another person. There’s a spider in your hair.  Your zipper is open.  You have broccoli on your teeth.  As humans we have an innate need to invent, imagine, and make excuses.  We guesstimate and stretch the world around us to fit and make sense of reality. Lying is one of the things we all have in common, regardless of ethnicity, culture, religious affiliation, or gender.  It might be “bad” to lie, but we find ourselves doing it anyway. April 4th is Tell a Lie Day.  You get a free pass to tell one lie today.  Make it good; make it worth the free pass.  It will make you aware of how many times you tell a lie to yourself or to others. April 6 is Plan Your Epitaph Day.  You actually have permission to embellish your life’s accomplishments.  You get to brag a little and live it up.  Some good may come of this.  You might actually strive to achieve some of the things you…