Thursday, June 30, 2011

What do you find most challenging about blogging?

 Finding the ideas for posts. It is easy when we are busy, I can write about a trip to Santa Barbara to see the grandson. We got a travel trailer to….Travel, and I thought I could write about that, too. As I am getting older I find I have just enough energy to get up in the morning, go to work and come back home. So this is why I stopped blogging the first and the second time. Just not enough interesting things going on in my life to write about, I thought. Now that retirement is a month away, and we will be moving back to Missouri.  Presumably, I will have other things to occupy me, and I know I can write about that; but still are my goals specific enough? Why do I want to write? As fascinating as our retirement will be for us and maybe our kids, it still might be hard to find things to write about. So I started looking at the writing blogs. What a concept…! I found Mama Kat! She has a weekly prompt challenge, which, I decided to do every week no matter what else I write about.

 How many times I tell myself on Tuesday, well there isn’t any thing for me there. It’s Mommy stuff or since I don’t have a wry sense of humor. (Mr Bankerchick would say none) I doubt anyone would think I was funny or smart or whatever. But I force myself to write something from the list.  Then I follow instructions and read the three prompts ahead of me. I have checked out some good  blogs many that I have gone back to during the week.  I actually have some followers.  So it works for me.  She also has the prompt generator, which I use for other ideas.  I actually have 3 postings that I am perfecting for publication, once I find pictures for them.  That's another retirement goal, to get ALL of my picture, and my mom's pictures scanned so I can post something of interest for the kids, and grandkids, some day

The past two weeks have been harder than usual, as I joined the ranks of the living dead.  I have had a virus that shot me down and also used up all the rest of the PTO I had saved for a nice payout when I retired.  Great Plans gone, but I was glad not to take unpaid time off.   But today I am much better and have joined the land of the living.  Although, I will have to assume nursing duties for Mr Bankerchick who has been laid low.
This weeks prompts are:
1.) Describe a memorable first date.
2.) Write about a child you find inspiring.
3.) What do you find most challenging about blogging?
4.) Name a pet peeve you have about how other parents raise their kids. Go on…stir the pot.
5.) We often spend time and energy talking about people in our lives we don’t see enough of. Describe a person in your life you are in contact with often. What does he/she mean to you?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Where in the World?

It was pretty hard to  work up enthusiasm this week to write so I didn't.  I've been visiting blogs and commenting but I thought I was too sick to write and would  just pass this week.  Then I thought I would write something wonderful about my husband.  (prompt 5) Then I decided I would just go to Mama Kat and read and comment, then I decided to write a little about Prompt 5 and 6. So here it goes. Please enjoy my hoarse and scratchy throat.
Mr Bankerchick and I are a good match.  We are not perfect by any means but a good match. We like much of the same things, with history being up there at the top of the list. When my folks retired they wanted to travel and they did, probably not the way my dad wanted to as he did not like to Fly. That would have limited them to the western hemisphere, any place dad could drive, and Mom wanted to go to exotic locals. so they went to see the world and Dad got on airplanes. We decided that since we did not mind flying we would travel in our retirement too.

While we worked at raising kids and living life pre-retirement. I always admired Mr Bankerchick's resilience. I had an opportunity to take a cruise with my Mom, after Dad died, of the Mediterranean Greece and Turkey.  Wow that was great and Mr BC said sure of course you should go! And so I did, even knowing that he would have given his right arm to go too, but, we didn't have the money to spend on trips, girls in college, etc. And we would never have asked for Mom to pay for his way too! 

 DD2 went to spend a semester London and he provided the miles and rewards so I could go for a few days to visit her, He stayed home to work, traveling for his job to less than exotic locals, and I went to London, Wow what a great trip.  Another place he would have given his right arm to visit.  So England is a place I would like to return to, so Mr Bankerchick can see it too.  And we are going to do it too! We also want to visit spots in Europe as well.  When he was working for Toyota, we won a two week trip to Japan and he went to Korea for business.  So with Asia being taken care of to our satisfaction, MEH!  We will travel to Europe and travel to places here in the good ol' USA as well.

The Prompts:
1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.
2.) Write a poem inspired by a picture you took last week. Share both!
3.) Create a bucket list of 50 things you want to do this summer (with or without the kids!)
4.) A country you would like to visit.
5.) What is something you could stand to learn from your significant other?
6.) Getting kids dressed? Cooking dinner? Bed time? Create a video that describes the most difficult part of the day for you.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mama Kats Writer's Workshop

The prompt:
If social media died tomorrow, describe another hobby you might get into.

The only social media I currently use is Blogging and I guess e-mail, and I will be doing it mainly to keep in touch after I retire. I have plenty of time for hobbies even if it all died tomorrow since I am old and remember how to write letters and put it in the mailbox, I would start doing that, and I would probably journal, instead of blog, to let my kids and grandson, know what Grandma was thinking about. Mr Bankerchick is on Facebook and I might do it as well, since, friends at work are on it and they all say I should.

One thing I would like to learn once I retire, is more from a DIY standpoint. I would love to take a carpentry class, to learn to measure twice and cut once. My Grandpa was a carpenter, as was my uncle. I think it might be in the genes and I would love to learn some skills.

The Prompts:

1.) Girls Night Out! Describe the last time you got to hang out with your friends? What stops you from doing this more often?
2.) If Social Media died tomorrow, describe another hobby you might get into.
3.) Share a Summer Camp memory.
4.) We’re too old to be getting in trouble…aren’t we? Write about a time you were scolded…as an adult.
5.) Barefoot and hormonal…describe an incident that upset you when you were pregnant, but now looking back makes you laugh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The ABC's of Me

I picked this up from PUMPKIN DELIGHT,

Age: 64 July 24th. Then, early retirement. So I have to admit to it at least to Social Security.

Bed Size: California King, we will downsize to a Queen when we move, the room isn’t big enough for the King.
Chore you hate: Floors, my feet have to stick to them or company is coming before I do anything.
Dogs: Gwennie and Totem
Essential start of your day: Sitting down after getting the coffee started and getting kisses from Totem and butt wiggles from Gwennie, then Mr. Bankerchick telling me that I make the best coffee!
Favorite Color: Right now it is coral
Gold or silver: Diamonds
Height: 5’ 3”
Instruments I play or have played: Violin in fourth grade, thank goodness mom knew me well and only rented the violin for 3 months.
Job Title: Trainer of twenty somethings, one of the reasons I am retiring, I don’t understand them….?
Kids: Two grown daughters and one lively grandson.
Live: Life one day at a time-In Southern California
Mom’s Name: Norma Jean, Hated Norma, preferred Jeannie
Nickname: Katydid, by my dad who got it from my initials KD.
Overnight hospital stays: With both of my daughters
Pet Peeve: WHINING!
Quote from a movie: “Have fun stormin’ the castle, boys!” The Princess Bride
Right or left handed: Right
Siblings: One brother, seven years younger and balder than me.
Time you wake up: 6:00 am ever since I had children, I have not been able to sleep late. Even after they were grown.
Underwear: Always!
Vegetables you dislike: Okra, No, there is no possible way it can be cooked that would be edible, so shut-up!
What makes you run late? Blogging or playing games on the computer.
X-rays you’ve had done: Mammograms, broken ankle and foot, a pesky pothole, chest, to rule out broken rib. Dental, I have more crowns than anybody put the dentist’s kids through college.
Yummy food you make: Mexican Food
Zoo animal: Koala Bears and Red Pandas. Any baby animal!
Your turn!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Proud Night for Mom and Dad

I can do It.....and she did!
Last night we celebrated DD2 graduation from CalPoly.  She graduated with a double major in Psychology and Theater and we are proud of her achievement. This has taken some time. The first time around she went to college right after high school and struggled with, mom and dad's desire for a college degree and her lacked the enthusiasm to complete it. There is something to the British gap year before starting university! So she went out to the working world for several years.  Of course we worried she might not go back, however, her Gap Years, allowed her to see that there were things she wanted that a college education could achieve for her.

She has a part-time job as an advocate for children with a non-profit organization and working with not for profit companies seems to be the way she will start out her career.  There may be further education down the road.  However, it was a pleasure to watch her celebrate the end of her last class as an undergraduate. Mr Bankerchick did the same thing when he ended his last class and he said it would be good..
We went to Buca di Beppo's with her and two of her best friends from High School and their significant others and had the best time! It was great to see her feel happy about her great achievement.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Writers Workshop: Bankerchick Almost Partied Instead

This week's Writing Prompts are:

1.) Last week you chose a 6 word memoir to share…this week elaborate. Tell us the story or thought process behind the sentence you wrote.
2.) Write a dramatic synopsis of a memorable day in your life, as if it was a movie or TV series.
3.) Describe what you think your life would be like if you had never had kids.
4.) In honor of the “white” after Memorial Day rule, name a fashion rule that you either break or enforce.
5.) Share a memorable road trip story!

                              A 60's Love Story Synopsis
The Backstory:  On the previous Monday, one of our heroines friend and p Ω sisters tells her that, through her boyfriend, she had met a guy that she thought was perfect for our heroine. He was cute and sweet; however he was in the Navy. The friend had spoken of our heroine  to,  said cute guy on Sunday.  However, because said sailor, had been on a blind date with a friend of a friend, which had not gone well. Our hero was dubious and wanted to meet this perfect girl first. Our heroine is somewhat, unconvinced after all,  he is military, and she had not too long before, gone out with another member of the Armed Forces, emphasis on arms with roving hands attached. Because of that experience our heroine also  wants  to check him out before committing to anything.  After all there is a Frat Mixer Friday night.

Michael Kors mod
Act 1
Scene 1:
The time is April 1966.
The scene is a college dining hall; The Association is playing on the Juke Box.

Our heroine is sitting at 2 tables pushed together; wearing her favorite gold ribbed long sleeved shirt and a mini-skirt. She is surrounded by her usual group of friends and nervously looking around her as if she is ready to flee at any moment. Friends glance at her knowingly. She is drumming her fingers, uncertain why she agreed to this. She is still slightly miffed that she has to be inspected like so much steak. On top of that she has to leave for a class at one o’clock. Her friend arrives at last, with her boyfriend and to her relief our hero-sailor is dressed in appropriate civvies (this is you know, right in the middle of Viet Nam and is a college campus) Introductions are made. He is cute, a little shy; he seems to be admiring her approvingly. There is  conversation around them as they sit across the table stealing glances of one another. Little is said between them, only smiles and polite laughter. It is awkward.

One o’clock fast approaches, as our heroine looks down at her watch. She leans over to whisper to her friend. What is going on, did she meet with approval, because she has to go to class? Her friend says go…I’ll let you know. Our heroine shrugs, picks up her books, says her goodbyes and leaves, thinking….the party will be fun! Exit.

Scene 2: After class, in the dining hall.   

Our heroine arrives at the table after class. The Association is still playing on the Juke Box and the sailor-hero is still there, along with her friend and the boyfriend. Hero rises and pulls out her chair. That is good she thinks. As she sits down the friend says, “We thought we would all go to a movie tonight, if that is all right with you?” Our heroine smiles and indicates affirmation. Then she discovers the rest of the plan. She will have to drive, as sailor-hero drives a 2 seated sports car(humm)  the boyfriend rides a motorcycle, and her friend doesn’t have a car.  She groans inwardly. In 1966 America, girls don’t drive on dates, especially on a blind double date. This of course, will change as women become more liberated and start to burn their bras. However, it is somewhat mortifying to our heroine, who now would now rather go to the party. Too late.

Act 2…..
Scene 1: 1965 Datsun

Our heroine meets everyone at the indicated pick-up spot and the date proceeds to a drive-in movie theater. Our heroine makes sailor-hero drive into the theater as she will not be seen driving. This is a personal humiliation for him as he drives a late model MGB and this was a 1965 Datsun sedan. He smiles and never will let on until the sequel. It ends well with sailor-hero finding his voice and they talk and kiss during the second movie (this is 1966 Double Features). While friend and boyfriend make out noisily in the backseat. At the end of the evening a date is made for Sunday afternoon and the rest as they say, will make a great sequel.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Where I'm from

I poke around the interwebs looking for ideas to improve my writing and I found this idea. If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going.  The writing template and more can be found at this site Where are you from?

I am from freeways and sunshine, from Evening in Paris Perfume and McDonalds over one million sold.
I am from post WWII look-a-like bungalows, stucco walls, green lawns smelling like mowed grass and dandelions.
I am from pink camellias, humming birds and English walnut, once flourishing in groves now languishing one per front yard.

I am from Anglo-Saxon stock, farmers come to California, not during the depression, but after the war. I come from Harry and Inez, Earl Dean and Norma Jean.
I am from the son who went to college on the GI Bill and the daughter of a neglectful mother and an alcoholic father; she never looked back, and became  a loving wife and mother.

I am from the fundamentalist roots of total immersion, communion every Sunday, no dancing, Christianity of my mother’s family, merged with Dads “I am not my brother’s keeper” and there IS something bigger that all of us... version of Christianity.
I am from “clean your plate there are hungry children in Korea” admonitions and the Duck and Cover Generation. Baby Boomer extraordinaire!
I am from, a returning marine and Oklahoma farm boy and a California native daughter. We sat down, together, to dinner of meat and potatoes and pie every night and to Grandma’s every Sunday fried chicken for lunch.

I am from... a fraction of Grandpa’s stubbornness and Grandma’s short and square. I am from a component of Dad’s love of reading and never quite being wrong. I am a fragment of Mom’s love of talking at the top of her voice.
I am from family; always important, always forgiving, never divided, always fun. I am from family, living parted, always together, always one.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Join me in the 18th Century

                                                         Evelina by Fanny Burney
I am part of the group read of Evelina over at the Duchess of Devonshire's Gossip Guide .  This past summer I reread some Jane Austen, and as I stalked her around the Internet I have come across some great blogs of 18th Century and actually extended my reading from Jane Austen to other characters and authors of the time.
Fanny Burney is an author of the time known to the Duchess of Devonshire and her ton whom Jane Austen read and may have been inspired by.  This particular read is an epistolary novel that Jane used in some of her juvenalia and the  first drafts of her more  famous writings.  The only novel that I know of, written in the form of letters is Lady Susan.  I don't think this form of writing continued with JA writings as I don't think it  leads to the character development for which Austen is so famous. Evelina is a great read and if you are interested you should go over to the Duchess's site and read more about this book and the times.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Comfort Food at its Finest: Eggs Goldenrod

Photo and recipe from

From earliest memory I can see my mom making this recipe.  When I learned how to make it myself I remember how easy it was to prepare.  This was usually a weekend breakfast with bacon or sausage.  We ALWAYS had it once in the week after Easter to use up the hardboiled eggs.  It comes from a time when folks were not worried about cholesterol. My mom learned to make it in home economics and since I went to the same school with the same teacher,  I learned to make it too.  There is no a foolproof way to adjust it for the fat and the calories either, so while I occasionally made it for my kids,  I simply do not make this anymore. However, it is very tasty and heartwarming and was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the writing prompt.
The next thing that popped in was pineapple upside down cake.  Which mom only made when we were expecting visitors after church on Sunday or Wednesday evenings.  It was a  recipe that she could make ahead, pop in the oven when she got home and serve warm. Also it meant we got to stay up later on a school night! 

Goldenrod Eggs
• 2 hard-cooked eggs

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup milk
• 2 slices bread, toasted
1. Cut eggs in half; remove yolks and set aside. Chop egg whites; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

2. Stir in egg whites; heat through. Pour over toast. Force egg yolks through a sieve to break into small pieces; sprinkle over sauce.

I am participating in Mama Kat's Writing workshop on a weekly basis and this week the writing prompts are:

1.) Six Word Memoir: Write about a significant time in your life in just six words.
2.) “One need not be a chamber to be haunted, One need not be a house. The brain has corridors surpassing material place”. -Emily Dickinson-What haunts you?
3.) Describe a talent or flaw that seems to be in your genes.
4.) What are you passionate about?
5.) Comfort food at its finest. Share a family favorite recipe you loved as a child.

She has a great prompts generator that I often use for other posts that I am not submitting for the weekly challenge.