Archive for Plinky

Bloggy Boot Camp is Finally Here!

I’m excited that the weekend of Bloggy Boot Camp has finally arrived. I registered for the event several months ago after a blogger I admire raved about her experience at the San Francisco boot camp. Bloggy Boot Camp only goes to six major cities per year, so I was pleased to discover it was coming somewhere nearby.

I’ve got my hotel reservations and I just can’t wait to get to the hotel and kick back in the room. Aaaah. No cleaning, no cooking, nobody calling my name. Just me, chillin’ with the television and a book on an overstuffed down bed. Of course, the bliss will last for about ten minutes before I start feeling weird that I don’t have any little ones or dogs with me, and I start pacing and wondering what I should do next.

I have no idea what insights and things about blogging that I’ll learn at the boot camp, but I’m sure looking forward to the experience. On top of it all, the sun is finally supposed arrive in the gloomy Puget Sound, so when I return I hope I’m welcomed by sunshine.

I’ve been glued to the television all week, which is not like me at all. I’ve spent the past eight days closely watching the Casey Anthony trial out of Florida. Like millions of other people, I find the entire case mind-boggling, and it’s incredible to watch now that the trial is finally happening. My Eva was born only four months after the allegedly murdered Caylee Anthony, so the case hit a spot with me. I feel terrible for the entire family, especially the grandparents. In my opinion, Twitter and HLN has had the best coverage of the trial so far, and it’s supposed to last another few weeks.

On a lighter note, here are some fun Plinky prompts I’ve been thinking about.

1. Name your favorite type of cookie. I don’t really care for cookies, actually. If I do eat cookies I like chocolate chip, slightly undercooked and soft. I don’t like crispy chocolate chip cookies.

2. What are you saving up for? Well, I don’t have money coming in so I’m not technically saving for anything, but as a household we are planning for another trip to Hawaii next year, so we are saving our credit card miles and making sure we set aside play money. I think we’re selling one of our trucks and buying an SUV as well, so we’re setting aside money for that.

3. Describe the worst flight you’ve ever taken. The worst (scariest) flight was on a small plane coming home from the Edmonton mall in Canada. It was stormy, the plane was shaking, the turbulence was awful, and we dropped several feet repeatedly throughout the entire flight. The jolting was nerve-wracking and I was terrified.

4. What are you indecisive about? Books. I never know which one, or which topic, to read when I have a moment to sit. Parenting? Memoir? Fiction? Books on writing? Self improvement? Diet? Spirituality?

5. Schools out! Share a graduation story. Last week I watched Eva graduate from preschool. So precious. I walked into the living room of her in-home preschool and almost cried when I saw Eva and all of her little friends sitting in a semi-circle of chairs with homemade graduation caps on their heads. They all looked so sweet and proud and excited. Teacher Sara said a few words about each graduate, presented them with diplomas, and made a notebook of their work for the year which included a personal letter to each child. She said she enjoyed Eva’s funny comments, her interesting questions, and couldn’t wait to see how Eva’s flair for art and color would continue to develop in the future.I was so proud of my first-born baby girl!!

We did it!

Post Grad Cupcakes

Eva and her BFF, Ke'ala

(By the way, does anyone know when the iPhone 5 is coming out? It was supposed to be June. I’ve been waiting and waiting! I can’t wait to upgrade my iPhone’s picture and video quality!)

One Year Ago Today (Plinky Prompt)

Absolutely none of my blog readers will be interested in this post, but I decided to take part in this Plinky prompt because I couldn’t resist. I happen to have my desk calendars saved for the past few years in a filing cabinet, so I was curious to see what I did on March 16 both last year and in some of the years earlier. Here’s exactly what I wrote in my calendars on those days:

One year ago, March 16, 2010: Teach 9:30 a.m. Jazzercise

March 16, 2004: Kennel pick up. Toby 6:15. Home. Story.

March 16, 2005: FILE. Fred Meyers/QFC. Larson’s.

March 16, 2006: Sandy.

March 16, 2007: Linens ‘n things. Meeting 5:30 p.m. Jazzercise.

Truly hilarious. I can’t help but wonder what happened during March 16 during 2008 and 2009, as I couldn’t find those calendars.

Today’s calendar simply read “preschool.” I suppose I keep writing “preschool” so I don’t somehow forget that Eva has preschool on MWF the way she has every week for the past six months. I could have also added “Boot camp. Groceries.”

And finally today…George left with the flat bed and trailer to start hauling in the crab pots out on the coast while the weather is decent. I won’t see him for a little bit now until the gear is in and we take our mini vacation at the end of the month. Until then, I’ll continue writing “Jazzercise. Boot camp. Preschool. Groceries” in my calendar.

I might add as well that I feel extremely fortunate to have such everyday normal activities and obligations on which to follow through during the week. I can’t stop thinking about the “events” in Japan or how quickly and disastrously things can change or be destroyed.

Always mindful of the blessings of normalcy and business as usual. Always.

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Thanks for the Memories, Dungeness Crab Season 2010-11!

Portrait of a Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)...

Thanks for a great season, Dungies!

One of the most fun things I discovered recently was how to create a cool and custom banner for your Facebook page. At you can make a banner using your own photos, or their quotes, or your own quotes, their colors, your colors…whatever you want. You can also create a custom background. How awesome is that?? I’ve had a ton of fun playing around with various designs. I can’t believe I didn’t hear about or see this long ago!

I know it’s been over a week since I posted a new blog entry, and that is a direct violation of the WordPress “post a week” challenge I undertook at the beginning of the year. I figure I’m allowed one or two misses. Among researching kindergartens, arranging care for two big and special-needs dogs during our forthcoming vacations, shuttling little ones to and from activities, G wrapping up the Dungeness crab season, and me attending and teaching Jazzercise classes and taking boot camp several times per week, I’ve been exhausted!

G came home to visit during last week’s coastal storm. When G is home, our household moves at a much quicker (or as G might say, more “efficient”) pace. It’s the captain in him. Alone, the kids and I do try to take things as easy as possible because we are preserving stamina and endurance for the long days and nights…or weeks…or months.. when Dad isn’t around. But when G gets home, watch out! Hustle!

When G left to go back to Westport this past weekend, I declared it jammies-and-sweats-we-aren’t-going-anywhere-Saturday for the children and me.

We enjoyed a nice, quiet, obligation-free day. We didn’t leave the house one time but stayed home dressed in comfort, lounging on couches and overstuffed chairs and eating popcorn for lunch. It was just what we needed!

George and the guys have had a tremendous crab season. I’m so proud of and happy for them. And I believe they are starting to wrap it up now and will soon get ready for the Alaska halibut and black cod season. The first inkling I had that the crab season was ending was our household Costco list; bleach was listed in G’s handwriting. I knew what that meant! Time for all the buoys and 500 pots to come back up from the deep to be cleaned, stacked, and put away. Then, G will have about four weeks at home with us before heading north for the next several months.

Here are a couple of Plinky writing prompts I thought would be fun to answer.

1.  Sunrise or Sunset?

Sunset. I can’t stand getting up early. I don’t like it at all. I do love the relaxation that accompanies day’s end, though. I feel calm and at ease, tucked inside my house with my family. I’ve felt lucky to live by the water for most of the last ten years and I love watching the sunsets over the bay. A glass of wine, a sunset, a bath for the kids, knowing we did the day together and can now cuddle and relax is my favorite.

2.  Do You Feel Younger or Older Than You Really Are?

I feel younger than I am. G would also add that I act younger than I really am. I can’t lie. It’s true. :-)

3.  If You Were a Professor, What Subject Would You Teach?

I would teach English literature or creative writing. When both kids are in elementary school I fully intend on getting my Master’s in creative writing. Even if I am the oldest lady in the program!

A Few Fun Plinky Prompts Going into our Fourth Year

We just entered our fourth year here on Highliners and Homecomings and I’m really excited about that. I celebrated by downloading several more books on CSS so I could keep updating the blog design, and I also ordered a few books on the art of blogging.

One of the books mentioned that while bloggers may have readers that enjoy their writing or subject, the readers don’t actually know much about the blogger. I’m not sure that applies to me, as I think I tend to put myself out there in a way that people do know me fairly well.

On the other hand, like I told G the other day on our way home from a Dungeness Crab Association meeting, “To not know me is to like me.”


Anyway, the book suggested doing a fun little Q & A on your blog so people can get to know you a bit better. It sounded like a fun idea indeed, so I found some Plinky prompts to answer here all at once. I’d love to know more about all of you, too, so if you want to play along, please do!


If you could eat only one meal the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza. Pepperoni, light sauce or white sauce. I hate tomato sauce. Alternately, I’d take a chicken garlic pizza. Not BBQ chicken; I hate BBQ flavor sauce. I love a good BBQ with the right seasoning.

If you could live forever, would you?

No. In an imaginary world however, I would arrange for me, my parents, my sisters, my husband, niece, and children to all go at once so I never had to live one second without any of them.

Vent! What’s going on in your life right now that’s driving you nuts?

My weight. I’m an active mom and Jazzercise instructor and student, but I am getting older and I just can’t keep weight off the way I did when I was 25 or when I was nursing and teaching Jazzercise all at once. My weight is back to being a daily battle and it’s really annoying.

What’s at the top of your gift wish list right now?

Hmm. Really, nothing. Sure, I’d love a new laptop in pink. I’d like an Acura MDX or more bling. But I’m actually very happy with what I’ve got and I don’t need a thing.

Yay or Nay–Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Tough one. Lost, abandoned, and/or unrequited love brings pain like no other. It also brings material for endless poems and essays, as well as empathy for others. I believe that as broken hearts and shattered spirits heal, they do make you stronger and able to give to others in similar situations. Healing brings opportunity to relate and support others and even laugh a little. So I guess I’d say it’s better to have loved and lost.

What is your life motto?

I have several. The first few that come to mind are:

1. Don’t beat a dead horse.

2. Don’t create a disturbance or respond to disturbances created by others.

3. God doesn’t care what you did yesterday. He cares about where your heart is today.

(More to come on this one.)


That was fun. If any of you want to reply to the same prompt(s) in the comments section, I’d love to read them!


My Favorite Summer Memory (Plinky)

I’ve been so excited about discovering Plinky that I thought I’d better attempt my first reply to a prompt.

One of my favorite summer memories–among many–is from childhood, when my parents rented a condo (Solimar Sands) in Santa Barbara each summer.

Mom drove my sisters and me all the way south to California by herself in our red Subaru station wagon, and we excitedly moved into our new digs for the week. We got to eat mini-boxes of cereal and watch Price is Right each morning, then spent our afternoons alternating between swimming in the condo pool and boogie boarding in the Pacific Ocean across the street.

Dad arrived to the condo as soon as he was finished fishing for halibut and blackcod in Alaska, and then our family summer vacation was complete.

We also ate chocolate croissants, windsurfed, and visited our Carpinteria cousins, who introduced us to the tastiness of barbecued tri-tip and let us ride their old horse.

Plinky Sounds Like Fun!

I discovered the following awesome WordPress notice today while checking my blog stats….

Overcome Writer’s Block With Plinky Prompts

by Joy Victory

Do you ever think “Ugh, I’d totally write a new blog post, if I just had something to say?” Or maybe, “I’m sick and tired of writer’s block but I don’t know what to do about it!”

We’ve all been there — those days when the light bulb seems dim, if not burned out. To give you a little creative push and get that writerly mojo flowing again…

…Each weekday, Plinky provides a prompt — like a question or a challenge — and you type in an answer. To keep it interesting, prompts are a mixed bag of fun commands (“Write a haiku about the last meal you ate”) to more thoughtful questions (“What is your favorite summer memory?”)

It’s me again.

Plinky will work with a variety of blog hosts. If you have a blog, it works with a variety of blog hosts. If you don’t have a blog but enjoy writing, just sign up and start having fun with the prompts and meeting other writers!

I can’t wait to get started with Plinky. I signed up the moment after I read the above notice. Writing prompts are fun, and so is reading the work of others, especially on like subjects. If you sign up for it too, let me know so we can connect on Plinky!