29 March 2011

I love to read

Tonight I was sitting looking back through my book journal. Book journal? Yes, a book journal. This is a book I bought at the post office in 1995. I had never bought a journal and had nothing to record in a journal so I decided to record my books. I was so sick of thinking "did I read that?" or "did I enjoy that book" that I thought what a perfect way to keep up with stuff! I shall record every book I read and give it a ranking. Smiley face = good Frowny face = bad middle of the road face = so so stars means great and I need to read again. Gone with the Wind wins in the count of most read book, I am currently in the 39th time. I will finish in time for my 39th birthday (actually I want to finish ON my birthday). Some books I started and did not finish because they were so bad and they are listed as incomplete....and some say crappy next to them. I thought it might be fun to share some of the books with you today.

The entire Phillipa Carr collection----WONDERFUL!!!

Books about ice skating the worst was Fire on Ice about Tonya Harding

Planet of the Apes series---very good

Most of the Jean Plaidy novels---I love them all very much---about Kings and Queens of England (most anyway)

North and South series----Fantastic!!!

Many books on Presidents---worst was Burr by Gore Vidal

Many Titanic books---Best is A night to remember by Walter Lord

Mayor of Casterbridge (looks like 5 times in 14 years)

Song of the Siren is second with 23 reads (by Phillipa Carr)

All the Star Wars novels based on the movies

A Farewell to Arms 4 times in 14 years

Just about every John Grisham book---My favorite is the Firm

Lots of books that movies/tv shows were made about:
Babe: The Gallant Pig
American Beauty
Homicide: The Novel
Grease
Hairspray
Anna and the King of Siam
Texas (a mini series)
Dallas
Wizard of Oz
Beaches
Star Trek novels based on the movies
Scarlett (not good book or movie)
The Princess Diaries
Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
All the Little House books
All the Twilight books (over and over and over...read them all in 4 days the first time I read them)
Charlie St Cloud


More:
My Life by Bill Clinton
Faith of my FAthers by John McCAin (one of my fave books ever...should be required reading)
Growing Up Brady by Barry Williams
Most of the Nicolas Sparks books
All the Harry Potter books
Working on the Narnia books
Working on the HObbit

One I want them to make into a tv or movie:
Rhett Butler's people

Yeah, you are bored now...go read a book!!!

28 March 2011

Dallas

Folks Dallas is coming back to town!!! About 10 years ago I heard a rumor that someone was making a redo of my all time favorite TV show DALLAS!! It was to star John Travolta and that in itself was fabulous. I waited and waited and then I heard, "the project has been shelved". Shelved? The greatest drama in history and they shelved the movie? Didn't JR give them some reason to bring him to the big screen? Come on, he hated Pam and plotted her demise in just the first 2 episodes. He cheats on Sue Ellen, he drinks himself crazy, he lies about the red files, he has an affair with Sue Ellen's sister, she shoots him causing the greatest cliff hanger ever. Then he lets her off by just sending her to California to have what he thinks is his baby, but it is really Jeff Faraday's baby...Folks that is just the first 3 seasons. He ends up divorcing Sue Ellen, marrying her again, losing control of Ewing Oil, going through his daddy's death, his mama's remarriage. Thinking his son might be Cliff's, still trying to get rid of Pam, Partnering up and then hating Ray, and then liking him and then hating him again. Wanting to kill Gary and Valine, puts lots of oil workers out of a job, blows up a tanker causing an oil spill, loses everything to a woman that he thought loved him. Made to marry Callie in a shotgun wedding, and in the end he sees what life had been like had he never been born. Yep, that's it, 14 seasons in about 3 minutes. You can see why Dallas is wonderful and I have not even told you about the FASHIONS and CARS!!!!

So there was plenty to put into a movie, but I guess they decide Travolta would be too expensive. Anyway, with the project shelved I had to resort to watching whatever snippets of the show they would air on tv, checking out the 4 season they have at the library and reading my books about the show.

Then a couple of years ago, the rumor mills were spinning again...."there may be a new Dallas project". My ears perked up A NEW ONE? Whatever could it be? For a while I heard nothing but that there were talks, then last year I heard TNT (we know Drama) had bought the rights. Stories were leaked, it's a go. Larry Hagman was cast! Patrick Duffy cast! Linda Gray cast! Victoria would NOT be cast because she wants to be far from Dallas. No mention of Steve, Ken, Susan, Charlene or Audrey. This year they announced the show would center around Christopher and John Ross (Bobby and JR's kids)...apparently they are running Ewing Enterprises. I am sure they get along about as well as Bobby and JR. How can you not be excited by this? JR, Bobby, Sue Ellen, Christopher and John Ross are coming back!!!!!! I hope Cliff and Afton's little girl will play a part in the show too.

Frankly my dear, I don't care if you care about Dallas or not, I do and that is all that matters. Dallas is coming back and I shall watch!!!! Thanks TNT!!!

26 March 2011

my favorite cruise tips

There are many things that "they" don't tell you when you book a cruise. There are also many things that this seasoned cruiser has picked up over the years that end up being my life savers for the week in a 156 square foot cabin.

1. Duct tape--will fix ANYTHING that is broken (hems, suitcases, shoes...etc..)

2. Extension cord or a power strip-the cabin will come with ONE maybe two if you are lucky outlets...this is a must do for cell phones, laptops, alarm clocks, electric razors, hair dryers....

3. Alarm clock-your room won't come with this and if you have an inside cabin, you will LONG to know the time.

4. Night light-again for inside cabins. You can't leave the bathroom door open, as you are sailing it will rock back and forth making noise. If you need light at all you had better take a light.

5. Ziploc bags-perfect for anything that might leak, wet bathing suits on the way home and I keep one in my camera bag. I cut a hole big enough for my camera lens and I have a semi water resist way to still take pictures. Especially handy on a whale watching excursion.

6. Sea sickness-if you get motion sickness consider a midship cabin. Less rocking! If you like the waves book a forward cabin (I LOVE them!!!) Aft tend to feel the roar of the engines.

7. Post its- I leave NOTES on my cabin door and usually a balloon...this helps find your cabin in a long hall full of cabin doors and makes you unique.

8. Address cards-Handy to give out in case you find a table mate or a crew member you want to stay in touch with....I use this tip ALOT!!!

9. Hand Sanitizer-I don't generally use the stuff, but in foreign countries it is sometimes hard to find soap and water. Most of the ships will require you to use the stuff before you enter dining halls.

10. Hangers-I bring hangers to hang up our clothes. The closet will not have enough drawer space or hangers. Bring your own and you solve the not enough drawer space problems. I leave them at the end of the cruise for the next guest. Sometimes I have been lucky to be the recipient of another guest that left their hangers. LOVELY!

11. Travel journal-you may want to jot down things. If you are that type of person bring a notebook so you don't forget a thing.

12. Dollar bills-perfect for tipping room steward for room service (food is free but it is nice to tip), tipping a cab driver, or a porter

13. Highlighter-perfect for marking your daily map so that you won't miss the things you want to do. Also good for keeping up with shops you want to visit and grading trivia contest papers.

14. Don't be afraid to make friends-there are some great people on cruise ships, say hello. On the other hand, these people don't know you, you want to wear your speedo, ok go for it (I promise I will be snickering at you).

15. Insulated cup-get a cheap one...use it to fill with tea or water so you can take to the decks or to your room. Most cruise lines have them for sale if you forget to bring one....then you have a ship souvenir with the logo.

16. Ship map-I always at least glance at it before I leave. Find your room, the dining room and the main lobby. This will help make things easier on you. You probably will "get lost", but that is half the fun.

17. Don't forget to look for an abandoned bar/lounge/area during the daytime if you just want to read and watch the water out of the sun (or if it is raining). I like to draw and write in these areas.

18. Don't forget to shop on board. Specials last one day so if you see one you like and it is the special of the day, get it!!! Scarves, purses, and costume jewelry are usually $10 and a great deal. Some ships offer "outlet" days on a day at sea. Watch your ship newspaper for details. It is usually last seasons style but who at home will know?

19. If you drink alot of sodas purchase a soda card. A can of soda alone will cost you about $5.75, a soda card about $25 for a week. A much better deal. Coffee, water, tea, lemonade and sometimes fruit punch are free. You may bring sodas and water from home. I always do, just don't overdo it. I have seen people get on board with a 12pk of sodas with no issues.

20. Consider booking excursions before your cruise. The purser and excursion desks are nightmares. I avoid them whenever possible. Book before you go and you are guaranteed a spot. Alaska ones sell out.


For those interested, I don't mind sharing my packing list. Email me and I will send it out to you. Please let me know if you want Caribbean or Alaska, word or pdf. champion.am@gmail.com or werthechampions@bellsouth.net

words with friends

In order to dispel any rumors that I cheated. I would like to say I have not, will not cheat...I would however like to share my scores so you will know that I stink. I will play you in a game, but keep in mind you will probably win.

Beat 363 to 222 by Shawn Marie
Beat 311 to 285 by Laurie
Beat 377 to 204 by Jennifer
Beat 379 to 262 by Shawn Marie
Beat 371 to 260 by Walter (really?)
Beat 385 to 197 by Genia


It won't let me go back past the last 7 days...I will start a log so you will know how much I stink.

24 March 2011

Time for Oil of Olay

I don't even know if I know how to spell Oil of Olay, but I will tell you that I, Michelle Champion....I am aging. And not so gracefully. I see the wrinkle on my cheek, the laugh lines, I feel the creak of the knee, the fact my hearing is NOT so good (ok some of that is MY fault). I am almost 39 (is that right?) and I probably won't live another 39 years, so I have to leave my legacy. What do I want that to be? I would love for it to be 2 great adults (my kids you know?) and a hand in making Kentucky a state that stands for success in Early Childhood....instead of the failure we are now (47 out of 50). I am trying to think of some way to be involved here, and I am open to suggestions. Should it be a public office? Should it be articles to the papers? Should I write a book? Should I continue the fight just in my little world only? So many questions, some that I can't answer.

I am not going to age gracefully...not until I can assist in some way to create a better learning environment. Look to our nearest neighbors, Ohio....they are all OVER early childhood (their centers are OUTSTANDING). Tennessee requires it's teachers to hold a minimum of a CDA. They are getting it. I am not knocking preschools, nope, I am mainly talking about the 2.5 years prior to preschool. They seem to be the ones the most overlooked. Those are the children that seem to be just babysat (or given lots of tv time) and not worked with.

Fellow Kentuckians stand up for the greatest group of people that CANNOT stand up for themselves. The first 5 years of a persons life are the most crucial, the most learning is done in those first 5 years.

MMMM, so basically, I am saying my life was really over when I turned 6! I peaked out at drawing cartoons and playing with Barbies. You know, if I hadn't peaked so early I might be President RIGHT NOW!!!!

21 March 2011

Nine Old Men

Walt Disney had a group of men that worked for him. There job for the Disney company was in the animation department. Walt called this group of dudes "Nine Old Men". They were involved from the first animated movie ever, "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" and were some of the most talented people on the planet.

I know the names of all of them, but I only know facts about my favorites so if you care, you will have to research on your own.

Marc Davis-My all time favorite animator. He was just a little bit of wonderful. Of course, I think his greatest achievement was Maleficent. She is beautiful, graceful, and willowy and she is pure EVIL!!! And dressed in purple and black. I adore her. Marc also served as a Disney Imagineer and this work lives on in the theme parks....The Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Carousel of Progress and the Haunted Mansion.

Ollie Johnson-My second favorite of the nine. He did Prince John in my second favorite Disney film, Robin Hood. Casey at Bat is one of the coolest stories ever, yeah it was drawn by Ollie. He was short and adorable himself. Ollie was the last of the 9 to die (2008) and was featured in the Incredibles!!! He worked a lot with my third favorite...

Frank Thomas--The Queen of Hearts and Madam Mim belong to Frank. He and Ollie did a wonderful book called the Illusion of Life.

others....they don't thrill me as much...

Wolfgang Reitherman--he should thrill me since he worked on Maleificent as a dragon, but he does not.
Les Clark--mainly drew Mickey
John Lounsberry-great work on Fantasia, I do love that film
Milt Kahl--He was my villain animator and did Allan a dale from Robin Hood
Eric Larson--can't remember any of his characters..how terrible is that?


Ward Kimball--Mad Hatter, Jiminy Cricket and Three Caballeros (I love this number) all were penned by Ward. I think he's greatest was World of Motion for EPCOT. You know how I feel about EPCOT.

20 March 2011

She loves you, yeah yeah yea

I am still thinking about Disney today. Today it is in a different vain. Today I am thinking about the characters. You know there are so many GOOD characters from Disney that hardly anyone thinks about. I am going to tell you my favorite characters and I bet some of you reading this will not know some of them or it has been so long since you have that you forgot they existed.

1. Lady Cluck--One of my all time favorites. I love when she sings "Prince John the phony King of England" and says "Mummy"

2. Flower--What a beautiful character...so sweet....so kind...so wonderful

3. Amelia and Abigail--from the Aristocats...they are stinking hilarious.

4. Maleficent--my all time favorite animated character....thank you Marc Davis for giving her to us...she is breathtaking

5. Queen of Hearts-I think she is beautiful too, and she has GREAT character development and I want her gown

6. Mr Smee--so cute in his too small clothes...so walked all over...I love him

7.

19 March 2011

Uncovered Goodies

So I am going through my cassette tapes and I found some jewels that I have not heard in years. you are not really going to care anything about these precious things UNLESS you like Disney. You see, Michelle is OBSESSED with Disney. Especially Classic Disney (those teeny shows stink, IMO). I am very much into the music. Every time I can get to the parks or Downtown Disney the first thing I do it try to find music that I DON'T have.

Much of my older collection is on cassette tapes, just because John and I did not get our first cd player until 2000!!! That is right, and you know really the reason we did was because I found one cheap at Kmart in Little Rock.

Here are some gems that I uncovered:

God Help the Outcasts-The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Talespin (one of my all time favorites) from Talespin the tv show
Fathoms below-the Little Mermaid (I have this as a ringtone)
Step in Time--Mary Poppins
Candle on the Water--Pete's Dragon
Topsy Turvy--Hunchback
Casey Junior-Dumbo
The Tiki Tiki Tiki room---old school version
the Parent Trap--I love Annette
Mr Piano Man--again Annette
Golden Dreams-the original version
Carousel of Progress from the 70's

I shall leave you alone while I finish listening to my Disney music

17 March 2011

Cheeseburger


I have an addiction to cheeseburgers. Honestly, I think that I could eat them every day. I could eat them with tomatoes, ketchup and mustard. With guacamole, bacon and mayo. With onions, pickles and lettuce. Maybe some mustard, pickles and cheese. I am getting hungry just typing about this...yummy.

There are many days at work when I crave one so badly that I can't stand it. Yes, that is how bad the addiction is. I will dump out the entire contents of my purse scouring for money to pay for a $1 burger. Yes, it is that bad.

A friend of mine realized that the addiction has gotten out of hand...mainly because I walked around singing "you are his cheeseburger" from veggie tales ALL THE TIME!!! So she went to Clay Chameleon and made me a cheeseburger. A cheeseburger with no fat, no calories and will help me save for a cheeseburger. Oh yes, it is a bank. I am now putting all my change into the cheeseburger so that one day I can shake out all the coin and buy a Red Robin cheeseburger.

Red Robin, YUM!! Thanks Jennifer for the wonderful present!

16 March 2011

That body can't be real





There is NO way that a woman can look like a Barbie, can they?

I remember the days when I was OBSESSED with Barbies. I knew all their names (including the names that I gave them), I could look at the face paint and identify the dolls, and I could look at the clothes and tell you which belonged with what doll. I think I remember every Barbie I ever had. At my peak I had 106 Barbies that I played with and no telling how many in boxes. I still have about 50 in boxes and probably 20 that I had played with as a child.

I guess deep inside I still love them. Even at pushing 40, I still have to go down the Barbie aisle at the toy stores and just look. I still find myself perusing the Barbies on Ebay just for the fun of it. I still long to comb their hair and dress them. I would still love to collect those shoes.

My daughter never really got into them. She tried, but it just never took. She ended up wanting to sell hers for a leap pad when she was small. I did keep her collectible ones, but that is all I could keep for her.

I remember the first one that I got...Super Star Barbie 1977.Superstar Barbie (I still have her shawl)My Favorite Ken doll (I called him Allen) and the Barbie with the greatest eyelashes ...I called her Sue Ellen (yeah after my tv show). Allen broke, he was put together by a rubber band at his waist and it finally popped. I still have Sue Ellen.I had all of these dolls...Loving you in the red hearts was Stephanie, and the first one on the left Peaches and Cream Barbie was Abbie after Abby Ewing. Her name on the box was "Black Barbie". I loved her hair and those earrings. You could wear them long like this or just the studs. I still have her...I called her Crystal. She was a "good" Barbie, meaning when I played she never got into trouble. Abbie was TERRIBLE!!!The last Barbie that I ever bought. Barbie and the Rockers.

15 March 2011

My letter to Tim Holtz

Dear Tim,
I must tell you that I am in love with you. I have never in my life seen someone so creative or inventive. You inspire me to be more instinctive in my work and create what I feel....NOT what other people think I should create. You can take the "strangest" of household items and turn them into beautiful works of art.

I have yet to see any of your products that does not make me stop and think. The usage of keys, door knobs and inks to create things that look old, but have a new flair to them. I have been following your blog for a while too and I was sooooo inspired by the Twelve Tags of Christmas. My Christmas cards had a new flair thanks to one Tim Holtz.

I have learned how to be a better stamper, an embosser, a distresser, and I think a better scrapbooker. One day, I hope to meet you or even take one of your classes.

thank you Tim for all you do and all that you create.

14 March 2011

I can't love you at these prices





In the 80's I was really into hair bands. Oh yes, I would listen to hair bands ALL THE TIME...as most of you know, hair bands are a thing of the past. They are all in their 50's (or older), some of them are sickly, and some have lost their boyish good looks; but I still love you. I still listen to you. Have you forgotten all of us 80's ladies that MADE you famous? I think you have...these young kids, they "don't know you", they won't go into mass "hysteria" for you, they wouldn't "runaway" for you, and they sure wouldn't be your "American Girl"....so why do you have to charge so much for your tickets?

I can't afford to see one of you, much less both of you. And I love you both dearly....Many scrapbook pages are devoted to your music and much of my hearing was lost on your music....and now I feel deserted.

Casa Mexicana

Just giving a shout out to my favorite local restaurant!!!!

Aleica will go "blah"...Toni says "I'm in" April will say "can I have some of your chips?" Yes, I am talking about Casa Mexicana. Where the chip dip is like gold (and is the price of gold too). Where the tacos are yummy and the chips are WARM. A place where I miss the 50 cent taco Wednesday. A place where I first saw the AMAZING Shane Jones. A place that literally I could eat 3 or 4 times a week.

I wish my family would agree with me on it is (in my opinion) the best restaurant in town. Oh, yeah Doe's is right up there, but Casa remains supreme.

12 March 2011

submissions and rejections and hopefully joy

I sit here completing my submissions to Creating Keepsakes Magazine. It means so much to me to be published. I feel that I could be on my way to something bigger and better in the creative world. I have seen one submission turn in to a fulfillment of a life long dream. I am friends with someone who did it...she made it and is quite successful with her own line of products. So much so that both she and her husband do "her" business full time.

That is a lifelong dream that could remain just that a dream. The goal is small, ONE submission turned into a publication. One artwork snatched up by someone with an eye for talent. It is one tiny step that would mean so much to me. That someone, somewhere values my talent and wishes to recognize the fact that hey Michelle Champion ain't so bad.

However, I understand that there will probably be rejection. I am prepared for that, but I am hanging onto that dream. My best stuff is going out RIGHT now!! Secret stuff I have shared with NO ONE. I have practiced and perfected, and now hopefully it is MY time to shine.

Thanks to those of you that have helped my confidence by telling me that you appreciate the things I have made. Thank you to the friends that have given words of encouragement. Thank you to God for giving me a talent and to myself for not wasting what He has given me.

10 March 2011

Words with Friends


I would like to thank my dear little darling Wesley Morgan for this habit. He walked into work one day and said, "you should try words with friends". Well, I did...and now thank you Wesley, I am addicted.

I have always been a word game friend, and even though I am NOT that good at the games, I am having a BLAST!!! I have played over 20 games in 3 days and have about 10 going right now. I do notice a severe drop in Droid X battery life, but that's fine, I always carry a power cord with me anyway. You know, this may be a good excuse to get that Droid X external battery that I have been wanting...mmmmmm

Well, thank you Wesley for my new habit.

08 March 2011

They did that in school?

My first experience with school was in the middle (to me, I don't know about geographically) of NO WHERE!!! Our school seemed old to me, and served 1st-12th grade. There was a kindergarten, but it was half day and across the street in a Baptist church. The high school kids were so crazy. Did you know that there was an area next to the cafeteria and before the classrooms where high schoolers could take a smoke break? Oh yes, they could smoke at school right next to my first grade eyes!!! I was shocked!!! And the sad thing was one of the high schoolers that I saw smoking was my dear little baby sitter. I was devastated that she would smoke. The only person that I knew that smoked was my grandmother's sister.

The next thing that might shock you was that high schoolers were allowed to sit on the bus with small children (like myself). I learned many grown up words and "actions" on the school bus. I even saw a few and was mortified by the stuff that I saw. Oh yeah, it goes on....

We kids had COKE BREAK every day. We were allowed to bring money from home and buy a bottle of coke to drink at school. These were glass bottles and full sized. I remember that my mom let me sometimes by orange crush. If I did not get to buy a drink I went towards the baseball fields. Here you could see high schoolers kissing their boyfriends and girlfriends.

It was a different time. I remember one "kid" (he was in high school) saying that he would turn 16 next month and he could not wait because he was quitting school and joining "daddy on the farm". Wonder what happened to that kid. I don't know if he ever got an education or not.

I remember the high schoolers pulling pranks on high school girls in the halls, and they were not nice at all. I remember walking into the bathroom and seeing high schoolers smoking in the bathroom. I remember seeing them making out in the bathrooms, oh yes, you know what I am talking about.

I know times have changed at schools now (thank goodness), but this was the 70's. These kids were loving life and glad not to be in the military. The girls didn't always wear bras to school and wore the largest bell bottoms that I have ever seen in my life. They wore those candies wooden bottom shoes (that I NOW wear), carried a cigarette behind the ear, wore long gold chains and had massive afro hair. I bet many of them knew how to disco too! Times have changed and today you kids have your own weird styles and someday there will be a person blogging about the crazy things they saw YOU doing in school. Make good choices kids, somebody's watching you.

07 March 2011

On the street where you live

Our neighborhood was pretty awesome! Pretty wonderful. There was an older couple next door named the Werners. They used to give me books on Marilyn Monroe, and got me into listening to big band. Taught me about Great Danes, and that Marilyn used drugs.

There was a field between our house and theirs and someone (maybe my dad, maybe them) used to cut little paths in this field and Melanie and I would play in the field and pretend like the paths were our roads. We would make houses and play out there all day. I got stung by a bee for the first time in this field. I remember throwing up for the sting. I threw up in the field.

There were kids in the neighborhood, Brandy, Summer, Josh, Monty, Jamie, Carrie, Amanda and some other chick...I can't remember her name. Actually, I think there were more but I can't remember them either. I used to play barbies with Summer and Jennifer. I did not much like Carrie because she was too into boys. Monty liked to torture me, oh yes you did. And Jaime, well, he like to torment me!!!!

Once he was lifting weights in his front door (he lived right across the road) and he was wearing only his whitey tightys. Well, yeah I looked I was like 12!!!! Once his dad shot my cat and he came over and bragged that his dad was such a good shot. Well, he was cause my cat was dead. Once one of my cats got ran over and he picked up the dead cat by the tail and swung it around over his head and his eyeball came out! That was the grossest thing I have ever seen in my life. I remember that vividly. Once I was getting ready for bed, and heard a laugh (my parents liked to keep the windows open), I went over to the window and there he was watching me change. The next day I moved every piece of furniture that I could in front of my bedroom windows and it really got hot in my room. My parents could not seem to understand why I did that because I was burning up, but heat was better than a boy watching you change. I was about 14 at the time. I could not stand that boy....I was so happy when he moved.


I wonder what happened to all those kids? All except that one kid, he was mean. I hope that he has more compassion and became a great adult.

05 March 2011

Why I love cruising

1. The Ships---Big beautiful floating cities. And they are gorgeous!! Especially those newer ones.
2. Food---I love to eat! Love to try new foods and my family doesn't...a perfect chance for me to try stuff and not lose any money if I don't like it. Man, if I don't like it, they will bring me a replacement for free.
3. Formal or not so formal---I love to dress up for a 5 course meal! I love the portraits. Well, there are also times when I want to slum it and a cruise will allow me to do that too.
4. Location---you go to bed in one country and wake up in another and no extra travel or hotel fees.
5. Ocean (At sea days)---Look out around you and all you see are waves, dolphins and if you are lucky whales. (and you might see Cuban guard boats if you sail in the right area of the world)
6. Broadway (or better) styled shows---We have seen people use the silks, ice skate and blow us away with their vocal talent. Once we even saw "The Beatles".
7. Floating shopping malls---I love the shops!! Sales on watches, scarves, trinkets, ammolite, tanzanite, rhodolite, and sterling silver. Discounts on designer bags, and most ships seem to have a $10 store.
8. Empty bars/lounges---places that are secluded and quiet during the day, a great place to read or sketch. I love this part of my day!
9. Classes---Craft classes, scrapbook sessions, napkin folding, name that tune, TRIVIA (I shall win here)....yep, I am there!!!
10. Chocolates on my pillow---that part needs no more added to the description, but I get equally excited by tomorrows capers newspaper.
11. Naturalist---I have only had these on my Alaskan cruises but they are so wonderful, so informative, and willing to answer my questions.
12. Included---I love that after I pay the ticket price and other than the shopping, really I am out no more money except tips. Especially when I got to Alaska and book my excursions from home through the same company the cruise ships use. Saved a ton of money.
13. Midnight buffets---yeah, if I can stay up, I love them. However, they don't come every night like they used to :(
14. Artwork---I love looking at the various artworks on the ships. some have millions of dollars worth of art on board.
15. Photographic moments---there are usually so many that I can fill up an entire 8gb card
16. Omelet stations---one of my favorite parts of getting out of bed early. A fresh cooked, made to order omelet. I like the one with tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers and bacon. YUMMY!!!
17. Vanilla---gotta go to Mexico to get the vanilla for my famous cookies.
18. 12 hours in a fjord---yep, I will sit there the entire 12 hours just to see those great glaciers.
19. Cruise Directors/Shopping Experts---they make me laugh, they are crazy, and often highly entertaining.
20. Hot tubs---oh yeah, love me some hot tub, especially when the air is 39 degrees outside. AHHHHHHH!!!

Moving on up

I don't remember the exact day, but I remember being very happy when I was told we were getting a house!

Mom designed it and grandad and dad were building it. It was right down the street from General Tire and in a newish subdivision. Route 2 North Circle Drive. We had a horse shoe shaped road and everything!

We got to be around quite a bit during construction. We climbed through the septic tank tunnels, walked through studded walls, and played in the kitchen cabinets. Everything was going to be great! We had a huge room (at that time we were sharing a room)..a huge room with WHITE carpet!!! Why white? Good question..why mom?

We had a yellow bathroom (gross) and mom and dad had a blue one. I was amazed by the floor to ceiling windows, and that the kitchen table was built into the wall. We had a great front porch and a roof that almost touched the ground. (Don't Tell mom but we used to climb on the roof All the time.)

One day mom let Melanie move to the third bedroom and we all had our own room. This was the biggest thrill for me. I could move my room around like I wanted. I could leave my Barbies out for days and I could listen to my music. It was lovely.
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Superstar


My parents wanted to go on dates so they decided to hire a sitter. They used a girl named Kim. She was from the trailer park and she rode my school bus. She was a senior in high school and I loved her. She was nice to me when other high schoolers thought to scare me with talking about sex. Anyway, she was great.

We had a great time, but I guess my parents felt guilty about going out because they brought me home my first barbie....superstar barbie! I loved her so much.
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04 March 2011

Tommy Rall


So I wrote a fan letter too tommy rall of seven brothers for seven brothers fame. The dude is one amazing dancer, let me just say. If you ever get the chance to see kiss me kate you can his his extraordinary work. Anyway, he is 80 so my expectations were not that high. John called me yesterday and told me that I had a sase. I said open it. It was autographed photos of tommy rall. How cool is that? Very! Thanks tommy!
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trailer park trash

So as a small child, my family and I lived in a trailer. Yeah it was a tiny, oldish and it was yellowish. It had great shaggy type brown carpet. There was a bedroom in the front (near the street), then it lead out into the living room, then the kitchen (the front door was in the living room next to the kitchen (I don't remember having a kitchen sink, but I am sure that we did) and there was a back door directly opposite). You left the kitchen and made a left and there was a small hall with a bath and it lead to another bedroom. Mom, tell me if I am correct on the layout, but this is how I remember it. My bedroom was the one near the street and mom and dad's was in the back by the bathroom. Melanie and I shared a room.

I hated living here for two reasons Sean (a neighbor near us) and that we had some bugs. I know it's yucky, but it was a used trailer come on. We had roaches! I was so afraid of them. I don't know what they were going to do to me, maybe eat me. I am not sure, but I will tell you. I wore shoes as much as possible. I don't remember sitting on the floor and checked my stuff before I used it. I was just freaked out by them (or any bug for that matter).

There were some good things about the trailer...we had a cotton candy machine. We had a cool storage shed out back. We had a neighborhood pool. Also, this was the neighborhood where I got my first cat. I met my first baby sitter here, and learned to love barbies.

I have more trailer trash stories stay tuned. In the meantime I shall see if there is a picture of our trailer.

A Republican that sounds like a Democrat

I am so confused and angry on the whole insurance thing. I am disgusted that you pay all this money for insurance and you still can't get the care you need/want. I would like to know why it is fair for you to have a health care provider for ten years and all the sudden your insurance says you may NOT use that provider anymore.

It is a provider that you have built up a trust with, comfortable with, they know you, you know them. And your insurance decides to make you go elsewhere. Are the elsewhere providers even quality care? Are the elsewhere providers even family friendly. Will the elsewhere providers be willing to work around your schedule as the provider that you have used for TEN years.

Yes, I have a problem with the state of affairs in America! I have stated it before and I shall state it again. I may be one of the only Republicans on the planet that believes the insurance companies MUST be stopped! We need reform, we need help. You know I believe that I SHOULD go where you tell me if you are paying for it, but when I am paying for it and paying an arm and a leg for it, I should be allowed to visit the provider of my choice.

thank you America for allowing insurance companies to rule the world!