***If the download link isn't working, please, just right click on the word art and save it to your computer.***

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

You guys are the best!

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Thank you all so much for reposting and tweeting about my postcard project! I can't wait for the cards to start rolling in.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

My annual begging post!

I know I ask for a lot from you guys, but you have always come through for me. Besides, I'm asking for the kids in my class and not for myself. Just look at the little cuties! How can you not help?

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If you've read my blog for awhile you already know about the post card project I do every year and what a big hit it is with the kids, parents and other adults too.

I teach at a school that isn't in the best of neighborhoods and the kids have limited life experiences. They don't often travel outside of the neighborhood they live in. There is a whole world out there and it's beautiful and exciting and I am afraid that many of these children will never see much of it.

You can make a huge difference and help with our learning experience by sending us postcards from your hometown/state/vacation spot. We use the postcards to learn about areas outside of Miami. We locate the places on a map and discuss the best ways to travel there. We compare the similarities and differences. We check the weather. We talk about the fun things people do in the different places and the jobs they have.

The kids love it when a new postcard arrives and the lady working in the office has fun reading them too. LOL!

We'll be collecting postcards all year so there's no rush anytime you can send one would be great. Here's our address...

Ms. Brown's Class
Greynolds Park Elementary
1536 N.E. 179th Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33162

Want a chance to win a $5 gift certificate to Stuff to Scrap? Just make a post about our postcard project on your blog. You can put the address or just send your readers here. I'll also be linking to this post on twitter so you can retweet that for me too.

If you make a blog post or retweet, please come back here and leave a comment letting me know. Next Monday (September 5) I'll pick one person to get the Stuff to Scrap gift certificate.

Thanks for helping! You guys are the best!

Where does the time go?

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Seriously!?! Why does time go by so quickly on the weekends?

I didn't even get to do anything fun!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What is wrong with me?

Between the teacher store and Office Depot today I spent around $300.

I still don't have the ONE thing I set out to buy....UGH!.....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The hard part is over.....right?

The first week of school.....the first fire drill.....the first rainy day dismissal.....

Yep, it's all down hill from here and there are only 175 more days to go. lol!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Story of Me part 3

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***I have a long part to share with you today. It's the end of chapter one and the end of Lily's story. Hope you like it!***

Early in the morning on August 1, a taxi pulled up in front of Lily’s house. She walked out alone and climbed into the back seat. Two days later another taxi pulled up in front of Lily’s house and she exited the taxi carrying me. She waved at the neighbors who were sitting outside and walked into the house without saying a word.

That evening, about an hour before Stephen’s wife usually left for work Lily walked out of the house again and she was carrying me. She walked down the street with her head held high and took a seat on the curve in front of Stephen’s house. She sat there and held me and sang to me as she listened to the arguing coming from inside. The neighbor’s all watched and listened as they gossiped in disbelief amongst themselves.

Eventually Stephen’s wife exited the house and stood for a moment staring at Lily as she held me. Lily continued to sing as if she and I were the only two people in the world. Stephen’s wife got into her car and drove off. After her car rounded the corner, Lily stood and while still singing walked up to Stephen’s door and knocked. He opened the door and let her in as the neighbors sat watching in amazement.

That was the last time anyone in the neighborhood ever saw Stephen’s wife. At some point she must have returned home, because the car was parked in the driveway the following morning. No one in the neighborhood knew her well enough to know where she had gone or if she had gone of her own volition. Again, it was Miami and so no one asked.

People saw less and less of Stephen in the neighborhood, but watched every morning as Lily walked to his house carrying me and knocked on his door. The neighbors had no idea what was going on inside the house, but sometimes they could hear Lily singing lullabies as Stephen quietly played the piano.

To some, it seemed that Lily and Stephen were playing house and flaunting their forbidden relationship in their faces. The more naive thought they were just two lonely people supporting each other. Everyone waited to see what would happen next between the two.

At some point in early February of 1989, Stephen left his home and never returned. He walked out of his house carrying a gym bag one evening, threw it into the trunk of his car, looked toward Lily’s house and hesitated for only a moment before getting into his car and driving away.

No one thought anything about it at first. He had a gym bag. The neighbors assumed he was going to the gym or maybe to the laundry mat. No one expected him to leave and never return and no one, especially Lily, was prepared for his sudden and permanent departure.

The morning after Stephen left, the neighbors watched as Lily made her daily walk toward his house carrying me. She walked up to his door and knocked and waited then knocked again. No one told her that he had left the previous evening and failed to return. No one spoke to her at all as she took a seat on the curb and waited. Apparently, she waited there for hours while the neighbors looked on and gossiped quietly. I’ve been told that after I became so hungry I cried and even the sound of Lily’s singing couldn’t calm me down, she stood and carried me home. She never made eye contact with the neighbors she knew were watching, but held her head high and sang the whole way home. That was the last time Lily was seen by anyone in that neighborhood.

No one knows for sure what day Lily actually left home, because no one saw her go and her mother was too drunk to remember. No one knows where she went, but there was plenty of speculation at the time. The only thing anyone knows for sure is that Lily left and she did not take me with her.

Lily didn’t own many possessions and she left most of them behind when she left. She also left behind a sheet of notebook paper on which she had written the following:

I, Lilith Ann MacDougal, am signing over custody of my only child, Harmony Ann MacDougal to my mother, Clara Van Ingen, for one year. This will allow me time to find a job so that I can better provide for my daughter

Lilith Ann MacDougal
February 14, 1989

My mother had given me away. She gave me away on Valentine’s Day and she had used a sheet of notebook paper to sign over her rights.

You may think this was a cruel thing for her to do and there have been days when I would agree with you, but like I’ve said before she was my mother and I needed to believe that she loved me. I believed that she had the best of intentions and planned to return for me because believing anything else was too heartbreaking.

On my best days I believed that Lily was out there searching for me. Maybe she found and married Stephen. Maybe they were madly in love and worked together as performers in a small night club while saving every spare penny they had so that they could come back together and take me away. Maybe by the time they returned I had moved and no one could tell them where I was. Maybe they were sad and going door to door asking if anyone had seen me. Maybe they are still together and searching for me to this day.

On my worst days I believed that Lily loved me, but that she loved Stephen more. I pictured her running off to find him while honestly believing that she would one day return for me. Maybe he forced her to chose between the two of us and I lost. Maybe she never found him. Maybe she got hurt or sick and is somewhere right now still needing help. Maybe she died or was killed and no one was able to identify her body. Maybe she found Stephen with his wife and killed them both. She could be serving time in prison and still dreaming of the day she’ll be able to come home to me.

No matter how tough my life became I never allowed myself to believe that Lily didn’t love me. That was unthinkable. Believing that would have meant that not only was I unlovable, but that Lily was the reason my life turned so bad so quickly. So, no matter how much pain I felt or how hopeless things seemed I held on to the belief that Lily loved me. I held on to that until I took my last breath and that is why I saw Lily in the group of people who loved me whether she truly belonged there or not.

Have you purchased your copy of The Day Ginger Snapped?

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blame it on the accent...

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The second day of school brought a new student to my class. He's a nice, cute little boy.

The only problem I had was that anytime I said his name...Juan....half my class followed up with two, three, four....

They didn't understand why I laughed....everytime!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm tired and my feet hurt!

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Today was a very good, but very long day. My principal walked into my room to introduce himself, but couldn't because my kids were too busy introducing themselves to him. He pointed out that I didn't get the shy class. lol!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The first day!

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I'm heading to bed now.
Soon I'll be at school meeting my 19 new kindergarten students.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Story of Me part 2

*Here's part of the first chapter. Let me know what you think!*

People Who Loved Me

Lily MacDougal

Lilith Ann MacDougal or Lily, as she liked to be called, was my mother. I do not remember her and I can’t say that I loved her. I’m not even sure that she loved me. However, through the years I have convinced myself that she did love me. She must have loved me. She was my mother. If my own mother didn’t find me worthy of loving how could anyone else? So, whether she loved me or not, I added her to the small group of people who did because I needed her there.

I have been told that Lily was beautiful with long blonde hair and green eyes and a voice that was made for singing. I have never seen a picture of Lily, but I also have blonde hair and green eyes so I believe that part is true. I can not sing, but then I’ve never had much to sing about. Perhaps it was Lily’s love of singing that made her chose my name, Harmony. My name is Harmony Ann MacDougal.

Lily was seventeen when she gave birth to me. She never told anyone who my father was, but again I have heard stories. One story was that Lily had no idea who my father was. She was beautiful and there were always boys around vying for her attention. No one could ever name a particular boy that she was especially close to and that’s how the rumor of multiple options began.

The other rumor that floated around about my father’s identity and the one that I think is most likely true is that he was an older and married man. His name was Stephen. He was fresh out of college and newly married when he and his wife moved to Miami and three houses away from Lily. Stephen had been a music major in college and in the evenings he taught piano and voice lessons out of his home while his wife worked the night shift at a local drugstore.

Lily had no money for music lessons, but she loved to sing and I’ve been told that once Stephen heard her voice he offered to give her lessons for free. She would go to his home on the evenings that he didn’t have a paying student, but it was always after his wife left for work. People said that the neighbors would sit in their yard to listen as Stephen played the piano and Lily sang because it sounded beautiful. I was also told that plenty of laughter could be heard coming from inside the house.

Lily was fifteen when these free music lessons started and Stephen was all she would talk about. Everyone thought that her school girl crush was cute and encouraged her to keep singing. The neighbors figured it was a harmless crush on a happily married man and the music lessons kept her off the street and out of her mother’s house. Lily’s mother, my grandmother, drank. She drank a lot, but this is Lily’s story so I’ll tell you about that later.

As time went by Stephen started seeing fewer paying music students and started spending more time on his free lessons with Lily. In the evenings, the neighbors could hear Stephen and his wife arguing more nights than not before she left for work. Lily would often be seen waiting outside as she listened to them argue with a smile on her face. After the wife left, Lily would go into Stephen’s home for her music lessons. As time went by, Lily’s lessons lasted for longer periods of time even though less music could be heard coming from inside the house.

Eventually the neighbors started whispering about what could possibly be going on between the handsome music teacher and the young girl from the neighborhood. Whispering was all they ever did. No one ever confronted Lily or Stephen. No one ever told Stephen’s wife or Lily’s mother. No one ever contacted child services. This is Miami, a beautiful city with lots of seedy characters, and people learn at an early age not to question the actions of others.

Maybe if someone had asked the right questions or told the correct person Lily’s life and mine could have taken a different path. While I learned not to question the things people around me were doing I also learned that I can’t live a life of maybes. Therefore, I won’t dwell on what could have been and will simply stick to the facts of my life.

According to the stories I heard no one remembers ever being told that Lily was pregnant. She never confided in anyone about the pregnancy. It wasn’t until she started showing that anyone in the neighborhood knew. It’s hard to hide a baby bump under baggy clothing in the Miami heat.

Once it became obvious that Lily was pregnant the teenage boys that had followed her around moved on. Whether they were afraid of being named the father or just considered Lily damaged goods was never made clear. The only thing that was abundantly clear was that not one of them wanted anything to do with a pregnant teenage girl no matter how beautiful she was or how well she sang.

Lily continued to visit Stephen’s house for her free music lessons although no one heard her singing or his piano playing any longer. Lily and Stephen were never seen in public together. According to the stories I was told, the larger Lily became with me the less anyone saw of Stephen. He stopped going to whatever job he had held during the day. No one knew if he quit or if he was fired. The music students he had stopped showing up and he was never seen out with his wife.

My grandmother had shown no interest in Lily’s pregnancy. The neighbors used to laugh and say that she was too drunk to notice the changes Lily and her body were going through. She never talked about the pregnancy. She never purchased baby clothes or furniture for her future grandchild. There was no baby shower. Other than the time she spent with Stephen, Lily was completely on her own.

Have you gotten your copy of The Day Ginger Snapped?

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Something to think about!

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This is an amazing list of life lessons! I need to pay more attention to #2 & #12.
Which ones grab your attention?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Work is exhausting!

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I got to school this morning and for the first time in years the custodians hadn't set my class room up for me. I was sad! I mean, I know they're busy, but don't they still love me? After three hours of dragging furniture back and forth across the floor I finally got everything in place and think I can live with the way it looks.

I unpacked a couple of boxes, but not too many because I left the keys to unlock the cabinets at home. LOL! I think I do that almost every year. They're already stuck inside the pocket of the jeans I'm wearing tomorrow, so I'll have them!

I took a break around lunch time to call the cable company cause my box is all messed up. After waiting on hold for what felt like an eternity, I pulled the phone away to see and sure enough I had been holding for 16 minutes. So, much for that always available line they feed you! lol! I waited and waited and right as I was saying "seriously?" into the phone.....a nice guy named Steven answered. He was on the phone with me for less than three minutes before he told me that he needed me to call from home so that I would be at the TV. UGH!

I called back after I got home just to be put on hold again and then get told that I need a new box, which I knew the first time I called. They can't brign one out until Friday, so until then, I'll be watching TV on the little set in the bedroom.

Not long before I left school, I was standing in the lobby of the building when I saw the UPS guy come to the door. The building was locked so I opened the door and he pushed an envelope into my hands and handed me the thingy to sign for it. I looked at the envelope and saw it was for my principal and let the guy know it was for the other side of the campus. His reply was..."Can't you just give it to him?"

Now...what I wanted to say was....."Sure, I'll give it to him, because it makes so much more sense for me to walk the two blocks to get to where he is then it does for you to get back in your little brown truck and drive over there. You know, like you get paid to do?!?!"

That's what I WANTED to say!

What I actually said was, "Sure.", as I signed for the stupid thing.

I made the long walk to the other side of campus, ready to give my principal a hard time and say that my class deserved extra crayons or something since I had done such a good deed for him.....the dude wasn't even in his office.

He can't hide from me forever! lol!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Why? Why? WHY?!?!

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Why don't summers last forever?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adventures In Learning by Scraps of Ellay

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My summer is coming to an end and Scraps of Ellay has the perfect kit for going back to school. It's called Adventures in Learning and it is super cute! Check out the preview...

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This kit has 24 papers, 72 elements and 2 full alphas! It's full of bright colors and perfect for scrapping school and non school picture. Check out some of the layout I've made...

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Check out Ellay's blog for more layout inspiration and visit the Scraps of Ellay store at Stuff to Scrap to buy Adventures in Learning.

Now, if you would like the wordart I used on my second layout, just click on the image below to get the download!

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

August QP Challenge at CSD

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The August Quick Page Challenge is underway at Cool Scraps Digital! This month we were given a beautiful kit called Aftermath by Chili Designs to work with. You can download the quickpage I made by clicking on the preview below.

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There are plenty of other free QPs to download and you still have time to join in the fun by making a quickpage of your own. Make sure you check it out!

Almost a quiet day

After spending the morning cleaning and doing other boring stuff like that I decided to make myself a sandwich for lunch. Ususally, I'm pretty good at making sandwichs because they don't involve heating anything up and so the smoke alarm almost never goes off.

I satdown to eat with my drink and a bag of the Cheetos I bought yesterday. I had just taken my first bite of the sandwich and was placing it back on the plate when I saw what I thought was a bug---on my plate.

I did what any normal person would do and panicked! I shoved the plate forward and jumped up so quickly that my chair actually fell over backwards. I thought it was funny that even with all that excitement the bug on my plate never moved.

It never moved because it WAS NOT a bug. It was just one of the little seeds from the Rye bread that I had used to make my sandwich. lol!

Does this mean that I have to add sandwiches to the growing list of things I can't cook?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My kind of day!

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I love it when you guys email me. It always gets my day off to a good start! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to brighten up mine!

I hit up the mall today and did some serious tax free shopping. FUN!

After shopping I hit up Dairy Queen for a small blizzard. I was really embarassed when I reached into my purse and one of the socks I had stuck in there fell out. There was a lady standing behind me who laughed and pointed out that "someone's been shoe shopping!" Helped to add humor to the moment. lol!

Shopping was fun until I got to the grocery store. Had a great cashier and the guy bagging my items was funny. He was putting my things into the two bags I brought, but he was kind of slow. I was all checked out and the cashier had started ringing up the items of the person behind me. I grabbed the last couple of things that weren't bagged yet and threw them into the first bag that was already in the cart.

The guy's English wasn't very good, but he knew the word 'poison'. So, he very nicely and kind of loudly said, "That bag is poison. Everything in that bag is poison." LOL! He had separated my food items from the non-food items and was trying to let me know that I had put the peanut butter and Cheetos in the bag with the laundry detergent, aspirin and air freshener.

I thanked him and assured him that it would be Ok while trying to get out of there before people actually started believing I had purchased a bag full of poison. lol!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Story of Me

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Buy your copy of The Day Ginger Snapped now!

Well guys, I'm cutting you off! No more chapters from The Day Ginger Snapped. Don't cry! You can always buy a copy for yourself to see what happens to Ginger and her friends.

I will tell you this...If you've been reading along you're at the part where Ginger is about to give a speech about who she is and what she likes and what she wants. It's very close to an actual speech I gave about myself around the time it was written. I had to change some of the things and add to it in order for it to work with Fake Ginger. Trust me when I tell you, Fake Ginger got a much better reaction than I got!

I want to start sharing the story I started as part of July's Camp NanoWrimo. I actually hit the 50k mark and wasn't finished with the story so I just finished it up as part of the August camp. This story is very, VERY different from The Day Ginger Snapped so it will be interesting to see what you think. Parts of this story were hard for me to write because they are just so far removed from anything I've ever written before so be kind!

I'm sharing the Epilogue with you today. Hopefully, I'll wake up in the morning with lots and lots of messages and emails telling me that you like this and want to read more!

I have to warn you that once again you're getting the unedited version so please excuse spelling and grammar mistakes!

***I went online today and checked out my class list since I go back to school on Tuesday and learned that I have a student in my class with the same name as the main character in this story. I've never had a student by this name before. I wonder if it's some kind of sign!***

The Story of Me

When you reach the end of your life and look back you will see two things, the people you loved and the people who loved you. If you are lucky both groups will be large and filled with the same people.

I was not lucky. I died cold and alone on the streets of Miami at the age of twenty-three. I am not telling you my story so that you will feel sorry for me. I don’t deserve your sympathy. Life may have dealt me a bad hand, but they were my cards to play. If I raised a bet or doubled through when I should have checked or even folded there is no one to blame but myself.

Instead, I am telling you my story so that you will know that I was here. I lived. I walked these streets. You may have even seen me and smiled or you may have looked away so that you didn’t have to make eye contact.

My story is not glamorous and there is no happy ending. Someone once told me that it’s not about the happy ending it’s about the story. So, this is it. The story. My story.

The story of me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Should I blame the floor or the coffee table?

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I walked into my neighbors house this afternoon to find her messing around on her computer while her husband and Orange Croc Guy pretended to watch TV, but mostly they were just napping.

I announced that they were all boring! I let them know that they needed to do something because they've been boring for weeks now and when they're boring my blog posts are boring.

My neighbor rolled her eyes at me then went back to reading on her computer. Her husband answered me with a single loud snore. Orange Croc Guy looked at me like I had three heads or something, then he had a good idea.

OCG said that if I thought they were sooooo boring I should just hang out with someone else. He then went on to suggest that I call the Cute Fajita Delivery Guy, except he didn't call him cute.

While my neighbor continued to read and her husband continued to snore I gave OCG the evil eye while he sat there and smirked at me. That's when I saw it-----the telephone sitting on the coffee table.

I moved my eyes from OCG to the phone and then back to OCG. Without saying a word I decided to go for the phone. Afterall, I'm not going to miss a chance to call the Cute Fajita Delivery Guy!

OCG saw what I was doing and made his move for the phone at the same time. Guess he didn't really want me to make that call after all. lol!

Now, according to OCG, I had no chance of getting to the phone before he did, but I don't think that's true. I think the phone was mine! I could almost feel it in my hands.


But the floor decided to trip me and then the coffee table decided to hit me.

My three so called "friends" were almost able to make sure I wasn't really hurt before they laughed at me.

As I sat there with an ice pack on my cheek OCG pointed out that the afternoon wasn't so boring afterall.

This so wasn't the kind of "not boring" I was looking for and we never did order fajitas so the story doesn't even have a happy ending.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


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You know how every now and then there will be a news report or article about unclaimed money and how some of it might be yours? I have always laughed at those reports/articles and dreamed of having so much money I could forget about some of it.

Well.....even though I don't have nearly enough money apparently I did forget about some!

I had some time on my hands yesterday...actually...I didn't want to do what I was supposed to be doing so I clicked on the link to see if I had millions waiting for me out there somewhere. I did...I mean, I do...I mean, I know it's not millions, but I actually had unclaimed money waiting for me.

I think it's an old saving account from North Carolina that I had forgotten about and since I moved back to Florida over 20 years ago that poor money has been waiting for me a long time. I can't wait to get it and show it how much I've missed it by spending it all. LOL!

Check out the NAUPA site to see if there's money waiting for you. You never know!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

$2 Tuesday at Stuff to Scrap!

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Shel Belle Scraps has added the beautiful Serenity kit to the $2.00 Tuesday bin at Stuff to Scrap. You will only be able to pick the kit up at this price for one day, so click on the preview below and go shopping!

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Monday, August 8, 2011

The 1-1-1 Challenge

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The 1-1-1 Challenge was an idea shared by Bunny Cates over a year ago, but she brought it up on twitter recently and I fell in love with it.

The idea is to take one day a week and for one hour clean out and declutter one room. You know those closets yo u haven't cleaned out in awhile? Those clothes you can't remember ever wearing? Well, isn't this a great way to tackle the problem?

Like I said I fell in love with the idea, but I'm thinking I may need to add an extra 1 to the challenge. Mainly because 1 day I plan to try this. lol!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bad Netflix, bad, bad Netflix!!!

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So, I'm already unhappy with the price increase that Netflix surprised us all with. Especially since I usually do the streaming movies and the disk. Streaming movies are usually for when I'm watching a movie alone and the disk are usually the ones I watch with OCG and/or our friends.

Well, a disk arrived in the mail today that was broken and who ever had it before me had written on the white disk sleeve that the disk was broken when they received it. Why didn't someone at Netflix notice this?

I called Netflix told them about the disk and the note that was written on the sleeve. Guess what the girl on the phone said? "Oh well." Seriously, that's what she said, "Oh well." Then she went on to tell me that as soon as I sent the broken one back in they could either send a replacement for it or send the next one in my queue----which ever I preferred.

Well, I would prefer that you not send me broken disks! Especially since it is clearly marked "broken" and if you do send me broken disks I would prefer that you say you're sorry and that it was an accident instead of saying "Oh well"!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Day Ginger Snapped part 37

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OK, you guys are getting another installment of The Day Ginger Snapped and you'll probably get one more next week while I finish up July's story. Make sure you buy your own copy though or you'll miss the ending.

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Alden was released from the hospital two days ago and this will be the first time I've seen him since then. Now, I'm standing outside the door of his Tribeca apartment building, holding a bottle of wine and wondering what I was thinking when I accepted his dinner invitation. Wondering what he was thinking when he offered to cook for me.

I knocked on the oversized door and bounced on the balls of my feet while waiting for Alden to open the door. He appeared a few moments later sporting a fresh haircut, bruises that were almost completely faded and only a hint of the black eye that had looked so bad when the bandage was removed from his face a few days earlier. The cast was still on his arm and it would be for another couple of weeks. The small jagged scar over his lip added a touch of mystery to his face and he no longer wore the knee brace, but there was a slight limp to his walk.

Alden was wearing a long sleeve v-neck shirt with the sleeves pushed up to his elbows, jeans and flip-flops. I was immediately glad that I had decided to go casual with a simple dress and slip on shoes. Alden smiled as he opened the door then he leaned in and kissed my cheek before inviting me into his beautiful loft apartment.

I looked around and marveled at how my whole house could fit inside this loft. Isn't New York supposed to be famous for how small the apartments are? Alden's place had red brick walls that were decorated with black and white photographs, hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, a small terrace that looked out over a beautiful view of the city and a skylight. The furniture was black leather. The kitchen had stainless steel appliances, an over sized refrigerator, a long bar that served as a cooking island and a place to sit while talking to the cook in the kitchen.

One corner of the loft was dedicated to Alden's video games, large screen television and a drum set. Another corner was filled with books, a reading lamp and an over stuffed sectional couch.
There was a large staircase that led up to a balcony. I couldn't even bring myself to think about what else was at the top of the stairs.

"OK, if this is how all writers live, I have definitely got to change professions."

Alden laughed that laugh of his that I love. The laugh that I can almost hear in my head even when he's not around. "Well, I'm sure that there are writers who live in awesome places, but then there are poor writers like me, who live in their grandparents unused city loft."

"This is your grandparents place? Where are they?"

Alden poured a glass of wine for me from an open bottle he had sitting on the counter as he answered. "They retired and moved to Connecticut a few years ago. I'm the only grandchild, so when I asked if I could live here while I tried to write the next great American novel, they just couldn't say no. I'm still working on that novel while picking up freelance writing assignments to pay the bills."

"What's your novel about?"

"I'll let you know just as soon as I know myself." Alden smiled as he clinked his wine glass against mine, winked at me and took a drink.

"Dinner smells delicious. Is there anything I can do to help?"

Alden took my hand and lead me to the leather sofa. "No, we're having lasagna, salad and garlic rolls with tiramisu for dessert. Let's sit and talk for awhile before we eat."

"You made tiramisu?" I was impressed!

"Well, no, I bought that from the Italian market down the street."

"I see and did you happen to buy the lasagna from the same market?" I asked laughing.

"What do you mean? Don't you smell it cooking?" Alden asked while pretending to be offended.

"Oh, I smell it cooking. But you should know that ordering a half baked lasagna that I finish cooking at home is just about the only meal I know how to make."

Alden laughed and so did I. "I added extra cheese."

"I'm sure that will give the meal that homemade taste most people strive for when cooking." I raised my glass in a toast to him and took another drink.

We sat quietly for a moment watching the city lights through the window. Alden put his arm on the back of the couch behind me. "I hope you know that you'll be washing the dishes after we eat because I can't get my cast wet."

"I hope we're using paper plates." I said as I turned toward him and curled my legs up on the couch.

Alden playfully tapped my head with his cast and we both laughed.

"Do you still hurt?" I asked hoping he wasn't still in the pain he had been in when I first arrived at his hospital room.

"It's nothing a glass of wine and an aspirin can't heal."

"Do you have any idea who mugged you?"

"No, they were just kids really. There were four of them and only one of me. That's the only reason I ended up with as many bruises as I got." Alden puffed his chest out in an attempt to look tough.

"Yeah, I'm sure." I laughed again.

Alden sat his wine glass on the table, stood and reached for my hand. "Let's go out on the terrace. I think there's a full moon tonight."

I sat my glass down, took his hand and followed his lead. There were two chairs and a small table on the terrace, but we stood by the waist high wall and looked out at the view.

"OK, I have to ask just what your grandparents did that allowed them to get such a great apartment with this amazing view."

"Grandma taught high school literature. I think that's where I got my love of books. Grandpa was an investment banker. He's all business and she's a dreamer. The ying to his yang."

The wind blew and I shivered. Alden moved closer to me and I inhaled his scent. He stood behind me for a moment, rubbing my arm with his uninjured hand before asking if I was cold. I let him know that I was and we went back inside.

Alden busied himself with taking the lasagna out of the oven while I refilled our wine glasses. We sat side by side at the kitchen bar and started to eat. Alden took one bite and asked how I liked the lasagna that he had slaved over for a whole fifteen minutes before placing it in the oven. I let him know that the extra cheese made it perfect.

I loved how easy the conversation between us was. I loved it, right up until he asked about California and Seattle. Without giving any details I let him know that I found one winner and one loser in California. Then, I admitted that there was no old boyfriend in Seattle and that I had
just run there to hide.

Alden took my hand, looked into my eyes and asked why I had done that. "You could have come back to New York," he said. "You could have protected me from the muggers."

"Right! I would have thrown them your wallet and then run in the other direction." I said as I showed him my wallet pitch.

Alden laughed and then asked about home. "When are you going back to Florida?" He wanted to know.

I put my fork down and took another long sip of wine. "I should be there now. I just keep putting it off. I left thinking I was going to find some kind of answers that would change my life. I haven't found anything and now Chad's there..."

"Wait, who's Chad" Alden interrupted.

"Chad is the guy who dumped me."

Alden laughed as hard as he could. "Well, that explains a lot. What kind of name is Chad? No wonder the guy was such a jerk. Chad isn't even a real name!"

I laughed too. I couldn't help it. "He didn't just dump me. He embarrassed me. And from what Linda has told me, he's living in my house while I'm away."

Alden stopped laughing. "So, when you go back will you forgive him and let him stay."

"I don't know...I mean no, I can't forgive him or take him back. I just don't want to see him. I don't even want to hear what he has to say."

Alden smiled again. "You could always stay here."

"Right. I could just take over your house like he's taken over mine." I said as I finished the last of my lasagna.

"The difference would be that I wouldn't mind if you did."

"Again, I have to say that you don't even know me."

"Well, you could change that. Tell me everything that there is to know about Ginger." Alden said as he sat back and crossed his arms over his chest.

"There's nothing worth telling. Nothing that would go into a best selling novel. Nothing that will make me sound even remotely interesting."

Alden stood and motioned toward the couch. I followed him. We sat side by side and his arm once again went around my shoulders. "We’re going to tell each other everything right now. The good, the bad and the really embarrassing. I'll go first." He said. "What would you like to know about me?"

"I don't know. Just tell me everything." I leaned back into him and smiled as I waited for his response. "OK, I'll give you the five minute biography of Alden Cassidy, but you have to promise to do the same thing when I'm done."

"Deal." I said.

"Well, I'm an only child born to parents that were both also only children. I grew up here in the city, but while I was in college my parents moved to Chicago. My first girlfriend was named Nola. I was three and she was four. It was a serious relationship, but we eventually grew apart and ended on good terms. I fell out of a tree when I was five and broke my arm. I'm an Eagle Scout, I love to camp. I hate marshmallows. I'm more comfortable in jeans than I am in a suit. I love to watch sports, all sports, on TV. I played baseball in high school and college. I love the work I do, but it makes for a solitary life and that makes it hard meet people, especially girls I want to
spend time with. When I do find one I want to see again, I usually have her over and try to pass off professionally made lasagna as homemade. My all time favorite memory is of the day I sat behind a beautiful, but broken hearted girl on an airplane. I'm really just a nice guy. A
Prince Charming looking for his Cinderella."

I looked at the smile on his face and laughed. I couldn't help it. "Okay, you're full of it!"

Alden faked being offended and pointed to himself. "I left out the part about how I never lie and I always keep my promises. I got you into that hospital like I promised your friend I would, didn’t I?" He pointed at me. "Now, it's time for you to keep your promise and tell me everything about Ginger."

"Oh please, you don't really want to hear my story." I said and sat back against the couch so that I could see out the window.

"Oh, but I do. Now get to talking and don't leave anything out." Alden laughed.

I exhaled, sighed and rolled my eyes. Then I decided that it was now or never. I could let him know the person I am and see what he says or I could walk out forever. Before I could change my mind, I started talking without looking at Alden. I was afraid that looking at
him, seeing his smile, would cause me to lose my nerve. If I was going to explain who I was to this man, I had to do it without looking at his beautiful face.

"Well, just remember you asked for it. You already
know about my old boyfriends so I'll skip over that part
of my story. It’s the most depressing part anyway.“

“Just quit stalling and start talking already.” Alden encouraged me.

Well, here goes nothing…or maybe everything.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

tell me I'm not the only one!

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I love my blog hopping time and get really excited when I see someone has posted a card or layout using one of my freebies. But,lately, I've had a really hard time posting comments on some of the blogs I visit.

I put in my google password and then it just keeps telling me to put it in over and over again. It's frustrating!

I hope I'm not the only one experiencing this problem, but I guess if you're having it to you won't be able to leave a message telling me. So, I'll never really know will I?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brag Book page Freebie!

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Click on the preview below to head over to the Stars of Ellay CT Blog to pick up this cute brag book page freebie. It was made using Stratton's Room (Down On The Bayou) and it's only available for one week so don't waste any time!

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Check out Stuff to Scrap!

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Just click on the flyers below to head over to Stuff to Scrap for some great deals on some really cute kits!

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Happy shopping!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Build A Kit at STS!

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The new mini kits for the August Build A Kit are up at Stuff to Scrap and Shel Belle Scraps has made the cutest mini called Bugs 'N Birds.

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She's also got a couple of matching alphas...

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I made a layout and reused the quote from July song lyric challenge. I liked it so much I'm even giving to you as today's wordart. lol!

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Make sure you head over to the Shel Belle Scraps store at Stuff to Scrap to pick up this cute mini and check out all of her other great kits too!


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