Tag Archives: writing

Gratitude

A heartfelt thanks to all my friends,

While on our jolly way we wend.

So many have come through for me,

To wish us well, not misery!

Just one blogger I’ve met in person,

‘Cause the world’s too large you’ll hear me cursin’!

And yet that’s where adventures lay,

To seek anew another day.

So should you ever venture near,

Make contact! And we’ll drink some beer

Or wine or tea or your beverage of choice.

I’d love to meet and hear your voice.

Your written words have helped me through

The mush upstairs – my mental stew.

I’m not the only one to be

Confused. You’ve shared your thoughts with me.

You don’t advise or judge or preach,

But say life’s road is there to teach.

I was running out of blogging stuff.

But soon I’ll have more than enough.

While we work out our future’s bugs,

I say thanks again and grateful hugs.

HUGS

If you have just stumbled on my blog this poem is in response to the outpouring of support, good wishes, hugs and shared experiences on my previous post Confused DNA and our impending departure to parts known and unknown which was alluded to on this post.

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sisterhood

Thank you to Lil Miss Poutine for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award. Pop over and see her site of photography, food, cycling, movies, music, technology, TV, travel and  . . . . . bowling? A varied and fascinating blog!

To be eligible for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, you must please (sounds nicer):

(a) provide a link to and thank the blogger who nominated you for this award;

(b) answer ten questions;

(c) nominate 10-12 blogs that you find a joy to read;

(d) provide links to these nominated blogs and let the recipients know they have been nominated; and

(e) include the award logo within your blog post.

TEN QUESTIONS AND MY ANSWERS:

1. Favorite color?

Blue – especially aquamarine, ultramarine and space cadet. I don’t really like space cadet but I’ll bet you didn’t know it was a color!

2. Favorite animal?

Alligator. I feel a special bond with them after spending time in Florida.

3. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Oh come on. We all know I need to say wine. Champagne when available, but any color is acceptable.

4. Facebook or Twitter?

Neither really. Oh my.

5.  Favorite pattern?

Here’s an interesting one. The Golden Ratio Spiral as found throughout nature.

6. Do you prefer getting or giving presents?

I know what I’m meant to say, so I’m skipping this one.

7. Favorite number?

The year of my birth.

Oh, did you want to know that is?

8. Favorite day of the week?

It doesn’t matter. Every day is the weekend.

9. Favorite flower?

Daffodils – the precursors of spring! Not too many of them in the desert right now. Except at Safeway.

10. Favorite passion?

You don’t really think I’m going to put that out there do you?

Use the above questions OR list 10 interesting (printable!) facts about yourself.

Here are 10 blog sites I’d like to nominate. Sistas!

Multifarious Meanderings

Hilarious tales of a Brit living in France with her French husband, three children and a smelly dog – named Smelly Dog. I think a cat and a goldfish figure in there somewhere but I’m not sure the goldfish is still alive.

Travel Tales of Life

A Canadian with a zest for travel and photography. Many of Sue’s destinations are seen from the open air aspect of a bicycle. I invited myself along to their next cycling trip to Italy, opted out of pedalling and offered to meet them at a wine bar at the end of the day. They graciously accepted.

Pooky Poetry

Pooky is a recently (mere weeks ago) qualified PhD who apparently needs no sleep as she writes a poem (humorous and heart-wrenching – not poetry as you know it) a day, has two pre-schoolers, trained for and just ran the London Marathon and is writing a book with a deadline of September.

My Life Lived Full

Another Canadian, Joanne believes in living outside her comfort zone, including climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Yes! You read that right! Her current A to Z writing challenge is an amazing example of the diversity of her life.

Paint Your Landscape

LuAnn and Terry have been full-time RVers for nearly three years now. Despite the challenges that being on the road throw at them LuAnn is always ready with a comment or some encouragement to others while they continue to “paint” their landscape with their narrative and lovely photographs.

Judy Lindo Photography

Judy is a wonderful photographer and is not averse to photo editing her photographs with fantastic results. She is a breast cancer campaigner. Read about it here: Boobie Pirates

Oh the Places They Go

Pam and John are “two retired educators touring the country in their motorhome.” I’d been following them for a while but really took to Pam when she stated “nobody in their right mind would be a fan of a Pittsburgh team.” It’s good to have opinions where sports is involved! They’ve been tootling around the southeast and posting photos and narratives since they saw Pittsburgh lose to the Orioles.

Lowes Travels

Mona Lisa and her husband Steve are travelling the States in their motorhome, Betsy, are having way too much fun and document it all with beautiful photographs. Though Mona Lisa is from the Philippines,  she seems to have a cousin in every U.S. state.

At Home On The Road

Another Canadian? Ruth and Mike sold up five years ago and bought a 5th wheel to begin a “carefree” lifestyle never having RVed before. They must be as mad as we are! Their long list of tags and great photographs indicate that they must have got the hang of it by now.

My Year Of Sweat

Nancy recently completed a year – 365 days – of exercising every day and documenting her journey. Through rain, snow and life’s commitments she met the challenge she set herself. I took up a small challenge with her recently and hurt my back. I can be a dummy sometimes, but she is an exercise warrior princess. From Canada.

If you are a no award blog or already have this award just think to yourself isn’t she sweet? Shame she can’t read. And let it go. I’m okay with that if you are.

Finish this joke:

A Filipina, two Brits, four Canadians and four Americans walked into a bar  . . . . . . . . .

 

Liebster Blog Award

liebster-blog-award

Thank you Janet at Seize the Day RV Adventure – for honoring me with this award! “Seize the Day” is a great principle to adopt. Visit Janet and Kevin on their blog of travel, RVing, birding, Jeeping (I made up that word!), eating and more.

The Liebster Blog Award is described as; “ An award to spread blog love and draw attention to blogs with fewer followers”. Many thanks, Janet!

The criteria for accepting this award – numbers are flexible:

  • Acknowledge the person who nominated you
  • Answer a number of questions
  • List some bloggers with fewer than 200 (or so) followers who you really feel deserve a little blogging love! (If I’ve got your numbers wrong, sorree! I have a few more than that as well.)
  • Let all the bloggers know you have nominated them. You cannot nominate the blogger who nominated you!
  • Post questions for the blogger you have nominated to answerHere are some very tricky things I’ve been asked to tell about myself:

1. Favorite author?

I could not possibly name just one. I have a list and here are a few: Peter Mayle, Bill Bryson, Sebastian Faulks, John Steinbeck, Diane Ackerman, Joanne Harris, Clare Francis, Lauren Belfer, Sue Grafton. Look them up! Enjoy!

2. Why did you start blogging?

I had already written dozens of stories. I just wanted to put them “out there.” I hope when you read them you don’t think I’m “out there.”

3. What’s your favorite TV Show?

Doc Martin, about an unusual country doctor practicing in my favorite English county – Cornwall.

4. What is your favorite season of the year?

A prefect English summer -whenever that might happen.

5.  If you have some spare time, what do you do?

Read or write! That’s predictable isn’t it?

6. What is your favorite type of music?

Not much of a music doyen, but I don’t like jazz and rap.

7. What do you do to keep fit?

Yoga, swimming and walking from one room to another and back again because I forget why I’m there.

8. Tea or Coffee?

If I really have to choose – tea. But I’ll have a cup of coffee when you’re not looking.

9.What is your favorite kind of animal? Dog? Cat? Fish? Deer? etc

Cat. But maybe dog if it’s a Labrador.

10. Favorite place you have traveled?

UNFAIR! Absolutely cannot answer this. Somewhere (or everywhere) in America or Europe.

Here are some blogs I would like to nominate for the Liebster Award. Read! Enjoy!

http://discoveringwithdaisy.com/

http://vanessaspostcards.wordpress.com/

http://beartracksblog.wordpress.com/

http://thecrazycrone.org/

http://twotrailsoneroad.wordpress.com/

http://theripestpics.com/

http://mosblissfulbouquets.com/

http://theprestemons.wordpress.com/

http://motormommy.wordpress.com/

http://midlifeonwheels.wordpress.com/

Should you decide to accept this award – and there is no pressure to accept – here are some questions for you to answer:

  1. What was (is) the favorite year of your life?
  2. Who is your favorite person in history?
  3. Can you do better than me and name just one favorite author?
  4. With money as an object what is top of your bucket list?
  5. If money were no object what would be top of your bucket list?
  6. What one word best describes you?
  7. What is your favorite post on your blog? Please share the link.
  8. What five (endless supply of) foods would you have on a desert island?
  9. What is your favorite color?
  10. If you had to choose between traveling the world with endless funds but with no home OR having an extravagantly fabulous home anywhere – what would you do? Why?

If you can’t be bothered with all those questions, and I wouldn’t blame you, please just answer the last one. I really would like to hear what you have to say!!! Anyone reading this is welcome to jump in with an opinion. 😀

 

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Calling all bloggers: The Results Show

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to comment on last Friday’s post Calling all bloggers and bloggees. Funnily enough I had second thoughts about posting it as it wasn’t exactly within the remit of Which Way Now 101 with sights and adventures along the way. However the response was very interesting and the post had many views from nine different countries! I frequently read blogger stuff but wondered what my readers thought.

This is what you came up with:

  • No one likes to read white on black. The web page can look stunning but it hurts our poor old eyes (speaking only for myself, of course, not all you lovely young things). A color on a color is tricky too.
  • A 500 word count is good, 800 is okay and 1,000+ is a bit much but content is key. We (almost) all keep reading if the blog is well written and interesting.
  • Titles are important. They need to be attention grabbing.
  • We like photos. They don’t need to be of a professional standard (thank goodness) but relevant to the post. (So apologies for the irrelevant photos on that post. I thought they kind of tied it to my travel theme. Okay, I just made that up) Photos are also useful for breaking up the text.
  • Large blocks of text are hard to read, especially on a computer screen. Paragraph breaks make the post easier to read.
  • Busy sidebars, especially with flashing graphics are distracting.
  • Poor grammar, punctuation and spelling will not be tolerated! (Oops. I apologize in advance and blame any of my mistakes on my in-house editor.) That’s a bit strongly worded. We all make the occasional blunder but none of us want to read carelessly written blogs.
  • One blogger always likes the post to end with a question to invite comments. Do you?
Bryce Thompson Arboretum. Another irrelevant photograph. So shoot me.
Bryce Thompson Arboretum. Another irrelevant photograph. So shoot me.

One more question. Well two for those of you who are counting. I find it difficult to keep up with bloggers who post every day. The sheer amount of reading defeats me and I have to skip some posts. Which ones? I fear I’ll miss that brilliant post that would inspire, humor, enlighten me. Do you feel under pressure to read, write, edit, post, snap, post, like, comment and read and write some more to not offend or ignore those you follow or who follow you?

Calling all bloggers and bloggees!

What do you like to read? And how much? Do you need pictures to keep the scroll thing going? Will you read white print on a black background? Does it need to be just a few words for you to bother? Under 500 words? Do you balk as the word count approaches 1,000? Do you read blogs of 1,000+ words or skip to the next blog?

Some of my tales of woe are woefully long so I try to break them up into chunks of 500 – 800 words. Or is that just annoying?

Tell me what you think!!

Wheels on Fire!

“Yer wus a fur!”

“What?” Jimmy bellowed.

“Yer wus a fur!”

“OUR WHEEL’S ON FIRE!!” I shrieked.

We’d just picked up our travel trailer from its 6,000 mile brake and wheel bearing service and were winging our way north on I5 to a campsite when a car with two girls pulled up level with us, shouting and pointing.

Jimmy reacted very quickly, carved up two lanes of rush hour traffic and pulled onto the hard shoulder. A following wind brought the frightening stench of burning rubber to us when we stopped. Thick black smoke was pouring out of the wheel as it sat at a forlorn angle.

It was exactly five o’clock and the garage we’d just left closed at five.

Jimmy hurriedly dialed Walter, the garage owner and we waited a few tense moments until he picked up. We then waited a very apprehensive half an hour for him to drive the 10 miles (checking to see if his liability insurance was current?) to turn up in an ancient battered minivan.

I was not heartened.

Walter suggested he remove the smoking wheel so we could limp back to his garage towing our dual axle trailer on three wheels keeping to the back roads with him following. We’d spend the night on his not picturesque forecourt and then limp a bit further in the morning, presumably to a garage that wouldn’t forget to put the cotter pin on to secure the brake drum.

Jimmy and I exchanged that special look we have perfected, a pinched expression that says Oh sh*t!

“I’m not sure about this,” I muttered.

“Me neither.”  Jimmy looked beyond pained.

Walter joined in, “I’ve seen it done loads of times.”

Not with our trailer, buster, I thought but left Jimmy and Walt to iron out the details.

Back in the car, fretting in relative safety, I felt the whole rig shaking as ol’ Walt battered the wheel and chassis. Jimmy appeared at my window. “Walter’s swearing a lot.  I thought I’d get out of the way.”

Apparently after he got the wheel off he was trying to wedge some planks of wood between the chassis and the leaf spring to keep the brake drum from dragging on the road. I daren’t get out and look as we’d several miles to lurch along propped up on scaffolding and didn’t want the image of potential disaster ruining my blinkered thoughts.

Jimmy drove down the hard shoulder ve-e-e-ry slo-o-o-wly, exited the Interstate, crossed over and headed south again on the worst piece of road in Washington State.

We’d been so impressed with the kindness of people in Washington and the courtesy of its drivers so everyone we encountered that day as we bumped along with our hazard lights flashing must have been from out of state. They blared their horns at us, gestured rudely and screeched past as we negotiated potholes trying to keep the low slung underbelly of the trailer off the road.

“This will give you something to write about,” Jimmy quipped in an attempt to distract us both from the anxiety we were feeling.

“I like to write about things that strike me as funny. I’m not finding anything remotely humorous about this.”

“Well, no. I’m nipping my bum a bit.”

Indeed. I was so tense I could have cracked walnuts with several parts of my anatomy. My stomach seemed impaled on my backbone.

As my eyes bored holes in the windshield willing us forward safely, I heard CLANG!! TINKLE! Tinkle, tinkle, clink, clink, clink. I’d imagined we’d broken our back like a freighter in heavy seas and spewed the whole contents of the trailer across the road – plates, glasses, cutlery, saucepans all sounding like they’d been dropped from a great height. But we were still rolling along so I gripped the armrest for its comforting reassurance and waited for the calamity to unfold.

Passing an Overturned RV & Car
No, this isn’t us. It wasn’t this bad! (Photo credit: calaggie)

Jimmy pulled off the road, opened the door and jumped out all in one swift movement. I closed my eyes and pretended I wasn’t there.

The brake drum had fallen off the axle and rolled across the road into the path of oncoming traffic weaving its way into a ditch. The ever incompetent Walter, who hadn’t secured the brake drum for a second time, retrieved it and put it in his jalopy along with the previously stowed reeking wheel.

Ten miles and ten minutes due north on the interstate highway became an agonizing eternity of twisting country roads to return south – and east and west – to the garage.

At the end of the journey, we unwound our adrenaline flooded bodies from the car and took a look at Walt’s handiwork. The front axle of the twin axles on our trailer – minus the bulky brake drum – was a mere inch off the road.

It wasn’t all bad news though. The next morning when we were cast adrift – trailer-less and homeless as new brakes, brake drum, calipers and seals were fitted, not by the witless Walter – we paid Courtney’s cousin, Chrystal (How to Render your Husband Speechless, Again) a visit at the NASCAR decked espresso hut.

Chrystal wore a whole dress, but it barely covered her bum and was unzipped in front to her waist, her exuberant breasts launching themselves into the steamy coffee scented atmosphere.

DSCN3065
Not Chrystal! Too many clothes! DSCN3065 (Photo credit: &y)

Jimmy approached the drive-through window, having prepared to acquit himself in a manner befitting a Grandad. He did quite well with the coffee order though I couldn’t see his face or keep track of his eyes.

She was the one who lost her cool. “I just love you guys’ accents. Where are you from?” and as she chattered and gushed, encouraging Jimmy to keep talking, she unthinkingly put the coffee grounds back into my coffee.

In a fit of giggles, she dumped out the murky mess and started the long process of brewing coffee all over again, much to Jimmy’s delight.

Daytona 500
Florida, not Washington, but keeping with the NASCAR theme!

Sorry fellas. No pictures of Chrystal. Thoughtless of me.

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