Worlds Collide in a Winter Wonderland

The last month or so have been an adventure.

Yes, sunny Florida girl, yours truly…was sent off to the “Great White North” for three weeks between December and January for new day job training. And by GWN, I mean Syracuse, New York. Okay, so I’m a Chicago transplant to Florida. You’d think that would mean I’m used to winters, right?

Wrong!

Jaunty Hat

Winter Selfie in Jaunty Hat

I haven’t lived in a state that has winter since 1999. I didn’t really even own a “real” coat anymore. My sister had to shop for one for me up in Chicago. Because, you know, Florida sells winter coats in the dead of summer, then gets rid of the inventory. True story.

So the first week up there I realized the weather was bi-polar. I arrived to 50 degree weather. The next morning it was in the 20’s. Here’s a picture of me in my jaunty winter hat.

Yes, that’s snow in the background. Not only did the weather drop 30 degrees overnight. It also snowed…but it was a light, slushy snow and the weather was back up into the 40’s the following day. Like I said. Bipolar weather.

Wegmans

Definitely NOT a Castle

But there were some good things about not being overly cold. It enabled us to explore.

And thus my first Wegmans experience was born. Sadly, apparently it was nothing like it should be. I was told Wegmans looks like a castle and is an amazing place to shop.

As a girl who has Publix supermarkets every couple of miles, I’m not easily impressed. I was told that this particular store was a bit old and not in a great neighborhood, so not to hold anything against the franchise. It was not a “true” Wegmans experience. The store was dingy, the employees weren’t overly helpful….so I’ll trust my friends and reserve judgement. Still, a cherry popped while in New York.

Rockin the Boys

Cowboy Plane Selfie

But despite the cold, both the final game of the season and the first playoff game for my ‘Boys were going on. That meant I wore my Cowboy love quite literally all over my body.

Of course, the first person to taunt me?

The TSA agent. Before I even left Sarasota.

When hubby asked how I responded to the “Go Lions!” taunt, I told him I kept my mouth shut.

Let’s be real for a second…. No matter how much one might love their home team, how likely is a person to respond with a return taunt when the person calling you out is the TSA agent at the gate of the airport? While you’re being patted down…

Even I’m not that brave. Not after a friend of mine practically got cavity searched for forgetting she had a bottled water in her carry on luggage. Nope.

Cold Selfie

Bundled Up Selfie

But finally, January came to Syracuse…and brought me back into the cold. This time, sis had come through with a cute winter coat and hand knit scarf. By then, I’d gotten smart enough to buy boots and gloves. At home, such articles are only purchased for fashion purposes.

These were meant to keep my feet warm and dry. Utilitarian. What a novel thought, right? Well, maybe if you’re from the south.

And I discovered that gloves have come a long way! Now they have these little spots on the finger tips that allow you to work digital devices like touch screens without taking the gloves off.

Who knew?

Well, I do now. And I own a pair. A girl’s gotta stay on the cutting edge of technology, don’tcha know.

WindySnow

This is both wind and snow

I confess. I watched my weather updates on my phone like a hawk. When I started seeing sub-zero temperatures I admit it. I got a bit whiny.

And what’s with these reports telling us what it “feels like” outside? They calculate in the wind, etc. Do they really think that telling me that 0 degrees is going to feel like -14 degrees is going to encourage me to step away from the warmth of my hotel room? Eek!

Windy, Snowy Selfie

Windy, Snowy Selfie

I was just relieved that the couple of feet they forecasted didn’t come while I was there! The wind was bad enough.

You see the picture on the side? My hair was blowing sideways, and so was the snow! Yes, I found a way to keep my ears warm…. Unfortunately, I also forgot my jaunty hat at home this trip.

Just a little hint? That face is not my happy face. It’s my “damn, this is cold” face.

If it weren’t for a friend asking me to take snow pictures of myself and the weather, there’s no way I would’ve been out of doors for more than the short time it took to get from indoors to the vehicle, and back inside.

And, believe it or not, despite having not driven in snow in about 20 years, I drove in this weather. Yeah, I’m feeling pretty proud of that, too.

But none of that compared to the coolest experience of the trip, ever!

It had everything to do with this guy….

Meeting my friend, author Mark Bialczak

Meeting my friend, author Mark Bialczak

My friend, fellow author and blogger, Mark Bialczak braved the freezing cold (and I mean freezing literally) to come out to meet me for dinner. First, if you haven’t met Mark yet, you should check him out HERE. He’s a fun, engaging blogger and an all around great guy.

Syracuse guide

He remembered I love my sports, and was generous enough to bring me a copy of his book, also now a memento of my 3 week stay in Syracuse, and autograph it for me! How cool was that? He even teased me a bit about the book not being about my Cowboys!

Even better, despite the fact that the only place we’d interacted was online via our blogs, it felt like meeting an old friend. We never ran out of things to talk about. There was no awkwardness. Just a lot of good conversation and fun!

Have you ever met any friends from online? What was your experience?

Guilty Pleasures

I have a blogging buddy who has been an endless supply of entertainment this past holiday season. His birthday is coming up, but he’s also hit a rough patch. As we all know, this can make for a double whammy in the melancholy department. Since he’s looking for a way to chase the blues away, I thought maybe we could help!

If this were all about me, this would be a music based post. But, I’m considering the person I want to help cheer up. He’s a screen writer. So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m going to go with my Top 5 Guilty Pleasure movies… They can be musicals, they can be comedies, they can be whatever you want… And, of course…I’ll kick it off.

Just remember…this is to try to cheer someone up, so don’t judge…LOL!

There were so many different clips I could’ve chosen…many of them with music. But I picked this one because it shows the pure cheese that is Crybaby. Of course, the fact that Depp has a resemblance to Elvis in this may actually have something to do with my crush as well!

Like I said…I had a thing for Elvis…so I could’ve put pretty much any of his movies here…but chose this one. (Mostly because the song cracks me up.)

There is something just so cheesy and fun about this movie! Oddly enough, the first time I saw Maxwell Caulfied in this I’d already seen him in The Colby’s…so my first reaction was “OMG! It’s Miles Colby!”

It’s strange…I should really not be a fan of this movie considering The Cowboys are my team…but for the sake of this movie? I’m a Giants fan all the way…(And a huge Becky fan… She’s the couch cushion. ;-))

I LOVED Brandon Lee. Wish he were still around. He is what finally convinced me to go out with hubby. He asked me to go see Rapid Fire…LOL! For some reason, though, Showdown In Little Tokyo is my all time favorite. He and Dolph Lundgren just cracked me up.

So what about you guys? What are your guilty pleasure movies? Have you checked out Susie Landau’s “Use Me, Abuse Me Party“? If not, you’re missing out on some great opportunities to pimp yourself and to get to know some wonderful new bloggers. I strongly recommend you stop by and check it out!

Last Gifts And New Beginnings

My wonderful friends, Len Williams Carver from My Own Heart Me, and Sheri DeGrom honored me by nominating me for Blog Of The Year 2012, giving me my sixth star! Both these women are so admirable in the way they lead their lives. Their ultimate focus is to walk in faith and to be a shining light on the world around them. They both succeed with grace and beauty.

Blog of the Year Award 6 star jpeg

Here are the rules for Blog Of The Year 2012 (Thankfully, they’re simple):

  1. Select another blog or other blogs who deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award;
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award;
  3. Include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012’ Award at the Thought Palette and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

I’d like to thank them very much for gifting me with this honor and recommend you check out their blogs if you haven’t already! Now I’d like to share this final award of the year with some really wonderful people who have made me laugh, inspired me and just made me feel like a welcome new addition to the blogging community since I started back in August.

Jenny Hansen- Her blog, More Cowbell, is chock full of hilarity, advice (especially for writers) and genuine feel good stuff. Between her and Natalie Hartford (she was nominated on one of the earlier stars) they keep me laughing and my spirits up. Don’t believe me? Click the link to her blog…she finds the most UNIQUE things to talk about…;-)

Tameri Etherton– You think you’ve had crazy things happen to you? Her spa moment got me following her blog…her outlook on life and the way she promotes books kept me entranced. (By the way, her spa post came on the anniversary of my brother’s death…her pain was one of the things that helped me get through the day…Sorry, Tameri, for laughing at your pain. But thanks for lightening my day.)

Leanne Shirtliff-Her blog, Ironic Mom, has been around for a while, but I haven’t. The post I’m featuring is as funny for the content as the comments…all of which had me rolling! She’s exactly what her blog claims to be…a mom who finds humor in the most interesting places…then is kind enough to share it with her readers! If you hadn’t discovered her before…you don’t know what you’re missing!

Blowing Off Steam And More-She talks about her child as well as cooking successes and failures! There is nothing better than someone who can laugh with you during the craziness life has to offer.

How To Date In Las Vegas– She is fun, she’s wacky…and she’s brutally honest.  Love it! And ladies…she makes some very valid points about our ability to become the psycho chick every man is terrified of dating… She’s new to the blogging world, but I think once people read her stuff, she’ll have quite the following.

As we close out the year, I’d also like to remind everyone…enjoy the time with your loved ones…Make sure to plan to make time for them in the New Year. They truly are the most important part of your life…the thing that makes it worthwhile!

 

Reach Out And Touch…Thank You!

I would first like to thank Eunice from Living And Lovin’ for nominating me for my 5th Blog Of The Year 2012 Award. It has been a huge honor to be nominated. I have been using this as an opportunity to thank the people who have been kind and supportive to my blog throughout the year. They are a wonderful group of people with awesome blogs in their own right…so this is kind of a Thank You and Happy Holiday card all rolled into one. (Just so you know, I DO have my 6th star…but I’m doing this one nomination at a time to do justice to the person who has been generous enough to nominate me!

Blog of the Year Award 5 star jpeg

 

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

  1. Select another blog or other blogs who deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award;
  2. Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award;
  3. Include a link back to this page Blog of the Year 2012’ Award at the Thought Palette and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)
  4. Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them
  5. You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience
  6. As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

I hope you take the time to get to know these amazing people whom I’ve had the privilege to get to know over the past few months.  Wow…has it really been only 5 months since I started this blog?  Amazing.  You guys have made me feel so welcome that I feel as though we’ve been hanging out here together forever!

So, without further ado…Here are the next amazing set of bloggers who deserve a little of your time and attention purely because they are beyond awesome!

Jane Sadek– A lovely Christian woman who has a beautifully, ethnically diverse home…and blogs accordingly with snippets of her travel, her faith and her love for family and friends. Did I mention she’s also a poet? I love how interactive and friendly she is…and open to so many different points of view. You’ve got to see the gorgeous pics that go along with some of her stories of her trips! This particular one made me miss being in Asia!

Stephyy- Miss Pretty Little Dreamer, herself… She’s smart, she’s crafty, she has some good recipes…but even better are her hopes for the future! I’m not simply saying this because she’s another Filipina…I’m saying it because she shares it all on her blog. You should check it out!

Wordsurfer- From Cresting The Words. Her knowledge in so many areas is interesting…  She’s been going through a lot lately and still finds time to share her thoughts, drop by your blog for visits and work on her book. Her story about her grandmother will touch your heart…she speaks with fank honesty and clarity in her sense of self.

Dace– She writes The Long Way Home. She is so positive and upbeat. She looks for the best in things… Her thoughtful posts and wonderful ideals make her such a very interesting person to read.

Nick- From Shit Talkin’ Nick. He’s one badass dude who says what he thinks, hands out Douche Of The Week awards…and receives the loyalty of many people in the blog world because of his candor. He’s an advocate for keeping children clothed and protecting pets…what’s not to like?

August McLaughlin– Newly Self Published Author and Girl Boner Expert extraordinaire! She’s beautiful (inside and out), talented, an advocate of women… Seriously…What’s not to like? And if you haven’t read any of her Girl Boner Posts…I’ve linked one of them in so that you can check her out!

Marcia Richards– An Author friend who will challenge and inspire you to be the best person you can be. She will challenge you to give of yourself, to take pride in your country…and Ladies…she’ll challenge you not to lose your inner feminine beauty simply because we’ve joined the workforce!

Thank you for inspiring me, challenging me and encouraging me!

Spreading Love For Christmas

The Always fabulous and fun Vagenda Vixen nominated me for my second Blog of the Year 2012 award!

Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

As the year is quickly running out, I thought I’d better graciously accept and begin to nominate more of my favorite people. Keep in mind, since I can’t really show up at all of your homes for Christmas…this is my humble Christmas offering for you.

First, let’s get those pesky rules out of the way…

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen (There’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required)

‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award:

Blog Of The Year 2012

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join the Facebook group click ‘like’ on the page: ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience…

6 As a winner of the award, please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award  and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar …and start collecting stars…

Now…on to the good stuff…the winners:

Joe from The Broken Road– who is a lot stronger than he thinks…his honesty and bravery at facing inner demons is inspiring.

Robert from Seasons Of Insanity– a blogger to posts to the beat of his own drum and leaves me laughing in the process.

Lily from Don’t Quote Lily– who is stranded from civilization and in severe danger of killing a few turkeys…literally…

The Modern Day Philosopher– who has been diligently reporting on the hubbub of the holiday including Hanukkah Harry’s offer to ride shotgun with Santa.

Phil Lanoue Photography– who takes amazing nature action shots and is kind enough to respond to every commenter.

Vimal– who writes a blend of whatever beauty comes to mind…into a lovely bit of poetry.

Monica from Impressions Of A Princess– who was victimized by a hair-tastrophy this year.

Marie from Good Morning, Joe– A total sweetheart who’s been mistaken for a bitch (no idea how that could happen) and who, as a Canadian, struggles with Frenglish.

Merry Christmas to you guys… I have 3 more awards to go, so I’m pacing myself… This is my heads up to you guys….be on the lookout for awards heading your way! I’m trying not to duplicate the people I’m gifting.

And…You guys really should check out these awesome people’s blogs!