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Things I Like about Me

July 11, 2011 | Blogland games

I haven’t done one of these things in a while. Well, a list of things I like about me? I’ve never done that. Have you?

I got the idea from Jodifur, who got the idea from Elena, who’s collecting links from bloggers who participate.

So, here goes.

1. I’m a good (self-taught) cook. I like that others enjoy my food.

2. I’m a loving mother. I’m not perfect, but I know my kids, and I listen to them. I love them for who they are.

3. I’m a voracious reader, and I’ve passed that on to my children.

4. I have a good eye for color, space and design, whether I’m taking photographs, planning a party or preparing something for publication.

5. I like my sense of humor and that, after 20 years, I can still make my husband laugh.

6. I’m tenacious. I don’t give up just because something is difficult. I get up every time I fall down. Sometimes I climb mountains.

Posted by Becky @ 1:57 pm | 3 Comments  

Educated Palate: Panettone

February 15, 2011 | Blogging,Blogland games,Educated Palate: Guiliano & Lael Hazan's blog,Florida,Food,Italy

I entered a giveaway contest in December on my favorite Italian food site, Educated Palate: Giuliano & Lael Hazan’s blog. What makes it a favorite? Beautiful photos. Heartbreakingly delicious food. (And wonderful cookbooks!) They talk about two places I love, Italy and Florida, and two of the things that make life worth living, family and food.

Guess what? I won! I won this beautiful, delicious panettone and a book all about it. Thank you so much, Lael and Giuliano! It was wonderful!

Posted by Becky @ 8:59 am | 1 Comment  


February 24, 2010 | Blogland games,Stuff,Words

Magpie Musing makes me think. She also makes me happy. She’s inspired me (again), this time to think about what makes me happy. Here’s a list.

  • Books

    “Nothing is more human than a book.” ~ Marilynne Robinson, The Paris Review, Issue 186, Fall 2008.

  • Laughter
  • Hugs your body fits right into
  • Lists — making them, crossing them off
  • Brilliant summer greens
  • Blooming azaleas
  • Angel-food cake
  • Making a good meal then sitting down to eat it with people I love (and some wine, of course)
  • Coffee
  • The orange sky that makes my kids say, “Mommy, that’s such a beautiful sunset! I bet you wish you had your camera.” (Yep.)
  • Music, music, music ~ How can you listen to any of these songs and not at least smile? Say Hey (I Love You), Michael Franti; Love Serenade, The Waifs; Sweet Potato Pie, James Taylor; How I do math: Una mas cervesa + Billy Bacon & the Forbidden Pigs + the Zoo Bar = One Mighty Tasty Tex-Mex Bluesbilly Taco
Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 3 Comments  

Maybe we could sleep in, I’ll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the weekend now

August 19, 2009 | Blogland games

Now I can stop saying that I never win anything. Anne-Marie Nichols had a giveaway at This Mama Cooks! and I won!

This basket arrived the other day, much to the kids’ delight. We love pancakes, and I hate not being able to find syrup without HFCS in it, which is why I entered the contest. The basket includes Log Cabin syrup (with no high-fructose corn syrup), Mrs. Butterworth’s complete pancake & waffle mix, a whisk, a spatula, a plate and a glass. Isn’t it adorable?

Thank you, Anne-Marie! And thank you, Log Cabin!

Posted by Becky @ 6:34 pm | 3 Comments  

2008 in review: Blogland and beyond

January 9, 2009 | 2008,2009,Audience participation,Blogging,Blogland games,Citizen of the Month,Dad2twins,Devra Renner,Friends,Goon Squad Sarah,Great Interview Experiment,Guest blogger,Gunfighter,Magpie Musing,New Year,Traveling

Hey. Still grateful here.

Just a little more than a year ago, we decided at the last minute to go to Norway for the holidays. My husband’s grandmother was gravely ill, and we hoped to see her one more time. (She died just a few days before we got there.)

I put out a desperate call to a bunch of blogfriends, asking if they would be willing to guest post in my absence. I was humbled with the response. I had guest posts for almost every day I was away.

So I’m still grateful.

For …

For …

Linda Jones for letting me blog at You’ve Got Your Hands Full.

Linda also gave me free rein to redesign the blog, which I did over my crazy summer. I had some hits and misses. A photographer promised the use of an image then wouldn’t return e-mails or telephone calls. So I scrambled for a suitable replacement, and I got something even better. I called on someone I knew, Kristine Freed.

With the help of Kristine and Sherilyn Brinker of Brinker-Freed Photographyand new mother-of-twins Kerrin Laari and her 5-week-old babies, Elise and Ian, I had a fabulous image to use on the blog.

None of it would have happened, though, without Jo-Lynne at DCR Design. She made the header and buttons, arranged and rearranged everything and even called me to give me a crash course in making my own changes. (Though I’m still fairly hopeless in that department.) I would have made a big announcement on the blog by now, but I’m having technical difficulties with Typepad, and I haven’t been able to sign on. As soon as I get it figured out, though, I’ll get something posted.

For …

For …

Citizen of the Month for a great experience, The Interview Experiment, and meeting two new blogfriends at A Juicy Life (now Notre Vie Juteuse since she moved to France) and The Would-Be Writers Guild.

For …

For …

Bob for his review of Final Salute.

For …

For …

  • Everyone who stopped by to read and/or comment.

Happy New Year.

Posted by Becky @ 3:46 pm | 5 Comments  

Tag, I’m It!

September 10, 2008 | A Juicy Life,Blogland games

Alisa at Notre Vie Juteuse tagged me.

1. Where was I 10 years ago?
Probably living in a rental by now after selling our house and getting ready to move to Norway in a few months.

2. What is on my to-do list today?
Call about recycling (we don’t have garbage service here)
Call about the gas tank in our yard … when does it need to be filled?
Order pictures

3. What would I do if I were a billionaire?
I’m with Alisa. I would never, ever fly commercial again. I would never put my money in my old bank. I would build a home in Norway and visit often (never flying commercial, ever again, mind you).

4. Five places I have lived

5. Three bad habits
Not reading instructions thoroughly
Cursing (see first two)

6. Snacks I like
Corn chips
Chocolate-covered peanuts

7. People I’m tagging
Anyone who wants to play.

Posted by Becky @ 12:58 pm | Comments  

I’m all Johnsoned out

April 7, 2008 | Blogland games

So I did a meme the other day. I mentioned a Johnson who was president. Why? I thought it would be a good segue into the “I come from a long line of Johnsons” bit. I also mentioned the only Johnna I’ve ever known, and I haven’t even said her name in, oh, almost 30 years. (Dang. Where is that yearbook?)

Then I ran across this article in Newsweek, My Turn: Don’t Just Call Me Jane, written by — a woman named Johnna, who writes about her unique name. (This other Johnna read the article and blogged about it.) While several people named Johnna responded in the comments, it’s still a fairly uncommon name.

The next day, my newspaper ran a full-page article about not just any ol’ Johnson but Lyndon Baines Johnson, called This is LBJ Country, with a Johnson City dateline.

That same day? We went to look at a house for sale on Johnston Road. (No, no. Nothing serious. Just looking.)

Hmm. What’s next? Well, I worked with a woman named Willa once. The only other Willa I knew of was an author from Nebraska. … Hey, did you know Stephen King published a short story called “Willa” in Playboy, which helped the magazine snag a Best Fiction nomination from the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2006?

See? The fun’s already begun …

Posted by Becky @ 9:53 am | 2 Comments  

You less-than-3 me, you really less-than-3 me!

February 25, 2008 | Blogging,Blogland games,Magpie Musing


Magpie Musing gave me a <3 award, a blogtreat created by Magneto bold too, who explains it this way:

When my daughters and I want to express our mutual admiration in public we say ‘Less than Three’. If you look at it sideways:


It looks like a heart. So I heart you.

Thanks, MM!

I’ll be busy passing it on.

Posted by Becky @ 6:03 pm | 3 Comments  

What’s on page 123?

February 22, 2008 | Blogland games,Books

Magpie Musing wants to know what’s on page 123 of the first book within my reach. I’m surrounded by books. I have books on the shelves in front of me. Books in stacks on the floor beside me. Books stacked on top of the shelves. While I’m not actually reading it, the nearest book, however, is one I bought in Norway for the kids, Jostein Gaarder‘s Julemysteriet (The Christmas Mystery).


I have read two of his books Sophie’s World (Sofies verden), which was made into a movie, and The Solitaire Mystery (Kabalmysteriet). Here’s a little diversion from the main topic at hand. It’s a trailer to the movie Sofies verden, which apparently isn’t available in English yet. I guess it’s not so easy to get the Norwegian version either. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d like to.

I saw Gaarder at some literature festival or other several years ago. I thought it was Bjørnsonfestivalen, but I still have a tote bag from then, and it has Bokbadet På Tur on it. So who knows.

Anyway. Here’s what’s on page 123 of the book that’s closest to me, Julemysteriet by Jostein Gaarder.

— Joda, svarte pappa. — Men det har jo egentlig ingen betydning hva hun het.
Den siste som sa noe før de måtte skynde seg å spise frokost, var Joakim.
— Jeg synes det har ganske stor betydning, sa han. — For også damen på bildet het Elisabet.

Pappa doesn’t think it matters what her name is. Joakim, on the other hand, does. He things it matters a lot because the woman in the picture is named Elisabet. 

If you want to know what’s on page 123 of books I’m actually reading, here are a couple of passages.


In the fall of 2004, when the kidnapping started, it became very necessary not to be publicly identified on the streets as a foreigner. I wear a scarf, I wear Iraqi-style clothing. I don’t go with the whole abaya [the traditional full-body garment for Islamic women] because I don’t walk like I’m an Iraqi that’s in an abaya.Liz Sly, Chicago Tribune

That’s from Reporting Iraq: An Oral History of the War by the Journalists who Covered it, edited by Mike Hoyt, John Palattella and the staff of the Columbia Journalism Review.


I kept a blue Magic Marker with me at all times. My favorite tags were “Lady Cupcake, Slob Killer”; “Lady Cupcake, 60’s Killer” (to denote “60’s Killer,” I’d write “60’s” and then mark a giant X over the 60’s); or “Lady Cupcake — Gangsta Ca-rip Cuzzz.” Gangstas also taught me how to make money by “working a store.”

That’s from A Piece of Cake, a memoir by Cupcake Brown, who practices law in San Francisco. I’m almost halfway through her book. I just read about her third pregnancy/second abortion. Her first pregnancy ended in miscarriage brought on by a severe beating by girls in her foster home … when she was 13. That was after turning tricks, a stint in the hospital for alcohol poisoning and running away repeatedly from the abusive foster home, where her biological father put her after her mother died when she was 11.

Even though I will eventually read about her graduating magna cum laude from college without a high-school diploma or certificate of General Educational Development and her other successes, I can’t help feeling she lives with her past as a big part of her present. And that makes sense, I guess. Most of us carry around a part of our 5-year-old, 10-year-old or 15-year-old selves, don’t we? When I was reading The Glass Castle, though, I felt the author was looking back on a much older story from a different time and place. Brown tells her story with such gusto and bravado that it seems she’s not as far away from her past. Two very different perspectives, yet the authors are about the same age. Maybe the difference is that Brown’s past is a big part of her current life because she uses “all of the years of negative experiences, coupled with the positives, to share with others how — even though it seems impossible — the hopes and dreams of anyone really can come true” to speak to others around the country.

I’d love to hear what Brown is reading, but I understand she’s incredibly busy. Oh, what the heck. I’ll tag some of my favorite authors. Let’s just see if they (or their publishers) ever check their incoming links.

If anyone else wants to play, show me what’s on your page 123.

These are the rules.

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people.
Posted by Becky @ 2:47 pm | 3 Comments  

Brought to you by the letter E

February 21, 2008 | Blogging,Blogland games,Dad2twins


Dad2twins honored me with the “This Blog is Rated E for Excellent” award. Wow. Thanks, D2t! (Is it just me, or does the award look crooked? I keep wanting to straighten it out. Nah. It’s straight. It must be an optical illusion with the crooked E and all.)

It took some time, but I found that the award originated with Project Mommy, a 23-year-old mother of two girls. She wanted to show her appreciation for the blogging community she’s found. She asks that anyone who receives the award turns around and gives it to at least 10 (or more) blogs, and it doesn’t matter if they’ve already gotten it. So now I need to pass along the award.

Ack. I still haven’t given out the Thinking Blogger Award.


Or the Nice Matters Award.


Finding the origin of the Thinking Blogger Award was easy. I mean, it has its own Web page. The Nice Matters Award? Different story.

I got it from Stimeyland. She got it from Oh, The Joys, who got the blue version (made by Something Blue and Motherbumper) from The Journey.

Oh, The Joys also got the original version from from Arkie Mama, Slouching Mom and Spinning Yellow.

Slouching Mom got it from MP, who got it from Purple Valley, who got it from Ramblings From Life, who got it from Just a Minute, who got it from PENSIEVE, who got it from Deb’s Lucky Patch, who got it from O So Mo Love, who got it from Our Happy Happenings, who got it from Sit With Me Awhile, who got it from Karen’s Ramblings, who got it from My Life as Annie, who got it from justabeachkat, who got it from My Montana Moments, who got it from Pieces From Me, who got it from All Stitched Up, who got it from — the blog that started it all!Bella-Enchanted.


So, yeah. I’ve got some awarding to do. I’ll get to it, I promise. I just can’t guarantee that I’ll get it done before 2013. (What … am I running for president or something? More on that soon. Promise.)


Posted by Becky @ 12:30 am | 2 Comments  


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