What a difference a day makes

Yesterday I was about as low as a person gets.  Today I’m riding a high that’s shoving me upwards and hopefully, out of my dark dark hole.  A dear friend made me an offer to write for her publishing company yesterday, and after talking with my family and partner, I gratefully accepted.  Oh it won’t make me rich, at least not any time soon  (there is always that hope though..never say never!)  but it will allow me to get my written word out there without spending a fortune I don’t have.   Details forthcoming.  Just suffice to say that today is a lot sunnier than yesterday!

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Terri’s Little Corner Has Moved

Please proceed to the following URL.   I’ll be there, anxiously awaiting your arrival.

We’ll have tea!     Spiked of course!

 

terrisonoda.net

 

I Have Moved

Hello out there all my blog friends and lovelies!   I have done it now.  I have finally lost my freaking mind completely and decided to build my own website.  It is simple.  It is raw.  And?  I have a helluva lot to learn yet.

But.

I can’t wait any longer to move over there.   So please get your well-shaped tushes  (or however they are shaped)  on over to:

terrisonoda.net

You can leave me lots of love over there.  I’m turning off comments over here while I figure out how to redirect this damned site.

LOVE YOU ALL.   See you on the other side.

Kisses and Hugs and Christmasy Love.

You don’t know – Monday Listicles

I thought I would stray from the beaten path (and briefly away from all the holiday hoo ha) with my list today, and instead, provide some information on the weird, wacky, and twisted…..person that is me.   So here is my list of ten things you probably did not know about me:

  • I am a fanatic about famous quotes, most specifically regarding writing, literature and prose.  My very favorite quote is “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”  by William Wordsworth.  Every time I read that quote, repeat it aloud or even just think about it, my heart gets lighter. 
  • I honestly adore my Daughter-in-Law to be.  She is kind to me and cooks some wicked delicious Curry.
  • I am deathly afraid of spiders.  Please, if you love me or like me or even barely tolerate me, Never try to scare me with any type of spider…live, dead, plastic or otherwise. I will most certainly have a heart attack.  Mine is a very serious phobia.
  • I am truly kind, but I won’t be anybody’s bitch.  
  • I am a huge Aerosmith fan.  I know that wasn’t my ‘time period’ but I love Aerosmith.  I haven’t heard a song from them that I don’t like.   Are they the spawn of my beloved Rolling Stones?  Just a random weird thought.
  • I hate the color green.  Has something to do with bullies from my school days, but I will spare you the details.
  • My older son is a math genius, but I’m really not good at math at all.  He gets his math skill from his Dad and his Charm from me.  Obviously.
  • I once toured Greece by myself.  True story.  I was on a bus tour of Athens and I was the only American on the tour.  If memory serves, there were two Japanese guys, two French guys, four young women from South Africa, and a family from Australia.  We all had a wonderful evening together, wining and dining in Athens.  On the way back to the hotel, one of the French guys tried to hit on me.   How do you say in French, “You’re barking up the wrong American, buddy.  However, I might be interested in your sister if she can lick my earlobe the way you just did”.   I don’t speak French….not verbally anyways.  
  • I hate okra, liver and sweet potatoes.   And I’m not too crazy about Brussels sprouts.
  • Wool makes me itch, plaid makes me nervous, spandex makes me cringe, but cashmere makes me  !*(&%#.     Oooooh la la 

So there you have it, ten weird things about me most people don’t know.  So now it’s your turn.  What’s something about You that I probably don’t know?   Curious minds…..

Copperhill and Ducktown Tennessee

Re-publishing a blog about the place I was born.  I actually wrote it last year but wanted to share it again.  I’m thinking about simpler times today.  Reflections, if you will.  Hope you enjoy the story of my birth place:

I was born in copper-mining country, in Copperhill, Tennessee, which if you look on a map, is right where Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina intersect.   It is up in the mountains, and is some of the most beautiful country you’ll ever see.  Parts of it were not always beautiful, however.   When I was growing up, we lived in Atlanta, but made frequent weekend trips to Copperhill and Ducktown to visit family.   Back then, some 40 years ago, the hills were barren red clay, with very little vegetation.  This was a result of the smelting (heating) process the mining company did to separate the bits of copper from the rest of the rock they pulled from the mines.  In order to provide the fuel to heat and extract the copper, they cut down and burned most every tree around. The extraction of copper from the rock released sulfur dioxide, and when it combined with the water in the air, created sulfuric acid.  That sulfuric acid fell back down and killed all vegetation within 50 miles.   And all that damage was done to Copperhill and Ducktown, Tennessee in just a few short years…..my growing-up years.       (Pictures are from google images)

Road between Copperhill and Ducktown Circa 1965

Burra Burra Coppermine in Copperhill

My sister, cousins and I ran and played on those red clay hills.  Many times, I remember reporting to my Maw Maw’s kitchen for supper, covered in red mud from head to toe.   Maw Maw was my Mom’s oldest sister, and like a grandmother to me, as my grandmother had died before I was born.  She promptly yelled at us kids to go outside and hose ourselves off and get rid of that red mud, which was almost impossible, and my sister and I would end up riding all the way back to Atlanta with much of it still stuck in our hair and who knows where else.   It did not make my Mom happy, I will assure you!   That red clay never came out of any clothes we were wearing, especially the seat of our pants…………..as we slid down some of those steep red clay hills on our butts, which was fun fun fun!

The copper mines closed and eventually, over the years, the vegetation has all grown in, and Ducktown and Copperhill are now beautiful country towns up in the mountains of Tennessee.  There is a river called the Ocoee that runs along the highway from Ducktown to Cleveland, Tennessee.  It starts out who knows where, and by the time the road starts running along it, the river is not very wide, more like a creek really.   Before the Olympics took it over for kayaking and completely changed the landscape of the river, that portion was called “Rock Creek”.  Well, it probably still is called Rock Creek…………only difference is, the big boulders and smooth sandstone flat rock that used  to clutter the entire width of the river at that point, are gone.   There may be some, but the whole area was cleared for the Olympics, and after that, the river became a very popular white water rafting venue.   But, way back when I was a kid, we used to go swimming at Rock Creek.  There was no swimming pool or water park that could compare with this place!  You could stand out in the middle of the river, on one of those boulders, and dive down into a crystal-clear pool of water…….and you’d just keep diving because it was so deep.  There were lots of holes and crevices in those boulders, too, and we kids used to swim through them, squirming our way through some mighty narrow spots, as well.  People have drowned doing just that, and right there where we swam all those years ago.  I don’t know what kept us kids safe, because it surely wasn’t from us being careful.  We just had fun.

Ocoee River

Rock Creek part of Ocoee River

Kayaking on the Ocoee

My mother was from Ducktown, born and raised.  Ducktown and Copperhill are only about 7 miles apart, if memory serves. I was born in Copperhill, but we moved away, and visited on holidays and in the summer.  Maw Maw’s house was where everyone congregated.  She was a preacher, had her own little church down the hill from her house.  My Mom was the youngest of all the brothers and sisters, and my Maw Maw was the oldest.  Maw Maw is the only one of my Mother’s sibling’s still living, and she’s now in a nursing home.

Life does go on, but some things will never quite match up to what once was…so simple, natural and delightful.


Bah Humbug

Dear Mr. Santa Claus:

Excuse me, but I’m writing this letter to inform you that I’m skipping Christmas this year, and I’m plugging up the chimney so there’s no need for you to try and stuff your big old butt down there. 

What?

You heard me.  I don’t have time for this Yule tide crap and putting up the pesky tree and baking sugar cookies shaped like, well, you.  Who made you up anyway?  You aren’t very attractive, and I’d venture to say, you, sir, are no fashion plate.  I mean, seriously, that jacket and those suspenders are vintage something from the weird ages.    I usually don’t mind people dressing casually when they come into my home, but red pajamas?  Really?  

So, excuse me while I try to find another way to celebrate the holidays.   Santa Claus…less.   I know it can be done.   The Jewish folks manage just fine, quite beautifully actually. And who wouldn’t like a present everyday for Hanukkah.   I’m all about the presents.  I just don’t want to work too hard for them.  If I work the system through you, Santa, I have to bust my ass with all the yuletide and jingle-belly traditions, scary distant relatives and the dreaded deluge of Jell-O molds. 

Mistletoe for example.  Really?  What were you thinking with the mistletoe, Santa?  Don’t you get enough loving from Mrs. Santa during the off-season?    In all my days of celebrating the holidays, no one has ever been under that mistletoe with me that I would actually want to kiss.  Can you imagine the germs?  The bad breath?  Uncle Harold’s brown false teeth?  Great Auntie Marjorie’s snuff spittle?   No thank you.  I’ll pass on the mistletoe.  I don’t’ brush my teeth and use mouthwash to get spit-washed by Cousin James’ 12 inch tongue.  His wife might enjoy “all that” and more power to her.

Oh and Santa?  One of my readers recently called me Ms. Scrooge, and I would like to officially take issue with that.  When it comes to Christmas, the ONE thing I truly love is to give presents.  If I have money (or any room on my dozens of credit cards), my family and friends are going to be spoiled rotten with goodies.  I don’t like shopping, but I can push, paw and purchase with the best of them when it comes to getting a good deal.  And shopping online?   Oh baby.  For me it’s better than internet porn.  Not that I would know of such things.  But still…

Maybe what I need to do is just invent my own celebration.  Take you completely out of it, Santa boy.  Leave the Christmas ham in.  Take the mistletoe out.   Leave the hot cocktail waitress dressed up like Santa’s helper in.  Take the egg nog out.  Leave all the rest of the alcohol in. 

What?  I live in Vegas.  You celebrate your way.  I’ll celebrate mine.

Yes, Santa, this could work.  Except I have a bone to pick with you.    I just hate it when I get presents that I don’t want.   I remember my Aunt Loraine (bless her heart and may she still be resting in peace after I call her out like this) bringing over presents to our house for me and my sister.  Every year, I would get so excited with anticipation and then every year I would open up Aunt Loraine’s gift and it would be underwear.  Every freaking year.  What’s up with that business, Santa?  Couldn’t you have intervened at some point and stopped all the knickers-madness?  Seriously.

Isn’t that the definition of insanity?  “Doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.   Every year I had new hope for Auntie’s gift, and every year my hopes were dashed by the bloomers.   Sad.

Anyway, Santa, we were discussing the awful gifts?  You know, the ones like the seven-days-of-the-week panties pack,  the 50 cent box of chocolate covered cherries,  the costume jewelry, the fruitcake and the lava lamp?   I could go on and on.  Something needs to be done about awful gifts, Santa Claus.  I think I can help you out here, as I have a business degree and  I’m all about project management.  So, what you should do is, put together a sub-committee to research and discuss awful gifting, then have them report to you on a bi-weekly basis until they come up with a solution  Why bi-weekly?   I just like saying Bi.  (snort). 

One solution to this awful gifting dilemma might be to go into a store and put your gift preferences into a computer, like brides do when they register.  I sure as hell wouldn’t be listing knickers, either, so Auntie would be having a fit.  But she’s not here, so this just might work!  Have your sub-committee look into it, Santa, will ya?  If I receive one more jingle-bells singing fish I’m going to scream.  

 

 

 

 

In closing, Santa, maybe I won’t plug up my chimney after all.  I don’t want to go against tradition.  I like popcorn in those giant tins as much as the next girl.  Just please bring something cool this year, like an iPhone or a Corvette……….or a redhead.  I promise you I have been a very good girl.

What? Santa?  No, my fingers are not crossed behind my back!

(How’d he know?)

Sincerely,

Terri

 (Images from Google Images)

Fifteen Seconds of Fame

Moms and Other Fabulous Females, Dads and Other Marvelous Males, by Ruth McCormick has three (count them…not one, not two, but three!) of my short stories contained within and this is the first time any of my work has ever been published.   So for me, this was a big freaking deal, dudes!

Yesterday was the release party for the book at West Sahara Library in Las Vegas.  First of all, the drive was so far for me, I nearly had to take out a loan for gas.   And?  I almost ‘took out’ an SUV on the freeway.   Not my best driving.  My mind was elsewhere. 

Then of course, I arrived way too early.  I’m notorious for that.  However, to my delight, Carla, a friend of mine was already there, helping set up tables and such.   It was great catching up with her.  I met Ruth McCormick for the first time in person and she was very sweet.  She keeps trying to get me to join the Henderson Writers Group that meets on Monday nights.   I might just do that now.  I am hooked on writing, after all.   Sheesh.

Six of the nine authors featured in the book were present and I was able to meet them and obtain autographs from each of them.  MY very first autograph went to my friend Michelle, and I’m such a doofus I even wrote that in her book, the fact that she was my first autograph.  When other people asked me to sign the book, I got all flustered and couldn’t think of a thing to write.  So  DUH,  doofus strikes again and I wrote Happy Holidays. 

What?  I never autographed anything before  (unless you count checks and traffic tickets and kids’ report cards).  

Seriously, I was an idiot.   And my lack of brain-control continued right on through the evening.  The Master of Ceremonies, Kevin, came over (with microphone, which mortified me) and interviewed me.  It was short. Not because he wanted it short necessarily.  He asked what my stories were about and I gave him  a very brief explanation.  Mostly, I just regurgitated the Titles of the stories. 

It was freaking embarrassing.  But people clapped.  Probably because it was time to move on to the next author.  All the contributing authors had the opportunity to speak and some were very moving.  I’m really going to have to read the whole book because I think there’s some good stuff in there. 

All in all, it was a very fun time and I was so happy to be there and be included in the celebration.  My partner was unable to attend due to work obligations, but when I got home, I talked her ear off.  Seriously.  I rambled so much about the whole affair, she finally went numb with excitement boredom.  She had this dear-in-the-headlights look.   Well, that’s what she gets for not being there. 

So there you have it and I’ve included a few pictures.   MY 15 seconds of Fame.   Awesome!

Yea I'm in this book. Pages 55, 61 and 76 in case you're looking. In this picture my back hurt and I wanted wine, but I was Happy!

 

Friends Carla and Michelle!

 

Ruth McCormick, author and compiler of the book

 

Me being interviewed. Not my best moment. Ruth on left, Kevin on right.

 

Some of the other authors in the book.

 

The book's on there somewhere.

 

Yep, back still hurts and I'm thinking about hard liquor now. But not till I get home. LONG drive home! But? This was sooooo much Fun !

Sponsored Post: Storage Auctions

 

Guest post by Gerard Mcdaniel

I logged onto http://www.direct.tv/ and updated our television package. I have started watching a show that I am absolutely, totally obsessed with. The show is called “Storage Wars”. Just last week they came out with another installment of the show, “Storage Wars: Texas”. Apparently, if you have a storage unit and you don’t pay your bill, or you abandon your unit for some reason or the other, the owner of the storage building has the right to auction off your things to the public. The show follows a group of people who are always going to “Storage Wars”. There are five colorful characters that all compete at the same storage auctions all over California. They do mean things to aggravate each other, like driving the prices up for bidding. The coolest thing about the show is that they when they do bid on a unit and win it, that you get to see them go through the unit and see what they find. Sometimes they find really great things that have really high resale value, but sometimes they also loose and buy a storage unit that is full of lots of junk. It being hit or miss is really part of the allure of the show.

Disclosure:  This was a paid post.  Links were provided.

**************************

Las Vegas – Monday Listicles

Today’s Monday Listicles focus on our hometowns.  Before I moved to Vegas over six years ago, I used to vacation here once a year.  I always stayed on the Strip and never really thought about Las Vegas being a real city with real people trying to make a living.  When we first moved here, jobs were plenty, even in my field of Information Technology.  Sadly, that’s not the case anymore.  I like living in Vegas in spite of the unemployment, the traffic and the summer heat.  For me, it beats Ohio’s humidity and mosquitoes in the summer and snow and ice in the winter.  More than 5,000 people move into the Las Vegas valley on a monthly basis.  This place is getting crowded, let me tell ya.

So here’s my list of ten things about this city I call my hometown that you may not know:

  1.  Las Vegas is 106 years old, having celebrated its 100th birthday on May 15, 2005.  That was just four months before I moved here, so once again, I missed the Party!
  2. In 1957, topless showgirls debuted on the Las Vegas Strip in “Minsky’s Follies” at the Dunes.  I would have only been 4 years old, so this piece of information wouldn’t have interested me near as much as it does now.  Ahem.
  3. The Stratosphere Hotel and Tower, at more than 1,100 feet, is the tallest building west of the Mississippi and the fifth tallest building in the United States.
  4. Approximately 15,000 homeless people live in Las Vegas, and this was just the statistic from 2010.  There are probably many more by now, with the recession hitting us so hard.  Many of the homeless live in tunnels under Las Vegas, according to a news report on CBS last year.  I did not know that.  It sure makes you think.
  5. Las Vegas hosts an annual Race for the Cure, AIDS Walk, and many other charity walks and races to include the ‘Rock n Roll Marathon’ and the Santa Run.
  6. In the six years I’ve been here, I saw 6 inches of snow…..on one day.  That was it.  Other than that, we might get a dusting of snow once a year.  The winters are very mild.  My kind of winter!
  7. The heat in the summer can reach upwards of 120 degrees but usually averages around 110 degrees in July and August.  June and September are in the lower 100s.  By the time October rolls around, we locals are more than ready for our air-conditioning bills to decrease.   OUCH.
  8. There is so much to do here, not just for the tourists, but us locals, too.  We actually have our own casinos.  Well, they are not exclusively ours.  No one will kick you out if you’re not a local.  We just prefer these casinos because, unless we work on the Strip, most of us would rather stick toothpicks in our eyes than fight the traffic and craziness down there.  We only go to the Strip when we have guests in town and need to play tour guide.   The local casinos cater to us in that they are conveniently located all around the city and we get free gifts and sometimes free play on the machines just for coming in.   I like that.  That’s how I get my free wine!  Woot!
  9.  Las Vegas also has its cultural side and getting more so all the time.  We have ballet, symphony, and theater all year round, and many visiting venues come through as well.  We’re Not just all about Wayne Newton and Carrot Top, ya know.  Again, that’s for you tourists.
  10. For me, the most interesting aspect of this city is the mixture of people, a melting pot if you will, from all over the world.  And I’m talking about the locals this time.  Most of us are not from Vegas, but rather transplants (like all the trees and greenery LOL).   It is rare to meet a true Las Vegas native, but they do exist.   The people here are, for the most part, friendly.  People are careful though, because the crime rate here is high, and don’t want to let their defenses down and trust too much.  That may sound a bit sad, but it’s the way it is.  You just watch your back here and if you’re very lucky (as I have been) you’ll meet some awesome locals that are much like you.  For example, I go to one grocery store all the time, so I know most of the staff there.  The other day, my battery died in the parking lot.  I went into the grocery store, and right away, two of the male cashiers went out and jumped my car so I could get to the place that replaces batteries.  They didn’t have to do that.  I could have called AAA, but they insisted.

***Just a little holla out to the nice folks at Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.  You guys rock!

 So that’s my list.  A bit long and my apologies for that.  I just wanted you to know a little about the local side of Las Vegas, my home.   So next time you’re in town, smile at that porter or that waitress when you can.  They’re just trying to make a living in their hometown.

(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Las Vegas Boulevard Wayyyy South. Lots of weeds, rock and dust down that way.

Green Valley Ranch. My favorite local casino. Just 5 minutes from my house

Mandalay Bay and the Luxor on the south Strip

Harrah's. Display above the doors. Love it!

I Need an Overhaul for Christmas

My toenails are jagged.

My eyebrows are now one.

I’m too broke for the Spa.

And that ain’t no fun.

    *

My options are limited.

My hair has split ends.

I’ve gained a few pounds.

And broke a few winds.

   *

 I misplaced my self-confidence.

And found an extra chin.

I seriously need a die job.

I just can’t freaking win.

   *

So Santa if you’re watching.

And don’t like what you’re seeing.

I could sure use an overhaul.

For my mental well-being.

*

I’d like a new wardrobe.

And body wrap to renew.

A wonder bra and a face lift.

Would make me smile, too.

  *

You could send a personal trainer.

To help shape up my hiney.

And then provide a masseuse.

To rub sore places when I get whiney.

    *

You could send me to London.

For some rest and relaxation.        

And I’ll need a lovely redhead.

For the hot sex while on vacation.

      *

I’d like a watch from Cartier

And a bag from Louis Vuitton

And this year’s Superbowl?

Be nice if the Broncos finally won.

      *

I’d like a box of wine for Rachel.

And some Belgian chocolate for Nan.

A ticket to Vegas for Vidya.

And for my sister?   A new man.

    *

My list has been lengthy.

So I think that will do.

Thank you Santa and don’t forget.

To pick up a little something for you!

****************************

(Image by Google Images)

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