16

Canned Resolutions

           Have you ever noticed how much fun people have at the end of the year? Of course, there are parties an’ visits an’ alla’ that, but I think the most fun is watching how involved someone gets in making a New Year’s Resolution. It seems to cause a lotta’ unnecessary stress an’ anxiety, to my way of thinking. I once knew someone who stressed so much over her New Year’s Resolutions that it interfered with the fun she shoulda’ had for Christmas. Then, after spending so much time creating her list, my friend abandoned all efforts to keep those goals by January 3rd. It seems to be a pattern that is widespread. Naturally, after witnessing so many failed attempts, I long ago decided that making New Year’s Resolutions was not for me. Why plan to fail, after all?
            Well, this year I thought I’d do something a little different. Instead of planning to fail by writing goals that are impossible to keep, I was thinking that I should be more creative an’ plan my actions for sure success. This year, I am sure to achieve every goal I write down. ‘Course, my good hubby-buddy may not wanna’ cooperate if he figures out my plan of action. But as long as you don’t tell, I can hope that he will never be the wiser.
            One ‘uh the things that always seems to bother my good hubby-buddy involves his perception of how I handle money. He seems to think that I’m not so good at it. Silly b-u-o-y! But what does he know, right? So, in the coming year I resolve to be more adept in this particular area. In order to do so, I plan to carry the checkbook, instead of making Hubby-Buddy do all the spending. After all, if I have no money to handle, how can he expect me to be good at it? And if I handle it a little too much, well, I’ll give him back his checkbook. Good plan, eh?
             One thing I always regretted is that my gardening skills haven’t yielded much in the way of a harvest. This year, I resolve to make certain that my fruit and vegetable trees yield generously. Therefore, I will incorporate help from the grocer and build fruit and vegetable trees out of cans from the store. In this way, I’ll know that my trees will produce to my liking. Previous efforts have proven that garden variety foods have their own system for growing. (I’m talking to you, corn trees). In fact, I think I will only have one tree. That way, whenever I pick a can from my tree it will be something I know I will enjoy. 
            I thought of adding more resolutions, but growing a fruit an’ vegetable tree out of cans from the grocery store an’ trying to talk my good hubby buddy into letting me carry the checkbook sounds like a lotta’ work to me. So I decided to start slow an’ see how I do with this year’s resolutions before attacking bigger projects.
            Though I would never admit it to my good hubby-buddy, there are other areas of my life where I could pro’lly make improvements. However, I don’t wanna’ overload my brain by having to worry about perceived faults. I’ll work on these challenges an’ next year maybe I can come up with something else. First, I’ll see how successful I am at getting to carry that checkbook. Who knows? Maybe next year, I’ll try my hand at building a house. It could happen. I believe in miracles.
             With this in mind, I resolve to share this information with my good hubby-buddy, but only if my goals cause problems. Naturally, if I do have problems, he  will likely give me The Look, in which case I am sure that tears will betray my hurt feelings. Then, my good hubby-buddy can resolve to fix all problems an’ I can go back to life as it should be. In the end, my good hubby-buddy will be so proud of me for keeping my resolutions that he won’t even mind taking care of any unfortunate results. What a guy!
            An’ in the coming year I hope that all your hopes an’ dreams come true. That every good desire of your heart is fulfilled an’ that you will be surrounded by friends, family an’ love.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
            Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya
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16

Livin’ In The Ditch

     I hope you survived our most recent blizzard. ‘Course, if you’re reading this, chances are, you survived.  I think.  We decided to travel to the far east over the weekend.  That is, farther east than here.  We made a judgment call;  which was better; spending a frozen night in the car in a blizzard or staying the night in a nice, warm motel room?  We were rescued by a sheriff’s deputy who took us to a place called Freeman; not Jailman, not Prisonman, but Freeman.  We were free to go if we wanted to, after all.  We chose to stay.  I’m sure you have it figured out which way the verdict went concerning the judgment call, right?  Just for the record, we got caught in the worst white-out I’ve ever seen.  ‘Couln’t even see past the window.
      Although you prob’ly learned a long time ago that it’s best not to travel in inclement weather, we’re still studying that subject.  One of our sons came home to see us.  We hadda’ take him to the airport a few hunnerd miles away so’s he could get back home.  When we started out, things were reasonably acceptable outside.  We left early an’ got our son to the airport just in time to catch his plane.  Before leaving the airport, we checked to make sure his flight would actually be happenin’ an’ then, we headed home.  Trouble is, the further west we went, the worse things seemed to be.  Somewhere west of Turkey Ridge, we connected with somethin’ an’ wound up in a ditch  (Ouch!  Further updates pending).  Thankfully, my good hubby-buddy had packed all kinds of STUFF, in case of an emergency.  For the next three hours Sheriffs from two counties searched for us.  We were finally discovered by a deputy who din’t look old enough to be outta’ school, much less rescuing blizzard-stranded old people.
      Our child-hero soon whisked us away to safer surroundings, where we were forced to relax, recoup an’ watch Christmas movies on actual television until noon on the following day.  Since we don’t have TV connection at our house, we din’t really mind giving in to these demands.  A little before noon, things started happenin’ rather quickly — until we got in the car.  Then, we hadda’ drive very slowly, all the way home.  But we made it.  We’re here an’ sooooo happy to be home.  An’ jus’ for curiosity’s sake, I’d like to know what it is about bein’ stranded in a car, in a blizzard, that makes a person consider how useful certain facilities are?
     Before I go, I’d like to apologize to ya’ll.  I’ve been tryin’ to comment on some ‘uh your blogs, tryin’ to Follow others an’ tryin’ to respond to emails.  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to figure out what’s goin’ on with my computer.  I keep getting messages that keep me from doin’ any of those things, so I do hope you will be patient with me.
     Both my good hubby-buddy an’ I desperately need new computers, but we haven’t figured out how to make that happen.  If any of you know of a secret computer fairy who has a couple extras, we’d sure appreciate it if you’d send ’em our way.
     In the meantime, please be patient an’ know that I am tryin’ my best to stay in touch with everyone.  I am able to read some ‘uh your blogs an’ I enjoy ’em all so much.  My computer won’t lemme’ go to other blogs, though.  Bear with me an’ hopefully, I’ll be able to get a computer that likes me.  Who knows?  Maybe Santa will show me some computer love; I doubt it, but one can always hope, can’t we?
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
     ~ Yaya
4

Hoppin’ In the Little Red Wagon

     I was strollin’ through the many halls of Bloglandia this evening (I’m a night owl; it’s actually 6:45 AM) an’ I came across a whole new place to play.  Well, to be really honest, I ventured over to the Scriptures 4 Kids site to have a look-see.  I like goin’ there.  Look over there >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Yeah, there.  See that picture with the kid readin’ the Scriptures?  That’s where I ventured to.  Wanna’ know why?  On accounta’ I’m an editor on that site.  Cool Beans, eh?

     Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah;  strollin’ through the halls of Bloglandia.  Anyway, when I checked in at the Scriptures 4 Kids site I saw several cool links, so I decided to check ’em out.  One of ’em was Green. Jello With. Carrots.  That’s a cool site.  An’ guess what?  They had links on their site, too.  An’ one ‘uh the links was The Barrel.  Also a very cool site.  I was even able to figure out how to do a Blog Hop.  How cool is that?

     What I was thinkin’ is that if you all join me in this Blog Hop (we can fly together in the Little Red Wagon) we could help Lenny get 250 Followers by Christmas.  If this is your first time here, maybe you haven’t met Lenny.  Lenny is eleven years old and a great blogger an’ writer.  He is also an awesome critique partner.  He critiqued my picture book an’ did such a great job on it that I wanna’ help him get 250 Followers before Christmas day.  I hope you will jump in an’ stroll on over to Lenny’s World.  I know you’ll enjoy it.  Lenny is an amazing guy an’ I’m glad Sharon from Random Thoughts introduced us.  I hope you will all join in the Blog Hop an’ also help Lenny.

     Squeeee!  My first Blog Hop!

     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

6

Are You Following Lenny?

     P’rhaps you’ve met my friend, Lenny?  Lenny is an amazing guy.  For one thing, I love his writing voice.  I’m not the only one, either.  There are folks who would Follow him to the ends of the earth.  I’m one of those folks.  Lenny is cooool.
     So, I read the post on Random Thoughts about the good job Lenny did critiquing Sharon Mayhew’s book, A Cake I Will Bake(HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHARON!)  In case you haven’t read his critique, lemme’ tell you… he did an outstanding job.  Lenny has the true heart of a writer.  His perception is Right-On an’ his ability to spot flaws an’ share the best ways to fix ’em is amazing.  Lenny truly is a very talented young man.  I’m so glad that Sharon introduced me to Lenny.

     Now, here’s why I’m telling you about Mr. Lenny Lee.  He did such a fine job of critiquing Sharon’s book that, after fighting a major Shy Attack, I finally worked up the nerve to ask him if he would consder critiquing my picture book, Tangles of Fun.  Lemme’ tell you, I fretted so much over what his reaction would be.  You see, Lenny is among the greats.  Knowing what an amazing writer he is, I was sure that he was too busy to help me.  But I was wrong.  In fact, Lenny was very gracious in accepting my request.

     Naturally, after sending him my story (am I the only one who feels that my baby has left the nest when it leaves my possession?), I again began to fret.  When I received Lenny’s reply, I had drug my trusty computer into the closet an’ the ‘puter an’ I were sharing a moment, you might say.  I do not handle stress an’ fretting very well.  *grin*

     I needn’t have worried, though.  Lenny was very thorough an’ very kind in his critique.  I won’t include alla’ Lenny’s comments, but lemme’ share with you summa’ the things he said:
    

Tangles of Fun : critiqued for miss yaya by lenny lee
what i like
1. the title is real good and catchy.
2. its a really cute story – following (it) til you find whats at the other end is neat and exciting
2. repeating words for the search is good
3. including dad, the puppy and a the boy so its got more characters but not saying so much about them so finding what’s at the end of (it) is what keeps the story going.
4. this could be real cool for a rhyming poem to. it could be a little hard to do that
5. its real good for bright colored pictures
stuff i didnt like so much
1.  it doesn’t read smooth.
2. its kinda choppy and a little hard for reading out loud
what i think could make it better
1. its got some words and  phrases that could come out mostly at the start of sentences like “in the beginning”  “so”  “then”  “finally” “suddenly”  cause they sorta slow the story down
2. some of it could be pulled in together into just one sentence so it could be more smoother
3. i could like a little twist of words at the end
(I left summa’ the critique out on accounta’ it would give the story away)
(Here, Lenny wrote an example of how I could adjust the story, finishing with the following comment)
Read it out loud and you could see how taking out some stuff gets it reading lots more smooth

     I am working on my book, using Lenny’s suggestions.  He’s right; trying to rhyme the words is very difficult.  The thing is, the idea of rhyming it is a really good idea, so I’ll keep working at it.

     Now, this is where you come in.  If you’re still reading, it’s because you know what a great guy Lenny is.  If I could, I would send Lenny buckets an’ buckets of books an’ fun things.  As I’m sure alla’ you unnerstan’, though, many things contribute to my inability to shower Lenny with the gifts he so much deserves.  So I’d like to ask your help.

     Today is December 5th.  We have jus’ 20 day’s ’til Christmas.  With your help, I think we can spread the word about what a great writer an’ critique partner Lenny Lee is.  There are lotsa’ people who haven’t met Lenny, yet an’ I’d like to introduce him to as many people in the blogging world as I can.  Will you help me?  If you think it would help, you are welcome to link to this post on your blog or in your comments.  If you don’t wanna’ do that, please tell as many people as you can about Lenny’s awesome blog.

     I’d like to see Lenny reach 250 Followers by Christmas.  I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets more with your help.  Every couple of days, from now ’til Christmas, I will make a comment about the progress on Lenny’s blog.  Please join me in spreading the word for Lenny.  Let’s use all the tools available to us (such as that forklift pictured above) to help Lenny reach 250 Followers.  Thank you.  I know you care for him as much as I do, so I feel sure you will help.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.

 ~ Yaya

5

Inventory In December

     Have ya’ noticed? It’s coming fast; December is upon us. You know what happens in December, right? Yeah; me, too — all kindsa’ fun stuff. Except for the other eleven, the month of December is one ‘uh my favorite months of the year. Well, depending on the time of year, that is.
     How’s come December is one ‘uh my favorites? Well, jus’ sit yourself down an I’ll tell you summa’ the things that make me look forward to this time of year. Alrighty; let’s take inventory ’bout the tail-end of the year. First, of course, is the wonder of nature. Snow. I love snow. Shhhh; don’t tell anyone what I jus’ said on accounta’ I’ve heard that snow isn’t necessarily the favorite thing around these parts. Remember; keep it on the QT.
      Naturally, there’s a reason I like the white stuff. Wanna’ know why? KIDS! As far back as I can remember, wherever there was snow, there was sure to be kids. ‘Course, there don’t seem to be quite as many kids as when I WAS one, but some of ’em still come drifting outta’ the woodwork when the flakes start falling.
     Next on my list of Can’t Live Without It is that awesome feeling I get whenever I hear the sounds of Frosty, the Snowman or Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It’s hard not to love a season that causes people to create whimsical characters; don’t you agree?
     Have you ever noticed how friendly an’ happy people are during the last month of the year? Oh, don’t get me wrong; I think most people are friendly an’ happy most of the time. But in December, it’s almost as if we are all bit by the same bug; the Cupid of the holiday season, you might say. The joy is so contagious, in fact, that it might almost be considered an epidemic. Let’s hope no one with authority finds the time to wrap their minds around that thought or we might hafta’ find new an’ creative ways to express all that happiness.
     So, by now, you’re pro’lly wonderin’ how I’ve managed to make it this far without a word about the big day. It wasn’t easy, lemme’ tell you. Christmas is absolutely my favorite, Favorite, FAVORITE day of the year. Nope! Nope! Not for the presents, but for what it represents. You see, it is at this time of year that funny things start happening. I like to think of it like a maple tree whose sap is spilling out at Sugaring Time.

     Look around an’ see if you don’t agree. You just might catch your neighbor smiling even more than usual. Or, when you aren’t lookin’, someone might leave a prize on your doorstep; maybe hurry to help you during a difficult time. Could be, you’ll find  yourself inviting someone over for a cuppa’ hot cocoa an’ a chat. See what I mean? For the whole month of December an’ maybe even a little longer, you’re gonna’ start seein’ the love come pourin’ outta’ every person — like a Maple Tree.
     Now, here’s what you wanna’ do: act real nonchalant whenever someone is near. Then, when they think you’re not lookin’,  jus’ casually start noticing what’s goin’ on around you. Uh, huh! See there? Without them even knowing it, you’re gonna’ catch someone right in the act of bein’ nice. Keep on your toes ’cause it’s gonna’ happen a lot more than you expect. I’d be embarrassed to have anyone mention it, but I sure hope I get caught in an unexpected act of kindness. An’ you can be sure I’ll be watchin’ YOU. Oh, an’ guess what I jus’ noticed? Whilst I was writing, December jumped in.
     Until the next time, keep a hug on.
 ~ Yaya