I Got Skills!

keep-calm-i-got-skillsMad skills. Crazy good skills. Skills that help other people. Skills that I’ve really enjoyed developing over the course of my life so far. Am I a master at any one of them? I’m not sure I’d call myself a master of any of them; although there are a few that I so thoroughly enjoy, that maybe one day I’ll be referred to as an expert.

If I could choose to be a master of any skill in the world, and one I do so enjoy, it’s public speaking. I know that for most people having to get up in front of a group causes nausea, sweating, memory lapses, hyperventilation; all kinds of reactions! Regardless of the size of the group or whether or not the group members are known to the speaker, it is documented as one of the biggest fears of a human being.

After I make any sort of presentation I’m asked, “How do you do that?” “Were you nervous?” “You make it look so easy!”

I learned very early on, in fifth grade actually (thanks, Mrs. Fontana), that the key to speaking in public is to be prepared! That means, know your “lines” and practice, practice, practice. It helps too, if you’re somewhat passionate and excited about what you’re doing. There are any number of life hacks (tips for how to do something difficult, more easily) on-line for how to speak in public. Just Google and you’ll have pages of ideas and suggestions for overcoming your fear, some of them are quite good. But I’ll go back to the advice from my fifth grade teacher every time: know our lines and practice, practice, practice.

Today’s thanks goes out not only to Mrs. Fontana, but to everyone who has given me the opportunity to practice!

Other Bloggers With Skills:

Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile

If you’re feeling blah, what is the one thing you do that you can count on to put a smile on your face?

There is one thing I do to make me smile when I’m having a difficult day.  I look at pictures and stories about my great-nephew, Liam, and my great-niece, Lily.  Whenever I’m having a tough day at work I hop onto Facebook or Instagram and have a peek at these two.  Nothing really brings me sunshine on a cloudy day like looking at the these two children succeed and be joyful! 

Thanks Lily and Liam, you bring a smile to the hearts and faces of everyone you meet.

Lily bug


Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile

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  3. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile- Studies Report: what make us really happy in life | Journeyman
  4. Family Outing from Hell: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  5. A Whiskey on the Rocks | Musings | The Wangsgard
  6. The Match (Part 7) Shares | The Jittery Goat
  7. F Is For Film | My Little Avalon
  8. DP Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | Sabethville
  9. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  10. Here We Are, Entertain Us ! | Knowledge Addiction
  11. The Power of Victory | the FLAVORED word
  12. too much smiling gives you wrinkles | FamousFeline
  13. smiling too much will give you wrinkles | FamousFeline
  14. blend | yi-ching lin photography
  15. love at first sight is | y
  16. Broken Filipino: Returning to the Language of My Heart | Kosher Adobo
  17. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | Blissful Pages
  18. Four Things that Make me Smile | Dragon Droppings
  19. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | Bob’s Blog-O-Rama
  20. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  21. Aberystwyth 1976-77: Are YOU in either of these photos?! | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  22. begin the healing (tanka in three) | peacefulblessedstar
  23. Daily Prompt: Hope it makes You SMILE! | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  24. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | Sued51’s Blog
  25. Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile | THE WRITE PLACE…
  26. Day 144 | Tales of a Recovering Recoverer
  27. You Make Me Smile | Triumphant Wings


That Drives Me Crazy

What habit/act drives you crazy? How do you prevent it from happening?


Less of a habit, and hopefully, more a misunderstanding of the English language, it makes me crazy when people use words incorrectly or use the incorrect word. I’m not talking about people whose second language is English; it’s presumably well-read and smart people who simply mess it up.

Case in point, the word is regardless, NOT irregardless. Some will argue that irregardless is an actual word and will find all kinds of “proof” to make is so. However, as every good high school student knows, a double negative is unacceptable in the English language.

I’ve worked with a couple of people who use the word irregardless, regularly, in both speech and writing. I find it mind-boggling. Another one is oriented versus orientated. From the research I’ve conducted, both words are acceptable, the key differentiator is where you live in the world. Here in the United States we are oriented to our new workplace, not orientated.

When I hear either of these two samples of word confusion, in a feeble effort to try to correct, I restate the speaker’s comments word for word except, I’ll use the correct version and let it linger.   

Who do I thank for this slice of nutsy-potsy thinking? Jennifer and Chip, editors extraordinaire! Many grant reports, articles and applications would not have been successful had it not been for their keen eye and amazing grasp of the English language.

Pet Peeve’s of Other Bloggers:


Birthday Cake Tradition

Daily Prompt: Time After Time

green bowlI was born on St. Patrick’s Day.  Everyone’s Irish on that day and conveniently I am anyway, so it makes it an extra special day for me.  I also have two older sisters born during that same week in March and we’ve often celebrated our birthdays together.  But we’ve always each had our own favorite cakes.

What likely started as my Mom’s attempt to give the birthday girls in March our own special day, has continued into a birthday tradition for me.  My birthday cake has been white cake–green frosting, every year for as long I can remember.  Even when I lived in Vermont my mom put the cake, carefully packaged in a box and shipped via UPS, I would have my cake, and eat it too, on my birthday.

green frostingThere may have been a couple of years when my cake was made by someone other than my Mom.  A co-worker, a friend, another family member, all have made the fluffy white cake topped with varying shades of green frosting, upon which my candles have been lit.  Thanks to everyone, especially Mom, for making sure I could MY eat cake on my birthday!

Lots of Bloggers Have Traditions:

Big Bucks of Babysitting

sitter person THE SITTER

Mrs. McTwitter the baby-sitter,
I think she’s a little bit crazy.
She thinks a baby-sitter’s supposed
To sit upon the baby.

Shel Silverstein

Lately, I’ve been thinking a bit about what my dream job will be; right now, I’m in a job I really enjoy, so I’ll go with the flow for now until I buy that winning lottery ticket.  Today’s prompt got me thinking about when I started to earn money by working. 

When I was a teenager, and before I got a “real” job–the one where you first realize that the minimum wage was lower than you thought because taxes were taken out of the total; I was a babysitter.  I had regular gigs, the same several families in our neighborhood just about every Friday and Saturday night.  A call would come on Thursday, occasionally Wednesday, afternoon to ask if I was available.  For a few years every Saturday night and New Year’s Eve, was spent next door with Lynn and Jeffrey, and The Love Boat and Fantasy Island

Typically, at the end of the night, I was paid for my “work” and almost always, it was in singles…lots and lots singles.  When you’re fourteen years old with a pile of one-dollar bills in the bottom of your sock drawer, it feels like a million bucks.  I must have been pretty good at the job since I was never without several dollars come Monday morning; remember, the going rate back then was only $1 an hour. 

Today’s is a simple thank you to the kids who, I hope, fondly remember the books read, the games played, and the snacks eaten on all those weekend nights! Especially, Lynn, Jeff, Jodi, Alyssa, Dennis, David, Steven, Melanie, Stacy, Kristen, Mark, David, Ricky, and Christine.

Money for Nothing from other bloggers:

Right (Write) Now

coco-on-canThe Daily Prompt: Write Here, Write Now.  (Since I’m not in the frame of mind to)Write a post entirely in the present tense (I’m going with the) Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW

When I read this prompt the very first thing that came to mind, was this picture of my granddaughter, Coco.  I took it with my phone.  Pictures of her always bring a smile to my face, she gets today’s Thank You.  Love you, Coco!





Other Cool Posts for today’s Daily Prompt:



Halfway Home, Almost

I’m close to the halfway mark of my 365 daily Thank You’s.  When I started back in August, I had no idea that writing on a daily basis would be as challenging as it’s been.  Initially, it was easy to think of the thank you’s, I’d generated a list to help me.  Some of the people on the list I intend to thank on specific days of the year, leaving all the other days to come up with something to write.  This past week I relied heavily on The Daily Post at WordPress to help me out, to prompt my thinking. Now, I sit hoping for a bolt of lightning to strike. 

Here it comes…I’m Halfway Home!  Well, almost.  I know that 182-ish is half of 365, but I’m feeling okay with the reference today, having completed 176 posts (which includes this one).  I wasn’t sure when I started if I could actually continue past thirty consecutive days.  After two months, I got to thinking that a daily post is a dose of crazy and I should have committed to once a week.  But I continued, somehow, every day to write something to express my thanks to people and, in essence, to the universe for this life I’ve been given. 

So today, to thank everyone who has read, commented, liked, shared, encouraged, I’d like you to enjoy Tommy Emmanuel’s musical piece:  Halfway Home.  Please keep reading and enjoying, and, thank you!