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Flying Foxes

So in honor of the Aussies and their "zip lining" being called "Flying Foxes" here's a picture of their fruit bat that caused the name.

So cute. It's like Stellaluna. Didn't some star name their kid Stellaluna? That's an unfortunate name, and cute or not, I don't want to be named after a fruit bat. Just sayin. I read that book to Elle until I was as blue as its cover.


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Forget the New York Housewives, New Cast Needed in Washington

Have you ever watched any documentaries on the founding of this nation? Our forefathers were hungry. Hungry for freedom and for the chance to leave the caste system of England behind them. They weren't perfect. Slavery and general bad behavior still marred many great leaders -- but they were steadfast in their fight. They believed in a cause and they fought for it.

And they compromised where they needed to with those on the same side. That's what is missing today. There is no teamwork. There is no win-win and the American public loses while they posture and battle it out in Washington.

I work part-time in the financial industry. I see how different the haves are from the have-nots. It's getting worse. It's making me decidedly more liberal. The rules apply to the haves and well as the have-nots.

You've got deadbeat dad Joe Walsh asking Obama if he has no shame. Really? He's squiring around a girlfriend while not paying child support and points his finger at Obama?

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Then, you've got Obama pointing fingers at everyone else on Twitter. Does it disturb anyone else that your president uses Twitter to fight his battles? It's not exactly Braveheart.

The thing is, Washington shouldn't care what we think about them. IT's not about them. It's about our country and its future. Or should I say China's future with 25% of our national debt owned by China?

Washington: Work for your constituents, and quit trying to sit at the popular table! You're not Kardashians for crying out loud.


Ah, to be appreciated...

Well, for those of you who tuned in for something lovely about pop culture, I'm sorry to have thrown you yesterday with my v. narcissistic post. I opened the page, and I was like, dang girl, like yourself much? But then I thought if I took it down, that was even worse, so I'll let you be the judge. I stand behind my view of vacation.

It's Beth's view too, and it does so help to have someone who "gets it" -- so she's getting new bedroom furniture tomorrow, and cleaned out the bedroom, only to decide she was a "hoarder" -- Is it any wonder she's my best friend? She goes from spring cleaning to hoarder in less than a second.

Where it gets scary is when she says, "Guess what I found?"

"No. No, I don't want to hear it."

But naturally, this doesn't stop her. No, it's me she's talking to, and my utter humiliation is something she lives for. And I, hers. That's what friends are for. She proceeds to tell of a Christmas letter that I apparently wrote as a very young, and naive bride. I squealed for her to stop, as I mustn't believe I was ever that ignorant, but this only encouraged her. She had to keep telling me that yes, I was that ignorant and proceeded to recount a lecture we both got on the evils of "People" magazine, which God had graciously allowed me to forget. Oy. Friends are there to remind you of embarrassments once forgotten.

This is why you should keep friends for only so long, and when they know too much? It's time to ditch them. I'm still looking for the Biblical reference on that one, and I'll keep you posted.

On a happier, less humiliating note, Beth will testify that I was a BBC geek when we simply called it "Masterpiece Theater." And here are the first pics for the second installment of "Downton Abbey" -- oooh I can't wait. Watched "Wives & Daughters" tonight while I worked. Half-worked.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2018876/Downton-Abbey-YOU-gets-close-personal-series-2-hit-period-drama.html

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Zip Lining Changes Everything...

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Kids called. They're happy. There's a zip line. That beats hiking through the forest any day. Why walk when you can fly?

Although I do like hiking and plan to do so tomorrow. By myself. The difference? There are no kids whining about it behind me.

Oh found a "white trash" photo. Check out the fire wood. LOL


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"Family" Vacation Intervention

The family is headed out for vacation. Well, not me. I'm working. But that's a good thing. DH's idea of a vacation doesn't suit the rest of us and my boys are here begging me to stay home. They'll clean. They'll walk the dog. They'll even take care of Elle's montage of animals. Just. Don't. Make. Them. Go.

Somehow, it occurs to me that shouldn't be the feeling before vacation, but there are several reasons for this thought process. First up: The White Trash syndrome. DH finds it perfectly acceptable to pile as much crap on top of the car as it will carry. As a former boy scout, his "always be prepared" mantra looks like a scene out of Hoarders to me. Hence, we look like the Clampetts rolling down the highway. The kids made up their own car game, "The White Trash Game" -- the object of which was to find someone more white trash than us. Ie., people with old refrigerators on their truck, or floral couches on the porch. That kind of thing. (And it's not always easy.)

The next reason we define vacation differently is the actual destination. When we get to vacation, our family likes to relax. DH grew up in a family where the destination was only half the vacation. The other half involved climbing something, hiking until your feet fall off and generally, seeing how cheaply a family can vacation.

And don't get me wrong. I'm all for taking turns. I will gladly do the Extraterrestrial Highway if the following year, we check out say...a place where my cell phone works. So the family was supposed to leave at 8 a.m. They just got out of here at 2 p.m. with everyone begging me to stay home, "It's Shark Week!" They wailed. "We HATE hiking!"

I've tried to have a vacation intervention, to explain why no one in fact, finds his vacations fun. Or vacations at all really, but when someone enables, your interventions rarely go well. (Watch the show?) His father is coming along on this trip. They'll BOTH tell the kids how much fun they're having. Next time, I'm going to try pictures:

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Me on vacation with Beth in Mexico.


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Me in San Francisco with Cheryl.


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Me with Nancy in Florida. Note: I'm doing a lot of relaxing.


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Me on vacation with the family.


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Kids in Santa Cruz for a day of boogie boarding. (Note: Not expensive.)


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Kids with Mom in Disneyland.


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Kids hiking on last year's "family" vacation.

I know visual proof means nothing to an addict, but still...at what point do you realize your kids hate hiking and you're only making matters worse. No doubt, they'll live in high rises in their future.

This year there will be no picture proof as I just noticed my camera is sitting on the table. All I can say is that I'm grateful for the deadline and someone, please tell my husband's family getting to the top of something is only a vacation if there's an elevator. Or perhaps a ski lift.



Linens are Provided...but how many?

The first time I met Colleen Coble and Carol Cox, I used everyone's towels and said we needed to call down for more. Apparently, I hadn't been a Baptist long enough to know that you get one towel per week in the Baptist world. Which I think makes my true religion HILTON, but I digress.

So my sabbatical is quickly going away. And that's fine. Because the best part of writing is the people, and I get to go with my friends:
Colleen Coble
Diann Hunt
Denise Hunter
and my fabulous editor: Ami McConnell

We're going on a retreat in a beautiful log cabin, where we will plot the next Smitten book. Which sounds lovely and relaxing. And although the place is five bedrooms with five bathrooms, it does provide linens. My friends know what that means, and Colleen offered to bring extra.Just in case. She's also bringing her Rancho Silvia espresso maker, so we can fuel-up without leaving our beautiful retreat.

The only thing I hate about leaving Silicon Valley is seeing that I'd have a mansion anywhere else. And since we live like sardines, that makes me antsy. But then I hear how others are struggling to get basic jobs and make house payments, and I get it. Sigh. I'm fortunate. And I'm a writer because apparently, that's where God has me for now.

But this cabin filled with friends is a benefit that I can touch.


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So I guess for now, I'm a writer


#Bachelorette Ashley Regrets Wasting so much time on Bentley...

And you know, we regret it too. First and foremost because you spent your first date with JP in jammies & glasses. That was not cool. We didn't get it, and I'm sure watching it back, she doesn't get it either.

I know in Bentley's camp they say he's a legitimately nice guy who was edited badly. But I honestly can't see how you could call Ashley and ugly duckling and chalk that up to bad editing. A man who judges a woman solely on her beauty, is a tool, and women who think they can fix him -- they're in for a world of hurt. Ashley is no ugly duckling and truly, Bentley isn't even good-looking enough to have that opinion.

Everything happens for a reason, and my hope is that single women everywhere learned from Ashley's humiliation.


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It's guys like Bentley who make nice guys whine that women always go for the bad boy. In this case, I think most of us had trouble with the "bad boy" and maybe that was a good lesson. Back to work...

http://www.usmagazine.com/moviestvmusic/news/ashley-hebert-reveals-biggest-bachelorette-regret-2011277


Kat Von D -- Living Passionately

One of the downfalls of living passionately, is that sometimes, as suddenly as our passion started for a man incapable of genuine relationship, it can blow up.

I'm not making fun of Kat von D, either. Only saying that if a man treats one woman with disrespect, chances are, you're next. That's why, just like in things like war, in love, if we can't learn the lessons of history, we are destined to repeat it.


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Been there. Done that. Only happy that I don't have the ugly tattoo to prove it. Not only does Kat Von D now sport a tattoo of Jesse as a child, (and she can be thankful, he looks like a girl as a kid, so who's gonna know?) but she also signed on the dotted line for a reality show following their relationship. Ouch.

Kat von D will recover. She's a bright girl. But here's a lesson for all of us. When a guy you're involved with, touts how you are in bed publicly, while comparing you to his ex-wife, he's probably not marriage material. Say the word with me: tool. Just sayin'

http://www.okmagazine.com/2011/07/kat-von-d-posts-facebook-manifesto-what-can-i-say-i-suck/