Blog Archives

Socially Frustrated

Today’s post will be brief, as I’m socially frustrated. I’m battling cyber social circles, middle school peer pressure, opposing parenting styles, and I don’t like it. Not one bit.

facebook logoMy family has a policy. We understand our teenage children want to fit in, enjoy the normal social activities of their peers, but when it comes to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like, I find there is a wide variety of opinions with regard to appropriate media behavior. Thankfully, my kids are not facing bullying. We watch for it, talk about it and are prepared for the day–should it ever cross our path. But in our family, we don’t want pictures of our children posted online. Period.

instagramI’ve posted the occasional “view from afar” or the innocuous half profile, but nothing that boasts, “Hey, look at me!” And we certainly don’t want any pictures posted of our children that are less than appropriate in any form, shape, or matter, ie. “embarrassing.” Am I alone? Am I the stodgy parent in the parent who doesn’t “get it?” This is nothing more than harmless fun between kids?

I always thought I was pretty easygoing. Strict, but understanding and accommodating. I know that sounds like an oxymoron (and some have called me worse), but I don’t know what to do. I can police my children’s behavior. It’s when it comes to their peers that I’m having a problem. Any words of wisdom?

Authors in Bloom!

Very busy this week hosting the 3rd Annual Authors in Bloom Blog Hop that begins TODAY. 🙂

Authors_in_Bloom_blog_hopFor the next 10 days, visitors will learn a ton of new gardening tips and recipes, PLUS the chance to win a number of great prizes! This year we have almost 80 authors and bloggers hosting giveaways which makes for AWESOME odds, not to mention the grand prize ereader and gift card. That’s right–you have the chance to win an ereader of your choice (kindle or nook, $200 value) and coinciding $25 gift card. This year we’ve added a second prize of $25 gift card redeemable with the bookseller of your choice.


What do you have to do to win? Simply leave a comment on each participating author/blogger website. That’s it. Be sure to include your contact email info so we can inform you of your winnings. 🙂 Check event page for complete rules/details.

I do hope you’ll stop by! Already we’re learning fun, facts & trivia, like how to save and store that fresh lettuce in your garden! For DAYS…

The fun begins here…Authors in Bloom

Love/Hate Relationships

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with Facebook. I’m a pretty private person. I’m not apt to share the minutia of my life with others. I bore myself half the time and figure I shouldn’t spend time boring others. I’ve even written entire blog posts on my hatred for Facebook.

But… Screen Shot 2012-11-15 at 1.59.16 PM

There are times when I discover things on FB that I never would have known. For instance, there is a page dedicated to the recovery of a young woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a car accident. I’m not sure how this page ended up on my feed, but a friend must have liked it and now I read the posts and updates whenever I see them.

I don’t know the girl. I don’t know her family. The posts are remarkable and uplifting and so full of hope. The mom and dad take turns writing posts that convey their courage and faith as the family takes baby step after baby step toward recovery.

There are thousands of pages like theirs on Facebook. Thousands. I’m not sure what it was about this one that caught my eye and made me read. And keep on reading. And praying for them. I believe in the power of prayer.

I found this girl’s story through a social media site I sometimes love and sometimes hate. Love or hate it, social media has power. Sometimes that power is a wonderful thing.

What about you? Have you found something through social media that has impacted your life? If so, would you please share?

Chewing Gum: A Dieter’s Best Friend

I’m battling the sagging middle.  And not just the one in my work-in-progress.  I’m talking about middle age and all the junk that goes with it.  Well, mostly the extra 15 pounds of junk clinging to my middle.  Where did it come from?  Strike that.  I know exactly where it came from.

I have a confession to make:  I’m a bit of a stress eater.  Okay, I’m a big stress eater.  Candy, cookies, cupcakes; you name it, I want it.  Especially when I’m writing.  While other writers spend their “mind breaks” (translation:  writer’s block) surfing the internet or stalking their old high school boyfriend via Facebook, I’m pulling out the mixer and baking up a batch of Toll House Cookies.  Not for me. Of course not.  I’ll send them to my son at college.

Public Disclaimer:  Before my son rat’s me out, I have sent him cookies this year.  Twice.  The others were of such an inferior quality that I had to get rid of them.  I’m just not saying how.

I do exercise.  But these last few months haven’t been that productive what with a hinky disc in my back and now the fiberglass claw I have to wear on my broken wrist.  I manage three miles in 40 minutes each day on the treadmill, but that hasn’t been enough to combat my hibernating metabolism.

So I’ve resorted to drastic measures:  I’m dieting.  Yes, I’ve returned to the land of weights, measures, and counting points.  Weight Watchers is effective.  And, a lot more fun now that I have an iPhone.  So far this month, I’ve lost 5 lbs.  Okay, it’s not really lost.  That five pounds is actually sitting on the candy aisle at my grocery store in the form of a five pound bag of M&M’s, but I’m resisting temptation.  So far.

And I owe it all to chewing gum.  Now while I write, I chomp on a big ol’ wad of gum.  Hey, at least my jaw is getting a workout.  And my dentist need not worry, it’s sugarless and the whitening kind.  Yeah, I know, pathetic, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

What’s your favorite snack when you write?

Is There An App For That?

Ahh, finally I’ve caught up to my children and am now the proud owner of a smart phone.  Santa was generous and brought me an iPhone for Christmas.  It looks really sleek and relevant in its purple, plastic case.  Now I can read my email messages wherever I am because, you know, my emails are of such an urgent nature that I need them in real time. (Not!)  I can also update my Facebook page with annoying—I mean entertaining—vignettes about my day.  With pictures, too, because my phone has an amazing camera.   Thanks to the Emoji app, I can decorate all my text messages with a variety of cute pictures because why shouldn’t my texts look like they we written by a teenage girl?

And that’s about it because, truth be told, I got a smart phone that’s smarter than me.  Seriously, it talks back.  What do I need that for?  I have teenagers!

I’ve loaded some apps on it, but not many.  When I enter the App Store (how funny does that sound?) I get a little overwhelmed with all the crazy and amazing things I can put at my fingertips.  I have dipped my toes in, picking up a few of the thousands of apps available.  My first one?  The Flashlight.  Now, if I have to change a flat tire in the dark, I have a light right there on my phone to do it by.  Of course, a better use of my phone might be to call AAA, but a gal’s gotta have options, right?

Since it was the New Year, the second app I loaded on my phone was the Weight Watcher’s app.  Yep, I live and die by the points.  Now that I think about it, though, a better app might be one that yells at me to “put down that chocolate!”  Is there an app for that?

Music is very important to my everyday existence, so I’ve had a lot of fun with iTunes and Slacker Radio.  My task for this week is to figure out how to load one of my existing songs to use as a ringtone.  Not as easy as it sounds.  If I’m lucky, my fourteen-year-old will take pity on her out-of-touch mother and help.

I haven’t loaded any games, yet.  No Angry Birds or Words With Friends or—the favorite in the Solheim house—Temple Run.  Okay, I did load Magic8Ball, but that was because Jill Shalvis makes mention of it in her latest release Head Over Heels.  It sounded fun, just like the book.

My son is addicted to FourSquare and I’ll probably load that one, too, if only to ensure he doesn’t become the mayor of our neighborhood!  I do like ShopSavvy, though.  How cool is it that you can compare prices of anything from you phone?

I’m sure there are a million things I can do with this wonderful little gadget.  I need a copy of iPhones for Dummies because a mother can only bear so many exasperated sighs and eye rolls from her children when asking for help.  With time, I’m sure I’ll be a pro.  But you know what the best thing about my iPhone is?  The one reason I consented that Santa could go over budget and get me one?  FaceTime.   Because when your child is lying in a hospital room three hours away, all you want to do is see his face.  Hopefully I’ll never have to use it for that, but just knowing I can makes me sleep better.  Isn’t technology great?

What are some of your favorite apps?

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